Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Rest of the Story

So, when I left you all hanging, I was at what I thought was the end of my rope on Sunday night. It turns out my rope was a lot longer than I thought.

I went to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 on Sunday night. I woke around midnight feeling more frequent contractions. I sorta dozed between them until 2:00 when I decided I wanted to get in the tub and have PreacherMan time them for me. So we got up and in the tub they were consistently 3.5 minutes apart lasting 45 to 60 seconds. They were manageable, and I was happy and excited that this seemed to be "it". I could feel my still posterior cervix, but I could finally reach the anterior lip of it a bit to feel I was about 2 cm and I could feel the bag bulging a bit. At 3:00 we woke up my 11 year old (she needs a new nickname. I'm in awe of her so totally now) and she made up the bed, started setting stuff up, got me juice and water and anything we asked her to do. She was in charge of my hypnobabies tracks (helped me with my response to the contractions -- did NOT take away the pain. It was just too over the top, I think), music I wanted, candles, etc. She was totally on top of it. Violet was in charge of food and drink for me, Spielberg was in charge of water for the pool. Atticus was in charge of food for other people.

By 4:30, we figured we were a "go" for birth since they had been consistent, so we called our doula. As soon as I hung up with her, everything slowed down again. (This should have been a BIG CLUE. Baby girl did NOT want anyone at her birth other than Mommy and Daddy)

So, I tried to lay down, things would get more regular. I'd get up, they'd slow down. Every once in a while they would be very intense -- very painful, and then they'd be manageable again.

Around 9 AM my doula went home for a while. I had PreacherMan check me and try to figure out fontanels and suture lines to see where the baby was lying. He thought she was LOT (she was actually ROT, but they feel about the same!) and I was about 4 cm, posterior cervix. I had SO MUCH pressure in my pelvis and everytime I sat on the toilet I had horrid contractions and no way to get any relief. The ball felt the best. I would sit on the ball, and grab my thighs, pulling my knees towards me, while PreacherMan was on a chair in front of me and I needed to press my head into his head. Whenever a contraction would start I would yell "HEAD" and he would have to bend his head so I could press against it.

After a while I asked him to check me again. He felt he could stretch the cervix to about 8 cm, but it was still posterior and thick. I had him hold it up for a couple contractions and that seemed to help with intense pain for a while.

My doula returned around lunch time and I felt a renewed sense of hope. Every so often, though, especially if I got on my hands and knees or any forward leaning position, I would have a contraction so wicked, so horrid, so intensely, excruciatingly painful that I would cry and cry. I've been so hard on moms who complain about the pain of childbirth. If this is what they felt, well, my bad, ladies, you have a pass. My broken ankle, my tattoos, my root canals and my six other births (including Blondie's posterior labor) could not hold a CANDLE to this kind of pain. I don't know how to describe it -- like someone had broken my sacrum with a 2x4 would probably be the most accurate. I would feel one starting and knew I was fighting it. I could NOT LET GO in my bottom when one of those would start. I got caught unaware standing by the bathroom sink with one of them and starting shouting, "NO! NO! NO! I can't DO THESE ONES!!!!" and then I would break down crying when it was over.

I debated going into my backup doc's for my scheduled appointment and having the baby monitored (I was listening, and she was fine) but I knew if they saw me have one of those contractions and found out I was 4 cm, they'd send me to the hospital and I didn't want to go there. I tried the homeopathic remedy Kali Carb. this did help for a time! It stopped the back pain, the contractions slowed a bit and were manageable again.

At 2:00 I decided to call FaeryLady. I wanted another opinion that everything was okay. I wanted her to walk the baby's head to a good position if she could. I had mixed feelings about calling her, because when I had Blondie, she had said some things that were discouraging and I felt her prescence had slowed that birth as well. She had said "Maybe your uterus isn't going to do this." "If it stops again, we'll need to take that as a sign" "How long do you want to do this anyway?" etc.

Fortunately, she didn't answer her home phone and I didn't try the cell.

I sobbed and cried. All I could see was a c-section. I knew in the hospital they would want to a: break my water. Wasn't happening because baby was NOT in a good position; b: give me pit. Wasn't happening. I'm a VBAC. c: cut me open. This was starting to look like what was going to happen anyway. My doula was right there telling me not to give up, I was almost ready to go in and be cut. I didn't think there was any other way. I was convinced something MUST be wrong because having labor for that freaking long was NOT NORMAL. By this time I could feel the cervix a little better, bag bulging tightly, 4 cm and still posterior and fat, almost swollen feeling.

I tried homeopathic pulsatilla at this point and it did help with all the weepiness, but not the back pain.

I called my chiro for suggestions. He said he would stop by after office hours and adjust me if I was still laboring. Bless that man!

I talked to my homeopath in Michigan (I LOVE YOU JULIET!) who made the best suggestion, which I should have followed immediately. She said, "Can you get all the people out of your house?" At the time I thought, well, no. The only other people were my kids and an adult friend caring for them.

