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Henry's Birth story **WARNING: insanely long** x posted

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October 28th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,167
Prologue: I found out I was pregnant on February 4th, early on a Monday morning. This baby was planned and wanted and loved since the very first moment. I was only 4 weeks pregnant when I found out because I was waiting for it. I felt the familiar “weirdness” one weekend and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was pregnant. I woke up at 2AM that Monday morning with extreme excitement, like a kid on Christmas morning. I knew when I finally crawled out of bed and took a pregnancy test, I would see the two lines. I sat in my bathroom at 4:30 in the morning literally shaking with happiness. I couldn’t wait to add to our family and make Jackson a sibling to love and grow with. I couldn’t wait to have a brand new baby, and I fell in love with the idea of him swiftly and immediately. Before I knew he even was even a him, before he was even a being that was visible to the naked eye, I was his.

I was surprised and disheartened to wake up on my due date (October 12th) still pregnant. My first son was born at 37 weeks and 6 days so somehow I had it in my head that I would surely go “early” with this baby too. I tried everything they say to try, walking, being intimate (ahem), bouncing on the yoga ball, eating spicy foods. Nothing worked. The last few weeks dragged by seemingly without an end in sight. They checked me every week at my OB appointments and I was sick of hearing I hadn’t made progress. It was a beautiful Autumn and on my due date, a Saturday, it was crisp and sunny and we went to a pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins and apple cider. It turned out to be our last “outing” as a 3 person family. The next day was Sunday and starting about mid-morning, I noticed my contractions were semi-painful. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions, regularly, for weeks but they were painless. These felt like BH but definitely had some pain associated with the tightening. I tried to stay active, I took a walk around the block and carved pumpkins with DH and DS, roasted pumpkin seeds, etc. I then sat down on the couch for a while watching a movie with DS and the contractions continued, about 8-10 mins apart and still relatively painful but not really getting more intense. I took another walk right before dinner time, and after DS went to bed I bounced on the yoga ball like crazy. I texted my Mom to alert her tonight might be the night and told DH to be ready to be woken up at some point. He went to bed and I continued to bounce and pace and time contractions. They were unfortunately still 8-10 mins apart no matter what I did, and not getting more painful. I did lose my (entire) mucus plug and bloody show around 10pm, so I held out hope. Around 1AM I finally succumbed to exhaustion and fell asleep. To my dismay, I woke up around 7AM with very weak, almost entirely painless contractions still 8-10 mins apart. DH and I got up and got ready to go to my NST appointment I had scheduled for 8AM Monday morning since I was past due. Since I was convinced I had to be in at least pre-labor, due to all my contractions the previous day, we took my hospital bag and headed off when my Mom arrived to watch DS for us.

The NST went well and the nurse said the baby looked great and my fluid levels were fine. She noted my contractions on the monitor but said I did not seem to be in labor. I was irritated when I wasn’t admitted but was hoping the OB (I had an appointment scheduled for immediately after the NST) would say I was making progress/dilating. So DH and I went upstairs to the OB office and I got checked. To my disappointment, I was only 2 cm and 50% effaced, which meant zero progress in the last 4 weeks or so. I was in disbelief that all those contractions, combined with losing my mucus plug, were doing absolutely nothing. Reluctantly DH and I went home, even though my contractions were progressively getting more painful again throughout the morning. I felt so ridiculous for having another false alarm and just tired and worn out. When we got back, DH went off to work and my Mom went home.

