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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:18 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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congrats again, c&s. i'm glad it wasn't more serious than that and you're all together now. i was freaking out when i read your last update last night.

also, i am waiting with BATED BREATH to see pics of grey and wren together. because it will seriously be the cutest goddamn thing i've ever seen.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:34 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Sni-i-if! What a wonderful birth story!

And Wren! What a brilliant name.

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:00 am 
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Oh c&s, it's a great story! I can't begin to tell you how much I love the name Wren - we were thinking of it as a middle name for a future child. I'm so glad and both you and Wren are ok - you did an AWESOME job!
And I agree with littebird - I believe the first picture of Grey and Wren (holy crepe, those names go together so well!) together might blow up the internets.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:09 pm 
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I can't believe you've posted this already... between your live posts and bike riding, I really think you are Superwoman! Congrats again and glad to hear everyone is healthy and happy today! Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:18 pm 
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My water broke around 9pm on a Friday night. I was at 39 weeks, 2 days and we figured we should buy some newborn diapers just in case the cloth diapers we had didn't fit so we were at Target. I had to go to the bathroom and I was sitting on the toilet and felt a little pop and a gush. When I wiped, there was blood. So I very calmly left the bathroom and had someone page my husband over the PA and we left. We went home, I showered, and we went out again (to finally get those diapers). We also managed to lock ourselves out of the apartment when we went back out, so there was a little adventure there, but it was over soon enough. I called my midwives and they expected me to start having contractions soon and said to come in in the morning no matter what (I was GBS+ and needed antibiotics).

So I packed my hospital bag, we tried to watch a movie, but were too excited, and eventually we went to bed and didn't really sleep much. At 10am I called the midwife again and still hadn't had any contractions so she thought maybe my water didn't really break and had me come into the office. We discovered my water had indeed broken (and I had an extremely painful internal exam which I shouldn't have agreed to and I wasn't dilated at all). So we went to the hospital and it took a million years for me to get the heplock in (I had a fight with a nurse because I refused to let her put it in my hand and she said she didn't think she could get it in my lower arm - they eventually called an anesthesiologist to put it in), answer all the annoying questions, and start my first course of antibiotics. I asked for a breast pump to use when I was done with the IV and I pumped for an hour or so (got a little colostrum out which I thought was a very good sign) and got a few contractions going. At some point our doula came to visit for a few minutes. I took a shower. I got monitored for a little while then took a very brisk walk around the hospital for an hour. By the time I was done walking all my contractions were gone, which was demoralizing. My mother brought us Chinese food for dinner and then my husband and I went to bed for the night. I had another round of abx overnight.

By Sunday morning still no contractions. The midwife came in at 8 and said we had to start Pitocin. I had my last meal and the drip and constant monitoring started. A few hours later we called our doula to come in. I did whatever moving around I could do. Lots of groaning. At some point I had my husband call a friend to recite a psalm to me over the phone because I was losing it. That helped a lot. But by 4pm or so I just couldn't take it anymore. My contraction pattern and my reaction to the contractions made it look like I was in transition so the nurse suggested I get checked. I was only at 2cm. At that point I asked for an epidural, which came pretty quickly. After that everything got really calm. At some point my mother came back and then wouldn't leave. My husband and I played cards a little bit. I started to get really fuzzy and zoned out. Mostly everyone else just talked to each other and I spaced out. My mother, doula, and husband all slept over.

Monday at 4am the nurse came in to tell me that the baby's heart rate was too high which could be a sign of infection or distress. They gave me an extra dose of antibiotics, turned off the Pitocin, and put me on oxygen and said if it didn't resolve itself within a half hour they were going to start talking about a C-section. Luckily my midwife got distracted by another patient and didn't come back to check me until an hour or more had passed, because it took about that long for things to calm down. At 6am my husband attempted to have a serious conversation with me about what kinds of things we should make sure to talk about if they came in and started pushing for a C-section. By that point I was a total zombie so it wasn't a very fruitful conversation.

At 8am the midwife came in to check me and I was blissfully fully dilated! She wanted me to labor down for another hour and then start pushing. So around 9 I started pushing and at 11:16 my daughter was born. She had a tight cord around the neck and there was really thick meconium. She wasn't born breathing so she NICU people took her and worked on her for a little bit (her Apgar scores were 8 and 9, so in the end it wasn't all that scary). This was actually the scariest part of the whole birth, not because I was worried that she wasn't okay, but because they drew the curtain closed and I didn't get to see her for several minutes. I kept screaming at them to open the curtain and they wouldn't and when my husband opened the curtain, they shut it. So that sucked. Malka was 7lb. 1oz. and 19.5" long. That part is happy. The end.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:07 pm 
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I'm so glad everything was good with Malka! It can be very hard when things become dragged out and not how you hoped that they would go.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:30 am 
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Ariann wrote:
She wasn't born breathing so she NICU people took her and worked on her for a little bit (her Apgar scores were 8 and 9, so in the end it wasn't all that scary). This was actually the scariest part of the whole birth, not because I was worried that she wasn't okay, but because they drew the curtain closed and I didn't get to see her for several minutes. I kept screaming at them to open the curtain and they wouldn't and when my husband opened the curtain, they shut it.

