Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Birth Story

Short Story: 3 days after water broke,induced, no epidural, natural birth

Long Story: 
4:30 Am on a Tuesday Morning, Ben and I just settled for the night and cuddled up into bed. Thirty minutes later I felt a sudden gush of water. I sat up quickly and told Ben rather calmly that I think my water just broke, so he should start packing his bags. I even gave him some suggestions, like 
“Don’t forget to bring extra shorts in case you want to get into the birthing pool with me” and “Lets take Nopey Bear on a walk”. 

Knowing what the midwives would tell me to do, I skipped calling them right away, put on a pad, and rested in bed for thirty minutes, stood up…. Yup, another gush. I didn’t pee on myself, my water actually broke.

-Contractions would start any minute now…

I called the midwife, and after she told me to lie down for thirty minutes and check, I informed her that we already confirmed it, and off to the hospital we went. Contractions never came, and an induction was almost started, but the doctor of the practiceknew my goal for natural birth. He came and informed me that What the hospital was starting was an elective induction and informed me on waiting for contractions to start on their own
. I agreed to wait, but we were hoping they would start within 24 hours. We were almost certain they would start in 24 hours actually,but i was still surprised when I was sent home to wait. More than 2 full days passed, and I was living like a baby. Waking ever 30 minutes to an hour to change my adult diaper. 

I am not really sure how so much amniotic fluid could just.. keep…coming!..but it was.
It was miserable! 

I could not sleep well constantly soaked. In between attempted naps and diaper changes, I walked, bounced, stretched, begged, used any method to induce labor… Nothing! 

When it was getting close to 3 days of my water being broken, I called the practice. I wanted everything to be as natural as possible, but We couldn’t wait any longer. Once your water breaks, you are at increased risk of infection… I had had 4+ internal exams at the hospital… all which increases that risk even further. Blah blah blah

So, Thursday afternoon, it was back to the hospital. I was planning to have an unmedicated water birth, but that plan changed. Pitocin it was, but even with the impression that Pitocin makes contractions a million times worst than natural birth without it, I was determined to still have water birth, no epidural. I was terrified of Pitocin not working and getting a C-section, but overall my perspective changed. I was ok with anything medical necessary, but I would feel really let down with myself if I got an epidural. Once I checked into the hospital, I just knew I would be very dilated… nope 1 cm! and it stayed that way for hours!

Around 2am Friday morning the midwife checked me again. I was only 4cm, disappointed and exhausted! I had not slept more than 2 hours since my water broke on Tuesday. It was the most exhausted I have ever felt. The excitement of my son was the only thing keeping me from crashing. I, still to this day don’t know how I managed to stay awake as long as I did. At this point, I was extremely anxious. When I heard I was only 4cms I almost had a panic attack, I never told anyone that
(my birthing partners aka Mommy and Ben will just find that out reading this post)

Through my contractions, I would frantically repeat what the midwife would tell me in my head...

…(Ok her version was more calm and wholesome).. 

Even though I was panicking, I still was expecting labor to get worst. I had my aromatherapy, music, etc. But I never unpacked my labor support bag. I didn’t want to use my “tools” too soon and find them ineffective by time the real pain started. I mostly used the birthing ball and actually found rolling my hips in a circle during contractions very helpful.

The midwife offered me something for anxiety. Also by making me less anxious, it would take the edge of the pain. I needed to get some rest considering the past few days. This was the first time I somewhat slept in days! I was able to relax. To be honest, the pain was still the same! But I was able to breathe through it… the thoughts in my head stayed the same, but their tone was different. I was now calmly repeating “You’re taught to be afraid of pain, but this pain is natural, its only temporary, it will be over soon, just breath”. And I did, I was able to breathe and at some point I actually fell asleep between was more like a haze, its hard to explain… but in less than 2 hours, the contractions were so bad and my panic went from 0 to 100!.


Ben had to rush over and unplug me from the machine and walk me to the bathroom. I saw some blood in my underwear and had the nurse come. Oh it is just natural they reassured… Back to the bed I went, contractions now quite severe.

At this point I started calculating, ok I remember the medical school lecture that said you dilate about 1cm an hour.. I was four cm so the max I am at is 6… At this point I told Ben 

    “I don’t think I can do this anymore, I am done, I think I want the epidural”.

 I was pretty heartbroken, thats when Ben said
       “Its ok, you can do this, the worst part is over”. 

I told him, no its not, and started telling him my reasoning, but I told myself I will give it one more hour without an epidural and decide how I felt. I am so glad Ben “lied’ and said the worst part was over. I knew it wasn’t true, but it got me to wait it out..first and last mention of the epidural. I didn’t want it but got scared and tired. That’s why it’s  important to have a birthing team who knows you and your goals. I think I would have been heart broken otherwise. 

Less than 5 minutes later:

I had the strongest contraction ever, and I feel like I was going to.. um well use the bathroom on myself :/ … Ben and my mom were not moving fast enough. I was literally jumping into Bens arms because he wasn’t picking me up fast enough. Why was my mom just opening the bathroom door.. she needs to run over here and yank me off of this machine.

-Why is everyone moving so slow! They don’t understand how URGENT this is! I need to get to the bathroom now, i need to push! this hurts!!..

I guess it is safe to say the “anti-anxiety” was having little effect now.. When I was in the bathroom, there was blood again… a lot of it!

“Ben get the nurse now! This is NOT normal!”

The med student in me came out... severe pain, gush of blood, had a sudden loss of amniotic fluid earlier. .placental abruption!! Oh my god, I'm terrified!!

But Nope- calm down Kristin, it’s a normal contraction and your mucus plug. Dramatic much! smh
The midwife came in and calmly and cheerfully said “Its time to have a baby”! There wasn’t even time to set up the water birthing pool, or call the photographer.

Using a naturally focused practice, I was able to birth anyway I choose, Something I will forever be grateful for. I was laying somewhat on my side with my arms fully around my husbands and his around mine. It felt so safe and so intimate, what better way to bring our child into this world than in each others embrace. Looking back on it there were several medical staff around the room, but during the birthing process, I barely noticed them. It felt like it was just us. Me and Ben with my amazing mommy for support. For the most part I was able to push when I pleased (except when the midwife was preventing tears or unwrapping the umbilical cord from around his head). I remember my mom telling me I could reach down and touch his head, but I refused. I knew I would get so emotional, and at that point, I needed to stay focused on pushing. 50 minutes later he was here, on my chest, and not to be touched by anyone else for the first hour. Knowing his mama, he cried right away, thank goodness because the anxious mess I was would not have lasted a second of silence.

I thought when I first saw him I would cry, I cried during all the videos I watched of other births, but I was silent. I had this absolute overwhelming feeling of calmness, of peace. All pregnancy I was anxious, after being told I would have fertility problems and a pregnancy loss, I never fully celebrated my pregnancy. I was always too nervous that something would take this away. It was too good to be true… But now he was here, real and immaculate.

Medical staff completely cleaned me up, changed the room setting, even changed me, but I barely noticed. We were in our own perfect and tranquil world.

Other funny labor moments:
I didn’t scream during labor, but was making a really weird “eeiiiffaa” sound… Even in pain, I randomly burst into laughter at how I sounded.. Ben didn’t know why I was laughing so I pretty sure he thought I was crazy.

At one point I felt really exposed down there… In response I yelled out “MY BUTT HOLE!”. The midwife understood what I meant and covered it with some gauze.

My mom was trying to get into Bens phone to take pictures and kept asking him for the password.. through a push I started yelling out his password. I was also really afraid of kicking the phone out of her hand into the birthing area haha