Again, Congratulations to Michelle and Liz!!!
Lucca's Birth 5-21-04
I went on the 20th (2:45pm) to my appointment with my midwife, Ann. I asked her to strip my membranes. the baby
had dropped down 2 cenimeters that morning. on my drive home i started feeling crampy. when i got home it was 4:30pm. i
picked up a few things around the house and got out my canvas and paints to paint a picture for my midwife. my back hurt
and i was cramping in what seemed to be a pretty regular pattern, though i wasnt timing because i was too busy trying to
keep the kids entertained so i could paint...dont ask me what i was thinking! LOL
I called Gabe at 5pm to ask him to come home because I thought labor was starting and I was having a tough time
dealing with the kids. He got home about an hour later and i asked him to feed the kids because i was leaving to go down
the street to a friend of mine's house so she could time my rushes for me. i walked down to her house, definantly
noticing the rushes, but they didnt really hurt, just were uncomfortable. i stayed at my friend's house till about 8pm
and she timed my rushes, they were about 15 sec long and about 1 1/2 minutes apart. i called my midwife and told her and
she told me to try and sleep.
i went home and took a bath which made almost unable to feel the rushes, although they were still happening. i
got out of the bath and laid down in my room trying to rest, but could not- i was too uncomfortable. at 10pm i asked Gabe to put the kids down so he could come time the rushes for me. He timed them from about 10:30 till 11:30, when he fell asleep... During his timing they were 2-3 minutes apart lasting 35-45 seconds. i was able to talk through them, but
preferred not to. after he fell asleep i started timing them myself-- i was obsessed with timing them because i was
afraid for some reason this wasnt really labor and i didnt want to call my midwife out to the house unless it was. i
timed from 12-1am and they were every 2 minutes for im not sure how long because i couldnt concentrated on timing
Since Gabe was sleeping i started to get tense and i knew i needed some support and i knew he was going to keep
falling back asleep. so i called two of my girlfriends over to keep me company. they were so great! we were having tons
of fun, listening to music and cracking jokes in between contrations.my midwife and her assistant finally came at around
3 or 4 am , and Ann checked me. i was at 4 cm! i was very pleased that this was the real thing and i was progressing.
however Ann checked me during a rush (on purpose) and it hurt like hell!! it felt like buring hot pokers being shoved
Ann said "ok, time to start walking!" so around the nieghborhood we went at like 430am.. strange people are out
at such odd hours! im sure we were a group of the strangest, 4 woman one of them hugely pregnant and making all this
ruckus. at first i was still trying to walk through the rushes, but i definantly couldnt talk and i had to close my eyes
and hold hands with Ann and one of my friends so i wouldn't walk into anything, but by about halfway through i was
moaning and stopping during each rush to grab and lean on the nearest shoulder. we were still having alot of fun between
rushes and i was laughing so much my face hurt. we walked for a hour and them Ann finally let me go back inside to get
in my birth pool.
horray! it felt heavenly! i stayed in there for hours sighing and moaning through the rushes. the pool made it
so easy to shift positions, even during a rush. finally sometime after sunrise i asked Ann to check me . i hurt worse
than the first time! i was 7-8. i decided to labor for a while on the bed while everyone dozed, including me (during
rushes that is!) it was so strange because i totally fell asleep during the breaks, and it felt lke i still in the pool,
floating and that i was sleeping for 30 mins at a time. but when the next rush would come I'd be aware that the same
song was still playing.
i got back in to pool for a while and at this point my water still hadnt broken..Ann said if it didnt break by
10am she could break it. i agreed and at ten she broke it. immeadiatly i could feel the difference in the rushes. there
was a sharpness, an edge that wasnt there before. at the peak of each rush my vocalizations got high pitched and i felt
like i was losing the calm from the rest of the labor.
i got back in the pool but it was still very intese i was feeling like an insaine fish, thrashing around the
pool. An hour after my water broke i asked Ann to check me again, and she did. she said i was 10, but there was a
swollen cervical lip in front and it was from the forward leaning positions i kept gravitating too. she asked me to try
squatting outside the pool which i did. i tryed about 3 rushes like this and then she checked again, still there. she
she said i needed to lay on the bed flat on my bak so she could push the lip out of the way while i pushed.
this next part was tourture. while she had me pushing she had her hand inside me and it HURT SO BAD. i could
keep any measure of control. i was thrashing and screaming and cussing. i felt like a tornado. i remember screaming at
her to that her "f&%$ing hands were driving me nuts!" when the lip was gone i was told to really push, but i was
screaming to hard so Ann said , "stop screaming and push!" (nicely) so i took this opportunity to bite the hell out of
my upper arm and brear down. Ann said "good! i can see the head!" i felt the imeanse size and weight and pressure of the
head and was blown away. i said "this isnt going to work!" and she said "it is working!" so i pushed .
the head crowned on the same contration and i was screaming SO LOUD. i thought the walls would break from my
screams. they said "Stop pushing, are you even having a contration" i said " i dont f^%$ing care if i am!!!" and i
pushed her right out in the next breath! Ann put her on my tummy, i could hear Kiryn shouting "our baby, look our baby!"
she hardly cried just a little cry then she closed her eyes and took a little nap. she was very pink and COATED in tons
of vernix. she was so cheesy!!
