Thursday, May 13, 2010

My birth story

So I realize this is extremely long and I certainly don't expect all of you to read it, but I just thought I would share my experience. I am SO glad I went with a non-medicated labor... I wouldn't do it any other way. Chuck also wrote his version of the story and our doula wrote one as well (albeit, a much shorter one, haha). If people want to see the others, let me know and I'll post them as well.
"As a first-time mom with a due date of May 7th, I certainly wasn’t expecting to have my baby in April. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to have my baby early, but I was trying to be patient and not expect anything. I kept telling myself that I would most likely go overdue and that I would be freakishly uncomfortable for a little while longer.
On April the 27th at about midnight I woke up feeling more uncomfortable than usual. I honestly thought that I was constipated and tried to use the restroom. When I wasn’t able to, I went back to sleep. I did this 4 or 5 times I think and then I finally went downstairs to take something for the constipation. I took some nasty chalk-tasting Phillips and then got on the computer to wait for it to work. I stayed up about an hour and this is when I noticed that the “constipation” was coming in waves. It was not constipation at all. It was contractions.
I went back upstairs to try to relax. I started drinking water and took a bath, both things we were taught to do in our class. The contractions just kept on coming, so I realized this wasn’t “false labor”. I must admit, I was pretty excited. I laid down after my bath to try to sleep. It was around 4 am and my mind would not let me rest. I woke Chuck up and told him I thought we were going to have the baby that day and he basically blew me off. I realized I hadn’t packed my hospital bag and knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had done that. I started packing my bag, Chuck asked me if I needed help and when I said no he went back to sleep.
I wasn’t able to get much sleep after that because I couldn’t sleep through the contractions and they were coming pretty regularly. I wasn’t timing them, but I definitely felt like they were fairly close together. Around 6 we decided to call our doula. Christi said that she thought I was in prelabor and that this could last days or even weeks. She told me not to take my normal walk, but other than that to go about my day as normal and try to ignore the contractions.
After we talked, I took a benadryl and was able to go to sleep. When I woke up, I expected the contractions to be gone but they weren’t. I had a chiropractor appointment in Virginia Beach that I really didn’t want to go to, but Christi encouraged me to. She said it could speed up labor and that while the location wasn’t ideal, it would probably be good for me to go. I got ready and drove down there. Afterwards, I had lunch with a friend. I was having contractions the whole time but I still wasn’t timing them and they weren’t too intense.
I got back home around 2 and called Christi again and let her know they hadn’t stopped. She gave me advice on how to ignore the contractions- take a shower, watch a movie, drink a little glass of wine, etc. My contractions were feeling more intense but I was still trying to ignore them. I put Gilmore Girls on and laid on my left side and started pounding water. Sometime between 2 and 4 I realized that I could no longer lay down for the contractions. I had to get up to walk through them or something… I just had to move. I told Chuck to go to Target and get home- Gilmore Girls was no longer distracting me.
When he came home I decided to take a shower. This was the only point during the whole process that I said “I can’t do this”. The contractions were getting more and more intense. I looked at Chuck and said “if this is pre-labor, then I’m done… there’s no way I can take a whole lot more than this”. He assured me that I could, but I’ll admit that at this point I was a little scared that my plans for a med-free delivery were going to fly out the window because this freakin hurt.
I told Chuck to order some pizza because I was hungry. I laid on the bed and tried to get some rest and couldn’t. I wanted to dry my hair and it took what felt like forever because I had to stop and breathe through every contraction.
By the time the pizza got there, the smell of food disgusted me. I went to the bathroom and realized that I was having my bloody show. Honestly, this made me super happy because it meant that all these contractions were doing something. We called Christi and Aimee to let them know and they said that it didn’t guarantee something would happen that night. Chuck talked to one of them and I heard him telling her that I really didn’t think this was prelabor and was started to get scared. The bleeding continued for longer than I thought it would and was heavier than I expected so I talked to Aimee about that. I had a contraction while I was on the phone and she said “it sounds like one of us needs to get over there” and I said “thank God, I’m not crazy… this is it”.
After getting off the phone, another contraction hit and I stood up to work through it. The next thing I know, I am throwing up ALL over the floor. Luckily, it was hardwood floor and the throw up was 95% water but it went everywhere. Poor Chuck had to clean that up. I’m pretty sure I threw up 3 or 4 times. It just kept pouring out of me.
Christi and Aimee had encouraged me to take a bath so Chuck went upstairs to get that ready for me. He did such a good job- lighting all my candles and everything. I grabbed my book and crawled in. Between contractions I was able to relax, which I wasn’t able to do outside of the tub, so that was nice. But during contractions I felt awful. The tub was too constricting and I kept turning over to try to get in a comfortable position and wound up getting out after just a few contractions. At this point, I told Chuck “when she gets here, we’re going to the hospital”. I had planned to labor at home for as long as possible, and I felt like I had pretty much done that.