AHHHHH! How scary! I am so glad everything was okay, though!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:00 pm 
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So first, a tiny bit of background. With Lucy, I had a 17-hour active labor, so I was expecting a long-ish labor this time as well. On Friday morning, I lost my mucous plug and then proceeded to have painless contractions throughout the day. This was the exact pattern with Lucy. I again figured I was in for a long haul and just relaxed, ate, and hung out during the day. Around 6:30 pm, just as my husband and Lucy got home, and my water broke (a bit). It was brownish, which of course freaked me out. I immediately called the midwife, who suggested it was likely old blood from the membrane strip that she performed a few days prior. I was now having bloody show and other fluid was clear, so I was calmed a bit by that. Contractions were still not particularly painful, so we all sat down to dinner. As we were eating, I suddenly had a stronger contraction and the rest of my water really broke. It was a bit like a movie scene as it gushed everywhere (fortunately I stood up to deal with the contraction, so the cloth seat on our kitchen chair was spared). This fluid was again slightly brownish, but I was still thinking old blood because it was mostly clear.

At this point, it was probably about 7:45, and my contractions started to get painful but still completely manageable. Again, I thought I was probably in fairly early labor with a long way to go. I talked with my doula, who was planning to come over around 9. Clearly my body had different ideas. By 8:20, I couldn't talk through contractions, and they were coming every 2 or 3 minutes. I paged the midwife to get her thoughts, but when I hadn't heard back by 8:30, I told my husband we were leaving. I was really afraid of getting to the hospital too early because I was only 2 cm with Lucy when we arrived. So again, I'm still in a bit of denial as to how far along I might be.

I got checked when we got to the hospital (after I almost smacked the lady at the desk who was asking me asinine questions in the middle of some serious contractions), and amazingly, I was at 6 cm already. I was relieved and excited, and since the contractions weren't showing any signs of slowing, I was beginning to think I might actually have the baby in the next 5-6 hours. My doula arrived shortly thereafter, and she was immensely helpful to me. I had to get monitored while they filled the tub, so I was sitting in a yoga position on the hospital bed getting through the contractions. It was probably the most comfortable position to be in for me, which was a bit surprising. When the tub was finally filled (it felt like an eternity, but was probably about 30 minutes), I got checked again. I was at 8, almost 9 centimeters. This was probably about 9:50 or so, only about 2 hours after truly active labor started.

I then went to get in the tub, and in what was an absurd moment to me, someone asked me what I planned to wear in the tub. I thought at the time the question was completely ridiculous as I was clearly in transition, and the idea of doing anything other than shedding the hospital gown seemed crazy to me. The tub was heavenly - the contractions spaced out just a tiny bit, and the relief from the water was enough for me to gather myself and begin pushing within about 10 minutes from the time I got in. This experience was again so different for me as I had an epidural with my first, but my body just took over and began pushing. I think I was moaning through some of the contractions but was surprisingly (to me, anyway) in control most of the time.

Charlie decided to come out in about 5 pushes, maybe, but he seemed to get stuck after the head came out. I was pushing on my knees with my back to the midwife, and she couldn't get the rest of him, so they quickly flipped me over and basically pushed me up to balance on all fours out of the water (someone was holding my back up, I think), and we were able to get the rest of him out. Turns out there was meconium in the fluid, so when he came out, he was a bit blue and not pinking up quickly. The midwife had to cut the cord early, and Charlie went over to be worked on by the nurses. It was a bit harrowing, but everyone was so calm and reassuring that I was also able to remain fairly calm about everything. After a short time, he started crying and ended up not having any special help or treatment, which was such a relief.

