Gordito’s Birth Story

It’s been so long since I’ve written one of these, I don’t even know where to start. If you followed my posts during pregnancy, you may recall my struggle with SPD. Around 36 weeks, I used my walker to get to the laundry room, and I tripped over a shoe. My right foot went forward about 3 feet and I landed hard on it, with my legs apart. SNAP! That’s literally all it took to tear my SP joint (symphysis pubis). I screamed so loudly that Milkman and all 3 kids came running in. Milkman had to help drag me to the couch where I sat wailing with an ice pack. I was so angry at my body, that had been so much stronger this time, and so well supported by the HG harness (of course, I wasn’t wearing it when I tripped ::face palm::), that it just seemed cruel to make it so far and then have such a catastrophic injury at the end.

I went to the perinatologist a few days later who confirmed the tear, and later that day a wheelchair was delivered to my front door step. I was both relieved to have a means to get around, and then discouraged to know I was ending another pregnancy in a wheelchair.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy were spent sitting in the nursing chair in the corner of my livingroom, relying on my children to keep themselves fed with easy meals, and folding laundry and baby clothes while I cried missing our foster baby who had left unexpectedly the previous month. The pain I was in was unbelievable. Even readjusting myself in the recliner was scream-worthy. The last 2 weeks of my pregnancy, my mom and sisters took turns showing up most days of the week. My oldest sister swept and mopped my floors, my middle sister tended to kids, and my mother kept us all fed. This was the most help I had ever received during a pregnancy, and it was humbling, difficult, and one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever encountered. (They kept this up for a good 2 weeks after Milkman went back to work after I had the baby. I owe them a very great debt!) My beloved neighbor and dear friend would pop in on the days my family wasn’t here, and she would give me back rubs, and take my kids to water plants and feed chickens to give me little breaks. As someone who is used to being on the go, being a helper, being a host, and taking care of other people, it was totally foreign to be cared for like this, but it was good for me.

One of the big concerns I had after the tear was my ability to deliver this baby vaginally. The pain that I was in had me longing for a C-Section, but! There was an issue that would make a C-Section very undesirable for me. After 7 failed epidurals from my previous labors, and a consult with the head of anesthesia at my hospital, we determined that due to my scoliosis and arthritis, epidurals were never able to be properly placed and take effect. This being the case, it was suggested I try for an epidural at the very beginning of labor (something I’ve never considered), and then if it didn’t take, we would progress to a spinal. If that didn’t work, we would know that if I was in need of a C-section, I would have to go under general anesthesia. The thought of not being the first one to see my baby felt unbearable. Without the ability to move on my own or go anywhere without assistance, I had a lot of time to sit, stew, worry, and cry. And boy, did I cry a LOT!

While some people can fully cook a baby in 37 weeks, I am a slow cooker, and I knew I wouldn’t deliver this baby boy early, let alone “on time”. I normally have weeks upon weeks of prodromal labor, but this time, all prodromal labor stopped at 38 weeks and my uterus was calm and totally disinterested in ejecting a baby. My midwives and my perinatologist knew me well enough to not bother offering an early induction, and we didn’t even try for membrane stripping this time since it had never worked before. We knew the name of the game was “wait”, and so we did.

My sister brought oils, both to diffuse and to slather on me. My neighbor and sister tried pressure points, and Milkman tried making me meals loaded with balsamic and oregano, but nothing could cause my body to kick into gear. This was not surprising given my history, but it was discouraging. From feeling around, one midwife said the baby was really big, and another said the baby was right on track. One ultrasound showed a beast, the other a totally normal sized baby. I felt confident that I could deliver a baby at any size— if only my pelvis weren’t split! But it was split, and I was getting nervous. This was also the first pregnancy where I became terrified of labor. After my last (and very traumatic) birth, I became consumed with terror at the thought of delivering another baby. There were so many moments of Milkman holding me while I gripped his hands to death whispering over and over “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this, I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this…” and him whispering back “you can do this, your body was made to do this, you will do this…” over and over.

I felt like I practically lived at the hospital the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy. Between midwife, perinatologist, and iron infusion appointments to help get my iron up to a safe level for delivery, even the parking garage attendants got to know me. By week 40, the valet was saying “today?” Every time he parked my car and I would say “nope. Not yet.”

At that 40 week appointment, the perinatologist set my induction for 41 weeks, and said hopefully I would go before then. It was at that point that I felt the clock ticking. I was absolutely not interested in an induction, so I figured I would try everything I could at home. We kept up with oils, and I began pumping and nursing around the clock. Sex wasn’t an option because my pelvis was split, but we tried massaging pressure points, and more oregano oil than you can shake a stick at. I went from crying about not wanting to be in labor, to crying and needing to be in labor— but still not wanting to be! That last week of my pregnancy was brutal, and not one I would like to re-live ever again. The pain, the emotional turmoil, the hormones! Just a big mess.

