Category Archives: Birth Stories

Afterward – Birth Story Part 2

This is the continuation of my very wordy birth story. :-) It could have easily ended with part one, but this next part, however small the details might seem to others, made me emotional enough that it will forever be a part of the story in my mind.

The Continuation

Everything was okay up until this point. They held the baby up and I see they are getting ready to cut his cord. “No, what are you doing? I don’t want his cord clamped yet, I want to wait.” The doctor’s response, “It’s already clamped. It’s fine, I waited long enough.” Seeing that it was clamped immediately after birth, I didn’t think it was fine – it wasn’t what I wanted and thought best for my child.  (See this Ted Talk for some information as to why I think delayed cord clamping is important.)

(This is not where I planned on having my child. I knew what choices we were planning on making and what I wanted for our hospital experience and selected a hospital where I’d be supported in those decisions. The decisions we each make for our labors and deliveries will be different – and that’s okay.)

All that to say, I started getting a little emotional at this point. There were tears. “Then I want Shaun to cut it.” The hospital staff was probably wondering what the matter was with the lady who should be happy her healthy child was just born but hurriedly got Shaun to cut the cord. They took our baby over to the little newborn bed the Labor and Delivery nurse brought down with her to triage and once again I started to get nervous. “What are you going to do to him?” She told me the list of standard procedures she was going to do. “No, no I don’t want him to have any of those”. She looks at me and says, “Well, you have to have this one because it is required by Oklahoma.” I’m very glad I had the birthing experience I wanted with my daughter so I knew that wasn’t true. “No, I don’t have to. I know I don’t, because I didn’t get it done with my daughter either.” The nurse just told me fine, but that the pediatrician would probably talk to me and that I’d have to sign some paperwork. The ER doctor stood next to the side of the triage bed and said,

“You’re crazy. You know, it’s parents like you I don’t like. You make decisions like these and I’m the one that has to deal with the consequences. They get sick and they come to the ER and I’m the one that has to treat them.”

It slightly (okay, very) irked me that someone would judge me as a parent and the decisions I make without knowing me – the research, time, thought that were put into these things. I care about my children. I have an almost 2 1/2 year old that is still rear-facing. Why? Because I researched and think it’s the safest.

I look at Shaun and whisper “I just want to go home.”

I still haven’t held my son yet, neither has Shaun. They were concerned because his body temperature was slightly low, 97 degrees, and wanted to get it up first. I didn’t fight for something different because I didn’t really know for sure, this didn’t come up in any of my research. Later, at my 6 week appointment with my CNM at the larger hospital I planned to deliver at, I discussed with her and she agreed that skin-to-skin would have warmed him up right away.  At their hospital they don’t worry unless the temperature is under 97. Next time I’ll be sure to push for getting to hold the baby immediately if at all possible.

We aren’t quite done yet. The ER Doctor says he needs to deliver the placenta. It’s been minutes since our son has been born. This is something else I don’t want. I want the placenta to detach on its own unless there is a medical reason for the doctor to pull it out. I let him know that I wasn’t okay with that plan and that I want to wait (once again I threw in there I did it that way with my daughter). By now, this doctor was pretty frustrated with me. (The feeling was mutual though.) He told me,

“Lady, you are holding up the entire Emergency Room. I can’t sit here and wait for you.”

I couldn’t leave the ER until the placenta delivered because it has to be done by a doctor and the on call OB said he didn’t want to come just to do the placenta. The nurses came to the brilliant solution of moving me triage to a normal ER room.

April-June

While in the ER room our daughter got to come in and be there as we held her less than an hour old brother for the first time and she gave him a sweet kiss. Things were feeling a little better now.

Except for I later wished that I would have refused to have that IV put in. Something else I didn’t read about in my research – Pitocin given routinely after birth.

Begin Side Rant:I do not like routine procedures. Not every one wants the routine. I believe a patient should be consulted before drugs, immunizations, antibiotics, etc are administered. A patient deserves to be informed. Some might not care and others will. I pay large sums of money for this care and I feel I deserve to know what’s going on and what’s being put in my and my child’s body. Give a patient the opportunity to decline or accept. End Side Rant. :-)

The placenta detached and was delivered and we went up to a regular room. The ER nurse told me I made her month and that she now wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. Ours was the first baby she helped catch.

The remainder of the stay went smoothly – no more pressure to get procedures done, the nurses and doctors were all fine, and we ate your stereotypical yucky hospital food.

After a long day and half we were able to go home on Wednesday – we made it in time to eat leftover mac and cheese for lunch. :-) Home never felt better and we even walked to the park that afternoon.

As compared to child number one this birth was way easier, way less painful, faster (and number one was fast too), and recovery a breeze (not tearing makes a world of difference there) but the experience and emotional end of it was not near as pleasant.

Did your hospital or birthing team support you in giving you the birth you wanted?

