So I was pretty depressed Sunday night, it was my EDD and I had never reached an EDD without a baby before. So I had a moan to G and fell asleep. I woke a few times during the night and felt very mucousy, I didn't let myself get excited though. I thought I had some contrax but thought I may have dreamed it as well. I woke at 6am with a few very irregular but painful contrax. I got up and wandered around, not being surprised when they stopped. I went to lay beside G in bed and had a big one as soon as I lay down. I lay there feeling as though the pain never really went away and 5mins later had another. It was mid-contrax that my waters broke (another first for me!!) and I jumped out of bed to stand on a conveniently placed bit of plastic and said '****, ****, towels!!'.......
G leapt out of bed and grabbed me some, not before gazing blankly at me for 30secs!! I was wearing pj's and he couldn't tell my waters had gone, and in a big way!
I grabbed the phone beside the bed and called my Mum (it was 6:50am and she was supposed to work that day) and asked her to come around. She said 'are you sure this is it?' and I said 'well, my waters just broke.....' and she laughed and said she'd be straight around.
I got into the shower and felt a little disappointed that my contrax weren't getting harder, stronger or more frequent. In fact, they seemed to get better!! I didn't worry too much though because I knew I'd have a fight on my hands to go past 24hrs (not that I wanted to) so figured I'd be having the baby that day, regardless of what my body did.
G called the doula, Sally, and my BFF, Bek. I was over the moon that it happened that day because her DH wasn't working and could look after the kids, so I got the people I wanted after all!!
I washed the towels I had 'watered' and G came into the laundry and said 'WHAT are you doing?!'. I still felt really good so I pottered around the house, made some porridge and pecked at it, got Zoe ready for school etc.
It wasn't until about 8am that my Mum made the comment about peak hour traffic. My worst fears had been realised!! I had gone into labour at a time it would take me 3 times as long to get to the hospital!!! At that point I was having very mild contrax and the occasional 'big' one. I made the decision to wait for Bek to arrive and then we'd head off. I didn't have to get admitted, just being there would give me the peace of mind I needed that I wouldn't birth on the way or be forced to endure painful contrax on the way.
I was incredibly lucky and only had 2-3 big contrax that I needed to breathe through before we got there. I simply sat quietly, talking to G occasionally, and thinking 'this is it'. I still felt so good that I walked from the carpark with Bek and G!!
Getting admitted was fuss-free, I filled out the paperwork, had a large contrax which reassured me I was doing the right thing by going in and then we went into our room. That's when the fun started, literally. We were left alone for awhile and we just laughed and joked, it was really quite amazing.
Sally turned up and it felt so great to have all three of them with their hands helping me through contrax. Sally massaging my lower back and belly, Bek at my shoulders and G holding my hands. I had some beautitful moments with G, 'dancing' through contrax, that I will never forget. He was strong and comforting, my head fits neatly into his chest and nothing else mattered but us for that moment.
We laughed our way to about 11am and then I wanted to retreat for a little while. I asked for my headphones (instead of having my ipod play through the speakers) and I lay on my tummy over a beanbag and let everyone massage me. I couldn't believe how achey my lower back was, and I felt so much better when someone was rubbing it.
I really ought to mention my MW at this point. She came in while I was on the birthball, facing away from the door. Bek leaned over and said 'she looks really nice, young, blonde'.... She apologised we'd had to wait so long but that they had kept us for her and she had been busy. She told us that she did most of the natural births and her speciality was birth plans!! She looked over ours and was happy with everything we had requested. We talked about the times that it may not go according to plan and then said 'let's not focus on the negative though, let's have a baby!'. She was very hands off and let my team help me through the contrax, only occasionally listening to bubs. She never offered an IE but was happy to give me one when I said I wanted one at 12pm, she checked to make sure it was what i really wanted first. She let me take control of the situation and lay down when I wanted to and was very quick and gentle. She told me that I was 8cm and that I would be meeting my baby soon. When she checked contrax for strength and length I remember her saying to me 'I'm just a hand, just forget about me'. It honestly as if she wasn't there for a lot of the birth but at the same time we created a relationship of trust.
It was soon after 12pm that I started to get vocal through my contrax. The MW, Lauren, came over and asked what felt different about that contrax and I said I think he's moving down. I took back more control of the contrax's after that but as the need to push grew, so did my fear. This felt very different to my last birth, pushing hurt - it didn't make the pain better as everyone kept telling me it should. At one point my pubic bone felt like it would split in two and I knew he was trying so hard to come out.
Bek encouraged me to get onto all fours as I'd expressed in my birth plan and it was then that I lost control over my fear. Pushing wasn't working, it hurt and instead of the powerful, productive pain I'd been experiencing previously, I felt as though I was fighting against something too big for me.
I ended up in a kneeling squat on the bed during contrax and lay limp over the beanbag between. Lauren came over and spoke calmly to me, explaining that I had reached the point that I had pushed for so long that it was becoming clear that I needed some help. (At this point I was drenched with sweat from working so hard and had asked them to pour the ice over me, which they did). I had started asking for pain relief, saying that I couldn't do this. The feeling that I was working so hard for nothing was overwhelming and I desperately wanted a break. Everyone was wonderful, telling me I *could* do this, that I didn't really want the drugs, I was so close.... I still chuckle when I remember saying 'no, you don't understand.....' Such a typical labouring woman thing to say, but I was trying to vocalise that this wasn't working.
I flipped back over to a side/back position and Lauren said 'Vicki, I can see your baby'. That quick change of position had done the trick and suddenly I was pushing with a purpose.
Lauren put up a mirror and for the first time, I saw my baby. I thought it would bother me to the baby come out, but it gave me so much incentive. I remember Lauren saying 'see how much energy you have now that you can see him?'. She was right, I went from exhausted to pushing with power.
I still held fear about tearing as bubs crowned and I think it wasn't until I really let go of that fear that I became my most effective. Everyone was watching him coming down and I could hear the awe in their voices.
"Look at him, Vicki. That's our boy!"
"Oh my God, look at him come. You're so amazing!"
It was the voices and the positivity that made me close my eyes and just push with all my might. Lauren said, this is going to sting and burn, but it didn't as much as I thought it would. She said in hindsight that it was my controlled (read - scared!) pushing that stopped me tearing. I stopped when she wanted me to and gave little pushes when she asked for them. I totally trusted in her and let her guide me. I do believe that it was Gabe's size that made it that easy, he wasn't coming without the effort so I could stop if I needed to. Whereas Sasha came barrelling out like a greased piglet!
I had a vague comprehension that the head was out when Lauren said 'ok guys, we're going to need to use those techniques we practiced, his shoulders are stuck" (*remind me to mention this later if I forget). She told me to push and said, 'give me a nose, I need his nose, Vicki'. I pushed so hard and then she told me to stop. Everyone rolled me more to my back and grabbed my legs and pulled them back to my ears (McRoberts manoeuver) while Lauren helped turn Gabe. Another MW applied suprapubic pressure and they pulled him out. It was incredibly painful and it was at this point I screamed at Lauren to get him out. She said 'he's out' and placed him across my tummy. He was grey and still but they left the cord intact and gave him some oxygen where he was. After a thorough rub he pinked up and had apgars of 8, 9, 10.
Lauren talked to me about his size and said that even though I had wanted a physiological third stage, due to the size of Gabe, she recommended I get the injection. I agreed and don't regret it, nor the Vit K I agreed to have administered to Gabe. We were treated with so much respect when things didn't go according to 'plan' and everything made perfect sense.
It was at this point I should have been listening to my body, but I was very tired and excused it all away.
I was having after pains which put my contrax to shame, but I knew they get worse with each pregnancy so put it down to that. I also asked Lauren to take Gabe to weigh him after 10mins which went against everything I had wanted. I was too tired to hold him and felt a little distanced from him. All of these things pointed to something more sinister yet I thought I was simply too tired.
Bek and Sally left to go home and the Dr came to stitch me up. I loved the Dr, she suited my funny-bone down to the ground. This is an indication of the brief connection we made:-
'Ok Vicki, you suck on the gas while I have a quick look to see if you've torn'
After some long breaths.....and some spaced out pain.....
'you've done really well, there's only very minor tearing, almost nothing worth stitching. I want to make really sure though so I'll just put the local in and have a better look'
'couldn't you have just done that in the first place?'
'oh, the local causes the flesh to swell which makes it a bit harder to see the extent of the tearing'
'convenient excuse for being a b.itch'
Laughing 'I'm not as bad as the midwives!'
It was after she had left that G and I were left with a snack, Lauren went to have her belated lunch as well. I had just finished a crumpet when I felt incredibly thirsty. I practically ordered G to get me my drink and drank the whole lot. He was walking the room with Gabe in his arms when I said 'I'm not feeling good'. He looked at me and I said it again and then told him to get Lauren. It took him seconds to press the buzzer but in that time I closed my eyes and let the flashing lights and dizziness take me away.
Apparently Lauren was in the room within a minute and then the room was full of people. I woke to this bustle but couldn't fully come to. I could see G sat near the bed with Gabe with a rather blank expression on his face. I felt terrible for scaring him so, but could only tell him I loved him with my eyes.
Lauren came close to me and explained that they thought I had retained some placenta and that I had two options. I could take some gas and they could check me there and then and hopefully remove it or I could go to theatre and undergo surgery. She told me I was a trooper when I said do it here. I didn't want to be taken from my son and husband - I would go through any amount of pain to avoid that, and I knew how much this was going to hurt.
I kept enough of my sense of humour to say 'oh, you're the b.itch' when my original Dr came in and held my hand. She joked that I could hold it as hard as I liked because she'd hurt me before. It was that hand I focused on through the pain, I wish she could know how much it meant that she did that for me.
The MW announced that I would need surgery, she couldn't get to the clots. I started sobbing, huge gut-wrenching cries from my soul. I had just had my baby, my huge baby, without any meds, it was the most amazing experience of my life and now this was happening. I covered my face with my hands and cried as if my heart was breaking.
Lauren came over and talked to me about how I could be so proud of what I had done, and that this was the best thing for me. She was replaced by the anethesiologist who again was reassuring me that this was going to make everything better and there was nothing to be scared of. He went through the required questions and they began to prep me.
I was still sucking the gas due to the pain I was in, and I couldn't stop shivering, my teeth were chattering. I looked to G again, he was still sat holding his son, beside my bed but out of the way. I whispered 'I'm sorry. I love you. I love you.'
The rest of the experience was quietly terrifying in it's own medically managed way. Once professionals get down to business they stop being empathetic, and this was no exception. I couldn't wait to sink into the oblivion of the general, just to get away from how I felt. When oblivion finally arrived, I fell into it dreamlessly.
