Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elinor's Birth Story

Finally I've made it to Elle's birth story. Be warned, it's long, but hopefully entertaining.

The whole tale actually starts on the evening of the 13th. The day at the waterpark, while fun, was exhausting, and later that evening when we got back to the campsite, I noticed just the faintest bit of spotting. I was a tiny bit concerned (I know it's normal for some women to spot throughout pregnancy, but not me, ever) but when it didn't escalate at all I chalked it up to too much activity. I told my mom about it, but not James because I didn't want him to worry. I had an uneventful night and on Wednesday we broke down camp. I wanted to walk the downtown Dells, and we hadn't had the opportunity to do that, so everyone but James and I with Colin and Cecily headed home while we stayed for some extra time. It was beastly hot, but we ducked into the air-conditioned stores frequently and enjoyed our two mile or so stroll (except for the steep uphill part LOL). Then we stopped at Culver's on our way out and enjoyed a very fattening lunch. There was some threatening weather on the two hour drive home, but we made it back right before dinner time safely. That evening I just felt absolutely panicked about the fact that Cecily's handmade "New Big Sister" shirt wasn't done yet. Everyone was so exhausted and just wanted to go to bed, but I made my mom stay up with me until 11pm to work on the front side (I paint it on both sides, so it needs drying time). Then I finally went to bed and was surprised to fall asleep without much trouble. I woke up around 4am for the first potty break of the night, but I just couldn't go back to bed. I was feeling some pain but they weren't very regular. I finished the rest of Cecily's shirt between contractions, read a magazine, and then took a long shower. At 6 I decided it was time to wake James up because it was indeed the real deal (they weren't getting closer together, but they were getting stronger). We got everything ready for whenever the children woke up and then I woke up my mom. We left for the hospital around 7:30am on Thursday morning. After some confusion about the fact that I was from out-of-state and didn't have a local OB, they took me straight into a room (no triage stop, which was kind of strange). The nurse checked me and I was at 5cm with a paper thin cervix and she was concerned about how swiftly I was moving. They called the on-call doctor, a family practitioner who was so old he had actually been the doctor who delivered my brothers. Once he arrived 30 minutes later I was at 6cm. Because he didn't do VBACs they had to find an OB-GYN to take over my care, so I ended up getting my mom's personal doctor, which was a strange coincidence. When he checked me (about 9am) I was complete and they thought delivery was imminent. They insisted there was no time for the epidural, which I was not at all happy about. But I figured if it was going to go this fast I could handle it. They kept telling me to push, but I felt absolutely zero urge to do so. I remember wanting to cry because my body just did not want to push. I've always wanted to know what it felt like to get that fabled urge to push they always talk about with natural deliveries and it never happened. The baby was up too high and her descent was complicated by transverse positioning. They alternated between having me push and resting for about two and a half more hours. All I wanted was the epidural because I knew I could push her out with the epidural, since I'd done it four times before. Finally they relented and determined that I could indeed have an epi. After it was in the nurse said to me something along the lines of, why didn't we do this right away, and I'm thinking, no kidding?!! At this point the OB said that I had a one hour deadline to deliver or they were going to do a c-section because the baby just wasn't going to fit. I was absolutely flabbergasted by this, and James was downright mad. It just didn't make sense that they would arbitrarily decide that I couldn't vaginally deliver a 38 weeker despite four previous successes. I later learned that the hospital was anti-VBAC and that VBACs were few and far between there and that c-sections were very common. After a lot of praying and an hour of resting without pushing, the OB came back to check me and the baby was right there. They had me give one tiny "test push" and she crowned right there at 12:55. Neither the OB nor the nurse were ready (in fact the OB's back was turned when she came out) and she delivered right onto the foot of the bed. I had warned them that this is how my deliveries go - tons of pushing and slow progress and then they just fly out all of the sudden. You'd think they'd have taken my words a little more seriously than most since I'd been through the childbirth process so many times. I felt so vindicated and strong after giving birth - I knew that my body could do it. This was the first delivery where I had absolutely no tears of any kind as well, which was a huge bonus in the healing department. She was covered in vernix when she was born, which was a new experience for me because all of my other babies have been late 39 weekers or older. She was also 7lbs 7.5oz, which is huge for me, especially at only 38 weeks (Cecily, born one day before her due date, by comparision, weighed 7lbs 5oz). I guess my body just knew that it was time for her to be born and that if she waited much longer she might be too big for me. James, Hero, Allegra, my mom and my dad (it was his first birth experience) were in the room when Elle was born. It was a wonderful moment, as all births are, but so unexpected that it felt surreal.


Mrs. Wilson said...

Congrats on your beautiful baby!

Jenn said...

Wow! What a great birth story!! :)

Pam said...

Congratulations Melissa! She is beautiful!