Friday, April 9, 2010 | By: janet

MEET ELLE... a post that should probably be broken down into TWO Parts

After more books and names than I care to recall we narrowed our list down to an array of names that ranged from Cadence to Lauren to Bridgette. Interestingly we were stuck in limbo between choosing from a not-so-common name (Cadence) to a classically, traditional one (Lauren).

In the mean time we were busy selecting nursery gear and preparing for She Number Three. Horrified at the prices of nursery bedding, imagine my shock when I stumbled across this too sweet set from Walmart.

The joke then became we should pick an “L” name.

Not so considering I was vying for Cadence Trinity!

But in the end Gibbs won. At 8-8.5 months pregnant, more than 500,000 names later and too many books to count … he stumbled across an “L” name that is not-so-common. Frankly, by that point I was fine with anything that did not resemble Wilma or Gertrude.

And since he won on the first name, I made sure I upheld my womanly duty and gently but forcibly ensured I won on the middle name… Grace!

Currently I haven’t decided if I will publicly reveal her name. So in honor of her “L” name… she'll be dubbed Elle! (Sweetest picture ever down bottoms!)

Because we women cannot get enough labor & delivery details… here they are!
If you remember, we showed up to the hospital at 12:15 am on Wednesday, March 17- St. Patrick’s Day! To no avail the pitocin did not work, so we were rescheduled for another induction on Friday, March 19 at again… 12:15 am. (No, Gibbs and I were not pleased at all with our time options!)

There were some issues that I will not get into at the moment, but I walked into the hospital with just Gibbs and myself. No bags. No intentions of staying. We met with the OB and went around and around until we compromised with a game plan as to how to make this induction successful. Ironically we did agree to a plan, so we finally moved forward at 2 am.

Imagine my horror to only progress 1 cm in a matter of 4 hours! I was devastated considering my past labors are fast and furious, medically labeled precipitous. Though painful and agonizing, with only seconds to relax and breathe between contractions, at least with them I knew my labor would be over quickly. Quickly, the difference between natural and induced labors were beginning to sing me their lullabies.

At that point the OB, per our pre-arranged game plan, broke my water. And with that, all you-know-what broke loose with it! In two hours I went from 4 cm to delivered.

But before the screaming of Elle commenced there are a few more details we shouldn’t overlook…

  • Having never had an epidural and assuming I wasn’t making progress during those grueling two hours I begged for an epidural despite my vicious needle phobia
  • This was after a lovely dose of stadol that had me drunker than drunk
  • Interestingly the moment the urge to push hit, I was no longer drunk. In fact that was when I begged and pleaded for an epidural (with no idea Elle was moments from birth!).
  • Sadly for me, there was no time for an epidural. And the anestheologist couldn’t get me positioned right because of the intensity and quickness of the bombarding contractions. This left him with the only choice of a spinal. Whatever that is. Let me say though I felt like a wuss, yet it worked like a charm!

And that’s when I was glad to be sedated. Because I was checked to see how dilated I was, 8 cm- something no one expected, and they couldn’t find a heartbeat any longer. Poor Gibbs navigated that scary terrain all alone. I was just sedated enough to hear details but not be able to react. Let me say that was probably a good thing too.

My worst fear was being confronted and there I laid drugged up, fading in and out of consciousness and uncontrollably shaking from being cold and what Nicole my nurse said was hormones.

Throughout the pregnancy when we found out the cord was around her neck I feared many things—cord compression suffocating her, the cord being too short and finding this out while she was in the birth canal, the IUGR diagnosis killing her because it is the #1 killer of babies aside from premature birth, etc. Honestly I did not want a c-section, but I didn’t want to deliver vaginally either. Though I was willing to face my needle phobia fears and go for the epidural for a c-section if it meant keeping her safe during delivery.

And that’s when they rolled me back on my left. Ironically the position I preferred to labor in. And on my left her heartbeat was found strong. And remained that way.

Until I was on my back again to start pushing.

And that’s when it began drastically dropping again. Because of her terrifyingly heart rate plummeting down to 30, that's when forceps were promptly put to use delivering Elle. Quickly. Painfully I should also add.

Everything is very sketchy and Gibbs has had to tell me the details and clarify a lot of it for me. But I do recall hearing the OB announce the cord was wrapped around her neck twice. When I asked Gibbs how she looked, he said he didn't have it in him to look. Poor man.

But she was born screaming and after a thorough examination I vaguely recall the pediatrician telling me she was perfect with Apgar scores of 7 and 9! The pediatrician was called into the delivery room before I started pushing. I still do not know why, nor does Gibbs. Everything quickly became a whirlwind with alot of staff making appearances.  I suspect it was due to her heart rate issues that were beginning to surface. Gibbs said she was in professional business wear (like she had just come from the office) with a mask quickly thrown/held over her face.

Relief swept over me when I heard the OB laugh and ask what I believe was the NICU team if they just wanted to carry her to the other side of the room since she had a “50’ long cord”.

Somewhat ashamedly I am thankful for the OB who delivered Elle. Without his knowledge and forethought I have no doubts things would have gone very differently considering before any pushing or anything began, he had the forceps around Elle’s head “just incase”. Some of you may know OBs are no longer trained in forceps use, so this was a true marker to his lifetime experience.

I am slightly saddened that our appointment with him the day before delivery went terribly wrong and I left furious, not saying a single word to him or anyone else. It was so bad the one nurse asked Gibbs what had happened and the front desk clerk was covering her mouth with her hand as it dropped to the floor. I lost all respect for him—an OB I previously was genuinely fond of, was part of the reason I didn’t want to stay for the induction knowing he was coming on shift and would deliver, and lastly when the other OB and I agreed to a game plan, I requested my nurse to not bring him in “until the very last moment”.

I recently told Gibbs I regret the meds because her delivery, a babe we waited forever for, is so foggy—a defining moment I think all of us mothers look forward to. He asked if I even remembered delivering the girls. And for some reason he seemed stunned that I do recall every.minute.detail—including why they call it “the ring of fire”. But I am all too aware without the meds this time around, they would have had a basketcase on their hands.

I am so thankful that my body naturally only felt at peace laboring on my side. And I’m beyond grateful that even with a doctor I didn’t want delivering Elle, he was the one scheduled to come in at 7 am that day. And I’m exceptionally grateful for the meds that kept me mentally at bay enabling the large team of medical staff to not be distracted by how I would have been reacting if absolutely coherent. And although healing has been very tough this time around, I’m just grateful to finally be able to hold my little girl in my arms—one that most of you know I firmly believed would never even be conceived.

Here she is!

We recently did her pictures because as a hobbyist I’m too cheap to pay someone to do this for me. For you shutterbugs, the set up is very easy! Set up a coffee table by a window, place a bean bag chair on it, drape a blanket, loosen diaper (so there are no marks) after undressing baby and patiently wait for baby to deeply sleep. While waiting, gently warm the blanket up with a heating pad. The room being 80 degrees and yourself drenched in sweat helps too.

All was going great—other than the profuse sweating. As I was positioning her, the little lovebug decided to “let loose” on the blanket. She did it perfectly and so much so that I had to readjust the blanket. Unfortunately in the process I lost the room between her and the “backdrop” part of the blanket, so it didn’t nicely blur out. My future advice: have two blankets- one for the background and one for draping!!