My birth story- long labour, short delivery, BIG baby! — The Bump
Birth Stories

My birth story- long labour, short delivery, BIG baby!

My Birth Story

I woke up early in the morning on October 23rd feeling crampy. It was about 3:00am and I noticed it seemed to ebb and flow a bit like I thought contractions might so I decided to draw a bath, grab a book and see if I could relax while timing them. It had been my hope to spend a significant portion of the labour process in the bath. After about 10 minutes though and two distinct contractions I felt my water break. The bath water didn?t look any different and I still hadn?t lost my mucous plug but it?s a very distinct feeling when it breaks and even though it was just a trickle at first, it was unmistakable. So I got out of the bath and came and made a quick post on the Nest knowing we?d have to head into the hospital. Seconds after posting I got a large gush of fluid- luckily I?d used a newborn diaper in my underwear and it caught most of the fluid. I woke DH, who showered, packed a few last minute items, and we headed into L&D.

We arrived at approximately 4:30am. They sent me to the L&D Triage where they confirmed my water had indeed broken and hooked me up on fetal monitors. My contractions were coming every five minutes, but lasting only thirty seconds. I was at this point only 1 centimeter dilated- I never had any progress at any of my appointments. They had DH and I walk around the hospital for an hour hoping this would jump-start things but my contractions just got stronger in intensity- they were still about 5 minutes apart and lasting only thirty seconds. While walking around the hospital lobby, I puked all over the bank machine which definitely drew a few stares. Back to triage, where they decided to send me home. The deal was I would come back at 5:00pm regardless of progress but would come back earlier if the contractions started getting closer together and longer or if there were any signs of distress- meconium, bleeding, fever etc.

We returned home and contracted from 8:00am to 2:00pm- we used the birthing ball a bit, and I had a hot shower but neither seemed to help much. We?d called my mom (who lives 5 hours away) when my water broke and she arrived just before 2:00 when we decided that the contractions were strong enough to head back in. At this point I was exhausted as I hadn?t slept much and the contractions had me in tears. At L&D Triage they checked me, and for all that pain I?d only dilated to 2 centimeters. The baby was still doing fine so they didn?t feel the need to accelerate things yet, but knowing that I was progressing pretty slowly and couldn?t get an epidural even if I wanted to until I was at least 4 centimeters, I decided to take a shot of Demerol at 3:00pm. I had been against using it and other narcotic analgesics knowing that they can cause the baby to be born drowsy if administered too close to labour, but labour looked a long way off from there. Additionally, many had told me I?d feel drunk on it- while I may have seemed drunk to others, I felt much better on it. The contractions were still painful but I?d fall asleep between them and kinda lose track of time. At 7:00pm I was still in triage- all the birthing suites, and there are about 24, were full and there were six of us waiting in triage, and I was only 3 cm dilated.

At 9:00pm I finally moved to my birthing suite and received my second shot of Demerol. Actually, as soon as the nurse moved me into the suite into a nice clean bed and into a hospital gown, I promptly threw up all over both!  She let me go shower with DH's help before giving me more pain meds.  My mom and DH were with me from this point onwards- while in triage only one person could wait with me. My blood work had shown a slightly increased white blood cell count, so the staff decided to put me on IV antibiotics and Oxytocin to accelerate my labour as I was still at only 3 centimeters after almost 18 hours. The nurses had one heck of a time getting an IV in and had to call their special ?IV nurse? to put it in. Knowing that I was already only just managing the pain with Demerol and that it would only get harder with the Oxytocin I opted to get an epidural which was administered at 1:00am? after 22 hours of labour. The epidural was a piece of cake- I had no bad side effects, it took perfectly, and was no big deal to have put in place. In fact, for me, the worst part of the epidural was afterwards when they had to take the tape holding the epidural catheter in place of my back? nothing like a good back waxing. Ouch!

