Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kinley's Birth Story

I had been feeling more Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks.  I had a feeling our little girl was going to come early, but did not want to say it out loud, as I did not want to anticipate an early arrival and be disappointed if she came on or after her due date.  It was hard to see this as a new experience, having already birthed my first baby almost three weeks early.  I tried not to compare, but found that to be very difficult.  A week or so before Kinley's birth my husband pointed out that he felt I was nesting.  I brushed it off.  I just wanted to be more prepared this time than we were last time.  I wanted to have a packed hospital bag and new makeup and...okay maybe I was nesting.  At work I felt like I was in a race against the clock to finish work that honestly would never really be finished.  During the week she was born I was working fast and furious to finish paperwork and get organized.  

On Thursday, February 28th, a friend and co-worker had a gathering at her house.  I was uncomfortable.  I would love to say that I carried this pregnancy gracefully, however, the truth is I was uncomfortable and had been for a while.  I wanted to meet my baby and I wanted my body, or the new version of my body back.  The gathering was fun, it was nice to see everyone and to hang out.  At some point a co-worker asked how long I had left.  I said a little over two weeks, and jokingly said, "or maybe tonight".  Little did I know that my husband had said the same thing at his work that same night.  

Since I had my son with, I decided that at about 6:30 pm we should leave so I could put him to bed and rest.  I was TIRED!  My husband got home around 9:30 pm and I was in bed.  We talked about his day and just spent time together.  This was rare, as I usually just fall asleep waiting for him to come home.  After talking, I was laying down and felt a quick cramp, then a trickle.  I said to him, "I think my water broke!", as I rushed to the bathroom with my legs as closed as possible to not leak on the floor.  I got to the toilet and sure enough, it was official.  This was 11:30 pm.  Now, this as we all know is fairly rare.  Most women do not begin labor with their water breaking.  The funny part is that my water broke with my son as well before I was in active labor, and just over two weeks early, and at 11:30 pm.  So I am not sure what the odds are that this would happen to me twice, so similarly.  However, I have now decided that I must just bake my children faster and that my water will break before labor starts.  

I was hoping that this would not happen this time, especially since I tested positive for strep b this time.  I had hoped to stay at home.  Instead, we had to head to the hospital.  I called my friend to come to the house to watch our son, and called Sarah, our doula to tell her the news.  I stayed on the toilet as I made the phone calls since my fluid was continuing to leak.  I started to feel shaky and cold and excited.  We were surely going to meet our baby girl, it was suddenly so real!  As soon as our friend arrived we headed out.  We were at the hospital by 12:30 am and were put in the triage space to wait for a room.  We were there for over an hour waiting before a room opened up, maybe even two.  

Once we got to our room I was contracting pretty consistently but they weren't getting much more intense.  At this point, our doula was on her way since I was contracting consistently about every five minutes.  At this point I was able to snack and drink water and walk the halls.  We had not gotten all the supplies ready (though we did have our bags packed this time) so we were limited with snacks.  We had apple juice, pears, and lemon girl scout cookies.  Not the best choices!  I had started my antibiotics, and since I am allergic to penicillin I was on a different antibiotic that was able to be given every 8 hours instead of every four.  The following morning (Friday) I ate breakfast, we listened to music, and I tried to rest.  Things weren't really picking up, just staying the same.  I was hoping to have a water birth, and all the staff were letting me labor without pressure. I was starting to feel fearful that I would end up with more interventions than I had planned for, but tried to focus on moving things along.  I was not really progressing, similar to my first birth experience.  The midwife that came on (the second) wanted me to try pitocin.  I did not want to do that unless it was absolutely necessary, as that would remove the option to have a water birth as well as the option to labor in the water.  

My doula suggested cervadil, however, the midwife did not consider that an option.  Right before her shift was over she came in to challenge my choices, and I had to hold in my frustration.  I told her that I would wait to discuss any options until the next midwife started her shift.  Immediately after she left my room I did not have another contraction for over an hour.  It is amazing how the mind and body are connected.  When the following midwife arrived she began things very positively, saying that we would discuss our options and make a decision together.  For the first time since I had arrived at the hospital I felt that someone cared about my opinion and was willing to work WITH me.  Funny enough, she recommended cervadil.  This would eliminate my chance at a water birth, but would still give me the option of laboring in the water....compromise.  

I am the first to say that a plan is just that, a plan.  During this process I tried to stay focused on what I wanted my birth to be like as well as staying open to the fluidity of child birth, understanding that adhering to ones plan is not always an option.  After the cervadil was inserted, our doula left to rest and the plan was that I could rest as well.  However, my body responded VERY well to the cervadil and I began contracting more regularly and more intensely.  Eric was sleeping and would try to come help me breathe through contractions, but they were coming very closely.  I asked him to call Sarah and have her come back.  At this point it was early morning on Saturday.  I tried to sleep between contractions, but I would wake up in the middle of one and they would get ahead of me.  It became difficult to breathe and cope.  The staff did not want to remove the cervadil yet, so I was not able to get into the water.  They checked me and I was dilated to an 8.  I Decided that I Needed to rest, and needed an epidural.  When Sarah arrived they had started the process of the epidural.  She stayed with me and Eric went into the hall.  The process to put the epidural in was horrific, in that it took a long time and I was in the most uncomfortable position.  Once it was put in it took 20 or so more minutes before any relief. Once the medicine started I was able to relax some.  However, the baby's heart rate dropped and continued to dip.  They put me on oxygen and kept moving me to stabilize her heart rate.  

I was now on my fourth midwife.  I was able to sleep, and was oblivious to the fact that my blood pressure dropped to 80/40 and that they had to give me epinephrine to get it back up.  They were also preparing for a c-section in case the baby's heart rate did not stabilize.  I was able to sleep, and woke myself up by snoring a few times.  I did need rest.  I knew that I had to rest.  Around 10:00 am I asked to be checked.  I was at a 10 but the baby was still a bit high.  I was feeling tons of pressure, was rested, and I was ready to meet my baby.  The midwife said that I could try pushing to see if she would come down.  Our doula was going to have to leave at 11:00, so I wanted badly to push the baby out before she had to leave.  I started pushing at 10:30.  It was so peaceful in the room.  They pulled in a mirror so I could watch what was happening.  I never would have thought I would like that, but it was so motivating.  After a few pushes she came down and I knew I would be meeting my baby soon!  

With help from Eric and Sarah, I pushed Kinley Anneliese out at 11:00 am.  When her head came out we saw that her cord was wrapped very tightly around her neck. The midwife had to clamp and cut it to get it off and I then pushed her out the rest of the way.  She came right to my chest but was pretty blue and not responding as the staff would have liked.  They took her and wiped her off, Eric cut the already cut cord, and when they felt she was okay, which in reality was a minute or two (that felt like an eternity) they brought her back to me.  She was beautiful.  She was 7 lbs 8 ounces of cuteness, and 20 inches long.  Apparently she had quite the noggin at 14.5 inches.  I was in love at first sight!  She immediately was able to latch on to my left breast and began to nurse like a pro!  I needed no stitches and was able to deliver the placenta easily.  Despite the few bumps in the road, the birth of my daughter was beautiful.  Tough the beginning was eerily similar to my first birthing experience, the help of our doula and my new found ability to advocate for myself gave me a birthing experience I feel good about!

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