About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

Birth Story

Well, as the blog says, God likes to remind me over and over that He is in charge!

As most of you know, we had planned a home birth. I'm sure you also have heard that we ended up in the hospital. To some it is TMI, to others it's interesting and still some it's proof that I was an idiot to think I could have a home birth. *Shrug* Whichever way you take it, I enjoy sharing it. Judge me or not, here it is!

The morning of the 18th, around 7am I heard/felt a *pop*, but nothing happened, so I went back to sleep (thought I'd imagined it).

At 9 I felt what can only be described as bad menstrual cramps. I called to Jeremy and asked him not to go into work. Labor or not, I didn't feel well enough to be on my own. I then got up to use the restroom. As my peeing didn't stop when I did, I looked down and saw a dark brown liquid.

My heart sank. This had been my biggest fear. I knew that my water being that brown meant a hospital birth. I called Debbie (our midwife) and left a message.
Even though I knew we most likely wouldn't be staying, I told Jeremy what was up and had him fix up the bed. We watched a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond as we waited for Debbie to return our call.

I wasn't having many contractions at this point. Maybe one or two every hour.
Debbie ended up coming over around noon and checked out the liquid. She confirmed my suspicion and said that we would need to go to the hospital, as she was not equipt to handle a birth that required respiratory care that would be necessary. She did, however, give us the option as to when we could go to the hospital. She said we could wait to see if we could get my contractions going before we went in. Things weren't going to get any worse, nor any better by waiting a little while.

We ended up waiting until 3pm. I knew that I'd be started on pitocin and was dreading it.
Why? With as slow as things were going, I knew I was going to have a longer birth if things went about naturally. I knew the pitocin would make things go too fast for me to handle.

Blessing number 1:
our first nurse told us that we were lucky Dr. Wood was on call. Out of all the doctors, he was the best one for us, as he would do all he could to let us do things naturally if we wanted to. (apparently he's an O.D.)
Dr. Wood started me on pitocin at 4pm. I was 1 cm dilated. They started me on a level 4. The contractions are measured on a scale from 1 to 10. I responded really well and was having level 6 contractions about 3 minutes apart. I was able to handle them in the bed (I was hooked up to 5 different monitors/IV's) and have conversations.

This is the part where I get a little frustrated. I was responding well and having consistent contractions and they wanted to up me to a level 6. Why? Because they wanted the contractions to be stronger.

So around 6pm (?) they upped me to a 6. I was 2 cm. By this time I was allowed to "walk around" (a whole 3 foot radius from the monitor) They came in with a yoga ball (their "help"). This is where Jer really earned his stars. The contractions went to a level 9. Well, not all of them, but about every other one was a 9. With all the wires coming out of me...(insert single picture taken during labor)

...it was hard to find a comfortable position. He untangled me constantly and was using his blessedly cold hands like an icepack on my neck (they don't have ice packs in the hospital...?)

After about an 2 hours, I started to get real nauseous. Jer was constantly reminding me to "breathe!" I didn't realize, but I was holding my breath trying not to throw up during the contractions. This, in turn, would make my legs and back shake uncontrollably.
This went on for about an hour and I knew that I was not going to progress as I was not relaxing during or between the contractions. I'd forgotten completely that I was in labor, and all I could concentrate on was not throwing up. The nurse then came in and wanted to up me to a level 8.


Because the contractions weren't consistent. She wanted 4 per "page" on the screen. Plus not all were the same level.

I begged her to wait, telling her that I had been using the restroom a lot, so that might be why there weren't as many as she wanted on the screen. When she left (not happy) I wanted to cry. All I knew was that I was hanging on for dear life during the level 9's, forcing myself to breathe with barely enough time to recover in between and she wanted to make them stronger and closer together "because." I was able to get 4 per page on the screen, but she still wanted to up the pitocin.

told her I was real nauseous, and she offered to get me something for that, but said it might make me really drowsy. This was the last thing I wanted- to be groggy during the birth. At this point I felt so defeated. I couldn't move, was strapped to 2 monitors and an IV, was thisclose to puking all over Jeremy and knew I had hours ahead of me. The only help was something that might make me groggy or something that would numb me (epidural).

With little time to think between contractions and a nurse trigger happy on the pitocin, I swallowed my pride and asked for an epidural (not without a snide comment and laugh on the phone to the doctor as she walked out of the room). Jer thought I might be showing doubt and be in transition. I was only 4 cm and knew that me not relaxing was preventing me from progressing.

Blessing #2
: The epidural only half-worked. My whole right side was completely numb, but I could still feel everything on my left. The nausea was gone, the level 9's only felt like 7's and I was able to continue to labor. Granted, it wasn't like I'd wanted, but with the nausea gone, I could concentrate on what I was really there for!

In under 2 hrs the nurse checked me and I was complete! (I had thought so, as my hands and leg were shaking) The rest happened so quickly, Debbie only made it just before the end.

I pushed for 25 minutes. She never really crowned. There was just a little bit of head, and, even after pushing many times, she would go right back in. Then, suddenly she popped out! I had a 2nd degree tear (about 8 stitches).

She was placed on my chest for a few seconds and sneezed. Lots of brown liquid came out of her nose and they whisked her away. They had to work on her for several minutes, but she didn't cry the whole time. In fact, she didn't cry when the pricked her a million times, put tubes up her nose, or gave her an IV. But at the end of her bath- I guess that finally ticked her off! After her bath (and a few good screams) her oxygen levels stabilized. Tuesday afternoon (the 19th) she got to stay in the room with me.

Both sets of grandparents arrived 30 minutes after she was born. It was so surreal- a baby, Jer's parents, my parents, so many visitors and gifts- wow.

We finally went home Wednesday afternoon, and had a shot-gun baptism the next day before everyone left (a later post).

I have to add, with as nice as the rooms were in the hospital, I got about 5 hrs of sleep total from Monday to Wednesday. The entryway to the room is also a storage room, I guess, so the outside door was constantly being opened. Plus the room made lots of random noises. And Samantha is a noisy sleeper.
for those of you who know me well enough (and several of you who have lived with me) you will know how badly I need my sleep. Despite this, I was in a fairly good mood, and, given I've only gotten 1 1/2 hr spurts of sleep since then, I'm still in good spirits!

....Well, I'M impressed with myself!

Now, on to the next adventure tomorrow- 8-12 hrs in a packed car with a 12-day-old...


ashley said...

Awesome, Kim! I love hearing birth stories, all kinds. You were a real trooper, and you have a beautiful reward for all your hard work.


Sandra said...

Wow! I love birth stories. Congratulations Kim and Jeremy! We'll have to go on walks together...since we'll be so close to each other you know :-)

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