Warning: This is a birthstory and apparently is not appropriate for all readers. I don't think it's gory but I've been given a hard time about the content.
Lillian was born on March 22, 2006 at 6:35 pm. She took her time coming! My water broke on Sunday, March 19 around 3:30pm. I started having fairly strong contractions right away and it didn't take long for them to be only a few minutes apart. We decided that we should go to Morning Star Birth Center right away. We got there around 7pm. I was only 2 centimeters dialated. :( My contractions started slowing down after we had been there awhile. Adam and I went for a walk but that didn't seem to help much. We spent the night at Morning Star and in the morning went home to mom and dad's. It seemed that my labor had stopped. Paula (my midwife) gave mom a fetoscope to use to hear the baby's heartbeat. We checked the baby's heartbeat and my pulse and temp every two hours. This way we knew that the baby wasn't in distress. That day we drove to River Falls to try acupuncture to get my contractions going again. Monday evening contractions picked up again and I had a long night in the recliner. On Tuesday we decided Adam should go to Stillwater to visit with Addie since he hadn't seen her in over 2 weeks! Mom and I went for a walk and made some cookies. My contractions started picking up again so we decided to go back to the birth center. Again, they slowed down as soon as we got into the car. This time I was 3 centimeters dialated but almost completely effaced. At least the effacement was progress! I met with the chiropractor to get some relief from the pain in my hips. We spent another sleepless night at the birth center. We even took a midnight walk around the neighborhood to try to get things going. I was exhausted! The contractions were 10-15 minutes apart and they weren't increasing in intensity. In the morning Paula's assistant Karen and I took an hour long walk around the neighborhood. We had a great conversation about home remodeling. Mom and I talked and we decided that another sleepless night wasn't going to do me any good. We decided along with Adam that I should go to the hospital and get hooked up to a Pitosin IV. We arrived at the hospital around 10:30 am. The nurse anesticist that hooked up my IV said they had been waiting for me. Apparently hospital gossip had made it's rounds and they heard that one of Paula's clients had had her membranes ruptured for more than 24 hours. I got hooked up to the Pitosin and antibiotic at 11:40 am. I walked the halls with Mom and Karen for awhile and finally settled in on the birthing ball in my delivery room. Being on the birthing ball made my legs shake, so I sat upright on the bed with my feet directly under me. I kind of got into my zone then. Mom rubbed my feet softly which helped a lot to distract me. I know I fell asleep between contractions, because I woke up to Karen telling Mom I had fallen asleep! Dr. Feigel came in to check me - I was at 6-7 cm! This meant that I could go into the birthing tub!!
While they set up the birthing tub in our tiny room, I got into the shower. It seemed like standing made the contractions more intense. Finally the tub was set up and I was able to get in. The water was wonderful - not quite the liquid epidural they promised, but very close. My hips hurt so much by this point that it felt wonderful to have one person pour water over my back while someone else lightly ran a washcloth over my hips during contractions. Mom kept telling me I was doing a great job and being a good momma to this baby. I know I spent a lot of time with my legs floating and my nose hovering just at the water line. Karen left to attend a funeral and Paula came back sometime just before I got into the shower. Paula checked me at 5:15 pm and I was at 7-8 cm. The contractions started to come very close together. It felt like I had hardly finished with one when another one would start. They were monitoring the baby with a doppler and I hated everytime they touched my stomach. At about this point I asked if it was too late for drugs. I think I knew it was, I just needed someone to tell me I was almost there. Paula told me the hardest part was the shortest, but I couldn't really tell what she was saying as the water was draining out of the tub to make room for more hot water.
All of a sudden it felt like a ball was dropping out of my stomach in the middle of a contraction. It wasn't so much an urge to push, my body was pushing whether I wanted it to or not. Dr. Feigel asked me if it was my intention to give birth in the tub; he stated that it was not hospital policy to have water births, the water was just for laboring. I remember saying, "I don't care, I just want this baby out!" I tried to give every push all of my effort. I knew I didn't want to be pushing for hours. I remember thinking that this was a lot more than three pushes! I ended up squating during the push while holding onto the sides of the tub. In between each I would go back to floating. I don't know if I necessarily enjoyed the pushing stage, but it was a welcome relief from the contractions. Paula asked me to feel how close the baby's head was. I could tell she was about halfway down, what a relief that my work was making progress! Mom had me look at Dr. Feigel because he had come into the room wearing scrubs, we knew we were getting close. Right before the baby's head was about to crown, Dr. Feigel again told me it was not hospital policy to give birth in the tubs and asked if I would like to get out. I said I didn't know how I would do that. I just couldn't imagine standing up to get out of the tub. The nurse started to drain the tub to a lower point so it would be faster to drain after the birth.
Paula had me sit on the tub's seat. With the next push the baby was crowning. I felt the warm head with all of that hair. Pushing out the head was the hardest part. Mom was holding a mirror so I was able to watch whenever I opened my eyes. Dr. Feigel checked to make sure the cord wasn't around the baby's neck. With the next push the baby just kind of "blooped" right out. It was such an amazing feeling. I wasn't sure until that moment that I would be able to have this baby vaginally. Part of me was preparing myself for another C-Section. Immediately the nurse started to drain the tub again. It was 6:35 pm and we had another beautiful girl.
Dr. Feigel handed Lily to me immediately. She was a beautiful healthy purple color but she didn't want to cry. Paula said that water babies are more mellow babies. I just kept rubbing her and talking to her and pretty soon she let out some whimpers. Adam and I knew she was ok because her cord was still pulsing. Lily just didn't want to make a big fuss. I was able to cut the umbilical cord after it stopped pulsing. Adam was able to hold her right away after the cord was cut.
I was completely wiped out and only wanted to sleep and hold my baby, but I needed to deliver the placenta. This seemed to take awhile and Paula and Dr. Feigel seemed a little nervous about the length of time. Soon the placenta came out and they inspected it to make sure it was whole. At this point Paula realized I was loosing a lot of blood. My IV had come out at some point so I wasn't receiving Pitosin anymore. They moved me over to the bed and discovered that I had a 3rd degree tear. Dr. Feigel had to do some pretty impressive stitching. :) After I was stitched up and Lily had her first meal we weighed her. She was 8 lbs, 7 oz and 22 inches long. The nurse thinks she was only one week overdue.
What an amazing event!