Thursday, November 14, 2013

Baby Girl's Birth Story (Part 2)

{See Part 1 Here}

I rode out several contractions in the tub, until the water began to grow cold. I knew that I could always get back in the tub later, as long as my water was intact, so we decided I'd get out and maybe walk around the house. We talked about a possible walk around the neighborhood, but it was cold & the middle of the night. My contractions were lasting roughly a minute each and were mostly four minutes apart, but weren't terribly consistent. John was still a little on the edge of believing that I was really in labor, he kept looking for a more set pattern in the time of my contractions. I knew I was in true labor (finally!) but was also aware that it could be a long haul before our daughter was born. I took a shower, knowing that it could be quite a while before I had the opportunity for another one.

Out of the tub the contractions were much more intense but reduced in time to about 30 seconds each. I was frustrated but was still certain this was it. The intensity was making me nervous about when we should go to the hospital and we wanted to labor at home as long as possible, ideally until I was dilated to a 6 or a 7. Susan, our Doula lives in Fort Worth, which is about an hour drive from our house so we decided to go ahead and call her to give her time to get to us. I called her at 2:47 am, while I was on the phone I had another contraction and was able to ride it out with deep breaths. Susan agreed that I was in early active labor and that she would go ahead and come our way.

The next little while I spent time between contractions stacking our last minute items for the hospital next to the door, making the bed etc. Our room is always warmer than the rest of the house and I was getting too hot so we moved to the living room. We let our dogs come into the house and sit with us in the living room. I just found something nice about having a "normal" family moment in the middle of this experience.

Once settled into the living room, I was under the delusion that sitting on my exercise ball would help me get through some of these contractions. Boy was I wrong! I loved it in false labor, but now that it was the real deal I could have drop kicked the darn ball down the street! (In retrospect, it was because it opened up my pelvis and made the contractions more intense - a good thing but I wasn't prepared for it!)

I knew I needed to be resting through contractions but I couldn't get comfortable anywhere. Finally I found that I could close my eyes and relax in the rocking chair, but sitting through a contraction was painful for me. Each time I had a contraction I would stand up as it began, which made it easier to handle but the movement itself was so painful! I was wearing out quickly and knew I was at a point that I needed Susan to get there. During one of these transitions from chair to standing, I yelled loudly in pain - that was the point John recalls knowing we were really in labor and going to have a baby. (Looking back, this is the only time I would say I was in "pain" during labor. Honestly the majority of the time the physical feelings were "intense" but so different from any other discomfort I had felt at any other time in my life) At some point during my time in the rocking chair, I threw up. I knew that vomiting was just part of labor but it was certainly less than fun heaving during a contraction.

When Susan arrived just before 4 am, I was loudly moaning through each contraction just to cope and I was quickly getting discouraged with our natural approach. I hadn't pulled out the "I can't" words yet, but I had them ready to go if whatever Susan was going to do didn't work. Just after walking in the door, I told her what was going on & where we were at in the process between contractions. She told me she hated the exercise ball in her labors too & that moving in a contraction always makes them worse in real labor - that movement brings on contractions. (WHY is this not common knowledge?!?) The first contraction she watched me in she recognized that I was tensing up in anticipation of the intensity. She gently reminded me to relax, and like a miracle when I encouraged my muscles to release the tension in a contraction, the intensity was much more manageable!

Susan set up her diffuser (Lavender & Geranium) and it was like the best medicine ever! It was so easy to relax my muscles through the contractions and I rode them out in the rocker for a while. At some point I stood through a few of them and Susan taught John how to do hip squeezes. Hip squeezes = amazing! It was so special that John was able to help me through each contraction in such a 'hands on' kind of way.

Susan suggested moving to the bathroom and sitting backwards on the toilet. She explained that it would make the contractions more intense because it would open up my pelvis and help labor along, but it would give me the wall and back of the toilet to relax on between contractions and John would have access to do hip squeezes. I agreed and it was the best idea ever. The time I spent on the toilet (both at home and later at the hospital) were honestly the easiest and best periods of labor! I was able to doze off laying on a pillow propped up on the tank of the toilet. It was quiet, dark and calming with the diffuser sitting just a couple of feet away on the sink. Between each contraction I would close my eyes and silently pray for strength "Strength, Jesus, Strength" as I drifted off until the next contraction.

Somewhere around 5:15 am I knew I was getting close to Transition in labor & Susan did too. We knew that it was time to get me to the hospital before contractions were too close or intense to make the move. I was dreading the 25 minute drive to the hospital, but we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time for the drive, I really didn't want a home birth (nor were we prepared for one) and I sure didn't want to deliver on the side of the road! At 5:35 am John called Kathy, our Midwife and told her my contractions were just over a minute long each with three minutes between and had been going on like this for roughly two hours. Kathy instructed to come on into the hospital we planned to deliver at and she'd meet us there.

I've never wanted a home birth, but it was beyond less than fun moving to the hospital this far into labor. I went to the restroom while John threw the last of our stuff into the van & made sure the dogs were good for the night and into the next day. Susan tied her Robozo around my hips nice and tight to help keep pressure there during the car ride and suggested sitting on the floor of the van and leaning into a seat. I rode out one more contraction in our living room, I remember being very aware that our neighbors were about to be leaving for work and I didn't want to be the crazy moaning lady in my front yard! After the contraction John got me situated in the back of the van & we headed off to the hospital with Susan following. The 20 minute ride to the hospital was honestly pretty uncomfortable. I was much less successful at relaxing during each contraction, I'd read that transitioning from home to the hospital can result in a regression of labor. Thinking about or my nagging worry that we'd get pulled over & I'd get a seat belt ticket sure wasn't helping the relaxation much! At some point, about half way through the drive I shifted and caught a whiff of the lingering essential oils from my hair and was able to relax and resist yelling & scaring the poo out of John for the rest of the drive in.

Once at the hospital, John dropped me off at the entrance to the ER while Susan parked & grabbed a wheel chair to take me up to Labor & Delivery.

{Part 3}

1 comment:

  1. Loving your birth story so far. Not the painful parts, but the amazing miracle that is laboring/child birth!


Feel free to leave your comments!! I am so glad you stopped by!
Please be sure your Blogger profile is linked to your e-mail. If not, leave your e-mail address in your comment so I can reply!!