Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five's Birth Story - Part 2

So after a terrifying exciting pregnancy... I’d finally made it to full term.

We got to 38 weeks, then 39, then 40! At my 40 week appointment, my doctor scheduled an induction for a week later but said I likely wouldn't need it. I went for non-stress tests twice a week to make sure he was fine, which he was. The hospital had to reschedule my induction so I ended up being induced at 41 weeks and 2 days. They said they'd normally induce sooner but I was measuring small and said he'd be about 5 lbs according to the ultrasound so they "let" me go longer.

I went in at 11 am on Friday, April 15, 2005 and a wonderful doctor, Dr. Fruitman (not sure of the spelling) did my initial induction. He applied prostiglandin gel to my cervix and then told me to go walking for 3 hours. We went to Ikea and walked around. I was pretty tired by the end of it.

Hubby and I laughing at something my mom had said.
We went back to the hospital at 2pm and they said we came back too soon and sent me walking around the hospital for another hour. I got back after that and a doctor inserted a speculum to apply the 2nd dose of prostaglandin gel. There was a student nurse standing beside him who was obviously not used to being in the maternity ward. She had this horrified, disgusted expression on her face as she looked at my exposed body. (In retrospect, I could have, and should have, asked her to leave.) After the speculum was in place but before he applied the prostaglandin, I had a huge contraction. He told me that because I was contracting, they wouldn't do the 2nd dose of prostaglandin as the 1st dose had been enough. He then removed the speculum and used his short, fat fingers to check my cervix. He checked me right in the middle of a contraction (might have been the same one, I'm not sure), he couldn't be bothered to wait a few seconds until it ended. It REALLY hurt. Like I said, he had short, fat fingers (not the long, thin fingers that my family doctor has) and he was very rough with me. I was 3 cm.
Then he informed me that they would be starting me on pitocin to make sure the contractions kept going. I was still in so much pain from him checking me that I couldn't speak. All I could do was shake my head no so Hubby spoke up for me and told the doctor that I did not want pitocin. This made him very unhappy. I could finally speak so I said I wanted to try to labour naturally for awhile. The doctor was more angry but said he'd "allow" me to labour for 9 hours and then they'd start the pitocin. I agreed, thinking that hopefully I'd have a baby within 9 hours and if not, I'd tell him no again. I was in triage at this point and the doctor and triage nurse were trying to convince me to accept pain medication. I'd only had a couple of contractions and told them "I'm aware of the pain medication options, I'll request it if I need it" and they were still already pushing it on me. (It had also been pushed on me when I was in and out during practice labour episodes too.)

I got checked into my room and was very excited when the nurse told me that I would for sure have the baby. At that point I was sick of coming to the hospital and leaving pregnant! Her name was Anne. I told her that I wanted a natural birth. She told me that water was the way to achieve it. She told me that when I was ready, they'd fill up the jacuzzi tub for me. Awesome!

Labour came on fast and strong. I was not prepared for the intensity of the back labour. My mom and Hubby took turns doing the Double Hip Press which helped immensely. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 13 or 14. Despite chiropractic treatment, the curve of my spine causes the baby to settle into a position that is not 100% ideal for birthing. With #2 it was confirmed that his head was tilted towards his right shoulder. #1 also had tilting of some kind but I don’t remember now what was said about it. The double hip press provides counterpressure and helps to open the pelvis so that his head can move into a better position.

At one point I tried to walk and made it 6 or 7 feet to the wall opposite my room door - that took me about 30 minutes. I made it back into my room in only 5. I felt safe in there - it was dark, quiet, unlike the loud and cold and bright hallway. Perhaps I should have had someone push me to the other end of the hall in a wheelchair and had me walk back to my room, it would have been more motivating :)

At 5 pm I was 7 cm and asked to go in the birthing tub. She told me to take a shower first while they filled the tub. The shower did nothing to help with the pain/pressure so I was excited when she said the tub was ready. It felt wonderful when I got in. I did not like the jets on, just the warm water felt so good. After only 1/2 hour though, my doctor arrived at the hospital and wanted to check me so I had to get out. In hindsight, I should have asked to go back in the tub after but I didn't think of it at the time. I also could have requested that she check me in the tub, as my midwife did during #2's birth.

Jacuzzi = heaven!
 During my contractions, I visualized a wave that I was riding on like a surfer. I pictured myself standing on the surfing board and riding that wave. Up and down, as the intensity of the contractions increased and then lessened. Most of my contractions had double peaks. I felt angry at this, just when I’d be relaxing at the thought that the contraction was almost over, it would come back again. But I still stayed up on that surf board and rode it out.

Hubby helping me focus

Hubby was my rock. He’d sway with me if I was standing, hold my hand if I was sitting. He held a hot pack on my back and his strong hands were wonderful for the double hip press. After a couple of hours though, my dad noticed that he wasn't looking so good so he took him out for a coffee. He did not ask me or even inform me before he left. My mom told me later when I asked where he'd gone. I couldn't handle the pain without him there and felt out of place, lost, that he'd unexpectedly left. I asked the nurse for Demerol. She said okay but didn't move to go get it. A few contractions later, I asked her for it again. She said she was just waiting for me to ask for it twice to make sure that I really wanted it. What a great nurse! She went out and came back in but did not give me the shot! Again, a few contractions later, I asked her when I could get it. She said she had it right there but was just waiting again for me to ask for it.

