Sunday, May 08, 2011

Laila's (pronounced Lie-la) birth story

This was me right before we left for the hospital on May 2, 2011. I was 39 weeks.

Last Thursday, April the 28th, I had my last appointment scheduled. I had been having quite a few contractions but nothing was really making any progress. When I went in for my non-stress test the contractions were probably about every ten minutes. I was not scheduled for another non-stress test so the nurse asked Dr. Williams when he wanted me back in on Monday. The plan had been to induce me Monday if I hadn't already had the baby but there were already too many inductions scheduled so the nurse had told me they wouldn't be able to induce me. Dr. Williams told her not to schedule me for another non-stress test because he was going to induce me anyway.

After my non-stress test I had my regular appointment with Dr. Williams. He was on call that night and jokingly told me that he was going to get me to go into labor that night. I hoped he was right but thus far all the tried and true ways to go into labor were not working. She just seemed very content inside me. During the appointment, he stripped my membranes. This was a totally new thing for me because I'd never gone past 38 weeks before. It was awful. He had prepared me that if it didn't hurt it wouldn't work and since I wanted a natural induction, he was going to make it rather uncomfortable. I went home and it seemed like things were working. I started cramping and having harder contractions that were more regular and I started bleeding. But Thursday came and went as did Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Dr. Williams kept calling to see if I was in labor but I really didn't have anything more to report. He told Mike that he would call early Monday morning after he had an idea of what the day was going to be like.

On Monday around 9 we still hadn't heard from him so Mike called to see if the induction was going to happen or not. At 10 Dr. Williams called and told me to come in at 11 to have my non-stress test and then we would go from there. So we went to the hospital and had the non-stress test. I was having contractions every five minutes, but again, it wasn't really moving things along. After the test Dr. Williams came to check me and I was already dilated to a five so he decided he could convince them to induce me even though there were too many inductions scheduled already. Because I tested positive for Group B Strep, was dilated to a 5, and was already having contractions five minutes apart, they agreed that sending me home might not be a good idea and started cleaning a room for me.

In the meantime Mike and I went to the cafeteria to get some lunch and then headed up to labor and delivery to wait until they were ready for us. I had told Mike that I was not going to try a natural labor once they hooked me up to pitocin and had resigned myself to just getting an epidural. The plan was to get me the first dose of antibiotics for the GBS and then two hours later start the pitocin if things still weren't doing anything more. After the first dose of antibiotics they let me get up and walk around and do whatever I wanted. They told me I could have a shower or use a birthing ball but the contractions were really nothing to complain about. The strip showed that I was having good contractions but I don't know if my body had just adjusted to them since I'd been having them that frequently for a few days or what, but they really were not that bad. I walked around with Mike and did some lunges and squats to try and get her to come down lower (she was very high still). I was able to get the contractions to come more frequently (about every three minutes) but they didn't feel more painful to me and they would slow down again when I would sit or lay down. It was very frustrating.

Finally, the doctor came in and told me they would give me the lowest dose of pitocin since I was still a five and wasn't doing much. I had experienced pitocin and expected to feel the same intensity I had felt in the past when I'd been hooked up to pitocin. However, the pitocin didn't seem to do much either. The contractions came a little closer together (about every four minutes) but the pain felt the same to me. I'm not saying they didn't hurt, just that they didn't hurt enough for me to even have to do anything to manage them. I would just stop talking or laughing and focus through the pain until it was gone.

I can't remember how long I was on the pitocin, but so far this process seemed like a long annoying wait where nothing was happening. We were put in a room around 2 in the afternoon, had the antibiotic and waiting two hours, and then had the pitocin. I don't know the timeline between those things but sometime after seven I told Mike that he should go get some dinner because I didn't really need his help in managing the pain and that at some point I would and I would hate to have him gone getting food at that point. While he was gone the doctor came in and said they were going to break my water in a few minutes and then he left. The nurse asked me if I was ok with them breaking my water with Mike gone and I said, "Sure, I don't think he'll care if he misses it." Instead of breaking my water right away though, I waited awhile (there was an emergency in the room next door and three other women in labor that night so it was a busy night for the nurses and the doctor). Mike came back and ate his meal before the doctor came back to break my water. This actually turned out to be a huge blessing--the fact that the doctor didn't break my water right away like he said he would.

Doctor Williams broke my water and then sat down in a chair to talk to Mike for a few minutes. They were laughing and talking and I was just listening when the first contraction came. I was amazed. I was totally unprepared, to be honest. The previous contractions were really just not that painful to me but this first contraction after breaking my water was terrible. After a few contractions Mike and the doctor looked at me and the doctor said, "You're awfully quiet over there." I think I made some comment about how surprised I was at how painful they were all the sudden. I started getting really hot and told Mike I needed him to get me some ice for my face and that I couldn't stay in bed any longer. That's when Doctor Williams said he was going to go and would be back in a few hours.

Mike helped me out of bed and to the bathroom and I was in so much pain and all I could say was, "I'm so hot. I'm just so hot." It's funny thinking about it now because this happens to me every time I go through transition--I get super, super hot and nauseated. But probably just ten minutes before I was only dilated to a five so I didn't believe I was already going through transition.

