Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alaina's Birth Story

Once again, this birth story is long and detailed. I like to remember the details. If birth talk grosses you out, you should probably skip this post! :)

As you might remember, I went to the doctor on Wednesday, March 7th for a regular checkup. Everything was fine, but my doctor strongly advised me to be induced on Friday, March 9th due to my high blood pressure. My due date was March 16th, so I would have been 39 weeks on the 9th. I wasn't thrilled with an induction, but I trusted my doctor and scheduled it. I found out when I was at the doctor on Wednesday that I was 3cm and 50% effaced. After we left the doctor, David and I ran two errands. We went in Hobby Lobby and Kroger, and that's the most walking I had done in a while :) I was still hoping that I would go into labor on my own before Friday, but I'll be honest and say I thought there was about a 0% chance of that.

Wednesday after my doctor's appointment was another "normal" day on bed rest. I took a nap that afternoon, and I felt fine. David and the kids went to church that evening, and I stayed home. I wasn't having any labor signs at that point. I did have some shooting pains in my cervix, but I assumed that was just from being "checked" at the doctor's office. David and I went to bed that night, and I didn't expect anything unusual to happen.

I woke up about 2AM and I was having some mild cramping. It wasn't painful, but it got my attention because all of my labors have started with menstrual like cramps. I tried to go back to sleep, but I really couldn't. It wasn't because I was in pain, but just because I couldn't wait to see what happened. Around 3AM, I noticed that the cramps were starting to come and go -- they were starting to feel more like contractions. They still weren't very painful at all at this point, so I didn't even wake David up. I wanted to make sure it was the real thing. The contractions were about 7 minutes apart, and I just laid in bed and timed them for about an hour. David got up a little after 4 to go check the upstairs thermostat. When he came back into our room, I casually mentioned that I was timing contractions. That woke him up quickly! ;) He timed a few with me, and then I decided to go take a shower. I figured if I was really in labor, I would need a shower anyway, and if I wasn't, the shower would probably help the "fake" contractions go away. I had several contractions while I was in the shower, and I decided that this had to be real labor since they were getting stronger and not going away. They were still about 7 minutes apart though, so I thought it was too early to call anyone or go to the hospital.

David started getting all of our last minute stuff together, and I put on makeup while sitting on our birthing ball. (By the way -- I didn't buy a birthing ball for this. It's really an exercise ball that David uses, but it was nice to have it. It was the most comfortable place for me to be during this time.) Finally, at around 5AM or so I decided that we needed to call my parents and give them the heads up to start heading to our house. The contractions weren't really any closer together, but they were starting to get really painful, and I didn't want to wait too long to get to the hospital. I told David if we could get there when I was about 6cm or so, that would be ideal ;)

We started calling my parents and -- get this -- they didn't answer!! I could not believe it. I started to get a little stressed at that point. That's probably the most out of control I felt throughout the whole process. The contractions were really painful, and I started to say I wanted the epidural as soon as we got the the hospital. I was mad at myself for making that decision before even finding out how progressed I was, but that's just what I was feeling during each contraction. (By the way -- I wasn't mad at myself for wanting an epidural. Like I've said before, I don't think epidurals are bad. I've had two GREAT labors with epidurals. I just felt like a wimp, because at that point, I still didn't think I'd be very progressed since the contractions were still 7 minutes apart.) Anyway, my dad finally answered the phone, and he said he'd be right over to our house to stay with Aubrey and Jude. We called the hospital, and they said we could come anytime. Then we just waited for my dad. It felt like it took him an eternity to get to our house! When he got here, we snapped one last belly picture before leaving for the hospital at 6AM.When we were getting in the car, I was having a contraction, and I started to feel a lot of pressure during the contraction. It was kind of deja vu from when I was in labor and on the way to the hospital to have Jude. I started to have a feeling that I was going to be further along than I thought, but I didn't say that out loud just in case I was wrong :) The ride to the hospital was not very fun. I would get SO HOT every time I had a contraction, and I would blast the air and squeeze David's hand. But other than that, I felt like I was managing the pain fairly well. I wasn't screaming or out of control. In fact, the ride to the hospital was very quiet. David and I were both just silent.

