Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All About the Labor

November 1 2010 at approximately 6 am is when I felt my first contraction.  It was stimulating somewhat bothersome but easy to deal with and after awaking Kyle to rub my back we were both able to get back to sleep.  Little did we know this would be the beginning of an intensely long 32 hour labor. We decided it would be best for Kyle to go to work and that I would let him know once the labor progressed. By about 4:30 in the afternoon we decided to head to the hospital after the contractions were fluctuating between10 minutes apart.  We called Kyle and told him to meet us at the hospital after he went to Walmart to pick up some snacks. Once my mom, aunt liea, Sariah and I arrived, we were disappointed to find that I was only 1 cm dilated. We all headed back home not quite knowing when this little guy was going to come.  My contractions were never consistant enough like the nurses claimed they should be, ex. every 5 min for an hour or so. 

We spent the next 11 hours enduring contractions.  It was thundering and pouring that night and we were on severe thunderstorm watch which made us all kind of nervous.  Mom started to plan different routes to the hospital... needless to say this was not comforting.  We asked if everyone would leave so Kyle and I could get some rest. We decided to try to sleep through the contractions in between Kyle would use counter pressure to help with the pain.  It was about 3am when I got up to use the restroom and as I was sitting on the throne nuzzling my head into Kyles stomach as he rubbed my back through a contraction, I felt something drop into the toilet I got up nervous that my water had broken just to find that I had lost my mucus plug.  I however was unaware of what this could be and was concerned that it was actually my water that had broken, and after having my mom and Liea look to see if they could recognize it we decided that it would be safe to head to the hospital.  At this point the contractions were still 8 minutes apart and sometimes even back to 10 or 15.  This concerned me cause I was unsure at how far along I was in my labor and because of my desire to go with an all natural childbirth I had previously decided to hold off going to the hospital as long as possible, to prevent any interventions that I knew would eventually occur.  I knew once I was in the hospital it mattered not what I had previously discussed with my OB doctor.  However we chose to go to the hospital to err on the side of caution.

When we arrived we encountered some rude nurses who would not allow anyone to stay with me while I was being checked, so I was left alone in triage with the most annoying jazz music and some rediculous pic of the forest lit up on the ceiling.  They made me lay on my back which I knew was not good for me or my baby during this process.  However the nurse insisted this position was the best way to be.  I felt completely powerless and at that moment vowed at the time around I would not be in a hospital.  They hooked me up to fetal monitors and checked my blood pressure, at this point I felt my contractions had laid off and were even more irregular, thankfully Baby and I were doing fine, Matthew was barely even phased during contractions.  Once they did the final check they determined I was 7cm dilated and was admitted about 5:30am November 2.  Finally Kyle was allowed to come back into the room with me and we headed to the labor and delivery room.

We all settled in and thankfully were able to get an extremely supportive nurse which made the next 9.5-10 hours far much easier.  Unfortunately the nurses did not follow my wishes of being able to have an active and free to move about labor and instead had me hooked up to the bloodpressure and fetal monitors as well as an IV saying that I was dehydrated... how they knew I'm not quite sure but I spent the next 4 hours lying bed like an invalid, I was only allowed to get up when I needed to use the restroom which allowed me to have the blood pressure cuff removed and the fetal monitors off, I dont think it takes a genius to figure out that this is where I spent most of my time. Kyle, mom, Liea and Sariah spent some time taking turns to rest and about 4 hours later my Dr arrived to check my progress.  Much to all of our disappoinmtment I had not made any progress and Dr Stephanou thought it would be best to break my water.  I listened to him explain the process which I was all too familiar with, once they broke my water if the contractions didnt get stronger they would give my pitocin and then if my labor was at a stand still they would eventually resort to a cesarean in order to "preserve" our energy.  I expressed my wishes very clearly, knowing that I was just in the Natural Alignment Plateau and told him I wanted things to happen naturally and that me lying in bed was not what we had originally discussed.   I asked if he would allow me to get up from the bed and walk around to help the process move faster, disappointed and annoyed he finally agreed and said I had 4 hours or he would break my water.  Thankfully I was finally going to be able to have the labor I wanted.  I walked around the room, did squats, and sat on an exercise ball.   I had several nurses check my progress and found that bag was bulging and that I was at 8 cm.  The techniques were working! 

At one point a resident Dr decided to come in and check my progress and much to my disappointment "accidently" broke my water, as I was lying there I could feel the warmth in uterus and announced to him that he had broke my water, shortly after he realized and apologized saying he did not mean to, I told him that I hoped not cause I had a foot nearby, the doc was a little absent minded and thought I was referring to the baby being breech.  Thankfully Liea was there to explain the reference and I didnt see that doc for the rest of my stay at the hospital.  I cant recall ever moving from first stage labor to active first stage or even late first stage labor but I remember transition and the intensity of my contractions once my water had been broken. 

For the next hour to hour in a half I needed two people at my side and the pain almost rarely subsided.  The most agonizing part of the labor was when one of nurses claimed the baby was sunny side up  and adamantly insisted that I lay in the running mans position for what seemed like an eternity.  The only thing thast kept me focused was knowing that I was doing this for Matthew and that the end was in sight as I now felt the contractions in the lowest part of my back, and as they kept coming my desire to push kept getting stronger and stronger.  It got to the point where the pain was intense and the only relief was to push.  The nurse prepped me for delivery and then shortly after Dr. Stephanou came into the room ready to delivery my baby.  It took about 3 good pushes holding for 3 counts of 10 seconds each.  During one push I mustered up the strength to look into the mirror to see my babys hair, amazed that he even had hair cause throughout the entire pregnancy I never had heartburn.  The Dr said I would be pushing for several more hours or he could give me an episiotimy and with the next push my little guy would be in this world.  I opted for the episiotomy and with the last 10 second hold my little one was on my tummy at 2:56pm.  My beautiful baby was singing the typical newborn intro until I spoke to him and as I watched his little head slowly turn to look at me and watched an utter calm came over him, it was the most beautiful feeling a woman could ever imagine.

My first words were "My baby!  Hes beautiful babe!  He looks chinese!  Are you my baby?" The doctor waited for his cord to stop pulsating and then Kyle cut the cord and I was able to hold my baby in my arms.  I kissed him and never wanted to let him go.  They moved him to the incubator where he held on to daddys finger as tight as he could.  I laid on the table as the Dr stiched up the incision.  We accomplished our goal and little Madd was safe in our arms.  The next day Dr S came into the room to check in on us and apologized for pushing me to have my water broken.  He explained that when labors stop hes used to speeding them up.  He expressed his amazement and by the second day was calling me the "queen of labor."  And while I aquired this glorious new nickname... the only thing that mattered most in this world is that our precious little baby was finally where he belonged.

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