Birth Story for Phoebe Joy
Because of my high blood pressure and the protein in my urine, (which was present sometimes, but not every time) and my swelling, my doctor told me it would be a good idea if I were induced. She said that according to my fundal height, Phoebe was a bigger baby as it was and to wait until 40 weeks or to just go on my own could be risky, especially with all the signs of Preeclampsia. I went to labor and delivery and got induced (Missy went home to get our bags and the camera). That was at about 8am. Contractions started right away! They became about 5 minutes apart fast. But after 4 hours, my doctor checked me and I was only at 3cm and 60% effaced. She told me that she would need to break my waters to get the contractions stronger and so she did, and boy did they get stronger!! They became one right on top of another, and because of the pitocin, they were excruciatingly awful! I couldn’t bear it! I was delirious from pain and literally lost focus (Missy said I was writhing and gripping the bed frames so hard that my knuckles were white and that I was crying). I didn’t want an epidural because it was just so against my birth plan, which had already been broken as it was, but when I asked about some pain management, they said they could give me an injection of demorall(I think that’s what it was) but it would only last about 2 hours and at that point I was only at 4cm. So I tried to stick it out…..I lasted two hours! I just couldn’t do it, and those of you who did….I am so not worthy, I bow to you!! I got the epidural. I must say that I have absolutely no regrets and actually wish I had done in 2 hours earlier! I was in heaven! I was finally able to focus and actually enjoy my labor! Missy and I played cards, we watched Friends, and we laughed and talked about how we would soon have our baby. A couple hours later, I was at 6cm and my doctor said I was progressing just lovely. Phoebe’s heart rate was perfect the entire time through. By about 7:00 pm I was complete and baby was at +1 station! My doctor started preparing for me to push. At 7:15 I started pushing and at 7:37, Phoebe was on my chest! I was elated! It was such an emotional time. Missy was crying before she even came out, she started crying when seeing Phoebe crowning! When she was born, we just hugged and kissed and enjoyed our new daughter! I didn’t even rip or tear! It was more than I could have ever imagined, and despite all the intervention, I feel like I bonded perfectly with my daughter! I am very pleased with how everything turned out and I would not change one thing about it! Thank you all for reading, and following along my journey with me.
This was before the epi
This is when she came out
All cleaned up! We laughed when we saw my doctors get up...I thought it looked like a space suit! She needed it though, I sent "birth juice" flyin everywhere (sorry, tmi) lol
This is to show you all how much my dad warmed up to the thought of me having a baby (he was kind of weirded out my whole pregnancy) he is such a proud grandpa now....all he needed was to see her precious face.
Here is the proud big brother!!
Kaiden's Birth Story/Slideshow
Finally! My last little prince has arrived....This has been the longest 9 months of my life but soooo worth it!!!
We got to the hospital at 630am tuesday morning, October 14th. they immediately got me in a L&D room and started the saline drip. they started the pitocin around 8 i think...i got up to go to the bathroom around 855 because i started having some good contractions-well, i stood up and my water broke! so they got me back in the bed and checked me but i was only at 1 cm. i decided to go ahead and get my epidural thinking things might go quickly...well, after i got it i was having contractions every 2-3 minutes for about an hour but didn't feel anything of course! Kaiden's heartrate kept dipping down after my contractions, which the nurse didn't like. finally everything stopped for about 15-20 minutes...then they picked up again but his heartrate kept dropping. so at 11 the nurse called the dr and he was there within 15 minutes to do a c-section. it wasn't an emergency but i was still only at 1 cm and he was so high up-he didn't want to come out! so they wheeled me in and he was born at 11:51 am. 6 lbs and 13 ozs, 19 inches long. i was glad everything went so quickly but since my 1st two boys were vaginal deliveries i was a little scared going in but relieved at the same time. he got 8 & 9 for his apgars and i was in my room with him by 2.
he's the sweetest baby-all the nurses kept telling me he was the only one not crying in the nursery when he was in there. he just cries when i change his clothes-he hates that! he sleeps, poops and eats regularly! i really enjoyed spending 3 whole days with just him-i had visitors in and out and my hubby stayed the first night...but after that he spent most of the time at home w/my other 2 boys trying to keep their lives as normal as possible....they are both so proud of Kaiden and love him to death. It was just nice to spend each night with Kaiden sleeping in the bed next to me, having some alone time with him before coming home today. i don't know how i'm going to go back to work eventually...but i just won't think about it for now!!!
