So I’ve written a few birth stories for other moms, but writing my own is always difficult for me. I don’t know why. There are so many different ways to process my birth and Im sure that not everyone cares for all the details, but at the end of the day, I write it out for me. For my own personal reading. I just invite the world to read it if they want to.
With that in mind.. Here is my best attempt at the details.
Isaac, my fourth baby, was new territory for me. My first pregnancy/delivery w/o the plan for an induction. As long as my blood sugar levels were in control, no matter how much insulin I was on (which turned out to be about 200 units a day there at the end), and the baby looked great (on the NST) then we would just wait for him to come on his own. **I will have to do a separate post about the process of waiting.**
At 39 weeks I lost my mucus plug. Well it was a gradual process, actually. On my last dr’s appt when I was 39. 4 (monday) I was 5 cm’s (same thing I did with Eva). I had been 4 cm’s for almost 2 weeks. I had been contracting off and on for weeks at this point. Prodromal labor. Stronger than braxton’s but not what you could classify as “active labor” contractions. HOWEVER, there was obvious cervical change. These ctx’s would come 10 min apart or 20 min apart for a few hours and then stop completely. And then not show up for two more days. On Wednesday the 12th (39.6 weeks), I woke up and felt different. Couldn’t say for sure what it was. I just felt, hopeful. Different. ***GROSS ALERT*** I had lost a big part of my plug, when I got up that morning.
So I decided to take the kids to the church drop in nursery service and go get a pedicure.. ya know, to keep my mind off of wondering when labor would start. I got to the church about 8:45 and headed to the nail place. I got there and in a chair about 9:30. As soon as I put my feet in the warm water I noticed the ctx’s. They weren’t “painful” but definitely noticeable. I could talk thru them, but would probably just be a little uncomfortable. So they kept coming. I’m a doula… so I refused to time them. What I mean is, Im so used too telling people not to time ctx’s until they are more intense and notice a strong need to concentrate, that I didn’t want to time my own. But for some reason, I kept glancing at my watch. I noticed they were coming every 5 minutes then one at 8, one at 5, one at 8. and so on. then it went to 4 and 7. After an hour of that.. and my toes were freshly painted, I called my friend Natalie
(also my photog for the birth). She is preggers with her sixth baby and knows a thing or two about birth.
Let me say here.. the reason i was in denial about whether this could be labor is because up until this point I had never experienced a ctx without a synthetic hormone surging through my body. I’ve never had a spontaneous labor before. I thought for sure it would have to “hurt” worse for it to be “active.” (don’t worry.. I wasn’t disappointed).
I told Natalie what was going on but that it had only been happening for an hour and a half, yet these were the most consistent and close ctx’s I’d had up until that point. She told me about one of her births that followed the same pattern (the woman has had 5 births..so there is bound to be variety she can share from). She encouraged me to go get checked. I kinda felt the same need.
The dilemma then became what to do with my other kids. They were still at the church nursery, which you have to get your kids by 12 p.m. It was 11 a.m. I would only have one hour and I would have to drive to my doc’s office (which is the same location as the hospital). I called the nursery director, Alison, and told her what was going on and they were so excited and more than willing too take care of the kids past the time of normal hours. And even go get my kids some lunch. I told them that it was likely nothing and that I may only be about 30 minutes late.
I got to my doc and say “Alright, Ross (that’s dr. ross), just be warned: I don’t think this is labor. I’m sure you are going to check me and there won’t be any change from monday.”
He checks and says, “Weeelll, I think 8 cm’s is some good change.”
WHAT? No stinkin’ way. I was in complete shock. he suggested I go ahead and go downstairs to L&D, but not to get too ahead of ourselves because Isaac was still very high (-3 station). yeah.. exactly. That’s high. But he, Ross, was convinced that once my water broke, it would go quickly.
So within the hour I was admitted, had my heplock and was getting a strip on the baby. My hubby had arrived, so did Natalie, Christina, Jennifer, Martha (MIL), Darcy (mom), Rachel (little sister) and my sister Mishka and Livia (neice) were on their way from Montgomery. You could say there were quite a few people there.
and that’s Courtney, my nurse. She couldn’t stay for the whole time.. but I was thankful to have her. She was with me for Eva’s birth.
