April 2, 2014

Lucy Calaway: A Birth Story

Our sweet little Lucy made her grand debut on March 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm. But her birth story is slightly complicated, so I'm going to rewind to my 20 week ultrasound and go from there. Sorry for the long post, but I want to document all this for her sake, as well as mine!

Our 20 week ultrasound was fairly uneventful. Heart, lungs, spine, everything looked normal! She was moving and kicking and her heart rate was great! The only thing that looked a little weird was this piece of tissue that kept popping up on the screen. The ultrasound tech kept calling it "synechiae" (sin-ick-ee-eh). The piece of tissue was on the right side of my uterus and was connected to the placenta and ran vertical to the bottom of my uterus. They said it could possibly cause Lucy to be on the smaller side, but other than that, there weren't any other obvious concerns. That being said, they scheduled me for another ultrasound at 28 weeks to check it out.

At 28 weeks I went in again and this time they thought they could detect blood vessels running through it. This did cause some concern, as they didn't want it to rupture and cause bleeding inside the uterus and harm Lucy. They told me to come back in at 34 weeks and we would do yet another ultrasound to make sure Lucy was growing on par and that there were no other problems. At 34 weeks, I went in for my ultrasound and everything looked fine! It was kind of "same ol, same ol" for which I was grateful.

Just a few days after I had my 34 week ultrasound, I was then contacted by a specialist up in San Francisco and asked to do yet ANOTHER ultrasound. (in case you're counting, this would be my 4th ultrasound for the pregnancy!) My doctor ordered it, but had said absolutely nothing about it to me! I started getting nervous that maybe there was something seriously wrong with my baby and that they were keeping me out of the loop, especially since this new specialist I was asked to see specialized in genetic disorders. When I went in, however, I found out that it was just another ultrasound and that my doctor had apparently wanted another opinion about the synechiae. The doctor in San Francisco told me she wasn't concerned about the tissue at all, but what she was concerned with was my amniotic fluid level. I was measuring on the low side of normal, so they told me I needed to start going to the hospital twice a week and get monitored to make sure Lucy was kicking enough and that her heart rate was good. They also wanted to measure my amniotic fluid levels. If I started measuring 5 cm or below, they would induce me, as anything lower than that poses a risk to the baby.

So, my bi-weekly visits to the Mills-Peninsula hospital began at 35 weeks. Every time I went in, everything looked great. Lucy was kicking, her heart rate was excellent, and my fluid levels were totally normal. I made it to 38 weeks and had a check up with my OB who checked me and saw that I was dilated to a 3 and 50% effaced. At 38 weeks with Declan I had been dilated to a 5 and almost fully effaced, so I figured I was going full term with this little lady. I pretty much have low intensity labor for about a month before I deliver, and then once the hard contractions start, I move fast. She also told me that I was measuring a little small (37 weeks instead of 38 weeks) but she wasn't concerned.

39 weeks (Monday, March 24) rolled around and I had my non-stress test at the hospital. My mom had just flown in from Washington on Saturday, so I decided to leave the kids with her and have Dallin come with me to the hospital. For some reason, I felt like maybe I would be admitted that day, for whatever reason. The Thursday before, at my last non-stress test, my amniotic fluid had measured totally normal and I hadn't had any significant contractions, so I didn't have anything to base it on, other than gut instinct.

Once again, everything was looking good. Lucy was movin and shakin, her heart rate was excellent and all that was left was the ultrasound to measure my fluid levels. As they started measuring, the first two sections put me at 5.3 cm of amniotic fluid. They still had two sections to look at, so I figured I was good to go. I was definitely not good to go though. The nurse looked in the other two sections and could find no sign whatsoever of any more fluid. She told me she was going to call my doctor and see if they wanted to admit me immediately to the hospital to start an induction. My doctor wasn't in the office, so she talked to the on call doctor and she told me to go home, drink lots of water and take it easy until she could contact my primary doctor and consult. After being home for 15 minutes, they called me and told me they wanted to induce me immediately, so Dallin and I turned right back around and headed to the hospital.

I was admitted to the hospital at 11:45 am on March 24, 2014. My doctor came in around 3:00 pm and broke my water. Because my levels were so low, there was almost nothing there. After about 45 minutes of sitting there and no significant contractions, my nurses came in and started me on pitocin. They gradually increased the pitocin levels and by 5:30 pm I was starting to feel hard contractions. I ordered my epidural and then suddenly I had contractions that were absolutely ROCKING my world (not in a good way!) I had never felt contractions like this with either Claire or Declan and my body started going into shock. I was shaking and hyperventilating and my poor anesthesiologist might have gotten a few short remarks from me to, "just give me the dang epidural, I know the risks!" He was so fast and I didn't feel a thing when he put in the needle. That could have been because I was in so much pain from the contractions though. By this time, it was about 6:30 and the doctor who was on call for my office had left. She was only scheduled to be in the hospital until 6:00, but my primary doctor told me she wanted to hang around and deliver Lucy, if I progressed fast enough. She REALLY wanted to see that synechiae, ha!

I had to fight the urge to push so badly while they were placing the epidural and after, but the epidural finally kicked in and I was only feeling pressure, no pain at that point. It was awesome. My doctor walked in between 7:05-7:10 pm and told me when I felt the urge to push again, that I could now push. I was so happy! I pushed once and Lucy's head was out, I pushed again and the rest of her came out! She was born at 7:14 pm. It took her a few seconds to breath because she had so much fluid in her nose and mouth, but she finally let out a little holler and all was well after that. It took my doctor about 15-20 minutes to deliver my placenta (funny how that took longer than the delivery of my child, ha!) and when it came it, it was pretty crazy! I'll attach a picture, but beware, it's kind of nasty looking. My theory is that the synechiae was the barrier between twins and that one baby never fully developed. There was the piece of tissue and then it had a growth on the end. I am grateful I only have one baby here, because having twins only 15 months after having Declan would have been even more crazy than just having my little Lucy. That being said, we are so grateful she was/is totally normal, everything is functioning as it should and that she was not affected by the tissue.

We are totally in love with our sweet Lucy and she is adored by her big sister. Declan is pretty indifferent, but does have his moments when he tries to hit her (we watch him VERY closely whenever he is near her!) It feels like she has been here forever and once again, Dallin is wrapped around the sweet little finger of yet another daughter. She hardly ever cries and can be consoled very easily, is a pretty good sleeper and makes the cutest little puppy dog noises. I think she is just about perfect, as does anyone else who comes in contact with her. We are feeling so blessed to have our little Lucy here safe and sound and I am so grateful for the amazing nurses and doctors who helped in her safe arrival.

Her stats- 
6 lbs 3 oz (the exact same weight as Claire!)
19 inches long

And now for some pictures! She really is the cutest little thing!

Caught a smile right off the bat!
Fresh from Heaven
Dallin's co-workers sent us these amazing flowers as soon as they found out I was being induced. This picture does not do them justice! 

Claire meeting Lucy for the first time! I'd say it was love at first sight.

Our sweet Lucy


Natalie said...

Congratulations!! She is beautiful and We are so glad you are doing so well!

LKP said...

Lucy is beautiful & perfect. What a blessing to know how keenly aware of us our Heavenly Father is. So much so that he gives us those gut feelings. :) Congratulations a few weeks after the fact! ::hugs::

Katamaran said...

I went to school with Dallin in Ellensburg, you two certainly have a beautiful blessed family! Congratulations you guys! She's beautiful! The placenta sounds so interesting, did the doctor comment on your theory?