birth story postpartum Pregnancy #3

Unintentionally Natural: Our Crazy Fast, Super Intense Birth Story…

So, in hindsight, I probably should have left for the hospital earlier or maybe could have paid attention to the irregularly paced Braxton Hicks, but my other kids were born between 11-12 hours.  Surely this one would be the same.

Missed Signs?
I should have known something was up.   Saturday was…annoying.  It was ridiculously hot in the summer weather and the baby had dropped fairly low.  I honestly wasn’t too excited about going to Bug’s game, but I hadn’t missed one yet and I wasn’t about to start that day.  It was hot, sticky, and humid even inside the gym.  Still, I was there.  Bug had a good game, delivering a crucial steal and garnering some self-confidence in the process.  I was so proud of him.  His sister A. had been clingy all day…super clingy and whiny.  I remember saying “The baby must be coming soon because you are acting a mess”.  Truthfully, I didn’t really believe that.  I was certain I would go about the 5th or 6th as that was typically how my pregnancies worked out.  Boy, was I wrong.

Man and teenager hold basketball while facing little girl.
S., Bug, and Honeybee discussing the finer points of the game.

Bug and his team won their game and were now headed to the playoffs scheduled for the next Saturday.  We spent another twenty minutes or so after the game ended with S. giving Bug some after game coaching instruction and then we headed for something to eat.

Congratulations, team!

When we got home, A. was still pretty clingy and crying so S. decided to put her to bed early.  We sat down and watched a movie as a family and then everyone started calling it a night.  S. and Bug left to help my FIL with the family business and I settled down in the bed not concerned because I knew they would be back in a few hours.

Is that a Contraction?
For some reason I couldn’t get comfortable.  I felt pretty tiny menstrual-like cramps, but they weren’t intense or in any pattern.  I’d been having them off and on that week and decided it was time to pull out my Full Time app to start monitoring.  I started monitoring at 1:40 a.m. shortly before S. and Bug had returned from working.  I remember telling S. that the baby would probably be born that day but to try and get some sleep because the contractions weren’t really steady.  My plan was to just labor a bit before going to the hospital.  After all, we always have plenty of time.

In my mind, I was thinking of how painful these contractions were compared to my last delivery. 

My contractions were recording an average of three to four minutes apart, but not consistently.  Sometimes there would be a contraction at three minutes.  Then the next would be seven minutes.  About 3:30 a.m., I noticed I had to breathe through the contractions but could still walk and talk through them. S. noticed and asked if I was okay.  I confirmed I was just fine.  I lay in the bed tossing and turning for another and thought, ‘you know what? I need to get up’.   I got up to head headed to the shower and noticed that S. got up too.  He told me later that he’d realized sleep wasn’t going to happen and figured he would go ahead and pack.  That’s what he was doing when I went into the bathroom.  It was in there that something suddenly shifted. I looked in the toilet and noticed the bloody show in the bowl.  CRAP!  Bloody show, for me, means it is time to call the doctor.  I grabbed a very quick shower and did just that.  By now, it was getting very difficult to talk through the contractions.

Despite intending to dial my doctor’s cell as she’d directed, I was connected to her on-call physician.  This was the same doctor who delivered baby A. two years ago.  In the increasing pain, it didn’t register that I wasn’t speaking to my Obstetrician.  I was in so much pain by now that I was answering his questions but was calling him ma’am.  I couldn’t tell it was a man on the line with the pain! He asked how far along were the contractions, how far in the pregnancy I was, which pregnancy this was, and then noted that I had to stop talking several times because of the contractions and told me to come on into Labor and Delivery to be checked.  Guys, I still didn’t realize how limited I was on time.

I hung up the phone and managed to dress while vocalizing through painful contractions.  In my mind, I was thinking of how painful these contractions were compared to my last delivery.  By this time, S. had come out of the bathroom (he’d showered as well).  I don’t know if he heard me yell “hurry up” through the door, but I am pretty sure I yelled it.  It seemed like it took him forever to get down the stairs with me, but in reality it was only a minute as he was letting our son know that we were headed to the hospital.

… I knew I was in trouble.”

Downstairs, S. asked if we were taking the sedan or the SUV.  I told him to take the SUV because the sedan seemed too low on the ground.  That turned out to be great advice because we hit EVERY pothole and I was NOT happy at all.  Not even out the neighborhood, it suddenly dawned on S. that we’d left the Bluetooth wireless speaker and we’d planned on playing worship music while I was laboring.  S. turned the car around to get it and I remember thinking we should just leave it and keep going.  I was in trying to get my mind to relax, but deep in my core I was panicked.  I knew something was off with the timeline of these contractions.

We reached the emergency room and S. rushed in to tell them that his wife was laboring and needed a wheelchair.  As the nurse walked out the car with the wheelchair, I had a particularly hard contraction.  Guys! I swore to myself that in that moment I felt the baby come down some with that contraction.  Suddenly, I got very nauseous and shaky.  Guys, I ONLY get nauseous and shaky in transition.  In my mind’s eye, I knew I was in trouble.

