I wasn't going to share Caleb's birth story because I don't like sharing the "horror stories" of birth, but I think I need to share it so that you know where I'm coming from. So here are my first two birth stories:
Caleb's birth story:
March 24, 2000 (11 days before EDD) 9:45pm: I had just come home from a very long walk and was resting in my Lazy-Boy recliner when I noticed I was trickling amniotic fluid. When DH arrived home from work, I told him I thought my water broke. We packed up and headed to the hospital, very excited that the time had come.
I arrived at the hospital and they confirmed that it was amniotic fluid. They had me walk the halls for an hour. Nothing happened. Then they decided to start me on pit. The contractions weren't bad at all, but the nurse kept coming in and saying things like, "It's only going to get worse," and "You won't be able to make it without an epi," and "You might as well go ahead and get your epi now." So, even though I wasn't suffering from the contrax, I finally caved in and got it.
Most of the rest of the 14 hours of labor is a blur. I was so out of it by the time he was born. I do remember at one point he was in distress, and they gave me an oxygen mask and put a monitor on his scalp. That part was scary.
When it was finally time for me to push (I had no idea, so they had to tell me), my right leg was completely paralyzed. The labor nurse asked me to pull my legs up under my arms to push. DH had to lift my right leg for me. I pushed like that for 3 hours. Then the next dr. came on shift and came to check on me. She told him that the baby's head kept peeking out a bit then going back when I stopped pushing. He checked me out and said his head was hitting my tailbone.
At this point, I knew instinctively that if I could get upright, the problem would be solved. However, there was no doing that with a paralyzed leg. So, when the dr suggested using a forcep, I agreed to it, just wanting at that point to get the baby out. I didn't realize that using a forcep also involved a 4th degree episiotomy.
Anyway, when it was all over with, I was completely wiped out, and so was the baby. I tried to get up after they rolled him away to the nursery, but I nearly passed out. The recovery was the worst part. I was not able to sit up at all for 6 weeks and was in discomfort down there for 6 months, especially when DTD. In fact, we finally DTD for the first time around 5 months and found out we were pregnant shortly thereafter.
Patrick's birth story:
June 15, 2001: This birth could not have been more different from Caleb's. I woke up at 3:45am feeling like I had to move my bowel, which I did, but then the cramps came back 10 minutes later, so I realized it was labor. I woke up DH, and we dressed Caleb and called DH's brother to meet us at the hospital to pick up Caleb.
On the way to the hospital, my contrax were 5 minutes apart. We got to the hospital and did their whole routine. I knew I didn't want a repeat of last birth, so I said no epidural, but I would take narcotics. They told me I had to get blood drawn first. They did all of their routines. Soon, my BIL showed up to get Caleb, and DH went with him to take his stuff out to the car.
While DH was gone, I hit transition. Until that point, I hadn't really felt any pain. I don't know if I'd describe this as pain, but it was really uncomfortable. I found myself alone, so I began to moan loudly. (When I was little, whenever I was sick I would moan loud enough that my parents would be able to hear me in the next room so that they wouldn't forget I was there and uncomfortable.) A few minutes later, I felt the urge to bear down. I told the nurse, and she checked. I was 10 cm. I said, "I guess I won't be getting any drugs." She said, "I guess you won't."
So I called DH's pager, and he ran all the way back from the parking lot. Meanwhile, the nurse called the Dr. and asked me not to push while I waited. I didn't feel a strong urge to push yet, so that was fine. Dr. showed up a few minutes later, and things kicked into high gear. Baby was pretty much crowning by the time he got his gloves on. My bladder was ver full, so Dr. asked if he could straight cath me. I said okay. He did, then one push, and the head was out. On the second push, he asked me to stop mid-push b/c the cord was around baby's neck. It's pretty much impossible to stop mid-push, but I tried. (DH passed out at this point, due to running all the way back and not eating any breakfast.) When I got the okay to push again, I couldn't resist, and I kept pushing after the contrax stopped. At this point, I had some tearing, so the Dr. cut an episiotomy. On the third contrax, the rest of the body was delivered. At 5:08am, I had a healthy, alert, screaming little boy. He nursed perfectly right away. (Caleb had trouble from the beginning.)
This time, when they finally wheeled him away to the nursery, DH and I walked arm-in-arm down the hall to watch. I felt exhilarated. What a difference! I just hope that I make it to the birthing center this time. If not, at least I have a van!
On Wednesday, April 5th I had my 39 week appt. with my OB. He examined me and said that my cervix was beginning to move down and I was 50% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated. I had hoped for more but was excited that he didn't think I'd last another week. He went ahead and scheduled an induction for the following Wednesday, in case it should become necessary and we were on our way.
At about 4 pm in the afternoon, I had my first real contraction, though I did not really feel sure about it at the time. They started coming every half hour or so and were pretty mild. DH went to his class and I stayed home with my son. I did not even tell DH about the contractions before he left. A girlfriend of mine came over to visit after putting her girls to bed. She and I chatted and timed contractions. By the time DH came home at 8 pm, they were still 30 minutes apart, but consistent and getting a little stronger. GF and I went for a walk and that seemed to help things along.
At 10 pm, I decided to call my mother (who was going to watch DS for us). She was about 45 minutes away so I wanted to be sure she would get there in time. The contractions were about 20 minutes apart at this point.
At 11 pm I bid GF goodbye and decided to take a warm shower. While I did this, DH put our bags in the car. When my mom arrived at quarter after, the contractions were about 12 minutes apart. I took to my bed and had DH help me through the contractions. We had a tense moment right at first cause I felt like he really wasn't paying attention. I told him,"If I have to tell YOU what to do, I don't think I can get through this." After that, he seemed to really get the picture and took a more active role. It was trial and error with the breathing for a little bit until I found a rythm that I liked.
At 12:20 am the contractions were very strong and 6 minutes apart. For some reason I still felt like it was early on in the labor but decided to go to the hospital. By the time we arrived, went through triage, signed all the papers, and got hooked up to the IV and monitors it was 1 am.
When the nurse checked me, I was 6 cm dilated and the baby was fully engaged and very low. I asked for Stadol right away, as the contractions were very strong and I knew the Stadol would help me control my breathing. With the narcotic, the contractions were still painful, but very manageable. They gave me an oxygen mask to help my blood O2 levels, and it was the most annoying part of my whole labor. Breathing through the mask had some resistance and I felt claustrophobic with it on. Also, the strap did not want to stay on my head.
I labored this way for about two hours (which passed very quickly for me). At about 3 am, the contractions became much more intense and I started to feel a lot of vaginal pressure. I asked to be checked and was found to be 7.5 cm with my bag of waters intact. The nurse checked me during one of my contractions and I went to 9 cm while the contraction was happening. I was asking for more Stadol, mostly I think because I was afraid, and the nurse went to get it. In this time I felt a POP and the contractions suddenly started coming very close together and I felt the urge to push. I was begging to be allowed to push and I actually felt the baby turn in my pelvis. I felt like she was moving down the birth canal all on her own. Everything from this point on happened very fast.
3:20 am, the nurse came in with my Stadol and warned me that they might have to give the baby a shot to reverse the effects. I was unable to respond coherently due to the pain, even though in my head i understood what she was saying. She checked me and then told me I was completely dilated and drugs were no longer an option. I started panicking and the nurse and DH did a good job of calming me down. I asked to push and with the next contraction the nurse said, "Okay, lets see how you do."
3:30 am, I pushed for 2 second and the nurse ordered me to "Stop!!" She went to the door and yelled "Doctor, now!!" into the hallway. For the next two contractions I had to just breathe and not push while the doctor scrubbed, and the room was prepped. It was excrutiating.
3:45 am, the doctor came in and all was set. I remember it vividly and there is too much pain to describe. I only thank god that it was over so quickly. With the next contraction I pushed twice for ten second each. Her head came out and I had to stop pushing. The doctor eased her shoulders out and it felt like all of my insides had come out with it. I was utterly relieved and just kept saying, "Thank God" over and over again.
