Friday, December 5, 2014

12/3/14 Birth Story

39 weeks 1 day taken Saturday
Timothy Jacob exited the womb and entered the world at 8:02 November 30, 2014. He weighed 8lbs 6oz, was 21 inches long with a head circumference of 13 3/4 inches.
I had a lot of wishes come true with this labor. I got to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Saturday. My list of things I wanted done before baby came was completed for me by my amazing family. I even got to play some games and take a walk after dinner.
I started having contractions as usual at night on Saturday while playing games with Twi and Jason. We had moved onto a kind of game that frustrates Bryan, so he chose not to play and went to bed around 11pm, so he got a bit if a nap before the action. We played that game until 1am. When we were done, I went to the room, got ready for bed, laid down, and started talking to Bryan. He was trying to tell me about a show he found on NetFlix, when I felt warm wetness coming down my vagina. I interrupted him with, "That's weird, I think my water is breaking." He ran for a towel and got it under be before any of it got the bed. We do have a waterproof mattress cover. I guess Bryan didn't know that, but he's still pretty pleased he saved the sheets from getting wet at all. I made it to the toilet with the towel between my legs. Every time I moved more water came out. I guess you could say I had the kind of brake that was more like a big leak but not a burst by any means. 
When my water broke, the contractions got immediately stronger and were coming every 2-3 minutes. I could still talk some during them but it was like forcing myself to remain conscious when my blood pressure drops and I don't want to faint. I am there, but not really all there.
I called the midwife clinic and they said that Joanna was on call and would call me back. In about 10 minutes she called and wanted to know the color and amount of the fluid. I told her it was pink and that it soaked everything from the waist down every time I changed positions. No large sanitary pad could contain it. She said my contractions although frequent weren't too horrible yet since I could talk though them. She said I could stay home a while and try to deal with them, or we could head in. She said she would wait until the nurses checked me when I arrived before she went in. We decided to leave for the hospital after soaking though 10 more sanitary pads and several pair of underwear, shorts, pants and skirts. It was crazy awkward trying to stay quiet, and decent (doing this because Twi and Jason were staying at our house).  With the cold weather (cold front with a low of 27 for the night) making for possible icy roads, and a 45 minute drive to the hospital with already bad contractions, I was pretty sure I didn't want to try to stay home as long as possible. Packing up took a while. Bryan got some heat packs ready for the truck ride to help with contractions. He put the hospital bags in the truck and started it so it would warm up. He made a fire for everyone staying at the house to keep it warm. We packed me in the truck wearing a skirt and warm top layers at 3am. I sat on a towel and had a change of underwear and some track pants to put on for walking into the hospital. On the drive in I practiced complete relaxation though contractions and applied heat. It made them tolerable for the most part with the exception of bumps and occasional tight corners breaking my concentration. We got to the hospital just before 4am, I changed out of my skirt, and we walked into the ER. They wheeled me up to the labor floor after getting some information from Bryan. I was pretty nonverbal and inattentive at this point. Surviving contractions was all I could focus on and then resting between.
My nurses and the pretty art the doula Melissa drew for us
I was in triage for about 45 minutes to be monitored. It was strange that I wanted to lay in the bed. I found that all my complete relaxation practice in the truck made the contractions better when I laid down and relaxed than when I was up moving. I didn't know it at the time, but Timothy, although head down, was sunny side up which may have been the reason I felt better laying still relaxing than moving around. I was really thirsty the whole time, but they wouldn't allow me to drink anything until they got admit orders for me. My urine was dark in hue when I gave the sample, and I knew I was dehydrated. I guess I wasn't going to fix it with water at that point anyhow. I survived the thirst. Timothy wasn't very active at first on the monitor, but eventually moved enough that the nurse felt she had a "reactive strip" whatever that means, and they checked me into my L&D room. While we waited for the nurse to come in I suddenly felt nauseous and hung out on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet. Oh, did the contractions hurt in that position, but I didn't know where else to go if I was going to throw up. I managed not to, and the nurse arrived soon after. She gave me a graduated cylinder to hold onto just in case,  and I went back to the bed. She took my blood and asked me if I wanted her to just start an IV in the process. I told her that was a good idea and asked for an IV bolus because I was so thirsty and I remembered having such low BP after Josiah was born. I got the fluids and a lot of water to drink. I was shivering like crazy. IV fluids always make me very cold. Warm blankets helped a little. Melissa, the doula from the midwife group, arrived about the same time as Joanna the midwife. Joanna checked me because I was afraid to trust that my body would not try to push before my cervix was completely dilated. I was at 7cm, so I continued resisting any pushing urges. I didn't want to tear my cervix. They got me in the tub which felt good and stopped my shivering. I was able to completely relax between contractions, but the contractions were bad. I started asking Bryan for counter pressure during them. Poor guy, having to lean over the tub to squeeze my hips so many times. He thinks I was in there 2 hours. I think it was just one. (I think it was something like 4am in triage, 5am arrive in the room, 5:45 finish IV bolus and get in the tub, 6:45 out of tub, notice it's daylight outside, get situated in the chair to push because I can no longer resist it.) I had several strong contractions that made me want to be out of the tub, because i could hardly resist pushing with them. Melissa had me try one on my knees leaning on the back of the tub, and that didn't feel as good as standing before I ever got in the tub did, so I got out. I stood though a few contractions with Bryan. I just rested my head on his chest my arms on his and just swayed my hips and relaxed my muscles while Melissa, the doula, squeezed my hips. I think we just did 4 contractions like that and I ended up pushing a little with a couple of them because I couldn't stop myself. The nurse had the birth chair ready for us. It is a crazy looking thing but boy was it nice. Bryan sat in back like on a motorcycle looking back seat. I sat in front on a bit more than half circle seat and had a sheet to hold onto dangling from above and Bryan to lean back on. At first or second push in the chair, I broke a "fore bag" of water.  It was quite a satisfying push. It made me visualize and dream of pushing him out in just a few pushes. No such luck. After 30 minutes of pushing, Joanna checked me and said there was a small anterior lip of my cervix. Melissa suggested that maybe I try leaning back more when pushing since the lip was in the front to try to push the baby under it. I could feel him coming down a lot more when pushing that way so I continued. I really liked how I could feel the movement and progress with pushing in the chair and could adjust my pelvis and the tilt of my body to help him come out. It didn't seem like too long before Joanna said she could see the baby's head. Right then Patty came in. I guess it was time for her and Joanna to change shifts. Joanna told her to get dressed. Lots to burning sensations, tons of discomfort in rest periods, and 4 pushes later Timothy's head was out and he was face forward. They were all surprised since I didn't complain of back labor. There was lots of instruction to go slow, to slow down, but I think I only waited one push and all of Timothy came out. They handed him up to me and I got to hold him. Bryan cut the cord after about 3 minutes when it finished pulsing. It was just minutes after that I got uncomfortable and pushed the placenta out.
cutting the cord

