Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Birth Story

Our little Theodore (from here on out called Teddy on the blog) had decided to hang out in mama's belly for a bit longer than expected.  I had never had an overdue baby, so the anticipation wore me out.  I know a "due date" is really just an estimation, but all my other babies came a week early, so I had started expecting this baby weeks before he actually came.  Can you say emotional exhaustion? 

I had been having off again on again contractions a week prior to his birth, which is pretty typical for me.  At my doctor's appointment closest to his due date I was told I was dilated to 4cm and was 75% effaced but that baby was a bit posterior.  Sigh.  All of my babies have been posterior, including Sunflower whose birth I would never wish on anyone.  I had started chiropractic care early in this pregnancy in the hopes that it would help baby to be in a good position, so I was pretty upset when my doctor told me the news.  I went home and did everything I could to get baby turned.

Baby did seem to shift in the middle of the night one night, and the contractions continued with varying intensity (but nothing that I couldn't easily relax through).

On Monday the 23rd I had another appointment, and I dreaded it.  I couldn't believe I was still pregnant and I was terrified of being induced.  I asked my doula to come with me for moral support.  My doctor checked me and told me I was now at 5cm and 80% and I asked her to strip my membranes, though I had already had this done the week before with no results except a backache.  She then asked what I wanted to do.  I honestly didn't want to be pregnant anymore, but I also did not want to go through the pains of labor either.  It's a catch 22, isn't it?  I wanted to hold my baby, but to get there I knew I had to go through a bit of hell as well.  Honestly I just wanted to wake up one night to find that I had birthed baby in my sleep.  :)

She called the hospital and tentatively booked me for 9pm that night to have my waters broken.  The decision was left to me and my husband and we could go or not.  I called my husband after my appointment and he heard the tremble in my voice and quickly came home from work.  He knew I needed him.  I went for a walk by myself when he got home and did the best I could to calm my fears and decide if I wanted to wait or if I wanted to get things started.  I was terrified of my waters being broken before active labor had started.  I knew the contractions could be harder to deal with and I knew that this could also set me up for unwanted interventions later.  After prayer and after a good talk with my husband we decided to keep the appointment and go in. 

So after dinner, we carted our children off to our good friends house.  At 9pm Monday night we checked ourselves into the hospital.  One of my prayers earlier in the week had been to somehow get out of going through triage.  Am I the only one who despises triage?  Because we were scheduled for an "induction" we didn't have to go through it.  Praise God for small blessings!

Once checked in, my nurse hooked me up to the monitors to check up on baby, but I was allowed to be out of bed and could at least stand and sit on a birth ball if I wanted to.  It was odd sitting there, having random mild contractions and engaging in conversation with my husband and doula.  My doctor looked at our monitors and decided she didn't quite like the flatness of baby's heart rate, so she had me given an IV of fluids.  It seems baby was probably sleeping, because not too much later everything picked up and looked perfect.

Around 11:30pm my doctor came in and felt we were good to break the waters and take me off the monitors.  I had never been so scared of anything before in my life.  Once the waters were broken I had one contraction that felt the same as the others I had been having, and not five minutes later the intensity of the contractions went through the roof.  They came hard and quick.  Without any lead up to this level of intensity I had no chance to get into "lala land".

I was fully aware and so scared this was going to last for hours and hours like all my other labors.  I told my husband I couldn't do this anymore and even while I said it, I knew that was something felt when we were almost done.  But how could we be almost done?  It had only been an hour!  My dear husband did what he could to keep me calm, but eventually I went around him and my doula and pushed the button for the nurse myself to ask for an epidural.  My nurse very calmly told me I couldn't have one because baby would be coming soon and we didn't want a groggy baby.  How was this possible when the doctor wasn't even in the room yet? 

She checked me and I had just a lip of a cervix left, which she managed to pull over baby's head.  Right away the pressure was intense.  After figuring out how to push (how is it I managed to forget?), my little Teddy bear was born after two or three good pushes.  The first thing I heard after "It's a boy!" was "That's a big baby!"  He was born at 1:22am on Tuesday November 24 after a two hour labor and delivery!

My "little" Teddy weighed in at 9lb 12oz.  A pound and a half larger than my next largest baby!

Proud big brother.

We are all so much in love!
We are all doing well and after two weeks I'm starting to feel more normal.  Our homeschool group has been bringing us meals and we are mostly enjoying life as a family of seven!