Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Birth Story Part 3 - Active Labor and Delivery

Part One
Part Two

By 4 p.m. I was telling Nick that I wanted to get into the tub.  I think this was around the same time that I lost my mucus plug, but thought that it was by water breaking.  My contractions were stronger and I was feeling them heavily in my back.  I knew that water would take some of the pressure off.  So, he called for the nurse to start filling the tub.  I feel like it took FOREVER for the water to finally fill up.  Eventually, I was able to get into the tub.  The weightless feeling that I had in there really helped deal with the pain in my back that I was having through contractions.  We turned the lights way down, or maybe even off.  Nick kneeled by the tub the whole time. I know at some point our midwife got him a pillow to kneel on, but before that he was bare on the ground!  The great part about this was that I felt like I was in there for a half an hour.  I found out later that I was actually in the tub for three hours!  The hospital was having problems with hot water, which meant that the water wasn’t very hot to start, and then there was no way to add hot water once it cooled down.  So, since I was getting relief in the tub, my wonderful midwife ran back and forth from the coffee station with hot water for tea and was adding it to the tub for me.  We think that it’s likely that my water broke at some point while I was in the water.  I also had some issues with hyperventilation, which was a little scary for Nick.  I was letting out way more air than I was taking in, so I had to change the way I was breathing.  I was in the tub for an hour before my midwife was able to check me for dilation.  At that point, I was at 4 centimeters.  By the time I got out, I was at 6.  I eventually got cold, and wanted to get out of the tub, so that’s what we did.

At this point, I was pretty close to transition.  I had a couple of hard contractions on the way back to the bed.  I ended up lying down for a bit, but that was uncomfortable for me.  I decided to kneel on the bed, leaning up on the back of the upright bed.  This was by far the worst part of labor for me.  My contractions were nearly unbearable, and this was when I started whimpering through them.  I felt pretty pathetic when this was happening, but it was getting hard!  At some point, my midwife asked if I thought I wanted to push with contractions, and I told her that I did.  She checked me and I was 8 cm.  She told me to try to push on the next contraction.  I bore down, and in that one contraction, I went from 8 to fully dilated and time to push!

Everybody started to get ready for the big show at this point.  I decided to lie on my back, even though I know that’s not always the most productive pushing position.  It was just after 8 p.m. and things had progressed so quickly.  My midwife was really surprised and how fast things were going.  I started pushing as soon as they were ready for me.  Nick was by my side, and my Mom and the labor nurse were at my legs with my midwife.  With each contraction, I pushed.  Initially, I wasn’t pushing right which prompted me to apologize to my midwife mid-contraction.  Later, Nick and my Mom said how funny that was.  At some point during pushing, they had to put an internal fetal monitor in to make sure they knew what was happening with the baby.  I was being given oxygen between each contraction.  Towards the end, I would push for one contraction and then not push on the next.  The baby crowned at some point, but not much of her head was showing.  I know that my pushing also got much more productive around this time.  I remember having a couple of contractions on top of each other and pushing really hard with each one.  Then, a contraction came and I pushed to get her head out and in one push her whole body was delivered!!  After about 40 minutes of pushing, we had our baby girl who was born at 8:53!  She was immediately brought up to me and placed on my skin.  Once the cord was done pulsing, Nick got to cut it and then I got to hold our sweet girl.  She looked so much like her Daddy!  While we were bonding, my midwife was stitching me up.  Luckily, I didn’t have a big tear anywhere.  Because she came out so quickly, there were a lot of little tears inside that needed to be fixed. 

Just moments after making her arrival!

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