That is terrible about the midwife. And I want to disagree with the comment about hospital midwives being just like OBs. I am sure that is true some of the time, but not necessarily. The hospital we birth at has a large midwife practice (about 12 midwives in all) and they really run the show there. They are by far more popular than the OB group, and their supportive "with woman" approach is definitely the norm there. They encourage you to write a birth plan, they explain all your options for testing (and are fine with less testing- I haven't had a cervical exam yet this pregnancy, and we did minimal testing) their default policies are mostly what I would want anyway (delayed cord cutting, dim lights, one on one nursing care, etc). It's not a home birth, and you do give up a little flexibility, but I felt truly respected and nurtured both times I birthed there. I don't want anyone reading to feel anxious about planned hospital births!
birth stories! - Page 2
yeah, I respectfully second that. The midwives I work with are definitely all about their mamas, and practice every natural birth practice they can within the constraints of a hospital setting. They are always advocating for less intervention and more support- and feel just terrible when someone ends up with an unwanted section, etc. I think that its just a bit of a different kettle of fish when you have a large practice, many, many, many patients (up to three births a shift this past month, I heard- phew!), and the whole hospital system to maneuver within. Aren't midwives mostly certified and trained the same way, regardless of which direction they end up in? I had a rotten anesthesiologist, other than that I found every single encounter in my hospital totally respectful and very helpful. There are bad and good eggs everywhere. One of the reasons I didn't do a home birth last time was I found the one midwife legally available for it, met with her, and was completely astounded and put off by a 30 minute rant about politics- ending with the injunction to consider carefully whether or not I wanted to terminate, because I was within my last legal week to do so (ummm….we were meeting about my desire to have a home birth…). It takes all kinds!
Its pretty awesome that Lily's dh was so great, though. Mine is very concerned, but not too helpful. I suppose I should train him better. :)
I guess I'm speaking (of course, like we all are) from my own experience and what I see going on in my geographic area. I have just heard so many times of people excited to have midwifery care in the hospital- the best of both worlds!- only to be so disappointed at the actual birth by the care and the attitude. I agree that I was making a generalization, but in that mama's case it sounds like that was true. The homebirth midwives here have trained under other homebirth midwives; we are lucky to have half a dozen homebirth practices who are all really wonderful and competent providers. Didn't mean to start a political debate! I'm happy to hear that people have good experiences with hospital midwives in other places.
Woah Lily! That's intense and crazy!
I'm glad that there was no infection and everything ended well. But I'm gutted for you that you had to suffer that awful treatment. I had something similar with DS where the doctor was pushing me and pushing me and I was resisting her and finally she said that she would come back later when I was ready to hear what she had to say. She never came back. I had my VBAC- without her and her desire to cut me. Anyhow I say that my first birth made me a mother, my second gave me strength and my third (the one I just had) gave me grace.
I feel like you really learn things about who you are and who your DP is in labour. (I'll explain more in my birth story)
I think you got a lot of strength, you and your DP, and what a wonderful gift to have gotten!
I knew there was a thread!