At 4 my doula had to leave because her childcare had fallen through. She said she would return with her children and promised she could keep them contained.

When she returned with them, I could hear them though, and that was distracting to me. I felt bad for our friend who was watching our children and now had four other children to watch. I felt bad for our doula because I know it was awkward for her. I just felt bad for me because I just wanted my baby and I thought she would not come until I had a section.

The chiro came and did an adjustment. By this time the contractions were about 5 minutes apart or so. He felt the baby was not in a bad position. I had given in to my body and was leaning back instead of forward with every contraction. Every time I would lean forward like you're "supposed to" for a posterior baby, the pain was truly unbearable. What did help was the knee press. Someone would have to press slightly up on my kneecaps and then drive my femurs back into my pelvis. This was most effective if I was laying back on my bed, and in that case took ALL THE PAIN AWAY. My doula did not have the body mass to give me enough pressure, so at this point, Atticus and Spielberg each sat in front of a knee and when a contraction would begin, I would shout "KNEES" and they would each drive a leg back into my pelvis. This was about suppertime on Monday night.

Finally PreacherMan said, "I'm making a command decision and kicking everyone out. We'll have a family movie, send the little girls to bed, and then things might kick in." I was so grateful that he made that decision. I would have felt bad about it. My doula was worried that if she left, I would have the baby before she could return. She was right. Because she didn't have childcare, she would have had to put all her kids back in the car and take them over here again. There would have been no one here to watch them in the middle of the night either.

Everyone was gone by about 8:30. At this point, they were still about 5 minutes apart. We started watching some TV. The little girls got put to bed. We started watching "24" at 9 and I decided that I ought to call FaeryLady and let her know what was going on and give her the option of driving then or having to drive at 3 AM. I called her at 9:34 and told her that I was 6 cm, what had been happening all day, and that I thought the baby's head was in a bad position. She said I should call her other apprentice and tell her to come as well. She said she wanted to drive now and that she would be here in about three hours. I told her if she arrived and the lights were off and it was all quiet, that I was sleeping, and to just go to sleep on the sofa downstairs.

I clapped my cellphone shut and the contractions started coming every 2 minutes. I called the other apprentice and told her that since she was 7 months pregnant, I wanted her to decide if she wanted to come right then or not. I was still very convinced it would be many, many more hours. I had a big contraction while on the phone with her and her husband could hear me moaning all the way through it through her cell phone. He commented "That's a long contraction!"

Shortly after, I got on the toilet for a few contractions and asked PreacherMan to fill the pool. I got in the pool and a few later could still feel my fat cervical lip. I asked PreacherMan to try holding it up again and he did for two contractions, but it kept slipping back again. He said it was so stretchy that when the baby got her head in line, it would come right on through. I shouted at him, "The baby CAN NOT COME UNTIL THE CERVIX GOES AWAY!!!" Poor guy. My 11 year old said, "Mommy, when FaeryLady gets here, she can help you with the cervix." I shouted at her "I CAN'T DO THIS UNTIL SHE GETS HERE!" Poor girl.

I then decided that the only thing left to try was the "flip the lip" technique for cervical lips. Three contractions on the left side, relaxing the bottom as much as possible, 3 on the right, 3 kneeling or hands & knees. The ones on the left I could do okay. I needed PreacherMan and my 11 year old to hold my leg up at the knee and was yelling at them when they did it wrong. PreacherMan told my daughter, "Don't take it personally when she says you're doing it wrong" She replied very matter-of-factly, "I know. It's labor."

Then I moved to the right side. These were harder. My back was hurting so bad. I did another dose of Kali Carb, but it didn't help. I thought about giving up after one on my right side, but there was nothing left to do. I heard PreacherMan say to daughter, "The question is, will we have a baby before midnight?" And I shouted at him to shut up and quit speculating. The baby was NOT coming! I did the three on the right side and had PreacherMan check me again. Lip still there. I said, "I'm getting out on the ball now." But before I could move, another one started. It was the worst contraction of all of them. I screamed, "My BAAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!!" and continued to scream until it was over. I've never lost control during a labor like that before. The next contraction, at the end I GRUUUUUUNTED and could feel my body bear down. Daughter said, "Do you want me to call people?" I shouted "NO!"

