Welcome to the world Cameron Leigh Dufresne. I don’t think she or I got the memo that we would be admitted to the hospital Thursday, August 17th for what turned into an almost unplanned natural delivery. The picture below about sums up how I felt just 10 minutes before they handed her to me.
Let me start from the beginning. After a rather frustrating week 39, I made plans to have acupuncture performed on Sunday, August 13th backed up with a form of acupressure on Monday, August 14th. If you aren’t familiar with the process, a trained acupuncture professional inserts 4-5 needles into specific points which trigger the release of hormones that induce labor. I was skeptical, but willing to give it a try. The acupuncture is used to hit a direct point, while the acupressure targets the same areas in a more broad sense (i.e. if the acupuncture missed a point by the slightest amount, the acupressure would likely hit it).
I wanted immediate results, but I knew I had to be patient. My next doctor’s appointment was not until Thursday, so if nothing happened before then, I was bound to know if it worked at all by then. Monday and Tuesday passed and I was still not in labor. I did everything I could to stay busy and keep my mind occupied. Patience takes practice. The girls were in a camp each morning, so in the afternoon, I tried to spend time taking them to the mall and park or simply just laying down together (see picture below). We bought costumes for my oldest daughter’s princess themed birthday party (that isn’t until October – see picture above).
I worked out every day of the week (even if it meant that I just went for a walk).
- Monday – I went for a run/walk, approximately 3 miles.
- Tuesday – I did some strength work in the garage.
- Wednesday – I rode at Flywheel with Morgan.
- Thursday – I walked/jogged home from dropping my girls off at camp, approximately 2 miles and thirty minutes total.
By Thursday, I didn’t know what to think about going to my doctor’s visit. All I knew was that my husband was coming with me to discuss our options for induction and have my OB/GYN examine scar tissue from an old belly button piercing that had begun to tear.
I bring the belly button up for a few reasons. I am embarrassed. I want my kids to see pictures of what my actions resulted in. I didn’t have any issues with this in my first two pregnancies, but this is real life for round three. I thought I had been doing a good job taking care of not letting it get infected until I pulled the band aid back for my doctor. Before she had a chance to even talk to me about the baby in my belly, she full on squeezed puss and gunk out of two holes that had separated. With my approval, her plan was to cut the tear and stitch it together while I had my epidural (post delivery). In the meantime, she pulled the skin together and taped the damage.
The rest of the day was a blur. I went on to get “checked” and have my membranes stripped, at which point I learned that I was 5 cm dilated. I was instructed to go home and eat lunch, pack my hospital bag and head to the hospital. Anxiety set in. My husband and I picked up the girls from camp and dropped them off at my mom’s house before heading home to eat and gather our things.
We arrived at the hospital with plenty of time to get settled. My contractions were regular but no where near painful. I had tested positive for Group B Strep at my 36 week appointment, so it was advised that I receive antibiotics prior to the baby being delivered. The nurses went ahead and set up my IV and began to administer the antibiotics. I still wasn’t sure that this was a fake out. I had had Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks. Maybe my contractions would subside and I would get sent home? That happened with my first daughter. Was this actually real?
Once my antibiotics were administered, my doctor stopped in to see if I would like to get my epidural before she broke my water. Yes, please. The anesthesiologist got my epidural set up and I was good to go. Until I wasn’t. I don’t know where time went. I wanted to be able to feel some contractions, but I started to notice as they intensified and I continued to push the button to give me more juice nothing was happening. I’m an athlete. I push through things. I kept pushing through thinking that maybe the juice hadn’t kicked in yet. When I finally admitted to the nurse that the pain was not getting better, it was just plain bad. It was my fault. There is no tough guy award for delivering babies.
The anesthesiologist came back and tried a few things before he realized that my epidural had come out. Things had already escalated. Scroll down if you don’t want to hear the details. I tried to sit up to have it redone and almost passed out. The nurse through an alcohol swab under my nose. I almost threw up. I lost all control. My body began to shake uncontrollably (apparently that is the release of hormones and you aren’t supposed to fight it). All the while the anesthesiologist told me to roll over on my side and try to get into a tight ball. Um, yea. I felt intense pressure on my bladder at which point the nurse “checked” me again and I was at 10cm. The only relief I found was when I pushed. I think the anesthesiologist actually said, “at least you will have some relief while you are pushing”. He left and my doctor came in. How lucky was I that she was on call that day? Truly special. Six or seven pushes later, Cameron Leigh Dufresne was born. 10:19 PM. My epidural finally kicked back in.
The pain was excruciating, but short in its entirety. How about her umbilical cord? It was wrapped all over and actually tied in a knot. Fortunately, it did not affect her during labor or delivery (as her heart rate and vitals were closely monitored the entire time). When I told her pediatrician about my epidural and her umbilical cord he mentioned maybe its as divine intervention that the labor progressed and we got her out. I guess I never thought about it that way. Even with everything going on, I do remember the nurses and anesthesiologist indicating to me regularly that the baby was okay (regardless of if I was at that time).
The scale in the delivery room indicated that she weighted 6 pounds 14 ounces, which was surprising to everyone in the room. She definitely looked bigger. It appears that there may have been some discrepancy, as she weighted 7 pounds 5 ounces at one day old (children usually lose 5-10% of their birth weight before gaining weight). She was also 7 pounds 8.5 ounces at her four day old appointment. I guess we will never know what her true birth weight was (aside from this), so we will go with it.
I can’t say enough about this sweet girl. I wasn’t excited about the newborn stage, but the second she was put into my arms, I was smitten. This is it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can say with certainty that our family feels complete with the addition of this little nugget. I learned yet again that the best things in life go unplanned and you should always be prepared for anything. As I write this post she is already changing so much (only 5 days out). This pregnancy just feels different. It’s not about me anymore. We have this family unit now that truly comes first. While I look forward to continuing to share my fitness journey with y’all, how fast I lose the weight (and get back to my old elite fit self) is the least of my priorities. No pressure. Get ready for baby picture overload and regular postpartum updates the next few weeks.