Monday, December 12, 2011

A Birth Story, Part 3

*Warning: Part 3 includes the delivery and some things that may be TMI for some of you. 

In case you missed the beginning...

Part 1
Part 2

So the epidural isnt working on the left side and I can feel everything. From the beginning, the contractions had been focused in my back. (My mom told me she also had "back labor.") Now that the epidural wasnt working, the back pain on my left side was excruciating.

At 7:00 the change of shift came on and my new nurse was Alexis and she told me that a midwife would be the one to deliver my baby. I was so happy it wouldn’t be the doctor from the night shift. At 8:10, she came in to check my progress. J had just left a few minutes before to run down and get some breakfast. The poor guy was starving. Id been on the Pitocin for a little less than two hours. The midwife lifted up the sheet and said, “Whoa! I can see the baby’s head. You’re dilated to 10 and the baby’s head is at 2+.” We were all so shocked! They hadn’t expected me to progress so quickly, even on the Pitocin. I called J and said, get up here now, I’m dilated to a 10! The midwife laughed and said there wasn’t any hurry; she was going to let me labor down for a while before I started pushing. I relayed the message to J, who was very relived. He did rush back upstairs. He said he thought I was joking at first, because I was so calm. He almost threw his food down in the cafeteria and ran. Thankfully he brought the food with him and didnt make a mess. 

So as I’m laboring down, the contractions are getting worse and worse and are coming less than two minutes apart. Things began to get hazy at that point. I remember the nurse saying that there was no reason for me to be in so much pain, especially with an epidural and she was going to get the anesthetist. At some point he came in a said he was going to give me a “half bolus” directly into the epidural. I was in the zone at that point and don’t remember much except Jason helping me focus on my breathing. Around 9:30 the nurse came back in and said it was time to start pushing. Thankfully by that time the bolus had just kicked in and I was feeling nothing but relief. She had me push a couple of times but then stopped me because the baby’s head was right there and she was afraid I would deliver without the midwife being there. At 9:40 the midwife arrived and I began pushing. J was on my right, mom was on my left and the midwife and nurse were at the end of the bed. I remember my mom saying, “She has so much hair!” over and over. 

I loved the midwife. She was very concerned with giving me the safest, quickest delivery and preventing a tear. She also wanted all of us to participate in the delivery. So she had Jason lift my right leg, which was extra numb from the bolus, and mom lift the left leg. She had me hold my thighs as well. This wasnt working for me because I was too numb. After a few minutes, she told me to lift my pelvis with each push like Michael Jackson thrusted his. We all cracked up at that, but it worked! She had me grab my ankles, with mom and Jason supporting my legs, and thrust upward. She said this would help prevent a tear. 

After a total of fourteen minutes of pushing, and 17.5 hrs of labor, M was born at 9:54 am. She was perfect! The cord was wrapped around her neck once, but the midwife was so calm and unwrapped it without us even knowing. It wasn’t until we were filling out our discharge paperwork that we found out she had a nuchal cord. She dried her off a little and placed her right up on my chest. She waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating, letting M get all the stem cells. I loved that she did that. I had read about it during pregnancy, but didn’t think they would be willing to do it. Once it had stopped pulsating, J was allowed to cut the cord. I didnt even feel or realize when the placenta delivered, which was fine with me because I did not want to see it. They let M lay on me while they cleaned her up. I also breast fed her within the first 20 minutes after she was born, before they took her over to weigh and bathe her. After an hour they took her over to give her the Vitamin K shot, the eye ointment, weigh and measure her. She weighed 6 lbs, 12 oz. We all took a guess before they weighed her and the midwife guessed it correctly! She was 18 ¾ inches long. Afterward, they brought her back to me and let me breast feed her again. I was allowed to eat at that point. Finally! I was starving! We got in lots of snuggle time too. J and mom held M and lots of pictures were made. Then it was time for her first bath. While they bathed her, Alexis helped me to the bathroom so I could clean up and get a shower. Unfortunately, my right leg was extra dead from the bolus so I looked like a drunk person trying to walk to the bathroom. She and J practically carried me. The numbness didnt completely wear off of the right side for six hours. 

We spent two days in the hospital. Thankfully M was healthy and I didnt have any complications. My only complaint was intense back pain for a few days afterward from the contractions and epidural. My mom stayed with us for the next two weeks and J was off work, so we spent the time getting to know our little one.        

The last 12 weeks havent always been easy, but they have been wonderful. M is the best thing that has ever happened to us. She's our little miracle baby, our greatest blessing. All in all, my labor and delivery were pretty wonderful. Even with a defective epidural, I was very pleased with my experience and will happily do it again one day. The devastatingly brutal sleep deprivation that goes along with having a newborn...well, that's not something I look forward to. We have another year or two before we have to worry about that though.... =)


Chantal said...

Great story!

therecoveringbrit said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful midwife who was totally on your side. I'm still smiling at your description of you trying to walk like a drunk person! I feel bizarre enough having local anesthetic for dental procedures - can't imagine what you must have felt like!

therecoveringbrit said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful midwife who was totally on your side. I'm still smiling at your description of you trying to walk like a drunk person! I feel bizarre enough having local anesthetic for dental procedures - can't imagine what you must have felt like!

Angela Noelle said...

I'm so glad you were left with such a positive impression of the experience and that you had such a helpful midwife!

Becca said...

What a heartwarming post! Thank you for sharing! Because I am such a total weirdo, I am completely fixated on the "pulsating umbillical cord" part of this story :) How cool...I had a c-section so did not get to experience any of this, except the very end result :) Very neat.

Natalia said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I love reading about births. What an amazing experience!