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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dakota Lee: the birth story

Our precious Little Lady blessed us with her presence not a moment too soon on December 31st, 2011.
Here is how she came into this world.

Insurance prologue.

Don't you love insurance? Ugh. 
Okay, so listen to this nightmare: in an effort to achieve optimum efficiency in the healthcare world, Chad's company switched up EVERYTHING for the upcoming year {2012}. Everything. So no longer would our convenient, beautiful, easy-to-understand United Healthcare be available to us, but rather a ridiculous, account based insurance, one which would be awesome under normal circumstances, but not awesome when it comes to hospital stays. Basically, had we of gone with the account based insurance, we would have had to pay for our entire hospital stay OUT OF POCKET. Um, no. 

Carter's hospital bill had come out to over $15,000 pre-insurance paying for almost every dime, and even though I was induced, it was as text book as text book can get...aka, there were no complications, no extenuating circumstances, nothing over-the-top. So when we were considering the possible complications that could occur during child birth {c-sections, etc. etc. etc.}, it just seemed like too big of a risk to take. SO WE WENT WITH KAISER, and my due date was January 7th.


So here was the deal: if I went into labor ON or BEFORE December 31st, I would be able to deliver at St. Jude's, where I would be with my doctor and where I had a wonderful experience when Carter joined us. BUT {!!} if I delivered ON or POST January 1st, it was Kaiser bound for us! Now, I really have nothing against Kaiser, and I have actually heard many a-good thing about the new facilities etc. etc. etc., but to deliver with some group I had NEVER MET, and to be COMPLETELY unfamiliar with various hospital policies and so forth.....not ideal. Not at all, in fact.

However, the fear factor of delivering at some unknown location had not hit me until a few days before Christmas. When we chose Kaiser, I genuinely was not worried. I thought, "Listen, you've had one great delivery, what makes you think #2 will be any different?" Well, turns out that when you're post-37 weeks pregnant, uncomfortable and emotional as all hell, you start to change your mind about such things. Turns out, pregnant women actually like to deliver with their doctors. Hmm.

And here is where our story really begins.
It was Wednesday, December 28th, and Chad, Carter and I were sitting in my doctor's office waiting to be seen. There I was, emotional as all heck, hoping against hope to be dilated A LITTLE BIT, so maybe he wouldn't mind stripping my membranes and sending me into labor right then and there. I felt humongous and did not think it was humanly possible to feel any more uncomfortable than I was at that moment. Poor Chad cautiously said, "Are you ready for any outcome?," meaning, "Are you ready for him to tell you that you're not dilated whatsoever, therefore you will certainly NOT be delivering at St. Jude's, like you want, because you were not dilated AT ALL with Carter, even at 41 weeks?" 

After I answered YES in the most shakily of ways, the good doc. showed up. "Hmm, no you're still not dilated, but do you mind if I strip your membranes?" UH, GO RIGHT AHEAD THERE, DR. B! But holy moly, ouch. I'm fairly certain Carter is scarred for life after witnessing my horrendous facial expressions while enduring said stripping. "Okay, Nicole, I'm going to have you come in one more time on the 30th to see if that did anything for you, and if you dilate, perhaps we can induce on the 31st." Okay, some hope!

So back in the car we piled, home bound. Me, close to tears, or maybe I was crying, I can't remember; Chad, feeling low. Sheesh, it was the worst. I was so stressed out and just wanted to have my baby where I felt comfortable! What was wrong with that, insurance people? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT, YOU EVIL CLOWNS?! 

Anyway, between said doctor's appointments, I tried to put a happy spin on the situation by cherishing the last {hopefully, last} few days with my only Big Boy, but I was just so uncomfortable. Every once in awhile it would occur to me that we still didn't know what the sex of Babe #2 was, and that would get me excited, but then I would revert back to PLEASE-JUST-LET-ME-DILATE land. Oy.

ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA! Chad and I practically skipped out to our car and sang show tunes all the way home. YES! We were scheduled to have our perfect little Babe #2, IN 2011, WITH our doctor, AT St. Jude! The heavens had opened up and all was back on track.

So that night we cleaned, we organized, we drank Martinelli's in celebration, we were exuberant. Positively sprightly. In less than 24 hours we would know the sex of our baby, Carter would be a Big Brother, and the nightmare known as "rolling over in the middle of the night" would end. Any lingering thoughts of "Oh, but that would be nice to go into natural labor," had left me. Cheers all around!

