Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goober Pie's Birth Day Story

Goober Pie was due on July 4th, 2009.
Contractions started at 4am on Tuesday, June 16, 2009.  They were ten minutes apart for four hours.  I was trying to sleep and remember tossing and turning and being aware that I was in some sort of pain every ten minutes. Then, it dawned on me...I was having contractions! My husband was up early for work so I excitedly told him what was going on. I had an OB appointment that morning at 10am. He told me to go back to bed and try to get some rest and he'd see me at the OB's where we could check my progress. By 9am, the contractions stopped. Not altogether. I still had maybe one per hour. So I got up, showered, and went along to my OB appointment. My Dr. was out delivering a baby. We waited and waited to see if she was going to make it in, but she never did. So we ended up seeing one of her nurse fill-ins from the hospital. I told her about the contractions and she said she would do a pelvic exam to see if I had made any progress.  I'd heard about this great trick to prevent you from feeling discomfort when they check you. I balled my fist up and put it under my hips. The nurse said that was a great idea. IT DIDN'T WORK. I experienced close to the WORST pain EVER IN MY LIFE when I got checked. I was crying, tears streaming down my face. I wanted to scream, but think I refrained. She said I was about 1 centimeter dilated and about 60% effaced. She explained the reason it hurt so bad was that the baby's head was still in front of my cervix, so she had to reach way far back into my vagina to even FIND my cervix. It was not something I wanted to repeat. The nurse told me that labor might have started but probably not and just to go home and when and if contractions started come to the hospital when they were 5-7 minutes apart.  
I was seriously bummed I hadn't gotten to see my OB. This was the second appointment in a row that she was delivering babies and I hadn't seen her. See, we loved my OB. She was the nicest, sweetest, most gentle lady. And she fully supported us in our desire to have a natural birth. She was perfect for us. 
So, back home I went with strict instructions from my husband to rest. HA. I went home. I did dishes. I ran the dishwasher. I did laundry. And I desperately searched the web and ordered a co-sleeper and other such things we didn't have and I had a feeling we were going to need.  Needless to say-I didn't rest. I was still having about a contraction an hour. Nothing major. Maybe two if I was lucky. I was in FULL nesting mode.
And then, like clock work, contractions started coming every 10 minutes at 5pm. We ate dinner. I don't even remember what we had. Something I had cooked in the crock pot... All I remember is eating through the contractions. We watched The Shield. All the while I was contracting every 10 minutes, breathing through them, trying my hardest to relax. We finally decided to go to bed. I think it was around 11pm. We had to get some sleep. I however, found it impossible to sleep as I was contracting every 10 minutes still. So I just contracted. Until around 2:30, when the contractions started getting more and more intense. I was having double peaking contractions, and they were coming around every 7-10 minutes. I woke my husband up and told him what was going on. I asked him to call our OB to see what she wanted us to do. I frantically ran around (if you can frantically run around while having intense contractions...) packing the hospital bag of the few last minute items. All the while having to stop, bend over something, and breathe through the ever intensifying contractions.  She told us to go ahead and go to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. So away we went.   
The nurse that was checking us in wasn't very pleasant, and when I told her I wasn't due until July 4th, two and a half weeks away, she asked if I was there to get them to stop my labor. I made it very clear that NO, we were NOT there to get my labor stopped. I was admitted and had one more vagina exam, which was just as painful, if not more, than my first one. After being there about for and a half hours, my OB came to see me and since I hadn't made much progress, and told me I could either stay at the hospital and my progress could be monitored, or I could go home. I chose to go home. We were all hungry, so my Mother-in-law stopped at McDonald's and got us breakfast. My Mom had been at the hospital with us during the middle of the night, and she decided to go home and get some rest. My husband had a meeting with his work that morning, so he left to go to it. My Mother-in-law stayed with me as I laid on the couch breathing through the contractions. She was timing them for me-and I was so thankful for that as I was trying to focus on breathing! My husband came home from his meeting and went straight to bed as he was tired from being up all night. I was seriously disappointed, I really wanted him to be there comforting me and helping me labor. I completely understood his desire and great need for sleep though. I decided I wanted to try and take a shower, but was in a position where I needed to be "monitored" since I was in labor. The warm water made the contractions so much more bearable. They made them come faster, too. Every three minutes. My Mother-in-law started freaking out and politely informed me that I needed to wrap up my shower and get out since my contractions were so close together. I grudgingly agreed. I liked the warm water.  It made the contractions bearable. But, I got out. Before my shower, my hair was straight. My makeup was done. After my shower, my hair was a mess because I had to get dressed and go straight back to the couch to labor. Oh well. When you've been in labor for over 24 hours you really don't care too much about how perfect your hair is. With the contractions coming closer together, I finally lost my mucus plug. We decided it was then time to head to the hospital, since my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. I was already having doubts about if I would be able to continue along without an epidural. My husband and I had attended natural birthing classes, the Bradley method, to be exact. We had a birth plan. We wanted a natural birth. If we needed a c section or epidural we decided we would get one. But I was determined not to have an epidural! My husband spoke very reassuring words to me on the way to the hospital. He was very comforting. He also hit EVERY. BUMP. In. The. Road. Or so it seemed to the lady in labor: ME. (We laugh about it today.) Once we got to the hospital they admitted me and I was checked again. I was at a 5 and fully effaced! That gave me the strength to go own and know that I didn't need an epidural! I could have my natural birth! Slowly but surely my family started arriving at the hospital. My Ma, sister and Dad. When my Dad came in the room, he saw me, saw the "pain" I was in, and gave me a hug and kiss and quickly left. He couldn't stand to see his little girl in pain. Once they had a room for me, the nurse asked if I'd like to walk. I said yes, and very slowly, very painfully, walked to my L&D room. I had to stop several times on the way as walking greatly intensified my already intense contractions. I made finally made it! I remember my good friend Jess was there. She was due a mere three months after me and was interested in seeing how I was handling the pain since she wanted to have a natural birth as well.  