Nicholas Michael arrived on November 19th (sorry for the delayed announcement, but better late than never, right?!)!!!
Birth story (this is a long one!):
We planned a birth center birth. Contractions started around 2pm November 17th. Yes, the 17th! Very irregular and just annoying. By 7.30pm, they were regular, 8 min apart and lasting about 45 sec each. And painful. We called the MW around 11pm, who said to sleep and call back if anything changed or if not, to show up for our 8am prenatal the next day. MW was our least fav of the 5 in the group. No issues with her, just don't know her as well as the others and don't click as much personality-wise.
This continued until 5.00am. I got about 1 hour of sleep that night. The contractions kept me up the rest of the time. DH slept until 5.30, when I woke him by writhing in pain in the bed.
At 5am, the contractions started being 5 min apart and 60 sec long or more. We got up at 6 for the appt, showered, had breakfast, and called the MW again at 7.30am. Told her they were 5 min apart for 2 hours. She said to skip the appt since labor was underway. And to call back in an hour or so and take a walk meanwhile. We went out to walk in the neighborhood.
At 8.30 the contractions were now 3 min apart and quite hard to deal with. Had to stop and grab onto a pole, rail, etc and lean away from it while pulling to relieve a bit of pain. NOt sure why that helped, but oh well. DH calls the MW again at 9am and updates her. She says to meet her at the birth center at 10am.
Leave the house at 9.30 for the drive to the BC. NOT FUN!! 30 min in car w/contractions is not nice! Get there at 10, MW and birth assistant there within minutes. Get settled in, get checked at 11am and told only 3.5 cm dilated, -2 station and 50% effaced IIRC. MW offers to strip membranes and I consent, hoping it will speed things up. Labor on birth ball for a while. Get in jacuzzi, turns out that slows my contractions, get out after 20 min. Take a walk near BC for an hour. Contractions almost 3 min apart and killing me.
Go back to BC. Labor in bedroom, standing at end of bed, on birth ball, etc. Really really tired by now, around 2pm. Lie in bed and try to rest/sleep bw contractions, but lying down feels even worse. Stay there for a while anyway. Contractions slow to every 5 min, but still just as intense and long.
5pm - MW comes in and checks me again. Still only 4.5-5 cm dilated. MW calls it 'dysfunctional labor', apologizes for the term, but explains that despite the contractions, my body isn't cooperating. Tells me it's probably bc I'm too tired and maybe also because I'm not comfortable enough at the birth center. Tells me that I can't simply stay there and continue to labor as I was. Says I need to eat a substantial meal, despite th nausea I feel with contractions. Gives me 3 options:
1. Stay and get IV and IM Nubain with the goal of sleeping deeply bw contractions to rest my body and hope that in 4 hours things have progressed. If they have not, go home and come back later when labor speeds up.
2. Go home and take Ambien with the goal of sleeping bw contractions to rest my body. Hope that in 4-8 hours things have progressed. Stay home til labor speeds up, then go back to BC.
3. Go home and take Ambien and stay home for a home birth. New MW and birth assistant coming on shift at 10pm - our fav MW and our fav birth assistant.
I'm feeling extremely discouraged at this point. I'd been laboring for more than 24 hours, sick of the pain, couldn't believe the lack of dilation progress, and feeling like the MW was blaming it on my supposed discomfort with the birth center and the practice.
We ask to see the new MW coming on shift, our fav, Katie, and she comes in the room (was in the office that day). We tell her we're leaning towards a home birth with her - and she happens to live a mile away from us - and she encourages us to go for it, reminding us she had tried to convince us before to do a home birth and that she thought we'd be more comfortable there anyway. Offers to come by whenever we want her that night to assess me sicne she's so close, and says she'd be happy to be the one to assist with delivery.
We decide to go home and stay home. I cannot imagine adding another carride with contractions to the process if I can avoid it! Besides, Katie was confident in my ability to birth and to birth at home and that was a big help. We were relieved to be done with the other MW and be working with Katie.
We go home at 6pm. Another car ride from hell. I try to eat some lasagna for dinner, but only manage a few bites due to nausea and interruptions from contractions. Dh buys the Ambien, I take it around 8.30pm. MW told us it only works if you get comfortable and relaxed first. I can’t relax lying down due to the pain, so I sit in the recliner as suggested by the MW. But how can you relax with contractions every 5 min?? I sleep bw contractions, but am awakened every 5 min by horrible pain. This continues until 10pm, when I decide I cannot stand being on the couch anymore and give up on sleep, and get back on the birth ball.