I woke up to G's voice and immediately opened my eyes. I had been floating for awhile but it was him who pulled me like a magnet from my musings. The recovery nurse came in and said 'oh, you're awake. That was your husband but I've told him you weren't ready to see him yet'. I desperately wanted to see him so I forced myself to keep my eyes open and wake up properly. I watched another nurse come and plead G's case to be allowed in but they decided to bring Gabe in instead. Lauren brought him in and lay him beside me, she told me 'G didn't let him out of his sight for a minute. I'll go get him in a minute'. Though as it turned out another nurse had been the b.itch from hell and fought to keep him out (for no good reason) and G had decided to go get something to eat with my sister. I had told G to call her to come and be there for him, thinking he might need someone to help stave off the fear. It wasn't until I was being moved to the ward that I saw G. For some reason it wasn't until then that everything was all right. I had my son, my baby boy who we'd waited so long for - and I had my man, my comfort, my shelter, my home.
I guess my birth story ends where my life with Gabe begins.....
Last edited by MonkeyMoo; 03-16-2008 at 07:45 PM.
On Tuesday, October 16th, I woke up really early because I was starving. I checked my email, ate some food, played Wheel of Fortune on the computer ( ) and went back to bed around 7:30 AM. I woke up for the day around 10 AM, since we had to be at our midwife appointment (almost 39 weeks) at 11:30 AM. I went to the living room to let our dogs out when I felt a curious trickle "down there". I wondered if it could be my water, but then I had been losing my plug and having some discharge for a while, so I figured it couldn't be. Tim was home from work by this time, and he announced that he wasn't going back to work until I had the baby. I told him it could be a week or more still, but he said that he had a feeling it would be sooner! Talk about psychic! I told him about my "possible water leakage" and we decided we'd ask the midwife to check it out.
So at our appointment, she does the Litmus test and says, "Yes! That's your water!" WHAT???? I really wasn't prepared to hear that; I was almost SURE it had to be regular cervical fluid! Then I asked her to check my progress (worst mistake of my life - the pain was horrible!!!!!) and she said I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. She said that it seemed as though my hind water had a hole in it, not my forewater, so she wasn't too concerned about infection. However, since she had confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid, she wanted me to check into the birthing center in a couple of hours. Her words were, "Go get some lunch and then come back." To show you how much in denial I was, I said, "Come back for what??" And she said, "You're going to have this baby today!" I almost passed out.
So Tim and I went and drove around for a little while, and he got some lunch. I was too wound up to eat, and then - BAM! I started having regular contractions! We decided to call his mom and fill her in on the news, and then headed to the birthing center.
After we got checked in, we just hung out in our room. I ordered some food from the menu and we hung out and talked on the phone with his parents some more. I was so excited, but also really nervous! Luckily we had all our stuff with us in the car (Tim's psychic instincts and always wanting to be prepared really saved us!) so I was able to change into comfy labor clothes. Things were going really, really slow for us. My contractions were right around the 10 minute mark, but they weren't progressing from there. I knew from talking with my midwife that if I wasn't making progress by the next morning, I'd likely be induced since my water had broken. I really, really didn't want to have to deal with that since it would increase my chance of wanting pain medication. So we walked around a bit, I did some squats and tried to make things happen more quickly. Our doula Debbie came and hung out with us for a while, but when it was clear that I was still in the first stage of labor, we told her she could go home and we'd call her in the morning when things progressed.
I tried to sleep, but just couldn't with the contractions being so strong and regular. So we walked some more, and then Tim got me a birthing ball from one of the nurses! Ah, heaven!! I loved that thing so much, I would just hang out on it for long stretches at a time. The contractions weren't picking up, and I didn't want them checking me, so my L&D nurse suggested around 3 AM that we try nipple stimulation as a natural way to induce hard labor. Three words: Oh my GOD!!!! The pain was incredible as the contractions started coming closer and closer together. It worked almost immediately! Once I had a triple-peak contraction (they had me hooked up to the monitor so we were able to see) and that one was a real killer.
Anyway, around 7 AM I decided to get into the jacuzzi to try and ease the pain. I noticed that my modesty was slowly starting to go (up until then I was in a t-shirt and pants, but for the jacuzzi I stripped to just my t-shirt) and figured that labor was probably progressing well. At this point my midwife came in for her shift and said she wanted to check me. I still remembered the pain from that, and I didn't really want to feel like I was being rushed, so I was hesitant. She explained that since it was so close to the 24-hour mark since my water broke, she really needed to check me. So I said okay. Once again, it was absolutely miserable. I actually screamed from the pain! Apparently the bag of waters was in the way, and behind that the baby was blocking the hole to the cervix in just the right way that she had to REALLY dig around to be able to check my progress. It was horrible, and after that Tim and I were so traumatized that we decided that would be my last check. Anyway, she had good news - I was 5+ cm dilated (she couldn't tell exactly since it was so awkward to check) and effacing well.
Soon after that our doula Debbie came back and sat with us in the jacuzzi room. I wasn't really enjoying the jacuzzi anymore after the check, so we decided to head back to our room. Debbie told us that if we wanted to progress fast and avoid induction, we'd have to get more active with our labor and push it along. We agreed, so she showed us a variety of ways to get this done. We tried squats (this was soooo intense, it was incredible!), standing up during contractions with my feet apart and myriad other things. I really liked leaning on Tim and doing the contraction dance. It helped so much to know that he was right there and would help me get through them. Debbie compressed my hips and pressed on my back through these contractions, since they were getting more and more painful. I was hardly getting a break between them anymore. I labored that way for a long, long time.
My midwife came back in at some point and asked if she could check me. I said no, and she insisted. So I said no again. She talked to Tim and told him she really needed to since it had been past 24 hours since my water broke. He told her we just didn't want to. I was so horribly afraid of that awful pain, I just didn't think I could deal with contractions AND that. So she said she'd give us 3 more hours and if I hadn't had the baby by then, she'd have to check us. She also sent in this nurse who we absolutely hated! She kept wanting to monitor me during contractions and instead of keeping still, she'd poke and prod my stomach! She was not used to a natural birther, so she didn't let us have any space. We finally told her that we needed her to be less invasive, and that bought us some time alone.
Sometime during the next few hours I hit transition, and that was soooo hard! I kept getting contractions one on top of the other. Tim was so amazing, he would hold my hands and tell me he loved me and when the contractions peaked he'd say things like, "We're doing this for our baby boy" or "You're so strong and I love you so much, you're doing great". It helped SO MUCH to be able to look into his eyes and see that he was right there with me, and willing to help me in any way possible. He was having a hard time watching me in so much pain, and not to mention his back was killing him from me hanging on to him for dear life every time a contraction peaked! But he was just the best coach ever - strong, calm and collected and so positive. He was my rock.
I was laying on the bed on my side trying to conserve energy and get through the transition phase when my water broke. It was this POP! and then two gushes of water flooded around me! I was so excited because I just knew this meant that I was near the end. We figured that I was probably 9 cm dilated. My midwife came in again at this point and said she needed to check me since it had been a lot more than 3 hours since she had last spoken to us. I really didn't want her to, but she assured me that it wouldn't be as painful this time since my bag of waters was out of the way now. She was right, it was nothing like before! BUT she had some very bad news for us - I was only at 7 cm. That means my labor had stalled. She guessed that the baby was not coming down straight like he needed to since my cervix was lopsided. She also thought that maybe he was too big for my pelvis, since Tim is so much bigger than me. I didn't feel like the baby was too big, but hearing these words just made me cry. She told me my options were a C-section right away, or they could apply a cathode to the baby's head and see what my contractions were doing. That way, if they were registering as strong contractions but the baby wasn't progressing, they'd know that there was something wrong. Basically, my options were a c-section straight away or monitoring and then a c-section. It was crazy. I just couldn't believe that we had come so far just to get a c-section! I was bawling at this point, and Tim was crying too because he felt so bad that my dream of a natural birth was disappearing right before our eyes.
The midwife tried to soothe us by telling us that I was so exhausted and this was the best thing for me and the baby, but it didn't help. I relented and said if a c-section was what was going to happen, then I would get an epidural. I was so defeated at this point and the contractions were so much stronger with the bag of waters gone that I just figured I'd get through it in the least painful way possible. But suddenly, as they were getting my IV ready, I started grunting. Debbie looked at my midwife and said, "I think she's ready to push!" And sure enough, my cervix had dilated to 9.5 cm!!!! I was sooooo happy and so relieved!! My midwife asked if I wanted to push or wanted the epidural, and I almost yelled, "OF course I want to push!!" I finally felt like maybe my dream wasn't going to be shattered after all. I pushed on the bed for a while, and then the nurses offered to get me a birthing stool. Debbie said things would go faster on the stool, so I agreed to push on that. I pushed for about 35 minutes and Tim was right there beside me, encouraging me and saying things like, "You're so close! I see so much progress!" Finally I heard, "There's his head!" The midwife turned around to get gloves, and I decided I wanted this baby OUT! I was ready to meet my son! So I gave a big, giant push and the baby was born in about 20 seconds! It happened so fast that Debbie said, "Tim hold out your hands!" And all the sudden he was catching the baby!! He was the first person to touch our son, and then he got handed to me. I looked at him in wonder and amazement. He was soooo beautiful! I just couldn't believe that this little person had come out of me! This is who I had been waiting to meet all this time. It was such an amazing feeling. The feeling of pushing him out was just the coolest thing too. It was like I felt his first moments of life. I was so, so glad that I had decided to do this naturally. I was able to experience EVERYthing so clearly, and the baby was so lucid.
But then suddenly they were whisking him away and saying things like, "Suction" and "Fluid in the lungs". It was so scary, and I started to cry. Tim went with the baby. Luckily they just went over to the warmer so I was able to watch what they were doing. I remember there was a flood of people, and someone said I was bleeding too much and I was carried over to the bed. Then before I knew it the attending physician was in there saying they needed to stitch me up. I didn't care, I just wanted to know what was going on with the baby! They reassured me and told me he was just fine, that he had some fluid in his lungs that they had bulb syringed out, but that he was going to be just fine. I felt better then, and was able to focus more on what was going on with me. I heard Tim say, "What's going on?" And then someone explained that I had extensive tearing from the baby coming out so fast. They kept saying it was remarkable that a first time mom was such a strong pusher, and that they had no idea that I was going to do that or they would've directed me more. I delivered the placenta (surprisingly easy!) and I got a shot in my thigh that would numb me up and relax me for all the stitching I had to have done. I had second and third degree tears and it took the doctor 1 hour to stitch me up! She said it was amazing that I didn't have any fourth degree tears. They checked me for internal bleeding and then everyone left. Debbie got me some food and took some pictures and then she left too.
After that it was just me, Tim and the baby. It was so amazing. We couldn't stop staring at him and talking about his various features. I will always remember the time after I gave birth because it was just the best feeling in the world. The nurse and Tim gave the baby his first bath, and I breastfed him right away. He was soooo sweet; calm and so small. We couldn't stop staring at him. 32 hours after my water broke, he was here! It was an absolute miracle.
Birth story of Gabriel Asher, born March 16th @ 8:55pm, weighing 9 lbs. 2.9 oz and 21 inches long
I had heard from a couple ladies that taking caster oil can put you into labor naturally. I looked into it a bit and we asked my SIL's (aka my doula) opinion. Dave found a poll online that there were two groups of women close to their due dates. One group took Castor oil and over 50% of them went into labor soon after. The other group didn't take it and only 4% went into labor within the same amount of time. So . . . i took 3 ounces Saunday afternoon at 2 pm.