Lucca was born at 11:45 am, and was 19 1/4 inches long and 6 pounds 4 oz. she has dark hair and the softest
skin. i am in love!!
my birth was different than i imagined it, but was great none the less, and afterwords i kept saying " i did it,
i had a homebith!!"
My water broke at around 5:30 Monday morning (about 1/2 hr after dh left for work- good timing, right?) I called him home, he picked up his SIL to watch the kids. We got to the hospital around 8:30, I figured I'd have a baby by 3 or so in the afternoon, based on the speed of labor with the first 2.
I get checked in and nothing is really happening. They confirm I broke my water, but don't try to check dilation or anything. They call my doc, he's at the office, but will come by after hours. The nurse wanted to start pitocin about an hour after I get there, but I said no-I don't want to deal with that and with the speed of my earlier labors, I don't need it.
Doc gets in around 5 and checks me, I'm around 3-4 cm and I stay there basically the rest of the day, contractions never really getting stronger. They were there, but not a lot or productive. Seth wasn't really tolerating the contractions too well. Not too bad, but not great. They said the decels weren't bothering them, but it was b/c the decels were coming after the contraction, not during, that was concerning them. They said if I had 1/2 hour of him tolerating the contractions, I could get off the monitors and walk around but usually toward the end of the 1/2 hr, he would do something that looked funky and made them nervous.
Finally, around 11 that night (almost 18 hrs after my water broke) we discuss and I decide to start a very low dose of pitocin, just to see if he can handle the contractions and if it helps any as I'm still at 3-4 cm and only about 60% effaced (no change all day). I did manage to make it to 5 cm overnight (by 7 the next morning), but he was about the same as far as tolerating the contractions, not bad, not great. The contractions still not bad-almost no pain.
At 7 the next morning, doc mentions c-section, but I ask if there's anything else we can try. (Doc couldn't really tell for sure how the head was presenting- he was pretty high up-but we knew he was head down.) We decided to do something called amnio infusion, which is basically adding water back into the uterus to hopefully get baby to move around a bit and handle the contractions. This helped a lot. I progressed to 8 cm by 11 that morning, contractions are stronger, but very tolerable. It's very true that contractions are easier to deal with when the fluid is there.
During this, I have to have baby on an internal monitor and I'm also on an internal monitor to check strength of contractions. They didn't think my contractions were strong enough b/c I wasn't uncomfortable enough- turns out the numbers were pretty intense and pretty regular, they said I just have a high pain tolerance. It works- he's tolerating contractions very well and I get to about 7-8 cm around 11 in the morning.
The contractions are getting stronger, not unbearable, but stronger. I get checked around 3, still no more progress, checked around 4:30, still no progress. Doc asks what we want to do, I ask dh, we talked about it and decided to have the c-section. I didn't want the surgery, but something just wasn't right- especially since the first 2 basically fell out once I hit 6 cm. The last 3-4 hrs I was in about the same amount of pain that I was in for the last hour of each of the other two, but I wasn't doing anything.
Once we made the decision, things went pretty quick. The operating room was available at 6, so after I made the decision, I had to sign the consent form and they told me it took about 5 min to get the baby and 25 min to put me back together. The person came to give me the epidural (which I didn't like-it hurt going in) around 5, they got me all prepped, asked if I had any questions and rolled me over to the operating room and he was born at 6:48 at 6 lb, 2 oz. He cried right away- his apgars were 9 and 9. He had to go to the nursery (b/c he was only 34 weeks 4 days) for observation, but was back with me before I left recovery to go to my room, thankfully.
When they took him out- they found the problem was that he was trying to come out forehead first- and he had a big conehead on his forehead instead of the back of his head. He had huge bruises on the top of his head, his forehead and even his nose and lip a bit. They think that's why he wasn't tolerating the contractions well and maybe why I wasn't dilating. I'm glad we did it, even though I wish we hadn't had to, KWIM?
I had morphine in the epidural during the surgery, which I didn't like. It was really hard for me to breathe, I had to concentrate-it was like the stuff moved into my lungs while I was lying down. I also had the shakes in my arms and chin. When the morphine wore off, I started getting sick every time I tried to drink something- not fun with the stitches, and I was very itchy. It finally wore off completely by the next morning.
