Birth Story: Part 1

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Considering the extreme duration of my labor and Abigail's birth, I think it's best to write her birth story in installments. So far, the story is 5 pages long and I'm not done yet. Yikes. So here's Part 1

This birth story is long, but I suppose that is fitting considering the labor was long. We had planned to have a homebirth thinking that it would offer the best chance at having a VBAC birth. But, after about three days of labor, we opted to go to the hospital. Abigail Elizabeth, our beautiful second daughter, was born via c-section at 10:10am on June 5th. We are thrilled to have another daughter and can’t wait to watch Hannah and Abbie grow up together and hopefully become the best of friends.

My labor began early Thursday morning (which incidentally was Matthew’s birthday, I thought it was so cute that he and the baby were going to have the same birthday, but I guess Abigail wanted her own birthday). I woke up around 6:00am with contractions that were about 6-7 minutes apart. The contractions were not too bad, but I had a feeling that as the day progressed, so would the severity of my contractions. So I told Matthew he should probably arrange for his Mom to come get Hannah that morning. I labored in the living room and in the bedroom that morning and Grandma came by to get Hannah around 9ish. While she was here I was still able to chat, so Matthew was able to run out and get a coffee for the both of us. We tried to carry on as normally as possible. I spoke with my midwives every few hours, but kept putting off their coming over because I knew I could still handle my contractions fairly well on my own. Finally that afternoon we agreed that they would come over around 3. My contractions were getting harder and still about 5 minutes apart.

Once the midwives arrived they setup the tub and around 5pm I was able to get in. To be honest, I don’t really remember that afternoon and early evening. I know Matthew and the midwives ordered pizza and I know I wasn’t hungry, but forced myself to have half of a peanut butter sandwich. At some point that evening the midwives checked me and I was around 3-4cm dilated. I remember being so happy because that was as far as I got with Hannah. I felt like I was on a roll, I was really doing it, I was going to birth this baby.

Later that night I labored in the tub and we watched some old episodes of The Office. My contractions really started gearing up around 10ish. That was when labor became really hard. My rushes became about 3 minutes apart and they hurt. For the next few hours, everything was a blur. I remember feeling overwhelmed and crying after a few really painful contractions. And I know I leaned over the tub and threw up at one point as Matthew held the bowl (that was very heroic of him because he can get really squeamish with those sort of things). He made some joke about how they don’t warn you about this during pre-Cana, haha. I had read that vomiting can happen during transition and guessed that I was probably around 7cm (which later it turns out I was). So, despite how difficult that part of the labor was, I remember feeling slightly excited because things were definitely moving along. After I threw up, the midwives scurried around getting things ready. I think we all thought the baby would be born soon.

(Laboring in the tub, obviously in between contractions.)

However, after that extreme phase of labor, my contractions eased up. It was as if my body knew I needed a break after those hard hours of labor. Despite how everything ended up, I still marvel how a natural labor allows a woman’s body to rest. It’s as if my body knew my limits and backed off for a while after it pushed those limits. I’m still in awe of my body’s ability to know how and when to do that.

Since things had slowed down a little, my midwives suggested I try to rest, so I got out of the tub and lay in bed for a while. My contractions spaced out to about 10 minutes apart. While it was nice to have a longer rest in between contractions, when the contraction did come, they were long and hard.

Friday morning and most of the day, my contractions were really spaced out (from about 5-10min apart). The midwives said we could either take this as a sign that my body needed to rest or we could try to speed the contractions back up. We opted to try and speed them up. All day Friday was like reading a midwifery book on laboring techniques. We tried so many things, walking outside (walking definitely aided my contractions), laboring on my exercise ball, birthing stool, rocking chair, in the shower, in the tub, hanging from a sheet, robozo, wrapping my belly with an Ace bandage in the hopes that it would help the baby get into a better position. All these techniques did in fact help dilation and the baby’s position. By Friday afternoon I was around 8-9cm dilated, but unfortunately the baby’s head was still high. We thought about breaking my water, but since the baby’s head wasn’t directly on my cervix, the midwives thought it wouldn’t do any good and would just end up putting us on a time limit.

All the action of Friday plus a sleepless night made me very tired by Friday afternoon. So, my midwives suggested I take some Benadryl and try to rest. The Benadryl worked and made me drowsy enough to rest and my contractions spaced out again to about 10 minutes. Most of that night and into early Saturday morning I rested in bed and everybody was able to sleep. Still my contractions were really, really hard when they came every 10 minutes or so. Fortunately, everyone (except me) was able to sleep Friday night, which I think rejuvenated everyone.

That was the end of Day 2. To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. AHHH!!! You in the birth tub!! SOOO CUTE! :)

    What a great are amazing. Can't wait for the next part.

    Um, yeah-- you did everything-- rebozo! You could be a doula by now. :)


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