Monday, August 06, 2007

David's Birth Story

Our birth story begins well before David’s actual arrival.

At 36 weeks, my OB performed an internal exam for the first time. We were delighted to hear that I was already 2 cm dilated! We had been feeling that our baby would arrive early, so we were pleased by this news.

At 37 weeks, my internal exam revealed that I was 3 cm dilated! My boss decided to hire a temp to cover my maternity leave beginning that week and I started to train her in case I delivered early.

At 38 weeks, I was 4 cm dilated. At this point, my OB recommended that we take our hospital bags to work with us each day, just in case.

At 39 weeks, I was 5 cm dilated. My OB gave Chris instructions for emergency delivery, just in case we couldn’t make it to the hospital in time. He thought she was joking, but she wasn’t.

At 40 weeks, I skipped the internal exam because I didn’t want to endure another night of Braxton-Hicks contractions for no reason. We saw our OB on a Friday and she told us that we would schedule an induction for Monday morning, but she was very confident that we would go into labor over the weekend.

At 41 weeks, we scheduled the induction for Monday morning at 6:00am.

We spent the weekend grocery shopping, cleaning and sleeping. We went on one last date again for the fourth time in a month. Sunday night we went to bed at 8:00pm so we could wake up at 4:00am to get ready to go to the hospital. I slept like a baby but Chris was a wreck. Even though we woke up on time, we were still late getting to the hospital. We checked in at 6:20am. We didn’t get a room until 7:00am, and we got the last room available in L&D that day. As soon as we got settled, a nurse hooked me up to the electronic fetal monitor (EFM) and another nurse tried to give me an IV. I explained to the nurse that I didn’t plan to have an IV because we would have a natural birth. She laughed at me and proceeded to get the IV ready. I started to panic at this point because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to have a natural delivery if I had to fight every nurse and doctor every step of the way, but I told the nurse that I would NOT have an IV. I reasoned that accident victims don’t have IVs ready when an ambulance arrives and that doesn’t stop them from receiving treatment, so how long could it possibly take the nurse to put in an IV if I became dehydrated? I compromised and got a Heparin Drip instead. The nurse seemed agitated with me, but luckily, it was the end of her shift and I was the last person she harassed before she left for the day.

Our doula, Nancy, arrived soon after the IV battle and we were happy to see her. Our OB came in a short while later and got the show started. When she checked me, I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced. She used an amnio hook to break my water. I really didn’t feel anything other than the internal exam. The nurse gave me a gigantic diaper to wear in my fancy hospital-issued mesh panties and then everyone left. Nothing happened right away and my water was only trickling, so Nancy suggested that we take a walk through the halls. It was a nice diversion to walk around and watch all the other pregnant ladies wandering through the halls and checking-in at the front desk. There wasn’t much space to walk since there were only a couple of halls on the floor and we couldn’t leave the floor. My contractions started about 30 minutes after my water broke and they were 90 seconds apart. I was very comfortable at this point and figured this would be a piece of cake. As we walked the halls, I remember hearing a woman screaming in agony. This was the first time that I ever felt scared about what lay ahead. A few minutes later, we heard a baby crying, and that was the moment when I realized that the next time I got on the elevator, I would be holding my baby. I started to cry.

We walked around for about 30 minutes, but then I started to feel a little less comfortable, so I asked to go back to the room. Nancy got me some white grape juice, which I drank throughout labor. At this point, I began having back labor. During every contraction, I would stop walking or speaking and lean on Chris. I would bury my face in his shoulder and totally relax my body. During each contraction, he gently reminded me, “breathe through your tummy.” I remember thinking that “tummy” was a childish sounding word to be using because my stomach was the size of a watermelon, but his encouragement helped me to focus on my breathing and took my mind off the pain. During every contraction, Nancy applied counter pressure on my back. Throughout labor, my back pain hurt more than the actual contractions.

I was able to avoid electronic fetal monitor during labor. My nurse came in periodically, listened to my belly with the stethoscope, told me that the baby sounded wonderful, cheerfully exclaimed that I was doing a great job, and left. Although our nurse was a great cheerleader, I’m glad we didn’t rely on her for labor support, because she wasn’t around very much.

