Friday, September 11, 2009

Birth Story

You've all been so patient (except for my sister, ahem) waiting for Little Squeak's birth story. The story has a bit of history to go along with it so bear with me.

As many of you know I am a home birth-er. I enjoy, if you can say that about natural child birth, having the freedom to move around in my own home while I labor and deliver. I enjoy not having to worry about all the intervention that can happen in hospitals. And I like not having to option of drugs, I know it sounds strange, but I'm a weak, weak woman and when the pain gets bad I need it not to be an option. (she did cry out for drugs and the nurse and nurse-midwife just looked on patiently as i shook my head over my stricken beloved - we all knew she didn't want them really -Webby)

Both Sweetie Heart and Sweet Girl were born at home. Sweetie Heart was born one week early, 4 days after we moved into our first home. She was born on the couch surrounded by boxes, 2 midwives, and a good friend, not to mention Webby.

Sweet Girl was born 20 minutes before her due date, in a different home. She was born into a pool of warm water in my kitchen surrounded by 1 midwife, 2 good friends, Sweetie Heart and Webby. Actually, Webby was in the pool with me.

Little Squeak was planned to be a home birth as well, but that wasn't in the cards this time. This may surprise you, it did me, but he was born in the hospital. And here is the story...

Eleven years ago I had my first gallbladder attack. I bet you can see where this is going, can't you? I was 24 years old and had recently started eating healthy. Good time for the gallbladder to act up, huh! My doctor, who was also a family friend, suggested that I take medication to break up the stones. So I did that and moved on with my life. Things were good for several years. But when I got pregnant with Sweetie Heart I had a few attacks. I didn't realize what they were at the time, just that it hurt a lot! I had her and everything seemed fine again. I got pregnant with Sweet Girl and started having problems again. My midwife had me take herbs during the pregnancy and I didn't have any problems. But then I stopped taking the herbs and I started having attacks again, this time without pregnancy as an excuse. The beginning my pregnancy with Little Squeak things were great, I didn't have any problems with my gallbladder. But as I was nearing the end I started having them a couple of times a week. Not so good for me.

On August 31 I had another attack, except this time it didn't go away. Usually, the attacks only last about 4 hours, but this one was running into 8 hours without any relief (didn't she say she was weak?..."only last about 4 hours"! - Webby). I started/kept throwing up and just couldn't stop. Webby consulted the midwives at 2:30am on September 1st and it was decided that I needed to go to the hospital to see what was going on. So that's what we did. It seems that this time I didn't just have a gallbladder attack, I had a gallbladder infection, stones in and fluid around my gallbladder.

Now if you know me, you know that I have a distrust of hospitals and doctors. I avoid them at all costs, but the pain was so bad I couldn't get there fast enough. So in we went to the ER and they immediately sent me up to Labor and Delivery. So there I was 38 weeks pregnant and there wasn't a whole lot they could do. So I spent the night and most of the next day on an IV and pain medication with the baby being heavily monitored. I found out the next day that I was having regular contractions that they weren't sure were going to stop. But they did.

Once The contractions stopped they sent me down to anti-partum to stay until I could get the pain under control, and sustain myself w/o an IV. The thing that amazed me is that everyone, including the surgeon, kept saying that they wanted to get the pain under control so I could go home and have the baby like we wanted. Then I could come back in and have the gallbladder surgery later. To me that was very surprising! Honestly, I am still very impressed by the whole experience.

I missed the first day of school. Webby took Sweetie Heart to school and stayed home with Sweet girl. After school was out they all came up to the hospital for a visit. They walked in to my room at 5pm. I took a big drink of ice water and immediately started having intense contractions! They came on so fast that I didn't even realize what they were at first. Webby suggested that they might be contractions which fit, so they hooked me up to the monitor and there they were. They sent for the midwife in Labor and Delivery, who I wanted to meet with in case I went into labor while I was in the hospital. She came down and immediately had me wheeled up to L&D.

There I was again, up in L&D a day later. This time in labor for real. One of the great things about this hospital is that they have a birthing tub. One of the reasons I wanted to go there was on the off chance I did go into labor I might have a chance to have anther water birth. It is also the bigger hospital in our area and I wasn't really sure what was going on with my gallbladder and it just seemed like the right choice for so many reasons. They put me in a big room, and in walked a nurse that I had connected with the day before. She told me the day before that if I went into labor in the next 3 days she could be there. I was so glad to see a familiar face. She was equally happy to see that my name was up next to the midwives. She had been the one to suggest that I meet with the midwives just in case.

The contractions started about 5pm. Things start getting hazy pretty quick. They always do. we called our good friend Jessica to help with the girls and she came right over. She took the girls down to dinner. I am so thankful that she was there to help. I knew that the girls would be well cared for even though I couldn't do it. I labored in the tub for awhile. I labored on the bed, on the ball. But I was only at 2. Ugh. On and on it went. I asked to be check before midnight and I was only at a 3. Even worse, I was having contractions in my thighs! Have you ever heard of thigh labor? Not me! I had back labor with Sweetie Heart, hip labor with Sweet Girl and apparently it decided to just work its way down to my thighs with Little Squeak.

