One year and a week later...
I wrote the birth stories for all three of my kids, only the girls stories I wrote shortly after they were born. With the chaos that ensued with the birth of Kye and moving and etc, etc, etc, I gave myself a "I have to get this done by his first birthday or this is never going to get done." I finished it on his birthday, but at least I finished...right? Haha!
I was going to shorten it to put on my blog because it's a little long...but then again, it was a long labor. So I didn't shorten it - but you also don't have to read it if you don't want to...right?
Here goes. :)
Kyeson was born two weeks before his due date at 2:09am on June 12th. I don’t know why, but the whole pregnancy I had a feeling that he was going to come early. Two weeks before his birth day, when I was only 36 weeks pregnant, I even had false labor with him. I woke up throughout the night from a Sunday into a Monday morning timing contractions that were consistently 5 minutes apart.
Most people assume that a pregnant mother would love to have her baby four weeks early, but I was not excited. I was worried that it would be too early health wise, not to mention I felt like I still had a ton of stuff to do before his arrival. When I woke up still having contractions, I called the midwife and said, “How do I make this stop?! I am not ready for this baby to come yet!” A few hours, a bath, and a nap later we were all in the clear.
All that to say, when I went to bed on June 10th and woke up a few hours later with contractions 5 minutes apart I actually managed to get myself to go back to sleep. I thought it would be similar to the two weeks early episode and so didn’t think much of it. I woke up in the morning with contractions still every 5 minutes and took my bath.
This time, however, the contractions didn’t stop after the bath. They actually got closer together. Since it was Saturday and Steve was scheduled to work I told him he might want to consider getting someone to cover for him…but neither of us thought this was the real deal yet.
I called the midwife and after I told her my story of how Berlin was born in the car she said maybe I better come in, just in case.
Well. That wasn’t going to work for me just right at that moment. See, we were planning this to be our last pregnancy and I had never done maternity pictures. We had actually planned to take pictures that day, June 11th, but casually on our own time. Suddenly I was having contractions and supposed to be on my way to the hospital so I told Steve that just wasn’t going to work for me. So I put on a dress and we went to the park and took a few hurried shots of my last few hours of pregnancy. Not really what I had envisioned, but suffice in the moment.
Then our dear friend Gennae took the girls and Steve and I drove to the hospital, I was still have contractions every few minutes, but not in any serious pain at that point.
After getting hooked up to some machines and sitting around in a bed waiting for the midwife to come see me, which took around 2 hours, my contractions slowed way down. During that time Kathy (a.k.a. Grandma, double a.k.a. our doula) met up with us at the hospital. Once the midwife was finally able to make it in to see me she was not impressed with my progress at all. I was less dilated than I had been at my weekly checkup two days prior. The baby was only 50% effaced and my contractions were dwindling. If I hadn’t given birth to Berlin in a car I think she would have sent me home right then and there. Instead I was told to take a walk.
At this point it was around 1:15pm and Kathy, Steve and I hadn’t eaten lunch so we went to Whole Foods and Jamba Juice and got salads, smoothies, and really delicious chocolate chip cookies. Then we went to Lake Calhoun and walked the whole 3.2 miles around the lake. By this point my contractions were back every couple of minutes, but not especially painful. Yes, it might have been a bad idea to walk a 3.2 mile circular route while in labor, but if this was real I wanted there to be some serious progression by the time we got back to the hospital.
The midwife, Steve, and I were still not sure this was real labor; Kathy was the only convinced that there was going to be a baby arriving in our world soon.
By the time we finally got back to the hospital it was around 4:30 or 5:00pm. The midwife was actually surprised to see us back. She thought that since we had been gone so long that the contractions had stopped at we weren’t coming back. After she heard about where we went walking she said, “Next time I tell you to go on a walk you stay close by, you don’t drive 10 minutes away and walk 3 miles.” She was feisty. :)
After another check we discovered that I was actually dilated a little bit more, 3 or 4cm instead of barely 2cms and the baby had dropped a little bit lower. Good news.
Then I had ordered rest, in which my contractions slowed way down again, and then another suggested walk. This time we stayed around the hospital and walked some boardwalk type trails over some hospital backyard marshlands.
My contractions were definitely getting more intense and painful which was good progress, however, they were also sending this pain shooting down my right leg so that every contraction I actually had to stop walking because my leg hurt so much. That early on my leg hurt more than the contractions themselves.