Time of birth: 3:56 am on Thursday, April 6th
They were going to take her to the warming table right away but I asked for her and they put her on my tummy. Right away, I thought that she looked a lot like her brother. I marveled that her head was perfectly round. Her eyes were closed but she had a good cry. They took her to the warming table to be weighed and examined. DH went with her and delivered the placenta in about 10 minutes. That part was painless. Then I was stitched up (2nd degree perineal tear) and they brought her back to me to nurse. She did well and then they took her to the nursery while I was transported back to the recovery room in the maternity ward.
Overall, it was a quick uncomplicated birth, and I am very grateful.
March 31, 2006 - 11:06 a.m.
7 lb. 8 oz. - 20 inches
Birth Story …
At 3:00 a.m. I woke up to a wave-like contraction and then a leaking feeling. I figured I just had an accident, but suspecting this might be the beginning trickle of my water breaking, I decided to get up and surf the net for info. With pregnancy.org on the screen, I suddenly felt an enormous gush, jumped out of my computer chair, which was sadly already saturated, and yelled to Jonathan (who was sleeping) for a towel.
No question about it, my waters had broken! Within moments, I started having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes, so I knew that the “laboring at home” idea was definitely out the window and we needed to get to the hospital fast. I called L&D to let them know I was coming in, and of course they asked me a barrage of questions just to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm. I said, “If that wasn’t my water breaking, then there’s something seriously wrong with me, because that amount of fluid should not come out of a person otherwise.” Finally they gave me the go ahead to come in, and Jonathan and I spent another twenty minutes preparing the last items for the hospital bag.
Thankfully the hospital is a mere 3 minute drive from our house, so we arrived quickly. Once in the emergency reception area, I lumbered around for awhile waiting for someone to notice that I was in labor and finally I just barged into one of their offices and announced that they needed to check me in NOW!
They did. Once all the registration was taken care of, a nurse from L&D arrived with a wheelchair. I had to make her wait through a contraction, and finally off we went. We got settled into a room, and I started blowing through my contractions. Still I could tell the nurses didn’t think I was that far along, even questioning whether my water had broken or not. When they checked me, they were surprised to find that I was already 5 cm dilated! I spent the next hour or so answering more questions because they had lost my medical file from the military base, which—annoying as it was—served as some distraction from the labor.
After a few hours of laboring—giving Jonathan some serious hand squeezes—I was really beginning to feel the pain and started asking for my doctor so she could advise me about possible IV meds, having already decided against an epidural. The “stand-in” doctor checked me again, and as soon as I heard, “She’s at 8,” come out of his mouth, a huge smile came across my face. Progress! Everyone was so surprised how quickly I was progressing, and I knew that I wouldn’t need any meds from this point. Even though the worst was ahead I was so happy that I was that much closer to achieving my natural childbirth plan and having my baby!
They called my doctor again, and this time told her to hurry! Jonathan and I high-fived, and at this point, I think mentally I became more in control of my contractions and was able to absorb the pain with some serious concentration, in almost complete silence.
At 10:00 a.m. my doctor arrived, and I felt so relieved. When she checked me I was fully dilated so we decided to start pushing in sets of three. She, Jonathan and the attending nurse began coaching me through each set, and it was actually a great feeling to push through each contraction versus laying there and suffering through them. To my credit, I did not wimp out on any pushes, even when the pain and pressure was so intense. I continued following the doctor and nurse’s cues, pushing like hell through each contraction, sometimes past the 10 count when I could really feel the baby moving down.
The last half hour the room was a flurry of activity. All of a sudden there were a couple more nurses and the anesthesiologist kept peeking in on us, and my doctor kept shaking her head, as if to say, “Go away, we’re good.” My final sets of pushes were a blur. My once silent contractions gave way to some necessary moaning and groaning. Meanwhile Jonathan looked more and more like a deer in headlights as he saw the baby’s head crown, and my face turn increasingly purple and pained. I was still managing to smile and make jokes with the hospital staff between contractions though, much to everyone’s amusement. :lol:
I was only a few pushes away when the anesthesiologist explained that I would tear so they could numb me beforehand. “Do it!” I yelled. And a moment later, my doctor said, “Okay, Fuchsia, baby’s heartbeat is dipping so I need you to push him out on this one.” I heaved a big breath and pushed with everything I had. His head popped out, and I collapsed back on the bed feeling completely spent and a little delusional. Then my doctor yelled, “Fuchsia, I need a shoulder, push push push!” Suddenly I had a flashback from all those Discovery Health special delivery shows, felt a rush of fear and somehow mustered the energy for one last push. At 11:06 a.m., Sean Thomas was born into the world. Watching the doctor clean him off and Jonathan cut the cord, I felt my chest heaving like I could cry, but was too tired for any tears. They laid him on my chest, and I was surprised how heavy he felt!
This was the beginning of feeling that the entire experience was so incredibly surreal. I just gave birth to my baby! All the nurses, and even the anesthesiologist, kept congratulating me on how well I handled the natural birth, and truly, I was beaming with pride.
While the doctor was stitching up my second degree tear, Jon and I were gazing intently at Sean while he was being tended to by the nurses. Of all our achievements, all the places we’d ever been, in a matter of moments, the birth of Sean Thomas had become the most meaningful experience of our lives.
Finally, I think I can write a birth story!
I guess it all started on Wednesday the 29th of March when I went to the ob for my 39 week appt. She checked me and I was 3 cm and 50% effaced. I was so excited because with the other 2 I have never been anything but closed up and the baby still high. So, she stripped my membranes and I was having contractions the rest of the day until I went to sleep, they stopped over night. The next day I was having a few contractions and lost started to lose my mucas plug. I really thought something would happen soon. My ob had talked to me about induction at the appt but, I did not want to be induced at all. Both her and the other ob at the office that I had to see at 38 weeks said the baby was big and I reall shouldn't go too much over my EDD. I didn't want to have the u/s to fine out how big he was at all, he had to come out and I just didn't want to know how big he was LOL
So, by friday when nothing happend except for the mild contractions I was having ever 15-30 minutes I called my ob and told her to go ahead and book me for Monday morning for the induction. I was bound and determine to try everything I could over the weekend to have him on my own. I tried walking a ton, sex, sitting on my excersise ball, and I even tried cator oil. OMG is that stuff nasty and it didn't even make me go #2 LOL That saturday I was so depressed because I wanted to have an April Fool's day baby and I just knew he wasn't coming that day. By Sunday I had given in to the fact that I was going to be induced and started to actually get excited about finally getting to meet my little guy. Plus, it worked out well with my mom and Jeremy taking days off from work and with my work too. On to the birth!
