Birth Stories - Page 4
I finally got around to writing out my birth story. Sorry it's so long! But hope you enjoy. Thx for reading
On Sunday, May 12, at 37w4d. I had started getting some labor symptoms. Called my midwife and got assessed to find out I wasn't in labor. I was happy that I wasn't, but was preparing for it to be any day. My sister in law, a certified Doula, was flying down on the 15th and staying for 2 weeks, hoping to catch our birth in that time. I was really hoping to make it to the 15th so she could be with us for the birth. Thankfully she arrived and still labor had not started. My first was born at 38 week gestation, so I was expecting the same with this one. I was a little disappointed that this babe didn't want to come at the same time as her brother, but by the time I was 38w5d I accepted it and just let go of the "when" and wanted to let it happen when it was meant to happen. (Heck I wasn't even 40 weeks yet! But I was sure done) on May 21st, The very next morning at 3 am I awoke to a very different contraction. Not the usual BH that I had been experiencing. I immediately started timing the contractions because I just knew this was different. It was a Tuesday morning right after a long weekend and my DH was due to go back to work that day. After timing the contractions for 2.5 hours and having them about 10 minutes apart regularly, I told my DH to stay home that day. But in my head I was still questioning whether or not this was it. But I knew these contractions were different.
I phoned the MW and told her at around 7am what was going on. I was GBS positive so needed to go in for antibiotics during labor. She told us to meet her at the hospital for my first set of antibiotics. So we drove our son to my MIL's house and picked up my SIL/doula and headed to the hospital. My contractions slowed down once we got there because I was laying on the bed. So my MW didn't want to give me antibiotics too soon. She told me to call her again when my contractions were regular and 5 minutes apart. But I got the hep-lock in my arm because she knew this was it. It was around 8:30am when we headed back to our house. I spent some time on the exercise ball and paced back and forth hoping to bring the contractions closer together. We watched a funny movie in the meantime and it helped to take my mind off of the pain during contractions. And I had heard laughing was good for labor, so it was great to just relax and watch the movie. Finally at about noon my contractions had picked up and were 5 minutes apart. I was having to stop and breath through them at this point. I was also getting nervous about what was going to happen and how in a short while I would be in the most pain of my life. I just kept telling myself I've done this before, and that I would be able to hold my sweet baby girl soon. My SIL helped a lot too by talking me through the anxiety. I was so glad to have the support.
We called the MW and were at the hospital by 12:30pm. I was checked and was at 5-6cm. I was surprised to be that far already. I was still laughing and joking around with my DH and SIL at this point only between contractions of course. My DH was awesome because he lightened the mood quite a bit. We took some "in labor" pictures, including my last belly picture, while I was getting the antibiotics. After the antibiotics had finished, I wanted to get into the shower. My MW's in the meantime were filling the birth tub and getting everything ready on their end. Right before I got in the shower I had a good cry. I started to think about my son who would no longer be an only child, and was thinking about how much more pain I would be in. My emotions were taking over and I decided to just let it all out. I felt so much better after my good cry and reassured myself I could do this and got into the shower. While I was in the shower my water broke and the contractions got a lot more painful. I started to feel some pressure during contractions but wasn't feeling pushy yet. I knew we were close though. At 2:30 I finally got into the pool and it was amazing. I could finally see what other Moms were talking about when they say how relaxed you feel that moment you get into the water. I loved it. The contractions were horrible at this point but I just kept my focus. My SIL and DH were telling me how great I was doing and that helped a lot. I found myself asking them to talk to me so I didn't feel alone. The MW's had there own little room right off the L&D room that they stayed in so we could have our space. Once they heard that I was involuntarily pushing with each contraction, they came in and took note of what The baby's heart rate was doing while I was pushing. I was leaned over the edge of the pool and it was not a good position to be pushing in because her heart rate would go down with each push. She was a little posterior which I didn't know at the time. They got me moved to sitting with my back to the edge of the pool and my bum almost floated off the bottom Of the pool. It was actually a much more comfortable position for pushing. And her heart rate was better in this position. I continued to push and was literally feeling like I was being ripped apart. I hadn't had that feeling with my son. I pushed for 2.5 hrs with him. But this time there was no way I was going to do it that long. I just wanted to get the baby out. The pain was so intense. With my son, it felt good to counteract the contractions with pushing, but this time there was nothing that felt good. My body was involuntarily pushing and there was nothing I could do but push. Finally my MW said to feel for her head crowning, and I did. I was amazed. I thought for sure it would have taken longer than that. Then when the contraction ended I could feel her head going back in and it was horrible. So I told myself I wouldn't let that happen again, her head would be out the next contraction. And sure enough the contraction came and her head was out. Then I pushed again and out came her body. I was able to pick her up out of the water and hold her to my chest where my DH looked and saw that it was a girl! I was bawling because I was so happy. I was so happy that I had done it and that it was over and there I was, holding this little angel I had been waiting to meet for so long.
