Friday, November 23, 2012

Kelly's Version of Our Birth Story

Our Birth Story – Kelly’s Version

This is my rendition of our baby Madeline’s birth.  We couldn't have asked for a better hospital to have our baby at.  The nurses at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center are absolutely wonderful.  Even more awesome is my midwife Tiffany.  She is such a calm, knowledgeable, and positive person.  I wouldn't want anyone else to deliver my babies.  A couple warnings: I am normally very good at guessing what time it is, how much time has passed but somehow through the miracle of hormones, drugs, and excitement, my perception of time during the labor and delivery was quite amiss.  Half of this was written when I was very sleep deprived.  The week before Madeline was born was crazy busy.  I was feeling so worn down and was still dragging myself around at work trudging along.  My co-worker and boss were out sick for most of the week and it was a very busy week.  By Thursday night I decided I had to take Friday off.  I took a personal day and we worked to get the house ready for Dave’s birthday party that we were to have on Saturday.  The party was great, we had a good time with friends singing karaoke and Sunday turned out to be a recovery day.

Monday rolled around and it was work as usual.  By this time in my pregnancy I was 38 weeks along and I was not sleeping well.  But hey, I had at least two or three weeks to go and I planned on resting as much as possible once this hectic week was over.  I was uncomfortable but I felt like I had to get stuff done before our baby girl arrived.  Monday night was awful.  I think I woke up around 3 and didn’t really get back to sleep.  I just lay there wishing I could sleep.

Tuesday I was so tired and I considered calling in but went in. I still wish I had taken time to rest but that’s something I’ll have to remember for our future baby.  My boss asked me if I thought I’d be able to work much longer.  I guess she could tell I needed a break.  I was showing signs of possible impending labor during work on Tuesday.   I won’t go into the lovely details but I made sure to text Dave all about them at work.  I wasn’t due for two more weeks and I was really planning to relax and “enjoy” those last two weeks!  After work we had dinner with my family then went to get a few groceries and to the Halloween store and oh man was I tired.  I waddled down the aisles with Dave and at some point told him that I was done shopping and we had to leave.  I remember texting a friend that I was going to loan a top to and I jokingly said that I’d see her the next day unless I was in labor. 

Sleep did not come easily on that night.  In fact, I woke up with what I’d guess were practice contractions early that morning.  I half expected them to pick up and when they didn’t and my alarm finally went off, I looked out the window and told Dave about it and then said, “I guess I’m going to work today”.  Walked into the bathroom and low and behold a trickle of water ran down my leg.  I said “oh dear” and walked to wait outside the other bathroom door for Dave to come out.  I told him the news and he called our Midwife’s office.  He got me an appointment to confirm that it really was my water and that I didn’t pee myself as pregnancy has a way of making your bladder control not so controlled.

I emailed my boss and told her that I think I might have sprung a leak then I got ready and he packed the car just in case they might send us to the hospital.  At the office it was confirmed that it was my water and that we would be in fact having our baby within about 24 hours.  Wow!  I was stunned.  We also found out that my cervix was totally not ready for the baby’s grand entrance into the world and were advised to go to the hospital.  I had to ask, “How many hours do we have before we need to be at the hospital?”  And the answer was by lunchtime.  My plan was to go home to try to get labor moving on my own.  I was trying to avoid Pitocin and an epidural since I really had my mind set on a natural birth.  We drove home and I got on the treadmill and walked a mile.  I had a few little contractions.  We tried some other natural methods to get things moving and I continued to have minor contractions.  I was so glad.  Dave was eager to get to the hospital although I was not in a rush whatsoever.  I wanted to get myself going with labor before heading out.  We compromised and went around noon after I had some leftover pizza AND spaghetti! 

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  The contractions had continued all the way to the hospital but when we were checking in they pretty much stopped.  They were going to give me a ride in a wheelchair up to labor and delivery triage but I told them I preferred to walk.  I was getting annoyed that my mini contractions had stopped. 