The day before my scheduled induction, I put makeup on, had Milkman push me over to the barn, put heels on me, and shoved my cane under me to prop me up for pictures of my week past date belly pictures. Looking back, I’m so glad we did that! I’m really bad at taking belly pictures when I’m pregnant, so it’s something I’m grateful for!

Sunday morning dawned. The day of my induction was here. Not a contraction or sign of impending labor to be seen. We went to church, and when I came home, we all piled on our bed, while I nursed Peachy, and cuddled my family of 5 for the last time. After lots of tears on my part and the kids’, we loaded them up and took them to my mom’s house. We headed to the hospital, and I told Milkman over and over “I don’t have to stay after they check me, if I don’t want to, right?” And he would say “we can leave any time you want.”

We got to the hospital and got checked into a wheelchair accessible room. I made it clear I wanted to be checked and told if I was favorable for an induction, and if I wasn’t that I would be going home. I was hoping to do a foley and cervadil only to find out that my hospital doesn’t even have cervadil, and I was a 2.5 which meant they wouldn’t do the foley. They said we would go right to Pitocin and because of this, I would not be able to be in the shower (my favorite place to labor) because with pitocin you need constant monitoring. I began crying. How would I make it through a marathon Rachel labor with no shower? I explained how an epidural was not likely to work, and that I wanted to go home and wait for natural labor to start. One nurse was annoyed and said I should just stay, and another nurse went to talk to someone in anesthesia.

I told Milkman to pack my things and though he was supportive, I think he also wanted to just get it over with and begin the induction. At this point I asked a nurse “if I leave now, and come back when I’m in labor, will I be charged twice for being admitted?” She told me I would be charged twice, and being the cheapskate I am, I said “well, I guess I’m staying then”. Soon after then, the nurse came in with a young, female anesthesiologist. She told me that she was looking at my pelvic MRI and x-rays, and she understood why my previous epidurals hadn’t worked, but that after studying them, she was 90% sure she could place a working epidural. Though I had sworn I wouldn’t go through the hassle of getting one that wouldn’t work anyway, I felt really confident in her confidence.

One hour later, I had a working epidural and pitocin running through my veins. 8th time’s the charm apparently!

Because of my disability we had to take several things into consideration and care. One was that I couldn’t open my legs more than about a foot to 18 inches at the knee. Another was that I needed to be moved frequently, but the epidural posed a special threat because I couldn’t feel pain in the same way to trigger me to not move into unsafe positions. I also would not be able to deliver on my back, as it would require my legs to open to far. Because my labors are often very long (34, 23, and 56 hours respectively), being unable to be mobile was a particular concern for extending the length of my induction.

Every 90 minutes, Milkman had an alarm that would go off. He would stabilize my legs with 2 pillows between, tie a sheet around my knees and pillow to keep them closed, and I would move from my right side to my center. 90 Minutes later, we would do the same thing and move from the center to my left side.

9 hours after my induction began, the midwife who delivered Mamitas walked in the room and was officially on duty. We had gotten the schedule a few days before and this was one of the few reasons I decided to stay. Linda is an exceptional midwife. She is the calm to my crazy, she is down to earth, and she can deliver a baby in any position. She is one of those people who radiates warmth, without being syrupy. Real salt of the earth. The team said they were going to check me, and since I had so many contractions they were sure I was close. I told them “pretty sure I’m not.” Guess what? No change. They said maybe a tight 3, but true to my normal, that cervix wasn’t budging. I had a good cry, snuck some food, sipped some of Milkman’s coffee, and told him I wanted to go home. Obviously, it was too late to go home, but this was for the birds. Not used to contracting and not feeling it was totally foreign, so I tried to watch TV, but that made me even more annoyed. I got moved onto my side, Milkman slipped in the bed behind me, and I put in my headphones, turned on my labor mix, pulled my sleep mask over my face, and fell asleep crying silently.

Around 5pm, the Midwife came in and I was about a 5, and the baby was still way up high in my ribs. I told her I was discouraged and she said “I know exactly how this is going to happen. You’re gonna have some crazy contractions and he’s gonna drop, you’re gonna feel pressure and he’s going to engage and be born right after that. This part is taking a while, but once he drops, it’s going to go fast.” I gave a pursed lipped smile and rolled my eyes a little. Nothing ever goes fast for me! We talked about labor positions, and though we had planned on hands and knees, she said “We could tie your legs shut, and if a baby wants to come out, it’ll come out. When the time comes, we’ll get you on your side, nice and comfortable and he’ll make his way out.”

