Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Blog

Since the babe has been made, this blog has kind of run it's course. So now on to the next phase of our life:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birth Story Part 2

I know, I stink at updating... sorry!!!

Let me begin with something I should have said in the beginning: I have a very specific religious belief. Part of my belief is that when you pray for something, you need to actually believe it will happen. Not maybe, not hopefully, but definitely will. Even something like a pain free childbirth. Just like the author of this book, that's what I had prayed for. Keep this in mind as I finish the story.

Anyway, I have to rave about the first nurse that was in L & D when we got there. She was wonderful, patient, kind and very supportive of allowing me to have a natural child birth. I absolutely adored her.

And I was heartbroken when I hadn't yet come anywhere near pushing when her shift was over. At that point, I was at 7cm and had been in labor for nearly 24 hours.

My water bag was bulging and the next nurse on staff kept insisting that all I needed was for my water to break and I would go straight to 10cm and could begin pushing. Problem was I specifically did NOT want my membrane to be ruptured artificially. So the entire time she took care of me I was extremely uptight and scared she'd try to talk my OB into doing an AROM, throwing my body into contractions it wasn't ready for.

At 7am, after nearly 31 hours of labor, the nursing staff finally switched again. The next nurse, while not as completely wonderful as my first nurse, was so much better than the previous nurse. Before she had a chance to check my progress (something they did at the beginning of each shift) my doctor arrived. He checked and, thankfully, he did not feel my bag of water. At one point during the numerous trips up and down the L & D hallway, I had made a trip to the bathroom where my doula and I both thought my water had broke due to what we heard, but I didn't feel anything, so we disregarded it. Fortunately, we were correct and it was a membrane rupture.

He was happy to see that my water had broken on it's own, but I was only at 9cm with a small lip still present on the right side. He left and said he'd be back soon to deliver my baby.

Well... it didn't exactly happen that way.

By 2 that afternoon (while under the care of yet another nurse who I could NOT stand) I was still at 9... still had a lip. The doctor said he'd like to give me a little bit of Pitocin to finish out the dilation and effacement. After 38 hours of labor he was concerned about my exhaustion level.

My doula and I decided to kick things into high gear so we did a ton of exercises, faster paced walking and even stair climbing. I also had a mini break down where I sobbed about the labor being nothing like I expected and taking forever to progress.

By 6 or 6:30 I was in transition having intense contractions combined with stomach cramps with barely enough time to breath in between. I was also bleeding heavily which scared me beyond belief.

At this point, my nurse decided to throw a hissy fit because I insisted she let me off the bed to go to the bathroom (I only had intermittent monitoring, but at one point I had an intense stomach cramp and needed to go to the bathroom then, monitoring or no). By some sort of miracle, my wonderful, awesome first nurse was back on rotation, although she wasn't my nurse and was scheduled to be off that day. I told Husband to go get her and I asked her if I could have another nurse. I couldn't stand the other nurse and did not want her present while I was pushing.

Being the wonderful, awesome nurse she was she switched patients with the nasty nurse and came in to help me deliver. She went above and beyond the call of duty, doing everything in her power to help me not tear. I don't think I could have done it without her there with me.

The pushing was the hardest part. I wanted to give up. I was tired and I didn't have the energy to push as much or as hard as I needed to. It felt like it took forever. I was sweating, crying and completely exhausted physically and emotionally. It was 7:30 at night and I had been in labor for 43 hours. I kept asking why I was pushing if the doctor wasn't there and begging my mom to just let the baby stay in me.

After only 34 minutes of pushing, my son was born. It felt a lot longer than that, but in retrospect it was a very short time for a first birth.

After 43 1/2 hours of labor, 34 minutes of pushing and more contractions than I wish to count, my son was born on November 8, 2008 at 8:04pm weighing in at 6lb 3oz. I did tear, but only a tiny bit requiring only 2 stitches.

And yes, my entire 43 1/2 hours of labor was pain free. There were times it was intense, but it was never painful. The recovery was, by far, more painful than the labor.

Now my pregnancy journey for this baby is over. The path of motherhood, however, is just beginning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birth Story Part One

My son is now five days old. Since Husband is holding him and he nursed recently, I am going to attempt to take the opportunity to write out his birth story. I am still kind of processing it, so bear with me.

Friday November 7th I woke up at 12:30am with diarrhea and cramping. By 1:00 am I realized it was labor and was different from my previous contractions. I went back to bed in an attempt to sleep and prepare for what was to come. At 2:30 am I finally decided to alert Husband and asked him to go downstairs to get my watch and time the contractions. They were 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. I gave up the sleeping in bed theory and went downstairs to watch some DVDs and relax. I told Husband to go back to sleep because I needed him as rested as possible... it served no purpose to have both of us exhausted. I had no choice as to whether or not I could sleep, but he did and needed to take advantage of it while he could and I would wake him when I needed him.

Somewhere around 5 or 6 I popped in the tub for a while. I figured if a hot bath stopped the labor, then it was obviously more false labor. After 30 minutes and about 5 contractions, I confirmed to myself it was the real thing. Knowing my mom was up and getting ready for work, I went next door and told her she could go into work if she wanted, but I may be calling her to come home early. She decided to go, but was on high alert.

By this time I had already been in labor for nearly seven hours. Things were progressing, but still nothing that made me feel I needed to go to the hospital, wake Husband or call my doula. I did, however, decide to eat and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat toast.

I already had an appointment with my OB scheduled for 1:45 pm (the appointment was to discuss induction) so I called to cancel the appointment and told them that I was in active labor and would call when I felt I needed to go to the hospital. They talked me into coming in anyway. In addition to Husband, our doula and my mom accompanied me to my appointment since we were all pretty much assuming I'd be sent straight to the hospital. And I was. He checked me and said I was abot 5 cm dilated and called the hospital to make all the arrangements and let his partner, who was the doctor on call, know I was coming up.