Turns out he was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 22 inches long. When not pregnant, I am 5 foot even and about 105 pounds, so this was a huge baby for me. He had some bruising on his face from the lightning fast delivery, and likely has a broken right collarbone. He also had some reduced lung sounds on his right side, but they pretty much cleared up a few hours later. Fortunately, none of this has a lasting impact on his health, and he is doing wonderfully now. This experience was so different than my first, and I am so glad that I was able to have this experience. I remain amazed that I was able to give birth to this little (big) guy without any drugs - it was such an empowering journey for me. I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that it was no more than three hours from the time that I was really in active labor until he was born - such an intense labor and delivery. And now I'm just completely in love with the man and feeling like our family is complete!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:01 am 
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So sweet, sofrito! Sounds like you couldn't have asked for a better labor!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:47 pm 
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Sofrito, sounds like a great labor and a nice big baby! I'm so glad a potentially scary situation was handled so calmly.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Thanks for sharing sofrito! I really really hope to have baby #2 natural after having an epidural for my first, so I love reading stories like yours.

Ariann, I can't imagine how scary that must have been when they didn't let you see your little one! Glad to hear that Malka was OK in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:28 pm 
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helbury wrote:
Thanks for sharing sofrito! I really really hope to have baby #2 natural after having an epidural for my first, so I love reading stories like yours.

same here. That is a really reassuring story to hear. I am terrified of another labor like I had with wolverine. I'd love to go natural next time. Thanks for sharing


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:34 pm 
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So, Alexandra's birth story. My midwives and I had agreed to schedule an induction for 42 weeks with careful monitoring for the last two weeks. Admittedly the thought made me nervous since the last time I was induced it took about 4 days and 30+ hours of actual labour ending with a forceps assisted delivery, an episiotomy and an infection that had me back in the hospital 3 days after the kiddo's birth. Even though I'd been 1-2 cm dilated for about a week and a half things were happening very slowly, even with 5 stretch and sweeps. Which are supposed to hurt (?) but in all honesty they were just uncomfortable for me. Kindly though my midwife talked to the OB and they were able to arrange for me to get a foley catheter inserted at 41 weeks +6 to hopefully get the labour started. It worked like a freaking charm.

I'd been having some spaced out contractions since 5:30 that evening and the catheter insertion was scheduled for 7 pm but since the contractions were so erratic and I'd been having similar for the last few weeks or so I didn't think much of them. My sister (gotta love her) went with me to the hospital and kept me company which was great since we hadn't had much of a chance to talk recently. So the OB checked my cervix and I was 4 cm dilated! Thank goodness something was happening because I was not looking forward to the possibility of a pitocin drip. The doc said that she could still put in the catheter but there were no guarantees that it wouldn't fall out as I was walking through the doors of the hospital. Luckily it managed to stay in until 10:30 that night. The catheter was weird though because every time that little Alexandra head butted it, which was often, I could feel her on the inside moving and the part of the catheter that was taped to my leg moving at the same time. Freaky! As soon as that catheter was in though there were definitely more contractions, but they were still irregular. As soon as it fell out though they hit about every 2 minutes and lasted from 40 to 55 seconds. A definite success!

My mom-in-law was staying with us so once we waited an hour once we started timing just to make sure it was really happening we let her know and since it was a little after midnight decided to let Georgia sleep until the morning. It sucked that she couldn't be in the room but on the other hand a cranky 3 year old during labour is not something I was wanting to deal with. By that point it was around 12:30 am (can you tell I was in no rush to go to the hospital?) and I called my family to let them know where we were so they could meet us at the hospital or in the case of my dad pick us up to go to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 1 am and I have to say that not having my waters break this time meant for a much more comfortable car ride! We did our little check in thing and went up to L&D where my dad quickly adjourned to the waiting lounge and my sister and husband went in with me. I got hooked up to the monitors and the nurse checked and I was at 5 cm dilated. Because of the induction we had to wait for the transfer of care back to the midwives and during that time there were a few decelerations which were concerning but turned out to be more an issue with the monitors than the baby but it did mean that those stupid belts had to stay on during labour. Anyway, by the time the midwives got there around 2 am Alexandra was deciding that she was tired of waiting and I could feel my body starting to push her down and that's when I was all over the gas and air. That stuff was great. I could control how much I used and it didn't disconnect me in any way from what was happening in the birthing process. It also made me comfortable with yelling my head off as long as the mask was over my face! I have to say that this was a much more freeing experience than last time and even though so much of my birth plan didn't come to pass it went wonderfully.

About a little before 3 am (according to my files) is when the pushing really started though. It was really interesting to actually be able to feel the progress of the baby as compared to with an epidural, a very different experience. Painful but I cracked jokes throughout so it wasn't that painful. Might have had to with that gas and air though. After about 37 minutes of pushing and a lot of hand crushing my little Alexandra was born in the middle of a joke about crepe weighing 6 lb and 15 oz, 20 inches long at 3:31 am!

