Friday, November 29, 2013
Talene’s Birth Story
On Thursday, October 3rd, I went to my midwife appointment in the morning. They checked me and I was still 80% effaced and dilated to a 3. I was 3 days past my due date and like any pregnant woman, I was done. My hips were out of joint and achy. I couldn’t lift my right leg off the ground to get dressed without shooting pain from my inner hip sockets. I couldn’t get comfortable sitting or lying down. I kept peeing my pants on my way to the bathroom. I couldn’t stand to cook dinner, wash dishes, or go grocery shopping for my family. It was like this for weeks! I wasn’t doing anything but incubating a baby and I felt useless to my family.
My step-dad had just passed away 2 days prior and because I was about to have a baby, I couldn’t go down to be with my family and comfort my mom and siblings during this time of grief or attend the funeral. I was upset and frustrated that I couldn’t go. So when my midwife asked if I wanted her to strip my membrane, my previous determination to have no intervention to start labor switched to “yes please!” I was excited thinking this was finally it, I was going to finally have this baby soon! After my appointment, I went to the store to walk around in hopes of helping start labor. Hours passed and nothing. By dinner time, with no contractions to speak of, I started bawling to Trevor. I was frustrated that nothing was happening and I was still pregnant.
We did the bedtime routine and while I was reading a story to the girls, I started having to pause to breathe through some contractions. But I didn’t want to falsely get my hopes up again, because I’ve been living with contractions since 22 weeks. At 9:44PM, I started timing them. I was excited because they were 4 minutes apart. We called the midwife and she suggested I take a bath for 30 minutes and see how they do. The bath was great and my intensity went down, but they didn’t stop. We were thrilled that it was finally go time! Thinking this would be another fast 4 hour labor like the last time, we were instructed to go to the hospital at first signs of labor so that I could have enough time to get my antibiotics administered for being Group B Strep positive.
I was feeling pretty crampy and uncomfortable, but still excited that this was finally happening. I was thrilled when I found out that the midwife I wanted to deliver my baby was the one on-call for the night! Leanne checked me and I was at a 5. I was a little surprised since my pain level was about the same as it was with Ambree when I was at an 8. I thought I would continue to progress quickly and concentrated on relaxing and breathing, using my hypnobirthing techniques. I reminded Trevor of the things I needed him to say and how I needed him to help me relax. He helped me the best he could.
While taking another bath at the hospital, I couldn’t get comfortable and it was taking a great deal of effort to relax and breathe through each contraction. They were so intense and close and I kept feeling the need to pee. Every time I peed, it would bring on another contraction. By this time I still hadn’t gotten dressed from the bath and my contractions were getting out of control. I was losing control and couldn’t relax enough to bear through the pain anymore. I told Trevor that I wanted an epidural. He looked at me and wasn’t sure if he should listen to his wife at this moment or help her with her previous wishes of a natural birth with no epidural. I saw his hesitation, and told him that I’ve done the natural thing before, that I don’t need to prove anything doing it again, and that this is what I really wanted. Get me the epidural now!
Then my teeth started chattering and I knew I was in transition. My midwife had stepped out of the room momentarily and when she came back in, Trevor told her I wanted an epidural. She said that was fine but wanted to check me first. She confirmed that I was in transition and at a 9. She asked me again if I wanted the epidural. I begged her to tell me that it wasn’t going to be much longer. She couldn’t tell me for sure, because it just depends on my body. I decided to just go ahead and continue without the epidural, thinking I only had 15 minutes left.
This is where Leanne became vital to my labor. She is what kept me together and calm enough to continue when I wanted to give up. She would suggest a position change whenever I was laboring for a while and then started to become panicky again. I swayed a lot in the bathroom, leaning over the counter, while she was at my side, massaging my back and belly as I swayed. Her words were just like my hypnobirthing CD affirmations and she was so soothing to listen to. Trevor tried to help but mostly was at my side while Leanne was working her magic to help me. When a strong contraction would come, she would apply counter pressure to my lower back or my hips. I remember just having an inclination to start a motion of hip movement that I needed to do and would just start doing it, like deep down my inner body was telling my conscience mind what to do.