Throughout labor, I sat up in bed, walked around the room, and stood in the shower. I also spent some time laboring on my hands and knees to relieve some of the pressure on my back, but I found it very hard to relax while supporting all of my weight on my hands and knees. When I was pregnant, I loved my exercise ball and I planned to use a birth ball during labor. I was surprised to find that I didn’t like sitting on it during labor because balancing required too much concentration and I couldn’t relax and keep myself on the ball at the same time.

At one point during labor, I was sitting up in bed and my contractions were 45 seconds apart. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep between contractions and I was actually snoring!! After my nap, I decided to take a shower because the back pain was getting more intense. My contractions were about 30 seconds apart at this point. I wasn’t able to use the shower bench because the seat was broken, but it was much more relaxing to lean against the shower wall and let the water pound my back. Chris stayed with me just outside the shower stall the entire time.

After the shower, I didn’t even bother to get dressed, I just wrapped myself up in a warm, fuzzy blanket. I had heard that most women lose their sense of modesty at some point in labor, but never thought it would happen to me! My doula noticed this and guessed that I might be close to transition, but she didn’t mention it aloud to me. I used the toilet one last time and went back to bed. My OB came in and checked me. I was 10 cm dilated and just had a slight lip of cervix that kept me from being ready to push. She instructed me to lie on my right side for the next 15 minutes and resist the urge to push so I could become completely dilated.

That was the longest 15 minutes of my life! After the internal exam, the urge to push came immediately and it took control of my entire body. I could NOT resist the urge to push and it felt like it was completely out of my control. I grabbed Chris’ shirt and clung to him. His soothing words were the only thing that kept me focused during this difficult time. I will always remember that 15 minutes as the most painful part of my birth experience.

After what felt like an eternity, my OB came in and told me that we were ready to have a baby. I was so excited to push! I started pushing with the very next contraction. I remember a lot of commotion around me suddenly as the nurses and interns crowded into the room. My OB suggested that I use a squat bar to push. We had requested this option in our birth plan, but I was very hesitant to move out of the position I was in and it took coaxing from Chris and Nancy and the nurses to get me to try it. Once I pulled myself up to that squat bar, I felt like there was no stopping me. I pushed with every single contraction and felt a surge of energy. At one point, my OB forced me to lay back between contractions and I was later told that my legs had turned purple from squatting for so long. Chris sat behind me and I leaned my entire weight on him as I rested between contractions.

It was amazing to feel the baby’s head descending. At one point, Nancy asked if I could touch the baby’s head and my OB helped me find it and feel it. It was not at all what I expected and it felt soft, warm, and wet. That didn’t inspire me as much as feeling the baby’s head move down with each contraction.

After I pushed for a while, I felt the “ring of fire,” but it was not painful. Descriptions I had read made it sound agonizing, but it really was only a small discomfort. Once the baby’s head was born, I felt relieved. The baby’s body came out in one large push and all pain was instantly gone. My OB put the baby on my stomach and said, “Congratulations, you have a son.” I was in such a state of shock and disbelief that I asked everyone if that meant that the baby was a boy. I always thought I would cry tears of joy upon first seeing my baby, but I was so overwhelmed with joy that I just smiled and stared at my little man.

David was very alert immediately following his birth. He lifted his head to look at me and Chris when we talked to him. Chris was able to cut David’s umbilical cord and they let us bond with the baby before they cleaned him up. David was 8 pounds exactly and 19 ½ inches long. His Apgar scores were 8 and 9.

I had a second-degree tear that needed stitches and I had some difficulty delivering the placenta. My OB gave me pitocin to aid in the delivery of the afterbirth, and I didn’t care at this point because my baby was already safe and sound. I barely felt anything that was done to me after my son was born because I felt so astonishingly good. I felt so energetic that I could have jumped out of bed and ran a marathon. I remember being very hungry afterward and I couldn’t wait to eat.

I was in labor for 5 hours and pushed for 25 minutes. David was born at 2:24pm on Monday, March 5, 2007.

It was a fantastic experience!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Squirt Is Finally Here!

It's a


David Gabriel

March 5, 2007
2:24 PM

8 Pounds
19 1/2 Inches

Friday, February 23, 2007

Baby Report

Current Stats:

5 cm dialated

80% effaced

Pelvic Station is zero

Chris might get to catch this baby after all...

