Friday, June 21, 2013

The Day I Became a Mother: L's Birth Story

This is a BIRTH STORY.  So if the details of how my son entered the world are going to offend you, please skip this post.

Pregnant With L
During the first few months of a first time pregnancy, the thought of delivering a child can be a bit nerve-wracking.  I remember looking down at myself at some point and thinking, "Oh my, this cute ball of baby is going to have to come out!"  BUT, by the 3rd trimester, I was so miserable that I was desperate to start labor and meet my new baby.  I had already tried every old wives tale (other than castor oil) and was so tired of pregnancy that I felt like I could honestly handle any amount of labor pains, as long as it meant not being pregnant anymore. 

On a Saturday morning near the end of February (2 days before my 2nd "due date"), I went to a Ladies Inspirational Breakfast at our church.  I spent time in prayer with some of the ladies from my small group and they reassured me, "no one has ever been pregnant forever."  Secretly I hoped that my water would break during the breakfast and I would be escorted to the hospital with all the ladies in my small group, but God had other plans...

After I was home from the breakfast, I started walking around the house.  I walked for nearly an hour and then went upstairs to take a nap.  Around 2pm I went to the bathroom and my water started leaking.  I knew it was likely my water leaking, but because it was nothing like the movies (no gush of water), I called my mom for her advice and reassurance.  I started having a few waves of pain in my lower back immediately, but it was hardly noticeable.  I chatted on the phone with my mom for a little while longer and then, took our child birth instructor's advice, and baked some cookies.

Baking cookies was a great distraction from the pressure waves in my lower back.  Between contractions, my husband and I laughed and chatted about being parents.  We'd laugh, and then I'd bend over the counter and breathe through the wave of pressure.  As one of the final batches of cookies were baking, my contractions really started to intensify.  So I left the cookies to my husband and went upstairs to take a shower to ease some of the pain.  The water in the shower felt fantastic and it really decreased the pain tremendously.  The relief was great, but it meant that when I got out of the shower, I felt like the pain was much worse.  At that point, I called my mom back and told her to come over.

The family (mom/dad/brother) arrive around 5pm or so.  They talked LOUDLY, laughed, played a game of scrabble, watched hockey, and were all around obnoxious until around 7:30pm when I could not take it anymore and decided to go to the hospital.  My contractions were between 4 and 6 minutes apart and I was no longer capable of focusing on anything other than myself.  At 7:45pm we got in the car and headed for the hospital.  I was really concerned that I would be in too much pain to ride in the car, but I slipped on my headphones, turned on my ipod, and fell into an, "It Is Well With My Soul" zone.  I honestly did not feel a single contraction during the 30 minute drive to the hospital.

Once at the hospital (8:30ish) I learned I was about 6cm dilated.  This was both wonderful and horrible news.  The contractions were intense and I was not sure I would be able to continue with my plan for a natural birth.  The most difficult time was when I was receiving the antibiotic for Group B Strep.  I really really REALLY wanted to get in the shower, but because I had the IV in my arm, I just stood in front of the sink splashing water on my face (***Aside, for baby #2 and #3 I got in the shower and had the nurse cover my IV in plastic).  It was a miserable first 30 minutes at the hospital.  At this point I told my husband I thought I wanted an epidural.  I think my exact words were, "why would anyone choose to do this without an epidural?!"  He ignored me and told me it would be much better when I got in the shower...  He was right.

After the IV finished and I got in the shower, I settled into my own little zone.  I had really intense back labor, but thanks to a LOT of back pressure from my husband (and mom) and the warm shower, it was manageable.  The midwife was very busy that night and popped in periodically to check on me.  She told me I was super woman every time and gave me little encouragements to help me focus.  At some point she asked if I wanted to be check.  So I wobbled out of the shower and climbed up onto the bed.  As I was holding on to the bar of the bed, I told my husband that if I wasn't making in progress I would need an epidural.  "8cm, and his head is coming down."  Thank the Lord!  I returned to the shower and continued to stand there until I started to feel the uncontrollable urge to push.

At about 11:45pm the midwife noticed I was starting to uncontrollably push in the shower.  She checked me and I was 10cm.  Hooray!  The pain in my back was going away and now it was pushing time!  I got out of the shower, they hooked me up to the monitors, put a mirror in front of me, and prepared for delivery.  When I saw the nurses for the nursery prepping the little "baby bucket," I knew it wouldn't be long.

THEN, I heard the dreaded sound that I'd heard before on episodes of the Baby Story on TLC: the heart-rate dropping.  My son's umbilical cord was trying to come out before his head and it was causing him some fetal distress.  In seconds, the midwife pushed the call button on my bed and an OB arrived.  He looked me straight in the eye, asked for my permission to give me a local anesthetic and to do an episiotomy, and delivered my healthy, "sunny side up" (according to the family) baby boy by vacuum!

Holding my baby boy!

"What on earth am I going to do with you now?!"

At 12:04 am my life changed.  This warm, slippery, ball of baby covered in slimy bloody goo was laid on my bare chest.  It was love at first sight.  His color was perfect.  He had dark hair and dark eyes and a red little birth mark on his eyelid in the shape of a perfect star.  He was going to be my star.  I was a mom!

Interested in my other birth stories?  Here's E's Birth Story and O's Birth Story.

No comments:

Post a Comment