Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week 39: The Birth Story!

I can tell you in advance that this will be a long post so prep yourself and read as interested! ;)

Monday evening/Tuesday morning around midnight, I started having contractions. Considering I'd had several occasions where I thought I was in labor, and wasn't, I decided to lay in bed and see what happened. By 1:30am, the contractions were getting a bit stronger and starting to hurt. I decided it was likely true labor and James and I got out of bed to pack and prepare.

From 3am to about 4:30, my contractions were consistently between 4-6 minutes apart and around 1 min or so in length. I finally called the OB and she told me to go on in to the hospital. Excitedly, we packed everything and everyone in the car. We called our parents, our doula (Betsy) and our friend Lindsey (who wanted to experience the labor/birth). We dropped Hannah off at James' sister's apartment and then arrived at the hospital around 5:30am. I was strapped up to the monitors for about 45 minutes and then told if everything looked good, I could detach myself.

In total weirdness, my contractions suddenly started to slow and decrease in intensity. I was only dilated 3 cm and about 70% effaced. Frustration and irritation soon set in. My 4-6 min contractions quickly became 8-10 min and not nearly as painful. After 3 hours of being at the hospital, I had not dilated or effaced any further then when I came in. The doctor and nurses were very kind and patient though. The doctor gave us the option of staying or going home. Considering she knew my desire to have a natural childbirth, she recommended that I'd be more comfortable elsewhere so that too many interventions were not used. We decided she was right and left at about 10am. But right before we left, James suggested praying for us. He prayed particularly that my contractions would regain their momentum and labor would pick back up. We put our trust in the Lord and left.

Almost as soon as we did leave the hospital, my contractions jump started! We were all hungry at that point in time so we went to eat breakfast at Panera. It was one of the yummiest breakfasts ever! ;) While eating my spinach and artichoke souffle', yogurt with granola and orange juice, the contractions continued to increase and strengthen. I ducked into the bathroom about 4 or 5 times to have the contractions so it wasn't dramatic in the restaurant. After leaving Panera, we went to James' sister's apartment. She lives incredibly close to the hospital so we thought it'd be better than driving all the way home (which is about 20-25min from the hosp.). By this point, my contractions were about 3 minutes apart. Yet we didn't go straight to the hospital because we were determined we would not be sent home again. My contractions continued at roughly 3 minutes apart for about 1 1/2 hours. At one point, I felt the need to "bear down" and we decided it was time to make a quick trip back to the hospital.

In the 5 minute drive back, the walk inside, and back up to Labor and Delivery, I had 3 more contractions. And by this point, they were no joke contractions! After giving my name and insurance information again, another contraction took over and I nearly doubled over into the floor. Several nurses came running and immediately got me into a LD room. After changing into the gown and getting back on the monitors, I was checked and nearly 7 cm dilated. This was amazing considering I was only 3cm just 2 hours earlier! After 30 minutes on the monitors, I was given permission to get up and move around.

I took position standing at the side of the bed since I'd dealt with most of my contractions leaning/swaying bent over the bedside. I'd move around for about 30-45 seconds or so until the next contraction began. With my sweet husband and awesome doula's help, I made it through each contraction one moment at a time. With every single contraction I'd think, "I can't do this," but then the contraction would end and I'd get renewed strength. After only 15 minutes or so of moving and standing, my water abruptly broke and I felt the immediate need to push. The nurses were called back into the room and had to help me into the bed as I didn't feel I could move at all! One nurse went to check my dilation again and suddenly screamed something like, "There's the head! I need a doctor in here! Get me a doctor!" Sure enough... Benjamin was coming! The nurse was literally pushing his head back towards me to keep him from coming out. Several nurses frantically got gloved, yelled for some sort of table and continued yelling for a doctor. Within minutes, two doctors were in the room: my primary OB (who just happened to be walking the hallway) and the OB on call. With two or three pushes, Benjamin joined the outside world!

It was an amazing labor and delivery in SO many ways! First, I was able to go natural (no epidural or pain meds), which was something I really wanted to do. Second, my water did not break until the very end, whereas with Hannah, it broke at 1cm. Third, my support was awesome. James, Betsy and Lindsey were all great! Fourth, I had a wonderfully supportive nurse and great doctors. Fifth, though we were sent away that morning, my labor picked back up at an incredible speed. From the start of contractions until delivery was only 13 hours. And of that, only about 4 were active, heavy-duty labor. Sixth, I had no lacerations from the delivery. Seventh, my recovery has been super fast. I feel SO good to have just had a child. I seriously feel 100x better then I did right after having Hannah. Eighth, the Lord blessed us, plain and simple. I was healthy. Benjamin was healthy (his APGARs were 9, then 10). Everything went nearly as smooth as it could go! We were discharged from the hospital in just under 48 hours. Benjamin only had a slight case of jaundice, so no need for phototherapy (as with Hannah). As a matter of fact, in only 3 days of life, he's already back to his birth weight!

I do plan to write a separate post on my experience of natural childbirth. This one is long enough I think. ;) So if you're interested in that, stay tuned. We praise the Lord for an amazing labor, delivery, and childbirth. Thank you ALL for your prayers, encouragements and love!

In Christ,


Bigmammy said...

you rock

Sarah Cosper said...

It is so wonderful that even though we had very different deliveries, it was evident that God's hand was in both! I am so blessed by your story! Also Maggie was at birth weight by her check up and Dorothy was when she left the hospital. They are the only three I know of to do so! Yay healthy babies!

Courtney said...

I am so thrilled at how God blessed your delivery! I cannot wait to meet him. Love you!