She got to see me handle it. Ha ha. And get up and go to the bathroom while the contractions made that very painful. I didn't ever want to get off the toilet once I was on-but I did. I continued laboring, all day long. My birth team was my husband, Mother-in-law, Ma, and sister. I had intense back labor with every contraction. Try as he might, my dear husband could just not massage my back right when I was in labor. My Ma, having been in my position 20+ years ago, knew EXACTLY where to massage. So, with each contraction, she massaged. Bless her. My husband also held my hand with each contraction I had. He said he thought I was going to break his hand/arm, but he endured the pain for me! My L&D nurse was very impressed with how calmly I was handling my laboring pains not having an epidural. She herself was pregnant. I apparently impressed and inspired a lot of the pregnant L&D nurses to have a natural birth!
I labored from about 10am enduring contraction after contraction and breathing through them like I learned how to do in our Bradley Method birthing classes until delivery. I envisioned myself like a leaf floating down a calm river at times. I listened to my family talk. I labored in the bed, getting up to pee when I needed to. Turning over when I needed to. We waited and waited and waited for my water to break. I reached 9.5 cm in dilation and my water STILL hadn't broken. I was now getting the "need to poop" urge. My body was telling me I was ready to push. But, my OB wasn't there and my water still hadn't broken. So I continued laboring for about 4 hours. It was torture. By the time my OB closed her office across the street from the hospital and came to see me to deliver, I WAS READY. I was ready to have her break my water, I was ready to have my baby, I was SO hungry, I was ready to eat!!! Let's get this show on the road and have this baby!
I was so exhausted from a full 25 hours of laboring that I could not hold my own legs up in the traditional, delivering-on-the-hospital-bed birthing position. My Ma held one leg, my Mother-in-law held the other. My husband helped support my back and shoulders. And so I pushed. I had to learn how. They had to teach me. I barely crowned, but in the moment they saw the top of his head, it was said that he looked like he had blonde hair. Blonde hair? My husband and I both had dark hair, but my Ma is blonde, so, it is possible. My OB started getting her garb on a few minutes before I delivered saying she thought that once he came, he was going to come fast. I pushed for about 45 minutes until out he popped! Literally! I was so excited! I started sobbing. My Ma, MIL, and husband were all sobbing! Kirby Gifford Columbus, born Wednesday, June 17th at 6:42 pm weighing in at 6 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 in. long. He had sucked in some amniotic fluid and was aspirating and having trouble breathing. The nurses were working with him while I was delivering my placenta and being sewn up. I had tore to a third degree. Not the worst kind of tear. But close to it. My husband was quite traumatized seeing my tear and getting me stitched up. I was ok, though, and not in any pain.
After Kirby was cleaned up it was decided that he needed to go up to the NICU since he was breathing so fast. They let everyone come in and see him and me try to breastfeed. He wasn't interested in latching on. I remember the first time I held him. Love at first sight. His big, beautiful, dark blue eyes were staring up at me. He knew me. It was amazing. The rush of happiness, love, joy, and pure elation you experience is hard to put into words! I looked over him, his tiny hands and feet, all 10 fingers and toes there. He had dark hair. And then I stumbled across a body part that had been kicking me for the last few months. It was his knee. It was so cool to know what part of him I had been feeling the past few months!
Off to the NICU they took him, only to have him return a few minutes later! The moment they reached the NICU level, Kirby started breathing normally and he was able to return to us! I was also finally able to eat! I think I had a ham croissant sandwich and chips and I had OJ! OJ is great for replenishing sugars and other things you need after delivery. It's a Bradley Method tradition to have OJ after delivery.
He was whisked off to the nursery for a bath and testing while I was taken to my room. Everyone was hungry so we all had Whataburger. I decided I needed a HUGE chocolate shake and fries. It was so good!
Slowly everyone left, it being after 11pm and all.  Kirby was still in the nursery. He was there for FOREVER. Literally, too. We were apart for 5 hours. I was getting to the point of being frantic and wanting my baby. The adorable bundle I had just delivered. I wanted to get to know him. I wanted to breastfeed him again. Once he returned we settled in for the night. My husband went to sleep and I was determined to breastfeed my son! I had been going to La Leche League meetings and knew a lot about breastfeeding. But, putting that into practice was more difficult than I had anticipated. I also was dealing with flat nipples which made it hard for Kirby to latch on. The night nurse I had was fabulous! She came in and helped me figure out how to use a nipple shield, how to get a good latch. She was the reason I was successful at breastfeeding. I owe it all to her!! I stayed up and fed Kirby off and on all night while my husband peacefully slept through it all. We had a productive night full of cluster feedings and cuddles and lots of love and adoring looks shared between Mother and son.
We were in the hospital a total of 3 days because of the tear I had sustained but were finally released to come home on Saturday. It was so good to come home!

I am so thankful and blessed to have had a wonderful natural hospital birth experience. I had the perfect hospital birth. Everyone was so respectful and admiring of our choices. No one gave us grief over our decisions. It was a truly beautiful experience. Bringing a baby into the world is hard work. But it is beautiful. It's what women's bodies were designed and made to do!

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