Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Prolonged-Early Arrival of Quinn Collins... A mini-series. Part 2

Part 2 - the longest week ever!

FYI: this is an extremely boring, yet long post. Its for my memories... And my sweet friend, Josey, who loves nothing more then a good labor and birth story.:)

Wednesday night, just to be safe, we went ahead and packed our hospital bags, and Ellie's bag for her to take to the grandparents once her baby sister decided to make her arrival. And a few extra long cuddles with our first born.

We probably didn't crawl into bed until around midnight. The discomfort I had begun feeling that afternoon had intensified somewhat, but was totally manageable, and definitely didn't feel like labor.

I woke up around 2 in the morning with waves of pain coming pretty fast. It didn't necessarily feel like contractions, just extreme discomfort that kept me from sleeping, along with stabbing-like pains down there. I knew by now those type of pains meant dilation was happening.

In case this was the very early stages of labor, I opted not to wake Jared up so at least one of us could be well rested. Around 6:00 that morning, the pain dissipated somewhat, and I was able to fall back asleep. Jared got up about an hour later. As he was getting ready to leave, I got up, as I was starving. However, the more I moved, the worse I felt. The pain came back. I was incredibly nauseous, along with a lot of other GI symptoms that can go hand and hand with early labor stages.

Jared opted to hang around the house for a bit just to see where things were headed.

I can't explain how exactly I felt. I was sick, in pain, dizzy, lightheaded, exhausted, etc... but that still doesn't describe it. Having only experienced preterm labor, or induced labor with pitocin and no pain meds, I thought maybe this was just early natural labor stages.

Jared knew something wasn't right, when I was almost in tears, said to him, "I think I might need my mom to come into town to help with Ellie... can you stay until then?" I have been puking uncontrollably over a commode for hours with a stomach bug, and still didn't want someone to come help with Ellie. I clearly have issues asking for/receiving help.

Jared's parents came by and took Ellie for the day,  while he stayed with me and worked from home. We opted to keep my mom back in middle TN until we knew  it was go time. Finally, Jared and my mom convinced me to call the doctor just to check in and make sure everything was ok.

Here is the thing about preterm labor, or any complications that arise in pregnancy - you start to loose your mind with worry. You loose all concept and awareness of what is going on with your body as you hyper focus on your baby, and only your baby. By mid afternoon, I couldn't tell you if I was more  sick from physical symptoms or mental and emotional strain.

Everything checked out fine at the doctors office. Of course, I was having the least amount of pain/contractions I had experienced all day. Quinn's heart rate sounded great. However she had dropped significantly lower then she had been the day before. I had progressed a little bit more myself. But nothing major.

The midwife warned me I might be experiencing the dreaded prodromal labor - early stages of labor that can last for a week or more! Um, what!?! I was told to rest as much as possible, take baths every few hours to help ease the pain, and drink plenty of  fluids. The midwife said they even had to prescribe narcotics for some of their patients just to help them sleep. Um... no. Narcotics make me climb the walls!

I did have some phenegran at home from an earlier prescription, so we decided if I continued to be unable to sleep I would take some, but would hold off on narcotics for now.

That night I took a 30 minute bath before climbing into bed. Being the stubborn idiot I tend to be sometimes, I didn't take the phenegran, convinced surely I wouldn't experience the same hellish night two nights in a row.


2am-6am, same exact freaking thing pattern as the night before. Come sunrise though, nada! I would still have contractions that were enough to be uncomfortable, but not enough to really progress anything.

So began the pattern we endured for the next week. Hospital/office visits every 36-48 hrs for non stress tests and ultrasounds. I continued to feel awful and exhausted.

I did start taking the phenegran to help me sleep, and it did help me get about a four solid hours of sleep a night.

I swear I developed a mild case of body dysmorohia during this time. It was like I could feel my abdomen shrinking by the hour, to the point I almost wouldn't feel pregnant. I would have to go look in the mirror to convince myself I still looked very much pregnant. Very bizarre.

Ellie stayed with Jared's parents during much of the day during this time, so I could rest, and so she didn't have to be dragged to all the doctors appointments. 

I spent the evenings with her on the couch coloring, reading books, watching an episode or two of her shows on the iPad, eating, etc... Basically breaking rules and making memories! Jared took her on a few outings to the store and park. 

