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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: A Birth Story: Little Man

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Birth Story: Little Man

It all started Thursday morning, August 5th at my routine prenatal appointment. Everything looked good with baby, but mommy had an unusually high blood pressure--140/something. It could have been nothing, but since I was (I should say baby was) already two days overdue, the midwife was unwilling to take the risk. An induction was scheduled for Friday morning, 7:30am.

After a number of self started contractions Thursday afternoon and evening, and one last trip to the park as a family of four, we settled into bed.

Six o'clock came slowly for me as I was up a number of times, not with contractions, but with regular pregnancy discomforts. When the alarm did sound, I was ready--sort of. Friends of ours arrived with their 4 month old around 6:30am. He began work at 7, so they built in some time that morning for him to drop his wife and daughter at our home to stay with the kids while we were away (it was the one day we didn't have anyone available to stay with the kids... we were grateful they came!) Not long after their arrival, J left for work and I was filling L in on all I could think of. All the while, though, I was having more contractions, and stronger than the day before.

I woke Tornado and Sweet Pea at 7am so we could explain, again, where we were going and so that they could say good-bye to us. At 7:20, we were in the car and on the way. My contractions were closer together and requiring more of my concentration. It seemed like each turn we made came during one, making it impossible to both relax and keep myself upright at the same time. And I found that Dr. Bradley is right, contractions hurt more when you aren't completely relaxed... a lot more!

I did the crazy big girl thing and walked in from the parking lot and even forwent the wheel chair at the entrance. I didn't want quite that much attention this time around.

Our sweet nurse Nicole was in the birthcenter to greet us, showing us right to room 320 and getting us settled. As we walked into the room she turned and looked at me, "Let's get one thing straight," she said sternly, "I am not delivering this baby!"

"Ah," I said smiling, "you've read my chart." When Sweet Pea was born, the midwife didn't quite make it, and our nurse Mary was the one to deliver her.

Seemingly endless questions like "Do you have running water in your home" and "access to a car" were interrupted by contraction after contraction, at which time I would lay my head back, close my eyes and "stomach breath" to the best of my ability--just like it said in my book. This too seemed to reduce the pain. Throughout the morning, various nurses and midwives encouraged me in those moments when I'd "leave the room", as I'd overhear them saying to each other comments like, "she's doing so good" and, "isn't she good?!?" It at least made me feel like I was doing something right.

After a check by the midwifery student (Molly) and a chat with the midwife (Bonnie), we were alone. Just my sweet husband and me. There is something so special about laboring with my Love. He is always caring and sweet, but how it is amplified in labor when his desire to serve me is never greater.

He sits and stands nearby, taking pictures of anything he thinks I'll want later, holding my hand, telling me I'm doing great and that he loves me.

When they were putting in my IV (before the midwives came in actually), he hovered about staying out of the way, yet staying close and helpful to all. The first IV blew the vein, which I expected. I had warned her that when Sweet Pea was born it took five tries. She was determined it would not happen again and brought in another nurse to try. That one stuck with some extra care and special treatment, but it hurt, and the Penicillin hurt worse--for almost an hour! At that point, the IV was actually worse than the contractions.

Once the antibiotic was done (and my arm started feeling better), things quieted down in our room. For a while I was able to chat and be normal between contractions. But after a time, things progressed further. I would feel the contraction coming and begin my deep "stomach breathing." Once the contraction calmed some, I'd feel myself simply turn and lay my head over. I'm sure this was distressing to my sweet husband. He would ask if I was okay and I would give a tiny, barely noticeable nod. I was apparently in the next stage of labor.

I have no idea how long I was in this "stage" as I wasn't paying much attention to anything other than the contractions, which were coming anywhere from one to five (maybe) minutes apart. All of a sudden I was announcing, "I'm nauseous." My Beloved knew what this meant, but the nurse was asking if I needed a basin. She got it to me quickly, and just in time. I was contracting and throwing up as I heard My Beloved tell the nurse that this usually meant "transition." Next thing I knew I was shaking violently... then it was over. And for a few minutes things were lighter in the room.

Before long, though, it was intense again, and now I was hot. Unbearably hot. When Molly checked me, I was only 6 cm (1 more than the morning) and baby was still high. My Beloved was fanning me now and wiping my face with cool damp clothes. This felt great and made it endurable.

Bonnie and Molly were in to check on us and recommended using the birthing ball, saying that sometimes moving around helps to move the baby into the right position... speeding things along. It sounded like a good idea so they brought it in for me. When it came time to actually use it though, I declined. Contractions were coming so fast and so hard that I didn't want to be in between laying on the bed and leaning on the ball when one came. I was afraid I would find myself in a position I couldn't completely relax in... and I didn't know if I could take that.

After a second transition like period of throwing up, the contractions were even more intense. I was now moaning the exhale parts of many contraction's "stomach breaths." And I was ready for it all to be done. Unwilling to do it anymore, yet uninterested in alternatives.

The time came for a second dose of antibiotics (because of my positive GBS). A decision had to be made. The first round was immensely painful... almost unbearable with the contractions. Now they were going to do it again and I was barely making it through the contractions as it was. My sweet husband told me I could choose either way, but it was such a hard decision. I knew I didn't want it again... but what if I passed on it and something terrible happened to our baby? Finally, I decided. "I don't think I can handle it," I said to My Beloved. The decision was made... turns out, it didn't much matter.

Within minutes, my back pain was even worse than it had been, and I decided, finally, rather suddenly, that I wanted to lay on my side. I announced it, then felt the urgency to already be there as another contraction was already coming. I remember My Beloved trying to prop pillows behind my back for support, just as I wanted him to, but then was urgently asking (telling?) him to just push on me... push on my back... push... harder.

I'm not sure how many contractions I lay like that for (1?, 2?, 3?, or more), but it wasn't many. Before I knew it, the feeling I'd been waiting for had come (apparently I should have rolled over hours before!) My room was "full." My Beloved was with me of course, but my nurse, the midwife and the midwifery student had all been hanging out in our room , just watching and waiting. (I found out later that my nurse had asked Molly to stay close because she was afraid of having to deliver the baby herself! Isn't that great?!?)

"I feel like pushing," I said calmly to the room. Molly got up and, I think, said something about checking me. Then I said... not asked... "I'm pushing." And with as deep a breath as I could muster, I held a push for as long as I could. And they saw his head.

"I'm pushing again." I said (everyone was up now.) I heard someone (maybe my midwife Bonnie) tell me to just follow my body... which I was already doing, but I was encouraged to know that meant they were ready. I took a deep breath and held it as long as I could. Let it out, drew in another, held it and pushed some more. With one more held breath and push, his head was out. A moment later the next contraction was upon me and the deep breath holding and pushing resumed, bringing my baby boy into this world... in his bag. (The nurse was very excited!)

A second later they placed my purple boy on me, drying and wrapping him as best they could while the midwife team "finished up."

It's amazing how you can immediately feel like a new person. The energy I seemed to lack between contractions moments before had really just been stored so I was ready for each new contraction. All the work was over now and all my energy was restored so that I could focus it on my boy.

My precious baby boy was with us... perfect and healthy. Within fifteen minutes he was nursing, eyes looking around.

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At September 9, 2010 at 1:49 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

It sounds like you had the birth story you were hoping for, and I'm so happy for you! Congrats again on your new baby boy!!

At September 9, 2010 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

I love birth stories and it sounds like you had a good experience! It is amazing how much relief you can find by relaxing during a contraction. I found that out with my third birth and it made all the differnce! Thanks for sharing your story. (I'm posting mine soon, too.)

At September 17, 2010 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Irene said...

He was born in his bag of waters? What? I have never heard of that! Didn't that make it harder to birth him?

Good job toughing it out, God gave you so much strength to endure!


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