steene: Eliel's Quick Deivery
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:33 PM
"When his head was crowning, I was encouraged to look down, see our baby, and touch him..."
How it all began
Our son, Eliel Jadon, was born on his due date, April 16, 2009. Overall, I had an awesome pregnancy and although the labor was intense, it was still very quick! In total, the labor time was a little under 3 hours. It never dawned on me that he would actually arrive on his due date (only 5% of babies are actually born on their due date!); so the night before, I couldn’t sleep due to the nesting factor and his moving around (I was feeling some pretty serious kicks and cramps). After going to bed around 4 a.m. that morning, I woke up at 7:30 a.m. with “cramps” (or was it contractions?!) Never having known them before, I didn’t know if this was the “real thing” or not. We called the midwives and told them that the contractions were happening five minutes apart, every minute --- which is a sign for the midwives to arrive, since it meant that labor has started. But just as I was telling them this, the contractions went away. So the midwives said to hold on and just come in at my regularly scheduled 4 p.m. appointment that afternoon.
At my appointment, I had 3 contractions in a row and so the midwives sent me home saying to call when they were 5 minutes apart. Well, when we got home (after making a stop at my Mother-in-Law's house), my contractions were 30 seconds apart. Really feeling the need to lay down, I proceeded upstairs with my husband Damion's help. However, on the way, I stopped and said, “I’m going to puke. Get a bowl, quick. Real quick.” And Damion, putting his long legs to work, ran to the other side of the house to find a bowl. He said he felt like a hero for getting the biggest bowl we have, and ran back and caught me just as I was about to let it rip. That’s love -- he held the bowl and I puked. Soon after, Damion called the midwife and told her what was going on. Her response: “Yeah, I can hear Ellen in the background; I’m on my way!" And so we started to prepare for our home birth!
Getting right to work
Within 45 minutes, both the midwives and the doula (similar to a midwife) arrived and checked me out. To the midwives surprise, I was almost 9 centimeters dilated, which meant this baby was on his way -- NOW! (I had wanted to do a nearly standing/incline position or use the yoga ball as a comfort measure, but upon standing up, this intensified the contraction and I kind of fell backward, the contraction was so strong). So when the midwife arrived, she found me laying perpendicular to the bed and half on/half off the ball. Damion and Christina, the doula, had to explain why I was like that! After about 30 minutes, my water broke and boy am I glad that this happened at home, because it really was a GUSH of water (I was told about a liter’s worth!). Anyhow, being “new” at all this, when my water broke, I nearly screamed, because to me, it felt like a balloon popped both inside and outside of me and I actually thought the baby richocheted out! But nope, it was just the water.
At this point, I had been on my side, laboring. So when my water broke, it gushed all behind me and up my back. The midwives saw that the waters had meconium (baby’s first bowel movement) and this concerned the midwives because usually babies have this bowel movement after they are delivered, not during or before, which could mean the baby was in distress. So they encouraged me to push. My “energy” for the contractions hadn’t kicked in yet, so the next two attempts weren’t enough to get him out without some serious tearing. So at that point, we made the decision to go to the hospital--- however, I was at the peak of my labor and contractions (and oh yeah, he was already bearing down and trying to come through). In all honesty, it felt like the biggest poop you EVER had to take! The midwives called the ambulance. The second midwife was giving my information to the operator on the phone. I hadn’t worked with her directly yet so she didn’t know all my information and asked the head midwife how old I was, in order to answer the operator. The first midwife said “she’s 30," to which I piped up to say “--one”. The room got quiet and then everyone laughed, because at the peak of my labor and during my painful contractions, I still made a point to correct them that I was 31, not 30.
Off to the hospital!
The ambulance arrived in about two minutes. Upon their arrival, I was encouraged to try and push once more because it was so close that there was a chance that I could have the baby in the ambulance (even though the hospital was about 1km/.5 mile away!)....So the room got quiet, I tried to push, and... it wasn’t enough yet! Then, it the three ambulance people yelled, “GO GO GO!" Our house is two floors and because they couldn’t bring the stretcher upstairs, I had to get dressed, go downstairs and on to the stretcher — all in between my 30 second contractions. So I was helped up, and wrapped below with a towel, given flip flops, and had to hobble down the stairs, while it felt like I was holding a watermelon between my thighs! Another ER person met me downstairs with my robe and I was escorted outside. Now, outside were two ambulances (one for me and potentially one for the baby if he was delivered in the house) with their lights on (drawing ALL the attention in our neighborhood to our house). And here I come, with my bottom toga, a meconium/brown stained shirt, flip flops, and my pink hearts robe... yeah I was a sight! So I’m put on the stretcher, and put in the ambulance. On the one minute drive, I had another contraction, but was told to just breathe through them, otherwise the baby could come out.
In the delivery room, the baby was coming pretty quickly. When his head was crowning, I was encouraged to look down, see our baby, and touch him -- that was interesting. It felt both weird, gooey, and wonderful all at the same time. With three contractions, his head was through; but I have to stop right there and make a commentary about this “ring of fire” that I experienced. What a feeling! WOWZERS! For those that don’t know what this is, it’s when the biggest part of him – his head – is coming through and it just burns. Here, I think is where my energy came in and with three pushes, his head came through, and then his body. And then there were baby cries in the room. Damion cut the cord and the midwives/doctors suctioned him immediately, just in case the whole meconium thing and then brought over our little one. He was definitely a long one (21 inches) and his hair was black and straight. While holding Eliel, I delivered the placenta, which was weird because it’s like a delivery that you aren’t part of -- it just plops out!
Still, it seems like a surreal experience. We go to the hospital and come back with a baby in less than three hours (I spend more time in Walmart shopping the sales!) — the ride home from the hospital, with an infant in the back in the car seat, was just, well... different and surreal. It’s really to explain.
The last week, though challenging and very, very new, has been completely amazing. We have definitely fallen in love with this little guy and have had so many laughs already. It’s amazing to see him changing and growing already.
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