Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Birth Story

Ok. Ya'll know he was "overdue" at least according to the estimated due date. I was antsy about it at first, then I didn't mind. I just did things to try to speed the process along. Well, the weekend of his birth, my poor mom went back home to NC to spend some time with Dad and recoup, since W was taking his sweet time. She had already been here for 2 weeks. The joke always was that as soon as she left, he would come...and that is basically true.

Saturday night I decided to try the breast pump induction thing. I was told to pump for 20 min. every hour for 3 hours. Well, I didn't. I just pumped for 20 min. and then went to bed. Not too fun I tell you though. I mean to pump when there isn't anything in there to pump. ugh. But, I endured. And in the middle of pumping I knew something was happening. It's supposed to cause uterine contractions, and it did. I was pretty sure that this would do the trick. I went to bed thinking, if I wake in the middle of the night, this is the real thing...but I didn't.

I did wake early the next morning, Sunday the 29th of June. I felt achey and thought I might be having contractions. I went about my morning routine. And finally at about 9 I decided to start writing down the intervals. It turned out to be about every 12 minutes for a while. I didn't wake J though. There had been too many false alarms...

When he woke, I told him today may actually be the day. I continued to chart the intervals and they seemed to get closer together. I ate like pig that morning too (which turned out to be a bad thing when it came down to getting that baby out!) I called my doula and told her about the situation. I told her I'd call if they got closer together and such...and I did. I realized that this was not getting any easier and certainly not going to slack off. These contractions were painful and here to stay.

Julie came around 1pm? I think. Those types of details are getting fuzzier by the day. about 11:30 am we called Uncle K and SIL to come pick up M so that she wouldn't be an additional distraction to actually get this baby out. They came and I left the remainder of her arrangements to mom. I called mom and she said that she and dad were coming. It was funny actually cause she was very cautious to come seeing as I had already had two very suspicious days that we thought maybe...Well I had called her several times that morn already, and when I decided that she definitely should come, I had to spell it out very plainly..."What I'm trying to say is that I'm having this kid today. You need to come." I think I sounded kind of desperate and hormonal...and of course she knew that meant it really was time.

They headed this way, Julie, the doula headed this way, and I labored around the house. By the time Julie got here I was contracting every 6 minutes which seemed too close together to me. It didn't take long till they were ever 4 minutes. She said that she thought maybe she would be going back home when she got my phone call cause it seemed like really early labor, but after being there with me and timing out my contractions, she knew she was here to stay. We tried different positions. I peed a hundred and one times! AND every time I would sit on toilet, I would have contraction. I labored moving around and walking most of the morning and afternoon, but I got tired and so tried the side lying position. This was actually helpful, but did slow the contractions a bit.

We kept the midwife informed and she didn't seem to think that she would see me today but maybe tomorrow. When we decided to head to the birthing center, it was around 6pm (i think). J had sup, and then we went. At that point riding in the car and having contractions was pretty rough. I'd say I did pretty good considering I only let two bad words slip and only in the privacy of my own car! Ha!

We got there, and Amy checked me and found me to be progressing well at 5 cm. It was 80 plus degrees in there cause the air had been off all weekend. I quickly got into my laboring top which kept me fairly cool and labored a bit more. Then I did side lying again.

At this point they were getting more difficult and I had been laboring all day. I wanted to rest and get on with it all at the same time. I have no idea how long I laid there, but it seemed like at least an hour. Amy came back in to check me and found me to not have progressed any further and said that I needed to walk the halls and squat with each contraction. She anticipated that my water would burst any minute...but it didn't. I did the gosh awful squats! Good heavens that was hard! Thank goodness I could share the work and some of the soreness with my hubs and my doula (sorry guys!)

See, when I'm working hard and/or in pain, I don't like to be touched. So, my doula said she felt like she wasn't earning her keep. The birthing ball was terribly uncomfortable when I was contracting so its usefulness disappeared. Her counter pressure was most appreciated in the squatting sessions. So she earned her keep walking the halls of blessed births.

I did progress very quickly this way. In fact the next time I was checked I was at 8 centimeters, and in a great deal of pain. Here comes transition...Now this is supposed to be the most painful part of labor, but also the shortest, usually lasting no more than 30-45 minutes. I stayed stuck in this phase of labor for a good 2 hours or more. In fact, this is when begging and yelling and sitting on the toilet are about all I remember.

I zoned out for the rest of the labor once they made me walk the halls. Seriously, the memories are literally hazy and I don't remember everything that I said. My doula says I did very well. The worst thing I said was "Dangit!" And she laughed cause she thought I was about to say something else. It was so hot, I was stuck...in transition...on the toilet.

But the worst of it was that I was stuck in transition for soooo long. more than 2 hours I think. I was begging for anyone to help me, but no one could. I labored on the toilet till I needed to push and this worried them a little since I wasn't fully dialated, or something like that. But I was pretty close...so I tried to breathe through a bunch of them...which by the way is extremely difficult! When your body wants to push, its a miracle if you can avoid it!

They offered to break my water, since it still hadn't burst, so I said SURE! What ever will help move things along...They did that and I suppose it helped, but like I said I zoned out.

Weird thing is that I actually pushed in the bed laying down! Didn't expect that and didn't really think about it till later. But I just did whatever they said at that point and I was just glad to be pushing. The next part was a battle! I pushed and not for really long, but it felt like it might never end. They say that pushing is better as far as pain cause there is some numbness...but W decided that he wanted to come out with his hand on his cheek, so that added another level of difficulty and pain. Me and the midwife battled over pushing and breathing. I would release air and she would yell don't! He would be almost there and then go back in. Pretty typical.

I pushed like my Cuz in Law said 500%! Not just 100% And finally the head was out. And they say he was wide eyed and turning his head, but his little shoulder was obviously stuck...thanks to his other arm being up by his face. So I'm almost there and Amy, the midwife is pulling while I'm pushing...she's working her magic getting that one arm out so he can turn his body and dislodge his other shoulder. AND...there he is...I was so excited, but so exhausted I hardly knew what to do. They placed him on my chest and he was so slippery I thought I might not be able to hang onto him...

Not to mention, that they told me to hold my own legs while I pushed and that just wore my arms out! J was there beside me the whole time I pushed and instinctively held that leg. In fact, I barely remember asking someone to please hold my other leg...and J stepping in to make that happen by making it known more loudly and firmly. When the other midwife stepped in to hold it, I apparently murmured the most heartfelt "Thank You" she had ever received.

All in all, I'm glad I had that experience. It led those witnessing to really think about the way that Christ suffered for us on the cross...that is really what the child birth curse of Eve's is all about. Mom used the term endured...I endured the pain to get to the child...just like Christ. Love that scenario. That makes it all a bit more worth it. The experience was to me, extremely hard and the verdict is still out as to whether I will ever do that again in that same way, but I must say the recovery for me and little W has been fantastic and very easy! I DO Love That!


Meredith said...

You did it! And now you don't have to have any regrets for "what might have been," whether you go that route again or not.

I'm so happy for your family.