Within an hour, my epidural ran out. I could feel the contractions ramping up, and it felt good to breathe through them. With previous labors, I was so exhausted by the time I hit transition that I would go wild. This time, I moaned low and slow, I breathed deeply, and held onto Milkman like he was a life raft and I was in the middle of a stormy ocean. The pain was satisfying, and because I was well rested, I felt strong enough to handle them. The first song on my labor mix played over and over. A love song…

In April, our foster son left us unexpectedly after just about a year. We were destroyed, and Milkman and I went away on a baby moon. We spent 3 days eating and sleeping (LOTS of sleeping. I took multiple naps a day!) One of the days, Milkman convinced me out of bed long enough to go to the movies and took me to see the movie “A Quiet Place.” If you aren’t familiar with it, the movie is mostly silent. It’s a suspenseful, well acted, beautifully shot thriller, and after watching it, it fast became one of my favorite movies of all time. There was once scene that had me bawling in the theater, and in this scene, John Krasinski And Emily Blunt slow dance with headphones in to the song Harvest Moon by Neil Young. The last 2 months of my pregnancy I would listen to that song, and cry, and hold onto Milkman, feeling a multitude of emotions. Missing our foster baby, being excited to meet our new baby, fearing labor, loving Milkman so much it hurt, ready for the next chapter, but so terribly sad the last chapter had ended. This song became the theme for my unborn baby, and as it played during labor, I would picture being able to stand, and not being so crippled, and swaying with my husband to that dreamy song.

Around 8, my contractions were right on top of each other, I felt a huge turn, and yelped, and boom, he moved down. As it turns out, Midwife Linda knows what she’s talking about. Who’d a thunk? I told Milkman between contractions “Tell… Linda… he’s engaged… coming soon”.

She came in a while later, checked me, and said “well, honey, you’re complete. You start pushing when you want to.” The nurse and Milkman moved me on to my right side, and I felt the urge to push. Linda half laid on the bed, and told me to rest my left knee on her head. My legs were only open that much! I was pushing with all my might, and at one point the baby’s heart rate decelerated, so they threw an oxygen mask on my face. Between pushes, he was going back up. His heart rate went down again, and finally she said “you just gotta push with all your might, and don’t stop” I delivered his head, and I knew he was bigger than my other babies. One contraction later and he was out. It felt longer, but I pushed for less than 10 minutes.

They put him in my arms while he screamed and I opened my eyes wide and said “uh… he’s big, right??” And she replied “oh, he’s BIG!” I nicknamed him Gordito right then and there.

A while later I delivered the placenta. I remember holding the baby and watching Linda look at it curiously. She said it was a huge placenta, she also said it was very mushy, and deteriorating. Praise God I’m such a cheapskate and didn’t want to pay two admitting fees, this baby NEEDED to come out when he did. I have this clear memory of her pushing her finger into it and her finger went clear through the placenta. She called in 2 people to look at it, and she didn’t seem convinced it had all come out. However the doctor inspected it and said it was all there and not to worry.

Milkman and I marveled at our baby. He was so chubby! I checked his lip and tongue almost immediately and saw he was lip and tongue tied, and told Milkman to call the ENT first thing to make an appointment to get it lasered. I was not interested in months of ductal thrush and mastitis like I had with Mamitas, and 24 clogged ducts in 3 months after Peachy! Milkman took a million pictures, I nursed my baby for the first time, which is always super magical, and ate some gluten free graham crackers with peanut butter and drank a pitcher of apple juice (this is what I eat after every single delivery!)

They measured Gordito and he came in at a whopping TEN POUNDS! He was 22 inches long, and a beast. My other babies had been in the 7-8lb range, so giving birth to such a large baby was a shock.

Once everything was removed and I was cleaned up, we were taken to the postpartum wing, and this is where my evening went from a sweet dream to a total nightmare. I began nursing the baby and I felt a very, very large clot pass. The nurses had been “massaging” my uterus post delivery and kept saying it wasn’t feeling right. I hit the call button, my nurse came in and I told her I needed assistance getting to the bathroom as I had passed a large clot. She pulled open my postpartum mesh hospital underwear and her face alarmed me. She said we wouldn’t be going to the bathroom, and that she needed to get the doctor. The charge nurse came in, and within seconds the tiny little room was filled. My midwife was there too. They pulled back the sheet and there was blood everywhere. I was passing massive clots, and I had multiple people pushing on my abdomen while I nursed and switched back to labor breathing. The charge nurse explained the doctor was in a C-section, and they were going to wake the on-call doctor to come in. She was a young, very tall OB, with magnificently long fingers and narrow hands. It was actually one of the first things I noticed about her, which was interesting considering that very soon, I would be introduced to them in a horrifying way. She explained that my uterus wasn’t contracting properly and that I was hemorrhaging. She was going to attempt to sweep my uterus with her hands and pull anything out she could find. She had the nurse crank up some pitocin, and they gave me a shot of morphine. She said “ready?”

