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Sofie Grace, 1/31 (finally done!)

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February 6th, 2011, 01:03 PM
MandiK's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Among the trees and stars, the drum beat never fades ...
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Saturday morning (1/29) around 3am, I woke up to use the bathroom. As I hoisted my giant self out of bed, I felt what can only be described as a wet bubble. I made it to the bathroom just in time for my water to break as I sat down on the toilet. I woke up my mom, cleaned up the mess, sat around not feeling any different and decided to go back to bed. I didn't even wake Ben up.

Around 430am, contractions started, but only about 10-15 minutes apart. Some times they would be 5 minutes apart, others 25 or 30. It was terribly frustrating. I tried walking around, stimulation, just about anything to get the contractions to regulate. I was determined to avoid the hospital for as long as possible, but around 6 or 7pm with contractions that were 7ish minutes apart, we decided it was probably time to head in.

The L&D department sent me to triage where I waited for a resident to do an exam to "confirm" my membrane rupture. I of course had almost no contractions once we got to the hospital. The resident thought there was still fluid around the baby, and that I was probably crazy thinking my water broke. I didn't mention the part where I have AmnioTest sticks at my house (that were ... um, tactfully acquired from the OB's office) and was absolutely certain it was amniotic fluid, but apparently once the mini-rupture happened The Squishy slid down to block my cervix from the rest of it coming out. Then I waited around all day, used the bathroom, etc, and by the time I got to the hospital the AmnioTest wouldn't turn purple. Uh, oops.

L&D did an AFI ultrasound to check fluid levels, which were decreased from my NST two days before, but not too low to make augmenting my terribly slow starting labor necessary. The resident gave me the option to stay there and augment with drugs or artificial rupture or go home. We had of course called our parents (who immediately came to the hospital even though we asked them to wait until we were admitted ... ), and had to take the "walk of shame" out of the hospital.

Since we were out and hungry, we went out to dinner around 1030 when we left the hospital. As soon as we were in the car on the expressway, I started contracting every 5-7 minutes consistently. We got to the restaurant, ordered, and hung out waiting for food. I was miserable. I ate all of 6 bites of dinner and promptly spent 10 minutes in the bathroom throwing up. Booo. Once everyone was done, we decided to head home rather than back to the hospital. I knew if I went back too soon they'd want to augment and I was not having any part of that if possible.

We came home, I went to bed and proceeded to contract regularly for the entire night. Around 3am, I couldn't stand to be in my bed anymore so I came downstairs to try sleeping on the couch to no avail. Around 7am, I tried taking a shower with hopes that would help kill the pain in my back. I finally found sitting upright to be the only semi-comfortable position and hung out sitting up working through contractions until around 2pm.

The contractions started getting really consistent and intense in the middle of the afternoon and we decided it was probably time to head back in. In triage I was at 4cm and 75%. I had so much terrible back labor. I tried walking and walking and walking. The resident told the nurse I could choose to go home again if I wanted, but I was pretty certain the 30+ minute drive there and back wasn't the greatest idea.

Around 7pm, I had progressed to a stretchy 5cm, 80-90% effaced and I was given the choice to be admitted so they could augment my labor or go home and come back. I didn't want to augment, but I didn't want to go home either, so I agreed to being admitted. I spent the next hour or so in the jacuzzi tub (which they won't let you have access to until you're admitted ... jerks), but it wasn't that effective. The tubs they have are like a standard tub you'd find in a small apartment, just with jets in the bottom. The water only went up to 100 degrees, which sounds hot, but most certainly is not as hot as you want it to be. It helped distract me from the back labor, but didn't ease the contractions at all. Mostly it served to make the resident forget I was there under the pretense of augmenting for awhile so my body could get itself in gear.

After not that long in the tub, I was terribly uncomfortable and cold. The water didn't even cover my legs, let alone my belly and with the chill in the air it was all but miserable in there. This hospital used to have the big roomy deep tubs, but apparently got rid of them during the recent remodel. Idiots. Ben helped me out so I could use the bathroom and I found I was losing giant chunks of plug.

(At this point the story gets a little fuzzy for me. I only really know the highlights. I don't have a specific timeline.)

I got back in bed so I could appease the monitoring people for a little while and found it most comfortable to labor on my side. The back labor was terrible. Contractions are nothing compared to my back feeling like it was being torn apart every 5 or so minutes. I think counter pressure would have helped, or massage, but I was not capable of speaking the majority of the time I was in active labor. I was in 'the zone' and my language centers all but turned off.

Shortly after getting back in bed, the lab sent up a tech to start a line "for my Pitocin". I have terrible luck with needle sticks and managing them through my contractions was not the most fun I've ever had. Nor was the lab tech coming back 10 minutes later to draw blood after starting my line because the resident wanted a blood count panel. You can't draw blood off a line you're going to use for medication so it was another stick, this one in the inside of my wrist.

