Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To anyone out there as of yet.....

I think I would like to start with asking YOU, dear reader, to post your birth story (stories?)!

I love me a great tale of how families came to be! They can be hospital births, vaginal, homebirths, c-sections... Also, feel free to include the GOOD, the bad and the UGLY! But what I really want to know is what are some GOOD memories you have of welcoming your precious one?


  1. I'm glad I wrote up my birth story shortly after getting out of the hospital; I just re-read it and am amazed that I had forgot a few details.

    My original plan was to have drug free delivery, but that didn't happen. I thought about what I was going to do during the whole ordeal and well...the following is what happened....

  2. "On Thursday the 10th of April, I met with my doctor at an appointment I really had wished to be able to have cancelled. During this visit, we learned that I still was only dilated about a fingertip, my cervix was posterior, and well it seemed as if baby was way too comfy inside her cozy home. So we decided that on Monday we were going to induce labor. I was to receive a phone call around 5:30-6 am to let me know when to arrive at the hospital. It would be a phone call I would never receive.
    On Friday the 11th, Mike and I decided to go out to dinner for one last outing as a childless couple. So off we went to eat at Blue C Sushi (good stuff even though I wasn't allowed to eat raw fish - not that I do anyway...icky). All day long it was getting a bit more painful to walk; I was really starting to notice how low the baby was getting. I was waddling more and moving even more slowly...and I didn't think that was even possible at that point. After having a fantabulous dinner (they actually had my favorite eel roll made...which is an oddity because every time we go there they never have any made.) we ventured over to Cold Stone. While I was eating whatever it was I ordered I felt a small contraction...no big deal since for the past few days I was finally starting to feel the Braxton-Hicks contractions.
    When we arrived home I went upstairs and got online just to check email. While I was sitting there my lower back began to hurt mildly every now and then. The only relief I had when it would start to ache was to stand up, but even then it really never went away. Before bed I had Mike us our back massager thing on my lower back, he heated a heating pad for me, and off to dreamland we went. Around 2 am Saturday morning, I woke to having sever back pain. And I began to notice that it wasn't just happening at random intervals...it was happening roughly every 10 minutes. So I started to time them to see if my suspicions were right. For the next hour I timed these lovely back pains and found they were indeed coming on every 7 to 13 minutes and lasting anywhere from 30 to 50 seconds. All I thought was hmm...that's odd. I thought contractions should be felt, you know, in the area of the Uterus and not the back. Either way I decided to go back to bed and try to get some sleep. Well...needless to say they pain was so great that I couldn't and I wanted to call the doctor on call and find out what exactly I could do to ease said pain.
    So around 3:30, I called and the operator, and instead of sending my info to the on call doctor she decided to transfer me to labor and delivery because I was definitely having contractions. So I talked to a nurse and she said that I could come in and they would check to see what if any kind of progress I was having, and decide what to do then. We get there and they do all their checks...I'm still only dilated a fingertip, and by the time we get there the contractions have slowed down and have no real set pattern to them. Since my back pain (i.e. - back labor) was so great they gave me a lovely shot of morphine to help ease it. Now the morphine would also slow down the contractions, maybe even stop them (no big deal because I wasn't even in the latent phase of labor at this point) and I would be pain free and be able to sleep for a few hours." ...continued...

