Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Birth Story

Here it is people... The Birth Story! It started on March 7th and ended on March 13th with a beautiful baby girl... Forgive me if it sounds a little like I was explaining it to my Birth Class Teacher or something - because originally I was... But then I decided it was a little too personal and involved for her and thought - why not just post it directly on the internet instead for a bunch of random people to read!? Hope you enjoy!

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On March 7th - I started having my first "real" contractions - ones that actually hurt and I was totally sure that I was in labor.... They were not THAT bad - but since I had nothing to gauge them from - I had NO IDEA what I was in for... I had about 2 hours of contractions about 5 minutes apart - and then they just kind of stopped... I still had a crampy feeling, but no more contractions. So I just kinda went about my night and waited to see what would happen next. Then on Saturday - I went to breakfast and had a HUGE painful contraction and then many smaller ones. I kept track for about 7 hours and they were mostly 5 minutes apart - but I was still walking and talking through them. I called the babyline and they were sure I was in labor - so I called my Mom who lives 4 hours away and she started her trip up here. Once she got here I called the babyline again and asked them if I could take some Tylenol because I had a headache, and they were a little concerned that I may have had a blood pressure increase so she told me to come in.

So at this point - I was TOTALLY excited and freaked out because I thought I was having a baby! We packed up the car with everything and drove to the hospital. They put me in one of those triage rooms and started to monitor me. The contractions were super consistent - every 5 minutes - but not strong enough. They checked my cervix - and I was only 2 cm dilated. I was 2 cm at my last doc appointment on Wednesday too - so not too much was happening. They told me to go walk around a bit and they would check me again in an hour to see if my cervix changed. And then when they checked me again - NOTHING. So they sent me home with some visterol to sleep and see if anything happens overnight. Of course nothing happened overnight - aside from an AWESOME night of sleep - THANKS VISTEROL!

On Sunday - pretty much just lame contractions - like one every hour or so and nothing painful. My Mom was determined to get this baby out of me while she was here – so we walked around the Mall of America for a few hours. When that didn’t work – she insisted I try whatever we could so based on a few people’s experiences we tried some Raspberry Pie, Raspberry Tea and that night we went and ate spicy Mexican food. No Change…

Same thing on Monday and Tuesday. My Mom couldn't wait around anymore for this baby to come so she went home in the morning on Tuesday and then that night - RIGHT on time - I started to feel some "stuff". My poor Mom! I waited it out - had some painful contractions - more sharp than any of the others and went to bed. I was awakened at like 7 am with some HORRIBLE pains that I had never felt before. I went to the bathroom and I had some pink tinged discharge - and got a little excited! But with all my false labor stuff happening - I didn't want to get my hopes up. I waited a bit and they got pretty intense at times. I got in the bathtub and worked through about an hour and half of pretty painful contractions. I checked again and had more pink tinged discharge. It happened to be the day I had my weekly doc appointment - so I called the office and asked if I could come in a little earlier since I thought I might be in labor - but I didn't want to cancel in case I wasn't. So they had me come in a few hours early and my midwife checked me - I was ALMOST 3 cm dilated! So there was at least a little progress since Saturday but still I thought these were pretty intense contractions and I would have been further along.

My Midwife then stripped my membranes and said that initially my contractions would intensify a bit due to that - but I should go home, relax as much as possible and go in to the hospital when I couldn't take it anymore. She was sure that I was having a baby by the end of that day or the next day. When Josh and I left the doctor's office it was about 2 pm. Within like 15 minutes - my contractions were to a point where they hurt so bad that I was moaning and making some insane noises and movements just to get through them. Rituals! They started to come about every 3 minutes and then quickly turned into every 1 -2 minutes. We got home and within 15 minutes - I was DYING. I couldn't take it anymore without being in a safe place. I just wanted to be sure I was where I needed to be because I couldn't imagine waiting any longer and trying to drive to the hospital. So we packed up - and headed out. I called my mom - and she was out the door in minutes - AGAIN.

