Tom's birth story: part 2

Thank you all for your responses to part one!  Originally I did not intend for it to be a cliffhanger, but it was. This next section might be one as well, but I'll determine that later down the line. Haha!Where did I leave off? Oh yes. I was entering a more serious state of mind, and we were en route to the hospital. Alex dropped me off at the entrance, and I checked myself in while waiting for him to bring in the bags. The nurse joked that we were moving in, and I almost told her that I left a couple of things at home (namely, my pillow and step stool, which, post hospital stay, I REALLY wish I had those two things in particular). 

I undressed, got into a hospital gown, and they hooked me up for monitoring. He was totally stable, as was I. No contractions, and I was still at 70% effacement and 2cm dilated. So what that means, is that even though my waters had broken, there was no change from what my midwife had seen two days before. 

As we waited for our room, I texted with my mom, Alex studied, I ate granola bars, we prayed, I played Two Dots. I drank a lot of fluids just to prep, he asked me how I was feeling, we laughed at our baby's movements, but still nothing changed. I used the bathroom shared by another room, we heard the woman on the other side yelling at her husband, he asked if I was going to do that too. 

 It was then time for us to go to our room. They brought me a wheelchair, and I was wondering if it would be better for me to walk, but didn't object since I never get to ride in a wheelchair haha! Once up in our room, we got settled. Then we heard a banging on the wall next to us, and come to find out they were doing repairs on our bathroom. Uhhhhh what?! I started putting things back into bags and Alex asked if we were going to be moved again. The repairman said that they should have it fixed soon, then left. Alex tried the toilet and it wasn't working, so they moved us. 

In the meantime, we had met the nurse would be checking on us until 7 that night. Her name is Sarah, and she was super sweet.  She's Catholic, and told us she was going to start schooling soon to become a nurse practitioner so that she could become a midwife! 

Which, let me preface: we had a midwife delivery in the hospital. 

Before moving rooms, we went over our preferences and such. I really didn't need to list anything on there, as any of the nurses who work with my midwife are already on the same page as she. So that was a relief! She was super understanding, and didn't want to interrupt any labor time, though I really didn't have any contractions at this point. 

They moved us over to the next room, and we finally settled in. They hooked me up to the IV lines so I can get my first round of antibiotics, which was super obnoxious. Each movement took precision, which I didn't want to have to worry about. But oh well! It was for the baby. I was hungry at that point, so Alex went to go get me something. I wanted something greasy haha, so he got pizza. In the meantime, the nurse brought in a burger. I was soooo happy with both. I was bouncing on the yoga ball, and just moving around if I could. Still no contractions. Alex suggested we watch The Office, which was fine, but I got so mad at Michael Scott that poor Alex turned it off. 

My midwife, Kim, came in around 4:30. She had been seeming patients all day (she's SUCH a rock star), and checked me. I was still 70% effaced and 2cm dilated, and my waters had been broken for about 10 hours at this point. She was very gentle in her manner, and asked me if I was okay with starting Pitocin to get things moving. I said sure, I trusted her judgment, and she knew I was wanting a med-free birth, so she felt bad for asking. Honestly, I had been mentally preparing myself for anything, as if you're open-minded to what might need to happen, your body doesn't respond with stress. It just embraces it. 

I got hooked up, again (blarghhh), and within two minutes I felt my first contractions. Holy momma. I had been prepping with my breathing for just a week or so, and honestly, it was similar to what I had my clients do when I was working on a very tender or sore area. 

The mind is so very powerful. We tend to hold tension in areas that were once tightened when we experienced a certain emotion. By focusing on the particular area that is the issue, it will relax with breathing and allowing your body to let go of that tension. You've got to make that connection between the nerves and the muscles and the emotions, and it can be done by visualizing the muscles relaxing, stretching, or moving. My prep was focusing on the birth canal and the surrounding tissue and muscles, visualizing them relaxing around the baby's head, opening up and pulling back. 

The jaw and the pelvic area are both related. In females, they are both openings to body cavities. The right side of my jaw kept locking up during the first half of pregnancy, and once I started going to the chiropractor regularly around week 20, my hip released, and my jaw released. 

Think about your body language when you're stressed, happy, sad, angry. Where are your shoulders? How does your gut feel? Does your low back tense up? If you can recognize how your body reacts in the situations, you'll be able to control your body's response to it all. And that is what I strived for. 

Okay, back to contractions. The whole pregnancy I kept telling myself that contractions would be just as painful as my menstrual cramps used to be. Before I had surgery, and before I was put on progesterone (that was all in 2013; another story for another time), my cramps were debilitating, so that's what I assumed the contractions would be. But with breaks in between.

Contractions were happening, and we started praying a Rosary. I was starting to go into zen mode. It was an incredible experience. As a Catholic, we believe you can unite your suffering with Christ' suffering to help another person out. Redemptive suffering, it's called.  I tried my best to offer up each of my contractions for someone I knew. That made each one "worth it".  During each contraction, I focused on where I felt the most pain, breathed in and out. This became the norm for the next few hours. I was totally in control, and I realized only now, that I didn't do anything but breath slowly and steadily except for a handful of contractions when I started double peaking. That's when they took me off the pitocin. They had only raised the dosage to an 8, I think I had been on it for about three hours, then dropped it to a 6 because I was double peaking, then they stopped giving it. The double peaks stopped, and I was able to breath. 

We're at around 8:30 or 9pm at this point. My midwife had just delivered another baby, the nurses had already changed shifts. Kim had gone home to eat dinner, and tuck her kids in. She had come to check on me a couple of times and said she admired how calm I was. 

Prior to being taken off pit, Alex was doing everything he could to be supportive. Massaging my low back, or the base of my skull. Letting me squeeze whichever limb I grabbed during a contraction. We prayed a Chaplet together, he would give me some water or a cold cloth. He helped me adjust all the IV lines so I could move into whichever position I needed to. He dragged the IV stand to the bathroom with me. All in all, he was wonderful. Haha, looking back, he said he was kind of bored since I was really doing all the work. But I could NOT have done it without his presence. 

We didn't see the nurses often, Kim knew that I've had issues with sensory overload, so we kept the room dim, my diffuser was going, I had a little shrine set up so I had something to visually focus on. It was such a good laboring experience, and I'm so glad we had our own room, haha! There are a couple of things I would change, but like I say, another post for another time. 

The end is in another post! 

Alexandra LemkeComment