*Written shortly after Felix's birth last year, but never shared*
Monday (10/12/15) was my DD and although I was feeling ok being done with pregnancy I wasn't in a huge rush to get labor started.
I went about my day as usual which included a gym session. I was able to run/walk, which really felt great!
Tuesday (10/13/15) I had an OB appt the dr said I was 80% effaced and 3cm dilated, -1 station (the previous weeks stats were 60% and 2cm) This increase was very encouraging especially since I had no progress before going into labor with Cooper. The dr stretched my cervix a little in hopes to help things move along. She had me make appts for an ultrasound and NST at the end of the week/beginning of next week in case I didn’t have the baby before that time.
I went to the gym again but only walked this time and came home having what I thought were still braxton hicks every 5-6 minutes. Tuesday night we went to dinner as a last hoorah and then after we put the kids to bed I noticed that I was having consistent “braxton hicks” every 10 minutes, but they faded before going to bed.
I woke up around 4:30 am Wednesday morning (10/14/15) to an awful contraction. I thought “if this is labor, I absolutely cannot do it without medication!” I think the pain seemed intensified because I was woken from sleep. I laid in bed till about 5:15 and then I got up to tell Nick who was already up and getting ready/studying that they were coming every 2-3 minutes. I laid back down with a heating pad to see if that would help and finally resigned to getting some breakfast.
Contacted the doula around 5:30 or 6. I decided to do some dishes for distraction. Standing seemed to be the most comfortable. Finally had to ask Nick to wake the boys up to get them ready bc I knew things were moving along and we couldn’t wait for them to wake up on their own.
Boys got up and were eating breakfast. Cooper was very concerned with my moaning. We explained to them that my body was getting ready to have the baby. At one point I got upset at Nick and telling him he needed to hurry faster to get the boys gone. Soon after our doula Tamara arrived, Nick left to take the boys to a friends (around 7:30?) While he was gone I was trying many different positions to make it through the consistent contractions. I was on my knees leaning over the coffee table and Tamara starting lightly raking one finger up and down my arm and then switched to a tapping on the top of my hand. Both caught me off guard as we didn’t ever talk about specific techniques she would use for distraction. I remember thinking "what the heck is she doing?!?.......Oh ya, this is what I'm paying her to do.....distract me by raking my arm with her fingernail and tapping the top of my hand....." bahahahah
I finally turned to Tamara and snapped “Are we leaving soon?!” As in, “am I far enough along that we can go to the hospital now?” She replied “I didn’t want to say anything until Nick got back, but we need to go!”
I began to gather the last few things I absolutely wanted to have at the hospital. I have never been one to “pack a bag” so I was roaming around grabbing stuff between contractions. Once Nick got back from dropping the boys off I made him print copies of our birth plan, which I am positive absolutely no one had the time to even look at, and we were on our way.
Nick drove 35 mph (the speed limit) I finally got so mad and told him he needed to drive faster and get out of the left lane. We started to argue over driving, which is seriously comical now, and Nick reminded me that he was doing his best during morning traffic (this was around 8:15?) and to let him take care of the driving.
We pulled into valet parking and as soon as I got out of the car I was brought a wheelchair and I crawled into it rather awkwardly and definitely not sitting on my bottom. When I apologized to the man who brought the chair (assuming he was going to tell me I needed to sit properly) he replied that it was no problem and that I could sit however I felt most comfortable.
Nick took me straight to maternity triage.
I got out of the wheelchair as we got to our little room in triage. I was in a lot of pain. I was grunting so hard I felt like I wanted to push (or poo maybe….) Tamara helped me get my pants off and I immediately peed a little on the floor. Tamara grabbed a chuck and laid it over the pee. With the next contraction and the uncontrollable urge to push I look down just as my water exploded all over the floor. I was so shocked! It was almost as satisfying as what I hoped would have happened. I really wanted that to occur at the gym to teach all the old men to mind their manners and only say kind things to pregnant women ;)
Things were so intense and uncontrollable. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to lay on the bed, so I was on my hands and knees. The nurse was desperately trying to get a hep lock in and was blowing all the veins in my hand. I was looking at her and thinking she was so angry at me for not holding still or making it easier for her to get the line in (none of which she actually was) I announced to everyone in room "if this was how labor was going to be I needed to have an epidural now!" They told me that they were doing all they could to make that possible. They said things were moving too fast and they needed to to administer some drugs to slow things down a bit. Finally they gave me a shot in the back of my arm. And at some point they got the hep lock in.