We get to the hospital at 6am and I get all dressed in my beautiful gown, they check me and I have progressed to 4 cm and 75% effaced but, the baby is still kinda high. I get the pitocin started at 7 am. I am getting a lower dose than usual which is good. They all knew I wanted to go natural and had a kinda bad experience with my last birth because of the pitocin and no drugs. I sittin pretty in the rocking chair having regular contractions and feeling pretty good. They didn't hurt that bad at all. My nurse then comes in at about 10:45ish and tells me she has some good news or some bad news, I said your breaking my water aren't you? yup, that is what it was. I knew that as soon as my water was broke it was going to get serious. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that she checked me at 10:30 and I was 6 cm and still 75%. I actually said that it was kinda freaky that I wasn't hurting bad and I was already 6 cm). The nurse then breaks my water after I get up to go pee again, I was having to pee so much! When she did not very much came out and it was a weird color so she called the other nurse to look at it. I got kinda scared because I thought it was meconium and didn't want to have to deal with him getting suctioned and all that stuff but, it wasn't it was just old blood. I have a very sensitive cervix and I bleed when they check me so everything was cool. As soon as she boke my water she started to get the room set up for the delivery and I started to get some nasty contractions. Jeremy and my mom came back in the room just a few mintues after and tried to joke and talk to me like we were just before they left and I wasn't having any of it LOL I think my contractions started to get really bad about 11:15 and be 11:30 I was trying to push. I don't really remember too much because I was trying so hard to get him out. I remeber thinking what in the hell was taking so long! I only pushed a couple times with Morgan so I was getting a little irritated LOL I had 2 of the best nurses and the one stood at my side and coached me and Jeremy was on the other side. The one nurse was standing there holding the monitor on my belly because they kept on losing his h/b so she did that so I wouldn't have to get internal monitors on, she knew I didn't want those at all. I remeber asking for Stadol right in the beggining of pushing and she went to get it well, by the time it got there it was kinda too late but my ob (who got there sometime, I don't know when) said I could have half a dose. That didn't do much but, I think it may have helped me relax a little better between the contractions. I had to have the damn blood pressure monitor on my arm and it was killing me too BTW, also had to have the oxygen mask on so I was taking deap breaths of that between pushes because I was affraid of his hb going down. I remeber with the girls I would get so mad when they put that thing on my face but, with him I knew that it was better to get it. I was so much more calm this time because I knew what was happening. Like when I started to shake, I knew that I was in transition and he was on the way soon! Well, he was too, I finally got him out at 12:31 and he was so big! That all the one doctor kept saying is how big he was. He did feel heavy when they put him on me but I was still shocked when she said he was 9 pounds 11 ounces! The whole time I was pregnant I was in denial that I was having a big baby because they told me Morgan was going to be so much bigger than Mikiela and she was a whole pound smaller at 7 pounds 15 ounces. Well, I guess this time they were right LOL
After I had him I had to get stiched up and that hurt like heck too. One of my great nurses stood by my side and held my hand. She was telling me how great I did and how she couldn't believe I did it without an epi. Oh yeah, I forgot, my mom cut the cord! That is the first time in all of mine and my sisters births, this being the 7th, that she did it. Jeremy wont do it LOL
After I got cleaned up Mason was brought over and he was so cute! Looked just like the girls really but, different. He started to nurse like a champ right away, I was so glad
I really did have a great birth, I was so glad it went so well. I was terrified of having the pitocin again and being in agony. It wasn't really that bad when I think about it, it was only about 1.5 hours of hard labor.
Well, this ended up being longer than I thought! I hope it reads ok, I had to stop and start alot and I don't have time to proof read LOL
(xposted in my lodge)
Ok ladies, here's my very long birth story. Theres a summary/timeline towards the end if you just want that
I almost did it.
We got to the hospital at 6, they started monitoring and told me I needed antibiotics because I was strep b positive. I was actually showing contractions already on the monitor, but nothing strong enough to be labor. They started the IV, then started pitocin at 6:40am. I started having good contractions but was still able to talk through them just fine. The nurse came in occasionally and asked if I wanted to be checked, but as long as I could talk through the contractions I figured I wasn't progressing much and declined. I also kept getting different nurses because of shift changes and nurses who were on overtime and leaving at odd times. I was sitting up in bed and actually dozed off for a bit between contractions. Around 10am I was woken up by a popping feeling, then a contraction that was way more intense than what I'd been feeling. I thought maybe my water had broken but there wasn't a gush of fluid. I yelled out in suprise and in pain and startled my poor DH pretty bad. I decided it was time to move the birthing ball. I did pretty well when I was sitting on it, the contractions were getting worse and closer but my hypnosis cd helped. My DH was wonderful, he held my hands during contractions and steadied me, and told me I was doing great, etc. They came in and told me that at 10:30 (only a few minutes away) they were going to break my water to help things move faster, and that they were putting an internal monitor on so I would be stuck in the bed. I was fine with them breaking my water at this point because I wanted things to move faster now that I was really hurting, but not happy about being stuck in bed. They offered to check me again but I declined because I was in the middle of a contractiong when they offered. I actually did want to be checked but the nurse was gone by the time the contraction passed. I decided though that I needed to find a comfortable position I could be in, and had DH lay the bed completely flat (no idea why, was just the way I wanted it). I climbed up there and couldn't really find any way that felt good. I did notice a small gush of fluid though when I laid back. My DH said there was some red in it. I think my water had partially broken (my fore-waters or something like that?) before when I felt the pop, but the baby had been blocking any fluid from coming out. The contractions got worse and being in the bed was the absolute worse thing for it. I started begging for an epidural. The thought of how much worse things would be when my water broke terrified me. DH did exactly what I had asked him, he told me no, that I didn't want it, that I was doing great. But finally I looked him in the eye and told him that if I had to stay in this bed, I needed the epidural. He asked if I was sure and I said yes. He called the nurses station and they called the anesthetic guy (can never spell that!). At 10:50am, as he was walking in the room, along with the nurse and a baby care lady who was getting things ready for Abby afterwards, I felt a pop and then the most painful instense pressure in my bottom I had ever felt. I lost all control over myself at that point. I bolted out of the bed (I didn't even know someone 9 months pregnant could move like I did) baring my bum to the whole room as I went, and squatted on the floor. I sent my cd player flying (still haven't checked to see if it works anymore), tangled up my IV (would have ripped it out but there were about 10 pieces of tape holding it in) and my water had DEFINATELY broken. I have no way to put this delictaley, so sorry for the grossness, but I honestly thought I had to poop. I kept waiting to just go and get it over with because I figured it as gross as it was, it was going to happen. I never did though. Then the nurse came over fussing about my IV and made me get back in the bed. At this point, the contractions were one of top of the other, and I couldn't lay down in the bed, there was no way in hell. I sat on the edge and waited for the epidural guy. At this point, I still hadn't been checked, and I still thought I was going to poop. The nurse wanted to check me, and I growled some sort of answer at her that meant no because I couldn't lay down. I also was afraid I would be too far for the epidural, and I knew if I didn’t have it I could NOT lay down in that bed to deliver, and I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to deliver standing up. She wanted to take my temp, I growled out no to that too but she ignored me. At 10:57am the guy finally started to put in my epidural, he put it higher up in my back than with my previous 2 but I didn't think anything of it at the time. Once he had it in I waited for the instant relief I remembered with both Hannah and Andrew, but there wasn't any. I mentioned I was still feeling a lot, and they told me it would take 15 minutes to take effect, and that I would still feel pressure. What I was feeling wasn't pressure but I was in too much pain to argue. The epidural did take enough edge off the contraction that I could at least lay down now to be checked. As soon as she started I realized I was there, because she stopped when her fingers were barely in. She said oh, well you're 10cm! I'll call your dr and get her down here. Now I finally realized that the feeling I had that I needed to poop was the urge to push. Even though I'd been through labor twice already I didn't even recognize the urge to push. Now I was laying there just waiting for my dr to get in so I could go. At some point the nurse had returned the bed to a sitting position. I still had full control over my legs and still had full feeling "down there"and I realized that this epidural was not going to provide the pain relief I had been looking for. After awhile waiting I asked for another doctor, any doctor, to just come in and deliver this baby! Turns out the nurse told my dr to finish whatever she was doing, THEN come down. I wanted to scream WTF!? but couldn't get it out. While I continued to wait I considered pushing on my own, but I could feel that if I pushed I was going to tear badly. The nurse called to tell my dr that I needed her there NOW, but I think she was already on the way because my dr walked in a very short time later. I put my legs up in the stirrups and started pushing. I felt the ring of fire and again, seemed to lose complete control over myself. I pushed like a mad woman, it was one long push because I wanted the pain to stop. My dr finally told me that I needed to slow down and push WITH the contraction, I felt myself starting to tear (upward and not in the direction I'd prefer to tear in!) so I stopped. With the next contraction I started pushing again with all my might. I couldn't believe how bad it hurt! My epidural had worn off when I was delivering DS but I don't remember it feeling anything like this. With that second long push Abigail came out, at 11:37am. I had a minor tear that needed 2 stitches. My dr said one stitch at first but I felt her put in 2. She didn't give me a local for the stiches because she thought I would be numb from the epidural. Nope, felt that too, it made me yell out but was nothing compared to delivering the baby. They laid Abby on me immediately after she was born, then they weighed her and did her vitals (apgars were 8/9). After my dr was done stitching me up they handed her back to me. I was shaking badly for some reason and couldn't feed her right away. Maybe 20 or 30 minutes later I nursed her (she latched on great), and they moved me to my recovery room. I shocked everyone because I was able to get up and walk to my wheelchair and support my own weight. What part of "I'm not numb down there!" did they not get? All day long I got comments on how remarkable my movement was for someon with an epidural. Part of me wanders if that guy even gave me a damn epidural or if it was just mind over matter on finally settling down enough to lay in the bed (ok, I know he gave me an epidural but it sure wasn't much of one!)
