Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eloise's Birth Story

I lit up my phone to check the time. 4:08am. I nestled back into bed, thinking-ok two more hours til I have to get up to prepare to be induced. I had big plans of hair and makeup, lotion, shave and some pictures before we took off for the hospital. While I really didn't want to be induced, I was going to take advantage of the perks of knowing when my baby would be born.

As I found a comfortable position to sleep away the next two hours, I heard a pop. I froze. Was that my hip popping, or had my water broken? I got up and felt some fluid. Not a lot, but enough to hurry to the toilet. I took a deep breath and almost instantly felt a very sharp pain.

I could hear my mom had woken up and was letting her dog out (my parents were staying with us in anticipation of the induction), so I made my way to the family room where I felt another sharp pain. We both smiled--this is happening! I thought I had plenty of time, but the pain was pretty bad, so I got into the shower. I started timing the contractions on my phone. The shower really helped ease the pain-but the contractions were coming pretty quick and seemed to be picking up.

As I attempted to do my makeup, I saw that they were almost three minutes apart. I opened the bathroom door and woke up B. "It's happening. We have to go!" I told him. He popped out of bed SO quick and practically put his shoes on. I told him I thought he had time to take a shower.

Once he was out I was in severe pain. Moaning and groaning a lot. Contractions were now less than three minutes apart and  I wondered if we'd make it to the hospital.

I kept avoiding getting into the car. B had it running and had grabbed some water. Everything else was already packed and ready in the car thank goodness. I reluctantly climbed in, placing a folded beach towel over my seat--I had a feeling more fluid was coming (and I would be right).

At this point it was after 6am and we had a 40 minute ride to the hospital. We had moved at the beginning of my pregnancy but I wanted to continue seeing me Dr. and also wanted to deliver at the hospital with the best NICU available. By the time I made it to full term I didn't want to deal with switching.

At this moment I was regretting that decision. I was dreading this car ride and had no idea how I'd make it through.

B drove like a crazy person, and in between contractions I almost laughed thinking about the post I'd written in tears on Saturday night. I'd wanted this car ride. I'd wanted these feelings. Despite the pain, I kept saying out loud "this is a good thing". I quickly instructed B not to say one word. I've never liked being "encouraged" when struggling with something. I don't like being cheered on. I turned the radio completely off and the air conditioner all the way up. I almost broke the handle above the door I was pulling it so hard. I kept banging on the floorboards, the center console. They were so close. Almost two minutes now. The "relief" was hard to come by at this point.

Once on the freeway I rolled down the window. You know when people smack themselves in the face to avoid some other source of pain? This was my version.  The shock of the cool hard air distracted me just enough. I could barely breath and the forced air felt good. I'd roll it up and look at B. He just stared straight ahead with such focus.

Finally at the hospital, I insisted on parking and walking. Getting out of the car felt glorious. I moaned and groaned all the way down the hall, no one paying me much attention. Once at the labor and delivery desk ( I had manged to call and tell them I was coming and would NOT need my induction) I could not even give the nurse my name. They very quickly got me in a room.

I immediately didn't like my nurse. She seemed alarmed at my level of hysteria and was moving fast. All I wanted to do was sit on the toilet-so I did. She brought me a gown as I rocked back and forth, honestly wanting to pull out my hair. She asked me a bunch of questions and I shouted the answers back very quickly. She had the worst coffee breath and I wanted to tell her. Somehow I resisted.

 I was still about two minutes apart. She asked me to sit in the bed where she checked me and told me I was at a 6. Once she started on another task I got right back up. Lying down was the last position I wanted to be in. I went right back to the toilet.

They asked if I wanted to get an epidural and I hesitated  I was at a 6, this was more than half way over, but if it took much longer I felt like I was going to die. B stepped in and said, "Get it now!" he was in such agony watching me in so much pain. The nurse said if I wanted it, I needed to let her know right now. So I told her to get the anesthesiologist on stand by. I knew in my head it wouldn't be much longer until I was at 10cm, but I wasn't totally sure (after all, what do I know). What I did know is that it takes a minute, or 10 to get the Dr. in for the epidural.

I could tell B was getting flustered. We are both very big rule followers and normally follow instructions very well. I know he was shocked to see me doing whatever I wanted. The nurse asked me to come back, they needed to get a heartbeat on the baby and needed to start an IV for me. I went back but at this point there was zero relief between contractions. I was twisting and turning like a tied hog. She couldn't get the IV started (an issue I have every time) so they called another nurse in. I instantly liked her. She took total control of the room and was forceful enough to where I did listen to her. She checked me herself and told me I was at an 8. "I can't do this!" I pleaded, panting for air. She told me I could. She told me I was in transition, that this was the hardest part. That made me feel so much better. I knew it was almost over.

Just then, the anesthesiologist walked in. I was shocked. He was there quick. My head was saying no, but my body was saying yes. And so was B. The Dr. asked me a few questions and I was barely able to talk with him. I was practically climbing the walls at this point. The monitors were not staying put, my IV was barely hanging on and the nurses were getting pissed.

"Amy, if we cannot establish fetal heart tones, we will have to use an electrode and put it in your baby's head". I screamed back "noooo" I had just read about this and knew I didn't want it. I used every ounce of self control to stay still. B helped hold the monitor and we heard her heart.

Dr. Epidural was still standing in the wings waiting for my answer. I looked at my preferred nurse and said, "I'm pushing!" It was the craziest feeling in the entire world. I could feel her moving lower and felt this intense reflex. Not a feeling of needing to push, but a reflex to push. The only thing I can compare it to is throwing up. Yep, it was like barfing out of my lady parts. There was no stopping it. It was out of my control. My nurse managed to check me and confirmed I was at 10cm. They called my Dr. and pulled my legs up.

Understand that I was a loud, moaning, panting woman the entire time I was in the hospital  There was nothing ladylike about the first thirty minutes of my laboring there. But the next five minutes were a whole 'nother level. I closed my eyes and let out the worst screams I'd ever heard. They were half scream half groan and they were 100% primal.  I have no idea what happened in those next few minutes. All I know is I pushed, they told me they could see the head and I screamed back, "I knoooooow" (I could feel everything people!). Then they told me to slow down or I'd tear, and I did my best to do that. I know that when I opened my eyes I saw my OB, and then, I saw her holding my baby. I believe it was three pushes total, but I'm telling you I would have had her out in one if they'd let me. Trying to stop or slow down was completely unnatural.

And then, they handed me my daughter. My full sized, alive and well baby. And suddenly no one else was in the room but her. I didn't cry. I didn't say much. I just stared.

 Time elapsed since arriving at the hospital? Forty two minutes. I was in total shock my baby was here!


  1. I love it. You go Mama!! Incredible story and I totally have chills. You actually brought back memories of my own labor back! So happy for you and your family.

  2. Amazing! I love that your body did it the way it was meant to be done all along. Congrats again, she's a cutie pie.

  3. Big props for the All Natural. Such an amazing birth story and thank you for sharing it. You will never forget it and there's nothing that compares to it.


  4. How amazing! I love that she managed to come at the perfect time, and HOLY CRAP - 42 minutes at the hospital!? Incredible! Congrats again!!!