Daily Archives: July 10, 2006

*REALLY LONG* Birth story (finally)

 Current mood: peaceful
Well, three months later, I decided (with prompting from Toni 🙂 ) to update my blog.  And, since I haven’t posted anything since the birth of my baby, I thought I’d start there.
Note:  It’s really long.
Another note:  If you frequent the Sonlight Forums, you may have already read this.
 

First, many thanks to all of you who offered advice, who prayed with me, for me, for my baby, endured my whining about being overdue, etc. The six days that my dear baby girl was overdue were the longest six days of my life!!

Some of you may have also read my posts about my dh’s job situation. Well, last Tuesday, he told me, “I don’t think Audrey is coming until this whole thing is resolved.” On Wednesday, 04/05, at 4 p.m., as my dh was walking out of his boss’ office, after telling him he was going to stay there, and not leave for the other offer he got, my contractions started. Literally. We think it’s down to the minute that the two events occurred, but it’s at least within a 15 minute window. When my ctx first started, I don’t think I noticed immediately, b/c at that stage in the pg, an odd ctx here or there were not really anything of note. It was just around 4 p.m. that I noticed, “Hey, I think I’ve had 2 or 3 ctx in a row!” KWIM?

When they started, they were 8-13 minutes apart. I didn’t tell my dh until he was on his way home from work, about 5:30, b/c I didn’t want him to get excited for nothing, in case they faded. But, he called my BIL to put him on notice in case we needed to call him later that night to come over.

Martin (my dh) picked up dinner on the way home, and I went for a walk after dinner. On the walk, I called Martin to suggest that he call Adam again, b/c on the walk, they got to be about 3 minutes apart. I got home & took a shower, and they slowed back down to 8-10 min apart, but at least Adam (BIL) was there, in case they picked up again. It was about 8:30 at that time.

I told Martin that I was going to take a nap. He thought I was crazy. But, I thought that either I was going to have a baby in the middle of the night, and I should get rest while I could, and while the ctx didn’t hurt… OR, they were going to fade away into nothing. Either way, I didn’t want to just sit up and watch the clock.

I slept from 9:15 to 12:15, and when I awoke, the ctx were almost gone. They were there, and coming a little more closely together (6-10 min apart), but they were so light, I could barely feel them. I figured, if I have to ask myself, “Was that a ctx?” that it wasn’t a good sign. I putzed around in the bathroom, pacing in front of our mirror, praying that the ctx would come back, and come back hard. I almost came out and posted on the SL board to ask whoever was awake for more prayer… but my BIL was asleep on the couch close to the computer, so I decided not to. But, I thought about you all!!

A little after 1:00 a.m., I decided to lay back down to go to sleep. I was still praying, and started crying, thinking about how much I wanted to meet my little girl, envisioning her little face while nursing, dreaming about what it would be like to finally hold her… I don’t know if it was the prayer or the hormones, but at 1:11, I had my first really hard ctx. Six minutes later, another. Four minutes later, another. I had one or two more, and then I thought, “If the next one comes in six minutes or less, I’m getting up.” It did. I got up. It was 1:32. I thought, “If these are still hard at 2:00 a.m., I’m waking Martin.” They were still hard. I woke him up. He asked, “Are you sure?” I assured him that I was… I was almost upset that he asked that, but less than 2 hours before that, I had told him tearily that I thought the ctx were going away, so I guess I can’t blame him. He started apologizing then, saying that if I said it was time, and here it was our 4th baby, that I would know!

He got up… The ctx were 4-6 min apart, and we had about a 30 min ride to the hospital. Still, though, we’re kinda slow. The bags were packed, but we decided to switch cars, since I ran over a nail in the other car, and Martin said, “Last thing we need is to have a blowout on the freeway while you’re in labor.” AND… I wanted COFFEE. Coffee is so comforting to me, for some reason; plus, I wanted to be alert for what was to come!

It took us an hour to get out the door, departing at 3:00 a.m.

We made a couple of phone calls in the car, and even though the ctx were now 2-5 min apart, and hard, they weren’t SO hard that I couldn’t talk on the phone.

We got to the hospital right at 3:30, and even though there was only a short walk to the front door, I had four ctx on the way. They were really hard. It was then that I discovered that I loved to hang on to my hubby while having a hard ctx. Now, I keep telling him, “Why did it take me FOUR kids to discover how wonderful it felt to hang onto you during labor?”