I had just delivered a 10lb baby. I could not have understood before that moment how anything could have felt worse than transition and pushing out a 10lb baby, but lo and behold, there is something worse, and it was this. I had a nurse on each side to stabilize my legs and keep them from opening too far and worsening my SP injury, and those long slender fingers, and that thin slender hand went all the way up inside me and she began to scrape and claw at the inside of my raw uterus. It was late, and being in a small postpartum room, I was determined to be quiet so I wouldn’t disturb the sleep of my fellow postpartum mothers and their sweet newborns in the wing, so I contorted and twisted and did Lamaze breathing and moaned as quietly as I could. She pulled out masses of clots and tissue and while I regained my composure she said “there’s more. I’m so sorry, I know this hurts, but I have to try again. You can scream.”

I fought back tears and said “I can’t scream, I don’t want to wake anyone up!” And everyone said “no one would expect anyone to be quiet through this. Just scream.” I handed my newborn to Milkman, and noticed the look of white terror on his face. “Ready?” The OB said. And I yelled out guttural yells and screams while she pulled out yet more tissue and clots. At this point, there was blood dripping off my bed and onto the floor. It was everywhere. I was soaked in it, all the way up my back and down my legs. My husband fought back tears, one of his hands in mine as I squeezed it as hard as I could and the other cradling our newborn baby.

“I can’t get it all out. She has to go in for a D and C.” My heart sank. The one thing I wanted to avoid in this entire birth was going under general anesthesia, and it was going to happen. I nursed the baby while they waited for the other doc to get out of the C-Section. I remember looking at the floor as I handed the baby off to Milkman and kissed them both, and being shocked at the amount of blood in the room. If it hadn’t been for those iron infusions leading up to the birth, I may not have survived.

The team that took over in Pre-Op was a nightmare. While I was somewhat comfortable with the OB in charge, as he had delivered my oldest, the nurses and the anesthesiologist were like vinegar to the teeth. I was tired, it was the middle of the night, I had delivered a baby, and experienced some of the worst pain in my life. The nurses were mouthy and the anesthesiologist was cocky. I had the OB who was going to do the surgery do an internal ultrasound before I went under to confirm that the procedure was necessary. I remember looking at the screen on the machine and it looked like my uterus was full of cotton. He confirmed we had to do it, and we had to do it now. I cried and the nurse said “you don’t want to do this? You could lose your uterus, or you can lose your life! Is that what you want? You literally could die right now.”

I said “I know I need it, but I’m sad because my brand new baby is down the hall and I’m going into surgery!” She said I needed to calm down. I wanted to drop kick her, but I held my tears back. The last thing I remember is the doctor telling me “how far can we open your legs?” I showed him, he measured, and he had every person in the room look and said “don’t open her legs past this point. We don’t need her in a wheelchair for life.” Then the anesthesiologist strapped my arms down, and they said “see you in 45 minutes”, and I was out.

I woke up crying, which is typical for me coming out of general. I asked what time it was, and they told me it was 3 hours later. Apparently they still couldn’t stop the bleeding, so they tried putting a foley inside my uterus and inflating it to put pressure to assist in stopping the hemorrhage. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the foley in because my cervix also wasn’t going back down. To this day, I’m not totally sure what went down in that operating room, but all I remember is the doctor telling me “it didn’t go according to plan, but we saved your uterus.” I asked the nurse to take me to my baby, and she refused. I told her I needed to breastfeed my baby and she said “you need to rest!” I said I could nurse and then rest, but I needed to see my baby. She threatened me again with losing my uterus or my life, so I asked to talk to my husband. Later he told me that she told him “you need to be on my side, don’t tell her she needs to come back.”

I told him they weren’t letting me come back to the room and that he needed to call my sister, it was now 5am, and tell her to come to the hospital and nurse the baby. He spoke to the nurse and said “I know it isn’t visiting hours, but I’m going to have my sister in law come nurse the baby since they aren’t releasing Rachel.” The nurse looked shocked at the thought of someone else coming in to nurse the baby and then made a call or two, and magically I was released back to my room!

Milkman looked totally wiped by the time I came back. He was holding out sweet little fatlng and got choked up when he saw me. He kissed me over and over and said he was terrified that he was going to lose me forever that night. I latched my sweet newborn on, and nursed him, Milkman crawled into the bed next to me, and we slept, very much alive, and very blessed to be together.

———

I never know where to stop these birth stories. There was a lot more that happened before, during, and after, but this was so long as it was. I was encouraged by my besties not to worry about the length of the story, because at the end of the day, I’m writing this story for Gordito and for me. I want to remember these things, and I want him to know how he entered this world.

It’s strange to me that his labor was my shortest at just 18 hours, and that while he was my biggest, he was my easiest delivery. The aftermath was terrible, his size likely played a part in my hemorrhage, but I am so glad that things ended as favorable as they could have!

