Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birth Story

The birth of Ella Annabelle....

For several weeks I had been having contractions, but I knew they were not the ones that I would be having during the throes of labor. I have never been in the throes of labor without the help of Mr. Pitocin, so I really wasn't sure of how regular, natural contractions were going to feel like. The Friday night before Ella was born, I experienced pretty strong contractions that were pretty intense in my back. We went to the hospital because, once again, I wasn't sure how mild natural birth contractions were and I wasn't going to fool around getting to the hospital. Once there, I found that I was about 3.75 cm dialated, which was disappointing. I was having regular contractions, but they weren't getting any stronger. The doctor on call was nice enough and she decided to strip my membranes (which had already been done by my midwife earlier in the week) and walk me. This was a terrible combination. I immediately started having severe cramping and still some intense contractions. The cramping was horrible and I wasn't able to walk through them. After an hour, I went back to be checked and there was no change. The doctor sent me home in this awful pain and told me to come back if the pain worsened or if my water broke. I was sure I would be back later on that night because my contractions were so strong. I was near tears because I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get back in time if my contractions were going to get worse. However, after we arrived home (and it was SOO good to be home for some reason), I decided to get into the bathtub and I started relaxing some and the contractions slowed. A little after midnight, they pretty much stopped. I realized then that the awful cramping/contractions was just from the membrane stripping. I was relieved that it wasn't labor pains and I would have to let them get 'worse' before going back to the hospital. Saturday and Sunday was pretty noneventful. I was sort of depressed on Saturday and on Sunday I had my family over for soup and fellowship. I was having some pretty strong contractions that night while my family was over. The next day was Labor Day and I woke up having contractions all day at regular intervals. They weren't strong, but they were regular. We went and celebrated at my Grandmother's, spending good time with my family. I pretty much ignored the contractions. At home, I rested for awhile, being lazy and all of the sudden I felt like I had to get up and do something! I was overwhelmed, so I made a list of things that needed doing, cut up them into strips, and would pull a chore out of the 'hat'. This made it fun for me and I started working like a madwoman. Dh took the kids to his moms for a little while and I continued working on my list, washing, folding, sweeping, cleaning the porch, cleaning the van, washing dishes, putting sheets on the bed, etc.... All the while, I was having contractions, regularly. I totally ignored them, focusing on my tasks. After Dh got home, we put the kids to bed and I determined to stay up and put up a few butterbeans and pears that were in the fridge. About 12:30, I finally decided to go to bed. I really didn't know how I would sleep because I was really contracting and this felt like labor. I slept until about 2:10 and finally got up. I got on Facebook for a few minutes and starting timing my contractions via a website I found. It was neat..had a start/stop button. My contractions were every 1-5 minutes. There was definitely a pattern. It was like, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and would start back over. I decided to wake Dh about 3, but then decided to wait until 4. I laid back down for a few minutes, but got back up to wait it out. Finally a little before 5, I decided I would wake Dh at 6 and we would head on over, no matter how I was feeling. I decided to put some clothes in the washing machine and maybe get into the tub until time to go. Contractions at this point were not unbearable, but I would have to stop walking when I was having one. Yes, getting into a hot bath sounded divine. I sat on the edge of the tub and reached down to turn on the water. Immediately I felt something pop inside me. It wasn't my bag of water, but something was different. I turned off the water and the pain from my contractions did a 180. I went into the bedroom, told Dh, "We need to go now", and started throwing on some clothes. I would have to stop doing anything with the contractions. He called his mom and we were in the car by 5:10. The clothes washer hadn't even made it to spin cycle. :) The ride over wasn't terrible, we averaged 80 mph and had the opportunity to pass the slow Joes. I can tell you just about every place I had a contraction. I had the tightest grip on the door handle--I'm sure you can see fingernail marks! When we got there, Dh went in to get a wheelchair (funny how the following Fri night I was not getting into one and this time I demanded one to be brought to the van) and a guy came out and wheeled me in (stopping when I had a contraction). I signed my name to one paper and a nurse wheeled me on up (seeing my urgency). Of course I had to get into my gown (working like a