It's a.....................GIRL!! Her name is Catherine Jane and she arrived last night at 11:09pm after about 24 hours of labor She weighes in at 6lbs, 4oz and 19 inches long. We are ecstatic and in love with our little girl.
Labor went very well and our birth plan was followed perfectly.
We check out of the hospital tomorrow so birth story and pics to follow..
It was Monday night, August 11, and I was 37 weeks & 3 days pregnant. Our little one was not due until the end of the month. DH and I had crashed around 10. I woke up at 10:45 to a “pop” and a slight trickle down below. I went to bathroom and saw some blood. Since I haven’t bled at all during this pregnancy, I figured something was up. I actually thought my water had broken and I had a slow leak. Later I found this was not the case but labor was still beginning.
I woke up DH and called our doula to give her a heads up that I could be going into labor. Then I called my OB’s office. The on-call doc advised me to go straight to the hospital. Since I wasn’t having any contractions and could feel the baby moving, I ignored his advice and stayed home. I didn’t want to get there and then have pitocin pushed on me. They never called to see where I was so I guess they figured they’d leave me alone
At this point, I was awake and couldn’t sleep. We didn’t have bags packed; the car seat was not installed; and DH & I were still working and hadn’t transitioned our responsibilities. We were completely unprepared for an early arrival. All along I had been absolutely convinced that our babe would show up well after her due date. Just goes to show that the old saying about the best laid plans is too true! To be honest, I was freaking out a bit. We hadn’t even finished our Lamaze classes!!!!
I puttered around, packing for a couple hours, and then tried to sleep for a bit since I knew I’d need my energy. Around 5am Tuesday morning, DH got up because he had to run to the office to grab some work stuff and tie up some loose ends. Contractions started at 5:30am. I emailed my manager to let her know that I would NOT be working that day. I finished packing and DH got home by 7.
The contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart but pretty easy. I remember thinking, “Hey, this labor thing is not so bad!” Such naivete! I called C (our doula) to have her meet us at our house. So from 7am until about 12, contractions picked up in intensity but spaced out to nearly 10 minutes. I was a little frustrated so I sent C home – who knew how long this was going to last?
DH popped in a DVD – PCU – a 90s classic I dozed and had contractions through the movie. After the movie, DH suggested I hop in the tub to relax as the contractions were coming faster and stronger. I labored in the tub for about 45 minutes. During that time, the contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes again. I was definitely in active labor at this point. I told DH to call C back and have her come to the house. About 20 minutes later, (it was around 4pm, I think) I told DH to call C and have her meet us at the hospital! But she was nearly at the house so we waited on her. Poor DH, I kept saying “We need to leave for the hospital now” but he was not grasping the urgency of the situation! I think he was still in shock that I was in labor. Thanks goodness for C. She got him moving.
So the car ride to the hospital…it sucked. I was in the back seat draped over an exercise ball and having intense contractions every few minutes. It‘s about 15-20 minutes from our house to the hospital but my darling husband took a wrong turn and added a few minutes to the ride. I was shouting directions in between contractions. I did contemplate hitting him at that point….
DH pulls up the front door, lets me out and pulls around to park. As I’m walking up the steps, I get hit with a massive contraction and felt a rush of water. Oh crap, so that’s what it feels like when you’re water breaks. DH walks me through the lobby, to the elevators and up to L&D, while water is gushing from me. I swear, it seemed like gallons of water were coming out of my body. I made a grand entrance into L&D Nurses surrounded me, plopped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me directly into a room. No triage for me. I left a trail of water through the 8th floor! It was around 5:30 at that point.
Once my water broke, the contractions significantly increased in intensity and speed. We had asked for and were given a wonderful nurse with NCB experience. She checked me and my heart sank when I measure only 4 cm. It hurts this bad and I’m only 4cm?? I tried to forget I heard that and concentrate on one contraction at a time.
I also escaped the IV/heplock thanks to DH. He redeemed himself after the wrong turn. My water breaking in such dramatic fashion really threw me off my rhythm and I had started to panic a bit. He asked the nurse to delay the heplock by 15 minutes so I could refocus. Well, the nurse said ok and then never tried to give me an IV for the rest of labor.
