With less than 2 weeks to go before baby #3, I'm officially in baby prep mode and thinking about the delivery constantly. I wanted to get Payton's birth story written before the new baby comes and it has brought back so many emotions!
My pregnancy up until 20 weeks with Payton was very textbook and easy! I found out she was a girl at 12 weeks through genetic testing and I was THRILLED! I'm one of 3 girls and have always wanted a daughter so the tears that flowed when I read the "It's a Girl" envelope from my doctor were pure joy.
At my 20 week ultrasound, Payton was breech which was no big deal since it was so early in my pregnancy. When it became a bigger deal was at my 32 week ultrasound and she was still breech. My doctor said don't worry yet there is still plenty of time for her to flip. He scheduled another ultrasound for 36 weeks and sure enough she was still breech. We discussed options and I elected to do an ECV (external cephalic version) at 37 1/2 weeks. He told me to go ahead and try all of the things I could to get her to flip on my own before the version. I jumped headfirst into research and decided to see a Webster certified chiropractor, get acupuncture, moxibustion, and positioned myself in a series of positions daily that involved hanging off the couch and other odd setups.
(Lots of ultrasounds was a nice perk of the breech drama!)
On the day of the ECV I had to fast and then arrive at the hospital an hour early to be prepped. My husband was with me and our son was at daycare for the day. They performed an ultrasound to make sure she was still breech, which of course she was despite all my efforts! They then gave me an epidural and we waited for it to kick in. Once I was pretty numb, 3 doctors came and they started the version which is basically manually trying to flip the baby from the outside. Even with the epidural I felt so much pressure and was crying. Clark said he could see the whole outline of the baby while they were doing the version. They tried 4 times but our stubborn girl would not flip. I was so sad and worn out from the whole thing. By now it was 4pm and I hadn't eaten all day and I was super sore from the version. They kept me for a few hours to make sure the baby didn't get distressed and Clark picked me up some food and then left to go get Gavin from daycare. Luckily everything went ok because we had not planned backup childcare for Gavin had I ended up needing an emergency C-Section that day. Once I was clear to go home I hopped in a cab and went home. The soreness lasted for a few days and I had some crazy bruises on my stomach! It made me realize how protected the baby is in the womb! I was always worried about my son jumping near my belly and here were 3 adults using all their strength pushing on my abdomen!
My doctor scheduled a NST (Non-Stress Test) for the following week and we discussed the date for scheduling my c-section. He encouraged me to continue trying to get her to flip on my own and scheduled a final ultrasound for the Friday before my Tuesday morning c-section. I went to the chiropractor 2 more times and went to my ultrasound that Friday where they confirmed she was still breech. I was finally coming to terms with the impending c-section but still felt sad after having such a challenging delivery with Gavin that I felt robbed of an easier delivery the second time. Everyone always talked about how easy the second time is, especially if you had forceps and a huge baby the first time.
My mom arrived in town on Monday March 12th to take care of Gavin and help us out for a few weeks. Tuesday morning, Clark and I got in the car to drive to hospital at 4am for my 6am C-section. I felt mentally prepared and was excited to meet our girl. We checked in and they started prepping me for surgery. As they were getting ready to start my IV, the resident (the same one who had been there for my version) came in to do the final ultrasound to check her position. When she saw the baby, she couldn't believe her eyes and goes "Oh my gosh, she flipped!" I was floored and didn't believe her. The nurses in the room were shocked too because apparently this doesn't happen often. They went to call my doctor to see if they could switch me to an induction for that day but he wanted to deliver me and wouldn't be on call at the hospital until Friday so they discharged me and booked my induction for Thurday at 11pm. It was surreal being discharged from the OR and leaving the hospital that day still pregnant. Clark and I went to a diner for breakfast and couldn't believe she had flipped.
(Last dinner as a family of 3!)
Those next 2 days felt so stressful because I was terrified she would flip back to breech. I tried to focus on spending time with Gavin and spent a lot of time walking with my mom to try and get labor going. On Thursday morning I started having contractions sporadically but nothing too strong. We enjoyed a dinner out with Gavin and my mom that night and then my contractions started picking up. We decided to leave an hour early for my induction since the contractions were getting a little closer. One perk with having an induction scheduled was I got to skip the triage room and go right up to L&D. They hooked me up to the IV and said they were starting pitocin since I was already contracting and at 3cm. I learned my lesson with Gavin, and requested the epidural right away. The doctor on call came in around midnight and said my doctor would come in around 7 am and break my water.
Around midnight, my epidural had kicked in and Clark and I tried to get some sleep. A few hours later, I woke up to a huge gush and then the most intense pressure I've ever felt. I screamed at Clark to get the nurse because I felt like the baby was coming out. The nurse came and could see her head and rushed to get the doctor. 2 pushes later and Payton Elizabeth Griffiths was born at 4:45 am. She weighed 7lbs 12 oz and was adorable. We were instantly in love with her.
While I was in my blissful state with my new daughter I wasn't even paying attention to what the doctor was doing. 20 minutes later, the doctor said we've got a little problem, your placenta is stuck. He said we're going to have to reach in and pull it out. WHAT??!! WONDERFUL! So they cranked up my epidural again and tried to get it out with no luck. He then told the nurse to page the doctor with the smallest hands. AGAIN...WONDERFUL. At this point nothing seemed off limits and I just laughed. It must have been fate, because in walks the same resident who did my ECV and was the one to discover Payton had flipped before the C-Section. She remembered us and was so kind and successfully got the placenta out...bless her small hands. I'm so grateful to her because otherwise they would have had to open me up for surgery to remove the placenta.
Once the placenta was out, they stitched up the small tear I had (nothing compared to my big ol forceps firstborn!) and we went up to the postpartum ward. I felt so much better healing wise by the next day that we decided to get discharged early and head home. It was St. Patricks Day in Chicago on a warm Saturday and my hospital is downtown so it was NUTS leaving with the baby. I told my husband as we're driving on Lakeshore that I couldn't wait to get home and shower without the IV. As I was saying it, I realized I still had the IV port in my arm under my sweater. They had discharged me with it still in my arm! I freaked out because I didn't want to go back but I also really didn't want to pull it out on my own. We decided to go back and go to triage and the nurses were appalled when they realized what happened! I felt a little bad for my discharge nurse because I'm sure she got in trouble! They took me back to a room and removed it and I was back on my way home with our girl!
Payton's birth story is much like her personality...a wild ride that always keeps you on your toes!