Here’s the quick and dirty on our birth story! Elliot was originally due June 29th. I wrote this when Elliot was 4 days old. He’ll be three weeks tomorrow!
I started having contractions on and off around May 20th. I had an appointment on the 30st and I was excited for it because I knew they would check me to see if my contractions were changing anything. We got tot he appointment and my blood pressure was 151/93, and I had lost almost 5 pounds since my appointment just 6 days before. We did an u/s to check Elliot, and our fluid was low. Fluid is supposed to be at 14cm, ours was at 6cm. They hooked me up to do an NST.
For those that don’t know- “The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test.”
During the NST, I felt a lot of movement, but Elliot’s heart rate wasn’t reacting to his movement like it was supposed to, so we were send to L&D for monitoring. While at L&D, my Bp went down a bit, and they gave me two bags of fluid, and we were asked to come back the next day.
So we went back the next day at 4:30, and my BP was back up to 148/94. They checked fluid again and it was at 2cm now. Both the midwives I had been seeing were off that day, so we talked with the head OB, Dr. Brabson. He checked me and I was 3cm, 70%, and he thought I was favorable for induction. He said that since my blood pressure hadn’t been high for long, he suspected that something was going on that was making the placenta have to work too hard and it was signaling my body that it was time to go (hence the contractions I’d been having)
I was 36 weeks, 4 weeks exactly from my due date and we were NOT ready. I requested they let us go home first so we could get read because I needed to get stuff together and take my dogs to a sitter and the doctor agreed. He said that once I checked in, they’d monitor me over night and break my water in the morning and give me pitocin..
So we went home around 6PM. I was in NO rush to get back. We packed the bags, cleaned the entire house, ate dinner, took a shower, and took the dogs to the sitters. We got to L&D and checked in at 12:30 that night. They hooked me up to fluids, did my GBS test, and gave me sleeping medicine. (GBS came back in the morning- negative! And I had 3 bags of fluid over night)
So they came in at 7 to break my water, and they inserted a vaginal monitor since I had requested not to be strapped down to the typical ones. Within the 5 minutes after they broke my water I had 3 contractions I didn’t even feel. The doctor decided to give me two hours to see how the contractions worked before ordering any pitocin. In the first hour I had 16 contractions and was feeling great. Nothing was painful and Jason and I were just joking around. (AWESOME side note- the nurse we were assigned is a Hypnobirthing instructor, which is the type of birth we were planning and had taken classes on)
By noon, they were starting to get hard to handle. I described what was going on pain-wise and the nurse confirmed what I though: I was back laboring. Our nurse helped a lot with suggesting ways to help, and she coached me to help me breath through the contractions. Without her, I probably would have had much more trouble. I had practiced a LOT to breath through them, and it was definitely worth it, but having that nurse was priceless. For most of labor, I stood, bent over the bed with Jason standing behind me, massaging my back. At 2, they gave me some medicine to “take the edge off.” It didn’t help the ctxs at all, but it helped me relax in between them.
Things kept progressing well. They checked me at 2:30 and I was 6cm, 90% effaced. Jason was doing AWESOME. He rubbed my back constantly, fed me ice, talked me through the contractions, helped me breath. He really was amazing.
They started setting up the tub..I was REALLY anxious to get into it, and it was taking forever. They accidentally overfilled it, and had to start removing water before we could get in. I decided to lay down for a second, and ended up dosing off. (Bad idea!)
I woke up 30 minutes later in the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. I jumped out of bed and bent over trying to stretch out the pressure I was feeling in my back. I was trying to control myself and get back into my breathing but I was hysterical. Jason was trying to help and I kept yelling at him. (at one point I told him my grandmother could massage better than him while he was trying to rub my back. Remember this, its important later! Lol)
I looked at the nurse and I said that I wanted an epidural NOW. She told me the tub was ready and I could get in, but I was pouring sweat and shaking. They brought in my midwife (YAY!!) and by this point I was literally screaming at them to give me something. My midwife checked me and I was 9cms, but she went ahead and let the anesthesiologist put in my Epi because I needed to labor down a bit. It took about ten minutes to put in and the entire time I was shaking and fighting to hold myself still. Minola (our midwife) had a cold cloth on my face, and Jason and the nurse were holding my shoulders helping me stay still (I was shaking so violently).
BUT, They got it in and it washed over my body and I just laid down in bed. I could still feel quite a bit, but it wasn’t painful at all. Just a little pressure. I stayed in bed another thirty minutes falling in and out of sleep and she checked me, and I was 10cm and his head was right there! I had been pushing through contractions without noticing. His heart rate was a little low, so they had me turn from my side to my back and take some oxygen while they got everything ready for me to push. They set up a mirror so I could see everything, which I loved and hated at the same time.
I pushed for 30 minutes and he was out. On the last contraction I told the nurse and midwife that he was out on the next one and they both laughed and said I’d need more time, but damnit I wanted to meet my baby! He was born on June 1st, 5:29PM, and they plopped him right on my belly. It was weird, I didn’t cry at all. My husband just sobbed. Elliot was beautiful and alert. He just looked around…he had my finger in one hand and Jason’s in the other.
Elliot weighed 6.3 oz, and was 20 inches long. I had no tearing, (!!!!!) and I am completely in love with my boy. We spent the first hour loving on him and doing skin-to-skin (both of us) before they did any procedures. His heart rate looked great, his temp was awesome, and he latched on almost immediately when we tried to BF. (Though he would only suck 2 or 3 times and then fall asleep)
Looking back the next day, I realized that I really did get exactly what I wanted from my birth. No, it wasn’t exactly what we planned, but I realized that the entire time, all I wanted was to be 100% in control of how it went down, and that’s what I got. My midwife was very concerned the next day with how I was feeling because she considered me a much higher risk from PPD, but I told her, and can still say with confidence that I am SO ecstatic and pleased with the way things went. I realized the next day, and told her, that I have had an issue with blocking out things that are painful…and there is about two hours of time from when I was in labor that I just can’t remember! I remember feeling pain, but I can’t remember who was there and what people were saying, and I can’t pull any visuals from my memory. So I know that, had I kept going naturally, I would have been in so much pain that would have I mentally blocked out the birth of my son. I’m still going to be an advocate for Hynobirthing, because the visualizations and the breathing techniques were SO helpful through labor up until I lost control at my transition. The breathing is what gave me the strength to hold still when they were giving me the epidural, and its what gave my husband the strength to remain calm and collected for me. I’m glad I was able to hold out on the epidural for as long as I could. I was so stern that I didn’t want to have a bunch of medicine in mine and my son’s system when he was born, so only having the epidural on for a little of an hour was better than 6 or 7 hours!
Things are going great now. I was able to get up three hours after the birth and go to the bathroom and start moving around. I think I stood up for about 4 hours straight once that Epi wore off…I even helped the nurses put away the tub! I haven’t had much pain at all, just soreness and cramping when breastfeeding…and…the bottom of my back is one giant black bruise from DH rubbing and massaging so hard! I told him later that my grandmother definitely could not have massaged like he did…and the poor things shoulders and hands are still bothering him.
Elliot passed all of his newborn tests. The pediatrician was pleased with him. He sleeps great..he doesn’t really cry much either. He just whimpers and scrunches up his face like he’s thinking about it. Jason’s been a major help. We got to go home the night after the birth, and our first night home was fantastic. Elliot nursed every 3.5 hours, and slept the rest of the time..So Jason and I were able to get almost 8 hours of sleep each!
Upcoming posts- product reviews, breastfeeding (negatives and positives), Cloth diaper washing and storage. =)