She said it would take effect in 5-15 minutes. I had 2 more contractions and then the drugs hit. I had never taken drugs like that before in my life (or since!) I was HIGH. My senses were super heightened. When Hubby came back an hour later, he asked, "What did you do to my wife?" In between contractions, I would often pass out. During the contractions, I had lost the ability to mentally cope with them. I think most of the time I would rock in the squeaky rocking chair and wave my arms in a downward circular motion, thinking of the baby moving down and out. On the outside I appeared totally in control but on the inside, I felt terrible. I couldn't think right. I couldn't use imagery or a focus point. I couldn't remember all of the techniques I'd learned in childbirth class for coping with the labour. I couldn't walk because of the back pain so I just rocked in the rocking chair. (My mom had suggested sitting on the toilet as this often is a very comfortable place for labouring women. I found it extremely uncomfortable though and got off it as soon as I could when I had to use it.)

My mom holding me up in the chair as I slept between contractions
I wanted to moan but my mom told me that it was a waste of energy and to save my energy, I should stay quiet. So I’d speak in tongues instead. I figured (rightly so) that, being a Pentecostal pastor’s wife, my mom would not tell me not to pray during the most difficult trial I’d ever been through in my life! It did help to vocalize. A few times I remember saying something like “Oh Jesus, have mercy on me.” or something similar. We joked later that I had no clue what I was praying but there were probably people all over the hospital getting healed suddenly.
The waves that I’d been imagining were now crashing over my head and I was swirling around, caught by an undertow, drowning. The contraction would end and I could make it to the surface and catch my breath for a few seconds just in time for the next wave to come and crash on top of me. Overall, I hated my experience with Demerol. I just felt out of control – and not in a good way at all.

Around midnight, my doctor came back to check on me. (This was 9 hours after the doctor had said he'd start pit in 9 hours. There was thankfully no mention of pit!) I was STILL at 7 cm! I'd been there since about 5 pm. She said it'd obviously be awhile so she left to go home. (Thank you Dr. Tors for your patience! I know many other doctors would have ordered a cesarean at that point which would have been promptly refused by hubby and I lol) My mom realized that all these months, we'd been telling my body to keep the baby in, and telling the baby not to come out. We'd never told the baby it was safe to come out now. She told my body to let that baby out. Right away, my water broke. It was like a light switch had been turned on. I went from totally out of (stroking Hubby's hair saying, "It's SOOO soft" or sleeping) to wide awake, totally aware. I told Hubby that my water broke. He got the nurse who checked me and announced that I was 9.5cm, or 10 with a lip. She paged the dr to come back - fortunately she hadn't left the hospital yet.

At 12:15 am I started pushing. I still had the lip and didn't feel an urge to push but they said his heart rate was going down so just push him out. It was the scariest moment of my life. The most incredible amount of pressure. I thought for sure my stomach was going to just pop, like if you take a plastic bag and blow it up, then tie the opening and clap your hands with it between... how it bursts. I know I felt pain but I don't remember it. I remember them saying not to make any noise, not to groan. To hold my breathe and push. I couldn't feel him moving down, I just felt the pressure and I couldn't focus on anything going on. The nurse had to yell at me over and over before I could hear her. I saw Chris there, on my left, holding my leg. I saw the handles at my sides that I was gripping. I saw the bright light at the end of the bed.

"Purple Pushing"

When his head came out, my mom told me to look down. I looked and it suddenly dawned on me that yes, this really is how babies are made lol. I saw his head and said, "Oh my God" as that realization hit me. Then I had to push again. I thought I was going to die. His shoulders got out, then, whoosh, the rest of him came out in a gush. I remember the gush lol. Such relief.

Welcome to the outside world, Baby!
He was born at 12:42 am on Saturday, April 16, 2005. He was not the 5 lbs they said, but 7 lbs, 9 oz!

Hubby said he just lay there for a couple of seconds. He looked like one of those fake realistic baby dolls. Then, like a switch was flipped, he started moving and crying. They suctioned his nostrils and mouth and Hubby cut the cord. Then they put him right on my chest. And he peed on me lol. I didn't care, after what I'd just done, it was just a little pee.

I knew that the afterbirth had to come out, but I did not expect it to be even more painful than the birth! The nurse pushed down on my uterus while I pushed too. My doctor gently pulled on the cord to get it to detach. I remember giving the nurse a dirty look lol.

Then they wanted to take him away to put ointment in his eyes and give him a shot of vitamin K. I'd waited my whole life for this moment and did not allow them to cut it short. I asked them if they could wait a few minutes because I knew that they could. She was able to do it without taking him away from me.

"Oh my God... my baby... my baby..."

I had 3 tears (one minor, two a little deeper) so my doctor had to give me some stitches, which I barely felt because I was so focused on my baby lying on me. I barely even noticed Hubby next to me lol.

My dad came in after everything was cleaned up to see his first grandchild. Sorry the picture is so blurry.

My dad meeting his first grandchild.

Hubby called my sister-in-law, 3 months pregnant at the time, to let her know. I talked to her and she could hear the baby crying and she started crying, and I started crying lol.

They took the baby to weigh and measure him (my mom went with him and videoed the dr measuring him).

I had to get up and walk to the washroom and show them that I peed so they could make sure everything was okay. I was shocked at the trail of carnage that I left from the bed to the toilet! The nurse assured me that it was okay, they would clean it up. I was so embarrassed I wanted to get down and clean it myself but I couldn't even sit up without support lol.

After I got back and they were done with the baby, my mom helped me to get him to latch on. He was a real pro! We slept together the first night at the hospital. The second night he slept in a bassinet next to my bed.

The next day I kept reminding myself what everyone told me, that I would forget the pain. 2 weeks later, it was true.

The whole time I was in the hospital, it felt like I was in a dream. I thought the nurses were going to take him away and give him back to his real mom, like he wasn't really mine. What had I done to deserve such a wonderful gift? When we put him in the car seat and took him home, I wanted to run home with him in case he wasn't really mine and they would take him back lol. I just couldn't believe it.

Five's Birth Story - Part 3 (What I learned from the pregnancy and birth of my first child)

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