Wednesday, October 2, 2013

June's birth story

June was born nine days late. The first week that she was late was tough because I wanted to meet her, wanted to stop being pregnant, wanted my family to have more time with her before we moved, but mostly because waiting to have a baby feels like "limbo" - you can't really plan anything. You kind of just sit around and wonder if today/tonight will be when she comes. After that first week I decided to change my attitude and be grateful that I still had time alone with just Henry and grateful that I was feeling really good at the end of my pregnancy. It's amazing how simply changing an attitude can change a situation.

... and then she came!

I had gone to have my 41 week prenatal appointment and while there the midwife stripped my membranes and checked to see about dilation. She said there wasn't much to strip and guessed she would come really soon (although I guess that's an easy prediction to make when a woman is 41 weeks pregnant:). Henry had gone with Alicia and her family to Tacoma for the afternoon/evening and so we decided he would just spend the night with them. Rob and I took advantage of a night alone and went to eat some spicy thai food and see a movie. It was nice to have that time together and know that Henry was just as happy spending lots of time with his cousins.

Whether it was the membrane stripping, the spicy curry, or just finally being ready, I woke up around 3am to contractions. I could tell this was "the real thing" but they weren't too painful at all. I told Rob that I was having contractions but to go back to bed for now and I would wake him when they worsened. About 15 minutes later he got out of bed, and 15 minutes after that... BAM! The contractions were BAD! It was crazy seeing how fast I labor - with Henry I just figured I slept through my early labor, now I realize my "early" labor goes super fast and I go from a 1-2 on a pain scale to a 7-8 within a really short amount of time.

Because my labor with Henry was pretty fast and knowing that most women experience labor going faster with each subsequent pregnancy, I had been worried about how fast it would go. I asked each midwife I saw for advice and they each said, "just come in as soon as your contractions get painful." That really simplified things - no worrying about how far apart for how long, just come when I really hurt. Well, despite the advice, I still waited too long. I'd say we were home for probably another 20 min or so (making the bed - you know, important stuff) before we got in the car. By the time we got to the hospital, I was crying after each contraction and just like I remembered with Henry, I didn't know how I was going to make the short trek from the car to the elevator. Hugs and encouragement from Rob was the only way I made it!

When we checked in with the receptionist I was leaning on her desk with my head down and crying. Rob gave our names and she called the nurses. It was funny because in most cases you go into a "triage" room where they determine if you're really going to be giving birth or if they need to send you home. But on the phone we heard, "nope, she's for sure ready. It's pretty intense." Luckily it was in the middle of the night and was pretty empty there because the nurse quickly got to me and somehow I was able to follow her to my room. On the way I told her that I really wanted an epidural and kept stating that as she asked, "are you sure?" and told me there might not be time. Even though I knew she thought I should just go for having the baby right then, I was really happy that she still advocated for me by pushing to get the anesthesiologist there right away. Also funny, I had three or four nurses rushing to get me into bed and ready - one giving me an iv (is that was she gave me?), one asking me questions, one helping me get out of my clothes and maybe another (?) that found that I was 9 cm dilated and 100% effaced!! Although I'm grateful they were all there urgently getting me ready, that chaos was just not what I had envisioned or hoped for this birth.

The anesthesiologist arrived quickly (thank goodness - with Henry it took 30 minutes to get one available!) and told me that I would start to feel some relief with each contraction but that the baby would probably come before I felt the full effects. Receiving the epidural hurt a lot more this time, at least more than I remembered with Henry. I didn't mind much, it was a different type and location of pain, so it was welcomed.

Luckily he was wrong. The epidural ended up slowing the progression of labor, which I think is common? We were glad about that because everything else slowed and calmed down. Alicia and my mom arrived shortly after I stopped feeling pain and Rob's parents were even able to get to the hospital. Honestly, it got a little boring in the meantime. The midwives (one plus an intern) stayed with me most of the time and I kept thinking how bad I felt about all the time they were in my room since nothing was happening. They wanted to wait until I came to the full 10 cm. I can't remember the time for all of this, but I think it was about 8am that they planned to check again, which was not long after a shift change for the midwives.  Which maybe is why they wanted to wait - so they could make a clean switch without me being in the middle of labor?? That's my assumption, at least. The student intern stayed but we got the new midwife. I really liked having multiple midwives, actually, because they are all wonderful. In fact, the next day while recovering at the hospital the midwife who came on staff was the midwife I got to know well during all my prenatal classes so that was lucky!

I can't remember what we did in the meantime - I know we finally spilled the beans about names we were considering (June, Sybil, Lane and Drew). Everyone liked June and Lane the best, I think. We also took bets on how big she would be. Since she was nine days late we guessed eight pounds and over.

So when it was finally time to push it was very relaxed and calm. They had me do a "practice" push which would help them determine how ready I was and they exclaimed that it was a really productive push and that she was ready to be born! So, with everyone standing around, they told me when a contraction was coming so I could push. Everyone was very excited about what each push accomplished, but for me it was a little frustrating because I was pushing with all my might but didn't feel anything. Luckily it didn't go too long and I didn't get a chance to get too frustrated or exhausted. This was very different than with Henry because although I had an epidural with him as well, it had begun to wear off so I knew when to push and could feel the pressure so I felt a little more proactive. Even during the pushing it was so so calm. Between contractions we would chat a little and a couple times the midwife would calmly state, "oh, we missed one, let's wait for another." One amusing thing that happened at the beginning of the pushing was due to the midwife suggesting that they not break my water. It hadn't become broken on it's own and she felt that sometimes, left whole, it can create a cushion for the baby and prevent tearing. But, she warned, sometimes it pops on the way out and can spray everywhere. And that's what happened, although not very dramatically - but I heard a gasp and laughing from everyone before I knew what happened.

So, finally I was told that just one more push would do it and then I felt the awesome "woosh" of her coming out. They put her on my chest and, just like with my first birth, I was surprised and excited about how tiny she was (7 lbs. 2 oz, 19 3/4 inch long) I was also excited to see how much hair she had and I remember thinking and maybe even saying how pretty she was. I think I remember crying too (and I didn't with Henry). She didn't cry much and not much the rest of the time in the hospital. The few times she cried I laughed because her cry was so cute!

I told Rob he could go ahead and decide her name was going to be June - that was a top choice for a while and his favorite. Her name isn't after anyone, we just liked it (that's how all the first name options were). The night before he had told me that he didn't like Drew, and that was probably my top choice. Except that Henry had been referring to her as June for a while so I think I did know that would be the name we would settle on. We had a few middle names, but each middle name worked with a specific first name so once we knew her name was June we knew her middle name would be Beatrice, which is Rob's grandma's name. Grandma Bea passed away a few years back, I even was able to meet her.

That's the story of how June Beatrice Nyland came into our family on July 17th 2013!

The waiting (after the epidural, I think. I just can't imagine there being time before for a picture)
Our weight predictions. We were way off!
Our beautiful new baby girl!


Kendra said...

so crazy... sounds like I could have written this exact same birth story for my Nigel. So weird.

Natalie said...

I am so glad to know your story now. Good job writing it down.

Unknown said...

We know how the late thing goes. My wife and I were 4 days late and her labor progressed like yours, like a freight train.