Evelyn Janelle Chitwood
Birthday: August 29th, 2011
Gestation: 39w 6d (born 1 day before due date)
Weight: 7lbs even.
Height: 19½ inches
Head Circumference: 13 inches.
Time Momma spent in Early Labor: 2 weeks
Time Momma spent in Prodromal Labor (active contractions but less than 4cm dilated): 3 days
Time Momma spend in Active Laobr (4cm to delivery): <1 hr
Friday, August 26th, 2011. 49 week check up at doctor’s office. Dilated to 3cm, stretching a little past 3cm, 50% effaced and VERY soft. Doctor stripped my membranes and I started to bleed right away. This was different from my previous pregnancies and membrane stripping attempts, so I knew it was a success this time. I began to feel crampy right away and I started having blood tinged mucous that continued throughout the weekend.
Contractions started at 15 minutes apart around 5pm on Friday the 26th. Brad and I were going to have a quiet evening in without the kids to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (8/25/11), so we drove the boys over to my mom’s house and informed her that they very well could be having the boys for loner than just our date in. My mom got excited and she and I both felt that we’d be admitted to the birthing center sometime in the next 12 hours. We were wrong.
Contractions kept going about every 15 minutes while Brad and I ate dinner (we decided to eat OUT for lack of desire to cook). After dinner we went for a light stroll and the contractions picked up to 7 minutes apart. I began to grow tired of walking, so we went back to the house for some water and stretching and other labor inducing activities. Contractions came about 5 minutes apart but were still very bearable and then they slowed down as I did. Around 10pm we both were tired and decided to go to bed hoping contractions would pick back up over night.
Saturday morning contractions were still present and a few had woken me up through the night. Brad and I decided to go out for breakfast and check in with my folks. Upon waking and just being a little active, the contractions started coming 10 minutes apart and I began really having to breathe through them. So after breakfast we went for another walk. Walking got them to less than 5 minutes apart and I began having to breathe and focus more through them. Talking became difficult.
By the afternoon we had them at 3 minutes apart and I was having to vocalize on top of the breathing to make it through each contraction. After about 30-40 minutes of these contractions, we decided to go be checked and both Brad and I thought we had hit the “active labor” mark of 4cm and would be staying in the birthing center until delivery. Sadly, we were wrong again.
The very same doctor that stripped my membranes (my doctor was out of town) was up at the birthing center already and so she checked me for accurate comparison. She had them put me straight in a delivery room because she, too, thought we’d be staying. When she checked me I was still slightly passed 3cm, but this time I was 80% effaced. She apologized and sent us on out way to do more walking. The nurse instructed Brad on how to catch a baby, just in case and he didn’t find it very assuring.
I became discouraged and the contractions backed off to about 40 minutes apart. Brad and I went to bed tired and not sure what was going on. My parents kept our boys so we could rest.
2am Sunday morning. I woke with horrible back pain and decided that a hot shower was in order. This didn’t affect my pain very much, so I was hoping I was suddenly in back labor and perhaps it was finally happening. After I got out of the shower I got on my hands and knees to encourage baby into a good position for delivery and hoping it would help my back pain. I succeed in getting the pain to shift from my back and into my abdomen and began to feel that I was having contractions again. Sadly, they were still only 10 minutes apart, so I went back to bed after about 3 or 4 contractions. I woke up every 15-20 minutes in the peak of contractions, but it was not increasing in frequency or intensity.
8am Sunday morning. Brad and I got out of bed and the contractions started coming every 10 minutes. Each one lasting 1.5 minute (average) and required breathing and slight hmmming or awwing. Brad and I had breakfast and went for a walk. Each time we did some activity, the contractions would grow closer together and longer, but not more intense. We didn’t want to be discouraged again, so we came up with a timing plan for when to go to the birthing center as our doctor’s suggestions were not accurate for me with my prodromal labor. We decided that under 5 minutes for an hour wasn’t enough, but found ourselves coming short on our requirements and we went to bed that evening with no baby still.
8am Monday morning. Same story. But instead of going for a walk after breakfast, I chose to call my doctor for instructions. Since my doctor was still out of town, her covering doctor (not the one we saw Friday and Saturday) instructed me to go be checked at the birthing center again. We waited about half an hour so that we could time our contractions and have some “data” to give them. Sadly our data was discouraging and they were not sure why we were there. We arrived for the check about 11:20am or so, but I was still only 3cm and 80% effaced. The doctor authorized them to give me a vistiral (sleeping pill) and send me on my way. Sadly, when the nurse offered it I decline and she said “Are you sure, hon? You look exhausted.” Then I started crying and made the nurse feel horrible. I promised her that I was able to sleep between contractions and that I felt physically rested, just emotional tired. I assured her that I was eating and keeping hydrated and that I would take a Benedryl if I felt I needed help to sleep. We arrived home at noon.
