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Nathaniel's Birth Story (X-posted in Birth and Beyond)

611 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AidansMommy1012
Well, I finally decided to sit down and write this.

On Monday, July 17th I was three days overdue and sick of being pregnant in July, so I was very excited when I started having mild contractions that morning. They were very managable and about ten minutes apart, so when Sam's mother came over, we decided to make a trip to the mall to walk around and try to get them to pick up. Instead, they got weaker and more erratic, and eventually went away. I went home disappointed and resigned to being pregnant forever.

Sometime during the early morning hours of July 18th, I started having contractions again. They would wake me up a little bit, I'd change positions, and I'd go back to sleep. Finally around 3:30 in the morning, they were strong enough that I woke up completely and decided to get up, walk around, and time them. I got on the computer and talked to a friend online for about an hour. During this time, the contractions were between six and seven minutes apart. Around 4:30, they were strong enough that I wanted to get into the bathtub to try to relieve some of the pain. I woke Sam up, and he made us both peanut butter toast that we ate as I soaked in the tub and he coached me through the contractions. The tub proved not to be big enough to be very comfortable for me, so after about an hour, I got out and got dressed. Sam and I labored on the bed together for another hour or so, and then we got up and called his parents to come and get Aidan. They arrived and we plucked a very sleepy toddler from his crib. Sam went out to both put Aidan's carseat in their car and put the new baby's carseat in ours. Until then he had been coaching me and rubbing my back, which was hurting, through every contraction. I had a good three contractions while he was gone and had to hold on to furniture and sway to get myself through it. After they left, Sam suggested that I lie down and try to get some rest while I could. I thought he was crazy, but went ahead and did it and managed to sleep for a couple of hours.

When I woke up, the contractions were weaker and farther apart again, so I vacuumed the house as Sam watched on, amused. This started bringing them on stronger again. We sat down and watched Robin Williams doing stand up on one of our dvds. The laughter seemed to make the contractions intensify as well. Finally, at one in the afternoon, I decided to go to the hospital. It wasn't that the pain had become unmanageable, but I was curious and figured that if I was still not very far along, I'd just go home again. We grabbed our bags, our birth plan, and some sandwiches, and headed out.

Once there, an older, veteran nurse checked me. She told us that my cervix was only three centimeters open, but it was so thin and stretchy that, if she were us, she'd walk around the hospital and not go home because she suspected that I was going to go soon, and fast. We agreed, and decided that I would walk down with Sam to get our bags from the car. However, I never even made it off the floor before the contractions started coming on even stronger and four minutes apart. I went back to our room while Sam hurried to the car. My labor nurse came in with a few papers to sign. Sam came back soon and we got down to business. The nurses were all really great and never questioned any of my birth choices. I was never hooked up to an IV or a fetal monitor. The nurses didn't know how to monitor someone intermittently, so they called a doula who taught childbirth classes there and had her come in, both to show them how to monitor me, and to give us a hand in managing the pain because they suspected, correctly, that I was experiencing back labor. She came and showed Sam how to move the bones in my pelvis to try to make room for the baby to turn. But, room or no room, the baby didn't. As we got further along, I got louder, laboring mostly on my hands and knees. Finally, I started shivering and threw up, and suspected I was nearing transition. I changed into the hospital gown and got checked again, and I was indeed in transition. Sam and I went into our private bathroom and I spent all of transition, except for getting up once to be monitored, on the toilet. Sam let me rest my head against him and he talked to me quietly, keeping me calm.

Suddenly, I felt a strong, jarring urge to push. Sam ran and got my nurse, and they checked me again and told me I was completely dilated. My doctor was paged immediately, but it was still a good fifteen minutes before she turned up in my room. I wasn't allowed to push until she got there, and that was one of the hardest things about labor. The pushing contractions were so long, and it felt like someone was taking a jackhammer to my bones. It was so incredibly hard not to push when I really wanted to. I got nice long breaks, almost as long as the contractions themselves, though, which were wonderful. Sam told me later that he had never heard me curse like that before as I was waiting for my doctor. I was furious. Finally, she arrived. By then, I was getting worn out and was starting to fight against the contractions. At this point I began thinking that I had been crazy to try to do this naturally, that I should have asked for drugs and now I was stuck without them. They quickly got her into scrubs and dimmed the light in the room. I pushed on my hands and knees at first, to relieve some of the back labor. I was so tired that it took awhile, and Sam started worrying that I was going to need a c-section because he said (later) that I seemed so exhausted. After about an hour of this, I flipped over and pushed sitting upright. The head finally started appearing, water bag still intact. The water broke and exploded all over my doctor. At first it felt like a relief to have it break, but then the pain got much sharper. I knew, though, that I was so close, and forced myself to buckle down and keep going. Finally, I felt the head crown, and a moment later, push through. Nathaniel Isaac Taken was born, face up with his right hand by his head, at 7:00 pm. He weighed 9 lbs, 5 oz and was 23 3/4 inches long, bigger than his brother by a full pound. He was in excellent condition, and the doctor gave him to me immediately as Sam cut the cord and I delivered the afterbirth. The doctor reported that I didn't tear at all. After he was briefly cleaned up, he nursed like a pro.

I remember the hard work more than I remember the pain. Afterwards, I was tired, but I was also in awe of myself. I kept repeating over and over to Sam that I had never worked so hard in my life. I was so proud and still am. I couldn't be happier with the choise I made to have a natural birth. It meant so much to me.
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What a wonderful story. I am in complete agreement about natural birth. It's so powerful. Congratulations again Anna.
Congrats - great story! He is so long!

I was a little astounded by this:

The nurses didn't know how to monitor someone intermittently, so they called a doula who taught childbirth classes there and had her come in, both to show them how to monitor me, and to give us a hand in managing the pain because they suspected, correctly, that I was experiencing back labor.
Seems strange that the nurses couldn't do either - isn't that their job???
I thought it was strange, too. Apparently, almost everyone who delivers at that hospital requests an epidural, so maybe they're just out of practice? I was happy that they at least called someone who knew what she was doing rather than argue with me or just be baffled by the whole thing.
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