Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Junia's birth story

Junia's birth story - May 4th, 2019

To back up a little bit, at my third trimester ultrasound, the tech measured the baby and found her abdomen size to only be in the 3rd percentile. Her head circumference and femur length were normal, and this put her in the 19th percentile overall. My doctor said she wasn't overly concerned - I probably just had a petite baby - but she wanted to keep checking to make sure that the baby was getting enough nutrients and the placenta wasn't getting old. 

At my 38 week ultrasound, the measurements put the baby only in the 12th percentile, and she was guessed to be 5.5 pounds. At this point, my doctor told me that she would like to induce at 39 weeks. This way, we could get the baby on breastmilk, which would allow her to gain weight faster. I was nervous about all of this. My instinct was to leave her in longer and let her grow some more. But I let my doctor make the call, and we chose an induction date. This was the first time I knew my baby's birth date ahead of time, so it was a little surreal. (Ephraim was born on his due date, and Nolan and August were each a week late.)

On Friday night, May 3rd, Steve and I took the three boys for a walk at the park. Steve snapped this photo of August sitting on my bump. (I have a photo of Nolan sitting on the Ephraim bump, and one of Ephraim sitting on the August bump ;) ) Then we packed our overnight bags, left the boys with my mom, and arrived at the hospital at 7 pm.

We had never been inside this hospital before, so we navigated our way to labor and delivery. Once settled in a room, the nurse checked me at 1 cm dilated, and she started me on Cytotec. This started some minor contractions, and Steve and I watched TV and tried to relax. I had another dose of Cytotec at midnight, and another at 4 am. At that point, I was measured at only 1.5 cm dilated, but the third round of the med really seemed to do the trick and put me into labor. 

I couldn't sleep well, so I decided to stay awake, order breakfast, and watch Saturday morning shows on the Food Network. My doctor visited early in the morning, cup of coffee in hand, ready for a busy day of delivering (apparently a lot of babies were ready to be born!) Steve and I walked around the hallway for a bit, and at 8 am when my doctor checked me, I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. 

At this point, my doctor broke my water and started me on Pitocin. She told me that she had to do someone else's C-section at 10 am, and I asked her what would happen if I needed to deliver while she was in the C-section. She didn't really take me seriously, but I had this feeling that things would go quickly once my water was broken (hello, fourth baby!) 

The anesthesiologist came in at 9 am to give me an epidural as my contractions were getting quite strong. She left the room for a while to let the epidural kick in. 

At 9:25 am, the anesthesiologist came back in to ask me if the pain lessened. I told her that I still was feeling some pain near my right hip, but that I could deal with it. She said something along the lines of, "I don't like to hear that you're in any pain at all. Maybe I should redo the epidural." I didn't love that idea, and I sensed that we weren't going to have time for that. Then, the anesthesiologist looked up at the contraction monitor screen. She said, "Those peaks look like when someone is going to have a baby SOON."

The anesthesiologist and nurse looked quite surprised, and they left the room to prepare everything for the delivery. Right after they left, I felt pressure that the baby was on her way out. It was just Steve and me in the room, so I said, "Call them back!" 

Steve checked the time and it was 9:34 am. He called this part "The Wild West." Nurses started swirling around the room getting everything ready. A different doctor came in and introduced herself, saying my doctor was busy with someone else. Everyone told me not to push - and to start panting. 

Then my doctor rushed in on the scene, blood on her clothes from another delivery. She brushed the other doctor out of the way, and got ready to catch.

After two pushes, she said, "Don't push so I can clean out her mouth and nose before she delivers her own shoulders." I couldn't believe the baby was already out, and this was the moment I was going to meet my daughter.

At 9:43 am, they placed the most beautiful dark-haired baby girl on my chest. She was not even crying - just content. She was tiny, and her weight on me felt like nothing at all. Steve was on my left side, and the baby's back was to him, so I encouraged him to peer over at her perfect little face. She cried a little bit, and I tried several attempts to nurse her before she latched.

My doctor gave me a quick stitch and then took off for her 10 am C-section. The nurses weighed the baby at 6 lbs 11 oz, and no one was concerned at all about her size! She was perfectly healthy - praise God!

After a few hours, they moved us out of the delivery room into a recovery room. And the boys came to visit and meet their new sister!

Steve and I hadn't chosen a name before her arrival. We had known all three of the boys' names for a while before they born, so I was a little nervous that we had to make this big decision at the hospital. August was insistent the whole time that her name was "Girl", but we chose Junia, and we absolutely love it. :)

First family-of-six photo!

My mom and Don took care of the boys while we were at the hospital. They had just moved to Indiana eight days before!

Later on, Phil, Dana, and our three nieces came by to meet Junia!

She is going to adore her big girl cousins!

And that's how life with our sweet baby girl began! We have been so overjoyed to have her here.

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