He's doing well. He got a bit of jaundice and had to be under the lights for a day in the hospital. He gets tired when he's eating. I nurse him, then give him breastmilk (by fingerfeeding), then pump. Hopefully- he'll be nursing full time in a week or so. I still need to wake him to eat- he rarely wakes himself, though he has a couple of times yesterday, so I think we're toward the end of supplementing. (At least it's breastmilk, not formula.)
I don't know what I could have done differently b/c I think he wedged himself in forehead first when my water broke and without the water he couldn't move around. In hindsight, when we did the amnioinfusion, I could have tried to get him to move around, but it was hard to move b/c of the tube they were using to get the fluid in. I'm sure if he had been positioned better, he would have come out well, just like the others.
I think my doc was great. He didn't pressure me into anything. When we made the decision for surgery, he said we could wait and see or do the surgery, but he wanted me to be ok with the decision. He's a family doc who also does OB, so he rarely does c-sections. Except for in emergency situations, he doesn't do his own surgeries- he gets someone else to do it and he assists. He said after that he never imagined my birth would end this way and even apologized that we ended up having to do it this way. I don't think it was his fault at all.
I'm glad my baby is healthy and that is the most important thing, but I really wish I didn't need to have him this way. My recovery is going well- not as well as a vaginal delivery, of course, but DH is awesome.
Monday, May 24th I went to the midwife for my weekly appt. We talked about induction, but I declined. I really felt like I should give the situation a few more days before forcing anything. That night DH and I fixed dinner together, watched an AMAZING thunderstorm rage through our city, enjoyed the company of our family that was visiting, and then went to bed. We made love and curled up to fall asleep about 11:30pm. At 12:04am, I awoke because I felt my water break - it was a distinct "popping" sensation, and I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. But nothing happened... except regular intense contractions! Apparently the sensation of my water breaking was a dream. But, we started timing the surges after about half an hour and they were about every 3 1/2 minutes. (I had made yogurt smoothies for dessert, though, and there was a little part of me afraid that I had food poisoning!) About 1:15am I called my midwife and she said to come in to the hospital and be checked and then if this were baby-night she'd come in. Well, when I got to hospital (about 2am) she was already there! She seemed to know it was time. She checked me and I was 7cm and the baby had dropped and my cervix thinned out since the afternoon appt. She and the labor nurse did about 20 minutes of external monitoring and then left us alone to labor however I wished. It was DH, me, my sister, and DH's parents. We chatted, I bounced on the birth ball, I listened to Hypnobabies CDs. As the surges got stronger and stronger, DH and I walked around the room, danced, I laid in the bed as he helped me relax through every surge. After only 2 hours at the hospital I was nearly complete and my water broke! It felt exactly as it had in my dream from a few hours earlier - exactly! Unfortunently, there was meconium in the water, but no one panicked. The external monitor said Killy was doing great, and the midwife only asked that we keep the monitor on him fairly constantly at that point. By the way, the midwife was really impressed with how effective the Hypnobabies program was. I relaxed through every surge, going limp and letting DH guide me into deeper relaxation through the use of post-hypnotic cue-words. My midwife told me that I was welcome to start pushing through the surges if I felt like it.
I started doing small pushes and trying to "breath down" my baby. The next 2 1/2 hours are kind of a blur - I was pushing with each surge, but my surges were fairly short, so it was hard for the pushing to be effective. My suggestion to other first-time moms out there is: (1) don't start pushing until you really, really feel like you HAVE to - I started before I had an intense urge to push and was exhausted by the time that urge came, and (2) try out this technique my midwife used with me: take a towel and knot it at one end, the mom holds the towel and her labor coach stands at the bottom of the bed. During each push, the mom can pull on the towel (playing tug-of-war) as she bears down. It helped me immensly to focus. My midwife had to hand the towel over to DH after about 2 surges, though, because I'm strong enough that she had trouble pulling back with enough force! I used that technique the last hour or so of labor and it helped me out sooo much.
I've heard a lot of women say that pushing was their favorite part of labor, but that was not the case for me. I could relax through the surges and those didn't bother me too much - even when they were very intense. The pushing, though, was exhausting and extremely uncomfortable for me. The worst part was the terrible pressure between surges during the last 20 minutes. We had a very difficult time getting the baby's head under the pubic bone - we tried about 10 different positions, but it just took a lot of time. During my last few surges, it became obvious to the midwife that I was going to tear very badly, so she reccomended doing an episiotomy (both to speed things up a bit, because I was at the end of my strength, and to avoid a deep tear). At that point I agreed with no reservations. When the head finally came out, the rest of the body tumbled out immediately - the cord was around the neck and Killy wasn't breathing very well. He was whisked across the room to a warmer where they suctioned him and tried to get him breathing. (We were excited and a bit surprised to find out that the baby was a boy - most of the family was guessing it was a girl.) It was hectic in the room because it was exactly 7:00am when he was born - shift change! After about 10-15 minutes, they decided to take him to the NICU for observation, but the nurses wrapped him up and let me hold him for about 5 minutes first. My DH and the nurses all swore that as soon as I held him, he started to improve! They went on and took him to NICU, but released him after a little less than three hours and said he was doing perfectly! DH went to the NICU and stayed with him the whole time, while I was in recovery.
