Saturday, November 28, 2009

our baby story

I've been petrified since the age of 10 to go through child birth. I remember hearing in religion class that God, as punishment, made women experience more pain in child birth. I really resented that idea. Later in life, I started yoga, for many reasons, but one of which was this delusional hope that flexibility might serve me well in labour and delivery! Now I that I've gone through the experience I can firmly say, it's not as bad as you may think. But, of course, it's different for everyone. Here is our labour & delivery story:
So, one day past our due date, I woke up at 4am with extreme pressure in my pelvic floor and had my bloody show. After that I had very mild cramping. Mild enough to go back to bed with the idea that I sure as hell better get all the sleep I can now because I was in for a long day. Around 7:30 I told Nuno what happened and asked that he consider getting more sleep and once he was up to help me get everything in the house in order. The cramping was pretty sporadic and I read that there is false labour that can last for days before the actual delivery, and since the cramps were mild, I chalked it up to that. Then, unbelievably, many of the family members called all Saturday morning. I didn't hide that something was going down. My mother in law mentioned that now was a good time, if I was up to it, to go for a walk. It was a great idea so around 1pm we went for a very long walk up the canal. I paused every once in a while to breathe through the intensifying cramping. I even went up and down hills which strengthened the contractions. We were home by 2:30 and watched the Wire for a while. It was then that I started to feel the contractions coming regularly and predictably. We decided to time them and they were 4 minutes apart. We felt like were were jumping the gun, but since it was our first time, we decided to go to the hospital at 4pm to see what the scoop was. I almost had Nuno turn the car around because the cramps just felt like bad menstrual cramps, but once we were admitted the obstetrician on duty checked to discover I was 6-7 cm dilated. I nearly panicked realizing I was truly in labour and now was the time! Two seconds later he had a crochet hook and burst my water (not painful - don't worry). He admitted me quickly to the delivery room. So I was 10 cm and ready to go in no time, but I still wanted the epidural since that was the plan all along. Thank goodness I got it because after it was administered the OB felt my contractions weren't strong enough and fast enough and ordered a pitocin drip. I knew full well that things were going to get really bad once that started. And they did. All afternoon I was enjoying the experience and watching Cake Boss on the TV in the delivery room and then the pitocin came along and with it - pain. The doctor left(!) and said he'd be back at 10:30 to deliver the baby. That was so uncool, I had to deal with pitocin and the wimpiest epidural (they kept me at the lowest amount of drug even though I asked for more seeing as how I could feel everything except below my thighs). The feeling was intense, the strongest pain was in my lower back near my tailbone as the baby's head was lowering. So that went on for a long time and the only thing that got me through was my yoga breathing. I didn't break a sweat or raise my voice, I felt like a birthing champ. Finally at 10pm they asked if I'd like to try pushing. I pushed through some contractions and it really felt a lot better to be doing that. Once the OB returned, he assessed the situation and said, "The baby is deceling, we need to get him out now". I watched the monitor show the baby's heart rate dropping steadily and I was totally worried. I think this is the point in time they jacked up the epidural because I didn't feel much after that except worry. The room was silent and everyone was working hard and not looking at me. I thought, "This must be what it's like when a baby arrives still born. Please have him come out OK." Every single nurse in the maternity ward was there working hard and the OB suited up, took out the vacuum and pulled Owen into the world in mere seconds. Not the delivery I had planned, but he came out screaming at the top of his lungs. He was so awake and aware, his Apgar score showed 8 & 9 out of 10. The pediatrician gave the A-OK on the baby. He's perfect!! Then he came and layed on my tummy. Nothing, compares to this moment - nothing I've ever experienced even comes close. Here I am blissfully happy minutes after delivering Owen.

Looking back, I think that yoga really helped. Keeping your focus and breathing is so important, you may just go crazy if you were to panic and hold your breath through each contraction. Oh! Would you believe there were 10 deliveries at the hospital while we were there. 9 boys and 1 girl! I think this chinese gender calender must speak the truth.


Emily said...

Amazing story!! I got goosebumps just reading it. I think labour & delivery were pretty much THE most exciting moments of my life. I love the picture you posted. Beautiful!!

I had the false labour going on for two whole days. My OB finally had me admitted (upon our fourth visit to the hospital at which time I begged them to do something about the pain... and I am not a wimp when it comes to pain) and broke my water to induce real labour. Didn't happen, Cooper would not/could not drop down into my pelvis, he went into distress, I ended up having an emergency c-section. But again - all worth it :)

Leslie said...

Wow, what a story. You are so strong and brave!