I have lurked here more than anything else, but after a tramatic first birth after 10 weeks of bedrest and a 35 week baby in NICU, followed by HAVING to be in L&D (although with my midwife) with #2 because she was just 36 weeks and another NICU stay with#2, I need a place to share that I made it 38 weeks exactly, I got to be in the wonderful BC with my wonderful midwife, and I got the baby on my chest, not whisked away and there were no crash teams or nicu teams milling about...so peaceful!!!!! thank you in advance for your collective ear!
Julia's Birth Story (3/21/08)
Woke about 1am with an upset stomach, but since it had been happening for over a week tried not to think too much about it. Just before 5 woke with painful contractions...started timing them when I had a second one at exactly 5. Chris and Anna woke about 5:30, I kept having them every 8-11 min and didn't say anything b/c I didn't know for sure yet. Just after 6 I turned on the moniter and went down...sure now today was the day. I told Chris and he woke up and started getting organized. Ethan woke shortly after, woke my mom, started prepping the kids for us leaving. Got dressed, ate some, contractions continued...called HOpe. She said come when I felt ready, she would be off at 8. Left the house just about 7ish....got to the hospital at 7:30and contractions had slowed. Started walking around front...for about 30 min. Still slowed to 20 mon apart. Decide to go on longer walk assuming Hope has gone home. Put things back in car and start walking, talking....contrax stay about every 20ish min. walk about 7-8 blocks...mom calls. Hope left message she is waiting for us and worried we had baby in the car. its like 9:30 at this point. We book it back to the hospital, get our things, and go up. I had thought we had to check into labor and delivery (which I why I had wanted to walk instead of go up) but turns out we can go right to the birth center. I feel AWFUL she is waiting for us and hasn't gone home to get some rest!!!!
Everyone is so happy to see us since they had been expecting us earlier and Hope checks me out...4cm, maybe 5. We talk about options since I am slowed and decide to crawl in bed (big 4 poster double) and try to sleep. Since Hope has just worked a 12 hour shift she is going to go home (nearby) and get some sleep as well. She says she will come back when it seems like I am closer to birth to be with us (so kind of her since usually you just have the midwife on call for labor/birth). Chris and I get comfy, I take off my contact lenses, and we get ready for a nap with the plan that they will check in on us at 12:15 and see where to go from there. Just as we get comfy the contractions start again, and I tell Chris I don't think we are going to get a nap after all. So ironic. We have used the rest time to walk around for 2 plus hours and now there is no resting to be had. They just keep coming, getting closer and harder to breath through. I keep going back and forth to the bathroom, and need Chris by my side every minute. I just keep breathing and trying to relax my body and I just know this is it. Finally about 11:45 I tell him he better get Rebecca (the midwife on call) and see if she can come, and also call the volunteer doula because I feel like I could use some help.
She comes in and I can tell she is thinking I have not gotten very far and she says she'll help me breath through a couple as I try to explain they are in the "I am having trouble staying ahead of the pain" stage. She suggests a couple positions to help the back pain, and says once she knows I am in really active labor I can get in the tub because she doesn't want to slow my down if its still early. I painfully try the lunges as contractions start to come without much space in between. We agree she should check me so we can have Hope come in time. I am 8 cm and really feeling pressure! I stand up on my way to the birth ball and her ready to go page Hope when I feel I huge urge to push, so she drops to the floor ready to catch baby. Its a false alarm so she goes to call and I get the couple steps to the ball. I start rocking, Hope appears at my side seemingly instantly quietly reassuring me that all is well and I can do this and have the birth I want. My water breaks spontaniously, which has never happened before, and Hope assures me the water is "clear and beautiful" I have another contraction and have to urge to stand so I do. From there I start feeling the need to push, and in retrospect I don't feel like I really had to bear down as hard as I have in the past. (Maybe being standing up compared to lying?) I called out for help and doubted myself out loud a few times (I believe I said, "I don't think I can do this guys" I grabbed Hope's hand and Chris stood behind me supporting me. She had me feel the baby's head as he began to crown...I was overcome. The pushing become all I could think about and my every fiber was just thinking the baby is coming out....and so just a few pushes later, he did. Amazing!
Ironically Rebecca caught her, not Hope, because I didn't let go of Hope's hand! They put her in my arms and I scooted back into the bed where I pulled her to my chest. At first she was all purple and silent so I pleaded "cry, cry, cry" fearing if she didn't it would mean a trip to NICU and she let out a little yelp as we made our way to the bed. I lied there in awe of what had just happened, someone said it was a girl, and Hope and Rebecca proceeded to give me their attention. They waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then clamped it and let Chris do the cutting. I watched it all on my tummy! The placenta came out with a small push a few minutes later and then I got her to start nursing, which she did surprisingly well for having just been born. I had a little more bleeding than they were comfortable with even after she was nursing so they gave me a shot of pitocen, and then also checked for hidden clots...after some serious massaging of my uterus the bleeding slowed to an acceptable level and they helped clean me up a bit and then we took a couple pictures and chatted with Hope a bit....all the while baby girl nursing on my chest. At my request they left us then...just the three of us and didn't come back to weigh her or do anything until almost 4 hours later....it was wonderful. And then after that they left us alone again, only coming in every 4-6 hours to see if all was well and take vitals.
After the fact Hope told us that she got the page from Rebecca at 11:58am, and I gave birth at 12:17pm, so it went pretty fast. I am awed, amazed, overjoyed by the fact that Chris and I were all alone in a dimly lit room, music softly playing all the way to 8cm....and then even when the midwives and nurse were there for the last 30 minutes of the process it was still all us. They were reassuring voices and a pair of hands to catch the baby and hand her up to me, but had we been on our own Chris could of done that part....Just the idea that it was just 100% natural without any monitering or asking about pain levels or any of the "stuff" that I have had to have the two births before.....amazing. I am so proud of my body, my husband for standing by me, me for doing this and not giving up on my dream for this birth experience. And for the second time after having a level 4 episiotomy for my first birth I didn't tear even one little bit. I just can't stop feeling amazed, and just want to keep talking about my birth, and keep freaking people out by saying I had my baby standing up.....Amazing.....
We got the vitamen K shot but not the eye meds, and she was 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. Our biggest baby yet after cooking a full two weeks longer than #1 had and three weeks longer than #2 had. We named her Julia....