This was also the first time postpartum that I felt the docs realized the severity of my disability. The day after delivery, they had a pelvic floor therapist in my room assessing me, and put in a referral for me to receive pelvic floor therapy when I got home. It took 9 months of weekly appointments to get me out of the chair, off the walker, and only needing my cane for flare ups or long walks. I’m so grateful for the care I received postpartum. I also had a bunch of iron infusions after delivering, and was well cared for in that respect.

A year out and Milkman still gets choked up thinking about the hemorrhage. In some ways, I feel like that wasn’t even me, but I am grateful to be alive!

My baby is one today. He is the love of my mama life, he’s my little (BIG) best friend. At a year, he loves to babble, laugh, be tickled, and make funny noises. He’s a very anti-social baby and only has eyes for mama and papa— but especially mama. We never get to be alone or go on a date because he can’t handle being apart from me, but I’ll tell you, it’s worth him tagging along, because even when I’m most burnt out, I look at his chubby face, ridiculous toothy grin, and he snuggles into the crook of my neck, signs to nurse, and I’m smitten all over again.

Happy 1st Birthday, my sweet baby boy.

A Peach is Born

A couple of disclaimers:

 

  1. I really recommend avoiding non-positive birth stories when you are pregnant.  I hate setting people up for fear.  If a non-positive birth story will trigger you or cause you to fear birth, please pass on this for now, and instead go pay Birth Without Fear a visit.

 

  1.  I have been avoiding writing this and posting it for several reasons.  One of those reasons has to do with my own trauma surrounding Peach’s birth, I’m actually nervous about re-living it right now to write it.  The other is because the community in which I live has a very tight knit birthing, baby wearing, and breastfeeding circle.  I am thankful for these wonderful women, but many of them have had such different experiences from my own using the same care providers, and I am anxious to post this for fear of extradition from these circles because of their loyalty to the care providers I chose.  

 

 

———-

If you know me, or have read much of my blog, you know this to be true: pregnancy is unkind to me, labor is an enemy most cruel.  In spite of this I am obsessed with babies, and just this week told Milkman how much I miss the feeling of contractions.  I have real issues.

 

 

After losing Ezra, Milkman and I were elated to be pregnant.  The anticipation of our rainbow baby kept my head above water through the insane amount of appointments I had, doctors I visited, specialists I tried out.  It kept me hoping when the pregnancy threw my body in a blender and spit me out, leaving me to hobble with a cane, til I resorted to a walker, and right up until I succumbed to a wheelchair.  Though pregnancy and its disabling effects on me were unescapable, I was determined to have a better birth experience.  I had difficult back labors with Captain and Mamitas.  Captains labor clocking in at 34 hours and Mamitas at 24. I just can’t seem to progress past 5cms and I stay there for hours and hours til my body goes into crazy person exhaustion mode.  Its at that point where I will go for an epidural– only to have them fail.  Every. Time.  This time, I had decided would be different.

 

 

We saved and planned so that I could have a birth center birth this time around, wondering if a different environment would help me to progress better.  I also had some trauma surrounding delivering at the hospital where I delivered Captain and Mamitas… Because the last baby I delivered there was dead. My sweet Ezra.

 

 

We were planning on going with who seemed to be the most respected midwife in the county.  I will refer to her as HMF for Head MidWife.  Turned out we couldn’t afford her.  She recommended a doula that worked with her.  We met with the doula and she informed us she was training to be a midwife (Lets call her DMF for Doula MidWife) and could offer us half off at the birth center as our midwife, with HMF watching over the birth as well.  The price was right.  In fact it was JUST right.  The exact monetary amount we had set aside for a birth center birth.

 

 

Pregnancy progressed, I had some moderate risks due to losing Ezra, my MTHFR, my SPD, and so I saw my medical midwife (I’m gonna give a huge shout out to Margaret “Peggy” Colby at Kaiser!!!! She is one of my favorite care providers ever), an OB, a Perinatologist, and DMW/HMW during my pregnancy. (This does not count the chiropractors, acupuncturist, physical medicine doc, and physical therapist I also saw during my pregnancy!  Can you say APPOINTMENTS??).  Milkman had finally agreed to let the baby’s sex be a surprise after refusing my request for my other kiddos.  I was elated, and this made my pregnancy and its pain seem all the more tolerable.  Everything was seeming awesome, apart from the pain til my 36 week appointment.  My perinatologist, who was very sweet by the way, knew that gender was supposed to be a surprise.  HMW and DMW told me I needed to ask the medical side of things for baby’s measurements.  As it is, I was uncomfortable with even knowing percentiles because of how off they can be.  But as they were insistent I went to the medical Midwife, Peggy, to ask to see what the perinatologist had recorded for baby’s stats. As we scrolled past her notes, she listed the baby’s gender in the chart.  I held it together in the office but when I got to my car I cried.  Hysterically.  And continued to for the remainder of the day.  I knew this didn’t change anything, I was still having a baby, I was still excited, I didn’t really care what was between my baby’s legs, but I was so disappointed for the surprise to be ruined.  We decided not to tell anyone else that we knew, but it was incredibly difficult to have gone that long without knowing only to have it ruined.  This was my first downer leading up to my birth.

