Just a *smidge* faster ok?
After dinner on Tuesday, I headed home, told the world (ie: facebook) that I was tired and crabby and headed to bed. I had some pretty sharp contractions that very much reminded me of Aiden’s birth a few times over the night that woke me up and I rocked through them, falling back asleep. I don’t remember this happening more than a couple times. I was tired, and crabby remember, so I just went back to sleep.
At 7:15am November 3rd, I had a contraction, rocked through it…then Aiden wandered into our room a couple minutes later and I had another contraction, rocked through it. While Aiden cuddled with us and played I rocked through a few more and told B it was starting. B went down to make breakfast while I putzed around upstairs getting a few things together for Aiden. I gave my doula and my babysitter a heads up and decided to hop in the shower. My hips were hurting pretty badly during contractions so I brought a stool in the shower so I would have something to lean over during contractions. This was pretty good foresight on my part…I hung out in the shower for a while, because of course it felt great and when I got out I decided it was time to start timing a few of these and see what was up, they felt close together and were strong. I timed for about 30 or 40 minutes, walking around in between contractions, getting things ready to go, munching on a piece of toast, etc. during that time the contractions were all 3 minutes apart and went from 45 seconds to over a minute in a snap. I was starting to feel an urge to vocalize a lot, and I was concentrating on not tensing up and letting my body work. I started feeling a little nauseous too and left most of my toast on my desk. Things were picking up a lot faster than they did with Aiden’s birth.
We called the midwife around 9, told her we thought we would be leaving in about half an hour. She asked where I was feeling the contractions, if I could answer questions or talk during them and I told her I couldn’t then told her to go away so I could have a contraction. I started needing B to put pressure on the back of my hips during contractions and at one point I told him, in the middle of a contraction “We need to go…soooooooon.” Our neighbor came to get Aiden for his big “sleepover” and we started heading out. I knew the trip to the hospital was a little long, and I knew that I did NOT want to have a ton of contractions in the car. I stopped on the stairs to wait for one more contraction and told B to get something for me to barf in while we were on the road because I could tell that was coming pretty soon. After that contraction I booked it to the van and got my pillows situated for the car-ride. I had probably 5 or 6 contractions on the way to the hospital, I think they spaced out just a bit when we got underway, which was a blessing. I did, indeed, barf in the car, it’s like I’m psychic.
I had a contraction as we were parking and thought “good timing, maybe I’ll make it in the door before I have another contraction!” Think again, we barely made it 50 feet from the car before I had to stop. I tried really hard to walk until the peak, then I stopped, leaned over a bench and rocked and swayed. Before the contraction was done I started moving again, not wanting to be out in the cold too long and the damn contraction peaked again so I had to stop. We got inside and got in the elevator…I actually managed to make it to the L&D desk before having another contraction! This was a good thing since we noticed a bunch of suits (turns out it was the Joint Commission) as we were walking in and while I SORT OF wanted to assume a squat and start vocalizing in front of them…I’m a little more modest than that. J
The nurses at the desk of course wanted to ask me questions during contractions and I had to tell them to please wait…then we headed to the triage room to wait for K, our midwife, and have a listen to the baby. I declined the charming pink hospital gown, much more comfy in my cotton skirt and t-shirt. Then the door opens and in puffs our midwife, B asks her how she is “out of shape!” haha! I’m checked, at 3cm, 70% and I’m pissed cuz this is how it was with Aiden too. We’re still trying to get a good strip on baby (you know how these things are) and K wants me up over the top of the bed because of Chase’s craptastic position (ROP, if you’re wondering) while we listen some more. We weren’t in triage long, and I didn’t get asked a million questions while we were there which was so nice. Then we move to the room. Which…I have to say…is freaking amazing. Even in my laboring haze I could appreciate the fantastic room. I should go back and get pictures…easily as big as the upstairs of my house between the room itself and the attached birthing tub room.
My doula was awesome putting just the right amount of pressure on my hips and dancing with me (the doula hula you know) during my contractions. Once we got into the room they needed to get one more accel from chase who had decided that NOW, of course, was fetus nap time. Thanks buddy. I tried to lean on the bed and it rolled away from me to which I exclaimed “F--- THAT,” and everyone laughed while I carried on through that contraction and they put the breaks on the bed. At some point we were trying to listen to baby and K wanted me upright so she could get his heartrate on the waterproof telemetry (these, were also the coolest little things I’ve ever seen) and I ended up leaning on 3 people simultaneously through a contraction while this was going on. K was patient with me while I kept telling her “just give me a minute. Please? Just a minute,” as if I thought she could make my labor slow down long enough for me to catch my breath. Not so much.
