It's a pretty long birth story. Enjoy!
On Monday evening (Memorial Day, May 28th) Ben and I went for our usual walk. It was pretty warm out and my feet were swelling horribly again so we opted for the short path around the park. We ended up practically jogging back because I had to go to the bathroom urgently. After returning home I wasn’t feeling well and decided to take a relaxing bath and head for bed.
We settled in shortly after 10:00pm with bowls of ice cream and Netflix. As we started an episode of The Finder Ben began to do some acupressure massage on my feet and legs. Right as he began to rub circles on my lower leg I felt a pop and a gush of liquid. I said to him, “Um, I think my water just broke.” We looked at each other in shock and pretty much froze. When I tried to adjust positions and more fluid gushed out it was pretty clear that my water had indeed broken. Ben brought me towels and I made it to the toilet as he began stripping the sheets from the bed. He joined me in the bathroom as we both tried to figure out what to do next. He got our important papers from the midwife which confirmed that we should call in.
We called and spoke with the on call midwife who wanted us to pack up and head to the hospital since I was GBS positive and they wanted to get me started on antibiotics. Ben packed up the last minute things while I directed him from the bathroom. We let my parents know we were heading to the hospital and then hit the road, calling Ben’s parents on the way.
We arrived at the hospital and got checked in. It was around 12:30am on Tuesday by the time we got settled into our room with instructions to get as much rest as possible before labor kicked in. That’s so much easier said than done! I was hooked up to the antibiotic and accompanying fluids which left an awful taste in my mouth and made me constantly want to go to the bathroom.
I began having contractions shortly after 3:00am. At about 3:30am I had to wake Ben up to help me relax and breathe through them. They were painful but manageable. We labored through the early morning hours in the room and walking the hallway. From the very beginning my contractions were about five minutes apart and lasted about a minute.
The midwife came in and checked me around 7:00am. I was 4cm, 100% effaced, 0 station. This was a little disappointing since I had been having regular contractions for several hours and if I hadn’t been GBS positive they might have even sent me back home.
I received a second dose of antibiotics and we continued the labor dance in the hallway, shower, on the birthing ball, etc. My contractions got closer together and were definitely more intense as the morning continued on.
Sometime in the early afternoon I started having excruciating back labor and felt like I needed to push at the peak of each contraction. The midwife said to go ahead and do what my body wanted. It was so intense, I cannot begin to put it into words. I was getting overwhelmed each time, unable to relax well. Both Ben and Tara were wonderful and tried everything they could. The number of times I said, “I can’t, I won’t, I don’t want to…” can’t be counted. Generally this is a sign of transition so Tara checked me again… 6cm at 2:00pm. So disappointing! We continued in this way for hours with Tara and Ben reassuring me all the while that it was almost over. 7cm around 4:00pm. We tried the bathtub – I couldn’t handle it. Having been awake for more than 30 hours, no food other than popsicles for 18 hours, and laboring for more than 12 hours I was inconsolable. Tara suggested we discuss our options. We could continue to labor as we were, we could try Pitocin to see if we could get me to progress faster, or we could get an epidural so I could rest. I tried to think straight and figure out what would be best for all of us. In the end I went with the epidural. I could not imagine continuing to go through that kind of pain at that level of exhaustion for an undefined period of time. They had been saying I was getting close for several hours… I just wasn’t buying it anymore. I had my third dose of antibiotics.
From the moment the epidural was turned on around 7:00pm (8cm, 100%, +2 station) I had no more back labor. I could still feel the contractions in my stomach, but the back pain was completely relieved. Ben and I were both able to get about an hour of sleep. Bliss!
There was a shift change and we got two new nurses and a new midwife, Dusty. Around 9:00pm Dusty checked me and I was complete! Dusty was also delivering the baby next door so she left Ben and I with the two awesome nurses and we “practiced” pushing for awhile to see what kind of progress I would make. By this point I couldn’t really feel anything from the waist down. The nurses kept asking if I felt any pressure or the need to push, but I didn’t. I could feel when contractions began and they could track them on the monitor so we used that as our pushing guide. According to the nurses I was doing an awesome job pushing in spite of not being able to feel a darn thing. We pushed for a little over an hour with Dusty checking in periodically. Of course my contractions had slowed to five minutes apart due to the epidural so we still weren’t having as much progress as anyone would have liked.
After 10:00pm Dusty consulted with the OB and recommended starting Pitocin to get the contractions close enough together to actually deliver the baby. At that point I was willing to do pretty much anything. They started the Pit, upping the dose at half hour intervals to get the desired results. Dusty was still juggling both me and the mom delivering next door. By midnight I was getting hysterical. I was beyond exhausted, beyond starving, and desperately wanted to have the baby I had been laboring for almost 24 hours. Ben was asleep on his feet in between contractions, doing his best to console me. Finally Dusty and the nurses came in and it was time to push for real.
And push we did… for a little over an hour. They asked if I wanted the mirror – no thank you, but Dusty wears glasses and I could see in the reflection a bit of what was happening which was just right for me. I could see progress, but no details. Ben was enthralled and watched every moment and it was amazing to see the look on his face.
And finally Elliott Maverick Logee was born at 1:26am on Wednesday, May 30th. He was placed on my chest immediately while I delivered the placenta. I had a 2nd degree tear which was mostly internal, just two outside stitches. Ben fell asleep almost instantly – I had to yell to get him to wake up and sign paperwork. We were transferred to our postpartum room around 5:00am and have been trying to catch up on sleep ever since.
Elliott Maverick was born May 29th at 1:26am. He was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 inches long. Apgar scores 8 then 9.
About a week old