Madison Kelly is here!
birth story is a long one but I want moms that are considering a
natural birth to know that it's not that bad. I think having anxiety
about giving birth is normal but after reading so many scary stories, I
wanted to post a real positive and exciting tale that will hopefully
ease some minds.
For those of you who don't know, I went in to preterm labor at 32 weeks. You can read all about that here. I was on bed rest for 6 weeks thinking this baby was going to come everyday. It was tough thinking that each day she should come and it was even worse having everyone ask if she was coming soon. By 39 weeks I was physically and emotionally tired. I just wanted the baby here so bad. The back and hip pains mixed with irregular contractions started to mentally pull me apart. I often wondered if I was really going to be strong enough for a natural labor that Todd and I have hopped and studied for for the last nine months.
On September 22, 2010 I was 39 weeks and 2 days. I was excited all day because it was going to be a full harvest moon that night. I figured if I mixed every house wife tale together, labor would HAVE to start. I ate eggplant the night before. I walked 4 miles everyday in the park to keep a routine, but on this day I walked with one foot on the pavement and one on the curb. For dinner, all I wanted was some Mexican food so Todd and I went to Tinga. It was 2 entrees, 2 appetizers, for $20. You can't beat that.
We had a massive thunderstorm around 8pm and it continued on until 10pm, when we went to bed. I went to bed thinking that this could really be the night. At 12:40 I woke up to go to the bathroom and was so disappointed to see that my water had not broken yet. Of course, I thought I would SEE it and not FEEL it. I have always in visioned how we would start laboring. It was more like when Lucy told Ricky ?it was time?. Nice and calm. At 1:48 am I was laying on my left side and so was Todd, right behind me. The sudden burst of the dam was so projectile and so alarming that I, uncontrollably screamed out..?MY WATER BROKE?. It was more of a ?Todd watch out?! Todd?s reaction was ?Are you sure? OH MY GOD!?
Todd ran and got me towels so I could move to the bathroom. I sat on the toilette and called my doula. When I called her, she asked if my contractions had started. I said no, I just had massive pressure in the rear. Laura told me to go back to bed and rest up. HA. Yeah right. I got back in to bed and the contractions started quick. Todd started to time them. I called mom to tell her that the baby was coming and she should start driving. These contractions were strong but not painful per say. I just couldn't move when they were happening. Todd called out 3 mins. We timed another one. 3 mins. I started to get nervous because I knew I was so dilated and that this could be fast. I told Todd it was time to call the doctor. He said...let?s time another. 2 mins. I called the On Call doctor since mine was on vacation. Todd timed the next one and asked me if the contraction had ever stopped. I said no.
When we called Laura back, Todd asked me if he wanted her to come to the house to labor for awhile. I thought...awhile???? I groaned from being uncomfortable and Laura said....it?s time for the hospital! This was the biggest challenge. I got up to put on clothes. But I needed to pause every 3 mins to contract. Todd told me to take one thing at a time. I would call out what I needed. Bra, underwear (no...not the thongs!), nutrition for the long labor I thought I would have, water, sneakers. When we got in to the car, I gripped the ?Oh *** bar? and screamed out ?Oh ***? with every bump we hit. We got to the hospital at 3:15 am and Laura greeted us at the car. She was instantly soothing. Todd pulled out the endless amount of luggage that I had. Every contraction required me to stop and rock back and forth while I leaned up against something. I felt the urgency to rush because I was nervous. Laura made me relax and breathe through each contraction and take my time. We had to walk through emergency where they wanted to put me in a wheel chair. I declined it because I would get an enormous amount of pressure when I sat. I remember a long hallway that we had to walk down to get to the elevators for L&D. It smelled like it was just scrubbed with every chemical under the sun. I joked about having to stop so often to work through a contraction in such a smelly place. Laura pointed out that at least it was clean!
Finally we were in labor and delivery. Fhewwww! They gave me a cup to pee in. The contractions wouldn?t allow me to pee. I just wanted to poop. I prayed out loud that I did not poop out the Mexican dinner anytime soon. It was a continuous nightmare for me to think that I could poop at anytime. I explained that urine was not happening for me. They were very nice about that. We met the nurse that was going to help with the delivery. Her name was Loraine. She explained that someone was going to check me. Since I wasn?t in terrible pain I figured that I was MAYBE 6 cm dilated and that it was going to be a long delivery. Everyone was in shock when they said I was fully dilated and ready to go. WHUTTTTT!!!! I then joked to everyone, ?well I guess I can?t get an epidoral now.? Everyone just laughed. I was so relived that no one could even dangle the idea of having an epidoral now. And what the hell? It still didn?t hurt and we were ready to go.
Let me just say that I know that everyone?s deliveries are different. Everyone has different needs. I had know idea how labor would feel. I have always expected the absolute worst. It was severely uncomfortable for me but everything was happening so fast that I didn?t have time to think that I was in pain. I was mentally set to hold my baby. That is all I focused on. In my suitcase of tricks I had my massage oil that Todd and I use to relax me, a lavendar and chamomile packed sock to heat up or freeze, a wash cloth from home that had our fabric softener on it, candle lights, and out playlist of music on the iphone. We used NONE of these tools, except for the playlist. I have to say, the playlist that I had composed helped me zone out just like it did when I ran the marathon. I was slightly embarrassed when everyone in the room had to listen to Machine Head or Evergreen Terrace. But hey! It worked. It made us all laugh when people asked if this is what I really listen to.