I had to sign a bunch of paperwork for the epidural and was pleasantly surprised to see a section on the form for ?special requests? in labour/delivery. It wasn?t until this point that I?d realized I?d COMPLETELY forgotten my birth plan at home. The only thing I was adamant about was trying to avoid an episiotomy and I indicated such and that DH and I had been practicing perineal massage. The staff were more than willing to do everything they could to help. All of my other birth desires were actually perfectly in keeping with the hospital?s standard policy so I was perfectly content with my care underlining the need for people to find a hospital that they can be really comfortable about if possible.

As of 4:00am I was 6 centimeters dilated, and by 6:00am I was at 9. It was a slow quiet night as I slept through most of it after the epidural was administered. They also put in a catheter after the epidural had taken effect- I couldn?t feel it at all. The nurses encouraged me to rest up as much as possible before delivery so I was only too glad to do so! At 7:00am I was 9.5 centimeters dilated meaning I had only a small ridge of cervix remaining. The nurses suggested that because I wanted to avoid a tear that once I reached 10 centimeters we?d wait an additional hour to let the baby descend into the optimal position. My OB came in at about 9:00am (he?d been in to check on me early in the morning after delivering one of his other patients) and declared I was at 10 centimeters. As his office is across the road from the hospital and I was a first time mom with an epidural so expected to take a while to deliver, he decided to head back to his office and get some work done while I started. The nurses had me start pushing at 9:40am and after only two contractions decided that doctor needed to get his butt back over already. They called his office and had him paged. Pushing, for me, while hard work was considerably easier than I expected and the nurses were a bit astonished at how easily I picked it up even with the epidural. After another two contractions, they had to make me stop pushing as they didn?t have a doctor yet (at that time they paged ANY doctor to get to my room). The head was ?right there? and while waiting they grabbed the mirror so I could see how close I was.

I had seen the use of the mirror on Grey?s Anatomy when Bailey had her baby and had decided I definitely didn?t want to see all the blood and gore, but after all that hard work and progress, I found myself surprised to find I really DID want to see it. Pretty amazing! Just goes to show that you need to be flexible with your birth plan not only because sometimes unexpected circumstances come up, but because you might change mind about things.

So after almost twenty minutes of waiting and trying my hardest NOT to push- which really wasn?t enough as the baby was coming out more and more with just the force of the contractions WITHOUT my pushing her, my doctor FINALLY arrived. I must say even at this point I still felt pretty good and was joking with my nurses that they could go ahead and deliver the baby without a doctor or would need to start pushing her back in! Three pushes during one contraction with my doctor and little Rose was born at 10:24 am. (we thought that was kinda cool- she was born at 10:24 am on 10/24) The little heifer weighed in at 9 lbs 7oz and 22 inches long? let me tell you, I am SO glad I didn?t get a weight estimate at any point in the game. Can you imagine how daunting that would look before you pushed her out? In reality, I was perfectly capable of it and 9 lbs 7 oz isn?t so bad after all. Little Rose came out pink and screaming and they immediately put her up on my chest. The placenta came out shortly afterwards and I decided I wanted to see that too- quite astonishing! I did tear, but only minimally- one second degree tear needing three-four stitches and a small tear in the vaginal lip requiring two. All in all I think the perineal massage was worth it- that?s a whole lot of baby with minimal damage. The stitches were really uncomfortable as the epidural was wearing off- I couldn?t feel the needle at all but could feel the thread as it was pulled which was not nice, but definitely bearable.

As for post-partum, I?m doing great. I urinated shortly after delivery and had my first bowel movement, which was scary in theory but not in practice, about six hours later. I can?t swallow pills so took in my own children?s chewable pills- I used Tylenol for three days, Ibuprofen and a stool softener for just one.

So overall pregnancy and giving birth have been fantastic to me and I can?t have asked for anything more. Already, I can?t wait to get pregnant and do it all over again!

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{ Jack 4.8.09 & Rose 10.24.07 }

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