Yay thanks for starting this for me Elizabeth! While I have time, let me do a run down of my past two pregnancies/deliveries which were pretty much like night and day!
With my first, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. BP was always low, little to no swelling, didn't gain a bunch of weight, etc. Had one "scare" when I was measuring behind a couple weeks but an u/s showed baby growing fine. My plans were to deliver at a birthing center, preferably a water birth, and I took "mindful birth" classes which are loosely based on the Bradley Method to prepare myself. When I got to 40 weeks, my midwife checked baby and he was posterior. She stripped my membranes and tried to manually turn baby to a more favorable position. That day I had light contractions and I believe I went into actual labor a coule days after that. I remember feeling really weird pains on the top of my stomach that were worse than contractions and the midwife advised me to do pelvic turns during contractions to get baby to turn. I really hated standing up and walking around while I was in labor though and the constant pain in my stomach was getting worse and I really wanted to go so we went ahead into the birthing center.
Once we got there I walked in loops around the halls and swiveled my hips during contractions but again, I just really really wanted to lie down so I eventually laid on my side in the bed and DH laid next to me and put counter pressure on my hips every so often. Then - this is the part I don't remember - but all of a sudden I started shaking and convulsing. I was having an eclamptic seizure. My husband says my midwife was very cool and told him to call 911 and hooked me up to oxygen etc. I was taken to the hospital 5 minutes down the road where they hooked me up to fluids, checked me (7cm) and really tried to get my labor going. I do remember talking to DH about an epidural which we agreed on but sometime around then I had another seizure and baby was going into distress so we were sent for a c-section.
I don't remember much about the c-section either. I do remember seeing him for a split second and then having DH go w/ him after that.
Micaiah Philip was born at 9:56am on February 14th weighing 7lbs 15oz and measuring 20 3/4 inches long.
However, the hard part wasn't over yet. I remember in recovery, my mom feeding me jello and me asking for my baby over and over again. I hated that I had just gone through 36 hours of labor and couldn't see him. After being in the hospital for a day or so,
Micaiah developed a high temperature, low oxygen and some blueness associated with it. They quickly took him to the NICU. They were concerned he MIGHT have an infection, so they put him on antibiotics to monitor him for 48 hrs, at which point they would know his results. So I had to come home from the hospital without my baby. That was the worst couple days of my life. I was already struggling with low milk supply and having to travel 1 hour round trip every 3 hours to feed him was taxing. It was so weird to see this huge full term baby in NICU, and so wrong I thought. He ended up having another blue spell so we had to again wait for the doctor to say it was okay for him to go home. We really felt that was the best thing for him. After his tests for infection came out negative, the doctor let him go instead of having him wait another 48 hours.
We are still unsure why I developed Eclampsia so quickly. I had not been showing any signs of it (or Toxemia) in my previous checkups. Looking back from 5 years ago now though I think my body was tired of being in labor and since he was posterior I wasn't progressing and it just all put me over the edge. My mom had pre-e w/ me so it's hereditary.
Well, I wasn't planning on writing a book but ya know, I can't just summarize things! I will come back w/ Noel's birth story tomorrow. Don't worry, it's much happier!
Noel's birth story:
This pregnancy was like the last - no problems, no huge weight gain etc. This time though because of my previous history, I was monitored more closely. I had urine strips and a bp monitor to use at home, I tried to eat as much protein as I could, and I took a cal/mag supplement throughout my pregnancy to try and prevent what happened before.
Because I was seeing a nurse midwife for a VBAC and she was working full time elsewhere, we tried to do some natural induction techniques to get baby born on a weekend so the NMW was more available. However, looking back I realize this was really futile, just got my hopes up and was just uncomfortable and unnecessary. Little girl just wanted to come on her own time!
I went to bed at around 11pm on Tuesday night, March 2nd, but I could not go to sleep. The baby had some pretty violent hiccups that shook my entire belly, and was moving around a lot, causing me to feel pressure. So I went downstairs and did some crossword puzzles, hoping to wear my mind out so I could sleep. I went back to bed at 12:30 and slept until 2am when I woke up with contractions. I constantly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and it felt good to sit on the toilet anyway so I walked back and forth from the bed to the bathroom a few times. I had a pretty strong contraction once while on the toilet, stronger than anything I remembered feeling with Micaiah. Finally, I sat on the bed again cross-legged and timed a few contractions. They were about 5-6 minutes apart so at around 3:15 I woke up DH. We then went ahead and called my midwives and my parents who live two hours away so they could be here with Micaiah.
We timed a few contractions which were still five minutes apart and I went to take a shower. I then lay down in the bathtub for a bit. Tim came in to check on me and all of a sudden I got nauseous and had to get out of the tub to throw up. This is when I finally believed I was really in labor. Up until this point I wondered if this was all just practice. I was worried that my parents would make a wasted trip down here and that I had woken my midwives up for nothing. But when I was in labor with Micaiah, I couldn’t keep anything down either so it was no surprise that it was the same way this time around.
Right after that, I noticed a few drips of something come out of me and I thought it was probably my water starting to break. Looking back, it might have actually broken in the shower because it was broken when I got to the birthing center and I hadn’t had any more water come out.
DH and I now started to get all the last minute things together to leave. He called a family from church to watch Micaiah since my parents were still on their way. Meanwhile, my contractions were consistently 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds. To get through the contractions, I was either sitting cross-legged on the couch or lying on my belly on top of a pillow and sticking my butt up in the air when I had a contraction. I’m sure it was attractive! I also had a rice pack on my lower back to take away the slight pain there. When we called the nurse midwife again (we’ll call her Midwife C), she said to try to stay active and walk around, but that wasn’t very attractive to me. I think they were really just concerned about the baby's position and my progression but honestly looking back I was progressing just fine. DH made me do it through a few contractions and swivel my hips around for the possibility of her being posterior (since I was having some back pain). It really helped me to just zone out and focus on the contraction, then just rest as much as possible in between. I threw up a couple more times, too. I realized it was when a contraction was stronger than the ones before it had been, it made me nauseous.
