Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birth Story

My 'due date' of February 16 came and went uneventfully.  I had a hunch Little Mister would take his time coming Earth side.  I was totally fine with this idea until I woke up on the 17th with some mild contractions that stopped an hour before my appointment with my midwife.  I went to my appointment, discovered that I had not progressed since last week's discovery of being 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  Bummer.  I left my appointment knowing that those stats don't really mean much, and things can progress quickly (and with some encouragement from my doula that he will get here when he is supposed to).  I deleted my Facebook app off my phone, because I was already getting the questions.........'we are waiting.......what's the news............'  Just so everyone is aware, I am waiting too.  It doesn't make me more patient to hear everyone else's excitement.  

The 18th was met with a non-stress test to make sure all was well with the baby.  I went to my appointment knowing everything was fine.  Little Mister was still quite active, and I had no concerns.  The nurse set up the fetal monitors on my belly, as Little Mister was doing somersaults (or karate chops?) inside me.  My stomach was jumping all around, the monitor was making a bunch of noise picking up all the activity and the nurse asked, 'does he kick at least 10 times in a two hour period?'  What?  Hello Nurse!  Look at my stomach.  Check out the monitor.  He's kicked 10 times in less than a minute.  Yes he is still moving in there.  I know she was probably just asking the standard questions, but I already felt like this was a bit of a waste of time.  Little Mister completed/passed all the requirements they look for in just a few minutes, and then I sat with the monitors for another 20 minutes just to have the minimum amount of time recorded.  I went to bed at peace that Little Mister would come when he is ready and me being impatient wasn't going to hurry along the process.  It was just going to make me miserable/unhappy the last days of my pregnancy.

February 19th, 3:00 a.m. I woke up with a contraction.  I got up, went to the bathroom, got a glass of water and went back to bed.  15 minutes later, I had another contraction.  I tried to stay in bed and sleep.  I made it until about 4:30.  I got up and moved to the sofa.  I turned on Everybody Loves Raymond and laid down on the sofa.  The contractions were not consistent at all ranging from 7 minutes apart to almost 20 minutes.  I slept as much as I could and got up around 7.  I told F about my sleepless night, and he got up and got around for work.  I made his lunch, wondering if he would even be at work long enough to eat it.  I told F to go to work and that I would let him know if things progressed, but that I still wasn't certain it was time.
Last Prego Pic--Bright and early at 7:30 a.m. with no make up and hair not done.  Looking fabulous :)

I started O on her schoolwork, and set about doing my regular chores.  My contractions still were not consistent in length.  The duration of the contraction was slowly getting longer though.  I texted with my doula, and she assured me early signs of labor can be tricky and we confirmed my contractions were not Braxton Hicks but the real thing.

By lunch time I was getting snippy with O.  She asked for lunch and I was so annoyed that I had to make her something.  I let F know that he may need to come back home to help with O because I wasn't being terribly nice.  He suggested I call my mom and have her pick up O after she got off work at 3.  I called and my mom said she would be there.

I managed to make some cheese toasties for lunch for the both of us.  Every time I had a contraction at this point I started going onto my hands and knees to help alleviate the discomfort.  O thought I looked like a pillow and would then lean on me completely oblivious to what was happening.  She just wanted to be close and snuggle.
Can you see the frustration on my face from O leaning on me?  I was so grumpy at this point.

By 1:30 I gave up on schoolwork, and turned on a movie (yes, I was still trying to do schoolwork with O).  I laid down and tried to sleep.  My contractions slowed way down to once every 20 minutes.  I rested while I could.  As soon as the movie concluded my contractions picked up quickly.  I sent F a text and said 'it's time to come home.'  The contractions were about 5 minutes apart (this was an average.  They actually ranged from 3-7 minutes and varied in intensity).  My mom wanted me to go to the hospital then, but I didn't think I was ready.  F showed up soon after my mom arrived.  My contractions slowed back down to 7-9 minutes apart, so we went outside and walked around the cul-de-sac.  They picked back up and were coming every 4 minutes.

My mom headed out with O.  F showered, collected our things and put them in the vehicle.  I set about cleaning the house trying to not think about the contractions in between them, but having to fully concentrate on them each time I had one.  F called our doula and she showed up at our house around 5:30.  We chatted through contractions, and she suggested I try the reboza scarf attached to the door.  I switched to that position and after maybe 15 minutes of doing this (it was basically me squatting next to the door with the scarf there to help me hold myself up with my arms), I said 'let's go to the hosptial.'

We headed to the vehicles, and waited through a contraction before we headed out.  As we were leaving I started shivering uncontrollably even though I was not cold.  I insisted we park and I walk up to the hospital on my own.  I was worried that the transition to the hospital would slow my contractions up so I wanted to do everything possible to keep them consistent.

