Lucy is 2!

Our little girl!

Our little girl!

Our little Lucy is turning 2 today, April 26! I, like most mothers, feel like she was born just a short time ago; how quickly 2 years can fly! Lucy is such a sweet little girl, with a developing independence and opinion like no other. She loves princesses, babies, yogurt, dresses, coats, ice cream, playing dress up, cottage cheese, swimming, and being a diva….oh wait.  😉  She has brought such joy to our lives. In honor of her birthday, I decided to post her birth story which I wrote just a few days after her birth, hoping to remember and appreciate her first birthday. It is a little long, but read if you wish!

 

2 days before Lucy was born!

2 days before Lucy was born!

 

Lucy Marie Rose Costello’s Birth Story

April 26, 2011

6 lbs 12.9 oz

19 ¾ in

3:44 pm

Lucy’s birth story begins on April 26, 2011. I had not been feeling well for the past 5

days. I thought I was having ‘pre labor’ symptoms of losing what I thought was my mucous

plug, general malaise, body/muscle aches, and upset stomach. I was 3 weeks and 1 day from

my due date of May 18, 2011.

I went to work as usual on that Tuesday, and saw 2 patients. In the middle of this

time, I began to notice that I had not felt the baby move at all that morning. This was unusual,

as the baby had been very active during the entire pregnancy, and mornings were usually a

very active time. I also noticed that my usually irregular Braxton Hicks contractions were fairly

regular, about 5 minutes apart, but not painful. After my second patient, I had an opening in my

schedule, so I sat down and ate a banana, hoping that the surge of energy would awake the

baby. No such luck. I felt that I needed to call my midwife’s office, as she had always warned

me that if I had a time of decreased fetal movement or an inkling that something was wrong,

I needed to call in and possibly get checked out. I thought I was just being a nervous nellie,

worry wart mother, so I called Jeremiah first to ask his opinion. He said I had good intuition with

these things, and it would be better to get checked out than have the unthinkable happen.

So I called. After telling the nurse what was going on, she said I needed to come in and

report to Labor and Delivery for some tests. I asked if I could just go next door to the clinic and

have the nurses/docs do something there, because I was not sure this warranted a trip to the

hospital. The nurse assured me again that I should probably come in.

I told our office manager at work that I needed to leave for awhile, but to leave my

afternoon patients intact because I would most likely be back by 1pm. Or so I thought!

I drove to Trinity hospital in Muscatine, still not sure that I really needed to go. I talked to

Jeremiah on the phone, and he asked me what the date was. I said April 26, but reassured him

that today would not be our baby’s birthday. I was pretty sure they would listen to the baby’s

heartbeat and send me on my way.

I arrived at the hospital and went through admitting, where the receptionist asked me the

standard question of “Are you in labor?”. I replied that I didn’t think so, or if I was I didn’t know it!

I walked myself up to Labor and Delivery where I was shown into a room. Soon enough the

nurse came in and hooked me up to the fetal monitor. I immediately heard the ‘thump, thump,

thump’ sound of the baby’s heartbeat and instantly felt reassured that everything was ok. I had

to lay with the monitor on for 30 minutes, and they gave me a little button to push if and when I

felt any fetal movement. I did not feel anything the entire 30 minutes. I drank some orange

juice and water, attempting to awake the babe. Again no luck. Kim Wiseman, our midwife, had

been informed that I was at the hospital, and proceeded to order a biophysical profile, or in

other words, a fancy ultrasound. They also informed me at this time that my temperature was

elevated and my heart rate was a little fast. I thought nothing of this, since hospitals tend to

make me kind of nervous! Kim also wanted some blood drawn and to test for leaking amniotic

fluid. I was negative for leaking fluid. I continued to have Braxton Hicks contractions about 5

minutes apart and regular, but not painful.

During this time, I was not worried at all. Our baby had a heartbeat, and was alive, so all

was ok in my mind. I was content sipping orange juice and watching ‘Say yes to the dress’.

