I’ve had every intention of writing this post sooner, but I wasn’t ready for all of the emotions that would come flooding in while writing, to be completely honest. Leading up to my pregnancy, my pregnancy, the delivery, and after has been such an emotional roller coaster for me. It’s so surreal that after all of our trying and after all of those failed fertility treatments and pregnancy tests we are now able to hold our little miracle baby girl. While I’m overjoyed and excited and just in awe, at the same time my heart still aches for those still waiting for their little miracle. I feel a little guilt with our success, but having our little Mckenna, give me faith that others will find their happy ending in their infertility journey.
If you’re one of those people, just know that I’m praying for you every single day. I want you to experience what we’ve experienced now, so, so bad.
I apologize in advance, because this is about to be a very long-winded post. I just don’t want to leave any details out for my memory’s sake and also because I plan to share this with Mckenna someday.
Grab a cup of coffee and read on or just skim through the boring parts. You can decide!
My last couple weeks of pregnancy with Mckenna weren’t the easiest, I’m not going to lie. I was growing very impatient to meet her and very impatient for my pregnancy to be over. My feet, ankles and calves were so swollen, I was timing contractions on and off, but they never amounted to anything. I was just uncomfortable in general and sick of peeing every 17 seconds. It was so frustrating! I was still working to keep my mind off of things and to keep myself busy. It was a blessing and a curse all at the same time. You know, with all those “you’re still here” comments and just the annoyance of people complaining about their discomforts when I was so uncomfortable myself.
On Tuesday, November 1st I was at work and experiencing some pretty significant cramping in my lower abdomen as well as my lower back. Things just felt “different” so I went downstairs (I work in the clinic as a float nurse and just happened to be one floor above my OB’s office that day) to see my doctor over lunch. She checked my cervix and I was still approximately 4cm dilated and 70% effaced as I had been for weeks prior. My body just didn’t want to make the final push to get things started.
I was going to be 41 weeks on Thursday and my doctor was on call that day. We had discussed induction at my appointment the week before, but her schedule was full for inductions and scheduled c-sections, so she didn’t have room to add me on. However, at this quick visit with her, she checked her schedule again and there was an opening. I was officially scheduled for induction on 11/3/16! I thought I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” playing when she told me!
On the contrary, I never wanted to be induced and didn’t necessarily want that to be the way for my baby to come into the world. Honestly I was feeling very desperate. As a nurse, I also know far too much about the risks that come after 41 weeks gestation and was very fearful of going past 41 weeks. Having our induction scheduled also helped us better plan for Cory’s mom to come watch Alea and help get her to and from school which was definitely an added perk.
I decided to take Wednesday off to get a few more ducks in a row, take naps, and just spend the day relaxing as much as possible, since I knew uninterrupted relaxation and sleep wouldn’t be happening very much in the near future. Cory’s mom came to stay with us that night and stayed until Friday night.
Thursday morning we checked into the hospital at 7:30am and the journey to deliver our sweet little girl really began. They hooked me up to the monitors and baby’s heartbeat sounded absolutely perfect. I loved being able to listen to that quick rhythmic beating in the background. Much to our surprise, when the nurse hooked me up to the monitors I was having regular contractions, but nothing that was painful at that point in time. They started Pitocin around 8:30am and I started to experience the full effects of the medication an hour or so later. The pain started to get unbearable and I just couldn’t get comfortable in or out of bed. The tears began to flow and the nurse offered to bring in a birthing ball to see if that would be helpful. Just as soon as she brought it in, I was begging for an epidural and never did get on the ball. The anesthesiologist came in around 11am and placed the epidural and shortly after that my doctor came in and broke my water.
That’s where our story gets interesting. When she used the hook to puncture a hole in the amniotic sac, no fluid came out. None. We brushed it off and figured it was behind baby and that we would see fluid after she made her entrance into the world. She placed a monitoring probe on baby’s head to keep a closer eye on her and I spent the next hours more comfortable and even enjoyed a movie with Cory.
Just before 2pm, my doctor came in and checked me again and said I was 10cm with just a little bit of cervix anteriorly. She said she’d let me become fully complete and she’d be in to check in about 30 minutes and we would start pushing shortly after. However, about 5 minutes later my doctor came back into the room with 5 nurses and informed us that baby’s heart rate was slowing and she wanted me to start pushing right then and there.
They were very calm during the whole process, but I could tell by the occasional look on their faces that there needed to be some urgency on my part. I needed to push and I needed to push hard to get her out and make sure she was okay. I started pushing around 2:10pm and she came into the world at 2:33pm with the cord wrapped one time around her neck. I didn’t notice it, of course, but Cory said as she was born, my doctor quickly unwrapped it and she started crying pretty soon after. Thank goodness!
Remember the fluid problem? Even after she was born, there was no amniotic fluid that came out after. It was pretty scary. I didn’t recall leaking any fluid, we aren’t sure how long I didn’t have any amniotic fluid, and when I think about what could’ve happened with the little to no fluid level as well as the cord around her neck, I’m so grateful that I pushed for the induction and that I was induced when I was.
I know many disagreed with our decision to be induced and thought it was “unnatural”, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Our story could’ve been a lot different.
Mckenna Rae was born on November 3rd, 2016 at 2:33pm. She was 7lbs 5oz and 19.5″ long. She immediately came to my chest for skin to skin and we enjoyed our snuggles, starting to breastfeed and our bonding before she went over to the warmer. This was a big contrast to when I had Alea. Alea had some breathing troubles and was whisked away pretty quickly so they could get her crying and suction out her tummy. This was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I got to experience it with one of my girls.
Aside from the fluid issue and the cord issue, our sweet girl was absolutely perfect. She struggled with temperature control in the hours after birth, but that’s all too common with newborns. Her temperature was soon regulated and we snuggled and nursed on and off through the afternoon and evening. We stayed in the hospital just one night and decided to go home the following day. That first night in the hospital was just exhausting with nurses in and out of the room taking vitals on baby and vitals on me. We just wanted to get home to our own bed and start our own routine as a family of 4. I’m so glad we did! The only thing I missed was being able to pick up the phone and have meals delivered to me in bed, but Cory’s mom was sweet enough to have dinner on the table Friday night when we got home from the hospital.
She was such a huge help with Alea, cleaning our house, making meals, and just all around taking care of all of us. I’m so grateful for her help! I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law and I’m so thankful to have her in our lives. If you’re reading this (which I’m sure you are), thanks again, Kim!
Aside from meeting and holding Mckenna for the first time myself, I was most excited to see Alea meet her baby sister and see her hold her for the first time. And for good reason. It was the most magical thing I’ve ever seen. She was very excited to see Mckenna and even picked out a book at the library at school that day so she could read it to her when she came to see her in the hospital. I took a video of her reading to her sister, I’ll have to share that sometime soon. It’s hard to watch without having tears well up in my eyes.
She was so proud of her baby sister and I was so proud of my big baby girl! Just as we’ve been waiting what feels like forever for this moment, I know that Alea was looking forward to this moment just as much as we were. She continues to be such a proud big sister and Mckenna is so lucky to have such a doting and attentive big sister to look up to!
We waited so long for you sweetheart and you were very much worth the wait.