Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Justin’s Birth Story – How his daddy helped born him (Bradley Childbirth Method)

A few months into my pregnancy with Troy, in remission from the arthritis and feeling like a superstar (physically), B and I decided to try the natural childbirth method. The Bradley Method was appealing and there was an instructor in our area. Our instructor was nothing less than interesting. I may elaborate one day. The whole pregnancy, labor and delivery went pretty well. Not easy but good.

When I found out I was pregnant with Justin, I wanted to try the natural childbirth route again. B is super supportive so he was on board. I ate right but splurged a bit more than with Troy (I had cake more than once!). Exercised but not as intense as I did when pregnant with Troy (also was chasing him around so that makes up for some exercise, right?). Ran until I was 37 weeks – but only could run a mile or so before I had to walk the rest of the way. The bike, elliptical and walking became my friends.

I felt great during the pregnancy with both children. Had more energy the last month with Justin than I did with Troy.

So, what happened? Due date was 2/24/11. I was serious when I said I didn’t want him coming early….and he didn’t. But, it happened much faster than I anticipated.

Thursday, 2/24, I rode to bunco with my friends, had some ribs and other stuff. I even had a teeny-tiny bit of wine. Contractions? No – only Braxton Hicks. Got home around 9:30 that night. I had a couple of mild cramps. By 11, I got in the bathtub because I couldn’t sleep. I watched an episode of Royal Pains on the computer (while in the tub) and noticed that I was having those cramps every 7 minutes. I started counting the duration and they were about 30 seconds.

I told Brian that something was going on and if he had something he needed to get done, he might need to do it soon. And pack a bag, which he did. I did tell him not to be alarmed but just to be aware. He and I both thought it would be a day or two at the earliest when the baby would make his debut.

We went walking around midnight. At 2 in the morning, I told Brian to call Tracey to see if she could come over and stay the night. She came around 2:30. He asked if we should go to the hospital and I told him I wasn’t sure because I wasn’t in a lot of pain. He called the hospital and was told that if I wanted to have a natural childbirth, I would need to stay at home as long as possible. Hmmm. Okay? Okay? The cramps had become a little more than cramps and were lasting longer. I tried to lay down but couldn’t really sleep. Began altering between the shower, the tub and walking around. The contractions were bearable and weren’t that intense but were closer and closer together.

At 3:30 when the contractions were consistently 3 minutes apart and lasting 60-90 seconds, I told Brian we needed to leave. I still felt really great, ate something (what, I don’t remember), was able to talk just fine but every now and then had a strong contraction that I couldn’t talk through.

Found out Dr. A was on call – my doctor! I was so excited! Was in a room by 4:15 and was ONLY 4 centimeters. The nurse said that she would need to check with Dr. A to see if he wanted to admit me and make sure I was in labor. I wanted to tell her that I knew I was in labor but didn’t. This isn’t my first rodeo! Dr. A came in and said that he saw on facebook just a few short hours ago that I was saying goodbye to Justin’s due date. He said he wasn’t expecting me.

So, of course I got in a room. My birth plan was to be monitored intermittently. I needed to be monitored for 20 minutes. Of course it wasn’t good enough (the baby’s heart rate would drop when I had a contraction) so I had to stay on there longer. I was in the bed for part of the time, then would sit and rock on my exercise ball. When I felt like I needed to walk around, I said I needed to go to the bathroom. That would work for a little while and I could get off the monitors.

So….I had back labor….again. Lovely! Last time, it was the same way but I thought it was because the baby was posterior. Not. So. I have back labor – I’m one of the lucky ones. If you don’t know, it is apparently supposed to be the most intense labor. This was intense. I have no idea what time it was but it got very, very intense. No other words can describe it (or not in my vocabulary anyway).

I never lost control but the plan to have Brian rub my back was thrown out the window. Even when he touched my back, it hurt! I kept thinking that each contraction was closer to having the baby, God isn’t going to give me more than I can handle, I prayed for God to provide me with strength.
As I laid on the bed (again), I had either 2 or 3 contractions in which my whole body shuddered. I had never felt that feeling before and I moaned (I’m not a moaner or a screamer). Intensity! It was at that point that I told Brian that I couldn’t handle the pain if I wasn’t very dilated. The nurse said she didn’t think I would be very dilated either. After talking about it and Brian trying to talk me out of it, I called the nurse into the room.

