I was just putzing around on my computer looking for a dog food recipe (isn't there a nerd icon :LOL ). Anyway I stumbled across my birth story from my son's birth--almost 3 yrs ago. I really thought it would be neat to read. It was a hospital birth, and certainly not like some of the nightmare births you see on A baby story, but, wow, it was so awful. I remember reading a lot about UC after his birth, and I totally realize why...now.
I'm going to try to post it below, unless it is too big, in case any of you would like to remember why you are planning, not soley an unassisted birth, but an empowered birth.
Aidan?s Birth story
Aidan was born on Sunday, February 17th of 2002 at 3.40 pm. He weighed 8lbs 3 ½ oz and was 19 ½ inches tall. True labor was 60 hours long, but things started happening back in November.
On Thanksgiving I hit 28 weeks, the 3rd trimester. I had been having Braxton Hicks for some time. By Thanksgiving I was having about 4 to 5 of them an hour, every hour, even when I was resting or sleeping, or active. My midwives assured me that this was normal.
Around the middle of December, I realized that my cervix was up to something. My Braxton Hicks were still going strong, not painful, just often, and I felt this tingling sensation on my cervix. Right after Christmas I explained this (again) to my midwives (Rebecca this time) who explained to me that it is ?impossible? to feel your cervix. I explained to them that regardless of that, I could feel it, and things were not good. I asked her for an internal to check things out, and she offered an ultrasound instead to get a more accurate reading.
After the ultrasound I was put on strict bed rest as (surprise, surprise), my cervix was most definitely shortening. I was about 33 weeks and I was to stay on bed rest until 36 weeks at the earliest. I was shooting for 37 weeks just to be on the safe side.
A couple of days into bed rest my contractions changed. They had always been high up, but now they were more vaginal. So we went to the hospital and I spent the night. Luckily I was not in labor, just some more preterm contractions. I had another ultrasound (nothing had changed from a couple of days ago), some Brethine as my midwife (Betsy) couldn?t believe how irritable my uterus was (which is how it was for months), and some steroids to help Aidan?s lungs develop. It was explained to me by one of the nurses that I wasn?t drinking enough water. I heard this from many different professionals, despite the fact that by the time I delivered, I was drinking 14 glasses a day. If only I could drink more water, the contractions might stop, or so I was told.
The month of January was uneventful except for the fact that my contractions were almost nonexistent when I was lying down and my cervix had stopped shortening. Unfortunately due to the sheer amount of water I was drinking, I had to get up to urinate countless times a day, which brought on more contractions.
Once I hit 36 weeks on January 17th, I allowed myself more time out of bed, until gradually by 37 weeks, I was completely off of bed rest.
Fast forward to the action!!
On Wednesday the 13th of February I had my midwife appointment with Rebecca. At that time, I was still 3cm, but 80% effaced (up from 70% the week before). She said my cervix was very ripe; I reminded her that she said that a couple of weeks ago, she clarified it by saying, I was ?really, really ripe? and that she?d be surprised if I didn?t go by the end of the weekend. She gave me a ?vigorous? exam and massaged my membranes.
All day Wednesday I was uncomfortable and having an increasingly bloody show (but I had been losing my mucous plug since Saturday the 9th of February!) I really thought nothing of this as I had a ?vigorous? exam by Betsy the week before and obviously nothing happened.
On Thursday, Valentine?s day and Aidan?s due date, my contractions were constant, about 5 minutes apart, as they were for the last month. I knew it would be real soon, as I was feeling different, but still I was quite bummed that Aidan hadn?t made his arrival yet.
That night I went to bed (after some crying) and when Matt?s father called us and woke us up, I was quite ticked as I realized that I hadn?t slept well at all as the contractions had gotten stronger as the night had progressed. Friday day, I took it easy and actually managed to get some kind of a nap, and listened to my hypnobirthing tapes and relaxed. I decided that when I woke up I would try to get labor going by some activity - - forced nesting if you will.
