Saturday, March 27, 2010

Del's Birth Story-- long!

I thought I posted this the year Del was born but now I can't find her birth story. She's two today so it seemed appropriate to share (again?). It's a great story, worth repeating :)
I will work on her letter too but for now here's her birth:

Here are some quick stats first:
name: Del (Madeleine) Sarah
date: March 27, 2008
time: 1:36pm
weight: 9lbs 3 ¾oz
length: 20”
head: 37cm (significant because evidently this is 2cm larger than the average large baby's head!)

Wed. night (Mar. 19) I had a couple braxton hicks that felt harder than they had been throughout the pregnancy. I woke up a couple times that night but they weren't coming stronger or faster. On Thursday morning I had my regularly scheduled midwife appt. She offered to check me. I was 4cm, 0 station, and 75% effaced. I asked about effacement because with ds I checked into the hospital at 4cm and 100%. She said most woman don't efface completely after the first baby. So I could go anytime.
By Saturday (Mar. 22) I had severe tail bone pain and was having trouble finding a comfy position to do anything in. I called the midwife on call to explain and she said she thought the baby may have dropped more and that's why – not to worry.
On Tuesday (Mar 25) I decided to go see my midwife because I was SOOO uncomfortable. She checked me again. 5cm. Great. The midwife said I wasn't in active labor but I could have been with numbers like that – I was physically ready. So I started wondering if there was anything holding me back emotionally or whatever from having this baby. I couldn't think of anything.
Wednesday (Mar. 26) was the same- more miserable – ouchy tail bone.
That night I didn't sleep much, but I hadn't slept much at night for a week because of contractions, and assumed these would stop when it got light out like it had on previous nights. So I didn't wake dh – I wanted him to be well rested. We were prepared to UC and I wanted him to be super ready.

I had a regularly scheduled midwife appt that morning (Thurs. Mar. 27) and my mom was coming to hang out with ds. I called her around 6:30am and told her she should bring clothes for a couple nights... just in case. I went back to bed and rocked through another contraction. I felt dh get antsy/annoyed with me moving. When he woke up more he was on instant alert. He hadn't woken at all through the night—good to know, especially because I had gone in to settle ds a couple times in the night and was kind of annoyed the dh hadn't
Anyway, I moved and swayed through contractions. I called a friend (Kate/username:kahdib we had due date twins and she had had her baby about a week before), and told her I didn't want this baby anymore When I got off the phone I told dh that I assumed when we went to the appt they would send us to the hospital, and I wasn't sure I wanted to go. Dh suggested calling and canceling the appt and said I needed to decide if I wanted to go to the hospital or not. In the end I said I wanted to go. I called the midwife and waited for my mom to get to our house.
At the hospital the room with the jacuzzi (my main motivation for going to the hospital) was in use so we couldn't use it. The midwife said she'd check me if I wanted her to but she would prefer to do minimal checks. (She has a reputation for being low intervention.) I asked her to check and said I was prepared to only be 5cm still. I was 8cm and 100%! I was psyched. She said I could push anytime; I felt like it, and she got things ready. I asked why hadn't I felt transition yet when I was already 8cm. She said she doesn't read text books (I love my midwife) She was very concerned about invading our space so just said to call if we needed her but she didn't want to interrupt the flow. Unfortunately they still had to have a couple people come in and do the million questions they always ask laboring moms. A nurse came in and said she had to draw blood and then they would hook up my IV.
Me: why do I need an IV?
Her: uhhh, well, we'll just put a little catheter in just in case because we're drawing blood anyway.
Me: A hep lock? I don't want one- it'll bother me.
Her: I'll check with Mary (the midwife)
It wasn't mentioned again.
Next, a resident came in to have me sign a vaginal/c-section birth release thing:/
She said they were doing a study where they draw blood to see if there's any toxic metals in the blood.
Me: So, are you going to take it from the baby?
Her: We're not going to poke the baby. We just get the blood from the cord
Me: Okay, how are you going to do that when it's still attached? Do you stick a needle in the cord?
Her: (looking confused) Umm, we just can take the blood after it's clamped.
Me: Oh- it won't be clamped.
Her: (more confused look)
Me: the placenta is staying attached to the baby
Her: the placenta is staying attached?
(dh remembers that the conversation had lots more back-and-forth confusion than that)
Then she asked about hep B.
Me: Oh no, we're not going to do that.
Her: Okay- are you going to do any vaccines?
Me: No. (Start contraction)
Her: Can I ask why not? (is she serious??!)
Me: Ummm- we just think there are risks to getting vaccines and risks to getting whatever they are preventing and we'd prefer to take the “risk” of what the vaccines are preventing.
Her: Oh- okay (end contraction)

