Chloe (middle name tbd) was born this morning at 8:07am after an intense 6 hour labor. 8lbs 6oz 20.5 in long...birth story and pics to come! She is just perfect and we are so in love!
Baby Chloe is here! (Birth story & pics in #18)
Chloe Jane’s Birth Story
I started with contractions every 2-4 minutes on the evening of September 15th, which lasted for about 3 hours before coming to a screaming halt around 9:30pm. I was so very disappointed and went to bed extremely discouraged because this felt like it was the real thing. Not to mention I had so many false starts in the previous weeks that this pattern had become tiring. This time it somehow felt different so I was surprised they had died down after only a few short hours. I woke again several times in the middle of the night with more contractions, but I tried to sleep because I didn’t know if anything would come of them. Around 2:15am I had just settled back into bed and felt two large pops and a gush! My water had broke and miraculously I managed to get out of bed with no casualties to the mattress. I yelled to Scott “Water broke! Water broke! Get towels!”, as if he wasn’t laying next to me and couldn’t hear me! We decided to labor at home for a couple of hours and took our time packing up. We made some tea and timed contractions while we were waiting for my mother to arrive so she could see the kids off to school that morning. I called to let our midwives know what was going on and was sadly disappointed to discover that one of the two OB’s who won’t allow patients to birth in the water, was on call. No midwives! We left for the Family Birthing Center around 4am and after getting settled in we learned I was barely 4cm. I immediately thought we arrived too soon, and wished I was at home because I could not get comfortable anywhere. The further she dropped the more unbearable my SPD had become so I tried the bed, birth ball, various chairs, even the toilet and as the contractions progressed so did my pelvic and back pain. The only thing I could do was lean on a table on my fore arms, and rock as I breathed my way through the rushes which still were tolerable at this point. Around 6:30am I requested that they start running the tub for me so I could at least get some relief from the water as the contractions were growing more intense quickly. And began the great debate over the water birth. They nurse wanted to hear that I would ensure them that if they ran the tub, I would get out when I had to push. I found this hilarious, knowing how fast my labor would progress, and the idea of getting out of the tub at that point I felt was far more dangerous than whatever concerns the OB proclaimed. However, he wouldn’t budge, and sent his denial messages via the nurse. But by then it was shift change so I was left to labor standing again, with no promises of the birth I desired.
At this point I had grown pretty agitated, and I had progressed beyond the serenity and comfort of my Hypnobirthing techniques. I found I could no longer breathe down and relax my body with rocking, and I was now beginning to writhe about the table I was leaning on and making some pretty crazy faces! Scott had been rubbing my lower back through contractions earlier which was offering me so much relief, but now I had to move his hands away because it had grown painful! At this time the new nurses came in and I felt their presence immediately. Their energy was bright and positive, and they came on the scene with an enthusiasm that renewed my hopes that perhaps they were going to get me in that tub quick!!! They introduced themselves and encouraged me through a few contractions but gently informed me that the OB was still non-compliant with my requests for a water birth, however he would allow me to have anything else under the sun I wanted. He finally entered the room and told me that he had even tried to reach the midwives to see if they were available to come in attend the birth, but was unsuccessful. At this point he started talking stats and safety and Im pretty sure I yelled something along the lines of, I’ve done this before, I don’t need his help! The nurses said they would be happy to start the tub for me if I understood they would have to help me out when she was ready to be born. I knew this wasn’t their choice and I was about to agree just to get some relief in the water, but the fact of the matter was that I was in transition and having a debate of this magnitude was infuriating. But by then I knew it was too late, and she was on her way down.