I should mention that the tub room wasn't open when I was wheeled up. But my nurse Meghan said if I waited long enough I could still have it. I admitted to her that it would be okay to not have the water birth if that meant having the baby sooner than later. As time wore on and on Meghan said the woman in the tub room was almost done and that I was going to get that tub room! She even went in there and cleaned it for me. Now I'm not the best laborer. I get a bit cantankerous. I know this about myself and I tell the midwives up front about it. Don't ask me if I want to do something, just tell me to do it. Make the decision for me and don't give me choices. It just works better that way. When it came time to move me I told them to just let me be, I'd just stay where I was. But Meghan and Webby decided that what I really would want is to be in the tub room, so we all moved...beds, sleeping children and all.

I got in the tub to labor for awhile. Got out labored on the toilet, labored on the bed. They ran fluids in me though my IV port. Meghan and Webby pushed hard on my thighs as I had contractions to help relieve some of the pain. Oh and did I mention that I also had heartburn. So I'd have a contraction and then have severe heartburn right after. NICE. Time disappeared and I labored back in the tub. Webby, Jessica and the girls slept. I tried, maybe I even did a little.

Sometime between 3 and 4am I asked the midwife to break my water just to get things to pick up a bit. She said she would check me first and then we could decide. I said, "Maybe it will be an eight." She checked, laughed and said you guessed it. Then told me should wouldn't break my water. As she put it, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" So back into the tub I went and started pushing. I focused on Meghan as she sat right in front of me at the side of the tub. Sweetie Heart, Webby, and Jessica were all on hand, Sweet Girl was still sleeping. Sandy the midwife monitored to make sure everything was going smoothly. At 4:49am Little Squeak was born and we woke Sweet Girl so she could see, the girls were both excited and into the birth (and even checked out the placenta). I knew he was a boy. I said, "It's a boy" even before I had looked. I just knew he was a boy. Plus we didn't have a boys name picked out, so doesn't that just make sense.

Somewhere in that haze I think I said things like:
~Get this freakin' baby out of me.
~It's just not fair. (talking about the heartburn)
~Just cut this baby out of me.
~Give me drugs, please just give me drugs.
~Cut off my legs.
But I could be wrong, maybe that was someone else. I'm sure there were some classic ones in there. Like I said I don't labor gracefully.

After it was all over the midwife, thanked me. Yes, she did. She said she was glad to work with someone who she knew didn't want drugs even when I asked for them. She knew it was just the pain talking and that I had done it naturally in the past and really did want it that way this time, too. I think she was just being nice. I know I was a handful!

They took me back down to antipartum around 8am. I asked to be released early. I know, I know, take what you can get. But the bed was too short and I just wanted to go home. The new midwife came down to check on me. I knew her. She had dated Webby's best friend 10 years ago. She and the nurse told me most women stay 24 hours, but if I wanted to go home that day I could. I needed to talk to the surgeon again and the nurse and pediatrician needed to check Little squeak. After that I could go if I wanted. The nurse offered me a wheel chair, which I politely declined. I walked out of the hospital at noon the same day. Call me crazy if you want. But if you know me you know I walk a bit on the edge of crazy!

To wrap it all up. I had a great hospital birth. Not what I planned to do, but it wasn't about what I wanted. It was about having a baby and what was best for him. There weren't any complications, but Heavenly Father put me there at that hospital at that time for a reason. I may never really know what that reason was, but I do a few suspensions. And in the end I know that Heavenly Father blessed me with this experience. It was great.

Just in case you were wondering, next time around I plan to do it at home!

2 Weeks Old


Julie said...

Sarah that's awesome!!! I doubt many women handle labor with much dignity and grace <3 it sounds like you did just what you needed to do, congratulations again <3

I'm glad everything went well, albeit a bit long. You are home and have a healthy little boy that I'm sure everyone there is just totally smitten by.

Take care of yourself and the little one(s)....

Give the bigger one a pat on the back and tell him good job dad <3

Anonymous said...

Sarah...awesome story! You are a trooper in my book. I'm always the one to seek the easier road traveled, but you are a great inspiration! Congrats on the beautiful baby boy. You'll be amazed at how you can fall in love with another boy once you have a boy! Enjoy those tender moments!


Sonja said...

Wow, Sarah, your my hero! I cannot even comprehend walking out of the hospital at noon the day I gave birth.

Vicki said...

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can NEVER go back to its old dimensions," Oliver Wendell Homes.

So your little Squeek has already shared a miracle with you. And I suspect - this is only the beginning.

A beautiful miracle, in a beautiful family. What fun it will be to watch you all grow together.

Hugs to you and your "team".