Friday, December 27, 2013

Baby Girl's Birth Story (Part 3)


To catch up, part 1 and part 2

Susan and I made it to Labor and Delivery (after a quick confusing detour into the wrong hallway) and got me checked in.  Then nurses asked a series of annoying questions that I fail to understand the necessity of. (WHY did I preregister if you're just going to ask all this junk again??) This was all before they moved me into a room. During this time, I rode out a contraction and spent so much energy trying to breathe and not groan loudly, worrying about disturbing any others on the floor. In retrospect, if I had groaned, maybe they would have picked up the pace!

Just after getting into the room I had my next contraction as I tried to step out of the wheelchair and move to the bed. Right in the middle of loudly moaning through the contraction was when Kathy, my midwife came into the room. She praised my labor progression and instructed me to get into a gown. I considered asking to stick to my birth plan and continue laboring in my own clothes, but by this time I didn't care about the immodest hospital gowns. John met us in the room and helped me change in the restroom and then get into the bed.

I was coming into the hospital at shift change so my first nurse started everything, I can't even remember her name, then Jessica joined us and stayed through the rest of day. They wanted 20 minutes of monitored contractions so they had a baseline to if we needed continuous fetal monitoring later, so into bed I went. As I laid in bed Jessica, the other nurse and the head nurse asked me various questions. I was really struggling to deal with the contractions at this point, laying in bed was not helping anything and the fetal monitor pushing on my belly during contractions was painful. Kathy came in and saved the day! She was less than impressed that I was told I had to be in bed for this monitoring and Kathy set them straight that they are perfectly capable of running the tape with me out of the bed. After Kathy checked to see how dialated I was (7 cm!!), we were just about finished with the 20 minute requirement and at Susan's suggestion, we moved back into the bathroom.

I feel like we were in the bathroom for five minutes, but John assures me that it was at least an hour. At this point, Holli, the other Midwife came on shift and wanted to check how I had progressed since Kathy had left. I slowly made my way to the bed (can I just say that moving in contractions is no bueno!), I was at 10 cm and almost fully efaced!!

Holli worked with me on how to push and wanted me to do a few "practice pushes". I remember her telling me to "blow the baby out", encouraging me to use breathing to push down rather than yelling and wasting energy. During these practice pushes, my water broke but it really wasn't much. Unfortunatly they were pretty sure that it was myconium stained. Under hospital policy, Holli had to break the water a little more so they could be sure whether or not Cora had passed myconium in the water. This was something I didn't want but couldn't avoid. The exact reason I didn't want my water broken was the effect we found - Coras head shifted slightly as the water flowed out and now I had a lip of cervix that wasn't fully effaced.

Technically, I could have worked hard, pushed forever and gotten the baby out then with someone pushing that "lip" aside. BUT Holli is awesome and gave us some time to get the babys head moved back center and clear up that effacement issue. I say that she's awesome now, but I was so very disappointed when I knew I was fully dialated and she announced that she was going back to the office to see "a patient or two". I couldn't believe that she had time to see patients before I had a baby!

Susan & Cora
This is when I will forever be grateful for having an amazing Doula! Susan, being well educated in birth and understanding all the mumbo jumbo Holli was saying about how Cora's head shifted got me out of bed to shift the baby back to center! {I'd also like to point out that as great as my nurse, Jessica, was - she didn't understand what Holli was saying, she would have been no help to us in getting Cora's head straightened out} Since we knew my water was miconium stained, I had to have constant fetal monitoring (hospital policy), but the straps were just hurting so badly, so Jessica, my awesome nurse stood with me and held them in place as I lunged and squated for the next while. I was terrified my legs wouldn't support me as I squatted so John squatted right behind me holding me steady while Susan held the other end of Robozo across the bed from me. We were this way for about four contractions, until I started feeling Cora crown.

Susan started asking me questions about what I was feeling, I knew the baby was coming but I had trouble vocalizing that between contractions. As I squatted I was bearing down and Susan had noticed but Jessica didn't realize how close we were. Jessica checked and said I had a quarter size amount of baby's head showing and at her insistence we moved back into the bed. Susan suggested we call Holli back but Jessica thought we had more time to "labor down".

The thing about natural labor is, your body pushes that baby and the only way I found to cope with that intensity is to push and help that natural laboring of pushing the baby down and out. Once up in that bed I got on my side and started pushing. The room quickly filled with tons of hospital staff! I had okay-ed some nurses observing (later we learned they wanted to watch because they hadn't seen a natural birth before), plus Nursery staff that was doubled by the concerns about the myconium stains in the amniotic water. As I pushed I was encouraged to not push, to wait for the midwife to get there. About the third announcement of "wait" I yelled at no one in particular that I couldn't. All the while I laid there knowing full well that everyone in that room was trained to catch, I knew that if no one else stepped up Susan could catch the baby. I wasn't going to not push just because my midwife wasn't called in time. At some point they grabbed the on-call OB, she gowned up and stood at the ready incase Holli didn't make it in time.

When Holli arrived there was a giant sigh of relief in the room, She tossed her coat one direction while stepping into a gown being held open by a nurse. Two more pushes or so and we had our baby girl!!

When Cora was born she wasn't crying, this is somewhat common with natural born babies as I understand it. That compounded with the myconium stained fluid and the nursery staff insisted that the cord be cut immediately. They whisked her over to the warmer and started suctioning fluid from her mouth. John joined them while I finished up delivery. After they cleaned her up and worked on her for a while I got to hold her skin-to-skin for just a moment, long enough for Susan to snap a few pictures and then they whisked her off to the NICU.

Cora & Kathy
Turns out that Cora had TTN (transient tachypnea of the newborn) and had to spend some time in the NICU. Her first Apgar was a 6, second one was an 8. She improved greatly in the first 7 hours and was weaned off oxygen by just over 24 hours. Antibiotics were administered as a precaution for infection from the Myconium but all cultures came back negative for infection. I was ready for discharge at 24 hours after birth but stayed in-patient an extra day to make it easier to be with our daughter. Cora was discharged from the hospital four days after birth.

I loved my birthing experience, not so much right in the trenches of it - but coming out on the other side I knew within hours of being finished that not only could I do it again, I'm excited for it! I found birthing empowering and beautiful. All the major points of our birth plan were followed up until the complications surrounding Cora once she was born and none of those complications were as a result of birth. Looking back there are very few things we would change that are in our control. Doing it again I will for-sure hire a birth photographer!! I'm so sad we don't have more pictures of everything! I wouldn't change anything in our birth plan and really the only big thing that we would do differently is possibly the location of our birth. I'm seriously contemplating using a Birthing Center for our next child! I'm just sad that we would have to change midwifes for a different facility.

8 lbs, 12 ounces
20 inches

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