The AM came and Chad set off for the kitchen to make a feast fit for champions {one last "I Love You" to our Big Man}, and Uncle Todd was sitting on the couch ready to babysit. We calmly made the drive to St. Jude's, where I quickly suited up, met our nurse for the day {who informed us that we should have a baby by 4:00 pm}, and started the Pitocin. Life was good. Now I just needed to sit here, watch funky movies with Chadly and dilate away. This should take no more than a few hours.....

WRONG. I looked at the clock around 11:30 and told Chad, "You know what's weird? I haven't felt one contraction, but according to the monitors, I'm contracting. I don't even have an epidural yet." Hmm. He agreed that the situation was quite odd and we continued to watch Pretty Woman. 1:00 rolls around. "Babe, seriously, I wonder when they're going to check me to see if I've made any progress. I still haven't felt one regular contraction. Also, I wonder if they're ever just going to break my water. Isn't it weird that they haven't done that yet??"
4:00. Okay....where's my baby? Where's my gosh darn doctor? Why haven't they checked me? Why haven't I felt any regular contractions? Hello??! My water STILL has not been broken! What the hell? FINALLY my nurse meanders on in and decides that it would be a good time to check on the ole' dilation front. 

"Hmm, okay you're at 1.5, but that's okay, I'll break your water." THAT'S "OKAY?!!" 1.5??!!! What the heck had we been doing all day?? I literally could have watched paint dry faster! 1.5?? Seriously??!! Okay, gone was my relaxed 'tude. This was my second baby! Shouldn't I have delivered at like, 11:30 am? Apparently, the baby still had not dropped yet {with #2, the baby doesn't drop until actual labor}. THAT'S what we were waiting for. They told me that since we were starting from nothing, this is what happens. She just had not dropped down enough to dilate me further. Ay yi yi. Where had my quick birth story gone?  

Not even 5 minutes after that horrible news, my brother and sister came to visit. Those poor Paplia's....I was not in a chipper mood. So they went to get food and just went home, because CLEARLY there was no hope of a baby ANY time soon. Peace out, siblings, I envied your nonchalant attitudes.

7:00. My mom comes on in to visit me and Chad went out to the waiting room to hang with his parents. All of a sudden my speech stopped working. Literally. I could not speak. I would think something in my head, but I could not say the words. I wanted "ice chips," but could only point. My mom got worried and so did I, but it was so awkward I couldn't help but laugh over my muteness. Maybe I had hit the wall? So the nurse came in to check me out, and miraculously, I was healed. Who knows what that was all about, but I seriously think it could be likened to this, because then........

.....the migraine set in. Great. I'm hypoglycemic, so if I don't eat after several hours I have to resign myself over to excruciating pain. Okay, enough of this. Even though I still hadn't felt ANY regular contractions, despite breaking my water, I decided to get the epidural. My reasoning was that if I EVER was going to actually feel the pain of labor, I simply could not handle it if I had to also contend with a migraine. 

So in came the anesthesiologist, and with him, heaven. Seriously, I don't think I could EVER have a baby naturally. E.V.E.R. Judge me, I don't care! Who could do that??!! Anyway, that got rid of my would-be migraine, and coziness set in. At this point it was 9:00, and my new nurse advised me to get some rest so so hopefully I would dilate.
Ridiculously annoyed, and slightly defeated, I gave in. Sayonara, my 2011 baby. Sayonara my almost-exactly-two-years-apart children. Isn't it funny how hung up on certain things pregnant women can get? I wanted my baby to be a 2011 munchkin SO BADLY because in my head it sounded more awesome that I had one bambino in 2009, and another in 2011. 2009 and 2012, apparently, was just too far apart according to my pregnant, hormonal mind. But  anyway, at this point, I had just given up on my two-year gap dreams.

I "woke up" from my semi-sleep around 11:00ish, and realized that it was almost 2012 and Chad's mom was still in the waiting room all by herself!! After Chadly brought her in the room with us to hang out and watch the ball drop, my blessed nurse made an appearance and said that she saw some head compressions on her monitor, so she was GOING TO CHECK ME! Woo!

11:05. "Okay, you're at a 3, so we should have a baby by 7:00 in the morning!" Ahh, progress! Yes, she predicted many more hours of bed-lying, but hey! At least I dilated and the little munchkin was well on her way.

11:25. "I'm going to check you one more time...." said the angel that was my nurse! "Oh my gosh, you're at 5!" Say what?!! I had dilated two more centimeters in 20 minutes! Heck yeah! So Chad, my mother-in-law and I continued our conversation, but slightly more excited.

