Monday, January 10, 2011

Jacob's Birth Story

You're all well-enough acquainted with me by now to know that it wouldn't be a birthday celebration without a birth story. If you think you've heard enough, entertain me for just a while, and understand that no matter how many children one has, birth is never something that gets tired (or easier for that matter) over time. As such, I never tire of sharing my stories. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Birth Story II Jacob's Birth
(FYI, this story is transcribed as-is, not intended for an audience, so please excuse any details that may offend you.)

The day was Friday, January 9th, 2004. I had a 4:00 doctor's appointment at Evergreen Hospital in WA. I had already lost my mucous plug the Tuesday before (Dec. 30th) and had been having pretty strong Braxton-Hicks for about a week and a half. Tonight they were going to strip my membranes, and hopefully labor would soon follow.

I saw Dr. Russell, who discovered upon checking my cervix that I was 2 cm. and 80% effaced. She stripped my membranes several times and sent me on my way. I went into Denny's and ate some dinner, then came home and took a bath to relax and mentally prepare for labor. I picked Forrest up from work and we all came home and slept out on the living room floor (Ashlee fell asleep in her bedroom.) I awoke around 2:30a.m. because I was feeling some pretty strong contractions that were preventing me from staying asleep. I decided to get up and see if they were regular. I went in and sat on our bed and began timing them around 3:30a.m. They were about 6 minutes apart. I decided to wake Forrest up around 4:30a.m., at which time I also called Candy and told her to be on call. Forrest drove Ashlee over to Sarah's house, then came home and took a shower.

I ate a light snack (bread and tomato soup) and we headed out to walk around the parking lot. My contractions were now about 3-4 minutes apart, but they weren't really increasing in intensity. I phoned the hospital and let them know that I would be on my way shortly.

At about 7:30a.m. we arrived at the hospital. I wanted to see if I was making progress before they admitted me. I was checked at 8:15 a.m., and was 4 cm. and 80% effaced. We decided to go back home. I ate another snack (toast with peanut butter,) and called my sister. My contractions were very regular but not intense enough to prevent me from walking or talking through them. Forrest took a nap on the couch and I took a nap in the rocking chair, which seemed to ease the intensity of my contractions even more. I didn't know if this was good or bad, and the last thing I wanted was to slow my labor down, so I got up.

We decided to go back to the hospital at about 11:00. I was given a room, and when the nurse checked me at 12:30 p.m. I was still 4 cm. I have to admit that I was feeling discouraged at the slow progress of my labor. Forrest and I decided to walk the halls for a while. When I came back and was checked again, I was about 6 cm. I finally felt happy knowing that I was making progress.

The next time I was checked by Dr. Stemmerman, I was 7-8 cm. and 90% effaced. I think this was around 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. I got in the hot tub for a while after the doctor assured me it would not slow my labor down. Forrest held the shower head on my back and stomach and fed me crackers. My contractions were now very intense. I started hyperventilating which caused my hands and feet to feel tingly, so the nurse had me breathe into a container. The warm water was soothing though, and the nurse was very helpful in getting me to relax. I decided to get out because I was afraid that if I waited too long I would not be able to.

I got back in the bed, and at about 3:15 p.m. Dr. Stemmerman broke my bag of waters. At 3:45 I was 9-10 cm. and 90-100% effaced. I knew this was the home stretch. At one point I said I wanted an epidural, but I knew I wouldn't get one. I was very tired and it took all my strength to stay on top of the contractions. Transition was lasting much longer than I hoped for, and I began to sort of fall asleep between contractions. I was waiting for the urge to push, and it never came. I finally just let myself go limp and was motionless throughout the last 6 or 7 contractions. Forrest even dozed for a few minutes. My body would quiver each time a contraction would come, and I knew that the end was near. I was beginning to feel like I couldn't take anymore. I awoke just enough to ask the nurse if she could get the doctor so I could push, knowing that was the only means to an end. She checked my cervix and I heard her say that I was complete; music to my ears!

With the next contraction I sort of half-pushed, just enough to relieve some pressure. I didn't have quite enough strength to give it my all. My Dad, Candy, and my mom all came back into the room, along with Dr. Stemmerman. It was 4:55 p.m. when I began pushing. They set up a mirror for me to watch, and dimmed the lights. After 21 minutes of pushing, out came Jacob Edward Hart. I was so happy and relieved. He was covered in vernix and they placed him in my arms right away. He filled me with joy, and I was so relieved to finally have my baby boy. I was also happy to have succeeded in yet another natural childbirth, and relish in the satisfaction that comes with it.

*After-word: Jacob's birth was by far my longest, and most difficult labor. In hindsight, I realize this was because they induced my labor before my body was ready. I had two due dates: the first was Jan. 20th, and the second was Jan. 10th. I knew he was due on the 20th, but on the 9th they decided to strip my membranes. I now realize he could've stayed in there a little while longer, and surely labor would've progressed with much more ease.

1 comment:

  1. YOu make me laugh with your prelude to the birth story. "YOu know me, and it wouldn't be a birthday without a birth story"....but we love reading these, they are great and your kids will really appreciate them when they grow up.