Peyton's birth experience!
**disclaimer: the following are the facts as best I remember them, but a lot of the times and exact numbers are guesstimates, I need to get this all checked over with my support people to verify for correctness. But, this is in a nutshell what happened. Sorry it's so long winded!**
At around 1:30am on Tuesday 10/14 I felt a pop inside of me. I honestly didn't recognize what it was and decided to go to bed. Around 5am I woke up and was feeling wet. i went to the bathroom and my water started just gushing out everywhere! I was too excited to go back to sleep so I started getting things ready to go, I was SURE that this was going to be the day my baby was born. If I had only known then what an arduous journey this was going to be then I think I would have tried to go back and rest some more. At 9am I went to my already scheduled accupuncture induction with my husband. I wasn't having any contractions yet so I figured that the accupuncture would help kick them in. After that we went over to Reunion (the birth center) just to get checked out and talk about what our plans would be. Janet and Polly my midwives had been up all night delivering another baby so they were running on not much sleep as it was. At that time I was 4cm dilated already, and could stretch to 5. Janet advised us to stick around that side of town, because this was my first birth we had no idea how slow or fast things would progress, but at that point I think we all assumed it would be either that day or early the next morning that Peyton would arrive. Matt and I went to the mall here in Kingwood and my sister met us up there and we walked around for a few hours, I was trying to get baby to drop down a little more by walking and stuff. I finally started feeling some type of contractions around 1pm, but they weren't painful and I wasn't even sure that was what I was feeling. At that point I was thinking I might get to be one of the lucky ones that had a pain free child birth. HA! We went back up to the birth center around 3. Since my contractions weren't regular yet and I lived so far away Janet and Polly suggested we get a hotel for the night until things picked up. Well, at this point we felt like Mary and Joseph....we went to about 5 different hotels in the area and they were ALL full of storm victims! Matt was very frustrated and not incredibly nice to the hotel people! I started to stress a little bit at this point, but I called Janet and she told me that we could just stay at the birth center. The only difference between that and a hotel is that there are no showers. So Matt, Megan (sis) and I went back up there and made ourselves at home. At this point my mom was getting pretty anxious, and she didn't want to miss the birth so she insisted that she come up there. At first I was not thrilled with this idea because she gets overly excited and I didn't want her to harshen my mellow mood. My best friend Allison was also supposed to be my doula/support person and I figured since everyone else was up there already maybe she should come too. I didn't really think that birth was imminent at that point but everyone else did and I wanted them all to come if they wanted to. Allison baked the prettiest birthday cake for Peyton also and she brought that. My contractions started being timeable at about 6pm Tuesday night. I started to learn how to relax through them and breathe through them at this point. I didn't think I would be a vocal person in labor, but moaning really helped and didn't make me feel weird like I thought it would! Walking around during contractions helped a lot too. They were about 10 mins apart at first and quickly got down to 7-8 mins apart. Matt and I decided to try to make out on the bed and do some nipple stimulation to try to get things going. This actually worked very well and the contractions were down to 4 mins apart. We thought we had some progress at this point. It was slightly annoying because I know now that if we would have kept at the stimulation to produce the oxytocin, I'm sure the contractions would have stayed close together and been stronger...but we thought at the time that we didn't want to overstimulate my uterus and that all we needed was a push in the right direction. So we tried to get some sleep. Tried being the operative word here. Everyone else went to sleep, and I wanted to give them all rest so that they would be at their best for me the next day.
