I've finally written out Eve's birth story. I will post in my lodge as well so I can keep track of it.
Evelyn Esther Pohl
July 12, 2010 at 10:32pm
Now that I’m not pregnant I can look back on my pregnancy and think about how great it was. At the time it wasn’t so hot – but looking back (and not being pregnant lol) it wasn’t so bad. I had more energy in the second trimester/third trimester than ever before. I gained less weight than ever before. I shot a 10 hour wedding when I was 34 weeks pregnant. That in and of itself is quite amazing. (I fell down in exhaustion after lol). I still puked every day for almost 5 months but even that felt more manageable than my other two.
This was a surprise pregnancy – I must have had an abnormal month but I know that I ovulated at least 6 days if not more after we DTD. So when we found out we were pregnant we said – oh it’s another girl (Adelle was also a surprise conceived under similar circumstances lol). However at my 20 week ultrasound we all (myself my husband and the tech) squinted and tilted our heads as we watched the screen. It certainly looked like a boy part on the screen. So we started preparing our kids for their new baby brother.
My last two pregnancies and deliveries had been with midwives in a wonderful very ncb friendly “hospital”. They each had their issues but I was able to have natural births for both of them and was very thankful for that. With this baby I had hoped to have a home birth or another midwife attended birth at the very least. However finding out about this surprise pregnancy late combined with a shortage of midwives in our province made me unable to obtain midwife care. I went on a few waiting lists but soon realized that this was not going to be what I expected and made an appt with my GP. She referred me to a female OB who worked out of the hospital that was only 5 minutes from my house.
I will admit I had my confidence in my ability to have this one naturally shaken several times throughout my pregnancy.
Shake up #1 – Seeing an OB rather than a midwife.
The appt was so short – so impersonal. The OB looked at my records and noticed how late Adelle had shown up and said something to the effect of – ah a late bloomer with big babies. Sigh. I really didn’t want to fight with her. And looking back I think it was just a comment – one that I was sensitive to because I know of some OB’s who immediately think c-section for big babies and my babies aren’t even that big! At 32 weeks she arranged for me to have an ultrasound to check size. Big sigh. But again I wasn’t going to pick fights unless she was being super unreasonable.
Shake up #2 – Breech Baby (and also they couldn’t find the boy parts anymore when we asked to confirm…hmmm lol). However this shake up really helped me appreciate my OB. When I asked her what happened next she said – “nothing – we wait…if baby doesn’t flip we’ll ultrasound and see if it’s safe to deliver. Lets keep things as natural as possible.” What? No scheduled c-section? She was my best friend at that moment. I still had anxiety that I would go in expecting a natural birth and would end up in a c-section since things were more complicated now. Baby stayed breech until 38 weeks. I remember when she turned – it was not comfortable! At my 39 week appt my OB reached up inside me and confirmed that she felt a head!
Shake up #3 – GBS positive
Despite my best efforts – Vitamin C, Garlic, Echinacea, etc I ended up GBS + for the first time. My plans of going to the hospital late/or “accidentally” not making it had to change at that point. I wasn’t comfortable not getting it treated.
Shake up #4 - Sickness
I caught a chest cold at 37 weeks. I lost my voice and was miserable. Especially since I believe that I was so late with Adelle and needed to be induced because I got sick at 39 weeks with her. My body couldn’t recover until she was delivered. The induction was super tough and really kind of the labor of my nightmares. I wasn’t sure I could handle something like that again. But thanks to my mil taking my kids for a week I managed to recover and was healthy again by 39 weeks! Bring on baby!
After doing every natural induction thing I could think of I finally took a castor oil concoction just before 40 weeks. I had contractions for a whole evening that eventually spaced out and disappeared. I had hopes that at the very least they did something though. Obviously my body wasn’t ready. Fortunately I had no side effects from the castor oil. Just an evening of steady harder ctxs! But…at my appt the next day I discovered that they had not dilated me or effaced me at all!!
Shake up #5 – Induction
My BP started to rise up to an uncomfortable number. My OB decided that we should set an induction date. I cried. When I finished crying I felt like my sinuses were plugged. That didn’t go away…and a day later not only did I have a full on head cold but my chest cold was back. Ug – I wouldn’t wish being sick on my worst enemy when they are 40 weeks pregnant. We did everything that week to bring on baby on it’s own. Anything to avoid the cervidil induction that was scheduled for the next Monday. I even took another round of the castor oil concoction – which gave me great ctxs again. These ones even lasted through the night and continued in the morning for a few hours before they spaced out and disappeared. Woohoo! But sadly Monday morning I was still pregnant…so we headed into the hospital early that morning.
I was in a fairly precarious emotional state I’ll admit. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could do it again. I knew I had done it before but the ctxs were tough – right on top of each other for 6 hours and I hadn’t handled myself very well through that natural birth.
Eve’s Birth Story
We arrived at the hospital and I started crying. Brian wanted to take a picture. We had decided we would take more pictures this time. I don’t like this picture lol.
