Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Andie's Birth Story

{I have been really nervous & hesitant about posting this because I don't want to over share - but I realized that I write this blog as my little journal of milestones in my life, things that make me happy, and to connect with other amazing people in the world.  I have always thoroughly enjoying reading the birth stories other moms have posted in the past, so I did this just in case others get the same joy of reading as well... and it's something I want to always remember.}

Overall, we had a wonderful pregnancy.  I felt good after the first trimester sickness ended, exercised, ate (mostly) healthy and stayed focused on the joys of pregnancy.  Our pregnancy did have some ups and downs, though.  At 29 weeks we were hospitalized for a couple days because Andie's heart rate was having "variables", or dropping suddenly for short periods of time.  They gave us a shot called betamethasone, which can help develop her little lungs and organs at a little quicker pace in case they decided to take her really early.  I was also having contractions beginning at 29 weeks, but they weren't anything that was making progress for birth, so they put us on modified bed rest and sent us home.

I went into the hospital a couple times a week for stress testing, or "antepartum testing".  They hooked my belly up to the machines and listened to her heart for about an hour.  The little variables would still happen, but not nearly as much as they were happening before we were admitted to the hospital. At about 34 weeks, they let us skip out on the fetal stress testing and just starting seeing us more often to keep an eye out.  The entire experience was scary.  They aren't sure what was causing these little drops, but from what they could tell, there was compression in there somewhere that was causing it.  They did lots of tests and ultrasounds - and assured us everything was okay with Andie.  In fact, at 29 weeks - she measured larger than average for her gestational age.

At our 36 week check up appointment, my doctor told me Andie was a little on the small side and may not be growing like normal.  I had zero progress for labor even with all of the contractions I could feel and they could see when I was hooked up to the machines.

On May 10th, we went back for our 37 week appointment.  When my doctor measured me, he again expressed a little concern that she still didn't seem to be growing.  So, he sent us back into radiology at the hospital to get another big ultrasound to track her growth.  Before we left to go, he mentioned that there was a chance he would want to induce us if she was smaller than 6 pounds.  We went in for the ultrasound and about 30 minutes after getting home, we got a call from my doctor telling us to come back... he wanted us to be induced.  Andie was measuring right around 5 pounds, give or take a pound.  Because she was measuring so big at our previous ultrasounds, they estimated that she stopped growing at about 34 or 35 weeks.  He called my situation "IUGR" - or Irregular Uterine Growth Restriction.  Basically, the girl was out of room and not growing anymore.  She was measuring in the 4th percentile.  My doctor, the radiologist, and the doctors he consulted with all believed it was best for her to come now.

It was surreal.  The details of this day are a little foggy to me.  TL and I were frantically running around our house, putting the car seat in the car, packing bags (thank goodness my sister had given me a list of items for the hospital and already started packing for me), and hopped in the car.  We made it back to the hospital by 2:45pm.  I was having contractions on my own, about 1-3 minutes apart.  At my appointment that day, I was 1 cm dilated and about 80% effaced.

For induction they started giving me the drug Pitocin.  I've heard horror stories about this drug, but I decided to ignore it all and just think about the end result.  Andie.  They started me on the smallest dose. After just a few minutes of pitocin, Andie's heart rate dropped into the 90s for about 90 seconds.  The doctors and nurses ran in and decided to kill the Pitocin and decided on another form of induction... the foley bulb.  This is a not-so-fun form of inducing labor {click to read what it is if you don't know}, but the risks of dropping her heart rate were much less.  The bulb helped dilate me to a little more than 3 cm... it took about 11 very uncomfortable hours to do the trick.  

At 4am, the foley bulb had done its job and I decided to get the epidural.  TL and I didn't sleep at all that night, but the excitement was looming about what the next 24 hours would bring.  In the middle of the night, Andie's heart rate dropped twice, causing the cluster of nurses and doctor to come in and hook us up to oxygen... but other than that, she was taking labor well!

By 7am, I had made progress on my own to about 6 cm.  The doctor broke my water to keep the progression going. At 11am, they decided to once again start pitocin to see how she would handle it.  They started it at the lowest level... and this time, she took it well.  By about 1:30pm, my nurse came in and said she was going to start preparing the room for delivery based on how close my contractions were to each other.  Thinking the pitocin would take hours like they had warned, TL jumped into the shower (our delivery room had a bathroom with a shower), and my sister Julie started knocking on the door to let him know that she was going to be coming soon!  Within a minute or two, the doctor came in to check me, and sure enough, I was at just under 10 cm - Andie was ready to come soon!  My doctor and nurse were amazing.  

My sister, Julie, stayed in the room with me until TL was out of the shower (quickest shower of his life).  She and I talked about my fears.  I was scared.  So scared.  I was nervous about Andie - after everything we had been through, was she going to be healthy?  Would her heart work?  Would she fit through the birth canal?  Would she come out breathing?  Would she have 10 fingers and 10 toes?  She and my nurse calmly reassured me that we would be okay... that she was healthy.

When TL was out of the shower and by my side... it was just he and I with our nurse and doctor.  It was quiet.  Intimate.  I kept telling them how scared I was, but I was constantly reassured that we would be great... that Andie would be okay.  A few minutes later, the nurse prepped and explained to me how the pushing would all work.

