Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Introducing Peyton Campbell Hudson

Monday, February 4th I went in for my 39 weeks appointment at Tripler Army Medical Center. Being in the military we were required to go to the military hospital throughout the entire pregnancy. I didn't have a great experience as I saw someone different each time and I felt more like a number than a person. Parking was a nightmare too. Try walking up and down a mountainside in the 3rd trimester. Not fun, nor safe! 

Anyways, at my appointment the Nurse Practitioner checked me and said I still had no progress. Last week I was 2cm dilated and 0% effaced. She said the baby was still pretty high too. She started talking to me about scheduling an induction for 41 weeks because this is a military hospital and they are always busy. She said they had only 1 spot left open for inductions and I should go ahead and schedule. I was scared. What was she not telling me? Was there something she felt that told her I was going to go past my due date? Or that I wasn't going to be able to go into labor on my own and deliver naturally? I never had the intention nor did I want to be induced! I left that appointment scared, angry, and tears rolling down my face. I felt like she was pushing me to schedule something I did not want. And I wasn't even 40 weeks yet!!! As upset as I was about the thought of being induced,  I went against my better judgement and scheduled it only to call and cancel as soon as I got home that day. I didn't want someone telling me when my baby was going to make her debut.

Wednesday, February 6th started out like any other day the last few weeks had gone. I woke up had my breakfast smoothie and headed out to do my walking. I didn't feel any different than I did any other day but little did I know that that day was the start of my new life as a mommy.

