Happy Birthday to my Lulu 7-15-05
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|Sun, 07-15-2007 - 12:11am|
I want to share this in honor of my amazing daughter who changed my life. I am not the same person I was before she was here and am honored to be her mother. For anyone who remembers me, I am now apprenticing with a MW (CPM) and am about to enroll in nursing school with the hopes of getting my CNM one day. We are all well and smart and healthy.
Elise's Birth Story
7 pounds 14 ounces
21 inches long
born July 15, 2005 11:57 pm
I was 40 weeks into my pregnancy on July 7, and 8 days "overdue" on Elise's birthday. I had originally felt that somehow I would see that 42nd week and indeed I did! Funny how intuition works. I had been having tons of Braxton-Hicks ctrx for 6 weeks, but they had really picked up and become regular during my 38th week and got progressively stronger and more regular. However, they never seemed to turn into anything. The week after my due date I was getting a bit antsy about low fluid as that had been the "reason" for my induction with my son. My MW decided I might need an ultrasound if things didn't feel right to her at my 41 week appointment. So, at my 41 week appointment on Thursday, she felt the baby really good and said my fluid was great, so that was a relief. I declined a cervical check, but we talked about some things to do to coax the baby out. She was ready for me to have the baby so I didn't have to deal with her practice's protocol after a woman's completed 41st week. I really wanted to wait until labor started on its own, but there were a few things I would have to deal with if the baby decided to stay a bit past its welcome. My MW's protocol would have me see an OB by Tuesday if I were still pregnant to see if the baby was still doing OK in there and tolerating a longer gestation. I really really didn't want to have to do that because I felt everything was fine and feared a doctor might get antsy seeing a woman at nearly 42 weeks and find a reason to induce. I didn't want to deal with all that unless I was certain there was something wrong. So, she and I (reluctantly) decided to strip my membranes (Holy cow! OW!!) and see if that wouldn't help kick start me. We did that and she found me at 3 cm and almost fully effaced. I wasn't surprised. My MW and my husband and I went into her big room with the other MW and talked about some natural inductions for labor. I was still against doing anything, but she was pretty adamant about wanting to try some things. She didn't want me to go past the weekend and deal with any of the crap that would go along with that. She never said so, but I could tell alot of this talk was because she was skittish about my labor being so fast that she wouldn't make the drive in time.
So, we talked about doing a castor oil induction the next evening to see if that would work. I agreed on the grounds that if it didn't, they would just go home and not try more stuff to get it going. I was not cool with forcing the baby to come out--only prodding it. I was afraid she might want to break my water and I was adamantly against that. They agreed to come down Friday night at 5 and start the castor oil. She also suggested that maybe my emotions were keeping me from starting labor on my own. She said to try to relax and be positive about going into labor instead of apprehensive and fearful. I left her office praying that I would go into labor that night and avoid all the pressure I felt. All the way home Kent and I talked about things I was afraid of and how to see them differently. It helped alot and I started to feel a little less certain that I would never have the baby and much less afraid.
Then, the ctrx started. They were the real ones that actually hurt through your back and made you not want to talk to anyone. Every 12-15 minutes like clockwork. All the way home from Memphis! In rush hour, no less. I got home and walked around a bit and then they puttered out. I was pretty bummed and went on to sleep. Woke up Friday the 15th feeling great and went about my day. I totally ignored my body and don't remember if I had one or not. I played with Charles and visited a friend and cleaned the house a little. Another old friend brought her sweet baby over to visit right before my MW showed up and that toally took my mind away from any nervousness I might have had. At 6:30 pm Kim (MW) arrived and we took the first of three doses of castor oil.
After the first dose, we just sat around and talked. Me, Kim, and Kent (hubby). I took another dose an hour later, sipped on a little wine and felt OK. I wasn't even expecting labor to actuall start and never even thought about a contraction. My MW sent my husband to the grocery store in the pouring rain to get some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and I decided I wasn't really feeling good. I called my mom to check on her driving in the rain, called my sister for something, and then started really not feeling good. I started feeling like I wanted Kent to come home right then. Then I threw up and stated crying. My MWs came in and took me back to the couch. I was feeling like I could never start laboring. I felt like I was defective and my body wouldn't work. I was feeling alot of pressure to perform (whether real or not) and it was keeping me from relaxing enough to let labor happen. We talked and they rubbed and kissed on me and told me to let it all out of my head. Not to worry about ANYONE but to stop thinking and pressuring myself. I got in the tub, cried and tried to relax, but couldn't. Then, my sweet husband came home. I have never been so glad to see anyone in my life, it seemed. He walked in the bathroom and there I am, blubbering in the tub, pregnant as a goose. I told him he could never leave my sight the rest of the night. He sat on the floor in the bathroom and talked to me and calmed me down and then told me funny stories until I felt better.