I was told that it could take hours for moms to push out their first baby.  But... after one contraction she was already making progress.  My nurse said after one push "well, she has hair!"  My epidural was the perfect strength.  I could feel the pressure with each contraction, but the pain was dull.  The doctor, nurse, and TL talked me through 3 more contractions - and out came our little girl at 2:47pm.  TL watched her enter the world and cut her cord.

I was so scared to see her for the first time.  My mind raced with fears - and as I kept my eyes clamped shut, I could hear the doctor and TL telling me to open my eyes - that she was perfect.  And just after I opened my eyes, she was placed on my chest... and I heard her cry.  And I fell in love.  And I had the overwhelming realization that my whole life was changing at that moment.  This little part of me was suddenly out in the world.  I sobbed.  It was the only way my heart could release my feelings.

There we were. TL, Andie, and me.  Our family of 3... crying.  Joy.  Bliss.  TL held me as we admired her.

I don't know how to express how the moments were after her birth in writing.  

But they were some of the happiest moments of my life.  

Our last picture of our family of 2, shortly before her arrival.
 A few minutes after she was born.
 Daddy comforting her as they took all of her measurements.
 A very proud and happy dad.
 Skin to skin with his baby girl.
 First photos as a family of 3.
 She's about 24 hours old here!
 Leaving the hospital with our girl on May 13th.
First picture at home.

Andie was 5 pounds 15 ounces and 18 and a half inches long.

49 comments:

Angelina Medina said...

I'm crying. What a beautiful story! I feel like no one talks about the scary things, only how joyful pregnancy is so when something scary happens its such a huge shock. Congratulations again on your beautiful HEALTHY family!

KRISTIN said...

And I'm crying! So glad you decided to share your incredit story and I am do glad little miss Andie made it here safe and sound. There really are no words to describe the experience & seeing your baby for the first time! Congrats again girl!

Kit said...

What a beautiful story Tracy! Andie is one lucky baby girl :)

The Danielson's said...

So happy you decided to share! We too had a bit if a rough go around with Kendall, but it was after she was born.

Colleen Sullivan said...

Wow! What a good story! You're a tough mama and she is a lucky little girl!

Meagan said...

You are such an amazing mama already to handle that all with such grace. I am so glad you had such an amazing team of doctors watching that sweet little angel and she's just perfect!

Chelsea said...

So happy for you and your beautiful family! You girls are tough! :-)

Jodi said...

So glad you shared. Amazing. So glad she is ok. There were some scary moments for you guys. She is little but perfect! Such a beautiful baby. So happy you had a good birthing experience.

Raquel said...

Omg this is so sweet! Congrats on a healthy, beautiful baby girl!

Jessica said...

Tracy! I absolutely loved reading Andie's birth story. I'm so glad you decided to share it. Andie is just perfect! And you are amazing!

Julie said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Andie is such a blessed little baby with parents like you two!

Katie Marie said...

So beautiful. So inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing and Bless you and your family! xo

lori said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!

Kelsie said...

Thanks for sharing your story, I loved reading it.

And you are the probably most gorgeous person I've seen right after giving birth!

Karrine Beasley said...

awwww i almost cried reading this and I never get teary about these sort of stories, but the way you wrote this all down and shared it was beautiful! Andie is lucky to have such a loving mummy :) xx

Nicole-Lynn said...

Aw I loved reading this! I'm so glad you chose to share! How scary you must have been delivering early, but all went great and she is here and healthy! God is good! :)

Adrienne Gomer said...

You should never be nervous about sharing that! What a beautiful story and what a strong woman you are! I can't believe all of that, it sounds really scary, but you both came out perfect and happy and that's all that matters.

Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing, Tracy! Amazing story, I am so glad everything turned out ok.

These pictures are beautiful - such a gorgeous family. Both you and TL look fantastic prior and post birth - I hope I can look that good next time ;)

Joeylee said...

Sounds like you had a beautiful delivery. Andie is beautiful!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

she is beautiful....nothing like a birth story

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

I think it's so wonderful you shared your experience Tracy! I personally love reading birth stories too, and I think that you'll be so happy that you shared this and have the details written down to look back on. You have such a positive attitude that really is an inspiration! Andie is perfect, congrats again! xoxo

simone antoniazzi said...

I loved reading this, so glad you shared it....and it's great to write it down, you think you remember it all (and mostly you do) but the feelings (and the scary parts!) do fade slightly :)

You are the most beautiful new mummy I've ever seen, you looked incredible for someone who had just given birth....why didn't I look like that?!

So happy for you that baby Andie is here, you are the loveliest family XX

KT said...

Shes beautiful!! Congrats!!!

"B" said...

Awww. The birth sounds amazing. One of the best days of your life. I feel the same. I had anticipated similar birth stories - however after reading yours, much different with the same outcome - a healthy, precious baby girl:) Congratulations again!

Shannon Dew said...

What a great story! I normally do not read birth stories but I loved this one. So happy you had such great doctors and nurses throughout your labor, seriously makes all the difference! Andie is just precious and I am convinced you are the most gorgeous post-birth woman eveR!