Honestly, I was kind of happy to have a break from my busy day! Jeremiah was texting me,

constantly wanting updates and wondering if he should come to the hospital. I continued to tell

him that I was fine, baby was fine, and we would most likely be going back to work soon. My

boss, Beth, was also wanting updates, and I told her the same thing. Almost right after that, a

nurse came in and told me that I was going to be there awhile, there were more tests that Kim

wanted to run. They were speculating I was harboring a UTI.

Next they had me give a urine sample. Then the technician came in to do the

biophysical profile ultrasound. I was still in my work clothes when she performed the

ultrasound. I mentioned to her that we did not know the sex of the baby and wanted to keep it

that way. She respected my wishes and stayed away from the telltale area. The ultrasound

took about 20 or 30 minutes, with at least 10 minutes spent with the technician just sitting and

watching the baby. Still no movement. One could see the heart beating and all the proper body

parts intact, but baby would not move. The ultrasound tech was a little perplexed, and stated

that maybe the baby was sleeping.

Kim came up next, and talked to me about what she thought was going on. I did not

have a UTI and my blood work seemed ok, but I still had an elevated heart rate and

temperature, which was now up to 100.4 degrees F. She said this was becoming a little

dangerous. She wanted to do an internal exam and see if I was dialating and check again for

leaking amniotic fluid. I agreed to this. She said I was dialated to 4 cm, and upon doing

another swab, confirmed that I was indeed leaking amniotic fluid, meaning that somehow my

water had broken. To this day I still don’t know when my water broke, it could have been days

before! She felt a ‘forebag’ of water that was sealing off around my cervix, most likely

preventing the fluid to leak. She speculated that my water may have been broken for awhile,

and I had not known it due to the forebag preventing any water leakage. Kim told me she was

concerned about the possibility of me having an infection of my amniotic fluid, which can be

very serious for baby and mother if not managed. It’s called chorioamnionitis, and apparently I

had all the classic symptoms. That would explain my elevated temperature and flu-like

symptoms I had been having for the past 5 days. She wanted to artificially break my forebag

and see if the contractions and dilation would progress on their own. If not, other interventions

may be needed to protect the baby and I. At this point, I was still kind of in a haze as to what

was going on. I had never expected any of this to happen! I think Kim caught wind of this when

she looked at me and said, “Sarah, you’re going to have a baby today!!” I looked at her with

what I’m sure was a dumbfounded look and began to cry. It was a surprised, happy, joyful,

excited, and fearful cry. She chuckled and said I better call Jeremiah to get him here.

I checked my phone and saw a text from Jeremiah that said he was already on his way

to the hospital. I called him and promptly told him stop on his way and get me a gatorade.

There was a pause, then he asked me why. He knew exactly what that meant. We learned in

our Bradley classes the first time around that electrolytes and staying hydrated during labor

were very important. I began crying again and told him we were going to have a baby today!!! I

caught him up on all the details and he said he would be here soon. He wanted to be here

before they broke my water the rest of the way. The nurses started me on an IV drip of

antibiotics for 2 reasons: I was strep B positive, and the chorioamnionitis. The nurse who

started the IV missed, and then dug around in my wrist/hand for the vein. No such luck, and it

HURT!! A second nurse came in and got it on the first try. An IV is not my cup of tea, and I

hated it the whole time it was in.

Jeremiah arrived around noon, with a gatorade and orange juice in hand; one for during

labor and one for after. (How thoughtful was that!?) Kim returned and stated that we should

probably go ahead with breaking the forebag and see what my labor does. Jeremiah was not

convinced. Our Bradley classes stressed the importance of as little interventions as possible,

and our first birth experience had virtually no interventions. Kim explained the reasoning to him.

She did not think that my labor would progress on its own, as it was likely that my water could

have been broken for days prior without any progress. It was getting unsafe for the baby and

myself due to my rising temperature and high likelihood that I was harboring an infection in the

amniotic fluid. We decided to go ahead with breaking the water. It was about 1pm by this time.

As soon as the forebag was broken, my contractions immediately got stronger. I was

still on the bed with the fetal monitor attached to my belly for another 20 or 30 minutes. As the

contractions got stronger and stronger, it was harder to lie still. I practiced deep belly breathing

with each one. Kim let me get into hands and knees position for awhile, and this helped. They

were about 4 minutes apart.

