Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Zachary's Birth Story

May 24, 2007 – Thursday – I was exactly 40 weeks – and the day started out completely normal. I called to reschedule my Friday appointment with my doctor for that afternoon because I had decided to wait to be induced until next Tuesday and I didn’t want to make my husband late to work on Friday. We went to the art museum around 1pm and out to a late (3:30pm) lunch at Ryan’s steakhouse. I was in the mood for lots of veggies and fruit. I ate a big salad and it tasted great! I spilled milk all over myself (it looked like my water had broken) and all over my cell phone – it no longer works! Perfect timing! I was about to cry over spilt milk. Then we headed over to the doctor’s for my 4:45pm appointment. I brought Jeremiah along to be my moral support and to help me convince my doctor to wait for the induction. Alan was tired in the car and screamed defiantly the entire 30 minute drive to the dr.’s office. At one point just before we arrived, I turned around and kind of yelled at him to stop it. Afterwards he started to cry and I started to cry because I felt like a bad mom and I was stressing out. Needless to say, when they took my blood pressure, it was high. They had me lay down on my left side for awhile and when they retook it, it had lowered back down. I had gained 4 pounds in 4 days since Monday and weighed in at 220, an all time high. I think that was simply water weight and the difference between a morning weight and an afternoon weight. I gained 50 pounds total this pregnancy. A little less than last time.
I was quite swollen and I still am. When my doctor checked my cervix I had dilated to a stretchy 6cm without even feeling any labor pain! My doctor was sure I was going to go into labor soon and if I wasn’t at the hospital already, she said we would probably end up having the baby at home or in the car if my water bag broke. She was very convincing and we decided to go ahead and induce labor by rupturing the membranes (braking the water bag) at the hospital that night. I felt a little uneasy about it but I also was ready to be done.
We had my friend Ramona along with us and Alan and my brother Max, so we headed over to the house where we have home group on Thursdays and dropped them all off with my in-laws, who are conveniently in town every Thursday. I gave Ramona the key to our house, so she could get in later on and we headed home to pick up our hospital bags. I called my doula to tell her to meet us at the hospital around 7pm. We called our families to let them know what was happening. When we arrived home, we realized we had made a stupid mistake – we were locked out!! We called the emergency lock out number and no one responded. Jeremiah tried to brake in while I sleuthed around to figure out where our apartment manager’s apartment was. I knocked on her door and luckily she was home and was able to get a key from the office for us. We gathered our stuff quickly and headed over to the hospital at about 7pm. I drove because I didn’t want to be stressed by anyone else’s driving and I felt jumpy. I was having some bloody show and I think I would have gone into labor naturally sometime late that night or Friday morning.
My doula arrived at the hospital at the same time as us. Here is a picture of us checking into the hospital.We did some paperwork and then they moved us right in to our room where we would be staying the entire time. It was very nice – like a little hotel suite. Brand new. Our nurse and doula were both named Amanda and both were Christians too. Our nurse actually used to be a doula and was extremely supportive of natural birth. They were both very encouraging and made me feel strong and in control. The nurse put me on the monitor with 2 belts around my belly. I answered tons of questions and we chatted for a while. My nurse attempted to put in the heplock and failed to get a vain – it was extremely painful. Another nurse came in and very confidently got it put in quickly and accurately. My doctor came in to rupture the membranes at 9:30pm. It felt very invasive and uncomfortable and I was just imagining that little hook hunting around in me to pop that bag. When the water broke it came gushing out and I felt sad as my son’s little water world became a lot more uncomfortable for him. Change was coming.
Jeremiah and I took a walk in the hallways for about 40 minutes. I had to be monitored for 20 minutes out of every hour. I sat on the birthing ball for the monitoring and had a few stronger contractions and several smaller ones. A pattern was just starting to develop and I was still feeling really good. I got in the shower next. I was by myself with the water and I could really relax into labor. I spent some time praying and worshipping God. My contractions became stronger and stronger. There was a bench in the shower and I could get down on my knees on top of some towels and lean into the bench with the water coming down on my back. I also just stood swaying under the water with it beating down on my belly. I thought about my baby coming soon and I could really tell that things were moving along. I began to feel lonely so I called Jeremiah to come in. He stood outside the shower and sang worship songs with me and to me through several contractions. I would have stayed in the shower longer, but I had to be monitored again, so I got out and dressed. Water is awesome in labor. I was careful not to get my hair too wet though, cause I didn’t want to be cold later on. The water in my hair on the fringes felt good later on and helped to keep me cool during the intense part. This time, I was monitored lying in the bed. I was 8cm when they checked me. It was about 11:30pm. I was disappointed. I was hoping to be complete. I felt like I was so close! Contractions started coming right on top of each other. Jeremiah was holding my hands and my doula was pressing into my lower back to give me some counter pressure.

I was focusing through contractions with my eyes shut. I was able to really listen to my body and keep relaxed in most of my muscles. I just breathed and moaned the way that came natural with each contraction – I didn’t even know what I was going to do until I was doing it. Everyone was very supportive and just told me to go for it – even being noisy. I sat up and they set up a squat bar for me on the end of the bed. It was nice to lean against but I never actually squatted with it. I said, “The baby is so close.” I leaned back and my nurse checked me again, 1 cm to go. I started to loose control with the last couple of contractions. I had to hold onto Jeremiah and just breathe with him. It helped. I said, “The baby is so close. I need my doctor. I can feel him on my tailbone.” My legs were closed together and I was lying on my side. The contractions sent pain all the way down to my knees. They called for my doctor to come right away. As soon as I opened my legs, I felt an incredible urge to push. It was nothing like with Alan. I said, “I have to push.” I felt scared and like it was very urgent. My nurse said, “No. Don’t push” and she put her hand out to keep the baby in while I tried not to push but was pushing anyway. My doctor arrived and as soon as she had her gloves on and the lights on, she said, “Okay. Push.” They didn’t even take the bed apart. I pushed and it really hurt. The head came out so fast I felt a lot more burning sensation as the skin stretched around it. I was lying in a kind of awkward side position but I couldn’t even think about moving. I just had to push. Once the head was out – everything became very intense because the cord was wrapped all around him and he was turning blue. They yelled at me to push with all my might. I pushed hard as I could and the rest of him came out. Then I opened my eyes as they laid him on my tummy. My baby was here!

He was all white with varnix and hairy. So cute and perfect. Relatively calm compared to Alan. Jeremiah cut his cord – it was already white and clear looking so all that good blood got into Zachary beforehand. He is doing great. My breastmilk is starting to come in and he’s sleeping like a pro. J (I wrote this a couple days after Zach’s birth)

Here I am standing up next to my baby just an hour or so after he was born. That is the reward of natural childbirth - quick recovery!

1 comment:

Sarah Kalagias said...

Wow! What an amazing birth story Rose! :) You are so inspiring to me! I wish I had you to coach me through a natural birth. ;)