12pm Monday. Brad and I decided to walk to the BBQ place down the street and have lunch. I barely contracted on the walk and only had a couple during lunch. After the walk home, nothing changed. We decided to try one more thing that the nurse suggested for getting labor going. Sex. We tried the woman on top position as it is one that is typically too intense for me, even when not pregnant. Apparently... it worked. Almost instantly upon finishing, I started having very intense contractions. A close friend of mine (who had not known I had been in labor for 3 days) called to check on my pregnancy cause she knew my due date was approaching. I ignored the phone when she called cause the contraction was intense. As soon as the peak of the contraction was passed, I called her back assuming I’d have a short time to talk before the next contraction (figured it would be 5 minutes at least). I was wrong, yet again, cause I barely got to leave her a brief voicemail.
3 something in the afternoon on Monday. I stepped into the living room calling after Brad to say this was it. Another contraction (mere seconds after the last one ended) hit and I found myself on my hands and knees on the floor crying out in anguish. I told Brad we had better get in the car and up to the birthing center fast. Brad, figuring it was another false alarm, told me to wait a couple more contractions. A few seconds after one ended, another began. I had crawled myself over to the couch and leaned against it and demanded Brad apply counter pressure to the base of my spine. Then I said “we need to go NOW”. He said, “I think we can do another contraction first” and I said “remember how the nurse instructed you on how to catch? We need to go now or you may be catching!” (or something along those lines, it’s a little blurred now). Brad said “okay, but if this worked, you owe me a thank you.” He was trying to make me laugh to help with the pain. I was not amused but was able to retort “how do you know it wasn’t the BBQ?”.
We got in the truck and headed up to the hospital. I called Darci (my birthing coach) and it went to voicemail. So I called my mom. I told her to meet us up at the birthing center. She said “is it time?” and I yelled into the phone “IT DAMN WELL BETTER BE!” After I hung up with mom, Darci called me back. I said “GET YOUR *** TO THE HOSPITAL NOW” she asked where I was and I told her I was on my way and that it was happening and FAST. She said she could get there in 30 minutes or should she reschedule her thing. I said she better get up there NOW.
After this point most everything was a blur, so I’m going off of general memory.
We arrived at the hospital sometime around 3:30 and I made just a few steps in the door and collapsed on a chair and screamed and tried to not cuss too loudly. They got a wheel chair and started me towards a room. The nurse who was pushing was trying to warn me of every little bump and I screamed at her “I DON’T CARE, JUST GET ME IN THERE!” She pushed faster and I demanded Fetanyl in my IV. The nurse said “Honey, we need to get the hep lock on you first...” I said “I know, just wanted you to be prepared”. They gave me ½ a dose of Fentanyl just before checking me. This didn’t do much for the pain of the contraction, but helped me relax between contractions better.
They checked me and I was only a little passed 4cm I yelled “You’ve got to be f*ing kidding me” then I started demanding the paperwork be started for the epidural cause with how much the contractions hurt and with how fast they came, I knew I wouldn’t make it. About 10 minutes later, the hematologist arrived for my blood work in prep of the epidural. She drew my blood while I was having a contraction and she was fast and didn’t say much and I was thankful she didn’t wait for the contraction to end first. Less than 10 minutes after that, my water broke. Or so I thought.
The doc checked me and said it was a fore bag and I found out later it was full of blood. The doc called 7cm, fully effaced and I told them not to go far. I told them as the doc was walking out that I went from 7 to complete in a VERY short amount of time last time and they shouldn’t go far. The nurse said “I still think you have time for the epidural”. 2 contractions later I found myself standing on my feet. I was bracing against Darci and I said “The baby is coming!” Darci asked if I felt that I need to push. I thought to myself “I don’t have a choice” and then I said “ummmm yes”. She paged the nurses station and said “She says she needs to push”. Then it was ON!
They all came running in and started suiting up before they even checked me. The doc who had stripped my membranes was there and she said “she’s complete” then she looked at me and said “the bag is still bulging, do you want me to break it or” and I cut her off and said “do it, lets get it out!” She broke my water and it was a HUGE gush. She thought she saw muconium, so we started pushing right away.
