I spent over an hour going back through the birth story I wrote up the day after she was born, only to have IE freeze up on me as I was spell checking.
I started having some prodromal labor at 36w6d (August 28) but was so excited by the contractions that I failed to listen to my body and go with the flow. Contractions started up at night at 7-10 minutes apart and within a few hours they were 3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute long. I had residual throbbing in my lower back between contractions and intense cramping during that made them feel a lot more painful than they really were. As the sun was coming up I woke up DH and told him I thought it may be time and we should go to the hospital. I knew the back labor was a good indicator that she was posterior, but hadn't really researched much more than that on that position. My contractions started to wane after we got into a triage room in L&D, but I was checked at 3cm and 50% effaced, which was change from my last appointment 3 days prior (I was 1cm and soft then). We were admitted, and my doubts about it really being IT were overshadowed by my excitement. I was immediately told to start doing laps around the hall since my contractions were almost non-existent at that point. I called my parents since my mom was supposed to be in the room with DH and I and they headed out for the 2 hour drive. Inevitably we were sent home and I took a nap while DH headed to work. I started contracting again a few hours later so I tried to take a bath but the water didn't cover my belly and I wasn't able to relax. My parents and I decided to head to the mall to walk since my contractions zoomed right back to 3 minutes apart, 1 minute long and that dreadful back pain constantly. We strolled and window shopped for about 3 hours and toward the end I was having to lean over and brace myself while vocalizing through the contractions. I thought eating and sitting down might help so we stopped to eat at Ruby Tuesday's. I contracted like clockwork, and they were getting to be about 90 seconds long. I was in so much pain and found myself bracing at the start of every contraction as opposed to breathing and welcoming it like I was before. I couldn't eat a bite but tried to drink as much water as I could. I started to panic and thought surely I was hitting transition by the way I was feeling so we left and drove straight back to the hospital. It was around 7pm or so when we got there. They didn't slow down this time, but I got checked and was still at 3cm, but about 75% effaced. I felt so defeated, disappointed and frustrated that my body was doing so much work for "nothing". DH was already on his way to meet us there and had another manager come cover him at the restaurant so he ended up turning right around to go back. He didn't want to cut into his paternity leave so he worked right up to the night before she was born. We got sent home after being monitored for an hour with no change still. I drank a glass of wine and slept fitfully that night. My contractions spaced out and lessened in intensity slightly, but I still woke up and had to rock my hips with each one.
We decided that on August 30th (37w1d) I would try to rest and keep my feet up as much as possible since walking for hours did nothing to change my cervix. I had another glass of wine, drank TONS of water and alternated between the couch and my yoga ball while watching tv or playing online. The contractions picked up yet again by midday and I resorted to sitting backward on a chair with my arms draped over the back and my pelvis tilted as far forward as possible. I rocked on my hands and knees in the shower for a while too, but I was hyper sensitive to the tile and the grout so I got out. By that evening I was in tears and shaking my head vocalizing and blubbering with every contraction. I really didn't have a break from the pain in my lower back and couldn't get her to turn for the life of me. I just wanted a break. I was done laboring. It felt like my back muscles were being twisted around a fork the way you twirl spaghetti. I was miserable- this wasn't how I imagined my candle-lit NCB to go!
We went back to the hospital because I needed SOMEthing to help me relax as I could no longer do so consciously. There was, of course, no change what so ever. The triage nurse looked at me pitifully after staring at the monitor for 3 contractions and said "Honey, the definition of labor is contractions that get longer, stronger and closer together and cause change to the cervix. you are not in labor. What you're experiencing are Braxton Hicks." I flew out of that bed as well as an exhausted 9 month pregnant woman can and started crying again. I told her "I AM NOT
having just Braxton Hicks. I AM
in labor. I told you I'm experiencing back labor and my daughter is persistently posterior. I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE
!" She stepped out the room to phone the on call midwife. The practice I was using for prenatal care had switched out midwives on me twice due to one quitting (the first one and the only one I liked), and once due to her replacement 15 weeks later. The midwife I was assigned to I met once at my 36 week appointment so I hardly knew her from Eve anyway. It figures that the midwife on call was one from a sister office and was more "medwife" than midwife.