So off to the bathroom with us, hubby, doula, and midwife…I informed them I couldn’t pee with an audience and they all laughed and walked out. Not much luck with peeing, which was frustrating because I felt like I genuinely needed to pee, but I let it go and got in the tub. The whole time I was in the tub (which wasn’t long) I really felt like it needed more water…like enough to go over my head because the pain was SOOO intense. Sharp through my abdomen and all across my hips and lower back with every contraction. I thought my whole body was going to snap in half. I think I had 2 or 3 contractions in the tub before I informed K that I was feeling “pressure! Pressure! (insert involuntary grunt here…).” Now, remember how I said the Join Commission folks were there? Yea…so K had to play by rules she generally doesn’t play by. She had told me before we got in the tub that she would need to break my water before baby came to be sure there was no meconium. I really didn’t care. So when I told her I was feeling pressure she had to run and get the hook. Fun fun! Through another contraction I was grunting again…then she checks me…wait for it…
Here’s where stuff gets crazy.
I’m 5cm. Yea…grunting at 5cm. So I’m crying and wailing to her “I don’t want to be 5! This is terrible! NO NO NO!” bring on another contraction and MORE grunting. All the while my doula and K are reassuring me that baby is coming, K even tells me I can push if I feel like I need to push. To which my doula brain responds “WHO PUSHES AT 5?!” I’m begging my doula in between contractions to make it stop, telling her I don’t want to be 5 and K comes over with the amnio hook, informs me that I’m 8, now 9…and I’m FREAKING OUT. The contractions were SOOO intense…and we’re talking in a matter of just 5 minutes I went from 5 to 9 and now we’re pushing.
I can feel him moving down…so different than Aiden, I felt Aiden stuck on my pubic bone when I was pushing, but not this time…this time I can feel him moving down, I can feel everything opening and I simply can’t stop pushing. My logical brain, still checked in since there was no transition time to send it away, is telling me to keep bearing down, but not too hard and telling myself not to arch my back…which I’m doing anyway. But still I can feel him moving down. I wish I could say this was a peaceful, controlled, quiet thing…but no. It wasn’t. I was roaring, this baby was coming way faster than I was prepared for and I totally didn’t know what to do with myself. My husband is trying his best to ground me, and I tell him “don’t you do that take control shit with me,” and turn to my doula. K knew what I needed though and she just told me to listen to her “Meghan, you need to listen to me! BLOW!” I instantly was focused on her and did what she told me to do as baby crowned. When I start pushing again I feel his head out and just stop, like “holy hell that feels so much better,” and the nurse standing there (I have no idea when she entered the picture) says “his head is out…see?!” I think I actually told her “that feels better!” Then it was time to push again, I think they were nervous because they hadn’t heard heart tones in a while and needed to be sure he was OK. I’m still flipping out, arching my back and K says again “Meghan, lISTEN to me, you need to push him out, don’t arch your back!” So I tuck my chin as much as I can stand and out he comes.
He was pretty floppy and grey when they put him on me and needed some good rubbing. K was about to clamp his cord and I begged for her to “give him a minute, just give him a minute, please just give him a minute,” and I blew on his face while the nurse was rubbing his back and he started to squawk. Big sigh of relief. We found out later his 1 minute APGAR was only 4, not pretty. They are pretty sure it was because he was wearing his umbilical cord around his body, cute necklace Chase…(My instincts about this had been right all along. I had suspected he was tangled in his cord and that was why I couldn’t get him to rotate out of ROP for weeks). So he got to stay attached and cried and pinked up and did well from there. Then we moved (I got to hang on to him getting out of the tub and everything) to the bed for the placenta. My sacrum and bottom hurt SO BAD that I could hardly put myself on the bed at all. I was pretty convinced at that moment that my tailbone was broken…but now I’m confident it wasn’t…though I’m pretty sure my sacrum is royally jacked up. K got us situated and we waited a good while before the cord was clamped. B made Chase a free man, and it was so nice to just have that sweet little dude with me the whole time. I was thoroughly unimpressed with delivering the placenta, not sure why it was so uncomfortable, but it actually stands out more in my mind this time around. Just some minor abrasions and skid marks that didn’t require any repairs, and they cleaned me up and I got situated to nurse my little man. Fundal checks weren’t so great, my uterus was a little boggy and I was passing quite a few clots. We talked about IM pit if things didn’t start to improve but with a little massage, some skin to skin, and nursing, it got better. Probably just from the super fast birth…though I was NOT impressed with having fundal massage, it was necessary I think, and I prefer that to a shot of medication following my totally awesome (insane) unmedicated water birth.
I know I took a lot of space and time up telling the end of that…but the reality was that I was 5cm, and 90% effaced 1 minute, and less than 10 minutes later my baby was on my chest. There were a lot of details to share because my mind was still totally there…I didn’t get to find my way to that hazy place…for some reason I was keenly aware of my thoughts, of things people were saying to me, and of where people were around me. Really an interesting experience.
SO, Chase was born at 11:32am (4 hours, start to finish, 10 whopping minutes of “active labor”), he weighed 8lbs 3oz, is 20.75 inches long, and has a 13inch head (an inch smaller than Aiden’s!), which is covered in dark hair. He nursed like a CHAMP from minute one and continues to do so. We went home the next day after I visited with K and informed her that “that was f---ed up. Seriously. F---ed up.” I love having a midwife I can be straight with…LOL!