Birth Story – Part 3 – Delivery
(I remember clearly the events up until about 4pm. From there on out, I had to rely on nurses and the husbands recollection because it is a little foggy.)
I woke up from my nap around 3pm. The nurse came in and did my cervix check. At this point, I was 6cm, so the hubby decided to go grab his lunch and make the update phone calls. Side note, I was so tired from not sleeping all night and so anxious about delivery that I was not remotely interested in talking to anyone on the phone, let alone hosting anyone in my room. Hubby was in charge of all phone calls and conversations. I will talk more about this at the end of the story.
After the hubby left for lunch, the nurse was doing the routine hourly check on me and asked me to change positions and lay on my side. I forgot to mention that earlier in the morning the nurse said that if there were any issues with any of my readings they would ask me to lay on my side, and not to panic. This was just a way of them to naturally manage any poor blood pressure or baby heartbeat readings. She explained this earlier in the day so I would know that if a position change was required I would do it without a fight. Lying on my side was super painful for me the entire pregnancy, so she was able to prop me on my side with some pillows.
Around 3:30pm, I started feeling some major pressure down below. It was uncomfortable and a little painful. I thought that the epi was wearing off so I mentioned it to the nurse. She looked curious and did another cervical check and was amazed I had jumped from 6cm to 8.5cm in 30 minutes!! Holy Smokes! My husband walks in the door right after the nurse picked her jaw up from the floor and I got to tell him the news. He couldn’t believe it. He just called everyone and told them we would still be several hours away and here I was at 8.5cm! The nurse thought it would be another hour or two before we could start pushing. Immediately, my hubby called the grandmas-to-be and told them to spread the word, we would be parents very shortly.
At 4pm, the nurse started prepping the room for delivery. They brought in another nurse who assisted with this process. Turns out the second nurse would be there for delivery as well, since she is the baby nurse. Once I delivered, she is the one who takes the baby, cleans her up, weighs, measures and does the apgar scoring. She was super nice and just had a baby a few months earlier herself. We were talking and I mentioned how I couldn’t believe an hour ago I was sleeping and now I am close to delivering. I was on a high, scared, excited and anxious all at the same time.
Also around this time, I started talking to the nurse about my epidural. The pressure I was experiencing was getting stronger and closer together. This was very different from the labor contraction pains, but it was very intense and uncomfortable. She said that if I got a booster to the epidural, that the pressure feeling wouldn’t go away. That pressure comes and really tells us when it is time to push, etc. I wasn’t feeling any other pain but this pressure, still not feeling the contraction pain, so I declined the booster to the epidural. THIS WAS A HUGE MISTAKE! DON’T DO THIS, IF YOU ARE USING THE EPI TO MANAGE LABOR AND DELIVERY PAIN. I was so focused on the current pain, I didn’t think about the future delivery pain of pushing the baby and possible episiotomy, or tearing, etc. I was so turned upside down by the prospect of becoming a mother shortly, that I couldn’t think ahead. You seem to only focus on the now, one step at a time. This is when I needed someone there to tell me to get it. Someone who was focused for me and thinking ahead of the game. More on this later….
As for the pressure, the nurses told me to breathe through them, like I was blowing out birthday candles. This helped, along with squeezing the hubby’s hand. The nurse had called the doctor and let him know that I was progressing quickly. He was in his office, which was just across the street and said he would be there shortly.
By 4:30pm, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked the nurse to check me again. I was at 10cm. HELLO??!! 10cm!!?? I was just at 6 an hour and a half ago! What the hell happened to make everything kick into gear suddenly? The nurse jumped on the phone again and called the Dr. office to tell him I was ready to start pushing. She was trying to stall until he arrived, but agreed to let me start practice my pushes. I couldn’t take it anymore and really needed to start. It is amazing how your body tells you what to do and when in this situation.
So, pushing started. I did my first push and it was okay. They slowly counted to 10, 3 times and had me push while blowing out simultaneously. The nurse corrected my form after the first push, having me hold my legs up and pushed against my chest. This was hard for a 350lb woman, but I managed to do it. She also told me how to push, which was as if I was having a bowel movement. Uh oh, the dreaded poopy on the table idea occurred to me, but quickly left my mind as I was experiencing an over whelming urge to push again!
This continued on until about 5pm. The doctor still hadn’t shown up and I was still pushing like a mad woman. The nurse was doing what she could to stall, having me only push every other time I wanted to, but that was no longer working for me. The urge to push grew more intense with every passing minute. At this point, I had a terrible sense of timing and felt like the urge to push was every 30 seconds or so. The nurse said it was more like 1-2 minutes, but certainly as I got closer the urge to push came closer together. In between pushes the nurse kept calling the doctor’s office. She kept getting the routine, he will be there in 5 minutes speech, but 5 turned into 10, turned into 15, turned into 20, turned into 25 minutes. Still no doctor and I was ready for full on delivery.
