Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Birth to Remember

My memories of Makayla's birth have faded significantly in the past five years. Sometimes, I'll mention how something happened as I remember it, only to be contradicted by Jeff who remembers it entirely differently. So this time I thought I'd write it all down, so that I can remember it. It was wonderful in the way that all births are.

March 31, 2014
    I had been having moderately strong Braxton Hicks contractions for well over 2 weeks by this point. Jeff and I got up and took Makayla to school at went to see my midwife (Maureen) for our weekly NST. Liam was due on the 22nd, making him 9 days post dates. I had the non stress test and everything was fine. Maureen asked if wanted her to strip my membranes (again) or if I was ready to induce. I had already thought about it for the past week and Jeff and I had decided that we were ready to induce. So Maureen sent us over to admitting to get the show on the road. While Jeff and I were in admitting, Maureen found out that L&D was in the middle of doing two c-sections and that it would be a couple hours until they could start the induction. Since I was not in labor and we hadn't brought anything with us (I wasn't expecting to be offered induction that day) we decided to go and pick up Makayla from school, have lunch and come back around 2:00 PM.

   When we got back we went straight up to L&D since I had already been through admitting the first time. The nurse took us down to our birthing suite and went through the long question and answer process. I would have had a hard time with the process had I actually been in labor! There was some sort of snafu with the fact that I had been previously admitted then left and they had to issue a new wristband or something so that they could order the pitocin (so my insurance could be billed ;) ) Meanwhile, Makayla was being so well behaved and adorable. She was charming all the nurses with her knowledge of the childbirth process. She was so excited to finally get to be a big sister. The nurse brought her a coloring book and some big sister stickers. We discussed the "pain chart" on the wall and she told Jeff to hold my hand when I got to the wavy mouth (10).

    Finally, around 4:00 PM they got the necessary paperwork straightened out and started the IV pitocin. My mom and dad showed up shortly after, around 5. We decided that Dad would take Makayla to The Little Gym for her gymnastics/ dance class since when I was induced with her we sat around ALL DAY waiting for active labor to start. Almost immediately after they left, my contractions started getting much stronger but still totally manageable. I was tethered to the IV pole and the stupid fetal heart monitor (the ONLY reason I hate that my body seems to be incapable of going into labor on it's own) so I just stood next to the bed and rocked. Around 6:30 PM, Maureen came back and checked my progress. I was about 7 cm dilated and his head was engaged in my pelvis. Maureen asked if I wanted my waters broken and I said yes, knowing that it wouldn't be long after that. She nicked the amniotic sac with the amniohook but it didn't break right away. She went down the hall and in about three contractions, my waters broke all over the floor and made a big mess. Things rapidly progressed from there. I laid back down on the bed and Mom and Jeff were on either side of the bed. I was breaking Jeff's hands and Mom was massaging my back. 7:00 PM was shift change for the nurses and I remember the first nurse trying to tell the new nurse all about what was going on while I felt like I was on a runaway train headed for a cliff. I somehow managed to rip out my IV at this point and I was bleeding out all over the place. They tried to restart the IV in the same hand but managed to go through the vein (I can't blame them, it was pretty hard for me to hold still by this point), so they started the IV in my other hand. Then, probably because I hate them so much, the EFM stopped picking up Liam's heartbeat unless someone was holding the damn thing still. They had me turn over on to my left side in an attempt to pick it up easier, at which point I ripped out my IV again. Maureen was going to have them restart it again but I asked if I really needed it because I knew it was about time to push and I really doubted that the lack of pitocin would stop the train at this point. Maureen agreed and then I felt the need to push so I rolled back and they got ready down below. The first push moved him through my pelvic bones to crowning. After I felt my pelvic bones separate, my brain was telling me that I didn't want to finish this because it hurt. Clearly, not an option at this point. Maureen applied mineral oil and Mom applied perineal pressure. The second push delivered his head. Maureen removed the loop of umbilical cord around his neck and then the third push delivered the rest of him at 7:41 PM. Someone said "Look at the size of him!" and they put him on my chest. I remember thinking how tiny he was! I guess it's all relative when your first was 10 lbs 4 oz... After the cord stopped pulsing, I cut it. Maureen then delivered the placenta and gave me a shot of pitocin in the leg to help stop the bleeding. I had a small tear, which Maureen stitched up pretty quickly but it was so painful. Both times, I've thought the stitching after the birth was FAR more painful than the birth itself. At this point they took him over to the Panda Warmer to be weighed and measured. He clocked in at 9 lbs even and 22 inches long. Just a tiny lil' fella!

    Dad and Makayla showed up around 8:00 PM and were surprised and excited to meet Liam Danger McAfee. I don't think Dad was disappointed that he missed the birthing part this time around. Makayla was too excited to meet her brother to realize that she missed anything. We all sat around holding Liam and taking pictures for about half an hour until they came to take Liam for his newborn exams, shots and eye drops. Mom and Dad took Makayla home for the night and Jeff and I moved to another room (so that the waterbirth tub would be available should someone want it) which turned out to be far better than the original room since there was so much more space without the tub there.

   It's taken me a lot longer than I planned to write this down. Time flies when you're having fun! Tomorrow will be Liam's 1 monthday and he's doing fabulously. He's up to 10 lbs and 24 inches now. He sleeps from about 10 PM until 5 AM every night. He's a very chill baby, spending most of his time sleeping, eating and pooping. I've remastered the diaper poop bomb but I have yet to master not getting peed on. He hardly ever cries, except when he's getting changed. I suspect he may be a never-nude.