Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Natalie's Birth Story: Part Three - 'Worth It All'

**Catch up on part 1 here and part 2 here.**

The next morning, I woke and ordered breakfast. Hubby went to get something to eat for himself, and we chatted and waited for a couple of hours for the doctor to show up. The day shift nurse, Yvonne (sweetest nurse EVER - I totally loved her) showed up, and ended up spending her entire shift taking care of me {poor lady}.

The doctor arrived around 10:00 to administer my Pitocin, and finally chose to break my water and really get this party started. Having your water broken doesn't hurt at all, in case you ever wondered - I thought it would.

After my water was broken, I hardly needed any Pitocin to get going with my contractions. I labored in bed, standing, and on the ball again. At some point in the early afternoon, when I had been sitting on the birthing ball for a while, the contractions were still very painful in spite of all of my efforts to change positions and breathe and all. I decided to ask for an epidural.

Every time I am expecting, I plan to have a beautiful, 'natural' med-free labor. But I 'reserve the right' to have an epidural. And both times I have resorted to it. :) At some point you'd think I would just realize that I am NOT a 'natural labor' girl. I am an 'epidural-needing' girl (with absolutely NO pain tolerance). Will someone please remind me of this the next time I am writing a birth plan???

Also, both of my kids have been so active during labor - kicking against the contractions and spinning around in my womb during my labor, so that about half of the time, I'm experiencing 'back labor' (where their head is facing the wrong way - which makes for VERY painful contractions).

Anyway, when I asked for an epidural, Yvonne checked me and I was at 6 cm. The epidural mercifully only took 20 minutes to arrive, and then, oh, sweet relief that is numbness. They laid me down, covered me with warm blankets, and was blissful. I napped for an hour or so, and then I began to feel each contraction again, stronger in my lower back than before. At first I just felt tightness, and pressure, but the longer it went on, I felt more and more pain with the pressure. I asked to be checked again, and was progressing nicely, to 8, then 9, with the pains growing stronger every minute. I can't imagine the pain I would have felt withOUT the epidural, but even with it, the last two hours were ALMOST unbearable.

Hubby held my hand through the pain, allowing me to squeeze the life out of his fingers during each contraction, and reminded me that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Which I repeated to myself constantly. And then I began to feel the 'urge to push'. While I was enjoying the benefits of my epidural during Zachary's labor, I felt nothing. I slept peacefully for three hours, and they told me, "When you feel the urge to push, let us know." Finally, at some point, I said something like, 'Um, I think it's time...maybe...not sure...' But during his labor and even delivery, I had never in my life felt THIS URGE.

I told the nurse, and she checked me, and informed me that I was fully dilated, and that she would CALL THE DOCTOR AND HAVE HER DRIVE OVER FROM HER OFFICE (only a 5-minute drive, but STILL).

Um, no, you don't understand. I HAVE TO PUSH. THIS URGE is not something that can just wait until it's convenient. I am usually a really nice person during my labors (I think, not too demanding or yelling stuff at Hubby or anything), but this was the one time that I really wanted to yell at someone - I ended up just whimpering and trying to focus my energy on 'breathing through' the contractions, when my body had other ideas about what I SHOULD be doing with them.

Yvonne (and Hubby) impressed upon me the necessity of waiting until the doctor was present to deliver the baby, and Hubby continued to encourage me with our favorite verse, and God helped me hold that baby in, and I prayed more fervently than ever before that my doctor would ALREADY BE NEAR, IF NOT IN THE HOSPITAL, and when she walked in the door about 60 seconds later, I literally uttered a rather loud, "Oh, PRAISE the LORD!", which Hubby and I laughed about later.

At this point, I still figured I had a while until Natalie would make her appearance - I pushed for two grueling hours with Zachary, and expected my experience with Natalie to be just slightly quicker - I was praying for a 'pushing time' of 20-30 minutes or less.

So the doctor made sure I was ready, and got everyone in position, and I pushed a couple of times, and exactly TWO minutes of burning pain and hard work later, Natalie was outside the womb!!! It seemed like it took forever to hear her first cry, though I'm sure it was only a few seconds. They put her on my chest as they cleaned her up, and let her cuddle, and it was wonderful and beautiful and amazing. And her cry was the most beautiful sound in the world.

And every single second of pain and discomfort was absolutely worth it.

And if God so chooses to bless us, I will be thrilled to do it all again. :)


Erin said...

What a beautiful story!
I don't know how you kept from pushing... once the urge hit me, I couldn't fight it. You're a rockstar.
Also, I think you did remarkably well with having just your husband as support. Although I've had two drugfree labors, I could NOT have done the first one (24 hours, all back labor) all natural without my doula. She somehow gave these amazing back massages that helped with the pain so much!

Tiffany said...

Oh Carrie - this made me bawl like a baby!! I get so emotional reading birth stories after what happened with Cadi's birth. It is such a blessing to read stories of healthy labors, deliveries and births. I loved this! What a little blessing you have!! You told your story beautifully, too.

shanilie said...


She is absolutely beautiful. I had fun looking back and reading part one and two. I agree.....I am always emotional reading birth stories.

I LOVE the heated blankets at the hospital as well.

She has a beautiful name. I had considered that one every time. My mom liked the names shannon and Natalie so she combined it to get Shanilie. pronounced (shanna lee)

Zoey Martin said...

Oh how lovely! Congratulations!