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Kannon Wilde was born at 439 PM, September 5th. 9 lbs 9 oz, roughly 22.5 in (they guess--he put up a fight for the stretching ). We hadn't found out beforehand that he was going to be a he!
On Saturday, September 2nd, the day before my due date, I was talking to my sister and DH about a post in the September DDC. Women who had planned c-sections and inductions were talking about their last big meals and someone had mentioned Cracker Barrel. We were out driving around, looking at the wildfires here, and decided to keep going to Billings, another hour and a half, for some tasty, tasty Cracker Barrel. At breakfast, I had eaten and eaten and eaten and I wasn't even hungry. I just kept needing to stuff myself and keep full. On the way to Billings, I started having contractions--real ones. But I didn't say anything because this had happened before. Try driving and not letting on that you're contracting. Not very easy...or smart. At Cracker Barrel, I ate all of mine, my sister's leftovers, and extra biscuits. I never eat like that. We drove the 2 hours and 15 minutes back, and I was still contracting. I figured that being up all day had made it all worse and that a good night's sleep would do the trick.
Buuuut, I didn't sleep that night and occasionally glanced to see how far apart they were...anywhere from 3-11 minutes. Not very regular. Of course, I'd have them every 3 minutes for almost an hour, then they'd go back to 9 or so. On Sunday the 3rd, my due date, DH, my sister, and I made fudge and just hung out. We were at my in-laws', 35 minutes or so from town. I kept thinking, "Maybe...", but decided again not to say anything. I didn't sleep again that night and even posted on JM about not having any signs of impending labor. I had pretty much convinced myself that nothing was going to happen and that the baby was going to stay in there.
On Monday, nothing had changed. I was sooooo tired from not sleeping for a couple of days. My sister and DH wanted to do something that day, but I convinced them that hanging out in our pajamas on the back porch was a SPLENDID way to spend Labor Day. Of course, I received several comments about Labor Day and going into labor, and all I could think was, "Just you wait..." My sister left around 4 and I walked into the kitchen and nearly fell. I just told DH that I had to sit down. He asked, "Contraction?" "Yeah, but the same as usual." Liar. I had moved in such a way that I thought the baby was coming out. I told him not to say much about it because I didn't want to deal with his parents asking questions--we'd been staying with them because his mom was afraid I'd go into labor and try to drive myself to the hospital if DH wasn't around. We tried to stay at our house, but that meant hourly phone calls and if I didn't answer, someone was sent to check on me. Even staying over there, she'd come to check on me every few minutes if I said I wanted to nap (so, no napping for me), went to my appointments, and so on. The only breakdown I had was wishing the baby would come out so I didn't have to be there.
Around 6, I finally told DH that something was different, but I didn't know what. I was contracting irregularly, but every 3-6 minutes, and had been for a while. I insisted that it didn't necessarily mean anything. We went to bed around 10, but DH pointed out that this could be it and we didn't have anything packed. I was a little miffed writing out a short list of what to bring, SURE that this WAS NOT it. I seriously thought, "Maybe some pregnancies just end like this and a baby never comes out." I have no idea what I thought the next logical step was!
I got in and out of the shower for a little while and eventually, decided that I was going to have sex with DH. Ouch. I don't know what possessed me to do such a thing. Maybe I was convincing myself that nothing was happening. After a while, DH went to sleep and I decided to get in the shower again. It was only then that I really thought to time the contractions. Holy crap--3-6 minutes, 55-65 seconds, consistently for 2 hours. At 2 AM, I gave in and called L&D. I actually apologized for bothering them. "Hi, I've been having contractions for a few days and they're much closer together, 3-5 minutes, lasting for about a minute. I'm so sorry to bother you and I'm sure I'll just be sent home, but I should come in to let you check the baby, right?" She told me that I should, just to make sure. I called my doula and she agreed. She told me later that if *I* thought they were uncomfortable, I must be in real labor. (I have a weird tolerance for pain and she's seen this.)
I got there, they hooked me up, asked some questions, and a nurse finally looked at the monitor and said, "Don't you feel those???" I told her that I did, but I didn't want to be rude and stop talking. She wanted to check me, just to make sure. 4cm, 75% effaced, +1 station. She was pretty sure that I was staying. I had had some serious anxiety about MY doc being the one on call, so I can't tell you how relieved I was to find out that it was going to be the doc I'd wanted all along in this pregnancy. My doc had been talking c-section the whole time and wanted to strip my membranes and such. Anyway, she asked what I wanted. "Natural, and I don't want any offerings of pain killers, I don't want my water broken, I want to be able to move around, etc." Fine by her.
We checked into L&D at 330 am. DH started making calls when we found out we were staying. My MIL wanted to come right away, but I had to insist that I wasn't *quite* there yet and they had plenty of time. Once I was officially checked in, they needed to start my IV for GBS. Ohmy. I'm a hard stick. I know this. The nurse tried 3 times. She called an ER nurse. 4 sticks later, still nothing...except pools of blood all over. They called an anaesthesiologist. Worst part of the whole ordeal. She immediately started badmouthing all the nurses, loudly, asked me weird questions, then said, "I'd get the epidural now. If you aspirate, there's a 90% chance you'll die, then you're not doing any favors for you or that baby." I saw one of the nurses run out of the room, another just glare, and I just said, "No, thanks." But she kept on. She was also talking about how the nurses had made this a bad day for her by not being able to do their jobs and stick me properly. Then we all got to laugh because it took HER 4 tries and that eventually blew. When she left, one of the nurses said, "I know. You're not the first and you won't be the last." I was finally able to walk around and people were apparently waking up to our messages. DH was walking with me and had to stay on the phone. I looked maniacal, walking hard in a robe and with a purpose. I couldn't stop and we had to be in a certain part of the hospital for the phone to work, so we just walked in circles in one of the waiting rooms. Lots of weird looks from people going by.
