XP: Incredibly long Birth Story — The Bump
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XP: Incredibly long Birth Story

Pregnancy background:

Had a smooth, non-symptomatic pregnancy until around 20 weeks. At around 20 weeks BH contractions began and I had low blood pressure which made me feel dizzy and weak. Otherwise everything was uneventful. I continued to go to my monthly appointments always describing my Braxton Hicks contractions getting stronger and longer and closer together. Finally at 32 weeks my Dr. decided to do a Non-stress test to monitor contractions. At this point, I realized actually how close and long the contractions were. They came every 3-4 minutes and lasted about a minute to a minute and a half. I went to the Hospital for continued monitoring for about two hours. At the end of the two hours my cervix was checked and there was no change so I was there diagnosed with an irritable uterus. My Dr. put me on modified bed rest for the next two weeks. After that I was put on a modified schedule at work up through my 37th week. The Braxton Hick contractions continued to be about 3-4 minutes apart and lasting sometimes longer than a minute and a half. Thank goodness baby boy stayed in there until term. He had everyone, including my Dr. convinced he was going to come sooner.


A week leading up to this point I was incredibly achy especially in my pubic bone, tail bone and legs. The three nights before I was waking to pee about every 15-20 minutes, so I wasn't sleeping at all. Monday night, May 28th, 2012 the baby was EXTREMELY active the most active he's been (he was a pretty mellow baby throughout the pregnancy).

On Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 I went to my 38 week appointment expecting to be sent back to work full time. I was having longer and stronger Braxton Hicks contractions, but didn't think anything of it because that was my normal. At the appointment my blood pressure was high 136/92 or so. Dr. checked urine and no protein was found. She put me on the monitor for 20 minutes to monitor the baby just to be safe. She came in after the 20 minutes and said, ?oh, you're having contractions.? I replied, ?I know these have been going on for a long time, it's normal to me.? She said if I didn't just check you (no cervical change) then I'd be sending you to the hospital. She checked my blood pressure again, she said she was cheating because she was taking it laying down, but she was curious. My blood pressure was actually higher (140/96). At this point she decided to make me do the 24 hour protein test the following day. One more day out of work, and then if that checked out I'd be going back to work on Thursday. That night I went home and was really having a hard time getting comfortable and the contractions were very tight and uncomfortable. We went to bed around 10 and I was up very often going to the bathroom.

Labor began:

*Please note: I had no concept of time while laboring at all, I think I looked at the clock once towards the end of labor so my times are estimates.

At 2:40 AM (May 30th, 2012) I got this intense pain and I stood up and started to walk to the bathroom and I started leaking fluid. I stopped at the end of the bed and said, ?Hunnie?? He said, ?Umm hmm.? ?My water just broke.? He sprang up and said ?It's go time?? I said, ?Yes!? He called my parents, his parents, and text the rest of the family/ friends who wanted to be informed. His mom and my parents wanted to be at the hospital when we went, and they live 1.5 hours away and 2.5 hours away, respectively. We packed up the car and got to the hospital at around 3:30 AM. I was sent to triage where they confirmed my water had indeed broke (duh I was leaking everywhere), and sent us to our labor/delivery room. They checked my vitals and found my blood pressure was high again (140/90 something). My Dr's colleague decided to stay at the hospital to check me out to see if I was going to stay before she called my Dr. to come into the hospital. She didn't like my high blood pressure, checked me and I was 1cm dilated. She did a membrane sweep to help the process a little. She called my Dr. who came in I think around 4:30ish (not really sure).

Once my Dr. came in my blood pressure was checked again and it was still high. She decided she wanted to get a urine sample, but because my water already broke it wasn't as easy as peeing in a cup. They needed to do a catheter. OUCH! So here I was coping was coping with contractions (which sucked even more laying down for me) and in between they decide to do a catheter. That was wonderful, let me tell you. She also drew blood to check both to check for pre-eclampsia. Both came back borderline so they put in an IV block just to be on the safe side. It was explained to me that I may need magnesium but I don't remember her telling me what signs would tell her if I needed it. I never needed it, however.