Anyway, when I was checked, we were told that Madison was sunny side up. Not breech, just facing the wrong direction. I have read so many birth stories to know that this labor was not going to be easy. In fact I was mentally trying to tell myself that a section might be needed. This didn?t scare Laura or Loraine. Laura pulled out her bag of trick and told me to get on all fours. Our goal was to get the baby to turn. I was all for it. Let me tell you I will never be shy about anything again. There I was on the bed and on all fours in a hospital gown. My bare ass was in the air with Laura and Lorraine at the back squeezing my hips. I shouted out, ?please remember that I had mexican and I am so sorry in advance!?. The discomfort really came in at this point. My back was so sore with each contraction. I felt like I was dead lifting 180 pounds. Laura put the birthing ball under my face so I wouldn't tire out my arms. AMAZING. Todd stood at the head holding my hands. I would squeeze his fingers as hard as I can with each contraction. He didn?t complain....too much. It was enough to make me laugh though. Squeezing his hands while the ladies squeezed my hips with force felt amazing. It was almost rhythmic. Laura also used this tennis ball like massager on my back and it felt great. Todd fed me ice chips and fanned me off while he encouraged me to work through it.
After a while Laura suggested we try squatting. I was too scared to move off the table thinking that nothing else could feel as good as the position I was already in. So I did. I used the bed for leverage and had one foot on a stool. Lorraine had to put tons of pee pads in between my feet because so much water was still flowing out. I couldn't help but to think how gross everything was. Yick. But who cares?? It felt awesome. It was at that point I felt the cramps from my back move to my abdomen. SHE TURNED! WE DID IT! GAME ON!!!! Lorraine actually had a lamp under me while I was squatting because the head was coming out.
They got me back on the table and contractions were like a perfectly timed song. And I could feel that my body would push this kid out without my help. I was in awe. And some pain. I had Todd skip songs and we all died laughing when Tenacious D?s The Metal came on. Even the on call doctor who was dryer than toast laughed. ok...scratch that...she smiled. Everyone started ?getting ready?. Tools came out, scrubs went on and we were ready to go. The head was popping in and out and Lorraine asked if I wanted to touch it. I declined. She asked if I wanted a mirror. I said YEAH! She brought over this huge mirror and there it was....not the baby. A horrible site of unkempt hedges that I have been able to take care of since I was too big to get near that area. It was as far from a Brazilian wax as one could get. I told them to get rid of the mirror. Dear Lord!!!! I was so happy Todd was up at my head so he didn?t have to see such an ungodly sight. He?ll never want to go back again!
So pushing was a bit tough. I was scared to push too hard. I had to tell myself to trust my body. I could only imagine what kind of recovery I was going to have if I pushed too hard. After awhile, I dropped it. Who cares? It?s was coming out whether I could control the pushing or not. Pushing would only get her in to my arms faster. I held my knees to my chest with my elbows out. Laura and Lorraine supported each leg. The contractions were long and I had to hold a push for 10 long seconds, take a quick breath and repeat two times. The first two were always really strong and the third was just exhausting. Even if I didn?t want to push hard my body was doing it on it?s own. Todds part was crucial to my delivery. More so than he knew. Once in awhile Todd would say ?Dina push? or ?your almost there, push?. I knew he could see what was going on so when HE would say something he would mean it. I didn?t scream, I grunted through the tough parts. I refused an episiotomy from the beginning so the resident started the perineum massage with mineral oil. I couldn't even think of how uncomfortable that was but I knew we were even closer now. The actual doctors job was to put the towel on my chest for when Maddy comes out. I knew we were even closer at that point.
The hard part! The resident or someone warned me that the next few pushes are going to hurt but to just push. Oh God..the ring of fire was coming. Sure enough I pushed with a big groan and literally saw a red burst of light with stars in my mind. I had never felt pain like that in my life. But it was very short lived and I knew the head was out! Get the rest out...that?s all I thought. GET IT OUT. I was told to stop pushing but F that...really. Work faster is what I thought. At that point I was told to reach down and I knew what that meant. I grabbed Madison by the armpits and pulled her to my chest. It was like a flood just came out but I couldn't think of anything. My baby was finally in my arms and bursting with noise! The song that was on was the Weight by Thrice. There couldn't have been a better song.
I couldn?t believe how beautiful she was with all that vernix on her. Her coloring was perfect. It was over. I felt no pain at that point. Todd and I cried and couldn't have been happier. I started to nurse and she latched on right away. Now that was uncomfortable. It was like a vacuum! As I nursed, the doctor started to stitch me up. Wow...uncomfortable again. I was relieved though because I figured since she was stitching me up, the placenta must have come out already. Wrong! The placenta was stubborn. They put me on pitosin to get me contracting faster, but it wouldn't move. They started massaging my very sore belly while the doctor tried to tug. I was beside myself. I had to give the baby up because I couldn?t hold her anymore. It felt like forever to get that bag out. I watched Todd stand next to the nurse while she evaluated Madison. I wanted to cry in pain at that point. Finally it was all over and my baby was returned to me. Bundled up like a little burrito with a cap.
To me...my delivery was perfect. It went better than I had ever expected. It was an ultimate test of what my body was capable of and it worked perfectly. I am forever grateful to the wonderful support team that I had. Without them, I could have easily given up. They kept me mentally stable and calm through the entire birth. It was a wonderful experience with the most amazing prize in the end.
Thanks for reading my very long story.