Django Robert, born 6:51 Sunday morning. 9 freaking pounds 4 oz...and I wasn't due til April 8!!!
I want to write it all out before I forget any details. So here's my full birth story. For some reason writing everything helps me process, and I feel like I have a lot to process!
So I posted that "pink tinged mucus" question thread late friday night, and within half an hour of posting it I started having mild contractions. The kind that start in your back and work around to the front. So I monitored those all night, slept when I could, and called my mom over with a very certain "today's the day!"
Soon as I got up and ate breakfast and stuff though, things ground to a halt. I went outside and walked til it got too hot, went to target and did laps with my SIL til my ankles hurt. Had only a few pitiful contractions pretty much the whole day.
Around 10pm during a netflix marathon of Saturday Night Live, I noticed FINALLY some more substantial contractions. Still pretty wimpy but at least consistent and gradually strengthening. Around 1am I got up and walked around to see if it changed anything...it slowed them down, but laying back down they came back. So I called my midwife and gave her an update of the situation. I was very hesitant to commit to going in to the birth center just yet, because it's an hour drive and if it was still false labor I didn't want to have to drive back and waste every bodies time, etc.
My midwife said take two tylenol PM and if things die down and you can sleep, great. If not, call me back and come on in. I hung up and then went to the bathroom, had a BM and took a quick shower. By the time I got out of the shower, approx. 15 min after hanging up with my midwife I was in REAL labor land...holding on to the bathroom counter, making the low moaning noises, swaying back and forth and stuff. I'd called my mom and she got there around that time, took one look at me and said "time to go."
So I woke up DH, they started putting stuff in the car. I was standing at the kitchen counter with increasingly strong contractions, swaying and moaning, the whole time thinking "How the heck did this happen SO FAST?!" and low and behold a fountain sprung forth...my water broke with quite a splash. I yelled for someone to come back in the house and help me. The next contraction I had I started to feel pushy and THAT freaked me out!!! Oh my goodness, no, no no...I'm not having a baby in the car. The thought of just staying home came to me, but I was pretty unprepared for that event so I looked my mom and DH in the eyes and said "I'm not going to make it to the birth center. I can do 20 min in the car. I cannot do 60 min."
So with my midwife's approval we got in the car and headed to the nearest baby-friendly hospital. The whole car ride was gushing of amniotic fluid, and contractions that ended with some pushy feelings that scared me so bad! Lots of praying interspersed with swear words I didn't know I had in my vocabulary.
Got to the hospital, got checked in, it turned out one of the good midwives on staff was available. Oh, that eased my mind at least by half about abandoning my birth center birth. They checked me, and I was shocked to know I was only 2cm dilated. But a check 30min later I was at 3, so the contractions I was having were working crazy hard.
My doula miraculously was able to get there, even though she had been camping with her family over two hours away! By the time she got there I was 4 or 5 cm.
I tried some different positions, hands and knees, kneeling over the bed, etc. And could NOT find anything that made a difference in coping with the pain. I was going OUT OF MY MIND with how intense and fast things were...I broke down sobbing in between contractions if I got a break...most of the time I got a minute or two break between but I had many many "never really ended before the next one began" monsters. But the sobbing...yeah, I was an emotional wreck. Everything was going too fast. Nothing was going according to plan. My hopes for a simple quiet birth were gone. No birthing tub (which I feel probably would have helped at least some!) etc. And worst of all I was feeling like a total failure and hypocrite for being at a hospital which I had planned for 8 months to totally not do. I was supposed to be a strong primal birthing machine, with the wisdom of an experienced mother and the ability to let my body do it's job. NOT this big sobbing puddle of fear and pain. Everyone kept saying "you're doing fine, you're doing great" and I'd snap back "NO, I'm NOT! I'm NOT fine, I'm NOT OK!"
I cried. I swore. I begged for reprieve. I kept saying "i can't do this" and "I need help" and all manner of transition talk. My doula, and my SILs who were with me, and my mom kept trying to help me focus and think and visualize, but honestly? I couldn't think about ANYTHING. When a contraction hit, all my mind saw was black. just thick heavy overwhelming blackness - no color, no imagery, no anything remotely resembling thoughts or reasoning.
