Thursday, October 9, 2014
My Son's Birth Story
When you have only had one birth I think most will just assume the next will be somewhat like the first. I had hoped it would be quite different because laboring for over 24 hours is not exactly on my top ten list, but I had reservations that it was going to be much shorter. I also had expected to have him well before my due date like my daughter. From start to finish God has used this precious little one to show me that my plans and assumptions are insignificant and futile. He blessed me in innumerable ways and showed me that trusting Him was more important that trusting me. That being said let's get to the juicy details!
So, when I posted about being overdue I was only 3 days past at that point. I figured I was only a few more days away, foolishly. Because of my ginormous state and impending birth at any moment my husband decided because work was a little scarce that week he would stay home with me and work on the house as well as help me rest until I did indeed go into labor. On Tuesday I saw one of my midwives, Lindsay, and had her strip my membranes (which didn't really do much unfortunately). So we passed the days that week enjoying having each others company, going to breakfast one morning at a really neat vintage diner, watching movies at night and waiting for those darn contractions to take the shape of real labor. Thursday night we and my parents went to the county fair a few towns away. While there I tried to keep up with everyone and just walked right through most of the contractions I was having about every 10 to 15 minutes. I knew they weren't the real thing but a few were fairly "ouchy". I even wore my two year old daughter on my back for about an hour in the Ergo! By the time we went home my body was tired and I suddenly was glad that I was not in labor ;-)
Friday I had another day like a few weeks ago with spells of regular and then irregular contractions that ended when I went to bed. Discouraged I sent a text to my midwife Robin (who was on call) the next morning "Just another round of false." She encouraged me telling me it was just shaving time of my real labor. I was doubtful because I had checked myself that day (yes, I am one of those ladies!) and everything was the same as it had been for 6 weeks. I think if I have another pregnancy I will refrain from that practice because it really means nothing in hindsight!
All day Saturday I had a impulsion to be alone with Montana Man and go to the ocean. It was a weird 'craving' of sorts but my mom was willing to keep the kiddos so later in the evening we set off for a small beach about 45 minutes away. We stopped for some sandwiches on the way (and might I say that standard booths at that sandwich shop are not made for women that pregnant?) and by the time we got to the beach it was dark. The tide was at its lowest so we had to walk quite away from shore to find the water. It was beautiful with a huge orange crescent moon and a deserted expanse of smooth sand. We stood in the water only up to our ankles until they were numb from the cold and then started to walk back to the car. Of course once back to the car it took me a minute to get in because of a contraction and I had them all the way home. The stopped a bit before bed, again (can you see the pattern?).
Sunday! It's got to be today right? Contractions started up around 7:30, this time regular at 5 minutes apart and a bit more intense. With walking they were about 2-4 minutes and stronger but went back to 5 and easy once I stopped. Fed up and sleepy I laid down for a rest around 3:00 and slept til about 5:00. Contractions were quiet. MM suggested we go out for supper and a little reluctantly I agreed. It was just what I needed though. The kids had a great time and I was so glad we had that special time just the four of us! I was feeling pretty uncomfortable so I had told MM I didn't think I was going to be able to finish my meal after those hot wings! But, I did. He kind of smirked at me across the table like he knew something I didn't. Have I ever told you he has an amazing intuition? (A few days after the birth he told me he knew it was going to be the next day cause I took a long nap and was eating a ton, fueling up for the action! And, I was grumpy.) On the way home we stopped and got a couple movies. I finished both but hubby fell asleep during the last one. I decided not to wake him when I went to bed because I tossed and turned so much I knew he would sleep better where he was. Eventually he woke up around 5:00 am and crawled in bed with me.
Monday. Around 7:05 I woke up to a different contraction. This one was in my back even more than they had been and really crampy. I looked at my phone to see the time and then went back to sleep. Another one woke me up and looking at the time it had been 10 minutes. Ok... back to sleep. 10 minutes later, same thing but this one made me need to rock on my side a bit and hum at the peak. I thought, ok, if I have another one in 10 minutes I will get up and see if they change. Well I had another one in 10 minutes at 7:45. Once it was over I started to move to get up and I gushed! Startled for a second I then whacked Montana Man on the arm and told him my water just broke! I told him to grab me a towel so I could make it to the bathroom without soaking everything. Sure enough as soon as a stood I was soaked. In the bathroom I discovered another long awaited sign of labor, bloody show! Finally! I gave Kyle instructions from my throne (aka the toilet) to call my mom and see where she was. She was at the dentist getting her teeth cleaned! So, she would be back in about an hour or so. After accomplishing all my business in the bathroom and finding one of the postpartum pads to catch the fluid I started timing the now much more frequent and strong contractions that were making me hum and move through each. To my surprise they were only 2 minutes apart! Finally my brain caught up and I thought to call my midwife Robin (duh). She would be on her way after she got her kids off to school. A few minutes later she texted to say she was on her way but in the rush hour traffic so Brenda (another midwife in the practice) would be getting to me first just in case. I texted back saying they were already 1-2 minutes apart (no joke, MM was timing them for me) and getting harder but I was ok. I was on my knees leaning onto my rocking chair so I could rock with each one. I had to get up and go get another pad after a bit because I leaked trough the first already. So I walked around for a bit stopping to lean on something every couple of minutes.
