Thursday, July 28, 2011

Judah's Birth Story: part three (the final installment! sort of)

So, there I was pushing away (in case you missed it- part one & two)...

Pushing. Screaming. Crying. Overheating. Pushing some more.

This goes on for some time (well, it felt like forever, but in reality wasn't actually that long).
I am minimally aware of my surroundings at this point. Every now and then I hear people telling me I'm doing a good job. Or to take deep breaths.

Then I hear the midwife saying that he's going to come out on the next push. Hallelujah! That is what I wanted to hear. What I didn't hear is that he HAD to come out on the next push because he heart rate was dropping. I must say, I'm pretty glad I didn't hear that part.

The next contraction comes and I PUSH and I feel a little release of pressure and then BLAM-O a big release of pressure. Judah was out. Next thing I now he is on my chest and I just cannot believe I now have a baby. What I missed in my daze was that I had an episiotomy at the last second (the first little release of pressure) because Judah was coming out with his hand up by his face (superman style, if you will). I also was unaware that when he first came out he was super purple and not moving/making noise. Bill was all too aware of all these things. It felt like forever to him from the time Judah came out to the time he took his first breath. That was a very scary time for Bill. When Judah started to wail, Bill started to cry and collapsed onto the floor (which was all gross with my blood and guts- according to him anyway). From that position on the floor he called his parents and tearfully told them Judah was here and it was all alright.

With Judah on my chest we let the cord pulse out before Bill cut it. I was surprised that his cut was made pretty far down. Someone else (the midwife? a nurse?) made the cut close to his body. I was able to hold Judah for a little while, but his body temperature was low so they had to take him away and put him under a heat light. Bill went with him (this all happened in the labor and delivery room, just a few feet from the foot of my bed). They also cleaned the meconium out of his orifices and did a preliminary cleaning of the rest of him (there was definitely still poo stuck in his hair, ears, fingers, whathaveyou).

While Judah was warming up and getting cleaned, they gave me a shot of pitocin, a drug used to induce labor in most cases. I was receiving it so that my contractions would keep going and I could get my placenta out quickly. It needed to come out asap, because I was bleeding quite a bit and my midwife wanted to stitch me up. Not only was I bleeding from the episiotomy, but I also tore. In several places. Inside and out. They gave me shots of local anesthesia to numb me up, but I gotta say, that shit still hurt. I definitely could feel her sewing me back together.

Judah was born at 5:37am after only 24 minutes of pushing. My blood pressure returned to normal as soon as delivery was over. It was a pretty quick and intense labor (well, I think so anyway). All in all, I spent about an hour at the Birthing Inn and an hour at the hospital (half of that in the freaking waiting room of the freaking ER). We stayed at the hospital until 11am the next day (it's hospital policy that you stay at least 24 hours).

Although things did not go according to our birth-plan, at least they went quickly. There was no time to debate our choices, or mourn that this wasn't what we had wanted. It all happened so fast that we just went with it. And, in the end, we did get what we wanted: Judah.

Oh, did I mention that when we first found out we were pregnant Bill and I talked about how cool it would be if Judah was born on the solstice? Looks like he was listening. Of course, later on in the game we definitely took back that wish and instead were hoping for before the due date rather than after. But our boy wasn't having it. He waited until the solstice and was born with the sun. I started pushing at 5:13, the exact time of the sunrise on the longest day of the year. Pretty crazy, no?

Hmmm, well I think that might be it. Except for pictures (no gross ones, I promise). Those will come another day. And, with that, I guess I finally have finished Judah's birth story (5 weeks and 2 days later).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Judah's Birth Story: part duex

When I left you I had been having bloody show all day Monday (part 1).

I was also having some contractions throughout the day, but that was pretty much par for the course. However, around 9pm I started having more and more contractions. They were a bit stronger than the ones I had been having previously, but still didn't feel distinct enough to time. Still, I was getting a bit excited and hopeful that it was really starting to happen. I had been in contact with my doula all day about what was going on. She encouraged me to try to get some sleep, because as the contractions intensified I would not be able to sleep... But, I was a bit too amped up to sleep (Bill was able to snooze for a bit). I tried to sleep, I really did, but I kept feeling contractions and they were just a bit too intense to really sleep through (and like I said- I was pretty amped up). 

Around 11 pm I completely gave up on sleep and decided to go downstairs and try to watch a movie. Bill went downstairs with me.  We got all set up for a movie, but it never happened. By that time the contractions were coming on stronger and we were timing them. At birth class they tell you how at first they are like 15 min apart, then 10, and on down, and then when they are 4 (or 5) minutes apart and lasting for a minute each it is time to go in. I never so much had that nice clear countdown. When we started timing them they were anywhere from 2 minutes to 6 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. They still weren't super duper intense as I was able to facebook and play Words with Friends on my ipod.  Still, we decided to call the midwives and check in. She advised us to wait until they were averaging a minute in length and then call her again. So we kept going.

By 2 am they were really starting to come on strong. And then I started barfing during contractions. So much fun! About that time they were averaging a minutes in durations, so Bill called back the midwife. It was 2:45 by that time. She said for us to meet her at the Birthing Inn at 3:30. Bill let my mom know we would be going soon and I let our doula know. We didn't quite get out of the house when we hoped, because I was too busy having contractions and barfing to get going. We ended up leaving the house a little past 3:30 and got to the Birthing inn about 3:45am.

