A Labor of Love Story

** WARNING- What you are about to read is a TRUE STORY- and may not be appropriate for younger audiences. Reader discretion is advised**


As of yesterday my baby is 3 weeks old. Feels like she is so much older than that! (I'm sure some sleepless nights and crying has nothing to do with that:) It's also partially because we feel like we have known her forever. It's an awesome feeling.
So, here's our starter story:

The weeks leading up to delivery were probably the most stressful of my life. My dr, who I don't even want to call "my", had been pressuring me to do a c-section since week 36 because baby's head was measuring "large" and by the computer software's calculations she would be anywhere from 9-10 lbs. His reasoning was this: "I just don't know that your pelvis can handle a baby of this magnitude." He would even admit that the software could be wrong... blah blah blah. He would admit there was a 10% error margin. So she could be anywhere from 8-10 lbs. But, he would never admit that she could be only 8 lbs. His eyes were focused on 10+lbs.
I told him the next visit that c-section was out of the question. The only way I was doing it was if it was an emergency during delivery. If I had to be induced (which I also didn't want), because of her size I would want that first. He would put on an apathetic face and say "Look, if you want to attempt at a v. delivery, feel contractions, give it a go- we can do it your way. My fear is that your baby's head is just too large to "drop" into your pelvis, and after hours and hours of laboring you'll end up needing a c-section anyway. But, if you want to give it a go, we can do that."
Great guy right?
Well, the only "progress" I had made was on Monday the 7th (Our 3 year anniversary). I was effaced 25%, and I was excited about it. Unfortunately, he didn't take that as "real progress". "Even if we induce you, there is a possibility that you will labor for 24 hours and not dilate. Then we'll need to do a c-section. You have an "unwilling" cervix. But we can give it a go if you would like."
After hearing that I was going to try to be induced by acupuncture on Wed Nov 9 (her due date), he said he would like to see me that afternoon. I came in, still no change. "We need to talk about your options. This baby is only getting bigger! We can schedule a c-section for tomorrow or Friday, and you could be holding your little one before the weekend is here!"
"What about induction?" I asked.
"Well let me see here. *PAUSE*. The earliest we could schedule you to come in Tuesday night to be induced Wednesday morning? I will not allow you to go beyond 41 weeks. It's my policy."
(Me: [in my head] "Really? You want to give this already "large" baby another week's worth of growth before inducing me? Are you crazy? I've got your crazy.")

"Yes. Schedule me."
So, we prayed and prayed and hula-hooped, and took herbs, and did electro-acupunture, and acu-pressure, and jumped up and down, and walked stairs, and took walks, and all sorts of other ideas to get baby girl here before Tuesday. But alas, Tuesday afternoon arrived for my appt, and no baby or contractions arrived. My mom went with me to my appt since I coaxed Andrew into going to class with a promise of I would call if I had made progress. No progress.

My mom was coming to meet the doctor. She wanted to see if my stories of this man were true or not. Needless to say, she didn't even like him! That's how awful he is! My own mother, whom likes everyone, didn't like him. In her words, "He's creepy." YEAH!

So, we head to my apartment and I pull out the unused "Go bag" which I came to find was more of an "incomplete" bag. It gave me something to do as I waited for Andrew to come home from class. He walked in the door to see my mom sitting on the couch and came in to the bedroom. I had stayed strong until the moment. As he came to hug me I burst into tears. All of this was so wrong. Not only wrong, so unnatural for me. I wanted this little girl to come on her own, and now she didn't have the option.

We stopped at Burger King on the way. We made it to the hospital and they put us in a room (GIGANTIC ROOM). "Take off all your clothes and put the gown on," a nurse said.

"Can't I at least keep my t-shirt on?" I asked.
"Nope. Sorry."
That was when I started getting angry. This is not what I wanted. I wanted to wear my own clothes, be able to roam the halls, and feel like myself. I already felt like a prisoner.

Soon after a couple of nurses came in. One to ask me a million questions, and the other to insert an IV. I couldn't hold back tears. I hated this. Loathed this. The one doing the IV asked, "You ok?" When I returned a blank stare, she prompted "Just excited?"
"No," I whimpered.
"You're not excited? C'mon, you shouldn't be sad- You're about to have a baby!"
Andrew then nicely and calmly explained my hatred of IV's and medical stuff. The nurse then felt it important to explain to be the benefits of having an IV. I'm not stupid, and I knew all the information anyway.
"This isn't my first time getting an IV."
She picked a spot on my forarm and said it was a "Tender spot" so try not to move from the pain.
"I'm about to experience labor, and you think I'm scared of an IV?" I said. "That didn't even hurt," I said as she stuck it in.
She looked up at me with a scrunched fae and said "Opsss... You're gonna have a bruise.... I missed!" I look at my arm where a 4" cruise has already started to appear. 'Great,' I think to myself.
"You only have one more shot," I say. She picks the normal spot in the wrist and digs in. It takes.