Shift change happens at 10pm. DH calls MW Katie at 10.30, tells her Ambien not really working, contractions still every 5 min and I’m not dealing too well with it. Katie arrives at 11pm. Checks me and tells me I’m at 6 cm. I’m relieved to hear there is some progress, but still insanely tired and wanting sleep. Katie gives me another Ambien. I rest in bed and sleep bw contractions until around 1am. Not able to sleep anymore. Katie prepares tub and I get in. She calls birth assistant who arrives around 2am. I stay in tub, feeling relief from pouring warm water over my belly during contractions. DH entertains me while in tub. Contractions slow for a bit but pick up again. I get out around 2.30am. Katie notices I have more energy now and suggests we try to pick things up to take advantage of it. I labor several more hours and feel more pressure in the back around 6am. I ask Katie to check me. She says I’m 9.5 cm. Water breaks a few min later. Light meconium staining. Katie says they may need to suction baby with the bulb syringe but will wait to see how s/he does at birth.
Katie says I can start pushing. Dh was napping, she wakes him up and he comes in. I start pushing around 6.30am, side lying in my bed. No direction, just pushed with contractions. After about an hour of this, started getting frustrated at lack of progress, pain, and discomfort with baby being so low. Figured out that yelling during pushing made me push better and feel better. Screamed my head off for most of pushing. =) MW says “that’s fine, just scream the baby out!” DH later tells me he worried the neighbors would hear me and call the cops. Thankfully, they didn’t!
MW says baby’s head is visible with contractions. Start asking MW how much longer. She says maybe another 10 contractions. That sounds like a really long time, so I try to bargain and ask her why can’t I do it in less than 10. She says maybe. I push even harder, trying to shorten the time.
They tell me baby is crowning, but not coming out. This is terribly uncomfortable – I can feel baby sitting there and it feels crowded! Katie suggests changing position to semi-reclined. I protest moving since that seems impossible, but manage to do it. Push for a few contractions like that, but find it more tiring. Katie suggests hands and knees. I again protest rolling over, feeling like I have a bowling ball bw my legs that I will squish while rolling or that won’t let me roll. But they all help and I manage to roll. I push for a few more contractions. Realize this is taking longer than Katie said it would. Feel like crying at the pure frustration, exhaustion and pain of it all. Katie says she can ‘make a little tear or do a little cut and the baby will come out faster’ and I refuse. This translates to me ‘if you give it one more centimeter of perineal space, this baby will be out’, which gives me the boost of energy to push even harder for the next couple contractions. Baby’s head comes out!! One more push and his body follows.
Still on hands and knees, MW slides baby under me to my arms. I pick him up and hold him close with a blanket around him. I look at his face and think “it looks like a boy”. Dh kisses me. A couple minutes pass, and Dh says “well aren’t you going to see what it is?!” So I move the blanket and look, and announce that it’s a boy!!
Nicholas was born at 8.22am, after 42 hours of total labor, 28 hours of active labor, and 1 hr 45 min of pushing, and 35 min of crowning (ouch!).
My perineum was amazingly intact despite baby’s head sitting on it for so long (MW says I have the “perineum of steel”!). I had some internal vaginal tearing that was stitched up, and some major swelling, but no serious trauma to the area.
Thanks for sharing the birth story!!!
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
Glenn 11*09 Joe 4*04 Me & Hubby
"This is the sickest species the world has ever known."
Dr.John Bergman, speaking about the human species.
Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
I have to say that labor and delivery is definitely very empowering! If I can do that, I can do anything!! I'm sure you all know what I mean. =)
There were definitely points where I would have loved an epidural... but the tradeoff for that is being where I didn't want to be - in a hospital. I've worked in one for 10 years and seen how L&D is, seen epidurals put in, seen c/sections performed, seen women stitched up after episiotomies, and of course all the routine - plugged in, tied to the bed with tubes and monitors, delivering on your back with the light shining on your hooha and everyone yelling push and counting to ten while you do. So, no thanks! lol
Despite the horribly long labor and long pushing and being swollen more than I thought possible down there (which took a full 2 weeks to not require donut sitting), I still want to do the next one the same way - at home!!!
Congrats on the arrival of a sweet boy! Enjoy!
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