It's been a bit of a hazy whirlwind of days with the Hoffmans, and I've just barely had a chance to sit down and compose a bit of what's transpired to get us where we currently are. I guess you could start this adventure back about 30 weeks or so when we found out to our GREAT surprise that we were expecting another addition on the heels of our second. Of course the reality of having three very young children was a shock and took some getting used to. As the pregnancy progressed we grew excited with anticipation and decided to go with the surprise theme and keep the gender a mystery. Surprise pregnancy, surprise baby....why not. I have unusual labor's in that I don't notice when I'm having dilating contractions. I was 7 cm with Finn at 38 weeks and 5cm with Meg at 38 weeks without even knowing it. So of course I tend to be a bit apprehensive and paranoid at the end of all my pregnancies.
Wednesday was my 35 week appointment and as with my past two I had her check me just to know where I stood. I was a 1/2. I made my appointment for the next week feeling confident that we would make it to term with just a 1/2 dilation. I remember being very tired all day (not unusual with 2 children and being 8 months along), so my patience was pretty much non excistant. I made lunch for the kids after a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I cried not only because I was tired but because I was so terribly short with the kids.
Finally naps...the blessed hours I was so needing to recover some patience and energy. I made myself comfortable on the couch and slept. I remember feeling a fairly strong contraction, but nothing out of the ordinary. But about 20 minutes later my water broke. I knew it had, even thought didn't want to believe it, I just knew it. Suddenly instead of sleeping, I was calling people...Roy, midwife, mom, Roy again, midwife again. There were not contractions immediately, but I knew it was only a matter of time. Bags had to be packed, sitters arranged, and everything in between.
We got to the hospital about 6 and labor contractions started about 7. I decided fairly early on that I was going with an epidural this time around. I was at a 3 when she checked at 7:30 and I made sure to ask the nurse that the epidural could get there as quick as I needed. She assured me that yes it could. Not to long after that the dr. came in and explained that the anesthesiologist was going down to the OR for an emergency so that I could either get the epidural now or have to wait an hour. The nurse had just checked me at 4cm so I felt confident that we could hold off an hour as the contractions weren't too bad. Of course an hour became an hour and a half, and the contractions had gone from manageable to painful. At just about this time I was pretty mad at myself for not taking the epidural when I had the chance, and Roy was trying to talk me off the ledge. Finally, epidural man shows up and magically my mood shifts to all happiness and good thoughts. I love that epidural more then I can say. But staying with the theme of this birth, we were dealt another low. Babies heart beat kept dropping after the strong contractions, and the dr. Came in to explain in no uncertain terms, that we were probably heading for a c-section unless baby stabilized, or came quickly. This was my lowest low. It was the absolute last thing I wanted, and there were many tears shed, and wordless conversations between Roy and I shared. The dr. gave the baby a little more time to try and stabilize and I was hopeful as the heart rate seemed to do so. But then once again, it dropped, and I just knew the dr. Was coming in to wheel us down. He came in said he wanted to check me just once more. Suddenly he was saying, baby was coming and that I would have to push. "I can push," I said. 3 minutes later, little 5 lb 6oz, 17 in Eisley Jane was born.
She cried, I cried in shock that we weren't in an OR. She got a 7 on her apgar, and once again I felt the high of having another baby safely here. Unfortunately, once again we had another low coming. The dr. Explained that the reason her heart rate had been dropping was because the plecenta had started to detach from the uterus prematurely. When that happens there is less oxygen and nutrients getting to baby, as well as blood in the uterus. Consequently, Eisley had swallowed some causing her stomach issues. She was taken to the NICU, to have her stomach pumped, and watched. Her stomach became distended with air and other fluid which didn't allow her to get good deep breaths. It has been 2 days since and she is doing really well. She has started to eat, and the oxygen is slowly being weaned off. If she continues to progress, well the dr. Said we will be here any where from 2-5 days. So now we wait.