Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lyric's Birth Story

This post contains "real" birth language and graphic images. If you are sensitive to this then don't read!

Lyric was my second pregnancy. I knew from the beginning it was pretty different than my first. I did have my regular nausea for the first 3 or 4 months but after that, I actually enjoyed it. I guess the only negative thing was that it had to be THE hottest summer in years! 

Because I was so naive my first time around, I knew I wanted to get a lot more information on labor and birth. This is how I came to find Pinkpeas Pregnancy and Parenting Care Center. If you are not familiar with them, please click on the link and check it out! I only have wonderful things to say about them! My husband and I took our Bradley Method class there under the instruction of Corrine Flatt, one of the founders and Midwives of Pinkpeas. It was very informative and just what I needed to be able to understand labor and delivery and what my body is doing throughout.

I also decided I wanted a midwife to deliver my baby but my husband (and partially myself) wasn't comfortable birthing outside of a hospital. So we agreed upon a midwife who delivers in the hospital. Charlene Hanna-Manfull with Women's Specialty Care was amazing! She was very attentive to my requests, answered any and all questions I had, and was very supportive of my birth plan and the things I did and did not want throughout my pregnancy and birth. 

As my due date approached, I didn't want to be "checked". Charlene was totally fine with that. I didn't want to know how "ripe" I was and I also didn't want any unnecessary germs introduced in the birth canal. I also told her I didn't want to know how big the baby might be. The less I knew, the more confident I could be that I could birth this baby naturally without any pain medication. (Which obviously was my plan)

I wasn't mad about Melody's birth, but I knew it wasn't all that it could have been if I had been more knowledgeable. So I did everything I could to educate myself and in doing that, I also was able to leave behind the "fear" of birth.
My due date was November 4th 2013. I had a feeling he wasn't going to come early like Melody did. All I kept telling myself was that I didn't want him to come on Halloween! I had to take my daughter trick-or-treating! Well Halloween day arrived and I was running around getting ready for that evening. We were meeting family at our Uncle's house and having a chili cooking competition while the kids trick-or-treated. I thought I was feeling kind of crampy that day but I was too busy to really worry about it. I also didn't want to focus on it if it wasn't true labor. At about 5:30 that evening we had everything loaded in the truck including Melody. I sat down to put my shoes on and felt a big pop and gush. 
Me: "SH**! AW MAN!!"
DH: "What?"
Me: sighing... "My water just broke"
DH: "Are you sure?"
Me: standing up as a half gallon of warm liquid flows down my leg and onto the floor.." uh, yes, I'm sure"

I was pissed! I had to take my daughter trick-or-treating! So after sitting on the toilet for 15 min while another half gallon came out, I busted out the newborn diapers and put one in my undies! I was going to have a Halloween with my daughter dammit! 

I could definitely feel the contractions now and more liquid flowed out every time I had one. My husband was concerned if we should go to the hospital but I knew that was not where I wanted to be. He was great and just went along with what I wanted to do. We went to our Uncle's house and I ate a little chili and drank some Gatorade. With every contraction I would just stop and breath through it. My mother in law ended up taking my daughter trick-or-treating while I went and laid down on the couch to save my energy. My husband's aunt Stacie was my doula and luckily she was already there. She was timing my contractions as they were coming. I sent Nathan back to our house to get my birth ball.

All the kids started coming back from trick-or-treating and it got kind of loud. I was running out of diapers. When Nathan got back we decided we would go to his mom's house since it was closer to the hospital and more quiet. 

Now, I love my husband, don't get me wrong, but by the time we got to his mom's house I was not very fond of him. He kept trying to talk to me during my contractions and it would ruin my relaxation. Then he would get mad because I wasn't responding. I have to thank Stacie for helping him understand why I was getting upset. She met us at his mom's house and helped me through my contractions for the next couple hours. I tried a few different positions but it felt the best sitting on the birth ball or just cross legged on the floor. Stacie put pressure on my lower back and that helped a lot. My contractions started coming about 2 minutes apart. At about 11:30pm I was feeling more and more pressure so we decided it was time to go to the hospital.

When we got there, they put me in triage for a few minutes to ask me some questions. I sat on my birth ball and breathed through the contractions. They still were bearable at this point as long as I stayed focused and relaxed. They admitted me and brought me back to my room. The nurse asked me when the last time I was checked. I said I hadn't been. So she asked if she could to see where we were starting at. I said that was fine. I had to lay down on the bed on my back and good Lord, that made my contractions 100 times more painful! 

It seemed like it was taking her a long time to check me and she was kind of rough. Then she mumbled something like "well I don't think I feel the head... but.. well.. hold on..." then she walked out. OK talk about discouraging! So now I'm just trying to tell myself she has no idea what she is talking about and that everything is fine. When she came back, Dr. Harter came in and they said they were going to do an ultrasound because they didn't think the baby was head down.

Sure enough the ultrasound showed his head was up by my rib cage and he had one foot down and the other crossed over it. Dr. Harter told me that normally he would try to do a breech delivery if either both legs were down or the butt was down, but because he wasn't a normal breech, a c section would be the safest option. I honestly didn't know what was happening, but the way he described it, made me feel like a c section was the only option for my baby to be born healthy and uninjured. I didn't ask if they could turn him. I didn't ask them really any questions. Yes I still go over this in my head every day.... what if what if what if... but I can't change what happened now, nor could I say what the outcome would have been if things went differently.

After I drank this nasty drink for nausea, they wheeled me back to the O.R. and gave me a spinal. I have to say, the anesthesiologist was wonderful. He explained everything that was going to happen calmly and thoroughly, which made me a little less anxious. My husband and doula were both allowed in the O.R. with me. While they were operating, I threw up about 3 times. Which is normal, but the anesthesiologist had the nausea medicine pumped up to its max. Its horrible throwing up normally but when you can't feel your stomach it is much much worse. I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest. It was hard to breath. 

Then, lifted up over the curtain was my baby, my beautiful little boy who I was so anxious to see,... until now. Now, I couldn't feel anything. Happiness, sadness, thankfulness, ... nothing. He was just a baby. I couldn't feel any emotions for this wonderful life that just came out of me. I couldn't even feel anger at myself for not feeling anything! He was just, there. They cleaned him up and Nathan was able to take him back to our room. Stacie stayed with me while they sewed me back up. I think I threw up one more time.

Lyric William was born at 1:00am November 1st 2013 via cesarean section. He weighed a whopping 8lbs 13oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. I don't remember much after they brought me back to my room. I think I nursed him and held him for a couple hours. My mom was there and she ended up holding him for a while so I could sleep.  

It took me weeks to feel the overwhelming love I knew I had for my baby. Breastfeeding helped a lot. I also had wonderful people to talk with from Pinkpeas who could empathize with me. My husband was so great and did everything he could to help me bond with my baby. 

We may or may not have more kids. It's not set in stone. We will wait awhile and see where we are in a couple years. Meanwhile, I am working on becoming a co-leader for our local ICAN (international cesarean awareness network) of southern nevada chapter. If you are interested in having a VBAC or just want to talk about a cesarean birth you have had, please look into this great resource! Our meetings are held at Pinkpeas on the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm.

Melody's Birth Story

This post contains "real" birth language. If you are sensitive to this then don't read it!

I think I am finally ready to tell miss Melody's birth story! I don't know why I haven't written this down yet but better late than never! It has been two years since she was born so the details are a little fuzzy now.

My pregnancy with Melody was pretty uncomfortable. I was working up until the last month of my pregnancy, which was a fairly labor intensive job. I had horrible nausea for most of my pregnancy with her as well.

I had an O.B. with her pregnancy and I did like him but being a first time mom, I felt he wasn't very informative. I read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" but nothing else. That was all I had to go on as far as birthing knowledge. I didn't think I needed a birth plan. I took the hospital's "birth class". I was just very uninformed of my choices and how to birth.

As it got closer to my due date (which was January 20th), I was getting more and more anxious. I didn't know what labor would feel like. How would I know when to go to the hospital? How painful would the contractions be?

On January 8th, a Sunday, at around 11:00pm I woke up to pee (for the 5th time!) and was having some cramping feelings. I had been slowly losing my mucous plug since the Friday before. So I stayed up to see if the contractions were coming in regular time intervals. They weren't extremely painful but I could definitely feel them. I ended up waking up my husband about a half hour later so he could help me time them. They were coming anywhere from 7 to 4 minutes apart. I figured we should go to the hospital "just to be safe". When we arrived at the hospital, they hooked me up to monitors to check the contractions and also checked my cervix. I was only a 2 and after about an hour of monitoring the contractions slowed and stopped. They sent me home.

The next day my doctor had me come in to be checked since I had gone to the hospital the night before. At this point I had started having the small contractions again but when I went in to see my doctor I was still only dilated to a 2. He scheduled an induction for Friday but didn't think I would last that long. I went home and decided to eat and just rest. The contractions were getting worse and worse but they weren't coming in regular time intervals. My husband spent hours just timing them with no consistency. I was in horrible pain and was so confused as to why this was so much more painful than I was expecting! Around 8pm I decided to get in the hot shower. The warm water on my lower back felt amazing! I didn't want to get out of the shower but the hot water ran out. My mother in law came over and she helped rub my back for a bit during some of the contractions. ( I didn't figure out until later I was having back labor!)

I decided we needed to go to the hospital again about 2am. But I was also not looking forward to the drive there and didn't want to be told to go home again being in that much pain. I actually don't remember much of the ride to the hospital. I think I had white knuckles when we arrived. I was trying to relax but the contractions were too intense. Now I know I keep saying how painful they were, but to put it in perspective, I had been meditating for a couple years and I COULD NOT relax! I thought I would have been at least a little prepared!

We walked up to the maternity ward (yes, walked!) and they hooked me up again. Mind you my contractions still weren't regular. When they checked I was still at a 2 but they decided to admit me. This is where things are a little foggy. I remember being in my room and having to go to the bathroom. While I was in there I had a few contractions and then my bloody show. After that I was at a 4. The anesthesiologist came in finally and gave me my epidural. It wasn't on a drip though, he had to come in every three hours to manually add more medicine. My mom, dad, mother in law, and husband were watching tv while I dozed in and out for a few hours.

Apparently I wasn't "progressing quickly enough" and was stuck at a 9 so they gave me some pitocin. A little bit after this the nurse came in and started stretching me out. (prepping me to push) My family left the room except my mom and husband. They had me start pushing but I wasn't feeling very much pressure. This was probably about 9am Tuesday morning the 10th. I was pushing and pushing and pushing and it really didn't feel like anything was happening. I was just feeling more and more pain since my epidural was almost worn off and the anesthesiologist went in to do a c-section and wouldn't be back. After two hours of this my doctor FINALLY came in. I pushed for a while longer and she wasn't moving out from under my pelvic bone. My doctor tried the suction but it kept popping off. So he said he could try the forceps.

Apparently the forceps aren't used very often these days because he asked if the medical students could come in to watch him. When you have been in labor for almost 36 hours and pushing for 2 hours, you could care less about 15 strangers looking at your baby being born! I just wanted her out! So after 2 episiotomies, Melody Page was born via forceps. It was 11:07am January 10th, 2012. She was a completely healthy 6lb 9oz and 19 1/2 inches long.

She came out face to the side which I guess is why she was stuck under my pelvic bone. Luckily throughout the whole time pushing her heart rate was beautiful. Otherwise I'm sure more intervention may have been necessary.

She was so beautiful! I was so in love with her right away! It's so cliche but it really is an indescribably feeling of overwhelming love.