Kate - due July 26th
b. July 10, 2005 9:46 PM
6 lbs, 11 oz and 19”
warning -- long!
When did this story begin? Over the last couple weeks I had been experiencing more Braxton Hicks, which was kind of exciting, as with DD #1's birth I have no memory of any pre-labor symptoms. Still, I was trying to “be cool” and not start to think I could have this baby early…or even on time....
Saturday night, July 9th, while watching TV, I suddenly felt a small gush and then another. Had my bag of waters broken? A mucous plug? Anything? I had a surprising urge to keep going to the bathroom and would find myself “stuck” there on the toilet, perfectly comfortable and unwilling to move. No sooner would I get up, then I wanted to be back there. I also noticed I felt very “open” below. I ended up posting at mothering.com and looking through my books for answers utimately, I think it was some mucous plug or just a leak…there were these amazing little orange/red seeds of blood in the mix…and I was surprised how beautiful they were…like the inside of a passion fruit. I went to bed a bit wired...
Throughout the night I had a couple contractions that were strong enough to wake me up briefly, but I thought they were just Braxton Hicks. Although I was a little freaked out, I mostly thought, this baby can NOT be born before my friend's tea party shower tomorrow…she'll kill me!
Next morning I got DD #1 out of the house earlyfor a playdate so DH could steam clean the carpets…at noon I took off for my “high tea” shower with lovely treats and gold trimmed china and silver, outside under a canopy.
I had a couple contractions at the park, and a couple more during the tea…not much to speak of, nothing out of the unusual as far as BHs. I then hung around a little at the end in my friend's living room. As we were talking, I had 3 contractions - about 17 minutes apart, and strong enough that I had to breathe through them a bit. My friends commented how they could see my abdomen rolling with the contractions and asked that if I had any more when I was driving home, to please pull over. They also asked if I wanted a ride home, or to stay. Thinking these were just BH, I laughed it off, and said I'd be fine. Later I found out they emailed others telling them I had started labor while I drove home oblivious!
On the way home I had 2 more contractions, one as I was pulling into our parking lot. I then had a couple more at home, but they were still about 17 minutes apart. Still, they were curiously strong.
Contractions stopped for about and hour and a half as we ate dinner and put DD to bed. I asked DH to do some laundry, thinking that if I was going into the hospital tonight, I needed some clean pants, lol. When he came back inside I had him start timing them and couldn't figure out why they were lasting so long - 2 minutes, each time.
As he was going in and out to do the laundry, the contractions quickly sped up to about 10 minutes apart and were shockingly intense. I was trying to sit them out on the birthing ball, but my tailbone was really hurting, and the pain was spreading to my rectum (very disconcerting, and a feeling that had started to show up within the last few days with the BHs). I kept running to the bathroom and had a huge BM, but then found myself stuck there. This time it was not pleasant, however. Every time I went to lean forward the pain would start again. And then the contractions seemed to be on top of each other, about every 10 minutes, with smaller ones in between. I began to panic. And then they moved to every 5 or 3 minutes…I'm not even sure, only that they were so intense that I could not stand on my own, that I could not even pull up my pants, and was afraid of being alone.
“We don't have time for L---,” I said (my friend L was supposed to drive over and watch DD#1 if I went into labor at night). DH agreed and said we had to call another friend to come get DD and take her to her house. He was thinking it was almost time to call 911, and that was enough motivation to get me out of the bathroom as a friend recently had a bad 911 birth story and I did not want a strange hospital, doctors, etc.
By the time our friend arrived the pain was unbelievable and once I knew DD was safely out of the house, I began banging on the walls with each contraction and moaning thinking, “One minute, one minute, I just have to get through one minute of this pain.” When DH heard that on his way back from the parking lot, he knew it was time.
