Monday, September 1, 2008

LABOR DAY (a birth story)

Well, I know I have promised the story of my first few months as a mom but decided I wanted to log my birth story first and what better day to do it? I have already forgotten some of the details so I want to have it written down (or typed in this case) before I forget everything! I'll try to not be too graphic but hey it's labor... it's going to be a little graphic.

So here goes... It was a dark and stormy night.

Just kidding. I've always wanted to say that... anyway. That day we were finishing up everything for the baby. Room set up, clothes organized, hospital bag ready etc. Since it was near Christmas we also finished up our shopping at the mall, which worked out great because I wanted this baby to come. So walking was very helpful. The day before (a friday) I had my now weekly visit with my doctor and I was 3 centimeters and still had not really thought I was having any contractions. The week before I was at two centimeters. I was only a week away from my due date so I was ready for the baby to come and hoped that he would come that very weekend. My doctor was also considering admitting me on Monday because I was already progressing. I didn't really want to do that because I knew I would be on a clock and they would expect the baby to come on their schedule. So if i could get things moving myself, that is what I wanted to do. I had to stop and rest a few times at the mall because I was having pains. I assumed they were contractions... but didn't really know :). Now I am sure they were. So everything is finally finished that night and my hubby and I sit down to watch Deja Vu an interesting flick with Denzel Washington. I was so exhausted I had to go to bed and let him finish the movie himself. It was after 1 AM and I was used to going to bed a lot earlier since I was pregnant. I guess I just wanted one last stay up late hurrah or something. So I go to the bathroom and when I stand up I feel a small gush. (Is that what I think it is?) I checked the undies and there was definitely a clear liquid. (Okay, Okay.... don't freak out, okay.... don't freak out the husband, we just need to be calm). Hey Honey? Ummm...can you come here?

Yeah what's wrong? I think my water just broke...

Okay, are you alright? Yes, are you alright? Yeah.

So we started timing contractions. We didn't want to rush right to the hospital because sometimes it takes your body a while to get in a rhythm and we wanted to keep ourselves from being on a time schedule as much as possible. They started off about 11 minutes apart then seven then back to ten. My water broke around 1:40 AM and at about 3 we called my mom and my two friends who wanted to be in the room. We wanted to wait as long as we could because it was in the middle of the night. If we could let everyone get a little more sleep, that's what we wanted. So we called and they were freaking out... your water broke at 1:40??? Why are you just calling? Why aren't you at the hospital?? So Chad had to calm them all down.

During the time that we were waiting to call. I sat on my birthing ball and timed contractions while Chad took a quick shower during which I was ordered to come and get him if things started progressing rapidly. The beginning contractions weren't bad just like painful cramps. I breathed through them which helped a lot. I just tried to focus on my breathing and zone out as much as possible.

Everything was ready to go and Chad put the last few dirty dishes in the dishwasher so we wouldn't have any dirty dishes laying around for days. My contractions were now 5 minutes apart so we headed out the door. On the way to the hospital they were coming more like 3 minutes apart so Chad decided to hurry up a little.

We got to the hospital about 3:45 AM and had to go through the emergency room entrance. We let them know I was in labor and then waited for someone to walk us up to the labor and delivery floor. The nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair but the last thing I wanted to do was sit with all the pressure I was experiencing... NO THANK YOU! So I waddled along. We got to the room and a nurse was already there. She got Chad to go down and check us in and then she asked me to change into this wonderfully fashionable hospital gown :) and let her check the pad that I put on after my water broke because I just kept leaking. You could tell that the nurse didn't fully believe I was in labor because I was walking around and still smiling :). She came back and said that it was amniotic fluid so they will fully get us checked in.

