I am so THRILLED for you, it sounds like it went wonderfully, despite the worries about you going postdates. Congratulations to you and the whole family
Congratulations Lorna! She is beautiful! I can't wait to read the birth story!!
Chase-13, Trey-11, Layton-9, Zander-5, McKay-3, Declan-1, Keely born 9/6/2012
She is just beautiful! Congrats
Ok, here it is! Very long and extremely detailed, but I just wanted to get it posted so I didn't shorten it any. So I apologize in advance for the detail!
At my appointment on 9/2, Jessica stripped my membranes (it was about 11:30am). We wanted to avoid an induction, and since I was 41w4d, this was our best bet to get labor started (besides just waiting). I thought it would hurt, but I barely felt anything. When she started I was about 3.5cm dilated, and I was a 4 when she finished. She told me that because it didn’t hurt, she was worried that it might not work. I thought that didn’t really matter because people feel things differently. I kept positive thoughts in my head that it would work.
Jessica told me to walk and do things that would move things along. I had to get home to the girls, so I couldn’t really walk anywhere – then it was lunchtime, then naptime. I used my breast pump for nipple stimulation, and that brought on a few contractions. When the girls woke up, we went on a little walk around our neighborhood. Jonny got home a little after 6, and I was in the backyard talking with our neighbor. Our kids played together while we all talked, and while we were talking my lower back started to feel uncomfortable – like how it feels when I’m on my period. I started to feel a little crampy after that, too. We left at about 7pm to get some dinner and then walk around Wal-Mart. On our way to Chick-Fil-A (yum!) I had a contraction that I knew was different. I had one or two more on the way there, so instead of going inside we decided to go through the drive-thru. I called my doula (Rachel) and she said that we’d check in with each other in about an hour. We got our food, went back by our house to grab a few things, then headed up to my in-law’s house. I was still having contractions here and there, but nothing consistent. I had an extremely soft BM, along with a pretty strong contraction (at that time). We put the girls down there then went on a walk. When we were out, my BIL and SIL drove by and invited us to go to Wal-Mart with them. It was kinda chilly outside and Wal-Mart was much more interesting than the dark neighborhood, so we went. This was about 9pm.
At Wal-Mart I started to have good contractions, some of which I had to stop walking and lean over the cart. We got back to my in-law’s house around 10pm, I had another BM, and I decided that we needed to go home. Things were progressing now and I wanted to be home. We got home, I timed a few contractions. They were about 45 seconds long and about 4 minutes apart. I called Rachel (10:37pm) to let her know and she said to call her when I felt like I needed her. They weren’t strong enough where I had to completely concentrate or do my ritual (“Ohm”), so I didn’t ask her to come yet. We also called the midwife on call (Claudia) to give her a heads up. An hour later (11:32pm), I had a couple of contractions and I knew we were getting close. Rachel got here a little after midnight. We just talked for a while and then I had a contraction where I needed counterpressure on my lower back (I knew I would, based on how things went with the girls’ labors, it was just a matter of time). I liked to stand and lean over the side of our couch while Rachel gave me counterpressure. I moved a little while later to leaning over my birth ball. I had also started my moaning ritual by now. I was really worried about getting to the hospital too late. With Hannah, I got to the hospital and was 6-7cm dilated, and I didn’t need the counterpressure until after we got into the room, so I knew I was further along than that. I knew what I would happen once I got to the hospital – the limited mobility while they got their 20 minute reading, the questions, and just the general discomfort of being in a hospital and not at home. So I was hesitant to go, but knew I needed to, and I didn’t want to wait too long because the longer I waited, the harder it would be for me to sit still during the monitoring. I worried about this for probably an hour, at least. Rachel didn’t think it was time for me to go, but reassured me that I knew my body and only I could make that call. She said she didn’t hear the desperation in my voice during the contractions, but also said I could just be handling them really well. At about 1:15am (9/3) I decided it was time to go. We called Claudia to tell her we were on our way then hopped (more like hobbled very slowly) into the car.
