Friday, March 16, 2012

Birth Story

I've been wanting to type up Adara's birth story for the past month.  It was such an amazing day for Cornell and I and I don't ever want to forget it...

But before I begin, I just want to say that I, in no way, think that pain relief during labor is a bad thing, I just had my own desire for a natural birth :) Also, this may be TMI for some people to read...

As I've mentioned before, I was "over due" according to my doctor's calculations and needed to be induced if I didn't deliver by 41 weeks.  So, on January 20th, Cornell and I headed to TJ Sampson Hospital at 3:30 am.  I remember listening to worship music(Rita Springer and Brooke Fraser) and praying on our way to the hospital...I can do all things through you Lord, give me strength to do this, protect us, and keep the baby safe.  I was a bit anxious at the thought of having my body forced into labor yet again.

After getting registered, we were brought up to a delivery room and told our nurse would be in soon.  Someone finally came in at 6:00 am to get me admitted(not that I was paying attention or anything).  I will never forget us watching the Duggers on TLC while we waited.  The dad said how much they loved having kids around, and couldn't wait until they were grandparents because with having 20 kids, if each kid had 5 of their own, they may end up with 100 grandchildren.  WOW is all we could say to each other.

So anyway, I got admitted, changed into a gown(and reminded that I was not allowed to wear my bra or underwear), IV in, and Pitocin started.  Now if you know anything about Pitocin, it hurts and basically forces your uterus to start to contract.  I had it with Makayla and despite wanting to go naturally, I couldn't stand the pain and intensity of my contractions and got an epidural.

Sidenote: after having Makayla, I had some discomforts with my back(at the site of my epidural) and legs for months  and preferred to not go that route again if I was able.  Plus I remember always feeling like I had cheated labor with Makayla, I didn't feel anything and even took a nap during my labor, then woke up and the nurse said "okay, it's time to push."  It was definitely pain and feeling free-which is what the epidural is supposed to do-but I knew that's not what God intended for me in the birth of our children.

With this pregnancy, we prayed over and over that the Lord would help me do it naturally and that all would go smoothly.

So when the nurse handed me the consent to sign for the epidural, I said "no thanks, I'm not going to have one."  She told me that everyone has to sign one, even if you don't get an epidural, because they want to have it on hand if you change your mind. (At this time, I will say is the start of NO ONE encouraging me to labor naturally.)

Dr. Mody came in around 7:30 and checked me.  She reminded me that I wasn't dilated or effaced AT ALL!  So that was encouraging :)  She talked about pain management, I reminded her that I was going to try going natural.  She left but then came back at 8:30 to break my water.  There was still no changes and I asked if I could get up and walk around, she said no, it wasn't good for the baby.  I had some flashbacks of my labor with Makayla...laying in the bed-horrible contractions-tubes and monitors everywhere-couldn't get comfortable.  I just KNEW I didn't want that again.

So her and the nurse left, Cornell and I hung out, and I slowly started to feel the contractions get stronger and stronger.  When on Pitocin, the nurse comes in every 15 minutes to turn the rate up until you max out at 20 ml/hr(I think).  I remember dreading her coming in each time because I knew that each contraction would get worse and worse.

I believe around 9:00 am, I was getting uncomfortable and told Cornell that I needed to he helped me get all my monitors together and we went to the bathroom.  While walking, I realized it felt much better to be standing up during a contraction than laying down in a bed.  So we walked back and forth in the room for a bit.  Eventually the nurse came back in and hooked me back up to the fetal monitor.  When I got back up to pee, we repeated the cycle of walking in the room.  As the contractions got more intense, the only way to get through it was for me to stand up, bend over 90 degrees, lean on Cornell, breath slowly, and rock my hips back and forth.  I remember saying over and over to him, "I can't do this, I can't do this."  And he would say right back, "YES you can babe, your doing great, your so STRONG!"

He was so wonderful during my whole labor, so calm and encouraging.