We got to the check in desk at the hospital, and even though I had preregistered… even though I’d been to the hospital’s other campus TWICE in recent months for ultrasounds… even though I’d called the hospital the week before in a moment of panic to make SURE I was preregistered… they said, as I was standing there contracting HARD, “Well, you’re not in the computer.” NOT what I wanted to hear. But, we got checked in within 15 minutes, and they brought down a wheelchair. I always feel stupid in a wheelchair, and would have been happier walking, esp when I had to grab the railing on wall of the hall and tell them to STOP when I was contracting.

We got up to the room at about 3:45, and they hooked me up to the fetal heartrate monitor and the ctx monitor. I told the nurse I wanted off ASAP. I hate those monitors. But, they wanted about 30 minutes of “tape” to see where I was at, and when she saw I really was contracting (slowed to 3-4 min apart), she did an exam. I was at 7-8 cm dilated and about 90% effaced. YAY!

She called the doctor, and I asked, “Is it Dr. S?” And she said, “No, Dr. K is on call for him tonight.” Martin and I about died laughing. I have had the same OB for TWELVE YEARS, and one of the reasons I picked him in the first place was that he was a delivering OB. B/c of the rates of insurance, many OBs around here don’t do actual deliveries; they just trust you to the on-call doc at the hospital. Well, I wanted a doctor I KNEW to deliver my babies. Well, this is baby #4, and he has YET to deliver one of my babies. I met a few weeks ago w/ Dr. K, on purpose, and I told him, “I thought I should meet you and talk w/ you, since you’ll probably be delivering my baby.” Good thing we met, eh??

It was really cool, though, b/c he remembered everything we had talked about — how I have FAST labors, and how I wanted, if at all possible, to avoid having an episiotomy, that I did NOT want drugs, etc…

So, he came right away. He was there at 4:30 or something like that, in scrubs! He offered to break my water, but I already knew I didn’t want my water broken. He said it speeds things up, but I thought the speed I was going was just fine. It was cool w/ him — some docs, you know they just want to get outta there ASAP, but I didn’t sense that w/ him; he was truly just trying to help me along. So, he took off to get a coffee or something.

At 4:45, I decided to get in the tub. They have these big jacuzzi tubs to labor in, but they don’t do underwater births there, so the nurse said if I felt I needed to push to get out!!! I was in there for 45 min or so…

Oh… the nurse was also really receptive about me NOT wanting to be hooked up to an IV. I told her I wanted access only (a hep lock?), and wanted it on the back of my arm, not my hand. She said she always did it on the back of the arm anyways, so that it wasn’t in the way after the baby was born, or if I needed to squeeze my dh’s hand. Loved that nurse. Angie was her name.

While I was in the tub, I found out that it felt better if I sat up, criss-cross style, with the jets pointed at my lower back, and my arms resting on soggy towels on the sides of the tub. My dh rubbed my lower back, and it felt really good.

Then… he had to leave to go to the bathroom, and about when he did, I could feel myself start to get shaky, and I thought, “I’m transitioning. I’d better get out of the tub.” I called to the nurse, and got that lovely hospital gown back on, having really hard ctx about every 1-2 minutes, though I wasn’t timing them. They were really hurting, but I was also getting excited, b/c the HOPE of having a baby really soon, meeting my baby girl, was just swelling up in my heart… I wasn’t stressed out or anything.

I got back into bed at about 5:50 a.m., and I could feel that she was RIGHT THERE, and that I was going to start to have to push. They had to track down the doc, so they told me not to push. My goal was to not push hard anyways, as that was what left me with huge tears or episiotomies the last three times…
After I posted the above (Part One) on the SL forums, someone (emmelia) said I sounded so calm. I was pretty amazed by that, too. I don’t know if it’s b/c she was #4, and I’d been through it before, or if it was b/c I’d prepared better for this birth, or what, but I was really amazed by how calm I was. I’m just glad I read Dr. Bradley’s book (Husband-Coached Childbirth) for THIS birth, and not birth #1, b/c I would have been sorely surprised, literally, b/c he makes it sound pain-free, and it’s NOT. But, I was able to take a number of his suggestions and keep my thoughts and my focus in better control.

OK. Transition. Back on the bed. Trying not to push… But, the tries were semi-fruitless, b/c I had to push. I was trying not to, b/c I could tell it was a bit too soon, and I was really careful NOT to get to the manic, robotic MUST GET BABY OUT NOW PUSH PUSH PUSH place that I went to, with all three of the boys. So, I was kind of humming/ooo-ing through the pushes, just two of them. On the second one, my water broke. That was 6:02 a.m.