We tentatively walked into the lobby of the hospital. I looked around unsure where exactly we were supposed to check in. To our surprise we saw a familiar face. A friend of ours from church was sitting at the information/admitting desk! We discovered she was who we were supposed to see anyway! She got our file all started and sent us upstairs to the Obstetrical Assessment Unit. Ug…I hate that name. Doesn’t it just send the heebie jeebies into you? They put me in a room to change and pee and lay on the bed. They hooked me up to the monitors for 20 minutes and then my OB came in to check me and insert the cervidil. I asked how dilated I was hoping that the last castor oil induced round of contractions had done something. Nope. Nothing. I was still only 1cm with a long cervix. Wow… that sucked.
They then asked me to lay on my back for the next two hours (no bathroom or walking around) while they monitored the baby and me. Really? No bathroom or walking around? This was new to me since with my previous cervidil induction they didn’t do that. So I brought out my laptop and watched a photography training dvd that I had just gotten in the mail. Brian took a couple pictures then settled into a chair with his book.
I started having mild ctxs that the monitor was picking up more than I was feeling them about an hour into it. The baby kept moving so the monitors kept losing the heartbeat. The nurse was very insistent that we get a good solid 20 minute strip. Both Brian and I thought it was a little over the top. I mean the monitors had been picking up the baby’s heartbeat over 2 hours. Sure it wasn’t consistent but every time the baby was being picked up by the monitors it was fine. We ended up being there almost 3 hours with the last 30 minutes the nurse standing over me holding the strip in place and adjusting it when necessary. At this point I was remembering the quick 15 minute strip with my midwives and being thankful for that.
At 11am they sent me home! Woohoo! This was at least different than Adelle’s induction. I had had too high of BP to go home after the induction with her so I had to labor at the hospital the whole time. This time I only had to check in by phone every 4 hours and come in once the ctxs were less than 2 minutes apart or when I needed pain relief.
We went to bed. I slept for about an hour or so. I also called back my childhood best friend who had just come home from a year in Argentina and had called that morning and left a message that she was home and where was I? Having a baby? LOL actually…yes.
Because we can’t help but compare each labor, I started getting frustrated. Where were those ctxs? It was now 1pm (5 hours after insertion) and unlike Adelle’s where they started 2 hours after insertion – I was feeling very little – just crampy and I had been crampy for weeks. My mom called and told me that their best friends were in town and she wanted to go out for supper with them. She would be with me if I needed her but otherwise she would go for supper and come check on me after.
Knowing I didn’t need her set me off emotionally. At 2pm I started feeling regular ctxs – but not strongly. I called into the hospital to check in like I was supposed to. Nope my water hasn’t broken. No I don’t feel more than 5 ctx in 10 minutes. No bloody show…
I fell apart. I layed on the bed and sobbed. This baby wasn’t coming. I was going to be doing this ALL night and then have to go back into the hospital for round #2 induction. I missed my kids. It was Hunter’s birthday the next day and I didn’t want them born on the same day. I was going to miss Hunter’s birthday regardless. And all for a baby that wouldn’t come! And I was still coughing.
Interestingly enough – this is really where things changed for me. I know there are emotional signposts of labor and I believe this is where I went into active labor. I fell into kind of an emotional state for the next couple hours. I was unsure what to do with myself and growing more and more uncomfortable. I paced the room, cried, sprawled out leaning over a pillow on the edge of my bed for a while, and then returned to pacing, and crying.
At 6pm my mom called and said they were done dinner and dad would drop her off. She hadn’t been involved in either of my other births. We lived 45 minutes away and had wanted to do it all on our own. Now she lived close and I knew I’d need extra support for this one so a couple weeks before the birth I asked if she would come with me. I’m so glad I did. Her showing up was a lifesaver. Brian is wonderful but there’s something about a mom… and my mom is much more of a nurturer than my husband is. I had to check in at the hospital just after she got there. They said that I could stay home for the time being. My mom suggested I climb into our tub. I remember laughing and saying I had never used it before. It’s small so I wasn’t sure what good it would do.
It was great. I laid on my side in the hot water and my mom rubbed oil into what was exposed of my back and hip. Every so often I turned over to the other side. We visited and I paused every 2-3 minutes to breath through a ctx. These were still not as intense as any other ctx I had had with the other two so I wasn’t sure that it was actually doing anything. But with my mom there and our visiting I wasn’t nearly as emotional about it. Brian in the meantime was able to hang out in our bedroom and rest up in case it was a long night. He enjoyed being able to chill out and I enjoyed my mom’s company so we both won!
Around 8:30 or 9pm my mom wondered if I wanted to try getting out of the tub for a bit and lean over the sink while she rubbed my back. I had been having steady ctx in the tub and the last one had been a ctx with a double peak! Though they were still really manageable. I wasn’t even using my voice – just breathing and thinking, “relax the face, relax the hands, relax the pelvic floor”. I figured that I had probably had enough “easy ctxs” and should see if getting out would get them to come closer together.
Sure enough – within a few minutes something changed. I had one that was harder than the others I’d been having and I felt some intense pressure. I said I think something’s changed – we should probably pack up. They started coming every minute and a half or so. I was able to still breath through them though.