I sat on the toilet for a while at this point. I was still bleeding pretty heavily and felt like I needed to poop. I’m not sure how long it was between when I got out of the tub and when Aimee got there, but it felt like an eternity. When she knocked on the door I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like someone that actually knew what was going on was there.
I think we were probably at the house for about 15-30 minutes after she came. I remember telling her how the bath was and telling her that I was ready to go to the hospital. She said that I was still having a lot of bloody show and it was definitely time to go. Chuck started running around doing something-packing the car I presume. I really don’t know. It was so nice to have Aimee there because I didn’t care what he was doing because I wasn’t alone. Aimee helped me get dressed (yes, I needed help) and we headed to the hospital. You couldn’t have paid me to sit in the seat the “normal” way, so I got on my knees and hugged the back of the seat. I was so grateful our hospital was close. On the way there, I told Chuck that I hoped the baby was a girl because we had never decided on a boy’s name.
We got to the hospital and made our way up to labor and delivery. I checked in at the nurse’s station and they informed me that they didn’t have any rooms and I would have to wait in the waiting room. I remember thinking they were crazy, but not really having the energy to argue. Aimee assured me they would not let me have my baby in the waiting room. When we walked away from the window, a contraction hit and I got on my hands and knees in the middle of the hallway. Apparently this is the magic key to get a room… instantly there was a nurse at my side taking me to room 7.
When we got into the room, I changed into my gown and laid on the bed for them to check me. I was so scared they were going to tell me I was 4 centimeters dilated, but they said I was between an 8 and a 9 and at that point I KNEW that I could do this.
They let me get into a comfortable position and monitored the baby for a while and everything was fine. I really don’t remember much at this point… I knew that I needed to pee and tried to go but was completely unable to. On the way back to the bed, a contraction hit and I squatted and peed all over the floor. I almost wanted to laugh at how much I just didn’t care. I was in a hospital… they’ve seen pee before.
They checked me again and I was fully dilated and effaced. They called the doctor and broke the bed down. I was so thankful that they did not make me lay down. They put the squat bar up and I used that for a while. Chuck got on the bed behind me and I was able to lean back on him between contractions. Although I liked that position, my feet kept falling asleep so I wound up facing the head of the bed with the top all the way up on my knees. The doctor came and asked me if I had the urge to push and I said “no”. To my surprise, no one rushed me… she just sat back. I can’t remember when I started pushing or how long I pushed. At one point I told Chuck that the baby was never going to come out and he assured me that it would.
When the doctor could see the head, she called Chuck down and he took a look. He got really excited, which gave me some motivation. I truly was getting somewhere. The next thing I know, the head was crowing and Chuck and Aimee were telling me to blow and not push to try to minimize tearing. When I started pushing again, it was the weirdest feeling in the world. It felt like the baby just fell out.
I immediately look to Chuck for him to tell me if it’s a girl or a boy. He says “I can’t tell” and I say “what do you mean you can’t tell??” Then the doctor moved the umbilical cord out of the way and he told me that it was a girl. I guess God knew we didn’t have a name for a boy J
I tried to turn around and really look at her, but I forgot that I was still attached. The doctor tugged on the cord a little and then the placenta came. I really didn’t even feel it. Then I was able to turn around and hold my baby girl, which was the most amazing thing in the world.
The doctor said that I had torn and she was going to have to stitch me up. I have no idea how many stitches I have, but I felt like she was sewing me up forever.
When she was done, we put Jade back on my chest and tried breastfeeding. She did really well, which was really encouraging. They left us alone for over and hour before they took her to the nursery. Her APGARS were 9 and 9.
She was delivered almost exactly 2 and a half hours after getting to the hospital. 12:13 am, Wednesday April 28. 19.5 inches, 7 lbs 12 ozs.

Chuck being an extremely good husband.

Proof that just because you don't take man-made drugs doesn't mean that you're not high on something- thank you Jesus for endorphins :)

Relaxing between contractions.

Hello world :)


Jessica said...

Very Nice :) From what you were texting me I had no idea you had taken so many showers/baths. I thought you had just taken one of each :) It obviously ended up working out but I feel bad for not telling you to call ahead to the hospital for your room-I actually started to but I figured your doula would take care of it for some reason. :) I think you were a trooper though and I am sure Chuck was very proud of you. :) Just from my experience with pre-labor I am very proud of you! :)

Anonymous said...

Erin, this is so beautiful, I am so grateful and I appreciate your time and efforts in documenting your experience. I am so proud of you, what a woman! Thank you for such a beautiful blessing! We love our sweet little Jade! Call me if you need me to come and help again; I'll be there. Hugs and kisses to all, con mucho amor Grandma B-

Anonymous said...

Ah you two made me cry! Thanks for documenting this so I know what to expect when we finally decide to have little ones! So proud of you going through the whole thing natural! Way to go! ~Hope