Doula Jenn’s birth experience with her second born, Andrew. Born at 11:39am on May 12, 2009 at 35 weeks. This story was written when Andrew was 1 days old.
Monday, May 11, 2009 night we went to bed early. We had consumed this new snack, seasoned seaweed and sticky rice, that didn’t agree with me and lead to me being very very sick, so we decided to head to bed around 9. Once in bed I had my husband, Colin, rub my legs because I had been getting really bad leg cramps the past few days, especially in my right leg. He suggested I sleep on my back with my leg propped up on a heating pad to help further relax the muscle. I followed his suggestion and went to sleep around 10pm. Around 1am, May 12, 2009 I woke up with back pain. I figured it was from lying on my back for so long, so I removed the heating pad from the bed and switched to sleeping on my side. I was able to fall back asleep, but I kept waking up, probably every hour with bad back pain. Every time I woke up, I switched sides in hopes that would help. At 6am, I felt something that felt like menstrual cramps. I woke Colin up and told him I thought I was having contractions. He sat straight up and said “Are we having a baby today?!?!?!?” I calmly told him that it was nothing. The pain was hardly anything.
At 6:15, we decided to get up and take a shower together. Our oldest would be waking up soon and I had playgroup planned for him that day so I wanted to get a head start on the day. I decided to get all shaved and nice for the day, as it was supposed to be really nice outside. In the shower, I had four contractions that I had to rock and breathe through. Colin suggested we give the midwife a call to see what they had to say. I, of course, kept reassuring him it was nothing. I had an appointment scheduled for Thursday and I was sure we could just wait.
After getting out of the shower, I had another 4 contractions as we were getting dressed. Colin was nervous about the whole matter, so I told him “Fine, go downstairs and get the midwives number from my wallet. Call the on-call midwife and see what they suggest.” Keep in mind, I haven’t had any bloody show nor did my water break- both things that happened with my first child.
Colin called the midwife and the midwife said I was indeed in labor and needed to come down to the Birthing Inn as soon as possible. They wanted to see how regular the contractions were (they were every 4 minutes lasting 20-30seconds) and would stop them, as I was only 35 weeks, 1 day. I suggested we pack the hospital bags and my sons overnight bag in the case that they admit me for bed rest and monitoring- GOOD THING!! After getting everything all packed we woke our son up, got him dressed and loaded in the car. I called my Mother-in-law to tell her we were dropping Patrick off and going to the hospital because I was having contractions and the midwives wanted to stop them.
We drop Patrick off around 7:30am. The drive to the Birthing Inn sucked. Every contraction hit me right in my butt and it made sitting really uncomfortable. I moved to the back seat and hung over the back seats during the contractions. At 8am, we arrive to the Birthing Inn. No one is at the front desk, so we let ourselves into labor and delivery and let them know that I’m in labor- they’ve already been notified that I was coming and were ready for me. They have me change into a gown and give a urine sample. I really couldn’t give much of a sample because just as I was trying to go a contraction hit and then I couldn’t get anything out afterwards. I get all hooked up to the monitors and they confirm that my contractions are indeed regular. They ask me a bunch of questions, draw some blood, hook me up to an IV (They thought I was dehydrated due to my low urine output and color), did my GBS test and another culture, and give me terbutaline to stop the contractions, and THEN checked my cervix. Immediately my midwifes’ (Anne) face changed. She said, “Oh, you’re 7cm with a bulging bag of water. You’re having this baby today. There is simply no way to stop it.”
I was SHOCKED. I kept saying repeatedly how I couldn’t believe I was 7cm and having a baby TODAY. Everyone quickly went into hyperactive mode. They called the neonatologist, who they wanted present for this delivery due to Andrews’s gestational age, and the delivery wing to tell them to prep my room ASAP. Within minutes, I was wheeled into the delivery room.
The room was huge and beautiful. I was still in shock and kept trying to reassure myself that I wasn’t dreaming, I was in fact going to be having a baby today- really, I was. Because I had been given the trebutaline, I couldn’t feel the contractions. I’m sure it’s what people feel when they get the epidural. However, I had HORRIBLE shakes. I could barely hold my glass of water without spilling it. I felt like I had Parkinson’s disease or something horrible. I felt SO bad for people who had to take that on a DAILY basis!
Once in the delivery room I was re-hooked to all the monitors. I was denied the ability to leave the bed because they wanted him to stay inside as long as possible. I had to BEG to be allowed to use the restroom to pee, only to PROMISE not to do any pushing and that I would NOT have a bowel movement. I promised. I told them I was fine with “shitting on the table because everyone does it, but PLEASE let me pee on a toilet.” (I should note that I have a peeing anxiety… I just CANNOT go in front of people) they agreed but I must have someone present at all times in case he comes while I’m on the toilet. Keep in mind, I’m not even feeling intense contractions, my pain is MAYBE a 4 out of 10. At 10:30am, the midwife checks my dilation and I’m a 9. She decides to break my water at the next contraction to confirm there is no mecuim in the fluid. After the bag of water is broken, she says that I go back down to 8cm. I make some phone calls to let people know we are having the baby today and to get all my lose ends tied up.
At 11:15am, I’m sitting around chatting with my midwife. I ask her when I am going to feel that “HOLY SHIT, I’m in Labor and it’s not ending feeling.” She reassures me that it’ll happen (Note, with Patrick my water broke at home and the moment it broke I was having contractions every 4 minutes lasting 60+ seconds and was just REALLY REALLY uncomfortable). At 11:20 it hits. I’m so uncomfortable. All I was to do is move so I am not in pain, but I cannot get out of the bed. I am groaning through contractions- fun times.
11:30 I tell them I feel the constant pressure, I think he is coming. The midwife checks me; I have a lip left. She says she will push the lip back with the next contraction- OH THE PAIN. After that, they immediately break the bed down. I move into position. The next contraction I push. They tell me he’s almost there, to just breath and let myself open and then to push again come the next contraction.
11:39, after two contractions, Andrew Michael is born. No tears, no hemorrhoids. He is screaming his head off, 5lbs 5.5oz and 19 inches of FIESTY! Scored 9 and 9 on his Apgars.
In this labor, pushing was HORRIBLE. I did not remember is being so painful with my first son, but boy oh boy…
He had a VERY small placenta, as you will be able to see below. We have no idea why he came early, but in the end, I am SO glad he is here. I feel FANTASTIC. I can actually MOVE without being in extreme pain, its great! We are all going home tomorrow and life, as we know it will fully be changed from a family of three to a family of four!