Dave and I had a meeting at church at 4 pm for all the youth workers/volunteers in our church. It was suposed to be over by 5ish and then we had youth group at 6. Throughout the meeting I had to keep going to the bathroom and had the WORST diarrhea ever. The c-oil was cleaning me out and I was having more painful contractions. I just wasn't feeling right. So, one of the mothers who had been at the first meeting offered to let me come home with them (they lived right down the street from the church) and have me lay down there and see if I felt good enough at 6 to go back for youth group. So, I went with them. Got to their house and thought I better use the restroom before lying down so I wouldn't have a diarrhea accident. I went to the bathroom and as I reached down to wipe there was a small gush of something that hit my hand. I thought, "I know I didn't just pee again" There was little white flacky stuff on my hand and I knew it had to be amniotic fluid. But it was only a small amount. I went back to the bedroom and sat there. I texted Dave and told him I thought my water was breaking. So, he called the house to find out what was going on. Laurajean (the mother) came back to the bedroom asking how I was doing cause Dave was on the phone. I told her and we decided to wait and see if contractions increased. So, I sat there and we chatted for a bit and then I felt pressure and KNEW what was about to happen. I stood up and there was a gush of water all over their bedroom carpet. It was kinda funny that I was at their house and two of the high school girls I mentor were downstairs listening to everything that was going on. Their daad was also there. It made for a good story. So, we called Dave and by the time he got there the contractions were close together and intense.
So, my water broke at 6pm and we were at the hospital by about 6:30. The nurse checked me and said I was 8cm already. Yikes! So, I labored through a few contractions when one of the midwives showed up. They couldn't get ahold of mine which bummed me out. The midwife checked me and said, "sorry but you're really only a 5." sigh! The nurse felt really bad but it wasn't that big of a deal. I knew I still had to get through this.
I was feeling pains again like I needed to poop again (stupid diarrhea!). So, i went to the bathroom and had two of the worst contractions because the contraction made the diarrhea pains worse. They hurt so bad! I wasn't able to go but I felt like I needed to push (poop). Andrea was concerned my pushing feeling was the baby and not pooping. They thought they better get me off the toilet.
So, I went to the tub. I only had two contractions in the tub and I couldn't help but push through the last one. Andrea (My SIL and Doula) asked once it was over, "Do you feel the urge to push yet?" haha, I told her "Yeah, I pushed through the last one even if I wasn't suposed to." So, I got out of the tub with Dave keeping composed but inside freaked out I was going to have an unplanned water birth.
I got back to the room and I was NOW 8cm dilated. Then MY midwife showed up! YEA! She had been at Mass and had her pager turned off. I was so happy to see her.
I labored through a couple more contractions and Cindy said it was ok to push a little but not bare down. Then she said something about lifting my cervix, letting me push through a contractions and forcing the last 2 cms to dilate. I had no idea what she was saying but being fully dilated sounded good so I said let's do it. She did whatever it was and then after the contraction was over she said, "ok you're dilated to a 10 now." Great!
it was time to bare down and push. So, I went at it. The head started to crown and the contraction ended. With Liam once he's head was crowning I got to just push it out right away but I tore really bad. This time I had to stop with the head right there stretching everything. It hurt so stinking bad. They kept reasuring me that it was good because it was helping stretch the skin before the head came through. Oh sure, that's all great but it hurt. I just sat there saying, "It hurts. It hurts". So the next one I pushed with everything I had and his head was out. One more push and he was completely out. Dave says he thinks I only had maybe 5 pushes total.
Dave got to catch him too! My midwife asked earlier before the serious pushing if he was catching. he got a little freaked out and was kinda like, " I dunno!" Cindy just matter of factly said, "go wash your hands" Then when the time came she put his hands down there. She helped the head crown but then just kept her hands under his and let him catch the rest. I looked down and saw I had a baby boy! It was so excited!! Dave put him on my chest and it was so over whelming!
So, Gabriel scored 9 on both apgars which was good. He had no jaundice. He was a big boy too, 9lbs 2.9oz. Liam was only 8lbs 1.1oz Gabriel nursed like mad for a while on both sides. He has quite the suck.
So, my water broke at 6 and Gabriel was born at 8:55pm. It was crazy how fast it all was. I am so thankful that it was fast and that it's over now.
Here's our photobucket full of pictures!!
On Wednesday, April 16th, I went in to my 40+6 weeks appointment. My midwife and I decided to do a stretch and sweep to try and get labour going. Carolynn, my midwife, said that if anything were to happen, it would probably start that evening. Matt and I went for a walk later to get some Mexican take out and spent the evening relaxing at home. There was no sign of labour starting, so I took a gravol to help me sleep through the night, and resigned myself for a few more days of being pregnant.
At 1:40 am, Thursday, April 17th I woke up and thought "crap, the gravol didn't work!" I dozed off and woke up again at 2:20 to go pee. I noticed when I wiped that there was mucous plug present. It was clear, but very obvious. I went back to bed. I woke up again at 3:30 with a menstrual-like cramp. It was the first sensation I'd had that was obviously not a braxton hick and it made me stop and think. I had another one about 9 minutes later. Another 6 minutes after that. Then 4 minutes, then 3, then 2. They were only slightly painful and lasting about 10 seconds each, but the fact that they kept coming made me realize this was the beginning of labour. With the cramps I would get the feeling that I needed to go to the washroom, but I wouldn't actually do anything, so I was up and down a lot. I finally decided to just get comfortable in there. I covered the back of the toilet with a towel and sat backwards on it, resting my head and arms on the tank in between the cramps. They were sporadic, but still coming and lasting about 10 seconds.
At 5:30 I decided to wake Matt. I told him that he should call in to work, and then get some groceries, because things were happening. He was hesitant, because it was still early. He couldn't miss work if this wasn't really it. I knew it was, but conceded. I went downstairs to get some food and putter around while Matt got ready for work. At 6:05 I got on the phone to Emily. I explained that I was having what felt like "medium menstrual cramps" every 4 minutes or so, lasting about 10 seconds each. I asked her if she thought Matt should go to work or stay home. She said that was up to me. She asked if I wanted her to come over. I said yes. Since she was on her way, I told Matt he could go to work, and that we would call him as soon as anything changed.
Emily called back a few minutes later and told Matt her hubby would drop her off in about 30 minutes, once she had the kids all packed up ready for grandma's house. Matt made me promise again to call him as soon as things got serious and left for work.
While I waited for Emily to show up, I put on my birthing music playlist and made myself some toast with butter. I ate about 3/4 of my toast, and then suddenly the bite in my mouth was extremely unappetizing. I ran to the bathroom and spit it out. I puttered around some more, getting things set up how I wanted them for the birth. Then I started to feel nauseated. Soon enough my breakfast came back up. Feeling better, I continued wandering around with busy work.
Emily arrived around 7am. I gave her the "tour" of where all my supplies were. She put on some coffee and we chatted. I told her I'd lost my breakfast, so she suggested I try to eat some more. I went for cottage cheese and toast with peanut butter. It seemed to be going down better this time. The cramps were still coming, and starting to get a little longer. I was still able to walk and talk through them. They were presenting themselves in a band across the bottom of my pelvis/top of my thighs. They were starting to hurt in my sacrum as well.
I had given Matt a grocery list of items to pick up on his way home, but Em and I decided to go ourselves. I was starting to get a little spacy, so I decided to get together my personal items before I couldn't handle it anymore. I went upstairs and threw a bunch of clothes and toiletry items in a bag. I brought them downstairs, then went back up to get dressed.
Shortly before 8am we headed out to the grocery store. I noticed that the first of my pansies were blooming. I thought that was a beautiful sign for my birthing day.
As we walked up the road, I was having more cramps/contractions. I forced myself to walk through them, even though it was getting harder. After walking up the hill to the main road, I felt the need to stop. I leaned on the guardrail and stepped in place to the contraction. Then Em and I took a self portrait, and we continued on our way. We stopped at the bank first and then on to the grocery store. Every few minutes I would need to squat or lean on something through a contraction. We got to the grocery store and I grabbed a cart to lean on. First person we saw inside was my old vocal coach, who I hadn't seen in a couple of years. He asked when I was having the baby, and I said right now. I don't think he believed me, because he said I needed to go for a bumpy car ride. lol
In the store Em grabbed items while I mostly leaned on the cart. I shuffled over to the pharmacy aisle to pick up some Tums. I had a contraction and squatted, trying to make it look like I was looking at the items on the lower shelves, because I felt a little self conscious. I was getting progressively more uncomfortable. It was harder to concentrate on anything going on around me. We got into line and I squatted through a contraction. There was no pretending this time, but I just didn't care. After that I went outside to wait for Emily. I squatted, leaned and rocked on a rail. A lady in the parking lot yelled over was I ok? The third time I said yes, she finally let it go and got in her car. It was a little embarrassing, but funny at the same time.
Emily came out and we headed down to the drugstore. Unfortunately, it was still closed. I was feeling really uncomfortable, loopy, and sick at this point. We decided to call a cab instead of waiting for the drugstore to open. Then my cell started to ring. I wasn't able to get at it, so Em answered. It was Matt. He said he was just waiting for a replacement to show up, and he'd be home in about an hour. Emily updated him on my situation, and asked him to pick up a couple of items from the drugstore on his way home.
We caught the cab home about 9am, and then I rushed into the bathroom and promptly lost my second breakfast. After this point, the details get fuzzy.
I sat on the toilet for a few minutes and noticed a small glob of red mucous plug. I was really uncomfortable in my clothes, so I changed out of them into my robe.
I went out into the kitchen and found that holding onto the side of the stove while squatting was good for the contractions. I chanted to myself "open up so the baby can be born, open up so the baby can be born" to keep myself motivated. Emily was in the bathroom attending to the birth pool hose, and every once in awhile she'd poke her head out to assess how I was doing. The contractions were coming about 3-4 minutes and lasting 45-60 seconds at this point. Every few minutes I would think I was going to be sick again, but when I'd go into the bathroom the feeling would pass. At some point I wanted to stay in there. Sometimes I would lean against the tub, sometimes I would squat holding onto the sink. Sometimes I would stand, squat, stand, squat through the contractions. I thought sitting on the toilet would be a good position, but that was very painful. It was frustrating because there was no one position that was right. I had to keep moving pretty much all the time.
At some point I was sick for the third time, and I think Emily called the midwives shortly after that. Carolynn was off call that day so Claudette, my secondary midwife, called us back. Emily updated her, then I talked to her. She asked how I was handling the contractions. I said I was moaning, moving around and "praying to gawd that they end soon!" I also told her I'd been sick 3 times. She was at the hospital, but she said she'd see us within the hour.
I asked Emily to call Matt to see when he'd be home. This was around 10am. He still hadn't left yet, which distressed me to hear, but promised he'd be home in about an hour.
