Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thomas's Birthday Story

Everything I'd read and heard said that labor for first babies takes 14-16 hours. We figured that if labor started anytime after noonish on Saturday, the baby would be born on the 1st for Grandpa's incentive plan. All day Saturday, we sat around and waited, but nothing. By 10pm, we'd pretty much given up and needed to get to bed if we were going to make it to church in the morning. I couldn't sleep, though, since I'd barely moved all day. Looking on the internet for ways to jumpstart labor, I found lots of recommendations to walk and a couple that said to eat pineapple or spicy food. I had a bowl of pineapple and Curtis and I decided to go to the grocery store while my mom went to bed. It was 11pm. I waddled up and down every aisle of Food4Less until I felt like I could maybe sleep. We came home, put away groceries, and went to bed. It was almost midnight.

I woke up during the night (probably 1 or 1:30am) to use the restroom. I got up another two times feeling like my bladder was full. I realized that the crampy feeling was probably contractions. I hadn't looked at the clock, so wasn't sure how frequently they were coming. Given that it was "early labor" (which can last all day,) I tried to go back to sleep. I was up at 5am and heard my mom go into her bathroom. I went out and said hi and that I thought I was having contractions about a half hour apart so Sunday afternoon or evening, there'd be a baby. I went back to bed, but disturbed Curtis getting in. I told him what I had told Mom. Oddly, he was now wide awake, so we decided to have breakfast. Mom joined us for omelets and we talked about going to the 6:30 am Mass, since it was already 10 till 6.

About that time, I started feeling cold and achy. I crawled back into bed and Curtis started timing the contractions with his stopwatch. Each one lasted about a minute and they were about 14 minutes apart. Not going to church now. That lasted for about an hour, and then they started coming 10 minutes apart, then 7 minutes, then 3 minutes. I'd only been in "active labor" for two hours, but the contractions were intense enough that it was time to go to the hospital, 20 minutes away. The less said about that ride, the better. Curtis comments that there was lots of screaming. I think screaming is too strong of a word.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:25 am. The nurses are asking me a whole series of admitting questions, which I'm having a very hard time answering through the contractions. When they check my cervix, I'm already at 8 cm, well into "transition," the most painful phase of labor. The problem is that I'm having the urge to push, but it's too soon. Not pushing was a huge fight against myself. Mom and Curtis each had one of my hands and helped me breathe through the urge to push and shouted at me to stop pushing when needed. They were wonderful. After an hour, I was cleared to start pushing and the pain went way down.

I pushed for an hour and a half, but wasn't making good progress and my muscles were getting very tired. The doctor found that his head was crooked. He applied suction to turn the baby's head and help pull the baby out while I pushed. That was the worst pain ever. Fortunately, it only took two more contractions to get the baby out over my screams of "OWWWWW!" (I'm very creative.) While they cleaned up the baby, the doctor sewed up the small episiotomy cut he made. I looked down at him and asked, "Who are you?" Turns out that my doctor couldn't come because she was at her own baby shower. This doctor's middle name happens to be Warren and he has a son whose birthday is April 1st. Funny coincidences.

Thomas was born at 10:45 am, less than 5 hours after the first serious contractions. I never noticed when my water broke, though it was sometime before we arrived at the hospital. I didn't have any pain medication, because there just didn't seem to be enough laboring time left to justify it. Curtis and Mom stayed with me through the entire thing. After months of telling Curtis that he didn't have to be there and wasn't really invited, he was a huge help. He helped me breathe through the urge to push, got me ice chips and fed them to me when my throat was too dry to swallow, and when I pushed, he held my leg with one arm and shoved my head into position with the other arm. He was so good at getting me into the right position, that for some time I thought the bed was doing it automatically. After the baby was born, I looked at him. I saw tears running down his face and I knew they were for me and my pain. I love him.


Lidarose said...

Wow -- that's some story! I'm so glad everything went so well.
Thomas is beautiful ,and I can tell you are already crazy about him.
God bless you all!

Ashley said...

Congrats!!! We're so happy for you! You two will make great parents.

Cheryl F. said...

Happy it was short, sorry about the pain, what about pictures of Mom and Son?!?!

lots of love,

willowlaughter said...

beautiful story -