Tuesday, September 6, 2011

David's Birth

Here is the story of how David was born! For all of those guys reading (or others who do not wish to hear the particulars of a story of a childbirth), you may turn back now - just fair warning for what's ahead! :)

Well, I finally had my 'natural' childbirth - and by that I mean I had no pain medication! And it wasn't even on purpose! With the other 2 kids, I went to the hospital saying, "I'd like to have this baby without any medication, but if I feel I HAVE to, I will have an epidural." and both times, between back labor and pitocin, and the fact that I have no pain tolerance, I ended up having the epidural. This time, I walked in to the hospital, and while we were being shown to our room, I saw the anesthesiologist go into another room & say to another laboring mama, "So, you want an epidural, huh?" and I jokingly said, "Don't go too far, I'm next!" - I had resigned myself to the fact that an epidural was the way to go. :) Apparently God had other plans this time... :)

So, this was my third pregnancy, and the third time my due date came and went without any baby to show for it. My due date was Saturday, July 23rd, and nothing much happened that day. On Sunday, the 24th, I started to feel just 'icky' in the afternoon - I took a nap when the kids did, and while I was laying down, I finally had some mild contractions start up. They continued to be about 10-20 minutes apart through Sunday night and Monday, and I could feel that David's position had moved - somehow he was pinching my bladder when I would try to walk, and it was very painful. I was so thankful that the end stage of this pregnancy was easier than that of Zachary and Natalie - I think it was definitely God's mercy because I was so busy with Z & Nat, and with the busy summer camp season - I wasn't to the point of major discomfort until the day after my due date. That Sunday was also the day that we finally picked out David's middle name - Isaac. :)

On Monday, the 25th, I went to my OB in the afternoon, and she checked me - I was at 2 cm, and she said that I was 'induce-able', so if I WANTED to, I could come in Tuesday morning and be induced. To which I said, of course, "No, I'd rather waddle around on my swollen ankles, wincing in pain from my pinched bladder for a few more days, please." NOT! :) I actually got giddy & said something along the lines of, 'Sign me up!' :) She had told me that she would induce when I was a week late, so I was pleasantly surprised that she was willing to induce me earlier! We left the office, called our families to tell them the news, and headed home. That night I sat with Zachary before he went to bed, and we chatted about the coming baby, and I told Zachary that the baby's name would be David. This whole pregnancy, he has been telling everyone the baby's name will be Charlie Brown, and I didn't want him to be disappointed or unprepared for the fact that a brother named Charlie Brown would NOT be happening. :) Instead, he surprised me by replying, 'I like the name Titus instead.' He finally decided, after another talk with Daddy, that he could like David's name after all. His exact words were, 'I guess I suppose I could like it.' :) I continued to have contractions about 10-15 minutes apart all night, so a good friend came over & stayed the night 'just in case'. But David wasn't that anxious to make his appearance after all, so we got up Tuesday morning & got ready to head to the hospital!

We arrived at the hospital around 8:30 am, filled out paperwork, and waited until about 9:40 or so for my dr. to arrive. She checked me, told me I was at 3.5 (at which point I thought, "Great! Almost to 4, when I'll ask for my epidural!", but then she said she wanted me to progress to 6 before the epidural so that my end stages of labor would go more quickly. Sigh. She started a low dose of pitocin, and I waited for it to kick in. Which it did!! :) I labored in bed for a while, even playing a few turns of a game with Joel on his iPad, and when the contractions got stronger, I moved to the birthing ball (basically an exercise ball that you sit on), which feels amazing when you are in labor! My way of coping with the pain of the contractions is always to squeeze my husband's hands while doing my labor breathing, which he is very patient about. We have a picture of his mangled hand from when I was laboring with Zachary, but didn't have a chance for that this time! But I
promise you, his hand was just as mangled. :)

After I had labored a while, I asked to be checked, and we discovered I was at 5.5 cm. Just shy of the epidural mark. I remember saying, "Can't you just call the anesthesiologist? I'm sure I'll be at 6 by the time he gets here..." but apparently my dr. was very strict on the 6, so I kept on laboring. The nurse helped me get on my hands & knees in the bed (with my top propped up on pillows) to see if that would help my labor progress more quickly. Someone else was delivering or something at this point, so all the nurses disappeared for a while to deal with that, and I labored on my hands and knees but the contractions in that position were VERY painful, so eventually I got back onto the birthing ball.

Finally, about an hour after my last check, the nurse came back to check me again, to see if I could have my epidural now. I remember her saying excitedly to another nurse, "Oh! She's a rim! This girl is a rim! Call the doctor now!" and I remember thinking, "What exactly is a rim, and can I have my epidural now?" Turns out a rim is 9.5 cm, and yeah, I missed my chance for the epidural! I just remember being so exhausted at this point and thinking, "Really? I don't get to have my break from the epidural where I rest before the pushing? I don't know if I can do this!"

When the doctor arrived, she checked me again, and announced that baby David's head was facing my back instead of my front, and we needed him to flip over before the pushing could begin. She said the best way to get this to happen was for me to flip over on my hands and knees. Being the mature person who handles pain so well, I responded, "No way! That hurts too much." I kept refusing to turn over, so finally she had me lay on my side. Switching positions at this point was a BIG deal, because they kept saying, "Tell us when this contraction is done," but I was in so much pain that the contractions never felt like they were done, so I couldn't tell them, and it took me forever to turn over or do anything! Well, after about 30 more minutes of painful contractions and no progress towards David's flipping, the doctor (with Joel's insistent help) finally talked me into getting up on my hands and knees again. I don't remember much about this part except that I kept saying over and over in my mind, "I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me." and singing the song that has those words, over and over... and at one point, the nurses told me that I had to let go of Joel's hand because it was literally BLUE from how hard I was squeezing it! I should note that HE never complained about it, though, and even shook his head to dismiss the nurses' concern when they noticed it! :)

And then, all at once, David flipped, and then he was on his way out! They even had to call quick for the doctor, because she had left the room! I pushed about 2 times total, and there he was, and they said, "Don't push any more! Get respiratory in here!" because he was coming so fast, they weren't prepared, and I heard someone else say that his cord was wrapped around his neck, which freaked me out- but a minute later I heard him cry and was very relieved. Then one more push, and it was over!! And I have never been so exhausted, and so relieved, in my life. :)

David got all wrapped up & then I got to see his little face & watch Joel hold him for a while & when my body finally calmed down & stopped shaking from the shock of his birth, I got to hold him, too! He is so precious & we are so thankful for him! :) His brother & sister got to come and meet him later that night, and they were thrilled.

I couldn't believe that I did it without the epidural! I also felt very shaky & my abdomen was more sore right afterwards than usual, which I guess was because I didn't have the after-effects of the epidural still in my system to numb me a little, but after a half hour or so, that started feeling better, and I was thankful that my legs weren't numb like they were for at least an hour after my other two were born! And later that night I felt like I was able to get around better than I had the other times as well, so overall, I think it was nice afterwards not to have had the epidural. And I'm glad I got to have the experience, even though I wouldn't describe it as 'fun' or anything! :)

I guess David's birth story is just another example of how God's plan, even though it may be different than what we expect, is always perfect!! :)


Liz said...

See, I think I could have this baby like that. I love the thought of not being so numb. Last time I couldn't move my left leg on my own until almost 9 hours after I had the baby. I hated that.

Julie said...

LOVED reading this! WAY TO GO GIRL! Impressive! Im a hand squeezer too :o)