Illuminating Stella


So I wrote out my birth story from conception to afterbirth and it was seven pages. I’m glad I have it all down in writing and it was a very therapeutic exercise. However, I think seven pages is a bit much for a blog. So here is the abridged, semi-sanitized version of the day we met our sweet Stella.

I was almost two weeks overdue and was scheduled for an induction at 4am on Friday, June 29th. (My brother-in-law Tim’s Birthday). We had taken a Bradley Method class and were planning on a natural birth so this was probably not the best place to start off. But after a bit of drama the last week with Fetal Monitoring we were ready to have the baby. We arrived at the hospital with high hopes and the nurses helped me tape our birth plan to the wall. For several hours I walked the halls, bounced on my yoga ball and listened to my birthing playlist. The pitocin contractions were very intense. I broke down and got an epidural in the early afternoon. Unfortunately, the epidural did not do much to relieve pain except make my legs numb. I had been forewarned that this might happen because I am a red head. We red heads apparently can experience pain more intensely and also have a stronger resistance to pain medication. You can read about this here. My anesthesiologist confirmed this to me when he visited me the next day in Postpartum. He practiced in Ireland for six years, where he said it was well known that red heads usually require double anesthesia for surgery.

I progressed nicely all day and got to six centimeters by the afternoon. My pitocin drip ran out and was changed at 6:30 pm by the day nurse. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart at that time. At 7:30 pm the night nurse came in and we noticed my contractions spreading out and then she realized my pitocin drip was not attached properly. She started it up again at level 2, I had been at level 20. John and I watched the monitor in horror as my contractions kept spreading further and further apart. We called the nurse back. Debate ensued between my doctor, nurse and the charge nurse about what level to restart my pitocin. Apparently there is protocol on this. By the time they all got on the same page (level 14) my contractions were pretty far apart. By 10:30 I had not progressed any further. The baby was sunny side up which explains the mighty back labor and she had not come down at all. I had a fever. My doctor strongly recommended a C-section. John and I did not even discuss it, we just nodded. I was exhausted, in pain, throwing up off and on. It had been 17 hours at this point. They wheeled me down the hall (while vomiting) to the operating room. At 11:47 pm Stella Allyson was born. Yes, just in time to share her Uncle Tim’s birthday! In fact, I watched the clock during the whole operation and kept wondering if she would make it in time. John and I were thrilled that she was healthy and beautiful. I got to give her a big, groggy kiss and she was off to the nursery with John. Not the birth we planned but the end result was still everything we dreamed for. We were totally in love.

In the future I may blog about some of the details individually including: Miscarriage, Conception, My Pregnancy, Bradley Method, Trying to get Labor Started, C-Section Aftermath and Problems, Breastfeeding and VBAC.