Monday, 25 January 2016

Tevia's Birth Story

I was due to give birth around October 6, 2014.

Early Labor?

About three weeks before my due date, I went to the hospital to get checked because I was bleeding some bright red blood (not normal) and was experiencing some minor contractions.  My contractions were apparently quite consistent but I hardly felt any of them, just a little bit of cramping occasionally.  There was no apparent cause for the bleeding and it stopped within about an hour.

I had a cervix check and discovered I was already 3-4 centimeters dilated!  So the nurse told me to go walk as much as possible for the next two hours to see if I would progress.  I was absolutely exhausted by the time we returned.  (Note that for the past two months or so I had trouble walking half a block because of extreme back and hip pain.)  The result: no change in my cervix and the contractions were less frequent, but the baby had dropped a bit more.

"Wake Me Up When September Ends"

I had contractions on and off from then until the end of September but never too painful to handle while at home.  I desperately wanted to be done being pregnant (remember PUPPPs) and seriously considered getting induced.  I bounced on an exercise ball to help start things up (and it worked for me!).

hydroelectric waterfall
Picture this... in bed.
[Photo credit: grendelkhan]
At exactly 4:00am on October 1, my water broke in a huge flood on the bed, waking me up (cue Green Day!).  The night before I was pretty sure I had heard a "pop!" and pressure change in the upper part of my belly.  I was in such shock that I couldn't get myself out of bed until the waters reduced to a trickle, meanwhile trying to wake up Lucas.

What a mess!  I sure didn't expect things to start that way for me.  Lucas rushed me off to the bathroom while he started to clean up the bed.  I sat on the toilet to let more trickle out before I jumped in to the shower to quickly clean myself up.

The Labor

Within an hour we were at the hospital and my contractions had started.  We had to stop a few times from the car to the hospital wing for me to breathe through my contractions.  When they checked my cervix I was 6 centimeters!  I was immediately transferred to a delivery room.

While Lucas was carrying our things from room to room, I sat on the toilet to relieve myself... except I couldn't.  I instead had the urge to push and couldn't urinate or have a bowel movement like what I was expecting.  Lucas helped me onto the hospital bed and I laid on my back to help myself resist pushing.  I spent most of my labor on my back and a short time leaning over the top of the bed on my hands and knees because I didn't feel comfortable in upright positions.  I felt really light-headed and dizzy whenever I was upright and thought I was going to faint several times.

Within two hours I was 8 centimeters along and having difficulty controlling the urge to push.  It was so difficult for me to resist that I began swaying my legs and hips side to side to help distract myself.  I concentrated hard on relaxing my entire body and breathing evenly through the contractions.

I was checked frequently until I was 10 centimeters.  Finally, I was allowed to push!  I did a sitting squat for pushing, part of the time anchoring myself on the squat bar with my legs.  I think I pushed for at least an hour.  Man, am I grateful for the breaks between contractions!  I was asked if I wanted an oxytocin injection to help things move along faster and I didn't hesitate to refuse - I liked my breaks, thank you very much!

But when it was the "ring of fire" stage, I very much wanted that to be over as quick as possible.  The pain really does burn!  And then you have to endure the stretching pain during the breaks between contractions.  When I was pushing through it I wasn't thinking at all about what I was getting (boy or girl), just that there was a head of hair coming out and I wanted it out now!  I didn't want to touch the head but I did it anyway.  How strange to feel!

I did the small pushes as quick as I could once the head was nearly out.  The baby slipped out easily enough once the head and shoulders came out.  The extra pain to push out the bigger parts was minimal and lasted for only a second or two because of how quickly I pushed.  The umbilical cord was unwrapped from around the baby's neck and cries were heard right away.

The gender was announced and the purple-grey baby with brown hair was laid immediately on my chest skin-to-skin, as requested.  Dark blue eyes stared up at me.  Lucas cut the cord and then the baby was whisked away because I wasn't responding to anyone.

I was so exhausted and in shock after giving birth that I couldn't speak.  I was shaky and my legs were cramped up from the pushing stage.  After a short break to stretch out my legs and let my body get ready, I pushed out the placenta - so much easier than a baby, but my body was quite sore by now so it still hurt to push it out.  I was so out of it that I didn't notice an injection of Pitocin into my thigh to help speed up getting the placenta out.

I had some superficial tearing that was stitched up immediately after the placenta came out, but there was more severe tearing deeper inside that required surgery.  Surgery sure didn't sound so scary after going through child birthing!  Lucas took the baby and four hours later we were reunited in the maternity unit.  I think things took longer on my side of events in the recovery room because I was hemorrhaging and birthed a small amount of placenta that didn't come out earlier.

It's a Girl!

My labor lasted a total of 6.5 hours from the time my water broke to the birth of a healthy, beautiful daughter, Tevia Hazel Ogrins at 10:39am.  She weighed 8 lbs 7.6 oz, and measured 21.75 inches in length.

1-day-old Tevia Hazel

She is actually fairly dark-skinned for a white person (darker than both of us).  She has my legs and feet, long fingernails, and looks a lot like I did as a baby.  She has Lucas's ears and a combination of our lips and noses.
October 12, 2014: "She is so cute and skinny.  Her legs are as long as my forearm.  Everyone says she is super cute, cuter than most babies."

Mommy and Baby Tevia


October 11, 2014: "I'm still a little in shock over the whole experience.  When I look back on it, it seems so much scarier than it really was.  I was actually very calm and felt right about it all as it was happening.  I refused medication and Pitocin because I wanted a natural birth experience.  I think Dr. A. and the nurses were impressed and pleased with how well I handled everything."
I'm very pleased with myself that I went through the entire experience without pain relievers.  (I felt like a wimp later though when I took pain relievers for the healing stage.)  I also had a short enough labor (due to early dilation) that I was able to bear the pain.

As hard as labor is, I preferred child birthing than being pregnant.  But that's from my experience.

Our little family

If you've had babies, how did your labor go for each?  Did anything special or unique happen in your experiences?

Next week's topic: [Dream Home Floor Plans: 2-Story Library & Indoor Playground]

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