Killy nursed like a champ from the first attempt, and he is a very calm baby. He's really only cried twice since he was born yesterday, and each time for less than 5 minutes. We were discharged from the hospital today so we're now home and happy and healthy! A hospital birth was my last choice initially (I wanted a home birth, if not that then a birthing center birth, if not that then a hospital birth) - but everything went wonderfully. I couldn't be more pleased with my birth...
Here's a pic, but a lot more will be added later tonight to our website! Killy's pic
And, I forgot to mention that Killy weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz and is 19.5 inches...
May 30th, 2004
For at least a week, I had been trying to induce labor by all the old wives’ means: sex, walking, evening primrose oil, black cohosh, castor oil (ugh!) etc. In addition to the normal impatience felt by all women at the end of pregnancy, I was on a course of amoxicillin after Macrobid had failed to clear a UTI and really wanted to get the baby out before the antibiotics were finished and the infection returned. James’ position made it impossible for me to empty my bladder all the way, so birth was pretty much the only way I was going to be able to get my system back on track.
On Saturday, May 29, Scott and I decided to take another shot at getting the baby out. We went to the natural market for some blue cohosh (tincture and homeopathic dose, neither of which I’d tried before), the drugstore for some more castor oil, and the liquor store for a bottle of vodka.
I started taking a mixture of black and blue cohosh every hour, Scott gave me a twenty-minute cervical massage on the “two o’clock spot,” and then I decided to try the classic castor oil / orange juice / vodka cocktail. It was, without doubt, the most disgusting thing I have ever consumed. I had nausea, but no diarrhea, and after a little bit of gagging over the toilet I felt better and went to bed.
Shortly before midnight, I woke up with what I thought might be contractions, so I hopped right out of bed and went downstairs for more tincture. The might-be-contractions continued at regular intervals of seven minutes or so, and we decided to give the midwife the heads-up around 2 a.m. She told us to give her a call “when something changed,” at which point we’d plan to meet her at the birth center an hour hence. I asked, “How will I know when something has changed?” and she said, “oh, you’ll know.”
Scott decided to get some rest while I paced around downstairs. About 15 minutes after that initial phone call, SOMETHING CHANGED. When the contractions came, I wanted to kneel down and rock back and forth. I woke up Scott (as if he’d had time to get to sleep, hah) and told him to shower. I called the midwife and had to put down the phone and writhe and moan during a contraction. She said she’d see us in an hour.
Packed as though we were going on safari, we left the house around 3:30 and stopped at the Safeway for instant cameras and popsicles. While Scott was inside, I kept worrying that this was not “it’ and I was inconveniencing everybody – then a contraction would hit and I would be reassured that things were indeed moving along.
We arrived at the birth center at 4:15 a.m. The midwife checked me and I was 6 cm dilated with a paper-thin cervix. She had already started to fill the tub, and I climbed in while Scott set up the video camera.
My memories past this point are a little blurry. Relatives called, I got in and out of the tub a couple of times, and the pain got steadily worse. I really felt that if I could only have a brief break (like Dr. Bradley’s Natural Alignment Plateau, for instance) then I would be able to handle the delivery much better. But I was not destined to have a break. I was on my hands and knees on the bed following a particularly gruesome contraction in the tub, which the midwife said was James moving down the birth canal, when my bag of waters emerged unbroken. If the midwife has not ruptured the sac at this point, James would likely have been born in the caul!
The midwife said that if I wanted to do a water birth I had better get back in the tub. Once there, I squatted and pushed for pain control during a couple of contractions, and then the involuntary expulsive contractions took over. The midwife was trying to support my perineum, which was not easy as I was squinched in one corner of the tub mewling like a wounded animal. I tried to support my front while she held the back, but neither of us were destined to be totally successful because James had a hand up by his head. When the head popped out, I felt a sensation of tearing, but no pain other than what I was already feeling. The head was actually sort of anticlimactic – I had expected it to be bigger! I petted James’ head and so did Scott. The midwife checked for the cord and did not find it.
I asked the midwife to get him out, so she maneuvered him a bit with the next contraction and delivered him into my arms. His heart rate had remained perfectly steady throughout the labor, but he was not crying or even breathing very fast. The midwife blew in his face and recorded the time of birth as 5:44 a.m., May 30th. The cord stopped pulsing in fairly short order, so she let Scott cut it and gave him James to hold while she helped me deliver the placenta.
My lacerations were not severe, but they were fairly intricate, so the midwife spent an hour sewing me up. James’ temperature and respiration continued to fall on the low side of normal, but I was convinced that he was OK and time has proved me right. He had his newborn exam and I had a shower, and we left the center about six hours after he was born.
