I finally got a moment so thought I'd pop on.
Olivia was born on 12/13. It definitly was not the birth I wanted or planned. The only good thing out of it is my sweet daughter and I'm a bit wiser.
Here is my long birth story. You can view the photos here
Birth Story of Olivia Kristine
Our little Miss Olivia Kristine is finally here. After nearly a year of trying to conceive we were blessed with her conception during Lent. We would learn that not only did we finally conceive but that we were expecting our first baby girl and she would be arriving in December during Advent. That was just so meaningful to me.
My pregnancy was the easiest of all of my pregnancies. I felt great. We had some nervous times, low HCG levels in the beginning, she wouldn’t cooperate during ultrasounds and were sent for a neonatal EKG and she was always on the move. She definitely liked to keep us on our toes from the moment we decided to conceive until the moment she arrived.
My plan was to have Olivia at home. It was important to me to be home, with my family, in my own area. I wanted to be in a place where I could control how my baby was taken care of. I love the gentleness of a homebirth. It’s just so peaceful. Karl and I decided to try out the Hypnobabies home study course. I had such a great time with it. It really helped keep me stress free throughout the pregnancy.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy my birth plans started to change. My little sweet pea never wanted to stay in the head down position. She would be in a different position at every appt it seemed like. I started to fear that she would have a cord accident. I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the homebirth any longer but tried to push those fears aside. At 39 wks I felt like she was no longer head down again. I called my midwife and went in to see if I was right. Lauren, my midwife’s partner, checked me out and I was correct. Our little one was oblique breech. They tried to get me in the hospital that night for a version and then induce. They couldn’t get me in. Lauren gave me a homeopath, Pulsatilla, and I went home. I used my Turn Baby hypno script and by the next morning I was sure she was head down. Friday night my midwife called and I told her I was no longer ok with a homebirth. I was worried with her turning so much that she would either be tangled in her cord or perhaps turn and come out breech at the last minute. My home is not close enough to a hospital for me to be comfortable. She understood and if there were no births during the weekend we would go to the hospital for an induction. Even though there were talks of going to a hospital I never full wrapped my mind around what that meant or how it would affect me. Monday came and there was no call so I just went to my appt that I had scheduled. My midwife, Barbara, and I discussed everything and we decided that I would go into the hospital and she would induce me with a foley catheter and then break my water. I would either go in Monday night or Tuesday morning. Monday night came and I learned it would be Tuesday morning.
I woke up at 4 am on Tuesday morning feeling confident and excited. The night before Karl and I joked around saying if something happened that made it so we couldn’t go to the hospital then that was a sign saying that we shouldn’t be there. Finally, 6:45 am came and we left to go to the hospital. On our way there we got a phone call from Barbara saying that the hospital was filled. We decided that I was comfortable with being at the Birth Center since it was very close to a hospital incase of an emergency. If something happened that was not an immediate emergency but we still needed to be transferred then the hospital Barbara is affiliated with was close also. I was so excited to be going to the birth center. I felt so right. I could have a great birth experience, be home about 4 hours after the birth, it would feel like home, it was going to be wonderful.
We arrived at Valley Birth Place around 8:30. Barb, Karl and I went and we started to monitor the baby to make sure all was ok. At 9 am Barb inserted the foley bulb into my cervix.
We went upstairs to the birth center and just hung out. I listened to my Baby Come Out scripts and was enjoying the relaxation. At 11:23 am I started getting pressure waves (contractions) every 5 mins with a constant back ache. At 12:50 I got up to use the bath room and the bulb fell out.
2:18 Barb checked me and I was 3 cm. We decided to break the bag of waters and hopefully that would get things moving along. Lauren (the other midwife in the practice) listened to the hearttones while Barb broke the water. Water was clear. Yay!!! I predicted we would have the baby by 6 pm. I was way off. Karl and I just hung out and I continued to do my hypnobaby scripts. Karl went and got dinner for all of us. I was having more intense pressure waves that continued to be about 5 mins apart.
At 5:12 we decided it was time to stimulate labor some and it worked. Contractions were coming every 3 mins and more intense.
7:30 Barb and Lauren came to check me. I think she said I was 4 cm. I can’t remember but she was a bit puzzled to what she was feeling and then realized that what she was feeling was a baby’s hand on top of her head. Barb didn’t even need to say it. I knew what needed to happen. We both agreed that getting to the hospital right away was the best thing to do, so we all got our stuff and went on our way to Chestnut Hill hospital. About 20 mins. Away. It was a LONG drive. My mind was going a mile a minute. All I could think of was the baby and just wanting her to be safe. Pressure waves were still about 3-4 mins apart and I was trying my hardest to slow them down or make them not work by using hypnosis. I didn’t want her coming out until we knew her hand was out of the way. We got to the hospital and registered. While I was being pushed to our room, I started realizing what was going on. I was in a hospital, I was not were I wanted to be and I was NOT prepared to be there. The look and feel of the place just freaked me out. When we got to the room I freaked out even more. It had a cold feeling to and was small and just not what I was expecting. The nurse came in and didn’t make it much better. She pointed to the gown and walked out. I started bawling. I was scared, I was unhappy, and I did not want to be in the hospital. (I did know that is was the best place for us though)
Barb came in and helped calm me down and explained to the nurse that this wasn’t what I was use to. We hooked up the monitors and Barb checked me. Baby’s hand moved and I was so relived.
