Birth Story

Saturday the 20th I started having regular contractions. I had had no contractions prior (at least not ones that I could feel) so I was pretty excited about that.  They continued through the evening. Sunday I had contractions 4-7 minutes apart.  We called Brian's mom to come over and stayed home from church. I was feeling pretty tired, my body was working hard even though I wasn't doing that much work.

Brian's mom spent the night Sunday night in case we needed to leave in the middle of the night.

But alas. The contractions never got closer together, and they eventually spread out.

Pretty much for the next several days I would have timeable contractions at some point every day or evening, only for them to peter out.

Wednesday I went to the doctor. I was 39 weeks 6 days. I asked her to check me. I was feeling very frustrated with thinking I was having a baby and then nothing happening.  She checked and I was 4 cm dilated, 50% effaced. Woohoo! So all the contractions were actually doing something. She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped and I declined. She said I probably wouldn't last more than a few more days anyway.

Thursday the 25th I had a few contractions at night which were strong enough to wake me up.  When I woke up on the 26th, contractions were fairly strong at 4-7 minutes apart. I told Brian to go ahead and go to work; no sense staying home for a baby that may not even be coming!

By 11 they were stronger and closer. I called my Mom and asked her to come over to stay with the kids. I took a shower when she got here; and right when I got out I had a few contractions that were as close as 2 minutes together!  I told Brian we'd better get to the hospital since I had already been 4 cm and it was a 30 minute drive. I didn't want him to have to deliver the baby on the side of the road!

Our doula met us there. We got checked in, and they checked me around 1 p.m. I was nearly 6 cm at that point. I was feeling really good still. I had ants in my pants for sure, just wanted to keep moving and walking.  They admitted me. Looked like today was finally going to be the day!

We walked, did squats, did some "curb walking" to try to help move the baby down.  I was handling things really well; everyone seemed really surprised. My doula said this was the easiest labor for her ever!  They checked me again at 5:30 and was nearly 7 cm. I was monitored briefly, and my doctor was shocked when I was laughing through the contractions.  She said she had never seen anyone do that at 7 cm unless they had an epidural!

I tried to rest for a little while with my hips open around this weird peanut ball thing to try to get my pelvis opened up.  It seemed like it helped.

Around 9 p.m. I started to get shaky and burpy and had a harder time dealing with my contractions, though they were still manageable for me. I got in the tub for a while, and that started to slow things down. I just felt like I wanted to move so I got back out and went back to walking and squatting during contractions.

At 9:50 they checked again, and my cervix had not made any changes.  I was nearly 7cm and the baby was at -1 station.  My doctor suggested we break my water to move things along. I declined, knowing that it could put the baby in distress if she wasn't low enough yet.  My doctor had already delivered 3 other patients that evening and I was her last one. She seemed irritated, which surprised me, but I wasn't willing to possibly put my baby in danger to move things along. I figured my
 water would break eventually, it certainly wasn't going to stay intact forever!

My doula suggested a spinning babies maneuver to encourage the baby to come down under the pelvic bone around 10:30. She said it is very uncomfortable but could be very effective. It's hard to explain, but we went ahead and did that. I could only do it through 2 contractions and then pretty much just said I couldn't do it anymore.  We then did a different maneuver which wasn't as painful and did seem to help.

By 11 p.m. contractions increased to 2.5 minutes apart and 1 full minute long and were more intense. By midnight I was definitely in transition. One of the nurses suggested the tub again, so I got in for a little while, but there was just not enough room in there and I couldn't get comfortable. I just felt like I wanted to move and not be restricted so out we went again.

Eventually I was standing by the sides of my bed, which they raised up high so I could kind of hang on it. My doula was behind me squeezing my hips during contractions to help open up my pelvis. I told her, whatever we are paying you, it is totally worth it just for the squeezing!  It felt so good.  My husband was right there too; both of them were with me the whole time through everything. He was holding my hand and rubbing my back and just being so supportive and caring.