So, a summary/timeline to this very long story:
6:40am- Pitocin started
10:am-Stronger contractions/partial water breaking?
10:30am-Asked for epidural
10:50am-Water broke (on it's own)
10:57am-Crappy epidural given
11:00am (ish) Checked for first time since arrival/10cm dilated
11:15am -Epidural supposedly going to kick in (yea, right)
11:30am (ish) Started pushing
11:37am-Out came Abigail
My theory is that when my water broke, Abigail dropped the rest of the way and was ready to come out then. And if the nurse hadn't made me get back into the bed, I probably would have delivered her on the floor. Part of me wishes I had. Also, I think the guy put the epidural too high, so it numbed from my armpits to lower stomach, instead of my stomach to my upper legs. I did feel strange and weak around my armpits afterwards, when I lifted my arms to hold Abby.
A part of me is disappointed that I didn’t go all the way, but I was so close, and in the end I did avoid having my water broken for me, which I kept saying I didn’t want. I will admit, chances are if I would have had a midwife, I wouldn’t have had the epidural, because I wouldn’t have been forced onto the bed. It just was not a natural place for me to be. I don’t know how any of you ladies that birthed naturally laying down did it!
So that’s my story
MIRIAM HANNAH’S BIRTH STORY - our "Gentle Birth Caesarean"
We knew Miriam was breech for months. Kept waiting for her to turn, but she didn’t. We tried everything – lying with my hips in the air, acupuncture, moxibustion, hypnosis, playing music to her, and an unheard-of 4 attempts at external cephalic version (ECV). Nothing had any effect and it became very clear that she was either going to turn of her own volition, or not at all.
So we started exploring options for delivering her breech – by necessity a hospital birth because breech delivery is considered “high risk” and outside our midwife’s area. She was in the “perfect” position and conditions for vaginal breech delivery – her feet up by her head, chin tucked, was a smaller baby than Samuel had been (although obviously we didn’t know by how much), I had delivered Samuel very quickly and easily. Unfortunately, with the help of our midwife, we only able to find two practitioners in the region would be willing to catch the baby, IF we were to go into labour when they were on call, AND we walked into the hospital ready to push. We figured our chances were about 50-50 that we’d get what we wanted. As it turned out, we went into labour on the wrong day.
It was funny – on Friday morning when we woke up, I looked at Stephen and said, “I don’t think I’m going into labour any time soon – I feel completely normal.” Famous last words. My waters broke gently around 8am – I wasn’t sure at first that it had happened, but then when the trickle didn’t stop, and started “gushing” when I changed position, it became pretty clear. But no contractions yet. I called Anne-Marie (our MW) and she started making phone calls. We knew we were on an “off” day but there was a possibility, if there was a different senior OB on call at one of our identified hospitals, that if we walked in about to push that like it or not, they’d catch the baby. Anne-Marie found out that there was “no chance” at our local hospital, she knew the OB who was on. She knew that once contractions started, I was likely to go very fast, so she advised us to meet her as soon as possible at the rural hospital because at least there, there was still a chance because we didn’t KNOW the OB wouldn’t do it. Stephen left to drop Samuel off at the sitter, and I continued to assemble things to leave the house. Anne Marie called back shortly after that, and let us know that she had talked to our “consult” OB from the rural hospital and his feeling was the OB on call wouldn’t be able to do it for us either. I started crying. Her advice was still to go to the hospital, that we might have more flexibility there than we would with the “big admin” local hospital, and suggested we get there asap, hopefully still before I started contractions, so that we could have a rational conversation with the OB who was “in.” I had a couple of very low-grade contractions in the car – nothing that felt any different from a braxton-hicks contraction.
We got to the hospital and the OB was in clinic. Since we still hadn’t “started” we went down to the cafeteria to have some lunch and wait for either her to arrive or for us to “need” her to arrive. I was feeling hopeful again at this point – once she looked me in the face, how could she not agree?
When she arrived though she told us point blank that she couldn’t offer anything other than “elective c-section.” She had trained after the Term Breech Trial and had only delivered about 12 in the course of her career. Here we were again, though, with that “elective” word that was just not an option. So I said, “What if I refuse a c-section?” I felt I was being so rude, but I had to push, and make sure she wasn’t bluffing. She said if th
at were the case she’d have to call the medical emergency service, which would proceed to search the entire province for an OB on call who would be willing to help us. Except that there was no way I could leave town to deliver this baby, not with Samuel at home, not with how fast labour was going to go once it started (risking Stephen having to deliver a breech baby in the car somewhere between cities), and we already knew that the service would find nobody in town, because we had already done that homework. I started to cry again. “I’m not in labour yet” I said “there’s still a chance she’ll turn, babies DO turn in labour sometimes, I don’t want to cut short the time she’s got to do it in” just feeling more and more desperate. “This isn’t an emergency, I’m not IN labour right now, I don’t believe we need to do this right now. How long do I have before this becomes a problem for you?” and she told me that 24 hours from ruptured membranes was as far as we “could go” (which we pretty much knew). Thing is, if the baby waited 24 hours, then it would be Saturday at 8am, and one of our identified OB’s would be on at the other hospital. We explained this to her and she was willing to give us this chance. If we went into labour before then, and the baby still didn’t turn, we would come back to this hospital for the surgery.
So they let us “out on a pass” and we went walking downtown. We went in and out of a couple of stores, and I quickly found I couldn’t bear to be looking at people who were having ordinary lives, and REALLY couldn’t bear their very friendly questions about my pregnancy, when I was due, and “Oh my goodness you’re having it TODAY? That’s so EXCITING!” We went and sat and watched the waterfall while I cried my heart out – my poor mother. Walked down to the other park by the river and I asked Stephen and my mum to leave me alone to meditate for a while. I sat in the sun for more than an hour and watched the water and cried and breathed and waited. I had one big contraction sitting there, and it happened after I was finally able to think PAST the inevitable and think about holding Miriam and nursing her.
Shortly after that my mum and Stephen came back to me and suggested we go find a bed & breakfast so that if evening came and we still hadn’t gotten started we’d have a place to lie down. So we went back to the main street and into the antique shop we’d been in before to ask for recommendations. Had another contraction. Went next door to the little department store to buy high-waist undies (I don’t normally own these) – had 2 more biggish contractions. We got in the car and headed for the B&B and signed in. It was about 5:30. I had 2 major contractions while we were there (within about 20 minutes). We were in the living room with the landlady and I looked at her from where I was on all-4's on her carpet and said, "I don't think I'm going to be here long." We decided we’d better head back up to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at 6pm and it was as if a switch turned on and suddenly I was in transition. The OB came into the room and actually sat down cross-legged on the floor so that she could talk to me at eye level, and went over the “risks of c-section” (as if I had a choice) and things I “should know.” I had about 8 contractions over the next hour, and at about 7pm alerted Anne-Marie that I was starting to feel pressure in back and that they had better check me. Karen (the OB) came back in to check me and just kinda stopped dead. “Where are we at?” I asked. “9 cm” she said. All I had left was a lip. I swear she almost let me go. Almost.