 

 

Once I was full term, I was aching to get my little baby born. I am a huge believer in trusting your body to birth when it’s ready. However, when you can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning without help, and need a walker or wheelchair to get around because of the pain you are dealing with from the baby, it’s hard to wait.

 

 

The week before I was due, I checked in with DMW who informed me that she had attended many, many births in a row.  Most midwives and doulas have a cap for how many patients they care for in a period of time, but because she was working as both, she essentially had double the case load.  I told her I was having contractions and after telling me that the babies had tried to kill her (just too many births in too few days) that we should have “none of that”.  After trusting her and liking her during my prenatal care, I all of the sudden felt very nervous.  Why would she say that?  Was I an inconvenience?  Would she collapse from exhaustion at my labor?  Would she be able to hold up her end of the bargain?  I had one of my weird atypical migraines I get with pregnancy the next day.  It acts like a stroke, and I lose the ability to move and feeling in half my body, as well as my vision, hearing in one side and I cannot speak clearly.  I checked in with her and once again she seemed hesitant about my ability to birth at a birthing center, even though the OB on call at the hospital spoke with her and gave her the OK.

 

 

This should have been my sign to back out, but I felt like we had already paid too much money and I was afraid of disappointing people (my own made up fear) by not going through with it, so I shut up that voice in the back of my head and continued on.

 

 

(Here is the log of what I wrote in real time during my labor).

 

October 4th, was here.  My EDD.  Sunday morning.   I woke up to a big contraction at 8:20am. Captain and Mamitas ran into the room to tell me daddy had made apple crisp for breakfast and to get out of bed.  I sat up and felt a small gush.  I went to the bathroom and saw I had some show, and put a pad on. We went to church, and I brought a chux pad to sit on in case of membrane rupture in church.  I had a feeling this was the day I would go into labor.

 

 

I got home and had a surge of energy and stamina.  I scrubbed the bathroom. Nothing worse than laboring in a dirty bathroom.  I even took the shower drain apart and bleached it!  I wanted this labor to be perfect.

 

 

I had Milkman take a full body picture of my, thinking this would be my last day pregnant.  I sent him to the store for gatorade and ice.  I sat down on the couch to watch Call the Midwife, and and eat a snack and I felt another small gush. at 2:15, a HUGE gush.  There went my waters!  I hobbled to the bathroom to get cleaned up and texted Milkman to let him know.  I had never had my membranes rupture spontaneously and never before labor.  No contractions.  I got nervous for a little bit, but I decided to remain positive.  I got on the ball and was hula moving back and forth in hopes to make something happen.  When Mamitas woke up from her nap, I asked if she wanted to nurse, hoping that might get things moving, her response was, “I want to nurse FOREVER mama!”  And so we nursed for what seemed like forever.

 

 

I kept in touch with DMW via text and Milkman installed the carseat while the babies and I paced the backyard and then came in to make some chocolate chip cookies!  It started to rain.  Odd for October in California.

 

 

We fed the kiddos dinner and cuddled a lot.  My mom came to get the kids in case I went into labor.  (I wish I hadn’t done this.  It caused a huge upset in my mood, I missed them so badly I couldn’t keep it together emotionally).

 

 

Milkman took me out to dinner and we came home to get some sleep.  STILL no regular contractions.  DMW told me that contractions would likely pick up in the night.  But they didn’t.  They stayed erratic.

 

 

Monday morning I woke up and cried.  Where were my contractions?  Why did I let my babies go last night when I needed them close?  DMW told us to meet her and HMW at the birth center to test to make sure it was amniotic fluid I was leaking and to talk about a course of action.  The test was positive for amniotic fluid.  They sent Milkman to the store for sprite and castor oil, and set me up with an IV of antibiotics.  Unfortunately, DMW couldn’t get a good vein anywhere except antecubital, and that’s a crappy place for an IV.  The antibiotics burned, as she had the drip too high.  HMW seemed peeved with DMW and I felt even more nervous about birthing with this team, but I was determined to take it back to a positive.  The castor oil began working its effects.  I threw up most of my pregnancy and had nausea throughout.  Nothing like how awful castor oil makes you feel.  I would ask for pitocin a hundredfold over castor oil if I were to do it over.  It was awful.  HMW told us to go walk, but I was terrified to get too far from a restroom.  We attempted to walk the mall, and my memories of walking the mall are like a cloudy nightmare.  Intense nausea, intense contractions, aching back, aching and tired body.  We went back to the birth center.

