Tuesday, March 12, 2013

henry's birth story, part two. birthing time.

* i spent a lot of time after henry's birth beating myself up because it didn't happen exactly the way i wanted it to. in hypnobabies we are taught to create the kind of birth experience we want to have, and i believe that is possible--to a certain extent. but i put a lot of pressure on myself to do it perfectly and exactly the way i had planned and envisioned for so long. when that didn't happen, i'll admit, i thought i was a failure. i was bitterly disappointed. i think that's why it's taken me almost a full year to finish this birth story. i started writing it the day i got home from the hospital, so the day after henry was born. now, looking back a full year later, i'm proud of myself. i worked hard to bring my baby into the world, and in the end, i accomplished what i wanted to. i felt every feeling that i hadn't felt in my prior birth experiences. i knew when it was time to push, and i felt him arrive in this world (sorry if that's tmi.) i was calm and collected (almost) the entire time. i brought my baby into the world myself, with some wonderful assistance from a blessing of a doctor and some amazing nurses. my goal in attempting to give birth naturally was to prove to myself that my body, as out of shape and imperfect and messed up as it was (and is,) could do amazing things. that i could trust my body. that my body was a miracle. and i did prove that to myself, i did.*

march 12th ( a week after my due date) arrived and at 7am i went to the hospital to be induced. the nurse told me that my doctor had asked for no pitocin to be given at first (thank you doctor!!), that he was coming to break my water. so when he showed up at around 8:40 my water was broken (really uncomfortably, that might've been the worst part of the whole thing!)and at first it only came out in a trickle. but then more and more of it came out and when i went to the bathroom i noticed some blood. i had to be hooked up to the monitor for 20 minutes to make sure the baby was ok.
my contractions started to feel real, and hard, so after the monitoring was over i asked if i could get in the tub. i LOVED the tub. i spent most of my labor in there, with the lights off, listening to hypnobabies and keeping my "light switch" (light switch is a hypnobabies thing, if anyone's interested in hearing more about that, let me know in the comments) in either the off or center positions. one time i got out of the tub to go to the bathroom and i noticed my contractions felt a lot harder and closer together. then i got back in the tub and listened to hypnobabies and they felt manageable and more comfortable. with the lights off and the warm water all around me and the relaxing hypnobabies playing, i almost felt like i could fall asleep at times. 
i wish i could've stayed in that tub the whole time, but the nurse, tammy, who was awesome by the way, told me that i needed to get out of the tub so they could check how far i had progressed. i was hoping for a 9 but thinking it was probably more like 5 or 6 (i had been a 3 or 4 at the beginning of this process.) when they checked me they said i was a 7. but they also needed to do 20 more minutes of fetal monitoring, and when they did that they saw the baby's heart rate dip a lot during contractions. so they had to keep me in bed and on the monitors. this made listening to hypnobabies more difficult but i put it on the headphones and had one more wire to untangle and move out of the way. the nurse kept checking me over and over. she said, "normally i can tell just by looking at someone's face how far along they are but i can't tell at all with you!" hypnobabies was keeping me really calm. pretty soon i was to a 9 and everyone kept telling me how good i was doing. 
but it was getting harder and harder to stay focused. they had put an oxygen mask on me that kept slipping down my face, and i wasn't staying in hypnosis because of that and all the wires were bothering me and every time i had a contraction, instead of listening to my hypnobabies i started listening to the fetal monitor, trying to hear the baby's heart beat. which i couldn't, because the oxygen was so loud. and the hypnobabies had to play louder because of that. i started to lose focus, and i started feeling a lot of pain with the contractions. they checked me a couple more times and i kept being a 9. i started to get frustrated. every time a contraction came i felt panicked, like i was losing it. i felt such a strong urge to get up and move around, like every fiber of my being was telling me to get up, but i couldn't. now i know i was in transition, but then i just thought i was going to be stuck at a 9 forever. i stopped listening to the hypnobabies because i couldn't hear it and i wasn't staying in hypnosis because of all the distractions. 
at this point the contractions were coming very quickly and even when they weren't coming i felt like i was losing my cool. so i asked for an epidural.
as soon as the epidural guy got there (the same guy that had given me an epidural with charlie,)they got me on my side and he started to work. but i could feel the baby coming! i thought he was going to have to stop giving me the epidural because i could really feel that pressure that everyone says means it's time to push. i was saying, "he's coming right now! he's coming!" and the doctor and the nurse were like, it's o.k, honey, it's o.k., but i was sure that he was just going to slip right out while they were in the process of giving me the epidural. as soon as the epi guy was done i started pushing. pushed through 3 contractions and he was out. he was out and he was on my chest. he was here and he was perfect. his first act in this world was to pee on the nurse and start screaming. but they had to take him away very quickly to clean out his lungs and make sure he was breathing ok because there had been meconium in my amniotic fluid. (which basically means that he might've inhaled some of that nasty stuff.)
anyway, long story incredibly long, his lungs turned out ok after some great work from the nurses and some time on oxygen in the nursery.and looking back, i could've done without the epidural if i had known he would've been born about 10 minutes after they gave it to me! :)