Jasmine’s Birth Story

Happy Halloween!! I hope you’re all having fun celebrating with your kids and letting yourself indulge in candy! Enjoy this awesome birth story of baby Logan.

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Boredom and the delivery of a baby seldom go together, especially for a mother. I am used to fast paced, stuff is happening kind of deliveries. With delivering our first baby a mere 6 hours after feeling my first contraction and a 6 hour induced labor with our second child I was expecting 6 hours or maybe even fewer.

I also thought that by the time I had arrived at the labor and delivery of our third child, I would be a pro. That is not the case. Each of my births have been so different that I don’t even know if one would ever be a pro.

This birth story is much different than those that you have ever heard of, I’m sure.

I woke up with a tiny tightening feeling … thought” maybe that’s a contraction, maybe not, maybe I’ll just go back to sleep and see if I wake up again.” I had been tossing and turning in bed for a bit when I felt this sudden gush of fluid. It wasn’t a big gush or anything. I was sure I had wet myself and sprung from my bed to check things out. I got the bathroom to find a bit or yellowish, grainy fluid in my undies. I instantly thought it was strange and wasn’t really sure what was going on.

 I remember thinking “Did my water break? I thought that there would be more… Maybe I am peeing myself…”  I was clueless. This could have possibly been my biggest surprise. I was expecting a “typical” feel some contractions and head for the hospital labor.

When the small gushes didn’t stop, I put on a pad and headed for the living room. I sat there at 5 AM looking for answers on babycenter.com.  Searching for colored fluid, water breaking with color… anything that might point me in the right direction. After some reading I decided that probably it was my water and probably he had a bowel movement in utero.

 I started to notice a few small contractions, nothing more than some obvious tightening, but decided it was probably time to make some necessary calls and let the rest of the world know what’s going on. I sent my mom a text message so she would come watch our older babes and we could head to the hospital. I called the Labor and Delivery floor at the hospital and let them know what was going on. Although my contractions were not too strong they said if I thought my water had broken then I should come in regardless. I hung up the phone and went to wake my husband.

We got things into the car and waited for my mom’s arrival. I still was not having much of anything for contractions and seemed sort of dull. I said this was a boring delivery… up until the end anyway.

I was a little nervous that maybe the appearance of meconium would cause some complications with the delivery process but as we drove a peace came over me. I was sure things would be fine.

We arrived at the hospital around 7 AM and sat in the ER waiting area for what seemed like 25 minutes.  It might not have been that long but when you are a mom thinking that maybe your baby will arrive any minute you’re not too happy to wait any amount of time.  I was, however, happy to see a familiar face as our delivery nurse rounded the corner to get me. I had cheered in high school with our delivery nurse. At first I thought “Oh great, this could be interesting” but in actuality it was great. She is THE BEST delivery nurse!

We got to our delivery room in a rather short amount of time and did all the usuals, plus a little because of the meconium. I got into my jonny, used the bathroom, did vitals and then she checked me to see what was going on.  As my nurse was checking me she said “I can’t even believe this.” So my initial response is “What? What is happening now?”  To which she replies “You are the calmest person I have ever seen at about 7 cm dilated.” I was pretty surprised myself.

She hooked me up to the monitor and went on to check my fluids and to whether determine if it was really meconium or what was going on there. It was meconium, which meant that they would do the initial cord cut almost immediately after he was born in order to make sure he didn’t get anything down into his lungs. I still was pretty calm.

My nurse got me set up on my iv antibiotics for being strep b positive and I sat in the hospital bed just waiting for my midwife to come see me. I was hoping that even in that short of time things would progress. It may have been about half an hour and our midwife was there. To my surprise, when she checked me I was just 8 cm. I still wasn’t feeling much for contractions. I mean I knew they were there but I didn’t have to breathe through them and I could do all of my normal activity. Once our midwife left and my iv antibiotics were done I got up out of bed walked around, sat on the birthing ball, rocked in the chair… I did just about everything!

While a lot of the filler time from about 8 until 11:00 is a blur, I do remember it being a BORING blur! I tried to keep myself entertained and doing something but there wasn’t much to do. I was not expecting this type of labor at all. Sometime in there I got my second dose of antibiotic and was all set on the strep b spectrum.