I attempted to squat but my pelvis wouldn’t allow me a full bend so I yelled, “SHE IS COMING!!!” and began to push. They all sprang into action and I heard mutterings about not having the baby on the floor and they helped me onto the bed, which they had split into a double section so I could birth on my knees and elbows. I was so grateful the nurses at least knew what I needed if the OB didn’t, because there was no way I could get into any other position. I immediately began bearing down and for some god forsaken reason they felt the need to check my cervix to make sure I was “really dilated” and tried to talk me out of pushing! I may have asked them if they were on drugs and yelled “NO!” before I began pushing again, but they insisted and I reluctantly agreed between contractions and they helped me lie on my side and checked me. They declared I was dilated and her head was right there. All I could think was, “NO KIDDING!” but I was too busy working her down the birth canal to be sarcastic! I got back up on my hands and knees and I pushed again and could feel her crowning, so I reached down with my hand and felt her head and said, “I feel her hair!” before diving back into another wild rush in which I started the really primal yelling business! I do remember thinking her head was taking longer to push out than my last two babies but the contractions were so close together there was no point in a debate with myself, there was work to be done! I pushed again and heard the OB tell me he would be applying pressure to my perineum so I wouldn’t tear and I felt the burning as if I was pretty close to doing so, so I continued to push through and delivered her head. This is where things got even more intense because he decided to check for the cord around her neck by stretching me open and I proceeded to reach around to grab his hands while screaming, “STOP IT!!!” I could hear my husband laughing at this point and I knew I was okay, or he wouldn’t find any of this funny, and he came and whispered in my ear that I was doing awesome and to keep doing what I was doing. So I pushed a couple of more times and she was out and she was passed immediately between my legs in which I pulled her tight to my belly and began rubbing her while still on my knees.
The nurses also began rubbing her as well and even though her eyes were open and she was looking right at me she was very pale and she was gurgling and gasping. They helped me turn around so I could sit with her on my chest, and gave her some time to pink up and breathe properly. It became apparent within 5 minutes this was not happening very easy for her so they called NICU and asked they could cut the cord and give her some help. I of course agreed and they did everything right there in the room and Scott was right by her side. I was a little nervous but not in a total panic because I could see and hear everything that was happening. I knew her heart rate was strong but her O2 was only 92 and it seemed as though she still had a decent amount of amnionic fluid in her lungs that was keeping her from taking full breaths. She unfortunately needed some suctioning and they retrieved 13cc of fluid from her lungs, which they said, was quite a bit for such a tiny baby. She remained on the little warming table getting O2 for almost an hour, but Scott stayed by her side touching her and talking to her the whole time.
It was hard to sit and wait for her but it was more important she wasn’t denied any valuable oxygen right at birth so I waited for her patiently. During this time I delivered the placenta and the OB brought me hot wash clothes to wipe my face and hands. I considered this his peace offering and I was just grateful at this point that everything happened so fast (under an hour from when the nurses arrived and her birth and 6 hours total!) and she was going to be okay! Finally just after 9am they weighed her, my biggest baby yet -a full 2 lbs bigger than my last- and handed her back to me to bond and nurse. She latched on right away and we nursed for a solid hour! I was so relieved!!
Over all it wasn’t everything I had hoped and dreamed for in my ideal plan for a calm and peaceful water birth, but I have no regrets and feel at peace with the experience. I feel as expectant mothers we have to prepare ourselves for an array of birth scenarios and be willing to manage the obstacles that we encounter when things don’t go 100% as planned. I had a third successful natural birth with my husband by my side, no interventions beyond a little unwanted manhandling from the OB while I pushed, so I can’t complain! In the end we have a beautiful healthy baby girl and my recovery is moving very quickly. Its been less than 72 hours and my milk is coming in, she is nursing well, Im moving around easily and still happy as can be regardless that sleep is a hot commodity! I spent one night in the hospital and I couldn’t have been treated better. They were so kind and attentive and I wished for nothing. I felt like the labor nurses were mine personally for the whole day, they even brought me an entire new bed when the birth bed was causing me pelvic pain! I was filled with complete bliss from riding on the birth hormones and adrenaline and enjoyed the company of my family and closest friends. I was a fast and furious birth, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat to have her here in my arms; nothing but pure love!!!