So we began the process of waiting.. My ctx’s had gone to about 5 minutes apart and were still not super strong. Everyone kept saying how easy it looked, but I kept reminding them that my water was still intact. Knowing Isaac was still so high, I decided to walk the halls.
and sit on the ball.
But after two hours there was no change. Dr. Ross asked me if I wanted him to break my water and I declined. The dilemma was that I did NOT want any reason for them to have a “timeline” on me and if I didn’t have change fast enough, the Pit talks begin. The other issue was that Ross was on call for me even though he wasn’t officially on call. He mentioned that he did have an event at church that night but that he thought I’d have the baby before then. But I said I would try to do some nipple stimulation with the breast pump and walk more. The pump helped get the ctx’s to about 3 minutes apart. But once I got off the pump, they slowed down again. After another two hours the only cervical change I had was Isaac came down to a -2 station.
At this point, Dr. Ross came back in and said he cancelled his teaching gig at the church and would be “all ours” for as long as it took to have the baby. But he also suggested breaking the BOW. I didn’t mind doing that if Dr. Ross promised not to even mention the “P” word (pitocin) and that there would be no timeline/deadline. His exact words were, “Nope. No pit. I got your back. No Pit. Absolutely not.” So at that point (4 hours with no huge change) I opted for AROM. I was 8/90/-2. and of course after that happened. The ctx’s definitely picked up in intensity.
I got in the shower 30 minutes after my water was ruptured and really enjoyed the distraction of the water. And within another 30 minutes I was 8.5/100/-1 I got back on the birthing ball and another 3o minutes I later I was 9/100/0. Back to the shower I went, but this time the ctx’s were so intense that even the shower wasn’t “doing it” for me anymore. I got out, went to the bed and had the hardest hour of the entire labor. I was on my hands and knees over the head of the bed and had a fan blowing right on me. The hard part was i would have a short ctx of about 90 seconds and then it was followed a minute later by a 3 minute double-peak ctx.
The double peak contractions were the hardest part. And because I had figured out the pattern of the “two different” ctx’s I was having, I would get through the shorter one ok, but then I would beat myself up mentally about the double-peak one coming next. I was so surprised that it hurt just as much as a pitocin ctx. I really thought it would be easier than the pit. But my friends, it turns out that transition is transition, no matter if you have Pit or not. In fact, my second nurse (shift change) Katie (also a friend), had an unmedicated pit birth with one of her babies and said she is convinced that the Pit isn’t really so bad in way of “pain” like we make it out to be, but rather, it’s transition that is the kicker. And that is difficult either way. I have to agree. Having done it both ways, I feel like I can have that solid opinion. haha.
So after that hour I was 10/100/0 at 7:18 (seven hours after admission to the hospital. 5 hours with no pain/or change. and 2 hours of real work). I normally am not a proponant of pushing at a zero station.. but Isaac was so big that the pressure to push was there immediately and I HAD to PUSH
. So that’s what I did. I started at 0. And can I say here that the ctx’s were painful… but pushing was not. Even when that big boy was crowning.. it was such sweet relief to push. I was, once again, motivated and (oddly) convinced that he really was going to come out! LOL.
Yeah, lets discuss this position (below). I started out in a squat. And after one of the pushes I decided I wanted to recline. Weeell, at that point, there was no convincing me to move back up to that bar. I was staying put. It’s funny to look at this picture because it looks like such an awkward position to push in.. but it worked just fine. I was kind of on my left side leaning into Jorge, and sitting up.. yeah.. interesting.
And at 7:40 (22 minutes later) my sweet, big, Evan “Isaac” was born!
this is the moment (below) that I got my first real “look” at him. Katie was picking him up to weigh him and I said, “holy COW, he is huge!!”
Umm.. yeah he is!
All 9 lbs 7 oz of him. What a little butterball. No wonder he took his time engaging.
the best Doc in all of Brookwood saying a prayer for our sweet baby and family! I really do love Dr. Ross. He did something for me that most doc’s would never do: be on call for their patient even when they aren’t the ones on call. He went above and beyond for us an is so patient and a great advocate for a mom’s birth plan. We love you Dr. Ross (not that I think he even reads my blog).
We are so blessed to have our fourth baby and third little man of the family. God has, as always, amazed us and our hearts are full to the brim.
I am so thankful for everyone that was there. I know it was a zoo. But I loved it and I certainly couldn’t have done it without you!