Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birth Story

The main reason I never posted a birth story is because I believe that the whole process is rather gory and indelicate. But .. for those of you that want to know here is the PG version.

Thursday April 16th at around 7:00 I marched into the L&D at French Hospital ready to be induced. I felt like a bit of a fraud as I passed a woman in the hall that was in the middle of labor and must have been walking around to speed things up but I had had so many contractions in the last 3 weeks I was just miserable and wanted to be done.

After settling me in a room (the same room I had with Eliannah!) and getting everything set up the nurse proceeded to perform an antiquated bloodletting ceremony to help with the birth. I'm kind of not even kidding. When the nurse tried to put an I.V. in she must have done something wrong because I heard the sound of running water and realize that pool of blood on the floor came from my arm!! Yuck!

The next thing on the agenda was to insert the cervidil and wait. Apparently the normal procedure for induction is to let the cervidil do it's work overnight and administer pitocin in the morning but in this case (just like it was when I had Eliot) the cervidil itself threw me into labor by around 11ish. By midnight things were pretty uncomfortable, by 1 they were unbearable and by 2 they were over. I kind of feel like the contractions were stronger with this birth than with an uninduced birth but maybe I had forgotten (this article seems to confirm my suspicions, I guess I didn't have enough beta endorphins). By the time the contractions were strong enough to convince me I was truly in labor and it wasn't another false alarm it was too late for an epidural. Good thing I had pretty much decided not to anyway for fear of another spinal headache

Curiously, this is the only labor where my waters broke of their own accord. And when I say broke, I mean exploded across the room thoroughly disgusting my husband ... In the last few minutes of labor the baby's heart rate dropped and the doctor told me to push as hard as I could to get the baby out as fast as possible. I clearly remember one of the nurses telling me later that that was because the cord was wrapped around his neck and that he was in distress but Phillip disagrees and since he was the one with his eyes open *shrug* who knows. In any case poor Isaac was bluish for a couple of days due to bruising.

I'm still amazed at how disgusting childbirth is vs. how wonderful having and holding a newborn is. I stayed awake all night looking at him, nursing him (a good nurser from the start!) and holding him. We had to wait 12 hours after birth for Isaac to get his blood screened before we could leave the hospital. This was important since I am a carrier for cystic fibrosis and we found out that he was coombs positive and thus at risk for jaundice. Since all of my babies had mild jaundice I wasn't really worried and I made a mental note to feed him every 2 hours or so just to make sure. Fortunately, he was my only baby that didn't get jaundice and he's been pretty easy to care for. I do think that he broke his collar bone during labor but neither the midwife nor the pediatrician mentioned it and I didn't notice the lump until a few days after he was born. He's totally fine now and apart from being careful when strapping him into his carseat there's nothing to do for it and he didn't seem like he was uncomfortable as a result.

Well, that's the story minus some personal details and descriptions. I'm astounded at how easy it is to forget the discomfort of pregnancy and labor less than two months after it happened but maybe that's a good thing!

Isaac at 5 weeks


Jeannett Gibson said...

Yay! Thanks for the birth story! I don't think birth is yucky at all...I would labor and push and be in pain MULTIPLE times, I just loved it...but the nine months of pregnancy preceding it??? Yeah, I'll take a pass. Hate being pregnant. Sounds terrible to say doesn't it?

I have heard that an induced labor means stronger contractions...if I go into labor on my own this time, I'll let you know...since my only labor experience has been induced w/ no epidural...

Matto and Kafrum said...

I am impressed that you used all the jargon! Induced labors tend to be more intense because the medications they use are meant to make the contractions come on fast and hard. I am also impressed that they didn't need to use pitocin! If the cord was around his neck it would cause decelerations in his heart rate during pushing because the cord compression decreases the flow of oxygen. I think labor and delivery is fascinating. Maybe that's why I work in that department. It is a bit wet though. I am very perversely looking forward to the experience myself. I think it will make me able to identify with my patients better.

Kristi said...

I don't think it's disgusting either, but then, I guess I am a borderline hippie/granola girl. But we'll wait and see what I say after I have my first someday :) Once again, many congratulations!

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