They promptly leave me alone when the other person comes in to take blood. Why not just do it from my IV? Good question, they pricked on the other arm.

I got there about 4:30, and the Dr comes at 5:30. He inserts my "cervical balloon catheter". "This shouldn't hurt."

YEAH RIGHT. My pride is already suffering thinking that my body won't let me have this child!
That little bugger starts pains immediately every few minutes.

The dr explains that we are going to use this device to make me dilate to a 5. We will be using pitosin throughout the night to help contractions along. In the early afternoon, IF my body continues to dilate past a 5 (he didn't think I would!!) then we will start pushing.

The first two hours were complete hell. I told the nurse about the pains. "Well, I'm sure it's just your uterus trying to adjust for the balloon being there. It's just a little upset."

A LITTLE UPSET? I was having contraction like pains every 2-3 minutes that lasted anywhere from 30-40 seconds. I felt outside my mind. After 2 hours I told Andrew (poor Andrew did remarkably well and stayed calm while I was freaking out) that I couldn't do this anymore. My parents arrived with food, and I was so uncomfortable and nauseous I couldn't eat anything. I told the nurse I would need to do an epidural. She said she would need to flush me with a bag & 1/2 of the water solution before, and we needed to get me started on pitosin (I thought I was already on pitocin! SO I was thoroughly freaked at what was happening!). So, she did. It was entirely strange because after the first bag had drained, I started to feel better. I could feel the contractions, but they didn't really hurt. I was back to my jolly self. That lasted for another few hours, until they upped me from "2" to "4" pitosin.

The pains came on remarkably fast. Now they were lasting upwards of 40 seconds, and pain was even in the few second breaks. The peaks were really high, and the "breaks" were about 1/2 of the peak. I didn't last many hours after that. At midnight I figured I could either get an epidural now, and sleep through the night to conserve energy for the afternoon of pushing, or I could get it in the morning and be exhausted for pushing. The pain was not slowing, and it wasn't "progressing" as normal labor does. This started all at once. I admitted "defeat".

So, at midnight a man came to do the epidural. After that, it was relief. At first I could still feel baby kicking around, and my contractions, but soon it all went numb. My legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds. I couldn't move my lower half on my own. The nurse said to help the baby drop we are going to rotate me every hour to lay on my opposite side. This went fine until 3 am. I was only half awake when the two nurses came to help me rotate.

"Did her water break?" I heard the unknown nurse ask.
"No, I'm sure that's just bloody show," my nurse said.
I thought that strange that I didn't know my lower half was sitting in water and blood. I couldn't feel anything. But I just let them turn me and started to drift again. I was listening to baby girl's heart on the monitor.
"Dub-dub, dub-dub,dub-dub......dub......dub..... dub-dub-dub-dub-dub-dub......dub......dub".

There's no way that was what I heard. My eyes flashed open to look at the screen. I watched in horror as baby's heart was racing at normal capacity, then would slow to slower than mine. I was reaching for the nurses button would my nurse ran in.
"Her heart!" I stuttered.
"I know, I was monitoring you outside. I think the catheter may have broken your water, and now it's preventing it from being able to fulling escape. It's happened before to make a baby's heart rate do that. I'm going to check you."
She rolls me on my back. She goes to take water out of the balloons, but when she grabs the end, they just slide out.
"They just slide out themselves!" she said.
"What does that mean?" I ask.
"That means you are dilated more than a 5!" she smiles. "Let me see how dilated you are. I watch as her face falls. "You're a TEN!"
"WHAT!?" I say.
"You're measuring a ten!" she says in disbelief.
"What does that mean?" I ask, proping myself up on my elbows.
"It means you're about to have a baby!"
I am sitting there in disbelief at this news at a little after 3 am, when the nurse comes back to herself and says "ANDREW!" andrew becomes more alert and she says, "PUSH THE NURSE BUTTON!"
"Hi, what can I help you with?"
"I NEED SOME HELP IN HERE!" my nurse explains.
Immediately 5 nurses run in. One grabs an oxygen mask and attaches it over my nose and mouth. "This is for you and the baby," she tries to reassure me. I burst into tears. I'm still thinking about baby's heart beat and whether she is okay or not. "What's wrong?" my nurse asks. "Are you in pain?"
I shake my head no. "Is she going to be okay?" I cry.
The nurse grabs my hand, "She is just fine! Don't you worry about her! We just need to get you ready!" She turns away. "Somebody call the on-call.
"Andrew! Call my Mom!" I cry. I'm hoping my mom can make it in time.

