Saturday, May 7, 2011

Birth Story

For two weeks prior to having Emery I was having contractions mostly in the evenings. Jake had been telling me that Emery needed to come one day after we dropped Ethan off (1pm). We tried telling Emery that and he just wasn't ready. A week came and went and daddy had to go to work.

Wednesday April 13th we dropped him off and on the drive home I had a couple contractions. As we got home they got more frequent. Jake pulled up a contraction timer online and we used that. They were 4-7 minutes apart. They felt different than they had the few nights before, stronger and took my breath away. I told Jake I didn't think he should go to work. He said that if this wasn't it he couldn't make up these hours and he wanted to go in. I said OK and got in the bath. They were getting to be 4-6 minutes apart and quite painful. I was trying to breathe through them as best as possible but I felt a loss of control as I was by myself, I wanted someone there with me and some encouragement or someone to focus me a little better.

I texted Jake and told him I was ready to go to the hospital and wanted him to come home. He told me that he couldn't make up the hours if this wasn't the real deal. That made me emotional and I told him I didn't care to just get home.

I finished packing my bag quick and waited for him to get home. He hadn't even clocked in at work yet.

We got to the hospital at about 3:30 and thankfully they had a wheel chair. I felt absolutely ridiculous being pushed around by Jake but it was SO convenient to not have to walk. I could just sit and breathe through the contractions. They had me sign paperwork at the desk and then I went into a room, they monitored my contractions. I think I was a 4 or 5 at that point. I don't remember because I was in my own little world trying to focus. The pain kind of blurred it. They admitted me and off to my room I went.

We got to the room and they got me into the tub. It was sooo hot but it really helped with the contractions. It was a little too warm and I started getting a headache so I got out. They put in my IV and I got into bed. At some point I asked for a little medicine of some kind just to take the edge off as I still wanted to try my hypnobirthing. The medicine was great but only lasted 45 minutes of the hour they told me. The contractions started getting way worse and I was getting even more nauseous.

I don't remember if I threw up a second time or not but I ended up asking for the epidural. He was in another room and would be with my shortly. By then I had prepared myself for it and wanted him there NOW. He got there and they had me sit on the edge of the bed and lean forward. Jake came over and sat in front of me and I was holding his arms. Actually his wrists. I was squeezing so hard on his vein in his wrists that he started to get woozy. They asked if he was OK and he said yes. They told him to go lay down before he passes out and with as tall as he is he'd likely whack his head on something and then have to leave me to go to the ER. He said the thought of me in pain and me squeezing made him woozy. Thankfully I focused and was able to sit there by myself and get it. It didn't hurt at all, maybe because of the pain I'd already been dealing with.

They got me dosed up and I got to lay back and just relax a little. I don't even know where the time went. I was at a 5 for quite awhile. I guess Jake had been texting my family and was a little worried that we had stalled out. He took so much in from our class that he knew what to expect. I think the epidural relaxed me too much and it made me stall.

Shelley (my midwife) came in sometime and I had a bulging bag of waters. She asked if I wanted her to break it and I told her no. Even though I had gotten an epidural I still wanted everything to be as natural as possible, I wasn't going to risk anything regarding my baby and being pushed into something. Later that evening I wanted her to but she said she was just going to wait until the morning. They ended up just letting us sleep. I had my little puke hat and puked in that a few times. My headache was turning into a migraine because I hadn't eaten since breakfast when I had 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and had thrown that up at home. I didn't want apple juice and chicken broth wasn't helping. I told my nurse I needed protein because that's all that helps when my blood sugar drops and I start to get a migraine. I told her I had brought snacks and could I have a cheese stick. She didn't want to do that but offered me some peanut butter. She got a heap on a spoon and I had a few nibbles of it. Within an hour my headache was gone. I snoozed for about 30 minutes at a time. I was getting uncomfortable. I wanted to lay on my sides but then the epidural would go to that side and my other side would start to feel everything. My legs were numb, my left leg almost uncomfortably so. My legs would be on the bed and I'd have to ask Jake and the nurse to put my left leg back onto the bed numerous times during my stay. I don't know how but it kept creeping its way to the edge and slipping off. I was stuck to my back and since I'd been sitting in that position for hours all the blood pooled. My back felt like a giant bruise and it hurt to sit. I wanted to move and get a back rub but nothing helped. I probably called the nurses station 10+ times to come in and help me move. I tried each side about 5 times and nothing helped. I was limited to my back, laying partially down, trying to sit as upright as I was the most awful part of the entire labor.