What is Squirt waiting for?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bursting At The Seams

I tried on two pairs of pants and four shirts before I found an outfit that matches AND fits.

Squirt, it is time to come out.

Mommy's clothes don't fit anymore.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine to Remember

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Squirt missed our February 13th deadline.

It is now February 14th and it’s the perfect day NOT to be having a baby.

First of all, Chris is not thrilled with the idea of having a Valentine’s Day baby.

It wouldn’t be a bad birthday for a girl. There would always be a celebration at school and she could always expect to receive a very romantic birthday gift from her husband as an adult. We could bake pink cupcakes for school and her middle name could be Valentine or Love.

It would be a horrible birthday for a boy. There would always be a valentine party at school and his mother would embarrass him by baking pink cupcakes. As an adult, his significant other would expect a romantic gift FROM him on his own birthday. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Another good reason not to have this baby today would be the weather. There was a winter storm warning last night, but we didn’t take it seriously because they issue a storm warning every time they see a snowflake in the sky.

Last night, we got home from work and Chris’ cargo van got stuck in the end of our driveway. He had to leave it there and use the snow blower to plow the entire driveway before we could park.

This morning, the driveway was buried again in snow that is over one foot deep. We have snow drifts in our backyard that reach the top of our four-foot tall fence.

We briefly considered taking a vacation day and staying home from work. Then, we realized that we could be stuck in the house when I go into labor. As much as we didn’t want to work today, we also don’t want to have the baby in our living room. Since we also work IN a hospital and work is only one mile away from the hospital where we plan to deliver, we decided that it was a good idea to go to work.

We realized what a horrible idea this was by the time we reached the end of the driveway. One of our neighbors had pulled out of their driveway and their car was stuck in the street. Our van slid all over the road while Chris tried to drive fast enough to keep us from getting stuck, too. I was a little hysterical and wanted to go back home.

We stopped for gas just to make sure that we had a full tank before our adventure began. I still really wanted to go back home.

We made it to the freeway only to find that the road was nearly empty. The snow was coming down hard, but the freeway had been cleared at some point and the snow was not nearly as deep as it had been in our neighborhood. Since there was no threat of hitting a tree or fire hydrant or passing car, I was able to calm down for the rest of the ride.

We got to work only one hour late and found that most people had stayed home today. Of course, only the managers in my office came to work today and they were all surprised that the one employee that came into work is the 9-month pregnant lady. I hope they remember to mention that during my annual review…

So, I’m sitting here this afternoon wondering if the lower back pain and cramping I’ve been feeling all day is just false labor or if today is THE day. I have a feeling that Squirt won’t decide until we get home tonight.

Snow Day

This may be my last day at work before Squirt arrives.

I sure picked one heck of a day to come into the office…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Frozen in Time

Today is the day we expected Squirt to make a grand entrance into this world.

The conditions are perfect...

The house is clean.

The refrigerator is full.

The taxes are filed.

The household budget is ready for baby expenses.

I've trained the temp that will be doing my work while I am on maternity leave.

Squirt's godmother is on a plane on her way to San Francisco.

There is a winter storm warning for the entire state for the next 24 hours. We've already gotten so much snow that it took us an hour to drive home from work (a 15 minute drive).

Chris is outside plowing the driveway right now because the snow is so deep that we can't drive the cargo van over it.

There is also a snow drift blocking the garage door.

What is Squirt waiting for?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Squirt Update

The Update:

We've been waiting for Squirt all weekend, but the baby hasn't arrived YET!

We had a doctor appointment on Friday afternoon and I was 4 cm and 70% effaced. My doctor was shocked that I am still walking around at this point, so we assumed that Squirt would be arriving any minute.

We're still waiting.

Kayla and Erica are disappointed because they were hoping that the baby would come while they were over this weekend.


Kayla is excited because she bet money on Valentine's Day, Feb 14. She still has a chance if Squirt can wait just a couple more days.

Dad is betting on Feb 13.

I would be happy with any day, and the sooner the better. I can't breathe and put on my shoes at the same time and I'm really sick of going to work everyday!

Hurry up, Squirt!!!!