My nurse tells me, "The on call is here. It's not your normal doctor, but she is great. I think you'll like her. Are you going to be okay that it's not your doctor delivering her?"
"Which doctor is it?"
"It's doctor Elliot. She is in the same office as he is."
I smiled HUGE as I saw her walk through the door. "That's perfect!" I am so excited I can't hide it. I look at Andrew, who is also beaming.

(**NOTE** This was the original doctor in the office I wanted to go to, but she didn't take our insurance, only the guy did.)

Looking back now I feel like Heavenly Father has a slightly twisted sense of humor :)

She wants to wait to see if baby will come down a little further before pushing so I don't exhaust myself. My mom comes. When I ask her where dad is, she exclaims, "I left him getting dressed! I wasn't going to let him slow me down!" *Smiles*
By this time, I can feel and move my left leg, but my right is still a thousand pounds. I can also feel my stomach, can flex it, and can feel the contractions with no pain. I was siked! I couldn't believe my good fortune! I was going to be able to feel her birth with no pain!

Soon the "coaching nurse" and my nurse come in. "We want to try and do a few practice pushes, just to see if baby is ready. If she doesn't come down farther, we will just stop and relax for a little while and try again."
"Okay," I nodd. They explain that what they want is to see baby's head go into position, by getting baby's head under the pelvic bone.
With mom on my right and Andrew on my left, they coach me through 3 pushes during a contraction. On the third push my nurse says, "You did it! Her head is in place! Get the doctor!" She looks at me, "Great job! Don't even think about pushing till the doctor comes in!"
The doctor comes in shield and all, ready to go. During the 2nd contraction (the 6th push), I hear my mom exclaim: "She has hair!"
"Is it RED?!?!" I shriek through the push.
"No, it's brown!" I breath a sigh of relief. Unlike my other siblings, I've never really cared to have a red headed child. Plus, I always pictured this little one with brown hair!
During the fourth contraction, and push number 12 (counting from the "practice pushes"), Baby girl made her entrance.
Still in position, I could see her once her whole body came. The doctor held her up for me to see, and I shrieked/cried and fell back. I could hardly see from all the tears. Andrew leans down and give me a kiss. I couldn't believe she was here!
The doctor weighed her in her hands.
"THIS is NOT a 10 lb baby! She is maybe 8 lbs!"
"I knew it!" I yell.

They grab a towel and wipe her down then set her on my chest. She immediately stopped crying and just looks at me. She is alert and perfect.
"Ten fingers and toes," the nurse says.
"I forgot to count them!" I laugh.

After a little while, they pick her up and move her across the room to do a little exam and clean her up. Meanwhile, everyone leaves me alone to wait as the dr stitches me up. (I started to tear a little in the front, so the dr did a small episiotomy in the back to prevent worse damage.)

Little Brooklyn Jayne was born November 16, 2011 at 5:01 am. 7 lbs 15 oz. 20.5 inches long.


Kristine said...

I have yet to hear of a doctor correctly guessing a baby's weight before delivery. Good for you for sticking to your guns!!!! Congratulations Staci!!! That was a good birth story :)

Heather said...

Wow! I didn't know all that. Dr.'s. Gotta love them!

April Hardy said...

This was interesting to read! You didn't know you had to wear a gown in the hospital, or have to have iv's? (the nurse when I had autumn was a terrible iv giver, you could tell she had been a nurse too long. but the nurses who did the ivs for the other 2- don't get discouraged, even though I get why you loathe them) :) When Weston popped out a whopping 9 lbs my dr couldn't believe it. He had way underestimated how big he was going to be. (I had only gained 15 lbs that pregnancy.) But my dr. doesn't discuss weights and measurements when your prego. He's old fashioned. I love it.
I am glad you shared the story. It's not something I have ever done on blogger. It was like I was there!

Lexa said...

Don't worry, if it had gone as planned, you wouldn't have an awesome birth story to tell. Now you have Brooklyn safe and sound, AND an awesome story... :)

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