We arrived back at the hospital around 9:15pm. I went straight up to L&D and they tried to send me back downstairs. I said I’ve already registered. I was arguing though I was having ctxs and had to stop every minute or so to relax through a ctx. My OB walked down the hall at that point and told them it was fine and to just look up my file since it was there from the morning. They brought us to a room that had 6 other women in it and told me that I could only have one other person with me since things were tight in there. I apologized to Brian and asked my mom to stay. She was helping me stay relaxed and I didn’t want to change that up. It was almost 9:30 at this point. My OB came in and checked me right away. She said – well lets get you into a room – you are a 6-7 already. It’s not likely that we’ll get a full round of antibiotics in.
“Now…what would you like to do for pain relief”. Here’s my chance lol – I haven’t ever been asked that question since it’s assumed with midwives that you will ask if you need something. I said that since my other two were natural I was planning on the same for this one. The nurse said – “wow we don’t get many of you in here”. (the Epidural rate at that hospital is something like 98%).
We left the room with the other women in it and went to my own delivery room while someone ran to grab Brian. He had called my dad who was on his way to wait with him. He said it felt like he was in the days of old – pacing the waiting room waiting for news lol. Anyway we sent my dad back home since we weren’t sure how long it would be.
I was set up with an iv and put on my back to be monitored. Suckiest part I will say. I was able to maintain control through some harder ctxs though. Nurse asked if I wanted laughing gas. Only if I want to be puking right now I joked with her. My mom held one hand and Brian held the other. I laughed and joked with the nurse in between ctxs. Then I started shaking. TRANSITION! Both my mom and I said it together! Everything got a bit harder but I had been through my emotional breakdown all ready. This was around 10:15pm. My mom whispered in my ear – I bet this baby will be here by 11pm!
After a couple stronger ctxs I told the nurse I couldn’t lay on my back anymore – could I go to the washroom? We were quite the entourage with the nurse holding my iv, my mom and Brian trailing me to the washroom. Brian commented – “there’s your bloody show” (one of my emotional outpourings had been that I had nothing happening and that I wanted to see some freaking bloody show or SOMETHING!)
The OB came in and checked me. I was 8-9cm. She suggested we break my water. I wasn’t going to make it 4 hours for the iv – there was no sense prolonging things. I was willing since being on my back sucked. I expected a gush like with the other two but there wasn’t really anything. It was weird. They said it would come but to be honest I can’t remember it coming.
I went to a 10 within the next 10 minutes. I had been feeling grunty through the last several ctxs and had started pushing a little - I think it just served to move baby down. When I had permission to push it was around 10:25pm.
I felt that sweet relief at 10:32pm. There is nothing as good as that feeling. It’s so delicious to feel the release of the baby and all pressure and pain ceases. As they placed her on my chest I asked – “what is it?”
It’s a girl! I was surprised. Even though I knew it was a possibility I still thought I was having a boy.
I held her for a bit but unlike a midwife attended birth – they whisked her away almost immediately. I was having issues I guess – I started to hemorrhage so they put pitocin in my iv and had me take cyotec. The Cyotec made me shake and shiver – it sucked. Then the nurses messaged my stomach, which made me feel like climbing the wall – it was not pleasant.
My dad drove back to the hospital (poor guy lol) to come see Eve and to pick up my mom and we were moved to a private room around midnight. We had to stay 36 hours since I didn’t get the antibiotics in time. We were expecting a room more like friends of ours had with a big bed in it – but it turned out that there wasn’t a place for Brian to even sleep – other than a bench in the room. So I sent him home around 1am to sleep and settled in to get to know my daughter.
She screamed almost all night that night. I had an amazing nurse who often came in to visit and hold Eve for me to try to settle her. Finally around 4am she settled enough to take her down for blood work so off she went. My nurse brought her back and put her to sleep for me and I finally was able to settle into sleep for a couple hours. At 6am the travelling lab came by my room to take my blood and they were awful. My nurse came in too and asked them to be quiet since we had had a really rough night so far. The one tech throws on all the lights and says - the baby needs to learn to sleep through anything. Uh…sure…but she’s only a few hours old and we’ve just had a horrible night. I was so irritated with her. Another nurse told me during the next night that it looked like Eve was hungry and that I should supplement with formula. No thankyou. I’m thankful this was not my first or I would have been really overwhelmed by some of the idiot things said to me. I was so happy to go home when we were finally released.
Eve is still my hardest baby. It’s why I haven’t been around much. I’ve recovered quickly and feel almost back to normal save a UTI I picked up and some wicked hemmies. But the screaming…oh the screaming. Again I’m just glad she’s not my first lol.
She had issues latching at first because my nipple was so big and her mouth was so small. Now she is latching better and I’ve had almost no soreness (hooray!!) BUT she is a horrible nurser. She only latches for a few minutes then lets go and screams or lets go and falls asleep. It’s a constant battle that I hope gets easier with time.
All in all though – while she’s my hardest baby, she was my best most peaceful birth. I’m happy that I was able to have that at a hospital – and I credit that to staying home and relaxing there as long as I did. I do believe staying at home as long as possible is the best way to have a natural hospital birth.