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Birth Story: Orion Thomas<br><br>
On Sunday, I went into “false” labour, (which lasted from Noon until about 6-7pm.) I was VERY frustrated when it fizzled, as I was suffering with the PUPPP rash, and looking at the induction conversation with my doctor. I was a little grateful however, as my doula was with another client. Just in case, she set up a meeting with her backup. I didn’t like the back up as much as my doula, but wasn’t too worried. Went to bed that night, and slept very well.<br><br>
On Monday morning, contractions started up again at about 10 am. They were still irregular and not very strong, so DF went to work and I called a friend of mine to come over with her five month old and keep me company and cook for me. We had a good day, with contractions getting more intense and more regular all day long. My friend left at about 5 pm and my sister came over to cook dinner for me and that’s when the contractions picked up. They moved to every five minutes, and were intense enough for me to feel safe calling DF home from work.<br><br>
My sister went to get him, and when he arrived, we were both excited! This was it! We did a great job breathing together through the contractions for a few hours and at about 9 pm called the doula. She was still with her other client, who was dealing with a slow starting induction. Called the backup who came over very soon. By now, just breathing through the contractions was becoming difficult. I had a LOT of pain in my lower back and hips, and DF was very leery about applying counter pressure on the hips. The doula told him to go ahead, and they started switching off. Contractions were still about every five minutes and getting much more intense. I was getting into “labour-land” and was really focused on myself and my own body. DF was great, there for every contraction, and did some really good support so that I could rock back and forth during contractions and providing pressure on my hips.<br><br>
At midnight, we were all getting tired, and contractions weren’t getting any closer together, so DF and I sent the doula home, and tried to go to bed. (As it turned out, the doula lived a five minute walk away, so we weren’t worried.) Laying down the contractions were really intense, but it was SO nice to rest in between, plus they slowed down to every ten minutes. Between us we managed to lay in bed and rest for about three hours. By then, I just couldn’t take the intensity anymore, and had to get up. We called to doula back and I got into the tub to try and ease things up. That didn’t last long however, and I was soon back to doing a lot of leaning positions to try an cope with the contractions, which had sped back up again. About then I started vomiting, which horrible on top of contractions. At about 5 am we all got into the car and headed to the hospital, partially to see how things were progressing, and hoping that we were at least part of the way there.<br><br>
At the hospital, we discovered that I was effaced down to “paper-thin” but had dilated only a fingertip. The admitting nurse suggested we stay for a few hours under her watch and see how things progressed, as apparently some women who are that effaced can dilate quite quickly. This also gave us access to the “toys” at the hospital to help with the contractions, and their tub was much deeper and felt much nicer than mine at home. After two hours however, I was still only a fingertip dilated, so we all headed into the car to head for home. The trip home was hard. I was still very focused on contractions, but according to DF was crying and moaning about how we were going home without a baby, and we were never going to have one… my head was getting in a bad place. At home, we continued to cope with contractions as best we could, lots of leaning and support, in and out of the tub. The doula and DF were phenomenal, although the stress was starting to show, as DF, who usually has a huge appetite wasn’t eating much. I still couldn’t eat much, as I had occasional bouts of dry heaving (that was TERRIBLE). I was having a hard time drinking water too.<br><br>
By 2 pm, we headed back to the hospital. I was by then dilated only 3 cm, which was disappointing. The admitting nurse who was a real crank pot and very rude to the doula, mentioned a possibility of meconium in the water, but I still don’t understand how she could tell as my water had not broken at this point. We were admitted and my nurse, Wendy, arrived and introduced herself and reviewed our birth plan. She was very supportive of it, and helped me back into the tub, where she did a quick “strip” by telemetry to see how everything was going. The rest of the monitoring was intermittent, as we had requested and she didn’t say anything about my doula turning it off, as it was really bothering me.<br><br>
By now I was really tired, and having a hard time getting through the contractions. About one in every four contractions included a very strange involuntary urge to push, which I could not stop. The doula and nurse and especially DF were great at keeping my head in the right place. By 4 pm though, I was only 4 cm dilated, and very disappointed. The baby’s head had been VERY low during the whole labour, and when it was suggested that they break my water as a way of speeding things up, we agreed, as we could see epidurals and c-sections in the future as I was tiring very quickly by now. There was meconium in the water, and it was quite thick, but baby continued to do well. After the rupture of membranes, the contractions became much more intense, and I was sitting on a huge birth ball in the shower with the water aimed at my lower back.<br><br>