I puttered around the kitchen, squatting and breathing through each contraction as they were quite strong and becoming more painful. I had intended to take down the ornaments on the Christmas tree (yes it was still up), but one of my dogs had made herself quite comfortable on the newspapers I had saved for the job. Matt came home from work around midnight, and I realized that even though I was in labor, it was still sometime off.
I slept terribly that night; I was exhausted and much more aware of the pain. The contractions slowed somewhat, about every 10 minutes, and I felt like I was in a constant state of light sleep.
On Saturday, the 16th, I woke up, hardly refreshed. I knew that I hadn?t progressed much, but figured I should call my midwife just to make sure things were okay.
We got to the hospital and I was 4 cm and 90-100% effaced. I walked around for 2 hours listening to women screaming in pain. I was very excited about this whole experience and this was the first time I became scared. I was checked again & I hadn?t made any more progress, so I was given the choice to go home (1/2 hour away) or stay. I wanted to go home (to avoid as much medical intervention as possible, AND to let the dogs out). I was waiting for a prescription from the hospital pharmacy for some drug that was a ?strong Benadryl? (forget the name). As I was waiting the contractions were getting stronger (I remember sitting down on the floor during one of them), but I still wanted to go home and hopefully rest. I believe I hit active labor.
The car ride home was awful; I never realized just how many potholes there were!! Once I got home I took the ?strong Benadryl? pills and attempted to nap. I was quite dopey from the Benadryl stuff, but woke myself up screaming every 5 minutes with the contractions. No rest for me. So I took a shower, which felt amazing and decided to go back to the hospital. I explained to Janet the midwife, that I was not ready to deliver, but I wanted to get the car ride over and done with and couldn?t imagine doing it any later that right now. She agreed and I came in about 4-5 hours after I had left.
I was 5 cm!! We called our dog sitter and told him we were committed to childbirth, and we called my doula, Jennifer, and told her to come down at her convenience, as things weren?t going too fast. When she arrived I labored in the shower with her for a couple of hours, which helped tremendously. We walked around some more, the contractions picked up, and after a couple of hours, I was a stretchy 6cm. We discussed my options, and I agreed to some morphine to help me sleep so I would be well rested for tomorrow.
Since I was a little dehydrated they hooked me up to some fluids, morphine, and my antibiotics, as I was group B strep positive. I was really hoping for a nice sleep. They brought the futon from the conference room and Matt and Jennifer (my doula) slept there, while I ?relaxed? in bed with my hypnobirthing tapes.
I never did sleep that night. The stupid fluids caused me to have to urinate constantly. I was very cranky at this point. My back labor was also getting intense and the only thing that would help was Jennifer slamming her fists into my lower back, it helped SO much. Unfortunately Matt could not do it right, so poor Jennifer was up with me all night, in and out of sleep, punching my back.
In the morning, we discussed my options again. Unfortunately I was quite dopey from the morphine and just wanted to rest. I had never known that kind of exhaustion and was surprised by the strength and intensity of it. The two midwives, Janet and MaryBeth, explained to me that we had to get this labor going. ?C-Section? was getting thrown around, as my body was so tired, they needed to get this baby out now, so I?d be able to push him out. They were also worried about my uterus and it getting tired. They were afraid that it was exhausting itself and were afraid that it wouldn?t be able to contract after Aidan was born.
I wanted to try nipple stimulation. Janet told me that Aidan?s heartrate would have to be monitored if I went that route. So we decided on artificially rupturing my membranes, which I was very scared of. I knew that my waters provided a cushion for the contractions, and I couldn?t imagine them getting any worse than they already were. Janet explained that once my waters were broken, they?d set up the birthing tub. I was to walk around the floor once, and then I could get in the tub. If the tub didn?t help me enough, Janet promised me some Nubaine after I read some information on it from Dr. Sears? ?The Birth Book? (yes, while I was in labor). I was in so much pain that despite his negative opinion of Nubaine, it was safer than the rest. With this agreement in place, my water was broken.