We finally left the house at around 7:15am. I sat in the floor in the front seat and leaned on pillows. It was harder to focus in the car, but not unbearably so. DH would steady me when we went around a curve which was helpful but distracted me from concentrating. We dropped Micaiah off and arrived at the birthing center at around 8am. Midwife C checked me and said I was 6-7cm. Then the other midwife (Midwife L – who saw me through my first pregnancy but can’t deliver VBACs) decided to see if she could tell what position the baby was in. She tried to turn the baby during my contraction to see if it would help with back pain. Looking back I don’t think she was turned at all; I was just having mild back pain that can be normal in any labor. This was when I asked about all the liquid that I felt coming out and she said it was water, but that it had already broken and she didn’t break it herself. At that point with all of that poking and prodding she did, I was up to 9cm so they ran the water for the tub. Man did I want to get in there so bad! While I waited, DH would try to help by massaging me and I remember telling him to stop touching me. I was so focused on getting through the contractions and resting in between that any unwanted touch was a distraction. Sometimes I wanted him to massage me but only if I asked him to first.
Once in the tub, I was allowed to go ahead and push, even though I didn’t really feel like pushing. It was a slow process, but something I expected for my first vaginal delivery. I don’t think DH realized that pushing could take so long. Everyone was so encouraging, saying to wait for a contraction to push and then saying “Almost there, she’s definitely coming out, keep pushing, you’re doing a good job, etc.” DH was wiping my forehead with a cool cloth in between, and pushing against my back with all of his might during a contraction. He also kept asking me if I wanted any water and at first I did but after that I didn’t need more and I found it slightly annoying when he kept asking. Eventually Midwife L, who was coaching at the end of the tub, gave me a mirror so I could see what was going on myself. When I’ve watched birthing videos in the past, the thought of actually seeing what was going on down there made me cringe, but this really helped me to *know* that I was making progress and it made me push even harder to get that baby out! I also often put my hand down to feel her head and was surprised that it had a decent amount of dark hair on it! As I kept pushing, I realized that it didn’t really hurt at all. It was exhausting, but I didn’t feel that much pain. Maybe twice I vaguely felt that “ring of fire” feeling but I knew I had to push through it. I also realized that at this point, I was automatically pushing without even thinking about it. DH said later that he was surprised at how happy I was in between pushing.
Finally the head was out and a few light pushes and the body slipped out and I was handed my daughter. First thing I thought was she looked like her daddy. We checked the gender to make sure she was still a girl and were relieved that she was. (I had only had one u/s and they gave me the “don’t see anything to say it’s a boy so it must be a girl” line.) I held her and cuddled her and looked at her in awe for awhile. I tried to get her to nurse but we were both so slippery that it wasn’t working very well. I was also surprised at how clean she looked, but I guess that’s because she was born into water. The cord stopped pulsing and DH cut it and took the baby while I pushed the placenta out. Midwife C had to make sure she got it whole so there was nothing else stuck inside of me. Then I was washed off and led out of the tub and into the bed.
I had a pretty good tear, unfortunately, but it was only first degree so Midwife L was able to stitch me up there. Let me tell you, NOT a comfortable experience.
Looking back at the whole thing, the labor and contractions were not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. They were never so close together that I didn’t have time to rest in between. I never had that transition stage where I questioned my body either. And even the pushing wasn’t that painful and even though it was hard work, I never thought I was too tired to keep going. Oh, and DH was very encouraging despite my jabs at him. He did perfectly!
Born March 3, 2010; 10:07am
8 lbs, 2 oz; 21 in long
I loved reading your birth stories, wow the first one was quite a scary experience. I'm glad you had such an awesome second birth. I love the pic you posted of you in the birthing tub with your baby and DH!
XP from my bb for anyone on here who's not on there!
What a sucky appointment today. First I have to say despite everything, baby and I are both healthy and for that I am thankful.
To start off, they rescheduled my appt for 5:30 yesterday so a perk of that was that I met DH at work and he took the kids so I could be there in peace. Which was good because I ended up not even seeing the midwife until almost an hour after my appt time. :/ BUT I got to see MY midwife, not the other one.
For starters, after having my iron tested again last time, it was still low. My m/w always recommends specific vitamins and I had just bought some cheaper iron I found on Amazon and was taking one a day. Well, she said I should be taking 4(!!) a day of HER recommendation. So $15 later, I have a whole 30 capsules of raw iron which will last me about a week if I take 4 a day!! (I decided I would take half of the ones I have and half of hers - so 2 of each kind - a day instead to stretch it out.)
Next, my strep B test came up positive. I've never tested positive and I'm wondering about that. My doula friend asked me if I had DTD the night before because that can throw it off and it was entirely possible so I dunno. But anyway, I have to buy this hibiclens stuff and douche every day for awhile and I asked to be retested in two weeks so here's hoping it's negative.
Then the worst part, which I can't really go into detail about but due to unforeseen policies and circumstances, I will have to have my baby at home at this point. This could change and hopefully it does but if I went into labor right now, my m/w would have to come here. This is a bigger deal for hubby than for me; I can live with it, but when I told him last night, he got mad at me for not telling me that it was a possibly sooner (I had known it might be and I *did* tell him but he forgot.) and he really hasn't talked to me since.
Otherwise, bp was fine, baby measuring fine, in good position, head is low and down, etc.