I slowly started progressing and at 8:30 am Shelley came in and broke my water. She told the nurse that there was meconium. She put a tube inside that went up beside the baby and was flushing saline in to rinse out any excess meconium so there wouldn't be aspiration. I knew that this meant they'd have to watch him carefully. She basically told me that. I asked if she'd be able to wait for the cord to stop pulsing before she cut it or if it had to be done right away. She told me they wouldn't be able to do that as they'd need to get him to the NICU nurses. I asked whatever other questions I had and had prepared myself that I wouldn't get to hold him immediately. She told us that our baby would be here in a few hours.

I had to wait for my contractions to get 1-2 minutes apart which took forever. I started feeling more pain in my belly and the anesthesiologist came in to dose me. The epidural wasn't strong enough. It took about 3 different doses to get me comfortable and once she got it I was flying. I was able to lay on my side finally and I felt soooo good. I wished it had been that way the entire time so I hadn't been on my back for so long. She gave me nausea medicine and that helped so I just laid there with a cool rag on my head waiting for my baby.

I felt pressure down there and mentioned that maybe his head was down there and it'd be soon. Jake said probably not. Shelley came in a few minutes later and I mentioned it and she said she'd check me quick. She had me put my leg up and sat down. She immediately told me she didn't even have to check me as she saw his head and said it was time to push.

She got the NICU nurses in there and got all gowned up. Jake's sister Jess held my left leg and Jake held my right. They had to tell him about 3 times to hold my leg but he was so caught in the moment he just kept putting his hand on my leg. I finally had to grab his hand and put it under my leg for him. I couldn't even feel my contractions, the nurse and Shelley had to tell me when to push. I got to reach down and feel his head. Jake was surprised I had done that. 8 pushes and he was out. 12:53 pm on April 14th. Supposedly at one point Shelley said something about his shoulders but I must have missed it in my world of focusing. There was no burning ring of fire like I was told and thankfully everything was in tact. No tears and no episiotomy. WHEW!

They showed him to me, cut his cord and off to the NICU nurses he went. Apparently meconium hardens to tar so they have to suck it out very quickly. I watched as they stuck the little syringe and tube down his throat to suck it all out. I did really well not getting emotional and crying because I knew they were helping him and that I'd get to hold him soon. At one point they were trying to get him to breathe and putting a mask on him. I started to get worried and then they said they had to take him to the NICU to regulate his breathing. Jake almost lost it at this point. They told him to go and he was torn. He thought he should stay with me but needed to go with the baby. I knew I'd be fine and didn't want Emery alone so I told him to go. Babies are supposed to breathe 60 breaths per minute or less and he was breathing over 100. He was trying to so hard to breath but it was taxing his little body so that is why they had to use the CPAP. The nurses can only have him in the room for 12 minutes and if its not regulated by that time they have to take them up to NICU.

An hour later daddy came back down with Emery and I finally got to hold and love on my baby. They finished his paperwork and got us ready to move to our antepartum room. As we were rolling down the hall we got to stop by the desk and the nurse told Jake to push the little white button on the wall. Jake pushed it and throughout the birthing floor these little chimes went off to tell everyone another little baby had been born. I had been waiting months and then hours to hear that for Emery. I got so teary and emotional over that one little gesture!

We got to relax and snuggle our baby. I got to breast feed and later that evening he got his first bath and his shot. The nurses were so wonderful!

The next day was a whirlwind of people. Insurance people, the people to do his hearing test, the lady for his social security card and birth certificate, his PKU test, nurses, his pediatrician, my other midwife etc. Finally we got checked out at 2:30 just in time to go directly to Nathan's school and pick him up. Then home to relax. We were so happy to have our baby home.

Hopefully I got it all and may have to update if I remember things as the time was very very fuzzy. I'm so thankful that I had a very easy delivery. I didn't get to do it completely natural as the puking was really hard to focus on breathing through everything and I'd have been too exhausted to go all the way. However I didn't have my membranes stripped, I didn't let them induce me, I didn't get pitocin or anything to help with contractions. I didn't have to cry or scream and even though Emery went to the NICU he was perfectly healthy in every way and had only needed a little help with his breathing. We are so glad to finally have our little man home and we are completely smitten with him!


  1. So that's what regular birth stories are like! Way to go.

    The NICU can be such a nasty place, so glad you didn't have to stay there. So although it wasn't your dream birth (which no birth is I'm convinced) you still had a great time, and an awesome parting gift!!

  2. So that's what regular birth stories are like! Way to go.

    The NICU can be such a nasty place, so glad you didn't have to stay there. So although it wasn't your dream birth (which no birth is I'm convinced) you still had a great time, and an awesome parting gift!!