Birth Story

15 Oct

9/7/11 at 6am, I woke up when I felt like I had peed my pants.  I was in a lot of pain at the time – my neck was hurting as I had slept on it wrong the night before, and my pubic bone felt like it was trying to stage an escape out of my body.  I went to the bathroom, and then crawled back into bed and fell back asleep.

I woke up at 8am or so – Steve didn’t have to go to work that morning, as he had a follow up appointment with his surgeon.  I put a hot pad on my neck and relaxed for a while.  After Steve got up and went downstairs, I finally got up to get my morning started.  I noticed when I stood up that a gush of fluid came out.  I thought maybe I peed myself again, but then started to think maybe my water had broken.  I somewhat confirmed this when I changed my pad and the new one was soaked within 10 minutes.

I made myself some breakfast and put a call in to the midwives, who said that I should call if anything changes.  They also said that I should stay at home and try to get contractions going, and that I should come to the hospital at 4pm either way.

At 9:30am, I went to the bathroom again and when I wiped, there was a large ball of mucus on the toilet paper.  The mucus plug!  I got really excited at this point, and continued to have amniotic fluid gushes every so often.  I put in a call to my Mom (Oma!) who was flying out that day (good timing!) so she could find someone else to give her a ride from the airport.  I also sent a message to Laura.

I took my final pregnancy bump photo:

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Steve took off for his surgeon appointment at 10am, and I took a walk around the block.  Still not feeling contractions very much at this point.  Laura finally called and decided to come over and keep me company while I tried things to get contractions started.

Over the next 5 hours, I tried everything we could think of.  We walked, I took stairs two at a time, I bounced on an exercise ball, I ate spicy foods.  I was having small contractions and more gushes of amniotic fluid, but nothing very serious.  The contractions were light and really not affecting me at all.  I talked and walked through all of them with no problems.

4pm rolled around and nothing was happening, so we packed up the cars and headed to the hospital.  I checked in at the front desk of labor and delivery, and just kind of laughed when I said “I’m in labor…. I guess.”  The receptionist didn’t seem to be too convinced.  They put us in a triage room and confirmed that my water had broken, and then immediately moved us to a labor and delivery room.

When we got our room, we settled in and thought we’d be there for the long haul.  The midwife (Jessica) came to talk to me about my labor and I knew what was coming – the talk about pitocin or cytotec.  She did a quick ultrasound and found that Charlotte was sunnyside up.  Because my labor was not progressing, I decided to go ahead and give the pitocin a try.  Unfortunately, this meant that I would have to be monitored and wouldn’t be able to use the tub, since another mother was already using the water-proof monitor.  The nurse got my IV started and the pitocin going at about 6:30pm.

My contractions got longer and stronger, but it still wasn’t anything I was too concerned about.  I just closed my eyes and took deep breaths to get through those early contractions.  Laura and Steve played Uno and I was even able to order some dinner.  I ate about a quarter of my dinner and Steve left the hospital with his Mom to get food for himself.

While Steve was gone, things started to really get going.  My contractions were long, strong, and really starting to get to me.  I threw up the little food that I did manage to eat.  When Steve got back, I was definitely at a completely different stage of labor.  They finally checked my progress, and I was at 4cm at 9pm.  I got off the bed and bounced on the exercise ball, and eventually started begging Steve to put some major counter-pressure on my back.  Steve is a very strong man, and even with him pushing as hard as he could, I was begging for him to push harder.  This is when I started asking about an epidural.  I still couldn’t get into the birthing tub, because the pitocin was turned on and they didn’t have the waterproof monitor available yet.  I decided right then and there that they either had to turn off the pitocin so I could get into the birthing tub, or they had to give me an epidural.

The nurse had me get onto the bed so she could check me and see if I could get an epidural (this was around 9:30pm).  It was right then that I started to feel a strong urge to push.  She didn’t even need to really check me, because she looked down there and Charlotte was at a +2 and ready to come out!  My Mom walked in the door right then, and the midwife barely made it to the room before I started pushing.  I pushed once on my back (only because that’s what position I happened to be in when the contraction started) and that wasn’t effective at all.  For the next push, they put me on my left side and had people hold my right leg.  Two pushes later, and Charlotte came out screaming!

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They placed my baby girl on my chest and I could hardly believe what had just happened.  I started rubbing her with the blankets.  After her cord stopped pulsing, Steve was able to cut the cord.  I held her while they delivered the placenta.  Then it was time to breastfeed, but when we took the blankets away, we saw what a mess she had made!  She had pooped her meconium all over me, and it was all over my stomach and her.  The nurses quickly cleaned her and me up so that we could start breastfeeding.  Charlotte took to nursing like a champ.  Eventually they took her to get her measurements and clean her up while stitching me up (I had a small tear).

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Unfortunately, we had to stay in the hospital for two nights because Charlotte was born at nighttime and they don’t allow late discharges.  Steve and I spent the next two days marveling at our perfect little baby, wondering how in the world we had made a human so beautiful.

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As far as my birth, I don’t think I would change a thing about what happened.  Despite the fact that I had to be augmented with pitocin, I know that I made the right choice.  The really hard part of my labor and contractions only lasted 30 minutes, and I only pushed 3 times to deliver my baby.

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