Monday, May 12, 2014

Ollie's Natural Birth Story

If my labor with Destructo was a marathon, by far my labor with Sgt. Screamer was a sprint.  Or in horse racing terms Destructo's was the Belmont and Ollie's was the Breeders Cup Sprint.  I am so glad that it was a much easier, quicker, overall way better labor the second time around.
Whole lot of crying went on

I woke up March 24th and wasn't having any labor signs what so ever.  This was strange since I had been having labor signs for weeks including timeable contractions.  I was pacing around the house talking to my labor and delivery nurse friend and whining that I didn't even feel pregnant anymore minus the huge belly and being able to feel the baby moving around.

While talking to her, I noticed I was having some period like cramping.  I told her once Destructo was done eating breakfast I would take him on a long walk just to see what happened.  She highly recommended that.  Sure is nice to have a L and D nurse friend to tell me what to do.  I was super irritable that day so I figured what better thing to do than get us both out of the house to keep from losing my cool with him.  I purposely cleaned my kitchen and folded all the laundry I had waiting just in case so at least my house would be clean if I went into labor.  I imagine this was last minute nesting lol.

We went walking around 10:15.  I had what I thought were a few contractions and was talking to my grandma on the phone telling her I might be having contractions but I couldn't really tell.  Then all of a sudden I felt like I was seriously going to pee my pants right then and there and so much pressure.  I remember thinking it was weird since I had went to the bathroom right before we left.  At that point we had only been gone 15 minutes and I really hadn't drank anything much that day.   I have a feeling this is when Screamer really dropped down since he hadn't up until that point.  

I kept walking and knew for sure I was having some contractions.  At this point, I got even more irritable because of all days this was the day Destructo wasn't listening to me and wanting to dawdle and I just wanted to get home to see if the contractions stopped (like they had been for weeks) and to pee.  Well in all honesty he doesn't listen a lot of days and was probably no worse than normal but it sure felt like he was walking at the negative speed of light.   I feel bad because I kept losing my temper since he was stopping and going sooo slow.  I called Mr. Destructo at this point to tell him I was having contractions but not to come home yet since I was sure they would stop once I got off my feet.

We finally got home around 11:15 and I laid on the couch and started timing contractions.  This was nearly impossible since Destructo wasn't cooperating and needed a snack and then lunch and the TV turned on and wanted me to play and on and on.  I called Mr. Destructo back and told him he probably needed to come home because I was having contractions every 8-10 minutes and they were uncomfortable enough that I wasn't really able to get Kai lunch and ready for nap since his night time diaper had leaked that morning and he had no sheets on his bed but not to rush.  I figured I would take a nap if nothing else once he was home.  I do like naps.

Within about 15 minutes, I called him again and told him I lied.  The contractions had gotten more painful and intense and I knew then it was real labor.  I just did not want to be alone with a toddler anymore because my patience was absolutely gone by that point.  I called my mom and dad and told them to head up our way.  They live an hour away so I wanted to give them plenty of time to get there.  I told mom even if we didn't head straight to the hospital at least they would be there when we needed to go.

Yeah after that the contractions really started speeding up.  I was having them about every five minutes if I was laying down and every 3 minutes if I was moving around and the only comfortable position was sitting on the toilet.  I could not lay down even though I wanted to rest since I was thinking I would need to save my strength for a long labor.  Looking back it is funny to see what an impact my first super long labor had on my thinking during my second labor.

The contractions were now coming every 3-4 minutes so I told Mr. Destructo we needed to leave.  I called my parents again to see how far out they were.  This is the point where I really started freaking out.  I was crying because I just wanted to get to the hospital.  I didn't mind the idea of a home birth, but obviously we weren't prepared and I didn't want to wait any longer because I knew the car ride in was going to be excruciating.  It is a 30 minute drive barring traffic.  I got very lucky with all three car rides I had to the hospital with both my labors in that they were all at off peak traffic times.  Rush hour takes the 30 minutes and turns it into 1-2 hours.  God was looking down on me with Ollie since right after I went through a wreck happened and stopped traffic creating a huge traffic jam.

I actually got in the car to wait as I barked orders to Mr. Destructo about things not to forget.  At one point, I decided to have Mr. Destructo go over and get one of our neighbors.  We don't really know them, but they seem nice enough and Destructo was napping so it wasn't like I was leaving him alone with a stranger.  I was that ready to go.  Luckily just as I was about to send Mr. Destructo over my parents got there and we were able to leave.  I was not very nice to any car that I deemed going too slow on the way there.  That truly was the worst car ride of my life.  I remember just rolling side to side in the front seat screaming with each contraction.

We got there and they checked me and I was 9 cm and had a bulging water sac.  I cried because I had been so worried I wouldn't have progressed very far.  It was always my plan to get to the hospital right near transition so that worked nicely.  Then I cried some more when I realized I was going to have a baby on a Monday again.  (My mom had three daughters all born on a Monday.  Both of my boys were born on Mondays.  How weird is that?)   They got me in a room and offered to break my water.  I declined for the moment.  I labored by shaking the bed rail with each contraction.  For some reason this helped.  At one point, both my mom and Mr. Destructo thought I should let them break my water since I was in so much pain and it would quicken delivery.  My mom said your water has to break before he can come out.  Always the bearer of useless knowledge, I informed her that no it didn't and it is called being born in the caul.  And I wonder where Destructo gets his argumentative nature from.  I think I was afraid of having to deliver without an epidural and wanted to postpone the inevitable as long as I could since while contractions sucked, I was fairly easily getting through them.