Since 5 cm isn't very much for someone hoping to avoid medical intervention, we all went to a local park and did laps around it for a while then got something to eat before heading to the hospital around 5:00 pm.

To be continued...

Friday, November 7, 2008

41 weeks 1 day

I'm in active labor. I've been contracting since 12:30 am without it stopping. Had some more bleeding. Contractions are 4 - 5 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute.

At some point today, I should have my baby in my arms.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

40 weeks 5 days

Again, recording for posterity (and so I can accurately remember how this all went during my next pregnancy). Feel free to disregard anything I'm saying here :-)

Tonight has brought about a lot of pressure, cramping and some of that same sharp pain. It's also included further loss of the mucus plug (no doubt this time) just a little over 4 days since my bloody show.

I've been spending lots of time draped on my birthing ball and squatting to make sure the baby gets in the right position. Tomorrow morning I have another chiropractor appointment (I had one last night and one on Friday... trying to encourage the little guy to move on out) so perhaps a little adjustment from him will be the button that needs pushed.

I don't feel a ton of strong contractions, nothing really momentous from that end, but I am seeing signs of progress, so that's enough for me right now. I'm just trying to relax and get into a place of calmness and peace to let my body do what it needs to do.

Hopefully, I'll be holding my little boy soon and can just avoid any hint of drama that may arise at Friday's appointment.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

40 weeks 3 days

I am realizing people say some pretty interesting things to women who are have gone past their due date. Here is a helpful list of things NOT to say to such a woman:

  • "Still pregnant?!?!?!" Said with varying levels of incredulity. I think the entire lack of a child in my arms is a pretty good indicator.
  • "My aunt/cousin/niece/sister/random stranger did X and had her baby within 24 hours." If I wanted a sure fire way to have my child, I'd take the pitocin evil on-call OB would so willingly offer me. And if/when I want a natural induction, I'll ask for help or consult on-call midwife.
  • Please do not correct me, especially about something trivial. I am tired, cranky, worried and all other sorts of emotions, I just need to rant sometimes without being corrected.
  • "If you drop any further, he will be between your knees!" I am carrying him, I know exactly how low he is. Trust me.
  • "I went three weeks past my due date with my first." Not helpful. Really not helpful.
  • Any comment on my size. Any. I know I don't have a very large belly. I know I haven't gained a lot of weight with this baby, but both the doctors and I are confident based on his size and heart rate that he is healthy and the other numbers really don't count.
  • "He'll come when he is ready." No, really? DUH!
  • "He's waiting for the Steeler game/the election/some other specific day." Really? Have you been consulting with my still-in-utero child without my knowledge? Nice to know he talks more to random people than he does to the woman who has carried him for the past nine months and contributed half of his DNA.
  • "Maybe your due date is wrong." I have been using NFP for many years now, I know how to chart. Beyond that, I know I ovulated on February 7th. In case you need it taken one step further, coitus: 2/7 at 1:30 pm, ovulation: 2/7 at 4:30 pm. I know my due date.

There are more, but these are the only ones I've encountered recently. Stay tuned for more rants from the preggo chick ;-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

40 weeks 2 days

Still here. Slightly more happy.

Let me explain the "worst birth ever" comment because it sounds terrible rereading that. I have raved before about my fantastic OBs and I will continue to stand firm in my adoration of them... but I've found a dent in their shining armor. Apparently something happened unexpectedly and this weekend they are both going to be out of town. So another practice is covering for them. You can already see where this is going right?

The other practice contains 5 doctors. Out of the five, I've heard good things (although their reputation isn't as natural birth friendly as my current practice, they are better than most). One of them I've heard horrible things about. He and my doula specifically had an issue (the issue being he threw her certification paperwork back in her face). And out of all five doctors guess which one is on call this weekend? Yep, you got it. The doula-hating, cesarean promoting, anti-natural birth doctor. This guy really is the epitome of all things wrong with obstetrics.

So I had a melt-down. A melt-down I was proud to have controlled as well as I actually did, but still a melt-down that ended in a frantic call to my doula explaining the situation.

Which brings me to the section of this post titled "Why Every Woman Needs A Doula". If my labor starts this weekend and I truly do not feel like I can call my OBs answering service, I will have a midwife as back-up to deliver my baby at home. This midwife began practicing after I was already under prenatal care with my OB and, due mostly to Husband's slight apprehension at homebirth, I decided to just stay with my practice. But with the current situation, after being informed of the particular doctor's personality, she agreed to be my back-up care. So the situation I thought could lead to the worst birth ever may actually give me the birth I've desired (although I am completely unprepared for!).

Oh and since I mentioned Husband's homebirth apprehension, I should add a tidbit about him. I've been gently informing him of the benefits of natural childbirth, homebirth, minimal medical intervention, non-circumcision, exclusive breastfeeding, etc for years now. I've converted him on many things, but homebirth concerned him and he still felt that a hospital and a doctor's care was the best place to be for birth. The other day he looks at me and says, "Our doctors aren't big on inducing, right?" After assuring him that one big reason I chose them is because they are NOT fans of induction, he said, "Oh good because inducing labor raises the chance of a c-section and the only reason doctors like to do c-sections are because they make a lot more money." Now, this is NOT new information to me, but it is new that Husband is listening to me and not being as blindingly trusting of medical staff.

After telling Husband about the possibility of a homebirth, he expressed some concerns, but I informed him that the doctor on call was exactly the kind of doctor who would induce and would wind up performing a c-section on me because he cares more about the bottom line financially and being in total control of a situation than he is about me or the baby. So he is now not opposed to a homebirth... if this weekend requires it.

And our second baby will be born at home. :-)