Good morning!! I hope you are all doing well! We are still adjusting to life with a newborn. It is exhausting and so special too. We are working on getting in a rhythm without Mimi (my mom) here to help.
I have been breastfeeding (very thankful I am able) and supplementing with formula since the beginning. This has allowed my husband to be able to feed Francy and me to be able to get a little bit longer stretches of sleep, which is very much appreciated right now. We actually started supplementing with formula in the hospital for a couple reasons. Our girl is really tiny and got down to 5.15 lbs and had a little jaundice so her doctor recommended we supplement with formula to help her gain weight faster and apparently formula is better at getting rid of jaundice than breastmilk… who knew. This seems to be working well for us now so we will see what happens. I plan to breastfeed as long as I can (I am pumping too), especially since I work from home once I go back to work in September. I am not sure I would have the same determination to breastfeed/pump if I had to go into an office… it is a lot of work!!
Time to share Francy’s birth story. As previously mentioned, I was diagnosed with Cholestasis in my 34th week of pregnancy and it is recommended to induce around 37 weeks with this condition to avoid potential risks and negative outcomes for the baby. We were scheduled to induce on June 11th (37weeks and 1 day) at 5am. I did not sleep a wink the night before due to the itching caused by the Cholestasis so I was extremely tired when it was time to go to the hospital. Our moms stayed at our house to watch the doggies while we were in the hospital.
I actually worked out the morning of our induction because I needed to relax and get my mind off of what was about to happen… I was never actually nervous for my delivery, but that morning I started getting a little anxious thinking that this baby had to get out of my body somehow. LOL.
We arrived at the hospital at 5am and waited around for a little while until a nurse finally came out to the waiting room to chat with us. She informed us that there were 3 emergency C sections at 4:45am (which each require 3 nurses) so she let us know that there were not enough nurses to start my induction at that time and we were sent home… ugh! She told us to come back around 7:30am. The hospital is about 20 minutes from our house so we just decided to go home and have some breakfast and relax. After a couple hours we drove back to the hospital only to be told AGAIN that the nursery was completely full (all 32 baby beds were occupied, which apparently rarely happens), but the nurse told us that I would get induced that day because it was medically indicated (versus an elective induction). She sent us home and told us she would call us to inform us when we should come back this time.
We received a call around 12pm (we were thinking it wouldn’t be until that night so we were very excited to receive this call!) and told to come back in. We hopped in the car and headed back to the hospital. Once we arrived around 1pm, we waited for a bit until the nurse called us back to take us to our room to get us settled and start an IV. They also gave me anti-itching meds through the IV because my Cholestasis was making me so very itchy and uncomfortable.
Last pregnant picture 🙂
About an hour later they started the Pitocin (2pm) to hopefully begin labor (I was only about 1 cm dilated at this point) and the doctor inserted a foley bulb (balloon) to speed up the dilation process. The doctor told me to get an epidural soon if I was going to get one, but I thought no, I will wait until I really need one since I was feeling ok at this point. Well… about an hour later my contractions were sooo intense I requested an epidural, but we had to wait on the anesthesiologist and then the epidural takes a bit of time to kick in (4pm). I had heard that the foley bulb and epidural were both painful to receive, but I didn’t think either of them were painful or uncomfortable at all.
Once the epidural kicked in, I felt so much relief and was so happy I decided to get one. The nurse had me put the peanut ball between my legs and had me keep switching sides (with a lot of assistance since the epidural makes you very numb). Around 6pm I started getting really nauseous and was dry heaving for about an hour (yuck!) and finally got a couple different anti nausea meds in me, which made me feel much better.
Jon just enjoying a nice lunch while I labored. 😉
Around 7:30pm the doctor took out the balloon and checked my cervix. I was only about 4 cm dilated at this point. He decided to break my water. Jon was shocked that we actually heard a big gush when he broke my water. Ha! It was a little funny. Around 9pm I started feeling intense contractions again and we notified the anesthesiologist and he said he just thought I needed more meds through the epidural. They finally kicked it and then I was super nauseous again.
At about 11pm my blood pressure started dropping (they think due to one of the meds in the epidural) so they started pumping me with a lot more fluids. At one point my blood pressure was 44/33… which is obviously not good. They kept asking if I felt ok, which I didn’t but it was hard to tell if it was my blood pressure or just the pure exhaustion from not sleeping much in the past month and being in labor. I was still only 4 cm dilated at this point.The doctor decided to place an internal pressure catheter (in between cervix and baby’s head) to measure the contractions from inside. He also increased my pitocin dosage too.
At 4am the epidural stopped working completely. I could feel every contraction and no part of my lower body was numb. It was really intense. At this point the doctor said I was 5-6 cm dilated. I requested the anesthesiologist to come check my epidural and they decided I needed a new one (it wasn’t deep enough?), but the doctor was in an emergency c section at this time so we had to wait quite a while. I was in a lot of pain at this point, but just kept trying to keep calm. Around 6am (yes, two hours of no epidural was brutal!!), my doctor checked my cervix and said I was 9.5 cm dilated and I needed to start pushing. I said I will as soon as I get a new epidural… LOL. He was like you have to start pushing now.. we can’t wait. I said oh yes we can! I knew mentally I was not prepared for an unmedicated birth. Thankfully they were able to find another anesthesiologist to give me a new epidural around 6:30am. He was great and pumped the meds quickly and I was numb really fast.
About 5 minutes after the new epidural was in my doctor told me to start pushing!! I pushed for about 30 minutes and then my doctor had to leave (he stayed over his 24 hour shift to try to deliver my baby, but at this point he had to go) so another doctor in the same practice came in to take over. Jon was coaching me on the side and being really supportive. Between the epidural meds and not sleeping in days, I was literally falling asleep in between pushes and they kept having to wake me up. Jon asked the doctor if he has had patients fall asleep during labor before and he said actually yes, it does happen. LOL. After about 30 more minutes of pushing, our baby girl was born!!! It was such a surreal moment. It just didn’t feel real.. I felt like I was dreaming.
Francy Reed Plump was born on 6/12/21 at 8:03am weighing 6.9lbs and was 19.5 inches long. If you remember, we didn’t know the sex of baby P so her birth was extra special getting to find out she was a girl and tell our families too!
Off to go snuggle my girl, but I will share more of the days in the hospital after her birth next time. Let me know if you have any questions. We are SO overjoyed that our baby girl is here and I am so grateful I did not have go wait another 3 weeks to meet her!!