I got to hold her on my chest for a little while but they needed to do a few stitches on me so I let everyone else hold her for awhile and then by the time they were done my blood sugar hit a low and I was shaking so no immediate breastfeeding but once we did she latched on like a champ and has been adorable ever since. She was born with very dry skin from marinating so long inside of me but we've been oiling her up and she's healing marvelously. The midwives had me up and going to the washroom after about an hour or so and I have to say that the mobility has been great, especially on the days my husband is gone and I've got two kids to keep on top of. The midwives have been doing their visits and after 5 days she was back up to 6 lb and 13 oz and at day 10 she weighed in at 7 lb and 4.5 oz!

Alexandra's adjusting really well to being outside the womb and her sister is loving her new coveted big sister position! We're still working on getting Alexandra to like the sling or the wrap but she's doing fairly well with the swing. I don't know if I said this already but the difference between a full inducement with epidural and forceps and this one which went with a relative minimum of intervention and some great midwives was astounding. I'm so grateful to the people who were there and for the way things went.

That's the end of my long and rambling birth story! Oh, and once I figure it out there'll be a picture of Alexandra.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:49 pm 
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What a great story, sabeans! So glad this birth was easier on you!


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Will is almost 4 weeks, so it's about time I got around to sharing!

I have to say, first of all, that my whole labor and delivery went better than I could have hoped for and I feel so lucky to have had such a great experience! Going in, I had two goals besides birthing a healthy baby: 1. (something I had control over) have a natural labor and delivery, 2. (something I didn't have control over) avoid episiotomy.

So... I had my last scheduled OB visit on Friday at 3:00. I was 100% effaced, but not dilated at all. I felt really frustrated, because my due date was Monday and I had been hoping for something at this appt. After that, it was a pretty uneventful evening and I went to bed around 10 or 11:00. I woke up around 3:00, feeling like I really had to go to the bathroom. I went and returned to bed. About 20 minutes later, I woke up with the same feeling. I went to the bathroom and returned to bed. Just as I was about to fall asleep again, I woke up with the same crampy feeling. I laid awake for a while and every 10ish minutes, same feeling. I realized I didn't have to go to the bathroom, but that these could be contractions. Around 4:00 I woke up my husband, because I was starting to feel excited! He grabbed a few resources we had from the hospital to see what we should be watching for and we decided to start timing the contractions. They were about 10-12 minutes, lasting 45ish seconds. Around 5 or 6:00, we decided to get up and get some last minute things done. I bounced around on my exercise ball, showered, rummaged around for breakfast. Around 8:00, Chad decided to go to the grocery store because we had nothing to eat and he wanted to get a few things for the hospital. This is when things really kicked in...

About 8:30, my contractions really intensified. In the 20 minutes Chad was at the grocery store, I got sick and became super uncomfortable (I think I called Chad three times in about 5 minutes!). When he got home, he started to time my contractions again and we were both really surprised because they were already 5-6 minutes apart. The Dr told me previously to call when they were 5-7 minutes, because he predicted things would move quickly based on how baby was positioned. We called the hospital, gave them my info and waited for a nurse to call back. The nurse called back and I couldn't even answer all of her questions and had to pass off the phone because I was really in pain. We then waited about 20 minutes for the Dr to call back. At about 10:00, she said we could either labor at home for a few more hours or come in. I was ready to go, so we hopped in the car and left.

We checked in to the hospital at 10:45, the nurse checked my quickly and I was 3.5 cm... woo! We moved to a delivery room and I had to be hooked up to the monitors for a while. I hadn't eaten anything all morning, so we just had to wait for baby to wake up and move around a bit. I think it took about 20 minutes. In the meantime, the nurse filled the whirlpool and I lost my mucus plug. I was in the whirlpool for about an hour and I was at 7 cm. At this point, I feel like someone else took over my body and everything went so quickly! The nurse wanted me to get out of the tub, but I was afraid to move because I had almost zero relief between contractions. Eventually, with a lot of coaxing from Chad ("You have to listen to her! She knows what she's doing) and the nurse ("We can't have the baby in the tub!"), I got out. I didn't want to get stuck in the bed, so I stood next to the bed as the nurse hooked up the monitors again. My water broke shortly after, maybe around 12:00 and I suddenly felt like I had to start pushing. Checked again and I was 10 cm. At 12:15, I started pushing while still standing/squatting next to the bed. Then, I had to lay on my side because baby's heart rate was dropping with each contraction. I think after 4 or 5 pushes in bed, I could feel the head. A few more pushes, and it was ready to emerge. It was the coolest feeling to touch the baby's head! The Dr arrived just in time and I pushed out the head at 12:45. Baby came out, the nursed wiped him off a bit and he was on my chest for the next two hours! I don't even think I had to push the placenta, I just looked down and the Dr was fishing it out. As soon as I could feel the baby's head, my head totally cleared and I felt like nothing happened and I was completely myself again. It was the strangest thing.

