10 October 2012

Felix's Birth Story

I wrote this post and then realized its length was absurd. If you do not care to read it all, there are bullet points below the picture at the bottom.

On Friday night I started having noticeable, sometimes painful contractions. They began about 6:30, probably, and gradually picked up in intensity and frequency as the the night wore on. I ended up staying awake until like 3, timing them and making sure that this was the real thing. (In addition to the false labor I had blogged about from the Saturday before, I experienced a similar episode of regular non-painful contractions lasting almost seven hours the following Monday.) I knew this was really labor because the contractions were painful, were mostly growing in intensity, and were gradually increasing in frequency, albeit with a little variation in each of those categories. I eventually decided that maybe it was possible to sleep through some of the contractions, so I went to bed and slept off and on for about three hours.

Saturday morning we did last minute packing and room-arranging things. We got a hold of Eric's dad and let him know we'd need him to meet us at the hospital to pick up Ike. I worked through my contractions and used an online timer to see how frequent they were. I had two main objectives with going to the hospital:
  1. Do not arrive so early that I would be told to walk the halls trying to get things going.
  2. Do not arrive so early that I would be sitting around in a triage or labor room waiting for things to happen when I could be at home hanging out with my boy in his last few minutes as an only child and doing random last-minute things like dusting the coffee table and fireplace mantel.
When I had woken up at 6, things seemed to be progressing fairly quickly, and I thought we'd head to the hospital before the first session of General Conference started at 10. I was wrong. We stayed home and cued up Conference on the computer. When I had contractions I would stand up and lean over the arm of the couch and sway through them. They were painful but tolerable.

Sometimes Eric would try to talk to me while I was having a contraction, usually not knowing that I was having one. Once he asked me if I wanted some grapes. I didn't have the ability to answer yes or no, but I was somehow able to tell him, "I can't answer that question right now." In thinking about that after the contraction I realized that my ability to talk was not really hampered, it was my ability to think and make decisions - even one as simple as whether or not I'd like some grapes - that was totally impaired.

I hung out at home having contractions until about 11:30. I was hoping to make it through the whole first session of Conference (two hours), but at some point I realized that I would still have a 20-minute car ride, during which I'd have at least four contractions where I'd be forced to sit down. Sitting during contractions was an unbearable thought to me, so I wanted to go before the contraction frequency was too high.

We got to the hospital, and saw Eric's dad waiting for us. Eric helped him move Ike and his belongings, and I went into the hospital by myself to check in. I felt a little silly doing that, but it wasn't like Eric would be able to do much more for me than he was already doing. When I got to the reception desk I told them I'd been having contractions all night, and that they had been about 3-5 minutes apart for at least the last hour. Apparently it had been a bit of a busy morning, and they had to decide where to put me. There were no open triage rooms, so they put me right into a labor and delivery room and told me to change into the gown, etc., etc.

The nurse came in and started chatting with me. I have no idea what we talked about. Probably when my contractions started, how painful they were and that sort of thing. When she checked my cervix she was shocked, and told me that I was already dilated to a 7. I was also shocked. It had taken hours and hours of being on pitocin before I got to a 7 with Ike, and this whole labor had been so different than that. I figured that maybe I was up to a 6, based on my level of pain. The nurse very quickly got a few other nurses to start getting my deliver room ready. They told me I'd walked in so calmly they couldn't imagine I was as far as I was. Apparently some other laboring mom had come in earlier in near hysterics and was only dilated to a 3. I was feeling pretty tough. But not tough enough to tell them to skip the epidural. Amid the flurry of prepping the room, the nurse requested the anesthesiologist.

I got my epidural at about 1. It was very different than the last one. With Ike I literally had no sensation whatsoever from the waist down. I couldn't even wiggle my toes. With this one I could still move my legs, although not very effectively. I could feel the contractions still, so I had an idea of what was going on. The epidural was a little stronger on the left side than the right, but overall I liked that it basically took the edge off the pain without knocking out my feeling altogether.

At 1:40 I was dilated to a 9. I stayed there for a while, and at 2:25 my doctor arrived to break my water. (I had seen him momentarily twice before that point. I'm pretty sure he was delivering another patient right before me.)

The nurse kept checking me, and at about 3:25 the doctor came in. The nurse had made several comments about how low the baby was and how easy this was going to be. I told Eric I was going to do six pushes and have the baby. He did not believe me and asked how many pushes it had taken to birth Ike. I told him it was a lot more - almost an hour of pushing, but he was the first baby, and I was feeling good about this one. He was still incredulous.

I was right. Two contractions - three pushes each contraction - and Felix was here. He immediately gave a good cry, they wiped him down, and they gave him to me to hold. Then they took him away some more and did whatever else. Then they gave him back to me for some skin to skin contact. Unfortunately he was grunting an awful lot, so he got sent to the nursery for observation, like they had to do with Ike. He was under observation for almost six hours, and that was definitely the worst part of the day. But he's fine, and I'm fine, and everyone is fine.

Anyway, awesome labor and delivery. That is why I do not look like death in my pictures.

  • Contractions beginning Friday night about 6:30 and gradually picking up all evening and into the night.
  • Hospital at noon on Saturday.
  • Dilated to a 7 upon arrival.
  • Epidural.
  • Dilated to a 9 by 1:40.
  • Water broken at 2:25.
  • Pushing at 3:25. Two contractions, a total of six pushes.
  • Felix born at 3:34.
  • Easy peasy.

9 comments:

Melanie said...

I love birth stories! Thanks for sharing.

Melanie said...

Oh, and congratulations!

heidikins said...

Congrats! I'm so glad it was so "easy peasy" and that everyone is healthy and happy and no one looks like death. ;)

xox

Angela Noelle said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

And you look INCREDIBLE in that photo.

Erin Gong said...

Congratulations!

And that is so true that contractions aren't so bad that you can't talk - they're so bad that you can't think. ...although there comes a point where you really can't do either.

Glad you are both well. Hope you get some good sleep.

Roseann said...

I'm glad it all went so smoothly! My babies are grunters too. When we lived in NY they freaked out so bad they put one in the NICU (let me tell you that was miserable - he was fine). Luckily in Utah they just "observe" and don't freak out. I so understand how awful that is to wait and worry, though!

Jana said...

What a wonderful birth experience, yay! I love your surprise that the labor was differing this time around; I totally expected my experiences to be the exact same with my second son as my first and they were equally as opposite (minus the fact that they both ended in c-sections, of course). Congratulations again, I hope you're all adjusting well at home!

trishtator said...

You do look amazing! I noticed that in the pictures you have in the previous post, but I've found saying things (any things) to women who just had babies other than "Congrats" is not advised. Thus I didn't mention that you look like you're a model holding your brand new baby (and I mean model as a compliment).

Congrats on your new human being!

Packrat said...

Congratulations to you and your family. How wonderful the delivery was so "easy".