I felt nauseous around this time and kept feeling like I was about to throw up. Then I was tingly and lightheaded from all the breathing through the contractions and felt like fainting too.
It felt like it was forever and yet time was going fast at the same time. I remember looking at the clock and said, “it’s already 4 o’clock? I’ve been laboring this long and still haven’t had the baby? (I had checked in at 11PM)How much longer is this going to be?” I was in so much pain. Leanne covered the clock with a towel so I wouldn’t let time bother me. Smart woman.
I kept waiting for the physical urge to push but didn’t feel it, yet I knew that I needed to start pushing because otherwise I was going to be in labor forever. I tried doing my hypnobirthing breaths to breathe the baby down while pushing. I did that for awhile and it wasn’t very effective. I started pushing harder and ended up screaming more. Yes, I was THAT screaming lady. I felt bad for anyone else in the maternity floor having to listen to me screaming. I only screamed during pushes, but I sure was loud and scared of each contraction because it just brought more pain. My mouth was dry from all the breathing and Trevor kept giving me ice chips in between contractions to help me.
Finally, Leanne gently suggested that although she knew my preference was to do the hynobirthing breaths for pushing, that my pushing would be more effective if I held my breath in the traditional pushing way. I decided to try it and push the way I had with all my other labors. It didn’t feel anymore effective to me, but everyone else started cheering because the baby’s head was finally in the pelvis. Holding my breath to push made me feel claustrophobic, nauseous and I couldn’t get enough air in between pushes. I just didn’t want to hold my breath because it felt awful to feel like I was suffocating and couldn’t breathe.
Finally Leanne told me that I would feel like I need to push through a wall and to push as hard as I can past that wall. She was right. It felt like I was pushing and couldn’t push any further because of that wall, but I kept pushing anyway. Then the best feeling came, a gush, release and a body slipping out into the midwife’s arms. And I could breathe again! I could finally stop shaking! In those first few moments, I felt like I was in shock from all that pain and to finally have it start receding. My eyes were still closed and I was hoping that they would give me a minute to recover before putting the baby on me because I was just trying to breathe, recover from feeling like I was suffocating, survive and come back to life. They suctioned her out and wiped her down minimally. By the time they were done, probably 1 minute later, I opened my eyes and was ready to see what I had worked so hard, waited so long for and loved so much. They placed my baby on my chest and I kept saying,”I did it! I did it! I’m done! My baby! My baby!”
Nothing compares to the moment you meet and see your baby for the first time. It is beyond words or description. I looked up to see Trevor by my side, hand on the baby’s back, with tears streaming down his face. His face, so emotional, I will never ever forget that face. It was a powerful moment seeing my man so overcome, tears flowing, with love and sympathy emitting from his gaze. I could see in his eyes, the love and gratitude he had for me going through all that agony to bring the baby into the world. I could also see the relief he felt to see me no longer in pain, pain that he wished he could take away from me or rescue me from. It was unforgettable. Never had I seen him so emotional at any of our other baby’s births. My love for him increased immensely in that moment.
When I was ready, Trevor held the baby skin to skin while they stitched me up. Talene came face up and that was why it was a bit harder to push her out. I kept saying, “I did it! I pushed her out!”
I was able to hold her and nurse her for as long as I wanted. Then they weighed and measured her. She was born at 5:18AM on October 4th. She was 8lbs 9oz and 20.5 inches long, my heaviest baby. She had a headful of dark hair and chubby cheeks. I kept thinking how gorgeous she was! Oh and her smell! That sweet nectar of newborn baby.
The rest of the hospital stay was pretty routine. Nurses coming in to check our vitals a million times, waking us up night and day to do so. I didn’t get any rest in the hospital because of this and couldn’t wait to go home so I could sleep. Instead, I just held my baby and stared at her, soaking it all in. My heart was bursting with joy to have another sweet baby. I felt so much gratitude to my Heavenly Father with blessing us with another healthy baby girl, Talene Karen Whiting.
Her first bath.
Sisters wanting to watch her bath.