Around 11 the contractions were picking up. A couple of them I had to concentrate for. Still relatively mild compared to the contractions that come toward the end of delivery. I had a few visitors come by. I’m sure they were expecting that things would be a little different at that point, as was I. My midwife came back to check me around 11:30 to find that I was completely dilated but his head was just not engaged and down where it was supposed to be. She decided that it was due to the intensity of the contractions, or really the lack thereof. She scraped my membranes and said that we had two options, either we get up and walk around and see if things start to fall into place or we start a Pitocin drip.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am and forever will be the person who does all things in the least invasive manner and with the least amount of drugs possible. I opted to get up and walk around. When I stood up out of bed I felt something change. I wasn’t sure just yet but I knew something was different. I decided that maybe I would try my hand on the labor ball again. I went to sit on it and almost instantly I was positive that something was different. I could not even sit.

Almost instantly following this point my contractions began to pick up. I requested that all of my visitors leave because I just knew something was happening. Not even moments later I was leaning over the counter in the labor and delivery room breathing through the most intense contraction I have ever experienced. I was actually hyperventilating trying to get through them at one point. With my husband to one side and my midwife to the other I breathed through about 3 super contractions before I decided it was time to get our boy into the world.

There wasn’t any more checking my cervix to see if it was time. It was just me, my husband, my midwife and the nurse. I absolutely loved how I was in control of the entire thing, no push now  or do it this way. It couldn’t have been better.

If it weren’t for the pictures I would not have any recollection of the time frames in which things happened that day. It was all so quick, once it started. I pushed through about three contractions, for about 13 minutes before welcoming little Logan into the world.  It was an amazing delivery! And all though he was swept away to the table on the other side of the room our first glance and first touch was beyond amazing.

As they were getting Logan taken care of I shared in a kiss with my husband. It might be one of my favorite parts about giving birth to our children. Other than actually getting to hold them and love on them, I get this super passionate kiss. It’s like he’s saying about 100 things (I love you, good job, I’m proud of you…) to me all through that kiss. I love it.

Logan was a healthy, happy, uncomplicated baby! No affects what so ever from the meconium.  Daddy was able to cut his cord just about 20 minutes after he was born and then he was taken to the nursery for some oxygen for another 20 or so minutes. These were the hardest minutes of my life, but they also gave time for my other children to come in and see me, which was equally as important, especially to them.

Moments later we all were welcoming a happy, perfect Logan back into the delivery room. We nursed and life was good! I couldn’t have been happier!

Oliver’s Birth Story

This week, I am featuring a birth story that is not typical (or maybe it is and most chose not to share their experience?). While there is a happy ending, this is a traumatic birth story, both for mama and baby. Sarah is a dear friend. I saw her through her entire pregnancy from the day she announced she was expecting until the day she was 42 weeks pregnant and being induced. She is a very strong woman and I am honored to share her story here.

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I guess my story isn’t quite unique, maybe it is. Traumatizing, the doctor called it. A fiasco, I call it. From the day my son was supposed to be born and the weeks after he was, my experience as a new mother was one I will never forget, and one that I am terrified will happen again. From the moment I knew I was pregnant I knew it was going to be all natural, all the way for me. I didn’t want to be induced, I didn’t want any pain meds, and I didn’t want a C-section. I wanted to experience childbirth, test my strength, and give my son the healthiest arrival I could. I couldn’t wait to join the ranks of the millennia of women that have birthed children the natural way. I practiced yoga, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, researched pain management, took classes, etcetera. I did just about everything you can image to prepare myself, thinking that if I did enough, things would go my way. As they say, the best laid plans…yada yada.

Oliver, my beautiful son, was supposed to be born May 3rd. Days passed and No Oliver. 2 weeks passed and still no Oliver. No dilatation. No Braxton hicks. Nothing. My body was not doing what it was supposed to be doing. My body was not birthing my son. My doctor wouldn’t let me go past 2 weeks late, so on Sunday May 15th, my husband and I checked into the hospital for induction. I knew right there that things were not going to go the way I wanted. If only I knew now how wrong things were going to go, I would do so many things differently.

They started me on a drug called Cipro. It was supposed to make my body “naturally” start to dilate my cervix. Three or four rounds of this medication later, no dilatation more than ½ centimeter. The doctor on call thought that they would try a balloon. They inserted a little tiny balloon and tried to manually dilate my cervix, and then it would fall out and my body would continue on its own. Well, this was incredibly uncomfortable, made me feel like I had to pee every five seconds, plus I knew the more they put into my body, the higher the risk of an infection.

