Blogging has definitely proven not be something I'm very good at...so I'm just going to drop in and write about my birth story with Alex. I at least want to document this!
I was woken up around 12:30 a.m. on Friday May 8th with some intense contractions (sound familiar?) which continued for several hours. I called my midwife and described what was going on and she agreed that I should come in to the hospital. I am GBS+ so I need antibiotics to prevent transferring it to baby (which requires an earlier than normal arrival to the hospital). So around 7 a.m. we head to the hospital, upon arrival the contractions completely stopped. Talk about a let down! Being 41 weeks + 2 days I was DONE being pregnant, so I broke down and cried..."please help me, I don't want to keep being pregnant". The midwife was so nice to me, she scheduled an induction for later that day and told me to go walking until then, maybe I'd kickstart labor again! So we did just that. She also stripped my membranes, I've never had that done before; let me just say OUCH!!!! I felt like she ripped my insides out!
We spent about an hour and a half at the mall, walking and peeing. I guess when you get your membranes stripped the urge to pee intensifies! I was going like every 10 minutes!! The weight of the baby on my bladder probably helped too. After the mall we went to Chick-fil-a, it's on the opposite side of town from where we live so it's a treat to go there. I figured we deserved a treat! Then we moved on to the zoo. That was my favorite part of this endeavor. We went to the zoo before we had Gwyn, so it only seemed right to do it for Alex! Maybe we've started a tradition! We walked around and finally found an uphill trek...that got my contractions really going, so we walked up and down that hill for a good hour! It was finally time to go back to the hospital, 3 p.m. was my induction. We arrived and contractions stopped again :( it just wasn't time I guess. They gave me a breast pump and I pumped for about an hour and a half which helped with contractions some. After that they slowed down again, didn't stop, but slowed down. So around 7:30 p.m. we started pitocin. I laid down for a while to rest before labor got really intense. After being up for 18 hours I needed rest so I'd be able to handle labor and delivery!
They slowly increased the pitocin and I was able to manage the pain fairly well. I labored in the tub for a couple of hours, then had to pee...while I was out the contractions seemed to hit me really hard. So, I went to the bed and sat on my knees and draped my body against the back of the bed, it was in the sitting position. I stayed like that for probably 2 hours. The contractions were insane! Bill continuously rubbed black pepper on me and the pain & nausea blend on my back. Sometimes I thought they helped other times I didn't feel a difference. I also had peppermint for nausea and Juniper Berry for fear. The Juniper Berry smelled pleasant, but I don't think it helped with fear. I was determined to do this naturally, but with each contraction my determination was dwindling. It hurt so bad, I was crying and moaning, and saying all the bad words my mind could conjure up...mostly, "shoot, holy crap, oh my gosh" (I know, quite the potty mouth I have!). I also said "owie" a LOT!!! "owie, owie, owie".... Bill said it was kind of cute. Gwyn says it a lot so I'm sure that's why it was fresh on my mind. I told Bill often "it hurts, please take it away, I think I'm going to die". My pillow was drenched with tears, snot, and sweat...poor pillow. My midwife was amazing, she stayed with me through the entire labor, coaching me through each contraction. BREATHE, she'd say...How the heck can I breathe when these contractions are suffocating me?!?!?! It was not pretty. I finally got to the point of wanting some pain meds. I asked for something to just take the edge off. With Gwyn the pain meds were a great relief, I was able to take a break and rest so I knew it would give me a little relief this time.
They first checked my cervix, I was only 4 cm...only 4 freaking cm after all those intensely awful contractions, I dialated 1 cm. I was glad I asked for the drugs. They gave me the meds and the first thing I noticed was heavy eyes, it typically causes drowsiness, which was fine by me...like I said, I wanted a break. Well, the pain did not subside, the edge was not taken off, and I was still in excruciating pain. What the heck!!! I looked at the clock, it was 1 a.m. How could I continue another who knows how long with this kind of intense pain. I had to though, I wanted to do it on my own...I didn't want an epidural. I wanted to be strong. Each contraction brought me down deeper and deeper into despair...it hurt so bad. OWIE!!! SHOOT!!! HOLY CRAP!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! I THINK I'M GOING TO DIE!!!! haha....oh me, I do not handle pain well.
At about 1:30 I felt defeated, I could not take this death feeling any more, I asked for an epidural. Bill had been prepped earlier that day to not let me cave. He did such an amazing job at attempting to talk sense into me. I told him please, I know what I said, but this is more than I can handle. The midwife was also on my original side, she knew I didn't want one. So, she also was trying very hard to persuade me to keep working through the contractions. This went on for at least 30 minutes...30 minutes of pure hell, I tell ya! I finally got loud enough that they accepted my desires. Somewhere around 2:30 a.m. the anesthesiologist came in and we started the process. That was a pain in the back, stomach, vagina (haha) to sit still. I did it though. It was glorious once the pain subsided. Finally a little relief.
I noticed a ton of pressure in my bottom. It was still slightly painful and I felt the urge to push. The midwife checked my cervix and said I was 9 and 1/2 cm. WHAT the what! It was almost pushing time and we didn't even realize it. I felt like I was dying before because I was in transition. So, that's what that feels like. WOW. The midwife told me to rest while my cervix finished opening. We took about a 45 minute nap before it was pushing time.
3:45 a.m. they come into the room and say it's time to push, baby's heart rate is getting a little stressed. So I started pushing at 4 a.m. With each push he got closer and closer, I could feel his head after about 5 or so minutes! That was really neat! Then his heart rate got really low.. the midwife told me he needs to come out now, you need to push now! They called for backup. Another nurse came in and started pushing on my belly. Kind of freaked us out a little...I started pushing again after a contraction ended. Push Push Push Push...I was getting really tired. I needed a break, the midwife said "ok, I'm going to have to give you an episiotomy, he needs to come out!" I was determined at that point to get him out with out being cut. So, I pushed and pushed and pushed (they pushed on my belly and pulled him too), finally at 4:13 a.m. Alex entered the world quiet. His arm was wrapped around his neck. As they were about to whisk him away to help him wake up he began to scream and flail his arms!!! It was amazing and a relief! They instantly put him on my chest and I was in love. I could not believe what I had just experienced and how fast he came. What a miracle!
Some after thoughts. As much as I wish I could have delivered without the epidural, I am grateful I got it. I don't think I would have been able to push him out as fast without the epidural. The pain was so intense I don't know how I would have responded. AND the kid was huge!!!
Both births were intense in their own way. With Gwyn I got an epidural much sooner in the labor process, I wasn't as far long in terms of dilating. However, the epidural wore off when it was pushing time and I pushed for 2 hours. That really sucked. With Alex I did most of the labor on my own and felt absolutely nothing during my 13 minutes of pushing... so I don't know which was better or worse! I think I liked Alex's a little more because I was more prepared, I knew it was going to suck and I also knew that he'd probably come a little faster. Ultimately, I'm grateful it's all over and I have a sweet baby to show for it!
Now we're home and adjusting to life with 2 kids. Gwyn has been away at grandparents for the past week, so the adjustment process will begin tomorrow. Maybe that will warrant a blog post. :)
Enjoy some photos! These were taken by my friend Alanna Tenney, http://www.photosbyalanna.us/
I think they turned out great!