 

 

Contractions stayed steady, but I wasn’t progressing.  At one point I was crying for my babies and DMW came in and said in a strangely unfamiliar tone “You need to get that out of your system, crying like this is going to stall your labor.  Stop focussing on your older two children and focus on getting this one out of you.”  At this point I was shattered.  Had I been allowed to display my emotions, I would have felt better about progressing, but because I had been shut up, my walls came up, and I felt like I had made the wrong choice to birth with this woman.  Even still, I refused to vocalize these feelings to Milkman or to myself, because I wanted to remain positive.  I dried my tears and tried to lay aside my mistrust for my care providers.  Hours passed.  Contractions became erratic.  I walked as much as my aching, hobbling body would let me, willing my body to progress.  Reciting scripture, praying, singing hymns.  

 

 

I was checked so many times.  I was under the impression that you should not be checked often with ruptured membranes for fear of introducing bacteria.  Every time I hesitated at a check I felt like I had to.

 

 

After a very long time, I asked why I wasn’t allowed to go into the birthing tub to labor since my back labor had kicked in. With hesitation I was allowed to labor in the water (this was the number one reason I picked this birth center, so I could labor in the bath).  The water was warming and comforting, but I could hear HMW and DMW talking about me in the other room in hushed tones, and I couldn’t block it out.  I felt so awful.  They were tired and not offering the support I had hoped for.  At 2am I told Milkman I was scared.  HMW came in and said very forcefully during a back contraction “If you are scared you should not birth here, you should transfer.”  I wanted to scream.  I was scared because I was scared of having to transfer and lose out on alllllll the money we paid out.  

 

 

At this point I faced the women who were supposed to be supporting and comforting me and asked for them to be realistic with me.  I had been ruptured a long time.  36 hours.  I was stuck at 5cms and had been for a very long time.  How realistic was it that I would deliver at the birth center?  HMW was honest with me at this point (for which I was very grateful).  She told me that likely I needed pitocin to progress as well as a pain reliever so I could sleep.  I had been awake too long, my body was too tired.  It was time to transfer.  They checked me for the umpteenth time.  Still a 5.

 

 

We got to the hospital just a block down the street.  DMW said she would meet us there, and though I didn’t want her to, she had agreed to taking the role of a doula in the event of a transfer and I needed someone to help Milkman help me through contractions.  She got there and her demeanor seemed one of someone who is apathetic.  The nurses insisted I have yet ANOTHER check.  I refused.  I was told I would not be given pitocin or meds until I was checked.  I looked at my DMW hoping for some support, she gave me a “Well, what are you gonna do?” look and began scrolling through her phone.  I wanted to scream “HELP ME.” but I was too busy breathing through contractions. I finally agreed to a check.  Epidural was placed.  Epidural failed. Second was placed.  Second failed.  Pitocin was kicking my uterus into high gear and there was no relief.  Though the epidural was placed, it was leaking into another part of my back, so no pain relief was brought but it was still being pumped into my body. I have very low blood pressure normally, so at one point the nurses came in and told me I needed ephedrine for low blood pressure.  Through a contraction I tried to inform them that my BP is always low.  I looked at DMW for her to speak up and let them know that my whole pregnancy she would joke with me about this very fact.  I said “No… ephedrine.  Please.  Its… normal.  Low blood pressure.  NO. NO.  NO!!!!” and it was shot into my IV.  Here I was.  I was becoming one of those stories where the interventions keep piling on top of the other.  I looked at my DMW and she gave me a look again, unsympathetic and went back to her phone.  Hot tears seared my cheeks.  I was so angry.  I told DMW she was free to leave.  She kept refusing to.  I asked her to get food or go take a break, and though she seemed like she would rather be getting a root canal than stay with me, she kept saying, “No, it’s okay, I’ll stay.”

 

 

Finally another anesthesiologist decided to give the epi a try.  He told me my scoliosis curved right where the epi was supposed to fit, so he eyeballed it to the right and got it in.  It offered temporary relief and I was able to sleep for a while.  Milkman passed out, DMW passed out at my feet.  I woke up once the epi stopped working to breathe through my contractions.  I stared at sleeping DMW with tears in my eyes.  I wanted her gone so badly, but I didn’t want to be rude.  I could slap myself now for caring about that in the moment.  

 

 

I woke her and Milkman up to help me through contractions.  Milkman went to the restroom at one point and I looked up at DMW during a very hard contraction and reached my hand out to hers for her to hold mine.  I swear to you, the look that returned to me scared me.  It was almost sinister?  She refused to hold my hand and stared at me with a grimace on her face while I went limp and breathed.  This happened several other times.  Once again I told her she could leave, once again she refused.  I still don’t know why she stayed other than maybe she wouldn’t have gotten paid if she left?

