Monday, July 5, 2010

Isla June's Birth Story

So some people have heard this story, and some have asked to hear it, and some of you probably never want to hear it. But, it was a momentous occasion and something to have lived through. So, for posterity's sake, here are the details...

Monday at 4 p.m.- I pull into the driveway and have my first, OMG, I can't move contraction. I sit in the car and wait for it to pass. I contemplate going to my workout class (max-muscle) and decide against it. I would be quite embarrassed if I went into labor at the gym. The contractions continue and occur every 2 hours until we go to bed.
Monday at 10 p.m.- Jeremy and I go to bed.
11:00- contraction
12:00 contraction
12:45 contraction
1:30 contraction
2:20 contraction- Jeremy wakes up and asks what I am doing (I guess my wiggling and breathing woke him up, finally...) I explain to him that I've been having contractions all night that are about an hour-45 min apart. I decide to forgo sleeping anymore because it's not working so I get up and hope in the bathtub to help relax (the doula also recommended this to help with pain relief). While in the tub for about 45 min. I have 3 more contractions, and they hurt, bad. I get up and tell Jer that we probably need to start timing them and maybe start thinking about what we might need to do if we are heading to the hospital at some point. He goes and makes us some eggs and toast (they recommend eating before going to the hospital.) We eat and notice that the contractions have lessened and are back to only an hour apart, so we crawl back into bed to try and get some rest. I don't have another contraction until 6 a.m.
Jeremy and I decide to take the day off from work because we really don't understand what is going on at this point. We go on a long walk with the dogs and hope something happens. It doesn't.
Jer works from home and I continue to have contractions that are an hour to 45 min. apart, and they last for 5 minutes at a time. And they hurt, bad. I discovered that sitting on my ab ball is the most comfortable way to get through a contraction. As well, I have to hold heating pads on my back because the pain is so excruciating. Jeremy is great though and whenever I yelled for him, he would run downstairs and help me through my contraction, then go back to work. It was an interesting day. We go on another long walk and I have 3 contractions at this time. I notice that when I have contractions that are closer together, they are quick, but when they come every hour, they last longer (like 5 min. ouch!)
So, we are officially confused. My water hasn't broken, my contractions aren't coming more consistently, so frustrating.
So at 9 pm I decide to hope in the tub again, especially now that I am having more consistent back pain. Getting out of the tub is a struggle. At this point I feel like everytime I move it triggers a contraction. I sit on the ab ball and blow dry my hair. Jeremy is exhausted and asks me to "just go to bed". I try to calmly explain to him that if I try to lay in the bed I will have a contraction and I don't want that. He decides to pick me up and put me in the bed- this causes an excruciatingly intense contraction. I demand to get back on the ab ball. I tell Jeremy that I think we may be going to the hospital tonight because the contractions are getting closer together and much more intense. He still wants to go to bed. At this point, the contractions are getting to be 15 min, then 12 min, then 10 min apart. Doctor told us to go to the hospital when contractions are 5 min apart- I tell Jeremy I don't think that I can make it to that point- if the contractions get closer together then I'm not going to move and we might have the baby at home. He starts getting the car packed up, and I make sure he packs the ab ball. At this point, we're not sure if they are going to let me stay at the hospital or send us home (remember, my water hasn't broken and we don't know if I'm dilated at all, and my contractions are only 8 min apart, but it's the shortest 8 min of my life!). We try to get the dogs situated and load up the car. The hospital is only 5 minutes away, but I fear the drive the whole time. I have 2 contractions on the way there. We pull up to the emergency room and the police officer tells us this is the right place to drop off your pregnant lady.
On a side note- the one shooting in High Point happens on the night I go into labor and we drive into an official crime scene- there's blood everywhere at the hospital entrance- crazy.
12:30 am on Wednesday morning- So, they wheel me into admissions (Jeremy and I have already pre-admitted me, aren't we smart!), seems like forever that we sit there. I have more contractions, they are now 5 min. apart. I think I might pass out, or die. I'm sitting there worried about the contractions that are to come. I mean, if these are that bad, what am I in for next...


