Monday, September 19, 2016

Miles's Birth Story (9.10.16)

On September 10, I woke up near 7 AM like I had been waking up. Nobody else was up.  I actually stayed up pretty late the night before watching netflix hoping that lack of sleep would trigger some labor like it did with Ella. Not really trigger it but you know like I'd have labor and then a newborn after very little sleep because that would show me.

At 8:50 first super duper light contraction. I didn't time it or anything. I did tel my friend and then had the time stamp later to know what it was. I was telling her that I wasn't sure if it was all in my head because I was HOPING I'd go into labor. I really wanted to avoid my Monday c-section appointment.

After a 2nd one, I figured it was not in my head but I still did not time it.

I started timing them at 9:30. I didn't feel like I needed to time them yet but I was worried about a fast labor and kept forgetting when they started so I started timing. They were 2 minutes long and 3 minutes apart then 1:30 long and 4-8 minutes apart.
I called the on-call service about going into labor but Dave didn't want to wait for a call back so we were already headed to the hospital.  We left a few minutes after 10. Ella didn't want to change out of her nightgown so she was still wearing that. We actually had to wake her up to get ready and head out. She helped pack her backpack with clothes in it.

At the check-in desk, I filled out the short form. After I filled it out I realized I wrote 170 for my weight instead of 176 so when we were in the room with the nurse I told her and she laughed that I was correcting it.
We got to the initial room where they check you and decide if you go home or go to a labor and delivery room a little before 10:30. Ella was there for a few minutes.  Maie was meeting us there and picking Ella up.She actually took Ella and they snacked close by until we were sure I wasn't being sent home. Then Dave had to leave when she got there to swap the car seat from our car to hers.  At this point I had timed 12 contractions with an average du ration of 1:48 and an average frequency of 4:35.

When they checked dilation I was 6 cm. I was 5 cm on Wednesday so I was shocked at the slow progress.  OK I've been shocked the entire time. I kept getting dilated but nothing. I was surprised how much less it hurt to be checked than it did the previous times. So I guess the cervix was not posterior anymore but nobody said anything.
My blood pressure was pretty high. It was 138/110 for the first test but that was during a contraction.  Then 5 minutes later it was 155/88.  Then 5 minutes after that (10:47) it was 145/71.

Close to 11, I told them I'd want an epidural. I was told the anesthesiologist was in with someone and would be in shortly.  They also just did blood work since my blood pressure was so high.

I was getting pictures of what Ella was up to. I loved that. Ella was having fun painting at 11:10.
I met with the on-call doctor at 11:22 AM. She basically met me and left.
At 11:45, Ella was having fun riding a balance bike!
At 11:55, I took a picture from L&D room with Dave watching Twitch TV on his laptop.
At 12:05, my blood pressure was 141/85. I had dave move the machines a little so I could see the numbers. I didn't like not being able to see them.
I told Dave he should be taking my picture so then he did a little bit. He took video to show me during a contraction and between contractions.  I still haven't watched the videos he took.
Since I had a previous c-section they would not let me eat or drink anything and said all my fluids would be from the IV. That sucked. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink in so long!  Normally I snack after dinner and I did not the night before.  Then in the middle of the night, I was thirsty and didn't have my water bottle by my bed so didn't drink then.  In the morning I just lounged in bed waiting for people to wake up and didn't get up to get water even though I was thirsty.

At 12:45 PM, the contractions became a lot more intense.  I was just powering through them waiting for my epidural. They sure make me wait a long time for one!

I was still using my app to time contractions because data is fun. At 12:54, I had timed 25 contractions. I had 11 in the previous hour. Sometimes I missed one when nurses were busy doing something or talking to me.  In the past hour the average duration was 1:53 and 5:40 average frequency.  There was a time that I was so busy doing stuff and not timing them that I went over an hour without timing one so my data is so far off. The contraction frequency graph should let you change your scale!