In the end, I accomplished both of my goals and Will arrived a healthy 7lbs 12 oz, 20.5 inches! Like I said, I'm still amazed by how easy my labor was and if I'm lucky enough to go through it again, I can only hope everything goes equally as well :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:13 pm 
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It is awesome that your birth went so well!


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Here we go....whew. :)

After several days of Braxton Hicks contractions, including long spell between 9pm and 2am each night, things started to pick up on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The contractions didn't stop until well into the morning, but near as I can tell they were the same B/H as usual. I'd been for acupuncture on the Wednesday, with the hope of kick-starting labor, as I was 11 days past my due date (18 days according to the hospital who used the "last period" method.

I went for a massage Thursday and hung around in the city, goofing off a bit, planning to meet Mr. refinnej later for a dinner out to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Around the middle of the day, the contractions returned, and they seemed different in that my back really really hurt and then they'd sort of raditate around to the front, which was actually less painful than the back part. They were coming pretty infrequently (well over an hour apart), so I didn't think so much of it. After dinner though, about 7:30ish, they started coming every 45 minutes regularly. Now, I started to think that things were really happening.

We went home and the Mr went to bed about 10:30, with me saying that I was pretty sure that tonight was the night. Just after midnight, the contractions went from every 40ish minutes to 10! After an hour, I woke up the Mr, slightly freaked because the back pain was crazy. I continued bouncing/rolling on the birth ball, occasionally watching TV, chatting sometimes and quiet sometimes. Contractions continued on and the back pain seemed to worsen. We stayed at about 10 minutes apart until around 5:00 when Mr suggested I try a bath to see if that helped the pain. I sat in the tub for a half hour maybe, and contractions sped up! By just after 6, we were on our way to the hospital after calling with contractions regularly at 4 minutes apart.

Arrived at the hospital at just before 7 a.m. Friday morning. It wasn't too busy, so they were able to see me right away. Contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart at this time. After a quick exam, I was found to be dilated just 3 cm, so the midwife suggested going for a walk and coming back in a couple of hours. We drove to the park and walked around some, but it was freezing. I didn't want to be in the shopping centre in active labor, so we ended up back at the hospital. About 11, we went back to the maternity unit, hopeful after 3 1/2 more hours of 4 minute contractions. Exam showed.....3 cm. Grr.

Midwife said that she was happy for us to stay though, as hopefully things would progress since contractions were pretty steady. Exhausted after 2 nights with no sleep and with my back seemingly on fire, I was happy to stay put. We walked the halls some and walked around our (amazingly large) room a lot, bounced on the birth ball, leaned on the wall. Mr. helped with remembering not to hold my breath during contractions, and I used the TENS machine about 1/2 the time, moreso as the day went on.

Around 3:00, another exam showed still 3 cm. We labored another hour and about 4:00, it really started to hit me and there were tears not of pain, but of despair. Ten hours of pretty tough labor, in my inexperienced opinion at least, and we were no closer than when we'd left for the hospital. The midwife attending to us at this point (we had several) says at one point, trying to be comforting about the lack of dilation, that "some women take days". Yeah, thanks. Do you not see me already in a bit of distress? Dork. We walked some more and I spent some time on all fours. I started to use gas and air, and it helped some once I got the hang of it. Mr. went to get some food from the cafeteria about 6 or so. After the food, contractions seemed to get stronger, so there was some hope for progress, but exam showed maybe 3.5cm. Sigh. Still, it was something, so I thought maybe it's starting slowly.

At 10:00, there was a shift change and a cervical exam. Contractions still at 3-4 minutes apart. Exam showed still 3.5 cm and -2. I was exhausted after 16 hours of labor and thinking that there was no end in site (I mean, a half a centimeter in 16 hours? Jeezus) I decided to do an epidural, cuz I really didn't think I could handle another 16 hours or more. I asked if they could break my water, as my mom swiftly delivered 3 babies (all 2 hours or less) once her water broke. Seriously, one of my sisters was nearly born in a hallway. So yep, let's do it. There was some meconium in the water but the midwife didn't seemed too fussed as it's fairly common, especially in late babies.

Epi went in about 11 and contractions slowed down to about 10 minutes for while. Occasionally, there would be 2 close together, but mostly it was around that ten minute mark. Now, in addition to labor pains, exhaustion, etc. I was worried that I'd made a huge mistake getting an epidural. However, I got some catnaps during this time, and Mr was able to sleep for maybe an hour.

