Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lucy Edith's Birth Story

**In the name of full disclosure, for all the squeamish out there, if a crowning baby weirds you out, than for the love of all things peanut butter and chocolate, CLOSE this tab.**

Now that we got that over with, let all of us adults move on.
Labor Day weekend was emotional for me. I was "due" that weekend, and my husband Jose had to work all weekend at the hospital- 4 days in a row- and he really wanted that good excuse of, "My wife is in labor," to call out with. Friday he worked, and I was up all night with our toddler who is getting his molars. Saturday he worked, and I was beyond exausted just starting my day out, after trying to get out of a toddler bed that I slept most of the night in at 40 weeks pregnant. I called my mother in law to see if she minded having the kids hang at her house for a bit so I could clean up around the house and get a nap in. She was free, so I took the kids over shortly before lunch, went home, and went to bed. I napped for 3 hours, which I never do, and felt so much better. I woke up having some contractions here and there, and I texted Jose about 5 pm and let him know to tell the oncoming nurses in report and his charge nurse that he might not be there in the morning.

By 6:30 pm, I was having contractions ever 5-7 minutes, and thought just in case, on the off chance that I was in early labor, I should see if the kids could just spend the night at Jose's parents, rather than go pick them up, and have to have someone come over in the wee hours of the night to sit should the kids wake up with the midwife team here. I checked with Jose at work, and he agreed, and so did his mom. The kids would spend the night, I would rest up, and he told the charge nurse that he was sure he wouldn't be there in the morning (I wasn't convinced I was in early labor, but he knew I was). 

Saturday night once he was off and home from work, we realized we needed to get a different hose or an adapter for the pool, so we headed to get that and some grub. We saw some friends at Panera, I ate a lovely salad, and kept on contracting every 5 minutes. We were home about 11 pm, and I continued to contract but it was slowing down enough that I could rest in between. I was very emotional, crying, and kept thinking, "what if this is not it?" My whole pregnancy was spent with irritable uterus, and I was having a hard time judging if I was in labor or not. Jose wanted to call out of work and have a baby already; I was worrying that if he called out of work and I wasn't really in labor or it quit, that he was going to get in trouble. I was feeling bad about him missing work, feeling bad about my mother in law watching the kids, just an emotional wreck about everything. Jose was about delirious from being up at 5 am for work, so I sent him to bed with the promise I would wake him if it was real, and I tried to calm down and lay down and rest with him. (He totally knew I was going to have a baby and there was no denying it, so he went ahead and called out of work and went around me being ridiculous. He had good intuition when I didn't. Thank God somebody did.)

Early morning, bleary eyed couch laboring
We both headed for bed. I was able to rest fairly well- it's crazy how much sleep you can get waking up every 4-10 minutes. Around 3 am, things started picking back up again, and by 4 am, I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes and had been for a while. At 4:30 I woke up Jose, who sprang into action. He started filling up the birth pool, and I called our midwife Jyl to let her know that things were real. With my last labors, once I started contracting every 2-3 minutes, I had a baby within a few hours, so I felt like I had to call her and warn her, since she almost didn't make it here for Jordi. She asked Jose on the phone if I thought she should come, and I told her not yet- and she made me laugh- "Well, why the hell are you calling me then?!" Looking back, I should have let the poor woman sleep!
Keeping busy during early labor
We kept in touch via text as I labored and started getting the house set up. At 5:45 am, I started making coffee cake for my birth team and I to have for breakfast. Then, I texted my friend Rachael, who was going to be a support and take pictures for us. Excitement started building. By about 6:30 am, Jyl had her coffee and came over to check on me. She asked if I wanted checked, and I was insanely nervous but wanted to know at the same time. I told her that if I had been laboring all that time and was 2 cm, I was going to be ticked. Turns out I was actually 6 cm, with a nice bulgy bag of water, but baby remained sky high in my womb. Rather than break my water, we continued laboring for a bit. I let Rachael know to come on down whenever, and Jyl caught Hailey (her assistant for the day who is also a student midwife) up to speed.

Jose and I ventured out for a walk up and down our street to get things going. We watched the sun rise, and were excited because Lucy, our baby's name, meant "bringer of light." By 7:30 am, everyone was present.

We moved inside. I ate breakfast, labored in the pool, on the couch, and in our room. Contractions were slower once every one arrived. I was coping fine, and hubby was being an absolute gem. Around 8:30 am, I asked Jyl to check me again so I could see what kind of progress was happening. I was toying with her breaking my water and just getting the show on the road. She informed me I was 7-8 cm, quite stretchy, and I told her to go ahead and break my water. Lucy still stayed sky high after my water was broken. I put on my Depends (awesome for laboring with your water broken) and we kept on.
Jose was such an amazing support.
My labor continued to slow, rather than pick up, after my water was broken. I labored in the pool, in the shower some, tried being on the ball in the living room (which I hated- I couldn't sit at all during this labor), on the couch, walked around the house (it was too humid and hot to go outside, I would have keeled over), and I was starting to get annoyed. My contractions were maybe every 10 minutes, and not consistent at all. We thought I may be having the post-transition "pause" of labor, where you catch your breath before pushing. I was starting to get tired and annoyed, so we decided to lay down and take a nap. The birth team retreated to the kitchen table to hang, while hubby and I snuggled in our bed and cranked the music. Jose jokes that it's the first time he has fallen asleep during a labor that I didn't get mad.
Nap time
After waking up a half hour or so later, my contractions were doing nothing. Diddly squat, in spite of charging around the house, stomping like a sumo wrestler, doing squats, bouncing on the ball...every 10-15 minutes I would have one that wouldn't even stop my talking. We decided to try the breast pump for a bit to try and stimulate some contractions...

...and that worked like a bleeping charm. After 5 minutes on it, it was as if I started contracting and didn't stop. One, after another, after another, and STRONG. Finally! It was about 10:30 or 11 am by that time, and I was hoping for a baby by lunch time. Jose and I walked across the house from the kids room to our room, and I announced I was hopping in the pool to labor again because my contractions were much stronger and I wanted the relief.

After some time of laboring in the pool, I thought I might feel pushy. I asked Jyl if that was okay, and she said to listen to my body. I tried a few positions pushing in the pool- squatting, reclined, hands and knees, and no matter what I did- it was like this baby was so high she was in my throat and was not going anywhere! I was pushing with all my might, and it was just not budging her. We decided to have Jyl check and see if I had some cervical lip.
 I did, and quite a bit, so it was time to start blowing through contractions and see if the lip would let up. She couldn't get a handle on how big the lip was since I was in the pool when she checked me and couldn't get a good feel. I moaned and blew and cried through contractions. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt so annoyed by my labor. The pain was increasing quite a bit and I couldn't get a handle on it. I had called out my birth team and they had been there for almost 5 hours and we didn't have a baby yet (last time, Jyl walked in the door and I was crowning, so this was a huge difference for me), and I felt like I was letting everyone down. I kept feeling like there must have been something I could do, or something I could try...I could not mentally let go and just accept the labor I had. I had been assisting Jyl at too many births; I was trying to manage my own labor, and getting bent out of shape when it was not going how I expected or desired it to, instead of trusting my midwife, my body, and God. I needed to get out of my head, and just deal with the labor I was given, not the labor I wanted!
My birth team continued being amazing. In spite of my whining and moaning way too loudly, they treated me like a queen. They massaged me. They held my hand. They brought cool cloths for my face. A cup would magically appear in front of my face to drink out of with wonderful ice cold water. Warm water would pour down my back during contractions. Jose was exceptionally amazing. Never in my life would I have dreamed that he could have been so good at anticipating my needs. He prayed over me, held me, kissed me, and made me feel so safe.
Hailey, checking on Lucy
Jyl did something that was so vivid in my mind. I was in the pool, crying with Jose, and she came over and held my hand through a contraction, massaging it. It was so comforting. Then she prayed for me, that I would have the stamina I needed and that my body would line up and do what it was supposed to do. It was just what I needed, when I needed it. We decided after that to have me get out of the pool and check and see what was happening with this lip.

By this time, it was coming up on about 12:15 pm. I was still having wicked contractions every 2 or 3 minutes. I laid back on my bed, Jyl checked me, and low and behold- still 7-8 cm. Baby had come down a smidgen, but was still sky high. NO! And now, the baby had moved from being in an good position, to occiput transverse (OT), which was fine, but baby was shifting from being anterior to OT, which could mean she was headed for a posterior position (face up), and we really didn't want that. We decided that I needed to do the "pancake flip," which is a method of laying down through contractions to try and get her to move into an optimal position in the birth canal. I was so discouraged at this point. I needed to pee before I laid in bed for this, and I sat up, and then promptly got sick. Thank God for a trash can close. My birth team held the trash, held my hair, rubbed my back, and gave me wet cloths to wipe my mouth out. I heaved and heaved and heaved into the trash. Every time I heaved I felt a gush of fluid. Finally, when I was done, I was able to get up and head to the potty.

 I peed, and after I stood with Jose in the bathroom and wept. It was 12:30 pm.  I was 7-8 cm. I had been since about 8 am. I was tired, frustrated, and so emotional. We prayed again. Jyl came in to the bathroom with us and we talked about our options. I was so defeated in spirit. I felt like my labor was completely ineffective, I wasn't going anywhere dilation-wise, my baby was turning from a good position to a not so good one, and I was going to surely end up at the hospital having a cesarean or something ridiculous. I let my mind take over, instead of focusing on my prize at the end. I decided to head to bed with Jose and try and get Lucy to shift into a better position, and Jyl went back to the kitchen table with Rachael and Hailey. I think she was debating leaving me because my labor had stalled, and coming back when there was more action.
Jose and I knelt beside the bed and I asked him to pray for me first. After he was done, I laid down on my right side at about 12:45 pm. Jose was right behind me, rubbing my back. I had tears in my eyes, the music played, and I prayed to God. I didn't know what else to do, so the Holy Spirit took over. I didn't have much left to give, I was spent, and just completely OVER being in labor. I blew and moaned through one contraction (contraction #1)

The next contraction (#2) came about 3 minutes later. I blewandmoanedandblewandmoaned and then suddenly I felt my self grunting. I was trying so hard not to let my self push because 15 minutes before that I was not anywhere near being ready to push. I couldn't help it. I groaned to Jose that I either needed him to help me get to the bathroom to poop, or I was going to have a baby right then. Jyl, Hailey, and Rachael could all hear me go from moaning to grunting and pushing and then yelling and came right in. I was on my side previously, and roared myself up onto my hands and knees on the bed.
 I had my trusty Depends on still from my water being broken, and Jyl was trying to help slide them off so she could get a peek and see what in tarnation was I bellowing about. I swatted her hand away and yelled, "NO!" at her. I grunted to Jose to just rip them off since I couldn't move. Trauma nurse training pays off- he had those suckers ripped off in 2 seconds. Jyl asked if I wanted to jump into the pool and have my water birth. I retorted that I was staying on the bed, since I was physically not capable of moving at that point.

Another contraction (#3) came and I could feel Lucy literally thunk into my birth canal. Total fetal ejection reflex; I was not able to control any of it. It was just happening. I was bellowing like a crazy woman, and Jyl was yelling at me to slow down pushing because I was going to tear, and I told her I couldn't slow down, because I couldn't control it. Pushing was completely involuntary. By the end of that contraction, Lucy's head was out, and I remained on my hands and knees.

 Jyl let me know her head was delivered and to let her restitute and turn. Jose was at my head, helping me stay calm, so he couldn't see what was going on. Afterwards, Jose was looking at the pictures, and had his mouth hanging open. He said it looked intense, and that was after him seeing a ton of births. I can agree- it was an intense way to deliver.

The next contraction (#4), Jyl caught Lucy at 1:02 pm.  The first thing out of my mouth was, "Is she really a girl?!" Since I was on hands and knees, she slide Lucy between my knees up towards me so I could see for myself. I was beyond excited. I laid on my side on the bed, and said, "Give me my baby!"
 I went to pull her up and put her on my chest, and all of the sudden, Jyl and Hailey were saying not to pull her too far- she had a true knot in her cord, and we didn't want to have it pull tight. All through labor, her heart rate was consistently great- we never knew her cord was knotted! Praise God that He protected her. Jyl, Hailey, and Jose made quick work of cutting the cord since my placenta was already delivering itself after a few minutes. Daddy had the honor of setting her free.

A true cord knot
Jose was handed Lucy so I could get maneuvered up to the head of the bed, and he did some skin to skin time with her to keep her warm until he could hand her back to me. I was almost going to delete the photo below, but Jose loves it, because it shows all the reality of what a home birth looks like.  Birth pool in the back, messy bed, chucks pads, and a daddy in love with his baby girl.

So in case you weren't keeping track, in 32 minutes I went from the complete bottom of the valley, to the top of the mountain. I only pushed for 3 contractions- and even then, *I* didn't really even push, it was my body. God was so good in hearing our prayers and getting me to finally dilate and have Lucy come meet us, because I was not able to hang on much longer! We did skin to skin immediately after while Jyl checked if I needed any sutures.
Skin to skin 
 No stitches were needed. Daddy snapped a quick picture and texted our families to let them know Lucy was here safe and sound. My birth team fixed me hot tea and honey, and then Jose fixed me lunch and fed me in bed while I nursed Lucy for the first time- she latched at about 30 minutes old and has never looked back. I got to spend some time getting to know my first girl.
Letting everyone know Lucy's here!
First latch
Getting to know our girl
Jose had some skin to skin time with Lucy while I got showered up. Then, it was time for Lucy to get examined.
This picture makes me fall in love with him all over again

Up, up, and away! 
Newborn exam  
Lucy Edith Molinuevo was born at 1:02 pm on Sunday, August 31st. She weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 21" long. We are so, so grateful for her, for our amazing birth team, and for the Lord's provision and answer to prayer in bringing our first daughter Earthside.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. God bless :)