Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Birth story part 2

Part 1 here...

We were let into the labor and delivery unit, and sat in the front hallway for a few minutes while they got things ready for us.  Then back to triage.  Again, waaaay more relaxed than with Timmy's labor, as by the time I got dressed in the hospital gown with him and up on the table I was ready to push.  This time, (actually I'm not sure it was better!) I got to answer a zillion questions and get hooked up to monitors.  Sat and 'relaxed' for a while as they got a good trace on Truffle and my contractions.  It was somewhat hard to do sitting up in the bed; better once I had Mark put the head of the bed down a bit.  My uterus was being too squished when I was more upright, very uncomfortable.

The on-call doc came in after about 15 min, and I asked if we should start the IV antibiotics for the GBS.  She agreed that would probably be a good idea, so that got started maybe 10-15 minutes later.  Contractions were somewhere between 1-3 minutes apart, and 30-50 sec long.

My sense of what happened in what order is a little spotty, but these are some of the things we discussed... Doc talked about checking my cervix; I asked if that might cause any issues given that my water had broken and I was GBS positive.  She said probably not as we were starting the antibiotics already.  But she didn't end up doing it in triage.  They confirmed again I was not planning on an epidural, we discussed that we didn't want the eye ointment or Hep B shot, no circumcision for Cameron.  Also that I had signed the forms 'consenting' to a vaginal birth and a VBAC.  Funny that you have to consent to those :)

After what seemed forever, we finally moved down to the delivery room.  They asked if I was okay to walk, and I figured, "why not?".  So I did.  I think I had to stop walking with the contractions, but was still getting through them fine, just closing my eyes and releasing as much tension as I could.

In the delivery room, I got hooked up to monitors again, and then repositioned when the nurse realized how I was going to lie down (in the position recommended by the Bradley method - on my right side, left leg bent and supported by a pillow, left arm supported by a pillow, and right arm behind me.  She asked if that was how I slept and I said yes - didn't really want to get into it.)  Somehow I remember it feeling much more comfortable when I did it at home when I was in labor with Timmy, on our waterbed :)  Still able to relax through the contractions fairly well.

More people came in to talk to me - the anesthesiologist, who said that they fully supported a natural birth, but she wanted to get consent for other forms of anesthesia just in case, so I had to sign a form for an epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia, depending on what might happen.  I was rather amused, they kept talking to me and I would have to say, "hold on" while I was having a contraction.  (Timing them on my phone all along, it was actually a nice thing to have to focus on).

The on-call doc came back, and said they didn't need to check my cervix right away because they would use the 1cm I was dilated at my morning doctor's appointment as my baseline.  She was also talking about how often when someone's water breaks labor doesn't really get started so they might need to use pitocin to get things going.  And they would check me in a few hours and see how I was progressing, and maybe if I wasn't too far along they would give me some pitocin.  I didn't bother to say at that point that I'd rather not, I figured we could cross that bridge if we got to it.  I found it very amusing that she was telling me I wasn't in labor when my contractions were about a minute and a half between, and 40-60 sec long.  I think this was maybe around 3am, so about an hour after we had arrived.

Finally, everyone just left me alone, and I was lying on the bed, doing my best to keep relaxed through each contraction.  At about 3:20am I really had to pee, so got up and went to the bathroom.  I stopped timing for about 25 minutes at this point, which included going to the bathroom and having them put the cordless monitors on me.  I guess so I could move around, although I wasn't really able to do much of that.  During each contraction I was leaning over with my hands on the bed and relaxing my stomach as much as I could.  I don't think it actually took 25 minutes for all that, I think I just got so wrapped up in the contractions I forgot to start timing them again.

When I did start again around 3:45, the contractions were 1:00-1:20 long, still with about 1:30 in between.  I found at this point that I was struggling to get through them without tensing up, so I told Mark that one thing I had wanted to do but never got around to was downloading the Enya song I really like, and asked him to do that for me.  I had been singing it to myself in my head, but thought that having it to really listen to might help me focus on something else.  Of course Mark had never used itunes before, so he was trying to figure it out on the fly. After a few minutes he got it, and then read through the list of Enya songs that came up to see if I knew which one it was.  I didn't know the name off the top of my head, but when he got to it, ("Only Time"), I said "yeah, that's it". I actually did think about getting an epi at this point because I wasn't sure how much longer I could make it if the contractions were going to be this intense.  (for those versed in Bradley, classic transition thinking! and I guess that only lasted about ten minutes, not bad)

When he got to the point though of actually purchasing the song, I told him to hold off, because I wasn't sure, but my last few contractions had felt like I needed to push.  I was a bit taken aback, not really sure why - but I just hadn't felt like I was there yet.  At this point, the last few contractions I timed were 1:10-1:30 long, with about a minute in between.

I told Mark I thought I might need to push.  I guess the nurse heard and called the doctors, because people started filing in within a minute or two.  I felt like I needed to pee again, so got up to do that right after the last contraction I timed which ended at 3:58am.  It was clear when I got to the toilet that yeah, I needed to push.  I peed, and said I needed to poop as well, but they told me not to.  I guess they didn't want me having the baby on the toilet.  *grin*.  I did try once to go, but don't think I managed.  When I got back to the bed, they checked my cervix.  They said I was only 7cm, 100% effaced, and 0 station.  I heard Mark asking what that meant, and they said that the baby is right there ready to come out.  Fortunately they didn't try and make me wait, but said I could go ahead and push.  (Which I was somewhat surprised at!)

So I did.  When Timmy was born, my pushing contractions were right on top of one another so I felt like I barely had time to take a breath in between, so I had purposely read up in the Bradley book on what they recommend for pushing.  You're 'supposed' to take a deep breath when the contraction starts, let it out, take a second, let that out, and then push, so that you're working with the strongest part of the contraction.  I actually was able to do that this time - and apparently it was rather effective, as he popped out with the third contraction (I would say two strong pushes with each contraction).  Mark and the nurses were telling me on the third one that he was almost there which was a big help, as I was able to use that as motivation to keep on pushing.  That last one hurt!  He was born at 4:10, with about five minutes of pushing.  wow.

I definitely pooped with the first pushing contraction, but it was a non-issue (I certainly wasn't going to do anything differently!), they just wiped it right up and put something down there to cover that area, probably to try and keep things somewhat sterile.

When Cameron popped out, what a feeling.  After the head and shoulders, the rest of him just slipped right out.  I asked if we could wait on clamping the cord, but it was already done - it was wrapped around his neck so they needed to get it off ASAP.  His apgars were 8 and 9, and then they brought him right over to me.  I was a bit shaky, I guess from the intensity of the last few minutes of work!

I had a first degree tear, but the docs were happy to wait until I was ready to stitch me up. They also waited until I felt ready to deliver the placenta, also different from Timmy where they pulled to get it out ASAP because I was bleeding more than I was supposed to.  Yet another part of the labor that was more relaxed this time around.  That was interesting, the contraction wasn't nearly as intense as they had been for a while, but it was also a strong sense that I *needed* to push.  So after the placenta, they did the stitching, I think they said about six stitches in my perineal area, where the old scar was.  Once again, the lidocaine shots were more painful than the labor, or maybe it's just that they were a sharp kind of pain versus the intensity of the contractions.  I felt like the stitching was way less uncomfortable this time though.

And then we were done, and I got to hold and snuggle my new, perfect little boy.