Shortly after they left, I was chasing DS around the front yard, trying to get him to go back inside, when I felt the first small gush. This was around noon. It stopped me in my tracks for a second as it definitely felt different than just discharge. TMI but I don’t usually feel discharge coming out. I walked around some more but when nothing happened, I kind of forgot about it and went about my afternoon. I played with DS, then dozed a little on the couch while he watched some TV. When I got up I had this urge to tidy the house so I did some laundry, vacuumed, swept, and mopped the living room floor, and baked a lasagna. In the middle of all this, around 3:30pm I had another small gush, and I texted DH to let him know my water “might” be in the process of leaking but it also could just be discharge (men love hearing about discharge, lol). At this point I was still contracting but it felt the same as the previous day, 8-10 mins apart and semi painful but nothing I couldn’t talk or walk through. After I got the lasagna in the oven around 6, I was reaching for something in a cabinet and felt a bigger gush. 2 minutes later, another. At this point I had a pad on and I kept running to the bathroom to “check it out”. It was clear. I started to realize this could actually be it when my contractions got stronger. I was suddenly having to lean against the counter and cringe/swear through each one while DS played in the living room. They got down to about 7 minutes apart. At about 6:30 I went to the bathroom and when I wiped there were strings of bright red blood, so I was pretty sure it was time. I called L&D who told me to come in to get checked and I texted DH (who gets out of work at 6:30 anyway) and told him we would be going to the hospital when he got home.

I then ran around finishing up the laundry and packing DS’ bag for my Mom’s house and trying to tie up loose ends. When DH got home at 7:15 he ate some dinner and we headed to my Mom’s house around 7:45. I was in a great mood and didn’t really feel nervous at all for whatever reason. The only thing I was worried about was the nurses telling me it was just cervical mucus and getting sent home again. My body had been teasing me for weeks and while I thought I was in labor, I wasn’t 100% sure. But DH and I were in good spirits and laughing and joking around the whole way to the hospital. DS was very happy to spend the night at his grandmother’s house as they are very close. I kissed him goodbye for the last time I would see him as my only baby, which was bittersweet. We got to the hospital around 8:15-8:30 and I had a couple of contractions on the way there and they definitely made me cringe but weren’t terrible by any means.

We got to L&D and got checked in. I could tell the nurse on duty didn’t think I was in labor but I liked her anyway. She was blunt and a little tough but not in a mean way, you could tell she had a kind heart and she was very experienced and competent. She told me it’s normal to bleed after a cervical check (which I had gotten that morning) and that discharge in late pregnancy is very common. I just smiled and waited until they checked me. I got dressed in my gown and as soon as the resident checked me, even before he tested the fluid, he said he was pretty sure it was my water leaking. That made me smile, but I smiled even bigger when he checked my cervix and I was 4cm! So I was officially progressing and we got to stay. The fact that we were having a baby that very night started to sink in and I got very excited and nervous. They hooked me up to the monitor and noted my regular contractions. They were now coming about 5-6 minutes apart but still nothing I couldn’t handle. At one point the nurse (who was now warming up to me now that she knew I was actually in labor) told me I was the “best 4 cm” she had seen in a while, in terms of managing the pain. I just shrugged. I don’t think my pain tolerance is that outstanding, just that every labor is different. It felt like period cramps, just like my last labor. While putting in my IV she asked me if I would like her to wait until my contraction was over and when I said no that’s alright, she smiled and shook her head. She said I was a great candidate to go through labor with no epidural since I was doing well and would probably go fast (last labor was 7 hrs total). I told her I wasn’t sure if I wanted one yet but I was going to ask for one if I needed it since the pain gets bad toward the end. (Side note-I didn’t have an epi with my first labor, only some Demerol, but I panicked and lost control of the pain and didn’t want to go through that again, so if an epi was going to make it smoother this time I was all for it.) She agreed with me but encouraged me to “hang on as long as I could” and added that not having meds is the healthiest route for both mama and baby if at all possible (duh). This was probably around 9pm. She got my IV in and it gave me fluids. The OB on call (who I had met just that very morning) came in to say hi. I signed some forms with the anesthesiologist just in case I needed an epi later. All that fun stuff.

So the next couple hours passed pretty uneventfully. DH and I chatted and laughed and watched Full House, one of my all time favorite shows. I kept wondering when they were going to come back and break my water since they mentioned they might since I was leaking anyway. I was kind of glad they hadn’t though cause of course my contractions were getting more painful as time went on. I think they wanted to see how fast I would go on my own first. I was still in control of the contractions but did have to concentrate and breathe through them and let a few choice words slip out.

