Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I'm not much for writing birth stories. I never wrote one for Lillian's birth, but I feel compelled to share just a little about Cara's birth.
I started having contractions around 7:30 am after awaking from a full night's sleep (thanks, baby!). I wasn't sure it was labor for real, so Oliver went to work as usual. My contractions kept coming on regularly every 10 minutes or so, so around 9 Oliver left work and came home.
I was doing well with labor. I don't remember it being unmanageable. I never got to the point where I felt like "I can't do this any more!" I just let the contractions come, changing positions as necessary for comfort. Around 10 my mother in law came over and watched Lillian. Oliver went to Wal-Mart to get a few last minute things. I was laying in bed coasting on steady contractions which were about 6-7 minutes apart.
At one point I went to the restroom and called labor and delivery. They said to go ahead and come in whenever. Lillian found me and I got up and started moving around. The moment I started moving around the contractions got alarmingly close together, like 4-5 minutes apart. A few minutes later and they were 3-4 minutes apart. I started getting worried because Oliver still wasn't back from the store. My MIL was cooking chalupas and she kept trying to talk to me, probably a good distraction. Finally Oliver came home and we were able to make it into the car and out the door. We had to call the insurance to tell them we were going to be checking in to the hospital, and every phone number we had was wrong. After what seemed like eternity as I was dealing with contractions in an uncomfortable car seat we eventually got the right phone number and started moving.
The car was an uncomfortable place to labor in. The ride lasted about 40-50 minutes. I had to use my voice as a focal point during the contractions. We made it to the hospital parking garage and began making the trek to labor and delivery. I had to stop every 2 minutes and hang on to Oliver and coast through a contraction. By the time we made it in to the delivery room I was 7-8 cm dilated.
I labored in the room a little bit, and then within a short time I felt like pushing. I asked my midwife to break my waters since the bag was bulging and started pushing. My midwife arranged me in many different positions to push. I started out squatting using the squat bar, then I went on my right side, left side and hands and knees. The baby had descended only so far and then wouldn't come down any more. We discovered that she was face up and my 2.5 hours of pushing was not making any progress.
By this point I was getting pretty discouraged. I prayed and screamed "get out, get out, get out!" in my head with every push. In a last stitch effort at a vaginal delivery my midwife suggested that I get an epidural and we'd see if the baby would turn with just the contractions pushing on her instead of me getting the urge to push every minute.
The epidural was a welcome rest after such a long interlude of pushing. Before being anesthetized, a nurse asked me how bad the pain was on a scale of 1-10. The question confused me somewhat and I said, "uh, 6 or 7 maybe?" It seemed like the wrong question to ask. The contractions didn't feel painful to me (just pressure) until the epidural numbed half of my body and I felt them on only one side. It felt good to just lay there and rest awhile, watching the ceiling tiles. The only terrible thing about being anesthetized was that the epidural caused me to shake uncontrollably and I had some bad heartburn which no one would give me medicine for.
We waited a couple of hours letting my body contract. When I was checked again, the baby still hadn't come down any further. I pushed a little bit with the epidural and there was nothing happening. We decided that it was time to prep for surgery. That part is somewhat whirlwind. I was so ready to hold my baby at that point!
The surgery went off without a hitch with a doctor who had super nice eyebrows. The doctor pulled out my face-up, chunky baby! I wasn't able to hold Cara right when she came out because I was shaking so terribly, but I could see her being weighed, etc. and then Oliver held her right next to me. After I was stitched up they wheeled me to recovery and I nursed baby Cara (who is a nursing champ, by the way)!
I felt so incredibly grateful to have all of the kind doctors and nurses attend to us at the hospital. I do feel a little disappointed that I couldn't give birth naturally like I wanted, but I gave it a good shot and it just wasn't God's will for this baby! We are so excited to have her home with us and I am grateful to be healing up nicely from the c-section.