Saturday, April 17, 2010

Third Time's The Charm

Miss Evelynne Arlene is already two months old!!! I think it's finally time for me to actually blog about her birth, because I definitely do not want to forget it =) Be prepared- it's a bit lengthy!

I thought all along that Evelynne was going to be early- and we certainly had our share of false alarms with her, including two trips to the hospital- one at 38 weeks and one week later at 39 weeks. From that point on, I was having contractions on and off on a pretty regular basis. I kept waiting and waiting for it to be "time" but things just weren't happening (yet they were growing stronger and more painful), and I was going out of my mind being in so much pain for nothing. I tried everything in my power to get her out on my own- doing laps around Target with Jeremiah for what seemed like hours, taking him on walks in his wagon twice a day for an hour each (he loved that!), taking castor oil (blecchhh), you name it I probably tried it. I was so sick and tired of having contractions get started and painful, yet not going anywhere. And from being confined to our city limits- Louis was adamant that I would not leave Whittier in case I went into labor from the week before my due date. He wanted us close to the hospital so that I could get my epidural in time (sweet of him, I know, but it drove me nuts), which resulted in me missing out on a few family functions. I woke up on Valentines Day, my due date, praying to God that she would come that day. It certainly didn't seem like it- and it resulted in me having a few bouts of tears throughout the day. Call me an overly emotional pregnant mama who was ready to be done with the whole ordeal and meet her little girl!! It seemed like Tuesday, which was my next scheduled prenatal appointment, would never come, and Dr. Melnik promised that we would make an induction game plan that day if Evy wasn't here by then. Anyway, we took Jeremiah to the Children's Museum (which he LOVED), and to Steak Corral, which is our family tradition on Valentines Day. We got home that night, put Jeremiah to bed, and had a *romantic* evening cuddled in bed, watching the Olympics =)

Then the fun began.

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night (around 2:00ish or 3:00ish- I can't remember) with small, yet painful contractions. I thought, here we go again- more of those painful contractions that would keep me up all night and not go anywhere. I didn't bother timing them, I just did everything in my power to go back to sleep. That didn't happen. Finally, around 5:00, I decided to walk laps around our room to keep things going, woke Louis up, and we started timing them. They were coming every 5-7 minutes for around 30 seconds, but gradually were tapering off to the point where it wasn't even worth it to keep timing them. I was pissed. The contractions continued to come scattered throughout the morning. Louis and I took Jeremiah to the grocery store around 10:00, and then Louis dropped us off at home to go to a customer's. By the time Jeremiah was taking his nap, around 11:30, I was SO exhausted, could barely move, and tired of the contractions, which I was still convinced were fake and mostly were "cramps." However, I did start to see some signs that labor could possibly be happening- I started to lose lots of my mucus plug, which I lost 2 days before having Jeremiah. So I still wasn't buying that lI was in labor, just in TONS of pain. I called my mom and begged her to come help me with Jeremiah. She promised that she would pick him up to have him spend the night around 3:00.

After that I got a sudden burst of energy and started doing super cleaning around the house, and packed Jeremiah's things for an overnight trip to Grandma's. I was on and off the phone with my friend Tiffani throughout the day, and it was when we were talking around an hour before my parents arrived that I noticed the contractions, which were quite painful at that point, were consistently coming every 10 minutes. I think my mom sensed that something was going to happen because both she AND my dad came to get Jeremiah. When they arrived, I had the sudden urge to take a shower and asked them to stick around while I took it, just in case I doubled over in pain and slipped. I am very glad they stayed, because my contractions were becoming even more frequent at that point, but still scattered and never forming a perfect pattern.