I came back out into the room from the bathroom and she told me to go ahead and get comfortable on the bed because the doctors usually like you to stay in the bed and try to relax. I quickly pulled out my hospital copy of my birth plan and let her know that I had already discussed with my doctor about being able to move freely. OH, Okay, she said with a smile. I was such a dork. I had a birth plan for every person on my "birth team" :). She went over my birth plan with me and was so sweet. She explained everything she was doing because that's one of the things I wanted from my birth plan. I didn't want people just doing things to me without explaining what they are doing or asking first so I asked to be fully informed of everything they were doing. She did just that... she was just wonderful. Nurses make all the difference especially because the doctor is only there for a few minutes to catch the baby :). She was probably about 50 or so, so I'm sure she had seen it all! And had probably seen more natural childbirths that other nurses have in recent years. So I sat on the bed so she could check the babies heartbeat and check my cervix. The checking of the cervix during childbirth was far more uncomfortable that when they check it at the checkups. So she checked me and had a very surprised look on her face. Your 8 cm. Really? She was amazed that I was up walking around. She told all the nurses about me and they were all in amazement. Up to 8 cm wasn't so bad it just felt like hard cramps and breathing through them was very helpful. After 8 cm it gets a lot harder. TRANSITION - oh you think you are dying. But the beautiful thing about transition is... you are almost there!!!! Yay! I get so mad when I watch a baby story and the women get an epidural at like 8 or 9 cm... and I'm like WHAT?!!! You are almost finished... WHY??!! WHY would you do that? So frustrating!! I just assume it is lack of education and try to calm down :). So back to the birth story.

Chad came back from checking us in and getting the birthing ball and by that time the whole gang showed up. My mom, dad and my two best friends from high school - Jamie and Melissa. Jamie was super excited because she is a nursing student and she was just eating the whole process up. She gets so enthusiastic about medical stuff. Melissa was there for moral support but didn't want to be in the room when it got bad because she had a bad experience with another friend and didn't want to see someone go through that amount of pain again. Which I was totally fine with. I wanted her to be as involved as she was comfortable with. So we all just talked in between some contractions and then they started to get closer and closer together and STRONG. I didn't scream or freak out during the whole process... my one snippy comment was during a contraction once they were getting stronger and I said - Okay can we just not talk now. I had a hard time focusing on my breathing while people were talking in the room. I used the birthing ball and leaned over it on the bed while Chad put counter pressure on my back and that felt good for a little while. Then I sat some more and had some ice chips in between. I wanted water so bad. Ice chips suck!! Your breathing constantly so your mouth is soooo dry and ice chips don't do a great job of hydrating. I remember at one point I was beginning to lose control of my breathing because the pain was unbearable... but there was my mom... breathing controlled breaths in my ear so I could regain focus. I was so blessed to have everyone that I had there. They all contributed to the process and were so encouraging. Don't get me wrong my friends Jamie and Melissa thought I was absolutely crazy for wanting to go natural and they tried to talk me out of it... but I finally had to say, look this is what I really want, I've done my research and I just need you to support me no matter how crazy it seems to you. And they did just that. I know they just loved me and wanted me to not be in pain but when they saw how serious I was they let go and trusted me. So they showed up that night with positivity and excitement. Melissa even decided to stay in the room because of how well I was handling it.

So there I was fully dilated and the contractions had calmed down... so I was sleeping in between them because I was so exhausted from laboring through the night. Little "c" was almost here. I had Chad beside me on my left coaching away, my mom floating around taking pictures and by my right side in between; then Jamie and Melissa holding each leg. Every time I was ready to push they would push up my legs giving me a force to push against. The pushing actually felt good. It made the pain of the contraction go away, so I was all about pushing when the contractions came on. The baby's head was finally through, so all I had was the shoulders so they asked me to push one more time and I told them plainly I CANT! And everyone in the room came back with yes you can! you can do it! So I did. Then there he was... the most beautiful miracle - our beautiful, healthy baby boy on my stomach. Then my life changed forever. I have never felt such a flood of emotions. I had to remind myself that he was mine as the hours went by. I just couldn't believe he was in my arms. He had been in my tummy for so long. Would I be able to take care of him? Would the motherly instincts just kick in? Would I be a good parent? The labor and birth was such a blessing. We had a natural childbirth, it was only a little less than eight hours, we had a positive experience with the hospital, and we got a beautiful healthy baby boy. It was an amazing experience. It was still labor... but it was labor and pain for a purpose... a wonderful, wonderful purpose.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

I'm such a sucker for birth stories- especially natural childbirth!! That was beautiful. :)

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