Thursday, May 24, 2012
Ada's Birth Story
41 weeks and 1 day! That is how long this little girl took to grace us with her presence. I really thought I was going to be pregnant forever!
I started having early labor/false labor on Sunday morning (Mother's Day) and Nick and I really thought we were going to be heading to the hospital later that night. The contractions kept up throughout the night but subsided Monday morning. Monday night was a repeat of contractions about 15-20 minutes apart with nothing continuing during the day. Once again, they came back on Tuesday night and actually stayed throughout Wednesday but were always 15-20 minutes apart and not incredibly painful. I was desperate enough that I actually tried using the breast pump to get some action but nothing happened.
I had my 41 week appointment on Wednesday as well as a NST. Baby looked great and still seemed to be in a good position. My midwife said I could try castor oil but also warned that is a nasty nasty way to labor. I told her I wasn't that desperate yet but I also didn't think I would try the breast pump either so we will see. Later that day, I went to Meijer with Madelyn to pick up some castor oil and talked to my doula on the way. She agreed that while it is effective, it is not exactly a pleasant experience and to make sure I was really willing to labor with stomach pains. I bought the castor oil and figured if I made it through the weekend, we would give it a shot on Sunday night.
Fortunately, the baby must have heard all this going on and decided she didn't want to be born that way because my contractions kept up all night long. I was able to sleep sitting up on the couch in 20-30 minute increments. In the morning, the contractions were still going but had gotten to more 10 min apart. I told Nick he wasn't going to work that day and called my mom to come get Madelyn. We decided to send Ben to school and figured we would have Caleb come get him when we needed to head to the hospital. Around noon, the contractions were 5 min apart and Nick and I were running out of ideas and things to do. I found that if I sat down, the contractions would space out but if I was up walking around or standing, they got closer together. We called our doula and she decided to head over. Around 3pm, I decided to try getting in the shower again just for something new to do. The contractions were 3-5 min apart with the weird spacing when I sat down.
Well the water must have triggered something because within 10 minutes of being in the shower, I was climbing the walls. The contractions were on top of each other and I was finding it about impossible to manage them. Our doula came in and said it sounded like we needed to head to the hospital so she sent Nick to get Ben and was going to help me get ready to go. I told her there was no way I could get out of shower and she told me I could and had to. I ended up getting out of the shower and sitting on the toilet. I remember begging her to tell me this was transition because if it wasn't, I couldn't take anymore. She said she was going to grab a glove from her car and check me because she believed I was past transition and needed to decide whether or not to get to the hospital by ambulance or car. After checking, turns out I was at a 10 but the baby was high enough she felt safe getting there by car but she was going to ride with us just in case. She also called ahead and had a stretcher waiting for us at the door.
The ride to the hospital was ridiculous. Our poor doula was literally riding in the trunk space of the car because we had all the carseats in the back seat. She is trying to coach me to not push while Nick is trying to navigate Ann Arbor traffic to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital, the staff helped me onto the stretcher and off we went. Sort of....
UofM built a new women's hospital and it has only been only since March. Well, they are still working out the kinks and I ended up on a roller coaster ride throughout the floors of the hospital. One of the elevators didn't fit the stretcher. Another one of the doors was locked. Meanwhile, I am lying on this stretcher going back and forth through the lobby while the nurses are running TV style. I am wearing my sunglasses. Yes, I am. And still trying not to push, which is not a quiet process. Poor people stuck watching this charade.
Finally we got up to the room, skipping triage (yay! no 20 min strip for me!) and I can start to push. At this point it is around 4pm.
I remember a few things from pushing. Once, the midwife started talking to me about the HepLock and giving me some story about just in case. I told the nurse we could do it in between the next set of contractions and then told her the same thing a few more times. She told me later she realized the IV wasn't going to happen so she just gave up.
They also had a hard time getting the baby's heartrate when I was standing and kept wanting me to lay down. I wasn't opposed to laying down and it actually ended up being the way I delivered but I couldn't figure out how to actually get myself into that bed. They tried telling me that they were going to do an internal monitor on the baby's scalp if they couldn't get a good reading. Apparently, the honesty in me was flowing full force and I told them that was NOT going to happen. I'm trying to get a baby out, you're not about to start sticking things up there.
I also remember my water breaking and freaking out over what it was. There was meconium, but I figured that would be the case since I was over a week late.
The student midwife kept telling me that this was a safe place and the pooping was a natural part of childbirth. I told her, I understand and I am not afraid of pooping - I am actually trying to!
Finally, the baby started crowning and I was able to get the head and neck out but her shoulders were stuck in my pelvis. Fortunately, I was in my own head at this point and didn't realize what was happening. Our doula said that the midwife had called to whoever the expert baby removing team is and they were on the way but by shoving what felt like an extra 10 hands into me and shoving on my belly and pelvis, they were able to get the baby out in about 45 seconds and the team wasn't necessary.
Baby was born at 6:10pm. It was such a relief to not be pushing that it took me a minute to even ask what we had. Finally, I asked Nick. What is it? He gives me this look of shock and says "it's a girl". I said "girl?" He goes, "yeah". I then say, "we don't have a name!"
She had pinked up and started crying before the pediatric team had even gotten her to the warmer so I got her right back for skin to skin.
I ended up with with 3 second degree tears but it is still way better than a c-section recovery.
Ada Elizabeth Barish