Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ella's Arrival

Ella Susan Margaret Pike.
Photo taken January 20, 2012.

Before I forget the whole thing, I thought I would write a post about Ella's arrival.  It isn't too detailed or gruesome - but there are some parts that are honest, so I thought I would warn everyone in advance!  This post is also quite lengthy, which I also want to apologize for!

In the afternoon on Monday, January 16th (Dave's 25th birthday), I got a call from our family doctor that she had scheduled me to be induced the next morning at 7:15am at the hospital.  That pretty much killed the rest of the day for us.  I was too nervous to do anything really nice for Dave so he probably had a pretty awful birthday (I hadn't even gotten him a birthday gift at that point!).

The next day, we woke up at 6:00 to get ready to go to the hospital.  Most things were packed, but we just grabbed the last couple of essentials, had some breakfast, got ready, and left.  We left the house at 6:45 (the drive to the hospital takes about 15 minutes), because Dave wanted to stop at McDonald's to get a coffee.  Well, of course we get to McDonald's and something has happened and there is an ambulance there and they are even more slow than they usually are.  Needless to say, I walked into the ward of the hospital I was supposed to be in around 7:16 or 7:17 (oops!).

I thought that they would monitor me for a while before inducing me, but the Doctor was in, and I had been given a dose of the gel by about 7:40.  I started to have contractions at this point, but I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling.  The nurses would ask how bad 'the tightenings' hurt, but given that I had nothing to compare the pain to, they all seemed extremely painful (later in the day I looked back at those early ones and realized how not painful they were).

Dave and I spent most of the morning walking around.  We played cards for a while and just tried to keep ourselves busy!

The doctor came back shortly after 1 to check on me.  In the morning he had thought that he would break my water at this point, but given my lack of progress, he just gave me another dose of the gel.  My mother arrived to be with me around the same time.  My mother was the first person to justify my pain as contractions, which I appreciated.  When the nurses kept calling them 'tightenings', I wasn't sure what pain I was experiencing or if they even were contractions!  My contractions slowly got worse throughout the day.  We tried to make the time pass throughout the afternoon as well - talking, walking around, watching tv, and playing Dutch Blitz (which I whooped Dave and Mom at despite the contractions).

As a side note, I wasn't allowed any meals (only clear fluids) during the day.  But even those did not stay down.  I was sick to my stomach 3 times that day.  Everyone kept telling me I wouldn't want to eat while in labour, and I didn't believe that that would be the case - but it was, I was not hungry once!

At 4:00, the Doctor came back and broke my water, which increased the strength of my contractions even more, but they started me on a Pitocin drip shortly after 7:00.  My contractions got ridiculously bad at this point, and lying in bed was the worst.  By this point in time, I had only dilated to about 3 cm.  The nurses let me sit up in a glider chair where they set up the monitors so I wouldn't have to be monitored in bed.

Here in Miramichi, the nurses can't call in the anesthesiologist after midnight, so at about 11:30 the nurse came in and asked if I wanted an epidural.  By this point in time, I was pretty convinced that I did, and so they called him in, and I received it at about midnight.  He was great, and all my fear about the epidural was in vain!  It did not hurt a bit, and I definitely did not feel like I got a big needle in my spine!  Having the epidural allowed me to finally sleep a bit which was very appreciated.

After the epidural!  I felt much better.

At 1:30, the nurse came back to check how dilated I was.  I had not progressed.  I found out at this point as well that the babies heartbeat had started to vary greatly.  It would speed up and then drop sharply - the baby was obviously in distress.  The nurse stopped the drip, and my contractions stopped altogether.  The nurse called my family doctor in who decided I needed an emergency c-section.  She called in the obstitrican, who agreed with her - and they called in the OR staff (it was a snowy night) to come in so that our little baby could be born.

They were all very efficient, and we were in the operating room by about 2:00.  My mom could not come with us, so she waited for us back in our room, but Dave came down with me.  In order to have the c-section, I had to lie my arms out straight to either side so that they could work close to my side.  This ended up giving me significant pain in my shoulders afterwards which subsided after a couple of days.

I couldn't see anything while having my section.  Dave could though.  At one point, as they were just starting, Dave mentioned to me about how there was a tube that ran near him, and there was nothing in it and then all of sudden there was a large gush of blood through it.  I told him he probably should not tell me anything more like that.

I could not feel anything except pressure during the c-section.  I had no idea what they were doing, or even when the baby was out of me.  At one point, the anesthesiologist said, very calmly, to me "you have a little girl!"  I didn't believe him though as I didn't feel any lighter, and no one else seemed to be saying anything (nor did I hear any crying).  All I wanted was for someone else to confirm this for me but no one did!

Soon enough though, I saw her for the first time.  It turns out that the umbilical chord had been wrapped very tightly around her neck.  As I understand it, this had prevented her from descending, which made me not able to dilate as I was supposed to, so it is a very good thing we had a c-section!

Dave held Ella as they stitched me back up.  She was very good from the very beginning - she didn't cry, but just kept looking back and forth between Dave and I.   I fed Ella a bit and then brought her upstairs.  She stayed in the nursery that night - and my recollection between after the c-section and when I woke up the next day is very limited.  I couldn't get out of bed until the next afternoon so I obviously stayed in bed Wednesday morning!

Dave and I couldn't pick a name for her at first.  We had had three top names already: Ella, Emma, and Lucy, but after she was born, I really wanted to name her Lucy, and Dave really wanted to name her Emma.  Seeing as Ella was the second pick for both of us we settled on that.  Deciding on middle names was no issue for us though.  I knew I wanted to name her Susan after my mother, and Dave wanted Margaret after his (their middle names).

The worst part about the whole ordeal for me was probably when they would check how effaced/dilated I was.  No one told me how bad that would hurt!

The most surprising thing for me was how much I didn't care who saw me half naked.  People told me I wouldn't care, but being the prude I am, I definitely didn't believe them - but they were so right!

I was so happy with the care we received at the hospital though, and I am grateful for all of the Doctors and nurses who helped little Ella arrive!  I am also very grateful for Dave and my mom.  They were both extremely helpful and encouraging to me throughout this ordeal, and through the days that follow.  I will never be able to thank them enough!

Name: Ella Susan Margaret Pike
Weight: 6 lb, 10 oz
Height: 19 inches
Birthdate: January 18th, 2012
Birth time: 2:14 am
Ella's first picture.  With her Daddy.
Taken January 18th - sometime in the early morning.
Ella always looks perplexed!
Photo taken January 18th, 2012.


  1. I am SURE I told you how painful it was to be checked to see how dilated you were! Maybe I didn't tell you close enough to your labour though. ;)

    Good to hear the full story!