Her birth was highly anticipated, and was also the cause of much anxiety. Due to complications of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP), it was decided that we should be induced early to avoid the risk of fetal demise. We went for an amniocentesis on Monday, March 23, and spent a long day awaiting the results to see if her lungs were mature. At 4:30pm we got a call from the lab that said we were good to go, so we headed to the hospital to be induced.
I was given Cervidil at about 7pm, which started mild cramping, but not enough to interfere with sleep. At 3:30am I awoke with a start to realize that my water was breaking. Contractions started soon after, and we were able to walk the halls to try and bring on labor. By 7am, the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and we augmented labor with a low dose of Pitocin. The contractions intensified quickly and were soon regularly 1-2 minutes apart. Though we'd learned all sorts of comfort measures, the last thing I wanted was to be touched, so Dakota counted out the contractions for me while I labored in a rocking chair (far superior to either standing or laying in bed). Throughout the labor, soft classical music played in the background, and a general sense of calm pervaded the room.
By 9:30am, I was pretty sure I wanted an epidural, and it took an hour to get the anesthesiologist to my room. I do believe I expressed my love for her upon hearing who she was. Dakota was asked to leave the room while they gave it to me, and sitting still through a contraction was nearly impossible. I felt it working immediately. They gave me a button to increase the dose, but I never needed to.
They left us to labor on our own and came in periodically to check my blood pressure. At 2pm the doctor came in to check me and I was fully dilated! Sadly, I couldn't feel my legs due to the epidural, so we lowered the dose and waited until I felt like it was time to push. At 4:30pm it was time. My contractions had actually slowed at this point and were again 2-3 minutes apart, so my rest time between pushing was increased. At a certain point, the nurse grabbed her phone and called the NICU team and my doctor and urgently told them to get to my room. I didn't feel like we were that close, so I was a bit surprised by her tone. However, the doctor got there and was only present for one contraction when she said, "OK, one more push and we have a baby." I didn't quite believe her, as that sounded a lot like someone saying "one more time, just one more time, one more time." She was right, though! One more time and Madeleine Hope was ushered into this world! They put her on my stomach, where she immediately peed on me to say hi. Dakota cut the cord and I cradled our precious little bundle.
She was born with a large hematoma on her head (it looked a little like two heads, honestly), and that was definitely a surprise! The NICU team took her from me and checked her out. She got two nines on her APGAR scores (testing well already!) and the NICU team headed out. She was weighed and measured, then brought back to me to cuddle and breastfeed. It was amazing.
An hour later they took her to the nursery, and I didn't want to see her leave. Daddy went with her while I went through some basic recovery from labor. Unfortunately, it was hours later before we were reunited with our little girl in the maternal-child unit, but it was well-worth the wait. She is well-worth everything.