I tried sitting on the birthing ball but it was just so painful and sitting there felt awful but I was in so much pain that I couldn't move to actually get off the ball. Then some random nurse comes in and starts talking to me and telling me that she had to adjust the bands and that I should get up and try some other position and I just wanted to yell at her. I wanted to say, "Dude, back off. Stop touching me and leave me alone." I didn't say anything except something like I needed to throw up and I was really hot. So she left to get me something to throw up in and when she left the room I knelt down by the side of the bed and whispered to Mike that I couldn't handle this pain for a few more hours. I just assumed I was in so much pain because of the pitocin. The nurse came back in and gave me something to throw up in and finally left us alone, at which point I decided the only thing that would relieve me was to lay with my face next to the cold ground. The next contraction I had I felt this urge to push and I was really confused and said, "Uh, Mike, I feel a lot of pressure. I think I might need to push." Just then my original nurse came back in and was really worried to see me laying on the ground. Mike told her I said I needed to push and then everything got all busy and they helped me back into bed and she sent for the tech and checked me. I said to her, "Please tell me I'm not making this up," to which she said, "No, you're not. She's right there ready to come." She called for Doctor Williams and he came running in and they just told me to push when I felt I needed to (Doctor Williams told Mike he was planning on going back to his office to do some paper work for a few hours and was really surprised to be called back already).

It was awful. The only thing I liked about pushing was that my body knew when to do it. I didn't have to be coached or have my legs held up because they were weighted down by numbness. I also knew that this meant it was the end but it was really painful. I had heard people talk about a "ring of fire" and they weren't joking. It was intense.

I just remember calling for Mike (who was standing next to me the whole time telling me I was doing great). I kept saying, "Please just let her come out!" They kept telling me that she was already out and that I just had to push one more time and it took all my strength to push again. It really only took a few pushes and she was out. I am generally very quiet when I'm in labor. I just like to deal with my pain in my own quiet world. I like Mike to be by me but I don't usually make a lot of noise or talk a lot once the pain starts. So I was self conscious about being as vocal as I was but both Mike and the doctor told me I wasn't loud at all and Doctor Williams described it something along the lines of a quiet little voice or something. Mike said I was just straining. I felt like I wanted to scream and I thought I was doing that but they both say I wasn't so it must have been my imagination.

Mike got to cut the umbilical cord and my first thought when I saw the baby was, "How did that dark little thing come from me?" They let me hold the baby immediately and she was just so precious. Dr. Williams told me I didn't tear at all and didn't lose very much blood. He also said I was just a tiny bit swollen. The nurses helped me get up and go to the bathroom and take a shower within the first hour after delivery and besides a little burning down in my lower area, I felt good. I also felt like all the energy had been sucked out of me and I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Looking back at the way things happened, I realize that it was such a blessing it didn't happen the way it did with the boys. I'm so used to my water breaking and then heading to the hospital and having a few hours before I have the baby. I knew after Eli's fast birth that this one would be fast too but I had no idea how quickly things would happen after my water broke. From the time he broke my water to the time she was born it was only 56 minutes. I was so annoyed the previous few weeks and days leading up to her delivery. I just kept thinking that everything seemed as if she should be here already (I'd lost my mucus plug two weeks prior, I'd been having regular contractions, I was bleeding, cramping, had my membranes stripped, etc). All that needed to happen was for my water to break. Had that happened while I was at home, I probably would not have made it in time to the hospital. I definitely would not have had time to get the antibiotic for the GBS either so in retrospect, all the waiting was a good thing and I'm so happy it happened the way it did. It was a lot of waiting followed by an extremely intense hour of pain and now I have a beautiful little baby girl and the recovery this time around has been amazing. I feel a little more sore today after a week of walking and moving but on the whole, I feel like I didn't just have a baby a week ago. It's really been a blessing.


The Duke said...

Reading this caused me to re-live many of my deliveries. I don't know how we do it... It literally feels like we're about to die and then, suddenly, we are brushing shoulders with a bit of heaven as that baby arrives, pure and beautiful and the awfulness is replaced by peace, relief and intense joy. I'm glad you experienced it just the way you did.
I love you.

Rachel Allen said...

You are awesome! I'm glad recovery has been good and hope the next couple months are good for you too, especially with the move. Birth is such a miracle!

Jenny said...

I am so glad you had such a perfect delivery! You are amazing and I am in love with your little girl, I could sit and play with her hair all day! Please post lots and lots of pictures :-)

Michelle said...

I am glad the delivery went fast for you because much more of that would have been hard to do. I am amazed you did it all without drugs. I'm like you with all my deliveries, after my water is broken the babies come in just an hour and it's super instense. I'm glad she's healthy and that you are feeling great!

Rachael said...

SO cool! That sounds really similar to my experience with Angela (only it was within the hour of being given pitocin that she came, my water they broke about three hours prior). Probably the easiest delivery I've had. And Sarah's was also similar but without pitocin.
I'm glad things went well and WAY TO GO! You're very tough. I know what you mean about not liking to draw attention to yourself when you're in pain.
I felt I was yelling and making a big scene with a couple of mine, but knowing me and seeing videos, it was probably all overemphasized in my head...I'm happy your recovery is going well and hope it continues to do so. We'd like to come see you guys on Saturday or something. Can't believe you're leaving so soon.
Take care,