Archive for the ‘Labor and Delivery’ Category

Birth of a Ladybug, Part 2

About half way through my pregnancy, my husband and I started reading up on the Bradley method of childbirth.  We weren’t able to take a class due to schedule conflicts, but we had the workbook and did the exercises on our own.  It isn’t quite the same, I’m sure.  But it worked for us.  Most nights before bed, we would practice relaxation and coaching techniques in ways that seemed a little cheesy at the time.  “This is tension.  This is what we will avoid during labor.  This is release.  This is what we will use during labor.”  But it really helped.  At the time, it helped me feel like my husband was involved in my pregnancy and informed about childbirth.  And it helped me sleep better with less aches and pains at night.  Later, the techniques didn’t feel so cheesy when there were real contractions to deal with, and I really needed someone to talk me through them.

My wonderful husband spent most of the day massaging the small of my back with his fist as recommended by the Bradley book.  The book had warned coaches that you will be surprised at how much force she will want, and it was true.  He commented later that he should have spent the whole pregnancy working out to have the strength to massage my back as much and as forcefully as I wanted it.  I can’t tell you how much that helped the pain though. 

Later, during the pushing, he and our nurse were the best coaches I could have asked for.  After every push they chorused on the progress we were making and how close we were.  I totally didn’t believe them, but it helped anyway.  And it turned out they weren’t just making it up to encourage me.  We were doing great.  Ladybug was born in just and hour and a half of pushing, and we were both teary eyed as they placed her on my chest.

The next several days were a blur, but I know that even with the help of the hospital staff, I couldn’t have done it without my partner.  He changed all the diapers while I was stuck in my hospital bed.  He made sure I had everything I needed.  He comforted me when the baby and I had less than successful nursing sessions.  He gave me mama-daughter time with the baby and made sure I had mama time alone too.

We came home to five dozen daisies (special shout out to my brother for coordinating the flower surprise).  My favorite flowers.  And this past weekend, while Grandma babysat, we had a belated anniversary date thanks to Papa’s insistence that Mama get out of the house without Baby. 

I couldn’t have done it without him.  He has been amazing over the last three weeks.  Well, the last three years really.  🙂

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Birth of a Ladybug

As the countdown to my due date dwindled into the negative numbers, I admit I grew anxious.  And uncomfortable.  It seemed like I was getting bigger everyday, and the baby was no closer to being born.    Two days past due.  Three days.  The only change was in my anxiety level.  At 6 days past due, I was finally 2 cm dilated, which is enough to make stripping the membranes a viable option.  My doctor warned me that it might happen that night, but we scheduled an induction for the next morning anyway.

Though I was pretty convinced that the night would bring me a baby, we woke up the next morning bright and early to go to the hospital for our induction. We hit a little snag in that we couldn’t find the camera.  The very digital camera that we’d purchased specifically because we were having a baby.  We tore the house apart frantically searching for it, but we eventually had to give up so that we wouldn’t be any later than we were already going to be.

They started me on Pitocin (a synthetic form of the hormone that gets labor going) around 9 am, and soon the nurse was quizzing me on whether I was feeling contractions or not.  I wasn’t.  At that point, I was feeling nothing special at all, though contractions were appearing on the monitors.  We took this as a good sign.  The contractions took until about 11:30 to kick in to where I was feeling them, and they were manageable for the rest of the afternoon.  But I wasn’t dilating. 

My doctor came in just before 6 to tell me that I was only at 3 cm, which meant that I had a long way to go and warned of the very real possibility of a c-section.  Apparently, my cervix is unusually placed, so that the baby’s head wasn’t directly on it helping the dilation process.  My doctor recommended an epidural at this point because the drugs often help moms relax enough for the cervix to dilate faster.  Not to mention, I was in a good deal of pain by then.  It had been about 7 hours of increasingly difficult Pitocin induced labor, and I was extremely ready for some relief.  An hour later I got it in the form of a low dose epidural.  It wasn’t enough for me to fall asleep, but it was enough for me to watch most of Grey’s Anatomy. 

Finally around 10pm, the nurse announced that it was time to push.  I was skeptical after the c-section talk, but I didn’t argue.  An hour an a half later, they placed my baby on my chest.  She was a little blue, but she was beautiful.  I couldn’t get over the fact that she was ours.  That I had birthed her.  I found myself alone with her as proud papa and grandma left to make phone calls, and the Beatles came on the labor mix papa had made.  “All you need is love…”  we sang along.  Mama and daughter’s first singalong.  In this family, certainly not our last.

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The Big Announcement

We are happy to announce that our daughter was born on Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 7 pounds 13 ounces and 19 and a half inches long.  We came home from the hospital yesterday, and we are still settling into a routine at here at home.  It’s been sleepless and busy, but we are trying to keep up with emails and phone calls.  If we haven’t gotten back to you, we will.  🙂 

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The Internet is full of tips for inducing labor for all those moms-to-be at the same stage of pregnancy that I am: the stage where we’d really like it to be over.  My doctor says that none of the old wives’ tales really work, but I must admit that I’ve been taking the stairs down from my sixth floor office for a few weeks now, just in case what those old wives say about stairs is true. 

They all sound so good though.  So believable.  Apparently there is an enzyme in pineapple that causes the cervix to dilate.  Sound great, right?  I love pineapple.  In fact, I was really craving pineapple a few weeks ago, and when I finally got some, it was amazing.  But apparently, I’d have to eat about eight pineapples for it to change my cervix.  No, thank you.

Lots of people swear by castor oil.  And I even know a couple of people who used it effectively.  But those who want to try that should be aware of the how behind the idea.  Castor oil is a laxative.  It cleans you out and dehydrates you pretty significantly, and the dehydration will likely cause your body to go into labor.  Not the prettiest way to get it done.

But some women will say that anything’s better than getting induced with Pitocin.  The word on that is that it’ll make your contractions come faster and harder.  Though there are plenty of women who didn’t feel that their medical induction made labor any worse. 

We all have our own experiences, I suppose. 

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