I was checked as soon as we got there. I was at 5cm and 90% effaced. So I still had 5 more cm to go... The midwife also listened to Judah's heartbeat, which was right where it should be, and took my blood pressure, which was not where it should be. It was high. Which is definitely not normal for me. Throughout the pregnancy I maintained pretty low blood pressure. High blood pressure is something you get booted from the Birthing Inn for, because it can require medicine and whatnot that they don't have there. My midwife decided we would keep laboring (and barfing) at the Birthing Inn continue to monitor my blood pressure to see if it would go back down. It didn't. Which meant I had to transfer to St. Joe's, a local hospital. 
So we all piled back into our cars to drive to St. Joe's. It is only about a 10 minute drive, but that was the longest 10 minute drive I have ever experienced. It sucks balls to have contractions in the car. You can't really move around, you are just stuck there in your seat. It is lame. During the ride I talked to Bill about how I wanted to have some drugs when we got to St. Joe's. Our birth plan had been to be drug free, but dammmn it hurt. And I was envisioning that I still had a whole day ahead of me of these contractions. I didn't want an epidural, just something to take the edge off a bit. 

When we got to St. Joe's we went to the ER to check in (as we had been instucted by our midwife. She had sent over our info and said we would check in and they would send us right up). They did not. We checked in and they are asking us all these questions. Bill is trying to explain that we are from the Birthing Inn and they should have our info. But they are still asking all these gd questions. And I am leaning on the counter, barfing into my bucket, trying to recite my social security number. The check in ladies tell us the labor and delivery people are on their way. But they sure seemed to be taking their sweet ass time. I'm telling them that it hurts and are they absolutely sure they are on their way? They tell me they are and ask me if I think the baby is coming. I tell them I have no idea (since I've never had a baby before) but that it hurrrrrrts. After at least 15 minutes a nurse finally appears to wheel me up (labor and delivery is on the 14th floor). 

We get up to my labor and delivery room and they begin to hook me up to a machine to monitor my blood pressure and the fetal monitors (the belt kind) that measure Judah's heart rate and my contractions. At that point I have to pee (I had been doing a lot of my contractions on the toilet, because all that pressure just made me feel like I had to pee). So I go into the bathroom, pee, have another contraction and hear a *POP*. That pop would be my water breaking- pretty convenient that I was sitting on the toilet, eh? It turned out there was meconium in my water, which can mean the baby is in distress, but it can also be pretty common for babies that are late (Judah was 5 days late).  At that point they had me get onto the bed and checked me again. Boom! I was at 10 cm and fully dilated. It was go time! It was 5:13am, which happens to also be the exact time of the sunrise on the longest day of the year. Pretty cosmic, huh?

Anyway, I'm asking for drugs. But my midwife is telling me there is no time for drugs. I guess it is somewhat common to think you really do need those drugs while you are in transition (that time when you are fully ready to go, but not pushing yet- as in the entire time I was in the car and standing downstairs in the ER). It is a pretty intense time. But, yeah, as it turned out there was no time for drugs.  I  did not have hours and hours and hours of contractions to work through. I was ready. It was pushing time.

I was screaming and grunting and yelling about how it hurrrrrts. I kept asking if they could see his head yet, and they had to keep saying no. Sad panda. The midwife asked me if I wanted to her to position a mirror down there so I could watch. I did not. I just wanted to have my eyes closed. It just seemed so bright in that room. I couldn't handle all the light. I'm sure it was a totally normal amount, I was just really sensitive to it. I was also super hot. Whenever I had a contraction I started overheating. I had been having ice packs and cool wash clothes on me for hours. I was able to stay well hydrated despite all my barfing, so I did not have to be hooked up to an IV. So, there I am pushing away. Screaming. Crying. Pushing. The nurses, my mom, Bill, the midwife, and my doula are all offering words of encouragement but I don't really hear any of it. However, I did hear one thing. A nurse saying, "Okay, we are all ready for the cesarian!" I lose it. I say, "WHAT?!? I'm having a c-section?!?" My midwife reassures me that that is not for me. They couldn't cut that baby out of me if they wanted to- he was almost here. I guess that stupid nurse had not been in my room, but just talking super loudly right outside me door.

Coming soon: part three...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Judah's Birth Story: part 1

Judah's birth story is getting broken into parts, because if it didn't I would never get around to writing it. Even now, I am writing while Judah is nursing. Blogger has a setting where you can email a special address and it will be the post. So that what is I am trying today. Here's hoping it works. I'm typing this out with my thumb on my iPod- so if there are more errors than usual let's blame autocorrect. Also, since this post is an email that means no photos. Later, I swear.

Part one of the story will last as long as breastfeeding Judah does. Anyones guess how long that might be, we have already nursed over five and a half hours today and its only 8:15.

So anyway, on Monday, June 20th, things started to happen for reals. But, of course, I had no way of knowing it was for real since I been having pre-labor signs for over two weeks at that point. Still, I was hopeful. I started the day by having bloody show, which only increased during the day instead of dissipating like it had in the past. Bloody show can mean labor will start imminently or it could still be days away. So, I went through my day as usual. My mom and I ran a bunch of errands around town. Sadly, I never took a nap. Something I would come to regret later.

And... Judah is done. Which means so is this post.

Sent from my iPod

Part 2
Part 3