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baby foo’s arrival – revisited

baby,birth,doula,midwife,photos 24 October 2010 | 1 Comment

Birth Date – January 12, 2009
Time – 11:59 pm
Weight – 8 lb 8 oz
Height – 21 inches

Finally completing this post with my birth story!

I’d so wanted to go into labor on my own and remain at home as long as possible, but I’d accepted that my labor would be induced. I’d had mild preeclampsia in the last trimester of my pregnancy and at 38 weeks my doctor finally recommended induction. That was on Monday. I begged her to let me have another week: We haven’t washed the crib bedding! We don’t have baby nail trimmers! My baby shower is on Sunday! My doctor was unmoved.

We checked in to the hospital on Thursday night, and they tried Cervidil (cervix ripener) to get things started. It wasn’t effective, by morning I was still only 1 cm, and they sent us home for the weekend. Disappointed, but I welcomed the precious extra days at home to prepare for the baby. (I got the nail trimmers!)

We checked into the hospital again on Sunday 7 pm and they gave me Cytotec to ripen my cervix. I was only about 1-2 cm dilated still, and still not having strong or regular contractions. My doula met us at the hospital and stayed to make sure I was okay with the Cytotec, which if I recall correctly, isn’t really a labor drug at all. It’s an anti-ulcer medication and its use in labor is somewhat controversial. But evidently, it works.

Monday 6 am, cervix ripened, they started the Pitocin drip and then I started having regular contractions. I was still very comfortable though. When my midwife showed up around 1 pm, I was about 3 cm. Then she broke my water which was the WORST of all labor interventions that I experienced. Not only was it uncomfortable and took for-EVER, but it triggered an intense emotional outpour that I hadn’t anticipated. I was suddenly so upset that my labor was all interventions so far, and my body hadn’t done anything on its own. My midwife was a great comfort to me then.

About 45 minutes after my water was broken, those contractions hit me like a freight train! An evil, violent freight train was running through my uterus! The contractions were long, constant and unrelenting. They adjusted the pitocin drip to slow them down, but too late as far as I was concerned. Can you call the anesthesiologist? Can I have my epidural? Have you called the anesthesiologist? Is he coming? How long will he be?

After the epidural (hearts, rainbows singing angels, etc) I was able to rest more and visit with my mom and aunt. My doula was also there now and I felt very supported by everyone. Contractions were still coming hard but I was most blissfully unaware. My midwife came back to check on me at 6 pm, and WHA–?? I was NINE CM!!! She said, I was easily 10 cm actually but she wanted to give me more time since the baby’s head wasn’t very low. So we agreed she would come back at 9 pm.

Around 7 or 8 pm, this is where it starts to get blurry for me, I started to feel–not pain–but a lot of pressure. The baby was definitely lower and wanted OUT. NOW. Somebody call my midwife! To hell with her dinner! Tell her I’m having a baby! I think she was there pretty quickly, but I was pretty withdrawn at this point, just concentrating on breathing. A very primal display–breathing, moaning, sighing. It really does help! And those classes seemed so silly…

So again, blurriness. But I started pushing at 9 pm. I quickly concluded that this was much harder than I had ever imagined it would be. My earlier pleas to my midwife for no more interventions gave way to some very matter-of-fact statements: Oh! I am not going to be able to do this! Someone’s going to need to help me! I’ve never done anything this hard! I should have gone to the gym more! My midwife met this with complete confidence and truth: You can do this. You’re the only one who can do this.

Labor and Delivery nurses, I love you and all of your bags of tricks. They don’t know you but they know what works. They just throw everything at you during labor and see what sticks. Here’s one they tried on me that night: (must be read aloud in an adorable Texas accent) Ok! Now, I want you to get mad! Think about something that makes you sooo mad, and push! Think about somebody that you just haaayte and get mad! But I am generally pretty easy going!

Blur blur etc. I pushed and pushed and pushed. Baby kept making his way out, and back in. Out, and in. Out… and in. He was later confirmed to be posterior, aka sunny side up which sounds much more cheerful than it is. It means he wasn’t ideally positioned for getting through the birth canal so I had to work harder to push. I felt like I was pushing for days, quite literally. When he was born (relief! more hearts, rainbows, angels) and I heard them say the time–23:59–I was shocked: You mean it’s still Monday!?

They put him on my belly and he was warm and lovely. Thank you for coming out of there! After a quick greeting, the pediatric nurses took him and I got a brief glimpse of his eyes and saw my hubby’s looking back at me. He has your eyes! I love him! I love you! I suddenly had a lot of love for everyone in that room. I was shivering and really thirsty. When my nurse offered me a cocktail, I wanted to kiss her. (But really too bad she meant a fruit juice cocktail.)

Time passed. I got a juice and a warm blanket. I watched from my bed as my husband held our baby boy in his arms. People were still doing things to me (placenta, stitches, blah blah blah) but I didn’t pay much attention to them. I asked my doula to go get my mom and aunt who were waiting in the lobby. My aunt shared his birthday, if only by one minute. Love, hugs, nursing, pictures. More juice.

I write this entry regrettably late–nearly two years after the momentous occasion–but with the added benefit of knowing everything that’s followed: breastfeeding challenges and successes, all of his developmental milestones, his first boo boo, his first ‘I love you, mama.’ All of it puts this first day in perspective: I worked hard to get you here. I will never stop working hard for you.

baby foo’s arrival!

baby,birth 17 January 2009 | Comments Off

Birth Date – January 12, 2009
Time – 11:59 pm
Weight – 8 lb 8 oz
Height  - 21 inches

38 weeks – an early debut

birth,nursery,pregnancy,third trimester 11 January 2009 | Comments Off

  1. Biggest news first… I am being induced tonight or tomorrow morning!  The doctor has some concerns about my blood pressure and now that I’m full term she says there’s no benefit to waiting any longer.  I went in on Thursday night to get things started but didn’t show enough progress so they wanted me to come back tonight instead.
  2. The baby’s nursery is finally ready!  (Just in time.)
  3. Acupuncture is awesome.  I’ve been going for the past two weeks to try and prepare my body for what it’s about to do. 

We’ll update from the hospital when we have time and news to share…