Meet Lennon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hey, Readers! Meet Lennon!

Little Lennon made her grand entrance into the world in late July and we couldn’t be more smitten with her!

When I was pregnant, I found it really helpful to read other mom’s birth stories. It helped prepare me for the arrival of Miss L. So I thought I would share a little bit of Lennon’s arrival story here in the hopes that someone finds this helpful!

At my nine month weekly docotor’s appointments in July, I was naturally dilating. I went from 2cm to 3cm to 4cm to 6cm over the course of the month. Based on everything I read, it’s a bit abnormal for a woman to dilate that far without consistent contractions or having their water break I was having some cramping - but it just felt like period cramps.

At 39 weeks and 6cm, my doctors office sent me over to the hospital to get monitored to see if I was experiencing contractions and just not feeling them. Turns out I wasn’t, so I was sent home. Being sent home at 6cm = NOT NORMAL.

Two days later I went back to my doctor to meet and discuss options. While I wasn’t too keen on a lot of interventions unless absolutely necessary, I decided it was a good option to be induced given my vital signs so we set a date.

After experiencing some consistent, stronger cramping, I went into the hospital a bit early on induction day. I was hooked up to the monitor and it was determined yet again that I wasn’t having contractions. So after a long day at the hospital (with no food), I was induced at midnight.

An hour in on the piticon, I was 9cm dilated with minor pain (NOT NORMAL). At this point I probably could have delivered without the epidural, but my doctor suggested it for a few reasons - he finds that the epidural makes it easier for women to push because without it they tend to tense up too much without it. Additionally, the epidural allows the doctor to help open the woman for delivery without pain and numbs the area “down there” if there are stitches required after the baby arrives. I took his suggestion and during hour two of official labor I got the epidural. It hurt, but I didn’t feel that it as bad as some of the reviews I read online. I’d compare it to a shot with a thicker needle. The needle may not have been thicker, but that’s what it feels like.

At about hour three into labor, it was time to push and within 30 minutes, Baby Girl was here.

So overall I had a rather easy labor. I know this story isn’t normal, but a few key things that I would totally do over again to prepare:

  • Prenatal Yoga - Anyone that has talked to me during the course of my pregnancy knows that I’m a HUGE advocate of prenatal yoga. I only went once a week for 12 weeks and stopped 6 weeks before I delivered, but it was SO worth it! I took classes through the hospital where I delivered (Magee in Pittsburgh). It wasn’t just stretching, but also mental preparation for labor with visual and meditation exercises.
  • Birth Plan - I had a birth plan, but was fully prepared for that plan to change. Per the suggestion of my yoga instructor who is also a birth coach, I wanted to try and make it to 5-6cm before getting the epidural. This would have allowed me to move around the room and use some of the yoga stretches to ease the pain and dilate naturally. Based on my story above, I totally achieved this part of my plan lol. But I would say having a plan in place for a Type A person like me made the unpredictable birth process a little more predictable becuase I would just try to refer to my plan when things got tough. Maybe a plan is just a bit of mental help, but it worked for me (even though I didn’t follow it!).
  • No Cell Phone - I made the decision to turn my cell phone off when I got to the hospital. I didn’t want to text updates to people while I was laying in the hospital bed. I also didn’t want to be distracted. When I found out at around 6:00 p.m. that I wasn’t being induced until midnight, the hubs went to get food so I did turn the phone on for an hour - but after he got back it was off again. This helped me mentally stay in the zone and prepare for labor without distractions! I also asked my husband to limit his cell phone usage during the labor - nothing would annoy me more than to be pushing and having someone typing on their phone. Thankfully he honored my request!
  • Mental Prep - All of the things above combined, I would say that mentally I didn’t psych myself out about labor. I knew it was going to the most painful thing I’d ever experience, but as my yoga teacher would say - the outcome of the delivery is worth the pain. And if you think about it, the pain really doesn’t last that long. I know, I know, your labor could go to 24 hours, but if you approach it with the “I will be leaving here with a sweet, wonderful baby” in 24 hours attitude, it can help the time go quicker!
  • Visitors - Our hospital has some rules in place for visitors. In particular they limit the visitors on the labor and delivery floor. In the mother’s rooms, visiting hours are a strict 9-9. My request was that visitors wait a bit RIGHT away after delivery. I knew that the doctors would need to tend to baby girl and I, we wanted some time alone with the baby and our hospital stressed the importance of skin to skin time right after birth. Once I was moved into our overnight room, I didn’t care who stopped by - just as long as they followed the hospital rules : )

I hope this story helped at least one person out there and I hope this easy labor hasn’t cursed me with a super difficult one the next time around (if there is a next time).
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