March 28, 2007

The Birth of Big I


This birth story was taken directly from my journal.

March 27, 2001

Three to 17 days past my due date and I’m sitting here waiting for the phone to ring to tell me what time to come to the hospital to be induced.  Yesterday, my doctor gave me a few options; however, when she said she thinks the baby is between 8 and 9 lbs, the decision to induce was clear.  I was in complete disbelief last night and still am.  I just can’t quite believe that my body will actually do this feat.  I’m having a difficult time thinking of the reward for all this pain I’m going to go through.  It’s been this way throughout my entire pregnancy.  Once I passed the first and second due date, I just got this notion that the baby would just take up permanent residence. 

I lost "the plug" on Thursday and have had such terrible pressure-so bad that I constantly feel like I have to pee.  It just seems my body doesn’t quite know what to do.  I’m really praying that I take after my Mom and that once the induction starts it goes quickly, although I’m sure 5 minutes will feel like 5 hours.  But at least I can hope.  This just isn’t the way I thought it would happen.

Sitting here waiting for this phone call is pure torture.  I’m hungry and can’t eat anything before this happens.  I told my Mom I don’t think pain management will be a problem, because I’ll look at the IV in my arm and just pass out-come to-see the IV-pass out again.  I hope I can tough this out without pain meds.  I need to take my Dad’s advice and think "I’m tough like Tocchet."  I can’t help wondering if Tocchet would be this tough if he were put in my situation.  The guy probably passed out when his baby was born.  Oh well, enough for now.  Next time I write, maybe this will all be over. 

April 1, 2001

March 27th turned out to be the longest day of my life.  We arrived at the hospital around 10:30-11:00 and went immediately to labor and delivery room 12.  My first nurse, Vikki, took us to the room and had me change into one of those flattering hospital gowns.  She then strapped on an external fetal monitor and a contraction monitor on my stomach. 

It was neat to see the heartbeats of the baby.  Vikki tried to get an IV in my left arm and it really hurt.  She said my veins were rolling and moved onto my hand.  It hurt a lot but she eventually got it in.

Then they needed to draw blood before they started.  Vikki couldn’t get the job done.  Another woman came in and began to try my right arm while Vikki called the IV team.  This woman failed too.  (It’s funny because no one ever had any trouble previously).  Finally, Robin, "Pleasant Robin" arrived from the IV team.  She drew my blood no problem.  My parents had arrived just previously to this and I could tell my Mom (an RN) wanted to jumped in.  I really wish she would have.  My arms and hands were sore from all the bad sticks. 

They started the pitocin at around noon.  I was feeling nervous, but excited thinking I would be like my Mom and have the baby is just a couple of hours.  Around 1:30 p.m., my doctor came in and broke my water.  I was 3 centimeters and 70% effaced.  It didn’t hurt at all, but it felt really yucky.  The water was almost hot.  From here on out, amniotic fluid leaked out on a regular basis.  I kept making faces when it would gush out and my Mom and husband kept asking, "Is that a contraction?" It most certainly was not.

We were all in good spirits and I was joking around a lot.  Another doctor came in to check on me and told the nurse to find me an italian ice.  I was starving!  I ate ice chips and italian ice like there was no tomorrow. 

At 3 p.m., Stelene became my nurse.  She checked and I was dilated 3-4 centimeters and was still 70% effaced.  The baby was at -3 station-floating around.  They continued to bump up the pitocin every 15 minutes and I started to have contractions two to five minutes apart.  They really weren’t bad at all; they just felt like a tightening.   

At around 7-7:30 p.m., after Stelene said I was about 5 centimeters, my doctor checked and said I was still only 3-4, but 75% effaced.  The baby was still at -3 station. 

At this point, my doctor said that I was failing to progress and if she came back in two hours and I wasn’t making major progress, we would have to consider a c-section.  I got very upset and began crying. 

Linh became my new nurse.  She was this tiny Vietnamese woman and she was the sweetest thing ever.  She really helped me to calm down because I was a wreck.  She told me that this was still my choice; I still had control and to think positively.  Nothing was going as I had wanted it to.  My birth plan was completely blown to hell, but Linh helped me hold it together.   

I was determined to get the baby to come down, and began standing and holding onto my husband.  I rocked back and forth and when I couldn’t do that anymore, I sat on the edge of the bed.  The contractions were so strong and I relied on my husband and my breathing to get me through them.

The contractions were really starting to hurt badly and I was completely exhausted.  I asked for some Stadol because I was exhausted and didn’t think I could do it anymore.  My body was so tense and every muscle felt clenched.  I thought that the Stadol would help relax me and bring the baby down.  This was at about 8:30-9:00 p.m. 

Once I had the Stadol, I slept between contractions and didn’t have a care in the world, but it did nothing for the pain of the contractions.  This could be because they put me on double strength pitocin at this time.  Stadol should last for 1-4 hours, but mine lasted less than an hour.  The side effect of the stadol was that it made me talk non-stop like a drunk fool.  I was swearing up a storm and cracking up everyone in the room when I wasn’t taking my two minute naps. 