The hospital's policy was that after water's been broken by a midwife/doctor, that you have two hours to go past 4cm so that you're considered to be in full-on labor. So, about 1 with no cervical change, they said that I "needed" to have a drip administered to induce further contractions. I argued briefly that I wanted more time to wait, but I gave in. After the drip went in, contractions popped back to about every 3 minutes, but they were pretty irregular. Some as close as a minute apart, lasting a minute, others about 6 minutes apart. About 4, the epidural started to wear off and I was hoping that I might be close to the end, but exam showed virtually no change. More contractions until 6ish am when exam showed movement to -1 at last and 4cm dilation. Midwife could feel the bean's head better at this point too and confirmed that she was back to back, possibly explaining why I had so much back labor pain.

Contractions continued about 3-4 mins apart til about 7 am and the next exam showed no change. More contractions and the next exam at 9 at last showed some movement, to about 6 cm. Still going about the same time frame....3 minutes apart, lasting about a minute. Just around noon, Mr and I noticed that the fetal monitor showed bean not to seem to be rebounding very well after contractions. Midwife said that she was worried too. Talked to the OB briefly and examined again, found to be ten centimeters! Spent about 15 minutes pushing was all, but baby was becoming too distressed and more meconium emerged, thicker than before and so OB recommended venthouse delivery. Ok, good...get bean out quickly.

Heartrate was lower still after pushing, so I was prepped for a c-section as well. My epi was replaced with a spinal block and they took Mr. off to put on a gown. On the way to theatre, the chief OB was called to attend and she decided that a forceps delivery was better. No one told me this until the anesthetist was attending to me and said "blah blah blah 'forceps delivery'". The chief wasn't in the room at the time and I of course realized that we needed to get baby out ASAP at this point. Mr was still outside of the room as well. Two minutes later, everyone arrived and we were off. There were maybe ten people in the room! (two OBs, midwife, anesthetist, anesthetists asst?, second midwife for baby, two pediatricians, Mr, and someone arranging instruments)

The midwife stood next to me, telling me when to push since I couldn't feel anything. Bean was out in two pushes and although one of the OBs and I swear we saw her move, it was an illusion. Cord was clamped and cut in about ten seconds and she was taken to the other side of the room for care. I couldn't move to see her at all because of the block, but our wonderful midwife positioned herself carefully so that she could report to me and Mr. I heard one of the peds say that her initial Apgar was 1, and I started to cry. Midwife reported that she was pinking up within about 3 minutes and by 10 minutes, her Apgar was up to 8 (she was still having some breathing trouble). 1:25 official time of birth, ten pounds and seven ounces.

At the same time, the two OBs were working on me and the placenta. Jr doc was having trouble and there was some significant bleeding. He was getting all worked up for some sort of instrumental procedure, but the senior doc stepped in and pushed on my uterus from the outside some more, very hard, and the placenta was delivered at last.

We were able to see the bean for just about 60 seconds before she was whisked away to Special Care. Mr took a picture and I said for him to go with her. One of the pediatricians intervened and told him to stay put. I insisted that he go, even if he had to wait outside a door. Again the ped said no. I was mad as hell, and then suddenly some effects from the whole event started to kick in. One of the drugs was making me sick and I was lightheaded from a liter and a half of blood loss. Baby was gone and I couldn't do anything about it.

They sewed up my episiotomy, made sure I wasn't puking and helped me get down to recovery. Karl was able to go and see Bean after about a half hour. He held her hand and took pictures while I waited anxiously for his return. The anesthetist told me that I should be able to get up/walk by about 4pm. I was able to feel things earlier, so when 4, then 5 came and went I was sure that I could stand with Mr's help. The midwife yelled, actually yelled at me and said that I couldn't stand without her. At 6:00, I get assistance to stand. By 7, we were supposed to be eating our dinner and I just lost it. I have this little creature hooked up to all sorts of wires and shiitake and no one will let me see her. The midwife asks "oh, are you ok?" Um...no, Sherlock. She says that she will call Special Care to see if I can come see Bean? Then, nothing for an hour and a half. Finally, at 8:30, she says that she's ready to take us down there. Then she disappears for several minutes. She helps me into a wheelchair and Mr pushes it. We get to the door of the hallway that leads to the SCBU entrance and she says something like "do you see the sign?" Yep. Then she explains that she would walk with us but it's past 9:00 (when her shift ended) and she's already staying late to help us get to see the baby. Seriously, this total sob story. If she didn't have to take us there, why couldn't we have gone like 3 hours ago? And ooh, you have to stay like ten extra minutes? Man, my face still gets hot thinking about this woman. Yet, I am kind as she has the keycard that unlocks the door of the hallway leading to my child.

