Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Averi

Happy 1st Birthday Averi!

Averi's LONG birth story! (read at your own risk!)

On a pre-labor note, our last midwife appointment which was on Thursday (1/7) we had an ultrasound and they thought baby was 9lbs. 10oz. with a 42 week old head size (90%tile). So, I had heard ultrasounds weren't always very accurate but if baby hadn't been delivered by the next Monday my midwife wanted me to go to hospital and get outpatient labor inducing gel stuff (cervidil, I believe). I had already purchased castor oil (which is now in our linen closet upstairs) for drinking on Saturday evening for a good last measure, if nothing happened before then. I did drink black cohosh, my mom brought me panda black licorice (which I do like, yum), drank cumin tea, and tried some accupressure too.

Well...... Wed./Thurs. (1/6 & 1/7) night my mom came over and stayed with me to keep me company while Pete was at work. Friday (1/8) night she didn't end up coming over just because we hadn't really communicated earlier than like 7:30pm. Pete went to work and I talked to her and was like "I feel fine, you don't need to come over tonight..." so we planned on her coming over Saturday (1/9) night. Anyhow, I took Remington on a walk about 8pm (about 2 miles). I was accompanied by some Mormon Missionaries on bikes for part of it and talked with them. Remington and I then went to Target (he stayed in the car =) to get a couple things. On the way home from Target I was thinking I wanted to get in the shower when I got home (which had been a relaxing place for me during pregnancy). So I did just that and I just felt funny. Then I got out and laid down for a little. I think my mom called and asked me how I was feeling and I told her I was feeling kind of weird or some such. I puttered around, putting away the groceries, etc. I text Pete between and told him I was feeling a little "contracty" and I might call him later - I think at that point I was timing my contractions and they were b/w 5-10 min. apart. I sat down to read and write and my mom called to check up on me and ask if Pete was coming home - I told her I didn't want to "call wolf" and she was like, "you are 6 days past your due date and you had your membranes stripped yesterday, you are probably in labor." This comment helped me realize oh yes, probably true. Good point mom. So I kept timing contractions. Remington kept me company while I rested in bed (we called him my “doula”). After talking to Pete he wrapped up some things at work and came home about 2:30am (a great plus was, because I was still kind of staying on Pete’s work schedule, I had been only been up since about 4pm that day and Pete got up about 7pm, so the timing was great (thank you Lord!)!) By that time it was very nice he was home for moral support and there to rub my back when contractions came. He finished up packing up some stuff and timed the contractions. By now contractions, I believe, were b/w 3-5 minutes apart. We had decided to bring "munchkins" from for the nurses to give them with our birth plan. So we left to go to the hospital and stopped by Dunkin Donuts on the way. Being in the car during labor was very, very uncomfortable. We got to the hospital about 5am. My mom met us there to pick up Remington. She took a distant picture of us checking in at the ER. I was not in the mood for pictures which was a good sign that this labor was real (though now I like to see the picture!). I got checked and was 5-6cm. I was admitted. Started off in bed in the L+D room with the fetal monitor - I think pretty much ALL my labor pains were in my back so Pete was rubbing and pushing on it a lot (push harder please!). The nurse or midwife suggested I go in the shower - that was a most wonderful suggestion! I'd say I spent my most "comfortable" time in the shower standing up during contractions (leaning over/swaying like stretching my calves look) with Pete spraying the nozzle on my back from outside of the shower. I could even sit down on the bench in there and rest in between contractions. They had me try a birthing ball (that looks like a peanut - 2 balls together with a place to sit in the middle) - that was REALLY uncomfortable for me. So, let's see... I probably went back in bed for another fetal monitoring session then back in the shower - it was getting painful by then (not that it wasn't painful before but really painful now! About now was more when I was getting “verbal” during the pain). At one point I felt like pushing while in the shower. We pushed the call button in the bathroom. My midwife came in and checked me and said I was 8cm. She said something like it will be like you HAVE to push rather than just feeling like you want to push. I think very shortly after that though I went back in bed and things started going. I guess my midwife thought Averi was posterior till the end when she flipped around and, all to say, my back was HURTING. I was thinking before this time (pre-labor thoughts, ha!) how giving birth in a squatting position seemed like a great idea – No way was I going to do that then. so... I guess next was pushing time which lasted maybe 30-45 minutes. I was mostly on my back (hospital bed propped up "back" I recall, though my memory of some particulars are foggy) but they had me on my side a little too. The nurse was super helpful at this point in directing me (I think she said she had given birth to 3 of her own kids drug-free – what a blessing to have such a supportive nurse!) - take a deep breath.... next urge to push try to push for 10 seconds etc. etc. I was not a silent laborer. there was probably a hospital tour going past our room while I am yelling and grunting... I heard/saw the midwife call to make sure the Dr. was close by just in case he was needed… the Midwife asked if I wanted a mirror and by that point I had no desire for such, it just hurt! My water broke while pushing - midwife said she broke it with her finger nail. That was a crazy feeling too - so much water GUSHING out. It seemed like after a point her head must have got past my back bone or whatever was so uncomfortable. Then came the new hurt of coming out. I felt her head (I guess that's what that was!) with my hand 1 or 2 times while she was crowning. push push push... finally she came out at 10:43am! Baby was passed to me - she was bloodied up a bit but with no vernix to speak of (they said she had a little on her leg). As she was getting passed to me I saw that she was a girl and said so!! She got wiped down on me. It was crazy to see her the first time when she was all the way out - how big she looked and not even because she was 9lbs.! My midwife did give me an episiotomy (1st degree) and I tore a little too. I don't know what I would have done without Peter there pushing on my back and just being there for me... he helped alot!

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21

I'll be honest with you, It took me more than just the seconds after Averi was born to forget the pain though now I see her labor/birth as one of the most wonderful memories of my life.

What a joy our Averi girl is.


Patti said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Jenni. What an amazing story. I can't believe Averi is already a year old. She's such a cutie!

Layne Heller said...

Yes, thanks for sharing, Jenni! My turn soon, and this was encouraging!

Rachel said...

This is beautiful Jenni. Thanks for sharing it. And happy happy birthday to Averi!

Bethany said...

What a wonderful birth story!!! Thank you for sharing it! Usually a night labor is such a tough thing because you're sleep deprived, but the fact that you kept Pete's schedule up until the birth was just perfect.
I've never heard that verse from John. It's spot-on in describing birth. Isn't it funny that from the worst pain comes the most incredible blessing?

Heather@Cultivated Lives said...

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. I never tire from reading them. Strange thing is that it always makes me want another one! :) But you are right, it took more than a few seconds for the memories of the intensity and the pain to subside.

Having done two induced/medicated births and then finally an unmedicated one, I'd have to say -hands-down, I prefer the natural birth. I felt so much better afterwards!