Here’s the only place in the birth that I really got upset: The broke the bottom of the bed off. I had told the nurse that I wanted the bottom of the bed ON, and I had it stair-stepped down so that I could squat on the bottom part of the bed, but lean my lower back against the “upper stair” area of the rest of the bed. I guess I should have told the doctor, too, b/c he came in and all the nurses/techs just snapped into action and took the bottom of the bed off, and there was no place for my feet. They whipped out these feet supports, but it was NOT what I wanted, and I was trying to protest, but even as I was trying to tell them that I wanted the bottom of the bed back on, I could feel Audrey in the birth canal, and it was hurting BAD.

But… I thought in a split-second, “I can tell she’s not ten lbs, and I can tell that she does NOT have a 15-inch head. That means I can do this.”

For those of you who did not see my post about birthing questions on the Homemaking forum, my babies have been 8-13, 9-11, and 10 lbs, and they were all early (by 1 to 11 days) and my doc was really starting to push for me to be induced, as he was worried about how big this late baby would be.

I was still upset about the whole inability to squat situation, and uncomfortable, b/c the foot supports didn’t feel right, and it felt like there was no where for me to GO, no where to support myself on the bed. So, I started scooching back, which in retrospect, doesn’t make much sense, but I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly. It was BURNING, but I had learned that the burn happens when the perineum is being stretched out, and I needed it to ssssttrrrrreeeeeetch, and not tear, so I was trying to bear it.

I actually listened to the doc, who told me to scooch back down, and to open my legs back up… I guess I had kind of closed them, in trying to scooch back, and my dh told me that that made her head suck back in. Oops!! The doc told me to push, but to push gently, so I did. I heard him ask them to lube up his hands, and then say, “No, not that kind. That won’t work at all.” And he asked for a different kind. I can’t believe I couldn’t tell that he was doing this, but both he and dh reported that as Audrey was crowning, he slid the tips of the fingers of both of his hands around her head, and then told me to push again. The doc called it “milking her out.” I could feel her head come out, and then he said, “Her shoulder’s hung up a bit. Give it another good push.” I did, and the rest of her came out!!!!

So, that entire time, from when the water broke, until she was all the way out, was TEN MINUTES. That’s all. It felt like MUCH longer, but everyone confirmed that the clock said ten minutes, so I have to trust them on that one!! I had prepared myself, thinking that in order to avoid tearing or an epis., that I would have to labor for longer, and push for longer. But, all it took was two half-pushes, and then three judiciously-timed regular “big” pushes, and she was out. AND, I ended with just a superficial tear, so small that it didn’t need stitches or anything. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

So, she was 9 lbs, no ounces, 21 inches long, with a 14″ head.

Since my hubby was the only coach, and we both forgot to ask anyone to take pictures, the first one was 7 min after the birth:

RIGHT after she came out, I unsnapped the gown, b/c I wanted her up on my chest, skin-to-skin, before they cut the umbilical cord.

This is us again; Audrey is about 30 minutes old:

Here’s my happy hubby (he has been in baby girl HEAVEN )

They say babies don’t smile, but she smiles huge like this all the time!!! This was on Saturday, right before we left the hospital.

One last one, with her eyes open. This was at church. Isn’t she beautiful? And lovely and girly… I can’t believe we made it to church, but I really had to be there, as a dear friend of ours from Scotland was preaching (Tommy MacNeil — pastors the Barvas church on the Isle of Lewis where the Duncan Campbell revival broke out in 1949, for any of you church/revival historians out there).


Last couple of things: Earlier in my pg, I had a number of problems, including subchorionic hemmoraging — the placenta was de-attaching from the uterus, and there was bleeding, and I was scared that I was going to lose the baby. I e-mailed my friend Shellie about it, and she told her then 10yo daughter about it, and they prayed together. Her daughter said, “Tell her it’s a strong baby.” And those words from that little girl sustained me & gave me hope & eased my fear more times than she can imagine. THEN… when we picked out her name, I wasn’t thinking about that situation, but Audrey means “Noble Strength.” THEN… when the pediatrician was checking her out, he was shaking his head, and said, “She is a strong baby. She has the muscle tone of a one-month old!” Cool, eh??

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