At about 9:30, I took the next dose of castor oil and then Kent and I got in the bed to nap and the MWs went to play some pool in town to give us a break. It was nice. We layed in bed and Kent rubbed my belly and we talked really sweetly about our baby. It was really the first time we had done that, oddly enough! Then, I felt a ctrx. Pretty lightly, but I got excited. We stayed there for a minute and then I got up to get a snack in case it was a long night. At about 10:15, I was on the couch with our candles lit and music on relaxing when they really started. I gave them about 3 or 4 in a row before I decided to call the MWs and let them know they had started. I think we called them around 10:30. I told her I was having painful ones, but that I was OK right then. She said call back when I needed her. She really wanted to come right then, but I wanted to be alone. It was so nice being with Kent alone and I didn't want anyone to break my little spell yet.
When I called her at 10:30, I was walking around the house from the den to the bathroom and back. I was pooping pretty much constantly from the castor oil, so every ctrx would send me to the bathroom to pee or poop right after it subsided. I think I associated the potty with relief, so that eventually I went in there when I didn't need to just out of habit. Needless to say, out of need or habit, I spent the majority of my labor in my bathroom. Yuck. I remember walking around alot and when a ctrx hit, I would go towards the bathroom and blow through them. I was back in the den when a few hit me right on top of each other and I called the MWs and said come back NOW. That was just before 11:00. By the time they got back at 11:15, I was having hard and fast contractions that were washing over me.
During what I call early labor (basically from 3-7 cms and the time before the MWs came back), I was pacing and breathing slowly or blowing and using ice rags that Kent brought me on my forehead and neck. It all started up so fast that I don't remember when it got hard. I remember being in the den thinking of how nice it was to be with Kent and then all of a sudden, I was washing my neck and thinking I was going to catch on fire. The pain came from around my hips into my pubic bone. It was super concentrated right at the base of my uterus, but didn't last the length of a ctrx. Most of the ctrx was in my belly and hips, but then always ended in that same pubic bone area. That was the worst part. I was pretty jittery by the time they got back. I couldn't find any relief from my old friend the toilet and just hovered in the bathroom kinda moaning. Kim said later that when they got the second phone call from me, she thought, Oh Crap! She said my voice told her that things were going way too quick.
They got back and immediately starting setting up. Kim wanted to check me and I said Hell no! She said she had to and I made her wait until I had one and then told her to hurry. I told her not to tell me how far I was unless it was really far because I couldn't handle things much longer. If I wasn't almost ready to have to baby, I couldn't have gone on much longer. I felt weird because I had only been in labor for an hour, but they were HUGE ctrx and I felt like I was totally out of control. I didn't really act that way, but my body was being possessed by these feelings and I couldn't do anything with them. She smiled at me and said, "Honey, you're a 7--maybe 8. You are this big!" and she split her fingers WAY far apart. I got up and put my arms up and kinda did a little cheer and asked them if that meant the baby would come soon. They both looked at me like I was crazy and said yes. I was SO glad to know I was getting close. Then I had a ctrx and my celebration was short lived. She told Kent to call anyone that was going to be at the birth immediately. He went to call my sister and mom and I went to pee.
I decided to go outside because their busy energy was off-putting to me. I forced Kent out with me and went on the porch to pace there. My dumb dog Daisy kept sniffing my butt so I went back towards the door. I notice how pretty the moon looked behind the clouds and then had a ctrx that sent me reeling. I felt like I wanted to poop and I half thought about just doing it right there in the yard, but THANKFULLY I went inside. Even a crazed laboring woman has her limits, I suppose.
I went back in the bathroom (surprise) and had THE BIGGEST ctrx I've ever felt in my life. It had to be the biggest one ever in the history of ctrxs. I kinda layed up against the wall in the bathroom and started saying "No no no no no, un uh un uh" and rolling my eyes around. It was entirely concentrated right above my pubic bone. I yelled for Kim and then started throwing up AT the toilet. I couldn't even lean down over it. I just retched standing up. Then I either peed myself or my water broke. I think both. After (God, it must have been 2 minutes long), I told her I was going to pass out and she sat me on the potty and took my shirt off and wet me down good. She said I was NOT going to pass out and that it was close and I was doing great. I heard Melissa, the other MW say to us that I was in transition. I couldn't even get excited at that point, but later I remembered thinking that I should have kissed her. Kim asked me what I felt. I said, "Pain." Actually, I think I kinda groaned the word out more than said it.
Kent said I kept saying I needed to sit down, so Kim took me into our bedroom and sat me on a pad in Kent's desk chair and talked to me as I started another one. She told me to tell her what I felt and I kept saying. "the baby's coming down, the baby's coming down." She said, "Good. It is supposed to." I told her, "NO! Right now! I'm sitting on it!" Then the coolest thing happened. I felt Elise's head kinda slither down like a snake right through my pelvis bone. It was very painful, but it was a really quick move and it scared me. I remember thinking that I didn't want to do this anymore and I was afriad of actually pushing her out. But that feeling was so strong, that I knew I would have to finish the birth. Then, I made this weird grunty noise and my body pushed. I didn't do it at all, but I was pushing. I got up and put my hand inside me to feel the baby and there was this bulging thing that I assume was my water bag, but i still felt her head right on top of it. If my water had broken before, then it must have broken farther up and her head was holding the rest of it back. I told everyone that I felt her.
