mheathe: Perrin's Natural Birth
Thursday, October 14, 2010 4:41 PM
"My husband, who said the whole time he was not going to look "down there" during birth was all about it. He was amazed at the whole process..."
Preparing for childbirth
I don't care how many books or online articles you read, or how many moms you talk to, you never know what to expect with childbirth until it happens. I, like most moms, did my research, learned what options I had, and made some decisions (along with the hubs) on how I "wanted" childbirth to go. We discussed natural childbirth. We knew we wanted to be alone -- no onlookers besides hospital staff. We did not have a written birth plan because I thought it was kinda silly. My mom has worked for an OBGYN for nearly 30 years, so I know most births do not go according to plan. I have a moderately severe cease of scoliosis and was always told an epidural would be questionable. It was something I came to grips with a long time ago. We attended birthing classes to learn alternate pain-management techniques and I felt like I was ready. Not really.
My daughter's due date was February 23rd. This was the date I was focused on. All of my appointments had been very normal and our baby was measuring right where she should. I had a wonderful pregnancy and have never felt better.
On a chilly Thursday evening (January 29), I took my husband out for a birthday dinner at a local Italian restaurant known for putting women into labor. That's not the reason we went. We went because you get a free meal on your birthday. :-) No fear though--I did not eat the labor-inducing Eggplant Parmesan. I had 3 1/2 weeks to go. I wasn't going anywhere near that stuff! During dinner I felt slightly uncomfortable (I had gained 40 pounds), but didn't think much of it. I did lose my mucous plug earlier in the day, but I knew it could take weeks to go into labor. I didn't have a worry in the world.
We had a wonderful dinner and on the way home I wanted to stop by CVS to pick up a few items. This was around 7:45-8:00 pm. As we headed there I started feeling really uncomfortable and my back was killing me. I called a friend to ask what contractions felt like (I'm thinking Braxton-Hicks) and she couldn't tell me. She had a scheduled c-section! Argh! I totally forgot. I didn't want to call my mom because I knew she would freak out. All of our family lives hours away and I didn't want anyone traveling for no reason. After our quick trip to CVS we went straight home because I was not feeling well at all. I went upstairs to lie down, but couldn't stay still. I was definitely having contractions.
Is this labor?
I called my doctor's group and luckily my wonderful, sweet, caring doctor was on call. Sweet relief! She said it sounded like labor to her, but wanted to be sure. She asked that my husband track the contractions and she wanted me to go to the restroom to check for discharge. My husband started timing them immediately. 30-45 seconds every 3-4 minutes! I did have pink discharge just as she suspected. I was in active labor and needed to get to the hospital. *Note - we did not have bags packed yet (oops!) and had to rush around getting everything together.*
We left for the hospital around 9:00 pm after packing the bags and calling our families. I swear it was the longest 45 minute car ride of my life. I was in serious pain and nearly ripped the "oh-***" bar out of my car. We were minutes away from the hospital and hubs had to call to say I could not physically walk myself in -- someone needed to meet us at the ER entrance to get me. We pulled up to the ER entrance just before 10:00 pm and were greeted by a nurse with a wheelchair. She hurried me up to the maternity floor while my husband parked the car. Why in the world does valet get off at 9? Anyway, the 10 minutes it took for him to drive around the hospital, park the car, and walk up to the maternity floor took FOREVER. Luckily I had pre-registered, but I still had to complete paperwork and answer stupid questions. I swear, if they would have asked me my SSN one more time I think I would have ripped someone's head off. I'm certain the paperwork I signed is completely illegible. I'm also certain that the waiting room guests thought I was out of my mind. I really didn't care.
Finally, around 10:05-10:10 pm we were taken to a "triage" room so I could be checked. I just knew I was over-reacting to the pain and would be sent home. Wrong. The nurses/doctor took their time coming in at first, but when they realized I was already at 6 cm (10:20 pm) they had a little fire under their butts. Everyone started moving so quickly and gathering supplies. It was like a whirlwind. One nurse inserted the IV port and drew blood for the anesthesiologist to review. She said it would be about 30-45 minutes before he would know if an epidural was possible. At that point I really didn't care, I wanted this pain to stop. I figured they were going to break my water, but the doctor said my water must have broken sometime earlier that day when I went to the bathroom since I didn't realize it occurred -- and it had already happened naturally.
I was moved a few minutes later to an actual delivery room and hooked up to all sorts of monitors. Around 10:45 pm I was at 8 cm and notified by my nurse that an epidural was not possible. Fine by me. Let's have a baby! I felt an overwhelming urge to push, but they told me I couldn't until I reached 10 cm. A torn cervix did not sound like fun. I tried as long as I could, but I was not able to keep my body from pushing. It was nearly impossible. I begged the nurse to check again and sure enough I was at 10!!! I was so excited. I didn't have another contraction for 3-5 minutes! What?!
It's baby time!
I was totally relaxed during those few non-contraction minutes. Cutting up with the nurses/doctor, laughing, smiling, etc. It was so surreal. I was happy when the contractions came back because I knew I was that much closer to seeing this baby girl who had been growing inside my belly for the past 36 1/2 weeks. Not once did it ever cross my mind that she was early or that something could be wrong with her. I pushed with all my might. The worst part was when she crowned. It burned like crazy. Now I know why it's called the "ring of fire." My husband, who said the whole time he was not going to look "down there" during birth was all about it. He was amazed at the whole process and looked down and back up one time and said in the sweetest voice, "she's got hair!" Of course she had hair, I had hellacious heartburn! After 30 minutes of pushing, and one threat to use a vacuum on my baby (which I would not let happen), our sweet girl was here!
Perrin Elizabeth was born on January 29, 2009 -- her daddy's (and paternal grandfather's) birthday. That's right...3 straight generations born on the same day. Kinda weird, but cool. Our perfectly healthy baby girl weighed 7 lbs., 3 oz. and was 18.5 inches long. Her Apgar scores were 8/9.
I had second degree tears and had to be stitched up. I didn't feel one bit of pain after Perrin was born. The adrenaline took over and I was happy as a clam with my little family. You couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. I was so happy to nurse my daughter for the first time. She was a pro!
It turned out that my pseudo birth plan was perfect. We had a natural birth and we were alone. We really didn't want anyone else in the room and it worked out just fine. Our parents arrived a few hours after Perrin's birth (in the wee hours of Friday morning) to meet their sweet granddaughter. I have never been so happy in all my life!
My recovery was great! I was sore, of course. It felt like I fell while ice skating and hit my behind on the ice. My nurse made me take Motrin before going to bed because she said I would regret it in the morning if I didn't. I agreed and took one even though I didn't feel it was necessary. We were discharged around lunch on Saturday and the rest is history!