Beauty Through Imperfection is having a Birth Story LinkUp that looks like fun so I thought that I would join in. Since I didn’t start this blog until Little Man was somewhere around 4 month old I never thought to share his birth story. So I am going to share it now :)
I am still trying to figure out exactly where I should start. Where exactly does the birthing process begin? It is so tied in to the pregnancy. I guess the first thing to mention is that I struggled with high blood pressure (or gestational hypertension if you like medical jargon, I heard it often enough that I still remember it :)). At one point it was so high that my ob was considering medicating me. She had the nurses wait to take my blood pressure until I sat on the table for at least 10 minutes because she wanted to make sure that the resting rate was not too high (it was still high, but the resting rate was low enough that I didn’t need medicine). I was tested twice for preeclampsia.
The reason that that is important is because at my 37 week appt my blood pressure had spiked again. The dr had me testing for preeclampsia again (the first time had been somewhere around 25-30 weeks, it came back negative, but I was on couch rest for a while). For those of you who don’t know how the test for preeclampsia works it is a urine test. But it is not a quick simple pee in a cup test, it is a test were you actually have to collect every drop of urine for 24 hours (trust me this is a pain, if you are doing this test plan to stay home for 24 hours and make sure that they give you at least 2 jugs for the urine. The first time I was tested they only gave me one jug and I ran out of room at 3 in the morning so not knowing what to do I just dumped the rest, it turned out that they have to have every drop so I had to do the collection again this time they gave me 2 jugs).
In any case my blood pressure was high, there was preeclampsia suspected, the dr thought my baby might be big, and I was already 37 weeks along. She wanted to get the pre-e test in before we did anything so we set up to come in that Friday for another appt to get the results and do an ultrasound to see how big the baby was. She told us that if the test came back positive or the ultrasound showed a big baby there was a good chance that I would be induced that weekend.
Well I was doing the urine collection Thursday night with plans to drop it off before the appt and wait for the results. Since we knew that there was a chance we wouldn’t be going home after the appt we went ahead and finished up packing our bags on Thursday night (it was nice to have a little warning). Well I didn’t get a chance to finish the test or do the appt because my water broke at 5:45 Friday morning (I will never know if I had pre-e and I must admit I am still curious). I woke up right before feeling a pop and huge rush of fluid. It was very different from peeing because I had absolutely no control over the fluid pouring out of my body. There was no muscle that I could have used to try to stem the flow. I woke up Mr. Random and told him that my water broke and then made my way to the bathroom. Mr. Random called the hospital and they said that we should come in, there was no rush we could shower or whatever but come in as soon as we were ready (because the chance of infection goes up if you are not at the hospital after your water breaks).
So after gathering the few things we hadn’t already packed and calling my mom (who was going to be there helping us for the birth, Mr. Random was having a lot of stomach issues and we weren’t sure if he would be able to be there helping me the whole time) we headed to the hospital. (Oh, I have to tell you about a product I definitely recommend for child birth – depends, it was a life saver for traveling to the hospital without having liquid drip everywhere, and super great after coming home and dealing with the messiness after you give birth). We checked in at the desk and waited for a nurse to come and check the fluid to make sure it was my water and not urine. When she found out it was my water they went ahead and checked me into a room.
Mr. Random then spent a while bringing in all the stuff that we had packed (we went way overboard on packing, we are planning to scale back a bit this time). The dr checked me and found that my water had broken but I wasn’t in labor. She recommended that I be induced and if I wanted an epidural to get that. I had asked for a room with a tub because I thought it would be nice to labor for a while in the water so I got to go in the water for a little while before they started the pitocin.
After they started the pitocin labor started rapidly and got really really hard. By the time the anesthesiologist got there I didn’t care about the needle or the side effects or anything, I just wanted relief.
After the epidural the labor got very boring. I wasn’t really interested tv, books, or the computer. Mr. Random and my mom both encouraged me to nap while I could. I think I fell asleep out of sheer boredom. I never understood how women in labor could be posting on facebook, I assumed that they had should have had something better to do, but I was wrong :).
Several hours later the labor started getting intense again. I don’t think that the epidural was wearing off, I think that it didn’t go low enough. I have done some reading since and discovered that the epidural kinda flows along your body. I think that I spent too much time laying down and the epidural didn’t have a chance to flow down to my lower abdomen and legs. The dr and nurses were amazed at how much control I had over my legs even at the end. Because of that when I hit the transition and pushing stages of labor I could feel it and it hurt, a lot.
It was horrible, probably the worst hour of my life. At one point I turned to my mom and said “I think I’d like a c-section now”. It was too late for that of course (and of course I wouldn’t have really wanted it anyways :)) so I had to keep going. Apparently the pushing went a lot quicker than the nurses expected because they didn’t call the dr quick enough. They encouraged me to stop pushing and wait for the dr. I managed to hold off on pushing but it was horrible and definitely a mistake. By the time the dr got there I was in so much pain I couldn’t tell what was a contraction and when it ended. I had to have the nurses tell me when I was having a contraction and when I should push. It was horrible, horrible, horrible.
Little Man was born at 5:18pm. It was such a relief to have him out but I was still in pain. I had some tearing which required stitches and Little Man was whisked to the other side of the room to be stabilized. I am not sure what all they did over there because I was still dealing with myself having just given birth. I am not positive, and have no proof but I think that the time spent waiting for the dr might have hurt Little Man and I. This time I am not planning to let the nurses pressure me into waiting, if the dr doesn’t get there in time the nurses can deliver Little Man 2.
For the first couple of months after Little Man was born I couldn’t imagine being willing to go through that again ever, I didn’t know how anyone ever had a second child. After a couple months I got to the point where I thought I could do it again (not anytime soon after that, but sometime in the future). And obviously now I will be doing it again. But never in any of that process (including the birth) did I regret having gotten pregnant. Little Man is so worth it. I don’t enjoy the pregnancy or child birth, and if I could I would skip it, but since I can’t it is worth it. I wouldn’t trade Little Man for the world much less a pain free 9 months. I love him to pieces and can’t imagine life without him.