Livi's Birth Story

Wednesday, August 20, during the day I had again taken some measures to move things along and get the labor induced naturally. My doctor had had a conversation with me earlier that day saying that, basically, I could choose to be induced whenever I wanted. Jon and I had decided to wait until Sunday or Monday when we could be in the new hospital and hoped that that would give us sometime to continue to try and naturally induce.

Wednesday we tried everything again. I got my membranes swept, I used the breast pump, went for a long walk, spent some time with Jon *wink*, drank pots of induction and raspberry tea and drank 3 oz of Castor oil. 2am I woke up because I couldn't sleep, again. I didn't think it was that unusual because I frequently have issues sleeping. Just before 4am, I was slouching on the couch and playing on the laptop when I moved funny and felt a pop in my hips and groin area. It didn't hurt in itself, but I immediately began having some pretty intense cramping. They were 3-5 minutes apart and growing in intensity. I couldn't get comfortable but I was reluctant to wake Jon or call people because I was unsure if this was the real thing or not. I ended up waking Jon around 4:30ish and he immediately wanted to call our doula, Heather, but I wouldn't let him.

As the pain continued getting worse and more regular I did let Jon call Heather around 5am. I was now convinced that this was real and we asked her to come out, but not to rush. As 6am rolled around and the contractions were still 3 minutes apart and very intense I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. This decision surprised me a lot. I had been fully set on laboring at home as long as possible and the idea of a home birth had even been floating around in my head. But the contractions had started off really strong and there was NO relief. We called everyone again, (everyone being Heather and our Moms), and told them to meet us at the hospital. They were all rather surprised that we were going this early as well.
When we got to the hospital they checked me and I was about 3cm dilate. They had to try about four different blood pressure machines on me because none of them were working properly. With the new hospital opening in a few days, there was no maintenance being done on the old machines. It was rather annoying. They then took me to the labor room and settled me in. Heather had shown up and was helping me get through the contractions. We did a lot of breathing exercises and eventually ended up in the very tiny shower on the birthing ball. Because the shower was so small, the ball kept plugging up the drain. This is not very relaxing when you are trying to get comfortable and labor!

I was in some pretty intense pain by this point and since I had not gotten any sleep in two days, I didn't think I would be able to do what was ahead of me without some morphine to give me a few hours of relief. The morphine didn't knock me out like I had hoped, but it did slow the contractions down enough to let me have very short 10 minute naps between them.

Labor continued, but my dilating didn't. I was also starting to have some pretty bad back and hip pains because the baby was "slightly" posterior, meaning she could have turned either way. We called a lady named Kathy King, who is certified in Traditional Chinese Medicine, to come ease some of my pain with acupressure and acupuncture and hopefully relax me enough to turn the baby the proper way.

The labor still continued and began getting worse. I couldn't sit still. Every time they wanted to have me lie down and check me was sheer torture! To get things progressing a little faster, the doctor broke my water... but that made my contractions begin piggy backing. At one point I had twenty minutes of contraction in a row. NO BREAKS! It was hell. I went back to labor in the shower and with each contraction Jon could see the baby's head bulging out past my spine. She had turned the wrong way and was now fully posterior.

After 14 hours of labor the nurse checked me again and I was only 5cm dilated. Her head wasn't engaging the cervix and I wasn't progressing because she was posterior. The nurse came in and offered me an epidural. Even though I knew that getting an epidural probably meant things would end up in a C-section, I didn't know how much longer I could take the labor. I consented.

It took three nurses four separate tries to get an IV in me. They gave me some of the gas to tide me over until they could get the phentenol in my system and hopefully that would keep me until the anesthesiologist could come with the epidural. The drugs made me soooo high. It was great! I could still completely feel the pain, but my mind just didn't process it properly. It was a very weird experience. I was apparently pretty entertaining though! At one point I was apologizing for not sharing my "juice" (the gas), laughing hysterically and telling Jon he had to go and organize the liquor cabinet! There are significant parts of this time that are completely blacked out and I don't remember at all.

Jon was incredible through the whole thing. He barely left my side and only had one little meltdown. I can't imagine watching him in as much pain as I was in, but he handled it amazingly. I kind of caused his meltdown too. Right after hour 14, when we were told I was still only 5cm, I looked up at him and asked if he was okay. He kind of lost it because I was the one going through everything and I was worrying about him. He needed a breather, which was totally fine with me. I had so much support. Jon's mom and my mom were there. Heather, our doula, was incredible. I don't know what Jon and I would have done with out her there to calmly explain things to us and coach us through things. And Kathy, the TCM lady, was amazing and it was due to her expertise that the baby turned, I finished dilating and we were able to have a natural birth.
Before the epidural was supposed to arrive, Kathy tried a few more things to get things moving along. One hour later I started talking about needing to push. Heather went and got the nurses to come and check me again. They were very surprised and even a little reluctant to check me because they were already talking about getting me ready for a C-section. I was checked again and, miraculously (thanks to Kathy!), the baby had turned and I was 9 1/2cm dilated!

This transition period was the WORST! I needed to push, but no one was letting me because I still needed to dilate the last 1/2cm. I started saying things like "it's only a half centimeter. I can push the baby out. It won't hurt the baby right?" and "if your not going to let me push then get the f*ing anesthesiologist here NOW!" I didn't quite understand that it was to late for the epidural.

My body had also started pushing without me trying. I kept apologizing but I couldn't help it. I was on the bed, on my hands and knees, trying my hardest not to push. Just before 8pm I was told I was ready to push! Since your body just does things without your control when your in labor, particularly when it comes to pushing, I had peed all over the bed I was on. My first thought when I was able to comprehend that I was about to deliver my baby, was that I didn't want to deliver her on a bed with urine on it. The large amounts of blood and other fluids apparently didn't bother me, just the urine! I got off the bed at 10cm dilated, feeling the baby's head in the birth canal, and made the nurses change the bed sheets! Everyone tried to talk me out of it but I was determined!

I only had to push for about thirty minutes. My mom was there for the actual birth, Heather, Kathy, three nurses (because they were all expecting to have to prep me for a C-section) and Jon, who actually delivered her! The doctor did show up exactly two minutes before she fully came out. Her had was already out. I can't even begin to describe the amazingness of delivering her. It burned SO much as she was crowning and I started freaking out a bit but I got some renewed determination when I reached down and touched her soft little head coming out of me! I remember Jon telling me her nose was out! All of the sudden, she splashed out! Jon caught her and she immediately pooped all over his hand (a foreshadow for the future?)

Olivia was immediately placed on my belly. I kept saying "I can't believe I did that!" I still can't believe I did that! She was put on my stomach so fast and covered with a blanket that Jon took a minute to tell me she was a girl. We both started crying. It was so incredible!
Jon's mom was waiting right outside the room and came in almost immediately. My family was all there within half an hour to see her. Everyone was so excited. They still are. She is the best thing to happen in Jon and my life. She is perfect, beautiful, amazing, etc... We are happy to just stare at her all day. I will try to update the blog as often as I can, especially with pictures, but I'm sure you'll understand if I get behind a bit.