Monday, August 25, 2008

The Labor Story

See the fun pictures below. Here is the labor story (lengthy) as told by the mommy for those who want to know what was taking so long. :) Maybe Daddy will post his version later as Mommy's perspective may have been distorted.

I woke up at 2:15 am Sunday morning with light contractions. After about an hour, and contractions 8-10 minutes apart, I rolled over and told Nathan and then called Kelly. At about 3:15am, I couldn't sleep and so I got up and did some dishes, cut some watermelon (to eat during the transition phase of labor), and did a final round of tidying up.

Kelly came at about 4am and tried to get me to rest. I was chatty and excited and wanted to tell her anything and everything I was thinking (classic phase 1 labor emotions). Contractions were about 6 minute apart lasting 30-45 seconds and were relatively easy. I didn't need any help getting through them. I ate some leftover chicken from the night before, some toast and watermelon to try to store up energy for laboring in case I got queasy later.

Contractions got progressively stronger throughout the morning. I mostly labored sitting on an exercise ball and with my head resting on a pillow on the top of our desk. Kelly coached me through the contractions and rubbed my back, shoulders, etc... to get me through. Nathan got up at 7am and began helping Kelly and giving me hugs. Nathan's parents came at 9am to help out also.

By noon, I was getting ready to go to the birth center. My contractions were 3-5 minutes apart lasting a minute and had been that way for an hour. I was beginning to struggle a bit and relied heavily on Kelly and Nathan to get me through each contractions. I heard myself making jokes in between contractions, probably as a coping mechanism and to help keep a good attitude.

We left for the midwifery at 1:30pm (almost 12 hours after the start of labor). During the 25 minute car ride I realized why people have home births. :) When we arrived at the midwifery, I began to stall. It was so hot outside and since it was a Sunday, there was no A/C on inside yet. The midwife checked me and I was only 3-4 cm dilated. That was very discouraging to me since to start, I had been 1-2cm dilated. The baby was not in a great position and she told me that I needed to lean back during my contractions. She said that I might need to go back home until I was further along. That made me mad, I had been at this for a long time. So we began walking around outside and up and down stairs to get the contractions going. This was very painful, but we had to do it.

After some very strong contractions and a couple of checks by the midwife, I was 6+ cm dilated. I was making progress, and was heading into transition. The tub was filled with water to help as the contractions got more difficult. It was about 5-6pm (I am not really sure) and we were all getting tired, but still in good spirits. The midwife put a belly band on me to help pull my belly up since the baby was still leaning too far forward. With a combination of the belly band and realizing that I could bring on contractions by leaning back and pulling up on my belly, we brought on some really difficult contractions. I was amazed that I could control (to some degree) when the contractions would come by how I was positioned. It is an interesting thing to know that you will bring pain to yourself by doing something, but doing it anyways- he had to come out.

I was starting to really struggle. I felt like I was barely hanging on and got a bit frantic during some contractions. The midwife checked me again and I was at 9+ cm. Good news! Almost done with transition and onto pushing! The midwife began getting supplies out to catch the baby and told me that the worst was over.

However, to everyone's surprise, the worst was not over. This part of the labor is why no one got calls Sunday night about a baby being born. I stalled at 9+ cm.

I can't even think about all of what happened. I just know that I have never felt so weak, so without faith or hope in my life before. The cervix would not get to 10cm because a lip of it was caught around the baby's head and it would not let up. The midwife tried to reach in and pull the cervix around the head, but after repeated tries, it didn't work. The contractions came quick and hard and I couldn't get a break. I said repeatedly that I couldn't do it. I cried, I yelled. I was completely out of control. I prayed, "Lord please help me finish," but I couldn't believe that He would. I had been so strong, but now was letting everyone down.

Everyone tried to get me to relax and be encouraged. I got some herbal supplements from the midwife to help calm down. Finally enough time went by and I was able to calm down enough to get through enough contractions that the lip made it around baby's head on its own. I began pushing with the midwife's guidance. It was about 11pm. They told me that this could take another two hours. I did not have two hours left of strength left so I shut everyone out and got into kind of a zone. I pushed and pushed, faster than I should have and ended up tearing a bit. It was kind of funny that they kept wanting to show me the head and I kept saying no! I wanted to keep going, no time to waste! :) But, kicking and screaming, Luke was out at 11:37 pm.

Luke cried and cried at first. He had a great pink, soft skin and a little face that looked like it had not endured any of the hardship of labor. Nathan cut the cord and I held him on my belly. I was very weak, so Nathan's parents held him and calmed him down while the midwives tended to me. After about 45 minutes, I held him again. He latched on quickly and began nursing right away. He was a great sucker and seemed to be a pro from the beginning.

I was able to stand up about an hour later and we all drove home exhausted at 2am. 24 hours after it all started, it was over. Little Luke was in our arms.

Thank you to Kelly, Nathan, Kathy, Rod, and the midwives. Everyone did their part. Luke came because of everyone's effort. I needed them to carry me through. Thank you.


Bethany said...

You go, Katie! I am proud of you for all your hard work--little Luke is a beautiful boy and you are already a wonderful mama. I'm so glad that he's nursing well.

Bethany said...

I just read over my comment after publishing it, and I wanted to make sure that I don't sound like I'm minimizing the difficulty of labor. Thank you for taking the time to write down the story, and I look forward to hearing more about your new life as parents.

Ma Torg said...

Regarding your comment about not wanting to see Luke's head, I was exactly the same way with Lucy. I was so tired and felt the need to finish so urgently, that even the distraction of my very own baby was not welcome!! Ha!

You really did great in that end part. I noticed you in the zone and it was incredible to watch. The strength that you summoned up was incredible. Good job, Katie!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

"I cried, I yelled. I was completely out of control. I prayed, "Lord please help me finish," but I couldn't believe that He would."

I know EXACTLY what you mean - I got stuck in transition during Thomas' birth - I still find it hard to think about! Good for you for finding that final strength and finishing well!