Kim put me on the bed and I got on all fours, but that wasn't right. I was on my knees and holding on to Kent like I was hugging him across the bed. Kim put my right leg up so I was on my left knee and kinda squatting on my right foot. I knew I was pushing, but I wasn't really doing it. I kept asking them if I should push and they said do it with the ctrx if I felt like it. I did and I kinda made these weird bellowing noises like an elephant. I think I was also saying, "PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH!" I remember trying to stand up but that felt AWFUL so I kept that position until she was born. My right leg was shaking really hard and I kept trying to will it to stop but it was uncontrollable.
I remember only four ctrx, but they were really close together and I pushed even without them sometimes. There may have been more or less, though. On the first one, I asked if it was OK to push, b/c I didn't want to hurt myself by pushing on an undilated cervix. Now that I think about it, that is kinda funny. I know I was WAY dilated by that point! I pushed and I held her head in front with my right hand as it came out, but then it retreated as the ctrx died. On the next, I pushed her head about halfway out and then held it there until the next ctrx came. I think that may have been when I tried to stand up. That was the most painful and uncomfortable part of the birth to me. I really wanted that head in or out, but it was just hanging there waiting. I think I actually started pushing before the next ctrx just to relieve myself. I will never forget the feel of her head in my hand. On the next one I pushed her all the way out. I remember thinking that I didn't want to b/c I was afraid of it, but I knew I had to get her head out. When her head was born, I felt alot of pain relief, but there was still the pressure and full feeling. Apparently, her cord was around her neck and one shoulder and Melissa couldn't budge it to free her shoulders enough to be born. I heard them talking and Melissa asking questions (this was her first catch) and then they started telling me to push. I did, but that wasn't enough so they started really telling me to push. "Push hard, push your baby out, Corinne!" Then Kim tapped me hard right on my chest and said, "Push right here!" I was getting nervous, so I pushed really really hard and Elise came all tumbling out. It felt like a sack full of wooden blocks to me. She just clinked and clanked on out. I remember feeling so empty and light. It felt awesome. Immediately, there was no more pain.
The rest is a blur to me. I know Kim shoved her little butt in my face ands screamed, "Look what you got!" and I didn't really know what she meant. She told me it was a girl and I think I may have squealed. They put me down and put Elise on my chest. I remember saying, "I did it!" over and over. I don't think I even really looked at Elise. I was so completely overwhelmed with the birth that I couldn't get my head around a real baby yet. Kim was telling me and Kent to talk to our baby and rub her. I did, but I really didn't bond with her until the next morning. Even after she left us alone for a while, I was still antsy and ready to talk to someone about what had just happened to me. I think because it was so fast, I was just overwhelmed with the whole thing. I was never upset or disappointed with Elise, I just felt so high off of the birth. I couldn't think of anything else.
I had to have five stitches and I begged her not to do it, but she said I really needed to. I told her I'd stay in bed for a week awith my legs closed. She said bull and said if it were her vagina, she'd want it sutured. So I agreed. I was a great big baby about it, but I honestly never felt a thing after the Lidocaine. I took a shower and peed and got in the bed with Elise and she nursed and then we all slept until 6 the next morning.
Bless her heart, she woke me up making sucky noises and I fed her and that is when I fell in love with her. I have been so completely smitten by this girl. Maybe it is because I wanted a daughter so badly. I think it probably because she is a special person and I feel so lucky and terrified to be her mother. She scares me to death, and I feel so humbled by her. She seems like she can see inside me. I want to be such a good mother to her. I want her to be strong and smart and compassionate and brave. I feel like she will be. I want her to be a better person than I am. I guess that is what anyone wants for their kids.
I am going to get my birth record sheet from Kim and Melissa and edit this with proper times and such, but for now, this is what I remember. I may ammend this as I remember things more, too. I feel so lucky to have had a safe birth and such a healthy daughter. I cannot put into words what having my baby at home means to me. I sound egotistical about this, but Elise's birth was more about me than her. I think she knows that, though. Everything about it was life-altering. I learned so much about myself before labor began and I feel changed becuase of what I did. I birthed my daughter with one leg up hanging on to her daddy. I felt like a warrior woman. I feel so powerful and beautiful and strong because of it. I feel like I am a better mother to her because of what I did.
People always say they could never do it. I say that, too, but you don't HAVE to do it. It does itself. Your body responds to the energy of the earth and that energy created babies. Your body is just your way of tuning in to that energy. Pain is a byproduct--it is the way you know what your body is doing. I would never in a million years take my experience and dull it with pain relief. It forged me. I feel like I became her mother by right of passage. I feel like she helped me become her mother and taught me what I needed to know about myself in order to do my job.