That walk changed nothing except the midwife decided not to send me home. She said that if I went home I would probably just have to turn around and come back soon. So after some super tasty hospital food (blech!) we went on yet another walk. Walk, walk, walk.
Steve found out that the room that Tryn was born in and the room that we were brought to after Berlin was born (the nicest room in the maternity ward) was available and so he sweet talked to a few nurses and the midwife and got us checked in to “our” room. I was so excited! I love things like “all of my kids were born (almost, except that car part) in the same room”.
Except by then I was really tired from walking all day and from having contractions for 18ish hours. My contractions were finally getting pretty intense, but I was still only dilated to 5cms with no end in sight. This was super frustrating for me. I don’t know what I was expecting with my third baby, but it wasn’t to be in labor for hours and hours. My midwife asked me if I was interested in having her break my water. I was nervous about that because I had heard both sides of the affects. In some cases it speeds things way up, other times it just makes contractions more painful and things do not get noticeably faster.
She said that since I hadn’t progressed much that it might be a good idea, otherwise I could be up all night in the same condition I was in. I had always had my water break naturally so it was a hard decision for me, but I decided to go ahead and do it in the end. I didn’t want to stay up all night.
Sparing the details, my water was broken, my contractions got worse, and…nothing happened.
I sat on an exercise ball and listened to some classical music. Nothing happened.
I laid down for awhile. Nothing happened.
I mean besides painful contractions and such.
Finally, it got to be about 11:00pm I was not progressing at all and so the midwife asked me how I felt about getting hooked up to Pitocin. I just started to cry. See, I had been put on Pitocin after 30ish hours of labor with Tryn and it made my contractions so painful and unbearable after being awake for so many hours. It was the one thing I had hoped we wouldn’t have to do because I was pretty sure that more than an hour of Pitocin contractions would lead to pain medication or an epidural and I was also hoping to avoid both of those.
However, the fact that I was crying was also an indication of how tired I was. I don’t function very well without enough sleep and I was well aware that I was exhausted and looking at several more hours or labor. So I said, after having someone poke me several times for a simple blood draw earlier, “No offense to any nurses, but please get someone in here who only has to poke my arm once. I cannot handle someone digging around in my arm with a needle right now.” So they got a seasoned nurse to come in and take care of me.
I think I got the IV around 12:30/1:00am, June 12th now, and I was still only at 5cms. At this point I was at 24 hours of contractions and very discouraged to only be at 5cms. The plan was to start me on the very lowest dose of Pitocin possible and see what happened from there.
Before they started to hook all the bags to the IV I decided I wanted to get in the tub. I settled in and watched the nurse start hooking bags of stuff to my IV stand. Within about 15 minutes, just about the time the nurse started to open the Pitocin valve I noticed my contractions getting noticeably stronger. I started getting really uncomfortable and decided to get out of the tub.
As I sat on the bed I noticed the midwife just standing there watching me. I was in intense pain, had no idea if these contractions were going to last for minutes or hours still, and so I asked them to give me a shot that was supposed to take the edge off the pain. Well, I saw the midwife tell the nurse to just wait and not give it to me yet. That’s all I really remember in that blurry half hour of the worst pain of my life. I had been sitting on the edge of the bed and so I decided to lay back and suddenly I knew he was coming.
After Kye was born at 2:09am the midwife kept saying, “I have never seen someone go from 5cms to having the baby in an hour!” The part that I wish was more clear to me is that Steve delivered Kye, something that we had talked about prior to his birth, but I had my eyes closed and was feeling lost in pain during that time and so I can’t really remember much. Steve, of course, thought it was the greatest thing ever to catch his son while that little babe made his entrance into the world. He was the one to hand Kye to me and the one who cut the cord. The parts of it I remember were beautiful; I just wish I hadn’t had my eyes closed so much of that time. :)
The nurse finally gave me the shot while I was pushing and it was supposed to kick in fairly quickly, but I don’t think it kicked in until I was holding Kye in my arms. The Pitocin never had time to kick in either, so I never did have to experience those contractions again. I was amazed to find that out, considering the amount of pain I had felt in that last 20 minutes of labor.
And that was that. Our little boy was finally in our arms. Of course we didn’t actually sleep much that night, how can you with a beautiful new babe in your arms? We also didn’t name him until we were ready to walk out of the hospital, but that is a whole different story. Let's just say I won. Steve wasn't ready to argue with a woman who had just endured so much pain. Good for him. :)