Patty is participating in a contest where you share your birth stories, through this blog. Well, I love my birth stories, and I love contests, so why not?!? Here are the birth stories for both Lane and Jake’s births. Enjoy! (Just note, they aren’t terribly graphic, but they are a little graphic… so don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Lane’s Birth Story
OK, so Tuesday, July 20, I had a doctor’s appointment at 11:15 a.m. Before I left for the appointment I was feeling a little crampy, and during the drive to the doctor’s – about 45 minutes – I had two or three very mild contractions. Had one more contraction while I was sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor to come in. So he comes in and does the exam, and strips my membranes for me, and declares that I’m 2-3 cm dilated. Also, because I’m past my due date (Lane was due on July 18), he offers one of two options – either I should go to the hospital the next morning to have a non stress test done to make sure the baby’s doing OK, or I can go to the hospital the next morning and he’ll break my water, which he’s confident will bring on labor because I’m so well progressed at that point. He says I don’t have to make a decision just then, but either way I’m going to the hospital in the morning, so just let him know then what we want to do.
I called Frank after the appointment, and we briefly discuss those two options, but I tell him I’ve been a little crampy and maybe it will be a moot point.
After that, I decided to go to Target. Given that I am feeling the crampiness, and I could have my water broken the next day, I figured I would go and get a few things, like some snacks and whatnot. So while I’m in Target, I notice that I definitely AM having pretty consistent contractions, only I don’t have a watch on so I can’t time them. So I cruise around Target for maybe an hour… really I could spend all day there! … pay for my stuff, load up the car, and head home, which is about a 50 minute drive from this Target.
I started timing the contractions in the car on the way home, and they’re about seven minutes apart! This is at about 1:30 now, so I’m thinking, well, it’s unlikely, but what if they start coming closer and closer really quickly?? Seven minutes apart seemed pretty close together to me, considering I’d only really noticed “contractions” starting about three hours earlier. So I called Frank from the car and asked him to head home from work, that I didn’t think we’d be urgently rushing to the hospital the second he got home, but that I would just feel more comfortable knowing he was on his way.
I was home by 2:00, he’s home by 2:30, and we started doing some timing… and they slowly got closer together. By 8:30 p.m., they were about 3.5 minutes apart and getting a little stronger, so we headed for the hospital, about 40 minutes away.
Well, we get to the hospital, they start monitoring me and do a check of my cervix… and after all those contractions, I was still not quite 3 cm dilated, and in an hour the contractions didn’t get any close together. So the midwife that was on call for my doctor offers that I could either be admitted then, or head home to labor more… that it could be hours before I was in active labor. Well, Frank and I talked about it for about ten seconds. We lived 40 minutes away we just didn’t feel comfortable heading home, so they admitted us at about 10:00 ish p.m. Well, good thing. Right about 11:00 p.m., I went to the bathroom, and while I was in there, the contractions got MUCH stronger, and I started throwing up. And that basically describes the next five hours… contractions getting stronger and stronger, and me throwing up about every 45 minutes. FUN! About midnight they started me on an IV because I kept throwing up and couldn’t stomach water or even ice chips.
So finally, about 4:00 a.m., they check my cervix and I’m fully dilated, but my cervix still hasn’t fully effaced, so I can’t push. The midwife explains that if I were to push, the baby would just bump up against my cervix and not go anywhere, but that the bumping would make my cervix swell up and could put me in jeopardy for a c-section. At this point, my body is so tired because I was having such hard contractions that my body just would involuntary push. I was having contractions every 2 minutes, and they lasted more than a minute, and with each one, my legs would start shaking uncontrollably and my abdominal muscles would literally almost fold me in half trying to get me to push. It was TORTURE. Soon into all this, the midwife broke my water hoping the extra pressure from the head would get my cervix to efface… well, it did, but not enough, and it just made the contractions even stronger. There was also a little off-color-ness to my fluid, meconium, so the midwife tells us that the neonatal team will be called in when I start to push, so they can suction the baby really well, and she won’t be able to be put on my chest right away.