James weighed 7 lbs 5 ozs at birth, and he has been an angelic and mellow baby right from the beginning. I love to hold him and feed him. Scott has had more luck than I in getting him to interact and play. My mother arrived to help out on June 1st, which is coincidentally about the same time that the baby blues hit and I went completely nuts. Rest and regular meals have done me a world of good, and at one week postpartum I am starting to feel like myself again.
June 4, 2004
Thursday night, 6/3, DH and I stayed up late to watch Lord of the Rings. Around midnight we went up to bed. The minute we laid down I had an uncomfortable contraction. I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions for over a week and feeling generally miserable. The Braxton Hicks were new to me so I wasn’t sure that what I was feeling at midnight wasn’t just more of the same. DH settled into sleep and I lay awake feeling very uncomfortable. I made about four trips to the bathroom where I was also immensely uncomfortable. At 1:30 I woke DH up and asked him to come down to the bathroom with me to scrub out the tub and time my contractions while I was in there. My thinking was that a nice bath might make them go away.
Well, a nice bath did not make them go away and by 2:00 DH was saying we should call the midwife. By this point I’d given up on the tub and was on all fours supporting my head and chest with the birth ball and groaning thru the contractions. But I was very much able to converse between the contractions and argued with him about whether or not this was really “it” and about what point I was at if it was “it”. My contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart at this point. Around 2:30 DH convinced me that we needed to call the midwife. I talked to her between contractions and told her we’d call her back in about an hour to let her know whether or not she needed to go ahead and come over. She said she’d shower and get her stuff together but to call earlier if we needed to. Over the next hour I continued to use the birth ball and to moan thru my contractions while DH put pressure on my back with a rice sock or his hands. I was experiencing horrible urges to urinate with the contractions. NOT pleasant. We didn’t make it quite an hour before I started feeling nauseous so I told DH to go ahead and tell the midwife to come on over.
I kept thinking that I must have sugar coated my memory of labor and that this was too intense. I was convinced I was still in early labor because of the short period of time that had elapsed since my first contraction. I just couldn’t fathom that I was progressing so fast. The midwife's assistant got here first and got stuff set up somewhat. I’d been in the tub yet again during this period only to abandon the tub for my hands and knees position with the birth ball. Because of the horrible urge to pee, I’d set up camp in the bathroom. So at this point I was in there with the birth ball and DH and the assistant were crammed in there with me. The assistant did some incredible pushes on my hips that helped thru the contractions and literally felt like she was opening up my hips for the baby to pass thru. Sometime around 4:00 the midwife got here. By this point I was feeling a slight urge to poo again so I told the midwife I thought she’d better check me. She checked me (my first and only check of the entire pregnancy) and I was 9 and half centimeters dilated. YAY! She told me I could push any time I felt the urge to do so and asked where I wanted to deliver the baby (we were all still crowded in the bathroom). We all moved to the bedroom, with me in bed with the birth ball. I worked thru several more contractions with lots of help from hands pressing on my back. I made a few small attempts at pushing but really didn’t feel the urge to full force push. The midwife asked if I wanted to try the birth stool. They set that up and I tried it but HATED it. Hated it enough that I leaped up during a contraction saying “don’t like, don’t like”. Back to the bed and the ball. Eventually my water burst. This was a first for me and quite dramatic from my perspective. It had just leaked with DD and hearing it pop like that and feeling the water gush was something. The water was nice and clear. The baby’s heartbeat had been nice and strong and steady thru out the entire labor. After my water broke I REALLY felt like pushing. I wasn’t comfortable with the ball any longer and the midwife suggested I try side lying with my leg supported by her neck. At some point the assistant helped support the leg for me also. I had probably three or four more contractions? It was less than thirty minutes before Flora was born. Pushing was just about as horrible as I remembered it being…but it was shorter this time and I was comfortable enough at home to be vocal about it which I think helped. I was also not coached on pushing which was nice…I just did what my body dictated.
So after Flora was born she was immediately placed on my chest…she pinked right up, let out a good cry and then calmed immediately. The midwife hadn’t checked her gender so DH got to be the one to announce it. She was healthy and strong and calm. We just hung out a bit…it took her a little while to want to nurse but eventually she did and peed all over me too. During this process I pushed out the placenta and the midwife checked me out…no tearing at all. No hemoraghing this time. Finally I wanted to get out of the muck and clean up. I think I even peed right away. DH got busy in the kitchen and brought out waffles with fresh fruit and yogurt. While I ate Flora was weighed and measured and dressed. She was 22 and half inches long and 9 pounds! After I ate I was so, so tired. Flora and I went right to bed and slept. It was so NICE to be at home…to be able to rest.
