Jocelyn's birth story

Of course, this really started last father's day (2006.06.18) when we found out Tiffany was pregnant, but we're going to skip ahead to the birth part.

Early morning (01:30ish) Sunday, February 25th, Tiffany thought her water broke. We called the on-call doctor (Dr. Benanatti) who said we could come in if we wanted so they could check things out, but we weren't really sure yet so we waited. Throughout the night Tiff had a couple more "incidents" so we called in again around 08:30, and the doctor told us to just go ahead and come in to the hospital, so we got stuff packed up (just in case they admitted us) and headed in to Chambersburg Hospital.

Once there the nurse listened to Tiff's "symptoms" (they're not really symptoms since she's not sick) and stuck us in a birthing/delivery room instead of the observation room. After being there and talking with the doctor a couple times we decided to go ahead with an induction since the weather was turning ugly (snow storm w/ 2-4 inches of snow predicted) and we weren't exactly sure if her water broke or not. Tiffany was already about 1-2cm dialated, about 50% effaced, and the baby's head had been in position for about a month, so we hoped things would progress well. Since Tiffany was being admitted we made some calls to family, friends, and work to let everyone know we would be having a baby within a day or so, and let Chrissy (Tiffany's sister) know to come in around 07:00 the next day since Tiffany's mother wouldn't be available (her parents were on a cruise and weren't expected back until midnight Wednesday).

The first day we had a couple nurses who were all very nice and helpful in explaining to us what was going to happen. They started Tiffany on Cervadil (a cervix ripening (softening) medicine that needs to be in for 12 hours) around 14:45 so we spent the rest of they day trying to keep Tiffany comfortable.

That night our nurse was Erin and she was incredibly helpful and sympathetic in helping Tiff stay comfortable throughout the cramping caused by the Cervadil. She was in at least every hour to check on the Tiffany and readjust the fetal heartrate monitor. The midwife (Darlanna) removed the Cervadil around 03:00 Monday (February 26th) and Tiff was able to sleep a couple hours until early morning.

The next morning Darlanna came in to start Tiffany on pitocin around 06:45. She also offered the alternative of breaking Tiff's amniotic fluid sac to try to bring on stronger contractions, so we went for this first. When she did this she saw merconium (the baby's first bowel movement) in the fluid, so we wouldn't have a lot of time to get labor going before they started the pitocin.

Our nurse for Monday was Nichole - she was extremely helpful in answering our questions about what was going on, what we could expect throughout the day, and generally just taking care of Tiffany. The pitocin was started around 09:00 and things progressed fairly rapidly after that. Tiff was trying to have a completely natural birth (meaning no drugs), but the contractions were becoming too intense too quickly for her to adjust to them. The final blow that pushed her over her pain threshold was when they tried to insert an internal contraction monitoring device; this had to be pushed past the baby's head which was firmly applied to Tiffany's cervix by this point. Tiffany chose to try the IV narcotic (she was given Stadol) around 12:00 so that the pain would be more manageable but she would still be able to be in full control.

Luckily the Stadol gave Tiffany enough relief that she was able to sleep for about an hour. Unfortunately the contractions continued to get much stronger (of course, the rate the pitocin is administered is constantly being increased) and she started to get waves of nausea and dry heaves; probably caused by a combination of the pain from the contractions and the Stadol. She decided to get an epidural around 13:00. Darlanna decided to attach an internal fetal heartrate monitoring device to the top of the baby's scalp so they could more accurately monitor the baby's heartrate; luckily this doesn't have to go past the baby's head so there was much less discomfort involved. The epidural was administered around 14:00 (enough time had to pass to pump about 750cc of flud into Tiffany and the anesthesiologist had to arrive). This allowed Tiffany to go to sleep again, and Chrissy and I went outside to let people know that things were be progressing but not to rush in yet. We also called Matt (Tiffany's brother) to pick us up some food from McDonald's so we wouldn't be starving by the time it was time to deliver.

I came back up the maternity ward around 14:30 and Chrissy waited outside the ward for Matt to bring our food. Walking past the nurses station I overheard Nichole talking to another nurse about how someone was 8-9cm dialated. I thought, "That's nice; someone will be having a baby soon." When I was almost by the station Nichole spotted me and ran up to me and said "Tiffany is 8-9cm dialiated! I'm going to go scarf down the rest of my lunch and we're going to be delivering soon!" I ran in to check on Tiffany, then ran back out to get Chrissy in. We started delivery around 14:45, but unfortunately Matt also showed up with our food around the same time! He poked his head through the curtain and was probably a little suprised to see his sister like that ;-). Chrissy took care of Matt, and after about 20 minutes of pushing a baby girl was born! The official birthtime was 15:06, but I had apparently read 15:15 somewhere so that's what most documents say.

Tiffany had pretty bad internal tearing and bleeding so the midwife and nurses were very happy she had the epidural. Surprisingly, the epidural had become occluded (blocked) at the beginning of delivery, so it was starting to wear off by the time she was being stitched up but was still in enough effect during deliver that she was able to feel when to push but not feel pain. Both Darlanna and Dr. Benanatti helped with stitching Tiffany up for about an hour, and we were then left alone with Jocelyn. It was an extremly exciting and tiring process, but we were so happy to finally know what our baby's name was (we knew the names, but didn't know the gender).

That night we had another nice nurse named Monica that helped Tiffany a lot; she wasn't able to get out of bed due to the bleeding and lightheadedness and she was very understanding of her situation.

The next two days our nurse's name was also Tiffany and she helped show us everything we needed to know to get along over the next couple days with the baby. She was also extremely helpful in showing Tiffany (my wife) how to breast feed.

We finally got home Wednesday, February 28th around 19:00, but not before Tiffany could develop a double ear infection from being off her allergy medicine for 5 days. Despite that, we were just extremly happy and relieved to finally be home with our daughter, Jocelyn.