Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome Maeve!! My birth story; Part 1

We are now a family of four :) Maeve Elizabeth joined us on January 4th, 2012, 4 days past her due date.

I had Braxton Hicks contractions pretty much my whole pregnancy; I started noticing them around 20 weeks.  I was very uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy, it was a lot worse than when I was pregnant with my son.  I had back pain, sciatic pain that made walking really hard, rib pain, etc.  I was trying so hard to cherish my pregnancy and not wish her out sooner than she was ready, but I was pretty miserable, lol.  At 35 1/2 weeks I took a trip to the hospital for frequent contractions; not painful, just more often than my midwife was happy with. I got a shot to stop the contractions because we needed at least a couple more weeks. I was back in a week later at 36 1/2 weeks for the same thing (more often than before), but since I was so close to full term they skipped the shot, but I was on bed rest for 4 days to get me to 37 weeks.

37 weeks came... and went.  Then we had Christmas, then my New Year's Eve due date came and went, and I was getting anxious.  I was already 4 cm dilated, so it was just a matter of getting the real thing going.  My last few appointments I had my midwife sweep my membranes in the hopes of jump starting labor, but she just wasn't ready to join us.

January 3rd, I started noticing that my contractions were different.  They were coming every 10-15 minutes, which wasn't new because that had been happening for weeks, but they felt different.  A bit more uncomfortable, just "off".  I told my husband that I thought something was starting to happen, but I wasn't going to get too excited.  Later that night (around 1 am on the 4th) I thought that it was definitely happening, but I needed rest, so I made myself sleep.  I didn't want to start labor on zero sleep!!  I had contractions throughout the night, but was able to rest.

The next morning, January 4th, I knew that it was happening.  I could feel the wave of the contractions as they got stronger, peaked, and then faded away; these definitely weren't Braxton Hicks.  I called my doula and she came over to hang out. I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible before heading in to the hospital. I did pretty well laboring at home, and was joking and talking in between contractions for most of the day.  I remember telling my doula that they were getting really painful, but I didn't think I was quite ready to go to the hospital because I felt like I was in control.  I was like, "it's starting to really suck, but I feel like I'm handling it, so I don't want to go in quite yet."  Then, like 5 minutes later, I said, "ok.  I think it's about time to go in now." lol.  I felt a switch go off and I was suddenly feeling overwhelmed.

Thank goodness, the hospital is only like 2 minutes away from my house.  I sat in the car with my knees on the floorboard of the passenger seat and my arms on the seat, facing the back of the car.  I had my pillow and sat on a bench right inside the hospital entrance while someone went to get my a wheelchair, and I started feeling really anxious. This was about 5:30 pm.  When we got upstairs they said they needed to get a 20 minute strip on the monitor to look at the baby and that they needed to do an internal exam.  I argued with them and made them call my midwife because there was no way I was going to lay in that bed for 20 minutes!  They called her and said that they needed to monitor the baby, but that I could stand or sway or sit on a ball if I needed to, so I agreed.  They did the internal exam, and I was at 8 cm and my bag of waters was very bulging.  I was so proud of myself for making it that far on my own.  I didn't have to get an IV, but I did get a hep lock in my arm just in case.

In the labor and delivery room I stood leaning on the bed swaying, I sat on a ball, I was on all fours on the bed, just trying to figure out what felt good.  It was getting really hard.  Things get kinda fuzzy right here, but I know I was having a hard time.  I started asking for drugs, even though I knew that it was too late and I was so close to being done.  I was so tired and thought that if I just got a nap I could finish.  Just give me some drugs, let me sleep, and I'd wake up and get her out.  Of course, it doesn't exactly work like that.  I had my husband, mom, and sister telling me I was doing great, and I kept telling them no.  I wasn't doing great, I wasn't handling it, she was never going to come out!  Transition sent my Bradley class training out the window, and once I was in that panic I couldn't seem to make it back.  I was totally the screaming lady and I'm sure I traumatized any other moms that happened to be in labor and delivery that night.  My husband was supportive and present, but couldn't get me relaxed.  My midwife was amazing and got in my face and refocused.

Then came the pushing.  Wow, that was intense.  And not very fun.  I ended up on all fours on the bed.  They set up a squatting bar for me, but once I got started I couldn't even think about switching positions. I pushed for less than 30 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.  I was getting frustrated and discouraged because I felt like I wasn't making progress.  Like I said, emotionally I wasn't doing too great at that point.  She was coming out sunny side up (explains all the back pain I had during labor, and the ring of fire they talk about is totally true), but thankfully she turned right before she came out.

There was meconium in my water, so the nurse informed me while I was pushing (I'm glad she gave me a heads up) that if she didn't come out screaming they would have to take the baby away once she came out to make sure she didn't aspirate anything.  Once her head was out, they had me stop for a little bit so my midwife could suction her nose and mouth.  Once the rest of her body came, she started screaming nice and loud, so I got to have her on my chest right away.  In my scramble to get up on the bed and flipped onto my back to hold her, I was tugging at the baby (still attached by her cord) and everyone was telling me to slow down, lol.  The sense of relief once she was out was so amazing.  And the exhaustion.  I was so happy and just wanted to fall asleep with my baby on my chest, but of course I had to stay awake.  I got to hold my amazing girl for a long time, and the cord wasn't cut or clamped until right before the placenta came out.  I got to hold her, snuggle her, and even latch her on before she left my chest.

I finally gave her up to be weighed, measured, and cleaned up while I got my stitches.  My midwife is amazing, but she is not a surgeon and was slow at stitching me up.  She apologized for her pace and I said, "I'd rather you be slow than sloppy so take your time," but I really just wanted my baby back.  My husband was the first one to hold her after me, then my sister took her.  While my midwife was still working I asked my sister to come stand by me.  I didn't need to hold my baby that second, but I wanted her next to me so I could look at her.  It turns out that I was bleeding a lot (the same thing happened when C was born), so they hooked up Pitocin and IV fluids to my arm to try and slow the bleeding and get everything under control.  The nurses constantly checking my uterus to make sure it was contracting and in the right position was so uncomfortable.  Not like labor, but not fun.  Once I was cleaned up a bit and repaired I got my baby back.

My beautiful, perfect, Maeve Elizabeth.
Born 1/4/2012 at 7:58 pm
9 lbs, 1 oz
21 1/4" long

First Picture
Bright Eyes

Going Home Outfit

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  1. She's so beautiful! Congratulations :)

  2. I'm so happy for you! She is gorgeous : )

  3. My sister is amazing!!! While she labored at home you could barely notice that she was uncomfortable during contractions. It was only in the last hour she was at home that we could see she was in pain.
    I am so proud of her!!! She was so strong at the hospital and made it so far before she told us over and over that she was done and felt like she couldn't do it anymore, but guess what she did and I am absolutely amazed by her attitude and strength during this delivery.


Thank you for reading!! I'd love to hear what you have to say.