Friday, September 23, 2011

Birth Story Part 2 (Typed with both hands)

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, deciding if I should stay home and try for the
natural home birth I wanted, or head to the hospital and likely receive and
epidural. So I'm betting that from my previous posts pushing home birth you
think I decided to stay, but guess what....your wrong. Before the midwives
finished saying"I think we should head to the hospital" I was already getting
my crocks on and heading for the door. I wasn't even wearing a shirt but off
I went to the elevator. Of course my good hubby was there to make sure I put
all me clothes on, he even asked if I was sure this is what I wanted, to which
I replied "Caterpillar, Caterpillar, Caterpillar!" our code word.

I was the first one at the elevator waiting for everyone else to pack up and figure 
out how to get to the hospital. In the end my doula drove while I had contractions 
in the front seat and my husband rubbed my shoulders from the back seat. At this 
point all I wanted was the epidural, each contraction made my body push, and each
contraction everyone would say "don't push" and I was forced to pant instead. When 
we arrived at the hospital the nursing staff joined the "don't push" chorus and I
started to feel completely alone. In fact I started to feel like everyone was out to
get me, I may have even accused them of "trying to kill me"....a bit dramatic!

I wanted to be checked before requesting the epidural just in case I miraculously
dilated 3 cm while in the car. The OB was called in to check my progress but
unfortunately my pushing did start to swell the cervix and I was now 6cm. That
was it for me, I wanted the epidural and I wanted it "NOW!". It took nearly 1
hour for the anesthetist to arrive and wile I waited I yelled continually at the
staff to go find him. Things I may have said:

"Where the *#@! is he? Why arn't you getting him?"

"I need this to be over, someone go find him"

and again "Your all trying to kill me!!!"

As soon as I decided on the epidural I threw all my breathing and coping
techniques out the window......not a good Idea. That last hour was honestly
the worst and lowest point of this whole event, I can look back and laugh
now but it really was not a shinning moment for me! 

Once the anesthetist arrived and worked his magic all was well and I 
immediately felt relief........and guilt. I felt as if I gave up on my baby and left her 
to labour alone, I had worked so hard to have her and when things got hard I 
tapped out, but I NEEDED the break. I also knew the epidural was going to slow 
labour down and pitocin was eventually going to be introduced, I really did not
want the baby exposed to pitocin. 

After about 45min. you could see on the monitor that the contractions (that had 
once been 2 min a part lasting 1.5min for hours) had completely stopped. My doula 
and I used a breast pump to try and increase oxytocin (which I am sure got a few 
laughs from the nurses) and it worked a little bit. We got the contractions back 
up to 5 min apart but it wasn't enough, pitocin would have to be used.

We spent the rest of the day resting, eating and chatting. Staff was in and out
to check on me but really we were left alone most of the time. My nurse was amazing 
and encouraging as well as the OB who was confident his baby would rotate and make
her way out eventually. This was refreshing to hear because in my experience swollen 
cervix = cesarean. I really can't say enough about the hospital stay, I was really very 
lucky that day.

At around 4 or 5pm I was checked again and was ecstatic to hear that I was 10cm 
dilated, they recommended I have more rest and get ready to push soon. The epidural 
had been given at around 9am, and I avoided pressing the nice red button (the one 
that boosts the medication) so by this time I was feeling the contractions again. 
Actually for much of the day I knew when contractions were coming so was able to
continue my breathing and visualizations.

By 6pm I was feeling that urge to push again but this time I was able to work with it. 
There was still some intensity but it was a relief to finally push. When the midwife 
checked me the baby's head was "right there" and had turned back to the proper 
position. I turned to my side to push while hubby held my hand watched the birth. 
I could hear everyone encouraging me as I pushed until I heard the midwife say 
"Here is the head". I felt very much in control at this point so I waited for the next 
contraction and pushed with all I had.

Then, suddenly there was a little tiny face staring up at me, I know there was
lots of commotion going on around but all I could see was this little baby on my 
chest. Hubby announced that we had a little girl and before long the 3 of us were
able to enjoy our first few moments together. Sotiria (Sadie) Lorraine was born 
Friday Aug 12th at 6:30pm to a packed room of doctors, midwives, nurses, doulas 
and the waiting arms of her loving parents.

I wish I could say that this was the way it was supposed to be and it was perfect but 
the truth is I wish I had been stronger for her. All I wanted was to start her life off in 
a calm and gentle way and I feel like I let her down. Of course when I am thinking 
logically I know I did the best I could and that I am proud of the decisions I made. 
In the end our birth story is "ours" and I had an amazing day filled with love,
amazing support and happiness, and that is the way it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Birth Story Part 1 (typed with one hand)

I often tell expectant mothers that they may not get the baby they ordered. The baby
I ordered slept at night and sometimes during the day, the baby I got only sleeps when
I'm holding her. Do I care? not at all, cause she is so much more then I asked for, but I
just wanted to explain why this took so long and why I'm typing with one hand. Well,
here goes......Sadie's birth story!

