Friday, January 9, 2009

Millicent's Birth story

My prayer through my pregnancy was that it would be short and mildly painful, but not so short that I wouldn’t be able to “experience” the birth. And all along I knew that I wanted to labor in the water but not birth in the water. I wanted to birth on all fours, so my husband could have a better view and enjoy the birth more. I figured delivering in the water would obstruct the view. I also planned on not pushing and letting nature take its course.

I had lots of BH contractions over the course of my pregnancy. One night while watching a movie I thought I was in labor b/c they were coming so regularly, every 10 minutes over the course of the movie. We went to bed thinking if this was it we wanted some sleep, but nothing. Soooo, when it actually happened exactly like that, we still weren’t sure. On Tuesday of the week I went into labor, I had really loose stools and thought I would be going into labor soon…I just had a feeling. In fact I told everyone that I would be having the baby that day or the next. I was close.

I had been losing my mucus plug over a period of days. Then on Thursday I had a bloody show. I was so excited. I knew I was going into labor that day. I didn’t have any contractions but I still told my oldest DD that today was the day. She didn’t believe it. My DH and I went on a date and while we were out stopped by Wal-Mart. While there my contractions started, although far apart. We went home and watched a movie and my contractions started coming 10 minutes apart for the length of the movie. I was really excited, but my DH was doubtful, considering the BH that I’d had so many other times. Not knowing if it was the real thing or more false labor, we decided to go to bed and get some rest. Either way we’d need it.

I slept sporadically for a few hours. I kept being waking up and timing my contractions and falling back to sleep. After a while they were keeping me awake. Well, I’m not sure if it was the excitement or the contractions. Nonetheless, I couldn’t sleep, so I got up. The contractions were no more painful than menstrual cramps. I felt that if I could put a heating pad on my abdomen I wouldn’t feel the pain. I was on the computer when my DH woke up and realized I wasn’t in bed with him. He came to check on me. I told him I was in labor! This time he really believed it. He started preparing the pool for me. Then we decided to go ahead and try to go back to sleep. Again, I was up a lot.

Friday he stayed home from work in anticipation of the birth. We decided to go to MIL’s with the girls so the day wouldn’t seem so long. I labored all day with pretty regular contractions. The intensity increased but they never got closer than 10 minutes together. That night the contractions woke me up and kept me awake. I slept off and on all night.

The next morning we decided to go back to MIL’s b/c the day before was so nice. I was still having contractions 10 minutes apart. To me, it was weird that they never got closer together. But I knew I was in labor. At MIL’s the intensity continued to increase. I had been “breathing” through them since the night before and now I had to really concentrate on them. The big, deep breathe in felt so good, but as I pushed it out the pain invaded. With each breathe out I would relax all parts of my body. If anything was tense, it made the pain more severe. We were there for a few hours with the contractions continuing with intensity, duration and finally getting closer together. The closest they came in 2 days, by that time, was 7 minutes. But even that wasn’t dependable. I had lunch and the contractions were pretty uncomfortable by then. But they were starting to spread back out. They regressed to 10 minutes apart…then I wouldn’t have one for 15 minutes. I didn’t know what was going on. In hindsight, I think sitting in the living room with everyone there made me feel like a watched pot, and I couldn’t relax enough. No one was watching me really, but I just felt observed. I just felt uncomfortable, both physically and mentally, b/c of everyone there. So I laid down for a nap. I’m not sure of the exact times but that was around 1:00 or so.

I slept off and on, for about an hour. Each contraction woke me up. Finally I got in the bathtub. It felt so great! My MIL has a huge tub. It felt so comfortable that I even considered staying there and not going home. But everyone was there… and none of our stuff was. I was in the tub for probably another hour. When DH checked on me I told him I felt great, but that I thought the contractions were coming closer. So he timed a few and they were 4-5 minutes apart. Progress at last!!!! While he was timing, I had one right on top of one. He told me if we wanted to make it home, we better be going. After having one then another without a break, I agreed. While getting out and trying to get dressed, they just started coming. One and then another…then a small break. I had probably 5-6 just while trying to get dressed.

On the 20-30 minute drive home I had him pull over so I could relax more fully through the contractions. Driving caused more pain! Once home, he added hot water to the pool and I immediately got in. It still felt great. But it didn’t take long before I started getting really hot and wanted some cold water added. LOL.

It was easy to relax my whole body in the water so I was grateful to have the pool. My DH got a CD out and lit a candle. The girls came in periodically to check on me and see my progress. I was laughing when not having contractions, and I was conversing with them all. About an hour after we got home the contractions starting getting pretty intense and I had to concentrate even harder. My oldest was updating friends on the internet and calling everyone for prayer requests. As the labor progressed a friend sent an email as encouragement for the long labor and a reminder that I could do it at home. She encouraged me not to go to the hospital just because I had been at it for 2 days. She told me, in the email, that each contraction brought me a little bit closer to my precious baby. That sort of became my mantra. During each contraction, each completely painful contraction, I would be thanking God for the contraction and praising Him, silently, knowing that He was bringing my baby closer to me. That really helped…knowing, remembering, what He was doing.

