Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Mania: Birth Stories


Mama M. has scheduled a fun Mother's Day event this week, and I couldn't miss today's. Rather than just copying and pasting the same ol' stories that most of my friends and family have probably read, I'll give a (hopefully) quick retelling here.

Her birthday is fast approaching ... gotta figure out a party. Anyway, she's my first, and you know what that means: I had NO idea what to expect. I had a bunch of lofty ideas, a birth plan, and expectations of an early delivery. My mom had her babies early. My sister had her babies early. I certainly would, too.

Nope. Not gonna happen. Abigail was born NINE DAYS after my EDD with her. When you're thinking you'll be early, that feels like an ETERNITY! The kicker: I had to be induced. So, we go in at 6 p.m. on June 24 (a Tuesday). The Cervidil (sp?) is inserted and gets those contractions going right away. Not it's-time contractions, but regular contractions nonetheless.

Around 11 p.m. I was having a hard time relaxing and the nurse offered me something to help me sleep. I figured I'd need energy for the big event the following day, so I said yes. OUCH! That was the most PAINFUL shot I've EVER received – at least that I can remember ...

Come morning, I had a VERY hard time waking up. No surprise there. (Why did I agree to those meds?) As a result, the details are fuzzy. What I remember is they started the Pitocin, and I went from about 2 cm to 6 cm in about 15 minutes. I was trying to sit in the rocking chair when I decided I HAD to have something to ease the pain. They checked me and the nurse says, "Is that the head or the butt?" I thought, "Oh, no..." We knew the baby (didn't know the gender) was breech at 34 weeks, but the doctors thought she had turned ...

Anyway, the nurse gets a more-experienced nurse, who says it's the butt. While she's digging around, she accidentally breaks my water – and there was some meconium in the fluid. So, for some reason (I believe God orchestrated it), my OB (who wasn't the one on-call the night before) got to the hospital earlier than expected that morning. The nurse gets her, they wheel in a ultrasound cart, and the second she puts the wand thingy on my belly, DH and I both groan. Right there, just below my ribcage, is the HEAD.

Doctor announces it's time for a c-section. I start crying – not because I was crushed, but just out of relief. I knew that meant it was going to end SOON. I think the doctor thought I was upset, because she said "I'm sorry. I really thought she had turned." I didn't blame her – still don't. It's not an exact science, especially when insurance won't pay for an ultrasound ...

Anyway, they put the c-section on emergency status because of how quickly I was progressing. I bumped a few other women out of line and within about an hour I hear "It's a girl!" Everyone had been guessing she was a boy, so I was so THRILLED to hear GIRL! I didn't realize how much I was hoping for a girl until that moment. It's one of my sweetest memories. The instant we heard that, DH and I looked at each other and said, "We have our Abby!"

I was convinced that Abby was born late because she was breech. Without the head bumping against the cervix, it takes longer to soften. Right?

Or so I thought.

He (we knew we were having a boy) was late, too. Thankfully, only two days, but still. Late. My EDD came and went and I was still closed up pretty tight. The day after my EDD, we had a new bed delivered, and that night my water broke! (I'll never forget the day the bed arrived! LOL) It was shortly before midnight, and we'd only been in bed for roughly an hour. I was sound asleep when I suddenly woke with a VERY strong urge to pee. By the time I did pee, it was obvious it was my water that had broken. I woke my hubby saying, "We have water." It took him a minute to realize what I meant! LOL

When I arrived at the hospital, the nurse greeted me with, "So, you think your water's broken." My response was, "Either that or I've been peeing nonstop for about 45 minutes straight." LOL Because I was planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section), the doctor on call had me VERY restricted. I basically had to stay in bed attached to the monitors.

By morning, I needed an epidural. Not being able to move around made the pain (and lack of progress) harder for me to deal with. Long story short, that did NOT go well. I vowed NEVER to have another epidural.) It was getting close to noon when they got impatient, and they gave me Pitocin (something I don't remember, and my doula told me about after the fact). Grant's heart rate slowed (which is normal when Pitocin is involved), and because of my VBAC status, they freaked. I was wheeled into the O.R., and I teared up thinking, "Great. Here we go again."

Once they got me situated, Grant's heart rate sped back up, my contractions were stronger and more regular, and I had progressed to 8 cm (from about 4). The doctor decided to give me more time. Next thing I know, it's time to push. Two HOURS and one minute (according to the nurse) later, Grant was born! (Head circumference was in the 95th percentile, which explains the LONG pushing.)

I fully expected Natalie to be late. (We knew she was a girl.) Two days before my EDD (which happened to be my dad's birthday) I was having contractions all day. Didn't really realize it until later in the afternoon, at which point I thought maybe I should be timing them. They were about 8 minutes apart. So we got our babysitter and headed to the hospital.

I don't think the nurse knew right away that I was a VBAC. Either that or my having previously had a successful VBAC made them less nervous. Whatever it was, I was relieved. We got there 9 or so in the evening, and things happened pretty quickly. About 10 or 10:30, we walked for a bit. (I had a doula, as with Grant's birth, and she was AWESOME!) I wasn't dilating very well, but after the walk, that changed.

After midnight, I decided I wanted Nubane (sp?) or something like that just to take the edge off the pain. The nurse checked me, and I was about 5 cm. and very stretchy. So, I was going to be admitted. Good thing, too, because within about 15 minutes – before she was able to bring my meds – I had an undeniable need to push. I couldn't not push. I kept being told not to push, but there was no holding back. So I was checked – and I was at 10 cm! I couldn't believe how fast that happened! LOL

Natalie was born much faster than her brother – only 30 minutes of pushing this time. (The worst thing was the lab lady didn't arrive until I was pushing, and she was drawing blood WHILE I was pushing. She kept telling me  hold still. Umm .... yeah, OK, lady! LMAO)



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