Birth Story #1: Oldest
Oldest with our newest!
When I was pregnant I read *almost* every pregnancy/birthing book I could get my swollen hands on and thought that I was as prepared as I could be. Never having gone through labor before, I knew there would be things I didn't expect, but I thought I had educated myself enough to know kind of what labor would be like.
I wanted to have a natural, drug-free birthing experience. I wanted to try alternative pain management. I wanted to give birth standing or squatting and have the option to move around. I had even watched "The Business of Being Born" and thought, YES! I can do this! (I actually watched that again recently during this most recent pregnancy and had the same feeling--I can do this!! More to come on that.)
I had this image in my mind of sitting in a tub with Enya playing in the background while I breathed evenly through each contraction. *hee hee hoooo*
Towards the end of my pregnancy I started getting a rash that changed everything. Let me correct that, I got TWO rashes that changed everything.
PUPPP and Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis. (notice the latter is on a website called "Rare Diseases." HA! Notice also, in the article it states that one "rarely gets it during pregnancy." (This just keeps getting more funny!) I've gotten it every time, though not as bad the third time around--thank the good Lord!
So about 6-8 weeks from my due date I started to get an itchy rash on my belly (PUPPP) that proceeded to work it's way all over my whole body. In between my fingers and toes--everywhere. Did I mention it was ITCHY?! By the last few weeks of pregnancy, I was hardly sleeping, taking 2 oatmeal baths a day, and spreading anti-itch cream all over my red, splotchy body. It was miserable. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. If I had a worst enemy.
I didn't really know it then, because I really couldn't tell the difference between one rash or the other, but I actually had both rashes at that time (PUPPP and APD) and I've had APD ever since. I *think* PUPPP set off the other one? Who knows.
So, I had gone to the doctor a few times concerning The Rash and on my due date the doctor (my midwife was on vacation!) suggested I be induced because of The Rash. Well, being induced was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Even though I was completely miserable. I really, really wanted a natural birth. As natural as possible anyway.
Four days after my due date, I called the doctor's office from the bathtub, crying, telling them I couldn't take the itching anymore and was ready to be induced. :( That was a tough phone call to make.
The next day I arrived at the hospital bright and early at 7am and they gave me Cervidil. I stayed all day until about 4pm but nothing really happened. I dilated to about 3cm but wasn't seeming to progress any farther so they sent me home and told me to call if contractions got worse.
Me, before labor started. Obviously.
We went home and I tried to rest. I remember thinking that the contractions felt really bad, but I because I had spent all day at the hospital, I didn't want to go back for no reason so I waited a while, even though my contractions had me doubled over in pain. Then at around 10 or 11pm I decided contractions were "bad enough" to warrant going back to the hospital.
Our hospital is about 35 minutes from our house, but it felt even longer. I was gripping the handle and clenching my teeth most of the way.
I don't remember too much about what happened right after we arrived. I do know that at around 3:30am (my husband tells me), I asked for an epidural. I was exhausted and the pain was just. too. much.
It wasn't until the next afternoon, that it came time to push. I pushed and pushed for 3 1/2 hours. Yes, you read that right. I was so exhausted that I would actually sleep (or pass out?) in between pushes. It was about that time that the doctor came in (my midwife was still on vaca) and asked if I would like "help getting her out?" Of course, I said YES. and YES.
I just. wanted. her. out.
I'd like to add that at this point, I was totally naked. And for some reason, thinking about the doctor walking in ready to help me push while I'm laying there in my birthday suit, is SO embarrassing! I don't know why? I typically don't get embarrassed that easily. At the time, though, I was so hot and had to have my clothes off. The nurses actually put a huge box fan in front of me, too. I wasn't embarrassed then, but thinking about it now makes me cringe.
He then asked if I would prefer suction or forceps to help to get her out? I had no idea. I was exhausted and I could barely think. I chose suction. I did not choose wisely. Note to self: DO NOT USE SUCTION. Along with ripping me apart, it ended up causing a huge hematoma on her head that didn't go away for a month! They started to suspect a skull fracture. Praise the Lord, she ended up being fine. :)
Minutes after Oldest was born.
Turns out her head was crooked in the birth canal and that's why I couldn't push her out. The doctor finally got her out at 3:40 in the afternoon(!) with the help of the suction and they whisked her away to give her oxygen because she was in the birth canal for so long. (Unbeknownst to me at the time. They don't tell you anything while it's happening, do they?)
She was 8lbs 14oz and 21 1/2in. And besides the hematoma, was as healthy as can be!
Daddy holding Oldest for the first time.
After all of that, I finally had my baby girl! Thank God! They put her on my chest and she latched on right away. Unfortunately, breastfeeding got worse before it got better, but I ended up nursing her until she was about 16-17 months old. So all in all, it was successful!
Stay tuned for Baby #2's birth story!
If you have a birth story to share, put your link in the comments! :)