Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicklett Birth Story

Sunday 10/10/10 I was excited to have some noticeable contractions starting around supper time and lasting through most of the night. They were exactly every 30 minutes apart. By Monday morning that was gone and I chalked it up to false labor. I was a little bummed, but I knew that even false labor is doing some good. Getting baby into position!

I had a generally average Monday with Chicken Little and met Rooster for lunch at his work. After putting my son down for his afternoon nap I noticed regular strong contractions exactly 10 minutes apart and lasting about 20-30 seconds long. This most certainly got my attention! But I tried not to get too excited after what had happened on Sunday.

After about 5 hours of 10 minute spread contractions we were at the point of voting whether to try and do things to speed up labor or doing something to slow it down (as if I have complete control over the situation – ha ha ha). Laboring overnight did not sound like fun to me, and I was already tired from the contractions the night before keeping me awake. We went for a short walk around the neighborhood, it seemed to not increase intensity or frequency of the contractions. I was convinced it was probably just more false labor. My friend Meghan told me that taking a bath might reveal the truth in what is happening as her experience as a doula showed that a bath would slow/stop false labor but not the real thing. She also knew what complete and utter denial I’ve been in over going into labor and thought I might be mentally blocking myself. I took a bath, tried to relax, and had a serious talk with my lady parts. I gave myself permission to go into labor and promised that I wouldn’t let bad experiences from the past get in my way anymore. This baby was going to be here soon no matter what, and fighting it wasn’t going to do me any good. I called my mom who was going to be watching my son to see if she wanted to spend the night here just incase this was the real deal rather than risk having to drive here in the middle of the night. She came right over for a sleep over!

I went to bed early with some anticipation of activity overnight. Rooster stayed up late to watch the Vikings football game, something he probably regrets for a number of reasons. Ha! He came to bed close to 11pm and was having an allergy attack and overall annoying me by talking and being loud. I had a real hard time falling back asleep, it dawned on me around 1am that perhaps the reason why I couldn’t fall back asleep is that the contractions were happening closer than 10 minutes apart. I got up and went online to use a tracker. First spacing was 8:22 minutes apart and lasted about 50 seconds, then 6:22, 6:15, 5:45, 5:40… this would be when I started to get nervous. My midwives had instructed me not to “play around” as my first labor was only 4 hours long. I was supposed to go to the hospital when my contractions were 7 minutes apart. Oops! I called the afterhours midwife hotline and spoke with Mary. She thought it best for me to go into L&D and be monitored just incase. I called my doula to give her a heads up, and woke up my husband. We finished packing the labor bag (because I am Queen Procrastinator!) and made it to the hospital around 3:30am. At this point my contractions had gone back to being 10 minutes apart. They did a strip of monitoring baby and me and told us to stay for a few hours for observation. I allowed an internal exam… not even 2 cm dilated. Slightly devastating to hear, even though I KNOW it doesn’t mean I’m not in labor.

We did some walking to try and kick my contractions back up to 5/6 minutes apart, but it didn’t seem to take. Around 5:30 being completely exhausted I voted that we take a nap.

I woke up about 7am and realized that no contractions had really kept me from napping. I was immediately depressed and convinced that we’d be going back home. I kept waiting for a nurse to come in and check on us, no one had checked in since around 5am. My husband woke up around 8am and I told him I thought they had forgotten about me. We pushed the call button several times, no one came. Finally we went out to the desk and asked to be assisted. Ha! I told the nurse that my contractions had disappeared and we probably just needed to be released. They wanted to hook me up to the monitor just to double check. Right before she hooked me up I had a really good contraction and remembered being very upset that she missed it because they had been so spaced out I was afraid the 20/30 minute strip wouldn’t catch any.

I laid in bed feeling overall sorry for myself and was on the verge of crying that all this had been for nothing and I wouldn’t be holding my baby anytime soon. I had my husband call home to let my mom know we’d probably be back there in about an hour. While they were talking I suddenly got very nauseous and threw up several times. Then the contractions came like a huge wave. Very intense and very often. The nurse came in and did an internal check. I was holding my breath imagining her saying 3cm and knew I was just going to lose it. Then came the magic words… 5, almost 6 cm dilated. Say WHAT??? That’s when things got going very fast. We called my doula, who had heard nothing since 2:30 when I initially called her. Karen said she would be there ASAP.

