*Warning* This is a long post!
I’ve had a major hiatus from all forms of technology this past week and a half. I guess babies will do that to ya! The phone, the email account, the blog and the facebook account are all severly neglected at this point! Ha ha ha ha! (If you are on my list of unreturned phone calls, I’m sorry! I’ll get to ya.) But, I’m alive and feeling better and better every day. Natural childbirth rocks, but there is still some healing that has to occur. Can I get an amen girls? WHEW!
I wasn’t sure what I’d write on here when I sat down just now. Thank good ness Grandma is here because as soon as I sat down at the computer, my 3-year old needed his bottom wiped and the newborn started crying. Currently, the 3-year old is watching “Bible Songs” from Cedarmont Kids and Grandma’s got the baby. I know…I’m spoiled. I’ll take the help while I can get it!
Anyway, yeah I didn’t know what I was going to write about, but how about a birth story? This might be long. We’ll see how long the kids can hold out for me.
Well, Monday night, our friends Krista and Scott gave us the honor of being witnesses for their marriage ceremony in front of the justice of the peace. I wasn’t feeling real hot on Monday-just really tired in a totally zonked out kind of way. But we had a blast, the ceremony was REALLY neat and we were all emotional and happy. Then we went out to eat (I had a buffalo chicken salad if you are interested) and headed home. I think we even went to bed kinda early.
At midnight I woke up to a contraction. I knew immediately this would be it. I was thinking “no way, you’ve gotta be kidding me!” I timed it right off the bat and sure enough they were coming 10 minutes apart. So I got up and walked around, I had a glass of milk and tried laying on different sides, etc. But they kept coming. I wasn’t real thrilled because I had MOPs that morning and I was supposed to pick up my mom at the airport at 11:30 am. Plus I was really, really tired and I just wanted to sleep! I know, I’m a dork. I just was surprised and didn’t think it would happen until later in the week.
At 1 am, I figured I’d better wake Jer up. I did and pretty quickly the contractions start coming a little closer together. We talked about what we should do but we weren’t in a tremendous hurry. I really wanted to labor at home as much as I could so I wouldn’t be stuck in the hospital too long.
I laid down to say something to Jeremy at 2 am and snap-my water broke! I heard it pop – kid you not! I gave a little whimper because it came with a contraction and it hurt. Then I jumped out of bed and yelled “my water broke!” and somehow, Jeremy made it to the hall closet and tossed me a couple towels so I could put them on the floor underneath me. As soon as the towels were down there was water gushing down my legs. I don’t know how we made it and saved both the bed and the carpet. I’m saying that’s some awesome teamwork…that whole exchange was only like 30 seconds long! HA!
Once my water broke, the contractions really started coming on strong. I went to the bathroom and attempted to get cleaned up and Jeremy woke Cooper up. We threw some stuff together (my bag wasn’t exactly packed…but stuff was laid out!) called Crystal -my labor coach and one of my best friends-and attempted to get out the door. But that’s hard when you gotta stop every 4 minutes to breathe through a contraction. (Did I mention they were really starting to hurt now?) I knew the car ride would hurt too, sitting down was not going to work. But somehow we got all of us in the car. I sat in the back seat on my knees.
At this point, I’m no longer feeling good. The contractions are taking more than just some breathing…I needed to scream just a little. Thankfully, my sweet son Cooper was cheering me on while Daddy drove 70 miles per hour to get to Ms. Stephanie’s house to drop off Cooper and then to the hospital for me. (And poor Crystal tried to follow behind us!) While we were driving Cooper was saying “you’re doin’ dreat mommy, have some water, that will make you feel better” and “good job mommy, good job” It was so cute and so sweet. I was afraid I’d scare him with my shouts. But he seemed ok, just concerned.
We made it to Steph’s (thanks life-saver!) and I think Jer tossed poor Cooper out the window. I’m kidding. Sort of. Then we were off to the hospital. We had called the Labor and Delivery department to let them know we were coming and they told us to go through the ER. Jeremy pulled up and shouted to the people standing around “my wife is labor, I need a little help!”
