metta1313: Abigail's Birth Story
Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:52 PM
"She shot out of me and was placed right onto my
belly. And just as my mom had always told me, once she was born, all
the pain stopped..."
More than ready for baby
At my 39 week, 4 day appointment, I was 1 centimeter dilated, and 20% effaced for the third week in a row. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed. Three weeks prior, my OB predicted I wouldn’t make it to my due date and then at this appointment, he made us make another one for the following week in which we would talk about inducing! This was the last thing I wanted. I couldn’t imagine being pregnant for another week, let alone another day. I stopped working a week prior and sitting at home for what I liked to call “The Waiting Game: Baby Watch 2009.” This was starting to get unbearable, especially since it had been one week since my mucus plug had unhinged itself. So I went home, called my mom, and cried my eyes out.
The next day, I finally decided to take the doctor’s advice and go for a walk. I walked for 20 minutes, and the whole time I kept on feeling those fake-out Braxton Hicks contractions. When I got home around 3:30 p.m., I sat my lazy butt in front of the television. An hour later, when I got up from the chair, I thought I either peed my pants or my water broke and I was leaking. I called L&D and they told me to put a fresh pad on, lie down for an hour, and call them back once said hour was up. I followed orders and could still feel the slight trickling of fluid. But once I got up to call them back, I didn’t have a big pool of fluid. The nurses told me that it probably was just urine and to keep watch for the other labor signs. At this point, DH had come home and was super tired because as usual, my tossing and turning the night before had kept him up. So he wasn’t thrilled at the prospects of being up all night with me in labor.
Calling in reinforcements
At around 7:30 p.m. that evening, my mom and grandma arrived (they flew in from the east coast as I live on the west coast). My grandma put her hand on my belly and said, “Okay little ‘Olive’ [a name DH wanted but had become a running joke in the family because I was not into that name at all]…you can come out now. GG [great grandma] is here.” Well, I wasn’t amused because I was just so darn uncomfortable and didn’t have any hopes that this baby was going to come anytime soon.
At 8 p.m. we started eating dinner. At some point during dinner, I started to feel even more uncomfortable. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it because frankly I felt uncomfortable nearly all the time. But by the time dinner was over, I realized that the uncomfortableness (yes a word I made up) was coming and going regularly. I didn’t say anything to anyone just yet because I just wasn’t sure if it was early labor or not, and I was still pessimistic about the fact that I thought I was going to be pregnant forever. Once the dishes were cleared, I started looking at the clock and noticed it for sure was a pattern. I whispered this to DH as I didn’t want to get my mom and grandma all excited for nothing. DH went on his daily business because he had heard stories of labor lasting forever and he didn’t think we would be going to the hospital anytime soon. Once the contractions were aout 5-7 minutes apart, he even went to lay down and sleep for a bit because like I said, I kept him up all night the night prior with my tossing and turning.
Laboring at home
I got my mom and told her what was going on so she could help keep track of the contractions. I then called L&D because I couldn’t remember when I was supposed to come to the hospital. They suggested I get in the bath since I told them my back was really killing me. So into the bath I went. The contractions were starting to get more painful and coming closer together and after about an hour in the bath, my mom was like, "You need to go." I kept on saying that this couldn’t be it. It’s not supposed to be like this. I’m supposed to labor for a long time before they start to get 1-3 minutes apart. But the pain was bad, so I agreed with her. DH, however, was not convinced. He told me to just labor in bed with him. But after just one contraction, I couldn’t lay there anymore. I needed to be moving.
I went back downstairs and paced while laboring some more, all the while my mom is trying to keep track. I got back in the bathtub because that seemed to help before. But 10 minutes into the tub, and the warm water was no longer helping. I once again went to DH and told him we needed to go and he once again told me that we could wait it out. He knows that I have a low tolerance for pain and he felt I was overreacting. And to be truthful, I started to believe that. So back downstairs to pace with my mom. Twenty minutes had passed and I couldn’t talk while having contractions anymore. So I just went back to DH and demanded he take me to the hospital. Well, he finally listened to me. This was a little after midnight.
Heading to L&D
The 10 minute ride to the hospital was unbearable and seemed to take forever. Sitting was the last thing I wanted to do. When we got there, we didn’t even take our bags out of the car. We thought we would have time to settle in and went right to the L&D floor and a security guard checked us in. He then told us that we had to wear masks until we got to the room. DAMN SWINE FLU! I was like, Are you kidding me?