11:45. "Let's see....I'm just going to get the room all set up here.....Oh, and this is your baby nurse.....Let me check you again...." Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah! We were getting things ready?? The baby nurse?? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!

"YOU'RE READY TO GO! I'm going to go get the doctor, I'll be right back!" WHAT????!!!! Ready to go?? I had dilated 5 more centimeters in 20 minutes!!!! Unbelievable! After a big hug from my mother-in-law, she left the room and just as quickly the doctor came in.

Dr. Sue {the one on call}: Have you guys done any practice pushes, yet?
Nurse: No, but her baby is right there.
Me: Oh my gosh, I can't stop shaking!
Nurse: Okay, Nicole, now give a really hard push as soon as Dr. Sue tells you!
Me: Babe, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!
Dr. Sue: Okay, here we go! {VERY few pushes later.....} WHAT IS IT, DADDY?!
Chad: {hesitating because he thought she was a boy..} Oh my gosh! She's a girl!
The entire delivery room: SHE'S A GIRL! SHE'S A GIRL!
Me: Oh my gosh, a girl! Look at her dark hair!
Dr. Sue: Birth time: 11:56!
Me: Babe! We had her in 2011! Oh my gosh!
Baby nurse: She's 6 lbs. 13 ozs! Tiny little lady!

What?? I had just had a 6 lb., 13 oz little GIRL with DARK HAIR??!! I had had Carter after an hour and 10 minutes of pushing, he was 8 lbs., 7 ozs, and had been as white as a snow man! They were COMPLETE OPPOSITES! How had that all had happened in a matter of a few minutes?!
I was in some major shock. My brain literally could not process the information! Here is what I knew for sure: a) she was BEAUTIFUL, b) Chad now had a little girl, c) I was ABSOLUTELY starving and d) I needed some juice. So while Chad held her little hand as they cleaned and checked her, I ate two slices of pizza and guzzled down a HUGE pitcher of apple juice.

Feeling ridiculously fabulous {Someone had just pushed a baby out? Who? Where?!}, everyone left the three of us alone. Heaven, heaven, heaven, heaven, heaven. I sent Chad out to tell his mom that she FINALLY had a GIRL GRANDBABY, heard her SCREAM with joy, and then the three of us resumed our "us" time. Pure delight.

After our blessed hour to ourselves, the cramping set in. How come no one tells you that with each additional baby, the afterbirth pain meter rises exponentially?? OUCH, holy moly, OUCH. Anyway, that is a post for another day.

And that is how our precious Little Princess came to join us!

And since we can't forget about this guy....
I was dying of laughter when looking at these!
My little munchkin didn't want to be left out!



  1. I love reading birth stories and yours was kinda funny. Thanks for sharing. She's beautiful!

  2. That was so close.....what would have happened if she was born in 2012.....ins. wise.
    My granddaughter, Mabelwas born on Dec. 31st. My DIL asked for a c-section after her first child being born naturally. The doctor said okay....can you believe that. Anyway, cute story and cute little ones.

  3. oh my gosh! What an awesome ending to your birth story!!! WOW!!

  4. I also have a little one born on Dec. 31st, 2007. It is such a special day to have a birthday! Congrats, she is absolutely beautiful! and big brother is handsome!!!

  5. Wow! What a great birth story. The insurance thing is a nightmare, I'm glad you got the 2011 baby and insurance. :)

    I have 6 kids. #1-4 natural, no epidural. #5 perfect epidural. #6 epidural sucked, I had to get it twice and it kicked in as soon as it was time to push! It was horrible.

    My last 2 was like you, I had dilated 5 centimeters within 5 minutes. My babies were just literally flying out of me by #4-6. Hahaha!

    Congratulations again! Your little man is so darn cute in that basket. :)

  6. So proud of you Nicole! She is absolutely amazing and I'm literally eating up those precious pictures!!!! Please please post more! Good job Mama!

  7. Ahhhh she is beautiful! What a great story you shared, it was so fun to read! Good job, and congrats!! {im so happy you had in in 2011} YAY!!

  8. awesome story LOL So glad you had her in 2011 like you wanted. Shes beautiful!

  9. She is absolutely gorgeous! Great job, momma!

  10. awww! i love baby stories! Thanks for sharing! & Congratulations!

  11. Nicole both of your kids are BEAUTIFUL! Im so so so happy for you and your gorgeous family!


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