  3. "We get home and I crashed on the couch. I slept until about 10 am, the contractions did slow down, the back pain still hurt, but they were so rare that I could sleep through it. As the day wore on and I slept off and on, the "contractions" (I'm going to go ahead and state that when ever I say contractions I'm referring to the period of time that my lower back, pelvic girdle would erupt in tremendous pain. I say this because I never once felt my uterus contract thanks to the pain in my back being so great.) Continued to get closer together and eventually wound up occurring every 5 minutes like clockwork and lasting about 40 to 50 seconds. So around midnight we were back at the hospital, they wanted to check my progress and see if anything had changed.
    Alas still a damn fingertip. The nurse who was working with me that night had had back labor with two of her children so she completely empathized with me. She however didn't think that another shot of morphine would help too much and talked to the doctor about possibly keeping me over night and inducing in the morning (Sunday). Needless to say I was back home Sunday morning with another shot of morphine in my bum (the other cheek this time). It didn't work nearly as well as the last one. I wasn't behaving like a stupid drunk when we got home, as I had been the previous night. The contractions did slow, but not nearly as much as they had the previous day.
    By 9-10ish pm Sunday night, the pain was so great that I was moaning, grunting, and well….at times I just wanted to be put out of my misery. To top it off they were coming on every 10 minutes (yeah a bit further apart) however they were lasting at least a minute a piece if not more so. Not to mention my back was sore the entire time now. One good thing of note that happened Sunday was that I passed my mucus plug and had a slight bloody show. So I called again and talked to the nurse who had helped me the night before and she said that there really wasn't anything they could do. I could come in if I wanted to, they could give me morphine, and that if I were to come in I wasn't leaving until I had baby with me. But first she gave me some things to try (soaking in a hot bath, massage, ice, heat), and said she didn't really think that it was 100% back labor. She believed a lot of my pain was most likely from my hips – thanks to all the issues I had with them during the pregnancy. So we tried all this stuff and I called her back like she wanted to let her know that it just wasn't working.
    By 1:30 I was admitted to the hospital. Come to find out I had dilated to 3cm. and was definitely in labor. She couldn't give me any morphine since they were inducing me in a few hours (not to mention it really wasn't working for me anymore). They did however hook me up to an IV and with the doctor on calls permission she was able to give me some analgesics (which only took the edge off the pain for about 2 hours with each dose.) which I was thankful for. Every time I had a contraction the nurse had Mike push as hard as he could into my lower back where it hurt the most to help with the back labor (which I now have lovely painful bruises from). Sometime back on Saturday I had decided that I was going to have an epidural because I had not really slept since Thursday night and I don't think I would have had any energy to push without at least some rest. So around 7-ish (time is really foggy at this point…all I know is that it was daylight) and after the doctor had checked and I was dilated to 4cm my hero, the anesthesiologist, arrived and gave me my epidural. I had one contractions right before he stuck me, and even though the nurse told me I'd feel about 6 more contractions before the drug took effect, I was fortunate enough to not feel another one again. Yay!!!" ...continued...

  4. "So I slept and slept. And about every hour a nurse would come in and help turn me over to the other side. When the doctor came in to check on my progress, which was only at 5 cm, she decided to break my bag of waters to help progress the labor. When I was checked again I was dilated to 9cm on one side and 7cm on the other, so they rolled me over again. About 2 hours pass and the doc checks me out once again and there was no change. So she starts talking to me about the possibility of having to do a C-section because of the amount of time I've been in labor, the possiblility of developing an infection, yadda, yadda, yadda, but she's going to wait a little bit longer and see how things progress the next time she comes in. Mike had been in the shower during this last check and came into the room just as they were leaving, so I had to the honor of telling him how things stood.
    Within 5 minutes of me telling him where things stood, a gaggle of nurses and the doctor all rush into my room to inform me that the baby is in distress (her heart rate dropped dangerously low twice since they had left the room earlier) and that it has to come out now. They threw some scrubs at Mike and told him to meet us there and they wheeled my bed down to the operating room. When they got to Alexandra they found that she had the cord wrapped around her next twice. She didn't make any noise when they first got her out…but within a minute or two she made the most beautiful cry I think I've ever heard. Mike was tearing up, I wanted to but couldn't….I had way too much adrenaline going through me at the time and my upper body was flopping around as if it were -50 degrees in that room.
    And that is pretty much my labor/delivery story in a nutshell. Yes, in a nutshell. There is so much more that I could write about, but this isn't the time or place for me to do so. We stayed in the hospital for 3 nights and a lot of other things happened…wonderful things. For instance – a lactation nurse came into my room as soon as I was wheeled back in (about 30 minutes after Alex was born) and helped me get her to latch on. And I must say with just a few minor troubles now and then Alex and I are well on our way of being breastfeeding pros. And well…we (Alexandra and myself) are going to be in a commercial for the hospital that will air on KOMO sometime in the near future."

  5. Awesome, Christina!! I started writing my down at like 3 days PP but my dumb dogs tore it up!!! So now I have to rely on my memory! I will post mine later...

  6. Cool story C! For me, it was a planned induction because James was not even close to coming on time. I kind of did (and wanted) the exact opposite of you, Hethir, but it was an awesome experience and I wouldn't trade anything! Everyone is totally different!!

    I was induced Monday morning at 10am, got an epidural at 3 or 4cm (7pm), they broke my water, I was having heavy and steady contractions for a few hours after that, but no real progression. So at 2am, we decided a c-section would be the best route for baby. He was born a healthy 7lb, 6oz, 19 3/4" little man!

