Monday, January 3, 2011

birth story

I posted on the blog at 3:30 in the morning on the 31st. I was completely frustrated by the lack of labor. The day before, I got all excited because I had strong contractions that were about three minutes apart for about half an hour. Then nothing. I was so disappointed. I had gotten so excited that this was it. So the next morning, I ignored the crampy, moderate contractions. Hadn't I been having them for weeks now and they meant nothing? I had lunch. Cuddled with Oona. The girls went in for nap time and I settled in to knit on my hat. I often knit while the girls are in quiet time. I started to have some stronger contractions but they weren't super close together so I ignored them. This is about 12:30 pm. I just knit away then noticed that it was getting hard to knit through the contractions. The contractions would come about two rows apart, then one row apart, then they started being half a row apart. I started thinking maybe I am in labor so made a few relevant phone calls. I had the surrogate grandmother come over just in case this was the real thing. I checked in with my doula and talked about maybe going to the hospital. We finally decided to go because I didn't want to have to have the stress of thinking about whether I should go or not. We got in the car and headed off. We got out of the car in the parking garage at 3:33 pm. I had three or four contractions (I had to stop and relax) between the car and the check in desk then a couple more from there to the room (they skipped triage). The nurse asked if I was planning on an epidural so I handed her my birth plan of hypnobirthing. She gave me a gown to change into. It took me awhile to change because I had to breathe through four or so more contractions. Then they checked my cervix and I was already at a 7 with bulging waters which promptly broke. I was group B strep positive so they put the IV thing in, but I guess there was debate over what kind of antibiotic because I'm allergic to amoxicillin and they never did get around to hooking it up. My doula was great and did energy work which really helped. I also had Steven Halpern Sound Healing playing on the cd player. The room was really quiet. They never got around to checking my cervix again. It was clear I was feeling pushy and they let me do mother directed pushing. I was semi on my back and did not want to change position. Some say that isn't the ideal position to be in but it worked this time around. I had a tiny tear which required a couple stitches but has not bothered me at all since then. The mid-wife allowed his cord to pulse and he was immediately placed on my stomach. I could have caught him myself but didn't want to change position at that point. James William was born at 4:48 pm, 7 lb, 10 oz, 21 inches long. Yes, it was that quick and amazing. I really felt like I was able to stay in my hypnobirthing space and could mostly relax into the contractions. I should be grateful for all the preparation my body did. It helped things move so quickly and helped me have lots of practice for relaxing through contractions. The nurse accidentally ripped my IV out while rubbing down the baby. I had so many endorphins running through me it didn't really hurt. The side benefit was that they didn't put a new one in so I spent the rest of the time there without the IV. James looked wonderful and healthy so I was really really surprised when his blood sugar reading came back as too low to measure (which means below 20). So he was whisked away to the NICU which was very sad for me. He was really really sleepy the first twenty four hours and it was hard to get him to nurse. The NICU doctor was talking about wanting to supplement and wanting me to pump to see or prove how much milk I was producing. It was really stressful. Finally, at the twenty four hour mark, he did a two hour cluster feed. Then they were able to wean him off the glucose IV and he was only in the NICU for about 48 hrs which is a really short amount of time for babies born with low blood sugar. His last blood sugar reading was just high enough for him to go home but the NICU doctor let him. I was so relieved. The girls hadn't met James yet because siblings were not allowed in the NICU because of cold and flu season. It was sooo nice to be home and see the girls and have everybody meet the baby. I wish I had a picture, but I don't think a photograph would have done justice to the occasion. I sat on the couch holding James and John, Patrick, Gemma and Oona were circled around me so happy to meet their baby brother. It was wonderful to sleep in my own bed. Going upstairs to the NICU every three hours to nurse was quite exhausting.

It was really really fast but wasn't overwhelming. It was quiet, calm, peaceful and beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Even thought I'd already mostly heard it, I loved reading your birth story. I am so excited to meet your little guy!