My parents decided to stick around my house for a while, playing with Jeremiah so that I could rest. Yeah.... that didn't happen. I tried going in my room, closing the doors and watching TV but those darn contractions just would not stop, coming 2-3 times every 10 minute period, but not lasting longer than 30 seconds (usually you're supposed to wait for them to hit a minute before going to the hospital). I finally called Louis and asked him to come home. I went outside and sat on my birth ball for a bit, which helped *slightly* with the pain but not much. My mom and I were talking and she told me that my grandma had a little pool going on with my auntie Linda and two little cousins Hailee and Chase for when my baby would come. I called her up, asking *jokingly* what she was doing trying to make a profit on my baby, and she said that it was all in good fun, no $$ involved. I then asked who had that night because I had a feeling I was going to leave for the hospital within the next hour or two. My mom told me that she thought all throughout the day that I would be heading to the hospital between 6 and 8 pm, and I was starting to believe her! My mom then asked if I wanted her to paint my toes, since I never got around to getting my pedicure, and she wasn't able to finish- I was just in way too much pain to sit still. Louis showed up at that point, and, bless his heart, tried following me around the house with our laptop to time the contractions. I got pissed and told him to put it away, we needed to go to the hospital. He tried insisting that we should time them a bit (as if I hadn't kept my eyes on the clock for the past few hours)- I know the last th ing he wanted was to go to the hospital AGAIN and get sent home for a third time, three weeks in a row to the date. I told him to shove the laptop some place indecent, and bolted for teh car. My mom kept asking me for instructions on what to do w/ Jeremiah, which I had already given her several times, (I know she was just too excited to think straight too,) as I was getting in the car, and I was getting SO pissed off, frustrated and doubled over in pain that I started shouting at her, too! We were outside, so I think my neighbors must have thought I was nuts. Hopefully they saw my belly and my hospital bags and put two and two together! We gave Jeremiah one last "only child" kiss and headed down the street to the hospital (we could see Presbyterian from our front yard!)

By this time, we were quite the familiar face in the L&D admittance and triage area. I kept hearing "you're back again!" from several nurses. (I had been there every monday for the past 3 weeks, this time being my third appearance). I kept telling Louis that if they didn't keep me this time I was going to make them quite sorry, that I wasn't going to put up with being in all that pain yet again for nothing. I was filling out the now routine paperwork to go into triage when a dad brought his little boy up to meet his baby brother. He asked me if I was nervous, and I told him, no just in a lot of pain, and doubled over in another contraction. The lady at the desk told me she had a feeling they were going to keep me, and I was praying she was right. A few minutes later I was in my triage room, hooked up to the monitor and was being checked for dilation. Sure enough, the nurse told me "what do you say we have a baby? You're at 6!" I yelled out "Finally!! I can have my epidural!!" The epidural was ordered promptly so that it would be ready for me when I got to my room =) (A drug free delivery was NEVER in my plan!! However, like with Jeremiah, I refused to get one before 6 cm to get the most amt. of pain relief at the most crucial parts of labor, so I was quite happy to enter the hospital at my goal.) More questions were asked... most of which were answered by Louis since I was in pain, and phone calls were made by him as well. The triage nurse estimated that Evy would be there within 2-3 hours (it was around 5:30 pm by that point) and I was whisked off to my room, and only had about 20 min. before my best friend- aka the anesthesiologist showed up.