Mom got back around 8:45 and shortly after Brenda arrived at 9:00. She checked his heartbeat and he sounded great. Not much later Robin got there followed close behind by Lindsay. Brenda said goodbye and went back home since she wasn't on call (she was just the closest at the time, I was glad to see her for a few minutes though!). I had texted my friends Lara and Megan who were my planning to be my other supports and they graciously rearranged their schedules best the could to be there as soon as possible. In the mean time I just labored away! I went from hands and knees leaning over a sleeping bag on my bed to sitting up and resting leaning back in between. I was most comfortable sitting that way with a heat pack on my lower back. Baby was moving quite a bit and we were having a hard time figuring out what position he was in but because of how I was laboring I'm sure we were all thinking posterior or close to it.
At 10:30 they took my vitals and after a little while I said I felt like moving but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. I was reaching the point where I knew moving a lot would be the best but having a hard time leaving my "comfortable spot". Finally I just switched back to hands and knees over my sleeping bag. Each time I got back in that position the pressure I was feeling lessened but the contractions got much stronger and closer together. Around this time MM got his laptop and tracked all my contractions with an app he downloaded. I kind of laughed and said it didn't really matter cause I was obviously in active labor! But, it gave him something do and feel useful as the woman that had gathered around me helped me focus and relax through each wave. By now Lara and Megan had arrived (I'm pretty sure? Lol!). I only rode out 3 or 4 contractions like I was before I was encouraged to try getting in the shower. Montana Man just hung out in the bathroom with me and he easily continued to track each wave as I am not a quiet birther. The shower really didn't do much for me so I got out after about 20 minutes. I asked to be checked once I returned to my room and I was so glad to hear I was a stretchy 5 cm and 90% effaced. Half way! From this point until about 3:00 I would mainly labor sitting in my comfy spot but every 20-30 minutes do a few contractions standing, hands and knees, or on the toilet dry heaving and shaking occasionally which made me thing I was close to or in transition. The intensity in those positions kept freaking me out but I wasn't about to admit that! At 3:15 I had Lindsay check me again and I was only 6 cm and still 90%. I was really discouraged and knew I needed to let my body stop trying to be as comfortable as possible and give in to the intensity. I wasn't tensing during contractions but I wasn't truly working with them either. I lay on my right side for a bit which upped the intensity and then went straight to the sleeping bag again. One last break in the comfy spot and I did what everyone wanted... I got up and walked.
Well it worked! Some how almost and hour passed with me walking and kneeling over the back of the couch so I could keep my weight forward hoping the little guy would turn. It was pretty obvious I was entering transition for real now because the waves were taking all my strength not to lose it now. I remember the last 20 minutes perfectly. I had an insanely strong contraction while standing holding on to MM. Then I had two more like it leaning over the couch and feeling a bit of pressure. I looked at Lara (who had left to take a test but came back!) and said I though I would be pushing soon. I sat in the rocking chair for a couple contractions to catch my breath and mentally try to prepare myself for the next stage. Back kneeling on the couch leaning on the back of it I had another really strong contraction and felt the baby move and rotate. When the next contraction started I felt him drop down and I was pushing full force with no control. I just yelled "He's coming!" and everyone ran! Lindsay managed to wrestle me out of my underwear while everyone else ran to the living room with all the supplies. Robin and Lindsay shoved chux pads under me as I got down on the floor. All this time I am pushing with no control whatsoever! MM was sitting on the couch in front of me and I just gripped and pressed my forehead into his arm like I was trying to hold on to him for some kind of anchor. Finally the contraction let up and I caught my breath. Not for long though and as I pushed again his head started to crown and was born. Lindsay unwrapped the cord that was loosely around his neck twice and I tried to push his body out. He wasn't budging or rotating. The contraction ended but I kept pushing praying he would just pop free any second. Robin and Lindsay had me step my right leg up and Lindsay reached a hand in and worked on getting his shoulder and arm free. They had me stand which brought on another contraction and finally, at 4:53 pm, I was able to push him out! I looked down and there he was! He was still and a bit floppy but after a few puffs from the bag he drew a breath and cried! Once he was breathing the handed him to me and I kind of pitifully looked for a place to sit down. Thankfully we had the birth stool in the house so I had a seat in no time and after a couple minutes I was able to deliver the placenta with no problems (Thank You Lord!). From me yelling that he was coming to this point it had only been 15 minutes, second and third stage done and done. I had not expected that!
I got laid down on the couch and they checked my vitals and the like. Little man needed some blow by oxygen for the first half hour or so and Robin held him belly down across her arm patting his back a few times to help him expel the fluid still in his lungs. After about an hour he was much improved. I nursed him for a bit and then he went to his daddy while I got cleaned up and they checked for tears back in my bedroom. Amazingly despite his size and having my midwife's hand way up there, I had only a couple tiny 'skid marks' at the top and bottom. I think we were all pretty amazed! When we weighed and measure him he was 9 pounds 7 ounces and 22 inches long! I hadn't expected him to be so large! After I got him latched on again I got to have a tour of my placenta which I was quite happy to get to do this time. It's now in my freezer waiting for a tree :-) Lara and Megan headed home after a bit to get back to their own kiddos, I was so thankful they were able to be there! Robin and Lindsay finished charting and doing last checks on me and baby and then went home also. After the kids went to bed Montana Man and I finally got to rest a bit and we spent the first night on the couch admiring the new little one that we had waited for.