So, nearly 8 hours after birth I finally get to see the Bean. Her breathing was much improved during the afternoon, so all the tubes/wires had been removed except for two monitors (heart and blood pressure), and there were tubes leading into her scalp for delivery of antibiotics. The doctor explained the next day that this was because that for babies with lots of fat, it's tougher to get a good vein in their arm/leg so instead of multiple pokes, they often use the head. It sounded horribly painful to me, but truth be told, the only part that seemed to bother Freya was the little paper cup they used to cover up the tubage.

They kept her in special care for just two days because of the breathing troubles she'd experienced. The midwife said it was the thickest meconium she'd ever seen, that the reason it took awhile in the operating theatre to get her ready was that they had to scrub the meconium off and suction it from her mouth but that it was so sticky that the suction thing didn't work very well and so they used cloths and fingers for the most part. It was however good that it was so thick in that it made it less likely that she'd breathed any in.

We stayed in the hospital for just a few more days, so that Freya could receive her antibiotic treatment and I could recover a bit (hemoglobin level was insanely low, OB said he didn't know how I was functioning :D) The hospital stay was a gnarly experience (a misread test caused us to stay two extra days, and there was a suggestion that Freya needed an LP to check for meningitis and yeah...they didn't really have their shiitake together sometimes). We had a very kind midwife who on her own volition helped us get a private room, since all the other moms were coming and going in one night and I wasn't getting any rest at all. We met another midwife who is a vegan. I talked to a nice woman in the middle of the night who had an amazing awake baby too, also with no name, heh.

For several weeks afterward, I had dreams about the delivery and/or dreams that I was pregnant again that left me awaking in tears. Slowly, I came to relish the fact that we were both relatively healthy and safe, and put the drama of delivery behind me.

Now, we're 6 months along and having lots of fun. My girly bits are in a bit of a Humpty Dumpty state and will need some surgery. We've had breastfeeding nightmares, but now seem to have found a bit of a groove at long long last. She still sleeps horribly, but one thing at a time eh.

3 years of baby-making, 42 weeks of pregnancy, 32 hours of labor....makes one beautiful Freya Ananda. :)

In theatre:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjen/645 ... hotostream

In Special Care: Image

At 6 months:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjen/725 ... hotostream


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Semen Strong
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What an amazing story reffinej! So happy it had a happy ending!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Seriously, that was intense just to read. The photo reminds me a lot of the early ones of the Magician, who had similar distress issues and IV antibiotics and stuff.

Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad that at the end of it, you and she were all right (and glad that your doctors are listening to you and going to get you some help re: your parts).

Congrats again!

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:52 am 
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Refinnej, thank you for sharing. Your story made me tear up. I am so happy you and Freya have each other.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Thanks for sharing, refinnej. I hope that the surgery helps you out!


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Thanks for sharing. You really are a rockstar for all you have done and do.

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:40 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
Refinnej, thank you for sharing. Your story made me tear up. I am so happy you and Freya have each other.

Me too. Just yesterday, K and I were talking about how if we'd gotten pregnant in those months where there were tears of despair or if we'd skipped a month since we were considering IVF....we'd not have met Freya. I know it's a bit silly and ethereal, but the thought makes me so sad, then happy that we have our wonderful girl.

I say to her very often, "I'm glad your my baby". Lately when I say this, she makes this weird little sound. Not sure what that's about.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:52 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Alright, here is mine!

Zephyr Grey's Birth:
I woke up at about 4:30am, with painful contractions. The night before, and actually the entire week as well, I'd been having lots of contractions - but just tightness, no real pain. So I wondered to myself it today would be the day. I stayed in bed for a little while, then around 5:30 or so, I got up and wandered around my apartment, trying to find a comfortable position. I started to think the baby really would come today, so I gathered up a few last minute items to add to my delivery bag before leaving for the hospital.

Around 6 or 6:30, I went to the bedroom to see my partner, and told him I was going to go take a bath. He went back to sleep, and I tried to relax in the bathtub, and then dried off and went back to the living room to walk a bit. By 7:00, I decided to wake my partner so I could have some support. I told him my contractions really hurt, and that we should probably make sure the overnight bag was all packed up. I still thought it'd be quite a while longer though - I was anticipating spending a good chunk of labour in the comfort of my apartment, before deciding to go to the hospital. So he called his mom to let her know we thought baby would be coming soon, and most likely today (our other son would be staying with her, or her partner if she was at work).

We finished prepping everything that we'd need later, and not even half an hour later my contractions started becoming substantially more intense and painful. I said I needed to leave for the hospital right away, so we called up my MIL's partner to say we were on our way with our little guy. We woke up our son, and got him dressed. Then we dropped him off, and headed to the hospital - the trip only took about 15 minutes total, fortunately, because the car ride was pretty uncomfortable.

We got to the hospital around 8am, and we went to the assessment area. I was breathing through all my contractions at this point, and resting in between, eyes closed, nearly asleep. (The night before, I didn't get to bed until around midnight, so I was pretty tired.) They monitored our baby for a few minutes, and the doctor came in to see how we were doing. He decided to do an internal exam to see where we were so far. He checked, and that was super uncomfortable - I didn't remember that from last time. I guess I was calmer than a lot of ladies he's seen, because he was totally shocked that I was almost 9cm dilated already. My water hadn't broken yet, so he mentioned if it didn't soon, he could rupture the membranes if we wanted. He had our nurse take us to the delivery room, between contractions, and pausing just a bit on the way. She asked if I wanted a wheelchair, and I thought she was crazy, because I couldn't imagine how sitting would have been more comfortable than walking. It wasn't far though - just down the hall.

[Our hospital has a splendid new maternity wing, and the rooms are all private - you deliver and recover in your own room, so less schlepping around. My room happened to have an awesome view of evergreens, clouds, and mountains. It also had an armchair, a rocking chair, and a bed for partners to stay over night with blankets/pillows/etc. Any testing/bathing/etc for your infant is done in the same room. Fancy!]

By this point, my contractions were so strong that I was beginning to struggle to breathe through all of them. The more intense contractions caused whimpering, and after about thirty minutes, the nurse asked if I wanted gas (nitrous oxide). She apologized and said that I was doing so well working through each contraction that she forgot to ask earlier. So that helped, although it made my mouth dry. My water still hadn't broken, so we did one more check - 9.75cm! So the doctor asked if I'd like my water broken so I could start pushing and see my baby, but I said I'd wait just a bit longer. He did his rounds, and came back, and we decided to have him rupture the membranes, because I'd lost my plug, but still no sign of water breaking - I was terrified, because I thought it would hurt a lot. It didn't at all, couldn't even feel it, but the gush of warm liquid was absolutely nauseating.

At this point, my doctor and the nurses said it was now okay to push any time I was ready. Soon after, I was pushing, and it was horribly painful, but didn't actually take too long. I did make some noises and faces that I'm glad will never be replayed (no pictures/video during the birth), and my partner later told me that if I wouldn't have killed him, he would have been laughing. Totally understandable - I could actually feel my face contorting into the most horrifying expressions. The doctor grabbed a warm, damp cloth to press on my perineum to facilitate stretching, which was great, and felt pretty nice. I was on my back for part of it, but a nurse suggested I turn on my side, and I think it only took a few more pushes after turning before my baby was born. It definitely hurt more overall when I pushed this baby out than when I pushed my first child out, but I didn't feel like I had torn in half - I actually only had a very minor tear this time, so I didn't even need stitches. I pushed out his head, and I thought he'd slide out then, but I still had to push one more time to get his shoulders through. And then, voila! My son was born, with a full head of dark, silky hair, and he was immediately placed on my chest for skin-to-skin snuggles. He weighed 7 lbs 5.6 oz (which is pretty big for me, since I am 5'0" and of a very slight build).

Epilogue!
Now Zephyr is 8 days old, and he is so sweet. He's a mild little guy, and loves to snooze on me. He doesn't cry much so far. At first, usually just for wet diapers and diaper changes, and he'd grunt when he was hungry. Now it's usually just when he's got a wet diaper or needs a burp. He wakes in the night to have milk, but only has to make those adorable little hungry baby noises before I wake to feed him. Nursing has been going fairly well - letdown has been a bit overactive, so I've been careful with that, but otherwise seems to be great. I've been able to nurse him while he's in the wrap, which he really likes, since I can walk around. He prefers that over sitting. [Supermom story right here: I had to go to the bathroom while I was out with him and my 4 year old son, so while he was in the wrap, I was able to use the toilet, feed him, wash up, and walk home with my two boys. He had started fussing as soon as I sat down, so I popped a boob out right away - so easy!]

The end.

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when you realise how perfect everything is, you will tilt you head back and laugh at the sky. -buddha


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Big Birth Stories Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Chip Strong
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What a wonderful birth story, bodhi!! I loved reading it and it made me really excited to write mine up as soon as I get a chance. And what a great hospital you have!


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