A little while later Claudette called back. She said that she couldn't come just yet, but that another midwife, Lisa, would be over soon.
When Lisa arrived she offered to check me to see where I was at. I consented on the condition that she tell Emily what she found, and Em could decide if I'd want to know. I headed to the bed. I wished I could labour on the bed, but I had to stay moving, so it wasn't happening. After the check I went back into the bathroom and continued doing my thing.
Lisa and Emily came in and told me that I was at 3cm and 100% effaced. I had been at 3 and 50% before labour started, so I was definitely progressing. She took my vitals and the baby's; all was good. Em was helping me to drink sips of juice every few minutes.
Matt got home around 11am. I was very relieved to see him.
Just before 12 I headed to the bed. I was tired and wanting to rest between contractions. A couple minutes later I said I was going to be sick. Matt scrambled to grab a bucket. I projectiled and *mostly* got it in the bucket. Poor Matt, Emily and Lisa all got a little bit of spray. Thankfully, it was only apple juice. Relatively harmless, I suppose.
Lisa offered to check me again, and I agreed. I was at 5 now. Claudette arrived about 20 minutes later. We discussed getting into the pool. Lisa and Claudette agreed I could, but they would keep an eye on if my contractions slowed down. I mentally decided that they would just have to not slow down. Lisa left at this point.
Getting in the pool was nice. I loved the feeling of the hot water. I was surprised though that being in the water didn't relieve the pain of the contractions more. I assumed that I would just be able to lounge and feel nothing, but I still had to work hard through each one. Claudette would take my vitals and the baby's heart beat every once in awhile. The babe's hb was elevated, and she wanted to get a decel/excel pattern, so she was listening for quite a while. The problem was, the doppler was irritating my stomach and causing contractions. But we finally got a good healthy pattern recorded. The babe was moving around a lot too, which was reassuring. However, I found the movements really uncomfortable.
I felt like I had to pass a bowel movement, so I went to the bathroom. I peed, but couldn't pass a bm. I went back into the pool. My thighs and back were *really* starting to hurt. I needed someone to put counter pressure on them during every contraction. There I was moaning and groaning and twisting around in the pool, and Em was pushing on one leg while Matt pushed on the other. I still felt like I had to pass a bm during contractions.
The contractions were starting to get closer and more intense. The baby was visibly moving down. My body above the water was cold, so I asked for the bucket. I used it to pour water over myself, until Matt took over. We got into a pattern where between contractions I would rest my head on the pool's side and Matt would pour water over me, and during contractions Matt and Emily would put counter pressure on my thighs and sacrum. Every once in awhile someone would step away and I'd start a contraction. I'd start yelling, "Legs! LEGS!! BACK!!" and they'd be there in a jiffy.
I started to get pushy through the peak of the contractions. I wasn't doing it myself, it would just happen. I've heard pushing contractions described as a vomit going backwards. That is *exactly* how it felt. Claudette asked to check me to see if I could safely start pushing.
I was only at 7cm. My water bag was bulging, which Claudette assumed was causing the pushy feeling. She suggested that I either try to pant through the contractions, or she could break my waters to see if that would relieve the pushiness and help me dilate. I didn't want my water broken so opted to pant. I was able to do so fairly easily at first. As the contractions continued to get more intense, I discovered that I had to start panting before the pushy feeling came or I couldn't control it.
I remembered thinking "I can see why women want pain meds. This is hard. I don't like this pain," but then I'd counter that with "the only way to get rid of the pain is to get this over and done with. One at a time." Whenever I started to feel overwhelmed I'd chant to myself "one at a time, one at a time, just stay with it, just stay with it." Claudette would encourage me to stay on top of the contractions. Staying on "top" was a foreign idea to me. I preferred to stay "with" rather than "on". I had thought transition would be very difficult, but it really wasn't. I never felt out of control or panicked. Sometimes a contraction would have two peaks without a full break in between, but I never noticed that the contractions were back to back.
My cervix was slightly swollen. Claudette wanted me to get more upright. Being on my hands and knees or leaning over the edge of the tub was extremely uncomfortable. Only reclining and stretching out in the tub was comfortable, but unfortunately this wasn't helping my cervix. I needed to get upright to help dilate and stop the swelling. I opted for the shower.
Matt and I got in the shower. It was really great in there. Our tub is extra deep, close to two feet, and there is a ledge under the window. Leaning on the ledge during contractions worked well. Sometimes I'd rest my foot on the tub side to relieve some of the ache in my thighs. I felt less pushy standing in there, and well able to pant through it when I did. I could have stayed in there forever, but eventually the hot water ran out.
I decided not to get back in the pool. I stayed in the bathroom, leaning on the wall, or leaning on Matt. Resting my foot on the toilet helped relieved some of the ache in my thighs. I still needed someone to put pressure on my thighs and sacrum. Sometimes I would also need to massage the tip of my tailbone during the contractions. The contractions were getting pretty intense now, and the pushing feeling was coming back. Even with panting I was losing control over it. I tried squatting or sitting on the toilet a couple of times, but that was so uncomfortable I had to get right back up. Claudette wanted me to try to sit anyway. She said that sometimes the position that is the most unpleasant is the one that gets the job done. But I just couldn't do it. I stayed upright for awhile longer.
Eventually I felt right about sitting on the toilet. I had lots of bloodly show, and I was finally able to pass a bm. Emily brought me some chicken noodle soup and I had a couple of spoonfuls.
Claudette tried to check me on the toilet, but was unable to, so we headed to the bed. I was at 9 and baby was +1 and descending with each contraction, but the swollen lip of cervix was still there. I was feeling that in my lower abdomen, and needed to hold my hand there through the contractions. Labouring on the bed was good now. I could rest between contractions, and still get counter pressure during.
Claudette was getting worried now about the cervical lip. It would recede during the contractions, but come right back. She thought breaking my water was the best choice at this point. I agreed, because I felt that I was far enough along that I wasn't worried about the increased intensity or possible complications AROM would bring. However, Claudette checked again and now felt confident that the lip was getting smaller, so she decided that AROM was unnecessary. I was relieved that it wasn't warranted after all.
Carolynn, my primary midwife, arrived shortly after. Since we didn't know if she would even make it, I was thrilled when she showed up.
She suggested I get on my hands and knees and let her try to slip the lip of cervix over the baby's head with the next few contractions. I was all for it. I pushed a bit with the contractions as she slipped the lip over the baby's head. The pushing sensation suddenly felt different. Less out of control and more "right".
I started actively pushing with the contractions while on my hands and knees. I was resting my head on the pillows, so it was suggested I lift up during pushing so I wasn't pushing uphill. They asked if I could feel the baby moving down. I couldn't really, but I could feel that I was passing a small bm.
I felt the need to turn over. Matt got behind me and I sat in front of him in a semi-seated/reclined position. Immediately I felt my pushes were more productive and easier. My water suddenly popped! That was pretty cool! It was a light green, and I panicked. Meconium means a hospital transfer. I couldn't believe that I'd get so far only to have to transfer at the last moment. I asked "why is it green?!" I was reassured that it was a very small amount of mec, and not a danger whatsoever.
I continued to push, and I felt the ring of "fire" very intensely. It didn't feel very fire-like to me. More like the ring of "you're about to split open in all directions at once". Carolynn used some warm compresses on my perineum, which felt supportive, but didn't really diminish the tearing sensation. I was trying to push but also let myself stretch. I kept getting reprimanded to not be afraid of the sensation. I wasn't afraid, I was just trying to let the stretch happen, but I wasn't able to communicate to say that. I could feel the head crowning. I had one hand on my abdomen, and the other hand in a fist behind my tailbone. I was asked if I would like to feel the head, but I declined. I couldn't risk moving my hands, because they were keeping me grounded. At one point it felt right for me to touch the baby's head, so I did.
Matt was asked if he would like to see the baby's head in the mirror. He was not comfortable with the idea, but I wanted to see, so they told him to close his eyes and held up the mirror. I could see just about an inch of the babe's scalp. I think Matt ended up taking a peek after all.
The baby's pulse suddenly plummeted to 80. Carolynn said I needed to get this baby out now. "Alrighty then," I thought, "let's do this." Claudette told me to focus my anger at the pain in order to push through it. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I stopped trying to wait out the "fire" and just pushed through it. I did try to be conscious of not "purple pushing" though. I'd push as long as the contraction was with me, and then used my muscles to keep the babe down while I took a couple seconds to get my "push" back. I could feel the baby's head starting to come out. I swear it felt like there was a good 4 inches sticking out. I was thinking, "how pointy/big is this kid's head going to be?!" In reality it was only a small amount of scalp showing, and certainly not a 4 inch long cone. I felt a tearing sensation up near my clitoris, so I put a hand there to support myself. I could feel the baby's head with my fingertips, which was pretty incredible. I had to take a moment about three quarters of the way through the head's birth to catch my breath. The midwives told me to keep going and I said "Just a second [pant, pant]" then pushed, pushed, pushed the head out. Then I got confused. I wasn't sure if I should keep pushing the shoulders out, or wait and how long. Someone finally gave me the cue to push again, so I did, and out came the shoulders. They told me to catch my baby. I reached down, but couldn't stretch far enough, so held my hands out for my baby. Someone handed him to me and I pulled him onto my chest. I checked and saw that he was a boy. Well, confirmed really, because I always knew. Matt said later that as soon as the head was out he knew it was a boy. George just has the face of a boy.
When George was born, the sun was still letting light in the window. I had really hoped he would come before the sun set. It was pretty awesome that I reached my "goal".
George was looking around, but not crying. I rubbed his back and talked to him, trying to get him to breathe. He made a few efforts, but still wasn't taking a breathe. Claudette offered to help, much to my relief, and we finally got him crying. I held him while he cried and we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. It seemed like it was taking forever to stop. I was getting impatient and asked how long it was going to take. Carolynn said it could take up to 45 minutes. 45 minutes! I guess they saw my dismay at that, because they offered to clamp it at that point. It had been about 10-15 minutes already and the cord was only pulsing faintly at that point, so I was comfortable with them clamping. Matt got to cut the cord. Claudette and I tried to get George to latch, but he was still crying too hard, so we just let him be. I had a couple of menstrual like cramps, but they weren't pushy. I finally had a pushing contraction and out plopped the placenta. I was expecting that to feel gross but it wasn't. It was easy and it meant I was DONE.
A lot of blood came out. They told me later there was a huge puddle. Carolynn thought it might have been caused by early detachment of the placenta. The midwives were all business. Carolynn told me to cough. I coughed and kept coughing until she ordered a shot of pit stat. I knew by the tone of her voice that things were serious. I passed George (who was *still* crying) to Matt. The bleeding stopped shortly, and then they assessed my perineum. I had second degree tearing through my vaginal wall and slightly into the perineum. I needed 6 stitches. The tear was awkward to stitch, so it took awhile, but Carolynn anaesthetized the area well so I didn't feel a thing. I ate the tastiest bagel with cream cheese while she worked.
