15 January 2008

birth story

*** this could be “graphic” and/or “TMI” for some***

I was 39 weeks exactly (no over-due business this time, though some of you may recall they'd planned to induce if I hit my due date).

I had started to feel "twinges" around 8:30pm, roughly 7 minutes apart, but almost entirely in the pelvic floor, so I just kind of monitored it casually for a while. I recognized this to be early labor which can come and go as it pleases for days or even weeks.

Around 10:30pm, I got some “bloody show” and gave my mom a heads up before she went to bed "just in case" since she lives a little distance away--better to have her come unnecessarily than not have her in a pinch. I called her back around 12:30am and suggested she shower and come on since nothing had stopped or eased up. I was feeling a little skeptical, but beginning to think maybe it would really happen. I rested a bit, one eye peering at the clock every few minutes when I felt the twinges which were gradually getting more noticeable. If nothing else, I knew I’d made some good progress toward having my baby before the due date, and that made me very happy.

At 1am, I glanced at the clock and about the time I decided I’d “skipped” a contraction and it was probably a false alarm (I was mentally trying to figure out if my mom would already be too close to turn around and head home; she actually was almost here), I felt a contraction that beat the others. Still not that bad compared to what I was waiting for, but suddenly they were 5 minutes apart; definitely a good thing my mom was on the way! I got up and piddled around, putting a few things away, laboring more comfortably on all fours as needed, and chatted with my mom some when she arrived. (Something you have to know about me: I chat and visit with anyone around while I labor. I’m happy to be having a baby, and I know that if I stay relaxed it will go easier. So, I keep mentally busy so as not to dwell on the contractions and such.)

By 2am, I had a few random "tiny" contractions (still all in the pelvic floor as far as "pain") at the 3 minute mark, in between the more noticeable ones. After checking in with the doctor on call, I woke my husband about 2:30am -- I'd let him sleep while he could since I knew one of us needed to...he was asleep before the bloody show and the less he knew the better he'd rest anyway, so he was pretty surprised when I told him to get up. I was a bit unsure about how much progress I’d been making, but knew I needed 4 hours of antibiotics since I tested positive for Group B Strep and I knoew I’d be fine laboring at the hospital for a while if necessary. After John showered, we headed out (he asked my permission about the shower, and I said if he was fast he could; then I laughed at him because he acted like he was going in fast-forward, so I told him to slow down just a bit).

We arrived at 3:30am and it took a half hour to check in; being a natural childbirther, I am adamant about relaxation during contractions and I’m guessing they didn’t think I was very far into it since I just kinda slumped onto their counter every 3-5 minutes and breathed slow and deep, then resumed our paperwork. So, I was in a triage room by 4am where they said I was at 6 ½ cm. At this point, I figured I had timed it really well since it took me almost 4 hours to go from 8 to 10 cm with my daughter. I got moved to a delivery room shortly after that, but didn’t get my antibiotics until 4:30am (they brought the wrong one and took forever getting the right one)! My midwife had said she’d be there for me (she delivered my other two), and came even though she wasn’t on call. She was there by the time the antibiotics were, and I was thinking she was so nice to come "wait it out" with me. When I told her that, she said she didn't think we'd make it four hours.

Around 5am, she checked me since I’d begun laboring pretty hard (though STILL only having 30 second contractions that were not nearly as intense as I was waiting for). I was at 9 ½ cm. HUH? She did clarify that since my bag of waters had not broken (which is one reason the labor was not so intense), it might be a little off since it could bulge through the cervix and make it seem more dilated than it really is.

I spent the next while cross-legged on the bed, leaning on my elbows. Something about dropping my belly low felt so good this time around. At home I’d been on all fours or squatting a good deal.

I transitioned in about ten minutes white sitting on the toilet, then squatting down in front of it. The contractions were suddenly on top of each other and my body began to feel like it was “pushing” of its own accord (though not to the point of a baby falling out).

My midwife checked me again and I was 10cm. I stayed on all fours on the bed, letting my body push for me for a while, as he finished dropping, It was so much easier. Also, my water broke very near the end of the laboring, as with my daughter. I didn’t have to put forth pushing efforts until he was trying to deliver himself, and then I pushed as I needed to, no one counting it out, not on telling me when or how. Once his head showed, I pushed for two and a half minutes. At the end of two minutes, my midwife was calling for a doctor to get in the room. She wasn’t as panicked as when I was delivering my daughter, but this was also the first time anyone directed me to push harder (and I kept thinking, as with my other deliveries, “HOW am I supposed to push harder than THIS??”). I learned a few minutes later that Baby J had been stuck, just as Miss C had been. Apparently, I have very difficult deliveries; at least it’s not my pushing abilities since I was starting to feel down on myself about that! Haha!

Yes, another shoulder dystocia. However, there was more time, a doctor handy, a somewhat smaller -- okay, considerably smaller -- baby (everyone keeps saying he's big...but I know better), a different birthing position, and as before, God's mercy. I pushed on all fours (a very, very funky way to deliver, I must confess), and both shoulders were behind the pelvic bones. It took two minutes from "head to dystocia", the doctor at the desk rushed in as I was told to flip to my side (his head was already out), my leg was shoved way up (as in I didn’t know it could go that high) and everything is a blur, but the doctor did something and out came Jonathan as I pushed a last time, without so much as a tear! (Compare that to my hour and a half of stitching through 5 layers with my daughter…whew!) He had the very short cord around his neck as well, so in spite of the super short labor and almost nonexistent pushing time, he managed to combine some drama from both my other births into one (Little B had a long cord wrapped three times around his neck!). I'm very thankful it was so fast... I wasn’t actually aware we’d had a dystocia situation, so when my husband kept happily saying that Baby J was moving both arms around, I kept thinking, “And why wouldn’t he be?”

Baby J was born at 6:30am, a mere two hours after getting my antibiotics (three hours after getting to the hospital) versus the four I was supposed to get. So much for making it to the hospital with plenty of time! They did keep us 48 hours to make sure he showed no signs of infection since his blood kept clotting and they didn’t want to repeat the blood work anymore. My mom told me later she had worried about me delivering at home and having to call 911. I guess she took my signs of labor more seriously than I did!

My sweet baby is an absolute wonder...I'm just as in awe of new life as I was with my first two.

For anyone reading this who is curious about the references to my daughter's birth almost three years ago, you can find that story here.


momrn2 said...

Any time I hear the words Group B Strep in the same breath as talking about a newborn... a lump rises in my throat and my heart tends to beat a little faster.

I tested negative but that is, in fact, what caused the meningitis in my newborn baby girl. That nasty bug went straight for the brain to cause infection.

I also became terribly ill from it while she was fighting for her life in the NICU.

I held my breath this entire post and am rejoicing and praising God the antibiotics were adequate and all are well!!

Also praising God the jaundice continues to resolve!

billyandtami said...

Wow! What a story of God's mercy! He really matches his name's meaning as "a gift of God." My God continue to shower you all with His mercy and grace!

Carbon said...

Baby J is looking great! Glad to read he's off the light table! I'm also glad you had a short amount of pushing. Always good!

Our Love Story said...

Thanks for sharing! I realize I never did...maybe a birth story post to come?...

I am amazed at how you can relax so well! I am also so glad that he did well and that the Lord worked it out so that they could move you to the position to get him out.

He is such a cutie!

Also, isn't it great that midwives come even when not on call!?! Jason totally coached me, but it was so comforting to have my midwife there almost my whole labor.

I hope I find another good midwife in our new town.

Go Cjoy! So proud of you and happy for you!


SlushTurtle said...

You are all woman! I can't even imagine natural birth (of course, with a scheduled c-section, I never felt so much as a contraction). He is so beautiful and I am glad it went so well!!!