The day before was just like any other day. Miserable, cranky, and full of contractions I was sure would space out as soon as I went to bed. Then at 11pm I woke up and they were getting worse. Huh, that's weird. So I stayed up with Nathan a bit and then tried to go back to sleep when he did, but laying down hurt so I got up again and tried various things to get comfortable. I wound up back in bed and somehow managed to not make any noise until Vala (who had snuck into our room) wanted to get up a little before 6am. I did the normal morning routine of feeding all the animals and then got into the shower still thinking nothing was probably happening, but hoping something was. Not long after that I woke Nathan up and told him to cancel the day's plans and take care of the girls. Once he was finally awake and functioning (he's not much of a morning person even if I'm in labor) I told him to get started on the birth pool and call Maggie. Everything around this point is pretty fuzzy for me. I was having a hard time dealing with contractions but wanted to be left alone and still wasn't fully admitting that I was in labor. But since I was sobbing through contractions I figured Maggie should get called. I really wanted to get in the pool but it still wasn't filled yet since we only had a big pot and no hose. Nathan was on the phone with his work person that would be covering for him while he's out and trying to fill the pool as fast as he can. Around that time (10:45ish I think) Maggie and her assistant Chylain come in and get the hoses set up. The girls are mostly in their room watching movies and eating snacks, but they come out and see what's going on before Nathan takes them back to their room. As soon as the hose is in the pool and it starts filling I jumped in because I just couldn't take it anymore. After a few minutes my body started taking over and the birth team was getting nervous telling me to try to hold on until the pool was filled. I wasn't even really realizing that my body had taken over at that point couldn't do a thing about it if I wanted to. My water broke a few minutes later and then my body really started taking over. The pool was finally full enough and they gave me the strap I bought for the pool. Nathan got behind me and helped hold me up for a while and my kitty doula, Leopold tried getting in the pool with me, but settled for watching and giving headbutts to whoever was close enough. The baby started crowning and I was not happy about it. I remember saying 'no, no, I don't want to' a lot. The girls' movie stopped and Maggie took Nathan's spot holding me up so he could go put a new one on for them and then came back to get into position to catch. There was discussion about getting me to move so he could catch better or so I could support myself but there was no way in hell I was moving. I did however mange to thread one arm through the strap so I could put one hand down to apply counter pressure and eventually managed to get the other hand there as well. I was holding everything together down there and honestly trying not to push because I was terrified of tearing like last time. I think they started getting concerned that I was trying to push her back in. I swear I wasn't but I had no idea what I was doing with the counter pressure. Her head started forcing it's way out anyway and then everyone was telling me to let her out and to push since she was getting a bit constricted and my body only got her out to just past her nose. So finally I put effort into pushing and screamed like a banshee partly because, ow and partly because I was still afraid of wrecking myself again). Just about 19 minutes of pushing but with only about 30 seconds of actually trying she was fully earth side at 11:25am.
Nathan caught her and guided her up to my chest and just like her sisters, she had a short cord. She hung out on me and looked around, not making a sound for a few minutes. She was a little purple but started pinking up right away and did eventually cry a bit. Nathan asked if I checked for a penis and I confirmed she was a she.
Nathan went and got the big girls and they were both ecstatic. Vala had a big smile on her face and when Nathan asked Anya if she liked her new sister, she said "yes!". They were both so cute and excited.
We waited and waited some more for the placenta and about 30 minutes later the cord finally stopped pulsing and I pushed it out. There had been absolutely no blood until after the placenta came out which was pretty cool. They got me up and to our bed and Kira latched on right away and Maggie confirmed that I didn't tear at all. (What?! Woohoo!)
Her stats were 7 lbs 9 oz (on a digital scale, so I trust it this time), 20.5" long, " diameter head. My biggest yet. She measured 43 weeks in gestational age based on her flakey skin and wrinkly feet (and other things that I can't remember), so maybe she was a bit more fashionably late than we thought.
Overall, she's much more laid back than I thought she would be and is just a total sweetheart. The girls are in love with her and all Vala wants to do is hold her all day long, which Kira doesn't seem to mind one bit. <3
I love reading everyone's stories! Welcome Kira!
I find writing in the midst of chaos (ie, our house with three children under 5, 100% of the time) to be challenging, but I will attempt to write down what I remember of Henry's arrival before it fades...
On Thursday Dec 12, I started to have my first painful semi regular contractions. Because my last two births had been fairly straight forward and quick, and because we were worried about childcare and making it to the hospital, I called my husband home from work and assumed labor would be starting shortly. Contractions continued throughout the day, about 20-30 minutes apart and fairly manageable, as did an intestinal house cleaning, so we decided to put our childcare on alert, and call my in-laws up from NJ. By the time they got here, things had slowed down and I went to bed for the night. The next day I had a midwife appointment, and the chiropractor, and I was still having contractions, so my husband stayed home from work again and was able to drive me to my appointments without the kids (hallelujah!). I felt a little silly for telling everyone I was having a baby imminently, but it was nice to have childcare ahead of the big event. The midwife did her usual, and told us to plan to head to the hospital whenever we had the sense that things were picking up at all, and felt confident I would know, since I had been through it twice before. I was not feeling to sure at this point. The Chiropractor adjusted me, and showed DH how to find the acupressure point above your ankle and we went on our way. The evening played out much that same as the one before, and we went to bed for the night around eleven, myself convinced that I would be pregnant into the New Year at this point...