I could sleep in 10-30 minute stretches, and the contractions definitely calmed down. They were very inconsistant again but still fairly painful. I'll admit in my tired state my instinct was to fight them instead of letting the pain just take over my body. This was a very vulnerable time for me, mentally. I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into and why in the world I didn't go to the hospital for my pain, and just feeling sorry for myself in general and not confident. The next morning they checked me again, and this time I was at 6cm, which was a huge relief because it was progress! We were pretty hopeful at this point because I had made progress. I was thinking I would for sure at least have this baby by 3 or 4pm that day. I spent the day learning new ways to deal with contractions as they got more and more painful, and eventually they were becoming unbearable. My confidence level was up from the night before and that was what made the difference in me actually being able to make it through the day and press on. My entire life I have had trouble sticking with things when they get tough, so I was bound and determined and felt like I kind of had something to prove to everyone. I also am not known to manage pain very well either, and my husband has always called me a big baby when it came to pain. I had expressed my fears to him before about quitting halfway through, and I asked him to hold me accountable and help me get the natural birth that I really wanted. At 3pm my midwives checked me again, and I was only at 8cm, which sounds good but the cervix was still pretty thick and baby wasn't dropping down low enough or making any downward progress, because my contractions were too weak and far apart. They did not feel weak to me but I could tell what they meant by that because the intensity level hadn't really progressively risen throughout, it was just kind of sporadically jumping up and down. By this point we were all becoming concerned about labor stalling, so I had to get more active and aggressive with achieving stronger contractions and getting them a little closer together. This was EXTREMELY hard for me, it is SO hard to want to try to get more pain when you have already ran out of fuel for so long. BUT I did try it. I finally got in the birthing tub and this was amazing for pain management. Definitely where I thought I would be giving birth later! I had some really great contractions in there, and I was able to really relax and focus and try to visualize myself opening up like a flower...I even tried my friend's suggestion of imagining a baby's head being stretched through a tiny turtleneck sweater. I thought for sure I could feel myself opening up bigger and bigger. Matt and Allison were amazing during this time, this is when I started to really need my support people. Even in the tub the pain started to get unbearable after a while. I started to kind of feel sick, which excited me because I thought that I must be nearing transition. I was having trouble focusing between contractions and just felt very weak and pretty much incoherant, which I assumed were signs that I was in transition. Unfortunately I was not. Polly then decided it would be beneficial for me to get an IV line hooked up so that I could be more hydrated. I had been drinking gatorade and water all day but it just wasn't replenishing my energy like it should, and I probably wasn't eating enough because of the nausea. As soon as the IV ran out we put a heplock in and I felt like a new woman! Seriously I was jumping around and bouncing on my ball and "droppin' it like it's hot" to try to get this baby to come down! The IV made a huge difference. Finally I decided that I needed a plan with an end in sight. I talked it over with Matt and told him that at 8pm if no change had been made after all the aggressive laboring we had been doing for the past 5 hours, then we needed a plan B, because my body was not going to last through another whole night of this. Polly and Janet agreed, and their opinion was that we go to the hospital to try and get some pitocin in me to help out. As care providers they went well beyond their comfort levels with us I think, because they knew how much we were really pushing for the natural birth. They were smart though and didn't mention their ideas to us until I said it first. So it was really my idea. Well, I got checked, and sure enough NO progress downward and I was only at 8cm. Hearing this mentally made me really want an epidural. I went over the pros and cons in my mind, and felt like I was making the decision with a clear head. This was the main thing I wanted to avoid, obviously other than cesarian, and I won't lie, I think in the past I have passed judgement on women who caved in and got the relief, but every woman is different and everyone's tolerance is different. I feel completely different now about the interventions, if informed choices were made. Matt was the one with the biggest problem when it came to going to the hospital. He felt like he had failed me and not done what I had asked him by holding me accountable to my original plan. These were special circumstances though and Polly and Janet really helped me to get him on board with this plan, I wouldn't have felt right doing it without my husband's support. I know he holds me to a higher standard than everyone else does, and I love that even when things were that hard he was still pushing me to try for our baby.
