(I wrote this up in pieces... so if it doesn't 'flow' exactly that is why. :))
November 14, 2010
9lbs 5oz, 21in long
The first contraction hit around 3am... I was pretty sure it was 'real' labor because after about an hour or so of this, I turned to Hubby and said I remembered this 'pain' from before. It's definitely unmistakable. hehe
Around 7:30am I called my mom and asked for her to find a ride out to me. Hubby had gone to bed very late and I needed someone to be with me, to help with Sage and just be generally supportive.
I know I updated periodically at this point... I labored throughout the whole day. My mom irked me a bit because she was constantly trying to time this, inject her experiences (which are so very different from my own) here, and just in general be 'medically'. It wasn't so bad though that I couldn't ignore her. I did often, so long as she was able to be quietly supportive she stuck around.
I think it was around 7pm when I finally started having some show. I had previously been squatting to help baby move down more with Hubby behind me. We had moved because I had pooped a bit (ha!) and my mom was cleaning that up (it was on the carpet not the chux pad and almost all over Hubby who by the way was the best support person EVER), we were squatting off the side of the bed and I had a mirror I was watching my crotch with. I watched as my vulva opened up more and slowly out came this thick glob of mucous. It was really fascinating and it actually helped keep my mind off the discomfort to watch what was happening. (ever the observer)
Things slowed down a bit around this point, my contractions had spaced out a bit... coincidentally Hubby had to run somewhere (I knew I wasn't delivering anytime immediately and he hurried back, lol) and when he came back things picked up again. I lose track of time here as well.. I know awhile after Hubby got back my mom left, my friend drove her home and then came to hang out a bit while I labored.
I recall looking at a clock to note when my water broke, it wasn't a huge splash or even a trickle... it was just at one point that I decided to place my hand between my legs and noted that it was wet. When I stood up it trickled down my legs some more. It was 11:30. Some time after that I started having more mucous/show..... there was some blood mixed in which my friend pointed out (just to point out, not to instill fear) Hubby said he felt it was normal... which at that point so did I. I tried to labor some more but couldn't find a comfortable position anymore. I knew I was getting closer. It was very intense, painful... I was starting to feel a little pushy at this point, but it felt different. It didn't feel like a relief like what I remembered.... I asked my friend to go downstairs and hang out down there for awhile. I felt Hubby and I needed to be alone. I labored some more and was rewarded with a wave that about knocked me off my feet. I steadied myself against Hubby (my pillar) and made an involuntary grunting noise.... that's when blood shot down my legs, enough that made both of us a little uneasy. We talked about it and made the solid decision that it was probably best to head to the hospital at that point.
To the hospital we went.. I think it was around 2am at this point. I was nervous but really just so, so, so exhausted. I was actually falling asleep between intense push pains on the way there. My body was involuntarily tensing up with each contraction, I was unable to surrender myself anymore... and I really wasn't upset or afraid about it. I just wanted to be done, to be on the other side... to know at that point.
This part is slightly graphic... and probably could be bothersome to some people. I was bothered but expected it... if that makes sense. I'm just giving warning that in some instances this was a traumatic birth but instead of feeling out of control completely, I think I felt partly empowered by being the one to make the call... so to speak. I probably make no sense.
We arrived at the hospital and each step I took hurt, my body was just so tired and I could do nothing more then stand while my whole body contracted and Hubby held onto me. We finally made it into the ER and I found my voice, "Help. Help me, please!" I think is what I said... I told the person at the desk that I was in labor, pulled the blanket off my body to show the blood on my legs and that I needed help right now. They were VERY FAST... the guy that gave us a ride up asked some questions, the big one being my lack of prenatal care (conventional at least)... and really was so very compassionate. I felt the love emanating from him... he's in a job that is perfect for him.
(anyway, i digress)
I was wheeled right into a delivery room which was abuzz with all sorts of activity. I was asked a million questions... and I tried my best to focus on everything happening all at once. They asked me to lay down on the bed... I said I didn't think I could. I would try, I wanted to show them that I was really trying to be nothing more than cooperative. I really was. I was just hurting really, really bad.
