Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm feeling a bit better today--I imagine this queasy feeling will probably stay with me until I deliver. One of the most surprising things about labor for me was that I was extremely nauseated the entire time--it was like intense morning sickness (and my nurse had horrible onion breath--ick!)

Getting out B's baby things is making me nostalgic for her baby days. Even though she didn't give us much sleep in the beginning, she was (and is) an angel--a very spirited one! It still amazes me how much of their personality is intact from day one. I can't wait to meet our new little one and see if he or she looks like big sister. I know he or she will be a little individual and it will be a whole new adventure.

For those who don't know B's labor story, or for anyone who might learn something from it, here goes: I've since learned that I was the classic "posterior" labor--she was facing forward instead of backward, and stubborn little thing that she is, she just wouldn't turn. We had taken a Bradley class and wanted to try for an intervention-free delivery. I went into labor on my own at 41 weeks at 10am--while baking Christmas cookies. After laboring at home with really intense contrax (2 mins long, 90 secs apart--crazy!) we headed to the hospital at 7pm to find that I was only dialed one centimeter. I knew I was in labor and I pretty much refused to leave since the ride there was torturous. And this was Pullman, so we lived five minutes away, tops. :) Anyway, the nurses hooked me up to the monitor and saw how intense my contractions were, so they let me stay. I promptly got into the tub and got into my groove and dilated to six within a few hours. However, since I wasn't wearing a fetal monitor, the nurse had to monitor B's heartbeat through my contractions, even while in the tub, and she was annoyed--BIG time. So I finally decided to get out. The monitor thing totally sucked--I handled contractions unmedicated just fine, but having a monitor pressed to my belly during the height of a contraction was torture. I knew B was fine, so once or twice I asked if we could just skip the monitor for this contraction--the nurse acted like I was the world's worst mom--"You don't want your baby's HEARTBEAT?" Eyeroll. Things slowed a bit when I got out of the tub but by midnight I was at an eight and my water broke on its own. They called my doctor and started preparing for the birth--and then things really stalled. After laboring all the way until 7am the following morning, the nurse finally told me I was a 10, but my doctor said I was still at 9.5. After about 21 hrs with no fluids (I still can't fathom why they didn't give me any) and no food, I was totally exhausted. My contractions basically stopped--my body just gave out. I knew that she was stuck and not coming down any further. I also knew that without major intervention (pitocin, IV, epidural, etc.) I could not handle any more labor. My doctor was also exhausted, having been called before midnight the previous night. We decided on a C-section rather than pitocin and more labor, because my heart was telling me that we would probably end up with a C anyway. When the doctor took her out, she was wedged in so tightly that they literally had to pry her out and they scratched her face in the process--so she was born with a huge scratch across her cheek, but it healed within hours (newborns are so amazing).

So, lessons learned--we needed a different nurse, as ours really wasn't comfortable with an unmedicated labor. And, she smelled like onions. Not cool. :) I know we made her job a lot harder by not wearing a monitor, but I really needed to be able to move during labor. So it just wasn't a good fit. This time I will be wearing one, and I'll also have an IV for fluids. We also have an awesome doula to help us deal with any situations at the hospital, e.g. unsupportive nurse. Our birth plan is much simpler this time--I think (and I have been told this by many health-care professionals since) that nurses are sometimes intimidated by pages-long "natural" birth plans and don't offer help or suggestions because they don't want to offend the parents (for me, some fluids would have been really helpful!). I am a good advocate for myself and I have a great birth team, so I'm comfortable with any suggestions anyone has during labor. I can always say no! This time, I'd much rather have someone try to help me than ignore me.

It was amazing to work with my body through the entire labor, and I'm so glad that I got to experience it. Oh, and if you're not medicated--stay in the tub as long as you can! It helps sooooo much!

A day old. She doesn't even look like she's really sleeping...just squeezing her eyes shut. "This should fool them into thinking that I sleep!"

First smile, seven weeks.

Six months. She developed a habit of smiling for the camera around five or six months. Such a little sunbeam.
This is a video of B and me with Steve's parents' dogs, Sunny and Bjorn. B was eight months old and already an animal lover. I love her screams and excitement whenever they come near her! And she was so tiny!
These days she's totally cracking us up. She talks literally all the time, and she's at the stage where she has to point out every little thing she notices--Laura calls it the "constant commentary". Yesterday she saw a man with a white beard and annouced that it was Santa Claus. :) She's also very concerned about rules, order, and where things go--every morning she wants to know where Daddy is, and she's been asking where the sun went this week (then she usually says "Sun went behind the clouds!"). She tattles on everyone, including herself: if she tells me "We don't put things in the toilet!" it means I'd better go check on the toilet because she just put something in there.

I truly can't believe that we're getting ready to do this all over again. When B was born Steve and I were so overwhelmed that we wondered all the time--how do people ever have more than one child? I guess we're about to find out--and we're as ready as we're ever going to be.


Everyday heaven said...

Sounds like you are ready to me. This is the beginning of life with four. Things will never be the same, and it is so, so exciting and wonderful. Can't wait to meet the new family member and see the person he or she becomes!

Kimberly said...

Love this story and it came at the perfect time as Z and I just attended our first birthing class last night. We talked about the stages of labor and got to see a birth. . .My birth plan is going to be easy--DRUGS--lots of them. :) And so weird they didn't give you water--the video and the teacher kept talking about how important that is!! After every contraction they want you to drink. Your nurse sounded like a stinky doozer.