Bri&Shane_3/8/08: Jackson's Med-Free Delivery
Monday, January 25, 2010 3:17 PM
"I have no idea what was going through my mind, but I could not stop
crying. I think it was a combination of the pain,
anxiety, excitement, being scared...and knowing THIS IS IT."
Jackson Gabriel Yee Makanani was born on July 22, 2009 at 10:45 a.m. Weighing in at 8lbs, 11oz and 20 inches long, his birth story is one I had dreamed of, but never thought would happen. My husband Shane and I both went into this journey expecting the unexpected. In the end we got exactly what we wanted - a short, drug-free labor: most importantly, a healthy son that we absolutely cherish.
Stripping the membranes
Let me begin with what I believe started my labor. I went in for my normal 39 week doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, July 21, at 3:30 p.m. My normal doctor was on vacation, so we saw another doctor in the practice (who we absolutely fell in love with). I made it very clear that I was miserable and asked if he would strip my membranes (Stripping the membranes is where a health care provider will separate your bag of water from the cervix, it is not intended to break your water, however, it may. It may also cause infection, and may be painful for some). He made it very clear that this may not induce labor.
A restless night
Immediately following the stripping of the membranes I had terrible cramps and lower back pain. I didn't want to get our hopes up, especially with having no contraction, so I decided to bear through it. Finally at about 7 p.m. I called the Family Maternity Center and asked if these pains were normal with the stripping of the membranes. They replied that yes, it's normal, but if the pain increases and you start contracting YOU ARE IN LABOR. If the pain subsides YOU ARE NOT IN LABOR. Around 10 p.m., the pain started to subside a bit and I went to bed (secretly, I was sad). However, I was up all night feeling the pain of the cramps.
Laboring at home
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. with painful contractions. They weren't horrible -- probably around a level three on the pain scale. I decided I would time them myself before I let Shane know. They were about five minutes apart for about 30 minutes. Then I called to Shane and let him know the situation. Excited to all heck, he immediately wanted to time them (this was always his wish; to be the "contraction master"). Once he started timing them, they were only three minutes apart and now a level four in pain. We decided to call the Family Maternity Center and let them know that our birth plan was to labor at home as long as possible. They said to do what we felt was right, and if we wanted to labor at home, we could. So that is what we decided to do. We called my mom (my second coach) and let her know what was going on. She asked to come over and labor with us. Just ten minutes later, I started having PAINFUL contractions, which were at least a level six or seven. We decided it was time to go!
To the hospital we go
Before we were able to go to the hospital, we had to drop off Kona (our beloved Yorkie) at my parent’s house. I think on the way there I started going into active labor because once Shane got out of the car to take Kona inside, I went onto all fours in the front seat of the car (knees on the floor, torso on the seat). Shane got back into the car and said, "We can't drive with you on the floor!" I responded, "The F*** I can't!" (the ONLY time I cussed during my entire labor). Shane put the pedal to the medal and we went to the hospital while my mom followed us. We were able to get to Evergreen quickly taking carpool during rush-hour traffic and arrived around 7:30 a.m. As soon as we got to the front a nurse who was out front just getting off of her shift asked Shane if I was in labor and if I needed to push. I replied, "No". She got a wheelchair and they wheeled me in. Out of nowhere, I got the urge to uncontrollably SOB LIKE A LITTLE GIRL. I have no idea what was going through my mind, I just could not stop crying. Looking back, I think it was a combination of the pain, anxiety, excitement, being scared and knowing THIS IS IT. We were admitted to a room right away and I met my nurse, Trish.
Struggling through the pain
As soon as I could, I put on my gown, and with the assistance of my mom and Shane, got into the bed. I felt like I could BARELY move because every movement I made would cause excruciating pain. But I had to get into the bed so I could be examined and see where I was (I thought MAYBE 4cm dilated) 7-8cm dilated and 100% effaced!!!! HOLY ***, I labored at home and got THAT far! Trish asked if I wanted an epidural, to which I said, “No”. She then asked if I wanted anything to take the edge off and I said, “I absolutely do not want ANY narcotics”. I think this was the last time I spoke a full sentence. So through the pain I went. Every contraction was hell, and about every other contraction was piggy-backed by another which made for SEVERAL 5 minute long contractions that were a minute apart. I thought I was going to die! Thank GOD I had my mom and Shane there. My mom worked on keeping me relaxed and focused while Shane worked on my breathing. About an hour and a half later, at 9:30 a.m., I asked to be examined. I told my mom, Shane and Trish that if I had NOT progressed I was getting an epidural. Trish examined me and said I was at 9cm dilated. My mom said, "You are almost there Brianne, by the time the drugs get here, Jackson will be born" which made total sense. Everyone is allowed a moment of weakness during a time like this - this was mine.
About 45 minutes later, I felt the urge to push, and it took ALL I HAD to say it. Luckily, my mom heard me and told my nurse. Trish told Shane and my mom to grab both my legs, bend them and pull them up and instructed me to start pushing at the peak of the next contraction. Next contraction came, and my mom said, "Okay Brianne, here we go. One, two, three, etc.” We did this 3 times in a row. Only fifteen minutes later, I was crowning and Trish RAN to get my doctor.
Epidural? What epidural?
In walks my doctor, and the first thing she asked was, "How is that epidural treatin' ya Brianne?" Shocked, both my mom and Shane said very sternly, "She didn't get an epidural!!!!!" The look on my doctor’s face was priceless and she moved so fast the next time I looked up from my focus point, everything was set up for delivery. She had me push and both Shane and my mom started to cry. Jackson’s head was out. I remember thinking, "HEY GUYS, THIS ISN'T OVER YET - I STILL NEED YOU!!!" I think they both saw the look of fear in my eyes and refocused on being my coaches. Next push, Jackson was out and he was immediately put onto my chest for me to love on him. Everyone was crying.
I still can't believe how fast my labor was; 5 hours total, 3 of which were at the hospital. Shane and I had spent so much time practicing laboring positions and techniques in easing the pain. We even bought a video camera and tripod because we were planning on having our favorite photographer there to snap newborn pictures shortly after his birth. ALL of that went to the waste side due to how FAST it all went down. There is no other way I would have had it. This was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I hope to tell Jackson about the day he changed my life.
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