My plan was to have a completely natural birth, with no medical intervention whatsoever. It was my third full term birth, and both of my previous were natural births. Unfortunately, I tested positive for Group Beta Strep. When that happened, I was forced to change my birth plan. Since I delivery so quickly, my midwife and I decided to schedule an induction. This would allow time to have the needed anti-biotics move all the way through my system and into my baby's before she entered the birth canal. So, I would do an induction, and still plan to go as natural as possible, while using my HypnoBabies training.
The induction was scheduled for first thing in the morning on Nov 27. My mom and dad were both in the hospital earlier that week, so my sister, Rebeka, generously went with me to the hospital. I knew I had wanted her by my side for the birth. She and I are close, and I wanted to share this experience with her as my sister and my best friend. We took my car, and I drove. I thought it would be cool to say I drove myself to the hospital. We arrived around 8, and I was checked in right away. The medical staff did an internal check, and I was 3cm.50%. They started me on an IV and started the first bag of anti biotics. Because my arm was so cold from the IV fluids, Rebeka had them wrap a warm baby blanket around my arm and tape it in place. It looked as though I had a large soft cast on my forearm, but it wasn't freezing anymore. They also put me on the monitors to watch my contractions and baby's heart rate. They were surprised I was having contractions, I assumed they were the same that I'd been having for weeks. I was already using my HypnoBabies breathing and techniques. The first bag of ABs was finished in half an hour. They called my MW, and she came in. Since time was still needed for the ABs to move through my system, they let me walk around and get in the tub and hang out. I was annoyed by the monitors, and how they kept going off and I had to keep moving around. I felt the monitors were unnecessary, but the medical staff wanted them. I ended up going on and off oxygen, and on and off sugar water, because they felt Baby's heartrate was too low. I felt she was acting normal as per her previous days, but they didn't like how chill and calm she was. Anyway, after another hour or so, they hooked up the second bag of ABs. In about half an hour, that one was also gone, and we started talking induction options. I was 4cm/80%. I opted to hold off on pitocin in favor of breaking my water first.
My MW broke my water, and there was a lot. It was so much that the MW and the staff were surprised. They got me up and had me do some squatting exercises to get Baby to engage and stay there. (And so they could clean the mess that had been made all over the bed, floor, and themselves. My MW later stated she had never seen a woman with so much amniotic fluid. That explains why I was hurting SO much!) Baby was head down and facing the correct direction, but was bobbing up and down rather than staying engaged on my cervix. My MW hung a bedsheet over the closed bathroom door, tide a knot, and had me hold onto the knot and squat down, then roll back onto my heels to straighten my back. This would straighten my pelvis and encourage Baby to engage. (Which would put pressure on my cervix, and move labor along.) She stood to the side of me to instruct me, Rebeka stood behind me to physically and emotionally support me. I did this at the beginning of each contraction, held it during the contraction (while doing my HBs "peace" queue), and stood up when the contraction ended. I could feel this exercise was making things progress. After a while, I wanted to lay down again, so I was helped back to the bed.
My contractions were getting intense. I was really having to focus through them, and really focus on my breathing and peace queue. One thing I remember very clearly is during one of my contractions, two people were touching me and another was trying to talk to me, and I yelled "Leave me alone!" followed immediately by my constantly repeated "breeeeeeaaaaathe". I heard the room go quiet and my MW explained to them all "She doesn't want to be touched or spoken to during a contraction as it distracts her from her hypnosis". I was grateful she had picked up on this, and supported this so completely, and encouraged (see demanded) that everyone in the room respect this as well. I was able to concentrate so much better after that. A few more contractions, and I was needing some more support. I asked Kenn for help. He immediately came and offered me his hand. He held on tightly and let me really brace against it during the waves. He stood behind me, with me on the bed facing away from him, one hand holding his, and the other holding the bed. Rebeka stood just to the side of Kenn, encouraging me and fanning me through each contraction to give me more air flow. (Sometime during this, my MW checked me again, and I was at an 8.)
This is when I felt the first urge to push. Thankfully, my MW didn't tell me not to- she told me to push with it while she grabbed the lidacane cream for my perineum. So with the next wave, I did push. I felt the wave coming, and I got ready. Rather than breathing my way through it this time, I got more vocal. I don't know why I chose to growl, but looking back on it, it was what I was feeling. "I am woman, hear me roar!" I growled and I bore down and I felt my baby move through me. In one push, her head was out. Next push was almost immediate, and the rest of her body came out.
As if there wasn't already a ton of activity in the room, all of a sudden there was exponentially more. The baby was placed on my stomach, and I reached out for her with the hand that wasn't holding Kenn's. I had always been grossed out by vernix (yes, even at my own childrens' births'), so this was a surprising move for me. But she was amazing! Everything I had just done was for this tiny little miracle. All the months, all the energy, all the endurance, all the plans, all the waiting, all the pain, all the preparations, all the everything, it had been for that moment. She had big eyes open and looking around and tons of curly hair. I reached for her immediately to touch her and look at her. And then she was wisked off. Handed off to the nursery staff that was in the room waiting for her. Rebeka followed the baby and stayed right by her, as though she were my eyes for those moments because I couldn't be there myself.
Before I could protest, I felt the urge to push again. I was quite confused, since my baby had already been born (and taken!), and why was my body still trying to push? Oh yes, the placenta. Kenn was still holding my hand, and thankfully wasn't letting go. During these urges, my MW had me go much slower and easier. She guided the placenta out in several pushes and then told me to rest. My attention immediately turned back to my baby, all the way across the room and not where I could get to her.