About 20 minutes later, they checked me again and my water broke.  There was once again meconium in the fluid.  Can one of my boys not have this?  This is when it got rough.  I started pushing and could not push right.  They wanted me to hold my own legs which is the opposite of what I did with Kai and I just could not get past the pain.  There was screaming and crying and cursing and I begged for drugs.  But of course it was too late.  At one point, I accidentally punched a nurse.  I don't remember this.  Whoops.  If we ever have another kid which we don't plan to, but if we do I want to make it a part of my birth plan that I labor with someone else holding my legs so I can have my hands free to grab onto the bed rail and bear down that way.  This is the only part of the labor I somewhat regret because I really lost control and it was so stressful and just awful.

Finally my midwife got through the fog of pain and scaredness when she yelled at me enough to get my attention and told me his heart rate was in the 40's.  He wasn't going to tolerate this much longer.  That was apparently what I needed to hear because after that it was like nothing else mattered but getting him out and in three pushes he was born at 4:17 pm one hour  and ten minutes after we got to the hospital.  That was probably the scariest few minutes of the entire labor though knowing his heart rate was so low and he was in distress.  I remember thinking my baby could die if I don't get it together.  Probably an exaggeration but it was motivated me to get him out..  

They laid him on my chest and he wasn't crying only grunting some.  I couldn't even touch him as they didn't want him to take deep breaths and breathe in anymore meconium fluid than he already had.  I cried again begging him to cry since I didn't realize they purposely wanted to suction him first.  There was lots of tears up in the room.  They whisked him away and he did finally start crying.  It felt like minutes but my husband says it was a minute or less until he was crying.  He had aspirated some of the meconium so they used a special machine to suction him.  I cried some more because I finally had my natural delivery and couldn't even hold my precious baby.  He was covered in meconium and I was too.  It was fitting though that he covered me in poop since his big brother did as well.
Getting suctioned over and over.  

They worked on him for a while and eventually it was decided to take him to the NICU since they were slightly concerned with his breathing.  My mom asked them to please let me hold him for a minute before they took him and they did.  I cried some more.  But was so thankful that she and my hubby asked for this because I didn't even know what he looked like at this point because he was on my chest so briefly.  I remember pulling his hat back for just a second and noticing he had hair.  Destructo was as close to bald as you can be without actually being bald.  Screamer had quite a bit of blonde hair.  I cried over this fact.  Then I cried some more as they wheeled him away.

He went to the NICU and my hubby and I were talking.  He jokingly said that we should name the baby Frank.  We met in my freshman year of college in an English comp class.  We read "Angela's Ashes" and both fell in love with the name Malachi who was a character in that book.  Frank McCourt was the author.  We laughed about that and he went to the NICU to be with the baby while my mom stayed with me.  I was bleeding more than they would like so I had to lay flat.  This was torture since I just wanted to hurry up and recover and go be with my baby.
Off to the NICU he went

While laying there willing myself to quit bleeding, I got bored and started googling "Angela's Ashes" on my phone. Oliver was the brother to Malachi in that book.  I texted Mr. Destructo and told him that the baby was Oliver. I had never been more certain of anything.  When he sent me a picture, I was even more sure.   I didn't think he would ever go along with it since it was a name I had suggested before and he didn't much care for.  But I guess when your wife just delivered an almost eight pound baby naturally and had second degree tearing, you don't argue too much.  Plus he never liked the other name we had picked out all that much.  

 Side note:  The plan had been to name the baby Zachariah and call him Zach.  It was unique, Biblical, but had a common nickname.  The entire pregnancy we had called the baby Zach.  We had also tossed around Solomon and Elijah.

Finally four hours after going to the NICU, they brought my baby back to me.  He had already been given a paci because he was quite hungry while in the NICU.  I was worried that would affect breast feeding negatively but nope.  He latched on as soon as I got him in my arms and we haven't looked back.  I had a bit of trouble getting him onto my left side as I did with Kai, but nothing major.  He has gained weight like crazy and I have had none of the issues I did with Destructo.  I truly feel like breastfeeding is very natural and easy this time around unlike last time.
First picture as a family of four

So there you have it.  My birth story in a very condensed version.  I finally got my natural, unmedicated delivery.  The labor from start to finish was only six hours.  I thought I would feel like some huge accomplishment had been gained from having a natural birth, but honestly I feel like Destructo's hard marathon labor was more of an accomplishment than Screamer's.  (I really probably should come up with a new name since starting him on reflux meds he is a super happy baby haha.)  Either way I am glad to get to experience two very different births.  I am also glad to get my natural birth and know I can do it.  But I am also glad for my epidural birth because it showed me how truly strong I was.  Oh and I got two very adorably cute boys out of the labors.  I am one lucky mama.

Whoever would have thought that this man (Frank McCourt) would have such a profound influence on my future kids names?