When we got to the hospital, David dropped me at the door, and I sat and waited for him. When he got inside, I started to walk to the elevator, and I could not walk. I had to go sit back down. I was feeling so much pressure, and I really thought I was going to be sick. David asked if he could get a wheelchair for me, but I wouldn't let him. Ha! I sat for a couple of minutes, and then I decided I could walk. We made it up to the labor and delivery floor, and then it was time to check in. The most annoying part. I was hunched over the counter signing papers trying not to loose it. I just wanted to get into a room and find out what was going on. I think we also got to the hospital at a bad time. It was right around 6:20 or so, and I think the nurses were all getting ready for the shift change. We finally got into a room, and I had to go change into a gown, and then finally I was ready to hear how progressed I was. The nurse wanted to get the monitors hooked up first, and then she checked me. She was just so nonchalant about it. I had to ask her how dilated I was twice. (Side note -- She was definitely my least favorite nurse I've had. The nurses in the past have always been SO nice, and I think this one was just ready to go home. Whatever.) She finally casually told me that I was 8-9cm. Then she said that she could call anesthesia. I was like, "Umm, isn't it a little late for that?!" It's funny, because last time, I felt like I had to beg for an epidural. All the nurses tried to discourage me from getting one so late, and I felt like it was the opposite this time when I was actually open to not getting one. The nurse told me it was my choice about whether or not to get an epidural, and that's all that was ever said. She definitely didn't try to pressure me into getting one, but I just thought it was funny that she even offered so late in the game.

Right after that, my room filled up. There were lot of people setting everything up, and I had to sign a bunch more papers. Then it was time for the IV. And I think that was the worst part of the whole experience. They had to stick me three times. Awful. It made it even worse that I was having hardcore contractions during all of this and had to lay still. Actually, the hand sticking kind of took my mind off of the contractions, and I don't remember the contractions hurting as bad from that point on. A lady in scrubs who I had never seen before walked in and introduced herself as Dr. Edwards. She started suiting up, and I was so confused. I thought she must be the anesthesiologist, and I was thinking, "I don't want an epidural. It's took late!" I know I must have looked crazy, and I was like, "Wait, who are you?" Ha! She was so nice and introduced herself again and said she was going to be delivering the baby. Again, I was so confused, and I was like, "Am I having the baby now??" Ha! It was such a whirlwind. They told me that I was complete and ready to push. I'm still so confused about how they knew that because I was never checked again after being told I was 8-9cm. At one point, the nurse did kind of put her hand down there and she told me she was checking the baby's position, but it definitely wasn't a full internal. I guess it doesn't really matter, though. The doctor literally stood and waited for them to get the IV started.

Finally, it was time to push! I was pretty nervous about how it was going to go, but there wasn't time to get myself completely freaked out about it. My water still hadn't broken, so they broke it as I was starting to push. I was worried that the contractions would be unbearable after my water was broken, but I really never felt them anymore after I started pushing. The pushing was really quick, but it was awful. It was definitely the most painful part of the whole experience for me. I think I would rather go through the whole labor and all of the contractions again than the few minutes of pushing. At first, it was painful but bearable. But when the baby started crowning, I started screaming. I think I screamed the whole time I was pushing her out. I NEVER thought I'd be a screamer, and I knew I was screaming and wanted to stop, but I just couldn't. There was no way. The doctor who delivered was SO sweet and SO encouraging. She was pregnant herself, so I think she was empathizing with me. Ha! Everyone always asks how many times you pushed. I felt like once I started pushing, it was just a constant push. There wasn't really any stopping and starting. After what seemed like an eternity -- it was really less than 10 minutes -- Alaina's head came out. Then I pushed one more time, and she was born at 6:58AM! It was an amazing, beautiful moment, as all of my children's births have been. I will say that I felt less "in the moment" than when I had epidurals. Honestly, my main thought was just relief that the horrible pain was gone.They took Alaina to the warmer to be weighed and evaluated, and I delivered the placenta. This was another part that wasn't fun without the epidural. The other two times, I felt like I was totally fixated on the baby and I watched them clean the baby up and I never took my eyes off her/him. I wasn't even aware of what was going on with me. This time I was feeling everything, and so I was less focused on the baby. Thankfully, I only had a very minor tear. I think I got one stitch. I have had SUCH an easy recovery this time. I really feel completely back to normal already, and that has been a huge blessing! I was never in hardly any pain, so I can't complain at all on the recovery front!

