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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.

Yikes!

7 Oct

So, life with baby is 100% awesome!

Charlotte Elizabeth arrived on 9/7/11 at 9:42pm, 6 pounds 7 ounces, 19 inches long.  She was placed on my chest and immediately pooped on me.  🙂

I got the birth that I wanted (for the most part), and I will absolutely post my birth story soon.  She is one month old today, it’s hard to believe that time is going so quickly!

Baby Day!

7 Sep

My water broke at about 6am on 9/7/11…. which means today is BABY DAY!

I’m nervous, anxious, excited, happy, ecstatic, scared, and SO READY.

We finally get to meet our baby girl today……  🙂

A Change of Plans

5 Aug

My anxiety levels have been rising over the past week, largely due to the fact that I will be giving birth to a HUMAN BABY in the next month or so.  Like, pushing a 7-9 pound watermelon out of my who-ha.  If that doesn’t scare a woman, I just don’t know what will.

My main anxiety has been over the what ifs.  What if I can’t handle going naturally?  What if I don’t go into labor naturally and have to be induced?  Etc, etc, etc.

So, I’ve changed my birth plan.  As a friend of mine pointed out, there is no medal at the end for giving birth to your child without pain medications.  I won’t walk around town pushing baby girl in a stroller with a post-it on my forehead exclaiming that I gave birth to my kid in a water birth.  People really don’t care.

So, here is the new birth plan:

Do what I can naturally.  If that means getting through the entire process without an epidural, then great!  If that means getting to 7cm and deciding I need something to take the edge off, then fantastic!  If it means getting an epidural the moment I walk into the hospital, awesome!

The funny thing is, this new attitude has really decreased my anxiety levels in the past day or so.  It’s kind of like I’ve given myself permission to do whatever is best for me, and that in turn has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

Whoa There

27 Jul

Steve and I were watching Jeopardy last night (nerd alert!) and he said something that made me skip a breath…. we could be parents in as little as two weeks.  Two weeks.  Technically, this baby girl could come RIGHT NOW.  Like, my water could break here at work and contractions could start, and …. yeah.  Steve’s cousin recently went into labor one month early and had her baby an entire month before his actual due date.  Well, guess what – August 2nd isn’t that far away.  YIKES.

I had a bit of a breakdown last night.  I’m scared of labor and delivery.  It’s a perfectly rational fear.  I know the anatomy and physiology part of everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that in 4-6 weeks, I will be pushing a 6+ pound baby out of a 10cm opening of my body.  Millions of women have done this before – but I have not.  100% unknown, uncharted territory.

I’m scared.

I’m terrified.

I don’t know how to deal with this fear.

Birth Plan

19 Jul

At my last midwife appointment, I was given a 3rd trimester packet and included was a birth plan to fill out.  Steve and I went over the preliminaries this week, and I figured it would be a good idea to put down my plans in writing.

During Labor:

  • My support person is Steve (my husband).  He should be with me the whole time and informed of everything related to the care of myself and our baby.
  • Other people allowed in the room are my mother (if she is able to be in town at the time of birth), and my friend Laura.
  • No IV – if an IV is necessary, I would prefer it to be hep-locked.
  • I would like to be free to walk, sit, squat, and do anything that will help get through contractions.
  • I would like the option of using the tub during labor.
  • Limited cervical checks, and I DO NOT want to know what my progress is.  If Steve or my other support people would like to know, please take them into the hall to tell them.
  • Please do not offer me pain medications.  I know what my options are, and will ask for them if I choose.
  • I would like the lights to be dimmed and calming music to be played.  I also request that people speak softly and use gentle language.

During Birth:

  • I do not want a mirror.
  • I would like to push in alternative positions.  I am open to suggestions on any pushing positions.
  • My baby should be placed directly onto my chest when born.
  • Delayed vital signs and medications.
  • Delayed cord clamping/cutting.
  • Steve would like to cut the cord.
  • If I have to have a cesarean section, Steve should be with me at all times.

Post Birth:

  • I will be exclusively breastfeeding.  My baby should receive NO formula or pacifiers without my consent.
  • Baby will stay in the room with Steve and I at all times.  If baby needs to go somewhere, Steve will go with her.
  • Steve would like to help with baby’s first bath.
  • I would like to go home as soon as medically possible for both my baby and I.
  • I would like a visit from the lactation counselor.
  • If my baby needs nutritional supplementation, it must be from the milk bank.

Baby Pool

5 Jul

We’ve started asking people when they think Baby A’s birthday will be.  Here are some of the early guesses.

Me – September 1st

Steve – September 9th

Oma – September 12th

Grandpa Jim – September 6th

Grandma Liz – August 28th (our first anniversary…. please don’t come that day, sweetheart!)

Aunt Chris – September 3rd

Laura – September 16th (this is just mean…. two weeks late!)

Statistically, first babies come a little bit late.  As for me, I’m fine with her making her appearance anytime after 37 weeks (official full term).  That would be anytime after August 12th.