Then she got scared again I guess because all h*ll broke loose as they suddenly rushed to get me into the OR. They were paging people, had trouble finding the pediatrician, etc… I was pushing before they got me in there. The only reason Miriam didn’t just come out was because Anne-Marie got right in front of my face and I could look into her eyes and breathe with her – not pushing was the hardest thing I could’ve imagined. And my body was still doing it. Once they had the spinal in it slowed my body down but only just enough for them. I don’t think anybody in that room thought the right thing was happening. “Somebody is PUSHING” said the anaesthetist… I think she was trying to give Karen an excuse to stop.
Spinal anaesthetic is a WEIRD feeling. I thought I’d be completely numb but wasn’t – just no temperature and no pain; my legs felt fuzzy, like pins and needles, and I could still feel them touching me and all kinds of pulling, just no pain. Not what I expected.
They tried really hard to give us as close to a gentle birth as they could. They let Stephen and my mum and Anne-Marie all come in with me. They brought in the cd I’d been listening to. Anne-Marie told me what was going on as they went through the layers, and my mum described as Miriam came out. She says Karen used really really gentle hands on my daughter. Miriam came out proclaiming that she was breathing and didn’t need to be suctioned. My mum told me she was bright red, I don’t know her apgars but they must’ve been good with the amount of noise she was making. They laid her on my belly (couldn’t feel it, but Anne Marie told me when she was there), and let the cord stop pulsing before clamping and Stephen cut it. They let the placenta detach more-or-less on its own (Karen did some pretty heavy massage to help it but didn’t cut it away) before sewing me up.
Stephen and Anne-Marie went with Miriam to the warmer while they did their initial checks, and then Anne-Marie popped Miriam inside Stephen’s shirt as soon as she could get her hands on her. As soon as they could they brought her over and laid her beside my head – I couldn’t really see her but she was alert and touching my face and I sang to her while they closed the incisions. As soon as I was closed they put her on my chest and moved us into our room to “recover” – crazy word, that, as if it’s something that could happen overnight.
The staff was wonderful. They had EACH read our birthplan and were doing their damnedest to give us everything that they could, and it was as if each nurse was silently apologizing to me for what had happened. Nobody believed that it had been right – only that it had been the only choice, because Karen had never had the opportunity to get good enough at breech delivery to do it “safely.” Realistically, I would’ve had that little baby out in about 3 pushes and nothing would’ve gone wrong. And everybody knew it.
Karen came to talk to me before she went home, and said as much herself. “This doesn’t feel right,” she said. I know that if the opportunity arises for her to gain experience in delivering breeches she’ll jump at it – she clearly believes that especially with “low risk breeches” like ours the choice of how to deliver should belong to the family.
They let us go home the next night – unheard of for a c-section – because we had the midwifery care that includes home visits. We’re recovering “normally” for what we’ve been through.
Miriam is a wonderful baby. Very patient and gentle, cries very little. Her full name is Miriam Hannah Guy Lenser. At birth she was 6lbs 10oz, and 20” long. Wednesday last week she was already 7lbs 3oz – growing like her brother did! She was born with a head of dark hair that we think will probably fall out and come back blonde, but then probably darken again over time as mine did. We are lucky to have her and my love for her is undiminished by the tough birthing.
The birth story of Thomas Joseph, born June 1, 2006 at 37 weeks 2 days (okay, I know it’s long, but this was an eventful birth!):
Well, as you know, I had low amniotic fluid for the last week of my pregnancy. Threatened with possible induction, I was told to do what I could to bring on labor. (My cervix was 3-4 cm, and the baby scored 10 out of 10 on the biophysical profile.) So, on May 31, I did what I could. That night, I woke up about 1:50am with slightly stronger BH contractions. I knew they were not real labor, so I tried to sleep through them, but I couldn’t get back to sleep. Over the course of the morning, they got closer together, but not much stronger. When DH woke up at 5:30, they were 5 minutes apart. I told him I was going to go for a walk around the block, and if they turned into more labor-like contractions he wasn’t going to go to work. I walked around the block twice and went in to sit down. BINGO! At 6:00am, they were coming on strong at 10-minute intervals and lasting about a 45 seconds to 1 minute.
DH called our friend, T, and I called the midwife. I asked DH when he thought we would arrive, and he said 7:30. We went to pick up T and headed for the center. We pulled in front of the building at 7:29. Once we got in and settled, my contractions were probably about 7 minutes apart. The nice thing about the center was no clocks! The only other moment I was aware of the time was after transition, when I asked. The Labor Nurse (LN) monitored baby’s heartbeat, and he was reacting perfectly. After awhile, the mw came in. She checked my cervix and found it 5 cm, 75% and 0 station. We were well on our way! After she checked me, I stood through a few contractions with DH in front to hold onto and LN in back applying counter pressure to my lower back. It felt so good. I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together yet that this was back labor and the baby was probably posterior (though I’m sure LN did!) I then decided to get into the whirlpool tub. It was heavenly! The contractions were much more manageable, and soon, I was in transition. DH and the boys were all in the tub with me until transition, then we asked the boys to get out and watch a DVD.
Transition went very well, and was totally manageable in the water. I did request to turn off the jets in the tub, though, because they were over-stimulating at that point. I finally realized something wasn’t right when I had completed what I knew was transition and felt absolutely no urge to push. I did feel the urge to go to the bathroom, though, so I got out of the tub to pee. Then things started to get intense. I was standing now during contractions with one arm around DH and one around T. I started dripping blood with each contraction (the “show”). I was still able to breathe well, but the contractions were way intense and turning into pushing contractions. I asked the time and was told it was 10:30. When LN saw me trying to push near the end of the contractions, she got the mw. The mw checked me and said I was only at 8-9 cm and shouldn’t try to push because I might inflame the cervix. I stood through some more contractions, but it was very difficult to just breathe through them. Finally, mw suggested I get on the bed so that gravity would not make me want to push.
After awhile, she checked me again, and I was at 10, but with a lip of cervix. She told me that it was soft and she could hold it back for a couple of contractions until it opened up. We did this. At this point, I was in a semi-sitting position on the bed. She got the lip opened up and started prepping the birth kit. In the meantime, I had DH on one side and LN on the other. T was behind me acting as my back support, and one of my sons was at each side holding my hands.
I’m not sure about the time, but I think that I had another hour of pushing ahead. I’m sure it was at least 45 minutes. This was some of the hardest work I had ever done, and I was roaring like a lioness with each push. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally got close to crowning. After all the advocating I had done about birthing positions, here I was in the same semi-sitting position I had birthed my other babies in the hospital! But this is what I wanted. Not only did the pressure of my bum on the bed help the back labor, but I was completely surrounded on all sides by the 6 most important people in my life at that time.
So the baby’s head had to make it around the pubic arch, and the baby was facing the wrong way, so the mw told me to “wear my knees around my ears” for the next few pushes. With the help of DH and LN to support my legs, I was able to push him under the arch, and he was starting to crown. Then, as if it were possible, things got even more intense. The mw asked me not to push so that my birth canal could stretch. This is a lot easier said than done, but I did what I could to just breathe through the contractions while the mw applied lubricant, massage, hot compresses, etc. When I reached between my legs to feel his squished forehead, it gave me a burst of stamina. When his head was about halfway out, I felt some pain. This was apparently when his head rotated and according to the mw my body did some “creative opening.” At this point, I had my legs up in the air with a half of a head sticking out, trying not to push, and for the first time I though (and said) “I can’t do this!” LOL! The whole room said simultaneously, “Yes, you can! You’re almost there!” The mw told me to do “grunty” pushes, and I found that this came naturally and was very easy for me to do, and after a few pushes, he was out and DH caught him. He was born at 12:13pm, 6 hours 13 minutes after the onset of labor.
He was beautiful! Six pounds, 9 ounces, all covered with lanugo hair, vernix and blood with a splotchy purple color. He was a vision only a new mom & dad could love! And that’s the story of Thomas Joseph’s debut into the world.
