too much information a.k.a. a birth story

On the eve of the anniversary of one of my favorite days ever, I thought I would share Noelle’s birth story.

Let me preface this story for ya.  Pregnancy didn’t really agree with me… my body simply couldn’t handle the strain.  I know every woman out there who has been pregnant is thinking, ‘ya..ya…stop complaining.”  But seriously, towards the end I had been crawling around the house for weeks because by the end of the day my legs wouldn’t even support me.  I think Baby S was sitting on a nerve or something- but I would literally collapse if I tried to stand from my couch perch without getting things stretched out and moving first. 

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So, picture this: I’m laying on the couch watching Rachael Ray (probably daydreaming that someone would cook me the meal that she was preparing instead of the sandwiches we’d be eating for dinner again) and I have to pee.  Not just like, ‘Oh, I should head to the bathroom at the next commercial’, but, ‘I’ve got to go now!’. So without time to ‘warm the bod up for walking’, I’d plop down on all 4′s and crawl to the bathroom.  Pathetic, right? Thinking about how pathetic this was and how much my body hurt and how I was so tired and not being the wife, mother, friend, etc. that I wanted to be, coupled with the fear that maybe I would actually be pregnant forever, would lead me to collapse on the tile floor in the kitchen- tears streaming- where Kurt would find me when he got home from work! OK- so the point of that little tidbit? I was ready to get this show on the road. 
I went in for my 36 week check and the thought of 4 more weeks had the power to get tears flowing instantly.  So, when I got the report that I was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced AND that the midwife didn’t think it would be all that much longer, I was ecstatic!  I went home with the good news and patiently (kind of) waited for the contractions to start.  Fast forward 4 days:  2 sleepless nights of around the clock contractions (about 10 minutes apart). a call in to the hospital to see if we could come in. a kind midwife who said, ‘just talking to you I can tell you aren’t in labor, take a nap and see how you feel’.  a nap. the contractions stop. tears. TEARS! Then, resolve.  Fine, I have 3 more weeks, I’m not going in to labor, FINE!  So, after the meltdown of the century, Kurt picked us up some PF Chang’s (extra spicy please— couldn’t hurt right?). With dinner I had a splash of wine, watched a little Knocked Up and went to bed. 

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The next morning I wake up to singing.  My sweet Ava Girl singing… what was she singing?  I get slowly out of bed and walk over to the baby monitor still set up in her room and turn up the volume.  Just as I realize that I am hearing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on June 1st, I feel a trickle run down my leg.  CRAP, I knew I had to pee, I should have just gone. What, now I can’t even control my bladder?  Should I tell Kurt that I peed on the floor?  Will he think it’s funny or just so sad he could die?  So, these thought’s streaming, I head to the bathroom to finish up.  When I stand up- trickle down my leg again.  Hmmmm, pretty sure that wasn’t pee.  But remember, I have decided that I have 3 more weeks to be pregnant so I’m terrified to believe or even really entertain the thought that this is my water that is leaking out which is the only surefire way to get a ticket into Labor and Delivery… So without a brighter idea of what to do, I shove one of Ava’s diapers in my underwear and get ready.  I’m talking make-up on and hair done.  I make a call to the hospital and say ever so calmly that my water may have broke and ask what to do.  They ask, if I’m having contractions. No.  They tell me to come in sometime soon and they’ll give me a check.  I make a call in to Lyn and ask her to come watch Ave.  I’m sure to tell her about the diaper and that  I’m pretty sure I peed on the floor, just to keep things light 😉 

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Kurt comes home from work to bring me in and I’m mostly just thinking that I hope there’s a quick fix for this pee thing and that hopefully Kurt will take me out to lunch on our way back home. We check in to triage.  The nurses are nice.  I slip into a gown to get checked out.  I say silent prayers that it isn’t urine that is still leaking out of me. God, that is so embarrassing.  What if she sticks that little q-tip amniotic fluid detector in and that’s not what it is. Now, I can add ‘wet the hospital bed’ to the list… .02 seconds into the exam, she says, “this is definitely amniotic fluid.  You’re in.  Baby Day!”
Kurt and I look at each other.  Shock.  What? Baby day? Kurt and I walk to our Labor and Delivery Room (still no contractions).  I send out a tentative text telling my family that we won’t be coming home without Baby #2.  Kurt runs to the car to grab our bags.  We meet with the midwife.  She welcomes us, asks if we want to take some time to walk and try get the contractions coming or get hooked up to some meds to get it started.  We decided that we want this party started, big time- but as a compromise (for who I’m not sure) we decide to take a one hour walk and ask if she could please have the Pitocin ready when we get back and the anesthesiologist ready for an epidural.  We walk and talk.  Try to lock down a name. We still had 3 boy names that we hadn’t decided on.  Girl name was locked down.  We return to the room.  Decide that we should take a picture.  Contraction.  The One.  The moment I know, KNOW that this is the day our baby would be born.  At this moment I am so relieved to have the word stealing, breath stopping pain.  I recommit to the ever judged and controversial epidural.  I focus and try to stay calm knowing that it would be close to an hour before I would feel relief.  In hindsight I probably should have waited for the epidural before the Pitocin but I didn’t.  I get my IV.  Drugs drip in.  It works. Those contractions that I had been pleading for for weeks come so fast I don’t really know what I was thinking.  For the next hour and a half I have contractions every 3-5 minutes and feel every second of it.