I labored for a couple hours, my parents showed up during this time and my dad was hilarious when he walked in. He wanted to have a full on conversation about how he knew this baby was going to come at the most inopportune time for his work. He of course was smiling and joking about it. My mom got mad at him and made him leave, it made me laugh though. Early labor was going ok, I worked through the contractions with breathing, leaning over the bed while standing, and my husband putting pressure on my back. Tom (my husband) also played a nature sound track that had birds chirping. I had no idea he had purchased this and he kept saying, ?just think about holding your little boy on the porch.? I thought this was so sweet and tried to place myself on the porch as much as I could. My nurse said to me as I was announcing that another contraction was coming, ?you'll get through this one too, you can do anything for a minute.? I asked her if this is as long as contractions get, she said pretty much but they will increase in intensity. There was a point where I asked to be checked. I knew that in order for me to go as long as possible without medication or an epidural I needed to know that I was progressing. She checked me (no idea what time) and I was 3-4 cm. Everyone was celebrating (Dr. and Nurse) because this meant I didn't need pitocin. But to me it still felt like the end was very far away.

I labored still standing up leaning over the bed during each contraction. I was starting to get really tired of standing so I moved to sitting on the labor ball and leaning over on the bed, I hated it. I tried all fours leaning over the ball and that was ok for a little while until I the contractions started to get longer and stronger. My first nurse was wrong, for me my contractions lasted 3-4 minutes, of course there were some little dips, but the never subsided for a good 3-4 minutes. Even though they were so long, I continued to repeat, ?I can do anything for a minute and added in this will go away.? There was a shift change and the new nurse suggested to change to an inter-tube position where I lay on my stomach putting my belly in some inter-tubes because I was so exhausted from standing, kneeling, and holding myself up with my arms. It was terribly uncomfortable though and wanted nothing to do with it, but tried to lay in bed on my left side. I wasn't having anything of that either and started to say, and think, that I just couldn't do it anymore. While I was in bed my Dr. suggested she checked me while I was laying down and we could talk about options after. I was about 6-7cm. I think she gave me the in-between numbers just to make me feel better :). My mom kept saying it's going to go quick now.

My Nurse suggested we tried the Jacuzzi tub and my Dr. suggested some Fentanyl. Apparently, (I really honestly don't remember the options) I was given the option to walk or be wheeled down to the tub. I guess I said I would walk. I walked about 150 yards (asked my husband after labor/delivery how far I walked) at 6-7 cm. dilated. My mom said the nurses at the nurses station couldn't believe I walked. In my head though, this was the only way I was getting in that tub, I didn't know I had another option. We got to the tub after stopping for 6 contractions along the way, only to find out that the tub had been filled with cold water. My nurse was so upset (they have a call/prep ahead system) and was frantically trying to drain and refill the tub. I had to labor by leaning over a counter while I waited. She gave be the Fentanyl right before I got in the tub and it was just enough. The tub and the drugs mixed was wonderful for about 3-4 contractions. I leaned on my side laying my head on a pillow. I definitely still needed to breath through contractions, but it was relief enough for me to feel like I could relax a little between contractions. Tom and I talked to the nurse about how we met. My Dr. came in at about 11:45am and asked how things were going, she said she was going to go eat something and she would be back. I believe she came back around 12:30 and thats when the hardest part of labor started for me. The drugs had completely wore off about 20 minutes before then and the contractions were the hardest of the whole labor. They made me want to vomit, I was so hot, but cold at the same time. Tom used a cold washcloth and wiped cold water all over my neck and shoulders.

I had the uncontrollable urge to push. Friends I had talked to before described this feeling to the better part of labor for them, this was not easy for me. I felt like I was in control of managing my pain up to this point. I was so out of control of the pushing sensation and I couldn't bring myself to understanding that this just meant the baby was coming soon. My nurse and Dr. said it was fine to let my body tell me to push. I let out the loudest yell through my whole labor experience during one of the contractions and my Dr. said, ?Ok, how about I check you.? I was a lip shy of 10cm. Tom hated seeing me in pain this much And they decided it was time to bring me back to my room. I said there is no way I'm walking back :). They said I could have a wheelchair. I got out of the chair and they had me labor on the toilet for a few contractions. I asked to move back to the bed where I pushed through some contractions on all fours. My nurse convinced me to lay on my back so it would be easier to have skin to skin contact after he was born. I needed some O2 while inbetween contractions because the baby was having some decels. I pushed hard through several contractions and finally the Dr. said, "Ok Crystal, this next push you need to push as hard as you can and get this baby out.? after two contractions and a slight episiotamy, Landon was born at 1:23 in the afternoon.

We had one full hour of skin to skin while I was getting fixed up. Full relief came after the placenta was delivered. Labor was by far the most intense thing I've ever gone through, but certainly ?do-able.? I went into it saying that I wanted a healthy baby and wanted to hold off as long as possible for any medication. I'm pretty proud of myself and my whole birthing process. I would not have been able to do it without Tom, for sure.  

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