Lily Elizabeth was born at 2:55pm a short 25 minutes after I had gotten into the pool. And only 2 hours and 25 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. She weighed 7lbs 1oz. I got to hold her for about 5 minutes until the cord stopped pulsating then my SIL/doula cut the cord. She was so happy to do it!! My DH took his shirt off and sat with her skin to skin while I got out of the pool and delivered the placenta. After about 10 minutes I got to hold her again and she breastfed right away with no troubles. What a champ!
I had a slight tear but no need for stitches. I got cleaned up and got dressed so we could have our son come visit us at the hospital. He was elated with his baby sister. We had some other family come to see us as well, then at 7pm we were discharged and we got to go home!
I just can't stop thinking about how blessed we were to have such a natural hospital water birth. I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was an amazing experience and I love my little Lily more than words can express. What a great day it was.
So here’s the thing. We lied….
When we found out we were expecting again we intentionally waited an extra few weeks to tell anybody or make our announcement. So though our actual due date based on my LMP was May 12th we just told everybody “sometime in June”. And boy did we make the right decision, but more on that later…
My pregnancy was pretty awesome. I found out I was pregnant the day before my 21st birthday and it made me entirely too happy! Sure I was tired, but I had hardly any morning sickness. Of course I got the dreaded stretch marks I had avoided with my first pregnancy, gained more weight than I wanted to and felt like and elephant, but it was an overall easy pregnancy.
That is until my “due date”. Now understand that with my first child, my daughter Kaylen, I went 19 days past that magical date and each one of my friends had their babies and posted their pictures on Facebook even though I was the first to become pregnant! I endured well-meaning message after message, call after call, comment after comment asking if the baby was here yet (“Yeah and we just decided to tell no one!”), if I was in labor (“Totally am! That’s why I’m talking to you!”), and the “I’m sure it’ll be any day now!” (“Really? Ya think?”). It was too much! And even though it was out of concern and care it made the waiting unbearable! But she came when she was ready and we moved on…
So this time, though I knew I would probably go over, I expected a baby before June because I had done the math and the math didn’t lie…
Well fast forward to June 4th… 23 days “overdue” (by this point though we were fairly certain we had got our dates wrong… my cycles hadn’t been very regular and we had many possible dates of conception between the week I assumed I ovulated and the week I might have ovulated if I had a 39 day cycle like the one I had a few months prior to that one ). Still, I was freaking out and feeling the pressure from the select few we choose to tell my “real” due date (they will not be told next time!!!!). I was considering Non Stress Tests and Biophysical Profiles, but without insurance and an hour long drive to the nearest acceptable hospital, Karl and I decided to trust God and recommit this pregnancy to Him!
That being said I tried castor oil on June 1st and started taking black and clue cohosh on June 8th.
The black and blue cohosh gave me some contractions an hour apart and I started to have bloody show which was super encouraging! I could feel my cervix changing! I had Karl check my cervix a few times (my cervix had always been very posterior and I couldn’t reach it) and he assessed it as soft and fairly effaced and maybe 2cm. He is such a trooper and actually said “this is kind of fun!”
Most of Saturday the 8th I had contractions every hour or so, Sunday was every hour or half hour. Monday they petered out in the morning, but resumed by bedtime. I was planning on my 8th “last grocery trip”, but our car decided to completely die on us.
Tuesday dawned and we got our car towed. I borrowed my in-laws car and did my shopping trip with my daughter. Contractions we every 30 minutes, meaning I had one in the car on the way there, one in the store in the cereal aisle and one on the drive home. They were intense and required much concentration. I went home and made Philly Chicken Cheesesteak in the crockpot and put Kaylen down for a nap. Karl called and gave me the bad news on the car: $2200 - $4000. I made us a consolation prize in the form of a Pineapple Cream Pie with meringue.
