My doula (who is amazing) always tells me each birth is unique.
It's not that I didn't believe her per se, but I felt like my births followed a certain pattern. And maybe they naturally do... but not this time!
This time my doula was proven right.
Both girls were born at 41 weeks 1 day (the second part of that story). 8 lbs 6 oz and 8lbs 2 oz. The first birth was 33 hours with 3 hours of pushing and a 2 hour transition and she "paved the way" as the doctor and nurses said. They were right.
Number two was well under 20 hours, a 5 minute transition and a few minutes of pushing after barely making it to the hospital.
|At Maharaja for some spicy Indian food before baby brother came.|
But really the feelings were all the same in both. Cramping, "pinching", nausea, diarreah, fear, wanting to vomit, shakes etc. at the end and my water breaking right before birth.
Enter in baby boy.
At my 20 week ultrasound they said he was measuring big. At my follow up he was still measuring large... as in 8lbs at 35 weeks. I know that ultrasounds can be off and I won't get into too many details (succinct... remember?) but I had a lot of personal baggage and fear about a big sized baby. My dad was a 13 pound baby and my brother was almost 11 pounds at 38 weeks. Either way I had set myself up to be bound up in fear about it all.
I tried to use hypnobabies and not let fear rule me but something was different in my heart about this one.
I prayed and prayed about it and decided I didn't want to 'be a hero' with permanent damage to me or him of any kind.
So at 38 weeks we did another ultrasound and they guessed he was 8lbs and 13oz. already.
Long story short (too late!) we induced!!!
Oh I tried to eat dates, and pineapple, and walk and jump and clean baseboards and other than some minimal pinching nothing happened.
So on Sunday May 10 at 39 weeks I went in full of jitters but also at peace that I didn't want to wait until 41 weeks and 1 day to birth an 11 pound or more baby.. I just didn't want what could potentially follow that.
At 8:30 pm after a super spicy meal of Indian food Jacob and the girls dropped me off and I climbed the stairs 4 stories to be admitted (see.. I really was hoping to go into labor on my own!).
|At the hospital before the adventure begins. The family Swag Wagon is in the background.|
I had entered the hospital with a Bishop Score of 9, 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Contractions came but weren't consistent.
At 7:30 am Monday May 11 my doula arrived just as my OB did. I had my birth plan etc. but my OB convinced me to break my water. I was a hard sale and was shocked at how much water I had this time. Contractions picked up and I labored on my own, quietly, listening to hypnobabies with occasional walking breaks (no IV). I had bloody show and the start of a mucous plug but still irregular contractions.
I was still so hopeful that things would take off on their own and I could finish naturally...
At noon my OB came back and we had agreed if I wasn't progressing quickly through transition I would opt for a "whiff" of pitocin.
I had been dreading this and hoping for otherwise but knew I had admitted myself and put myself on the hospital's timetable so this was a unique experience.
I was at 5cm and he had dropped a bit.
Then pitocin... I rode those labor waves for 4 hours before I lost my "focus" and began to panic a bit. The pain was intense. When I had felt this way in the past I was about to deliver but I was told I was at 9cm and 90 % and he still wasn't dropped enough.
Something inside of me gave way and in one quick move I, all natural girl, demanded for the epidural.
I can't explain why except that I had this huge fear of him tearing. There are other reasons and friends stories that are theirs to tell that impacted me greatly. Babies who haven't made it or had damage and knowing my family history of big babies something inside of me just said, "No way.. no more."
It took an hour from then to get the epidural.
In the meantime I had lost my cool and was screaming not nice things and pushing out of control trying to get him out. All while shaking on the edge of the bed and intermittently shouting why the epidural wouldn't come.
My contractions were different.. They still weren't "natural" or close together. I would have 3 on top of one another then an 8 minute break. They couldn't stop me from pushing and I knew I would likely damage myself in the process.
My hospital room went from the "natural birth" with the one nurse, my doula and my husband and my OB occasionally popping in to a "managed birth". I of course prefer natural but I'm not saying one is better than the other. Just different.
The room flooded with people. I was in the "natural birth" room with ambiance lighting and the anesthegiologist was having trouble seeing and kept yelling with a strong accent for a flashlight. I would then yell at him and then my doula and husband would strongly speak to me trying to bring me back to focus.
For almost an hour they tried to hold me still while I lay curled on the edge of the bed screaming and pushing at 9cm.
At last the combination spinal and epidural kicked in (apparently so late in the game epidurals don't work so they did both).
I didn't regret it one second...
Not at all...
At first only my right side was numb so they rolled me and I lost all control of the circumstances.
I was told when and if I was contracting. I was told when/if I could push and how. I had my legs held and moved for me. It was bizarre... But I didn't regret it.
I still labored for 2 hours where they cranked the pitocin up to move things along. And then I pushed for 39 minutes.
Without the epidural I just don't know if I could have managed or how I would have. Mentally I had lost my game because of the potential for an exceptionally large baby.
It didn't help that the nurses and my doctor kept talking about how big he was.
I still felt that primal fear grip me that my baby may not make it and would he ever come out.
The nurse kept telling me they could see his little head wriggling around trying to find his way..
Then they told me he had a lot of hair.
And before I knew it I was catching a breath between pushes when it seemed like everyone together said, "Georgia! Look! He's here!"
|Token unflattering birth picture of mommy.|
6:59 pm on May 11, 2015.
And sure enough he was. Blue. Beautiful with a head full of black hair. Arms out in shock and then laying on my chest. One long little arm stretched out in a mixture of hug and hanging on for dear life.
For the first time when one of my children was born I laughed.
I cried from joy.
I was so happy he was on this side. I was so happy to not be pregnant anymore. We had crossed over. Our journey was complete. So many fears laid aside.
He latched almost immediately while we stared at him and he us.
At last one of the nurses said they would leave us for an hour but if we wanted we could weigh him now to see. I said "yes!!".
There were so many things that were different about this birth. How the pitocin and IV effected me differently among many others.
But in the end.. I just didn't care.
I wanted to be done.
I wanted him safe.
I wanted to be safe.
It was. He was and I was.
Once we got down to our room we cuddled and stared and whispered.
I think I said, "Thank you Jesus he's here." maybe a dozen times.
I think I said, "I'm so glad you're outside of me now!" maybe a dozen times.