After they were done monitoring, I was up and moving. Jeremiah and I walked the halls

of the labor and delivery floor twice, stopping each time a contraction hit. They were getting

progressively stronger and I found it most helpful to bend forward at the hips and lean on the

hallway railing to relieve the pain. We had to drag the IV pole with us. After we made 2 laps in

the hall, a nurse came and asked me to take 2 tylenol for my fever. I didn’t care at this point,

and gulped down the pills with a swig of water. Next Kim wanted to listen to the baby again, so

she did this as I stood outside of my room, bending forward and beginning to moan with each

contraction. The pressure in my pelvis was becoming immense and I could feel a trickle of fluid

leaking with each one. The baby’s heartbeat sounded great. Kim brought out a swiss ball/

birthing ball for me to sit on. This felt good and gave my legs a break. I still bent forward with

each contraction and began to feel very nauseated and light headed. Kim suggested a

medicine I could take for the nausea, but I turned it down. I figured I would end up throwing up

anyways, and probably feel better after that. While I was sitting on the ball, I heard a familiar

voice. My sister had found her way up to the birthing floor and recognized Jeremiah knelt down

next to me in the hall. She asked if everything was going ok, Jeremiah answered yes, and I

think she left, as this is when another very strong contraction hit.

Kim suggested I try the shower next. I stripped down but left my tank top on and

climbed in. Jeremiah’s job was to use the showerhead to spray water on my low back to

alleviate some of the back labor I was having. We did this for 3 contractions and I started to feel

pushy. The pressure in my pelvis had reached a new height and I felt like squatting and pushed

a little. Kim must have noticed because she promptly removed me from the shower and had

me lie on the bed. I was 8 cm dilated and still very very nauseous. I was lying on my side and

with another contraction, I threw up everything in my stomach. I had eaten some red jello

earlier and it was clearly visible. I knew this meant I was in transition labor, although it really

didn’t register. I was only 2 hours into labor! Kim had earlier told me that she thought my labor

would go quickly, and joked that she planned on being home by 7pm. At this time it was 3:30

pm, and Kim told me I would have a baby by 4pm. I remember saying, “How about in 10

minutes?”. Come to find out I was not far off!

Kim told me to try hands and knees position for awhile and see how I liked that. I was to

rock back on my legs with each contraction and Jeremiah was to push his hands against my

hips in a counterpressure. This way the baby’s head was forced onto my cervix and would

cause it to dilate more. I remember doing these very instructions for 2 contractions, and

pushing as hard as I could with each, because the urge was overwhelming. After the second

one I heard Kim say, “Look, there’s the head!”. She told Jeremiah to get at the end of the bed in

order to catch the baby, and he had to release my death grip on his arm/shoulder/neck in order

to do so. I couldn’t believe it and thought they were joking. With one more contraction I pushed

and pushed and pushed. I heard Kim say “Jeremiah grab your baby!!!” and then “Baby’s out!!”.

I remember thinking ‘what!?!?! Baby’s out?! I only pushed 3 times!!’. I must have said

some of these things and then I asked if it was a boy or girl. Kim said I could see for myself.

Since I was still on my hands and knees from pushing, Jeremiah and Kim slid the baby up on

the bed between my knees. I could not believe how much hair the baby had. It was thick and

black hair, just the opposite of what I had seen when our first baby was born. I spread the

baby’s legs and stared. I don’t know if it was the rush of labor, confusion, or just my own

stupidity, but I could not figure out how to say what the baby’s gender was. The genitals were

quite swollen, but I was pretty sure it was a girl! I felt ridiculous just sitting there until Kim

reassuringly said “Did you get a girl?!” I nodded and continued with my joyful bawling that

began as the baby was coming out.

We announced that the baby girl would be named Lucy and Kim told us that was her

dog’s name (not really what I wanted to hear at the time!). Lucy didn’t cry right away and we all

rubbed her little body vigorously to try to get her to wake up and cry. She was limp and a

reddish-purple color. She finally made a few wimpers and sounds. Jeremiah cut the cord and

the nurses whisked her away to the little baby table in the corner. To my horror they strapped

on a bag mask and began pumping it to inflate her lungs. Slowly she began to move her little

arms and legs and then we finally heard her cry!!