I am feeling great just a few days later. I actually felt pretty good the day after. This is such a dramatic difference from my first labor/delivery. I’d been wiped out with DD #1’s birth for at least a week. While life with a newborn and preschooler is proving to be quite demanding I am so grateful to feel strong and well.
So, I got home and my contractions were coming pretty regularly, every 5-7 minutes lasting for about 40-60 seconds. I talked to friends on the phone and online (hi Jenn!), and they all told me that they thought I was in labor. I assured them I was not. That I was going to go to bed and wake up pregnant in the morning!
I don't know what time Jeremy and I decided to go to bed, but I think it was around 10:30 or 11. We did a hypnobirthing script, Baby Come Out (we'd been doing it for about a week and nothing had happened yet, so we thought we'd give it another try). I got good and relaxed, but still told Jeremy not to get his hopes up, he was going to work in the morning! About 11:30 we finally settled into bed. Jer was so excited he didn't think he'd be able to sleep. I was too, but didn't want to let on to him that I was thinking that. So, I told him to go to sleep. I woke up at midnight (actually I don't think I was ever asleep) to go to the bathroom. I came back to bed and as I was getting settled I felt a POP! and gush. I knew that feeling very well. I told Jer that my water had just broken. I've never seen him sit up so fast! We called Suzanne, my midwife and told her that things were happening. She asked when we wanted her to come up. I didn't know, I really didnt want her to waste a night of sleep to come up here if my labor was going to be really long. So, I told her I'd call Stephanie and when she got here we'd assess the situation and call her back. I called Stephanie and she said she'd be down in about an hour. I went and sat on the toilet. My contractions were coming about every 2 minutes and were HARD. So, I called Suzanne again and told her that I needed her to come up now.
Meanwhile Jeremy is trying to get the birth tub filled. So, I am sitting on the toilet having good hard contractions and he is running around the apartment trying to help me and fill the tub. He later told me that at this point, he was scared to death. He was so afraid I was going to have this baby before Suzanne got here. Poor guy! Right before Suzanne arrived I threw up. Now, I know that happens during transition and I thought, "WOW! I'm already in transition?? This is EASY!" HAHA! Suzanne got here and checked baby's heart tones (sounded great) and checked my dilation...I was at a 4. A little disappointing, but a 4 is better than a 1!! Sometime in there Stephanie and Vivian (midwife apprentice) arrived. We worked through more contractions with me on my birth ball and Jeremy, Stephanie and Vivian doing pressure on my back and knees. That felt SO good during contractions. Then at some point I really wanted to get in the tub, so I had Suzanne check me again. I didn't want the water to slow things down, so I wanted to be sure I was at 5cm before I got in. Sure enough I was! I got in the tub and BOY did it feel good. I continued to work through contractions in the tub. I was getting really vocal about them and the water was starting to get cold. Suzanne and Vivian were boiling water on the stove to get it warmer. I was Group B Strep Positive, so at some point I knew we'd have to do the Hibiclens wash (an alternative to the antibiotic). Suzanne asked me to get out of the tub so she could check me and do the wash. She checked me and I was at 7cm!! So, we did the wash. I don't remember a whole lot about that, just that it gave me more contractions. Actually every time I was checked I'd have a good good contraction. OH! I do remember though that I threw up in the tub. When Suzanne checked me she commented that my throwing up had helped baby to really move down. That made me happy that it was doing something!
So, back to the tub I went. The contractions were SO intense...at times I felt like I was thrashing around in the water like a fish. Jeremy assures me that I didn't do it as much as I think I did though! Then, I hit transition. I begged for a c-section. I said that I just couldn't do this anymore, it hurt too much and I was too tired. Let's just go to the hospital and cut this kid out. Stephanie, Vivian and Suzanne were very good to me and told me that it would just take longer. I'd have to get out of the tub, get dressed, get in the car, have contractions in the car and really it would probably be another hour before anything would happen. It made me tired just thinking about all I would have to do, so I stayed put. Stephanie and Vivian also reminded me that I couldn't go around it, under it or over it, I had to go through the pain. I was trying to do everything I could not to deal with it, but now I had to. So I made up my mind that I would, and I did. The next little while I don't remember much. I felt really tired and would just totally relax during my breaks. All the sudden I said, "Um, I feel something." Suzanne replied, "What do you feel?" I said, "A head, I have to push." With that I started to push. I couldn't help it. Vivian came over and checked to be sure I was fully dilated and sure enough I was. So, the pushing began. It must have been about 4:09 at this point. I pushed for 50 minutes. While I was pushing, I just kept thinking and I said it between pushes too, "I can't believe I'm doing this!". It felt so good to be pushing. Granted, it hurt. I could feel myself tearing, but to finally be pushing and working with my contractions, that was wonderful! Some funny little things that went through my mind as I was pushing...when they called crowning, I asked, "So one more push and baby will be out?" HA! I was assured that no, it would take more pushes than one. That's probably a good thing because I was prepared to push whether I felt like it or not if that was all it would take. Another time, his head was almost out, but not fully. I thought to myself, "Why don't they just go get the salad tongs and pull him out?" Also, during pushes we were guessing if it was a boy or girl. Stephanie, who still hadn't entered in her guess as to when baby would be born asked if it was too late to do her guess ~ cheater! A few more pushes and then, his head came out. Oh my goodness what relief! I felt so good to have that head out. The next contraction came and I thought I would have to push as hard as I had been to get his head out. So, I PUSHED, but this sweet little body just slid out and I don't think I've ever felt such relief.