I was laboring by standing and leaning over the bed for about an hour. C suggested that we try the tub. Previously, I had said no to the hospital tub because the thought of germs grossed me out; however, I didn’t care now! We slowly made our way into the bathroom and into the tub. I labored in the tub for about 1.5 hours according to DH. Contractions were very, very hard and fast. It was almost surreal – I’d fall asleep for the minute or 2 between contractions.
After being in the tub for a time, I lost it and asked for an epidural. In my mind, I was still 4cm and couldn’t fathom making it all the way to 10 with this much pain. I completely doubted my ability to make it. In hindsight, I can see I was in transition. C was wonderful. She suggested that we wait it out for a few more contractions and then get checked. OK, I could agree to that. Getting out of the tub and back to the bed was a very slow process.
Poor DH was completely caught off guard by the messiness of labor. He expected blood and such at the actual time of birth but not leading up to it. Carrie told him to get used to it because there was gonna be lots more He really stepped up after that – I think he was feeling helpless and just didn’t know what to do.
Anyway, when I reached the bed, I could barely crawl up on it. I made it on my hands and knees. The nurse checked me. Lo and behold, I was 9.5 cm. Thank you God!!! She stretched me up to 10 which hurt like anything but I was ready to push. I had progressed from 4cm to nearly 10 in just 3 hours.
The nurse raised the bed so that I was sitting almost fully upright. DH had one leg and Carrie had the other. The nurse was at the foot of the bed and would hold the monitor on my belly during a contraction. She was great at coaching me through the pushing since I didn’t really know what to do.
Pushing was rough. It took me a while to figure out how to most effectively push through the contractions. DH was great though. He had ice water ready for me in between every contraction. My legs cramped up about 1 hour into it. Yikes, that hurt. The nurse pulled out something resembling stirrups so that I could fully rest and stretch out my legs.
All in all, I pushed 2 hours before I was declared “ready for the doctor”. Then I was told to stop pushing. What??!! That’s not an option at this point. Baby is coming out, folks! I think I said “Get the f*** doctor in here now!” and I don’t cuss
Finally, the doc arrives and gets himself all dressed up. I gave one last push and out came our baby! I thought my body was splitting in two…that was definitely the most pain I’ve ever experienced. I actually lost control of my leg and kicked one of the nurses. Oops
The doctor immediately put her on my belly. The cord was too short to make it up to my chest. DH announced, “It’s a girl!” since teh sex was a surprise. The baby nurse began checking her and the doctor waited until the cord stopped pulsing. Then he asked if DH wanted to cut the cord. Even though he said he wanted nothing to do with the cord cutting before the birth, DH did it. Then DH announced her name – Catherine Jane. It was 11:09pm and Catie was 6 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long.
I started breastfeeding after the cord was cut. No post-delivery pitocin. We declined the vitamin k and the eye drops and had absolutely no pushback from the hospital staff. We did sign waiver later on. I had some minor tearing and ended up with 2-3 stitches here and there but nothing major.
Apgars were 9 & 9; however, after about an hour or two, the baby nurse noted that her respiration was faster than it should be. Another nurse was brought in to check on her. They requested that Catie go to the nursery for evaluation as she was breathing 2 times faster than normal. DH and I agreed but it was tough to watch her go. At that point though, it was 2am and we were wiped. DH checked on her throughout the night and she was returned to us around 10am the next morning, all breathing issues resolved. Although she was given some formula in the nursery, we picked back up with the breastfeeding and haven’t had any problems.
All in all, I had a wonderful NCB in the hospital. All our requests were honored and I was treated with the dignity and respect throughout the birthing process. Would I go natural again? Yes, I think so. It was incredibly tough but I lived through it. Also I think an epidural or other pain medication could have made Catherine’s respiration issues worse so NCB was probably the best thing in my case.
My recovery has been amazingly easy and Catherine is doing wonderfully. I’ve had a challenging time with breastfeeding. Once my milk came in, I was hugely engorged and had to pump every other hour just to relieve the pain. But that seems to have subsided and Catie and I are settling into a feeding routine. I can’t say that I’m loving breastfeeding yet but hopefully, I’ll get there. I’m committed to it, just not thrilled to be doing it yet
Catie is the joy of my life. I still can't believe I have a daughter! I’m so happy to have her and already can’t imagine life without her. DH has been wonderful, taking care of both Catie and me. He’s so sweet and tender with her. It’s precious to watch.
Anyway, my due date is not until this Friday but I still have a 2-week old baby. Crazy