Around 1:15 I was kind of involuntarily pushing, so the doctor was called to come back.  They checked and determined I was fully dilated. The doctor grabbed the thing to break my water and started walking towards me. I didn't notice because, hey, I was in pretty serious pain and just trying to get through my contractions. Thankfully my doula quickly got my attention and asked if I wanted my waters broken. I said no again (duh!). My doctor was pissed, and said "You are going to push with your waters intact?" I said "I'm not sure I need to push yet." About 5 minutes later (at 1:35 a.m., according to my doula) it was definitely push time, and I'll be damned if my waters didn't just get pushed right out. My husband was pissed, I was in too much pain to be pissed but once I got that baby out I was pissed too.  Brian said he wanted to just stick his tongue out at the doctor, ha ha!

Things started to get real serious and I began to doubt my ability to get through without an epidural. But at this point it was way too late, the baby was coming out. I wasn't able to get into a deep enough squat to move the baby down, so I got up on the bed and used the squat bar while trying to push. It wasn't working either so my doula suggested the tug of war, with the rebozo (it's this mexican shawl thing, it's pretty cool) on the squat bar and me pulling up on it during contractions. Everyone started freaking out that the baby needed to come out RIGHT NOW, apparently her heart rate wasn't variable enough or something. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew I was pushing as hard as I could and that I was in a lot of freaking pain, ha ha!

She was born at 1:52 a.m. on the 27th, after about 18 minutes of pushing. It felt like was longer than that!  Apparently her head was born and my doctor grabbed it and pulled her the rest of the way out without waiting for my next contraction.  I tore pretty significantly, I know I have at least 3 stitches and I'm not sure about any more (Brian said there were definitely more than 3 but I only felt 3 going in).  She was placed right on my chest, where the nurse said I had to make her cry or else she was going to get taken away to the warmer. So I tried to make her cry (which feels like the most unnatural thing in the world!), and she did cooperate.  I cut the cord which was pretty awesome (Brian didn't want to do that so I did!).  Her APGAR scores were 9 and 9.  She was 6 lbs 11 ounces, and 19.5 inches long, though we didn't find that out until later because I held her for about 2 hours before they weighed her.

Once they were satisfied that she had cried enough (she did aspirate some amniotic fluid so that was part of the problem) she nursed for I don't even know how long, it was a long time. She latched on like a champ; she knew just what to do!

We tried to get some rest, as best as we could anyway.  The beds at that hospital are just single beds so Brian slept on the couch which kind of stunk.  The baby did a good job sleeping in her bassinet at first, but then after that she pretty much just wanted to be held. All the time.  :)  I didn't mind.  We went home on Sunday afternoon.

Our daughter is amazing. Seriously. I can't believe that only a few days ago she was inside me, and now she is eating, breathing, smiling, seeing....it's just amazing. I can't believe I did it, though honestly it was very tolerable up until the last 1.5 hours or so.

I'm pretty upset about my doctor and the way I was treated. I was so thankful to have my doula Kara and my husband there with me to help me stand up for myself and what I wanted. I'm actually making my post partum visit with the other doctor in the practice because I just don't trust this doctor anymore after the way I was treated.  It's such a vulnerable position to be a laboring mother, and if this had been my first rodeo I'd probably have let her do whatever she wanted.  She had come highly recommended, but my doula said at night she is grouchy and impatient and that just happened to be when my baby wanted to be born.  So, I will not be recommending this doctor to anyone.

I took her to the doctor Saturday at 8 days old, and she was one ounce away from being back up to birth weight. My milk is definitely in and it is just so exciting to be home with the baby and to not have to pump. I hate that dang pump and I hope I don't have to use it for a while, though I'm sure some use is inevitable.


In agony during a contraction, with my loving husband right next to me supporting me.  

I did it! I did it!  Claire fresh from the womb.

Doing a good job of crying so she could stay with her mom. <3 p="">

Comments

  1. PERFECTION!!!!! Good job for standing up for what you had hoped for. Natural birth is certainly an accomplishment!

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  2. Thanks for sharing the story - I didn't know all of that. I'm very proud of you for sticking up for yourself and Claire. Doctors don't always know best.

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  3. I am so happy for you just because she is here and healthy! Good job sticking up for your baby!

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