John A K... IV - "Jack" was born on Friday February 19 at 8:38am. He is a big boy - 9lb. 1oz. and 20" long.
I'm so in love.ready to go homefirst diaper change (at home)
I did have an amazing, beautiful natural birth at the hospital (only one mean nurse and when she found out that I was planning to use the birth stool - meaning she would have to be on the floor with a flash light assisting the MW - she got herself reassigned, which worked better for all of us). DH and I were both so amazed when he came out that we completely forgot to look to see if what "he" was for about 2 whole minutes (the MW caught him and handed him to me but we were both kind of clutching on to him).
timeline: Water broke at 7pm the night before - w/ an unmistakable gush, called DH home from his basketball game then we went and got ice cream because I wasn't having contractions. I also wanted to go to Target for last minute things/just for something to do but as we finished ice cream the contractions started to be noticeable (not to mention I was still leaking pretty heavily (was using cloth diapers as pads).
I walked around the house and the contractions just kept coming and coming. We decided to go to the hospital at around 11 pm because although I felt like I could stay home longer I really really wanted a room with a tub so we called and 1 (of 2) was already in use - I knew I would have to be admitted because of the ruptured sac and should be able to secure the second tub room.
The admitting nurse wanted to do an internal but I declined until they could OK with my MW b/c I was concerned about infection. We got checked into the tub room (yay!) and I got them turn off all the lights and the nice nurse put up a "quiet please sign" on the door just in case anyone else came in - no one did until a nursing shift change. MW gave the ok for a check at about 1am - once I said my pain was going up and the contractions were coming every 3 minutes. I was at a 2 and 75% effaced. How disappointing!! DH was a cheerleader and convinced me that was good so I just kept up what I was doing, walking around the room, sitting on the birth ball, and sitting in a glider with my feet up.
I got in the tub at about 3am but only stayed in there for an hour because I really felt like I should be upright even though it was more painful - the tub was a great tool for a rest at that point though. After about an hour my contractions were a lot more painful and I got back in the tub. I had to moan through most of them and used the handicap rails to just pull on for counter activity - my legs were tensing at this point and I had to actively force my body to relax.
I had to get out of the tub at 6:30 (see note about nurse below) and I was seriously in pain. That nurse checked me at 5am and I was at 4cm. Again - Are you kidding me!?!? She told me she thought I would give birth at about noon or 1, I know I should not have listened to her, but you are just so vulnerable that I probably would have believed anything she said. I really didn't think I had 7 more hours of this in me (especially if I had to be confined to the bed). I had DH call my mom when I had to get out of the tub and she gave me a pep talk and left for the hospital to see if she could help out so I told myself I would just wait until she got there to make any decisions.
About 30 minutes later (7am) I was wondering where the heck she was but told the new nice nurse that I felt an urge to push - I think I said bear down. She checked me and I was between 8 and 9, fully efaced, and the head was right there!!! Now that is more like it. She told me to feel free to lightly bear down and find some positions for birthing. My legs were rubbery and I knew I couldn't squat so I had them set up the birth stool.
The midwife arrived at 7:15 and she told me to listen to my body. I got on the birth stool at 7:30ish (time according to DH's phone, b/c at this point he had to tell my mom thanks for coming but I was ready to birth and wanted her to stay in the waiting room). I pushed for an hour - I was never really directed and just did what felt was right. MW used a warm compress for a lot of it. The pushing didn't hurt and I don't remember ever feeling the ring of fire - but I do think I had reached some sort of trance like state so I'm sure I felt it, I just decided not to focus on it, although I do remember it hurting more than I expected in the front - seems like there is so much emphasis on the perineum that no one says there will also be pressure in the front.
I kept looking at the head in the mirror they set up on the floor - I was so happy to see a full head of dark hair. He was fully born at 8:38am - it took about 4 big "get him out" pushes where I kept seeing his head almost come out, then it was out and then I had to work on the shoulders. I had some superficial skid marks in the front that didn't require attention and the perineum lacerations was officially defined as second degree b/c it did go slightly down into the muscle layer so I have some stitches. Of course I'm pretty swollen and moving a little slow but I am thankful for relatively minor damage down there consider his size and the speed of his birth. I'm also glad I didn't know his size before hand - whoa, 9lbs is a lot of baby! When the MW handed him to me I was absolutely amazed at how heavy he felt in my hands (also had to do with how wore out I was from labor) but he seemed so long too.
Now the other stuff...
I did have the hospital definition of a retained placenta (didn't come out w/in 20 minutes and since I didn't have an IV or epidural things got a bit hectic b/c I had to have at least an IV in place by 30 minutes). I wasn't bleeding heavily and the MW could tell things were moving down, but we were bound by those rules. So at 35 minutes an OB was called, she walked into the room, started a saline drip, ordered Pit and and told me I would probably need general anasthesia - holy scary. The MW said that since I wasn't bleeding we probably had a little time and convinced OB do manual exam - She no more than did that and it came out. Phew! MW later said that many providers might have just applied more pressure and pulls to get it out but she really doesn't like to do that b/c she would rather things be fully intact rather that "out in a certain time" but I'm not sure she expected the OB to be so forceful.
Finally - the other somewhat scary thing - the mean nurse came on at about 5am and I was in the tub. She messed with the monitors that I was wearing for about 20 minute stretches at that time and somehow the contraction one quit reading the contractions. Then about an hour later the baby's heartbeat one started jumping all over so I had to get out of the tub, get in the bed and lay on my left side. I didn't know if I could continue with that - I was totally squirming in pain and could not focus on anything (my "focal point" ended up being a fire sprinkler on the ceiling that I could see from everywhere in the room) DH thought I might be heading towards a panic attack b/c apparently I was just repeating "relax" over and over really fast (I don't remember this at all). She said I was going to need an internal monitor on the baby and called some other care providers in. The nurse that ended up assisting checked everything over, was able to get the contraction monitor reading again - determined I was having one right after the other, got the hand held doppler out and found the baby's HB right away - he was just so busy changing positions - probably trying to find the best way out - that the monitor kept switching from mine to his (thus, registering a decel for him since adult HB's are so much lower). At this time I had no idea I was in the last stage of my cervix opening (6cm in 3 hours) - no wonder he was squirming all over the place!! So I was able to just put on a finger clip to get my HB on the screen too so they could cross reference it with his and then I was able to be back up and moving.
I should also say DH was awesome - rubbing my back, holding the puke bag when I threw up a couple of times, cheering me on, holding the cup of water/recharge/juice when I needed it, and not minding being told to be quiet at points too. Also I'm sure his feeling might have been hurt when I point blank told him he wasn't enough and I needed another cheerleader (my mom) in order to make it for a 16 hour strong labor when we thought that might happen. He asked all the right questions and totally supported me anytime I was assertive to make sure we were able to make the most of being at the hospital (which didn't turn out to be too bad when all was said and done).