I’m not exactly sure on times around this point but I will guess it was around 11:30 when they came back in to check me (I was 6cm) and they went ahead and broke my water. I was warned that the contractions “might get a little more intense” after my water broke. Yeah, right. Things got pretty crazy after that. The pain went from about a 5 on the pain scale to an 11 within minutes. Nothing helped, no matter what position I was in or how hard DH rubbed my back it was getting worse and worse. I asked the nurse to call for an epi and she said she would in a few minutes after she got an IV in the girl across the hall. She also reminded me I was doing awesome- she was still trying to gently encourage me to do it drug free. I was feeling a lot of pressure and I thought part of it was that I had to pee so I got up and used the bathroom, I think getting up and moving around was what finally caused the baby to drop into my pelvis and after that I was in so much pain I couldn’t get back in the bed. I had 2 or 3 contractions that I literally thought were going to split me open, and I know that I wailed like a dying animal. I remember telling DH that there was “something very wrong” and that I couldn’t do it anymore. The contractions were coming about 1 minute apart now if that. I paged the nurse and told her I needed an epidural, like, 10 minutes ago. She came in and saw that I was standing by the bed, hunched over and shaking violently (obviously in transition) and paged the OB. He came in right away and said I needed to be checked again. At this point I wasn’t quite hysterical but very close. I told them no way was I getting checked without getting an epi first because I didn’t want anyone touching me. The nurse told me I didn’t have a choice and while she did call for the epi, she didn’t think I was going to have time to get one. This freaked me out thoroughly and I started bawling my eyes out. Poor DH didn’t know what to do. They somehow got me to lay down and checked me, and I was fully dilated. I went from 6cm to 10 in literally 30 minutes, and there was no time to get an epi. I was horrified at the prospect of having a natural birth if I was already in so much pain but luckily the urge to push came immediately after they checked me. They were thankfully ready for me to start pushing so I guess they knew better than I did how fast I was going to progress. They grabbed my legs and reminded me how to do it, chin to chest, etc. The pushing was intense and difficult of course but still felt better than those last couple of contractions I had by the bed. I knew I had to give it my all to get it over with so I pushed like my baby’s life depended on it. They kept telling me how great I was doing and how strong I was but I was still mad at not being able to get my epi so I just pouted and shook my head at them when they talked to me, lol. I didn’t talk at all in between contractions, just laid there and stared up at DH. At one point I cried/screamed “I can’t do this for hours, use the vacuum!” (It took me 2.5 hours of pushing with DS1). The nurse laughed and said they could see the head already and there was no way it was going to take hours, it would probably only be 3-4 more contractions and a vacuum wasn’t needed. At this point I was starting to get a little panicky so they gave me some oxygen which actually helped a lot because it allowed me to take deep breaths in between. She was right about the 3-4 contractions, and not long afterward I felt the ring of fire and his head was out. I was waiting for that sweet relief but it didn’t come right away, instead right after his head was out I heard everyone (the OB, the resident, and both nurses) start yelling at me “Come on Aimee, you can do it, push harder, harder!” etc. I didn’t know what was going on but everyone was running around and switching positions around the bed and touching me and I pushed as hard as I physically could and gave it every ounce of strength I had. Finally I felt the rest of him slip out but instead of putting him on me they rushed him away to the baby warmer or whatever that thing is called. I didn’t hear him cry so I was instantly scared. I asked what was wrong over and over and DH was leaning over me, all teary, telling me everything was okay and they were helping him. It was like my first labor all over again (long story short my first DS had the cord wrapped twice tightly around his neck and was pale and had to be resuscitated). Someone (a nurse?) told me he would be fine but he inhaled some fluid on his way out because his shoulder got stuck, hence all the chaos in the room after his head came out. Finally (though it was probably only 2 minutes later) I heard him start to cry and I was so relieved I cried too. I pushed for exactly 20 minutes and he was officially born at 12:52AM on Tuesday, October 15th.