Ellie handled the shuffling around like a champ! I mean, both sets of her grandparents are her 4 most favorite people in the whole world. Kid was in heaven. Especially on Tuesday, when my mom (Lolli) and my sister MaryGrace (Tracie) came in town to stay until the impending birth!

I had said since the beginning of finding out this pregnancy wasn't going to last until Oct, that Thursday, Sept 5, would be be D-day. Not exactly sure why... maybe it was because Ellie was born on a Thursday. Maybe it was mother's intuition. Either way, by Wednesday I knew it was time - things just weren't going to be ok for much longer. We had a doctor's appointment that afternoon, and I knew I was going to leave with induction orders.

Sure enough, I was right. Amniotic fluid was very low,  placenta looked worse, cord blood flow still looked good, but even though her heart rate looked great, Quinn's overall motion and tone seemed to be on the decline. Her biophysical profile was a 6 out of 8. It was time for her to be taken care of outside of my body.

For those wondering, like my husband and most everyone else who was non-medical around me, the reason my midwives and doctor did not deliver Quinn sooner is that 99% of the time, a baby is safer inside the mom for as long as the mom's body can allow it. Too many babies in America are induced, sectioned, delivered, etc... too early and suffer complications afterwards. With Quinn's small size, there was a very good chance she could end up in the NICU if delivered too early. Not a death sentence by any means, but something to be avoided if possible. I was not given steroids for her lungs, as her breathing looked very mature on ultrasound. We were more concerned with her ability to maintain body temp and blood sugar. I very much appreciate my medical team allowing my body, and Quinn, time to try to do this whole birth process on their own, and for monitoring us closely in the process. We were also trying some well known, and very safe, techniques at home to help jump start labor on its own. Unfortunately, they did not work. While I believe 90% of births in America are WAY "over-medicalized", resulting in very unfavorable outcomes and statistics (America has one of the highest mother and infant mortality rates amongst first and free world countries!), I am also very thankful for the modern miracles of medical intervention. I could very easily be one of those women from previous days in history who always delivered term still borns. That thought sickens me. Thankfully, that has not been our story.

We were given the option of being induced that night, or waiting until the following morning. I opted for the following morning. I was still hoping for a natural delivery (with pitocin) and knew I needed to be as well rested as possible in order to have a shot at enduring a pain medicine free delivery.

This decision is the only part in this process I look back on and wonder what if. 

So tomorrow we would be holding Quinn! Possibly by early afternoon, if things progressed as quickly as Ellie's delivery. But for whatever reason, for the past few days I just had this nonspecific feeling that things would not be like Ellie's delivery at all. I was prepared for a very long, drawn out labor. Very  much like the past week had been. 

Having been here before, it was very much like business as usual once we got back home. Our bags had been packed for a week. Ellie's care was taken care of. We knew where to go and what the process would be like.

That evening we took Ellie out for some ice cream to celebrate her last night as an only child.

last picture as our family of three (I look as exhausted as feel!)

gotta use two spoons when eating ice cream
Poor kid had no idea her life was about to dramatically change forever.:)

helping get baby sister's bed ready

trying out the bassinet

I was a little emotional putting Ellie Faith to bed that night, in more of a nostalgic way. It would never be just the three of us again, which was exciting, but unknown territory at the same time. It was the closing of a really good chapter. My momma's heart pricked just a tad hoping Ellie wouldn't feel insecure, thrust aside, or forgotten in the craziness of days to follow. I knew long term she would be fine, based on her personality, and the history of nearly every other first born who has survived the birth of their first sibling.:) 

As we crawled into bed that night, Jared prayed over the upcoming day(s) in only the way he can during these times. Our in bed prayer times have been some of my favorite memories. Its is then that I see even more deeply the incredible man of God I have been blessed enough to marry. He always has just the right words for these moments. Words I could never express, but that I need to have spoken in that moment.

Curled up on my side, as I was drifting off to sleep, I remember asking God to protect our little girl overnight, and mildly second guessing postponing the induction until the am. 

Something was different this go around, then it was with Ellie....

Until next time!:)


  1. AHhhH!! I'm dying for part 3 now! I knew you'd been having ctxs for days, but I didn't realize how intense they had been!

    So glad you had such great support around you from both medical providers and Jared during this time...

  2. Can't wait to read part 3.
    My birth with number 2 was nothing like I had envisioned! Does that mean these babies will keep us on our toes?