I was feeling very crampy during this time and after 2 pushes the placenta came out.

Lucy’s Apgar score at 1 minute after birth was a 4, and 10 is the highest score you can get. I

was able to hold Lucy after a few minutes, but only for about 60 seconds. She was adorable,

with a full head of black hair! She only made a few squeaky noises, and the nurses said that

she needed to go to the nursery to get checked out and possibly go on oxygen for awhile. They

whisked her away, once again, but this time Jeremiah went with her. (We always wanted one of

us to be with the baby at all times.)

After Jeremiah left, I began to get the shakes. It started slowly, but gradually became

a full body tremor. I knew this was normal after birth but still very uncomfortable! Soon after

they hooked me up to pitocin through my IV–standard procedure with some care providers

to prevent postpartum hemorrhage and help the uterus contract back down to size. Boy did

it ever! The contractions were very painful and strong, like first stage labor. I was also given

another dose of antibiotics.

After wheeling and dealing with the nurses, I was allowed to be pushed via wheelchair

down to the nursery, along with my beloved IV pole. Lucy was under what they call an Oxyhood,

basically a round plastic bowl over her head to deliver the oxygen to her. She also had on a

heart monitor, pulse oximeter, and various other contraptions, and was lying under a warmer.

She was breathing on her own but still needed the oxygen for the meantime. I cried as soon as

I saw her, both out of joy and fear for what she was going through. The pediatrician reassured

us that many babies have to have some oxygen after birth, and it was unlikely she would have

any long term problems. Jeremiah and I took turns staying at her side and holding her tiny

hand. Some of our family was there, but were unable to come into the nursery, so they watched

from the window.

Lucy remained in the nursery on oxygen and everything else for 6 hours after birth.

They finally weaned her down to room air, gave her a bath, and let her join us in my room. I

was finally able to attempt to nurse her and we were all able to cuddle and love her! She was

very very sleepy and remained that way for the next few days, which made nursing a challenge,

but she did well. Lucy was labeled by some as a preemie, although she was only 1 day from 37

weeks gestation, which is considered full term.

Although Lucy showed no signs of infection from the strep B or chorioamnionitis, I was

still given antiobiotics every 4 hours, around the clock, for 24 hours. What a joy. The nurses

coming in to flush my IV and give me another dose of the antibiotics numerous times in the

middle of the night was not a good way to get a good night’s sleep in the hospital! Lucy did not

have to have any antibiotics, thank God! One of the more experienced nurses told me the next

morning that if I would have waited and come into the hospital later in the day or evening of April

26, I may have been much sicker, and Lucy may have been born with a fever and various other

problems. It was definitely a ‘God thing’ that I came in when I did!!

We stayed in the hospital for about 48 hours after birth in order to monitor both of us.

We had many visitors and gifts which helped the time go quicker. Gabriel got to see his little

sister for the first time the morning after she was born. He wanted to hold her, and kiss her,

and play with her right away! He even came to the hospital bearing a ‘I love Lucy’ tshirt made

especially for him by his Aunt Michelle. 🙂

Lucy’s birth was much faster than Gabriel’s; she was born a mere 2.5 hours after Kim

broke my forebag of waters the rest of the way. My labor with Gabriel was 14 hours! It was also

less painful than what I remember from Gabriel’s birth. I am happy and proud once again to say

that I delivered another baby with no pain medications or unnecessary interventions, just the

way we wanted it! Lucy looked exactly what I thought she would look like. From the beginning

of this pregnancy I had a feeling the baby was a girl, and I also knew that I wanted her named

Lucy. And I had a sneaking suspicion that she would look exactly opposite of the towheaded

little boy born to us 2 years ago! It was a fantastic experience, and although the immediate

after-birth experience was a little scary, we are all doing well now. Gabriel loves his little sister,

sometimes a bit too much! We all adore her and I am so thankful and grateful to have a little girl

as my own!!!!

 

Newborn!

Newborn!

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