I was admitted and given a Stadol drip to help me sleep for a while. I requested the waterbirthing suite, but it was being cleaned after a recent birth. I wish I would've held out for them to finish as I'm sure DD's birth would've had a different outcome if I would have.
I was able to sleep and only wake up partway to get through the peak of contractions before passing back out again. It wore off after a few hours and the nurse on that night became my angel. She brought me a rice sock and reheated it every 10-15 minutes when I felt it wasn't hot enough to ease my back labor. DH was asleep on the pull out couch with his back facing me. I was so angry at him for not being the picture perfect labor support partner I had wanted. I found a TimeLife infomercial for 50's music and be bopped around the room and rocked as hard as I could in the rocking chair. I found comfort on my hands and knees in the shower and labored there for almost 2 hours. I was having to vocalize loudly and found myself singing crescendoing oooohhhh's during contractions, but DH never once got out of his makeshift bed. At shift change at sunrise the new nurse came in to check me. I squeezed my eyes shut and braced myself for her telling me there wasn't any change, but I was a stretchy 6 and 100% effaced! I felt a huge weight off my shoulders but was still exhausted, hungry, and sore all over. The new nurse stood by my side for a while and would suggest an epidural at the end of almost every contraction. I tried to stay strong but I felt my defenses weakening. DH stood behind me and putzed around nervously asking me what I wanted him to do. He told me after the fact that he stopped believing me and sided with the triage nurses after our second visit to L&D. I finally broke down and agreed to the epi and cried. I had to get loaded up with fluids for it which made me have to pee every 30 minutes. As my bladder was emptying each time another contraction would hit full force and I was daydreaming about sweet numbing relief. The anesthesiologist finally made it to me a couple hours later. In retrospect I wish I would've asked to be checked again because I'm sure I could've made it if I was at least an 8.
The pain in my back was completely gone, but I could still feel the tightening in my abdomen moderately. As I was drifting off the nurse came in and told me she ordered pitocin for me. I was outraged! I told her I wanted my body to do it on it's own like it had been but she informed (lied?) me that once the order was placed you can't undo it. So pit was hooked up, but thankfully DD handled it beautifully. I slept like a rock for a bit and woke up to my mom and DH sitting and talking quietly on the other side of the room. I felt a bit pushy, then suddenly a spreading wetness between my legs. Sure enough my water had broken and I had just a lip of cervix left! The nurse paged the midwife to come to the hospital and started getting things ready for the birth. The midwife got there and got herself ready while chatting with me. I pushed twice and my water EXPLODED all over the place! I guess what happened before was just a tear and a leak! Pushing felt so good until we were able to begin seeing DD's head coming down and the midwife tried to stretch me out by sticking her hands on the inside over my perineum and scooping up while pressing down and out! DD's head was born with her brow presenting and the midwife looked at me shocked and exclaimed "Oh! She IS
face up!" DH said she had her eyes open just blinking and looking around. Within seconds her body was out, she let out a wail and I pulled her wet slippery body onto my bare abdomen. her cord was a bit short to be all the way up on my chest like I wanted but I was in awe. She cried out lustily a few times until I started singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to her like I had been every day throughout my pregnancy. She stared up at me and just stretched her arms out a bit but didn't make another peep until the pediatric nurse weighed her. I asked the midwife to wait to cut her cord and everything was a blur to me as soon as DD was out, but in pictures you can see that it was still robust when they clamped it.
She licked at my nipple a bit but wasn't really interested in nursing for about 1 1/2 hours. She got a 9/9 on her APGARS (her hands and feet stayed a bit purple-ish for a while) and was 6 pounds 11 ounces, 20 1/4" and had a 13 3/4" head and chest. Her placenta was born about 20 minutes later. The midwife went on and on about how awesome I was to push out a posterior brown presentation baby in only 30 minutes with only a 2nd degree tear. After her warm fuzzies she told me that all our babies will be posterior since pelvic shape and size is what causes babies to be sunny side up
We were discharged less then 24 hours later, so PP everything went smoothly it was just labor and delivery that was horrible! Nothing went as I imagined or planned for and her birth taught me to never birth in a hospital again and to never doubt the importance of a doula (I thought I could teach DH everything I would need from him during labor- HAHA)!
and this is her now: