Owen Alexander was born on Sunday evening at 11:39 pm after 4.5 hours of sudden and intense back labor.
Around 7 pm I was nursing Jillybean and after she was done noticed the usual ctx, only these were coming fairly regulary. So I started keeping track and about 7:30 decided to call my doula to give a heads up. We talked and decided that I should try to get some rest after a bath since I hadn't napped that day. The bath would either slow things down so I could rest or get me "rockin'"
It got me rockin'. Ctx increased to about 2 mins apart and 1 min long, mostly through my back and hips. (and I was timing ctx by when they started and stopped hurting - which isn't correct but all I could figure out) About 9:20pm I decide to call the midwives to see what they wanted to do (thinking it's still early but probably should give a heads up or get instr as to when to come in).
Here's what irked me about that call... the triage nurse didn't ask any questions as to my status or why I thought I was in labor. They wanted me in right away simply b/c I'm a rpt vba2c... no questions as to how long I'd been contracting, whether or not my water had broken, what my ctx were like... nothing.
I made the decision to go in based on the fact that i was getting really vocal with the ctx and they were coming so close together. I called my doula and we decided to meet at the hospital. the ride was Not Fun. Back labor was in full swing and that road is B U M P Y.
We got to the hospital at about 9:45 (after a hunt for the car keys!) and I was really hurting by then. Having to hang off DH's arms or lean over some sort of support and have him press on my back. nothing was helping. An ER nurse ran into us in the elevator and escorted us to L&D. I think I alarmed some folks b/c we were met at the elevator by two nurses and they skipped triage.
Had to be checked by a resident as the midwives don't hang out at the hospital 24/7 but she was on the way. fine. I was at a 6 which was disappointing but not discouraging. Was feeling hot and nauseated and requested meds for the nausea. Was told I'd have to wait for the MW as there were no orders for me. I asked if resident could write it up and after some background tension going on between the nurses and the resident (to which I was oblivious) got some. I was asked if I wanted 8mg or 4 mg of Zofran... I said 8, of course.
Also had to have a quick u/s to check for vertex position. At this point I was standing and leaning over the bed so it was hard for her to do. Tough. I wasn't moving. Apparently, this has become policy after they were surprised by a couple of breech presentations. My thought at the time was, "silly, just deliver the baby," but I wasn't verbal enough any more to say that. Head was down, we were good to go.
things progressed very quickly. Someone tried squeezing my hips at one point but I didn't like it. A little later someone else tried; all I remember of that was it was excruciating and I screamed. No further hip squeezing ensued.
I laid down on my side for a few minutes and that only felt o.k. b/c at least I was off my arms. I was definitely howling with the ctx and my doula was encouraging me. I wanted pain meds. She said o.k. but lets get in the tub first. MW did a quick check b/c they were concerned about late decels. Nothing more was said about that after the check so I'm not sure what was really going on there. I was a 8-9cm. I was feeling pushy with ctx - couldn't help it. I have no idea what time it was. Somehow I made it to the tub after a little bit. tub did not help. I ended up on my knees and where my arms were kept turning off the jets. very annoying. I felt my water break. And was definitely feeling like I was pushing with the ctx. there was NO CONTROL over this.
MW made some comment about needing room to deliver my "large baby" (Now that's just not a smart thing to say... either a mom is not concerned about size - like me - or that could freak her out if she is.) They finally got me out of the tub btwn ctx (my doula practicaly lifted me) and I was on the floor on H&K. there was a cloth on the floor. I literally crawled a tiny bit at a time between ctx/pushes. All I clearly remember is feet in front of and around me (someone had nice red clogs on) but apparently someone was behind me in case I pushed out the baby there on the floor. At some point someone held a warm compress to my perineum and BOY! did that feel good.
Made it to the bed and started pushing in earnest on hands and knees. not my intended position; I'd planned on pushing like I had with Jillybean. I'd even gotten a written description from my old OB as to exactly what worked so well. (I hated it at the time, but it was very effective.)
At this point, there was plenty of burning but I had absolutely no control over pushing. It was completely involuntary. There was no coaching or telling me how to push - not that that would have worked anyway! Some pushes were small and some were big. I wanted to resist pushing too hard b/c I didn't want to tear, but there was no resisting the urge. I've never felt so primal - or so powerful.
My doula was encouraging me to keep my voice low... not quiet, but deeper and to loosen and soften up. That helped a little. I remembered a bit a friend told me about Gaskin's "sphincter law" and loosened up my jaw. That was probably one of my last coherent thoughts (and there weren't many to begin with). A few more pushes and howls and Owen was out.
They held him up to my belly and got me to take him and we turned me over. He felt so little. I said I'd be surprised if he were 8 pounds. I got to cut the cord. I was convinced I'd torn badly during pushing but I only had two small tears that I decided not to have stitched as they'd only have taken a couple of stitches to close.
That's it. Apgars were 9 and 9. He weighed 9.5 pounds and had a 35cm head.
I realize I seem to have have the husband out of this tale. He was great. Very supportive and did what he was told when I told him. I feel like he did a good job protecting and supporting me, though I am sure he was overwhelmed by the speed and intensity.
Stinkerton 12/10/01 9lbs8oz, induced to c/s; Little Man 5/20/03 7lbs11oz, r c/s, fear of another labor; Jillybean 11/18/07 10lbs8oz 37cm head, induced VBA2C; and the Wee Beastie, 9lbs8oz, 35cm head, rpt VBA2C