I was aiming at a water birth and the tub takes 45 minutes to fill. They started filling it immediately! Ha! My midwife Mary came within about a half hour and we had everything set up. We had to do a few laps around the hospital as the bathtub ended up being 107 degrees so they had to cool it down. Oops!

I spent about 2 hours in the tub. I found it relaxing, but overall the pressure seemed to be hitting more on my tailbone and I was unable to really get comfortable. I got out to use the bathroom and while sitting on the toilet felt the first “urge to push” wave hit me. I got back in the tub and we tried some different positions, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I suggested the birthing stool as I thought the positioning would be similar to the toilet so maybe I would feel the urge to push again. I stayed on the birthing stool for about an hour and made great progress. I had major contractions and pushed several times. I did my patent pending “mooing” style, it was effective, though not quite as much as with my first labor. Karen was worried about my throat being destroyed and had me try silently pushing. This was just as effective so yay!

My back was starting to get very sore and I had thoughts about getting into bed. It felt a little bit like defeat to end labor in standard position, but something was telling me to do it. I moved over to the bed and my pitiful left leg lasted about 1 minute before starting to shake. My wonderful husband took over that leg and did everything for it.

At this point my water was still intact! I had lots of fun thoughts about my baby being born in the caul, but second or third contraction to the last one that bag popped and shot water about 5 feet across the room! I was so glad I opened my eyes and caught it. I almost started laughing, but then another contraction came fast and stopped that “BWHAHAHAHA” moment temporarily.

Within about ten minutes of being in the bed we got to crowning. My midwife had me touch the baby’s head and let me see everything in the mirror. After the contraction that got us to crowning my midwife explained that with the next one I should take a nice breath and then just go “puh-puh-puh” rather than bearing down. I waiting with anticipating through the ring of fire… and waited… and waited. Suddenly panic struck in… the contraction was not coming. I wasn’t sure what was wrong or why my body wasn’t kicking that final contraction into action. Four minutes past… and then it finally started up. I went to bear down and my midwife held the baby inside while yelling at me to stop! This last part needed to happen slowly for me to avoid tearing. I took a breath and went again to bear down. I couldn’t remember what she had told me to do and she kept just instructing me to breath. I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong! Finally I heard someone say “puh puh puh” and I remembered. Third breath the head and shoulders were out. My midwife had me reach around and deliver the baby myself! I loved being so much more involved with the delivery instead of just letting medical staff handle everything. I pulled baby out and up onto my stomach. The cord was very short so she could only be about belly button height. I immediately went to try and see if we had a boy or girl.

Baby was so swollen and the cord was in my way. I thought I saw a girl… but just couldn’t believe it. Indeed we have a baby girl! Chicklett was born at 1:22pm on Tuesday October 12th 2010 – completely intervention free. She weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19 inches long, with a 13 inch head. She looks exactly like big brother, but with black hair instead of red. And when I say she looks exactly like big brother… I mean it… we have another surprise clubbed footed baby. The adventures in leg braces and castings will begin for us next Monday when she will be only 6 days old.

Chicklett is a nursing champion! She latched on and did both breasts for about two hours immediately after birth. I hope this is only a sign of things to come!

Big brother has been interesting in nursing more, though I think he'll be unstoppable once the milk comes in. So far there have just been a few extra comfort nursing sessions for him.

P.S. I had been a hemorrhage risk due to having a 9.5 cm fibroid tumor growing on the outside of my uterus. We were very fearful of needing surgery immediately after birth to stop my bleeding and remove the tumor. Thankfully "fiby" did no harm and infact less than 72 hours after delivery I appear to already be done bleeding! This has been amazing!


  1. Beautiful birth story! Thanks for sharing. I'm so happy that you and chicklett are doing well.

  2. YAY :) Thanks :) Ya know we have all been dying waiting for this story LOL :)So happy that you have a wonderful, beautiful, champion nursing baby girl :) Congratulations!! :)

  3. Mama, you weren't doing anything wrong. Your MW wasn't practicing evidence based, sadly. So sorry she took away your power and hindered your birth at the most intense moment. Countless studies have shown that when a woman pushes as her body directs here, there are less rates of tearing and zero increased risks. Studies show that faster 2nd stage actually results in fewer tears, not more. It sounds like it was still an awesome birth though, congrats!