BB is currently sleeping against me in the baby K’Tan. Baby carriers are pretty awesome. There are other things on the awesome list too like grandparents who are willing to hold him while mommy sleeps, breast pumps and bottle feeding, and ridiculously supportive husbands!
I want to write down BB’s birth story before I forget all of the details. I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten already. So… 25 days ago, I gave birth to this little man! Below are all the details I’m remembering, some may be gross but this is a birth story after all…
Let’s go back to Valentine’s day, Thursday, February 14th. I had my weekly appointment for week 38 and I was actually checked for the first time – 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor was surprised that I was already effaced to 50% but said she bet she would see me next week, still pregnant at my next appointment. We went about our lives, had our lobster dinner as is our Valentine’s day tradition… I hadn’t had many Braxton Hicks contractions or other labor indications so I was surprised when I woke up at 5am on Saturday with bloody show. I never saw my mucus plug; at least not to the point that I could identify it. My contractions started very lightly but they were every 5 minutes and about a minute long from the very beginning. That’s the timing my doctor’s office wants you to call them/go in. So I waited until 8am to call the nurse-on-call. I was still contracting at the same pace but they were getting a bit stronger – not too badly though. She told me to just labor at home and when it got to the point that I couldn’t speak through contractions, to head to the hospital. She notified the hospital that I would likely be in that day. So I did what I had read/been told. I ate, I drank, we took walks. My parents came over in the early afternoon after I had been laboring all day. I still wasn’t THAT uncomfortable between contractions and I just had to concentrate on them more when they happened. The only thing is that the timing of them never changed. I was still contracting 1 minute long every 5 minutes.
At 3:30pm we finally decided to go to the hospital. Sadly, when the triage nurse checked me, I was only at 2 cm, 80% effaced. This was quite depressing as the contractions were much worse while at the hospital. I was hooked up to the monitors for a bit and you could see that I was contracting a lot. We never saw the doctor on call but he decided from my stats that I should chill in triage for a few hours to see how I progressed. So we did. We walked the halls and I labored in the triage room. I still had a ton of show which was annoying to me but unsurprising to the nurse. Speaking of the nurse, our triage nurse Alison was awesome. I didn’t realize she was just there for triage. It would have been nice had she been our L&D nurse the whole time. So around 5pm they checked me again and I was at only 3 cm but 90% effaced. They decided to admit me and we were moved to an actual delivery room. Eric pumped up the yoga ball and we got as comfortable as we could in the new room. The new nurse – Jennifer – was not as great as Alison. She was not very friendly and lacked bedside manner I would expect in L&D. She also messed up my heplock the first time and I have no idea what she did the second time but I had blood running down my arm… Another time she was hooking something up and she said ‘oops.’ Just really not what you want to hear.
I had so wanted to use yoga positions, the ball and massage to get through labor. As it turns out, my contractions intensified and I basically didn’t leave the bed. The monitors were on me the whole time and even though I had the heplock, the IV was connected the whole time too. My contractions were quite long at 2 minutes and at some point, they started coming right on top of one another, with no breaks in between. Thankfully, I couldn’t see the monitors because I’m sure that would have freaked me out to actually see the contractions on paper. I was mostly hurting up front in my abdomen and for some reason my right hip was very painful. I know BB was faced toward that hip so maybe it was his position. Anyway, as I knew I would, I went all internal during contractions. I did long breathing and just tried to get through it. They did become quite painful. I remember one contraction where I almost started crying. Around 9pm the doctor on-call from my OBGYN practice checked my progress again and I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated. At this point, she wanted to break my waters but warned that labor would progress quite strongly and quickly after that was done. She suggested that if I was interested in an epidural, to get it before breaking the waters as it would just get more painful. I waited about 20 min for Eric to finish his dinner in the waiting area and to decide if I wanted the epi. In the end, I decided to get the epidural. As is posted many places, just because you decide to get one, doesn’t mean poof, the anesthesiologist is there and ta da, you have no pain. First you have to take in a whole IV bag, then the anesthesiologist has to come and then do the whole procedure. Thankfully I was able to stay still during the two contractions it took to administer the epi. After the drugs took effect, I felt 100% better. My mom and Eric had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the rest of labor and were glad that I decided to do the epidural. The worst part of the whole thing: the catheter. I knew that you end up with a catheter because you can’t urinate on your own and you can’t get up from the bed to do so. I didn’t know how dang uncomfortable and irritating they are! So anywho, I was able to rest and not feel the contractions much at all. I did start feeling pressure at one point but that is normal. The nurse kept checking to see where the baby was in relation to my pelvis and he finally got low enough to start pushing. So, at 2am, February 17th, I started pushing. Weee! Because of the epidural, I had to be told when to push based on the monitors. Eric had my left leg and the nurse was holding my right as I pulled on a sheet tied to a push bar. It was very helpful for me to be able to use this counter-pressure – to pull on something – as I was bearing down. I was worried about how Eric would react to labor especially since he was seeing, well, everything. He didn’t seem afraid or anything. He didn’t cry at all and was just so excited the WHOLE time. He was excited during my hours of labor and through pushing to the delivery. It was impressive.
At one point the nurse said that it was time to call the doctor. The doctor and a multitude of others started coming in at that point and I’m pretty sure I only pushed a handful of times once they were there. Apparently that’s the way it works in L&D, the doctor just shows up at the end. Anyway, I got to the point of crowning and the doctor told me I had 1 more push and he was coming out. That’s when I started crying. : ) We pushed again and she said his head was 1/4 out and if I could, to wait until the next contraction to push it all the way. That totally didn’t happen and I had to push the rest of the head out. And then came the shoulders.
BB was born officially at 3:22am. I didn’t notice the placenta or anything else come out until they were stitching me up. I think I had a 2nd degree tear. Not too bad really. There were a few stitches that HURT though. Missed a bit with the local anesthetic maybe… So he was placed on my belly and I tried to pull him up to me but the nurses made me keep him low so Eric could cut the cord I guess. I totally wasn’t aware of that part and have no memory of it. I just remember seeing the top of his head and crying. I was so happy that he was finally born! They took him from me and Eric followed him over to the little heating bed where they cleaned him up, measured him and got him all comfy. He was 7 lbs and 21.5 inches long. He had an APGAR of 8/9 so I was thrilled. He also didn’t look like the typical newborn with a goofy misshapen head. Yay! He was just perfect. I wanted to nurse right away and thankfully was able to. In the first hour I think he nursed a total of 30 minutes. He started out so strong and I’m thankful we really haven’t had any problems. He also had meconium poops and wet diapers from the very beginning. He was definitely ready to come out and was very healthy!
So that’s how BB came into this world. It was wonderful and long and not as I’d expected. I’m very happy with how the birth went even though I hadn’t wanted to use medication. I’m glad I did because I doubt I could have lasted a whole 22 hours without it.