After two days of on and off contractions my water broke at 11:30 pm on Sunday June 4th. Right before it broke I had four very close but mild contractions. I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep after a very long day and I rolled from my right to left side, and suddenly I was all wet. I got up and told Luke what had happened and called my midwife to let her know,too, and went back to bed to try and get some sleep.
Luke and I changed the wet sheets and put on clean ones, then a plastic sheet and the sheets for birthing on top. I laid down, but sleep was not going to happen for me that night, though. Right after I laid down the contractions started coming in earnest. About 3-4 minutes apart and 60 seconds long, and getting stronger with each one.
I decided to get up and hang out with Luke and try and watch a movie and relax. We also called his parents to come and get the dog. We watched a DVD of the animated series Aeon Flux, which was very strange and hard to follow. My contractions were still getting more and more intense and were about 3 minutes apart and some as long as 90 seconds. I was having to focus to get through them. Eventually I couldn't handle watching the show anymore, and after his parents came and got the dog, I went back to bed to try and rest again. I rested, but couldn't get to sleep, the contractions were too much. Luke came to bed a little bit later and got about an hour of sleep before I woke him up again.
I was starting to feel nauseated and went to the bathroom where I puked a little. The contractions were getting very strong now and I thought we had better call the midwife. At about 4 am we called her and she and her two assistants arrived not long afterwards. They started to set things up and get out their tools and instruments. This is when I started to really get excited and think "I am really going to have this baby today!" the sky was just starting to get light and I knew the sun would be up soon. I labored kneeling on the ground and hanging over the ball while Luke rubbed my back for a couple hours. The contractions were very difficult and close at this point. They were not coming like waves, but hitting me with the most intense part first and then slowly letting up, and it was very hard to relax with them like this because the initial shock would tense me up every time. I remember my midwife telling me some time in this period that if I continued like this it "wouldn't be too much longer." I asked her if she thought it would be before noon and she said she thought so, that made me feel really excited and I felt a little bit better after that.
Some time mid morning I asked when I could get in the hot tub and she said any time I wanted, so we went right out after the next contraction. Luke got in with me and I faced him squatting in the center while he sat on the side and I looked at him and held his hands or legs through contractions. It felt really good to be in there and I liked it a lot, but the contractions were very close together and hard. We spent a while in there. The sun was pretty high up in the sky and it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day. A few high clouds and a very blue sky. It was already quite warm. After a little bit in tub I started to feel sick again, and had to lean over the side and puke into the gravel. When I did this the contractions got even stronger and I felt like I was going to die. It was pretty scary, but afterwards I felt better. The midwife and assistants generally left us alone at this point except to periodically check the heart tones with a doppler. After a little while I started to get really pruned up and wanted to get out, so I did and went back to kneeling with the ball inside.
I am not sure how long I did this, but I puked a few more times and started to feel really depressed and tired. It felt like it was never going to end. I though that this must be the self doubt part which means I am getting close, so I asked Nicole to check me. She waited for a break and then checked, and she was in there a long time and seemed very serious. When she was done she looked sort of disappointed and asked me if I really wanted to know. I said "just tell me, am I close?" she said she thought it would be a while longer and that my cervix was very thin, but not dilating the way it should because the baby's head was a little crooked and not putting pressure on it. I asked her how much longer and she said there was no way to know but it could be awhile and I should try to get some rest. This was very depressing news. (She would tell me later after the birth that at this point I was only between 2&3 cm dilated, only 1 cm progress in 12 hours! I am glad I didn't know the details at the time.) I had been in hard labor for about 12 hours at this point, and it didn't feel like it was going anywhere and I was getting very tired. I was also getting dehydrated and couldn't keep anything down. Nicole suggested that we try an enema to get some fluids in me since you absorb water pretty well through the colon. I was not excited about this idea but said I would try it and so Luke and I went onto the bathroom and did it. It worked alright, and I kept it in through one or two contractions, but felt pretty worked after that.
Then we went to bed and set up a system of pillows so I could be on modified hands and knees and we tried to sleep. Luke slept for about an hour maybe, and I dozed in between contractions, which got a bit lighter at this point. We were in bed for a couple hours maybe and I was feeling a lot better, but the contractions were getting stronger again so I woke Luke up and called Nicole in. Nicole suggested I get up and take a little walk around. It was really hard to get out of bed, but I felt much better. We went out and walked around the yard. We also walked the stairs sideways to try and get him to straighten out. At this point it started to get drawn out and tedious. I started puking again and the contractions were very strong and not before too long I was tired and feeling like it was never going to end again. Luke was great all through this part (and all of it) and telling me that I was doing great and how strong I was and how proud of me he was and letting me use him to lean on for support etc..I am so glad he was there.
We tried the hot tub again, but it had cooled down a bit and I didn't like it as much this time. While I was in there Nicole, Luke and I talked about my "options." She said that it could possibly go this way for awhile longer and that the hospital was an option at this point. I could go get an epidural to get some rest and it might help me get through it. Or I would try and get some rest here at home and keep going. I was feeling like maybe I wanted to get some pain relief and rest at this point, but really didn't want to have to go to the hospital. The car ride sounded no fun, and also I just really wanted to do it naturally and at home. I was bummed out and decided to try and rest a bit and then see where we were after that.
I ate half a fruit popsicle and went and laid down in bed again. At this point Luke told me that no matter what happened he was proud of me and I had done a great job. It was a really sweet moment and it made me feel a little bit better. We tried to sleep but the contractions were way too intense, but I relaxed a bit and we laid there for a long while just getting through it together. I didn't puke the popsicle up this time and that felt good, too. After awhile I couldn't lay there any longer and they were getting very strong! The most painful yet and I was having to really hold onto Luke to get through them, so I asked Nicole to check me so we could decide what to do, because if I still wasn't progressing I was ready to transport. So she checked me and I was at 7 and she thought his head was straight now! This was great news and I knew that he would be much faster from here, but also I knew that transition was just around the corner and I was exhausted and a little nervous.
We went out into the living room and I leaned over the ball again and Luke rubbed my back with contractions. The midwives started to get things ready for delivery and this felt good. It was finally going to happen. Well before too long the contractions were almost right on top of each other and not going away entirely in between and the hurt really bad. I was squeezing Luke's hands so hard and at one point I even bit him. My back was hurting tremendously and I was crying for hot compresses with each contraction. I knew this was transition and it wouldn't be much longer, but I was so difficult. I just tried to focus and breath, and that took all the strength I had. After what seemed like forever but was probably only an hour or less things started to feel different and I asked Nicole to check me again. She did and said I was complete, 10 cm and could push when I wanted. I said I felt like pushing and with the next contractions tried it laying on my side. Well that hurt a lot and I didn't like it at all so I got on hands and knees for the next one. The sun was setting at about this time, so it must have been 8 pm or so.
I pushed on hands a knees for a few contractions, but Nicole wanted me to be more upright to get his head under the pubic bone so I moved to the birthing stool. I really didn't want to move, but it did feel better after I was up there. Finally she said she could see the head and he started to crown. She kept saying just a couple more pushes and he would be out, but I kept pushing and pushing and it didn't feel like he was moving at all. I didn't believe her and asked Luke if he thought it looked like he was moving out at all, he told me he was just a little bit with each push. Finally after the crowned for about 20 minutes (which Nicole said was the longest she has ever seen) his head came out. That felt really great. I started pushing again for his body and she was saying "This baby needs to be born NOW push harder!" I guess he was in distress from crowning for so long and she was worried about him. This really scared me so I was pushing constantly even in between contractions. After a few pushes like this he started to come out completely and Luke helped Nicole catch him and she practically pulled him out and started making little sounds and they suctioned him because he had fluid in his nose and mouth.