The next contraction I felt her move down further and could feel the bag and her head just inside. I looked at daughter and said, "Call everyone." She grabbed my phone and started calling everyone on the recent call list. She then ran to put on my "pushing baby out" track on my ipod. PreacherMan was using all my hypnosis cues as I started to push. The temptation to just push her out already and get it over was almost overwhelming. I started kneeling and eventually rocked up into a full squat. I felt my uterus powerfully pushing her down. The bag burst and I shouted "Water!" and daughter put a glass of water in my reach. LOL. I had the prescence of mind to look down and see if the water looked clear. It did. Once it broke, though, my uterus wanted that baby OUT FAST and I had to hold her head back with my hands and open my mouth wide and say "AAHHHHH" to keep her from blasting out in one shot. I could feel the anterior fontanel right smack in the middle of her head and the criss cross suture lines on either side. I thought that was interesting and noted that it meant her head was not flexed. I could hear people asking me questions like "Is she crowning?" and saying things like "I can see the bag" but I couldn't respond to them. I felt every single millimeter coming out. As I stretched I had a fleeting impulse to just push her out again and then returned to controlling the speed. I then felt her entire head come out and said, "The head is out." I felt her rotate and felt her neck extend. There was no cord in the way. I tried a couple different positions for the shoulders, but her head kept floating up and I couldn't figure out how to get her shoulder out. PreacherMan asked if I needed help. I said yes and leaned back against the wall of the pool. I pushed and felt her shoulder go under and told PreacherMan to guide her up, he did and I felt her slide out of me and THERE SHE WAS! It was over! She was here!

She gave a squawk and then was quiet and peaceful. I felt the cord, her pulse was good and strong. She was CAKED with vernix. Daughter got my mom on the phone and the boys came in the room. I then looked and said, "I WAS RIGHT, she's a girl!!"

I asked Violet for the baby stethoscope. She put it in my ears and I could hear that baby girl was breathing well, she was just peaceful and looked like she was sleeping. I felt the water was getting kinda cool, so I wanted to get out and get some blankets on the baby.

By this time my doula was back, her kids sleeping in the car in the driveway. She and PreacherMan helped me out and to the bed. I realized after I got in bed that my back was still killing me. I was a big whiny baby about it and very demanding about how the pillows were arranged, etc. By about 15 minutes after the birth, we had the webcam set up and my mom and dad were able to see the baby.

The other apprentice arrived about an hour after birth. I was feeling an urge to push again so I knew the placenta was ready. She helped me get it out and I felt so much better. The afterpains were startlingly strong though. Afterease tincture is a wonderful thing! I was so shocked by how much my back still hurt though. I thought the pain would stop when the baby was out, but it didn't for a while.

Baby girl latched on a nursed about 30 minutes after birth. She was perfect and so beautiful. FaeryLady arrived about 2 hours after the birth and she and the other apprentice cleaned up and did the newborn exam. Blondie snapped on a pair of gloves and poked the placenta (the membranes were grayish brown??? what was that about? I don't know. And the cord had some very weird marks on it that looked like bite marks or something), helped change the sheets on my bed, helped FaeryLady take out the trash and then helped PreacherMan cut the cord. TinkerBell passed out on the sofa in my room, 11 year old on my bed, Violet across the foot of my bed.

Baby girl is a precious, mellow, sweet, beautiful, perfect baby. Everyone in the house is positively twitterpated, even Spielberg, the Sk8ter Boi, dark humor child, baby talks to her and loves on her.

And that's the end.


Evilynmo said...

I teared up...again. Your so amazing and your family is incredible!

mm said...

At a loss for words!
Thank you for sharing!!!!

Dollymama said...

That is one powerful story. Reminds me of my posterior birth.... To hear you say that this is worse. Well, my mind can't even comprehend that kind of labor.

I'm so glad for you that it's OVER! I seriously, **SERIOUSLY** hope that you are going to stay in bed and rest for about 2 weeks at least! (Dollymama's orders!)

Lowa said...

WOW! I am so glad I checked back and you had time ot share all of this:) I loved reading it!

I wonder what the deal is with the placenta and cord?? That is very odd, eh??

Just goes to show you, each pregnancy and delivery is different, isn't it?? How awesome that your kids were all there and are so helpful:) I had all mine in the hospital, unfortunately. But at least I had a midwife, not a doctor. And they allowed my kids in the room. My 16 month old was sitting on a chair beside the bed and watched his sister being born, but of course he doesn't remember that!

You are right, she IS beautiful! HOw many tats do you have?? I have eight and want a few more.

More pictures please?? Maybe a family one??

Emily said...

Wow, you do have an awesome hubby!!! You're amazing.... I'm so happy for you that you got the unattended birth you wanted, although it came in a whole different way, right?! And man, your eldest daughter is amazing.... what a blessing.

Happy Babymooning...

Louisa said...

Sounds like you have an 11y/o doula in the house.
Well done mama. Nice work !
Xx Louisa

The Girl said...

Congratulations!!! How exciting! What a beautiful story!

Leigh said...

Thank you for sharing, especially in such amazing detail. You are an incredible woman, a brave, goddess birthing warrior. And know what's funny? I know you were so worried about pushing and guess what? Sounds like your little girl did most of the pushing herself, just like you'd wanted. :)
I found lots of nuggets of wisdom and advice in your story...thank you.