Abigail’s Birth Story

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Photo by Bella Baby Photography

While the details are still mostly clear in my mind, I wanted to take time to write down the story of Abigail’s birthday. {Jonathan’s birth story can be found here, if you want to compare the two}

First, a little back story:
On Monday, June 25 Stephen and I went to my regularly scheduled 37 week prenatal appointment. As per the usual procedure, I left a urine sample and then they took me to my room. The nurse did my vitals and then told me the doctor would be in soon. The nurse came back a few minutes later looking more animated than I had ever previously seen her and said that there was blood in my urine that may indicate labor. She asked if it was okay for the doctor to plan on checking my progress and I said sure. Turns out I was just about 3cm dilated (1cm more than the previous week) and 75% effaced (same as the previous week). She also said that she would be really surprised if I made it 3 more weeks. Now at this time I was noticing some contractions, but not really sure if they were Braxton-Hicks or real, so I tried not to get too excited about it. But I secretly/not-so-secretly hoped she would come on Wednesday because it was my mom’s birthday.

Wednesday, June 27 @ around 2:00am
I woke up to go to the bathroom, cause pregnant. Totally normal to get up about once per night to use the bathroom. I returned to bed and noticed that contractions were stronger and seemingly closer together. Not wanting to overreact (since I was already at the hospital when I went into labor with Jonathan, I had never done the whole counting contractions thing before), I decided to go back to sleep. Or at least I tried to. I probably went in and out of sleeping while staying significantly more aware of the contractions. Unable to get fully comfortable to sleep no matter how I was laying, I decided I’d go downstairs and actually count them and maybe watch a few episodes of Scrubs.

4:45am
Following a quick google of how to appropriately time contractions, I started to pay close attention to the pattern of intensifying and then relaxing. The obgyn said to call when contractions are 5 minutes or less apart, lasting about 1 minute, for 1 hour. I started tracking at 4:55 and tracked for the next 45 minutes or so. The pattern was 2m54s, 2m7s, 2m8s… 1m57s, 2m8s…1m56s, 2m16s — lasting from 54sec – 1:18 each. So basically I was now kind of “late” to call because I was concerned about calling too “early.” During contraction tracking, I got online to Southwest Airlines’ website and send a gift card to my mom for her birthday that day with the following note:

“Happy Birthday Momface! Now get your buns out here and see the 4 of us!! Love, The Rabons”

Deciding that I was probably not overreacting, I went back upstairs to tell Stephen. He asked me how I was doing when I walked into the room and I looked at him and said, “I don’t think you’re going to work today.” He calmly asked what the next step was and I told him he should call his mom to come hang out with Jonathan and that I was going to take a shower and then call the hospital because I didn’t want them to tell me that I needed to come right away and miss my shower (shortly after 5:30am).

6:06am
I called the doctor’s office. It was before office hours, so I talked to the answering service who said they would page the on-call doctor, who would call me right back. The on-call doctor is Dr. VanScriver, who happens to be the same doctor that I saw on Monday who told me I wouldn’t make it 3 weeks. She called back at 6:17, but Marcie had just arrived to watch J and we were making our way out the door and I missed the call because my phone is always on vibrate. I called back, left another message, and we headed to the hospital. She called again at 6:27 and I told her what was going on and she said to come in (we were already almost halfway there) and she would alert the emergency room that I would be in shortly. I then called my mom and dad to let them know what was happening and that they should get online and book flights ASAP. When my mom answered the phone, clearly still asleep, I told her “it looks like your granddaughter wants to share your birthday.” She may or may not have cried. I also sent a text message to my brother & sisters that was super eloquent:

“Headed to hospital – probs gonna have a baby.”

6:45ish?
We arrived at the emergency room and started the paperwork to be admitted. It was around this time that contractions were at the point of needing to bend over and lean on the reception desk to work through them. They called for a nurse to come bring us to Labor & Delivery. The game plan from there was to go to a triage room and be checked and see if I had progressed far enough to be admitted or if I would be sent home (my fear in calling too early). We got to the room and I changed into the gown. Leaning on the bed during each contraction, I waited for the nurse to return. She said that I was 4cm and 90% effaced, but contracting “like crazy.” She left to call the doctor to see whether I would be admitted or not, though she guessed that I would be. She also noted that I may have a high leak in my amniotic sac because though it was intact, there was fluid escaping. Stephen could tell that I was in a lot of pain, much more so than last time, and reminded me that I didn’t need to be a hero – if I needed pain medication, I should not be afraid to get some.