My epidural was in place by 6 pm, and my nurse told me she'd be back at 8:00 to check me. Around 20 min. or so after she left, I started having a really hard time breathing. It was like I could never catch my breath! I was having some sort of reaction to the epidural, which didn't happen last time. Thankfully, it was only affecting me and not the baby. My pulse and heart rate would go way up and then taper off to normal over and over again. Finally, the nurse had me lay on my side, gave me some oxygen, and by 8:00 I was somewhat stabalized, but I still kept the oxygen on. I was doing my best to rest, knowing that I was going to have a long night ahead of me, whether it be pushing or caring for a newborn, but I could NOT sleep. At 8:00 I was still 6 cm. dilated and the baby was very high- a -3 station. She also administered some pitocin to get my contractions going- they were still regularly every 2-3 min. but had yet to pick up the pace for duration. My water was also still in tact but bulging. The nurse had me switch sides every hour until 10:00 to try to lower her. At 10:00 she was a bit lower, I was at 7 cm and almost all the way thinned out. My nurse was about to break my water when all of a sudden it burst on its own- and she got out of the way from checking me JUST in time! When she came back at 10:30 to help me switch sides, I felt lots of pressure and the urge to push- something I never felt with Jeremiah, my epi was SO strong with him. She checked me and sure enough I was at 10 cm! She had me do a few practice pushes, and after two pushes she had me stop before she wound up delivering the baby! She called the doctor, and I was informed that my doctor was not going to be delivering me- he had switched on call shifts with a friend of his, Dr. Lopez, whom I had never met. This made a second delivery in which my OB did NOT deliver me =( The doctor said he would be at the hospital in 20 min, so we waited. And waited. And watched the Pairs Skating Finals on tv. The doctor was certainly taking his time, and I kept feeling tingling like I should push, so the nurse called in a resident just in case the baby started coming without me pushing. Finally, an hour later, the doctor showed up at 11:50 pm. By the time he gowned up, checked me and my stats, I was pushing around 11:57 or 11:58. Exactly at the stroke of midnight Evelynne Arlene Castillo was born, 7 pounds 8 oz, 19 1/2 inches. She was placed on my belly and I was basically in shock that she was here so easily and so effortlessly. I did not get to have Jeremiah on my belly and didn't get a peek at him for a few minutes, so I was so busy taking everything in. She was so cute and looked JUST like Jeremiah! Louis cut the cord and I got mended up (with WAY less damage this time around- a first degree tear compared to the THIRD DEGREE tear with him, and no episiotimy this time, yay!) . I thought I would cry when she was born like I did with JEremiah (tears of joy) but those didn't come until the next day. Yes I was THRILLED she was there, but for some reason the tears didn't come. After she was cleaned up, I let Louis be the first to hold her like I did with JEremiah, mostly because I could not stop shaking, which sometimes happens after delivery. Finally I got to hold my beauty and then nurse her- she fed for AN HOUR STRAIGHT. I couldn't get Jeremiah to nurse for anything until he was almost 3 weeks old! God answered that prayer! We finally brought the family in around 1:30 am. My parents, Joe, Lindsey, my mother in law, sister in law Lisa, her boyfriend Angel, and Louis's uncle Emmett were all there waiting to meet Evelynne Arlene,given her first name after a very sweet little old lady customer of Louis's, and given her middle name in memory of my grandma Arlene. I was in my room by 2:00 am, scarfed down a turkey sandwich, cookies and juice faster than I ever ate before from starvation, and tried my best to go to sleep while Louis and Evy were in the nursery. That did NOT happen. Finally she came back around 3:30. Louis asked if I wanted to hold her but I declined, not wanting to wake her up and for me to get sleep before I had to feed her again. The nurses let me sleep as long as I could, saying I could sleep til 7:00 am if I liked since she ate so well with me earlier. I got maybe an hour and a half of sleep, and I was up at 5:30, in such excitement and amazement that I had a daughter.

God has truly blessed me so much with her! I was really anxious for breastfeeding to go well this time around, and it has been picture perfect from the start. To this day, Evelynne will NOT take a pacifier and will hardly drink from a bottle. She's such an easy baby- very smiley, social, and does not mind at all being put down in her bouncer or playmat if I need to get something done or play wtih her brother. And Jeremiah thinks the sun rises and sets on his little sister. And she's a dream baby at night- in the beginning waking every 3-4 hours to feed and going RIGHT back to sleep. I don't even have to wait for her to fall asleep; I can put her down drowsy and she will go to sleep on her own. Now she basically only wakes up once before I have to get up =) Naps are a bit more of a challenge but still aren't as difficult as they were with Jeremiah.

So there you have it- the birth story of my beautiful little princess. And as it turns out, she really was right on time- I completely forgot until I delivered her that her original due date was February 15, which is when I went to the hospital with her! Had our doctor been on time to the hospital, she would have had that birthday rather than February 16. God is SO GOOD! Thank You for my perfect family!!