I lifted this baby to my chest and couldn't believe that I had just done this! I immediately looked at my very vernix covered baby and saw Emma. I said, "Oh you look so much like your big sister!" Jeremy said, "Is it a little brother or sister?" I replied, "I don't know Daddy, look and see." So, Jeremy lifted the towel that they had placed over us and said, "It's a brother!" Emma has a little brother! We sat there and talked to him for a bit while we were waiting for the placenta to be born. I felt the urge and pushed out the placenta. Now, there is a reason I looked like I was having twins...the placenta was HUGE! We waited a little bit for the cord to stop pulsating, then Jeremy cut it.
I was transferred to my room, and they did all the newborn stuff to Seth. He weighed in at 9lbs 3oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. My big boy! I had lots of tears, but a wonderful midwife who sewed me up good!
We are all doing well now. As I type this, he is 4 days old and we had a great nights sleep last night. My milk is in and he is loving it.
I am so happy I had my VBAC. I am so glad that I was able to stay focused and to think of nothing other than getting him here. I am so happy that he is so healthy and strong.
Since he has been born, I have felt Emma near by so often. She is still Mommy's little helper. She's just not doing it physically. I know that it was her, when I was in labor, that helped to keep me relaxed. She talks to Seth and tells him all the wonderful things about earth, and constantly assures him that everything will be great.
I am so grateful that he is here, that I am nursing again and changing diapers again, and being a fulltime Mommy again. *sigh* it is wonderful.
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Isn't it weird how after all the worrying one does about tearing, when it actually happens you couldn't care less? I felt myself tear, and I was just like "darn, wish I'd positioned myself a little better." Next time I'll know! of course, next time my baby may weigh 10 lbs and have a huge head, who knows?
Well, Marlena Beatrice came at 37 weeks. She was born on 6/9, on DH's birthday.
Totally spontaneous, healthy, quick labor. Born at home (midwives made it with 15 minutes to spare). I was at 10 cm when they arrived and checked me. I really didn't believe I was "in labor" till the very end, but looking back it was pretty obvious I was.
It was a blessing she came early... I was really tired of being pg and didn't know how I was going to survive another 3 weeks. I'm not the type to go in and ask for an induction, so it's nice the way it worked out!
I'll post my birth story soon.
5.5 - girl
Sunday morning (June 13), I woke up in the wee hours with what I thought were strong BH ctx. Usually I don't wake up for ctx because I'm so used to them, but these were different -- much more intense, even painful. They just had an edge of authenticity to them, IYKWIM.
We went about our business Sunday, running errands and going here and there, but the ctx kept getting more intense and frequent and they were really starting to slow me down. I began to wonder if this was really it.
Sunday evening, I drank some Raspberry Leaf Tea and went upstairs to lie down for a bit. I had been sort of keeping track of the ctx, and they seemed to be coming pretty regularly -- every 6-9 minutes. I called my health care provider, and they told me to time the ctx really well for an hour or two and call back. We began timing them at 10:38 PM, and found that the strongest ones were coming at exactly six minute intervals, with smaller ctx in between at the 3 min. mark. Over the next few hours they got worse and worse until I was lying sideways on the bed moaning through each ctx. The pain was almost entirely in my back, and it was pretty intense. We called back and they told us to head over to the hospital to be checked.
We arrived at the hospital a bit after 1:30 AM. I fully expected to be told I was 3 cm and sent back home, but lo and behold, I was 4-5 cm! I was so relieved. I was paranoid that even thought he ctx REALLY hurt, that they were just BH ctx, and I'd have to go home and tough them out for a week or more until REAL labor hit. But we were admitted on the spot, and began the process of active labor -- without medication.
All night long, we walked the halls of the hospital, stopping with each ctx to have my husband press on my back to try to relieve some of the pain I was feeling there. I was feeling really strong, powerful and upbeat at this point. I noticed the there were no other mamas walking the floor, even though the L&D nurse said there were ten others laboring that night. I guessed they'd all asked for the epidural right away, and that made me sad. I was in pain, but I was actually having fun. I knew my baby was on his way and that I was going to be the one to make it happen.
