Birth Stories

Landon Seth's Birth Story
1/10/2008 11:42pm via c-section
8 lbs, 7 oz and 21 inches long

At a week overdue, I was scheduled to go to labor & delivery at 8:00am on Thursday, January 10th. We were told that I'd be evaluated and possibly admitted for induction, so we tried to get some good sleep Wednesday night. Neither of us slept that well, though. We got up Thursday morning and headed to the base - I felt so sick to my stomach with nerves that I wanted to throw up.

We got to labor & delivery and rang the bell to be admitted to the ward. I introduced myself and someone said, "Oh, you're the induction!" I'd been told possible induction and I said so. The OB who was on that day said that since the room was ready, they'd go ahead and induce as I was a week overdue... he then backtracked and said he better examine me first to see if I was dilating at all. I told him I was and had been at 2 cm since the 17th of December, so he went ahead and had me admitted to my room.

I got changed into my gown and into bed. The OB checked me and I was 2-3 cm... nothing unexpected. They started the pitocin around 10:45am, starting with 2 mL per hour and upping the dose every half an hour or so. After this point I can't really remember times and when everything happened, but I know that the contractions started winding up. I had all back labor, so at first I didn't think they were contractions. Justin went to the cafeteria to grab some lunch at one point - I was fine when he left, but while he was gone I started to feel a bit scared and wanted him back with me. Once he got back, he was able to help me focus... I looked into his eyes during the contractions, squeezed his hands, and imagined the pain draining down through my core. It helped a lot.

I was checked at one point and I was dilated to 4 cm... half an hour later, I was checked again and I was at 7 cm. At that point I decided to get a dose of IV meds... they gave me nubain. I remember feeling an immediate relief and being able to relax a lot more, but I now know that at the same time I received that dose, they also decreased the pitocin from 12-14 mL per hour to 6 mL per hour. Since I had progressed so quickly in just a half an hour, they thought my body may be kicking in on its own, so they also broke my water and expected the baby to arrive shortly. The doctor even told me so - his words were something like, "Looks like we'll be having a baby in a couple hours!"

However, I didn't progress past 7 cm on my own as expected, and eventually they started upping the pitocin again. By then, I was in a lot of pain. The OB and the nurses all told me that I handled myself amazingly for a woman in labor for what I was going through, not to mention the fact that I hadn't had birthing classes (one of the nurses went over some basics with me aside from what I'd read on my own beforehand). I guess I had the breathing down really well. As I said earlier, the contractions were all back labor and I felt strong pressure through each one (not the same as needing to push - I found out later it was his head bearing down on my pubic bone).

I wasn't the nicest to Justin at this point... he'd ask me where it hurt so he could try to help me and I wanted to snap at him to leave me alone because I didn't want to think about where it hurt. I preferred just to think about mentally moving the pain outside of my body. After the contraction, I'd feel bad, but was so exhausted that my head would literally just fall down, limp, and I'd be asleep instantaneously. Contractions were coming around 1-2 minutes apart, sometimes more like every 30 seconds. I remember asking for another dose of nubain, but it did nothing to help me the second time because the pitocin wasn't reduced at the same time like it had been the first time.

Justin told me I labored like this for 4-5 hours. I had no sense of time. I eventually progressed from 7 cm to 9 cm. I remember they were trying to move me around, but every time I moved, they lost the baby's heartbeat. They had me on all fours at one point, which was a blessing because the only other position they would allow me was on my side, which hurt like hell. While I was on all fours, leaning against the back of the bed, I started hearing people use the terms "surgery", "OR", and "c-section". Those words sounded wonderful to me in the moment even though it was against everything I wanted, and it was everything I could do not to BEG them to take me for a c-section right that minute. I even wanted to beg them to give me general anesthesia as I didn't feel like I could wait for a spinal or epidural.

I actually kept mentioning epidural to Justin at this point, and he kept telling me to keep trying to go without it. He was so awesome - he knew how badly I wanted unmedicated and even though it scared him to see me like that, he knew I didn't want to be given he epidural right away. I was mad at him at the time, but he was doing exactly what I'd asked him to do, and I'm proud of him for that.

After awhile, I started to lose focus through my contractions, and I was starting to panic. I felt like I was hyperventilating. I was so exhausted and I had no idea how I was going to find the energy to push if I managed to make it to 10 cm. Induced labor is not like regular labor, and the contractions were literally right on top of each other. I remember practically yelling, "Make it stop!" To my surprise, they did. I'd been very quiet through the whole day, so after hearing me lose it like that, the doctor and nurses figured I needed a break, and they backed way off of the pitocin.

The OB was awesome and came in to explain to me that I wasn't progressing even with the pitocin going, and that they might need to go to c-section. They had me sign all the paperwork (not easy when you are contracting at the same time!) in advance, just in case. I had already made my peace with having to have a c-section at that point. They explained my options as far as spinal/epidural went and mentioned that I could always choose to have one now so it would be in when we decided to head to the OR. I looked up and said, "Do it. Do the epidural." The OB said he hoped that allowing my body to relax in that way would help me progress to 10 cm and avoid the c-section completely.

They decided to do a combination spinal and epidural since the c-section was probably going to happen anyway. Getting that thing was hell. I'm sure the anesthesiologist wasn't pleased because she'd offered it to me earlier when it would be easier to insert (after my first dose of nubain), but I'd turned it down. They had to keep stopping as a contraction hit, but it didn't help because I still couldn't move as I had the needle in me the whole time. It took forever, but once the spinal was in, I felt instant relief. I was finally able to laugh a little, and I think I appreciated the pain relief more than if I'd gotten that kind of pain relief right away. For instance, I could still feel pressure and the contractions, to the point where I'd breathe through them a little - but since I knew how much worse it could be, I didn't complain.