I was so hungry. I'd go on instagram and facebook and skim between contractions and it seemed like everyone was posting pictures of food! Event he stuff I wouldn't normally go for looked so good.
At 1:10 they started having me sit up and be prepped for the epidural. Then there was a delay and the nurses thought the anesthesiologist was coming to me next but she was mistaken so I had to wait a little bit. There was quite a line. I heard the earlier c-section was actually at 11:30 not hours earlier. When I got the epidural, she was putting some numbing agent on and my back got sprayed. I didn't expected it and sort of jumped being startled. Then the anesthesiologist said said she didn't expect that to happen either! Something wasn't screwed on tight enough. I could feel the stuff dripping down my back.

At 1:35, I got the epidural.
Right after epidural, they put in the catheter and then checked dilation. I was at 8 cm. They never checked before that. The nurse described the head as "way way down."
It felt so weird to be numb from the epidural and I thought how nice it was not feeling all the contractions.
At 2:01, I got a video of Ella and Susu dancing to Let it Go.
At 2:07 I was pretty numb and they said the next check would be in 2 hours.

At 2:14, the doctor broke my water.  She asked if I wanted her to break it and I said OK. It wasn't really much of a discussion or explanation I just said OK.

At 3:13 my blood pressure was 109/92.
At 3:25, they did the nurse turnover and turned me onto my side since my left side was more numb than my left. I could still feel contractions lightly on my right side but figured that was normal. She said I had my bloody show and swapped towels.

They tilted me on my side to try to have gravity help to have the right side be as numb as the left.  They propped me up with some pillows.
At 4:07, the nurse checked my dilation and said I was at 10 cm. The doctor came in and said the position was 0 and I was at 10 cm. She said I could do some practice pushes. I asked the nurse and she said people usually push at 10 cm but not usually at 0 for position. They usually don't start until further down.

At 4:18 after my 2nd practice push, she said she saw movement. The nurse commented I was pretty quick at catching on what to do for pushing. Even by the end I did not feel like I caught on enough. She described pushing as pushing down to your bottom but I never felt like I was doing that. I always just felt like it was pushing in my abs.
Somehow I was pushing at every contraction. I'm not sure why they decided to do the "practice" pushes then go to real ones with no break or anything.  My contractions were pretty close so then I was not getting time to recover. The nurse said this. I didn't know what a normal contraction length was. But having contractions 2-3 minutes apart and longer than a minute each contraction is why I was not getting a break.

The nurse was checking and said she could tell that he was facing to the left.

I mostly pushed on my back but then at one point the nurse had me try pushing on my side. It was way more painful to me and I felt like I couldn't push as well. She said progress wasn't as good so she had me go back to my back.

Contractions were very intense and very close together. My legs were not like jello at all anymore. I could feel them. I could move them. I'm pretty sure I was still supposed to be numb based on questions asked and questions asked after the birth too.

I was pushing fine for awhile. I was even texting some updates to people between contractions.  Then it just got really painful. I'm not sure of the time because it was so painful even between contractions that I could not type on my phone. The nurse even went to get the doctor and the anesthesiologist to give me a little more pain medicine in the epidural line.  I just wanted to die. It hurt so bad right where the heart rate monitor was and also where my c-section scar was.

I was feeling the contractions. My legs were no longer number or like jello. I had full control over moving them myself.

The baby's heart rate was dropping at each contraction. You could see the doctor and nurses watching the monitor instead of watching me so I knew something was up. They didn't say the numbers or I didn't hear what they were saying.  There was talk a few times of going to a c-section but I had come so far.  Sometimes I thought the doctor and nurses were talking to each other about it and once I vaguely remember her asking me about it. I shook my head no.

My arms and legs started to get tingly so I knew passing out or being very light headed was coming. I figured that would not be good since pushing was in order. Right around this time the doctor asked if I wanted assistance to help get the baby's head out. She mentioned a vacuum and I said OK. They had to get that situated.  Also right before this the anesthesiologist finally arrived to give me more pain medicine that would take 1-2 contractions worth to kick in and help provide pain relief.   I didn't tell them I was lightheaded. Some how I figured they would definitely want to do the c-section then.
6:18 PM
It took them a full contraction to get the vacuum set up. So it was set up and the pain medicine kicked in. I had 1 contraction with pain medicine kicked in and that was with the vacuum. It was slightly better.
Then his head was out! He came out facing up!!!!  The little guy decided to turn from facing to the side to facing up instead of facing down!