You’re Complete.
By now the contractions seemed to roll over and over again.  I stopped being able to tell one from another.  The nurse who wheeled me to Labor and Delivery completely bypassed Triage.  She told the admitting desk that I’d had three hard contractions in the time it had taken her to wheel me from the car to the Labor and Delivery area.  She also told them I was in a lot of pain and said something that didn’t register at first because of the pain I was in.  She said, “I’m not sure there’s time”.

In the laboring room, another nurse checked me and first said I was ‘at an 8’ (WHAT!?!), but then said she was mistaken and I was 6 cm dilated.  I suddenly became very nauseous and asked for a bag which came quickly.  At once, I was vomiting and couldn’t stop. (This was a bad sign and I knew it).   I immediately asked for the epidural, but hospital regulations here state you must complete a large bag of IV fluids along with a blood draw before it can be administered.  The nurses attempted to hook me up to an IV. 

*I don’t remember this part, but S. told me the first nurse that tried to insert the needle was relatively new.  She tried and failed three times to get the needle in.  Apparently, I asked for the other nurse to do it because I hurt so much and that nurse was able to get it on the first try.  Again, I don’t remember that at all.

I do remember that once the IV bag was started I turned to lean on my husband.  S. placed his forehead against mine and tried to will his strength. Poor baby.  I really put him through the paces for a while there.  He would hold my hand or rub my arm only for me to snap at him because I didn’t want to be touched.  Then, when he would stop and move away I would immediately ask where he was going and why wasn’t he touching me.  I remember telling him that I thought it was too late to get the epidural when my pain suddenly cranked to a level I’d never experienced before.  I couldn’t stop screaming, shaking, and hurting. Everything was pain and quite unexpectedly came the INTENSE feeling that I needed to poop!

The nurse checked me again and said, “Oh, Honey. Yeah, you’re complete”.  I’d only been in the room twelve minutes and had gone from 6 to 10 cm.  I asked weakly if that meant I wouldn’t be able to have the epidural and when the nurse confirmed, I broke down in tears.  There was no way I could do this naturally.

Baby comes Quick
By now, I’m screaming bloody murder with no shame in my game.  I tried negotiating with the nurses for something, anything to take away the pain.  No can do they all said.  That’s the abbreviated version of the conversation. They said it would be a risk to the baby and then laughed when I said I was willing to take the risk and sign off on it.  They didn’t realize I was serious.  S. said I actually argued with them about it but I don’t remember that at all.

The nurses, bless them, tried to calm me including one who told me that I had to focus.  Bump a focus.  It’s supposed to feel better when you push, she said.  It absolutely did not.  The pain was torturous and I remember asking God in my head what I did for Him to allow such pain.  It was getting quite intense and the urge to bear down was overwhelming.  In my pain and delirium, I didn’t realize my water hadn’t burst.  I followed what my body said and bore down heavily.  With that, my amniotic sac burst EVERYWHERE.  I heard a nurse say there was “thick mec” and I asked if I heard her say that meconium was in the rupture.  She looked at me and nodded.  Well, crap.  As much pain as I was in, that added some clarity to me.  I knew I needed to get baby out. S. informed me that the head was out, actually he said that the baby was out, but I knew what he meant. (Despite the mean-ish nurse correcting him.  Really ma’am?  Not the time.)

The doctor was in front of me and I heard him give the instruction to push, but I was already there.  One fierce and crazy yell accompanied by one final giant push, and out came my baby!

Now understand this.  I was so exhausted and in such shock that while I knew baby was out, I didn’t really care whether it was a boy or girl.  I just assumed it was a girl and wanted a moment to rest.  One of the nurses said “let her husband turn the baby”.  S. did so and we saw a penis.  Our baby was a BOY!  The nurses rushed him to the islet and checked him over.  I was so worried he would have to be moved to the NICU, but thank God, he was fine!

The Aftermath
We arrived at the hospital at 6AM and were upstairs in L&D by 6:20AM.  Our son was born at 7:25AM.  He was a healthy 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and 21 inches long.  He is the smallest baby I’ve ever birthed and by far the quickest delivery I have ever experienced.

Despite the craziness of the morning, I did not tear nor require any stitches.  He was given to Dad (if I remember correctly) while the doctor helped me expel the placenta.  I was super exhausted and can’t remember too much after that. I do remember the doctor was congratulating me on a very great delivery and gave me Fentanyl via IV, which worked immediately.  (Thank You, Father for medical drugs).

This birth was seriously the most intense that I have ever had, but I am truly thankful that the baby is here and is healthy. Throughout this pregnancy, I often played with the idea of maybe wanting to try natural just for the experience.  I always turned back around and convinced myself that I would rather do it with drugs.  I guess God had other plans.

So there we are.  Our super crazy and unintentionally natural birth of our son Jeremiah.  We’ll refer to him as “J” on the site.  Thank you guys for thoughts and prayers. We really appreciate them.

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