cutting the cord

getting cleaned off a little

At that point everything becomes a whirlwind. I got dizzy leaned back on Bryan. I am sure I had little to no blood pressure. Since it was shift change for the midwifes and doula's and there was a baby nurse and my nurse, they all kinda just picked me up and put me in the bed. I think they gave me a 1/2 liter of fluids and some pitosin. I kept shaking from exhaustion and cold from the IV fluids. Bryan and the doula were putting warm packs on my thighs and warm blankets on me.  I was crying out in pain form the pushing on my abdomen. Also the Doula was trying to help Timothy latch and that hurt like crazy and made me jump and  yell. The poor surgeon who was stitching up my tear kept asking "Was that me?" It never was. She got me pretty numb. I moaned once from a stitch right at the end that I could feel but the rest of the discomfort was the nursing attempts and trying to compress my uterus. I guess Patty got the surgeon because the tear was partially into my rectum and she wanted to make sure it was done right for function and cleanliness.
When the stitches were done I was so happy to put my legs back together again. I just turned on my side and snuggled with Timothy. I was trying to preserve that sweet first moments with my son that I get robbed of with all the medical stuff that happens to me right after birth. It got better from there on. I did have trouble peeing and had to be straight cathed once. It took until 12:30 in the afternoon before I could stand without much dizziness. They moved me to the postpartum room at that point. Things got even better there. We got rest, had visits from family, got to see Josiah and I got to eat a lot of food. We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and went home Monday at noon. They even wheeled me and Timothy through my unit so I could greet everyone and show off Timothy. I am so happy he's here.

first bath

foot prints


we're all exhausted

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