And then:
Her: Are you going to take anything for the pain?
Me: I'm 8cm- what are they going to do?
After she left, the midwife came in and asked if I would mind if some student nurses came to the birth. She was clear she wanted to give everyone a job – it wasn't helpful to have people standing around staring at a birthing woman. I agreed that they could come, and in walked two students and their professor...our former landlady. (She's very high strung- that's why we moved from her apartment when ds was 5 weeks old.) She recognized me, and was nice. Sort of. Then she directed the students to the monitor and explained that they would mostly be looking at the machine. *roll eyes* When they left the room I heard the landlady tell the students she couldn't be in the room with me—apparently for obvious reasons, thank goodness!—but the students could be.
Contractions had slowed down since arriving at the hospital, but I was still rocking through them. Underwear-less, I wanted to be on the side of the room where dh was (opposite the door) and didn't want to be in bed at all (apparently upsetting one of the doctors). When the midwife came in to see how we were doing I told her about the landlady and the silly doctor. She kind of rolls her eyes and said “we just have to educate them.” She evidently can't stand our ex-landlady either and tries really hard to not take it out on her students

I asked if I could eat something – I was starving (I'd only had about 6 edamame that morning for breakfast). The midwife said she wasn't worried about my pancreas and I could have whatever (!!!) I wanted. She also said she didn't think I ever had gd- I disagree but that's okay. So I ordered pizza, OJ, and a cookie, and was “allowed” to EAT during labor. It was fantastic and sooo yummy.
As I was standing/swaying/on my knees etc. on the far side of the bed, moving through contractions, Mary asked if one of the students could hang out with us to see what a natural birth was like. I didn't mind – I'm all about exposing people to normal births. I heard Mary tell her she should come and watch – that she wouldn't often get to see a woman on the floor rocking through contractions. I was doing everything right; my nurse and the student nurse were saying that they were amazed how well I was doing. The student nurse asked if I had taken birth classes (Bradley last time, hypnobabies this time). The nurse said I should teach a class. (Side note: In hindsight dh says my class would be: it's really easy in the beginning and then when you start pushing you just scream really loud... I don't know why the laboring part was so easy this time- maybe because I spent so much of it at home - I think the tools I learned to relax through hypnobabies helped too but I didn't listen to any of the cds once at the hospital- I didn't think I could be still and I wasn't confident about my “center switch”).
The student nurse hung out for an hour or so and was really nice. I ended up asking her to leave though because I was getting too chatty and the contractions were not coming.
Finally, I was getting sick of everything and asked Mary to check and maybe break my water. (With ds it was broken at 4cm and that really got things moving- this time I wanted to keep in in tact as long as possible- just to see what would happen). There was questionable leaking already so she said she'd check. I was 9cm (thankfully at the time I didn't really register that I had only progressed a cm in 4 hours). She said that there was a little bit of a bag left and offered to break it. I was more than happy to let her – I was done.
She said there was a little bit of a lip on the cervix but it wasn't stopping anything from happening. She asked me to push with the next contraction and said she would move the lip at the same time. We did that a couple times.
I was standing by the bed and sometimes lowering myself but not squatting.

Mary said there was some mec so she had an ob stand outside the door. In between my pushes, the midwife said she just wanted to orient me to the room – so she told me where everyone was standing and what their role in the birth was. (I thought is was so neat that she did that – I wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't done this, but I appreciated how respectful this was.) Everyone in the room had a job—the 2 nursing students, a nurse, and the resident—the nurse and one student were in front of me (I don't know what they were supposed to be doing), the other student stood behind me to watch, and the resident and Mary squatted behind me to support the perineum and catch the baby. I kept pushing and pushing but it seemed not to be doing anything. It was cool looking behind me and seeing the midwife – she was rubbing her hands together and getting all excited
Then she wanted me to push with the contractions. I told her I wanted to look at the monitor to make sure I was pushing at the *right* time. She said the monitor was silly and I knew better than it did so to push when I wanted. I didn't really want to... I told her I was done. (after the fact dh said he's not sure what he would have done at home if I refused to push – which is kind of what I was doing). The midwife really pushed (no pun intended) me to push. She *made* me squat and was pushing on a spot on my back telling me to push into her finger. She also had her finger inside to move things out of the way. She was really encouraging. I was screaming like a tribal woman or something.
(in between pushes). I was a little nervous that I was turning the students off of natural birth.
Me: I'm scaring everyone!
Everyone: No, no – you're doing great – no one is scared.
Me: The people in the hallway – I'm scaring them.
Everyone: No, you're not – you're doing exactly what you should do.
(I was envisioning a woman next door saying, “Uh, nurse...can I have that epidural now?”)