I actually started feeling contractions quite regularly for about a week before the birth,
they would start at night and peter out by the morning. 2 days before she was born I
thought my water broke but it was just a little hind leak, looking back I now realize how
little this leak actually was compared to the real thing! Of course after a week of these
false alarms I was getting tired both physically and mentally, I just wanted to have her
(I did not know baby was a her yet) safe in my arms.

I talked a bit with my sister about how I was feeling. She asked if I was feeling overly
emotional, ya know the kind of emotional where you cry over everything. Of course
my answer was no as I tend to keep everything held in, all I really remember feeling
was impatient. Well, on babe's due date the movie 'The Help' came out, which is one
of my favorite books and I was secretly hoping to go overdue so I would get to see
it. Hubby and I went to the lunchtime screening, the movie was awesome but when
the tear jerking ending came around I tried my best not to cry. Instead what came out
of my mouth was a high pitched, inhuman noise, followed by laughter and 15 minutes
of sobbing.

I guess I needed a good cry because contractions started on the walk home and did
not stop. By 5pm the contractions were steady at 3 min apart lasting 1 min but they
were not very intense, I could get through by closing my eyes and breathing. As time
passed they did get much stronger and I felt that I needed to be standing up through
them, the shower helped too. When 9pm came around and the contractions were
still going strong my hubby called the midwife even, though I told him not to because
I didn't want to disturb her so late for "no reason".

Good thing he called because when she got here I was 4cm and fully effaced, she
decided that because the contractions had such a good pattern that she would stay.
At this point it started to sink in that this was really it, almost immediately the
contractions became more intense. I called the doula to come over, strapped on
the TENS machine and Hubby started to set up the birth pool.

When the doula arrived I was half naked and moaning through the contractions
(quite the sight I am sure) each time I had one I would boost the TENS machine
and lean over whatever was in front of me (a chair, TV, garbage pail or a human).
Between the contractions I would walk around, talk and joke feeling nothing much
at all.

By midnight the contractions were 2.5min apart and lasting 1.5min, I was starting
to feel pushy so I asked the midwife to check me. I was 7cm dilated, which was great
progress, but not far enough along to surrender to that urge to push.We decided it
was time to get into the birth pool, I have to say it felt amazing in there but I
have to admit that over the next few hours I was surprised by how intense the
contractions became. My husband stayed very close to me and was incredibly
encouraging while the doula massaged my back between contractions. I remember
This part of the birth very well, I was so loved and supported through this, but inside
my head I was starting to doubt myself. Here is a list some of the things I was saying:

"Why did I choose to do this?"

"Why would anyone do this"

"I will never do this again"

I even threw out a few "I cant's" an "I wont's" in there, which were always followed
by "you can's" and "you will's"by my support team who apparently thought I was doing
a good job. At around 3am the urge to push had become much stronger and I could no
longer ignore it, each contraction made my body bear down without any way to stop
it. Normally this is a sign that it is time to push so I asked the midwife to check me.

"7cm" was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear, I had made NO progress in 3 hours
and the urge to push was just getting stronger. The midwife suggested she break my
water as the bulging amniotic sac may be causing that urge. My hubby did exactly
what he learned in childbirth ed. class and asked for time to talk about it. After a
very VERY brief discussion I decided to do it because I wanted that urge to be gone.
I think hubby became worried at this point because he knew how much I wanted
to avoid intervention, but he was very supportive in the decision.By the way, it
did not work, all I got was soaking wet and the urge to push stayed!

Disappointed, I went back into the pool where my husband and doula worked to
repair the damage of hearing "7cm" had done, and to try and stop me from pushing.
The problem is that if you push on a not yet dilated cervix you can cause swelling so
I had to be very careful. My doula had me panting though contractions so I wouldn't
bear down and my hubby continued to let me know I was doing good and that
everything would be ok. By this point I was feeling like I couldn't go on, up until
then the intensity felt manageable, the failure to progress did not.

At 6:30am I was checked again and again I was 7cm, but this time the midwife let
me know that the baby had turned completely posterior (not good), which could be
why I was feeling pushy. By this point I was pushing through contractions involuntarily
and the midwife was concerned my cervix was going to start swelling. She suggested
we go to the hospital for an epidural, this would take away the urge and lower the
risk of swelling.

So, now we had a decision to make, go to the hospital leaving my homebirth dream
behind or stay at home and see if I will progress over the next few hours. Not an easy
decision and I'm still not sure I made the right one. All that I can say is that at the time
I knew exactly what I had to do.

Part 2 will come soon (it took me a few sittings to write this!)