Friday, October 26, 2007

The Story of Lauren's Birth

Is it possible to stay pregnant forever? Obviously not, but I wonder how long Lauren would have stayed in her cocoon had she not be "encouraged" to leave! My midwives gave me up to 10 days past my EDD to let labor occur naturally. Nothing doing. I know people thought I was nuts to wait that long for labor and I did get some comments like, "Why won't your midwife go ahead and induce you?"She probably would have done it sooner had I wanted that. As I did when preparing for Lydia's birth, I tried many things to bring on labor but without success. Lauren was cozy inside and had no intention of coming out! So when July 23rd came, we went to the hospital for an induction.
When we arrived we waited an hour in the waiting room for them to call us back. I remember flipping through magazines trying not to become irritated at the additional opportunity of the hospital to "time" my birth. (When I was finally taken to a room we realized that the shift change occurred at 11am and I surmised that we had been made to wait until that could take place.)The midwives Stephanie and Jill were on call until 6pm. Stephanie broke my water shortly after 11am and it had been previously agreed upon that I would be allowed to walk and to try to get some contractions going. After a couple of hours and little to no progress (I was 1.5 cm dilated and completely effaced) they put me on Pitocin. I struggled a little bit with this as I REALLY wanted this birth to be without Pit, but I lost that battle. I reminded myself that I had to keep a positive attitude regardless of the situation. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Now I was facing loss of mobility as well as drug induced contractions. It was right about this time that dear Pat, our friend and doula, arrived to bring support and positive thinking! (She had been waiting at home until things started to happen.)
The pit drip was started at 2pm. After about 5 minutes of Pitocin, my contractions were immediately painful and intense. I began to despair a little because it had taken several hours of Pitocin during my labor with Lydia to get to that stage. I was wondering if I really was going to make it without the pain meds! I continued laboring in the rocking chair with my feet propped on the bed. Pat, Ben and my Mom were there. I tried a birthing ball for one contraction and it was awful!!! I couldn't wait to get back to the chair! At 4pm they checked me and I was at 6cm ( only 6 I remember thinking). I remember going to the bathroom after that and then casually mentioning after my next contraction in the chair that I felt like pushing during a contraction (and had) on the toilet. That got Stephanie and Jill's attention and they checked me again. I was nearly 10 cm and they gave me the green light for pushing! It was about 4:30 then. Things began to kick into high gear in the room as lights came on, gloves were snapped on and gowns donned by the midwives. I literally could NOT believe I had progressed from 6 to 9.5 cm in about 20 minutes. I kept thinking (and probably saying) "I can't believe it's time to push!". (The midwives were surprised too, I think, as we had chatted earlier in the day about how they wouldn't b e there for Lauren's birth. I remember hoping very much that Lauren would be born before my nurse's shift ended at 11pm!!)
When I had to move from my glider to the bed I climbed on top of the bed and was standing on it until the various IV cords and blankets were situated. I remember Pat laughing at this =) My left hand was hurting so much from the IV port that I could put no pressure on that hand without lots of pain. So standing was actually easier than trying to shift my huge body around on the bed one-handed!!-Well, I think I had5 or 6 contractions after that point and then Lauren was born. The cord was around her neck and one arm across her body with her hand near her cheek when her head came out. That felt really weird when Stephanie was maneuvering Lauren's arm around her head. I think perhaps the cord was cutting off some of Lauren's oxygen because I remember Stephanie looking at me after only about 3, maybe 4, contractions and saying, " You really need to get her out on this next one, okay?". I was shocked.What did she mean the next contraction? Was I really that close? Could it all really be going this much faster this time? Well, it really did. Lauren was born at 5:11 pm and they placed her on me right after she came out. It was incredible. She gave one little cry and then was quiet while I held her. We tried nursing a few minutes later and I will say that she had a powerful latch from the get go! Birth really is a miracle and there is nothing like that feeling I get after birth when I meet my baby for the first time.
After I was cleaned and stitched up (the tearing was not as bad this time, and really I think I might have escaped it altogether if the pushing stage had lasted a little longer) the nurse wheeled me to my room. Although Lauren's birth was so much "easier" than Lydia's, my hospital stay was certainly less pleasant. I guess I can leave those details out unless anyone is really curious.
Lauren - you finally arrived, safe and healthy and we are so excited about life as four. I love you little Lauren and I love being Mommy to you and Lydia. I pray for wisdom, patience, tenderness and peace every day as I seek to parent you as God would have me to do. May you love Jesus and cling to Him all your days. Love Mommy


Rebecca said...

Wow! You did great! Especially with having to endure pitocin again!

The most "overdue" I ever went was 5 days and they (my Dr.s at the time) were already pressuring me to induce and I was extremely resistant and kept saying "NO!" :-/ I was so glad when Emily came of her own accord. The induction rate in Chattanooga is insane and the c-section rate is even worse.

I talked to my current midwife about it and they don't induce at all aside from the occasional natural induction methods (herbal methods) and that only after at least 43 weeks gestation. They've very rarely needed to transfer just for induction purposes, so I'm really hoping this one decides to come on his own... Thankfully my first two weren't *too* stubborn about it!

My midwife has had one mom go consistently to 44 weeks with each of her 5 babies with zero complications (all 5 were homebirths)- but the lady just has a longer gestational period. Scary stuff, but I guess it happens! Some doctors and researchers are beginning to think that the average gestational period has gradually increased slightly over time. I wonder if they'll ever actually change the "40 weeks" standard. The Bradley Method books have a lot to say about that which was really interesting.

I feel for you though- I've been lucky to not even have to deal with induction at all, but with Claire I was already SO ready to have her by 39 weeks that I was very antsy to have her. I was very impatient those last few days! It's too bad that nowadays everyone expects moms to get induced as soon as they hit 40 weeks.

I'm glad Lauren's delivery went so well and that you both are healthy and happy!

Rachel said...

I LOVE reading birth stories and yours was no exception. I can't believe you made it natural on pit - way to go. I was just plain terrified and the moment they started the pit, I was begging for the epidural. I am curious about the rest of your stay. I know that it can be quite interesting. After having Drew, most of the drama was after his birth. Maybe now that most of you have had your babies and Rebecca sounds strong and confident, I should post my birth story. I didn't at the time, because I did not want to upset or scare anyone. Anyways, once again congrats on your beautiful baby girl. Your LOs are precious and they have a very special Mommy!

JM said...

I want to hear the rest of the story, too.

Your story makes me wonder if going to the bathroom toward the end helps you to progress. I had just gone as well when I had the first contraction that felt like I needed to push. From that point on, there was no body was pushing!

Kelley said...

I've always heard subsequent labors are easier than the first. Right after having Greta I didn't think I would ever do it again! It's nice to know that if/when we do have another one hopefully the labor will be shorter and maybe easier.

Congrats on doing no pain meds wit Pitocin. I don't know if I could do that. My contractions were so incredibly strong without it, I can't imagine with.

Stephanie said...

What a great birth story, Jen. Thanks for sharing. Being a mother is a great gift. Being able to carry my babies and birth them and mother them is something I wouldn't trade for anything. I can appreciate other's birth stories like my own almost. God hears your prayers. We all, as mothers, need to pray that daily. Your girls are blessed to have you.

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes (okay, they are running down my cheeks) after reading that last paragraph. What a gift for Lauren to have a mom like you. May God answer all your prayers for her.