    The WORST part: I have (obviously) never had a c-section before and I've been told you can feel some things while they take the baby out. I didn't realize until after I talked to some other ladies that you're not supposed to feel EVERYTHING! I could feel....pretty much ALOT (I'll hold those details)! I guess I wasn't completely numb, or at least not numb enough!

    BEST part: I have nothing but great memories about the entire process... including the surgery. So gracious of God to make our minds only remember the awesome things! My very best memories (that still make me choke up thinking about it now) are of John watching his new precious little boy in the days after he was first born... nothing like those moments!

    I summed up my whole experience like this in my blog: "Looking back, I think for ME, I had the best labor/delivery ever. The day was planned, but I didn't know how the day would progress. I got to feel painful contractions, but was never overwhelmed by the pain. I had a c-section, but I never had to push! Then because of the surgery, we were able to spend a few extra days relaxing in the hospital and enjoying our new little James!"

  7. Here's an awesome story from Rose, mama of Danica

    Danica Lee was born on July 3, 2009 at 2:42 am. She weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces and was 20.25 inches long.

    My story follows.

    At my 36 week check-up my baby had been estimated to be 7 pounds 5 ounces by ultrasound making me think that perhaps my due date was inaccurate. I believed I would deliver her prior to my due date but at 38 weeks my husband needed urgent surgery. So the baby waited.

    I started having what, I felt, were intense and regular periods of contractions and other early labor symptoms Tuesday, June 23.

    Still the baby waited.

    One week later I received a call from my health clinic saying that they were going to schedule me for an induction before my 41 week appointment because they were "worried about the thyroid issue." I had been treated for thyroid cancer 4 years prior and as a result have no thyroid so there had been some very minor complications during my pregnancy but nothing that had affected the health of my baby. I refused, I had already made it clear that before an induction was to be scheduled I wanted to speak with a doctor about my concerns about the fact that due dates are always estimates and a standard pregnancy lasts from 38-42 weeks so to induce before that time might not be best for the health of the baby. Also, given my strong desire to have as natural a childbirth as possible I did not feel that induction was necessarily the best course of action- even after 42 weeks- as long as the baby did not show any signs of distress. Besides, they had made it materially clear over the last 40 weeks that they were no experts in thyroid issues anyways, so it was a schmaltzy excuse for a threat of danger to me.

    All that day, even prior to the phone call, I had been experiencing contractions 2-3 minutes apart so I went to L&D at the hospital thinking, hoping, that I may have progressed enough from the prior week and a half of contractions and other early labor symptoms to start the active labor process. I found out that I had only gotten to 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. This news was devastating. This emotional roller coaster of thinking you about to start the most amazing journey ever, and then seeing the crib sitting there waiting, empty, is absolutely nerve-racking. Nerve-racking on me, nerver-racking on my husband and nerve-racking on my mother who had flown in for the birth. I went home and labored for another day and a half.

  8. Thursday morning, the same morning I was scheduled for a doctor's appointment where I knew for a fact that they would guilt me into an induction my contractions were still 3-6 minutes apart. They were strong enough to make me lean over and concentrate on breathing and I had spent that evening in and out of the tub so I felt it must be time enough to go to the hospital. So back to L&D we three (+1) went, only to discover I was now a mere 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I knew that some women can be 4 cm dilated for weeks before delivering their baby so I was pretty upset and started to vocalize my pain during my contractions. The triage nurse, who had given me a hard time about not scheduling an induction and told me that "something amazing" would have to be going on with me to get a room because overnight so many women had inundated the L&D, finally took note and let me sit around for another hour or two. During this time I began to learn two things that I would not fully comprehend until later: 1) when I sat or moved to a comfortable position the fetal heart monitor would move just enough that a nurse would rush in saying that the baby was in distress and I needed to lay on my side for the health of my child, and 2) laying on my side would send me into back-to-back contractions with no respite. I convinced the nurse to at least let me stand up for awhile and it was during this time that I vomited, having eaten little over the past 12 hours. It was an effective tool for eliciting some sympathy from her so that when she gave me an internal exam the next time she helped me along by stretching out my cervix to nearly 3 cm and declared I was now worthy of admittance.

    Once comfortably in a room with an insanely loud air conditioner and a equally loud squeaky door I began to labor with my husband and my mom by my side literally holding my hands through what would turn out to be 24 hours of active labor, (19 of which were in the hospital) followed by one hour of pushing. Each centimeter was hard won, taking an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete. They had given me an IV in triage with various solutions of saline fluid and lactated ringers which I was thankful for despite my fear that it would invite an easy port for unwanted medications because I found it difficult to consume enough fluid to stay hydrated. It seemed that each centimeter I found a new level of pain that would take me some time to learn to cope with to go from moaning or yelling out in pain to just breathing through them, but each time my body figured it out.