I registered for what seemed like 30 minutes (the hubs told me later that it was more like 5).  It was about 6:45.  I had a contractions in the middle of registration and the lady at the desk just kept trying to get me to sit down.  I knew I did not want to sit.  She offered to get a wheelchair and again I declined.  I walked to the elevator, stepped on, and had another contraction.  So basically, my concerns about labor stalling when heading to the hospital were for nothing.  :)

I walked to the front desk at labor and delivery and had another contraction.  I remember the midwife on call saying something to the effect that I did well getting through the contraction.  I was asked how long I had contractions and told them, then they ushered me to my room.  I changed clothes and remembered thinking I was never going to be able to stay on my back for 30 minutes for the nurses to get a baseline to make sure everything was ok, and to set up my antibiotic (I tested positive for Group B Strep and was supposed to get at least one 30-minute dose of antibiotic to insure baby didn't get sick).

My pain level shot up to almost unbearable when I got on the bed and waited to get the antibiotic connected.  I remember growling to the nurse to wait on the antibiotic until I finished my contraction (hubs said I actually asked nicely and even said please--no growling).  After another contraction I thought I was yelling 'I need to get off my back' (hubs said, nope I asked politely again--no yelling.  The midwife commented 'she's so polite' and the nurses were getting a kick out of my manners).  The fetal monitors were set and started recording at 6:58 pm.

I am not sure if it was before, during or after the antibiotic was being set up, but the midwife checked to see how far along I was.  I remember thinking 'if I am not at least 5 cm, I am getting an epidural.  She checked me and as she was checking I had another contraction and my water broke.  I heard her say 8-9 centimeters.  I saw several surprised looks around me and my husband say something like 'that's awesome honey!  You just walked into the hospital at 8 cm dilated!!).  I had socks on and they were soaked, along with everything else, and thankfully a nurse took them off for me.  I remember just wanting to get out of all the goo :)  During one of the contractions I started to throw up, but with no place for it to go, I ended up swallowing it--yuck!

They got me a yoga ball/birth ball and I flipped over onto my hands and knees and leaned on that.  I remember focusing on my husband's hand and practically clawing it off but still trying to relax during those contractions.  During one contraction I remember looking at my arm and saying, 'my hand really hurts.'

Before labor started we had agreed on a code phrase for if I really wanted to get medication.  In honor of our favorite show 30 Rock it was supposed to be 'Good God Lemon'.  I remembered telling F 'This hurts a lot' and being so uncomfortable I didn't know what to do.  Each time I had a contraction at this point I also felt like throwing up.  I felt the ring of fire everyone always refers to and thought, 'oh my I can't do it'  I looked at F and said 'Lemon! Liz Lemon!'  F knowing full well we were past any chance of getting medication said 'honey I need you to tell me the phrase the right way if you are serious, and then I will see what we can do.'  Another contraction later and baby's head was out.  Just moments later the rest of his body.  The relief when he was delivered was wonderful.  I remember thinking, 'I can't even see my baby, and I am not sure I care right now.  I am just happy that the pain is gone.'  Then I felt a little guilty for thinking that.  Little Mister was born at 7:26, less than an hour after I entered the hospital.  That may have been cutting it close :)

Since I had the IVs hooked up to my arm, monitors around my belly, and umbilical cord between my legs with baby still attached it was tricky at best to get flipped around onto my back so I could see/hold Little Mister.   In the process, my IV was pulled out of my arm.

I looked at F after I was handed Little Mister, and someone snapped a picture of my 'Did that just all happen?' face.

I went into this birth wanting to do it without pain medication so that they wouldn't cause any grogginess with Little Mister when he was born, and because I wanted to labor how I chose without being 'confined to a bed' like I was with my daughter.  I knew I wanted to labor at home as long as possible.  I promise I had no idea I was that far along in my labor when I finally decided to go to the hospital.  It's not like there is a gauge I could read that said, 'You are __ cm dilated'.  I really thought labor was going to be much longer/harder than what it ended up being.

I did end up tearing in the same places I tore with O, so I had to get stitched up (which seemed to take forever--hubs agrees on this one).  It is strange how I had no sense of time while I was in labor and afterwards.  Everything seemed to slow way down.  I think waiting on getting stitched up and having to get the local anesthetic was way worse than labor pains.  I (again) thought I yelled at the person stitching me up, but really didn't (according to my husband).  I bled a lot, just like I did with O.  I lost a lot of blood with O, and was put on bed rest for 6 weeks.  I opted to have Pitocin injected to help stop the bleeding.  It had to be injected because my IV was yanked out earlier.  I had about 10-15 minutes of antibiotics before the little guy arrived.  His preliminary lab work all came back negative.

We had originally planned on F taking lots of photos during the labor, and possibly some video.  Since we had a doula we thought he would be more free to do this.  Between everything happening so quickly and me requiring everyone's attention pretty much the whole time, not many photos were captured by either of them.  Thankfully, my mom picked up the camera and snapped a few for us.