Our birth story really begins a month ago and really probably even before that. The hardest part about writing a birth story is deciding where and when it starts.
With that said Ill start with October 4th. I went in for one of our routine ultrasounds to check her growth and afterward I decided to go up to L&D to be checked since I had noticed some watery fluid I thought might or might not have been my water leaking. The ultrasound said her fluids were good, but just wanted to double check. At this point I was already having lots of contractions so they put me on the monitors and ran a test to see if it was amniotic fluids. Good news was that it wasnt amniotic fluids but with the contractions they found that my cervix had started to change. It was 2.5 cm and 50% effaced. They had been going back and fourth between a due date of Nov 14th (accoridng to my LMP) or Nov 21st (according to my 10 week US). The first due date put me at 34 weeks and the second at 33 weeks. At this point they officially changed my due date to November 21st and were able to give me a steroid shot for her lung development since they couldnt give me the shot to stop my contractions (my heart rate was too high) and they wanted to give her the best chances possible if born early.
I had to go back the next day at 2pm to get the second steroid shot and have my cervix rechecked. Unfortunately I had to go in early because the contractions were getting stronger. They found that my cervix did dilate a tiny bit more, but still couldnt give me the medicine to stop the contractions because my heart rate was too high so they gave me an IV of sugar fluids (since I hadnt eaten yet that day) and finally around 2:30 everything slowed down. They gave me the second lung shot at 3 and rechecked my cervix around 5 and found it hadnt changed at all since I got there at noon so they sent me home on complete laydown bedrest (only getting up to go to the bathroom)
On October 11th I had another doctors appointment.My cervix had changed some more since that previous Thursday but very little. He said it could be any day or it could be weeks away. Contractions continue…
On October 17th the contractions became stronger and closer together and we were sure that that night was gonna be the night. We headed into the hospital around 7. They checked my cervix and they ran a FFN test. The nurse made me so mad. The test came back negative (which of course is good news) but the contractions continued and were painful and she just brushed it off saying, “well we’re probably gonna send you home your obviously not gonna have this baby if the test said so and we wont find any change in your cervix when we check again.” She made me feel so dumb. Then the doctor came in and checked and turns out there was change so we were sent to Nortons in Louisville where if I delivered (at that point just shy of 35 weeks) she would have access to a NICU.
We checked in at midnight or so at Nortons and I was put on monitors. Thankfully no change since Id left the other hospital. By 9am the contractions, although still regular, had become just mild. Things were slowing down. They sent us over to have an ultrasound (3D even it was awesome!). At that point she was 5lbs 8oz, according to the ultrasound guesstimate, a little smaller than we thought, but she had some super chubby cheeks, a double chin, and a back of neck fat roll. The Tech said she was well developed and looked really good. At this point the contractions were picking back up again, but not too bad.
After that we talked to the DR and he said that they didn’t “want” me to have her just yet, so although the on and off laboring was exhausting, they wouldnt help things along, but that they wouldnt stop anything either. They decided to keep me until either she was born OR until I hit 37 weeks (when Ireland would deliver me) so they could keep us monitored, healthy, and safe. I was so thankful and greatful when at that time my mother in law decided to come out and lend a hand!
They decided to keep me only one week, until I hit the 36 week mark, so long as I went home and stayed on bedrest for the next week till I hit 37 weeks so long as I hadnt progressed too far. Although the whole week was filled with hrs of contractions, followed by half a day of nothings, then another half a day of contractions, then nothings, I was thankful to be going home where I could be in my own bed and not confined to a hospital room. So on October 21 the checked my cervix and found that through the week there was no change. I was still 3cm and 80% effaced from when I arrived a week prior so I was sent home on bedrest for the next week with no more walking than I did in my hospital room.
The next week went by quite well and I was so thankful to have Gloria, my MIL, there with me to help so that I could adhear as best as possible to the bedrest. In that week we got the nursery finished and fully ready to go! Then on Monday October 31st, I hit 37 weeks and was offically off of bedrest! I was happy to be off the bedrest and that we could all enjoy spending time with Aaron’s mom for the last week she was here. Contractions of course continued all week. Wednesday night we took Bailie to awana and I was feeling so off.
Thurseday November 3rd, I woke up and was just exausted all day. I tried taking naps and resting, but nothing was working I worn out for seemingly no reason. Then in the afternoon I had a wonderful bout of diareah and contractions started again. I thought great now Im in pain and getting sick!
Friday November 4th, I woke up and around 10am the contractions from the night before had started moving into my back. I told Aaron that they were starting to change and that if they continued we would probably be going in when he got home from work. I waited and waited all day expecting them to quit but thankfully they didnt. They werent regular but they were different and getting stronger so when he came home around 4 he showered and we went in at 5pm.
While we were in there the contractions moved completely into my back and became so completely painful it was unbelievable. They were maxing out the monitor, but they refused to give me anything for the pain. I was just shy of 4cm but “not progressing fast enough” then they had a shift change and decided it was a good time to do training with a new nurse so these two ladies wouldnt shut up so then I really couldnt relax. They said they could keep me and we could be twiddling our thumbs all night or I could go home to eat and rest. So at 8:30 we left. I bawled my eyes out all the way home. I was in so much pain and they were essentially telling me tough she wasnt really coming anytime soon and to make it worse my MIL was supposed to leave the next day and I was excited she was gonna get to see the baby only to hear that she probably wouldnt.
When we got home Aaron and his mom and Bailie went to get some dinner from Apple Bees and bring it back. We ate and then as the contractions got stronger I took a bath. At first they slowed but then they got worse so I got out. Aaron and his mom were watching a movie so I tried to sit down and watch but after a few minutes I couldnt handle it so I went to my room to try to sleep but a few minutes there and I couldnt handle that either so back out to the movie I went and then one more time back to bed. Finally at midnight I told Aaron I couldnt take it any longer and we needed to go back.
When we got there they checked my cervix and I had finally hit the 4 we needed to be considered “active labor” but things were still moving too slow accoring to the nurse. The dr wouldnt even come see me because she didnt think I was in labor and Im sure she wanted to sleep. So they sent me to walk the hospital for 1 hr to see if that could get things going. We walked and through the contractions Aaron put pressure on my lower back and messaged it and did what he could to distract me, but it was so incredibly painful in my back that I didnt last the whole hr before going back. Then 1:30 rolled around and Im told that without the dr ever coming to check me she was authorizing for me to be sent home with ambien. Ambien? How in the world will that make my pain go away? I fussed and fussed and begged the nurse for something else that the pain was too much to handle. Thankfully she called the dr and was cleared to give me a shot of some other kind of pain reliever that relaxed my whole body and made me quite loopy. She said it should calm things down enough to give me about 3 hrs of sleep. They had to wheel me back out to the car (I wasnt supposed to walk unassisted at all with it). I could still feel the contractions but they were far more tollerable. Indeed I was able to get to sleep for a bit around 2am. Come 4am the medicine started to wear off and I woke up with each contraction. I started waking Aaron up around 4:30. I got in a bath, ate some breakfast (ok tried two bites of oatmeal, but it made me sick). Then around 6:30 finally got Aaron up to leave.
We got back to the hospital right at shift change and I was so thankful! Did I mention how much I didnt like the previous dr? I was so happy to hear that not only was that dr leaving but one of my favorites was on shift! The nurse says hey I saw you last night before I left. Id told her that after she sent me home the next nurse did too. She said something like ya we’ll probably just send you home again. I started crying again, how could they still be thinking Im not in labor! why wont anyone listen to me!?! Then she checked my cervix and I was 5cm and right as she was saying “Ok your here to stay!” the dr from over night popped by and I felt a small amount of pride and accomplishment that she got to hear that she was wrong and I was right and that she should have listened to me because I know I body and I knew it was different! That feeling of course only lasted for a moment until the next contraction hit and I was back in a world of pain. But it was ok because after coming in 3 times and spending more than 7 hrs of the last 15 in triosh I was finally being admitted into L&D and would not be leaving again without my baby in my arms!