I continued to have these strong contractions that every ounce of my being wants me to push through, and I can’t let myself do what my body is trying to hard to make me do. My L&D nurse even commented that my contractions were like Pitocin contractions – that she wanted to turn down the Pit but since there wasn’t any Pit, she couldn’t. Gee, great!! My own body is making me have unusually hard contractions. Yay! The contractions continued, and they were HORRIBLE. So finally about 5:00 a.m., the midwife suggests that I empty my bladder, that maybe that will help because I’ve been pumped with a lot of IV fluids and I hadn’t peed in hours. My response was, there is no way I am going to get out of bed and have one of these contractions hit, I couldn’t imagine having to handle one standing or sitting on a toilet. So she suggests a quick in-and-out catheter, and I’m ALL FOR IT. It might help??? BRING IT ON!! So they do that, and get about 8 oz. of urine out of my bladder. Apparently that’s a lot.
They finish that up at 5:10 a.m. and check my cervix… and voila, fully effaced! It was like magic!! FINALLY I GET TO PUSH! I MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN SO HAPPY TO DO ANYTHING! So the first contraction I push, and according to the nurse, I used 75% of my face and about 25% of my abdomen to push. Next contraction, I started pushing and focusing much more on my perineum (a.k.a. taint for all you pervs out there), and got rave reviews for that. Next contraction, they saw hair… and the next contraction, I got out the head with one push, and the body with the next. It’s a girl! We already pretty much knew that, but it was fun to get the confirmation. And the second I laid eyes on her, I fell in love, and instantly I felt guilty for every time my mother wanted to hug me and I whined, because I immediately empathized with her. Frank reported cut the cord, but I was so in love and happy and relieved and tired I don’t remember a second of it.
Because of the meconium, they whisked her off to the warming table, which was right in the room, did her APGARs and suctioned the dickens out of her. She measured up at 8 lb. 4 oz. and 21 inches long.
I delivered the placenta and that came out no problem – and felt so frigging weird – like passing a big, warm, slimy water balloon!!!
I got through the whole thing with no pain medication and no episiotomy, which were my two main goals. However, I did get a little tear which needed to be stitched up, so the midwife attended to that and after getting it sewed up, I was still bleeding way more than they were happy with, so the midwife found one little tear just inside my vagina which she fixed with one stitch, but then there was still too much bleeding, but she couldn’t find any other tears in my vagina or cervix, so they got a consult from a doctor who came in and fished around my vagina looking for a tear… after a few minutes he finally finds it… so while he was getting ready to stitch me up they finally let me have Lane and try to breastfeed, at this point it’s about an hour after the birth. She latched on almost immediately and hung out on my breast for about a half hour. The doctor puts a stitch into this other tear – OUCH – and I’m finally all set. They did put me on some Pitocin after the placenta came because of the bleeding, but a very low dose, I don’t even know if it gave me any contractions.
So all in all I ended up with a few stitches, scattered around, a nice hemorrhoid, and a pretty big, very beautiful baby, and a birth experience pretty darn close to everything I could have hoped for!
One other thing that happened, which I thought was great. After all the stitching up was complete, the midwife asks me if I do Kegels, to which I reply, yes, I have been doing them since college. She says, well, you can tell, your pelvic floor is in phenomenal shape!! It was by far the weirdest compliment I have ever received in my life… but it definitely goes to show that those Kegels pay off!
Jake’s Birth Story
I had contractions all day Thursday (2/22/07) but was able to continue with normal activity. Realizing I might be in early labor I tried to rest up a lot.
Picked Lane up from day care (she was still going her normal schedule even though I started maternity leave that week), we went and did a little grocery shopping, and I definitely noticed that the contractions were fairly regular.
Long story short here, they were regular and getting closer and stronger. Frank got home from work, and we talked about whether we should call his parents. However, I really hadn’t had a chance to just sit and time the contractions, and it was Lane’s bedtime so I went to put her to bed, and promptly fell asleep with her for two hours.
12:30 am I wake up, and come downstairs, and I’m still having contractions, so we do some timing. They are 6-7 minutes apart, so we call his parents at 1:30 a.m. to come on down!
