Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Birth of Timothy Robert (Or: A Story of Impeccable Timing)

My sweet Bubs (as I call him) is, for the moment, sleeping in the Moby, so I'm doing what any new mom with TWO free hands would do--writing his birth story. :)

After going back and forth with our doctor about induction (she wanted to, we didn't), we agreed to be induced on Wednesday, Jan. 26th.  For various reasons, Chris and I were more comfortable with this than the earlier dates she wanted to induce.  We'd been trying for about a week to start labor naturally and at my appointment that Monday (the 24th) I was 4-5 cm dilated and 70% effaced, so my body was clearly getting ready on its own.

Though I was really scared of Pitocin, we were so looking forward to meeting our baby.  Tuesday night we had dinner with my mom (who'd arrived the Wednesday before) and played--what else--Ticket to Ride.  It was an epic game in that Chris and I tied for the first time ever.

We were supposed to be at the hospital (nearly an hour away) at 6 a.m. so an early bedtime was in order for everyone.  Surprisingly, I didn't have any trouble sleeping as I was pretty tired already.  Around 2:30 I woke up needing to go to the bathroom, but really not wanting to lug my pregnant body out of bed again. As I lay there, I finally decided that I should get up and try to get a few more hours sleep.  Right before sitting up, however, I felt a pop that I thought was a low baby kick but upon standing, realized my water had broken as it came pouring out!  It was about 3 a.m. (we had planned to get up at 4:30) so I woke Chris up and told him the good news.  We'd been  praying so hard for labor to start on its own and I couldn't believe it had actually happened.  My mom heard the commotion and woke up as well.  While waiting to take a shower, I had a few contractions but they didn't become regular until about 4:00.

After packing our last minute things, we ate breakfast and headed off to the hospital.  One of the things I was dreading was the long car ride in labor, but thankfully it wasn't as bad as I expected.  I just needed to hold Chris' hand each time I had a contraction--my mom timed them and they were 6-8 minutes apart at this point.  It was crazy foggy out and I felt bad for Chris driving his pregnant wife to the hospital when visibility was about nil.  Thankfully we made it without incident, minus a wrong turn or two.  (We'd only been to the hospital once before.)

By the time we arrived, my contractions were stronger and I couldn't walk through them.  The front desk offered a wheelchair but I was determined to get to maternity on my own two feet.  And I did!  We just had to make frequent stops. :)

Once we got to the maternity ward, I was not feeling so great.  Before even getting into the hospital gown, I'd thrown up.  Getting into bed was a relief, even though I maintain they should try and make hospital gowns look cuter.  You already feel horrible in labor; why look bad, too?

Time went by so quickly for the first several hours.  Honestly, I don't remember how far apart the contractions were, but we were able to play one hand of Rummy (gotta have priorities!).  Chris and Mom were indispensable as labor progressed.  Just like in the car, I had to hold/squeeze Chris' hand during each contraction--it helped take my mind off what was happening physically.  I'd written out a bunch of verses that Mom read over and over--that helped me not dwell mentally on each contraction. Also, a huge thanks to my friend Lisa for putting Psalm 121 to music for her son.  As Children's Church teacher, I memorized it which got me through many, many contractions.

During our childbirth classes, we practiced a variety of positions during labor.  However, because I was hooked up to monitors walking around wasn't really an option.  Honestly, though?  I didn't want to move.  The few times I walked to the bathroom were excruciating.  I even tried leaning on Chris liked we'd practiced in class during one contraction on the way back to bed, but it didn't help.  Laying down felt the best, another thing to be thankful for.

Around 11:00, the contractions slowed down, which, to be honest, was quite nice!  However, we also wanted to meet our baby.  The nurse wanted to start Pitocin, which we agreed to as it was a small amount and I didn't want to be in labor forever.  As I mentioned previously, I was really scared--mostly of not being able to handle the pain, but thankfully, it wasn't as bad as I expected.  Yes, they were more regular (every 5 minutes) and longer (I think), but the pain didn't become sharp and stabbing like I feared.

I expected more defined stages of labor like we'd learned about in our birth classes, but really the only sign I was in transition was my mental state of "I can't do this anymore."  Chris reminded me that I could do it and that feeling that way meant we were almost done.  Mom pointed out that they were getting the warming bed ready and preparing for our baby--it was nearly time!  There were sort of two stages for pushing for me--first to get a lip of cervix out of the way, and then actually pushing out the baby.  Thankfully, I only had to push for about 40 minutes before Timothy was born!

His actual birth went much quicker than I expected, which was a good thing. He was covered in meconium and very limp/purple/blue when he came out (initial Apgar score for color was 0).  Chris announced the gender, cut the cord and then went over to the table with Timothy while they worked on him.  Suddenly I realized there were a lot of people in the room.  We later learned they were NICU nurses and respiratory therapists in case Timothy needed extra care, but thankfully he was able to get worked on in the room.  After cleaning him up and checking his lungs, they wrapped him up and Chris and I got to hold our beautiful baby boy.

The whole story really amazes me.  I'm still praising God I went into labor on my own.  We were nervous about a hospital birth, but all our nurses were fabulous and did a great job respecting our birth plan.  Even though I was scared of Pitocin, I made it through.  As I wrote, I realized that I used the word "thankfully" a lot and really, that's the best way to sum it up.  I'm thankful for a healthy baby boy, despite some scary moments after his arrival.  Thankful that he decided to come on his own and, despite the lack of sleep and mountains of frustration ("why is he crying??") so, so thankful for our beautiful Timothy.


Gretchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gretchen said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Birth stories always make me want to cry. So glad labor started on its own!! But girl, I can't imagine playing a game while in labor. ;) I guess it would help you keep your mind off it, but wow. I'm sure my hubby would have been up for it, but by the time I got into the hospital this last time, I was in serious labor. :) With Ru I was induced, but I think I would have probably lost any game I tried to play. :)

Was there no sign of meconium during labor? That's scary!

Thanks for sharing all the details!

Gretchen said...

It didn't think I had word verification right the first time, but it posted it anyway! Sorry. ;) You can delete it. :)

Tyffany said...

Our God is a faithful God is He not? Congratulations Elizabeth!

Elizabeth said...

@Gretchen--I only lasted one hand of Rummy...but if I remember correctly, I won!

As far as I know, there was no sign of meconium in labor as Chris and I had no idea (and the doctor sounded a bit surprised when she said "we have meconium!"). It was a bit scary (his initial Apgar score for color was 0), but thankfully the doctors/nurses were on top of things.


Mom said...

Thanks so much for letting me be part of Timothy's birth! It was an amazing experience! Praise God for His goodness to our family!