At the hospital
At around 9pm we were admitted into Kingwood Medical Center (GREAT hosp. by the way!!) and we had to go through the typical admitting BS....asking me silly questions left and right in between my contractions. The whole process wasn't too bad and the people were just doing their jobs and they were pretty understanding. I think I even felt kind of special because I had such a cool story to tell...I felt so hardcore for laboring that long drug free, haha...I asked the nurses and they said most people here get epidurals. I could tell why though. The delivery beds were SO aweful! I could NOT get comfortable in it! At that point I decided I definitely needed the epidural before the pitocin. I started to feel kind of sick and they took my vitals and my heartrate was up and I had developed a fever. They had to run blood work to the labs before I could get my epi, and I was stuck laboring on my back in that horrible bed for an hour or so. They also had to call an anesthesiologist from home because the one on duty was stuck in surgery. There is no way I would have lasted more than 5 hours in the hospital from the beginning without the pain meds because of that stupid bed! After my bloodwork came back they informed me that my white blood cell count was very low, and this immediately clued us in that infection had probably set in from my water being broken for so long (almost 48 hours at this point). I was also hooked up to an antibiotic drip at this point because of that. In my mind hearing this confirmed that we absolutely made the right choice for my health and the baby, and could have prevented some really bad things that could have happened had we stayed in the birth center. After rehashing this with Janet and Polly later they told me that if I had not brought the hospital up that they would have pretty much told me that I was going anyway because they weren't comfortable going any longer there. At about 11:30pm the Anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. I was super scared of the needle going in me, and I started having a bad contraction while he was digging around in my back. My vertebrae isn't very prominant and I knew that would pose a problem for him and it did. At one point I was about to cry because I kept thinking that I'd have to just get the pit and that the epi wasn't going to work. After he dug around a second time he finally found the space, and I think the last thing I remember was around midnight. The pit was started instantly and I couldn't even tell when I was having a contraction. I didn't even feel pressure or anything! Secretly to myself I thought "why didn't I do this earlier?!" But of course I didn't say that out loud, I was trying to be hardcore remember? I was laying on my back and kind of zonked out of it for a while, and then the nurse came in and told me that the baby's heartrate was decelling, which sent MINE through the roof. They had to put me on my side and give me some oxygen. I was so nervous about having to get a C-section after she said that. Apparently it wasn't that bad though after I turned, and it was just caused by my vena cava being compressed. At this point my husband came in and he was visibly upset. He kept making comments about how everything we didn't want to happen was happenning. I don't think he realized that the infection was more than just a slight risk now, and that we pretty much were sure that my uterus was indeed infected. It bothered me a little bit that he was upset and not more supportive during this part, which was really scary for me compared to walking around and just hanging out during contractions at the birth center earlier.
Thursday 10/16/08 at the hospital
At about 1am the midwives checked me again and I was finally complete with no cervix left! BUT the baby was still HIGH! I didn't get that at all! So they had me roll on my other side, and give tiny grunty pushes to try and labor the baby down. They told me I'd feel some intense pressure and an urge to push soon if things went as planned. Well as soon as I rolled over baby started sliding down! I couldn't believe I was almost there! I was soooo excited at this point, even though I was pretty incoherant and half asleep. We got me in position to push, and EVERYONE was in the room! Mom, Dad, sister, friend, husband, 2 midwives, a nurse, and a baby nurse. I thought this would seriously bother me before but I was so proud of myself that I didn't mind if people wanted to witness the big event, this was what we had all been waiting for and everyone had been there with me throughout everything, I didn't want to cheat anyone out of the experience, We ALL labored together throughout this! I did really well with the pushing, the head was the hardest part but after her shoulders turned she pretty much just slid out! There was a lot of pressure and even some pain during the pushing but I could handle any pain then because the end was so near! As soon as she slid out I saw a gush of red, yellow and brown liquid go all over my midwife! I think I got embarrassed that I had soiled her smock, but then I remembered that she had that thing on for a reason! After she came out there was so much commotion everywhere, I tried to keep my eyes on the baby but I had thrown my contacts away earlier since I had them in for 3 days straight. I kept asking someone to bring me my glasses but it took a while so I didn't get to see much other than the pictures when she came out. She was really swollen at first but still beautiful. I had two small tears, one by my urethra and one inside my vaginal wall, but I am soooo glad they just let me have these rather than pushing an episiotomy on me. I am also so grateful for having the best care providers anyone could ask for. I am lucky that they had privledges at the hospital and were able to still be in full control of my care. I don't know what I would have done without them. That made such a difference in the hospital experience for me. It didn't matter that the setting changed because I still had two people with my best interest at heart in charge of what would happen to me. As soon as Peyton came out, there was a foul smell which indicated that there was an infection. I'm not sure at this point WHAT was infected but my placenta was sent to pathology so maybe we can get some answers. There are a couple of possible explanations but we may never know for sure what happened. If we do find out this may affect my decision to try a natural birth in the future. I don't regret anything about my experience and I know that I didn't jump the gun on any decisions. I am also very glad I got the epidural because I really needed to rest. Peyton is beautiful and I love her sooo much! She was born at 2:21am on 10/16/08 and weighed 7lbs5oz and is 19 inches long.
slideshow of pics from laboring at birth center and the delivery at the hospital:
And here are some pics from her 2nd day of life...she's a lot cuter and less swollen here!