Around 6:30pm I started having what felt like my normal Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having for quite some time now. They weren't painful at all just sort of took my breath away and made the top of my uterus very hard to the touch. Around 7:30pm I decided to take a warm bath to make me feel better. After my bath I laid on the bed for awhile and I hadn't had very many more contractions but I noticed that I hadn't felt my baby move in quite sometime, about 3 hours. Any woman that has been pregnant can understand once you feel your baby move you learn the way they move. How much, How often, and different times of the day, and once you don't feel that it can be a scary feeling. Kick counts and monitoring fetal movement are extremely important. I came downstairs and had a glass of juice and a another fruit smoothie and laid on the couch for about 45 minutes and still felt nothing. I decided to let Brad know that I hadn't felt her move in awhile and discussed going to the hospital to put me on the monitor to check and make sure she was okay. I then called L&D, told them what was going on and they told me to come on in to be safe.
We got dressed and headed up to the hospital.
We arrived at 9:00pm and they immediately got me into a triage room and hooked up to the heart rate monitor and fetal movement monitor. It was such a relief to hear our baby's heart beat strong and loud. They wanted to monitor for 30 minutes to make sure everything was okay. Listening to her heart beat fill the room was such a calming feeling that could have easily put me to sleep.
When the Dr came back in and looked through the last 30 minutes of recordings and noticed that Peyton's heart rate went from 150's down to below 120 during a few contractions. Contractions? I didn't realize I had even had any while we were there! The Dr showed me on the strip I was having consistent contractions every 2 minutes and they were lasting over a minute each! I was shocked! She also mentioned that there wasn't much movement from the baby either. I hadn't felt her much while we were there but I had felt 1 or 2 small swishes of her moving her legs. She also checked my cervix and it was at 3cm and 50% effaced. The Dr was concerned about her heart rate and the decreased movement so she wanted to monitor it for an hour and go speak with the other Dr's on the floor in L&D. She said that I was definitely in the beginning stages of labor. I was so excited and scared at the same time! What felt like an eternity went by and a new Dr came into the room. Peyton's heartbeat was fine but there were still a few times that it would go down. The Dr told me they wanted to admit me to continue to watch her heartbeat rather than sending me home to continue early labor. 
In my original birth plan I wanted to do the majority of labor at home so I could be in my own surroundings. Brad and I together decided I wanted a drug free, natural birth. I had done the research and read up on laboring techniques for pain management. I was prepared. But I was not prepared for what the Dr said next. 
"We'd like to admit you and have you continue your labor here at the hospital so we can keep a close eye on the baby's heartbeat. We would like to watch and see how you progress on your on and then we may give you some Pitocin to speed up the process a bit." "There's no sense in keeping you pregnant any longer and we don't want you going home and something happening to the baby." As disappointed as I was to hear they wanted to give me Pitocin, my main concern was my baby girl being healthy and safe. 
We hadn't brought anything with us to the hospital because we thought we would be coming back home, so Brad ran back to the house to get all of our bags and check on the dogs. While I was waiting to be transferred into the room my baby would enter this world, I spoke with several of the nurses on staff about my concerns with pitocin. What were the odds of being able to do without an epidural on pitocin? What were my odds on a c-section? What were the odds that something could happen to my baby? The nurses in the nicest way told me things I didn't want to hear. "Well sweetie, contractions with pitocin can be a lot stronger and more painful than regular contractions." "There's always the possibility of a c-section." "Well the cord could be wrapped around her neck and we can't see that so there's no way to know, but i'm sure she'll be just fine. All of their answers were vague and made me worry even more. I finally got into a room around midnight. I was still having consistent contractions on my own without the pitocin which was good but they wanted to start a small dosage. I looked over and they started me at 2mg drip. I checked right before I delivered and they had only bumped it up to 6mg.
I tried to get some rest but that was impossible. Not because of pain but because I was so worried and scared for my baby. I just wanted to know she was okay. With every single contraction I had, I watched the monitor closely and watched her heartbeat. 
The Dr came back in at 2:30am and I had still not gotten any rest. They checked my cervix and I had progressed to 4cm still 50% effaced. My contractions at this point were getting more uncomfortable but the most annoying thing was I felt like I had to go pee with every single contraction. So each one I got up and went. I could tell the night nurse was getting agitated because she had to disconnect all the monitors to let me go and It was every 5 or 10 minutes or so. Every time she came in she offered me an epidural. Which I had told her from the beginning I did not want it. Why keep asking? In hopes that I would give in? 
At 6:30am it was time for the new nurse and Dr to come in. The nurse was first. She was so incredibly sweet when she came in and introduced herself. She went over a few things with me and then brought up the dreaded question I had been scared to be asked. "They mentioned you didn't want an epidural, is that still the plan?" I told her what the other nurses had told me before and that I still wanted to try to do without it. Without a skipping a beat or any reservation in her voice she said; "I have seen it before and I know you can do it." "We will get through it together." She then went and grabbed me a birthing ball and a birthing bar. Both of which I read about and wanted to use. She wanted me to get out of bed and walk around the room and labor that way whereas the night nurse would have rather me labor laying in bed and get an epidural so she didn't need to do anything.
 I was her only patient so from 630am til Peyton was born, she was in and out of my room constantly. My contractions were getting a lot stronger and more uncomfortable. I could feel the majority of it in my lower back but also had lower abdominal cramping as well. The nurse showed techniques for Brad to use to help me get through the pain. He would put tremendous amounts of pressure on my lower pain while I focused on my breathing during each contraction. And the nurse gave me words of encouragement through each and every one. I went back and forth between the birthing ball and the birthing bar. I could tell it was getting close and really wanted to be checked again. The nurse said they wouldn't check me again until 10:30am. I was not excited about waiting that long to find out. I didn't want to be disappointed that I wasn't progressing fast enough. 
Around 9:30am my contractions were getting extremely intense. My legs were shaking, I felt like I was going to fall over. With every single contraction I literally felt like my water was going to break or I was going to pee all over myself. At this point I couldn't walk to the bathroom if I had wanted to because my contractions were so close and so intense. I was still switching from the ball and the bar. My breathing was getting extremely difficult to keep steady. The nurse hooked up an oxygen mask just in case I needed it. I decided it was best if I didn't stand anymore because my legs were shaking so bad I didn't want to fall and hurt myself or my baby. Once I laid down my contractions were even stronger and even closer together. It was impossible to keep my breathing steady so Brad helped me hold the oxygen mask over my face. With each contraction, I laid on my side and he draped his body over mine and placed pressure on my back and held me as tightly as he could.  I thought to myself. Is it freaking 10:30 yet?!? Get this Dr in here!!!! 
 She FINALLY came in and it was a Dr I had never met before. I am assuming my actual Dr was busy with another patient. She checked me and said "Well I have good news and bad news, you are 8cm and 100% effaced, but your baby is still very high and has not dropped into the canal yet and your water is still entact." She then went on to say it would be a few more hours before I would be ready to push. I was so disappointed with that last statement! Could I last a few more hours? She wanted to break my bag of waters because she said it would help the baby drop into the canal. She then proceeded to go on and say they once that bag of waters was broken, my contractions would be more intense. I thought to myself how the heck can they get more intense than this?!? My entire body was shaking, I couldn't breath. I was physically drained already and hadn't even made it to 10cm yet or started pushing. I was so disappointed in myself and felt that there was no way I could continue without the epidural and be able to push this baby out. Especially if they felt I had a long time before i'd be ready to push. But was I going to be able to be still long enough for them to place an epidural? My contractions were so bad and my body was shaking uncontrollably I thought there is no way I can do it! I looked to Brad for what I should do. This whole time he was so encouraging with me and saying how proud he was of me and even at this point when I had almost given up on myself he still believed in me and knew I could do it without the epidural. I told the nurse I at least wanted to talk to the anesthesiologist to see what they said about me sitting still long enough through a contraction. I never got the chance to speak to the anesthesiologist and i'm so glad I didn't!