Around 10:30 am, my nurse came back in to check the monitors and I asked her if she would check and see if I was dilated yet or not.  She said she would check me at 11:00 am(not really the answer I wanted to hear).  I agreed but immediately told Cornell that if I was no more than 3 cm dilated, I was getting an epidural because I couldn't stand this pain ANYMORE!  I, once again, had flashbacks of my labor with Makayla...I remember having horrible contractions for about 4 hours, thought I would be dilated and getting closer to delivery, but when the nurse checked me, she said "your almost 2cm!" BLAH!

So-more contractions and it was finally 11:00 am! My nurse came back to check me and said...."your 6 cm dilated!"
I think Cornell yelled with excitement at this point.  I grimaced with pain, thinking "what the heck am I doing?! I need something for pain."

*This was a weird stage of labor for me because you almost become a different person-all your thoughts and feelings of that wonderful, natural, childbirth go out the door and all you can think of is pain RELIEF!  Especially difficult when everyone that came into my room offered me an epidural.

Right after my nurse checked me, things started moving very fast.  I remember telling her that I felt like I needed to push.  She said, "don't push, your not fully dilated and it will make your cervix swollen."  She then offered me Demerol and Phenergan...and at that point in my labor, it sounded very appealing.  But she followed it by saying that it wouldn't take the pain away but I would feel drunk in between contractions and may be able to relax.  It also may affect the baby but once she was born, they could give her a shot of another medication to reverse the effects of the Demerol.

Ummm, thanks!  I didn't come this far in labor, medication free, to have that happen.

I told her again that I felt like I needed to push so she checked me, I was at 8 cm.  She then left to go call Dr. Mody.  It's hard to remember everything at this point because I became almost delirious in pain.  I remember my body overtaking me and it just started to push on my contractions.  I find it so comical that my nurse came back in the room and started holding my legs shut and told me to NOT PUSH, just breathe.  I told her I couldn't stop pushing and then she made Cornell hold my legs shut.  I think I almost punched him while yelling "STOP HOLDING MY LEGS SHUT!" (now that it's all over, he tells me that Adara's head was coming out at this point).  I remember hearing all the nurses scrambling around my room and repeating over and over, "don't push honey, just breathe."

Now, if it was that easy, I would've listened to their instructions...but yeah, I couldn't stop.  It's like trying to keep your eyes open while sneezing, just not possible.

One nurse said, "your not having the baby in the bed like this! Dr. Mody is in the elevator."  And then what seemed like hours later...I heard Dr. Mody's voice.  It felt like she was my angel and calmly said, "Jamie, your going to stop yelling and listen to me.  On your next contraction, I want you to push while we count to ten." So I pushed....then pushed again and heard the best sound in the babies cry!  Adara River entered the world at 11:24 am(so I went from 6 cm to 10 cm dilated in 24 minutes, thank you Lord!).

I remember looking up at Cornell, who was standing over me, to ask him if she was okay.  I wanted to know if she had 10 fingers and 10 toes.  He was so sweetly covering his eyes with his hand, crying sobbing, that he couldn't hear me talking to him.  So I sat myself up and looked down at Dr. Mody holding my beautiful, perfect, little girl.  I remember saying, "She looks just like Makayla!"
They then laid her on my chest and I got to hold/stare/nurse her for the next 2 hours.  Hospitals have done more research now and realized that the babies temperature will stabilize much quicker by laying on their mother instead of being put under a warmer.
I couldn't agree more and enjoyed every minute of those first hours I spent with her.

One thing that I found so interesting in my labor experience is that NO ONE encourages you to have a natural birth.  Not your doctor, not your nurse, not even the unit secretary that comes in your room to fix the bed alarm.  Every single person that I remember coming in my room said, "don't you want an epidural?" or "you know you can get an epidural?"  My nurse didn't even suggest different positions for me to try to labor through my contractions! I was so surprised by this!  I'm so thankful to have had Cornell by my side to be my encourager!

Welcome to the world Adara River Thomas!

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