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Everett's Birth story- a month later (not sure how it's so long, since the labour was so short!)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Both of my other children were born at 40 weeks, 2 days- both on Fridays. I was only vaguely paying attention to my due date, and putting a lot of stock in the 40+2 mark. As much as I told myself babies are unpredictable and choose their own birthdays I had even marked "Baby day!" on my kitchen calendar- Monday, May 7th.   

Needless to say, it didn't happen then. And I told myself it was fine. And it was- mostly- except that i was starting to get irritated with the waiting pretty much immediately, getting increasingly cranky, and then heartburn and reflux started to really kick in and then I was really irritated. My midwife started talking to me about extra testing needed the following week, and my next scheduled appointment was to discuss induction and postdates risks and so forth and even knowing that was coming up was giving me a huge amount of stress. I started to feel a bit panicky, considering various at home induction methods, even did some accupressure, jumping jacks and crazy dancing to try to get things moving. I arranged a meet-up with friends a local coffee house to drink too much caffeine and eat too much sugar because that's what happened the night I went into labour with my other two. Still nothing happened. 40+6 I sort of decided I didn't care any more. No point stressing, it'd happen eventually.

Sunday, 41 weeks 1 day- did the normal Sunday type stuff. My mother in law was comign over the next day - which was also, coincidentally, my birthday! - to help wallpaper our bathroom. After the kids were into bed, I started getting contractions about 5 minutes apart. Super mild, hardly noticeable. They were still going when I went to bed, but I fell asleep easily and slept soundly.

I woke up when Orrin, my 2 year old, came into our bed at about 6am. A few minutes later I had a mild contraction. I kept one eye on the clock while I mostly slept. Still 5 minutes apart, but still very mild. I got up like normal, ate breakfast. My mother in law arrived, and I was still contracting about 5 minutes apart. Updated my facebook status- "what, are these contractions? This kid couldn't possibly be thinking about coming out!"  Just in case, I started tidying- sweeping, cleaned the bathroom, picked up the living room again. I helped out a bit with some bathroom stuff, watched the kids, prepped snacks and got some stuff out of the freezer for post-birth food. As the morning progressed things started to get more uncomfortable. THey were definitely getting my attention. Also slowly moved from 5 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart, and got longer from 60 seconds to 90 seconds. The head was still high, contractions weren't that bad, so I figured I had lots of time. I started filling the birth pool anyway.

At 11:45 I told my doula she might as well head over. I felt really torn about it- I definitely didn't need anyone at that point and was coping fine, but the contractions were starting to suck and if I didn't have to say anything during a contraction then I wouldn't. I called the midwife and told her the same thing- she was planning to eat her lunch and then head out. My mother in law and husband finished in the bathroom- since my mother in law was the one who was supposed to watch our two kids during the birth, I told her she should stick around since I expected I'd be calling her back soon if she left. I had no idea how fast I would have been calling her back!

At noon, on the dot, in the middle of a contraction my water broke. I felt the baby's head drop down suddenly. The water was brownish yellow- not good. I called Jeff to come help me, and went to the bathroom. While in the bathroom I had a whopper contraction and was like "oh boy, that's not good." I had another 2 before I finished; they were about a minute and a half apart and they hurt.I called the midwife and told her to come right away. After I came out of the bathroom, things get fuzzy. My husband put a movie on for the kids and my MIL started adding buckets of water to the pool because it wasn't filling fast enough. I was contracting, no idea how close but pretty close. Things rapidly moved from "wow, that hurt" to totally not coping at all between contractions. I was pretty sure I was dying. I didn't remember things being so painful from the labour and birth of my other two kids. I really really wanted to get in the pool, but I wasn't sure if I was allowed to with all the meconium.

The midwives hadn't arrived yet, and all of a sudden I was pushing. I had my husband call the midwife to tell them to hurry, and ask if I could go in the pool. They were 2 minutes away and asked me not to get in the pool yet.

My doula arrived, and despite not being able to even look at her or move or say hi I was really happy that she was there. I was yelling very loudy between contractions. I remember swearing and hitting the floor. I remember my doula giving me a stress ball and me trying to strangle it, squeezing it has hard as I could with both hands. I don't remember biting myself, but I recall seeing bite marks on my arms and hands in between contractions and being mystified as to how they'd gotten there. I kept thinking I need to shut up because I was going to scare the kids. Jeff kept wiping my nose, but I was pretty sure it was sweat dripping off the end of my nose. I could feel my dress- which I had not planned to birth in, I might add!- sticking to my back with sweat. Jeff started putting cool cloths on my neck and wiping my face. I drank a lot of coconut water between contractions.  

The midwives arrived soon after the doula did. They said no to the pool because of the amount of meconium. I pushed, they watched and encouraged. At some point the midwife said, "I'm just going to check your cervix... oh, nevermind, there's the head." Things were moving along well, and then suddenly I was feeling like I wasn't making progress, like the baby was stuck. I kept thinking I need to get more upright, but couldn't managed to move in between contractions. A minute or two later tHe midwife said I should change positions because the baby seemed to be getting hung up. I moved to the birth stool, and progress picked up again.  