At 10:30 p.m. my doctor came to check me.  We were all encouraged.  I was 5-6 centimeters, 90% effaced, and the baby was at -1 station.  I could tell because I started to feel incredible pressure.  I got a reprieve from the c-section threat. 

Around midnight, the doctor checked me again and I was 7 centimeters and completely effaced.  After this check, things got very painful.  I began having terrible pressure everywhere down below.  It was this intense pressure and a horrible burning sensation.  Each contraction was no longer felt in my stomach and all I could do was to lay on my side, reach for my husband, and writhe and squirm in pain.  Nothing made it feel better.

My doctor guessed that I’d have the baby around 3 a.m.  My husband said after the fact that he began thinking there was no way I’d make it until then.  I felt the same way and I remember I kept staring at the clock, willing it to move, but it seemed to be motionless. 

At around 12:30 a.m., my body started pushing the baby out and I started yelling "I have to push," over and over again.  I was also gagging and began to vomit.  It was black and disgusting.  The nurse accused me of drinking soda, when I was really probably vomiting from the lack of any substantial food or drink since the day before. My jerk of a nurse (my 4th of the ordeal) finally sent in the doctor (who had been napping) after my Mom went to get her.  My Mom told me she went out to get her and told them I needed to push.  The nurse said to her, "I know.  We can hear her."  Out of 17 L & D rooms, I was the only one without the epidural and it was obvious to everyone on the floor.  I was in absolute agony. 

The nurse checked me, expecting a major let-down, but I was 10 centimeters and ready to push.  I remember thinking, "Of course I’m 10 centimeters because the baby is RIGHT THERE!"  I rolled onto my back and began to push with the next contraction. 

I felt overwhelmed with having to hold my legs, curl my body around the baby, hold my breath and push.  I was also still gagging and vomiting, which was just lovely.  I felt like I was auditioning for the next Exorcist movie. 

My first few pushing attempts felt futile.  Once the doctor got there, my Mom held my left leg and my husband held my right leg.  The nurse kept pulling my legs apart and I just wanted everyone to leave me the hell alone.

The doctor was pulling at me, trying to avoid an episiotomy, but the pulling hurt worse than anything.  It was horrible.  I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, but I was. 

The doctor was watching the fetal monitor and said she would have to cut an episiotomy.  My Mom and husband said they could see the baby’s head but the head was hitting my bone and I couldn’t stretch on my own.  I remember crying and saying, "You’re going to numb me right?" With the next push, the doctor cut an episiotomy and the baby’s head was out.  As the doctor suctioned the baby, the baby began to cry a bit. 

I said, "GET IT OUT OF ME!" because the shoulders were killing me.  With one more small push, our baby was born.  The baby came out fast and sprayed amniotic fluid on the doctor and nurse.  I heard my Mom say "It’s a girl," and I couldn’t believe it.  I had been so focused on pushing, that I didn’t even think about whether or not it would be a girl or a boy.  I just wanted whatever it was OUT!

Our baby daughter was on the bed between my legs and I reached out to touch her.  She felt warm and slippery.  My first words upon seeing her were, "I can’t believe she’s mine, all mine."

They had been worried while I was pushing because her heart rate kept dropping and staying low so the doctor had called for pediatrics.  Talk about adding stress to the situation.  There I am pushing and screaming and there are three gowned up doctors just waiting for my baby. 

Once my baby was out, the doctor immediately said peds wasn’t needed, and then wrapped up my daughter and put her on my stomach.  She was wide awake and immediately stopped crying once she was touching me and heard my voice.  She felt like warm, liquid velvet as I held her, talked to her and kissed her. 

I introduced myself and my husband did the same.  They then took her to get cleaned up.  She began to cry and my husband, Mom, and Dad went with her to the other side of the room.  (My Dad was always on the other side of the room because he couldn’t deal with what was going on with me.)  As they suctioned out her nose, my baby got very angry and when the nurse went to do the other side, she punched the nasal aspirator out of the nurse’s hand and sent it flying across the room.  She was definitely my daughter. 

Her APGAR scores were 8 and 9 out of 10.  She was immediately pink and alert.  My husband held her next, while the doctor stitched me up (agony) and delivered the placenta.  My Mom and Dad took turns holding her as well.  Then, she came back to me. 

I have never seen a more perfect and beautiful baby in all my life.  My Mom said she looked just like my baby picture.  She had barely there blonde hair on top and just a little light brown fuzz around the rest of her head.  Her eyes were so big and bright.  Her little nose was slightly upturned and her nostrils looked like upside down hearts.  Her lips were perfectly shaped, and her little ears looked identical to my husband’s. 

She weighed in a 8 lbs 0 oz, 21 inches long-my exact measurements when I was born.  My Mom said she’s my little clone.  She was born at 1:29 a.m. on March 28th, about 45 minutes after I started pushing, and she forever changed my life.

04210001_4 05110003

"Black Belt Mama" lives in the northeast and is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mother to her two daughters, "Big I" who is now six and "Lil C" who is almost 18 months old.  She writes on her blog, Black Belt Mama, and also for a syndicated (more tame) version of her original blog for her hometown newspaper’s website.  She is also the editor of the Birth Story blog. 

To read about her second birth, which was much more mama and baby friendly (with a midwife), go here.   

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks