Sunday, June 11, 2006

A birth Story to share....

This is a story I have been given permission to share. Debbie came to take our Labour Intensive and movement classes at Birth Rhythm.

Birth Story of Melissa Rose (in detail - for the ladies only!!)

Melissa was due on Feb 25, 2006. She, however, had her own ideas aboutwhen her birthday would be and gave no hints whatsoever about herimpending arrival. In my opinion, I was having zero contractions, not even Braxton Hicks, just an occasional pain in my lower abdomen that would last maybe 15 seconds and only occured a couple of times per day. It was nothing, just a twinge, really. I tried my best to be patient and let her decide her own time. I did have an acupuncture appointmenton the 27th, and considered a few of the other alternatives, but settled for simply walking and getting out of the house a few times to visit coworkers and friends at the curling rink.

All of the activity seemed to have no effect on inducing labour, but I knew something must be going on as I started to lose my mucous plug on March 1. Nothing too dramatic, but enough to give me hope that the babywould be coming - someday! Still no contractions, so imagine mycomplete surprise when my water broke . . . while I was lying on my side napping on the couch 'watching' a curling game on television! I haven't moved that fast in many, many months as I dashed to the bathroom; I was shocked at how much liquid was simply gushing forth from me, and I had to change my pants twice before I was ready to go out of the house.

I did not want to go into the hospital as I knew they would not release me, and I was convinced I was not in labour, plus I very much wanted to labour at home as long as I could this time. So much for that plan though! My water broke at about 3pm, Scott got home shortly after 4pm, his mom had come over to be with me in the in between time and she would be looking after arranging care for Amy and Kari. We went in to the hospital and got admitted around 5pm. They hooked me upto the monitors and baby was happy with a heartbeat varying between 130and 150bpm.

I was apparently having contractions after all, so said the machine, but I honestly was unaware. The nurse figured that was OK -why would a person need to feel all of them?! I was only 3cm dilated so pacing the hallways we went. My doctor came and checked me at about 6pm,and made arrangments to have my labour augmented (the drip!) as soon as there was room in the delivery ward. At that point I also elected to get the epidural if I was going to have medicine to increase the contractions. The nurses thought the move to the delivery ward might happen around 7:30, so Scott and I had some supper and waited, and I finally felt some contractions, and I breathed through them, and then they started getting worse, and 7:30 came and went and 8:30 came and went and I was really having some hard contractions and no one had checked me since 6- so I sent Scott to find a nurse and find out when Imight be moved and when I could get an epidural. Luckily, they were just on their way to find me - they had sent a lady home from the delivery room to make room for me!

Apparently she had been induced and it wasn't working. How disappointing to get sent home fromthe delivery ward! Shortly after 9pm I was in my birthing room and the 'epidural man' was on his way. Unfortunately, I was in a lot of pain and could hardly wait for him to get in to do the '5 minute procedure'. The nurse tried to get my IV started - no luck, my vein collapsed. So the 'epidural man' came in and tried too - no luck, I started bleeding fromthe needle site in my hand. Ouch. On to the other hand, luck was with us that time, as he located a good vein in my arm.Then to lean over the table and arch my back as the contractions were coming one top of the other and 'don't move' and 'breathe slowly' and I was sweating and then I was nauseous and everyone had to wait while I retched into the metal bowl, epidural procedure only halfway done. Icould FEEL the catheter sliding up my spine, it was most unpleasant. Iwas shaking and crying (can anyone here recognize transition? LOL) and then had to roll on my back for the epidural medicine. Oops, the nursehad accidentally thrown it out. So we had to wait while he got more. Then, a check to see if the epi was in the right place came back -negative - blood in the syringe.

At this point, the 'epidural man' commented that this made him 'not very happy'. If I had not been in the middle of a contraction at that very moment, I would have commiserated that I too was 'not very happy'! So I had to sit up and over the table again as they tugged the catheter down a little bit. And lying down onthe bed again I whimpered and said "Hey, guys I gotta PUSH". The 'epidural man' seemed shocked but the nurse was right on top of it (and later apologized as she suspected I was in transition as soon as I felt pukey) and checked and sure enough I was fully dilated.

There was a bit of a commotion as they tracked down my doctor (already on his way) andthe 'epidural man' gave me a big shot of painkiller - it maybe took the edge off the last three contractions before I had to push, but they were still painful. He figured that I must be feeling better because I triedto make a joke in between contractions right at the end. I tell ya, the delivery room is tough crowd. I could hear this beeping noise from somewhere so I piped up "what, am I backing up now?". It took them amoment to 'get' the joke, but then they were all laughing and saying'good one!'. Hmmmm, they never did say what that beeping noise wasthough . . .