They wanted to monitor the baby's heart, I told them I had been monitoring the baby's heart already. I think I even gave the variable. The nurse asked how I was monitoring her heart, I said I had a doppler and she asked how I had one. I think I made like a stupid noise at her... and told her I purchased one. The doctor arrived at this point with an u/s machine. There was lots of clucking in the room about my 'lack' of prenatal care... doc was making sure that I didn't have a low lying placenta or baby wasn't breech. I knew baby wasn't breech... I didn't think I had a low lying placenta (I'm pretty sure it was on the left side) but I did have some possible concerns that a finger edge could possibly be touching my cervix and that caused the bleeding.
The doctor was rather abrupt when he performed a pelvic exam. I was slightly prepared for it... but really not. He determined I was 9cm, nearly complete and pretty much ready to go... There were some threats at this point (apparently Hubby said I wasn't being cooperative at this point but I was REALLY hurting at this point and he was not very gentle with his exam), I attempted to cooperate best I could. They kept telling me to push.. purple pushing was all that I could think about at this point... and I was really trying. I was so ready, but so exhausted, but so ready, but in so much pain... if that shows my thought process at the time.
I pushed and pushed... but things weren't moving fast enough. Apparently baby was having some decels, I'm assuming more because of being poked in the scalp with a monitor than anything... anyway... I pushed and pushed and she wasn't moving too much (this happened with Sage, too, btw) and then all of a sudden I felt this horrific pain. I think I may have thought ring of fire at first but then realized that the doctor was also adding to this pain... he was sticking something inside of me. It felt like it was ripping me open and I started screaming, I was scared... he was hurting me and I wasn't sure how or if I could tolerate this any further. My legs shot out... because I was going into protective mode. I was able to get past this rather quickly, they kept trying to tell me I had to do this or I would get a csection immediately. I really didn't want that, either...
This all lasted barely minutes really... Hubby was bothered by how forceful they pulled baby from me but really I could feel myself giving up, the pain was incredible. I know a nurse had to jump up on the bed like with Sage and help free her head at some point... sorry to add this her, just remembering. I was relieved when she plopped out of me.
I could see her, she looked beautiful and pink and precious. I couldn't see what she was, yet. I think I apologized to her, right then and there for bringing her into the world this way. I had a fleeting moment of disappointment... but I don't think it was with myself. It was with the fearful way the people in this room responded, but I knew that going in, too. I asked what she was... what is it?? A was rewarded with her lusty cry and the response of "girl" I think my heart melted at that point. I had another daughter... what I felt deep down was growing inside of me but was so unsure of myself.
Hubby went to watch what they were doing to her, the doctor pulled my placenta from me... not exactly what I wanted, either, but it's how part of the world does things. I really had no room to make much noise at this point.... the homebirthing atmosphere in Illinois is extremely hostile right now. To the point of people having their babies and other children ripped from their arms... I knew that I had to just embrace some of the things that I didn't want to happen. The doctor stitched me up, it was sore... but I moved past it.
They were looking for anything to be wrong with my baby. I knew she was just fine. Because she was a large baby they made sure to inform that I potentially had GD... to which I replied, it's never been an issue before and I make big babies. Then they said she 'smelled funny' when she came out... and they weren't sure what that was about but they wanted to make sure she didn't have an infection. Insert my eye roll here... All they could find after all was said and done was that she had a slightly elevated RBC and that she would likely be jaundiced because of that. Yep... she was and because my doctor doesn't go to that hospital I was at the mercy of the doctors there. If I had been thinking a little more clearly then I would have said our old peds were our doctor but I totally spaced on that fact until much later.
Marah needed phototherapy for a day... my doctor had took some pity on me and 'allowed' me to stay an extra day. I think he probably felt I needed that anyway and really.. I did. The after delivery nurses were very kind and compassionate. Understanding that I was in pain, all fawning over my pretty baby.. not a mention of my lack of prenatal care, etc.
I know some of the things I wrote here seem very traumatic, and I'd be lying if I said they weren't but I truly feel more at peace with her birth than I was ever able to with Sage's. Some things were totally out of my control but overall I did call the majority of the shots and I am truly at peace with my decisions. I think Marah may be my last babe... I think my body really is growing baby's that are just too big to safely fit through my body without some help. There were some similarities between Marah's delivery and Sage's... things that make me feel that something in me may be out of whack... I also just think I'm done. I don't want to hurt like this again. My body is pretty beat up this time, lol, but my spirit... it soared and isn't broken. ♥
(I wrote this the night that I got home from the hospital... I'm already forgetting the pain, I said to Hubby that I could see myself maybe doing it again... maybe.... but I don't think I'll aim for it, lol.)