She said, “Oh, it looks like you’re working hard through those contractions now”. Oh, really – you can tell? Really?

I told her that if I wasn’t progressing (and she said she didn’t think I was), I would need some help to get through between the contractions. I asked about Stadiol (I’ve heard horror stories but I felt like I needed some help). People say it “takes the edge off” and at that point, I felt like I needed the edge to be taken off. She talked to me about it and I wasn’t sure. She left. Five minutes later I called her back and wanted something to help out with in between contractions. As she was walking out the door, Brian asked her to check me. She said she would but didn’t think I had progressed much. It had been maybe an hour?

I was 8-9 cm. Talk about a burst of energy! I knew I was almost there! Didn’t need any medicine at that point. Things sped into motion! The nurse said she couldn’t believe I had progressed that much, I told her I had to go to the bathroom (to get off the monitors) and walked around. She even made a comment about thinking I should be a natural childbirth instructor – hmmm… okay. There was a shift change about to take place so another nurse, Cynthia, was called in to help.

While the nurses were trying to get the room, bed and stuff ready, I was walking in circles in the room. I was holding my stomach to try to help with the pain. Walking helped more than anything. Strangely enough, I was able to talk. The contractions were constant.

Then, all of a sudden, I felt the baby drop. I never felt that before with Troy (but I wasn’t walking around either). I made an “oh” sound and said that I needed to push as I sat on the bed.

Okay, so the next few minutes were the most difficult. My body tried to take over and push the baby out. I was trying to let it – because I felt like I needed to. But, the nurses wanted me to wait for Dr. A. I told Cynthia that I had to push anyway. She told me that I would cause more damage if I let my body take over. Talk about mind over matter! I had to concentrate on breathing and keeping the baby from popping out. It was amazing how I was able to regain control over the situation – but it was difficult. Dr. A came in, I had 4 controlled pushes and the nurses said I had one more push to go. They had to tell me when I had a contraction. For some reason, I couldn’t feel it anymore. Last push, 5th push, and he was born at 6:28 in the morning at 8 pounds and 21 inches long. That is about 2 hours and 15 minutes at the hospital. I was surprised but very happy! I felt wonderful.

Dr. A asked me if I was ready for my “pit” – or Pitocin. Most mothers at EAMC receives this after they have a baby – even if you didn’t know it, you got it! You may have thought it was fluid but it was Pitocin. Two bags is customary. It is to make the uterus contract and prevent hemorrhaging. Dr. A knew I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t want to be stuck on the bed after the baby was born. He gave me the option to not have it. So I didn’t. I was comfortable with this decision because I was in the hospital. They should be able to help me if something happened. Problems? None! I’ve heard, and been told, that there is intense cramping after birth with the 2nd and subsequent children. I didn’t have that problem. Not-at-all!

The next 15 minutes were very special. I was able to hold Justin although he wasn’t breathing right. The nursery nurse (Leellen) was super sweet and was trying to help clear out J’s passageways. We took photos. I can see now from the photos that he was “dusty” – or almost blue. Glad I didn’t notice before. She took him over to the baby holder thing and I didn’t see him again until almost 7 hours later before he was taken to UAB.

Nine hours after Justin was born, I was released from the hospital. I took some Midol. My mom suggested I get the Rx from Dr. A filled so I did. Three hours after that, we were on our way to Birmingham. The walk from the parking garage to the NICU was at least half a mile. That means I was getting some exercise. In between it all, I was pumping every 2 hours. The next morning (Saturday), I took one of the pills from The Rx I had filled. Assuming that the prescription helped with the pain, I took it once a day for the next two days. That third day, I read the bottle and insert….it wasn’t pain medicine but was to help with excessive bleeding! I laughed out loud once I found out that it wouldn’t hurt me. And I thought I was taking some good pain medicine. The Midol was working just fine.

Some photos:

Not J’s most glorious moment…

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My wonderful doctor. I thanked the Lord that he was on call when I went into labor. And, J was born just in time (he was about to go off call).

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The Parrish's said...

Whew...I really was on the edge of my seat...intense! But it worked out so great! God is good!!