madwoman between contractions) and they hooked me up and checked my dialation. I was between 4 & 5 cm. I was pretty devastated because I knew I did not want to be in pain all the way to 10cm. I started asking for something for pain. The nurse said she would let Dr. S know and that I had to get at least a bag of fluid in before I could get an epidural. Ugh, this seemed like it would take forever, but by the time they wheeled me to the L & D room, put in my IV, asked me some questions,ugh... Oh, this is funny now, but I remember the no personality nurse asking me, in the middle of a contraction, when was my last bowel movement. I didn't say anything because I and she proceeded to ask me again in the same monotone way, when was your last bowel movement? I remember looking helplessly at my Dh, whose hand I am squeezing so unmercifully, and him looking like, "I don't know when it was" and then his looked changed to understanding, "Oh, yeah, you want me to tell her to please be quiet until this passes". :) Before I knew it (thanks to 'anticipating' contractions every 2 minutes), my fluid bag was out and also the antibiotics (GBS +) and immediately Dr. S came in to start the epi (he deserves a golden crown in Heaven!). It takes a while and thanks to my curvy spine, he had to reinsert a couple of times. Finally, the numbness enveloped my legs and ahhhhh, blessed relief. This was 7:30am. I had been in intense pain for 2.5 hours and I hadn't lost control! I was so proud of myself and so was Dh (last time I had asked him, in between my screams, to kill me). I will go ahead and say that I contribute my ability to make it through this time to my husband--he never left my side and allowed me to break his hand through each contraction--and the relaxing environment of the room. I had a great, great nurse that came on duty during shift change and the doctor and midwife were absolutely wonderful!! Nobody was panicky this time and everything was at my own pace.
Okay, now things are progressing, my mom is with me, my granny comes in, and my former pastor and his wife. We chat and chat and before long, it is time for them to check me. I am between 7 and 8 cm. Wow! I'm getting excited. The only bad thing I'm experiencing now is the shakes and itching (allergic to the Fentanyl? in the epi). I have a small bag of waters left (I had been leaking w/ each contraction) so my midwfe gently breaks the bag. Around 11:15, I am ready to begin pushing. My midwife gears up and asks me if there is anything special I would like to be done, like immediately have her placed on my chest, etc. I have never been asked what I wanted before!! I said yes, I did, and I also wanted us to wait until the cord stopped pulsing before cutting. No problem. We start pushing and there is noone saying, "Push, push, push, push, push" while I'm pushing. The nurse just calmly counts to 10 while I push. The head is out after just a few pushes and then she tells me to stop, the baby needs a little suctioning--she has already had a bm. There was no, "We've got to get this baby out NOW" deal like I had last time my baby had a bm while in utero. Everything was calm and relaxed. Next, the shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia), but again, there wasn't panic. We all worked together to get the shoulders out. After that, the baby slid out and simultaneously, I felt a huge gush and my stomach go flat. I don't think there is a word to relief like that. Oh, my epi had started to wear (off on the left side) about 15 minutes before pushing, so I did get to feel the actual exiting of the baby. While the nurse and MW cleaned up (they didn't anticipate such a gush of fluid), I got to hold my new baby. Wow! After the cord stopped pulsating, Dh cut it and the baby was taken to the warmer. The MW started to work on delivering the placenta. There was no tugging or pushing down on my stomach or anything to hurry it along. After it came out, I got to see it--which I had never been able to before--and that was amazing.
The baby had to be taken out to be weighed and it took awhile to find out, but we knew she was another big un'. 9 lbs. 7.5oz and 22 & 1/4 inches long. The baby nurse was very slow and they kept her in the nursery wayy too long, one time for over 4 hours, but I think that was the only downside to my birth. After that evening, I had her in my room all the time.
The Lord's hand was all in my birth, from the timing (my MW had not been on call that wk end should I have delivered) , to the health of the baby, being with me through the pain (oh, there had been no anesthesiologist on call the Fr night I had gone in for false labor), and just all around, He was with us. The MW and nurses respected our decisions about no vaxxing and we never had any trouble with that. God was good. God is good.
We now have 4 children, how about that?


  1. I'm so happy for you!! I'm glad so many things worked out- isn't that just God? Congrats on a gorgeous baby girl who will fit perfectly into your already beautiful family.

  2. So glad it went better for you this time. I've been so tempted to call you and ask, "When was your last bowel movement?" in a nasal, monotone voice! LOL. Hilarious! I needed that.


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