At one point I said: t-shirt off now – and that was the end of clothes. I was HOT. At times I felt some relief and would think the head was finally coming but it would just be the midwife's finger coming out. The midwife told the resident to be ready to catch the baby because she was going to support my perineum and really didn't want me to tear. When the baby's head FINALLY started coming, she told me to feel for it and that I should try to catch the baby.
I was saying: ring of fire – I feel the ring.
I had intended to try not to push but I was sooo DONE that I was pushing whenever I could. Last time I remember feeling weird about touching the baby's head – it was like touching your bits with a whole room of people watching. This time it was really motivating (I think partly because the baby was further down). The midwife encouraged me to keep holding her head and to grab her. At some point I let go though because I needed to brace myself on the edge of the bed again. Finally the baby came out and the midwife was yelling at the resident: let go – I'm talking to you, you, YOU – let go of the baby!
Then the midwife gave me the baby between my legs and guided me to turn around and sit down because she was worried that I was too weak to be standing. It was such a relief to get this person out. And lots of thoughts of not doing this again for a VERY long time. I sat in bed and the midwife said something about “he”.
Me: Oh – it's a boy?
Her: I don't know – check.
(someone else goes to check)
Her: Let Sarah check.
Me:... it's a girl – we made a girl!
I couldn't believe it. I wanted a boy because then ds would have a brother, but I really wanted a girl also because I'm a girl and I think girls are pretty cool. I searched the room for dh and found him standing at the foot of the bed, tucked out of the way from all the personnel in the room. He was all teary, but then I was back in the moment of holding our baby. I was kind of sad that there was so much physical distance between us, but there were so many people in the room, and he was trying to stay out of the way.
The midwife said I would need a stitch. I was near begging for a shot of something before she stitched. She insisted that it would be fine—one stitch—it tore a little where my 2nd degree tear from ds was. She put analgesic on it and it really wasn't bad at all when she stitched. She was feeling bad that I tore at all, but I didn't care. We got out the placenta and she was very protective of our plan to do a lotus birth.
Dh and I started discussing names (see this thread). I think Sadie was definitely out – she didn't look like a Sadie. She kind of looked like Lydia but neither of us loved that name. Finally we settled on Del (short for Madeleine Sarah). (I keep telling people when they ask that her name is “Del short for Madeleine” – I'm trying to just say “Del” when people ask). So we kept playing with the name Del and decided we just needed to commit.
They weighed her. When the midwife saw that she was 9.3 she didn't feel so bad about the tear
We wanted to go home asap. I wanted to call my mom and have her come asap, too. So dh went to call my mom. I asked if we needed to go to a postpartum room. They said we didn't if we were just going home.
They tested Del's sugar. It was 25 (which is low). She was already nursing so the midwife asked that they test again in ½ an hour. She was baffled by why it was low – she thought maybe the OJ that I had during labor. She said that if it wasn't over 40...well, over 35, she was going to call in a pediatric team because she didn't want to mess around. (some medical background: I was born with a condition called nesidioblastosis – my pancreas produced too much insulin, sort of like being the opposite of a diabetic. Evidently it's hereditary/chromosomal but no one else in my family has it so we weren't too worried – until Del's sugar was low.) A half hour later her sugar was 36. The midwife still wasn't too too happy so she asked us to stay the night. Naturally we were very okay with doing that given Del's sugar.
My mom came and brought ds. Noah was very into the baby. He was also very into mommy milk (see this thread). I let him nurse (him: yum!) but have since decided that I don't want to tandem. After an hour or so my mom and ds went home and would come back later.
When they tested Del's sugar again at 4:30pm it was 76. The midwife was happy to let her not be tested again until morning. I cleaned up in the bathroom a bit and then the nurse suggested we bathe Del and then move to a postpartum room. I had recently read this threadand told the nurse I'd like to only wash her hair – and I'd like to do it. Thankfully they were okay with that. I think it helped that Del's skin was clean. It was soo cool this time rubbing in vernix and feeling all her softness.
Finally around 5pm we moved to a postpartum room. Between birth and moving to the postpartum room Del had passed meconium 4 times! The nurse from the labor part (it's all on the same floor) said she wouldn't be our nurse anymore, but our nurse would come check on us soon.... At 7:15 I finally buzzed the nurses' station and asked when a nurse was going to check on us and said we'd like some dinner. A voice from the call button told us that Kathleen WAS our nurse and would be down shortly.
At 8 Kim (not Kathleen) came with a tray and explained that the cafeteria was closed – but here's a sandwich. Argh! I asked about getting a peri bottle (it had been left in the birth room). The peri bottle never came...
We ate, got all settled, and went to sleep around 9pm. Dh was exhausted – but felt bad for being so tired when he wasn't up with me the night before.

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