Monday, May 21, 2012

In Other Train Wrecks...My Birth Story

I had several reasons why I thought this birth would be good. Little Bit's birth was really good, and the 2 seemingly had many things in common.

1. I was dilated to 2 with both of them going in.
2. I was induced with Pitocin both times.
3. I went in early in the morning and each were born within 10 minutes of noon.
4. I knew Baby Bee was sunny side up and was expecting back labor--again. I'm 3 for 3.

I had such a good experience being induced last time. Although it certainly was NOT my first choice to be induced, I still felt positive about the experience as things had gone so well last time.

Me at 5am. Ignorance is bliss. 

In spite of having several major things in common, this birth went NOTHING like the last one!!! We started the morning off blowing out two veins trying to get an IV started. That hurt VERY much. Ouch. The nurse was very nice and swore she hadn't had that happen in 10 years. Lucky me. After the second blow out she went and got the head nurse who successfully started my IV in the other hand.

So there. As they said in Apollo 13...we just hit our snag for the mission. Right?

They started the Pitocin and were SO fussy about those dang monitors strapped around my stomach. It's no big news that Baby Bee moved in the womb more than any baby in history (breech, not breech, over here, over there) so they kept having to chase her around. I bet they adjusted those stupid monitor belts 35 times in the next few hours. They kept saying, "Because of the medicine you are on (Pitocin) we HAVE to keep the baby well monitored." Well, it turns out they were upping the Pitocin dose every 15 minutes!  I mean, looking back at when I realized that...I should have known something was amiss. That is way too much pushing of the Pitocin. I do not remember that happening with Little Bit. They just got my contractions going and let labor progress last time. I seem to remember them upping it at least once during Little Bit's labor, but every 15 minutes? So, this time my labor progressed because it was forced to. Big difference.

The doctor also came in and broke my water very early in the game. I had hesitations about him doing it so early because I knew it would really speed things up but I thought...well, I DO want to get this show on the road. Didn't really put the whole "breaking the water" and "Pitocin every 15 minutes" together in my mind. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

I started having to actually pay attention to the contractions. Then I started needing to breathe through them. Then I was really uncomfortable and then I was in pain. So I wanted the nurse to check me. Shoot--still a 2. Can't have the epidural yet. Back labor started. I got on my hands and knees to help. They wouldn't let me out of bed for anything. THAT was what I did not want. At one point I told S, "THIS is why I wanted to go into labor at home" indicating all the tubes and wires and monitors all over my person. I know I keep saying it, but with Little Bit, I was up and down, on the birthing ball, in a chair..all sorts of things. I was allowed to labor with her.

Different hospital. Different day. Right?

I wasn't doing very well staying "on top of the pain." I've been in labor twice now. Both times I carefully considered before getting my epidural. Can I still handle this? Yes, I can. I'll wait. This time, there wasn't even time to consider anything. Before I could think, I was in over my head. I was NOT dealing with the contractions well at all and they were nothing like any contraction I've ever felt. These artificially forced contractions were above and beyond the pain of normal labor. The next time they checked me I was a 5. Out loud I thanked God. S said the nurse RAN out of the door to get the anesthesiologist. Here is where things really sped up. I don't think a single person came in or out of that room the rest of my labor that they weren't running. Everything was a blur. And I have no time frame to give you. All I know is my Pitocin started at around 7am and Baby Bee was born at 11:50am.

So my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes at least. The anesthesiologist made a remark about "this is not like trying to hit a moving target, this is like trying to hit a running target!" She kept asking me to sit still. I kept thinking, "Lady--when my contraction is over, you've got 2 minutes--get on it!!!" It seemed to take forever to get the epidural in. I think I had at least 10 contractions while she was working on it. The worst part is, they had asked S to leave the room for this part. He did not want to and asked me several times if that was what I wanted before he left. Honestly, I heard him but I was not able to communicate at all at this point because of the pain. I could not answer or advocate or anything. So my poor little 5' 3" tall nurse got the brunt of my contractions. Pretty sure I bruised her arm. I was in desperate pain, people. Desperate.

When the epidural got into place, I was already an 8. A few minutes later I felt the need to push. Oh, S came back in the room to find me drenched in sweat, shaking uncontrollably, and with an oxygen mask strapped on my face. Quite loudly, he asked what had happened? It really was like he had walked on to the scene of some horrible accident. I was really glad he was back.

Of course they told me not to push while they rushed around calling the doctor. I pushed a few minutes and she was here. And it was like everything just slowed down to a crawl all at once. And there was peace.

She was born not crying. I asked if she was breathing as they laid her on me. Yes, I was assured. She was fine. She just looked around so calmly. They put her on the table to clean her up and check her out. Just looking around. Interested in her surroundings. All the horrible pain and panic and rushing around was over. Just. Like. That.

S with Baby Bee. 

S told me the next day that our little mover and shaker was not without consequence: the cord had been wrapped around her neck four times. Oh dear me.

So at the end of the day I have this to say: My labor was not what I wanted or expected. BUT, I am thankful to God for the blessing at the end of it all. And I have felt great since. So mostly, I am just thankful. It's amazing what you can forget.

And how much none of it matters when they get here.


  1. Oh wow!! My goodness, Brenda, what a story!!! And, your outlook on it all at the end (about how much none of it matters...) is inspiring to me, even if I am not having a baby. So wise, even just days after giving birth, you are! :)

    Baby Bee is SO beautiful! My goodness, that last picture?? The BEST!! And you?? You look exactly the same-- beautiful!!-- from the first picture to the last. I want my train wrecks to look that good on me! :)

    Tell your sweet girls congratulations! I am sure they are thrilled to be a big sister (and be a big sister again!) Love Little Bit's shirt, too! :)

    Yay! So excited for you all! :) Blessings, my friend!!

  2. So glad to see the little one has arrived safely. Sorry for your experience. If it's an consolation, my induction was just about as much fun. Ick! But, you're so right that it is worth it in the end. Baby Bee is beautiful! Congratulations to the whole family.

  3. Oh, that sounded painful. Glad everything turned out ok. Pretty baby.

  4. Thanks for telling your (and baby's) story. Your perspective is a good one--especially in light of all that happened!

    Congratulations again! Enjoy that precious baby girl!

  5. Oh, no! Sorry it was so difficult! I agree, you certainly don't look like you've just endured that ordeal! And Baby Bee is really so beautiful - just perfect! Hope everyone is settling in well to being a family of 5!

  6. Well I am thankful for the outcome-- I'll have to share my birthing story sometime! Lets just start with pitocin started 5 days in a row.... Bad birth stories do suck But they are what they are A StORY and it's the ending that counts right!

    She is beautiful-- and I am not a sayer of all babies pretty!

  7. Oh, I'm so sorry. But so thankful. All I can say is that I love you so.

  8. agree with carrie... she 'is' beautiful. well done, mama! after seeing a friend's experience, and hindsight being 20/20, i would probably use a mid-wife today. crazy hospitals. ;) so glad the outcome was at least what you wanted, right? congratulations!!!

  9. I am a little late to the party...but she is beautiful! Congratulations!!!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)