With baby number three wiggling away inside of me and planning his or her exit very soon, I thought it would be fun to share my two birth stories with you. The second story is quite different from the first, and this third story will be different yet from the first two. Here is story number one...
When I was pregnant with Lucy, Ross and I prepared by taking the childbirth class at the hospital. Ross had to wear the big 30 lb pregnant mommy belly, we practiced breathing techniques, and learned about all of the hospital procedures. At the class the instructor talked about the possible interventions and had us think about what we would like to avoid and what we felt was important. (things like an epidural, induction, breaking of water, etc) Ross and I both agreed that we did not like the idea of an epidural and wanted to try for a natural childbirth. I was surprised that a few of my friends wanted to sign up ahead of time for an epidural. I had no idea what labor was going to be like, but wanted to at least try it before I begged for drugs. My pregnancy had been very uneventful and normal so far and I thought that labor would be the same.
The day after my due date, at 5:00 pm, my water broke. My parents were visiting from Texas waiting to meet their first grandbaby, and Ross was home from work helping my dad fix a pipe downstairs. My mom yelled down that we had broken water up here and it wasn't a pipe. I had felt the baby kick and felt a pop and ran to the bathroom when water started pouring out of me. It didn't stop. I waddled into the hospital with a big soaking wet beach towel between my legs. I did not feel any contractions until after we were settled in our room and then tried walking around a bit. As soon as the contractions hit, they were hard and fast and furious and all I could do was curl up in the bed. I asked for Stadol, thinking that some pain medication might help me get through without an epidural, but that just made me feel slightly out of it, and in just as much pain.
I ended up asking for an epidural because the contractions were just way too intense and not stopping. I remember looking at the monitor thinking that the contractions couldn't get any harder or closer together, they would spike as high as the monitor could even record and were coming every minute or less. The anesthesiologist was not answering his pager, and I ended up completely freaking out and screaming at the top of my lungs for an hour while I waited for the pain relief. There was nothing Ross or anyone could do. A nurse tried to remind me to breathe and I ended up sort of slapping her away from me. (This is sooo not me if you know me at all...) As soon as I got the epidural I had immediate relief; they turned out the lights and told me to rest.
About an hour later the nurses and doctor came in and told me it was time to push. I was a bit confused as to how they knew this when I myself could feel absolutely nothing. I pushed for 20 minutes and ended up with the suction assist being put on Lucy's head because she kept going back up in between pushes. Eight hours after my water had broken, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was perfectly healthy and I still remember her sweet little face as she looked around and responded to her Daddy's voice. She started to fuss and when he spoke to her she quieted right away.
Although Lucy was perfectly fine, I was traumatized. It took me quite a while to even think that I wanted to ever have another baby. When we did get pregnant with our second baby, I debated long and hard about my birth plans. I had been attending La Leche League and had learned so much about natural childbirth, why it is important, the benefits to mom and baby, etc. At the same time, I didn't want to go through anything like my first birth ever again. I knew of a mom in the group who was a Bradley method instructor and I couldn't decide if I wanted to take classes with her or just sign up ahead of time for an epidural and get it as soon as possible. I knew that it was an important decision and I was torn.
Story Number Two coming soon...