Posted in Blog, Mother

Kathryn

Labor started in the early morning for me, maybe 3 or 4am. It was like very light cramping and it didn’t really bother me, so I chose not to wake my husband and went back to sleep until 7-ish. After getting up, the contractions weren’t too painful yet and not close together yet so I went ahead and had breakfast and just went about doing things as normally as possible… keeping an eye on the spacing of the contractions. Things started to get a little tougher around 11am, my husband started timing my contractions and the cramping feeling was getting stronger. I decided to have some soup for lunch just in case I didn’t get a chance to eat anything else for the rest of the day (a wise decision, as it turned out).

Around 12:30p I called my doctor and told him that my contractions were coming about 5 min apart. His office was about the same distance from our home as the hospital, so told us to come on down so he could check me out. Turns out I was dilated 3cm already! He told us to head on up to the hospital and he’d be there in a while to check in on me. Now comes the fun part: I am one of those lucky women whose water broke in public. Yes, as I was walking out of my OB’s office, GUSH! Ick, let me say that this was way more embarrassing than anything that happened during delivery. But, if you’re going to have your water break in public, the OB’s office is the best place to do it because the staff actually get excited for you and congratulate you ☺ – that was funny. Unfortunately, there was muconium in the water which meant that the baby had already had a bowel movement and that could indicate that he was somewhat stressed by labor.

Now, when your water breaks it just keeps gushing… my poor husband’s car will never be the same (ha!). We headed for the hospital after a quick stop at home to pick up my bag and change my clothes. Once at the hospital, the nurses got me situated in my room and basically I was stuck in bed for the remainder of labor. This was not exactly what I had wanted – I would have rather been able to walk around and move some. But, because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid they had to “flush” my uterus with clean fluid – that meant one of the first of many tubes, wires, etc stuck into me and also stuck in bed.

Let me just say here how much I LOVED the nurses in the maternity wing, they were so encouraging, helpful and just plain awesome. My doc showed up and checked my dilation, I was popping right along at 6cm. He figured I’d deliver before the sun went down (he said that around 3pm or so). My contractions intensified and there wasn’t a lot of separation between them, they were kind of cascading, which made it difficult to organize my breathing and focus. My poor husband couldn’t do much but dab my face with a cold wash cloth. At 7cm I asked for an epidural; I hadn’t planned one way or the other about drug intervention during labor. I figured that I would see how it went and if I couldn’t handle it then I would request the epidural. Once I asked for it, I couldn’t wait for the anesthesiologist to get there and give me some relief. It felt like forever, but he arrived and did a perfect epidural: the paid was pretty much gone but I could still feel pressure and also could still feel my legs (a plus in my book). The best thing about the epidural is that it immediately gave me my mental clarity and reasoning ability back. I felt like I could make informed decisions again and process information.

Right after the epidural I went through transition and promptly got sick (vomited) – yay.) Then I hit 10 cm and was ready to push. (It was evening by this point, maybe 6 or so?) Pushing was hard, but not painful… I found that it was actually really hard on your back because you are really in a crunch position when pushing. So I pushed for a while (I really don’t remember how long) and the baby was not descending any further into the birth canal. One of the problems was that he was face up and kind of cock-eyed to the right. So my doc actually flipped him over face-down in the hopes that it would help him move into the birth canal. Plus, my contractions continued in that cascading pattern so it was hard for the nurses to direct my pushing because the strongest part of my contractions weren’t clear to them. They baby’s heart rate was dropping during contractions, which made my doc decide to slow my contractions down – which meant pushing some type of drug… which made me vomit again (lovely, that’s twice!)

I rested while they contractions were slowed down. But, after a while we were pushing again. And again, baby was not descending. He basically stayed at -2 station the entire time and didn’t show any signs of dropping. After a conversation with my doctor, we decided to go ahead and c-section rather than continue with the pushing. It certainly wasn’t how I had envisioned my son’s birth, I just figured we’d be a normal boring vaginal birth. But, I wasn’t distressed by the end-result of c-sectioning because my goal was always to do what was best for the baby. I just wanted a healthy result for the baby, and the c-section seemed to be the best option at that point.

The c-section was not that scary. They intensify the epidural so the bottom half of you body is completely numb; I didn’t feel pain, but some pulling and tugging. They put your arms out, spread eagle (don’t know why) and they put up a screen so you can’t see what they are doing. But, man your body is moving around and they retract and pull and tug. I think it kind of freaked my husband out; suffice it to say he did NOT peek around the screen to see what was going on. One thing I remember is that the drugs they pushed to keep me numb made me shiver uncontrollably. I wasn’t cold, just the muscles were shivering and that was tiring for me. So they pushed something else to stop the shivering and it worked! And I got sick for my third and last time… phew!

At 9:35pm my little son was born, healthy, crying and a little over 8 lbs. My husband went with the baby to the nursery and I was put back together and sewed up. Then we were all reunited and a very tired Mommy and baby finally had some time together. When I tell this story, it can sound like it was a slightly difficult labor and birth, but honestly it didn’t seem that way – things just moved along and we rolled with the punches.

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