The hospital was an extremely long drive – a whole 3 minutes! We had to drive across railroad tracks and I, quite inconveniently, was in a contraction at that time – very uncomfortable!! Jonny dropped me off then parked the car, and of course I had a contraction then. I leaned against a pillar outside, and Rachel came running up to give me counterpressure! I love her. We walked in, the security guard said with a smile “It’s that time, huh? Take the elevator to the 3rd floor.” We did, and as we got to the third floor I had another contraction. Jonny walked out of the elevator and left us inside. The doors started to close, Rachel tried to open them with the button (turns out she was pressing the “close” instead of the “open”) but Jonny stopped the doors just before they closed. Just a little bit of “Daddy’s Absent Brain” humor. We talked to the nurse at the nurse’s station – she got us all checked in (asking me questions while I was contracting…so thoughtful – but Jonny answered them), and they didn’t even take me to triage. They took me straight to room 7. On our way, the nurse said “Oh you’re the one Claudia was talking about! She said you’re going to come in here and be a 9!” Me: “I sure hope so!” So I stripped from the waist down, they put the monitor on me (just the baby one, not the contraction one) and my nurse (Kimmy) checked me. I was an 8! Claudia came in just a few minutes later and joked that she was 1cm off. She asked if I had a birth plan she should look at. I said no – that it was just the standard plan. Kimmy said “Oh, I think we all know the plan!” I’m not really sure how she meant that. Claudia asked Jonny if he wanted to catch the baby. We had talked about that but he hadn’t decided so far. He said no, that he would cut the cord, though. Anyway, the baby’s heartrate wasn’t really cooperating how they wanted it to. They like to see accelerations and decelerations, but hers was completely flat at 140 or something. It looked great, actually! I didn’t really want the monitor on me, but it also wasn’t bothering me too much. I just wanted to be off of the bed. But Claudia just wanted to follow hospital protocol so we kept it on (which was fine with me). I put my “birthing outfit” on that I made (a sports bra and wrap skirt made of spandex-y/bathing suit material) and everyone thought it was so cute! Kimmy came up to Claudia and said that she wasn’t going to do an IV. Claudia said (half laughing) that it was fine with her! I asked her if they normally have to do an IV. I guess that the main OB recently passed some policy that everyone had to have an IV. Claudia then said that any nurse should be able to do an emergency IV, so she wasn’t worried about it.
So I labored over the back of the bed for a while, then turned around so they could do the knee press with me sitting on the bed. Claudia and Rachel constantly told me how awesome I was doing, which was extremely helpful – especially because the contractions were VERY intense. After a while I started to feel different. I didn’t feel necessarily feel pushy, but I felt like bearing down a little. Plus, I knew that that would allow a place for my energy to go. So I bore down a bit – and how good that felt! I was a little scared, though, of pushing too soon. I knew the possible consequences of pushing before I was fully dilated, so I had Claudia check me. As soon as she started, she said “Oh hello baby!” Apparently, baby was very low! She said I was a 9, but my cervix melted under her fingers, and that it was just fine to go ahead and push. I pushed mildly with a couple of contractions, and had a few rest periods in between. Claudia and Kimmy picked up their pace. They turned the sink on to warm up the water (it takes FOREVER to warm up) because they didn’t have ANY warm compresses! I got into my pushing position (half-sitting/half-squatting on the edge of the bed with the lower part dropped). Claudia said something about my perineum and I told her that I’ve never torn there, but I tore both previous time on my labia, and showed her where. She said that she would make sure to keep the baby’s head flexed to lessen my chances of tearing there again. She checked me again and said I had a small anterior lip, but she just pushed that right over the baby’s head and I was good to go! I felt like I had to pee, so I warned them that I might pee. Of course, they didn’t care…they just laughed. Then I had a contraction with the strongest pushing urge yet. I pushed and couldn’t stop because the urge was so strong! I peed a little bit and then my water broke and squirted a little bit (kinda made me laugh). She started to crown and Claudia told me to go slow, then stop so that I would stretch and she could keep baby’s head flexed. It hurt a lot, but I just breathed through the stretching and the pushing urge because I trusted Claudia. It seemed like it took forever, but her head finally came out – which felt amazingly relieving! Then Claudia said “reach down and pull up your baby!” I really hadn’t planned on doing that, but she told me to so I did it! I reached down just as her body was coming out and pulled her up to my chest. It was so amazing!!! I kept saying “oh my goodness!” or something like that because it was so unreal! Kimmy let me know that I had to keep her more on my chest because I didn’t have very much cord. Kimmy said that the baby needed to pink up just a little more so we needed to keep her crying. After a while, Jonny cut the cord. The placenta came out shortly after with no problem. I think I asked Claudia how I did (tearing-wise) and she said she wasn’t sure. She had a look on her face that scared me, though. She checked me out and said that I only had the teeny tiniest skid mark inside that didn’t need any attention! Phew! Claudia, Rachel and Kimmy were all saying how she didn’t look anything like a post-term baby, and the placenta didn’t have any signs of post-term, either. Very odd, because I know I’m positive on my dates. She just needed to bake longer!