Once she was done, Matt brought a crying George back and we finally got him to latch on.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
George William Harris H
April 17th, 2008, 7:45 pm
9 lbs 5 oz
14 inch head, 22 inches long
Oliver is here!
Oliver arrived this morning after an active 8.5 hour labor. It started around midnight last night and I was having some tightenings that seemed fairly regular. DH got home from work shortly after they started and I told him, "I think I'm in labor" as I was in between moaning.
I told him he needed to start timing them, which he did using Contraction Master (we're so high-tech ). They were only 2-3 minutes apart but lasting around 30-40 seconds. We called our MW and she said to keep her posted if my water broke or if the contractions changed any. At this point, I was definitely moaning and groaning through them, but they were manageable. I had forgotten how tough they can get! Meanwhile, DD was sleeping in the next room. Looking back, I was definitely quieter than I could have been if she wasn't home.
Anyway, they started to get harder and I was having a hard time with them. I told DH to call our MW and ask her to come over. She came over around 3:45 (though my times may be off- MW will review with us tomorrow her notes). She checked me and I was 5cm. Yeah! I continued laboring and contractions definitely picked up a within a couple hours. Unfortunately, when she checked me later, I was only 6cm. I was pretty disappointed that I hadn't made more progress with these tough contractions. Meanwhile, we had contacted my cousin to pick up Avery since she'd be awake by 6:45. Avery got picked up around 6am, at which that point I decided to sit on the labor stool. I started feeling some major contractions. I was doing this deep moaning/yelling/singing thing through them. Very primal!
Once Avery was gone, I feel like things really picked up. Around 7:30 or so, I started pushing through some contractions. MW encouraged me to follow my body's lead, but when she checked me I still had some cervix in the way. I tried to stop pushing and found it REALLY hard. She said I had a bulging bag of waters that was giving me so much pressure and that Baby's head was right behind. Well, by 8:15, I started my pushing and couldn't stop. I still had a lip of cervix and was having lots of bloody show. My water broke a little right before the head crowned. I felt the head and went back and forth between wanting to have the mirror there and not wanting to see anything. I think it was just too intense! But after the head crowned and stayed there, I decided I did want to see it. They left the mirror there and I saw Baby's head emerge. I panted and waited it out, and then had to give one final push to get Baby out. Around 8:21, Oliver arrived!
Unfortunately, I had a bit of tearing so had to get sewn up. Since I had birthed in our living room, they just did the procedure on the couch. It took a while as I had 7 or 8 tears that needed repairs. Plus, MW told me my after my placenta came, my cervix had followed it out and was right near my opening! Once my uterus contracted, the cervix moved back up. Definitely not something you want just hanging around, right?
Anyway, all in all, I am SO pleased with our home birth. It was really intimate, our care was amazing and personal and our son arrived in our cozy space we call home.
Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:00 a.m.
8 lbs 4 oz, 20.5 inches
Home birth (in water, unassisted, and very speedy!)
The night before my due date (Sunday, April 13), my folks and my brother came over for supper and we had Indian take-out hoping to kick start something. You should have seen my brother - we had just finished eating and he is staring at me waiting to see if something is happening (he has no kids of his own) - I had to let him down and send him home; nothing happening yet.
It was a quiet night and I resigned myself to going past my due date. At 4:30 a.m. I woke up (not unusual) and had to use the washroom. I figured this was the Indian food - all it had done was made me burp a lot in the night. I couldn't sleep, so I went online and puttered a bit, then had to use the throne again at 7 a.m. I thought that was a bit unusual, but with not a single twinge on the horizon I was actually thinking the baby was moving less than usual and wondered what was up with that.
Well, ten minutes later I felt a pinch and it was unmistakable. So I started timing on the contractions website and at about 8 o'clock decided to phone my folks before my mom went to work to let them know they should be on stand by. I then phoned my midwife who said to phone back when the contractions were closer together (they were ranging from 5 to 6 minutes, but erratic and they never did become regular). About 8:30 they were between 2 and 4 minutes apart, so I phoned my folks and the midwife and told them all to get on the road. I went upstairs to run a bath; the only thing that eased the incredible intensity of these contractions was to be on my hands and knees with DH putting pressure on my lower back, but he had to deal with our two older children who were eating breakfast so I was seeking another coping mechanism to manage on my own until help arrived.
We put on the baby monitor so that I could summon DH from the bathroom, which I did in pretty short order; this baby was coming fast! Unfortunately, there was no one to look after the kids and they were left alone in the family room/kitchen listening to mommy moaning over the p.a. system that was our monitor blasting all over the house, as DH ran upstairs and forgot to turn it off! Poor Theo was in tears because Max was still strapped into his booster seat enjoying his Weetabix at a leisurely pace and he had no idea what was going on!
Meanwhile, I was on my knees in the tub and knew it was going to have to be me delivering this baby since no one had arrived and I needed to push NOW! Sure enough, out came the head with one enormous push (and bellowing from me); I reached down to hold it in the water and gave another huge push and out slipped her body; I pulled her up out of the water and got her on my chest (still kneeling) and kept her body immersed in the water so she wouldn't get cold and just waited for someone to arrive.
It was the most amazing/bizarre moment of my life! I was concentrating on making sure she had colour and was breathing (no problem - she was pink and yelling); it never entered my head to worry or wonder about the cord around her neck or anything - thankfully absolutely everything was fine and she got 9 on her Apgar (only had blueish feet). Thank goodness I had watched The Business of Being Born just a couple of days before - I felt like I knew exactly what to do, and the movie had really inspired me that this was normal and instinctual and I would be absolutely fine.
The midwife came in 5 minutes later to ask us if we had thought to check the clock (we had to guess her time of birth a bit - it never occurred to either of us!) and help me get the cord clamped and birth the placenta. She said it was the cleanest birth she'd ever attended (or not attended, lol) since everything was contained in the tub (so much for all the plastic draped across the bed and carpets!). I was in shock more than anything, I almost wonder if it all happened too fast for me to feel a proper high.
The most agonizing thing for me was the monster hemorrhoids that I developed from the birth and that gave me grief for three days - only now can I walk without pain although they are still far from gone. I didn't tear or notice any other discomfort until my milk came in (and now I'm Mrs Bricks-for-Boobs). But Anna is a trooper; she nurses lustily, pooped 4 times on day one and hasn't reduced her output yet. We will weigh her again in a couple of days, but nobody is worried - this is one healthy, prompt, to-the-point baby! We are delighted with her and look forward to emerging from the fog of the first few weeks into a family life again. I just hope she starts sleeping during the night soon - so far she is up all night and so am I, so I am a bit of a wreck, but happy! I feel like my last birth (we don't plan any more children) was the best, most ideal and satisfying experience of my life, and am amazed by how fantastic it makes me feel about myself and my abilities as a woman! I'm secretly glad nobody else was there (although I wouldn't have planned it that way) for the unique experience it has given me (and, of course, because nothing went wrong).
8 lbs 7 oz ; 21.5 inches long
All natural water birth ...2 hours 46 minutes of active labor ....went from 5cm to 10cm in 45 minutes.
- Woke at 2am 5/3/08 with light contractions. They were lasting about 40 seconds every 8-12 minutes. It was enough that I couldn’t sleep, so I got up to take a bath. I noticed I was loosing my plug. In the bath, the contractions subsided a little, so I tried to lay down. It hurt worse when laying down (in my back), so I got on up at 3:30am and went to surf the computer for a while.
- At 8am they were still coming ..no more, no less. Bob got up and we called his parents to come up and watch David.
- His parents got here around 10am. Contractions basically stopped …bummer!
- At 11:30am, I asked Bob to go walking with me in the rain to try to get them going again. We walked around the neighborhood and I had six contractions. We decided to ask the in-laws to take David to their house for the night, just in case, that way I could relax and concentrate. I didn’t really want David to go because I didn’t think labor was really starting. Bob said that if nothing happened we could get David in the morning …no harm …and at least David would have a change of scenery and get to spend time with his grandparents.
- At 12:30ish, the in-laws left with David. Bob and I planned to go out to eat/go to a movie since my labor had stopped. It only really happened when I walked, so I thought it was over.
- Well, the second David was out of the driveway, I got a STRONG contraction. So strong, that I couldn’t walk or talk through it. 10 minutes later …another one …then another one. I was hungry, so Bob and I decided to order in, take a shower, and call the midwife. My midwife later told me that sometimes, women will actually stop their own labors in the presence of older children. Women, subconsciencly, don’t want their children to see them in pain. Talk about mind/body connection! She was not surprised at all that my labor stopped, then picked up once David left. I thought that was pretty cool!
- We ate Japanese (I had rice, veggies/shrimp/water to drink), then I got in the shower. I told Bob to call the midwife as I was taking a shower. This was about 3pm. I started loosing track of time in here …when I was in the shower, contractions got tough and I had to moan through them.
- The midwife went to the birth center and started the water tub …we got there shortly after. My times are all messed up in here, but I’ll tell what I remember was told about times.
- We got to the center. We rang in and it was so peaceful! Bob, the midwife and myself were the only ones in the entire building! The nurse showed up about 20 minutes later, but it was so quiet and peaceful! I loved it! It was raining and there were roses outside the window beside the birth tub. Just a perfect day to give birth!
- Okay, we got there and she asked to check me. I thought I was 1-2 centimeters ….nope …I was 5! Cool! I also remember it was painful to be on my back. So painful, I screamed and had to slowly bring myself back to control. I need to stand or be in the tub.
- We went to our birthing room and I got in the tub. It felt heavenly!! I loved having the jets wash over my tummy. My midwife, Julia, showed Bob how to put counter pressure on my back to help relieve the pain. I was having lots of pressure in my tailbone. Baby was low!
- I hung out on the side of the tub and drank some water …let the jets wash over me. Bob was AMAZING y’all! Bob sat in front of me, outside of the water, on a birth ball. He held my hand the whole time. When a contraction would peak, he would remind me to “low moan” and he would do it with me. He also turned on my hypnobabies CDs. I didn’t actually end up using them, but Bob said the music and the ladies voice is so soothing that even if I didn’t use them as tool, it was nice to listen to in the background. I actually wound up leaning on the Lord and Bob for my support ..and it worked perfectly for me. In Christianity, we believe Jesus lives within us, so I was drawing strength from Him.
- I was handling things well …I figured I was still at a 5 or 6, just waiting for transition to start. My midwife asked if I needed to pee, and I realized I did. So, they helped me out of the tub and Bob and the midwife helped me to the toilet. Oh, leaving the water was painful! I don’t think I’d want to labor without the water!
- My midwife asked to check me, and I agreed. I was pretty sure I hadn’t advanced though and wasn’t expecting much. I wasn’t keeping good track of time, but I knew it hadn’t been long (about 30 minutes or so) ….well …I was 9 cm!!!! Wow! She told me she could still feel a bulging bag of waters and gave me the option of breaking it. I declined as I felt labor was going fast anyway.
- I got back in the tub, feeling very optimistic. I couldn’t believe I was 9cm!
