Making a short story long: Baby Gavin’s birth, 1/23/2013
When I say our story is quick, I know that there are many other, even quicker stories out there. Basically, labor lasted a total of 3 hrs and 45 minutes. Here are the details:
If you have been a follower on facebook you might already know that I didn’t want to be induced, at first. I was induced with both of my other children and just plain didn’t like it. I felt like it just rushed things along, like they just wanted to be done. Perhaps a tale of each birth will come at a later date. The first one I was 17 and completely disrespected as a mom because of my age so that may be an interesting read. But that is a post of its own. The bottom line is that I wanted to be more natural this time. That included no pitocin!
Leading up to the big day:
At my 36 week prenatal appointment I was already dilated 3-4 cm. So of course we went into full force “this is going to happen any day” mode. At my 37 week appointment I was not even checked for dilation. We figured it was going to happen soon enough so why bother.
So we walked…
and walked. You see, everyone is told that walking will help bring about labor, especially if you are already dilating. Since I was dilated 3-4 cm for 2 weeks now, we didn’t think we should go to far from home so we walked and shopped, parked far from the entrances to the places we went and visited the swap meet.
At my 38 week appointment I was more of a 4 cm than 3-4. Yup, all that walking for like half a cm!
39 week appointment: membranes stripped. This was not uncomfortable but did cause a good deal of spotting/mucous discahrge and some contractions. The contractions stopped after 2 days and nothing else happened
40 weeks: I called my doctor. I was not able to take care of my toddler, I couldn’t sleep, I was ready to be induced. So we scheduled an induction for 5 am Wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning, 5 am
We arrived at the hospital at 5 am! The last time I would be on time for anything, for a while. I was checked in to the hospital and given a gown to change into. I brought my own Birthing Gown, which they allowed me to wear after they made it clear that it would get dirty. (Which it didn’t :) )
After 3 attempts to get an IV placed in my dainty, “ginger” veins, I was ready to go! Just waiting for them to find an IV pump to get the pitocin going. I was blessed to have my husband and my 12 year old to keep me company.
7 am- 5 cm dilated. The Pitocin was started. I gave Amber one last chance to change her mind about witnessing the birth. Her words were “Then who would take the pictures? I’m staying”. I pretty much let her have free reign on the photo taking. I only gave her a few moments I really wanted her to capture. 1) random items in the delivery room. 2) the moment they put him on my chest, the “love at first sight” moment. and 3) the cord cutting. Little did I know Amber would get to cut the cord! I didn’t even think of that but the nurses did!
I had been having contractions so the pitocin started working rather quickly. They were up to 3 minutes apart in an hour and a half.
8:30 am- The doctor broke my water and I was still about 5 cm dilated. At this point I was feeling the contractions a little stronger and the nurse made one last effort to remind me that an epidural was still an option. To which I declined! I was still feeling fine and hated the epidural last time!
9:30 am- The contractions were pretty strong. Not too strong but the issue had become that they were so close together that I didn’t have time to breathe between them. I changed positions in the bed. I turned to my left side and Amber rubbed my lower back. After 3 contractions in this position I told Hubby to call Shari, our nurse (who was also my nurse with Charlotte), and tell her I was feeling pressure and I wanted to be checked! She came in and while laying on my side, she checked my cervix and said “Good job, mom. 8 cm. I’m going to call Dr. K.” She left the room and in that moment, my body decided it was time to push.
When the nurse returned I was really fighting the urge to push! My body was pushing even though I was not! Shari told me I needed to do short, fast, hard blows “like blowing out candles on a cake, one at a time”. I had been fine with the long, slow, deep breaths until that point. But now, those long, slow, deep breaths turned into groans. Those groans were moving the baby down. Those groans were causing my body to push involuntarily! I was breathing so fast that I was getting dizzy so I was given oxygen.
My doctor was still not there! This baby was coming, NOW! The nurse yelled into the hall to see if the on call doctor had left yet. He hadn’t. She asked hi to standby! They called my doctor, she was getting off the freeway, it would be 3 minutes… 3 MINUTES??? That was an eternity when my baby was ready, now!
My doctor arrived just in time. She told me “let me get dressed, just keep breathing!” Are you kidding? Let you get dressed? You better get down there and catch lady!
At this point I looked at the clock because I wanted to know how long I was pushing. 10:43 am. My doctor really wanted to try to delivery carefully, in such a manner that I wouldn’t tear. She would say “Push. Ok, stop. Little push. Ok, stop. Ok, push. Now stop.” Once his head was out she said “One last push for the shoulders!” They put him on my chest, I looked at his adorable face. I admired him. I breathed him in. I looked at the clock… 10:45.
I spent more time try NOT to push because the doctor wasn’t there than I did actually pushing!
Hubby had the first cut of the cord, separating the baby from me. Amber took photos. Then they clamped the cord and Amber got to cut it too! She also got the nurse to put his foot prints in his baby book when she did the birth certificate.
Hubby got to hold him while the doctor sewed up a small tear. Hubby says to me “He’s already hungry. He’s looking for a boob”. As soon as I was stitched up I started nursing. He was a natural! He latched on right away, unlike either of my other children. I had so many issues the first time.
On the way to my postpartum room, Shari said “I’m so proud, you did so good!” The nurses aren’t used to women giving birth without an epidural! I didn’t realize how common it is.