DH called our OB, and tried to help me get dressed. He brought me a couple shirts that I knew wouldn't fit, couldn't get on, and so decided to go out in a tank top with a shelf bra and spaghetti straps that I had outgrown months earlier (ack!). Luckily, I managed to take off my ripped pajama bottoms and put on a pair of (clean) jeans! He grabbed the bags and I managed to get to the car, leaning on it, groaning. I wasn't sure where to get in, wondering how I was going to manage to sit. I was convinced the baby was going to come and kept popping homeopathic Aconite which is supposed to slow down a fast labor and thinking “no baby no baby no baby no baby." I also had an ice pack down my pants, thinking cold would keep the baby in -- I guess in my state I had mixed up that hint on how to turn a breech with heat?
We left the house at 9:30 PM after timing contractions for about an hour, but with only 15 minutes of fast ones.
The A/C in the car felt great. I did not buckle my seat belt and I was hanging onto the bars in the car, above the windows, for dear life, still with the ice pack, gripping the Aconite and popping them delieriously while cursing homeopathy, and mumbling "no baby no baby no baby."
We hit traffic and sped along the 10 to get us to hospital. Once off the freeway, we hit every light possible. Argh! All I could think about was how the baby was going to be born in the car, in my pants, there'd be all this blood and how would we manage?
As we pulled into the valet parking lot (now I think we should've gone to the ER directly, not that I would have wanted that), I rolled down my window and yelled, “Labor and Delivery, Help!” But I don't think the valets knew what to do. The baby, I knew, was crowning, I could feel her wanting to come out, and I was desperate to keep her in.
Next thing I knew, DH was at the door with a wheel chair telling me to get in, but every bone in my body was telling me to stay put. “Get into the wheel chair” he said I think a couple times. “You must get in.” with a voice that told me I should not mess with him. Whatever he said, it worked!
Once in, he started to push me to the after hours entrance across the lot, but somehow the valets decided to open up the regular entrance for us and next thing I knew, DH was running me up several twisting ramps telling me to “hold on!” and I as I opened my eyes I saw security men opening up a couple sliding doors for us, and then we were moving into the elevator…
Running me down the hall of L&D, I heard him yell, “hello!” to the nurses and I opened my eyes and saw 3 nurses coming towards us as I was yelling, “the baby is crowning!”
They whipped us into a bright L&D room and asked me to get on the bed, asked me my name. I began to fall to the floor, leaning over the bed, and they asked me again to get up, I crawled up on bed on all fours, but one of the nurses told me she'd feel better if I went the regular way, and I did. Then they left the room, leaving me with the youngest nurse, who looking at me called out “I'm alone here!” a bit worried...Two pushes and 3 minutes later, Kate was delivered into the arms of another nurse, and they gave her to me after she cut the cord.
The ER doctor came in sometime at this point. My doctor, came in about 10 minutes after that, laughing, “I knew I wasn't going to make it. I kept asking myself, Why am I running? I'm not going to make it!” She then stiched up a slight tear, while the nurses took Kate and DH to the corner of the room to do her APGAR (score 8 and 9) and then I got her back while another nurse cared for me for the next hour or so, getting me blankets and water and juice. The rest is a bit of a blur. I know I made some phone calls and woke up family on the East coast.
All in all, I feel DH was really the hero in this birth. I was just there along for the ride (no pun inteneded!). The last birth was longer, with more interventions (monitors, pitocin, doctors breaking my bag) but I felt I rose to the occassion. I felt prepared. I felt safe.
This time, I was panicked. I was scared and felt “tricked” and remember thinking, “they need to turn down the pitocin,” and then being horrified when I realized half a second later that this time there was no pitocin and that this was only going to get more intense.
I have no idea how DH kept it together - how he got DD#1 safely to our friends, how he got me in the car , out of the car, or up the ramps. A couple minutes later and Kate would have been born in the bathroom or car or worse yet, the hospital parking lot!
So there it is. We're home, we're happy, and goodness me, she's a sleeper!!
She looks like a smaller, paler version of our 1st Dd and she couldn't love her little sister more...