My labor nurse showed up with the Pitocin and hung it on the IV pole without connecting it. I was stalling as much as possible, determined that I was all but going to die if I had to have Pit contractions on top of back labor. The resident came in ...

SIDE STORY: This resident and I are approximately the same age. He's in scrubs and a zip up hoodie. He's clearly been screwing around napping and facebooking in the on call room. He knows he has to be there all night, and honestly, doesn't care too terribly much if I don't deliver right that second because he doesn't have anything else going on. This winds up being a bonus for both of us. He'd randomly come in and check on me, suggest some intervention. I'd say no, and he'd calmly shrug, say ok, and go back to sleep. I never would have chosen him specifically, but it ends up we were made for each other.

... to check me and I'm still between a 5 and 6. He talks about hooking up the Pit drip. I conjure all of my verbal power to say, "No, not yet". He goes back to sleep and my nurse tells me that my body needs to get itself in gear if it's going to avoid the doctor intervening.

SIDE STORY: My nurse was a perfect fit. We had personalities that did not really mesh at all, but she was my advocate the whole time. My mother handed her my birth plan and she never deviated from advocating for its follow through, so far as to both confront my resident and hide "necessary materials" from the nursery nurse so she couldn't put antibiotic drops in my baby's eyes. She was the strong largely silent type and I hated her most of the night (for no real good reason), but in the end, she was a lifesaver.

I guess my body likes to work under pressure, because once the threat of Pit was on the table and the bag was actually in the room, I went from barely a 6 to around an 8 in a couple hours (I really have no idea the amount of time exactly). The contractions got quite intense, moreso than they had been, around 11pm. I spent a lot of time laying on my left side, grabbing the bed rail with everything I had, staring at the counter next to my bed, and trying to breathe through the pain. I fixated a lot on the red cap that comes on the ultrasound gel bottle that was sitting there. Ben would stand next to my face and occasionally put the straw of my water glass in my mouth. He didn't say a whole lot, but if you know Ben that's to be expected. I wasn't hearing anything anyone was saying anyway.

I was pretty convinced I was dying or going to wind up with a C-section most of the time from around midnight until I delivered. There was a constant running commentary in my head, because my mouth wouldn't work, about how this should take this long and the pain shouldn't be this bad and I'm not going to make it and the baby won't fit and blah blah blah. In hind sight, I should have tried to get those thoughts under control and perhaps we would have moved faster, but I literally had no power over myself at this point. None. It was all autopilot.

Somewhere between 8 and 9 cm, I felt like pushing. I was still laying on my side and I felt weird and like I wanted to strain against something, but it was never the specific "urge to push out a baby" I was expecting. Without saying anything, I would bear down on a contraction to see if it felt better or satisfied the urge I was having. No one was really the wiser until the nurse noticed the hot mess of bodily fluids amassing at the end of my bed and asked, "Are you pushing?! Wait, let me check you." I was still between 8 and 9 and she told me I "couldn't push yet". Well, too bad. I did what felt right. I figured my body wouldn't lead me astray.

The resident came in and started talking Pit again since I'd been in active labor for ... however long ... days, I swear. I voted no. He asked about rupturing my membranes the rest of the way. I was terrified that the contractions would get worse than they were, because that's what you always hear about when someone gets ruptured artificially. I was kind of at the point that I was hoping we'd be done soon (since as I mentioned previously I was convinced I was dying most of the time ...), and so I consented. Can I say ick? I would really rather not lay in a puddle of amniotic fluid ever again. Thanks.

At this point I was also tired of being in bed and wanted to stand up. This wasn't a popular idea at first, so I pretended that I wanted to use the bathroom in order to get out of bed. I hung out in there until my mother finally came in and insisted that I couldn't hide in there (pushing in secret, which is mostly what I was doing). When I came out, the nurse put the bed up as high as it would go and I stood on a towel next to it, leaning over the edge, working through my contractions. This helped the back labor some and I knew I needed to be upright to get that baby down far enough to be done with this endeavor. The resident came in while I was laboring upright and about had a stroke. He was convinced the world might actually end and I might just deliver that baby right there on the floor. My super hero nurse went toe to toe with him, reassuring him that this was not her first rodeo, and that what I was doing was just fine since she was there constantly.

I kept bearing down with the contractions that felt like they needed bearing down. This plus bending over, plus being dehydrated apparently did not agree with the baby and we had a short run of disconcerting decels. This meant I had to get back in bed quickly. There was a flutter of activity with my nurse readjusting belts and trying to find heart tones. She hit the call button and in running came the resident and another nurse. About that time my O2 sats dropped into the high 50s. That's problematic generally, but I think it was mostly me holding my breath when bearing down. Next thing I knew they were running in a vast quantity of fluid and being very insistent that I wear a very high flowing oxygen mask. This was one of those disconnected moments when I was sure the next thing I was going to hear was "you need an OR, let's go".

