Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lillian's Birth Story

This post is long overdue! I've been working on it a little at a time. 
I started having contractions at 1:10am on Tuesday, June 5th.  They felt like bad period cramps and were irregular. I started timing them on my contraction application on my cellphone because they made it difficult to sleep.   David woke up at 6am when his alarm went off and I told him "I don't think you're going to work today".  He proceeded to contact work to let them know I was in labor.  I then called my mother to have her come down since we were having a new A/C unit and furnace installed, our old one quit working the week before and it was getting hot out. Amazingly my mom was all ready to go and just had to pack up the dogs and drive down. David called his mother to let her know I was in labor. We got up and did a few things around the house until my mom came. I called the midwives at 9:14am and they had me come in to be checked. Thankfully I was seen by Stephanie Rhodes, one of the midwives I liked. She checked me and said I was between 2.5 and 3 cm dilated. She then asked me if I wanted some help moving things along and I said sure.  She stripped my membranes and said she would see me the next day with a baby in my arms. I went home and the contractions continued to be about 4-5mins apart. My mom needed to take the dogs on a walk so I went with her.  As we were walking I had to stop a few times during a contraction.  We got home and had lunch.  My mom and I made a freezer meal that I was planning on making. Then David and I went upstairs.  I started to feel nauseous and threw up my lunch. We decided I should try taking a shower to see if that would help the pain. Around 5pm my contractions were getting worse and I told David to take me to the hospital. We arrived a few minutes later (lol, since we live across the street) they admitted me and when the midwife came to check me I was only at 3-3.5cm dilated.  She wasn't very nice to me and scolded me for eating electrolyte chews that David thought would be a good idea.  She also said my contractions were too far apart and that I needed to not tense up as much. Her recommendation was for me to go home and come back later. So we went home. I sat on the couch and watched Once Upon A Time while trying to relax as much as possible.  My mom made dinner and I tried to eat but I wasn't hungry.  The contractions were getting worse and I told David I wanted a blessing. Brother Queen, our neighbor, and David gave me a blessing. At this point it was late at night and everyone was exhausted. I was too but I couldn't sleep. We went upstairs to lie down.  David slept while I tried to relax through my contractions. At one point it got so bad that I remember crying in the bathroom after I got up to pee for the millionth time. About 4am I couldn't take it anymore and I woke David up to tell him I didn't care about getting an epidural and that we should go to the hospital. He was very sweet and told me I could do it that I just needed someone to help me work through the contractions. He would tell me to wiggle my toes and fingers to relax my muscles and hw would breathe with me through the contraction. We finally went to the hospital at around 5am. They brought us back to the same room we were in before. The same nurse was still on shift and asked me if I was still doing a natural birth. I said I might want an epidural. They had an issue getting things set up in their system because they hadn't discharged me properly the first time. They hooked me up to an IV to push some fluids since I was a little dehydrated. She checked me and I was dilated to 5cm.  The nurse then strapped on the heart rate monitor to monitor Lillian and the contraction monitor to monitor my contractions. That was probably the most uncomfortable position for me to be in during my contractions.  Thankfully I only had to lay there for an hour. Once the nurse unhooked my IV and took the monitor off I was free to roam about.  I mostly sat on the couch with David waiting/resting before the next contraction hit. Once the contraction started I would have to stand up and rock from side to side while David coached me on how to breathe. He was an awesome coach.  He would watch me and tell me to wiggle my fingers/toes or to rub my belly to distract me from tensing up. We were pretty much left alone since the nurses/doctors/midwives were going through a shift change. My new nurse, Piya, was amazing. She was a short little Asian lady who was so encouraging of my choice to have a med-free birth. She set up the jetted tub area with towels in case I decided to use it (I didn't. Probably because lying down made the contractions feel worse. And the idea of undressing and being wet was not appealing.). Piya also found a birth ball for me to use and would bring me juice, jello, and popsicles to keep me hydrated and to have a little something in my stomach.  She would let me sit/ stand next to the monitors whenever she monitored my contractions which was so much better than lying in the bed.  At about 9am I still hadn't seen the midwife on shift and I was getting anxious that she wouldn't be there for the delivery.  I started to feel a lot of pressure and like I had to push.  I asked Piya to check my progress.  I was 9.5cm with a small lip in the front.  She had me lean over the top of the bed to put more pressure on the front.  Piya set up the birthing bars on the bed and I used those to help with the rest of labor. I remember feeling a ton of pressure and an urge to push.  I just did what my body wanted and at one point I either peed or my water finally broke.  The midwife arrived and ironically it was Stephanie, the same one I saw the day before.  She was excited to deliver my baby and I was happy it was one of the midwives I liked! At around 10am I was finally at 10cm and it was time to push.  They started getting things ready and grabbed another nurse to help.  Stephanie explained to me how I was going to push.  Then told me that on the next contraction we could start.  The funny part was that my contractions never really got close together.  They were still 3-4 minutes apart, which I'm sure helped me have my med free birth and Lillian's heart rate never really changed.  So we all sat there staring at each other waiting for the next contraction.  The nurses and midwife were all amazed at how calm I was.  Piya put her hands on my belly and watched the monitor to see/feel my contraction coming on.  After a few pushes they asked me if I wanted a mirror to see and I said yes.  It was so encouraging to watch her get closer and closer to being born.  I started hyper ventilating at one point so they put the oxygen mask on me and told me to breathe in deeply.  After that everything seemed to happen in a blur.  At 11:39am on June 6th Lillian entered the world.  I remember the midwife telling me to open my eyes and to reach down and grab Lillian.  I grabbed her under her armpits and pulled her onto my chest, it was so surreal.  She was slippery and I thought I was going to drop her.  She immediately started crying and didn't stop until they brought her to the nursery.  She even pooped on me!  One of the nurses finally asked if someone made sure she was indeed a girl.  They took her over to the incubator and weighed her, at some point David cut the cord but I don't even remember that part.  While they cleaned her off the midwife delivered the placenta and stitched my tiny tear, that hurt way worse than the whole labor, David held my hand and the nurses brought Lillian over to distract me.  When they were done David went with Lillian to the nursery.  The nice part of having a med free birth was being able to get up out of bed right after.  They brought Lily back from the nursery and I tried feeding her.  They then brought us to our room in the maternity ward where I stayed for 2 days.  Lillian had to stay an extra day due to jaundice.  Luckily they had a room for parents to stay in for NICU babies that wasn't being used so I spent the night there.  We finally got to go home on June 9th. I still can't believe she is mine.  I'm so glad I got the birth I wanted and to have a healthy beautiful little girl.