We arrived at about 3:00pm at the Hospital. They put me up in the Triage room and checked my cervix - and I was only about 3+ cm.... I was totally disappointed because these were some SERIOUS contractions I was having and nothing had really changed since my doc appointment! They admitted me to the hospital anyway because I was having such painful contractions that were 1 - 2 minutes apart. I tried my best to make it as far as I could. I labored until 6:30pm standing, rocking, moaning, soaking in the bathtub and then I said I couldn't take it anymore. I was in the most pain I have ever been in and I needed a break. They checked my cervix and in those 3 1/2 hours of insane labor - I had only dilated to a 4. Everyone was shocked.

Since I had officially reached the "active" labor stage - they gave me an epidural. Wow. Epidurals are awesome! Within like 15 minutes I was able to see past the next contraction and was actually aware of what was going on. Once I could reflect - I was SHOCKED at how long I had been in the hospital. Anyone who is able to have a baby with NO PAIN medication is insanely tough - I am NOT one of those people!

They had me labor with NO PAIN for another 2 hours and then they checked me again. I had not dilated at all. So - the Midwife decided to break my waters since I had not progressed in the many hours that I had been having contractions to see if that would get dilation to kick in. After another 2 hours they checked me again and I was STILL at 4. No change. At that point - they decided to try a little pitocin and told me to rest. Josh and my Mom stepped out to give me some quiet time to try and sleep.

After about 20 minutes, the midwife stopped in and was a little concerned about the baby's heart rate and how she wasn't responding well to the pitocin. About 5 minutes later - a group of 5 or so doctor's came rushing in my room and flipped all the lights on. They told me that they wanted to do a C-Section. I was so scared at the whole turn of events and Josh and my Mom were out walking around and had no idea what was going on. Finally they came back in and we had to make the call to have the C-Section now - or wait and see if anything changed and do a C-Section later - only if we waited - we would be in a situation where we had no time and everything would be rushed. We decided to go ahead with the C-Section now in order to have everything go smoothly. No rushing, everything was calm and I was awake for the whole thing.

When they were wheeling me in the operating room - I was more scared than I have ever been in my whole life. Being awake while someone cuts you open is NOT something I would ever want to go through, but I could not miss the event about to take place. Josh was able to be right next to my head and he held my hand. We waited impatiently while they started the procedure and the next thing you know - they are telling us to get ready to meet our baby! We couldn't even imagine what it was going to sound like to hear our baby cry for the first time. And then at 1:35 am - ON HER DUE DATE - all of a sudden we heard it and couldn't believe it was real! She was here and actually crying! They then brought her around the curtain so we could see her and it was all so very surreal. One second I am laying on a table with a curtain shutting me off from the rest of my body and the next - my baby is out of my belly and CRYING!


Josh went to meet her and take photos. I could hear him laughing and crying from across the room and it made me feel so happy. Then he brought her over to me and couldn't even express the emotions I was having. I wanted to cry out but I couldn't because I was numb from the chest down... She was so beautiful and perfect. I wanted so badly to be transported to a place where I wasn't strapped to a table so I could hold her and smell her and just take all of her in.

Josh was able to introduce her to her Grandmas and spend some time with her. I had to stay and get put back together. It seemed like it took forever but it really only took 45 minutes. They brought me to the recovery room and brought in Elliette - they put her to my breast and she immediately began to suckle. It was crazy!

This was absolutely one of the most insane, awesome, life-changing events that I have ever experienced. One that I would not trade for anything. And although my actual birth experience was not at all like I had thought it would be, I think it all happened the way it did for a reason. When they were pulling her out - they found that she was face up - which could have lead to a very long intense pushing phase. Considering I would have been in labor for so many hours already - who knows what could have ended up happening. I also have a baby who is absolutely perfect with no health problems due to the labor. And let's be honest - NOT pushing a 7 lb baby out of my lady parts, makes for a pleasant recovery! I have been able to bounce back from the C-Section very well and had minimal pain. I kind of think that having a vaginal delivery would have been harder on my body in the end.

Being a Mom is completely amazing. I can't believe I waited this long. I love breastfeeding and bonding with her on such a primitive level. Being able to provide life to your child is an overwhelming responsibility that I cherish.

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