Alas, no. The heart rates went right back to normal, and my O2 sats improved. They stayed low enough though that they insisted I keep wearing the mask. I kept "forgetting" to keep it on because I didn't want to wear it, and eventually Ben was holding it to my face so I couldn't "forget" anymore. The resident used this incident to suggest internal monitoring which I just shook my head at because I couldn't actually say the word no.

I now know that what came next was clearly transition, though I was pretty sure it was just my body falling to pieces. I was hot and sweating, and then suddenly shaking like a leaf uncontrollably. Ben looked horrified like I was having a seizure and I remember whispering "It's normal" to him. I wanted very badly to have some kind of pain relief. I remember repeatedly having the conversation in my head ...

"I want some drugs."
"No, it's too late, they'll never give them to you."
"Well, just ask for them."
"And look like an idiot? They'll never give them."

This went on over and over. I wanted drugs in a bad way, but I never asked not because I'm some kind of bada** but because I was afraid it was too late (and it probably was) and they'd tell me no. The fear of that no kept me from asking in the first place, which is probably good, because Ben and my mother would have absolutely said no even the nurses said yes.

The nurse kept making me roll from one side to the other, which was starting to piss me off. Moving around was not on my list of things that sounded like a good idea. She'd ask me to roll over, I'd tell her to wait a minute, she'd just repeat what she asked previously. Bless that patient woman. I kept bearing down with contractions, and this kept screwing with the monitors so in came the resident. After our previous decel run, he was pretty adamant that if I was going to keep having problems keeping the monitors on and accurate then I needed to consent to internal monitoring of both fetal heart tones and uterine pressure so we would know if there were another set of problems.

In my rational mind, I know all of that is BS. I know that internal monitoring doesn't actually improve fetal or maternal outcome over unmonitored labors. I know that it increases the c-section rate by a ridiculous percentage.

I was not thinking about any of that at the time. I didn't want another 'every one spaz and run around like crazies because Mandi is clearly dying' episode and I consented. It wasn't fun to have placed because I had to lay on my back for a minute, but it wasn't life ending either. Then I didn't have to wear the stupid belts anymore. Bonus points for that. Also good news, I had only a small anterior lip when they placed it and that had to mean we were almost there.

After that I remember breathing rapidly and regularly in my forcefully held on oxygen mask while staring at that red cap on the gel bottle. I remember contractions coming on top of contractions. I remember pushing on my side for awhile with one leg pulled up to my chest. I remember the nurse trying really hard not to count at me and let me do my own thing, but she was making it pretty clear that she didn't think my pushing only when I felt like it and not with every contraction was working very well. She was humoring me, but was clear that she thought I needed more direction and focus to get things done. She wanted to check me and see how the pushing was working first hand, lifted the sheet (my legs had been covered) to see, and all hell about broke loose.

Apparently my body directed pushing when I wanted was effective. The next thing I know she's pushing the call light, yelling for another set of hands, yelling for my resident, throwing supplies around the room. I am convinced through all of this that something is wrong and that I'm headed to the OR. The tension in my nurse's voice is what did it, I think. She sounded scared or anxious after sounding calm all night and I thought that meant something was wrong and no one would tell me.

The resident came in, asked me to roll to my back, and then frantically started helping the nurse put the table together. This resident prefers to deliver standing and he's 1298 feet tall, so they put the bed up as far as it would go. Then the put the paddles on the end for my feet, and asked me to put my foot down and push. When I did, the whole paddle disconnected and came crashing down with half of me behind it. It literally fell off the table, like the whole thing was falling apart. Best part? It happened again on the next contraction. Great equipment, clearly.

I put my chin on my chest, curled up, and pushed through two contractions. At 615am, The Squishy came rocketing out half way through the second one. She never "crowned" so to speak .. not in a "Hey, warning warning, there's a baby coming out of here" kind of way. I never felt the "ring of fire" feeling. She just came flying out. The resident nearly dropped her. Within seconds of her delivery, it was like a switch was flipped and I was back from where ever I had been all night. I was social. I was talking. I was pleasant. I had been none of those things all night.

Sofie Grace
8lbs, 4.4oz
21 inches
APGARs of 7 and 9

Sofie basically came out screaming. This may have helped my anxiety go down quickly as well. They put her on my belly for a minute to delay the cord clamping and then took her across the room to be weighed and the like. She screamed bloody murder the whole time. When the nursery nurse yelled out her weight, I may have made a snide, "What?! You mean she doesn't weigh 12 pounds?!" comment given the amount of crap they gave me the whole time I was pregnant about how she "clearly" must be huge. Blah. Showed them.

Placental delivery was within 2 or 3 minutes. The resident who had previously been stoic and completely lacking affect was now smiling from ear to ear. It turns out I was his last delivery on his last shift on this rotation. Kind of cool. He says, "Hey, it doesn't look like you even need any stitches". I'm thinking, "Uh, sweeet".


Then the attending on call comes in. He just so happens to be the father of one of my students. Um, awkward. He of course recognizes me (I'm kind of hard to forget when I teach your kids to argue with you ...), and asks how I've been. My response: "Well, I'd be better if I had pants on right now ...". I wanted to hide under a rock. Then I hear the attending ask the nurse for 2 suture trays.



What happened to "Oh you don't even need any stitches"? Yea. Lies. All lies. It took 45+ minutes for them to do the repair together. I don't even know what tore where for sure. I have to wait until my 6 week appointment to ask. Yikes.

So there it is, lovely ladies. My apologies for the delay. Enjoy.
Definition (Webster's 2006) of "MandiK":
A 20something, graduate student, college prof, tree hugging, time managing, coupon addicted, cosmetic selling, dirt worshipping, girl who is in love with Ben and welcomed Sofie Grace on 1/31/11.

Last edited by MandiK; February 28th, 2011 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Update!
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February 6th, 2011, 02:07 PM
Crafty Mama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Michigan
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I was so excited to see this posted, can't wait to read the rest!!!!

Thank you, AlexAiden Mommy for my awesome siggy!

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February 6th, 2011, 04:19 PM
HeatherLyn429's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Western Mass
Posts: 2,058
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can't wait to read the rest!
Heather, Mom to: Devon 17, Trevor 12, Bobby 10, Ryan 9, Breanna 8, Oliver 2
and introducing my new baby princess Penelope Kate born 3/18/14 5:35am 9lbs 5oz 22"
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February 7th, 2011, 10:43 AM
keekopeeko's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: virginia
Posts: 7,949
haha.. cliff hanger!
~Em, Married to Matt since 7/3/04. Mommy to Layla 3/29/06, Eva 10/18/08, Zeke 2/4/11, and Jonah 7/28/13

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February 7th, 2011, 10:58 AM
famograham's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Beautiful Parksville, BC, Canada (on Vancouver Island)
Posts: 2,438
Awwww.....can't wait for more!
Born Jan 25th, one day after her duedate, 10 pounds 1.5 ounces, 23 inches long. A harrowing birth, but our Angel is here! My dream come true.

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February 7th, 2011, 02:04 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,903
Ditto! Cliffhanger! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story
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February 20th, 2011, 09:24 AM
lillermom99's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: MA
Posts: 3,583
Oh yeah this is a cliffhanger birth story!

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February 20th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Isaeph's Avatar Jennifer the Momma
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boise!
Posts: 16,196
*pins and needles* here Mandi!
"Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law." George W. Bush

Crunchy, conservative, Christian, homeschooling, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not-vaccinating, cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, ec-ing, unassisted-birthing, breastmilk donating, Momma to 7yo, 4yo, 2yo, 2mo.
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February 23rd, 2011, 03:19 PM
famograham's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Beautiful Parksville, BC, Canada (on Vancouver Island)
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Me too, still dying for the rest!

Born Jan 25th, one day after her duedate, 10 pounds 1.5 ounces, 23 inches long. A harrowing birth, but our Angel is here! My dream come true.

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February 28th, 2011, 01:21 PM
Isaeph's Avatar Jennifer the Momma
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boise!
Posts: 16,196
Oh wow Mandi!! You are a fantastic writer, I was quite rivetted. And you're SOOO strong. Don't doubt for a second that pretty much every woman has the same conversation about drugs there at the end. I begged dh with #2 and #3 to take me for drugs, and I wanted to die with #4. Way to go!! Sorry about all the stitches, that really stinks.
"Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law." George W. Bush

Crunchy, conservative, Christian, homeschooling, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not-vaccinating, cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, ec-ing, unassisted-birthing, breastmilk donating, Momma to 7yo, 4yo, 2yo, 2mo.
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February 28th, 2011, 02:43 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 8,477
Awesome story! Sounds like you had a very supportive staff. I had a super fast labor and had that same drug conversation in my head.
Mom to Issac (8/22/99), Carly (8/10/06), and Zack (2/7/11)
Surromom/Aunt to Luke (1/21/09)

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March 1st, 2011, 10:46 PM
Cranberry's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,329
FINALLY Mandi!! Wow, what a story! So proud of you!
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March 4th, 2011, 02:38 PM
FertileMyrtle's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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WOW awesome story!!!!!!!

"All babies want to get borned" - Su Chin, Juno
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