The pain was intense. It was overwhelming at times. The contractions weren’t so bad…if it were just the contractions I probably would have been fine. It was the incredible, intense, miserable pressure on my anal area. WOW! Like nothing I had ever felt before. At first I thought I had to go to the bathroom. So I moved towards the bathroom. (Our bathroom doesn’t work in our bedroom…and the working bathroom is at the other end of the house.) DH wanted to help me by staying in there, but in case I needed to “go”, I told him no way. I wanted him to go back to another part of the house. So he hovered within ear shot. Once I was on the toilet several contractions hit. I soon realized I did not need to go, and unfortunately I was afraid I was going to be stuck on the toilet. Two intense contractions later I managed to get off the toilet. I made it into the school room and sat down at the computer desk to type an email, when another hit. I was so uncomfortable on the chair that I got onto my hands and knees on the floor. As soon as that contraction ended I hightailed it back to the pool where I was relatively comfortable. The comfort was over though. Very shortly after making it back into the birth pool I hit transition. I was in incredible pain. Some people express that during labor, they are experiencing cramping, like from menstruation…while I experienced that in the beginning, that was not me at transition. The pain was immeasurable. I’ve never been in more pain.

I don’t know how long transition lasted but I know I had quite a few contractions. Again, the pressure on my anal area was the absolute worst. After a few of these I knew I was in transition. In my mind I was saying, not another contraction, I can’t take another contraction. I KNEW I was in transition. But I wanted affirmation that I was. So I started verbalizing what I was thinking, as far as being in pain and wanting it to end. It was at this time I understood why women get epidurals. (Not that I was willing to have one or transfer…those thoughts never crossed my mind. I just understood why women get them. THE VERY REAL PAIN.) I told my DH I didn’t know how many more I could take, the pain was too much. And he just reassured me that I was doing great and was in transition. It felt great to have him tell me something that I thought I knew. I just needed to hear it from him.

He was my anchor through it all. During transition I was in so much pain that everything was just blurry. Everything I remember about that time is a fog. I remember at one point I couldn’t see him and I called out to him. He was updating the girls, as he’d done all along, and I didn’t even know it. I just needed him by me. He read the Bible and talked to me through it all. He kept telling me I was doing a great job. He was just so supportive.

It was during this time that I began vocalizing. That is my one regret. I asked DH to have the girls leave the living room (they had already been told that I need to be left alone, as I needed all my energies to concentrate) but my oldest DD had already cleared out with the younger one. So I felt able to be loud. But with that came a loss of control that I hadn’t experienced. Had I not gotten loud (relatively loud for me) I would have been able to control the pain the way I had been, with relaxing through the contraction. My next labor I won’t vocalize. I’ll keep to concentrating by staying calm and relaxed.

Just when I thought I couldn’t take another contraction my water broke. But I still didn’t get relief. I told Dh that my water broke and he got down on the floor in front of me. I remember pressing against the birth pool, feeling completely out of control still. At the very next contraction I felt the intense need to push. I said, “I gotta push!” He said to go ahead and push, so I did. I pushed HARD! I wanted it to be over and I wanted my baby out NOW. Then I had about a 3 second break. And another contraction where I just gave it all I had. I remember the “ring of fire”. I told DH it burns! Then he told me to slow down just a little bit. He could see her head and told me to reach down and touch her. Oh, her sweet, soft head. I will never forget how that felt. It was fuzzy and soft. He remembers feeling her head too. The pushing urge was unbelievable. I couldn’t stop pushing. It helped to relieve the pressure, but it still hurt. Then one more push and she was out. He immediately handed her too me. I just gazed at her. Completely in love. I took a minute or two before I realized I needed to find out what gender she was. Four girls! Wonderful! My DH went running through the house praising God and telling our girls they have another sister.

The cord was pretty short so getting out of the pool was awkward. She breastfed for a few minutes, after several unsuccessful tries. I was confused about the afterbirth. I didn’t know if I would have more contractions or if I just needed to try to push it out. So once the cord was completely white, I squatted over the bowl and it just plopped out with barely a push. Then our youngest DD cut the cord.

I made the mistake of looking for tears. Found some that way. I had a pretty deep one on my inner labia and my perineum tore where I had had a previous episiotomy. Someone told me if we were meant to look down there God would have given us longer necks. LOL. She also told me to sit with my legs together. So I did. And I didn’t look anymore either. Just the other day I checked to see how it healed. The inner labia didn’t even leave a scar. The perineum didn’t look like it had healed the way it was supposed to, but it was okay too.

Afterwards, I didn’t want my DH to leave my side. I was so bonded to him. I needed him even more after the birth. He said later when he told me I could push that he didn’t realize that I was just depending on him to guide me. If he had of realized he would have had me push less, not quite so hard. He’s right, he said push and I did. I just followed his instructions.

So the things I prayed for were answered in a different way. God showed me that he was in charge and that I don’t have to be in the drivers seat. My labor was 2 days long and extremely painful. I wasn’t even able to get out of the birth pool…not physically or mentally able. I couldn’t stop pushing, even though the thought occurred to me. It was like a freight train bearing down on me. Even though I would love to never experience that kind of pain again, I can’t wait to have another UC with my DH. It was wonderful and exciting and unforgettable. We were euphoric for days. And we are still really proud of our accomplishment. Our precious Millicent. Born at 5:20PM on Jan 28. Weighing around 7 lbs and around 20 inches long.


Mom's Place said...

What a great story!!!! I want to home birth my next one!!!

Melissa said...

Such a great birth story! Having a home birth sounds like a wonderful experence.

Kara said...

I love reading your birth stories!!! You should write a book

Quinn said...

Fantastic birth stories! I just got done reading all 3- I think the hospital one was actually my favorite simply because I love the way you guys did your own thing! That couldn't have been easy to do!