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She’s Not Kidding – Birth Story Part 1

(Disclaimer – this might be the longest, most rambling post for the shortest labor ever written. Part 2, my experience after my baby was born, coming next week)

It started off as a normal morning. Our first child was born 12 days late and we were still 12 days away from baby number two’s due date. Went to work at 8, walked to the park over lunch and sat on the swings with my daughter, got home from work at 3. Nothing too exciting there. After we got home we did laundry, took a shower, made homemade mac & cheese for supper, and tackled those dishes all while watching severe weather coverage on the computer. 

35.5 weeks - the last belly picture I took.

35.5 weeks – the last belly picture I           remembered to take.

Living in tornado alley during the spring is always interesting. The day was Monday, May 20th – the day of the Moore, OK tornadoes. In our house May 20th will be remembered for something else as well, the birth of our second child.

My husband Shaun works in radio and they cover tornado warnings anywhere in their listening area. That means he worked later than usual that night – arriving home around 7:30pm.

At this point I was just having mild contractions anywhere from 15-30 minutes apart never lasting more than 30 seconds. Was this going to be the night or would the baby decide to wait for another day?

There was some discussion going on as to what we should do – go to the hospital, not go, wait longer, call someone. . .  In the meantime, our daughter gets ready for bed and is hanging out with us.

The hospital I go to is in a city 1 hour and 15 minutes away, and just minutes away from the area devastated by the tornado earlier that day.   My mom received a phone call from my husband and she suggested we call down there and see if it was a good idea to come since they are closer to the tornadoes. The hospital said come on down.

Total time elapsed by this point, about an hour. It is now around 8:30. We start packing a suitcase and getting ready to leave.

Contractions are getting stronger now and a little closer together – but still not lasting much longer than 30-45 seconds.

As I get to the point I have to stop what I’m doing and lean over the counter when a contraction comes, we reconsider our hour plus drive. Maybe that’s not such a great idea. :-)

Shaun starts getting worried and calls my mom again. She says this sounds like it’s close and tells us to go to our local hospital and she’ll call our friend that we were planning on having watch our daughter.

Change of gears here – we now start gathering the bare essentials and Shaun puts them in the car. Basically our camera and phones. Everything else can wait, right? Our friend calls back to see if she should meet us at home or the hospital. Shaun gets my opinion,

“The hospital” I quickly respond without having to think.

As Shaun is buckling the toddler into her car seat my water breaks. The time now: 9:10pm. I start yelling for him to hurry, telling him I don’t think I can get in the car and make it to the hospital. At this point Shaun starts getting really worried – he’s determined we make it to the hospital. After a contraction finishes I go to the closet and grab in old beach towel to sit on in the car and we are on our way. Of course the first light we hit is red. Shaun keeps trying to inch forward to go through it and I keep responding with,

“No. You can’t run the light. Don’t get us killed, you have to wait.” Can you tell that I am a rule follower?

The light turns green and Shaun presses the accelerator to finish our short drive to the hospital 1 1/2 miles from our house. I guess that’s a good thing about living in a small town.

9:15pm we hurriedly stop in front of the Emergency Room and Shaun walks inside to tell them his wife is having a baby. The staff takes their time getting a wheel chair thinking I am hours away from delivering as I start getting out of the vehicle. Thankfully a nurse outside sees that I’m actually in labor to some extent and pushes me inside while Shaun gets our daughter. One good thing about having used the ER 4 years earlier is that I can bypass the check-in desk – the receptionist already has my info pulled up.

Finally, I am in triage. A young nurse starts asking me questions: when did your water break, how far apart are your contractions, when did they start? I interrupt her saying, “It doesn’t matter right now. This baby is coming!” There’s nothing like not being believed when you are in the middle of labor (or the end of labor). She tells me, rather sternly, “It’s okay. Now how far apart are your contractions.” When I mumbled some response and she asked me another question I respond with, “I can’t sit here anymore, you don’t understand the baby is coming.” She might have been a tad frustrated, still not believing me when she said “You’re fine, we are going to push you up to labor and delivery.” I honestly couldn’t sit another second and started to stand up. Thankfully another nurse said “it’s okay, you can come over here, motioning to the bed in triage. I started to undress and FINALLY they knew I was serious. I heard the one nurse say, “She’s not kidding. There’s a head.” In my head I was thinking, “No way, that’s what I’ve been trying to say this entire time.”

(Shaun has our daughter and at some point during all this he leaves the triage room to get her transitioned into the care of our friend.)

All of a sudden the triage room is bustling with nurses and the ER doctor comes in. They might be a little frantic. One nurse is putting an IV into my hand as the child is coming. The baby’s head is out. (We’ve come this far with no effort on my part – my body is just doing its thing on its own). They tell me to push to get the shoulders out and with a halfway/kind-of push a new baby is delivered into this world.

The time? 9:23pm.

And, it was a boy! 6 pounds 7 ounces and 19 inches.
Our newborn boy

 

The rest of the story: To be continued (Find Part 2 Here)

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