Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birth Story Part 4- Labor starts

Boy woke us up, as usual on Sunday morning at 6:30am (!) and we began to get ready for church at a leisurely pace. At around 8:30 am I felt a contraction that was painful, but blew it off because of Friday’s experience. And then I had another relatively soon after the last, and then a third. I said to my husband, “I think this is real”.

Since, of course, it would be hours before anything exciting would happen, we were trying to decide whether to go to church or to stay home. We decided to go, primarily because everyone that we had asked to watch Boy when this blessed event occurred (our "babysitter list- families 1, 2 and 3") would be at church. Lord, forgive us for our improper motivation to go to your house. :) We packed the car full of pre-packed hospital bags, Boy’s overnight bag, and ourselves. As we arrived, the contractions were still coming regularly, but we didn't time them since they weren't TOO painful. We slipped into the service (of approx 300 congregants) and Hub whispered to “babysitting list family 1” letting them know what was going on. In addition, the couple next to us had a baby just two weeks prior, and were “onto” me when I closed my eyes and squeezed Hub’s hand periodically. However, we were at the back of the big sanctuary and were relatively unnoticed.

So we read, sang, and listened with the rest of the congregation. The contractions were not “too strong to walk or talk through” the measure that had been drilled into our heads by the midwives for when to call. The service ended, and we went to the “coffee time”. I was chatting with Dad of the “babysitting list family 1”, who had come to inquire how I was (or perhaps how long his family had until they had to take our son). At that moment I was slammed with a very strong contraction that was not only painful, but filled me with emotion, and I started to cry instantaneously! Through tears I said to my friend, OH! We have to go NOW!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birth Story Part 3- Getting Close

Please read the previous parts 1 and part 2 before starting here. WARNING: In this and subsequent posts in this series, I will be speaking frankly about bodily functions including defecation, urination, fluids and blood. Please do not continue to read if you find this distasteful.

As the time drew nearer, I had been having Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions regularly. These contractions were just a minute-or-so long tightening of my uterus (which by now occupied nearly my entire abdomen). If you take your thumb and press it against the fingers of the same hand, the feeling of that big muscle in your palm that runs your thumb is what my belly felt like, both to me and to the touch.

Two weeks before labor began, I sensed that the baby had dropped. I had read about this with my first pregnancy, and if it DID happen, it wasn’t very obvious to me. This time however, it was clear. On a Sunday night I went to bed with all the “upper” signs of pregnancy: difficulty breathing, heartburn, tummy under the chin… and when I woke up those were almost all gone. In their place, however, was the feeling that something was right there on my pelvic floor. It felt 24/7 like I needed to have a bowel movement. This feeling was ever present and slightly annoying. In addition, my actual bowel movements changed to more frequent and softer.

During faculty-staff conference, a week before my due date I went to the restroom and found a large amount of mucus on my toilet paper when I wiped. Mentioned here. I thought, "this must be the mucus plug that is a sign of impending labor". I went to tell one of the nursing faculty, who is also one of my best friends. She was very excited, but kept it under wraps. Thank goodness. The day went on, and the evening, and nothing seemed to happen. Nothing happened for the rest of the week.

The following Thursday was my due date. It came, and it went. That Friday, as I was leaving the day care after picking up Boy, I felt a painful contraction. I thought, Hooray!! Its coming and it will be this weekend (when Hub is home)! But I had no more contractions that evening, and even posted thoughts on induction on Saturday because there were no more signs of a baby anxious to arrive.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birth Story Part 2- Foreshadowing

Now pregnant with our second child (we didn’t know the gender), I and the Hub went to “refresher” birth class at about 33 weeks gestation. My husband asked a question about what to expect based on our previous experience. The nurse (a crusty nurse who’d seen it all) asked how long we were pushing. We replied, not long, probably 15-20 minutes, but the contractions lasted nearly two days! She had us repeat how long I pushed. And then she said ominously: You’d better watch out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Birth Story Part 1- Previous Exp.

As a background I have to explain how the labor went with my first child. I had been debilitated for at least a two weeks due to a serious loosening of my pelvic joints. My hips no longer bore weight, and I was hugely pregnant and on crutches. This is a great way to get doors opened for you in public places.

I began having painful contractions on a Wednesday night at 7 pm. The painful contractions were regular, but spaced about 6-8 minutes apart. They continued through the night. That morning I called the OB office. I went in to be checked *twice* that day, with the midwife reporting very little progress either time. I was monitored- yes I was having decent contractions, just not getting any dilation.

By Thursday evening (more than a day after the contractions began) I checked into the hospital around 9pm. My water seemed to break, and we called all the support in. The room was full of people and we all spent the night in the hospital room together- I was napping between managing painful contractions. Everyone else spent a peaceful night, and most went home after breakfast. By noon on Friday, the midwife had waited long enough, and I was given a gentle pitocin drip. Then things began to progress, and my son was born a little after 4pm that Friday. This was after 43 hours of contractions, but it only required a few pushes to squeeze that 7 and a half pounder out. So Boy was born.

Monday, October 18, 2010

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming

Those of you who have kids know where I've been all this time. Those who don't, well, I've been pretty busy. :)

Another reason I don't squeeze a quick post in here and there is a procrastination problem I've always had- I want to post my birth story, but it FEELS like a big task to write it, and I don't start it due to the weight of the task in my mind.

Here's a brief update: The baby is doing well.

I spent my 6 weeks of maternity leave sleeping when I could, and going to a lot of Mommy support groups and "ask-a-nurse" programs- to try to fix a huge struggle with breastfeeding. There's a lot of woo that flies around these groups, so I've spent a lot of time on PubMed, too. I am now well read in the physiology of the lactating breast and the sociology of breastfeeding. Of all the organs in the body, there's a specialization for everything except the lactating breast. For in depth information on breastfeeding you have to rely on a CLUB (La Leche League and its equivalents). This doesn't seem right.

In addition, I am really starting to appreciate the work of stay-at-home Moms, it truly IS a full time job. But still don't want to be one. Many other new Mommies tell me how sorry they are that I HAVE to go back to work. I either dodge the question or tell them a polite version of: I LOVE my work. I want to go back. I feel called to this work and therefore CHOOSE daycare for my children.

Now that full maternity leave is over, I have returned this semester quarter time. I am teaching one lecture course, so I show up to "school" MWF at 2p. I hired a cadre of babysitters to watch the infant different days while I lecture, and continue to take Boy to daycare.