So I’m in the back seat, dying breathing through my contractions like a crazy good woman in labor. And this guy comes up to the car and has the you-know-whats to say to me, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to get out of the car if we are going to help you.” I was right in the middle of a contraction and I wasn’t about to move till it was done. I was thinking of a few choice words for the guy, none of which I said. But thinking back on it now, it wouldn’t have been nice, those words…what I would’ve said. So it’s a good thing God had some kind of guard over my mouth so that all I murmured was something about needing to finish my contraction first.
I got out of the car and they put me in a wheelchair and started wheeling me up. They handed me off to this male nurse who had hair longer than me-in a mullet no less, and he asked me if I wanted him to run or walk? Um…let’s run please. He said ok and then proceeded to ask me not to scream because he hates it when pregnant ladies do that. Lovely. I wish I would’ve said “because this is so hard for you right?” Drat. Stinking guard over my mouth.
We made it to labor and delivery, well, Crystal and I did, Jeremy parked the car and ran back into the ER looking frantically for me. Everyone at the front desk pointed to the doors and said “she went that way!”. I got checked in and was laboring through those painful contractions for a bit while the staff was trying to figure things out. They were wasting a little time trying to figure out if my water had broken, which was really, really funny because everytime I had a contraction I gushed. What did they think, that i’m peeing all over myself every time? HELLO!
They determined my water had in fact broken and then they finally found someone to come and check my progress. Jeremy says the doc said I was 8 and a 1/2 centimeters dialated and 90% effaced, but I heard 7 centimeters…we disagree. Crystal, do you remember?
So I finally got moved from triage to a labor and delivery room. And then I got snotty and dramatic apparently-according to my husband. But I’m sorry, I’m screaming because it hurts and I know my face is contorted and I look pathetic as I try to breathe and stuff continues to gush out of me with every contraction. Jer says my face was Rocky Balboa and my voice was Bruce Willace from Die Hard. Great babe. Thanks. Crystal had to tell him to get control of himself ’cause he was laughing at me!
I had this awesome male nurse too by the way, Lee, who was working the scene. He was so great and so encouraging and just kept explaining things to me. He told me it was ok to scream all I wanted. Thanks buddy, thanks.
So anyway, I labored for less than an hour and it was AMAZING and painful feeling Chase move through my body. I mean I could feel it as he moved down. I was able to drink water and walk around while I labored, though it felt the best to kind of sit on my knees on a chair and lean on the bed. At 5 am, it was time to push, so they popped me up on the bed and got me into position. Wow-I didn’t think that would hurt but it did!
I really started to lose focus at this point. It was really painful feeling Chase move through my pelvis and I couldn’t get the concept of pushing. It was hard to figure out when to breathe in and out and when to hold my breath and how to work with my body. Jer couldn’t get through to me and finally Crystal snapped her fingers and said “Tiffany! Look at me!” I had my eyes closed the whole time because I was scared. I looked at her and she explained it to me and showed me what to do/did it with me and I got it!
I pushed for about 15 minutes. As I was pushing though, his heart rate would go down and then not come back up. His cord was around his neck. So at this point it was pretty important for me to push with all my might. I think that last round did it. I had asked them to put Chase on my belly when they pulled him out, but they were so concerned about him because of how tight the cord was, that they rushed him over to check him out. He screamed his first precious screams! And he was ok, as you can see in his videos on our flickr site.
Thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments and advice as I tried to get mentally prepared for this birth. (Cindy Baker, yours was particularly touching! Thank you!) Kelli Stuart, I can’t tell you how valuable your words were to me. You told me to remember that when the baby is out the pain stops. You aren’t kidding! It’s amazing to go from incredible pain to nothing so quick. I’ve gotta say that it is God’s gift to women that there is a little break in between contractions. It’s almost weird the way your brain thinks “maybe it’ll stop now” ha ha ha ha. I can’t imagine laboring for a long time at that pain level though. That would be tough.
So Chase was born at 5:14 am, 7lbs, 90z, (same as me when I was born) and 20 and 1/4 inches long.
I had a 2nd degree tear, but it was nothing. Being stitched up was, um, akward, but hey, after what you just went through modesty is pretty much a lost cause!
I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction that I did it and I only hope I can do it again. I told Jeremy to bring on the babies! Ha ha ha ha.