The urge to push was getting stronger and really starting worry me. I was now getting three or four urges during a contraction, and being told not to push was completely useless. It had been speculated that the baby was OP and I believe he was definitely in a strange position, as he was sitting on that urge! Sure enough, at the next check, my cervix had started to swell, and I was still only 4 cm. By now, it was almost 7 pm and I had had it. I just wanted the pain to stop, but was still traumatized by the idea of a c-section, which I could see being a definite possibility now. My doula suggested an epidural as a possible way to stop the pushing, and preserve my ultimate goal of a vaginal birth.<br><br>
I agreed, and DF, who hadn’t paid any attention to what an epidural was and was very glad to have the doula to support him through the process of getting one. It was very unpleasant as I was still involuntarily pushing and so dehydrated that it took five tries to get an IV line. Ouch! (and it still wasn’t a good IV line, and annoyed me into the next day!) Once the epidural was in, I was able to lie down and sleep very soon. DF was amazed at how fast I went from a screaming mess to coherent again.<br><br>
My contractions slowed down once I had the epidural, so we added pitocin to bring the back up. Luckily for me (and him) the baby tolerated everything that was thrown at him. He didn’t even have the normal heart rate drops during contractions, even on pitocin. At my next check I was 6 cm and the swelling had started to go down, much to my relief. They thought the baby was sideways, or OT at this point. I slept most of the night, waking only occasionally to roll over and have my blood pressure taken. The nurse had to take over administering the epidural, as I didn’t push the button at all… the contractions seemed to mild I would breath through them without noticing! But we really wanted my cervix to have a chance to rest, and dilate!<br><br>
By 3 am, I was dilated to 9 cm, and awake again. I could feel contractions at this point, but they weren’t uncomfortable. I asked to stop having the epidural pushed, to give me the best chance to be able push my baby out. My nurse (Melissa, the night nurse had arrived just before I got the epi and was awesome!) was very respectful of this, even to pointing it out to her lunch cover so that she wouldn’t offer it to me.<br><br>
All I wanted to do at this point was push. The pressure was incredible. At 9 ½, the nurse moved the baby’s head around the lip and gave me the go ahead to push. I started squatting on the edge of the bed, with my feet on the foot (which goes down), using a bar. They believe that it was here that the baby turn OA.<br><br>
Pushing was the best thing about labour. After 12 hours of trying to breath through the pushes, and not allow it to happen, I had a complete Fetal Ejection Reflex. It felt soooooooo good! I moved through several positions, all of the upright except the last, which was the traditional legs back. However, I liked that, as I could see what was going on in a mirror and was amazed how that helped, as I could see all the progress I was making.<br><br>
I only pushed for a little over an hour, which surprised everyone. My nurse was on her lunch as the baby started to crown, my doctor hadn’t arrived yet, and the suctioning team for the meconium, was not yet there. I made sure I was the first person to touch him, by sticking my hand down. All of a sudden people started arriving, two random doctors caught the baby, my nurse only just made it back in time and the NICU people were there. Plus a few extras. I pushed my boy out onto the bed, and he went to get suctioned. DF went with him, and he was back to me very soon after. The random doctor started to stitch me up and then introduced herself. I thought it was funny. I didn’t have many stitches, and soon had my boy back. My doctor arrived about 10 min after delievery. She checked him over. He was very upset after the suctioning, and has a very healthy voice! We left the hospital about 8 hrs later, which made me very glad!<br><br>
We named him Orion Thomas, he was 9lbs 5oz. and 20” long. He looks like his Dad, and we love him to bits!<br><br>
My labour was long, and we hadn't really planned for what to do if things didn't follow the birth plan. DF ws completely against the epi because he believed that it would make me unable to push at all. I don't regret getting it, I regret that it became a necessity. I would have had a c-section without it, just due to position.<br><br>
Of all my labour I am proudest of the pushing. I surprised everyone at how quick I pushed him out, and it felt good to know that my body, while it had trouble with dilation, could push a baby out without any trouble.
 

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Yahoo! What a triumphant story! Congratulations on your lovely, hefty bundle of a baby and your super pushing powers!<br><br>
I think your story speaks very interestingly to the benefit of epidural in some cases. It allowed you to stop pushing when your cervix still needed to open, allowed you some rest, and then you could finish the birth with a great big roar! Good for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Wow, what an incredible story. I can really see how the epidural worked to your favor here, even though I understand you wanted to avoid one. If I had to choose between an epidural or a c/s, I'd make the same choice as you! I'm so glad everything worked out well in the end. Congratulations!<br><br>
BTW, my dd was deep suctioned due to meconium staining, and it caused a lot of nursing problems (she would cry while -- or instead of -- nursing). I wrote about our experience <a href="http://shasta.blogsome.com/2006/06/06/birth-story-part-9-epilogue-for-m/" target="_blank">here</a>, and thought I would share in case you're having any of the same issues. You can find a craniosacral therapist near you through <a href="http://www.upledger.com/" target="_blank">this site</a> if you're interested.<br><br>
I also had a really long labor due to a posterior baby, although I thankfully didn't have the early urge to push.
 
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