On April 19th, 2018 Emerald Catherine was born and firmly took root in all of our hearts.
Emerald’s birth was in some ways very similar to Cannon’s birth but so different in many important ways.
In the weeks leading up to my due date my normally very low blood pressure was creeping higher and higher. We knew from our experience with Cannon that pregnancy induced hypertension or preeclampsia might lead to having to be induced . At my 38 week appointment my blood pressure was high enough that my midwife thought it was time to have a baby. I was very happy to have made it past 38 weeks, but was nervous going into the birth. I wasn’t scared about actually giving birth, since this was my second time I had an idea of what to expect, but I was nervous about possibly hemorrhaging again like I did with Cannon. I was also nervous about what could happen to Emerald, I had some people in my life that didn’t get to take their babies home recently and that pain haunted me. But I knew the only way to get to hold our baby girl was to walk through the process.
My midwife wanted me to go directly to labor and delivery but I had not brought my bags with me, honestly they were only half packed. She finally agreed to let me go home if everything looked good for Emerald on a non stress test. Everything looked good so we were allowed to go home, get our things and get Cannon and our dogs dropped off at my parent’s house. We left with instructions to come back to the office at 4 PM to get the party started. I was a little emotional on the drive home, I knew this day was coming up fast but I didn’t feel ready to say goodbye to Cannon.
Time flew by as we scrambled to get all of our last minute packing and arranging before heading back to the hospital. Quickly it was time to pack Cannon up and take him to my parents house. I knew this would be the longest I would be away from him and I didn’t want to say goodbye.
Luckily Cannon adores his grandparents and is very comfortable with them so I knew he wouldn’t mind spending a few nights at their house.
With that it was time to head to the office to get my induction started. This process would include a foley bulb induction and being monitored overnight. Usually this is an out patient procedure and you can go home overnight but my blood pressure needed to be monitored so we would be spending the night in labor and delivery.
The insertion of the foley bulb was very painful for me this time. I don’t recall it being comfortable when I had this procedure done with Cannon but I also don’t remember it being that painful. I felt like such a wimp as tears streamed down my face, thinking how in the world am I going to survive birth and all that follows if I am falling apart already. My Midwife was very sweet and reassuring that I had done fine and it can be very painful.
After recollecting my pride we made our way to L&D and checked in for the night. We met the nurses and got all hooked up for another non stress test to check on Emerald and keep an eye on my blood pressure.
The hospital food is decent but we knew from last time that it can get old fast so Cory ran out to our favorite Indian restaurant that is right down the street from our hospital in Boulder.
I watched a bland movie and enjoyed my dinned while trying to distract myself from the discomfort I was in. Having a Foley Bulb inserted causes some labor pains, nothing like full blown labor, but pretty painful. On my midwife’s suggestion I took a Tylenol PM to help me sleep through the contractions and the intermittent monitoring overnight.
In the morning I woke early, the contractions were gone and I was excited to get things moving so I could meet my daughter. I jumped in the shower and got myself ready to see my midwife at 8 am.
When my midwife arrived she removed the foley bulb and told me I was about 3 cm dilated. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t further along but I knew that the Pitocin would do it’s job and move things along. They set me up with a IV for fluids and my Pitocin drip started around 9 am. I also had have a monitor on the baby’s heart rate but luckily it could all be hooked up to a battery pack so I could still move around. We spent the next few hours moving around and dealing with increasingly difficult contractions. Cory and I paced the halls me waddling and cringing, him pushing my IV stand along.
After a few hours my midwife came back to check on me, I had progressed to 5 or 6 cm. She wanted to break my water and turn up the amount of Pitocin I was getting. Breaking my water was also very painful and I again felt like I big wimp. After that the contractions were coming quickly and were intense. I decided to request an epidural at that point because I was told that it could that an hour or two to get the anesthesiologist. Lucky for me he was already on the floor and he showed up just 20 minutes later. I was a little afraid (just like last time) to have a large needle go into my spine but it was not bad at all. The worst part was sitting still through many painful contractions. Once my epidural was in the pain eased and I could relax a bit. It is very uncomfortable to not be able to move your legs but much better than intense, Pitocin driven contractions. The anesthesiologist gave me instructions that I had a button to press to increase the epidural drip when needed. With that I was left to labor in the hospital bed, no more walking once you can’t feel your feet.
Fairly soon I started to feel a lot of pressure and started to feel sick. I told my nurse how I was feeling so she checked my progress and announced that I was 10+ cm. I couldn’t believe things had progressed so fast, we had been hopeful to have the baby sometime in the evening but it was closer to 12:30 in the afternoon. My midwife was also surprised by how quickly things had progressed, she had to run from the office and didn’t have time to change into scrubs.
I was feeling a lot of pain and pressure, I said something to the nurse about how I was feeling and she asked how long it had been since I had pressed the button…..uh, never…..was my response. I had completely forgotten that it was my responsibility to keep the medicine flowing. The nurse barked at Cory to push the button for me as it can take a while before it goes to work. Even with an epidural wearing off it was go time, I could feel more than I would have liked to but it couldn’t be helped.
No time to convert the bed into the delivery position, my midwife just perched on the side of the bed and told me it was time to push. With great coaching and Cory there to help “catch” baby Emerald was out in the world in less than 10 minutes of pushing. They immediately put emerald on my chest for skin-to-skin bonding. I got to just relax, kiss her head and tell her how much I loved her.
Very luckily or maybe because I didn’t have to have so much Pitocin this time I did not hemorrhage like I did at with Cannon’s birth. Everything was so different this time. It was relaxed and comfortable. It seemed like a joyous occasion vs last time that felt so clinical. Both births were in the same hospital, I was just such a better fit with my midwife this time.
And with that Emerald was born. We spent over an hour bonding and just marveling at our sweet baby girl with her head full of dark hair.
She looked so similar to Cannon with the exception that he was blond.
We got to move over to the Mom and Baby wing to settle in with our new addition. I was loving my time with Emerald but also missing Cannon terribly. My parents were able to bring him in to meet his little sister that afternoon and it was so good to see him! He was so sweet wanting to hold her (for about five seconds) and being so gentle.
Grandma and Grandpa also got to meet their first Granddaughter and snuggle her.
The next day I was feeling pretty good so we requested to go home early. We packed up our newest addition and happily headed home to join our family of six (counting our two dogs 😉