- Well, at this point …the contractions got much stronger and I started to loose it. Between 10cm and the pushing stage was the hardest for me. I remember looking Bob in the eyes and telling him “I’m scared.” It was just overwhelming and coming too fast. I concentrated on his eyes through some contractions and it helped so much. He breathed/moaned with me.
- Bob asked the midwife how we would know it’s time to push. My midwife was so cool …she goes “Julya will tell us.”
- A little later, I was starting to loose control again. My midwife came to my level and breathed through the contraction with me. After that one ended, she asked if I felt the need to push. I said I think so …it felt like I needed to poop! LOL!
- Oh Lordy! The pushing was the most aweful feeling I’ve ever had in my life! I’ve heard people say they like pushing, but for me …owe. Transition was nothing for me, but pushing …goodness …that’s where I lost it. I felt like a freight train was moving through my body. My tailbone hurt, my perineum felt like it was going to break in two pieced AND I felt like throwing up on top of it all. During pushing, I didn’t want to be touched/talked to/helped ….nothing ….I just had to do my own thing. This is the point that I said “I can’t do this!” My midwife said “you ARE doing this.” And …yeah …I was …Kate was crowing.
- When I came into the birth center, I was praying during a contraction. This is the cool part for me …when I lost control with pushing, my midwife said “you were praying earlier and it seemed to help you. Is that something you want to do now?” I said “Yes!” She said “do you want Bob to pray?” I said “yes!” Bob prayed for the Lord to give me strength ….and He did! It was a neat experience. Bob, me, Julia (my midwife) and Pam (the nurse) all praying for strength during my hardest moment.
- My midwife said “a few more pushes and you’ll meet your baby”, but it was too overwhelming for me. It was happening too fast for me to stay on top of the pain. So, I had to slow down. I slowly let Kate stretch me, and the ring of fire HURT!! Sitting there waiting for a contraction was painful. Finally, the contraction came and I pushed with all my might. I screamed at the top of my lungs (I know you are supposed to low moan, but I just couldn’t at that point …I lost control). I sat up on my legs like a baseball catcher (this is how Bob described it) and I pushed my baby girl out!!! Wow!!
- 4:46pm - The midwife caught, Bob was behind me, and the nurse was to my side putting cool water on me with a washcloth (that felt good). Kate was right to my chest, and it was instant relief! She was beautiful!!! She wasn’t crying, which concerned me at first, but she was okay. Just a gentle birth, so she didn’t cry! I snuggled her, checked her legs, and I announced “it’s a girl!” LOL! It was amazing!
- We snuggled in the tub for a few minutes. The midwife waiting for the “gush” that showed my placenta had detached. Then, Bob cut the cord (after it stopped pulsating) and we all moved to the bed to push out the placenta. I pushed the whole thing out …she didn’t pull at all. It was a perfect birth experience.
- Kate/myself/Daddy snuggled in bed for over and hour …breastfed …everything before her weight/height and all was taken. They assessed her right on my tummy, and she slept right in the bed beside me. I LOVE the birth center! It was everything I ever wanted and I didn’t have to fight for anything. It was perfect!
- After Kate was assessed, I did start to hemorrhage, but the midwives got it stopped quickly. That was a little scary, but they are good at what they do.
- Both sets of grandparents and David came to visit in the birth center. David loves Kate! He asked “Baby, can I have it, Mommy?” So sweet!
- We were released to go home at 11pm. We slept in our own bed the night before labor, and we slept in our own bed the night Kate was born!! I love that!
So, all in all, the midwife said my active labor started at 2pm. I had 2 hours 46 minutes of active labor. I went from 5cm dilated to 10cm in 45 minutes. The pushing stage took 45 minutes because I wanted to take it slow. The midwives let me have total control and trust in my body, and that was amazing.
While the pushing stage was hard …I’ll even say horrible …I 100% preferred this way of delivering my baby over the epi/hospital. It was just so nice. The birth center midwives respected my body and let nature take it’s course. It’s just so peaceful. I’m really happy.
Oh – and I did tear – but only along my old episiotomy scare from when I had David. It could use two stitches, but she gave me the option of stitching it or not. I chose not to because she said it will heal without the stitching too. I think that if I didn’t have that weak spot, I wouldn’t have torn at all.
Kate is so cute!! It’s fun being the Mommy of two!! I feel very very blessed!
Another cool note – after we got home, Bob said “you’re stronger than I thought you were! You did it!” He had a huge grin on his face! He said, “I couldn’t tell you this before you delivered, but I was worried about how you would handle the pain.” I think all men worry about that, ya know? He is so proud of me though! That felt really neat. He’s just beaming. He doesn’t think he could do that ..lol ..which is cool! He’s keeps saying I’m tough ..ha! That’s totally not why I did it. I did it for the reasons I mentioned above – I wanted to let things happen naturally without hospital restrictions, but it’s really neat to have him say that.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 11-04-2008 at 10:43 AM.
Sorry it's taken me so long to post pics and my birth story...life with a toddler and newborn has been quite a challenge
5.12.08, 6:00 pm - DH and I arrive at the hospital for the induction...we take a few pics to pass the time - apparently 5 other ladies were in active labor when we arrived and every doctor in the L&D had their hands full!!
Me at 39 weeks...
Me and DH waiting for a doc to show up...
5.12.08 10:00pm: Yes, FOUR HOURS LATER a doctor can finally check my cervix and finds I'm almost 3 cm and 80% effaced...I'm not thinned out enough for just my water to be broken for the induction. I must start pitocin to get some ctx going and be sure the baby is low enough before they can break my water
Ugh. This was going to be my third induction with pitocin - I was disappointed that due to my HBP and the baby's potential size that I had to be induced, but at least I knew what to expect when it came to labor and pain levels. I was able to labor with pitocin without epidurals for my daughters, and that became my personal goal again for the birth of my son.
5.12.08 11:15pm: Pitocin hell begins. DH lays down in the waiting room next door that only has a love seat – poor guy… My nurse, Michelle, increases the pitocin every 10-15 minutes the first hour and tells me that she’ll get me to “white knuckles” mode in no time…how nice of her! At least she asked if I had a birth plan…I told her “no” just to see how she would play out during my labor. She was on the clock until 7:30am, and I was predicting I would give birth by then – I knew I was stuck with her.
5.13.08 around 2:00am One of the residents checks my cervix and I am almost fully effaced and 4 cm. She tells me that she’ll be back in an hour to break my water and get things on their way – yahoo!!
TWO HOURS LATER at 4:00am (these poor residents were run amuck all night)…another resident finally comes in and breaks my water.
I knew at this point with my water broken that it wouldn’t take long for Colton to make his appearance – 20 minutes after my water broke, the contractions started to hurt…of course, we know what happens after that – they start feeling like FIRE after a while…at around 6:00 am, DH wakes up and joins me in the L&D. I preferred laboring without him – it was nice to just focus on the TV screen during my contractions instead of looking at his puppy dog eyes feeling sorry for me. Michele, my not so helpful nurse would be so nice as to tell me when a contraction was peaking and ending – yeah, just because you can see them on the monitor, you know EXACTLY when they’re peaking! Give me an F-ing break, lady! I wanted to say that, but didn’t…at this point the ctx were coming EVERY MINUTE and started to give me the urge to push. Michele turned the pitocin drip down and paged the doctor…
5.13.08 7:00am We’re waiting, and waiting and waiting for the doctor to come. Michele checks with the unit secretary twice in 5 minutes…at this point, I am screaming that the baby is here and clawing at my husband’s arm. Michele pulls the emergency cord on the wall and we wait a few more minutes…no doctors show up. However, a mid-wife named Shirley does, who is a back-up for the resident doctors, who also is 75 years old and retiring next week ( I am not kidding.) Another nurse named Renee also shows up – she is taking over for Michele’s shift that unfortunately doesn’t end until 7:30 Can you tell that I didn't really care for my nurse, Michele?
I scream at these people to PLEASE get something ready because the baby is going to shoot out the moment I push. A resident, Dr. Foff finally comes in suited and the show gets on the road…she tells me to push and it burns in my perineum WAY more than I remembered from my last child, Tristyn, who was 2.5 lbs lighter than Colton. My first child was over 10, but my perineum was numbed by the episiotomy, so I didn’t feel any burning during the crowning…I look at my husband who is holding my left leg and saying “come on, Honey, you got this – you can do this…” I repositioned my back and neck, took a deep breath and pushed again – I can feel my face shaking and turning red as a tomato as Colton finally emerged…
5.13.08 7:14 am, Colton Gray is born! He weighed 8 lbs 13 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He has a head full of black hair and dark blue eyes. He is quite bruised due to the induced birth, but it gives him kind of a reddish, ruddy complexion. Isn't he handsome?
As the doctor worked on the placenta and I cringed through afterpains…I waited for the news on my perineum. It burned so bad and felt so raw during the birth, I thought for sure I would need some repair. The nurse cleaning me up said – “there’s not a scratch here, dear…but your hemmaroids are not looking so good.” Oh well! I’d been dealing with these darn hemmies for days already anyway…all of the mommies out there know that in the end, all the pains and suffering are worth it for our little ones.
FUNNY SIDE NOTE: About 15-20 minutes after I give birth, my OB doctor, the practice's on-call doctor, and the resident doctor who should have been at the birth all come in at once! The unit secretary REALLY screwed up and called ALL of the wrong doctors...maybe she didn't care for Michele either!
Here is Colton on his birthday and his Daddy…
Mommy and Colton on his birthday….
Colton looking dashing in his take home outfit!
Sarah Catherine’s Birth Story
Tuesdays are Brian’s late days. Since it was going to be a beautiful, warm day, he decided to take 4 hours of comp time and go in even later – at 4pm. He wanted to be at home with EC and I and he wanted to get some work done in our vegetable garden. I took advantage of the adult supervision and took his car to get the emissions tested, then went to the county clerk’s office to get tags for both cars – something I had been meaning to do for weeks as my tags had expired, but couldn’t find time or energy for with a toddler! While I was out, the project manager for our neighborhood FINALLY came by with the sheetrock guy to fix a spot in our master bathroom that had leaked back in early February.
We spent the morning outdoors with Emma Claire playing in her water table and on her swing set while Brian planted tomato plants. I also made a huge casserole for EC’s lunches for the next week.
I felt like I *really* needed to walk that day, but time got away from me and I didn’t get to take EC in the stroller. Once she was down for nap, I left Brian at the house and went for a walk on our neighborhood track. During my 30 min walk I counted at least 9 Braxton-Hicks contractions. They were really good, strong ones, too—my entire belly was rock hard and I felt simultaneous cervical pressure.
That evening I was poking around before going to bed and decided to color my hair. I had joked that it would be my labor project, but decided around 10pm that my roots were long enough! While in the shower I shaved as much as I could – legs, armpits, girl bits - it felt good to be blonde and bald again! Afterward I didn’t want to go to bed, despite being tired. I watched TV until about 12:30am and then mentally scolded myself for staying up so late. The thought crossed my mind that it might be the last full night of sleep I would get for awhile and I really should have gone to bed earlier.
