Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Birth Story

The Birth Story:
or, how we got from
to here
in 12 hours.

Warning: This is the post where I talk about such things as ruptured membranes, cervical dilation, and all those fluids.

Tuesday morning, Gabriel and I went to my 40 weeks doctors appointment with 6 days of labor already behind us and still only 1 cm of dilation to show for it.
Dr. Crownover, my OB, assured us that from the baby's standpoint whether we decided to help my labor progress more quickly through medical intervention (i.e.-pitocin) or if we just stuck it out and let nature take its meandering course, either option appeared safe.
Having been down this long road before with Liam, my greatest concern wasn't the pitocin-hard labor-epidural path, it was the increased risk for caeserean. He assured me that, assuming my health and the baby's continued to remain steady, he would not make a decision for a caeserean unless I opted for it. In other words, he wasn't going to put an allowable time frame on my labor process.
As soon as he said that, I asked how soon we could get things going at the hospital.
We got home from the appointment at 11:00 am and checked into the hospital by noon.
I was anxious for it all to be over with.
After filling out paper work, changing into a much-too-large gown, and enduring two attempts at my IV line, they had me going on the pitocin by 1:30 pm.
The first couple of hours, the pain of my contractions slowly increased. I shifted onto the birthing ball and it wasn't long until I felt a peculiar popping sensation, some dampness, and then I stood up and the gushing began. This was unbelievably exciting, not just because things were finally starting to happen, but because my body handled this part all on its own.
From that point on, things became increasingly painful quicker and quicker.
By 7 pm, the contractions were becoming excruciating.
The nurse checked me: 5 cm. This was a lot of progress in under 6 hours, and I was hurting bad. And have I mentioned before that I was tired?
One epidural, please.
Make that two.
The anesthesiologist hit my vertebrae on the first try. Yes, ouch. Ouch again, and again, while he tried to maneuver his way in. Then he just started over and it slid in without me even noticing it.
Within 10 minutes I felt so much better. So good, in fact, that I promptly fell asleep.
Over the next few hours, while my body labored away and I dozed off and on, I became
increasingly aware of the sensation of pressure during my contractions.
Even though my lower half was so numb I couldn't move my legs if my life depended on it, I could still feel the overwhelming urge to push when I reached 10 cm.
I pushed River out over the course of just a few contractions, and once he finally crowned, he came out all in one push. I didn't have a single rip.
He came out crying, covered in that white waxy vernix (Liam didn't have any of that on him), and a bit of meconium, too.
They placed him immediately on my belly, and it wasn't long until we fumbled our way through the first attempt at nursing. He is still figuring out the whole latching-on concept, but he is getting it.
They declared him healthy.
I declared it all a big relief.
And now we are home, I am no longer in endless labor, and I feel better than when we got to the hospital.
I know the next few weeks will be tough. The adjusting to life with a newborn and a toddler. But at least we are there. That's all I really wanted.

1 comment:

  1. congratulations!!
    for all the difficulty of your last week of pregnancy, it sounds like your recovery, at least, should be so much better:)
    happy birthday, river!