It takes forever for someone from labor and delivery to come and get me from admissions, so on of the ER nurses take me up there ("I don't' want to deliver a baby tonight!"- ER nurse). They weigh me (I mean, come on, I'm already in labor, do you really need to see how much I weigh???) But the number isn't that scary. They take us into our room and I have to get undressed and in the humiliating gown. I'm a little overwhelmed at this point. Jeremy and I are exhausted and emotionally a little shaky. I try to hold it together. I get strapped up to the machines (one monitors my contractions and the other monitors the baby;s heart rate). The nurse tells me that the baby is having a hard time handling my contractions- I start to cry. She also checks to see if I'm dilated- this was not a fun event. Not sure if it was the nurse or me, but this hurt so bad, and it causes me to have a contraction during the exam- I scream at her, intense crying begins. I'm 3 cm dilated and they are going to let me stay. Yay....
At this point, we are totally overwhelmed. Jeremy and I had been planning on just having the two of us in the labor and delivery room, and our family's understood and supported us. But at this point, I was terrified for the health of my baby and when looking at my husband, he was a walking zombie- he couldn't physically or emotionally handle me anymore. So, I turned to him and said, "I need my mom". He agreed and we got on the phone to wake them up at 2 am. I was so relived to hear Kenny answer the phone and tell me that they would be on their way ASAP. I even more relieved to see them walk through the door of my room at 4 am.
So, with reinforcements available, Jeremy popped open the couch/chair in the room and proceeded to pass out for the next hour.
In the time frame before my parents got there, the nurse had started an IV line with fluids (she missed my vein 3 times, yes, I said 3, and had to call the IV team in to get it right.) and my blood had been taken. I had contractions during all of these events.
Things are starting to get blurry at this point. Mom sat with me while I had contractions that were probably about 3-4 min. apart. I'm on the ab ball (sorry April, but I had to) and she is holding a heating pad on my back and I am holding another one on the front. We found out when we got to the hospital that the pain I was feeling in my back was actually back labor and not a typical pain you are supposed to feel, great right?
Probably around 5:00 or 5:30 I am absolutely exhausted and can no longer hold myself upright on the ab ball. So I proceed to lay down in the bed. Jer is still asleep. A new nurse comes on for her shift- I like her much better. Mom and I manage to take short cat naps (like 2 min) in between my contractions. The contractions are much tougher to handle when laying down as this puts more pressure on my back, but I don't have the energy to stand up.
At 7 am the doctor comes in (this is not Dr. Dorn, he's on vacation, remember). He asks me how I'm doing and does a pelvic exam- I'm now 6 cm dilated and he tells me he is going to break my water- I don't have the energy to protest. Jer watched it, I didn't, but he took a long needle like thing with a hook on it a proceeded to break my water. This actual maneuver didn't hurt at all, but by releasing this nice little cushion, it caused the baby to fall against my lower back almost immediately- I scream in pain, much louder than I have before. The doctor continues to talk to me about my progress- he says that I will probably dilate 1 cm every hour and he will be back at 11 am to check me and I should look into some kind of pain management option, either an epidural or a numbing agent. I continue to scream at him. Jeremy tries to pick me up and hold me. It's getting intense.
The next hour is excruciating. Jer and mom are at my sides and the nurse is watching my contractions on the monitor- they don't stop. No one told me about this, but when you have contractions that come one right after another with no break in between, they call that "coupling" contractions- that is what I was experiencing. It's overwhelming. I tell my mom and Jeremy that I don't think I can do this anymore and I need an epidural. Jer's response- "I would have had an epidural 40 hours ago!" I tell him I'm sorry, I wish I could do it, but I think I am going to die. We tell the nurse and she says that she will call the anesthesiologist. Instead, we see her get the baby cart ready to go...
I start to have an overwhelming feeling to push and I tell my mom this- really, I can't stop it, it's the weirdest feeling. Jer runs and tells the nurse and she comes in to tell me that its ok to push. I ask her if this means that its to late to have and epidural- she says yes. "Damn" (but secretly, I was relieved- I really didn't want to have to have one). So, she begins to coach me on how to push this baby out. It's actually much touogher than you would think. This whole time I was focusing on breathing and realxing and getting through the contractions, and now I was supposed to work with them, hold my breath and begin pushing as hard as I could to get the baby out. Much tougher than you would think.
So the doctor came in- a different one mind you. And he said that I was fully dilated and he watched for a bit to see how the pushing was progressing. It was actually very frustrating because you take 2 steps forward and 1 step back this whole process. But, once the doc was suited up, the whole thing only took about 30 min. She boogeyed right out of that birth canal. I remember looking around when the doctor told me that it was time to have some really good pushes to get the baby out. I saw a few more nurses in the room, but they hung back a bit. I found out later that the two nurses were for the baby. At this point I announced that "I want to apologize in advance for anything gross that might happen."
So, like I said, it went pretty fast with the pushing, and the contractions were not as intense. Jer said that he held his breath with me, and was afraid that I was going to pass out- it did make me a little woozy, but this was probably good.
When the baby finally came out- I don't really remember the exact feeling, I just remember the doctor putting her right on my belly. I proceeded to look down and say, Oh my god, oh my god. I was in shock. He announced that she was a girl and mom was jumping up and down with excitement. I held her for a while and the nurse came over and asked if she could take her to clean her up. I told her no, and she understood. I probably held her for like 5 min. and then the nurse kind of insisted on taking her. Jeremy and mom watched and took pictures as they cleaned her up, banded her and got her swaddled. During this time I think my body kind of went into shock- the doc delivered the placenta (gross) and my body began to shake and my teeth began to chatter. The nurse brought me some heated blankets to warm up. Then they brought the baby back over to me so that she could breast feed. And she did great! I think she fed for like 20 min. I was so impressed. I think one of the first things I said when they brought her back to me was "Oh my god honey, she looks just like you!"
After she breast fed, they took her to the nursery to give her a bath and get looked over. Jeremy went with her to help with all of this. Mom stayed with me to help me get cleaned up and in a new gown. Then they transferred me to my recovery room. On the way there, you get to hit a little button that sings a lullaby throughout the hospital to signal that a new baby has been born- really cute.
So, that's it. Quite a story, I know. I have to say it was one of the most intense and overwhelming experiences of my life. It has deepened my relationship with my mom and Jeremy and I would do it all over again if I had to (just not asking to any time soon). Because we did it au natural, Isla June and I were healthier and able to recuperate faster (that's what the nurses and docs told us).
I survived. Jeremy did too.

1 comment:

  1. Meagan - I'm just reading this as I have 2 weeks or so until I give birth. I'm so excited about the whole process and of course the baby at the end! Thank you for sharing your birth story!


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