I was so happy he was finally out and he looked so perfect. I was holding him and he started to make little noises and rooting around a little bit. Nicole said he was doing really well and I could lay down now, which sounded great to me! I laid down and Luke cut the cord when it got limp and I delivered the placenta. Luke held him for a bit and we felt like going to bed. We laid in bed looking at him and just relaxing for a bit while the midwives cleaned up and made us dinner. We ate and I nursed and it was just so nice to be home in my own bed with my family. I got to take a shower and we took off the birthing sheets and were al snug in the bed together. It was a great feeling.
Then Nicole came in and told me that I had torn a bit during the delivery and she wanted to check me out. I was not excited about this and but wanted to get it over with. She checked me and said I needed stitched and she couldn't do it, so another midwife came over and did it. 30-40 stitches and about an hour later they were finally done and we all ate birthday cake and they packed up and went home some time well after midnight.
We were all alone for the first time together as a family. I was so in love with Luke and Orion and feeling so great, exhausted and spent at the same time. We slept for a few hours and at about 4 am I started feeling really terrible, with cramping and strong contractions and a lot of blood was coming out. I got up to change my pads twice in an hour and was in a lot of pain so I woke up Luke and we decided to call Nicole. She came over and massaged my uterus and said that it was a lot bigger than when she left and something was definitely going on. She didn't like the amount of blood I was loosing, either. She said she would try a couple of things and if it didn't work she would have to take me to the hospital. I was bummed out to hear this but in a lot of pain. The last thing I wanted to do was leave the house now after he was already born and doing great. So she massaged uterus a bit more, which gave me really painful contractions so I was almost screaming and she gave me a pill (I can't remember the name) and a shot of pitocin to stop the bleeding. Then she had me stand up to see how much I was bleeding. I stood for a second and then al of a sudden I felt really strange and then a huge "thing" fell out of my and splatted on the ground and then another smaller one. It looked like the placenta but about half the size. I was totally freaked out and Luke looked like he was going to faint. nicole seemed happy to see it though, and said they were blood clots and it explained a lot and that I should start to feel much better. She cleaned me up a bit and got me new pads and put me back to bed. I was feeling a lot better already and finally she left and we went back to sleep.
Everything has been great since then. Orion is 2 weeks old now and growing like a weed. I am healing up very well and the only thing that still bothers me is my tailbone. Luke and I are adjusting to family life pretty well and Orion is a really good baby. I am so glad the birth is over. It was much more difficult that I ever imagined it would be and could have never done it without the support I got from Luke and the midwives. After going though it though I have a lot more confidence in myself and feel ready for all the challenges ahead.
Orion Nehemiah Sheridan
born 8:51 pm June 5th
8 lbs 3 oz
Born July 2, 2006 (5 week early premie!)
Weight ~ 8lbs 9oz
Height ~ 19.5 inches
100% drug free and natural hypnobabies birth
labor lasted 4hrs 11 mins ~ he pushed himself out! OB did not make it in time :)
Our special journey to conception ~
This was a very planned pregnancy, we had been trying to conceive for 15 long months dealing with poly cystic ovarian syndrome. Using ovulation predictor kits, a lot of prayer and with Basal Body Temperature charting we were able to know exactly when we did conceive which was November 6th, 2005. My due date was July 30, 2006.... it only changed later in my pregnancy because my ob used u/s to determine by the baby's size that the due date was July 21... however, the baby's true due date was July 30 and just happened to be a large baby. This pregnancy was extra special because it felt incredibly spiritual. I had been praying to St Therese and recieved many signs in the form of roses... and the day we confirmed our pregnancy someone had sent me a photo of a baby in a rose. The day I brought the news to Ron he had just had cancer surgery the day prior and what a joy to tell him that we finally got our 3rd baby!
Love is healing and there is no greater love than the love you experience with bringing new life into the world and rasing your children with your soulmate... we enjoyed every minute of our beautiful pregnancy and waited excitedly till the end to find out what our "Surprise package" was. Knowing we wanted a completely natural birth without any drugs or epidural we were very prepared this time for our birthing by taking classes. We studied the Hypnobabies program for using self hypnosis for pain management. We took 5 classes with our Hypno-doula Carole who was an absolute blessing and a very special person I feel very blessed to know, who taught us the how to have a beautiful completely natural birthing and lucky to have had her at my side to guide me through it so peacefully!
Prelude to a birthing (My 1st preterm labor halted)
It started when I went into preterm labor on June 19, 2006 at 33 weeks
I was feeling crampy and nauseas all weekend and monday at 6:45 I started having very painful regular contractions 3-5 mins apart starting in my back and radiating through the front... so I called my OB and he sent me to the hospital. I figured I'd get some terbutaline and I'd go home in 2-3 hours.... ( because the same thing happend with my son when I was 35 weeks and the terbutaline was enough to stop it.)
I got settled into my room and they took blood and had trouble getting the IV in, they had to call the anesthesiologist to do it. I was 2cm, 50% and -2.
So then they tried 2 rounds of terbitaline which did slow them down but after 20 mins the contractions were back up and actually stronger...still 3 mins apart but went from a level 1 of pain to a level 7 of pain for me. I was like oh man I forgot how painful it is lol. And so next they gave me 2 pills called procardia which did absolutely nothing but make me feel dizzy! A second internal was 2.5cm and I was feeling so out of it at around 12am and the next thing I know here comes the nurse with the IV bag of magnesium sulfate.... she warned me it will make me short of breath and spacey... so 5 mins later when I felt that way I didn't freak out but it was pretty scary feeling that way. The good news is that the magnesium stopped my contractions.. I was having 4 per hour only after that and very minimal. The bad part is that they put a cathedar in to pee because you're not allowed to get out of bed wth that medicine.
Then they started me on antibiotics - clyndomicin... I have so many drug allergies so it was hard for them to settle on one. I had a bad night, my contractions did slow down but they still were uncomfortable and with them prodding me and taking my blood pressure every 20 mins (because of the mag) I had no sleep.
Tuesday morning I saw my OB and he examined me and much to my surprise I was now closed. I didn't think that was possible but he said it is... that the contractions dialated me and now that the magnesium stopped the contractions my cervix closed back up. He sent over the high risk OB and he did an u/s and my baby measured 39 weeks!!! Over 7lbs... I was shocked but on the other hand I figured it was big because of how I look and feel lately. After he saw how large the baby was he immediately had them turn off my magnesium sulfate and said that if the contractions return I would have the baby.
I went about the next couple of weeks feeling good but very exhausted and as though I had no more room for the baby to grow any further.... and how could it if it was 7lbs at 32 weeks?!
My last dr appt was June 28th and for some odd reason my ob decided that the baby who had been head down since my 7th month was now breech and I would most likely need a c-section.
Frightened by that idea I took my doula's advice and did all sorts of positions to try to turn the baby. The final thing I did was do handstands in the swimming pool.... I hate to say it but I think my baby was not breech at all.... I think he was mistaken because I never felt the baby move out of position.
IT'S A BOY!!! Baby #3 John Allen's birth story ~
My beautiful birthing began on Monday morning July 2nd at exactly 5am I was awoken to a strong kick, a popping sound and a huge gush of water as my bag of waters had broken. All I could think was, "oh no, not today!" because I had been up all night feeling nauseas and I also had a lot to do at home... we needed to get new floor installed, Paul my older son needed to move to his big boy room, we haven't gotten our mini van yet, I needed to prepare the nursery for the new baby...... there was just so much left yet to do..... but no stopping baby now!!
I told my daughter Teresa to tell daddy the baby is going to be coming soon. He called my doula who suggested I go to the hospital to make sure the baby wasn't breech before she joined us incase I would have a c-section for a breech baby.
5 minutes after 5am my contractions began 3 minutes apart. I went downstairs and was lying on the floor just incase the cord was getting compressed since my water had broken. Ron was getting everything in the car and my mother was on her way over to our home. I remember how beautiful the sunrise was and while I waited I listened to my hypnobabies mp3 on my ipod.