We had been planning to take Emma Claire to the zoo that coming weekend, but I thought if for some reason I wasn’t pregnant at that point, this day was a lovely day that the 3 of us got to spend together. It felt good to get so many things accomplished! At the time I had no idea that our timing on completing all of these things couldn’t have been more perfect!
Wednesday, 4.23.08 4:15ish AM
Yet another lovely leg cramp woke me up. I’d had them pretty badly throughout this pregnancy. This one was in my calf. I lay in bed flexing my foot, hoping it would work itself out without me having to get up. While wriggling around in bed I felt a gush. “Well, GREAT! Leg cramp and urine leak!” was the thought that went through my head, but then I realized my bladder wasn’t full. My mind raced and I was trying to justify what I had just felt. No, no, no, no…not this way! Not my water breaking! No!!! I got up and dashed to the bathroom as quickly as I could for 39 weeks pregnant. As I headed for the toilet I felt another gush (“squirt” is more accurate). I pulled down my pants and plopped on the toilet. My underwear was full of pink, watery mess. As I sat there I felt or heard, or both, a pop from within and another squirt of liquid went into the toilet. I looked down and instinctively knew the pink liquid in the bowl was amniotic fluid. Again, my mind raced and fear seized me – I’d be on the clock, they’d want to put me on Pit, they’d want to use CFM, what about cord prolapse, a labor that would be harder on me and harder on baby…then I prayed. Through my prayer God reminded me that He was in control and that this was just the time and the way in which He wanted Sarah Cate to be born. A calming feeling washed over me. This is the way it is going to be. I called for Brian and asked him to bring me a maxi pad (I had bought some at the store a few days before for pp care) and told him my water had broken. I could just laugh at how cliché the whole moment was. He remained very calm and was up, had called my parents (to come watch Emma Claire), and was in the shower within minutes.
Called the OB on-call and she said not to rush, to eat some breakfast and head into the hospital in a few hours, then she asked how far dilated I was at my last appt. When I told her 3-4cm and 50% effaced she said, “You’re a second-time mom and things could progress really quickly. You might not want to wait too long to come in.” I told her I was worried about cord prolapse and that I had a doppler. She said to listen for fetal heart tones to be between 120-160bpm. With each crampy feeling I would listen and each time Sarah Cate’s little heart was beating strong.
I dragged some raggy towels around with me and decided to get on my hands and knees to encourage Sarah Cate to stay LOA. I was feeling crampy, but nothing that could be timed. I also felt the urge to poop, but wasn’t sure how far along I was – what if I was close to being fully dilated?? That’s when I posted on
PO. It’s laughable now that I thought I was about to deliver in my living room floor. My body just wanted to clean out before real labor started and clean it did! I think I was on my 3rd pair of underwear by this time. Whenever I changed positions I would feel another squirt of fluid that would send me racing for the bathroom.
My parents arrived about that time and I ate some yogurt for protein. I figured if I got sick later in the day peach yogurt wouldn’t be so bad to see again. Brian and I headed for the neighborhood track to try to get some contractions going. We walked s-l-o-w-l-y and I was having measurable contractions. They were down to 3 minutes apart. We made it ¼ of the way around the track and Brian said, “I think we should head back and go to the hospital.” We knew we had a 45 minute commute without traffic, but by this time rush hour was picking up and we knew it could take double that time if there was a wreck.
I honestly don’t know what time we left the house, but I do know that Emma Claire was just waking up as we were getting ready to walk out the door. I’m so glad we got to see her before we left! I told Brian I would need “quick carbs” and that we needed to stop at Publix for PowerGel on the way. He thought I was nuts, but he obliged me.
As soon as we walked into Publix I had another squirt of fluid and told Brian to find the PowerGels, I would be in the ladies’ room. Another ruined pair of underwear. Maxi pads are really no match for amniotic fluid! I sat in the stall literally praying that God would send the message to my husband to come looking for me in the ladies’ room. A mother came into the restroom with her son while I waited. My prayer sort of worked. A female cashier knocked on the door asking for “A pregnant lady who needs help.” I called back that I was she and to please direct my husband to the pharmacy to buy some maxi pads. She came back with a package. As I washed my hands the mother and son were coming out of their stall. I said, “This has to be your most exciting trip to a public restroom EVER!” She laughed and asked if I was feeling contractions yet.
Back out in the store Brian informed me that they didn’t have PowerGels. WHAT?!? Plain, glazed donuts seemed like a fine alternative (again, thinking I wouldn’t mind seeing those again should I get nauseous later). I headed for the door as Brian checked out. I didn’t want to lose more fluid and have to run back to the bathroom. As he left the cashiers – no doubt filled in by my maxi pad friend – called out to us, “Good luck!”
We arrived at the hospital and dragged in with us 2 small suitcases, camera bag, and inflated birth ball. At this point I had a towel wrapped around my waist b/c my shorts were now soaked. We marched right up to the nurses’ station and informed them that I needed to check in, that I was having a med-free birth and needed a nurse experienced in such a birth. A nurse off to the side said, “Oh, you think you are in labor?” I told her yes, my water had broken around 4:15am. She replied, “Oh, you think your water broke?” Hmm…perhaps the pink gushes and the fact that I’ve been through 5 pairs of underwear this morning have led me to that conclusion. I wanted to punch her. I informed Brian that the first nurse was NOT going to be my nurse. Fortunately, another nurse led us to a room.
I consented to one internal exam and the initial monitoring and turned my birth plan over to the nurse. She was extremely nice and did the swab test to make sure my water had truly broken although she said, “I’m sure it has.” I was 4-5cm, 80% effaced and at a 0-station. Progress! Contractions were mild, still just crampy and irregular. I was itching to get up and walk to help things get into a regular pattern.
I was checked into my room on the L&D floor and introduced to my nurse, Margo. She said they needed to do another monitoring strip and while I was in bed she would go ahead and insert my hep-lock. My veins kept “blowing” and she got it on the third attempt. Fortunately she used lidocane to get it in and the failed attempts were painless. She asked me if she could run some fluids into it just while I was being monitored which I challenged (I was drinking Gatorade and was plenty hydrated), then finally consented. My Lamaze instructor’s advice to compromise was in the back of my head. I have to admit that at this point I was worried about this nurse being a NCB-friendly nurse. As it turned out, my fears were misplaced. At the end of 20 minutes she promptly removed the monitor, unhooked the IV and said to get walking. Brian and I paced the halls and it seemed that the contractions quickly became stronger – to the point that I had to stop and sway with each one. I found it interesting that swaying forward and backward felt more comfortable than swaying from side-to-side.
Once I could no longer talk through contractions I started my Lamaze slow-paced breathing. Brian was timing them, but they still weren’t regular. My nurse flagged us down to come get monitored (an hour had gone by). She asked if I was a nurse. I’m not and when I inquired about her asking she said, “You sound like one.” While in bed I felt one lousy contraction. When she came to unhook me I told her walking helped, that I truly was having more contractions when I was walking. She said, “You’re in a good pattern. You are having them every 4 minutes.” Funny, I had only felt one!
More walking, more swaying, more breathing. If we weren’t in the hall we were in my bathroom so I could pee or change my giant diaper following a fluid gush. Brian says he is sure I urinated at least 20 times that day! It seemed like we paced the hall forever. I wanted to go to another floor, to see some different scenery, but my nurse said I had to stay on that floor. I was wishing I had stayed home. How foolish I had been to come on into the hospital. I was BORED and my feet were getting tired. The contractions were getting slightly stronger, but still nothing too terrible. At this point I stood still and held the rail in the hallway during each contraction. They felt like strong, menstrual cramps. More monitoring, more pacing, contractions only getting slightly stronger. I had to hold the rail and lean my head and shoulder into the wall during each contraction. I looked up after one contraction to see my OB
heading toward me. She asked how I was doing and said something that surprised me, “Let’s go to your room and check you.” I told her I wasn’t having any further checks to minimize risk of infection since my water had broken. I went over this with you was what I was thinking. She informed me that her son’s last track meet was that afternoon and that she’d be leaving early. Dr. Yu was on-call. Score! She was the NCB-friendly OB in that practice—the one to whom I had wanted to transfer! I felt a huge sense of relief.
More pacing…I was feeling some numbness or tingling going down the backs of my thighs with each contraction. I thought I was over-analyzing each sensation and didn’t trust my body. Suddenly, I felt completely groggy and I just wanted to go back to my room and nap. I knew that could stall my labor and told myself to keep up with the walking. In hindsight, I now know that was my body’s way of getting me to rest before transition. At this point I felt like I was getting nowhere and like I should have had the baby by now. Around 2:30pm it was time to get monitored again. I shared my frustrations with Margo and she suggested getting on my birthing ball. The pain with each contraction was getting more acute and it seemed like no time from the start of the contraction to the peak. The contractions were much shorter, though. So it’s definitely not the 90-second contractions of transition, I thought. I was now using a faster-paced breathing pattern. With each contraction I was resting my head and arms on the rolling table.
Margo came back to the room to take me off the monitor and we talked. She said that I was definitely progressing, that transitional contractions were shorter and closer together, but getting checked was totally up to me. Brian suggested that I get checked simply for encouragement. He could see that my morale was waning. I let her check me and was stunned when she said I was 7-8cm and 100% effaced! I looked at Brian and said, “I’m going to do it!!” I felt invigorated and anxious at the same time – transitional labor was coming. Yikes. I had only heard and read about it. I knew it could be 30 minutes or an hour and a half and I knew it was going to be hard. I asked Brian to pray and I honestly don’t remember what he said – I think I had a contraction during his prayer – but I remember that it comforted me to know he was talking to God for me in that moment.
I made another trip to the bathroom and while in there decided to see how laboring on the toilet would be. I had heard that some women really prefer to labor on the toilet. I am not one of them. It felt HARD – both on my pelvis and on my uterus. I just couldn’t get the rest of my body to relax in there so I slapped on another giant diaper and waddled out into my room. Another contraction hit as I was walking across the floor. I wanted to get on the floor but I didn’t. I don’t remember what position I assumed, but I think Brian held onto me or I onto him, or maybe I held onto the glider in the room?? It is a blur. I wanted to be in the bed. I also wanted my birthing ball. I thought I was still totally composed, but Brian told me later this is when things got intense. *He* was nervous and grabbed our Lamaze notebook, turned to the help cards for transitional labor, and showed me the pyramid breathing pattern. I wanted to chuck the notebook and the breathing, but instead I stared hard at the pyramid as I made my way through the next contraction, “Ah-hee, ah-hoo. Ah-hee, ah-hee, ah-hoo. Ah-hee, ah-hee, ah-HEEEE!!!, ah-hoo.” I was on my knees with my upper body resting on the ball. The sensation in my low abdomen was so intense that I was clutching it with each contraction, but still staring at my pyramid and trying so hard to stay calm and relaxed. I have no sense of time for this portion of my labor. I honestly thought I had only 4 contractions this way, but apparently I had been laboring like this for some time. I started feeling pressure in my pelvis with each contraction, but it was almost overshadowed by the sharp pain in my low abdomen.
