Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Madelyn Grace Purcell: a Birth Story

On Wednesday February 25 at 6:00 am we called the hospital to find out when they wanted us to come in for the induction. They told us to be there at 7:10 am! We were expecting it to be a little later so it was a bit of a rush to get out the door. We were so excited running around the house gathering all the last minute items for our hospital bags. 

For months I had been "jokingly" quizzing Matt on which exit we would take for the hospital and he kept getting it wrong. Part of me thought he was just giving me a hard time... Until he almost missed the exit! Good thing I was paying attention. ;) 

We arrived at the hopital around 7:45 am. We made our way to labor and delivery to fill out some paperwork before they took us to our room. I still get so excited when I think about that hospital room--it holds a special place in my heart. 

When we got settled in the room they hooked me up to an IV with antibiotics for my group B strep. Then Dr. Yamashiro came in to see us. He checked my cervix and I was still dilated to 2 cm and 70% effaced. That update made me feel even better about our decision to be induced at this point. Then he broke my water which was such a strange feeling! Warm liquid that just kept coming and coming.

I asked Dr. Yamashiro how long we should expect the process to take. He said for first time moms inductions take an average of 14 hours. We talked to the nurse about possibly stopping the pitocin at some point to see if my body would keep progressing without it. We really wanted to be able to walk around, get in the tub, etc. She said it was definitely an option. She then hooked me up to the pitocin as well as a monitor for my contractions and a heart monitor for Madelyn. 

Here I am all hooked up before the contractions started
The contractions began. They weren't too bad at first and before we knew it they were 2-3 mins apart. Then they started getting really strong and coming really close together. Every time I had to get up and use the bathroom I was terrified to have a contraction while I was standing up. The contractions became really intense and started coming almost on top of each other. Matt was amazing at coaching me through them and giving counter pressure/massage through contractions for the back labor.

Literally before I knew it it was 1:45 and the pain was incredibly intense. It felt like I had only been there for 30 minutes because I was so focused at working through the pain. I really wanted them to take me off of the pitocin because I wasn't getting any breaks between contractions but the nurse said we had to wait for Dr. Yamashiro to come check me and give the go ahead to turn it off. 

By this point I was losing it. I was having a really hard time focusing through the pain. I started telling Matt that I really needed help. He was great at talking me through it and telling me I could do it, but I felt like I was dying and the back labor was incredible.

Finally Dr. Yamashiro came in to check me and I was at a 6 already! We asked Dr. Yamashiro when we should have our birth photographer come and he said it usually takes an hour per centimeter so it should be another few hours.

After Dr. Yamashiro checked me I asked for the epidural.  The anesthesiologist finally came when I was dilated to a 7.  When he walked in the room I told him he was my hero. :)  I expected the epidural to work right away but there was a large section of my back where it just would not take effect.  I continued to experience excruciating back labor and back to back contractions. 

We were surprised when I was already dilated to 9 cm 30 minutes later! Matt called our photographer to give her an update and to tell her she better hurry so she could make it to the hospital in time! Things were progressing much faster than we expected.

The epidural finally kicked in all the way as the nurse checked me again and told me I was complete! 10 cm! She then had me practice doing a few pushes and they could see her head within a couple pushes and told me she had a ton of dark hair! I then got worried and asked if the doctor was coming. Ha. 

They told me I better stop pushing so we could wait for the doctor. Our birth photographer arrived and Dr. Yamashiro came in shortly thereafter. It was time to push! Matt held one of my legs while the nurses held the other and he was able to coach me through the pushing which was awesome. It was so easy to be motivated to push with him counting for me. Between pushes Dr. Yamashiro tried out a few different hair styles on the babe that kept us all laughing. We were amazed at how much dark hair she had and how long it was! Matt wasn't surprised though. He had been telling me for months that she would have lots of dark hair.

Part way through pushing Dr. Yamashiro said I was starting to tear so he gave me a little episootomy and told me to do short pushes now instead of the longer 10 second pushes. After maybe 20 long pushes and some of these short pushes (it's honestly all a blur to me, but it was really fast) her head cleared! The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck which kind of freaked me out, but Dr. Yamashiro was really calm and even let Matt cut the cord from around her neck before he finished the delivery. 

She was born at 3:43 pm--just 6 hours after they started pitocin. They immediately brought her to my chest but she wasn't pinking up and was still looking really blue so they took her to the other side of the room to clear her out. She had swallowed some blood and other fluids during delivery.  I got stitched up and delivered the placenta and then I finally got to hold Madelyn and nurse her.  She was absolutely beautiful and I think I was in shock that she was actually ours!

The whole labor and delivery process was such an incredible experience.  There is just nothing like it.  I loved it and was actually sad it was over!  It went by so quickly.  I kept saying after we had her that it seriously felt like we had arrived at the hospital only an hour earlier.  I'm so glad we had our birth photographer there because these pictures capture so many of the emotions we felt that day and allow us to relive the experience every time we look at them.  We waited years and years for this day.  Thanks for taking this journey with us.  I'm glad we get to share these pictures with you.

Photos by the talented Jill Witt Photography

Our room

He's my best friend and an awesome teammate.

This picture creeps me out a little bit, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. 

Dr. Yamashiro making us laugh as usual.

I love this picture.  Matt was so interested in the medical side and was asking lots of questions.

Our sweet miracle after they cut the cord from her neck.

I love how angry she looks in all these pictures.  I think she was just really cozy in there and was mad at us for forcing her to come out. ;)

This was the first time I held her and she was really blue so I'm looking a little concerned in this picture.

See what I mean?  Angry baby!  ha.

The bond between Matt and Madelyn is incredible.  I love seeing how much they love each other.

She has the sweetest little face!

She looks JUST like newborn Matt in this picture.

First family picture :)

Madelyn Grace Purcell
February 25, 2015
3:43 pm
8 lbs 2 oz
19.5 inches long


Rach said...

I'm just sitting here crying. Her eyes are so big and beautiful and those pictures really capture the beauty of birth. I LOVE one of the pics where it looks like you're working through a contraction. I can't wait to meet her this week finally! You two deserve all the joy of parenthood.

Annie said...

Ahh! I have been waiting for this story! I hung on every word :) So glad everything went so well! You are awesome! I can't wait to meet little Madelyn.

Katie George said...

I love this so much! I pretty much cry when I read any birth story and yours was no exception. Those were such sweet pictures, she is adorable! And I love all the pictures of you and Matt with her, especially that last one. You guys are beautiful.

Linnea said...

Oh Stephanie. This made me cry. She's so beautiful and amazing. All of the pictures are so great.

yay yay yay! I wish I could come hold her! Give her an extra squeeze from me!

Lisa Adams said...

this is such a sweet and beautiful post! thanks for sharing. And what amazing photos - cool to have a professional there

Lauren Winder Farnsworth said...

I'm so happy for you guys! I know you've waited for this experience for so long! Congratulations on your new little angel! She's perfect!

Bryan and Sarah said...

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing! You daughter is beautiful; I love her name.

Captivating Eyes said...

These are beautiful and I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!! :D