So I was admitted around 8 or 9 ish on November 5th. I was begging still for pain meds. If you’d asked me before I was gonna try to deliver without an epidural but when she came to ask me I was all over the YES YES YES PLEASE YES SOON! The guy came up to talk to me and required me to get an IV bag first so they started that right away. At 10am they were finally able to give me the epidural. The last 3 contractions leading up to the epidural were so strong and painful in my back that I couldnt even breath through them, I just bawled and sobbed and bawled through each one. Now when he put the epidural in he slid it to one side accidentally. This left my whole right side completely numb and my left side mostly numb, but I could still move my left leg. He said we could leave it or he could come back and try again. I opted to leave it for now.
They had me signing paperwork and asking me all kinds of questions about how I wanted things to go. I emphasized that I would not allow pictocin at all. I wanted her to nurse immediately and to delay all post birth baby care until she was done nursing and we’d had time together. I also wanted her cord to NOT be cut until the placenta was delivered. Then a while later they brought in a small amount of pictocin and set it on the table. I was like whats that for? They told me that it wouldnt be given until after birth to help the uterus go down and slow the bleeding. WHAT!?! No I had you write REFUSE on the pictocin from there is no way your giving that to me after birth. The nurse is like well why not? So then I explain that pictocin is the synthetic form of Oxytocin the hormone made naturally by our own bodies and that by administering pictocin, even after delivery, would affect my own body’s ability to release the oxytocin needed to help with nursing, bonding, and shrinking my uterus appropriately. She and two other nurses tried to talk me outta this before saying that they would bring in the midwife and she could explain to me why this was an absolute necessity. So in she came and she says I hear that you dont want the pictocin after delivery? I said nope sure dont. She asked why not, so I explained that I didnt think it was nessessesary and she asked if I was going to nurse immediately. I told her yes that was the plan and she said ok then sounds good. I am going to keep it in here incase the bleeding does get outta control because in a life or death matter we will administer it. I agreed that was ok.
Around 10:30 the epidural was in full effect (minus the small amount I could feel on the left side) so they checked my cervix again and I was at 6cm. 11am they came in and broke my water. At this point things really picked up! I could feel the tightness of each contraction on my left side and they were getting closer together. They werent painful at all but I could feel them so I knew when they were happening. They said this was good because I would better know when to push when the time came.
They also found that she was “sunny side up” so they had me lay in a special position to try to get her to rotate and told me to let them know if I felt any pressure in my bum. At noon they checked me again and I was at 8cm. Then at 1 she said that since my water was no longer intact they didnt really wanna check me too muc but to let them know if I felt any pressure. I told them still not yet. The midwife student and I sat there chit chatting and the next contraction came and I thought I felt some pressure. Right then the main midwife came in and the student told her i said I felt some pressure so they quickly put gowns on and went to check me. I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. she said ok we’re gonna get some practice pushes in while we page the other nurses (aside from the one already in the room) to come in case they need to help push her out.
She was still sideways, not fully rotated yet when I started my “practice” pushes and with the first push they realized these were not going to be practices that shew as coming and quickly. The midwife student was the one who was gonna catch her so she was guiding her out and coaching the next few pushes. In 4 minutes and 52 seconds of pushing McKenna Sky Turner came flying into the world at 1:10pm! She came out so fast and not facing the right direction that whole face and head were bruised! They stuck her on my chest to nurse and my placenta was delivered. Aaron cut the cord and we sat there looking at this beautiful person we’d made nurse and it was wonderful.
The midwife checked me a few times after that to make sure that I wasnt bleeding too bad and ironically … what was this? could it be? Oh yes that’s right my post delivery bleeding was better than most even WITHOUT their pictocin. The nurse was amazed because she’d apparently never seen anyone refuse after delivery pictocin and didnt know that our bodies were capable of not killing us after birth without it. Its amazing how well God made us!
I was also pleased to find that unlike my last delivery, I had no rips, tears, cuts, or hemorrhoids from delivery. Everything was going really well and I was allowed to leave at the 24hr mark! We’re all home now and although McKenna has a tad bit of jaundice we’re all doing very well!