...Pushing lasted maybe 15 to 20 minutes, and was very intense. The epidural (if it was indeed working) did not touch a hint of the pain of delivery. Melissa was born with the cord wrapped around her neck so tightly that the doctor had to cut it immediately as he could not loop it over herhead. Again, so much for the whole 'when should the cord be cut' decision, it quickly became no decision at all!

She had very good APGARscores though, of 8 and 9. Healthy little girl, reasonably healthy Mommy at the time of delivery. She was born at 10:37pm and by the time the stitching was completed it was around 11:30. I breastfed Melissa, had a shower, and we went to our room. This is the only delivery I have felt well enough to stand andhave a shower afterwards, what a treat. I sent Scott home and Melissa didn't wake for another feed until 5am. Bonus! Unfortunately, I was feeling lousy, and the nurses were concerned becauseI was bleeding 'more than they would have liked'.

The next day my doctorwas also concerned, enough that he wanted to take a look - with my legsin stirrups and with a speculum!!!!! I shuddered and thought I was goingto cry. I have second degree tears and many, many stitches. A speculum?! OH my gosh, shoot me first. And, if he couldn't see anything with the speculum, it would be straight to the Operating Room and a spinal anesthetic to see what was causing the bleeding. In my mind I was thinking 'can I get the spinal for that darn speculum thing?' but Ididn't say it outloud as I was trying to focus on just being brave andgoing through with the procedure.

Scott was there and the girls were there, it was probably good because I knew it would be upsetting to them if they saw Mommy cry and then leave with the doctor. As I made my way out of my room to the dreaded stirrups and speculum Iasked to go pee. Wish granted. All of a sudden an enormous clot (likethe size of one of Amy's shoes!) fell out. EWWWW! However, it was this event that prevented the whole speculum ordeal, as both the nurse andthe doctor felt that this was the cause of the bleeding. THANK GOD.!!!!

So far, she has been a very sleepy baby which means I get to be a very sleepy mommy if I choose to be! I'm still moving pretty slowly around the house, but I am eager to get out and show off Melissa and book myself some 'me' time and get a full body massage. My staff got me a gift certificate for a spa, and I DO intend to use it soon.

Lots of love, thanks for all the well wishes.

Debbie and Melissa


I realized after I thought the birth story was complete that I had forgotten Melissa's stats! She was 8lb, 1oz, 21 inches long, barely anyhair, and all fingers, toes, ears, and other assorted appendagesaccounted for.

I also thought you might be interested to know if I used any of the learnings from class - I did!

I spent some time during the rest of my pregnancy on my big purple ball rolling around as I typed on the computer and discovered that it felt really good. As I was waiting for labour to begin, I reminded myself time and time again, that my bodyknew what it was doing, and I didn't need to 'help' it. I did 'figure8' belly dancing through some of the early contractions and when my lower back was sore. When labour was strong, and in particular as I was going through transition and an epidural installation at the same time, I focused on the (inhale) slooooowwwwwwww (exhale) dooooowwwwwwnnnnnnbreathing technique. It really helped to focus. My relaxation times were not all that relaxing due to the epidural stuff, and I found that instead of my 10 focus words to relax, I used 3 of them as a mantra to get me through some of the other contractions "patience, perseverence,and giggles'. It was the only three I could remember from the wholelist, in fact!

I had high hopes that I would be able to labour at home for as long as Icould, but that was not to be. I was undecided about the whole cordcutting timing procedure and that was not to be my decision anyway either!Perhaps the best thing I learned from the birthwise course was to trust myself, and the knowledge that I have, both from cognitive learning and research as well as the intrinsic spiritual knowledge that lives in eachof us if we just choose to listen to it and trust it as well. It was a challenge at times of "oh my god, this really hurts I don't want to do this anymore" followed by "ok, relax, slooooowww dooowwwwwn, relax your jaw, breathe, imagine the birth, where is the baby, make room for baby,this is the way, you can do it"

I imagine most of my fellow participants of the course have also hadtheir babies as well, I hope they were all healthy deliveries. I have pictures of Melissa, but they are on my digital camera and our computer is unhealthy at the moment and I can't get the pictures off. I'll seewhat I can do to get you one though!


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