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 Worst part of it.  Having to pee.  Worse than ever before. And having to walk through the pain and maneuver around the IV’s and tubes to get to the bathroom.  Two drained bags of IV fluid later I was ready for my epidural.  Let me just say, even though it took that anesthesiologist 2 (count them… 2) tries to get my epidural in,  I LOVE HIM.  He walked in. Had me scoot to the edge of the bed and bend over to round my back.  Took one look and said, “I hardly ever get to place an epidural in a skinny girl”.  I was bent over the bed.  Mid-contraction and grinning.  HAHA!  Thinking about it.  I have no clue how I managed to stay completely still during the contractions while he placed the epidural, twice.  I guess the promise of relief is a good motivator. And to be honest, the second time I had only half the pain, since the first epidural only took on my left side.  So that was easier.  And then, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Relief.  Like the best endorphin buzz ever.  Pain? What pain?  And clarity.  This is the day I will meet my baby.  My other baby is in such good hands.  Everyone who loves us is excited today and buzzing with anticipation.  And I get to feel that too.  I am not writhing around, blinded by pain. I am present, in this moment.  Bonding with the father of my children, laughing and gently and lovingly coaxing my baby into the world.  BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD.    Kurt and I talked. He snacked.  I was force fed Popsicle, chicken broth, tea and juice to get some calories.  Oh, did I mention my favorite part of the experience so far?  MY CATHETER.  I can’t even describe the relief of not having the ‘pee urge’ for over 4 hours!  Bliss.

A few hours in, the midwife realized that our baby was slightly posterior (face up, wrong way for birth) so they rolled me around every thirty minutes to get that babe to flip.  It worked.  I hit 9 centimeters.  Midwife: “Do you want to try pushing?”  Me: “Sure, but I really sucked at it last time so don’t expect much.”  Push. Midwife: “I can see the head, we’ve got hair.”  Push. Midwife: “I don’t know who told you you weren’t good at this.”  Push.  “Do you want to watch?”  No, way.  This is crazy. Are they just trying to be positive and nice to me?  I bet I’m not even moving the baby.  I think I’d better just focus here.  Midwife: “I’d say 2 more pushes and you’ll meet your baby.”  Relief.  tears.  I’m so overwhelmed.  This is it?  This is it.  God, this is my birth story?  I feel precious.  Thank you Thank you.  You heard my prayers?  Your answer is yes.  I feel God smile.  My heart bursts open wide and I feel the weight of my baby leave my body…  Kurt: “It’s a girl!”  I love girls. “Does she have a name?”  Together: “Noelle Bryce.”  I look at my sweet husband.  The man whose heart and mine are forever bound.  In his eyes I can see that this is a moment that has tightened the bond.  I had never before felt more adored by him.  He trusted me.  He loved me. He lovingly followed my lead and joined me in the birth and in doing so, he made the experience his too.  This moment was for the three of us alone.  Mom, Dad and our new baby girl.  Welcoming you into the world Elle, was perfect.  In every sense of the word.
Lesson Learned: God is in control.  He see’s you. He hears you.  He has a perfect plan.
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7 Comments on “too much information a.k.a. a birth story”

  1. Susan says:

    What a great story! And oh do I hear you. I loved my catheter! I think my exact words were, “God bless this thing!” 🙂

  2. ryandroche says:

    this is so special, i loved hearing it again so poetically. you are amazing my friend, love you!

  3. Sarah says:

    Tears in my eyes as I read this! It’s an amazing ride to birth and raise your own babies but an added grace to do it alongside a friend! What a sweet blessing little Ellie girl has been! Rejoicing with you guys over her 1st birthday! All praise to God! Love you friend!

  4. Lorena says:

    That was a beautiful story, thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. stephanie says:

    Cried through the whole darn story. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to experience this for myself one day 🙂

  6. Katie Sievert says:

    What a great story! Brought tears to my eyes! Happy Birthday Sweet Noelle!!

  7. […] too much information a.k.a. a birth story […]


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