I haven’t quite completed my birth story as free time has been a bit difficult to find lately. I am almost done and hopefully will post it soon, but in the meantime, here is the birth story of our sweet boy from my doula (who was absolutely wonderful!).
The Birth of Andrew
On the evening of August 31st, you called me at 4:48 p.m. because you thought that your water had broken. We discussed what you were feeling and how the leakage looked to you, as it wasn’t a gush of fluid. You weren’t having contractions, but it was a fair amount of wetness and you were fairly certain it wasn’t urine. You had a date with Chris planned for that evening and I was in class, so we agreed that since you weren’t having regular contractions, I would just check in with you after my class in a few hours and could bring over pH strips to test if indeed your water had broken. You would proceed with your dinner plans- a nice, final date before becoming a family of four!
I texted you at 7:42 p.m. to see if you wanted me to come check your fluid, and you had made it home and contractions had started- I called and you said they weren’t very painful, but you were definitely having contractions. I decided it best to give you space until things really picked up, so I told you I would check in after going home from school. An hour later, you were feeling fine and had some great bloody show- contractions were harder, but they weren’t consistent. A little later, you called me to let me know you and Chris were going to go on up to the hospital since you were already 3 centimeters dilated and mostly thinned out; you felt you could sleep better if you were already there once things picked up. You got to the hospital before 10 p.m., and your contractions were still minor and not regular (with no contractions on the way to the hospital). They tested to see if your water broke- the first test came back negative, but they decided to test again, and it came back positive. You had made it to 4-5 centimeters with very little discomfort!
At 11:21 p.m., you settled into your birthing room and sent me a message with your game plan: take a nap, then wiggle him out. I asked you to let me know if anything changed or if you needed me up there. Unfortunately, you would not get to take a nap…Chris got a little nap, but every time you tried to sleep, you’d have a contraction! Your mom made it to the hospital during the night, and you all waited for labor to become more intense.
At 4:07 a.m. you messaged me to let me know you were 6 centimeters and 100% effaced, but were still having inconsistent contractions. You asked if I had any ideas to get things moving. I suggested deep knee chest to potentially reposition him because your inconsistent contractions indicated that he was, for some reason, not evenly applied to your cervix. You told me to make my way to the hospital because Pitocin had been mentioned as a way to get things moving.
I arrived at the hospital at about 4:30 a.m. You had assumed the deep knee chest position after your dose of antibiotics was complete, and contractions were still very manageable. After a few contractions in deep knee chest position, you sat back up and you, Chris, your mother, and I talked for a bit. I mentioned that labor may not be starting in earnest either due to Andrew’s head being in a funny position or a forebag not allowing him to descend anymore. Chelsea, your nurse, asked to check you again at 5 a.m. You were still 6 centimeters and 100% effaced, but around this time your contractions began to intensify and you were no longer able to talk through them. While on the monitor for the next twenty minutes, you bounced on your birthing ball, then tried a few other positions- hands and knees, standing and swaying- and your contractions began to seem closer together. They seemed to be about 4 minutes apart. You mentioned that you didn’t want to bounce on the ball because it seemed to make contractions come! In between contractions, you were in high spirits despite having not slept, and we all enjoyed some time talking and relaxing before labor became more intense.
Your mom left before 6 a.m. to go take care of Ruth (after a sleepless night!) and you continued focusing during contractions while Chris provided hip presses. You were very quiet and focused, and you began to get a little quieter in between contractions, which were still 4 minutes apart. It seemed that labor had gone from practically nonexistent at 4:30 a.m. to full active labor with signs that progress was moving along nicely in less than two hours! You seemed to like sitting on the ball, then standing and leaning over the bed during contractions. Chris provided hip presses and encouragement, and I applied heat from a rice sock to your back.
At 6:20 a.m., you were feeling temperature swings and threw up- wonderful signs!!! You continued to alternate between sitting on the ball between contractions and standing leaning over the bed during contractions. You were tired, but focused and working so well! I reminded you that these are good signs that you may be nearing transition. Just before 7 a.m., you told us that during contractions you felt like you needed to poop- which was great! I encouraged you to try going to the bathroom. Afterward, Chelsea came in and introduced your new nurse, Bethany. You were feeling very hot and stripped off your gown while sitting on your ball- I hoped you would not have to labor much longer, because you were really starting to get tired.
At 7:35 a.m., the jackhammer started. It lasted for a while, and I tried to open the window to yell at the offending jackhammer operator, but the window would not open. Meanwhile, you continued focusing through contractions, which were even closer together (every 2-3 minutes) while Chris provided continuous support by pressing on your hips. I rewarmed the rice bag for your back and asked if you felt any pressure- you replied that you felt pressure during contractions, but not so much in between.
Bethany came in to let you know that Dr. Scott would be in around 8 a.m. to check on you. After Bethany left, you told us that you were very, very tired from not sleeping all night, and if you had not progressed significantly, you wanted an epidural so you could rest. I agreed that was a good idea, maybe if you were 7 or 8 centimeters, we would call for an epidural, but if you were 9 or 10 centimeters, you would probably have Andrew very quickly after that. I really felt you were nearly ready to push. You continued to focus during incredibly intense and frequent contractions and seemed to doze a bit in between a couple of them. Before Dr. Scott came in at 8:15 a.m., your contractions seemed to ramp up again- when she asked to check you, you could no longer lay on the bed during contractions due to their intensity. After one contraction, you quickly laid on the bed and Dr. Scott said you had a forebag, but you were complete! Dr. Scott offered to break it, saying she thought you would have Andrew very quickly afterward, and you enthusiastically agreed to having the forebag broken. You were placed back on the monitor after the forebag was broken, and you let us know that you were not going to do this again. J
At this point (8:25 a.m.), you were too tired to continue standing through contractions. I suggested kneeling on the bed over the ball, which would relieve your legs a bit. You worked through contractions while Chris rubbed your back and encouraged you, I held the monitor on your tummy, and Bethany was in and out setting up the room for Andrew’s birth. By 8:30 a.m., you began pushing, a little at first, then with all your might! Chris mentioned that we might need to let someone know if you’re pushing, and I assured him I was keeping a close watch to be sure he did not have to catch. I also didn’t want to call anyone over too soon, because you were doing just fine on your own. Andrew came off the monitor, so Bethany came over to readjust it, and Andrews head began to crown! You pushed fiercely and so well that he was nearly out after only about fifteen minutes of pushing! Bethany quickly retrieved Dr. Scott, who asked if you could turn over onto your back (Answer: no). She mentioned you wouldn’t be able to hold Andrew immediately if you were on your hands and knees, so you offered to turn over, but Dr. Scott said it was fine and not a moment later Andrew was out! Dr. Scott held him and you got to see him between your legs while she waited to clamp the umbilical cord. Chris cut the cord, you turned over, and you got to hold Andrew for the very first time! Throughout your labor you were calm, determined, and absolutely amazing. You had a constant cheerleader in Chris, and you did it…again! J