We were finally ready to leave for the hospital at 6:15am. I rode in the backseat lying down, again, just in case the cord was getting compressed through the cervix...especially since my ob had thought the baby might be breech. The car ride was short as we live so close to the hospital... 5 minutes. Ron took special care of me, he got a wheelchair and propped me up with my 2 pillows and I used my hypnobabies programming to gently guiide me through each birthing wave (contraction).
By the time we were settled into the labor and delivery room it was 6:30am and I was still having moderate contractions every 3 minutes. After being checked I was now 3 cm, 75% effaced and still -2... the nurse wasn't certain if my water had broken... I find that very humorous now!
My ob confused me with another patient and actually ordered a shot of terbutaline... to my shock I refused it and said there was no way I was going through that again and besides, my water broke and I was in active labor -- there was no stopping the baby again!
An Ultrasound was performed and the results were such a relief.... baby was NOT breech and all was well -- yes!!! Now we can have our beautiful vaginal birth!
at 7:00am I started getting birthing waves that were lasting longer and definately getting stronger but I didn't appear to be in labor to the nurses who were basically ignoring me.
I have a high tolerance for pain and since I didn't show signs of discomfort they must have thought not much was going on despite my waves on the monitor.
I remember telling the nurse that I was dialating more and she said that there was no point in checking me.
At 7:30am my contractions were now 2 minutes apart and a painscale of 8...longer, stronger and now closer together. My sweet doula arrived around 8am and she instantly guided me through the hypnosis which helped to intensify the relaxation and greatly lessen the severity of my contractions....which I thought of as beautiful waves that brought me one step closer to seeing my baby with each wave.
At around 8:30am I was in a lot of pain... this was much more painful than my other contractions with my other children. Carole reasured me that this baby was coming fast and that is why it hurt more but all I needed to do was release with my self hypnosis, go to my special place and relax.... and that is what I did. When things got too overwhelming for me and I felt like I was losing control and couldn't do it Carole inspired me with her voice and encouragement that yes, I could do it and it was not going to hurt any more than it already did. Honestly I was more concerned about the pain of the baby coming out because I had never experienced that pain before having had epidurals at the end of my last 2 labors.
They checked me at around 8:45am and I was now 7 cm... so in they rolled the table with all the tools they need for the birthing. I was surprised to see that... I didn't expect things to go so quickly! At that time my contractions were one on top of the other - no break in between.
This was the hardest part but I knew I was going to get through it with my doula's help focusing on her hypnosis. At 9am they were still trying to get an IV in me.... I knew I didn't need it but I wanted it in there just in case I needed anything (I had an emergency last time with my son Paul and needed emergency medicine through the IV to save my life due to a severe drop in blood pressure)
So there I am lying on my side clutching the bed and holding my doula's hand as she guided me through each non stop wave. The pain was A LOT less when I released all my muscles and focused on the hypnosis. It's definately tolerable! And in the meantime they were working on getting my IV in place. Unfortunately the person administering my IV was the stupid anesthesiologistr that nearly killed me last time... that did not bring up happy memories but I basically ignored him and all I remember sensing was my dear husband and Carole my dear doula.
I heard voices from the 3 other nurses that were there but with my hypnosis and trigger words from Carole, I felt so peaceful and I was in that beautiful rose garden in my mind....even when my eyes were open.
So at 9am I started feeling pressure, that pressure I know and remember as the baby coming down the birth canal. I voiced this to the nurses but they ignored me.... my doula was telling them "she says her baby is coming". They did a quick internal and I was now 10cm.
9:05am I started getting these electrical impulse type pains that ran down my thighs...that's a new experience! My IV was all done and I felt the baby pushing down! It didn't hurt, it actually felt amazing because my baby was pushing ITSELF out! I told the nurses, "OK the baby is coming right now!" I remember hearing them say, "where's the doctor?!" "he's not here...quick get the hospital OB!" They wanted me to turn on my back but I was so comfy lying on my side I didn't want to move...and I didn't think I could because the baby felt as though it was about to fly out of me.
I finally did get on my back and the baby's head was about to crown... the nurse yelled for the other OB to get in there.... and I barely remember that ob's face... it was a woman with curly brown hair and that is all I remember. She was suiting up and my baby was pushing itself out... as the head came out I felt the "ring of fire" I had read about... but actually it was NOT painful AT ALL! I felt a burning sensation and then I felt nothing.... only my baby turning,wriggling and pushing out. The head came out by itself and the body followed with one small gentle push from me.
"It's a boy" 9:11am and the room was filled with the esquisite sound of his cries.... I felt so releived, so much love, such a deep spiritual feeling and a profound sense of acomplishment for what I had done all natural. This is the birthing I always dreamed of and with hypnosis, my awesome doula and loving husband it made it all possible. I didn't get my epesiotomy because there wasn't time.... however the tear and stitches I had healed so fast I am still shocked.
It was not painful and 5 days later I basically felt totally normal there.
epilogue - back to the hospital and back home again
He is a great nurser...and such a wonderful baby! After 3 days in the hospital we went home on Wednesday July 4th. We were sent home with bliliblankets because John had elevated billiruin levels and was jaundice. Both my other kids were jaundice but never enough to require phototherapy. This was a new experience... which turned concerning when on on july 5th the home health nurse said his labs were getting a lot higher.
His pediatrician admited him to the hospital on Wednesday July 5th and his billirubin levels were 18.9. He was under intensive phototherapy now with several lights and 1 bliliblanket light in an isolette. I was so glad I was allowed to room with him at the hospital because I couldn't part with him at all.
Over the course of the 5 days we stayed there I basically got very little sleep as I was working around his IV and all the other things he had attatched to him.... making sure his visor stayed on because he always managed to take it off... every 2 hours -pumping, feeding him, changing him around the clock. It was hard but it was a loving time we spent as he got well.
Saturday his "direct billirubin" had shot up for some reason and the doctors scared me but thank god the #s started coming down and Monday morning 7/10 after being off the phototherapy and IV for 12 hrs his billiruibin was 12 and direct billirubin was 0.6....so we were happily released and relieved!! He is going to his pedatrician for labs to follow up tomorrow just to double check it isn't on the rise again.
I still nurse him but it is mainly for his comfort... he does also enjoy a pacifier! To save time I pump my milk and bottlfeed...(15 mins vs 45-60mins) and boy did my milk come in! I make 6oz every 2-3 hours! He is still like he was in utero... he confuses day and night but he is the sweetest little guy and he smiles a lot in his sleep. We love to watch him while he is dreaming! He gets the hiccups very often just as he always used to during my pregnancy.
He tracks our faces when he is awake and already can roll to his sides... the nurses were amazed. Everyone kept saying the same thing "wow, that is one big premie!" One of the doctors that was treating him chose my son to take a photo with for a photo session he was doing that day for some medical publication.
John is such a sweet little bundle of charm and we feel so blessed to have him home again and more importantly well! I reflect a lot on the birthing and I am overwhelmed with joy each time... I can't wait to do this again!!
John Allen is born!
John 1 day old
First day home
Back to the hospital for 5 days- photo therapy, IV fluids
Back home again! 1 week old
John's first bath
I'll keep mine short and sweet.
6:00pm - had my first contration
6:05pm - had my second contration
Called the hosptial, they told me to come in. Drove in (five minutes away). Contractions were 4 min apart when I arrived. The nurse did not believe I was in labour, she thought my kidney stone was acting up. NOPE!
Maternity was full, so they put me in the c-section recovery room. Contrations were almost on top of eachother.
7:00pm - 4 cm dialated
9:00pm - I had to push! :shock: Nurse checked and sure enough I was 10 cm.
11:00pm - Kaden James was born :D
No tearing! Had PP hemorraging though. Lost 1 litre of blood. Dr told me I had the baby too fast thats why I hemmoraged.
The whole experience hurt like the dickens :evil: but I would do it again in a heartbeat! And I will in February!