I feel the need to announce to the world just how awesome my husband was as a support person. I invited my mom into my space because I felt that having given birth before she would be understanding and compassionate. Instead I was met with someone who was very medically inclined... and totally stressed me out.
Each contraction I had Hubby rubbed my belly, my back, wherever it brought my relief. He held me up for hours... he was so there for me. So amazingly there. He didn't leave my side when it was apparent that he was the only one that I needed.
There were times I really did want to give up. Laboring for such a long time is very hard on the mind... I know more than once, in frustration I had said I want to just be done. I want drugs. It hurts, I'm not sure I can do this and every time I said that Hubby always responded with... this is what you said you wanted, you told me you would say these things and I'm telling you this is how it is. You can do it, there's no reason for drugs and we'll be done soon. Every time I said it, that's what he responded with. He was strong... and loving... and amazing. This birth meant every bit as much to him as it did to me, something I don't think I was able to give him full credit for until all was said and done.
When we made the decision together that it was best to go to the hospital, there was no anxiety... there was no fear... it was a collective decision that was firm. These were the things we had talked about would provoke us to seek out a hospital so we knew that this was the result... you know? I think that's why I feel so at peace with everything, I had planned so very well and prepped so very well... and just knew what I needed. Hubby was the perfect compliment to everything. I love him so much... and I feel like our love has really blossomed from this experience. He's amazing.. I wonder what he thinks of me, lol. ♥
Nic, loving mama to 5 with a SURPRISE 6th on the way.
I loved reading this, Nic. You are a very courageous woman. Enjoy this time to heal and savour your beautiful baby girl.
Thank you for sharing this with us! You are right - it was a hard read at points, but an important one and, yes, an empowering one as well. I hope that you continue to heal both inside and out.
AP Mom to 5
Thank you for sharing, Nic! I remember you posting often about your biggest fear being not going into labor on your own - and you did it! :joy I am so happy for you that you were able to prove to yourself that your body CAN do it. I am sorry the rest of the story didn't go as perfectly as you'd hoped, though I am glad you have peace with it. It sounds like you made all the decisions you needed to. :hug
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
Nic. Thank you for sharing Marah's birth story. You stayed strong and did what you felt you needed to to bring about her safe arrival. I am so glad you have peace with her birth, though I am sorry that you weren't treated with the respect you deserve- especially by that doc.
Rest up and enjoy babymooning with your sweet Marah!
Quite a powerful birth story, Nic!! Thanks so much for sharing your journey <3
oh nic, i'm so sorry things didn't turn out the way you wanted. i've btdt too many times, myself. but, major kudos to you for not letting it get you down! i admire your firm resolve to transfer when you knew something wasn't right; i imagine that it would be a difficult decision, but when you know, you just know!
i'm so happy you got your girl, too, and that you are enjoying your slow babymoon. welcome, baby marah!
ps - i was snickering at the part about the nurse asking about your doppler -- like you stole it or something?? don't people know you can get just about ANYTHING on ebay these days?!
Mama of: DS (9), twins DD & DS (6), DS (3), and DD born 11/2010
DDCC What a powerful story, Nic. I am in awe of how you and DH were so in sync throughout, even the decision to go to the hospital. You're amazing and Marah is beautiful!! Hope you're enjoying youe babymoon!!
I can definitely relate as we were a homebirth transfer and had a vacuum assisted birth a few weeks ago. I love how you said you are already forgetting the pain and 'maybe' you could do it again. Me too :) We must be crazy!
Three boys and a sweet toddling girl
Nic, of all the mamas in our DDC, I've been hoping all along that you would have the birth you wanted. I knew how much you wanted this one to be different, and how much you wanted to trust that your body could do what it needed to to deliver your baby safely. I have nothing but respect and awe of you that you were brave enough to take on UCing, a very long and intense labor, and then a less than perfect hospital transfer. I think that no matter what, you have to be so proud of yourself for handling all of that!
I love that it was a very special bonding time for you and your dh, and I also love that you've come to understand some things about your body and seem to be at peace with them. and blessings to you and little Marah!