Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mr. T's Birth Story

Friday morning- last official belly shot
Let me start by saying that despite the way this labor started, I would not change a single thing about the delivery of Mr. T.  It was amazing!! Here is the story.........

I never thought I would be pregnant all the way to my due date and frankly, neither did my midwives.  The last two weeks I had several appointments and each time I was told, "any day now".  As a person with anxiety, this was not a good thing to tell me.  Despite my desire to let things happen as they are meant to, the wondering of "when will the time be" was just too much for my anxiety.  This lead us to make the decision to have an induction if I was still pregnant on Friday, July 8th.

In an attempt to not make it to Friday we did everything we could think of to get things started. The midwife stripped my membranes, I took castor oil, and I walked and walked and walked.  I don't recommend the castor oil.  It was so uncomfortable and didn't cause me to have a single contraction. Another induction method I tried was acupuncture.

According to my acupuncturist, it takes any where from 1 to 4 treatments to put a woman in labor (with the caveat that you have already started to dilate and efface).  Since we decided to start this on Wednesday, the most we were going to get was 3 treatments.  The first treatment caused some mild contractions/cramping afterward.  The second caused some strong contractions during and after the treatment, but stalled a couple hours later.  The final treatment only gave me the mild contractions/cramping afterward.  Even though it didn't put me into labor, I am convinced that it helped prepare my body for labor and I would highly recommend it.

Stylin' in the hospital gown
The actual induction was supposed to take place at 9:30 in the morning.  Unfortunately, a whole lot of babies decided that the 8th was a great day to be born and we were told that our induction was delayed until at least the afternoon.  I can't even begin to tell you how disappointing this was for us.  We all headed home (because I was at acupuncture and heading to the hospital when we found out) with our heads hanging low.  I couldn't even talk about it.  I sat on the couch and moped.

Thankfully, we got the phone call around 2:30pm stating that they were ready for us!!  We got to the hospital a little after 3pm and after some waiting around, got settled into our labor and delivery room.  Both the nurse and the midwife came in, talked with us about the induction plan, and we got things started about 5:15pm (pitocin started).  When we began I was 3cm (could stretch to a 4cm), 70% effaced, and the baby was at -2 station. 

I really wanted to make sure things went quickly so as soon as I could, I began walking.  It took a little bit for the contractions to get going.  At first it was just constant cramping (and didn't register on the monitor), but slowly they changed and began to come and go and form into "real contractions". 

At about 8:30pm they decided to break my water.  My stats hadn't changed much, but I was dilated to 5cm and having contractions that were under 3 minutes apart.

I did not expect what happened next.  I thought I would have to continue walking in order for things to progress so as soon as I got cleaned up, I headed for the hall.  I had several contractions before I actually got there and they definitely were getting stronger.  However, I only made it 2 doors down before they really came on strong and seemed like they were on top of each other.   I had to stop moving at each contraction and just try and focus on breathing. I asked if I could get into the tub at this point, but sadly it wasn't available.  Even though I was disappointed, it was a good thing because things moved pretty quickly from here. 

I honestly lost track of time at this point (as did my husband).  The contractions were right on top of each other and all I could focus on was surviving each one.  My husband was reminding me to breath and my midwife positioned herself behind me and put pressure on my hips (in and downward).  I was fascinated how much the hip pressure relieved the pain of each contraction...of course that only worked for so long.  Eventually nothing seemed to make it better and I was BEGGING for an epidural.

When the anesthesiologist got there, I had no idea how I was going to sit still while she put it in.  I could barely keep myself standing during each contraction, I couldn't imagine having to sit (because I had so much low pressure, sitting was really uncomfortable) and having to be still while I sat there.  Somehow I did it though and life got a lot easier (the did turn off the pitocin during at this time so that helped make the contractions a lot less painful).

At this point it was about 10pm and the midwife decided to check me and see how I was doing.  The smile that came across her face was priceless.  I had made it, without the epidural, all the way to 8cm dilated, almost fully effaced and 0 station.  Making it as long as I could without the epidural was a  huge goal of mine and I was thrilled that I made it that far.  The midwife needed to deliver another baby so we settled in for a short nap while I continued to progress closer to "pushing time".

The epidural made me feel really woozy.  My nose felt funny and I couldn't keep my eyes open without getting dizzy.  I mentioned something to the nurse, but she was weary about reducing it too soon.  After a little while longer I decided that I couldn't deal with the strength any longer and it was interfering with my ability to rest and causing some anxiety.  They gave me some oxygen at this point to help calm me down, which helped a lot.  When the anesthesiologist returned (around 11pm) she discovered that it really was too high for me.  I had no temperature sensitivity all the way up to my breasts!  She backed it down (from a 14 to a 6?) and we began to wait for me to regain some feeling.

The midwife took this opportunity to have my nurse check me again.  I think the nurse's exact words were, "if he was any lower, he would be crowning".  We still wanted to wait till I could feel some more (and for the midwife to get done with the other birth) so we continued the waiting game.

The midwife returned to our room about 11:45pm and I began to push at 12:07am on July 9th.  Pushing was a completely different experience this time around.  There was no pressure to push for "x" amount of time.  There was no counting, no pressure to keep pushing, no shouting (or loud encouragement that I perceived as shouting).  It was just my midwife, the nurse and my husband encouraging me to push during each contraction in a relaxed and calm way.  I stopped when I couldn't push any more and as I took my breath, the midwife told me whether or not I should push again. 

Although I couldn't feel the contractions, I could feel the pressure (it was mostly on my left) and the midwife massaging the perineum.  After a few contractions I really felt a lot of pressure on the left.  She told me the baby was crowning and she guided my hand so I could feel his head.  I pushed through a couple more contractions and I felt a little pop as his head came out.  The midwife confirmed that his head was out and that I could push even though I wasn't having a contraction.  I think I only pushed a couple more times and the next thing I knew the midwife was telling me to grab my son.  It didn't quite register at first...what was she asking of me? But then I reached down, someone helped me grab him and then I pulled him up onto my stomach....I had just delivered my own son! 

As I had him on my belly the nurse cleaned him up and helped me take off the gown so we could be skin to skin.  There was no rush to take him away (not that I thought there would be) and they waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before having my husband cut it.  It was amazing! 

When it was finally time to weigh and measure Mr. T we were all shocked to learn that this little bundle of joy (that delivered way easier than his brother) weighed almost 2 pounds more than his brother did and only was 1/4 inch taller.  I have no idea where he is hiding the weight.  I speculate that it is in his hands and feet...they are gigantic!  He doesn't seem chunky at all, but barely fits into the newborn diaper and newborn pants are almost too short.  Wherever he is hiding it, he is just plain adorable and we love him!!

So there you go...the official birth story.  What do you think??

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