7:15maybe?
We were admitted and taken to LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery & Postpartum) Room 321. The nurse, Heather, got me all set with a saline lock in case I would need an IV at any point and checked in on me while I labored. It started at the ER, but the pain and intensity basically jumped from 0-100 really fast. Contractions were so close together and so strong that I wasn’t able to get relief at all. Stephen was giving me counter-pressure on my back/hips, but it wasn’t really touching the pain. I had intended to go in and have an unmedicated birth like I did with Jonathan, but the intensity was much greater this time around. The doctor stopped by to see me and asked about pain management but I was already so far into it that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it much longer without relief. I opted to try the nitrous oxide they have available at Castle Rock Adventist. The anesthesiologist came in and showed me how to use it and had me sign consent forms. I wish I had photos of my signature at intake in the ER versus my signature on the pain management consents. It was a HUGE difference. After a few drags on the nitrous they asked if it was taking the edge off. I told them it was not, not even a little bit. I had asked what the timeframe looked like for being able to get an epidural before it was too late before I did the nitrous. Knowing that unless I had this baby in the next few minutes, I may miss my window, I opted to get the epidural. The process of getting the epidural lasted longer than I had anticipated and I was extremely uncomfortable sitting on the edge of the bed hunched over while having super painful contractions. As the anesthesiologist said when it was done, we both had to work for it.

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9:11am
I started sending text messages to my sisters telling them how awesome epidurals are. The pain went from 100 back down to 0 SO FAST. They gave me an extra dose of some narcotic (I never caught the name) to ensure I would get relief in time because of how fast and furious everything was going and I’m here to say I’m a fan. They checked me at the end of placing the epidural and catheter and I was at a 9. That means I went from a 4 to a 9 in 2 hours. No wonder it hurt so much. I made roughly the same progress with J over the course of about 8 hours (which allowed me to work up to it instead of getting hit by a freight train). I was able to focus on things and got the itineraries of my parents to arrive in CO from CA. We were able to arrange for Joanna to pick them up at the airport. I was given a peanut shaped pillow thing to put between my legs while laying on my side to help my cervix dilate that last centimeter. Heather asked if I was feeling the urge to push yet and I told her that I was starting to feel that pressure.

11:15am
I distinctly remember looking at the clock as the nurse entered the room to see if it was really pushing time. Heather checked me and I was totally dilated. She had me do a little practice push to see how my body responded with the epidural in place. Abigail didn’t come down as expected and she thought that she saw the umbilical cord coming out first in the way. She called the charge nurse, Kelly, in to confirm and she saw that it was not the umbilical cord but in fact an anterior cervical lip. Basically a part of my cervix was stuck between my pelvis and her head, blocking her exit (super glad I had the epidural for that).  Dr. VanScriver had come in at this point and Kelly moved the lip out of the way. The doctor asked me to do another practice push. Abigail’s head came out halfway. She quickly told me to stop pushing so that she could get her scrubs on to deliver. That was a weird feeling for both of us, I think. Two more pushes and Abigail Christina Rabon entered the world, screaming, at 11:26am. 6lb 12oz & 19 inches of perfection.

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First photo of her beautiful face!
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Hanging out under the heat lamp
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I love them so much

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First family of four photo – I’m clearly NOT one of those people who look awesome after giving birth with full hair and makeup haha

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We were released from the hospital at about 2:45pm the following day and headed home to start our new adventure as a family of four! What a crazy 36 hours that was. We’re so thankful for a healthy baby, a safe delivery, and a quick recovery. It’s amazing how much you can love someone you just met! Abigail is the sweetest baby, and I’m absolutely head-over-heels watching Stephen with her. Jonathan has had a lot of other people to hang out with since she was born, so he hasn’t had to totally adjust yet, but he’s pretty sweet with her, though I think he finds her rather boring thus far.

A few more photos from the hospital session with Bella Baby:

 

 

Related post: Baby Girl Has A Name : the story of how we chose her name

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