Birth Story

November 9, 2011

(Part The Fourth.  Parts 1-3, the births of my other kids, were written a long time ago on LiveJournal.  I’ll bring them over at some point.)

I knew by midday last Tuesday that I’d be going to the doctor Wednesday morning, and that the doctor said if she found me at 5 cm or more (or could get me there by stretching my cervix a little) she’d send me to the hospital and induce.  That’s essentially how A was born two years ago so I had no issue or concern with it.

Doctor’s appointment was at 9 and I brought Sean with me.  Dr. T checked me out, found me at 4-5 cm and 80% effaced, and stretched my cervix a little bit more until I was at a firm 5.  Let me tell you- that HURTS.  HURTS HURTS HURTS.  I heard again (as I had Monday) that my waters were bulging and could break at any time.  And she asked the question I’ve heard twice before (with C and A): “So, you want to go have a baby?”

Yes we do.

We already had everything all put together so we just headed over.  Stopped at Wawa so Sean could get a sandwich and some snacks and I got a soda.  I’d had oatmeal for breakfast and wasn’t up to a big lunch knowing I was heading into the baby thing.  Dr. T. had called ahead and we walked right in- didn’t even have to check in at the front desk in the birth center since I’d pre-registered.  The nurse recognized us- actually, a couple nurses recognized us from past visits.  She asked where we wanted to be, if we had a room preference.  It was essentially empty there.

Hospital gown, forms, bracelets, LATEX ALLERGY! signs, etc. for a while.  Getting through all that takes a little bit.  They came and hooked up my IV, which was in my left wrist instead of hand as it’s been in the past.  (Wrist is an improvement).  My contractions were semi-regular every 5-12 minutes or so and I was still having to pop up to go to the bathroom frequently.  Standard fetal monitoring, which doesn’t bother me much.

Around 11 or so, Dr. L came in to break my water (Dr. T was still at the office).  She found me at 6 cm but baby’s head was up high and there was a lot of fluid, so she was worried that if she broke my water then, the cord could slip out.  She recommended we do the epidural and start pitocin first to push the baby’s head down first, and before they could do that, I needed a full liter of IV fluid.  I was probably 2/3 through it so just had to wait.  Once it got through, they called for the epidural.

Epidural about noon.  First time I’ve ever had a female anesthesiologist, very pleasant.  They let Sean stay for the first time since C was born and even let him sit behind me so he could watch.  He loves that sort of thing.  It was standard- beesting type needle for local, then just a bunch of messing around with some pressure.  Easy business.  I did find this time the consent process seemed a little more in-depth as far as making sure I knew what it was and what it was for.  (They even quizzed me on the doctor’s name- to make sure I was listening?  Fortunately it was a simple name, because I suck at names.)  Managed to do the entire process between two contractions.  Nice.

Had the warm tingly legs pretty quickly.  Ahhhhhhh… I love the epidural.  They got the pitocin going right away.

Dr. T came in about 1 to break my water.  She said the head was low enough for her not to worry.  Got the crochet needle or whatever it is, and when my water broke it literally splashed out about a foot.  I could see it.  She and Sean both leaped out of the way and still got splashed.  After the first gush I didn’t really feel it anymore, though I’m told there was a LOT…. but then the baby’s head blocked it.  She did my catheter.  No problem.

Hung for a while when she left.  Watched Idiocracy with Sean.  Ate ice chips.  I was hungry.  Had some minor nausea so the nurse propped a pillow to tilt me a little to the left since my BP had dropped- that fixed it.  Could feel contractions just in the very top of my stomach which is a nice minimal way to labor.  They moved to every 5 minutes or closer.  I could move my legs just fine, no pain.  (Well done, epidural doctor.)  They checked me again around 2 or 230 and found me at 7-8 cm.  Since last time I moved the last 2 cm in about ten minutes, the nurse called Dr. T. back and she showed up around 245ish.  Still at 7-8 so she went to get food, then came back and hung out for a while.  Pulled up a pic of her wedding dress to show me online.  Messed with my cervix some more to see if she could push things along.  (I prefer cervical messing when I have an epidural).  She talked a little to Sean about him helping deliver the baby.

