Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Week Ago Today.

disclaimer: If you don't like birth stories, stop reading now.

Hallie's Birth Story
Hanna's Birth Story

Like the day before, I woke up at 4 am because I was wet and needed to change.  The difference from the day before was that this time there was blood.  I cleaned up as best I could and got back into bed.  Not long after laying down the contractions started.  I halfheartedly paid attention to them, trying to count how long they lasted in my head.  One one thousand, two one thousand...

I didn't want to get my hopes up, it seemed too ironic and I really really didn't want to get sent home two days on a row.  I tried to get comfortable and ignore them.  That worked until about 5:30 am, when I thought I should maybe start paying closer attention to them.  I woke Devin and asked him to help me keep track.  When he heard about the blood he wanted me to call just because of that, but I was not walking into the hospital again unless I was having powerful contractions.  Devin and I counted contractions for a few minutes, enough to convince me that I had some time, so I got up and took a shower.  I did whatever else I could think of to stall, and then there was nothing left but to call my midwife.  Like the day before she told me I had to go in.  She had made me promise earlier in my pregnancy that I would call her early enough in my labor that she could get to the hospital because she lives 30 miles out of town.  That is why I went in much earlier than I wanted to.  I woke my mom and told her this time there probably really would be a baby and to leave her phone on so we could have her bring the girls to meet Heather.

Well, I got to the hospital, I was dilated to a six.  They got me settled in the bed and then it was time for the iv.  I had to have an iv because of the group B strep.  I told the nurse to please be very careful because I had had a bad experience with iv's in the past, and not to be alarmed if I cried.  She found me an iv needle that they usually only use in babies, that's how small it was.  She checked both my arms for a good vein, and found one that seemed very promising.  I took a deep breath, focused on the tiles of the ceiling, squeezed Devin's hand and willed myself not to scream.  She began.  My vein collapsed.  I cried.

She looked all over my arms for another promising spot, and didn't feel confident about finding one.  Someone else came and looked, and also was not willing to try again.  I might have still been crying, it hurt so bad I didn't even feel the contractions anymore.  She went and called the anesthesiologist.  He was literally walking out the door to go home, but he came back in to see what he could do.  I think I love that man.  He searched my arms, and found one he thought he could work with, and before I could blink an eye he had me all set up and ready to go.  Which isn't to say that it didn't hurt, but I managed not to cry that time.

I thought that I had stopped having contractions during all the fuss about my iv, but apparently I had just been so stressed about what they were doing with needles that I just couldn't feel them anymore, because a quick glance at the monitor showed they were stronger than ever.

I got into the jacuzzi for a while, and Devin read to me from James and the Giant Peach.  He was just starting chapter 3 when Joann said that I needed to get out of the tub unless I wanted to have a water birth.  I strongly considered it.  Mostly I was just so relaxed and comfortable I didn't want to get back out.  I mulled it over for a minute, and then decided that this time around it would be better for everyone if I did get out of the bathtub, but I am telling you now, if I have another baby, don't be alarmed if I give birth to her in the jacuzzi. It was that great.

So I get back in the bed, and the pushing commences.  Like with Hanna I didn't want to push yet, and so I just sort of gave a half hearted effort.  Heather was turned sideways anyway, and they were having trouble turning her (perhaps because I wasn't really pushing, ha!)  But the pain was quickly getting to the point of being unbearable, and I was getting pretty close to a breaking point.  Joann said, "Amy, we're at that spot now where if you want to have this baby you have to actually push for me.  If you give me three good pushes in a row during one contraction I promise you will get to hold this baby."  And I looked her straight in the eye and I said, "Promise?"  (even at the time I said it I could not believe I was being so bold. It may have been the most confrontational thing I have ever said in my life.)  She looked back at me and said, "Well, I can't promise that it will happen the first time you give me three good pushes, but I can promise that it is what you need to do right now to hold her."  My next contraction started.  I closed my eyes and said a prayer for strength, because I still wasn't quite sure I was willing to take the step into that next level of pain.  I opened my eyes, took a deep breath, and pushed. One. Two. Three. The contraction was over.  I couldn't do it again. I knew I couldn't.  The next contraction began.  I repeated my prayer, more fervently this time, with the added phrase, "I need this to be over now."  One. Two.  I could not push again.  Joann could see me weakening, and she said, "Look Amy, look at your baby." and I looked up, and Joann was literally holding her in front of me.  I could see her.  I wanted my baby so badly.  I gave her that last push, and then do you know the sweet relief that comes after that?

I could not stop laughing.  That was my baby.  She was out, and I was free.  The first thing I said to Devin was, "I guess I'm starting to understand now why you run marathons."

And we all lived happily ever after.

Oh, and I only needed three tiny stitches this time!! My biggest baby and she tore me the least!
THANK YOU HEATHER.  She was born at 10:24, and the girls were at the hospital meeting her by 10:50.


  1. You are amazing Amy dear. Thank you for sharing your story! Congrats on the arrival of Heather. I am so happy for your growing family! And I am super jealous that you only needed three stitches! Camille came so fast (prolly thanks to pictocin) that I tore soooooooooo much. :( But children are a joy and in a few years I will be willing to do it again! :) Congratulations to the Rose's!

  2. Ugh, IVs. I hate them too (I can't even look at them once they are in), but I also had group B strep...not that I got the meds in time for Ezra to be born. But this time was my most successful in getting the IV because I was in such total pain and fear that the IV didn't even register. One vein blew and the one that worked was apparently a haphazard job because another nurse later saw it and said that they must have done it in a hurry.

    I'm glad that everything else went well and was generally low-stress. yay babies!!

  3. I am glad the anesthesiologist was able to get the IV in for you. And I honestly can't imagine not being able to notice contractions like that. Your fear of needles is seriously impressive.

    Thanks for sharing the story. You're my hero!

    And your hospital and midwife sound amazing.

  4. Congrats! So so happy for you. Good job delivering, you always have been a BEAST. (think of me saying that just as Liz Lyon would have)

  5. I love your birth stories. I would like to read Hallie's too, but I can't get the link to work.

  6. Thanks Amy, I'm sure that reading about your experience is not very similar to delivering a baby myself, but it may be as close as I can come to the actual experience. As I've contemplated what life might be like in the Spirit World, I've become convinced that much of what we learn there, will have to be experienced vicariously. I was reading about grandma's ancestor, John Lathrop (1584-1653). The British king and church were persecuting, torturing, and murdering those who disagreed with the Episcopalian doctrine. John Lathrop was a church minister who began to have questions about the Christianity being taught. I would not want to experience the treatment he received. Reading about it is close enough for me. People like little Tabitha, don't experience much of mortality.How will they learn about earth-life if we don't share experiences with them? Thank you for sharing with me. Love, grandpa H.

  7. YAY! Congrats. I can't wait to hear more gory details ;). I am happy they got the anesthesiologist -- I told you they are "the man" when it comes to IVs.
    You actually make me want to try it unmedicated next time... we shall see.