Monday, May 21, 2012

He's here!

Elliott Jay Beach was born 5/13/12 at 9:16pm at 7lbs, 3oz and 20.5 inches long. Our birth story is unusual but then, even though birth is normal, EVERY birth story is unique.


Mother's Day was a long day for us. We had lunch with MY mom at the restaurant where my brother works. Then it was home for DD and mommy to nap. Then we were off to my MIL's for a Mother's Day dinner. It was also my SIL's birthday AND first Mother's Day so we had cake and gifts. We left around 7:20pm and we were pretty beat.

At around 8:15pm, I was sitting beside Lydia, reading to her before bed when I felt a contraction come on. I asked DH to help me up so I could get through it standing. Let me say, also, that we have already had a few false alarm days where I could have contractions for hours that would just stop, so I wasn't too worried. I kissed Lydia goodnight and went to the bathroom to "wait out" the contractions.

The contractions continued to come on pretty regularly. DH called my dad to put him on standby. He lives very close by and he could come to the house to stay with Lydia while we went to the hospital, if needed. I was hesitant to have him come because we had had several "false alarms" already and my water had not yet broke and I had no bloody show. I truly wasn't sure if this was really labor not and didn't want to be disappointed again. I went downstairs to walk around the first floor. The contractions continued to grow stronger, so I told Jeff to have my dad come over and then call the midwife.

*NOTE: My water never did break and my baby was born with membranes intact. It is known as a caul birth and is pretty rare. Why I am mentioning this now is because I wanted to say that I am glad that I listened to my instincts and not waited for my water to break. I remember that the man DH spoke to at the call center for my midwife's office was hesitant about advising us to go to the hospital because I wasn't showing more of the "traditional" signs of labor like water breaking and/or bloody show. Lesson learned: Listen to your body!

By the time my dad arrived, I was pretty debilitated by each contraction so I knew something serious was happening. My poor dad, I could tell he wanted to play it cool so as not to upset me but also comfort me because I am his daughter! After a contraction, I hauled off as fast as I could to the car. Jeff, luckily, had it all packed up.

The ride to the hospital was insane. We only live about 10 minutes away, thankfully, but he still insisted on driving like we were in  a NASCAR race. It made it really hard to center and breathe through the contractions while gripping the seat for dear life.

When we made it to the hospital, I was really starting to get concerned. I just could not seem to get my bearings in this labor. Labor and delivery is like a triathlon, with distinct parts that you need to come prepared to tackle in different ways. It felt like someone dropped me off in the middle of a triathlon but I couldn't figure out if it was time for me to swim, run, or bike. I started to think "Lydia's labor was not this hard. I was not in this much pain. I don't think I can do this!" I was starting to fall apart and get upset.

We made it to the hospital door and a terrified security guard raced to me with a wheelchair. I must have looked that bad. I was just trying to keep breathing, but I must have had a real ugly face on while doing it. I was wheeled up to triage and they had Jeff go to the admission desk to get paperwork. I was told to walk to one of the beds and put on a gown, tasks I was so afraid I would never be able to do with these contractions coming on so quickly and strong. Some nurse or somebody started asking me a million questions about when my contractions started and I couldn't answer her, all I could do was breathe and try to relax. To be honest, I wanted to punch her in the face.  When I told her I was Group B Strep positive, she started talking about an IV line and I told her "Not gonna happen!" I know that I also asked a nurse for a bedpan because "I really need to pee but I won't make it to the bathroom." She told me no.

Then I felt "it" and knew where I was.

The urge to push - I was starting second stage labor. I felt relieved at first. All that intensity had been because I was in transition phase. Now I knew where I was in the labor and I could help my baby along. Then I felt panic. I was still in triage on a gurney! Where the hell was my midwife? I told the nurse "I need to push!" She insisted on lying me back and giving me an internal exam. Her facial expression changed quickly. She looked very serious and started saying things that I couldn't hear and people started moving quickly. Jeff was back and they started rolling me to my room.  My body had began pushing and I had started to bear down a little because, quite frankly, it's too hard not to! It just feels better to push WITH your body!  I didn't tell anyone because I knew they would yell at me to stop.  Doctors always want you to deliver when THEY are ready, not you!  Then I felt the ring of fire. Oh, God.

We got to our room. They told me I would have to move from the gurney to the bed. I said "There's no way. Why can't I deliver here?" I just knew I'd never be able to get up and I had to keep pushing! Jeff coaxed and physically assisted me onto the bed.  My midwife finally arrived.  "Why didn't you call me?" She asked.  I came to find out that she had never been paged!  She just happened to be in the hospital, delivering another baby.  She took my face in her hands and said "Hey, Devin. You're okay. You've done this before. You can do it again."

I finally admitted "There's a head between my legs!" No one seemed to be reacting. DH piped up "Can we check?" They pulled the blanket away and I hear DH yell "There's a head!" (Later I asked him how much head there was and he answered "Enough to put a yarmulke on.") Everyone seemed to jump into action then.

My contractions were STRONG! They were much stronger than I ever remember them being for Lydia. I felt like my body was doing much more without me than it did the first time around. It's like it remembered what to do and didn't really need me to help. I don't know if that sounds odd.

I remember hearing some nurse or someone over my shoulder saying "Slow!" But honestly, there was no way I could slow down. I was just following my body and baby's lead. I felt the head come out after one push and then just one more had the rest of him out. It was that fast, truly. I laid my head back and sighed. Jeff said "Look at your baby!" I looked down and there he was. Jeff was handed scissors and he asked if we could leave him attached until it stopped pulsating but my midwife said "No, he needs oxygen." He was not crying and he was pretty purple looking. They took him away for a second and I heard him start to cry, thank God.

They gave me a shot of Pitocin in my leg to prevent the risk of bleeding out because he had come so quickly. I don't remember that happening with Lydia but my midwife said that it is very normal. I was not very happy with this, but it all happened so fast! Also, they gave me a shot right in the hoo-ha of anesthesia because I had a first degree tear they needed to sew up. Well, just like with Lydia, I felt every needle prick and thread pull. I whimpered the whole time. Jeff asked "Can't we do anything for the pain?' My midwife answered "We did, but it doesn't seem to be working!" Once again, the most painful part of my labor and delivery was being sewn up afterwards.

The nurses brought Elliott over to me and I just started moaning, "My baby, my baby, my baby..." His eyes were wide open and we just stared at each other. He was so perfect and I couldn't believe I was holding him! One whirlwind hour of labor and I had a baby. I won't say that a labor that quick is "lucky" or "better" because it was certainly not without complications, but that's how my baby boy came to me so I am grateful for it.

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