06/7/12
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Hunter’s birth story: part 2

Before heading onto part 2, catch up on part 1 of Hunter’s birth story.

At 1am we arrived at the family birth center. I got hooked up to two monitors – one for my contractions, one for Hunter’s heart rate.

A nurse checked and indeed my water had broken — we were there to stay. When my midwife arrived she checked to see how much I’d progressed — 3 cm, almost 100% effaced and he was at zero station, meaning very low, locked and ready to go!

After 30 minutes on the monitors I was free to move as I pleased. I walked around the room a lot,  spent some time in the tub and did some hands and knees rocking. I was feeling pretty drained from the lack of sleep that I began to drift off into sleep in between contractions.

The switch

Typically things start to progress along in labor — longer and stronger contractions that get closer and closer together. Well the opposite began happening for me. They kept getting further apart, leaving me with 5-6 minutes of breaks in between each (where before they were 1-2 minutes apart). I was even able to get an hour long nap in, and apparently I had a 24 minute break from contractions at that time.

Although the relief was nice, I knew it wasn’t a good sign.

By noon on Monday my midwife decided to check me again, only because my labor didn’t seem to be going the right way. At that time I was 5-6 cm dilated. I had made progress, just slowly. We decided to give it a couple more hours to see if things picked up before talking about other options.

The nurse did some acupressure on my feet/ankles and we tried hot wash cloth nipple stimulation. Both things that can help pick up contractions. I moved around the room, did lunges, got on my hands and knees. I wanted my body to do this on its own without help.

4pm rolled around and I was check again — only 6cm dilated. Barely a change. Since my water had broken at 8pm the night before the 24 hour time clock was counting down.

I knew what my options were going to be, and I knew I didn’t really have a choice with them, but when my midwife suggested a little pitocin I broke down and cried. It’s not what we wanted or planned for.  The lack of sleep was making me pretty emotional, and at the time I felt like a failure. Why couldn’t my body do this? Did I do something wrong? This is not what we had planned.

We said okay to the pitocin. Our midwife knew what we wanted, but sometimes things change with  unexpected situations. I started off with the smallest dose of pitocin, which we hoped would kick start my body back to where it needed to be. For the next hour I got 2 tiny increments.

Things were starting to pick up. By 6pm the contractions were much much stronger. I could no longer walk them off.  I’d instantly have to get on my knees, arms on tub and Jacob putting hot compression on my back. It was the only way I could deal with them. There wasn’t talking, just walking then onto my knees during the pain.

I wanted to be checked again, hoping I’d be at the point of pushing. Pushing meant the contractions would soon end and Hunter would be here.

Only at a 9. Keep moving as much as I can. Keep things moving and getting to that 10.

Just about every 20-30 minutes I asked to be checked again and I was stuck at 9-9.5 cm. It seemed like I was stuck there forever.

Contractions were back to back and I could barely deal with them. I kept saying that I wanted to push, but they knew I wasn’t ready. I wishfully wanted to push.  That would mean it was over.

Stuck at that 9.5 I began to feel defeated. I kept telling them I couldn’t doing it any more. Jacob and my midwife would encourage me and get me through that contraction, one at a time. My breathing would start to get our of hand, then Jacob would just start doing the slow deep breathing and I’d begin to mimic him.

In my head each time I said I couldn’t do it anymore, to me that meant I needed drugs. That’s the thing about transition, you begin to say things you don’t really mean…

06/4/12
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Hunter’s birth story: part 1

It’s been 1 week now since Hunter was born. The week just flew by. My originally thought was to have his birth story posted right away, mainly so I wouldn’t forget anything. Well 1 week has passed and nothing has been forgotten, and I really don’t see myself forgetting any of it.

It all started on Friday, May 25th, which, coincidentally was my due date…

The build up

I had woken up early to make it to my favorite 5:30am strength workout. I sure hoped my water would break during the workout and things would get started.

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Right before the workout began I hit up the bathroom, where I found a little blood… that resembled the end of your period. I was totally freaked out, but still did the workout. Turns out I had some bloody show, a good sign labor will be happening soon(ish).

Later that afternoon I had a midwife appointment. I got checked for the first time and was 90 effaced, 1-2 cm dilated. I had my midwife strip my membrane a bit in hopes of getting things going. Jacob and I really wanted Hunter to show up that weekend.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I did tons (TONS – at least 1.5 hours each day) of walking and also had a few more contractions.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take some castor oil. Castor oil only works to bring on labor if your body is ready to go into it. If its not, you just give yourself the runs and feel horrible for 12 hours or so. I was willing to take that risk. We both had this feeling it was time, especially with my bloody show and the contractions I’d been having.

A cup of OJ, fresh strawberries and a shot of castor oil all blended together went into my belly around 1pm on Sunday.

The wait

Jacob and I went to Fred Meyers that afternoon, and did something we never do — bought 3 movies. Then we did something else we never do — watched 2 in a row. We just *knew* something was going to happen.

At 8pm, about halfway through the second movie I began to feel a warm liquid starting to flow out of me. I dashed to the toilet, excited and hoping this was it. I couldn’t tell if it was my water breaking, me peeing myself or just lots of discharge. I called my midwife, she said it probably was my water breaking, to see how the night goes and come into the hospital in the morning unless labor progresses faster.

So we went for a walk, and 1 hour later the contractions started. Jacob got the biggest grin on his face during those early contractions. It was time!

I always wondered what contractions would really feel like, and to me it felt like really, really bad menstrual cramps. Before being pregnant mine were pretty bad, so being worse means they were really uncomfortable.

Fast forward a couple hours and the contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart and about 30 – 45 seconds long. I was feeling kind of freaked out, how could it be happened so fast? I spent a good amount of time in the shower, letting the warm water run down my low back (which was a big part of where I felt my contractions) for a little relief. Nothing really made them change. Jacob was on the phone with our midwife a few times… we both didn’t know why they were so close so soon. Was my labor really happening this fast?

Around 11pm we tried to get some sleep in, knowing we had a long night ahead. I couldn’t nap, they were so close together. I made it to 12:30am Monday morning and told myself at 1pm we will leave the house and head to the hospital. I could make it just 30 more minutes right?

At 12:45am we got the bags, were in the jeep and on our way to the hospital.

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It really couldn’t be happening this fast… could it?