Layla's Arrival

She is here! Well, she has been here for a week which seems crazy. I feel like we were just packing up to head to the hospital.  Here is the low down.

Sunday night we headed to the hospital.  I was scheduled to start inducing at 8pm.  I was not super crazy about this.  D and I had talked a lot about it, and we had discussed a lot with my doctor. I really wanted her to come on her own, and was trying to stay positive about the induction.  (I also couldn't eat after 4pm on Sunday.  WHAT!)  We started the first round of medicine and my contractions started less than 15 minutes later.  The nurse said a lot of times your body isn't producing enough prostaglandins to get things going, and this medicine will help. Sure enough, it did!  I was excited, hoping that this would get the ball rolling.  Unfortunately, less than an hour later, Layla's heart rate kept dropping.  We had to stop the medicine, and keep an eye on her.  Fortunately, she chilled out after AND my contractions continued. It was almost midnight on Sunday, so we opted for sleep and starting Pitocin Monday morning.

I continued to have contractions all night, so when we started the Pitocin bright and early on Monday it just kicked them up.  Again, I was excited.  Everything seemed to be moving along swimmingly, and Layla seemed to be doing well. Around 9am when my doc checked me, I was not even a 2 yet.  We decided to break my water to help her move on down the road, and get ready to come on out.  Unfortunately, my water was full of meconium. It's not uncommon when babies are past their due date, but I had more in there than what was normal.  That meant she was stressed out, and not too happy.  Her heart rate, though, was doing well.  So we continued with the Pitocin, and my contractions were going strong.  I was so thankful for the wireless IV and monitors so I could make use of the shower and the tub.  They were huge helpers in getting through the contractions.  Interestingly enough, I did NOT want most of what I thought I would while the contractions were going.  I wanted almost NO noise, so no music.  And I was loud.  I thought I would be focusing on something, silently breathing, and counting.  Nope.  Not at all.  D, on the other hand, was magical.  Encouraging me, helping me, loving me.

Around noon, my doc checked again and I was at a 3.  Not tons of progress, but progress.  We kept going, and at 3pm she checked again.  I was still at a 3, and there was still a lot of meconium showing up.  I was getting discouraged and worried.  Discouraged that after contracting through the night and most of Monday I wouldn't have the energy to push when it was time.  I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, and I was exhausted.  Worried with the amount of goo that was there, and what that might mean. Meconium aspiration was turning into a big concern.  Meaning when she came out, and took her first big breath she would ingest all that bad stuff.  If it got into her lungs, it could mean a stay in the NICU and antibiotics for awhile.  I decided to go ahead and do an epidural in the hopes that if she finally started making her way out, I would be able to still push.

My doc checked again at 5pm, and I was still only at a 3.  The other bad news was that Layla wasn't going anywhere.  She hadn't dropped any further than she had been the last couple of weeks, and obviously had no plans to do so now.  My doc started discussing a C-section with us.  There was some reason that she wasn't making her way out the normal way.  (Side note - I love my doctor.  She was super supportive about my goal to give birth naturally.  She gave me tons of suggestions on classes, exercises, etc.  She knew how much I did NOT want to have a C-section.)  However, we were beyond what I wanted.  Layla was too stressed out by everything that was going on, as evidenced by all her poo showing up, and she wasn't going anywhere.  It was time to go get her.  I appreciated the long conversation my doctor had with us. How and why she had come to that conclusion,  that it wasn't something she jumped to just because, that the decision was obviously still mine, but that odds were unlikely she was going to come out any other way.  We could wait a few more hours to see if she made any progress, but after that it would be time to make a decision.  We felt it wasn't worth stressing her or me out anymore and she needed to get her as safely as possible.

So, we were off to the OR.  It was a little scary for a number of reasons.  A big one was that someone from the NICU had to be in with us to check her out after she showed up to make sure everything was ok. After our chat with my doc, it was about 5:15pm.  By 5:30 I was in the OR, ready to go.  Holy weird experience, Batman!  It's odd to understand what is happening to you, but not see it.  To feel everything like pressure and pulling, but to feel no pain.  The next thing I know they are telling us she is on her way out!  LONG SILENCE.  They were trying to make sure she didn't cry or breathe in too much so they could clean her airways first.  I am sure it was only 30 seconds or so, but it seemed like FOREVER.  Not only was she covered in meconium grossness, but the cord was wrapped around her neck three times.  My doc had said once you do a C-section like this, it becomes really obvious why it was necessary.  It seems like a dumb statement, but she wasn't going to anywhere wrapped up the way she was. The good news was that they were able to remove the cord, and get her cleaned off with no problems!

She was born at 5:54pm, 7 lbs 1oz and 19 inches long (so much smaller than we thought!). She was PERFECT!  D was right there with her. The German was so excited when they gave her weight and length in metric measurements.  He knew exactly what that meant!  She was screaming and yelling, and Papa D was capturing every moment on camera.  I was stitched up, and in recovery by 6:15 (It is CRAZY how fast it all was).  D went with her to the nursery, and was able to get her first bath on video. :)  I got her a few minutes later, and we got to hang out.  She was HUNGRY.  I was, too, after all that hard work.  Luckily, she was allowed to eat.  She got it right away, thank goodness!  We were able to head back to our room around 8:30pm and introduce her to my parents and oldest brother.  They knew she had been born, but D and I wanted to be together to share her name.  Layla had been at the top of our list for awhile.  (We did take our list with us, though, just in case she didn't look like a Layla!) Kathleen is my mom's name. Erika is D's mom's middle name.  Much crying by all.  Well, except Layla.  She was tired.

Did it all go down how I had hoped and planned it would?  Nope.  I still think it's funny that I thought everything would go as planned.  None of it really matters.  I feel like I got to experience labor which is what I wanted.  No part of me feels like I missed out on anything by getting an epidural or having a C-section.  The end goal was for her to get here safely.  And she did.  The end.

I have to give HUGE KUDOS to everyone at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.  D and I loved it there.  Every nurse, anesthesiologist, nurse's aid, doctor, whoever was amazing.  The nurses respected my choice to try to go natural and did their best to help me, they explained every situation, gave us whatever we asked for (including D), and worked hard to make sure our birth experience was great.  We were there for four nights so we ended up with a lot of nurses working with us, and every single one of them was wonderful.  I will be writing a letter or email or something to tell them so.  We were so impressed, and thankful that's where we got to deliver.

And of my fabulous husband.  While I may have been the one giving birth, this was a total team effort.  I couldn't ask for a better teammate.  He was everywhere all at once, making sure I had everything I wanted/needed, encouraging, loving, and helping anyway he could.  And he is the best papa.  Layla loves her some Papa D. she is!!


  1. OMG. Tear and a half :( so happy/touched. xo Ash


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