I had bad tearing that took 30 min+ just to stitch up. She described the tears as 4th degree tears and "really bad." I asked her and she said she did cut and then I tore a lot more. I don't know if she ever mentioned cutting during the labor but I heard lots of people get mad that they doctors cut without discussing it. I wish she would have discussed it but I don't know what I would have said at the time anyway. At first she was stitching and I couldn't tell what was going on then I started to feel the thread being pulled through. I told her how I could feel it and she said she used a ton of numbing agent so she didn't want to use more. I did not like that feeling. The thread felt so long that she kept pulling through.
I started sending people messages that we had Miles but then I got a million texts back and could not keep up. I was sending all this while I was being stitched up and holding Miles. You'd think a text that said "baby" might be all someone needed to realize we finally had the baby. But nope I'd get questions like "Does that mean you had the baby?" I guess it wasn't as obvious as I thought. They knew I was in labor. They knew I was pushing. Then I stopped texting for an hour or more then they get a message that says baby.
At 7:33, I emailed myself how I almost passed out! They took my blood pressure and it was 77/41.  They were done stitching me up and trying to sit me up in bed and I mentioned I was starting to blackout. They were quick with tilting the bed back.  Before this point my arms and legs were tingly how I tend to get before I get really lightheaded but I tried to power through but apparently sitting up was the last straw!
I couldn't nurse right away due to being lightheaded. They had to tilt my bed and have me recover a bit. Dave held Miles during this time and Miles did fine sucking on his finger for awhile.

Overall it was 2:10 of pushing counting the practice pushes. 2-3 min between contractions. I did 4-5 breathing things instead of 3 each contraction to push. My contractions were very long so not much break between them.
Miles's stats!

  • 21.5 inches long
  • 9 lb 0 oz
  • 36 cm head circumference
  • 100.4 initial body temp
  • 9 9 on Apgar scale
Maie had to drop Ella off, so Dave left with Ella. She briefly got to see Miles but I was nursing the entire time so no pictures I'm willing to share. Maie was kind enough to give Ella a bath before dropping her off! The only pictures of Ella with me also involved me nursing at the time so that's why I'm not posting them.

At 8:26, they were preparing me to swap rooms.
I hated not having anyone there with me. The nurses would move things and they'd be out of reach. My phone would be out of reach.

When we moved rooms a nurse asked if I could shimmy from one bed to the other. She thought I might not be able to thinking my legs would still be like jello. They were perfectly fine. That was another time I realized the epidural wore off too early.
At 12:25 AM, they took my stats and I was 97.6 degrees and 133/61. Miles weighed in at 8 lb 12 oz at his check then.

I forget what time it was that Dave's blood sugar was dropping and he needed snacks. He was sweating from it dropping.  He went to go buy some snacks then the nurse offered him a sandwich. He said that helped a lot.  This was before the pushing. I think closer to 3:30 but am not 100% sure. The cafeteria wouldn't open until 4:30 so that's why he couldn't go to that. Then after all the pushing and everything, Dave mentions how his back has had it and he needed to rest it.

Gio came for a few hours late at night. Then she was able to handle me things or do this or that. It was nice but then I got so tired. It was nice to be able to say parts of the birth story out loud without having to type them.
I wrote this over a few days with many interruptions so I hope it makes some sense.  I finished adding the pictures at 12:40 AM and Ella is still awake! It's a wonder I had time to do this at all!
Ella's Birth Story


  1. Wow! I feel like you not eating had to have contributed to your being lightheaded. I hate that rule. I snuck food anyway. I can't imagine a 4th degree tear. I feel like them cutting plus the vacuum had to have been horrible for you. They cut me the first time without asking too.

    1. She was saying when my severe pain started like I was going to die she thinks was when he cut me inside and then I had to keep pushing and it kept hurting. So that tear was already there but I just didn't know it!

      When you google it says 4th degree tears are common on 4 or 5 occasions. I had a lot of them so no wonder. (Big baby, posterior, use of vacuum and I feel like there was 1 more thing that I also had)