Sarabeth Engels said...

Thank you so much for sharing, it's a beautiful story! There was zero over share and even if there was I don't mind over sharing. ;) Thanks for taking the risk to put your story out there, reading this makes me to excited to have another baby someday. Isn't pregnancy and birth just AMAZING?? Hope that little girl is letting you get some rest these days. Newborns are such a gift but it is also a challenging time (which I swear no one told me)! :)

Ashley Voyles said...

What a great story Tracy! This will be great to reread in the future. Can't wait to meet Andie!

Carolina Charm said...

So glad you decided to share your birth story! I think you will be so happy to have this in writing for years to come.

Andie is absolutely gorgeous. And I can't get over how beautiful you looked AFTER labor!

Jess Norden said...

I am so glad you posted this...I thought the same thing about posting our story (it was much longer and way more boring, haha), but it's something you will continue to read and it brings you right back to that moment! I was induced and went through the same as you, Pitocin, the bulb then Pitocen again, except mine took 3 days - It was not fun! I am so glad Andie and you are healthy...she is absolutely beautiful and your own tiny miracle. :) Congrats again, Tracy!

Party of Five said...

So glad you shared her story, you will be so thankful you did. Something to truly look back on, because trust me, you forget all those little details over the years. So glad you had a safe and happy delivery. My pregnancy's weren't the easiest either health wise, but I've done it three times now and would do it over again in a heart beat! Such cute family photos.

Smiling is Good for Your Teeth said...

The first picture of you and little Andie is one of the most precious photos EVER! What an amazing experience with lots of ups and downs - fortunately you are both healthy and safe :-)

Kara said...

What a beautiful story. So glad you chose to share and that everyone is healthy and doing well!

Lisa Lou said...

Thank you for sharing this! My little boy also had IUGR and I don't know anyone else that had a similar experience, so I was touched reading this. I was induced at 38 weeks with Pitocin and after 3 hours of labor had a c-section. He was 4 lbs 15 oz and spent 5 days in the NICU. Scariest and most humbling days of my life.

Sarah said...

So glad you shared this! It is such a special moment and you really can't describe it! Congratulations you look awesome and she is such a doll face! My little guy came at 36 weeks and was 5 pds 6 oz.I know the fear you were experiencing, but we DID it!! Congrats again to you and your hubby!

xoxo

Carolyn said...

I'm SO GLAD that you shared this story! And that you wrote it down! You'll want to be able to look back on this someday! I had no idea it was such a stressful end to the pregnancy for you! So glad everything turned out well! :)

Casey Martin said...

You all look so beautiful and happy! congratulations again my dear! :)

Marissa Mindt said...

What an amazing story Tracy! It's so neat how honest and candid you are about everything. It's reassuring to us someday moms that scary things ail happen, and pass =) Andie is gorgeous! And reading all the pregnancy posts was super fun!

Annie said...

Loved reading every word. The first pic of you and your girl, the look on your face. True expression, terrified yet complete relief. Feeling unconditional love for the first time. I can almost feel it. Your whole birthing story was so informational and interesting. I also had pitocin but my water broke and I wasn't dilated or effaced at my appt the same day! Crazy how quick things change. Love your story and I'm thankful you shared it. Your little Andie is so perfect and I enjoy seeing pics!!! XO

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I can't imagine how you felt during all of it, but I'm so glad she came out perfect. Hope you are all doing well at home!!

Leslie Harris said...

She's beautiful. And these are such amazing photos you'll cherish forever. I'm so glad you decided to share the story. Almost twenty one years later I still remember it all pretty well, but I can't remember the fear. Funny how time erases some things. Congratulations to you both. Daddy looks so comfortable with his little girl on him.
xo
Leslie aka Gwen Moss

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Loved this! What a special day and what a perfect ending. She is absolutely gorgeous girl.

Katie said...

You have me in tears!! She is beautiful. Everyone looks so happy and healthy. :) Glad everything went well. I am not yet a mom nor am I pregnant, but all those things you listed that you talked about with your sister are fears that I have about our future children during labor.

Good job new momma!!! :)

Mrs. Jones said...

She is so beautiful, and I'm so grateful you shared your story with us readers. I'm afraid of so much, and we're not even pregnant or trying - thank you for being so honest and writing so beautifully!

Lauren said...

such a beautiful story...and thanks for sharing! I still go back to the fact that "it's my blog and I'll overshare if I want to!" ha!

Kaity said...

I'm so glad everything turned out so wonderfully. Praying lots of blessings for your family <3

Nicole Marie said...

hahah you are so funny that you thought this would be too tmi or oversharing... perfect amount of sharing and keep it clean and pg rated :)

Shelley said...

I am so glad you posted this. I love birth stories and they are all so different and special. Yours was beautiful and so are you and your peanut!!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I've been off of my blogging for a bit - but thank you SO much for sharing this! It was so beautiful to read! And I didn't think this was tmi at all, perfect amount of sharing! Loved reading it!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Aw, I am so happy for you and your family! Thanks for sharing the story! I think I would be scared too!