At this point, I don't remember details very well. My adrenaline had nothing left to do, even though it was raging through my body, and I started shaking uncontrollably. I could hear the activity in the corner, but couldn't see straight. The nursery staff was working on her intently. I was told her APGARs were 5, 7, & 8. They were rubbing her and stimulating her and working to get color and air into her and for her to cry. I was lying on the bed shaking so much I felt as though I were going to fall off, while the nursing staff covered me with warm blanket after warm blanket. (I don't have a clue WHEN the bed was cleaned up from the birthing mess.) Kenn had gone over to be with the baby, and Rebeka had come to be by me. I was given a tiny wrapped up bundle of daughter to hold for just a moment, and then she was taken to go to the nursery where they could continue working on her. Kenn went with her and Rebeka stayed with me.
My MW gave me the bad news that we weren't finished. She needed to check my bleeding and my uterus. Oh the pain. I don't remember the pain of the birth, but the pain of her having to press and feel and massage my stomach and uterus is still so clear it makes me cringe. I was bleeding too much. She made me get up and use the toilet, both to get my body moving, and to lessen the pressure on my uterus. She massaged again. And I continued to bleed. She ordered pitocin through my IV. She put citotec inside my rump. She gave both time to work, while I was moved (in a wheelchair) to a post partum recovery room, and then checked again. She still wasn't happy, I was still bleeding too much. I was given the choice to get up to pee and have my uterus checked every hour including during the night, or I could get a shot in the butt of a stronger drug. I chose the hourly pee/check option. I really didn't want any more needles, but I also wanted the motivation to get up and move around that frequently.
By this time, I was demanding my baby. She had been put on oxygen and other various things while being worked on, so I was taken (again by wheelchair) to the nursery to see her. It was rather nice to leave all the chaos and noise behind as I entered the nursery. Kenn was still right there with her. I still had the baby blanket cast on my arm, and it made useful during this time. Baby Girl and I made our best effort at nursing, and had some success. I was soon taken back to my recovery room. My mom and dad had picked up my son and showed up, and were in the room waiting when I got back. As time went on, everyone slowly cleared out to go home, and only Kenn and I were left. He stayed for a while, and then he also went home.
Throughout the night, I slept in two hour increments, having to get up every two hours to pee and have my bleeding checked. Thankfully, it slowed during the night, and I was able to have the IV locked off down to a hep lock. (The blanket cast was removed, to be replaced by a bright pink bandage around my wrist to cover the entire heplock.) This also worked out to be when I was taken down to the nursery to feed my baby. I learned throughout the night she was on oxygen because she was having trouble keeping her oxygen up, she was on the warmer to regulate her body temperature, and she was being watched closely because her sugar kept dropping. I hated seeing my baby hooked up to so many cords and monitors and such. I was grateful for such a wonderful NICU staff, who took very good care of her and kept me involved and informed. But I still hated seeing her there.
By morning (Thur), I had had several really good two hour sleep sessions, and I was feeling really good. I was even able to have the morning nurse remove my heplock. Hooray - I was free! I was feeling quite energized, and accomplished a shower and walking down to the nursery and back without a wheelchair. By afternoon, however, the baby blues had started. I was feeling guilty about being induced, feeling that my choice caused my baby to be born before her lungs were ready. She had been taken off the heater and was maintaining her own tempature. She was nursing well (most of the time). And by the end of the day, she had maintained her sugar levels and no longer had to be pricked before and after every feeding. She was obviously improving, but she still wasn't getting enough oxygen yet. That was a lonely and scary night for me, and I didn't get much sleep. The next day (Fri) was a roller coaster. The baby blues had set in for me, and I started crying every time I turned around. Good news was that baby's oxygen had leveled out, and she was breathing well. She had been weaned off the oxygen, and by afternoon was able to be taken off the oxygen machine completely. She still dipped once in a while, but was able to recover from it herself without needing assistance. My MW came to check me over and discharged me. The hospital allowed me a "hotel stay" option, where I was allowed to stay in the room as long as it was not needed. I no longer had any of the services (nursing staff, housekeeping, meals, etc), but I could keep the room for the time being. This allowed me to stay close to my baby. She did well throughout the night, and - save only one time - maintained her breathing on her own. On Sat morning, Kenn and Than came to the hospital. Kenn stayed with the baby, while I left the hospital and went home to take a shower, leave my laundry, and pack fresh clothes for a few more days. While I was gone, Kenn gave her a bottle of milk I had pumped, and she drank 30 mL. He was with her for her hearing test, which she didn't pass because she still had fluid in her ears from birth. (I scheduled an apt to do it again a week later.) He was also with her when she was put on the bili bed, because her bili level was too high.
That's where we are now. She is in the nursery, under bili lights, and I'm spending the majority of my day at the foot of her bili bed, watching, waiting, praying, talking to her, and touching her. The nursery staff still handles most of her care (diaper changes), because while in their charge they are responsible for her care. But I don't want to be anywhere else but with her. I leave the nursery for meals and breaks, and then I'm back. At this point, I think she's over the worst. She has learned to maintain her temp and sugar levels, she is maintaining her oxygen, and now we just need to help her get through the jaundice. I'm still fighting the baby blues. However, I knew it was coming, and have tried to simply work my way through it rather than ignoring it. In a few days, I should be able to take my baby girl home, have my son back with me, and settle into our new life. I'm ready for my little family to get back together and move into the next stage we will be in.
This was as of Sunday morning. We came home that night, and life has been crazy ever since. I feel as through I went from some minor baby blues, straight through post partum depression, and I'm borderlining on post partum psychosis.