I dilated fairly quickly from 5 to 7 cm -- it took about 3 hours, I think. But then I got stuck at 7 cm for about 3 more hours. By 8 am, the OB was pretty concerned about meconium or other potential problems, and against my better judgement, I let him break my water at 8:30 AM. In retrospect, this was a Bad Idea. It led to many other interventions that I hadn't wanted. But I truly believe the final (and most serious) intervention, the c-section, would have happened whether I let him break the water or not, so I'm trying not to beat myself up too badly over it.
Once he broke my water, the ctx started coming much more frequently -- they were like every minute and a half. And they were SO INTENSE. This is when the screaming pain started. I was no longer having fun -- I was out of control and terrified. As long as I live, I never want to feel pain like that again. Without the cushion of the waters to protect my spine from Ian's head, it was like someone was stabbing sharp knives into my lower spine and twisting them -- hard. At the same time, the pain in my abdomen increased exponentially. I couldn't handle it. Over the next hour and a half or so, I screamed my way through the pain to 9 cm dilated. Then I asked for the epidural (partly for the sake of my poor husband, who was exhausted from the physical effort of pushing on my spine, but mostly for me -- I was just DONE with the pain).
The epidural was such a relief, but it stopped my labor cold. At 9 cm! After an hour or two, I was no longer having any ctx at all. So they hooked me up to the pitocin. The pitocin got things going again, but the ctx were ineffective and I remained at 9 cm for the next 4 hours. By 3:30 PM, they were talking c-section, so I told them to cut off the epidural and see if the pitocin would work better then. Oh, my God. What a mistake. It did work -- I dilated to 10 cm by 5:30 or 6:00 PM. But the pain was unbelieveable. They had me start pushing. Pushing did feel good, but the beginning of each ctx was painful enough to make me scream out in terror, and the back pain in between ctx didn't feel good either. Also, the ctx were so close together that I never got a break -- it was finish one, deep breath, head into another. And since I'd been awake and in labor for sooooo long, I was flat out exhausted. I know my pushing was good, as I was pushing out impacted stool, but the baby would. not. budge. (Note -- through all of this, Ian's little heart rate was so steady -- he weathered all of this so very well. )
After three and a half hours of pushing, Ian still had not moved down. His head was totally hung up on the pelvic bone. It was clear to all of us at this point that he wasn't coming out the natural way. We all kind of looked at each other in defeat and I said "do it" without even feeling the need to say what "it" was. They went over the risks of c-section and all that, but I wasn't listening. I just wanted Ian to come out, and I wanted the pain to stop. I told them I didn't care what they did as long as they turned the epidural back on. They drugged me up again (I still had to push halfheartedly to get through two more contractions), and prepped me for surgery. I was scared, but resigned to the whole thing. Even if they had believed I could push the baby out, I didn't have it in me by that point. I'd been in serious labor for nearly 24 hours, most of it without medication. I was exhausted and shaking. It was time for the experience to be over.
Before surgery, I noted that I felt a weird tingling/sharp sensation in my lower pelvic area, just on one side. I really didn't think much of it, and I didn't want to mention it because I was scared of them upping the epidural (I was having trouble swallowing and my limbs felt so heavy and dead I was scared). During surgery, I realized that area of my pelvic region had not been numbed effectively by the epidural. I felt pretty much everything that happened in that spot. It wasn't just pressure -- it was pain. I must say, though -- the pain of being sliced open and having your organs moved around and a baby pulled out is actually LESS than the pain of serious back labor.
While the doctor had me open, it was so funny -- he complimented me on my diet because I had "some nice looking protoplasm" and said that most people who come in there look "all greasy" from eating too much Mickey D's. He went on at length about how great my organs looked and how I must have a great diet and get lots of exercise. It's the strangest compliment I've ever been paid, but it made me feel good.
Anyway, they removed Ian at 10:03 PM on Monday evening. The very first thing he did, while only his head was out and his body was still inside me, was to BITE THE DOCTOR! The OB got all startled and said, "He bit me!" Then when they pulled him out, he went back to sucking his hand just like he did in utero (we had lots of U/S pics of this activity).
Ian weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and is absolutely beautiful. They cleaned him up and brought him over to me and put him up against my face so I could kiss him and see him. He just stared at me with the most beautiful blue eyes. I was so overwhelmed. They took Ian and DH to the recovery room to wait for me while they stitched me back up. When I got to recovery, they let me breastfeed him. He nursed like a champ! He went for a good 30 minutes! He spent that first night with me, learning to nurse and being cuddled by me and DH. I got hardly any sleep, but I didn't care. I was just so happy to finally have my baby boy.
Congratulations to Heather and welcome Kenny!!
My own little one arrived on June 10 after a beautiful natural birth that went blessedly well for baby and me! Joel was a robust nine pounds, and hasn't latched off the breast---except for parts of his sleeptime---since shortly after birth. Big sister Claire is tandeming with him (challenging, but worth it).
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