At this point I have been in the hospital for 24 hours and about 18 of them have been while having contractions. This magic balloon fell out prematurely, so that option was out. Sometime after the balloon fell out, my water broke. I continued getting stronger and stronger contractions. I became physically sick they were so strong. My breathing wasn’t working anymore, the ball didn’t work. I could hardly hold on. I told myself that if I didn’t have much more to dilate, then I could hold on, and I probably could have. However, the next time the nurse checked me I discovered that 20 some hours of un-medicated contractions and I was still only dilated to 1 centimeter. Right then and there I told them to give me an epidural. As fate would have it, that wouldn’t quite go right either. About 45 minutes after the anesthesiologist gave me the epidural, I began to feel my contractions again. I told my nurse and she immediately told me that “sometimes there’s a window of time and you just can’t get an epidural” blah blah blah. So I’m freaking out, thinking I’m going to have to endure another day or more, when she finally pulls her head out of her ass and looks at the tube and sees that it is kinked. So I got another epidural and it was wonderful. I was pain free and just waiting for my son.

Throughout the night, as they checked me, I wasn’t dilating. Nothing was happening even though I was having contractions. They said the word I was dreading; Pitocin. I knew that this was going to lead to a C- Section, or Oliver’s heart rate being affected, both things I wanted to avoid. But there weren’t very many other options.  They started a round of Pitocin as I slept. Nothing. They put a pressure catheter inside to feel how strong my contractions were; very strong but not quite strong enough. (Keep in mind here that a) I was exhausted and a little upset things were going so poorly, b) my water had broken several hours ago, and C) no one once mentioned infection risks, danger to the baby, or other options). Throughout the night the Pitocin had a negative effect on Oliver so they had to stop it. Later the next morning they tried two more rounds. I DILATED!! To 3 centimeters. This was Tuesday. The new doctor on call came in to speak to me. Oliver’s heart rate was going up, if it kept going up we might have to do a C-section, he said. Should have done one sooner, he said, since my water broke the night before. His heart rate kept going up. I had to be rushed to an emergency C-section. I had an infection, and Oliver got it.

I was terrified of the surgery, but thank god the staff was so wonderful. They kept talking to me, reassuring me, letting me know I wasn’t dying. My husband’s face was so terrified in the OR that I was being very strong for him, I thought. Olive was born on Tuesday may 17th, and at that moment I felt like it was all worth it. I was so sad that I couldn’t hold him, couldn’t meet him right away, couldn’t smell him and breathe him in. I had known him for nine months and now I was lying open on an operating room table and the first face he saw wasn’t mine, the first voice he heard wasn’t mine. But I finally HAD HIM. He was mine and we were a family. When my husband left the room I was all alone, naked, open and awake with a bunch of strangers. I know everyone goes through this, but it felt like my worst nightmare; this wasn’t what I wanted for me and my baby. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

I found out later, in the recovery room, that I had what they called a “tired uterus”. My uterus worked so hard and for so long that after Oliver was born it would not contract anymore, so my body couldn’t stop the bleeding on its own. They had to put another kind of balloon in my now empty uterus so I wouldn’t bleed out and die. I lost a lot of blood in the surgery, so I needed a blood transfusion. The bright side in all of this was that the minute I was allowed out of recovery, per my demands, I was wheeled into the NICU and got to try to feed my new son. He took to it like a natural. Even if everything else had gone wrong, we were breastfeeding off the bat. I felt like my body was FINALLY doing what it was supposed to.

The next day it was time for them to try and take out the balloon in my uterus. I had 2 blood transfusions, and was feeling a little better. They warned me that if this hadn’t worked, I might have to be rushed back into surgery. So I was officially freaked. Upon examining the balloon, the doctor discovered that my cervix had completely closed around it. So, fun fun, they had to pull it out through a closed cervix. It was the most painful thing. I had never cried like that before in my life. The last 4 days just came pouring out of my like a fountain. EVERYTHING I had planned went wrong. Nothing went the way it should have. My body was not doing what it was supposed to. But I was alive, Oliver was alive, albeit on oxygen and antibiotics and in the NICU for a week, and we were going to be ok.

I was discharged after 6 whole days in the hospital; Oliver was in for a few more than me. The hospital was wonderful and let my husband and I stay in one of the birthing rooms by the nursery until he could go home. Throughout the whole mess, my nurses were amazing. They made me feel comfortable and at home in a place I wouldn’t have, in a time I would have been freaking out. My husband was my savior;coaching my through my contractions, letting me know it was ok when things didn’t go perfectly, holding my hand when I was scared and telling me how proud he was of me, how strong I was. I wouldn’t have survived without him.

My experience wasn’t magical; it wasn’t special and the highlight of my life. It was painful, traumatizing, and just about EVERYTHING went wrong. But I have a beautiful son, and every single second I get to spend with him is the best part of my day. He is worth every moment of pain and stress and danger. He is what it was all for.