Once I got to the room and was all hooked up, I was checked and I was at 3 cm. I had to lay in bed for the next hour while they monitored me. Apparently, I wasn’t considered a “keeper” until I was 4 cm. That hour seemed to take an eternity and it didn’t help that I knew the thing around my arm was taking my blood pressure every 15 minutes. I could track how slow time was going. Also, I realized quickly that I didn’t pay close attention in birthing classes because I was sucking at breathing. Both DH and the nurse were getting upset with me because I was talking through contractions and saying things like: "I need some relief now instead of breathing." I was then told I needed to wear the oxygen mask because I was doing so poorly at getting oxygen to my LO. At one point the nurse asked what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10. I couldn’t respond because I was mid contraction. DH spoke up and said, "She's going to say 10 no matter what." So the nurse looked at the read out of my current contraction and nonchalantly said, “Well, this was a medium one and it will only get worse.” I thought: Are you freaking kidding me!
Moving right along
An hour later I was checked again and the nurse said, “Wow, you're 6 cm. I better get the doctor.” After that, things progressed so quickly. I knew I couldn’t get an epidural until they started an IV, but even that took two nurses and three tries to get it going. I think I cursed through some contractions because I remember one of the nurses giving me crap for my foul language. I couldn’t believe she was seriously giving me crap about that -- I was in agony!
Not long after, the epidural guy (as I liked to call him) was paged and I knew it could be like an hour before he got there and I was starting to freak out because I knew if I got to a certain point there would be no epidural for me. My body started to get out of control. With every contraction, my body was practically convulsing. They kept on shouting at me to not push, but I told them I couldn’t help it. I had no control over my body.
Finally my doctor came in and said he was going to break my water. I had told that nurse a while ago that I felt a huge gush and was sure my water broke, but I don’t think she believed me. And sure as ***, I was right. No need for him to break my water. Probably about 20 minutes later the doctor checked me again right as the epidural guy came in the room and then I was told I was just about fully dilated! I just screamed in agony saying I needed some sort of pain relief and I knew it wasn’t going to be an epidural. So the epidural guy and my doctor talked for a bit and they decided I could get a spinal block, which would numb me for a couple hours. It took him about 20 minutes to get it going. It was such a relief when I finally stopped feeling the pain. This was around 2:45 a.m.
Ready for pushing!
Everyone left the room, except for DH of course, and they let me rest. About a half hour later, the nurses came back in and started instructing me on pushing. This was difficult because I couldn’t feel anything and knew I had a time frame before the pain would come back. So alas, I started to feel things again after about an hour of pushing. But once I could feel again, then I was doing so much better at pushing. The doctor came back in, I closed my eyes, and I kept on going, just listening to everyone around me counting to 10. There were two other things that I remembered people saying. The first was something to the nature of, “Okay, here comes the ring of fire. Breathe through it.” (Yes the ring of fire sucked, but it was nothing compared to the pain of actual contractions.) And the second was something to the nature of, “Ok, we need to use the vacuum because my LO’s heart rate kept on going down with every contraction.” A few minutes later, she was born at 5:14 a.m., after about 8.5-9 hours of labor.
Because of the vacuum, it was like she just slid quickly out. With all the baby story shows I have watched, I always remembered the head coming out first, then a slight waiting period and then the rest of the baby. But I don’t remember any of that. I just remember that she shot out of me and was placed right onto my belly. And just as my mom had always told me, once she was born, all the pain stopped.
I was so completely amazed. I kept on thinking that she looked so small, and she was, just weighing in at 6lbs 11oz. My DH and I just kept looking at each other in amazement. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry. Everyone kept on remarking that she had a little cry to match her little stature. DH and I thought it was pretty darn cute. They asked us what her name would be and we both knew that Madeline, the name we had decided on a while ago, would not work. He said he really liked Abigail, and I totally agreed. So Abigail Hazel it was.
In retrospect, not having an epidural was fine with me. It is true what they say that once your baby is born, you forget about all the pain and the suffering. And truth be told, when I did have that minor pain relief, when I couldn’t feel anything while pushing, I wasn’t making any progress. I needed to feel it all in order to birth. Of course, next time (if there is a next time), I will work more on remembering to breathe!
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