With my next contraction I felt the extreme need to push but I knew I was only 8cm. I asked the nurse if that was okay and she said to do what I felt I needed to do to get rid of the pain. So I pushed! I pushed so hard it literally felt like something was coming out but I wasn't sure what it was. I put my hand down there and sure enough SOMETHING was out! I screamed for the my nurse who was only right beside me but I was so scared. She sat on the bed and said. "Oh wow, it's your bag of waters." 
I was freaking out! I thought my baby was still in the canal so how was her bag of waters sticking out?! She looked again and yelled "I need a Dr in here NOW!" I was so scared something was wrong. I screamed is my baby okay?! "Yes she is fine, she is about to be here! Are you ready to push?! She is just behind this bulge here!" 
I was confused because my water STILL had not broken and how was I just at 8cm literally 8 minutes ago and the Dr told me my baby hadn't made into the canal yet!?! I thought for sure something was not right.

I silently said a quick prayer that God was taking care of my baby and that everything would be okay.

I had never seen so many people come into one room in my life! They were frantically getting the delivery table ready because it had yet to be set up since we all thought I had a ways to go. In a matter of seconds another contraction came on. Should I push? I said. Looking at Brad my mind was filled with fear. His eyes were filled with tears, I couldn't tell if they were happy tears of scared tears. I knew he was scared for me and I knew he was ready to meet out baby girl so i'll say happy and scared tears. 
The Dr's gave me the okay to push. So there I was, laying cockeyed in the bed on my side cradled towards Brad. I couldn't move my body but I could push. I remember letting out these godawful loud screams but it was my way of releasing the pain. It felt good to scream. They didn't have time to pull out the stirrups so my nurses held my legs up. Brad holding onto the oxygen mask keeping it on my face and looking at me I pushed again. I looked down and there she was! I saw her head first, but something was covering it. The Dr said push again and so I did. They pulled her out with the last push. 6 minutes and 3 pushes and she was here! She was still in her bag of waters that had not broken. They pulled it over her face and she immediately started crying. It was the most amazing moment of my entire life. I reached for her and pulled her on top of my chest. Her cry was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. She was so perfect. I looked at Brad and we both were so happy and relieved she was finally here! Neither one of us could keep our eyes off her. We were oblivious to everything around us. 

Just after I pulled her up on my chest. My amazing nurse told me afterwards that she had only seen 3 women deliver naturally on Pitocin without an epidural and that I was the 3rd one! I will never be be able to put into words how amazing and breathtaking it was to be able to feel my baby enter the world. A very empowering moment in my life. 

Peyton Campbell Hudson born at 10:44am (Hawaii Time) on Thursday, February 7th, 2013. Weighing in at 7lbs 0.2oz and 18 1/2 inches long.

It is said that babies born "with a veil over their face" or a Caul Birth,  means they can see the future. I always knew she would be destined for greatness. <3
She truly is a gift from God and we are so incredibly blessed.

Our first family photo <3. 
Just a few minutes old.

After waiting 9 long beautiful months she is finally here! My birth story was nothing like I could have ever imagined; it was even better! I have to give props to my absolutely amazing husband who was my rock and my support through everything. This experience has brought us even closer than before. I could never thank him enough for everything he has done for me and for taking care of me the way he did. Our journey of parenthood has just begun! We love our little girl more than we could have ever imagined. 

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