Margo entered the room with Dr. Yu, the
OB on-call that afternoon and evening. I guess she was making rounds after the office had closed. Introductions were made and Dr. Yu asked me if I was feeling like I needed to have a bowel movement or if I had any urges to push. I glanced at the clock and realized why she was asking this. It had been 2 hours since Margo checked me. I was still draped over the birthing ball and in bed. She said she was surprised that I was 8cm 2 hours ago and still hadn’t had the urge to push…her voice trailed off in my head as a contraction started. I refocused on my pyramid and began my breathing routine. I don’t know at what point in that contraction it hit, but suddenly it felt like something huge – a freight train perhaps? – was trying to move through my body and my body wanted to HELP GET IT OUT! Uh-oh! This was the “urge to push” and I started blowing with all my might to stop it. I felt like I wasn’t doing the blowing right b/c I still wanted to PUSH. As soon as the feeling passed, I flipped over and said to Dr. Yu, “OK, you can check me!” Brian and Margo raced to pull the giant diaper off of me and Dr. Yu said, “You have a little lip of cervix left.” A contraction was coming and I knew that I needed to blow through any pushing urges.
Still on my back from the VE, I felt the freight train trying to move and I blew with all my might. I called out, “I shouldn’t push…I can’t help it!!!” I heard Dr. Yu say, “If you can’t hold back, it’s OK. You know when you need to push.” So I did it. I pushed with the urge and felt pain in my tailbone. I told Brian as much and he said, “Get off your back, Laura.” I wanted to, I knew I *needed* to, but something in me wanted to stay put. After what seemed like several minutes (probably no more than a second or two), I rolled over to my knees and leaned on my birthing ball. I wasn’t even aware of contractions at this point, just a desire to PUSH. With each push there was an intense sensation of the bones of my pelvis spreading. *That* is what hurt. Dr. Yu told me to lay more of my body on the ball, to even lay my belly on it so that the ball was supporting most of my weight. I pushed and felt a short burning sensation inside my body. I half-jokingly said, “I felt a burn, is that maybe that ‘ring of fire’ people talk about? Hahahaha.” I don’t remember her response, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of “No.”
I wanted to push only as often and as long as I felt the urge, but I heard Margo in my hear saying softly and quickly, “Pushpushpushpush.” Alternately, I remember Brian saying, “You push when you feel like it.” With the intense sensation that pushing brought, I wanted to listen to *her* and get this baby OUT as soon as possible. It felt like my pelvis was going to split into pieces. I was totally aware of each bone moving and of nothing else. I don’t remember seeing anything – did I have my eyes open? I don’t remember hearing anything but my own grunts, groans, screams and Margo saying, “Push, push, push, push.” Then I heard Dr. Yu say, “That’s that ring of fire you were asking about.” Sure enough it felt like someone had lit a ring of kerosene around my girl bits. That sensation quickly passed and I was aware of a cork-out-of-the-wine-bottle feeling that, in spite of the epidural, I had felt with Emma Claire. Relief was quickly overshadowed by a new sensation – something HUGE was still in my body and it was UNCOMFORTABLE. I knew it was baby’s shoulders. I yelled with the next push, “Get her OOOUUUTTTT!!!!!” and I felt another cork-out-of-the-bottle. She was born! I heard Margo say, “16:42” her time of birth, but nothing else registered. I pushed the ball away and looked between my legs to see my baby laying on the bed. All I could see was that she was, indeed, a girl. A moment later Dr. Yu picked her up and handed her to me with a huge smile on her face. I don’t remember taking my eyes off of Sarah Cate. I don’t remember how long I held her. It seemed like forever that I got to hold and gaze at my new baby girl.
I was disappointed to hear the doctor say I had a 3rd degree tear and she began injecting me with lidocane. I was *so* tense from the waist down as she began putting me back together. The pulling sensations as well as the lingering contractions were fairly unpleasant at this point, Dr. Yu said likely b/c my uterus had been hard at work for 12 hours and was tired. The doctor allowed Sarah Cate’s placenta to deliver naturally, another uncomfortable sensation, I assume because I was torn and one more object passing over that area was more than my body wanted to deal with. Margo took her APGARs (9 and 9) while she was on my chest as well as administering her PKU and vitamin K shot. Dr. Yu commented that we might have to start Pitocin as there were some clots that weren’t coming out. I immediately nursed Sarah Cate (who latched on and nursed like a champ!) but they still needed to start a Pit drip in my hep-lock. I was so relieved to see the last of the Pitocin exit the drip bag. I was tired of the contractions.
Finally, Margo took Sarah Cate to the bassinet to weigh her. Brian and I did a double-take when we heard her announce our baby’s weight at 9lb, 7oz. Her sister baked 11 days longer and weighed 7lb, 9oz! I don’t know why she weighed almost 2lbs more than her sister. I was charting so I was completely sure about my EDD and in both ultrasounds and fundal height measurements she was measuring average. Dr. Yu said that the position I was in for pushing was what midwives use to prevent shoulder distocia with large babies and it was a good thing I assumed that position to deliver Sarah Cate. It wasn’t until several hours later that I realized had I had an epidural, I would have been on my back to deliver her and she likely would have gotten stuck. We probably would have ended up in the OR for an emergency c-section. What a praise that I was able to do this without meds!
Birth Story of Nolan Stewart
Dec 5, 2003
9lbs 13oz, 21"
I started having contractions on
Monday December 1, 2003. They were about 5 minutes apart the whole day and we were excited that it finally seemed to be “IT”. I was due November 23…so I was READY! The contractions slowed down in the evening so I went to bed and slept until about the next day. As soon as I woke up the contractions started again: five minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds.
I went to the midwife that morning and allowed the first cervical check: I was 4cm and 90% effaced…we expected me to go SOON and quickly. Hahaha. I had contractions all day long…easy ones though. My sister came over to hang out just in case. I took a bubble bath that night and the contractions slowed again so I went to bed.
I woke up Wednesday morning at to some stronger contractions…still coming at 5 minutes apart. My mom came over that day so get things going…we went to the mall. We walked around the mall for about 3 hours…not buying anything…just walking in the warmth of the mall to get the contractions stronger. Then we came home and walked up and down the stairs of my eleven floor apartment building. The contractions got a little bit stronger…coming every five minutes and lasting about 30-45 seconds. Then, around they slowed down a little bit to allow me to sleep. I slept until about then got up. I hung out with my mom until when we woke Chris (my husband) up. We had plans to go out for lunch…hehehe, they fell through. Around the contractions started getting REALLY strong. I needed to stop and breath through them instead of walking and talking.
I was supposed to go to a non-stress test and biophysical profile that morning but didn’t go because of the contractions. My midwife called and stressed that I should have gone but when she heard my voice during a contraction she changed her mind and decided to come over and check me.
The midwives arrived around . I laboured hard for the next four hours. I needed someone to hang off of during contractions…they were HARD contractions. But, I could get through them. I also made sure that I thanked everyone who volunteered their body for me to hang off of…I knew that it was hard work holding up all 200lbs of me! The best thing was when this one midwife (I had 4 there, including 2 students) pushed on my hips during a contraction! The baby was posterior so this helped with the back labour.
At around we decided to check me again. I was 5cm and 100%. Not enough progress for my midwife so we decided to break my water. I crawled onto the bed made up for the birth in the spare room and they pulled out the hook used to break water. My mom sat on the bed at my head and they broke it. There was thick meconium in the very little fluid there. Immediately the midwives left the room to start making plans to move to the hospital. I felt so alone. This moment changed everything that I thought my birth was going to be and they left me alone, dripping amniotic fluid with my pants around my ankles. They didn’t explain the situation…they just left. Finally they came back and told me that we were abandoning a homebirth and moving to hospital. They said it wasn’t an emergency…just a precaution. I was fine then…we knew it was a possibility, especially since this was my first baby.
The car ride was the worst. I made Chris drive SO SLOW!!! Hahaha.
We got to the hospital and into the birthing room. The
lace>OBlace> on staff (Dr. Fingers, I named him because he was a huge man with enormous fingers!) checked me and I was 7cm now.
They hooked me up to a monitor and started timing contractions. The monitor was really distracting…one of the student midwives would only look at the monitor and wasn’t supporting me so my mom, a doula, took me off the monitor and sat me in the bathroom (where the monitor couldn’t go). I laboured on the toilet for a couple of hours. I remember staring at the label on my moms overalls.
Finally, at on the Thursday I was complete: 10 cm and fully effaced. The baby was in a +2 station. PERFECT! I started pushing in a lithotomy position on the hospital bed. I PUSHED and PUSHED! I pushed for 3 hours. I changed positions to squatting and side-lying. Side-lying was my favourite. At that point the
lace>OBlace> came back into the room (after the 2.5 hour mark of pushing the midwives needed an OB consult). Dr. Fingers said, “I’m just going to cut a small episiotomy.”
I said, firmly, “I don’t want an episiotomy!”
I pushed for an other 15 minutes but the baby’s heartbeat was dropping drastically: to 30bpm and 50bpm. When the baby’s heartrate dropped below 50 again, Dr. Fingers told me he was going to cut me. He cut one episiotomy and I pushed for another few minutes but nothing happened. So, he cut ANOTHER episiotomy. I pushed Nolan right out! It was on Friday morning then and I pushed for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
There was a neonatal team there waiting for Nolan to be born because they knew that he would have swallowed some of the meconium in the fluid. They needed to make sure he was breathing properly. Dr. Fingers caught Nolan and was ready to hand him over to the team when my mom grabbed Nolan out of Dr. Fingers hands and put him on my tummy so I could see what I worked so hard for! He was beautiful! I don’t even remember his face…just that I got to announce for the first time that it was a boy!
They wisked him away and up to the NICU for suctioning and oxygen. Chris went with Nolan. He was limp and blueish with APGARs of 3 and 5. They got him started in the NICU and he ended up just fine dispite his rough beginning.
It took them 3 hours and more stitches than the doc could count to fix me up. I had 3rd , almost 4th, degree tears. And I was hemorrhaging. I lost a ton of blood…they were considering a transfusion. They put me on a pitocin drip and gave me a shot of pitocin. They gave me two Tylenol 3’s, a foley catheter, something for muscle relaxation in a suppository and a shot of demoral too. Yay! Drugs! This was worse pain than the labour!
I finally slept. I slept until the next morning. Then, I got to see Nolan around the next day. He was beautiful and so worth the work.
There isn’t much that I would change about his birth. I had no drugs…that’s what I wanted. He was safe. And we got to attempt a homebirth. But, at the first warning sign we moved to hospital…it went perfectly as planned. I would plan a homebirth again for the next baby…but I would use different midwives.
Nolan was 9lbs 13oz when he was born…no wonder we had trouble getting him out the old-fashioned way! Should I mention his 16” head? Hehehe….
Here I am, with my mom at 5am...swollen, tired and ready for the baby to come out.
Reading the notes my midwives were taking in between contractions.
Leaning on DH during a contraction.
Last edited by Emilys3Guppies; 06-08-2008 at 01:06 PM.