DH went over to get a better look at him and I was jealous, I was just dying to see him. When DH came back he was crying and asked me if I wanted to know what the baby was, meaning boy or girl since we were team green. I was so preoccupied with making sure the baby was healthy and okay that I hadn’t even thought about the gender, nor had anyone in the room thought to announce it. I told him of course I wanted to know but I knew in my heart that instant that he was boy. DH told me he was a boy and I cried again. I remember saying “I have 2 sons!” and being just elated. I had previously been a little worried I would be disappointed if I had another boy but all of that went out the window when he was born. I knew he was exactly what we needed and wanted.

While this was going on, the OB and resident delivered the placenta (painless) and started sewing up my tear- second degree and in the same place as the tear I got with DS1. I was annoyed with them touching me at that point and just wanted everyone to back off. The baby was weighed and it was announced he was 8 lbs 10 oz and 22 inches- a big boy. A cheer went up in the room because they knew my first baby was only 6 lbs 11 oz. The Doctors and nurses all told me I did amazingly, pushing out that big of a baby naturally. I got lots of praise but I just kind of brushed it off, and even found myself (out of my mind with exhaustion) apologizing for not pushing “better” and for not getting his shoulders out quicker. I was terrified he was really hurt. They assured me that I did a wonderful job and that some babies just get caught in the pelvis and I couldn’t blame myself.

The NICU staff came in to evaluate him and it was decided he would have to go to the NICU for some tests and monitoring. His APGARS were low because he was very pale and they were concerned he went into shock from being stuck and inhaling fluid. He also had the cord wrapped around his neck though not as tight as my first DS. I was disappointed we couldn’t nurse right away but hoped it would be a quick stay and he would come right back to me. They brought him over to me before they took him and I wasn’t allowed to hold him, sadly but as soon as they brought him over his eyes locked with mine and I fell hopelessly, ridiculously, and unconditionally in love for the second time in my life. He was just perfect and beautiful. His face wasn’t squished or swollen at all, just a tad pale. I talked to him and stroked his cheek and it was obvious that he recognized my voice because he looked amazingly calm, just staring at me. It was hard to watch them take him away but I knew it was for the best and I tried to just focus on the relief I felt that labor was over. DH stayed by my side as I recovered and we rehashed the last few hours and gushed over how perfect he was. I knew he was a fighter and he would be just fine. They gave me pitocin to help my uterus contract and shrink down and although the cramps were painful, I never did end up needing any pain meds meaning the labor and birth were completely drug-free, something I never thought I could do.

All in all, with the exception of the troubles Henry went through at the very end, it was a beautiful and perfect birth. Although I didn’t plan to go natural, I’m extremely glad I did and am proud of myself now, and especially with the way he got stuck I think an epidural might have made it worse for both of us. I wrote a thank you note to the nurse who encouraged me to go med-free, because obviously she saw in me something I didn’t even see in myself. She was also an excellent labor coach. They are a very conservative hospital so they kept him in the NICU a little longer than I would have liked (until late afternoon on Tuesday) but I of course got to visit and hold him during that time. He was completely fine, his shoulders and lungs and everything checked out, so when he was released he roomed in with me and we made up for lost time with cuddling and nursing. He is now almost 2 weeks old and its like he has been a part of our family forever! He is a very sweet and laid back baby (so far) and has completely stolen our hearts.
Wife to Matt
Mama to Jackson Matthew- 3 yrs old
& Henry Joseph- born 10/15/13
8 lbs 10 oz and 22" long

Last edited by Aimee319; October 31st, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
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October 28th, 2013, 06:36 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
That is such a great story. It is so amazing how we can surprise ourselves as mothers with unfounded strength. What a wonderful nurse. She sounds like a jewel.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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October 28th, 2013, 09:41 PM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,971
That sounded so intense. What a fab nurse you had. I am very glad you had such a great experience
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December 18th, 2013, 03:58 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 374
Aw, congratulations! I love love your story. That nurse sounds like she's about half midwife-you got lucky with her!
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