Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buddy's Birth Story - Part 2

The contractions started coming closer together as the night wore on. They were 7-8 minutes apart by 2 am Sunday July 24. I tried to sleep in between each one and was fairly successful using my Hypnobirthing techniques. By 8 am my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart so I called my mom. I asked her to leave soon so she would make it in time for the birth. She lives just over 3 hours away so I was hoping I would make it that long. Little did I know at the time, that wouldn't be a problem. I called my older sister just after that and convinced her to start driving as well, also from 3 hours away after dropping off the kids for whom she was the nanny for the weekend. My contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart when my mom, dad, older sister and younger sister arrived about 4 hours later.

I started to get a little nauseous but wanted to keep up my strength so I snacked on Cheerios and water as much as I could stomach. I brought my yoga/birthing ball into the living room to help ease the contractions. I didn't find it very helpful. I walked around, a lot. My sisters walked me around the block. I felt pretty silly stopping every so often to have a contraction outside on a sunny Sunday. They were encouraging and worked as my stabilizers as I held onto them and breathed through each contraction.

My older sister diligently wrote down the time and length of every contraction. They seemed to be getting a little closer, though they never got very intense. I called my midwife, she told me to stay at home for a little while longer. She couldn't hear me screaming so I must not be close yet. After hours and hours of slight progress, the fear of having an unplanned home birth crept in. Both my mother and mother-in-law (over the phone to The Hubs) made me feel like this baby was coming any minute. I let my fear get to me and told everyone it was time to head to the hospital. It was a 25-30 minute drive, depending on lights and traffic, so I didn't want to be stuck at home or in the car if the baby decided to make a sudden appearance. My mom folded a towel on my seat, just in case, and The Hubs tried his best to avoid the copious number of potholes on the way there.

Once we arrived at the hospital, we had to figure out the expecting mother parking and valet service. Lucky for us, it was the front desk guy’s first day. He had no idea what was going on. Finally making our way toward the maternity ward, the elevators were busy. I climbed the 3 flights of stairs and got a nice welcome from the reception desk staff.

During my pregnancy I wanted to meet all 8 midwives in the practice because I would get whoever was on duty when I came in. I successfully met 6 of them; another one didn't take regular patients and I had to cancel my appointment for something for the other. Turns out, the first midwife on duty when I got there was one of the ones I hadn't met.

I checked in around 6 pm. They gave me a room, a hospital gown and then I got checked out (only 4 cm) and walked.

And walked…

And walked…

Then my older sister suggested plies and lunges. So we lunged and plie-ed the maternity ward hallway for hours. We heard at least 2 other babies being born. My mom, sister and The Hubs took turns walking the halls with me. My sister found the popsicles, which were really gross and artificial. But thank you sis for trying.

Then I walked…

And walked…

My sister fell asleep in the pull-out chair. I think my mom dosed off in one of the other chairs. So did The Hubs at various times. They helped me hold onto the railing that lined the walls during each contraction. During the more intense ones my mom rubbed my back. And then I walked.

Every so often the nurse or midwife would come in and check me. Not much was happening and my contractions were slowing down. So much for walking making things progress!

The anesthesiologist came in and said he wanted to meet me. My sister told him, in her very stern, authoritative, but polite voice, that we don’t need him and led him out of my room. He seemed taken aback so I guess he doesn't get many women who want natural birth! I remember being asked a couple of times about getting an epidural, but my sister always took care of the more forceful responses. That is why I wanted her there. She could put into words what I could not and people listen to her. Another reason I am so happy she was there was because she was my voice for everything. I am a quiet person in nearly everything I do. Turns out, I’m also quiet while in the process of giving birth. During every contraction I pulled my thoughts inward, thinking about the baby that would soon enter the world, focusing a lot on my breathing, trying the techniques where I focused on counting and peaceful images. With my focus also came utter silence. I closed my eyes and blocked out my surroundings. I did such a good job that the nurses and midwife would be talking to me, a contraction would come on and they wouldn't even notice. My sister had to keep telling them to wait because I was having one.

So as my birthing “staff” took turns trying to get a little sleep throughout the night, I kept walking.

And walking…

I did manage to get a few minutes of sleep here and there between contractions, especially when they had me hooked up to the fetal monitor.

And then I walked…

And walked…

In fact, all night long, I walked, lunged and plie-ed. Happy Sunday! My first full day of labor.

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