Since I kept moving the monitor off of my belly because it was in my way, they weren’t sure how baby was handling the labor, so since they thought there was muconium in the water, they rushed but tried to not freak me out.
Mom and Darci held each of my legs and helped me to “bear down”. I swapped Brad with my mom almost right away cause there was a huge difference in strength between her and Darci and I felt uneven. Mom moved up to my head and helped from there.
Pushing: I could actually feel my progress and knew I was doing good pushing. I felt the crowning and rested when I felt the “ring of fire”. It was two pushes to crown completely and then I fell asleep. Yup, you read that right. I feel asleep. Well, sort of. My body shut off. I was conscious, and I knew what was going on around me, but I couldn't open my eyes or do anything with my body. Brad shook my head and the doctor said “Janelle, are you with us?” and I was able to groan in response. Then I prayed. “God, give me control back or make this happen without me”. I was able to work up enough energy to finally wrap my arms around my legs and put my chin to my chest, take a deep breath, and scream while I pushed and the baby was OUT!.
I was able to look down at the baby before collapsed backward again. I saw the baby was in the doctor’s hands, lying sideways while they were suctioning the mouth out. Baby was crying instantly and there was gurgles in the cry. I saw the hair and assumed it was a boy. Both of my nieces were bald at birth, so I figured that it would be the same. To me, head of hair meant boy, bald hair meant girl. Someone said it was a girl and Darci repeated it to me and I was able to work up a smile... I think. I was so tired I don’t really know if the smile made it from my brain to my face.
Evelyn was born less than an hour after we arrived at the hospital. With only a half of a dose of fetanyl. There was NO time for anything else. So I got the “natural” labor I wanted and the best part was, no vacuum assist and no tears!
After delivery- Mom: While they were evaluating Evelyn to make sure she was good, they worked on me. They discovered I needed no stitches cause I didn’t tear. But unfortunately, after the placenta was delivered, I passed multiple huge clots and had a decent hemorrhage. This earned me a lovely shot of pitocin in my thigh, and later a few suppositories of something AND a slow drip of pitocin.
While I was still on the pitocin drip and resting with the baby, I started to not feel right. I lost control over my body again and told Brad to take the baby and page the nurse cause I couldn’t move my arms. Shortly after he paged them, I started spasming violently. I thought I was having a seizure. The nurses asked for confirmation from me that I was present and I, again, was able to muster up a grunt. The violent convulsions scared me and my eyes started to cry and I started to gasp out of fear. This went on for quite a while. I have no idea how many people were in the room, only that they needed to assess my bleeding. My stats were good, so they were pretty sure my bleeding was okay, too, but they couldn’t be positive until they evaluated it. They started a saline drip and stopped the pitocin. I came about and regained control of my body and was able to help get myself in a better position for assessing the bleeding. I asked the nurses if I scared them as much as I scared myself and they assured me that I did not. My bleeding looked good, so they ordered blood work. I still have no idea what happened and I’m sure the doctor is in the same boat. It did not happen again, so I must have recovered from whatever it was.
After delivery- Evelyn: Our incompatibly blood types crossed, so she was/is under closer supervision for jaundice and anemia. Her 24 hr billirubin check was in between the re-check level and the needing lights level, so we stayed a second night. Her 48 hr billirubin check was way down below the recheck level and in the “low risk” category and we were both discharged from the birthing center.
Evelyn had a check up this morning (Friday, Sept 2nd) and everything is looking great. She’s already starting to gain weight back. She is nursing well and letting me put her down (unlike big brother Daniel at this age).
We are a happy, complete little family of 5!
I forgot to mention that she failed her first hearing test, so they retested the next day and she only passed on one ear, so she gets a followup with the pediatric audiologist on Wednesday.
She sleeps through all her bothers' running and yelling and screaming with very little flinching, but I'm hoping that's cause she got used to their noises when in the womb and not because of any hearing issues.
Janelle and Brad 8-25-01
Wow, once she decided she was ready to come out she didn't waste any time did she? Scary about what happened after her birth but I'm glad you're both doing ok now.
Lenora & Chris 01.16.10
DS Brandon 05.13.07
DS CJ 10.06.11
*Co-moderator of January-June '07 and September '11*
That was the most intense, well written, crazy birth story I think I've ever read! Congrats on your new little princess!
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