Around 1 am, I was woken up by contractions but I as so confused and disoriented I didn't really register what was going on. I tried to go back to sleep, but I think I was being woken up every 10 minutes or so (very blurry). 2 am, I felt a weird pop sensation, which was apparently my water breaking. I have never had my water break before pushing before, so that got my attention! I woke up my husband and told him my water had broken, and to call the midwives and let them know we would go in soon. We went back and forth through a few contractions about whether we should wait for the contractions to be closer together/more intense before going in, but it became moot fairly quickly as I realized that these contractions were way more intense than before and starting to come closer together as well. We headed to the car, and I was a bit anxious about labor and the 30 minutes car ride, but I mostly managed to keep it together. My husband is a panicker, and if I freaked out he would be the opposite of reassuring and helpful. We arrived at the hospital around 3:15-3:30, and headed up to L&D (didn't have to go through registration since it was after hours, yay!). They wanted me to change into a gown and be on the monitor for a while, which I always hate, since I am basically in transition by the time I manage to get there. Yuck. They got about 5 minutes on the monitor, then took it off so I could pee, by which point I could tell I was starting to feel pushy. I had requested a water birth, and they had filled the tub and readied the room that can accommodate this, but they wanted to confirm that the baby was head down. They tried to feel externally, but he was so low it was difficult to tell, then they tried to look on the ultrasound, but the machine was not working and I was getting pretty uncomfortable and uncooperative at this point. Finally they gave up and decided to take my word that the baby had not moved since the last time he was confirmed head down, and we got up to move from triage to the delivery room with the birth tub. I stood up, made it about 3 feet out into the hallway, stopped for another contraction and informed them that the baby was coming, right then. I was holding onto DH's arms, and dropped down onto my knees to push, while the midwife yelled for someone to bring her gloves and the nurses started appearing waterproof pads and similar to catch the baby. His head was out in one push, the midwife didn't even manage to get gloves on. He started crying as soon as his head was out, which was wild. He had a nuchal cord and the midwife was able to deliver him through the cord? I forget exactly how she described it, and neither DH nor I could see what was going on down there. But he was just fine, despite the drama of his arrival. He was born at 8 pounds 2.5 ounces, 20.5 inches, shortly after 4 am.
Immediately postpartum I had some similar complications to my last birth, namely excess blood loss and low blood pressure/passing out a few times as a result. I got pitocin and methergine via IV, plus lots of fluids, and rather uncomfortable uterine massage, and we opted to stay in the hospital the full 48 hours to give me a little extra to to rest. Now at 2 weeks postpartum, Henry and I are doing well. He has gained back his birth weight and then some (8 lbs 9 ounces at his 2 week check up, the *first* of my babies to be above birth weight by this time. Yay!). He sleeps pretty long stretches at night, as long as I give in and keep him in bed with me- not my original plan, but he has his own agenda, apparently. Love him!
Edited by CourtBChase - 12/30/13 at 10:49am
I believe I called in Tuesday night for excessive movement. I talked to Jenny, a CNM.
I agreed to a membrane strip @ 39 weeks, 6 days. I had a NST scheduled, my first. I was contracting some, on the monitor, but 'not super organized'. That was Wednesday. I can't totally blame my OB tho for the membrane strip, I had read an article by my herbalist/mentor that day that endorsed the practice. My OB's fingers were short & my cervix was high tho, so I can't say it was whole hearted. I didn't have any bleeding or show.
My OB did recommend that I be induced, just because of being AMA & at my due date, we discussed risks & methods, but she wasn't insistent & the baby had plenty if fluid, placenta looked fine, etc.
That night I did have some cramping & around 3 am I had a panic attack, with shaking, cold sweating, etc. I called the CNM on call. She suggested magnesium & a lavender bath. That did seem to help. I also took a 1/2 Melatonin & had a great sleep.
The next day I followed up with another CNM who was very reassuring & positive (Jenny again). I had a NST scheduled for Friday.
Friday I went in for my NST. It went fine, I was contracting every 5-7 minutes on the monitor but not feeling them. I did allow a check, it was gentle & baby was still @ -3, cervix was 1.5 & about 50%.
I scheduled another NST for Monday & was totally ready to wait for Tuesday's full moon . . . That night I was in bed with DH , watching some YouTube clips of Rebel Wilson @ 12:30 am when I felt a 'pop'. I knew right away it was my water. I called the CNM on call. She said I would likely go into labor & to come in @ 9 if nothing was happening.
I really sorta wanted to go in right away, but I laid in bed & timed Pressure Waves. They were 5-8 minutes apart & over a minute long. Very characteristic of the night before true labor for me.
I texted my BFF, asking her to come @ 6 am. I got some sleep between 4 & 6. She arrived right @ 6 but her & DH distracted me & we didn't leave until 9. I called my CNM again & she said to get a great breakfast & be @ the hospital by 10:30. We went to a cafe & say near the window, in the Moroccan style seats. I was still contracting a bit, every so often . . .
We drove up to the hospital. I checked in through the ER. The woman who walked me up to the floor actually told me she was having a HomeBirth with her 5th child & also that she had a J shaped incision.
We went to a lovely large room. The midwife wanted to run a strip for an hour, to check the baby. I got hooked up & it seemed fine & peaceful. A nice, older nurse came in near the end. She explained some things about the whole process, the hospital's policies, & how I was probably going home. She did point out some little dips where the baby's cord was getting pinched, but emphasized that my baby looked great.
The CNM came in near the end of the hour. While she was talking to me, the baby had a more substantial dip. 'He felt that one', she said. She asked me what I wanted. I didn't actually want to go home. With the water broken, I didn't want to stress about kick counts all afternoon. I told her I wanted my baby to be okay, to not feel scared, and to take a nap.
She suggested that I start very low dose Pit, and nap while I waited for that to kick me into more active labor. Nipple stim was also offered, but she didn't think I would be able to nap. She ordered Vistaril for my anxiety & to help me nap.
They hooked up the Pit & it started to work right away. I couldn't sleep! Eventually DH helped me get up & we asked for Telemetry monitors. However, as soon as I got up & on the Birth Ball, I started to see numbers on the monitor that I *knew* were not going to be tolerated. Sure enough, I was asked to lay back down on my left side. I was getting sorta upset & having flashbacks to my first labor, where I labored on my left side for hours, stuck in bed.
I asked for the Pit to be turned off. The nurse said it was on the lowest possible dose & I needed to stay on it. Now I was more upset. My CNM had clearly said that if I didn't like the Pit, I could turn it off! I asked to speak to her. The nurse said she wasn't there! She had gone home?
I asked if a doctor was there? I actually couldn't believe no one was on site! The nurse went to call the CNM. There was a Stop button right on the Pit machine, I was ready to just press it.
She came back & wanted to do a check. Again, I was annoyed, my water was broken! But I let her do it. I was 3cm. She was trying to encourage me to stay on the Pit, but I was definitely turning it off.
I was still contracting off the Pit. I guess less than they wanted me to be & not strong. Katie (CNM) came back. She wanted to try Amnio infusion & restarting the Pit. The only way I was going to agree to that was with an Epi.
The anesthesiologist was there really fast & the Epi went in so well. It was blissful, but there were still decels, even tho it spread the contractions out more. Then the amnioinfusion happened, still decels.
Soon enough, the CNM said she was calling the doctor. And an informed consent discussion began. She called it 'classic cord compression'.
I asked some questions through an oxygen mask & tears. About my fertility & whether this was my only choice. However. Ultimately I signed. The form said 'Primary Cesarean'. They wheeled me into the OR. I was thinking I might never see my boys again. I think I was feeling very numb. I am now wondering if it was the Epi or the Vistaril.
In the OR they increased my Epi. I started shaking almost uncontrollably & felt like I couldn't breathe. I still was failing the pinch test & was really afraid the next move was to knock me out. However they just started the incision & it wasn't bad.
The baby was delivered quickly & they discovered a double knot! He also had a single nuchal cord. The CNM leaned over the drape & said 'Oh! You so made the right decision'
Edited by dinahx - 1/19/14 at 11:44am
It was late on the evening of the 23rd. Mark and I were watching TV in bed, and I was having really mild contractions that I figured were more prodromal labor. I was timing them, but they didn't want to get much closer together than 12 minutes. Eventually they got down to about 6-10 minutes apart for a whole hour, and I decided it was worth getting excited. Mark was hesitant, so we watched another show, and then I took a shower, and since the contractions didn't stop we decided to go to the hospital. It was about 2:30 am when I texted my friends that we were on our way.
I was still timing in the car, and by the time we got close to the hospital things had started to space out again. Mark asked if we should go to the hospital, or stop and have breakfast. I kind of wanted waffles, but I said let's just go to the hospital. I really wanted this to be it. So we went on to the hospital, where a nurse hooked me up to a monitor and we watched my contractions for a while. I'm not sure how long that took, but everybody agreed that I was in labor, and I was given a room. By then it was about 5 am.
I had to be on a monitor as part of my agreement with my doctor (because of this being a VBA2C), although with the caveat that I didn't have to lay in bed and could move around however I wanted. At this point, my contractions were still not very close together, and pretty mild, and Mark kept saying maybe we'd jumped the gun and come to the hospital too early. I asked for a cervical exam, and the nurse determined that I was 5 cm. I decided to take a nap while I still could, so I laid down and slept until about 8:30, when I was wakened by VERY strong contractions.
When I woke, I was shocked by how strong the contractions were. I kept trying to find a better position, and moving from sitting to standing and back again. That really annoyed the nurse who kept having to adjust my monitor, and kept telling me that I needed to pick a position and stick with it, but I figured I didn't really give a damn what she wanted, as adjusting a monitor doesn't suck nearly as much as giving birth. :P At some point Mark came over and held me so I could lean into him whenever I had a contraction, and that was so awesome. That was the only thing that actually helped with the pain. At first I kept telling myself, it's only a minute at a time, I can get through this. But then it got so much more intense. I really think it was as intense as Sinead's birth, but maybe I just don't remember the other kids' births as well. I decided that I wanted to know how far along I was, and that if I hadn't made any progress I'd go ahead and get the epidural. I was hoping to be at 6 cm by then; I was SHOCKED to find I was already at 8! When I heard that, I decided I could make it.
Very soon after being checked I started to feel like I needed to push. Or, more accurately, I felt like my body was going to go ahead and push whether I liked it or not. And I very much did NOT like the idea, for some reason. The nurse kept telling me not to push yet, and I was trying to tell her that neither one of us had much choice in the matter, but I'm afraid I was not very articulate by then. While I was pregnant, I had hopes of giving birth on my hands and knees, and maybe even getting to catch the baby myself. Based on how I remember my other births, that seemed possible. But this time I just happened to be laying on my back when I felt it was time to push, and everything in me said, "DON'T MOVE!" When the doctor came in and they broke down the bed and moved my feet slightly to the side, I cried. So I stayed on my back, and decided that was just fine with me.
All this time, Mark was standing right beside me. I think he was holding my hand. At some point they wanted to push my legs back, which I had told Mark I didn't want, so he stood up for me and told them so. But I told him it was ok, because right then I was feeling like that would actually be helpful, since I felt like there was no way I was going to turn over into a better position than on my back. He also said something when they brought in a bag of pitocin for after the birth, which I really did not want. It was funny -- the nurse argued with him that the pitocin was "doctor's orders," so Mark brought it up with the doctor, who immediately agreed that I didn't have to have it if I didn't want it. Mark said the look on that nurse's face was priceless.
I ended up pushing three times. The first one was this huge all-over push that felt like every muscle in my body was involved. It was kind of scary, because I was still trying NOT to push then. Shortly after that I had this really peaceful feeling -- no contractions, no pushing -- and I remember thinking that I'd read about this, but never experienced it. Just a lull, my body relaxing so I could get ready to push her out. Then another push that felt really ineffective. Then another moment of relaxing. The doctor started saying that the baby's heart rate was dropping, and I need to "push effectively," and I was thinking, "Just relax. My body is getting ready. She's about to come out." Then I pushed, and I said that it didn't feel like anything was happening, but Mark said, "No, baby, she's crowning!" So, I kept pushing until she was out.
When she was born I felt kind of numb, shell-shocked. Just like how I remember feeling after Sinead was born. Someone asked if I wanted the baby placed straight onto my stomach, and I think I said yes because they did. It seemed like it took me a long minute to realize she was there, though. I don't know if anyone else noticed that. Finally I put her to the breast while we waited for the placenta. The doctor was playing with the umbilical cord, and I remember thinking that was weird, but I decided not to worry about it as long as he didn't pull on it. It came out after a few minutes, I didn't have any tears, and my bleeding was normal, so all was well.
Roisin Marie was born just after 11 am on Christmas Eve, at 7 lbs., 5 oz., and 19" long. We were discharged as soon as she was 24 hours old, since everyone understood that we wanted to get home and spend Christmas with the kids.
yay! thanks for sharing, everyone. Court, your kids are SO cute!
ok, here's mine:
At triage, it was amnio, of course, and when they put me on the monitor I was actually contracting regularly, just not strongly. I was about 4 cm and 75% effaced- which I was really happy with, as I could see that I was going to be strongly encouraged to start labor with pitocyn, now that I had technically had broken waters for about 12 hours. I agreed to go ahead and start the pit, which they did around 10 pm. I was still very comfortable, and my sister, husband, and midwife were pretty much laughing and joking for the next few hours- even in the labor tub! The contractions picked up after Chelsea broke my waters fully (so we thought!), and I was in active labor for about 2 hours. It was getting a bit intense, so I asked for an internal check, as I was thinking that I was ready for the epidural- I was 6cm, 100% and the baby was engaged, so I went for it. After that, I rested for an hour while the baby descended a bit more, and Chelsea went to check- uh oh! She couldn't quite feel the head, which concerned her- had he flipped around to breech? no- there was another pocket of amniotic fluid above his head- when she broke that one, about a gallon of water gushed out, and my stomach completely deflated. It was super shocking. "Hmmm, well, I don't think he is going to be as big as we thought!" she said. I had pretty much convinced my husband that the baby was a dwarf or took after our two very short grandfathers (I mean, my stomach went from HUGE to almost normal looking) "somebody has to get those tiny Pepe genes, darling! It will be ok!" (I was just messing with him, and boy did it work, haha). James was born after about three pushes, and because there was tons of meconium in the water and he didn't come out screaming (now I know thats just not his personality), they took him and suctioned his nose and mouth- but he was totally fine, and started nursing right away as soon as they gave him back to me. We had wanted delayed clamping, but because they had to suction him, Chelsea had to just strip the cord to get as much blood from it into him as she could quickly.
The very worst thing was hours later, when they moved me up to the room. I had had a straight cath in the labor room, and the nurses in the recovery room didn't believe me that I was in agony over having to pee again. They gave me a bedpan, but I had to go so badly that I couldn't go -just tiny torturous trickles. They said, "oh, its just that your bladder is bruised". But I knew something was wrong. I started to panic, and texted Chelsea (oh the value of knowing your midwife personally). She came running up and immediately demanded another catheter- to stay in for a a wile, chastising them that it was in the notes that I had received 3 extra bags of fluid via IV (which was still in, by the way), to counteract my very low blood pressure. When they put the cath in they had to clamp it so nothing burst, it was coming out so fast! That was AWFUL. I don't know why those nurses didn't listen to me :(. but its all good now.
Gabriel Xavier's Birth:
After two previous inductions at 39 weeks for low birth-weight babies, my present midwife surprised me by being ok with my belly growing on the small side, and I think she was pretty confident that I wouldn't make it much past the 39 week mark. I had a hunch that I'm one of those women who cook their babies longer. I was right, because by January 2 (41 weeks), I still hadn't had a baby. I went for an ultrasound that day and baby was measuring at and below the 2nd percentile in his measurements. The doctor who reviewed the BPP recommended an Non-Stress Test. While I was doing the NST, my midwife called me and said that she had reviewed the ultrasound results and would like to induce the same day. Her reasoning was although someone has to be on the 2nd percentile, at 41 weeks she thought the risks of continuing the pregnancy outweighed the benefits. I was on board to induce, as I had already been having some stronger contractions in the morning, and as my BP had been going up throughout the week.
At 3:30, we met with my midwife at her office and she checked my cervix, which was dilated to a 3. She said we could either break my waters at her office and then we could meet at the hospital, or we could wait till we got to the hospital to break my waters. DH and I opted to wait for the hospital, just in case I leaked on the van seat :) Around 5:00 pm, my midwife broke my bag of waters. This was one of the most painful parts of the birth, because I didn't have much fluid, and the midwife couldn't get a grip on a pocket to not scratch the baby's head. It felt like her whole are was up there...Once my waters were broken, I figured that labour would be pretty quick. Wrong. I got up and started walking around the hallways of L&D. After an hour or so, I had mild contractions, about every 5 min, and lasting about 30 seconds. But then they petered out. So I went back to walking. Around 8:30, I was dead tired and just wanted to go to bed. So I laid down and had a nap. When I woke up, I asked my midwife what we could do to get things going a bit. She suggested nipple stimulation, so I was given a breast pump and got pumping. That really made the contractions pick up, except tied as I was to the pump, I couldn't get comfortable through them. So I would do about 15 min of pumping, followed by 30 min of labouring. The contractions always seemed to stay irregular and peter out. Finally, at some point, I was so tired, I asked to get in the bath. I was trying to avoid laying down and stopping labour. Once I got in the bath, I relaxed and fell back asleep between contractions. In my mind, though, I was getting more and more frustrated with my lack of progress and the fact that all the contractions were in my perineum and lower back. At some point I woke up and declared that I was done, and I wanted pitocin and an epidural. My midwife offered to check me to see where I was, and I agreed. She suspected I was at transition. She was right; I was at an 8. She suggested that we get the nitrous oxide and I agreed. At this point, I had panicked and was convinced that I couldn't give birth. Not helpful. The gas was helpful in that it allowed me to relax between contractions, when it took effect, but it wasn't fast enough to do anything about the actual contractions. I didn't use it for very long, because I started to feel like pushing. I was still panicked about pushing and fighting it, but at some point it finally dawned on me that I had to just get through it and I didn't have the option not to give birth. I tried to pull myself together, but ended up screaming my way through the pushing phase. My husband held my hand and kept on encouraging me and Gabriel was out in about 20 minutes. I wasted a lot of energy on ineffectual "face" pushing, and kept telling myself out loud not to push with my face but my tummy. Gabriel's head kept coming tantalizingly near coming out, and then the contraction would end and it would disappear (I was touching it). Finally, I got it out, and I felt like I was tearing in half for a few seconds, but it was out. The next contraction, I got his body out and caught him in my hands and pulled him up towards my chest. He was born at 5:10 am on January 3rd. He was so beautiful and perfect and came out with a roar. He had a bit of mucous in his breathing, so my midwife used a bulb to gently suction out his mouth and his breathing cleared up straight away. The placenta came out soon after, however, my midwife felt that my uterus wasn't contracting well, and after I had showered, I lost two large bunches of clots, so I agreed to get a shot of pitocin to help with the contracting. Since Gabriel was born under the 10th percentile, he had to stay in the hospital for 36 hours of glucose monitoring. Gabriel and I really enjoyed our rest and I felt really rested once we went home. I love being a mama to three beautiful children and feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family :D
I was due Christmas Day but it came and went. I was having a good pregnancy, my last, and I wasn't too uncomfortable. At just past 42 weeks my family doc - who was very supportive of my planned UCs-scheduled an ultrasound. The placenta, fluid and baby were all fine so we just waited...did another one a few days later and all was still well. Even though I'd gone 18 days late before, I was surprised to be so past my due date and was really starting to doubt I'd ever go into labor!! I was seeing chiropractor, acupuncturists, having sex, and was considering castor oil. I started reading stories from Spiritual Midwifery and got into a much more loving and trusting place, and remembered to love my husband.
Finally at 43 weeks exactly I started having some light yet "real" contractions in the afternoon. I wasn't sure what to do once bedtime came around. A midwife friend suggested I crawl around for a while to encourage good positioning then to go to bed. I did that, but was woken just after 10:00 pm with wild baby movements, like totally crazy big movements! I got on the floor on hands and knees and husband heard me moaning. We timed a few- 3 or 4 min apart! I called my best friend to come over. I was in labor!
I labored in my room with husband and friend while my older son dealt with the kiddie pool downstairs. At some point I felt myself to be 6 cm and tried the pool but I think it was too hot and my contractions stopped so we went back upstairs. I didn't feel all spacey in "labor land" like I remembered, but felt more present and like I was doing a job. I got things going again, and was real aware that I had a lot of control over the strength of the contractions. I could get a break if I needed one or bring them on stronger. I labored on the toilet knowing they'd be stronger there. I felt like I'd be fully dilated if my bag would break. I thought to myself that I'd like a strong one to break my bag and it worked- I could feel my waters tremble like there was an earthquake inside me and felt it pop up high. Phew! After a couple more there, we went downstairs and I got into the pool.
I had some hard transition contractions and then started to push the baby down. The nerves to the right of my sacrum hurt so much and I was frustrated because I wasn't getting the relief I experienced with my last birth in the water. I wasn't finding a comfortable pushing position and felt I needed more room...so I told my husband to get in and hold me up so I could squat. That wasn't really more comfortable but felt like the right thing to do. It took about 8 pushes to get him down and around my pubic bone and I could tell he was big. My friend was there in front of me telling me what she was seeing and encouraging me. My oldest son was there, and now my daughter as well, who ended up filming the birth. I pushed about 5 times to birth his head, then a few more for shoulders. Then I looked down thinking he should've out and he was half out with his arms outstretched and his eyes open but was inside from the belly down! My husband said I needed to push again and I said "What?!" I thought I was done with that! So I pushed again and out he came. My middle son had heard me hollering and came down just then, and they woke up the two younger boys. Baby was snorkly and I sucked mucus out of his mouth. There was a brief moment where worry flashed across my mind but then he cried and all was well again. He was born at 2:40 am. The cord was so short so I got out of the pool as it was hard to keep his he'sdoing out of the water and I kept sliding down. (This part of birth is so awkward!) I lied on the couch and had a few good contractions. I pushed a little and out came a giant placenta, the healthiest I've ever made. We cut the cord after it stopped pulsing a few minutes later then he nursed.
We weighed him...a whopping 11 pounds 7 oounces but we rounded down to 11 lbs 6 oz because of the hat and blanket. (I had had three boys who were around 10 1/2 pounds so was expecting that again.). Wow!!
I took a shallow bath to wash off while kids got tucked back into bed. I passed out on my way back to the couch (I knew I might so told husband to support me well and he ended up carrying/dragging me to the couch), nursed more and tried to rest.
We named him Robin Taylor.
It was a powerful experience for my two older kids but especially for my son. I have felt so much warmth and love from him since then and I am glad he got to witness a strong woman giving birth.
He's two weeks old now and is a very alert, healthy, good nursling. I'm still resting in bed, and enjoying this abnormal tender time in life.
Edited by mataji4 - 1/31/14 at 2:53pm