Got shaky sometime a little after 3.  Nothing bad.  Nurse said it meant I was in transition.  I’m thinking I like that as far as transition goes, because I remember it being a whole lot worse with R’s labor (my non-working epidural).  Talked to a couple friends on Twitter.  Just waiting for an urge to push.  Dr. T came in and out a few times- there was an emergency down the hall and it wasn’t hers, but she went in to help out.

About 330, she came back and checked again.  9 cm, just a bit of a rim left.  I didn’t have an urge to push, but she said we could give it a try and she thought it would work.  Okay… I’m up for any of her suggestions.  They gloved Sean up and just lowered (instead of removed) the bottom of the bed since Sean was mildly worried about baby-dropping. They took my catheter out before it was time to start pushing.  (Good vote of confidence, I suppose).

Seriously… just like A’s birth… the whole thing could not have been more casual and low-stress and easy.  It was Dr. T., Sean, the nurse, and a nursing assistant who came in and out a few times and set up the supplies.  We were all just chatting between contractions about my work, babies, the epidural, etc.  When I had a contraction (every 2 minutes at this point), I’d do about three big pushes.  This nurse was good at telling me when to take a fast breath so I followed her instructions.

With R and A, they were out in 2 contractions.  This one was about 7 or 8, so about 15 minutes of pushing.  No problem and actually in a way better since it happened slowly enough to have more of a handle on the details.  They thought he might be face-up since it took a bit of unexpected pushing to get him under my pubic bone, turned out he wasn’t- just stubborn.  It was basically painless but took some effort, and I could feel his progress.  Second to last contraction, he finally got under the sticking point, and on the last one, I pushed his head out at the end of the contraction.  At this time, they had me taking my time to try and not tear.

Stopped with his head out and I saw Dr. T. handing Sean the scissors and telling him to cut the cord.  I was puzzled by why that was already happening and then guessed (correctly) that the cord was around his neck and she wasn’t able to easily pull it over his head.  So he got an early cord cut.  The doctor got Sean in position, and I pushed and they pulled the baby right out and put him on my tummy.  3:49 pm.

He got his cord cut again and I was able to touch his face and hands and see all the dark hair before they put him on the warmer.  He was super quiet at first but I could see his hands and feet moving around and no one seemed concerned.  The doctor was telling me I just had a little tear and she was going to stitch it for comfort even though it didn’t really need a lot of repair, and I could see her doing that.  I asked if I had to still deliver the placenta and she held it up.  Oh.  Missed that part I guess.

It took what seemed like unusually long on the warmer.  I think the nurses’ assistant had to run down the hall a few times and they weren’t in a hurry.  Called my mom and let her know just while they were getting ready to weigh him.  6 lbs 13- a little squirt!  20.5 inches.  Apgars of 8 and 9.  Definitely a boy. I remember they were cleaning me up and wrapping me up while I was asking for the baby.

To make up for the long wait, I got the advantages of getting the BP cuff off almost immediately and the epidural unplugged and untangled.  So it was MUCH easier to work on nursing early on than it was with Alice when I was fighting tubes and wires, and we got a full two hours to hang with him before they took him to the nursery.  Took about 15-20 minutes to get him latched on (I think A was quicker, and I know R was as well) but once he was… kid nursed for 1.5 hours straight, both sides, while I attempted to eat with whatever hand I had free and drank whatever soda or water I could get.  I was hugely thirsty.

They didn’t take him until close to 6, and Sean went with him to the nursery.  I was able to walk carefully to the bathroom, clean up, put my socks and a clean gown on, and get put in a wheelchair to go to the new baby ward.  Yay!  I always liked that ride.  Sean went out for food- Wawa Italian subs.

He was back with us in the room by 830 or 9, which was quicker than I remember that turnover being in the past.  I cuddled him a lot and we all watched Road House on AMC.  And that was J’s first day!

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