I had to keep being monitored because the baby's heartbeat wasn't changing. It was being very calm. The doula showed up at 8, looked at the monitor and said, "Any guesses what it is?" She guessed boy, I told her that I KNEW. I sat on the birth ball in the shower, but it kept covering the drain, so DH had to kneel and lift me and the ball every couple of minutes. The doula just sort of stood back the whole time. She kept telling me that she was amazed at how well I was handling it and that she didn't need to be there at all. We kept joking, laughing, passing the time, but I was so nervous that the baby's heartbeat was a source of concern. I wouldn't have had to be on the monitors if not for that, and the labor nurse even kept coming into the shower with a Doppler to check on him. I tried to ignore it. As long as the rate didn't go DOWN, I knew that he couldn't be in much trouble. At 930, I was happily at 7cm, 100% effaced. 1030, 8 cm. And there I stayed for several hours. Transition. I couldn't stop shaking and sweating and I think that DH was nervous. My demeanor didn't change, though, which was a good thing. I just had to keep going from the shower to the bed to walking to rocking. Around the time of that last check, my poor sister came running into the room, sobbing. She thought she'd missed it.
Once I finally reached 9, I seemed to stay there. I had a tiny lip that wouldn't go and I FINALLY remembered: it's scarred. They had to push it back for me because it never would have gone on its own. It took me a couple of hours to remember that, though, and I felt like a complete idiot. My contractions had never become completely regular, either, but were coming one on top of the other. They had mentioned kickstarting contractions, but eventually figured that I'm just not a regular contractor (good to know if there's a next time!). They also wanted to break my water. I don't know why I was so sad about that. I had wanted so little intervention and there I was waiting for the doc to come break it. During a contraction, though, I thought I needed to push and WHOOSH! all over the bed. DH, sis, and doula all gasped and I giggled. The nurse was disappointed because she'd NEVER seen or heard water break and because she was looking at the monitor, had missed it.
The labor nurse had me practice push, but I wasn't too good at it. My biggest fear (aside from problems with the baby or me) was pooping on the table, so I was holding in my pushing. And, I couldn't stop laughing. I was the calmest person in the room!!! THEY were all nervous because I wasn't! At 253 pm, I was ready to push for real. This is the same time EXACTLY that my mom died. My sister and I both happened to look at the clock, then at each other, grinning weakly.
I got over my pooping while pushing fear pretty quickly. We tried so many positions for pushing. My hips had to be propped because of my pubic bone and baby's position, but that was only for a couple pushes. While my sister, the labor nurse, my doula, and DH all held me and counted, I had to keep from laughing. No one was counting the same number at the same speed. I'd hear, "1, 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 44..." The doc came in and started stretching and again, commented on how calm I was, how controlled the pushing was. She let me touch the head after each push. I saw my sister back off and sit down. I think that the mushed head was a bit much for her. Another nurse came in to hold my leg. Then I heard the doc say to get the nursery nurse. I got pretty excited. The nursery nurse was literally cheerleading on the side. A couple others had come in to watch, too. It was an odd, but really fun way to end it. DH was joking with me still, telling me to "crunk" out the baby. He and the doc had a conversation about what crunking is. The nurses were in their purple uniforms, cheering. I hadn't torn, but heard the doc say, "I thought she'd have it out 2 contractions ago." That was all I needed...to get him out and get a small tear. I thought, "If I'm that close and this is that uncomfortable, I'm going!" Everyone was looking away in the few seconds between contractions, but DH felt me tense and very calmly said, "She's pushing." The head came out and with her very skilled hands, the doc got the shoulders out. I have NEVER felt physical relief quite like that and that was the only noise I made the whole time--a huge moan AFTER he was out. He came out fast and hard, which I sort of saw in the overhead mirror and sort of out of the corner of my eye--nearly 2 hours of pushing. DH just kept saying, "It's beautiful, good job!" I was dead still until I heard him cry, then I couldn't stop shaking and sobbing. We just watched for a couple of minutes, DH cut the cord, then my sister asked, "Don't you want to know what it is?" DH FINALLY looked and told me that it was a boy...but I already knew. They had us guess the weight and I was right, even though I really have no concept of that sort of thing. I hadn't held him yet, I just sort of knew.
He was and is perfect. I had prepared myself for pain and discomfort and even for the worrying afterward. I had prepared for loving him hard. I could never, ever have prepared for that feeling right after he came out, after all that exertion and exhaustion. I was especially shocked by the "GIVE HIM TO ME NOW" instinct. My doc grabbed my leg because I tried to get out of bed to go to the warmer and she still had to finish with the placenta and stitching me!
After congratulating us and telling us that he looked like me and "you've earned it", the doc asked how the experience was. "Fun." She looked surprised, then her look changed and she said, sort of playfully, "With you, I believe it."
It was amazing. I pretty much got what I wanted, and I'm very lucky that everything went my way to do that. And, of course, I'd do it all over again for him--all 3 1/2 days of it!!!
Poor thing, though--spent his first few days without a name. We left the hospital without naming him, never discussed our possibilities with family (because they all have VERY strong opinions), and only called to tell them when his birth certificate was official! Hehe.
Wow! I read these stories all the time because I want to know what to expect and I figure that even thou everyone is so different if I read enough of them one of them will relate to mine. These stories always make me a little emotional, but for some reason yours did more than that. Yours I believe has given me the strength and will to do this. I applaude you for your power. I am honestly amazed by your birth story and how well you tell it. Congrat's. I hope I am at least half as fortunate as you in strength alone.