We had dinner, commiserated, and put our little girl to bed at 7:30. By 9:30 contractions were between 15 and 30 minutes apart. I checked myself and with my limited experience guessed I was at 4 or 5 cm. We went to bed at 10:30, but then I decided things were uncomfortable enough that I should try a bath. It was instant relief except that I couldn’t have both my belly and back under the water at the same time. The back pain was the worst of it and it radiated into my hips and thighs. I got out, went downstairs and tried to distract myself with something on the computer, but couldn’t stand to be without Karl. I woke him and asked him to try counter pressure which worked, but I just couldn’t hold still long enough to let it help. Thing were fairly unbearable at this point because I was tired and just felt like lying down, but that made the contractions impossible to bear. I kept on trying to do the deep, helpful vocalizations, but they would just get higher and I felt a bit out of control. Karl mixed up some raspberry flavored Emergen-C and it smelled so good I could hardly wait for him to hand it to me. I jumped back in the tub. Time was the last thing on my mind, but I sure felt I had a lot longer to go… it was maybe 2:30am at this point. I finally checked myself again and thought I was maybe fully dilated with a small lip of cervix left and baby’s head was right there, but I really didn’t believe it or grasp that information. So after another contraction I checked myself again, and then again. The information just seemed so arbitrary at the time and sort of meaningless because in my head I had hours of labor ahead of me.
Still I got out to tell Karl. He held me as I had another contraction and asked me if I thought I might be in transition and I replied “I think I’m past that.”. And then it finally clicked. That horrible, unbearable feeling during contractions was because I wanted to push, but was fighting it because I didn’t believe it could be time for that already.
I thought I’d lay on the floor for a moment to rest and suddenly had another contraction that made it nigh impossible to breathe (let alone try and blow bubbles with my lips). I ended up pushing like crazy while Karl told me to breathe. I kept saying “I can’t stop pushing…. I don’t want to tear, but I can’t stop pushing!” I knew I had to get out of that side lying position or baby was going to fly out!
I got on my hands and knees on an old blue comforter spread over a plastic shower curtain liner on the floor and had Karl get me the mirror. It was difficult, but I was able to slow down the pushing a minuscule amount. I pushed and then didn’t to try and let the baby’s head slowly stretch me and I checked the mirror constantly and held my perineum to keep from tearing. I could totally see baby’s head, but neglected to tell Karl that because I was so focused.
At the time I didn’t realize that Karl had no idea how soon the baby was going to be born… I barely knew myself as I was trying to go slowly. Last time I pushed for 3 hours. So when Karl said he had to go to the bathroom I said ok. I was doing just fine on my own and thought I’d have more time.
But then suddenly I felt confident I wouldn’t tear and with a strong contraction I pushed baby’s head out while giving a cry that was totally different from any other noise I had made. I quickly and quietly called for Karl and he came in much surprised that the head was out.
At that point I got a bit nervous to hear the baby cry and know it was all okay and so I pushed the rest of the tiny body out without another contraction. I’m pretty certain that this is when I got my tiny tear.
Karl caught him at 3:21am and I instantly saw that we had a son! We passed him through my legs and I sat down. I immediately felt great and was so excited! He cried loudly and we wrapped him in a towel.
Karl was great at monitoring my bleeding and we did a dose of Angelica tincture as a preventative measure.
He nursed after twenty minutes and I then had two contractions and squatted over a bowl while holding him and birth the placenta about 40 minutes after he was born. We did a preventative dose of Shepherd’s Purse to prevent excessive bleeding. I really didn’t bleed too much at all!
I got to jump in the shower and felt a bit light headed afterwards. I had some more Emergen-C while Karl cut the cord and did 3 EldonCards to see if we had an Rh + baby. He was O+.
The three of us got to nap together in bed from 6am until 9am when Kaylen woke up. Just as I had prayed she slept through the whole thing. I was able to get Kaylen up, give her kisses, and tell her all about her new baby brother! They met and she gave him a sweet kiss!
He was 7 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 inches long!
We each had our worries; Karl about the baby breathing right away and me bleeding too much and I myself was worried about there being meconium in the waters and tearing, but thankfully none of those came to pass. Well except for the small tear I received which is so unbelievably painless I hardly can believe it’s there. In fact, we realized afterwards that we never noticed my water breaking. We still don’t know when that happened. Probably when I was in the bath.
I had a midwife friend (who traveled 5 hours round trip to give me my Rhogam shot, file the birth certificate and do a newborn exam) check me over and she said that it had already begun to heal up not even 20 hours after the birth! I’m three days post-partum as I type this and I feel basically back to normal, which makes it hard to just lay around, but I am just so grateful I’m healing well!
I can’t believe it happened almost exactly as I hoped and prayed it would! Karl and I are still pinching ourselves over how perfectly it went! God is too good!