After Alaina was born and I knew she was fine, they told me that she was a "miracle baby." Her cord had a true knot in it. When they showed it to me, I was speechless with thanks that the Lord protected her. The knot was never pulled tight enough to hurt her, and she was perfectly healthy. There is no way of knowing how long the knot was in the cord, but I am so humbled and thankful for her safety. I still can't even think about it without feeling emotional and thankful for her precious life. They told me that she weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long. The moment they placed her in my arms I was completely in love with her, and my love for her has grown every day. What a gift Motherhood is! I was able to spend a lot of time holding her and nursing her before they took her to the nursery for transition.After it was all over, David and I just kind of had to stop and catch our breath. We looked at each other like, "Did that really just happen?" Ha! No one even knew I was in labor besides my parents, so David called his parents and a few other people. My mom unfortunately didn't make it to the hospital in time to be in the delivery room like she was for my other two births. She got there right after Alaina was born. My doctor came in right after the birth, too. I love my doctor, and she hasn't delivered any of my babies! She was so funny. She was shocked that I had had the baby because she was expecting me to be there the next day for an induction :) She said my labor was so fast that they never even called her. Apparently she was sitting out in her car doing her Bible Study while I was delivering the baby. Ha! Maybe one day she'll deliver one of my babies... maybe ;)

Alaina's birth was a wonderful experience, and I really am glad I got to experience natural childbirth. To be honest, though, I didn't have the overwhelming feelings that I thought I would have after giving birth naturally. I've thought a lot about the experience in the past two weeks, and I'm going to do a separate post on my feelings about my natural childbirth compared to my births with epidurals. David and I are just SO incredibly thankful for another safe delivery and the gift of another child.


Amy said...

first of all, what a miracle!! so thankful alaina is here with y'all!!!
secondly, i can't even imagine having a labor/delivery that fast. i was induced with both of mine so it was a lot of waiting around and very calm/long days. girl, you better be glad you don't live too far from your hospital! :) you look amazing and i'm so glad to hear that you're doing well. although it's a completely different situation, i kind of feel the same way about not finding out the gender when we were pg w/laney...everyone kept telling me what an amazing experience it would be and how it was just "so different" not knowing and it was...but it was also kind of a letdown. not that we weren't excited to have a girl, just more so that i had built up in my mind this amazing moment when we heard, "it's a....!" and our lives would be changed - ha! it was much more anticlimactic than that :)

Carrye said...

Congratulations again, Carrie! There is an interesting documentary on Netflix streaming called "The Business of Being Born." It focuses on the debate between natural and conventional deliveries. I watched it because I am in Nursing School and strongly considering Labor/Delivery.
Enjoy your new addition!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Your post made me feel cramps too - just reading about the pain gave me some sympathy pains for you. OUCH! I am glad everything turned out well. That is so scary about the knot in the cord. God protected her even in your womb. What a miracle! I am so glad Alaina is here and healthy. Congrats, Mama!

Sarah Denley said...

I LOVED reading this even though I already heard it ;) I hated that you left out the part about that important chat y'all had. HAHA!

Anonymous said...

What a great birth story!! I laughed when you talked about telling David you wanted the epi as soon as you got to the hospital and about getting so hot in the car - those are classic signs of transition. :) So glad Alaina arrived safe and sound. Congrats again!

Ashley said...

I loved reading this! It made me miss you so much though :( I'm going to come visit again this summer and I can't wait to hold that sweet angel baby. I'm proud of you and love you!

Jennifer said...

What an exciting beginning to Alaina's story! I loved reading this. I hope you are getting some rest and enjoying your sweet babies!

Whitney said...

What a blessing to have her here safely! I hope everyone continues to do well. How is she doing napping and sleeping in her pack-n-play? We are still having good stretches and not good stretches. Right now Sam is taking a long nap in the bouncer...not my first choice but we just need the sleep. I too did not feel like I thought I would about having no epidural. And, I warned everyone in the room that night that I wasn't usually a screamer, but I probably would then! Not sure that I screamed but I feel I was loud!