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Ember's Birth (natural hospital birth, no pain meds)


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  #1  
June 9th, 2012, 02:03 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: MA
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For a few mornings I had been getting some regular contractions for a couple of hours, but they would stop when I was up and moving. On Monday, June 4th, at 41w6d, I woke up at 7am with a contraction that made me have to get up and pee, and then when I layed down I had some more 10 minutes apart. They were still very gentle but the pressure was a bit different, I could feel it down low. I didn't like laying down through them, I had to sit up. At 8am I woke Denis up and told him to take a shower just in case this was it. I was so relieved to avoid an induction after 42 weeks!

I had a NST scheduled for 10am that morning and I wasn't sure if I should bother getting ready to go in for that or not. I didn't want to go in, be told I was having contractions, and then either be stuck in the hospital the entire time or have to drive home and then go back in again. Not to mention I didn't think I should be driving in case the contractions got stronger. I called the Midwife on call at 8:30 to let her know that I might be in labor, she said not to come in for the NST, we could reschedule it later or I'd be coming in soon.

My contractions were now every 4.5-5 minutes apart, making me feel like this actually was labor! Den made toast, eggs and bacon for us. Kate was still asleep. I mostly sat on my birth ball at the table, eating and texting. I also went around making sure that the diaper bag had everything in it, that my ID and phone and chargers were all in my bag. At 10:00 we got ahold of our friends and told them we would be dropping Kate off soon for the day as we headed into the hospital. Contractions were still around 5 minutes apart and not much stronger, but I did have to stop and relax during them and I didn't want to wait too long at home like I did last time. I could feel the baby sitting lower. The only question now was how far along I was, not whether or not this was really labor.

We dropped Kate off at around 10:30 and headed to the hospital. We got there just after 11:00. I called my Midwife on the way and she asked if I was sure I wanted to come in, I still sounded in a good mood. Den said the same thing, but I reassured him that I was pretty sure this was a good time to go in. I also called my mom to tell her that I was in labor and we were headed in to the hospital. This was a far more pleasant car ride than racing in while in transition with Kate... just saying.

I got into triage pretty quickly, got hooked up to the monitors. Baby's heartrate was good. I couldn't sit back during contractions at all, I was leaning forward and holding myself a little off the bed with each one, I could feel a lot of low pressure and some in my lower back as well. After about 20 minutes on the monitor the midwife asked if I wanted to be checked now. She checked me and then sat back in surprise and told me I was 6cm already. She said she had been nervous I was going to be too early and have to go home. So went to get me a room. I walked up there - first time riding those elevators up when actually in labor!

By 12:30 we were in my room. The midwife got me a birth ball to sit on; I sat facing the bed, rolling my hips and texting on the phone. My contractions were still around 5 minutes apart like clockwork, but only lasted for 30-45 seconds each. Either Den or the midwife would press/rub my lower back with each one, I could still feel baby pressing against my spine. In between contractions we chatted a little bit, played on our phones, and waited. It was quiet. My friends were laughing that I was on Facebook and writing emails while in labor. I had my bottle of water that my midwife would remind me to drink from, and no IV. The midwife would use the monitors to check baby's heartrate every 30 minutes. It kept sliding down so she sat next to me and held it on for the few minutes needed to get a good reading through a contraction. Baby was still doing great. There was no mention of pain meds or other interventions from the nurse, she just kept saying things like how I was doing so great.

At 1:45pm I asked her to check me again, I was feeling a lot more pressure down low and just wanted to know where we might be at. She checked me at a 7, then asked if she could check me during a contraction, she suspected I might be dilating further during the pressure of contractions. Sure enough she said I was 8cm during contractions as her head came down. I sat up on the bed and lowered the foot part so I was perched at the edge. I put on my headphones and turned on music, but of course didn't feel like any of the soft gentle music I had brought with me. I turned on pandora to my dance station, then just closed my eyes and bobbed my head to the beat. I really had to remind myself to relax during contractions now, my body was trying to tense up to get away from all that low pressure as her head pushed down.