As we wait, the contractions definitely get stronger and proceed to become 4-5 minutes apart. Instructions from midwives were to call in when they were 5 min apart, so we call the midwife practice at 2:00 a.m. and let them know. Midwife Wendy is on call and she says we should probably start heading to the hospital, I tell her we will once the in-laws arrive.
The in-laws FINALLY arrive at 4:00. Yeah, WHAT THE FUCK!! I can barely stand through a contraction at this point and they are consistently 4 min apart. I’m definitely in active labor, I’m thinking. So we finally head toward the hospital at 4:30 and get there at 5:00 a.m. We’re all checked in and in the LDRP room by 5:20, and I note that at this time with Lane, her head was out (she was born at 5:21).
They do a cervix check and I’m 4 cm and almost fully effaced. (I was 3 cm and 50% effaced two days earlier). The nurse does my heparin lock for my IV (I tested Group B Strep Positive and so needed some IV antibiotics during labor) and in trying to set it properly I bleed all over the place. Her hands and my hand were literally covered in blood. Nice.
So they do the antibiotic IV for the Group B Strep, and I hang out in bed while it is going in. Contractions aren’t too bad at this point.
IV finally finishes at like 6:30 (it took a half hour). Five minutes after it’s done I promptly puke. (Puking and having a contraction at the same time is not fun.) I puked ALL THROUGH my labor with Lane, any time I changed position. So rather than perpetuate the puking, I decided that as long as my labor continued to progress I wasn’t changing position. I continued to progress just sitting upright in bed, and I didn’t puke anymore, so mission accomplished on that front.
The puking prompted them to check my cervix, and I was 6 cm. dilated.
Labored for awhile longer, and at 7:30 I was at 8 cm and having very very very strong contractions with some urges to push. Midwife suggests we break my water because I’m fully effaced, that breaking my water will probably dilate me all the way really quickly and then I can push. OK!
So she breaks my water and there’s meconium in the fluid, again. (As with Lane – what is with my anal-expulsive children?). So neonatal team is summoned, blah blah blah. By about 7:45 I’m 9 cm dilated but Wendy asks me to push while she feels inside and says the baby’s head is clearing my cervix just fine so if I want to push, I can as I feel the urge.
Definitely an interesting experience to just push whenever you feel like pushing and not have anyone tell you to push, or for how long, or when. My contractions got longer but were rarely less than 3 minutes apart, but usually were 4 minutes apart, so I always had a minute or two to recuperate and rest between them which was sooo nice. The midwife and Frank got dolled up to catch the baby.
After about 15 minutes of some half-hearted pushing (my transition contractions were really really hard to get through and never really completely relented in between so I was sooo tired from them) I mustered a second wind just after 8:00 and decided to get the baby out. On the third contraction from that point, I got the head half-way out by the time the contraction had petered out, and Wendy asked me to give just one gentle push to get his head all the way out. Well, um, maybe I wasn’t gentle, or maybe he just wanted out, but that one little push popped him completely out of me, like a cork. There was even an audible pop. Surprised the hell out of the midwife and Frank, that’s for sure. They both yelled, “Whoa!”
So they got him suctioned all up, he hadn’t aspirated any meconium so after just a couple minutes they put him on my chest. His APGARs were 9 and 9. I delivered the placenta, and Wendy started stitching me up. It was labeled a 2nd degree tear but Wendy had a hard time deciding whether to call it a first degree or 2nd degree tear. So it was 2nd degree but just barely. She stitched me semi-reclining, no feet in stirrups or anything which was so much more comfortable for me and more conducive to nursing than the prone position with my legs in stirrups I was in with Lane’s repair job.
Jake just played with my nipple for awhile, and then latched on for a few minutes. He was really just so calm and serene and very alert. After he was done breastfeeding they measured him up, and he weighed 7 lb. 10 oz. and was 21 inches long.
My nurse was really sweet too, she’d told me before how she had an adult daughter who just got married, and she said after my birth that she would love for her daughter to have an unmedicated, easy birth like mine was, and that I had done such a great job through the whole thing. It was the kind of thing I could imagine my mom saying to me, and it made me quite teary.
After Wendy was done stitching, she sat and talked with me for a minute or two, and congratulated me and gave me a hug and kiss.