Once my waters were broken (and they were clear), I didn?t want to move anywhere. I still had to urinate frequently and dreaded having to go to the 4 feet to the bathroom. Jennifer and Matt supported me as I walked (or almost dragged it seemed) around the floor of the hospital. Janet got me the birthing ball and wanted me to sit on it with each contraction. After I tried that a couple of times, I explained that I would not be sitting on that ball ever again (only not as nice). I finally got back to the room and the tub was too hot. So Matt and Jennifer filled up as many containers as they could find with ice from the ice machine and put it in the tub. Within minutes the tub cooled down and I was able to go in.
As soon as I got in the tub, I felt like I had died. The pain ceased. I thought for a moment that I could actually do this!! I smiled for the first time in hours and relaxed. But then a contraction came and it was harder than before. I was livid, I felt duped by the tub. I decided that I had had it, and I wanted drugs, I was tired of all this pain. Yes, I was in transition, but didn?t realize it.
While I was in the tub, I demanded Nubaine of the nurse. She said she would check with Janet. When she came back, she explained that Janet wanted me to labor in the water for a couple of contractions to hopefully ?get on top? of them. After a couple of contractions, I explained to the nurse that it wasn?t helping, and I wanted Nubaine, NOW. She said Janet didn?t want me to ask while in a contraction, so I had to wait until I was out of one. Once I was out of that one, I explained very clearly that it was time for drugs. She came back in a couple of minutes and explained that if I were to start the Nubaine, I would also need to go on Pitocin as the Nubaine would probably slow my labor down.
At this point, I was absolutely furious. I did NOT want Pitocin by any means. I figured the Nubaine would barely cancel out the pain of the Pitocin. I felt that I had been lied to, and voiced this quite loudly. I was crying and begging for a c-section. I explained that I really could not do this anymore. I truly believed that.
At this point the funniest thing happened, and it started to turn things around. Someone knocked on the door. As the nurses and midwives always knocked before entering, I invited the knocker in. When the door opened a woman whom I did not know and her two young children came into the room, the kids were probably 8 and 10. Here I was, completely naked, huge, and cursing up a storm in front of two children. When they left, (and they left quickly), I thought this was absolutely hysterical and couldn?t stop laughing. The absolute absurdity of the whole situation cracked me up!
Luckily Jennifer made a realization while I was in the tub. She realized that during the contractions, I only had difficulty with them in the beginning, but once they started I was able to ride them. I hadn?t realized this and she was right! I WAS doing this! I was still in a lot of pain (and cursing like a truck driver), but my body kicked in, and I started to ride them.
At some point I felt like I had to push. I pushed for a couple of times, but I was about 9 ½ cm still, so I had to wait a little while longer. I also wanted out of the tub, but I didn?t want to get out. I wanted to be magically transported to the bed. After a lot of effort, I got out and was complete. I could push if I wanted to.
I started pushing, but was not holding my breath and grunting, like Janet wanted. I would push, take a breath, and push, take a breath, and push some more. I was not doing one of those, ?PUSH, 1 2 3 4 5, etc.? Eventually I started holding my breath and pushing, which, from my reading, seemed wrong, but in doing so, I could actually feel Aidan move down.
I pushed, and complained, pushed and complained. I could not find any good positions. Janet wanted me on my back, I protested and told her no, she said, and I will never forget this, ?I don?t care? and I was on my back. I pushed a couple of times like that, crying I believe, and Janet came up with an idea. She said something about a position for women who were really tired. She turned the bed upright, so I could squat. I pushed for awhile while I was supported by Jennifer on one side and Matt on the other. After a contraction they would help me up to the bed so I could sit. After only 50 minutes of pushing, Aidan was ready to come out.
I never felt the ?ring of fire? or any pain on my perineum. His head came out with the palm of his hand on his chin. I gently pushed out his shoulders and then he slid right out. I did not tear.
He was placed immediately on my chest and I was confused. I still couldn?t believe that he was actually inside me and now was here on my chest. It seemed surreal.
The cord was wrapped around his neck and he came out very blue. After a couple of minutes of me holding him, they needed to take him to the warmer and check him out. He was still blue, but I was able to hold him and nurse him. I was thrilled!! We co-slept that night, and the next morning he was rushed to the NICU in a larger hospital 1 ½ hours away. But that is another story?.