9:20 pm. Pitocin Drip was started.
I was doing ok for awhile with the pressure waves. I was emotionally drained though and extremely tired. I had no desire to do anything but sleep. I couldn’t do that though with the intense pressure in my back and the environment I was in. I should of mentally prepared myself better for the hospital and I didn’t. I never really thought it would effect me the way it did. I will never again make that mistake. If we are blessed with another child in the future I will plan a homebirth but will make sure I’m equally prepared for a hospital birth.
At midnight December 13, 2006 I decided I wanted an epidural. Barb was great. She didn’t make me feel like a failure and she was so encouraging. Inside I felt like I was a failure but kept telling myself I needed to sleep and relax, that this was the best decision for me.
During the epidural, I started feeling like I was going to pass out. Probably from leaning over, I was tired (I had been up since 4 am), I didn’t eat anything since 5 am. I heard the nurse say something about my heart rate being high and that freaked me out. I just couldn’t get calm after that. I was trying to calm down but the more I tried to the more my mind would race with scary thoughts. I was scared that the epidural did something to me or would, I was wishing I didn’t do it because I felt like a bad mom, I was sad about missing out on the birth experience that I wanted, I was worrying about my heart racing, about dying and leaving my kids. I was worrying about my babies being home alone without me for the first time and waking up without me there. How could they handle that? I was totally losing it. I had the nurse get Barb for me and I let her know everything about how I was feeling. She is the most gentle, caring woman and I will never be able to thank her enough for being there for me. That’s what I really needed at that time and she was there for me. She really is my hero. After calming down a bit I decided to lie down and listen to my scripts. I never did get to fall asleep but I did get to relax thanks to hypnobabies.
At around 4 am Barb came in and said that the baby’s heart was starting to have some variables and we needed to watch that. She also checked me and I was 6 cm.
At 4:30 I started feeling like the baby was moving down so she checked me again. I was 7 cm and -2
At 4:40 we inserted at catheter because Barb was thinking that that was the reason she wasn’t descending.
5 am Barb asked what homeopaths I brought with me and we got out the Ancoite (I think, it’s something like that.) and the Bach’s Flower remedies. I used them every 15 mins. I felt so much better mentally. Which is why I think the rest of the birth story goes the way it does.
5:08 I felt tons of pressure I was 9 cm
5:19 Barb starts setting up for the birth and I decided to just let the baby come down on her own without pushing.
5:24 I start to push. I was so happy to be able to feel everything despite the epidural. In between pushing I would use my hypnosis to help with the pressure and help move her down. I loved feeling like I was in control again and I loved being able to push when I wanted and letting the baby come down on her own.
5:36 Olivia is born with her hand at her face (I received a 1st degree tear) and I got to pull her up to my belly. I couldn’t of been happier. She was beautiful and perfect and I just kissed her. She was what I waited for forever it seemed like. At that moment all the ups and downs of trying to conceived her, the what ifs everything, just floated away and I was holding the greatest early Christmas gift ever.
5:41am the placenta was delivered ( We got to take it home with us. WOHOOOO, Karl encapsulated it for me to take. )
5:46 am I nursed Olivia for the first time. She is a pro. No problems what so ever.
Olivia weighs 7 lbs 14 oz. 20 inches long.
I have to give major kudos to Chestnut Hill. They followed my baby care plan to a T and better. They never took Olivia from us. They allowed us to give her the bath in our room, they let us use our cloth diapers. They didn’t give me any problems with denying the Hep B, eye ointment and Vit K shot. Olivia was with me from the second she was born and that was very important to me and one of the main reasons I didn’t want to be in the hospital.
We’ve been home for 4 days now and I’m feeling better. The first few days were hard for me. I felt like I was mourning something and I was. The birth experience I wanted but couldn’t have. Every time I thought about it I cried. I felt like a failure and felt like I was missing out on something. If I had to do it all over again I would not change a thing. Barb, Karl and I made the best decisions for me and my baby. That is what is important. I needed to be in the hospital, I may have had an epidural but that doesn’t make me less of a mother or woman. I’m not a hero. I’m a good Mom that had to make the right decisions at a difficult time. With the reassurance of my wonderful husband and Barb and after a lot of soul searching, I REALLY believe that.