Birth Story

I would like to share little I’s birth story.  I can’t really help to give some details, so if you are squeamish you might want to skip.

I woke up on Friday, July 13th feeling kind of crampy sometime around 4:30 and I was up by before 5 a.m. with some mild contractions. After weeks of Braxton Hicks/pre-labor contractions mostly in my back these finally felt real. I could feel these all the way through my abdomen and back.  I brought my big exercise ball downstairs and leaned over it rocking back and forth for awhile. It was soothing and I had enjoyed that last time as well. There is something peaceful about laboring in the early morning hours before anyone else is up. This happened last time too. Actually, I was really amused because although my first labor had actually started up in the evening, it had also been a Friday the 13th.

When my husband woke up an hour later I told him he had better put in a load of E’s diapers right away! I wasn’t sure how long labor would be or if it might start and stall, but I knew if we were going to have success with it I was going to need my mom to come get him. Having a 2-yo tell you “stop mommy” when you moan through a contraction isn’t very helpful! He also thought I was playing a game by rocking on the ball.

Thankfully it just happened to work out that my husband had nothing on his work schedule for the day. I called my mom around 7 and suggested that she get to our house around 9 (had to give the diapers time to finish so she would have enough!) By the time she got there I was having some definite regular contractions, but they were only about 30-40 seconds long and coming every 4-5 minutes.

When my parents left with E it was almost 10 a.m. and I decided to head up to the bedroom and labor up there. For awhile I started having more intense contractions, some lasting 2 minutes, but they spaced themselves out more. I tried getting in the bath just to see how that would be, but I couldn’t really get comfortable in there. I went back to the bedroom and laid down but the contractions were really slowing down. I thought maybe I was putting to much pressure on myself to be in labor so I suggested to my husband that we go back downstairs and maybe just watch something funny for awhile. We put in a season of Scrubs and started watching. I think we got through about an episode and a half. The contractions picked up, I think laughing helped! Since we were alone too I felt more comfortable trying things like dancing and kissing through contractions. I think that helped a lot. Pretty soon I decided to head back upstairs where the ball was and I had some floor covering in case my water broke. It was almost noon and then things got really intense. The contractions were lasting a minute and coming every 2 minutes. I told my husband to call the OB’s office and just let him know that I wasn’t ready to come in but that I was definitely in active labor.
A few minutes later they called back and said that my OB was going to be leaving town over the weekend so maybe I should go ahead and come in just to make sure things got going. I rejected that idea because I didn’t think I would need any intervention at that point and I wanted to stay home as long as possible. I changed my mind within about 10 minutes. I started feeling like I was going to throw up and got really hot and sweaty. I did throw up. This had been my predetermined “go to the hospital now” signal because when I got to that point last time I was about 8 cm dilated. I didn’t think I could possibly be that far that soon, I had only figured I was in actual Active Labor for about an hour.
But we went and mercifully I only had a few contractions in the car on the way over. I remember looking at the clock as we pulled out of the driveway and it as 1:17 p.m. We got to the hospital and the wheeled me up to the maternity ward. I started having intense contractions again. Then they wanted me to lay down in bed so they could hook me up to an IV for fluids and the fetal monitor. It was near impossible for me to stay down in bed at that point and I got worried because not only was I worried I was there too early, I was also worried that I wasn’t going to be able to move around and just have a hep lock like we had discussed. I asked about this and was told that was the policy, but they called my OB and I was given the OK to do the heplock and get off the IV and move around so long as I didn’t want any pain medicine. I still had to do the monitors every so often but I had some freedom of movement back! They checked me and I was 3-4 cm dilated. I was like “I knew I came too early!”
Laboring there was tough. I couldn’t find a good rhythm, the contractions were so intense and completely racking my body, and I could tell my husband didn’t know what to do either. I hung off him for some, walked around for some, tried getting on my hands and knees on the bed for some. Then I went to the bathroom and I heard a pop and figured my water must have broke. We called the nurse and when she checked me again and I was at 5. The baby had descended a little bit.

Then I had some incredible contractions. When I hung off Mark during a couple I couldn’t help but fall into a squat and I felt like I had to push. I could tell I was moving the baby’s head lower. I called the nurses in again because I felt like I had to push but it couldn’t be right! I had just been checked not 10 minutes earlier!

They rushed in to check me and I only had a little bit of cervix left, I was nearly complete. Unfortunately it was also swelling from the pushing urge I couldn’t stop and the one nurse said that there was more blood than she liked to see. They kept telling me not to bear down and not to push, but you try not pushing when you have the urge! I couldn’t help it, I pushed and felt him crown. The whole time they were telling me not to bear down and not push, I assumed because there wasn’t a doctor there.  I thought that maybe they couldn’t catch the baby without the doctor there and as I did not have a problem catching my own baby. I reached down to grab him and I got to touch his head as he came out, but was told to get my hands away. So I just finished pushing him out. It seemed like he might get stuck for awhile but I got him out pretty fast. It was 2:40 p.m. Unfortunately since my OB wasn’t there I didn’t get him up on my belly like I should have. Also they clamped the cord right away and I wanted to have it wait to stop pulsing first, but there was not time to express my wishes before hand and try asking that stuff once the nurses were on autopilot! So it was 10 minutes before I finally got to hold him, but Mark went over and when he opened his eyes it was his daddy that he saw. I think I’ll always be a little bummed that I didn’t get him right away like I was able to hold E, but when I did get him he was alert and looking at me and he only needed minimal persuasion from me to latch on and nurse! We nursed for a lot of the time that I was in recovery.
My OB did show up a few minutes after delivery and everything was taken care of. I didn’t really tear, I just had a small 1st degree laceration and got one little stitch.
Little “I” weighed 8 lbs, 10.9 oz. and was 20” long.

Even though some things didn’t go exactly as I would have liked them to (but really, when does birth ever go “exactly” as desired.  E’s birth was wonderful but there was stuff that didn’t go as I would have liked with it too) I felt really wonderful after it was over.  I just felt so amazed at how fast it went and I felt that euphoria afterwards that I’ve read about.  I remember feeling that way after E’s birth too, but this time I think it lasted longer.  Having success with nursing right away made a big difference (I attribute the difference to their different gestational ages at birth- E was 38w 3d and I was 39w 6d) and I think just having done this once before has made me more relaxed and confident this time.  Plus, I was really ready for I to be born.  E came early enough that even though I was ready for him to come, I wasn’t as prepared because I thought I probably had another week at least.

Now that I’ve had a home birth and a hospital birth, I can’t say that one is definitely better than another, but there were elements of each I liked better.  I have another post coming to discuss that in more depth.

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