We got up to triage and was promptly handed a lovely huge, no GIANT, blue hospital gown thingy.  When the triage nurse found out that I was a midwife patient and had already had my cervix checked she decided to contact my midwife and go from there.  My wonderful midwife Tiffany showed up shortly and went over our options with us.  We went with the one that she recommended, it sounded safest for the baby and for me.  We went to our labor and delivery room (after I changed back into my own clothes) and settled in.  I was then hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and contraction monitor.  Since I was going to have medication to augment my labor this was going to be necessary.  Not what I wanted but at least I could get up and move around.  I was allowed to eat and drink per my midwife as well as disconnect myself from the monitors to make bathroom trips.  I did have a hep lock which is the part of the IV that is in your arm in case they need to administer fluids or medication.  It kind of felt pinched but I dismissed it. 

I took the first dose of cytotec and my mini contractions started back up after about an hour.  Dave and I entertained ourselves by watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race on his laptop.  It was actually not so bad.  So I thought.

 He was timing my contractions on my phone, bringing me water and making sure I had what I needed.  Four hours went by and I was having more contractions with slowly growing intensity.  My midwife decided I should have another dose of cytotec and about a half hour after that, my contractions went from tolerable to holy shit.  I could get through the contractions but it seemed that there was such a tiny break between them I didn’t have time to get my bearings between them.  They really felt like they were starting to pile up on top of one another.  I did the breathing thing.  It sort of worked.  I got on all fours on the bed and kind of rocked through it.  This was a little better.  I had to sit up for some reason and the nurse was talking to me at some point and I wasn’t in the right position for my contraction.  I started to freak out and let the pain take me over.  My body tensed up and I grabbed on to Dave and probably pinched him or clawed him a little.  I’m sure I squealed and when I reacted this way the pain was sooo much worse.  I tried to hang in there as long as I could but I finally gave in and said the magic word to Dave, “cacao” (Portlandia referenceJ).    I needed the epidural.  I was at 4 cm at this point and knew I couldn’t possibly ride these contractions out all night, not the way it was already going.  I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be laboring on my back in bed.  So I signed the paperwork for it and the nurse had to give me IV fluids but the original hep lock turned out to be putting the fluid in my arm and that hurt a lot.  She put one in my other arm and I could barely feel it.  The anesthesiologist administered my epidural probably 30 minutes later and within 5 minutes I was feeling better.  Numb and pretty much helpless and weak but the relentless and ridiculous pain was gone. 

By now, the evening was approaching and the evening went on like this.  Dave constantly checking the baby’s heart rate and my contractions on the monitor and not sleeping.  Me falling asleep only to be woken up by the damn blood pressure cuff every 15 minutes.  Our nurse coming in to do things on the monitor or help me drain my bladder.  Kind of humiliating I suppose but at the time in that situation, it was no biggie.  At some point it was decided that I have Pitocin to help my contractions.  I think the epidural had slowed them.  Also, the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly a few times.  Each time the nurses had to come in and roll me over to get her rate back up.  My midwife showed up sometime in the middle of the night and at that point the baby’s heart rate was just fine and did not drop any more.  She stayed at the hospital to monitor me and baby.  So the night went on and on.

Early in the morning my midwife came in and checked my progress.  She said that we were ready to go!  I was sooo happy!  The moment I’d been waiting for since early this year!  I told her that my right side was getting painful and she said that we could get more epidural meds pushed by the anesthesiologist but we’d have to wait an hour to push.  I decided I’d forget about the pain on my side as soon as I started pushing. I didn’t want to wait!  I couldn’t wait to meet this baby!  So while my midwife had to run out for a bit, the nurse was going to help me practice pushing.  I tried my best and she saw the baby’s head.  She got my midwife and it was go time.  I got her out pretty quickly.  It was tough trying to push when I could barely feel my legs.  They say push like you are pooping and I kept thinking that.  Also, I asked for a mirror so I could see my progress.  That was pretty cool to see, and strange, but mostly cool.  Soon enough, her head popped out and I think at this point my memory is sketchy.  It was such a big moment I don’t think my brain registered it right away.

 I know her head was out; I had to wait a second for the cord to be unwrapped from her neck.  No fuss, Tiffany unwrapped it and we moved on.  One more push and she was out and on my chest.  Nurses wiped her off and I was in such a state of euphoria.  What a cool and surreal and BIG moment.  We already knew each other very well but my squeaky little baby was opening her eyes and seeing me for the first time as I was looking at her for the first time in amazement.  I looked at Dave and he seemed to be in a similar state of awe.  And now there are three of us in our little happy family.  J

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Love your story - definitely good for some laughs as well :D Even funnier is the ad that popped up at the bottom of the blog for our competition! LOL