    I soon realized that it took the slightest distraction to get me off track and make me panic through a contraction. Whether that was a nurse walking in the room, or a staff member dropping off supplies, or even my doula or my husband changing positions, any change in the environment had amplified consequences to me in the altered mental state I seemed to be in.

  9. Especially traumatic and disruptive to my laboring was when someone would tell me that the position that my body was telling me to get into, that was most comfortable at the time, was harmful to my baby. Later when the baby "looked good" for a time they would allow me to try the position but by then I already come to believe that it was bad and therefore I eliminated the position in my mind with fear, and the contractions in the position that I had once desired now became impossibly painful. Thus, for the vast majority of my labor, I was in a semi-reclining position on my back, in bed. I even came to believe that the bath I had taken before one urgent episode of my "baby not looking good on the monitor" which had been so calming and comforting, had caused the episode and was now, therefore, also mentally relegated to the 'scary' list of available positions and labor aids.

    The whole 24 hours, or rather since I had felt my first contraction nearly 2 weeks prior, my husband and my mother were constantly offering encouragement to me and listening intently to every word I managed to mumble out. I found their constant encouragement entirely annoying at times and made it clear to them on several occasions, however in retrospect I am extremely grateful to them for every "you're doing beautifully" phrase they uttered, every hand they offered in sacrifice to my vice grip and every sleepless hour they stayed with me, there for me.

    At 11pm I was pretty exhausted, no, I was exhausted, I was only 6 or 7 centimeters at last check and my contractions were coming very hard and very fast, my mother referred to them as "camelback" contractions. We were able to nickname them, remember, because I got to watch every contraction on that monitor that I was mercilessly chained to. The nurse who had taken over for the evening, Angela, asked me one more time if I would like to have my membranes artificially ruptured (water broken). I seriously wanted to because I reasoned that this labor might never end and said something to the effect of not wanting to wait until morning and she replied that I would definitely be having this baby tonight. This was the only point at which my labor seemed to move along at a more reasonable speed. I went from 8 centimeters sometime after 11 pm to just a "lip" before 1 am. When she checked me around 1am my water broke (what a relief!!) all over her arm. And at that point I began to truly feel like I NEEDED to push. It would not be long before I physically could not hold back and breathe through a contraction now no matter how intently I panted.

    The doctor which I had been so intent on delivering my baby, though I had not discussed any of my birth plan with*, was busy delivering several babies almost simultaneously. Angela reminded him, once she was ready with the necessary equipment, that I was "unmedicated" while he was busy doing paperwork and I was busy trying NOT to push. I do not believe that she meant that my pushing phase would be any quicker, but rather, that since I was an unmedicated mother my pushing urge would be that much more intense and I would be fully aware that he was choosing to do documentation rather than gown up and get himself into the room.

  10. I asked Angela, who had put me into stirrups, if I could please squat. She did not argue with me but since she and the doctor were unfamiliar with this position they told me I needed to lie back...while I squatted. Let's just say that I do not believe this was the most efficient position and probably will not try it specifically that way ever again.

    It took me about an hour of pushing to get her out, and a small crowd of staff members had gathered to watch, shouting instructions from the sidelines like uncontrolled parents at a peewee soccer game. Several times they shouted at me to push and the dour doctor firmly told me not to. Later I would learn that this was because I was tearing even though he has stretching me during delivery.

    As soon as the doctor had suctioned her nose and mouth she started crying. It was an amazing sound. The doctor cut her cord immediately and Angela handed her to me. Once my gown was off she began to nurse.

    After about 30 minutes, maybe longer, they finally took her to be measured and checked. My husband, now Daddy, and my mom went over to the warming tray with her and I stayed behind, now in the stirrups, to finish getting stitched up. Not that I was much in the mood for getting up anyhow, but I could still watch them and see my baby from where I lie.

    It took me about 6 weeks to feel human again. Longer to feel like myself. But what an amazing gift. Motherhood was more than I ever hoped it would be. I have a beautiful healthy daughter.

    *The doctor was German. I had been receiveing my prenatal care at a clinic and had no choice over which doctor delivered my baby but some of them seemed worse than others. I hoped that his German background would provide me with the least amount of interference from him