Gabriella Maya’s Birth
by Laura, USA
At 38 weeks along I was feeling the time was going in super slow motion. One of my feet had swollen to twice the size of the other. One night I had it elevated and decided to use my camera phone to take a photo of it. I send it to my husband in Korea and to one of the doctors. That led to the doctor having me go to the hospital the next day to check for a possible blood clot. They did not find a clot but reasoned the swelling could be due to a previous injury when I tore a ligament in that area. Labor and delivery had me on a monitor for about 5 hours that day watching what they said were pretty good contractions. I was thinning out but no real dilation so I was released.
My husband is deployed to Korea. He has the ability to come home for 30 days for the birth. He had a ticket to be here one week before the due date. That day I announced to him that I wanted him to come home sooner. I even suggested that the baby may make her arrival that Friday, some what of an arbitrary day but it was a full moon and I heard many delivery rooms swell when there is a full moon. Todd arrives back on Saturday afternoon. I was soooooo ready to see baby. Saturday night we sat down stairs on the couch and I felt some good contractions picking up in intensity. He is excited and wants to leave for the hospital. I tell him we should wait till they get painful or around sunrise. Morning comes and goes, so do the contractions. For the next few days we walk, eat spicy food and anything else that mightget things moving. I want a natural unmediated birth but I was getting concerned about Todd only having 30 days leave. I cave in and call the doctor to request an induction.
Wednesday 8/24 at 39 weeks 1 day we go into the hospital at 8:00am. Prostagladin gel followed by laying still for 60 mins then walking around the hospital for 40 mins in between fetal monitoring. This goes on all day. Thinned our but still not an inch dilation. The midwives say there is some scar tissue on my cervix from a cryo procedure I had done a few years ago for an abnormal pap. This scar tissue is what's stopping me from dilating. They send me home that evening and the next scheduled opening is Friday morning so I'm told to return at Friday at 6:00am.
Friday 8/26 39 weeks 3 days I return to labor and delivery. This time I get a room twice the size as the other day. I have two more rounds of prostaglandin gel. The midwife on duty says the gel probably isn't going to work but says pitocin may knock out the scar tissue. So at 4:00 pm we start the Pitocin IV. We watch some contractions till 10:00 or 11:00 pm. Baby was doing fine so they say they will start again at 6:00 in the morning. The next day I am really working to figure this thing out. I think I get better contractions when I move around. So Ialternate from sitting straight up, using the rocking chair, and walking in the 3 ft area I could manage being attached to the IV.
At 3:30 pm while I am walking I feel a ‘POP' I know instantly the scar tissue has broken. It was the same sort of sensation as when I tore my ACL a few years ago. I felt it, heard it and could almost visualize. Also it was at that instant that I ‘FELT' labor starting. I announced to everyone in the room that ‘It's time'. Todd, my 9 year old Tiffany and my parents were in the room. The pain was instantly intense so I had a change in plans and cleared the room sending everyone by Todd to the waiting area/lounge. I had been using hypnobabies for relaxation/natural child birth. I picked up the CD player and headphone and began listening to the birthing scripts while Todd got the midwife. I can't say enough about the program. During the weeks in preparation I had doubts because I kept falling asleep everyday when I attempted the practice. When the pressure hit the visualizations/suggestions on the CD really helped with my ability to cope.
I had a birth plan that listed my preferences for the birth. Oneimportant item was that pain medicine not be offered to me at all. I would let THEM know if I wanted anything. I can't count the number of times I was asked if I was ready for the pain meds along with one of the nurses that doubted the ability to go natural since I was receiving pitocin.
The midwife came in a little before 4:00 and said I was 3 CM and she could stretch it to 5 CM. She broke the water and out came what felt like gallons of warm water. The nurses started prepping the room and when checked again I was at 9 CM. I moaned and groaned pretty loud from what I heard afterwards. I probably scared the other women in the unit. At that time the shivers started. I must have looked some what nervous because the midwife told me I was in transition and the shivers/shakes were normal although I don't remember that when my daughter was born.
My confidence started to disappear at that point. I remember wishing I could just go to sleep and wake up to see my baby born. I don't remember exactly how long I pushed but it felt like an eternity. I had decided before hand that I would NOT be flat on my back. I wanted to either squat or lie on my side to maximize the birth canal. I didn't have enough left in me to think about getting up to squat but I was determined to make it on my side. The midwife wanted me to use my hands to hold on to my knees. I would like to think I'm in fairly decent shape but that proved to be a feat and a half at the time. With my first daughter 9 years ago I remember being somewhat hesitant to push for fear of having a BM. This time I felt so much pressure I was afraid to tear. I could have cared less about a BM this time, especially since I ate all during the pitocin. The nurses didn't know and when my husband suggested I should not eat because of what the nurses said I must have looked at him like he was crazy (as I demanded another cheese burger from the cafeteria).
I remember the midwife telling my husband to look at our babies head. Then she asked if I wanted to feel it. I said no thinking I just want her to come out. At 5:27 she made her grand entrance and my tiny ‘cheesy baby' was out and given to my husband who placed her on my chest. She was amazingly alert looking and even lifted her head as she tried to focus on what ever she could. She weighed in at 7lbs 3 oz and 18 inches. Neither of us remember hearing anyone say what the apgar scores were. She nursed well before getting her eye drops. An hour later we decided the little one we refer to (and still do) as ‘beanie' would be formally known as Miss GABRIELLA MAYA.