Thursday, September 25, 2014

Verity is Here!

Verity Christine was born at 6:33 AM on Sept. 24!  She was 9 pounds, 6 ounces, and 22 inches long.  "Verity" comes from the Latin word for "truth", so it's another virtue name, but we thought it was a good one, especially in a year where I'm teaching a Latin course!  May she stand up for truth in this world.  We always name middle names after family and friends, and in this case, Christine is both for my good friend Christine, who has been such a blessing on this homeschooling journey, but also for my sister-in-law Melinda, whose middle name is Christine, as is her daughter, Elia's.  Elia has a September birthday as well, so we told her this summer that this baby would be her special "birthday buddy".  How special that they can share a middle name too!
So, now for the birth story . . . Tuesday was a pretty normal day.  I dropped the kids off at their elementary co-op, then taught life science, anatomy, and then memory work at Rivendell.  I had contemplated not having my classes that day, but the life science kids were studying cellular respiration and photosynthesis, and I really thought they would benefit by having me go through the chapter with them, as opposed to just reading it, so I was glad I could do that.  The anatomy chapter was a short one on the integumentary system, and they probably could have done that on their own, but oh well.  Nathan asked if I went in to labor during class, could they all go along to the hospital for a field trip, LOL.

Through the day I had some bloody show, and contractions every so often, but nothing worth taking note of.  As the evening wore on, I felt more and more uncomfortable.  Bob and I took our usual walk, and I was just so achy, especially in my pelvis, definitely feeling "done" with the whole pregnancy thing.  Before I went to bed, I went in and talked to Nathan and Luke about the next day's plans, in case I wasn't there in the morning, since I was just feeling so weird.

Of course, the basement shower picked that night for a part to stop working so the thing wouldn't really turn off, so Bob had to fix that before we could go to bed!  So we got to bed late, around 11:30.  At 1:00 I woke up, went to the bathroom, and realized I was having contractions every 5 minutes, although they didn't seem especially strong.  But I was just feeling weird, and after my experience with Faith, where I didn't realize I was in labor until I was in transition, I was not really sure about my ability to always tell when things were actually happening.  So I woke Bob up from a sound sleep and told him I thought we should go in.  We got all our stuff together and drove to Bethesda, getting there a little after 2:00.  It was a good thing I wasn't showing up 9 1/2 cm dilated, like I did with Faith, because they were really full!  Bob and I sat in the hallway for awhile, waiting for a bed in labor triage to open up.  Eventually they got me in there, where they examined me and found that I was 5 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and confirmed with a monitor strip that I was having contractions every 5 minutes, so they admitted me.

When we got to the room, I read for a little while, but I was pretty tired.  It didn't really seem like the contractions were doing too much to move her down any further, so I was expecting they would have to start pitocin at some point.  Eventually the doctor came at 4:30 to examine me, and I was still all of 5 cm, so that was discouraging, albeit not shocking.  So they broke my water (which had some meconium), and I started laying on my left side, trying to get some rest.  The contractions got more painful, but at 6:00 I texted my mom to tell her that I still wasn't feeling much pressure or feeling that I was in transition.  The nice thing about not being on pitocin was being a lot more free to move around.  I realized that lying on my side wasn't helping her move down, so I got up and rocked on the birthing ball for a little while.  Sometimes I stood up and leaned over the bed, rocking my pelvis, trying to get my pelvis to open up, and her to move down.  The contractions got a lot more painful, and I did start feeling shaky and in transition.

At 6:25 I texted my mom to say that the doctor had just checked me again, and that I was now 7 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and the baby was at +1 station, so clearly being upright was helping.  I had a short conversation with the doctor and nurse about how they were going off-duty, so I would be delivering with the day staff.  I told them I didn't think it wouldn't be too long--"only a few more contractions" until I was ready to push.  I was standing by the bed, and I had another contraction and sure enough, felt like pushing.  The nurse took me at my word and called everyone in, including a pediatrician because of the meconium.  I awkwardly lay down on the bed, pushing while they checked me again (complete) and tried to break down the bed.  I pushed twice, and the head was out, and once more to deliver her.  She was born at 6:33, just 8 minutes after I had texted my mom!

After Verity was born, it looked like my uterus was firming up nicely, but after while, there were more clots that the nurse and doctor were comfortable with, so I did have to have an internal uterine sweep, as well as many very painful fundal massages.  They did give me a precautionary bag of IV antibiotics, though, so hopefully no infections this time!  They also gave me the lovely cytotec suppositories, and the methergine shot in the thigh, followed by the methergine series of pills for 24 hours.  I guess they should have just gone ahead and started all that right after I gave birth, assuming that my poor, tired uterus was not going to do its job and stop bleeding well, even without pitocin during labor (they did start a bag of pit right after delivery to help stop bleeding)!  Speaking of pit, it was so much nicer to have a pitocin-free labor.  The contractions were much easier to deal with--no huge, double-peaked contractions that last forever.  I am so thankful that the Lord answered that prayer.  I really just didn't feel like I had it in me to deal with a long pitocin labor, especially after a long, busy day at Rivendell.

After all the bleeding settled down, I ordered breakfast and scarfed that down while we waited to get into a post-partum room.  Once we moved over, we all rested for awhile.  My parents brought out everyone at lunchtime to visit, except poor Nathan, who had an orthodontist appointment at 11:00, followed by his calculus class at 12:30.  It was so sad and weird to not have him be there!  As I said in one of my last posts, none of our kids had been born on the same day of the month--but now Verity was born on the 24th--which is the same as Nathan, who was born on June 24th!  So things have come full circle . . .
Verity was super alert in the morning, and she nursed okay, but by the afternoon, all she wanted to do was sleep (hey, me too!).  I kept trying to get her to nurse, but she had no interest.  Because she was big (and because of my gestational diabetes), she had to have 4 heel sticks to measure her glucose levels, and I was so concerned that she was going to be low, which had happened with Faith and was a total pain to deal with.  But praise the Lord, she was able to keep her levels stable, even without much nursing!

Elizabeth L. stopped by in the afternoon, and we had a fun visit.  I told her I thought Verity would be wide awake all night long, since that was what she did while in the womb.  Sure, enough, starting about 9:00 PM, Verity was so awake and alert.  She nursed much better, but she definitely was not interested in sleeping!  Finally around 5:00 in the morning, she went back off to sleep, so I could really get some sleep too.  I hope it doesn't take too long to get her days and nights switched back around!
This morning, Verity was down to 8 pounds, 12 ounces.  They let us go home this afternoon, but we do have to bring her back in Saturday for a weight check.  Hopefully she'll continue to do better at nursing, so my milk will come in soon, and she'll start gaining again.  It is so nice to be home again--and not pregnant anymore!  Yay!!  Not surprisingly, everyone here adores Verity, and clamors to hold her whenever possible. She does not lack for attention!  Drew is no sure exactly what to think about her, but he is glad to have me back home, LOL.  I am enjoying snuggling with one last newborn, rubbing that soft, fuzzy head (which actually has a surprising amount of hair for one of our babies, especially in the back)!  She is a sweetie! 

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