The OB checked me after an hour or so and I still hadn't progressed past 9 cm. He said he thought c-section was going to be best, but would wait if I wanted him to. I asked for another half an hour and he agreed, but that half an hour changed nothing, so they started c-section prep. Justin changed into his scrubs and the anesthesiologist started upping the pain relief. I lost sense of time again as things started happening, but I remember being wheeled past Justin and into the OR, and they started setting everything up. I had warm air running over my arms and face, and the anesthesiologist was great - she noted in my chart that I have horrible claustrophobia about my neck being touched, so she kept making sure everything was pushed down so it didn't cover my neck or face.

They brought Justin in and started. The OB asked me if I'd been doing crunches or something because apparently my abs wouldn't let them pull Landon out! I was thinking - crunches, really? Not even prior to pregnancy, lol! Anyway, before I knew it, I heard him crying and I started to cry. Justin went over to him for a couple minutes, and brought him back over to me. I could only see Justin's eyes, but they were all red rimmed from tears. One of the nurses took pictures of us, and they took Landon back to do the rest of whatever they do.

At that point, the adrenaline hit and I started to get sleepy and shaky. The anesthesiologist kept calling my name and telling me I had to wake up and take a deep breath for her. I was unconcerned except for the shaking… my entire body was convulsing. They asked Justin if he wanted to go with the baby and he said he wanted to stay with his wife… I felt annoyed and was trying to tell him to go with the baby. He said no. I later found out that my oxygen levels were dropping and he was starting to think about possibly losing me and he was getting scared. Eventually we made it back to my room and the shaking and numbness wore off. I was fine, of course - the shaking was normal, but it still scared Justin.

It was more than two hours after the birth before I was finally able to hold Landon. After everything I had been through, he was finally here and finally in my arms.  It was all very surreal.

Kelsey Rowan's Birth Story
 4/26/2010 4:15am via VBAC
7 lbs, 8 oz and 20 inches long

On Sunday, April 25th, 2010, I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I had a mini-meltdown on Justin's shoulder because I was tired of being pregnant, and he sent me out by myself for a pedicure. I got home later and while I was cleaning out the entire medicine cabinet (should have been my first clue - nesting!), I started having back pains that felt like the back labor I had with Landon.  It was around 9:30pm. The pains were very intermittent and not regular at all, and I thought it wasn't really anything because Kelsey was not posterior so I was not expecting back labor. Still, I alerted my doula and Amber (who was coming to stay with Landon), just in case. We went to bed around 11:00pm. I laid in bed listening to it storm, while contracting every 5-10 minutes. They started to get more regular and at 1:00am, I woke Justin up and told him maybe we should treat it as labor. I was still in MAJOR denial, though... I really didn't think I was going to have back labor this time.

Everything started to pick up, which confused me because I guess I didn't think I was that far along yet, even though I should have since I know my family history (3-7 hour births for my grandmother, mother, two aunts, etc). I should have listened to my body! :) I was trying to get comfortable by standing up/swaying and using the birth ball, etc, but was quickly losing it.  Part of my problem was that I was also trying to time everything and it wasn't timeable... I was so confused because it seemed to be hitting so quickly.  Justin wanted to help and touch me, but I told him to just leave me alone... I didn't want to be touched at all. I started thinking I couldn't do it. My body was shaking. I wondered if I was in transition but again denied what my body was telling me - I just felt it was too soon to be in transition, even though I was showing all the symptoms.

Around 2:30am, I laid down on the couch, perfectly still, ram-rod straight. That felt seriously wonderful. I got back in control and will always remember my cat, Xena, sitting right next to my head the entire time I was there.  I soon realized that whenever I had a contraction, my body would involuntarily push. I didn't say anything to Justin because I didn't want to worry him - he was really busy.  In addition to getting the bags into the car, keeping a heat pad behind my back, and keeping a cold washcloth on my forehead, he was making phone calls to get Amber to come over to stay with Landon and to get our doula on base without him having to leave me.  So with each contraction, my body is pushing, I'm leaking fluid, and I am starting to wonder if I'm going to have Kelsey at home unassisted.

My water broke completely at 3:30am, right as our doula walked in the door. By then Amber was also there. I was scared to get up off the couch, but they got me up and to the tile, changed my clothes, and got me out the door and into the truck.  I could feel something and could not sit straight up so I had to have them take the infant carrier out from behind my seat so I could recline.  We were on the way to the hospital by 3:45am. We hit every red light and I now wondered if she was going to be born in the truck. The gate near our house was shut down, so we had to take the long way to the hospital, plus we had a few directional mishaps (Justin followed the sign for "deliveries", not realizing it was for shipment deliveries!). They got me to the ER and in a wheelchair. Justin went to park the truck and my doula came in with me. Someone kept trying to make me fill out paperwork but my doula asked if it could wait and said that I had to push.

In the room, they asked me to change into a gown. I went into the bathroom, had a contraction, and felt the head. I cried/whimpered, "BABY!" My doula heard me, came in, and saw the head - they got me onto the bed. Someone yelled for the doctor, but he didn't make it in time. The nurses caught her at 4:15am - we'd been at the hospital less than five minutes, and Justin missed the birth (the same lady who was trying to get me to fill out paperwork intercepted him after he parked and made him fill it out). I had no interventions at all and it felt amazing.

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