When I was finally checked I was at a 6 and still feeling urges to push. Everyone kept telling me not to do it. I cried because there was no way for me to stop it. Tamara told me to stick my tongue out Apparently you cannot push and stick your tongue out at the same time?! I don't know…try it!
Things finally slowed enough to get me to the labor room.
Dr McKnight was the OB on call so she along with a couple residents assisted during the birth. I was quickly to the point of pushing but still had a very small cervical lip which the dr manually maneuvered out of the way.
I had some great pushing sessions but it got to the point that they had to use the vacuum to get the babies head out. This is where we feel very blessed that my actual OB was NOT present. She told us from the get go that no one in her office would attempt to use the vacuum since it was unsuccessful when laboring with Cooper. Dr McKnight was not aware of this conversation and therefore had no issues using it. And, it worked! Once his head came out we were all very excited but things quickly went from joy excitement to sheer terror in a matter of minutes and have no idea why.
Nick tells me I need to push like I've never pushed before. That I needed to imagine trying for my max bench press (he sure knows how to motivate me!)
Every medical professional in the room was doing all they could to pull the baby out. At this point the dr starts swearing and I am instantly panicked. The baby was coming close to being stuck with only his head out for 1 minute which I guess is dangerous.
While the Dr and residents are frantically tugging at the baby and my body, just imagine all the nurses standing on stools performing a world wrestling diving elbow drop move on my belly. I am not even exaggerating. Ya, it was unpleasant.
Finally, somebody was able to hook their finger under the baby’s armpit and maneuver the shoulder out and the baby shot out like a wriggling fish. Craziest feeling ever.
Baby boy was born at 9:30 am, so 5 hours from first contraction to delivery, and weighed 8 lbs 11 oz My biggest baby yet and 100% natural to boot!
As much as I wished it so, the baby was not placed at my chest because of the trauma of being born. He was assessed and at some point brought back to me. It wasn’t long, but it's funny how that was so important to me and it still didn't happen. Oh well.
The nurses administered Pitocin to help stop the bleeding. They set it at the max which, let me tell you, took the breath right outta me. The contractions prior to pushing and the ones brought on by the pit were so much worse than the actual birth. I’d take pushing over contractions any day!
Anyway, I had to break down in tears from the pain for someone to finally turn down the pit and all was finally right in the world except that I felt completely hosed. (can you tell?!)
Felix went unnamed for several days, but we finally agreed that if Nick got his choice I could have final say on the middle name AND all future children could have middle names too if I so choose.
His middle name is Shane after our Bishop in Rexburg. Nick and I both had opportunity to serve closely with him and he will forever have a place in our hearts. We hope that little Felix Shane grows to be just as amazing a big Shane!
It was determined that Felix had shoulder dystocia, and my body is not quite equipped to handle these big boys. After 3 attempts there might be something to this big-baby-small-momma talk I hear constantly. Who knows? The Dr recommended that I have some imaging done before having another child to determine any pelvis abnormalities. They also suggested that while another vaginal birth is not out of the question they will monitor things much more closely and may consider inducing me early to prevent big baby problems.
In the days that followed labor I battled not being able to pee which tacked on an extra day or so in the hospital, the baby having jaundice and not pooping, finally being sent home but having to take the baby in first thing every morning to get his heel pricked and squeezed for a blood sample, mastitis and all that comes with it including a freaking mammogram, and all the other normal post-partum issues we all love so much!
After experiencing both cesarean and vaginal births all I can say is, they are both brutal! Each has their pros and cons. I’m not sure I could choose one over the other without hesitation.
We feel blessed to experience a vaginal delivery and have a healthy baby boy and are so thankful for all the positive thoughts and prayers in our behalf. We love you all!