They gave me oxygen during this pushing phase, because I wasn’t breathing properly or enough and it was bad for the baby. They were very concerned with my breathing. They did say this was common, for moms to wear the oxygen masks. My husband said with each push, I looked like I was going to turn into the incredible hulk. I was bright red, sweaty, eyes bugging out of my head, out of breath, and exhausted.
So here I was pushing 45 minutes later, no doctor to deliver my baby, and I noticed that I did poop very little on the table, twice. At this point, I didn’t care; I just wanted this baby out!! PS – The nurse was right there to catch the poop and clean me up immediately. It was so little; I didn’t really even know for sure that I was pooping. I had to confirm this with the hubby afterward. Also, it felt like at this point I had been pushing for 2 hours, but the nurse reassured me it has only been 45 minutes. LOL! This was the longest process of my life!
I could feel myself stretching and could feel the head making its way out. It was at this point, I realized the epi wore off and I could feel everything! WTF!!!??? Why was I so stupid and didn’t get the epi booster??!! Lesson learned, ladies. Lesson learned!
What was weird was, I would push, and the head would come out a bit, but then retreat back inside. I couldn’t see what was happening, but it felt like I was doing all this work and not making any progress. My husband reassured me I was making progress and with each push, you could see more and more of the head. Basically, since we were waiting for the doctor, her head was crowning, and the nurse was growing more agitated the doctor wasn’t there yet. She was doing what she could to get me to pause and hold off on pushing, but Holly had other thoughts. I was full on pushing and I couldn’t control my body enough to stop. So, more pushing I did.
The next thing I know, I pushed her head completely out, and on the next push, her entire body slid out, like she was on a quick water slide ride. It was amazing. I could have sworn she just swooshed out and would have flown across the room if the nurse wasn’t there to catch her. That is how easy it was to pass her body out. 10 seconds after she slid out the doctor walked in the door. He missed the entire thing! My super awesome labor and delivery nurse delivered my baby! She was fantastic and I never would have made it without her!!! I couldn’t believe it was over. I was crying, and felt my body completely flooded with emotions.
The doctor cut the cord, and the baby nurse took the baby. I immediately went into shock and started shaking. I think the lack of food and energy it took to labor really took its toll on me. I wanted to know if I tore and the doctor couldn’t see yet, he was focusing on delivering the placenta. At the same time I heard her cry, the hubby went right to her and watched her get cleaned up, weighed, etc. He was taking pictures, I was breathing heavily, like I just ran a marathon. A full marathon, not one of those crack half marathons. Maybe even a triathlon! It was that taxing! At the same time, I kept talking and asking questions, does she have all her fingers and toes? How did she score on the Apgar? (She scored a 9), etc.
I delivered the placenta, all intact and the doctor went to work on collecting the cord blood. I was still shaking like mad. By this time, I was finally able to see her. She was such a vision.
They handed her to me and all I could think was how beautiful she was. She was breathtaking and amazing. He name is Holly Noelle; she was born 12/14/09, 5:35pm, 7lbs, 3oz and was 18 and 3/4 inches in height.
The nurses offered to take some family pics too. PS - I was so hot and sweaty and in my mind I was cursing my mom for convincing me to wear make up all day long.
Shortly after, they took the baby to the nursery for her bath and observation period. At this point, I was in a daze and starving!
It took the doctor forever to collect the cord blood. I asked him if I tore again, and he said yes, but doesn’t know how bad it was since he was collecting the cord blood and haven’t cleaned me up yet. He did notice how jumpy I was each time he touched me and asked if I could feel anything he was doing. The nurse told him yes, that my epi wore off. He ordered for the anesthesiologist to come back and give me the booster because he was going to have to sew me up. I did tear, and it was going to take some stitches to sew me back up.
The Anesthesiologist came in shortly and gave me more epi. I didn’t have to move for this, it was put into the existing line. The doctors both joked back and forth and then the anesthesiologist left. I told the doc that I was feeling the epi kick in, as I got that familiar warm tingling. He checked me and once I confirmed I was numb he started to tend to my tear. He broke the news to me that I tore pretty badly, a 3rd degree tear. He was going to have to put in a number of stitches. Again, at this point, I was in a daze. I was exhausted. I just wanted the whole business to end.
The best part, during this time period, the nurse removed that damn blood pressure monitor! Victory was mine! I was free!!! Woo Hoo! The doctor took a while to sew me up, which made me nervous. He was either being very careful, cautious and thorough because he was that kind of doctor, he was making up time for missing the birth or it was a REALLY BAD tear and he had a lot to do to get me cleaned up. It turns out it was a combination of all those reasons. Once he finished, he said it was pretty bad, but he got me stitched up well and they should dissolve in a week or two. He kept saying how sewing me up was the hardest part, so he was at least there for that part. What a pal!! LOL! He would be in tomorrow morning to check on me and left for the evening.
After all was said and done, It took about an hour after I delivered the baby for me to deliver the placenta, collect the cord blood and get my tear stitched up. I had to be in recovery for another 45 minutes before they could transport me to my maternity room.
More on recovery to come…. Recovery was a doozey of a time!
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