Monday, October 18, 2010

Gabi Rae - a baby story.

My baby is almost three. At the time of her birth I wrote down her rather eventful arrival.

Typical of me, I lost the journal that it is written in. Since it is something I know I'll forget all the details of eventually, I thought I'd celebrate her birthday by writing it down here.

If you don't like baby stories, you can skip reading this and wait for the next post. :-)

Karis was born at the hospital, fairly quickly, as first labors go. Unfortunately two and a half hours of the seven hour labor was pushing. Pushing that didn't get anywhere and eventually required the visit of the anesthesiologist and a forceps delivery. I'm not against the drugs,(I told my anesthesiologist that he was my favorite person in the whole world, at that point) I was just disappointed I'd made it all the way to the end without being able to push the baby out.

Since it wasn't the size of the baby, the shape of the birth canal, or any other factor, I wanted to try not pushing for two and a half hours with my second one. We decided the best chance for that was a nurse practitioner/midwife I had heard about.

I loved my pre-care.

The appointments were always an hour long and I felt so much more educated with my second one.

One thing they couldn't accomplish was making me go early.

Apparently I cook them super slow. Karis was eight days late and 7pounds 6 oz.

With number 2 I started having contractions about three days after my due date. They were about five minutes apart and a little bit painful. My midwife was actually on her way past our house when I called so she stopped by and checked things out.


A little over a week later I had some more contractions. They grew steadily during the day, but it wasn't until around midnight that I thought I might be in real labor. I was a tad gun shy because of getting it wrong a week earlier.

By 2 a.m. they were getting painful.

I got Dustin up, called my midwife, then we met her at the center.

She checked again.

I was a disappointing very tight three.

She informed me that it would probably be at least another ten hours before we progressed to the point of giving birth.

Ten hours?

She gave us the option of staying there, but Dustin wouldn't sleep well and I figured if it was going to be that long I might as well be at home.

Her instructions were to drink a little wine to calm me and take some Tylenol to help with the pain.

I hide pain quite well, so she really had no idea how much the contractions were hurting.

We didn't have any wine at home and by this time all the bars and places that would sell it were closed. I settled for the Tylenol and had two with some toast at home, trying to read a book to distract me from the ten long hours ahead.

I sent a reluctant Dustin to bed. When in pain I really do like to be alone. I deal with it much better when I can pace and moan and groan by myself.

Don't talk to me.

Don't touch me.

Just stay away.

After the Tylenol I felt a little queasy - not unusual after I take pain meds.

I tried a hot bath and drinking lots of water.

When none of those helped I knew this baby was finally coming.

Since people were sleeping upstairs, I moved to our basement where I could pace without waking anyone.

Looking back, there were signs that I should probably high tail it back to the center, but by that time I was in so much pain all I could think of was surviving the next contraction and the fact that I have ten more hours of this.


I'm not a screamer. Most of my pain is dealt with in silence. I did tell God under my breath that there was no way I could survive that many hours in this kind of pain.

I also came super close to waking up Dustin, changing our birth plan, and going to the hospital for that epidural.

Somewhere in the haze my foggy, pain filled brain, grasped the fact that I wasn't getting much of a break in between contractions.

In fact, they were pretty much on top of each other.

All of a sudden I felt an urge to go to the bathroom.

Once there I realized I wasn't just feeling the urge to go to the bathroom, it was to push, and then I realized I was pushing.

Wait, this wasn't the ten hours she predicted. I still had seven and a half to go!

Stop the train! I wanted to get off.

I called her in a panic. She told me to get down there now.

Dustin was harder to get moving.

I woke him up, explained that I was pushing.

"Are you sure this time?" He asked, not quite awake.

Was I sure? Hello! Everything in me was trying not to push this kid out right in the living room.

I continued my pacing around our car, poking my head in to see what was taking so long and discovered him wandering around looking for a lost flip flop.

I informed him that he could go barefoot. I needed to get there. Now.

As we drove down our road he looked at me and said, "Now I know it's hard, but try to stay calm and don't push."

I can't remember if I said something or just gave him a withering look. Try not to push? That isn't even an option when you are as far along as I apparently was.

I looked at the speedometer. Was he seriously going the speed limit now? Of all times? He always goes at least five over.

"Come on, faster, faster.... I'm going to have this baby in the car if you don't hurry up."

"If we get pulled over it will take that much longer to explain. You'll have the baby in the car, anyway."

He had a point, but as we got off the freeway the pushes I was desperately trying to hold back were getting unwanted results.

I knew I felt the head crowning but was way too freaked out to check it myself. Still queen of denial. What you don't know for sure isn't happening. :-)

He stopped at a red light behind a car.

"Go around" I hissed. "I feel the head"

He wouldn't. It was a blind spot and we could have been hit.

At that point I didn't care.

He stopped at another red light.

I just glared at him.

When we finally pulled into the parking lot with the baby still intact, he just sat there, not moving.

I looked at him in disbelief. He was just going to sit there? What was his problem? I was the one with a head coming out of me.

"Don't just sit there!" I panted, "Go get the nurse and a wheel chair." I didn't think I could walk in my current state.

As soon as he opened the door the breeze seemed to revive him and he sprinted towards the building. At last!

The nurse had been watching for us and came to get me. She informed me there was no wheel chair and I had to walk.

It had to make quite the sight. Me waddling across the parking lot and her holding her hand between my legs in case the baby slipped out.

Seriously. I'm not kidding.

Somehow I made it into the building, up the elevator and to the bed. (praying all the while that this wouldn't be an elevator baby.)

By the time she whipped my sweats off and I sat down on the bed I had a baby on my chest.

Again, not kidding.

I remember looking at this child in shock, and Dustin, who had been grabbing my bag and finding the room, walked past the bed and did a double take.

"Is that ours?"

"I told you I felt the head." :-)

The nurse just laughed as she pulled her gloves on (no time to do anything but catch the baby before) and asked him if he wanted to cut the cord. He is always opts out as he is a little squeamish about those kinds of things.

Official time of arrival 5:39 am, time of birth 5:40. The nurse thought maybe I should try a home birth next time. :-) It would be easier on everyone.

Dustin later informed me that he had just sat there because having to listen to me try not to push the whole way there had left him feeling a little faint, freaked out, and stunned. I think it might have been sympathy pains. :-)

I have learned several lessons from this.

1. Next time, if there is a next time, if I feel a little queasy, I won't blame it on the Tylenol, I'll know I'm going through transition.

2. Instead of pacing aimlessly, telling myself I'm going to die of pain if this last ten more hours, I will time my contractions and realize that when they are thirty seconds apart I'm in trouble and probably should have been out of my basement an hour ago.

3. Don't wear sweats that have a draw string. They are liable to get tangled and cause a few panic moments in the delivery room. :-)


Mandi said...

oh my word! poor you... but its so funny to read about!

Dana said...

I LOVE YOUR STORY! I had a home birth for my second baby, and she beat the midwife by 5 minutes. My husband delievered the baby - there was no time to panic or even think. People think we are nuts, but we had the third one at home too (a little less exciting), since I don't want to experience what you did: pushing in the car!

Rosanne said...

I love hearing birth stories, and I gotta say, this one is at the top of the list of most entertaining! :)

The Roli Poli's said...

Somehow I missed this blog!! I LOVE birth stories!!!!!!! It made me giggle because I didn't realize how far along in my labor I was with Brayden and almost delivered him on a bridge. My mom had to tell me to cross my legs! I like the tip on not wearing sweatpants ;) Praise the Lord for a healthy beautiful baby!! Happy (belated) birthday Gabi!