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Another California Girl

16 replies

californiagirl · 07/03/2004 21:10

My daughter was born at 22:02 on March 4, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz. At 42 weeks and 1 day, so don't let anybody tell you late babies are always big -- and trust me, she was genuinely a late baby. It's not just that she had a full head of hair, and wrinkly fingers and toes, or that I had an early dating scan, Daddy left town just after she was conceived. I guarantee she was 42 weeks...

She was induced, and it was a long roller coaster ride. I had no contractions, she was high, and my cervix wasn't even fingertip dilated, so they started the night before at about 8 pm, with Cervidil. Alas, since nobody expected much to happen and it was a routine induction, they assigned us Tiffany as a nurse. She was sweet, and earnest, and knew absolutely nothing except the hospital standard procedures, making her really pretty useless. The night was unpleasant; labor did start, which made me throw up every 30 minutes, while people kept encouraging me to get some sleep, and the hospital got panicky about the baby's heartrate and my blood pressure and insisted on an IV and oxygen. My DH, who was fantastic, also sleeps like the dead. He fell asleep while nothing was happening (I told him it was OK), and I woke him up when I got desperate. He was astonished to have gone to discover that I was now hooked up in 3 new ways and he'd slept through it all.

In the early morning, they called in an anesthesiologist to set up for a C-section, but then just at shift change they did an internal and found I was nearly 4 centimeters dilated, so they decided to skip both the C-section and the pitocin and see what happened. I proceeded to dilate to 9 centimeters by noon with very little fuss; in fact, the first thing the experienced morning nurse did was take away two of the monitors and the oxygen. At noon, I was at 9 centimeters. At 1, two separate internals were judged to be just a lip on one side (they were trying to place an internal monitor, because the external one wasn't being reliable -- they never got the internal to work even as well as the external).

There things stalled. At 6, the shift changed again, and the new nurse insisted that I try laboring in bed lying down where the external monitor would work better. At that point, I stopped contracting altogether, and we agreed to go for the pitocin. Then, the new nurse and the doctor proclaimed that in fact I didn't just have a lip on one side, I was still at 9 centimeters!

The pitocin succeeded in starting contractions again, eventually, but they were very painful and after an hour of them nothing had happened. The doctor wanted to do a C-section, but we settled for doing an epidural and more pitocin. There ensued 3 hours of trying 1 last hour in a new position before going for a C-section. At the end of the last one, when we were resigned to the C-section but made slightly hopeful because I was getting enough pressure to need to breathe through contractions even with the epidural, the nurse came in, checked again, and said no C-section, time to push. And with the first push, she said "That's why the internal monitors didn't work -- look at all that hair!"

I pushed for 40 minutes officially, but that's counting the first trial to see whether it was time to call the doctor. It was only serious for about 20 minutes. Although the doctor did try having me breathe through the last bit and supporting the perineum, I still had a small 2nd degree tear (he says it's a funny crescent shape, I haven't checked). She was covered in meconium but still had apgars of 8 and 9, and she is a lovely baby. Having violated hospital protocol right left and center, the doctor kept it up by letting them take out the IV immediately and clearing me to go home 12 hours after birth (I ended up staying an extra day to make the pediatricians happy with the baby, which was OK).

Although on the whole the hospital was very into intervention, they were great about some things. They got me a sandwich as soon as I got onto the maternity ward, and they were fantastic about helping me breastfeed.

OP posts:
zebra · 07/03/2004 21:17

Congrats!! Sounds like an emotional roller-coaster. You seem so cool about the repeated imminent C-sects.
Whereabouts are you, CG?

Lisa78 · 07/03/2004 21:17

Congratulations California Girl and welcome baby CG

pupuce · 07/03/2004 21:20

Well done - thanks for all the details....
Glad you managed a vaginal birth after all that!
Enjoy your daughter

For the Brits who don't watch discovery : Pitocin is the same as syntocinon (the drip to accelerate contractions)

collision · 07/03/2004 21:47

How on earth did you manage to type all that info with a 3 day old baby?!

Congratulations and glad you are both OK. Has she got a name yet?

princesspeahead · 07/03/2004 22:07

hairy babies are so pretty, mine were always bald as a coot and incredibly ugly. name please?!!

suedonim · 07/03/2004 22:44


SpringChicken · 08/03/2004 08:40

Congratulations California Girl

motherinferior · 08/03/2004 09:00

Sounds like the Beach Boys had it right, you brilliant thing! Congratulations to you and the hairy baby (my dd1's hair took everyone by surprise too!). xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Marina · 08/03/2004 09:10

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

mammya · 08/03/2004 09:18

Congratulations California Girl, welcome to your new baby girl!

tabitha · 08/03/2004 09:35

Well done California Girl and welcome to baby California Girl too.

morocco · 08/03/2004 15:37

huge well done after all that effort!!! welcome little california girl

californiagirl · 08/03/2004 21:41

Questions answered, in no particular order; she's named Opal Eleanor, I live on the peninsula outside San Francisco, and yesterday she was still happy to sleep anywhere any time, so I could type whenever, plus I type fast. Today she won't settle unless somebody holds her for a minimum of 30 minutes, but DH has her right now.

OP posts:
mears · 08/03/2004 22:40

Congratulations and well done you for getting through it all Beautiful name.

californiagirl · 09/03/2004 05:33

Oh, and as for being calm about the c-section; I was pretty hysterical about it the first time around, and DH was instrumental in getting me calm enough so that I wasn't just making matters worse (they threatened me with a c-section and then worried about why my blood pressure had gone up!) The second time I was so miserable I was willing to go for the section, and my best friend who was also helping intervened to talk the hospital and DH into the epidural. When it came to the last rounds of just one last try lying on the other side (3 times) I was calm but not at all happy about the concept. But by that point we were over 24 hours and I didn't have much energy left to fret with.

OP posts:
Bozza · 09/03/2004 12:05

Congratulations cg

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