I asked...no, begged...for help with the pain. They gave me two doses of nubain, which honestly (and I realized it almost immediately) was a mistake. The pain did not diminish AT ALL. It didn't touch it, no "edge off" nothing of the sort. All it did was make me immensely sleepy. Pretty much from then on I fell dead asleep in between contractions. A contraction would start and I'd startle back awake feeling disoriented and then my mind would go right back to the black pain.
Every contraction I got gradually louder and louder with my moaning/groaning/mooing/grunting/every non-lady like noise in the book.
An hour and a half after getting to the hospital, I was 6cm, then a short while later 9, then suddenly 10 and the urge to bear down hit like a mack truck.
For all you women who say pushing was a relief for you, felt better than the contractions, etc....I envy you. The pushing phase I can only describe as an out-of-body traumatic event.
I'm not sure, but I think pushing lasted 20 or 30 minutes. I'll have to ask my mom...I was still falling asleep in between pushing and it was all so disorienting and intensely crazy. I had asked in my "emergency only" birth plan for no coached pushing and the midwife was so cool about all that stuff...she was very laid back and hands off which somehow registered in my brain even though almost nothing else was. She just casually mentioned a suggestion here or there that my labor helpers managed to make me understand. And my body really did the work. I couldn't stop it, couldn't fight it or even help it along...almost of off the pushing was completely involuntary, and only the last two or three "get his head out and then body" pushes was I even mentally present enough to actually put mental and physical extra "oomph" behind them. Those last pushes were so crazy intense that I didn't fall asleep in between...I had my eyes closed but I was there. And I remember being able to think "I can't die, this is almost over" and "get him out so the pain stops. the pain will stop the second he's out."
Sure enough, his head came, his body came, the midwife made me reach down and catch him. I remember hearing her say as his head came out "oh, that's why" or something like that. Apparently his hand was up by his head, literally holding onto the umbilical cord holding it away from his neck. She said that's the only reason probably that I tore. (a small tear.) That's crazy to me, when they told me how big he was that I probably wouldn't have at all if it hadn't been for his hand.
He latched on almost right away. Such a good boy...no learning to nurse for him. I was shaking like a rabid animal for a good 45-60 mins, I could NOT stop shaking. When all the hullabaloo died down they brought me some breakfast that I scarfed (mostly) down. I handed the baby to my husband, and as I was eating I fell asleep with food still in my mouth. My husband said I was snoring before my eyes were even closed! Stupid nubain.
From the time my water broke to his birth, it was just under 5 hours. 9lbs 4ozs. I couldn't believe it. When I hold him I remember how tiny my daughter was, and he is so much heavier! He's as big as she was at almost 3 months. And he is so round and chubby, and so far very sleepy and happy. Since we are in a hospital, they can't help but poke and prod him. So they've made a big deal about his size, and monitoring his blood glucose. It fell pretty low this morning and they freaked out but he hadn't really eaten anything yet. So I've kind of ignored their commands to supplement with formula (gave him like half an ounce while they were watching then tossed the bottle) and have just been nursing him more than I probably would normally. And his glucose numbers are stable and normal now. My boobs aren't empty, they work just fine thanks.
I had my daughter in a hospital too, after an emergency transfer...so I remember all the battles and decided to pick them this time. And I'm not going to let them make me feel bad or whatever for disagreeing or declining stuff. The pediatrician gave me a stern talking to about my no vit K choice, I just nodded and smiled. He has no bruising and we're not going to circumcise, so he's fine. The nurse a few hours ago tried to tell me he's looking jaundiced (um, no, not even a little. He's pinking up nicely and there's no yellow at all when you press his skin.) and might have to go under a lamp. Yeah, not gonna happen.
He's fine. Healthy. Bigger than I anticipated, I worked much harder than I anticipated. In fact...none of this other than "healthy happy baby in the end" is what I anticipated. But I made my choices, and worked through them.
So in the end, I guess this is what I worked for, and earned: