Noah Daniel was born Monday, October 18th at 4:31 am. He weighed a surprising 8 lbs, 11 oz (my first DS was 6 lbs, 5 oz!), and is 22 inches long.
Labor started w/ my water breaking at about 2:45 on Sunday morning ... contractions started almost immediately, and I was surprised with how steady and close they were, even early on! Varying from 3-5 minutes apart, they were "intense" but bearable. My DH got home from a gig he played that night and went to bed so he could get some sleep for what was sure to be a long next day. I called my friend B., who is L&D nurse, and was going to be at a support person for me, as well as another friend, L. .
I puttered around the house, trying to take it easy but stay occupied. Contractions were to intense to try to sleep through, and I was too excited to get any sleep between them. B. came over when she finished her shift and we chatted, and she checked me. At this point it was probably around 7 am, and after 4 hours w/ pretty steady contrax., I was curious where I was. Dissapointed to discover that my cervix was still high, posterior, and closed
But ... it was nice just to *know* ... so B. went home to get some rest and Kevin and Ethan eventually woke up.
I spent the morning hanging out with them, working through contractions which soon became really intense back pain. Sometimes counter pressure worked wonderfully, but sometimes nothing seemed to help the insensity of the discomfort in my back. Things kept steady in the same pattern, 3-5 minutes apart, but slowly the intensity increased, and in the early afternoon B. came back over to see how I had progressed. My cervix had thinned a lot, and I had actually dilated to two, almost three. It was a relief to hear that the 12 hours of contracting had finally done *something* at that point! Over the next few hours, the contractions continued to be really intense, but slowly seemed like they were spacing out. I spent some time trying to sleep between contractions to help build up energy for the rest of the work ahead of me, but it seemed to make things putter out even more. When I was checked next, my cervix had actually *regressed*, and I was back at around 2 cm.
At this point it was about 6 pm, I had been laboring for around 15 hours with my membranes ruptured from the start. I knew that if I wanted to preserve any chance of having a vaginal birth, we needed to get to the hospital with enough time to give Pitocin a chance to do it's work w/in the window that my doctor would allow (due to the broken membranes). We called my doc to let her know what was going on, and headed over.
I was upset that things weren't going exactly as I had hoped, but I tried to re-focus on my "new" goal of having a vaginal birth. Yes, a totally natural, non interventionist birth would be lovely and beautiful ... but I wanted to do everything in my power to preserve the opportunity for this baby to be born vaginally. So, I headed to the hospital with DH, my friend B., and met another friend L. there. We decided to go ahead and get an epidural ... I wanted to be sure that in case the baby didn't tolorate the pitocin well, I could have the C-section under epidural anesthesia instead of the general. By the time I got the epidural, I had been laboring for 18 hours with back labor ... I feel like I *should* feel badly ... but honestly it was a lovely relief. I felt like, with the epidural's relief, I'd be able to rest and rejeuvenate myself and get back to work.
Let's see ... I got the epi around 9 pm, and spent the next six hours trying the pit, the baby's heart rate to doing *great*, turning the pit off, my contractions petering out, trying the pit again but in a different position, again the baby's heart rate not being great, etc. etc. Initially my cervix was very responsive and I dilated to 5 quickly ... but since Noah wasn't doing wonderfully (he was never in distress, but the doc saw some signs that he wasn't totally happy with the whole pitocin thing...) she wasn't comfortable turning it up, and I never progressed beyond 5 cm. The last straw was just before 4 am I started running a temperature. Since my water had broken over 24 hours before, they were taking no chances w/ re: to infection in me or the baby ... combined with the lack of progress and Noah's sometimes questionable heart rate patterns ... it was time for the cesearean.
Since I already had the epi, prep. was quick and painless. The baby was out quickly, and Kevin hung out w/ him in the nursery while I was in recovery. I don't think we were seperated for more than 30 mintues, which I thought was wonderful!
So, all in all, it certainly wasn't my fantasy birth experience. But, I truly feel like we did the best we could with everything we could. We were treated fairly and respectfully, I never felt bullied or condescended to. I worked hard with my body for a really long time, and when the time came, I worked hard w/ my body and "technology" until safety became a concern. And as trite and cliche as it may be, I have a lovely, healthy baby, and our whole family is just in love with our new addition.
We spent one night in the hospital, and came home late this afternoon. I feel surprisingly comfortable after the surgery, and Noah is doing wonderfully. He's nursing non-stop, and just checking things out as life goes on around him. Big brother Ethan is thrilled that mom and "my new little brother" are home earlier than expected. He loves to kiss Noah, and is just so sweet and endearing, it's amazingly heartwarming. I didn't realize my heart could feel so full. For a very brief moment tonight all 4 of us were snuggled contentedly in bed, everyone asleep but me, and I just looked over at my 3 boys (counting DH there
) ... and I was just overwhelmed with how blessed I am.