{our birth story}

this is the story of how baby sophia paige lai entered the world.

two entries below explains that i was given cervidil (a cervix ripener) on may 3, 2010 in hopes of bringing on labor. i walked the L&D hallway nearly all night, taking about 1.5 hrs to rest and sleep. unfortunately, when they checked me 12 hrs later at 6:00am, the cervidil didn't do the trick. it did, however, dilate me to 1 "good" cm... i was very thankful as that was 1cm further than the previous day when i was still completely closed!

on may 4, 2010 at 7:10am, i was hooked up to an IV of pitocin, some saline and two fetal monitors. i was definitely bummed about receiving pitocin and being hooked to monitors but considering the circumstances (baby's lack of weight gain since the last measurement), we had no other options. my doctor was on 'partial' call at the hospital and she suggested a cook balloon which was inserted and filled with saline. {that did NOT feel good and the process was rather painful, but heck, i was hoping to push out a baby by the end of the day so i wasn't going to complain!} the idea of the cook balloon is that the added pressure of the ball inside would push down on the cervix, hopefully aiding the process of dilation. the doctor filled up the balloon with a lot of saline, saying that when the balloon came out, i would be about 3cm dilated.

7 hrs later (around 2:10pm), the ball was still inside. this was definitely a low point for me emotionally as contractions were becoming more and more painful (i was gauging the pain level at around 4, maybe 5 out of 10) and i was starting to feel really discouraged. i was experiencing a lot of pain in my lower back region as well. my head kept circling around the fact that the ball hadn't fallen out yet which meant that i was still less than 3cm dilated. "with all this pain, how could that be?", i wondered. typically, 1-3cm is still early labor and shouldn't be so painful. then i remembered that pitocin was doing its work and that my labor was drug induced, not natural.

as my doctor was leaving the hospital and another doctor in her practice was taking over, i received a great pep talk. my doctor told me that i was doing great and that she could always tell in someone's eyes if they were losing it. she said that i was not there yet and that i could do it. she reminded me of my hopes for a completely natural {aka. no pain meds} labor and delivery and encouraged me to focus on one contraction at a time. i inquired about an epidural as i kept thinking if i'm not even at 3cm, how the heck will i handle, 4cm, 5cm, 6cm... 9cm, and 10cm? my doctor said that if i wanted one i could definitely get one but she again told me how wonderfully i was doing and that she believed i could do it naturally.

then she left.

shortly after, i was doing some squats in hopes that the ball would come out and it did! it was the weirdest sensation. i think the back labor i was getting was from the pressure of the ball because the second it came out, the contractions changed and away went the back labor. thankfully!

i was checked for the first time since the introduction of pitocin and i was 6cm dilated! i felt so thankful and encouraged feeling that all the pain wasn't for nothing because it had brought me past the halfway point. the hubby and my doula rejoiced but i quickly refocused knowing there was still a lot of work to be done. this was around 2:45pm.

the labor increased in pain as the pitocin increased in amount. i was sitting on my fitness/yoga ball a lot as i was tied down to too many monitors/IV pole to walk around or use the shower/tub. my doula was wonderful and continually encouraged me as well as gave me massages/counter pressure to help deal with the pain. the hubby provided quiet support which was exactly what i needed from him.

labor continued to progress. at 4:45pm when the doctor came to check how far along i had progressed, i was at 7/8cm. i was somewhat bummed that after 2 hrs, i had only progressed 1-2cm. the doctor decided that it was time to rupture my membranes (i.e. break my water) and when she did, baby's head immediately came down and i was 8cm dilated.

woohoo! i was getting closer.

the doctor said that she would come back to check me in one hour. one hour!!! that was so exciting to hear. except that this next hour was so intense! i found myself looking at the wall clock at every contraction which made the time tick even slower. minute by minute... finally i made myself stop looking each time i wanted to. these 'transition phase' contractions were beyond anything i've ever experienced. i was sitting in a rocking chair with my feet pressed and pushed and pulled against the bed legs. although, truthfully i can't really remember the pain right now, i remember at the time feeling like i was going to die. and feeling like i just couldn't handle another one. the hubby held my hand and let me squeeze it to pieces while saying that i could do it. that i WAS doing it. ice chips were also very helpful at this point as my lips were so dry from trying to breath steadily. my doula was also wonderfully reminding me that this was all for a purpose and that each contraction was bringing me closer and closer.

by the 35 minute mark, i really really wanted the doctor to come and check me again as i felt like i wanted to push. i kept pathetically looking at the hubby asking/requesting him to pray for me. he said he was. i remember praying as well, asking God to please make me 10cm dilated when the doc came back. i felt in my heart that if i wasn't fully dilated at that point, i really didn't know how i would continue on. yep. it felt THAT intense. the doctor came back around 6pm, checked me and said the words i wanted to hear. "are you ready to push?" adrenaline and excitement entered my body and i was ready! so ready.

the pushing was such a relief after the intense 'transition phase' contractions. the doctor taught me how to push {get air, hold your breath and truly push like you're going to have a bowel movement.} i started getting the hang of it and the doctor was slowly applying jelly and stretching the perineum to minimize tearing. dang that burned and did not feel good but again, i knew my baby's head was going to come out through that space so the momentary burning faded to the background. the doctor was so good - between pushes, she had me touch baby's head. to be honest, i didn't know what i was feeling but apparently it was baby's head and apparently there was a lot of hair. :) the hubby and the doula were both so excited and i was starting to think there really was an end in sight.

but when was still in question.

my team was so great. my doula held one leg, my nurse held the other leg, the hubby took photos/videos, and the doctor encouraged and let me lead on the pushing front. i am so thankful for the team that we had working with us. 25 minutes after starting to push, baby's head came out. on all the baby story television shows that i've seen, they tell the mom to stop pushing as they maneuver the baby's shoulders, etc but apparently baby sophia flew out in one {nearly} fell swoop. :) our baby was born!

in the end, no epidural or pain meds were given. the doctor asked me at 8cm if i wanted an epidural. i recall grunting, "no". she asked again and i ignored her. in the end, i'm really thankful that i didn't get an epi or pain meds as i really didn't want baby to feel sluggish or experience any drugs (except for pitocin but there was no option there). i also didn't want to feel sluggish or drugged so that i could fully experience it all. and boy, i did.

now that the labor and delivery is over, i kind of laugh at how much emphasis i had placed on learning how to have the labor and delivery that i wanted. i should really have focused my preggo-cy days reading up on how to be a new mom. my butt has been kicked over and over again since baby's birth and it's only been 2.5 weeks. i've felt completely overwhelmed and anxious at the thought of being responsible for such a little being and breast feeding has put me at such high highs and such low lows. each day brings new challenges filled with changes and the need for me to adjust and adapt.

thankfully, the past 2 days have been much much better emotionally and mentally. perhaps the preggo-cy hormones are exiting my body. or perhaps i'm slowly learning to take each change as it comes and to adjust. i'm trying to let go of the way i thought things would or should be and am trying to just go with the flow. it's been quite the adventure...

time to feed the little one again. i am a human cow. that is my job description.


{introducing Sophia Paige}

hello all!

it's been awhile since the last post. baby, aka Sophia Paige made her entrance into the world on May 4, 2010 at 6.28pm. she weighed 5lbs 11oz and measured 18.5". we are happily exhausted these days which is why this post is so delayed. sorry! but i did want you all to know that baby is out and about and thankfully, healthy! thank you so much for your prayers.

free time is so rare these days and i'm in need of a nap right now so i will be back (hopefully in a few days) to share the birth story! :)