At around 2:15 I told my midwife that the contractions were getting a little painful now. She noted that it was the first time I had used the word "pain." At around 2:30 I told DH I had to go to the bathroom. I was able to have a bowel movement, and there was some bloody show. I knew I was getting much closer. I remember thinking that I was about to push a baby out, that it was going to hurt, why was I doing this again??

I walked back to the bedside and stood there through another contraction and felt a little pushy, which I told them. A couple more contractions I just pushed a little bit. At 2:40 I started whimpering through the contraction. 2:45 I really pushed with the contraction and my water broke all over my feet. The midwife put down some chux pads underneath me and asked if I wanted to get on the bed or not. I believe I just whimpered in response, I couldn't think and couldn't move. I ended up holding Den's hands across the bed and squatting to push. It was only a few contractions I pushed through, a few pushes each time, but to me it felt like it took forever. I could feel her head coming out and I was pushing so hard to desperately get it out. Her head came out and I felt a wave of relief followed by surprise that the rest of her body didn't quickly follow. I pushed a couple times through the next contraction but she wasn't moving. My midwife was very quick and take-charge, telling me to quickly get up on the bed, a very difficult thing at that time. She got me on my side and I pushed as hard as I could and out she came. I overheard her tell the nurse that it wasn't shoulder dystocia - later she told me that the baby had a large chest and she was in a bit of an awkward position.

HUGE relief when the baby was out. They put her on my belly and I held her, shocked again at the whole process, that I just pushed a baby out. How did this creature come from me?! I could feel the cord between my legs, it seemed kind of short - Ember was as high up on my chest as she could with the cord still attached. I was aware that the midwife and nurse were very hasty and talking quickly, not all relaxed. The nurse rubbed the baby with a towel and urged her to take some good breaths. Ember was crying, but her skin tone was very purple still. It was a few minutes like that, Ember on my chest crying now and again but not really getting pink. The midwife clamped the cord and had Den cut it, then they told me they were going to take the baby over to the warmer and get her some oxygen. For the first time I noticed all the people in the room by the warmer. They rubbed her and suctioned her and put an oxygen mask on her. Den watched very fretfully. I was tired and knew she was in good hands, I figured she would be brought back over to me in a couple minutes. One of the women in the group said she was from the NICU and explained what they were doing and that they were going to take her to monitor her. I was confused that they were taking her to the NICU, I felt like she was going to be fine any second now. I figured they'd take her up, get her back on track, and bring her right back down.

My midwife said to try pushing a little bit to see if the placenta would come out, and a minute later it did. I had a first degree tear again, so she stitched me up - it was exceedingly not fun. We still didn't know Ember's weight or length, but the midwife said by the looks of her she was over 8lbs. Later when I was on the phone with my mom the nurse came back down from the NICU and announced the birthweight was 8 lb 13.1 oz! My mouth dropped open at that! I had felt like Ember was going to be bigger than Kate (7lb) but no one suspected a baby that was closing in on 9lbs! It just amazes me that she was hiding in my belly! The length we didn't know until much later, but it was around 19.75 inches, so basically the same length as Kate.

Unfortunately she did not come straight back down from the NICU, in fact she's still there 5 days later. There was fluid in her lungs after birth, which is not common in healthy, full-term babies. It's not a huge deal, but she does have some breathing "spells" where she doesn't breathe deeply enough and her oxygen sats drop. She's doing much better now and the doctors think she'll be going home soon. But as usual Ember seems to be on her own timeline!
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Last edited by lunarmagic; June 9th, 2012 at 07:10 PM.
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  #2  
June 10th, 2012, 12:30 AM
Raven_Haired_Mama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Such a well written birth story. I could picture each moment. Archer was in the NICU five days. But that was less surprising since he was a c section baby. Still weird to hear the words that they are taking them to the NICU.

Congrats and I can't wait to see her!
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  #3  
June 10th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Great birth! I hope Ember makes it out of the NICU and home with you soon though!
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  #4  
June 12th, 2012, 05:54 PM
lindsey2000k's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Sorry about the Nicu
What a great story and YAY for natural in the hospital.
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