After a little while, Kimmy politely asked to weigh her and measure her. I reluctantly gave her up for that short while. She weighed 7 lbs 7.7 oz (rounded up to 7 lbs 8 oz) and was 19.5” long. Her apgars were 8 and 9. She was born at 2:46am. (To give you an idea of how quick things happened, my water broke at 2:45am! So everything happened in just 1 minute!) I was bleeding some, which I assumed I would – as I did before. Kimmy suggested having baby nurse to try and contract my uterus and slow the bleeding. So I nursed her for a while. She latched on fairly well. Kimmy came back a little while later to check my bleeding. She said it was a lot better but still suggested a shot of Pitocin or Methergine. I knew I could say no, and I had planned to not have it, but at that moment I thought it better to prevent than to bleed a lot. So I chose Pitocin. After that, we just hung out in the room. Claudia cleaned up all the pads and everyone commented how clean of a birth it was! Kimmy later said that it was the cleanest birth she’s ever attended! And Rachel said she usually ends up covered in fluid from the water breaking…or something like that. Impressive! I wanted to go down to the nursery all together, and Kimmy didn’t rush us at all or have Jonny pack up and go (like they did with DD2). All she said was that they liked to have us down there no more than 2 hours after the baby was born. So at about 4:15, we started to pack up and head down. I cleaned up (which was a new experience for Jonny, since he had always been gone during that part), and we headed down to Mother/Baby. As Kimmy wheeled me past the nurse’s station she said “here are some people who didn’t even know that you were here!”
Jonny and baby went to the nursery and Rachel and I stayed in the room. We chatted and I ate my little box lunch they gave me, then she left to go home. Jonny came back shortly after and said “how about Kathryn Grace?” My first thought was “yes!” but I still wasn’t quite sure. I needed time for it to sit. We slept (as much as we could with a newborn and people barging in), then called our families. Jonny’s parents came a little after 8 and his brother and wife came with the girls shortly after that. Lily and Hannah were so excited to meet their baby sister! Hannah didn’t really get it, but Lily totally understood that ‘baby sister came out of mommy’s tummy.” Jonny had to go home with the girls to find someone to watch them (not what I needed right then), so we talked on the phone around lunchtime and decided that we would name her Kathryn Grace, and call her Kate for short.
We went home on Saturday morning and I felt amazing! My bleeding was so light compared to how much I did with the girls. I did ask for some Motrin in the hospital because the ‘afterpains’ were so intense! I would have them even when I wasn’t nursing – I remember having a few when I was trying to sleep! But the Motrin helped that quite a bit.
I didn’t know Claudia very well, but she was amazing!! She was very trustworthy, relaxed and trusted me. This made me much more confident in myself and my birthing abilities. It was an amazing experience and a wonderful hospital birth!
TFS, what a great natural hospital birth. It's so nice to know they're possible. Congrats!
Thank you for sharing. What an amazing birth story. It is so great to hear of supportive nurses and staff. Congrats on your new little one and her name is beautiful.
TFS your story! It does seem that a supportive nurse makes a huge difference in a hospital birth (I know mine did, too!)
What a great birth story Lorna! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Chase-13, Trey-11, Layton-9, Zander-5, McKay-3, Declan-1, Keely born 9/6/2012