And then things got sucky. They checked fetal heart tones, right as baby was almost crowning. Every other time they'd been in the 120 range- great. THis time as I listened I knew the rate was way, way too slow. THe midwife looked up at me and said, "this baby needs to be born. Right now. He needs to come out." And encouraged me to push harder, push longer. Put my chin on my chest and push. Move my legs back- it doesn't matter if there's no contraction, push anyway- harder, longer. This was incredibly hard because A. pushing without contractions is awfully difficult anyway B. it hurt like bloody hell and C. all my instincts for crowning are to go slow and take it easy. The midwife was pushing back on my perinium as he crowned to try to get him out faster, and was grabbing at his head with her hands. When his head was out she reached in for his shoulders and started pulling him out. My husband told me later she was moving the cord out of the way, it seemed to be wrapped over the baby's shoulder, maybe. I pushed, she pulled, and between the two of us we got the baby out.

My first thought when I saw his face was, "oh, I hope that's a boy because that's what he looks like!" And he was a boy- and I said to Jeff, feeling quite emotional, "oh, Jeff, he's a boy!" His eyes were open, he was looking around. He didn't cry right away but his tone looked good and he was pinking up really well. He was thoroughly covered in meconium and looked brownish-yellow from head to toe. They did some light suctioning, and as soon as it was apparent that he was breathing well on his own they passed him up to me.

They gave me a shot of oxytocin. They'd told me when his heart rate started dropping that they would give me some so they could tend the baby, if he needed it, without worrying about me bleeding out. I knew at that point that I didn't need it, but I didn't bother to stop them. For the first time I had a managed third stage- very quick cord clamping, and cord traction to get the placenta out. I didn't like it.

Baby Everett was doing great- crying a lot, but interested in nursing soon after. I had a small tear that needed three stitches. I felt terrible. Shakey, exhausted, sick, sore and overall just disgusting. At some point I took of my dress for some skin to skin, and it felt great to get out of it. It wasn't until probably an hour or so later that I realized I was sitting around naked with a bunch of people I didn't know that well still around and about.

They weighed Everett- 9 lbs, 2 oz. A big, healthy boy. He was born at 1:12- an hour and 12 minutes after my water broke. I would have said that active labour- starting from when contractions were started to get uncomfortable- was 11:45, which gave me a total labour time of an hour and a half. I used to think fast labour would be awesome. It isn't. Don't wish for it.

In talking with the midwife later, she said that his posterior position with the cord looped over his shoulder was compressing the cord and reducing blood flow. That's what caused his drop in heart rate. She also said, when I complained about how painful it was, that Everett had been turning, corkscrewing, as he decended and crowned. She said she couldn't imagine anything more painful then that and high-fived me for getting through it.

Everett is now a month old. Even now, I can't help thinking that if we have another baby I would really like it if we could have a planned c-section. Of course, I wouldn't do it unless it was really necessary but the idea of another labour as intense, painful, and frightening as this one does not sound even remotely appealing.
 

post #2 of 9

Grace, I don't think I had quite an as intensely painful birth as you, but after both babies who presented with one arm up around their head (ouch!) and one who corkscrewed, I feel at least a little of your pain! I totally had a moment during pushing when I was like, "why didn't I want an epidural" and "I'm never, ever having another baby."  smile.gif

 

Sounds like you made it through like a champ!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I desperately wanted the epidural when things got moving, but even if I had been planning a hospital birth I'm not sure we would have made it in time. The hospital is just over 45 minutes away, and lunch time traffic often makes the drive much longer (there are closer hospitals, but not one my midwife would have privileges at).  This is partly why my only thought is, "I need a planned c-section next time" - if we have another and it moves as fast, there still wouldn't be time for an epi.

 

I wasn't aware of the corkscrewing during labour. My midwife said that's why it hurt so badly, but it was really the labour prior to pushing that was the worst. Pushing still sucked, but the lead up was worse.

post #4 of 9

Thanks for sharing your birth story, Grace.  What an intense labor and delivery.  I'm glad he made it here safely!

post #5 of 9

Wow!  That was a whirlwind birth.  Great job!

post #6 of 9

Great job! My first son was posterior and LONG (28 hours) and contractions were horrible painful.  My second and third were not painful but were fast and intense.  With Emma, who was just born, I only pushed for 15 seconds.  It feels so overwhelming when it's so fast. We have it on video and right before my last contraction where I ended up pushing her out, I said to the midwife, "I don't feel like this is really happening."  I just didn't have time to process the whole thing. So I totally understand how fast labors can be scary and intense!  You did a great job!  

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

All three of my kids have been posterior - the first was 10 hours, second was 6 hours (both with a 2 hr pushing stage- posterior asyclintic and posterior with a military presentation) and neither of them were so overwhelmingly painful. I'm assuming it was the speed the made it painful, but if you say you had two fast, non-painful births then I don't know what it was!

 

I also did absolutely everything I could think of to turn this kid. Naturopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, spinning babies, accupressure, optimal fetal positioning, etc etc. If we have another, I'm going to assume the baby will be posterior and just leave it at that since apparently these things don't work.

post #8 of 9

That is frustrating not knowing why it was so hard. I think sometimes when the baby isnt' in the ideal position it can either be a really long labor or painful because baby may be pushing on a nerve or up against bone or any number of things. So I think when the baby is posterior, you just have a greater chance of it being either long or painful or both!  And it' so frustrating trying everything to make the baby turn and not having it work!  I did hypnobabies with my last two which helped a lot and in that course they give info on the belly lift, which is supposed to help with posterior positioning.  Maybe look into that if you have another.  But it sounds like you did a great job!  Enjoy your babymoon!  

post #9 of 9
"I thought I was dying" - yep! Know that feeling. I think that in a way, the faster labors are more scary because...holy crap, everything that has to happen happens at breakneck speed and that HURTS!
So glad you have a healthy baby boy after all of it though. Thanks for posting your story!
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