 

 

After a few rude nurses, it was time, I was a 10.  New doctor on call came in and I told her due to my SPD I could not push on my back and would need to be on my side.  The doctor said she hadn’t delivered with a mother on her side, I said that was nice, and I would be her first.  If DMW would not advocate for me, I would advocate for myself.  DMW offered to take pictures, I got in place.  3 contractions, Peach was born. Relief.  Tears.  She was here.

 

 

I looked at her warm wriggly body and I cried out “She’s alive! This one breathes.  She’s not still like Ezra was.  This is my baby and SHE IS ALIVE.  Thank you, Lord, she’s perfect!”  I cried for a long time.  It was quiet in the room, and the air felt thick and awkward, but the only thing I cared about in that moment was gratitude for this gorgeous little creature I held in my arms.

 

shes here
She’s alive!

 

 

After a while the room cleared out and DMW finally announced she would be leaving and a great wave of relief washed over me.  She assured me she would send the photos and when the door shut and it was just Milkman, Peach, and I, I breathed easy for the first time in 48 hours.  Peach latched on and looked up at me with one eye open, and I marveled at her perfect skin and face.  

 

 

 


 

Once we got into our recovery room in postpartum, my mom brought Captain and Mamitas to come meet their little sister.  It was so wonderful to have my little family all together, if only for a short period of time.  Captain was feeling homesick and it made it hard for me to say goodbye when they left.

 

 

That night, I sat in the hospital bed, nursing the baby and eating dinner and I looked over at Milkman and asked, “What did you think about DMW?” He pursed his lips and (wisely) asked me, “What did YOU think about her?  Did you find her helpful?”  I started crying.  I told him how unsupported I felt, how I felt like a burden to her.  How I didn’t want to talk with her or have anything to do with her.  How she made labor that much harder.  How when I reached out for her she ignored me.  He nodded his head as I talked and came over to hold my hand.  I asked him again and he said he felt very much the same as I did but didn’t want to bring it up in case I hadn’t caught on to it because he didn’t want to put a damper on the experience.  I wept and he held Peach and I while I shook with angry tears. He agreed that any contact with the birth center and either of its Midwives would go through him, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

 

 

We picked up my placenta from her a couple days after delivering, all the correspondence though Milkman still.  She never did send my birth photos.  I wept much in the weeks following my birth.  None surrounding my baby, or the usual baby blues, all in relation to my awful birth experience and the care I was promised and paid for but was not given.

 

 

6 weeks later we finally heard from HMW and she asked why she hadn’t heard from us to schedule my follow-up appointments.  We hadn’t been contacted til that point.  Milkman was a saint and explained that I was dealing with birth trauma and I couldn’t bear to go to the birth center.  Right after he sent that we heard from DMW for the first time in those 6 weeks saying she was concerned she hadn’t heard from us.  It felt awful, all over again.  Like it was my fault she hadn’t done her follow-up.  And it confirmed all the more that she didn’t care enough to contact us sooner.  Milkman went to the birth center to pick up my records and asked if someone would please send the pictures from my birth.  

 

 

A while later we received an email with the photos, all thumbnail sized and poor quality.  I asked for her to re-send them at a higher quality, as these were the only pictures I had of the birth, and were intimate and meaningful to me.  She never replied and I haven’t heard from her since.

 


 

 

 

Since all this happened, I attended a birth trauma session at MommyCon and spoke with the ladies at Integrated Birth.  At the end of the session where they offered advice for avoiding birth trauma (like hiring a doula, birthing at a birth center, using people who came highly recommended, etc). I began crying very hard (thankful my sister was there with me to hold my hand and cry with me).  There was a Q&A time so I asked “What happens if you did all those things, you did everything right, all your research, picked the best people, and it still went horribly?”  I was told that most likely DMW had taken off more than she could chew and was in birth burnout mode, and most likely shouldn’t have taken me on as a client.  I was told that I was supported and to not be afraid to write my story, whether or not I ever shared it with anyone.  The compassion I received from the fellow attendees and from the presenter and the Integrated birth team was AMAZING and empowering.  We all cried together.  At once point Laney from the Mommycon team came over to me and hugged me and she said she understood how I was feeling.  For the first time I felt like people other than my sister and my husband understood me, and actually cared.  That my concerns were valid and real.

 

 

I still occasionally break down thinking about Peach’s birth because it brings up a lot of angry and hurt feelings, but I am on the road to emotional recovery, thanks MOSTLY to Milkman and his love and patience and understanding.  He’s heard me hash it out so many times, cry over it so many times, and never once has he dismissed those feelings.  Peach is the happiest baby I have had and this has also helped tremendously.  Had she been as high needs as her big brother and sister, the physical and emotional healing would undoubtedly have taken much longer.  Every smile reminds me just how worth all the pain really was.  She is magic.

 

 

If you’ve made it thus far, you are dedicated!  Thanks for reading.  If you are dealing with birth trauma and want someone to talk to, feel free to reach out and contact me,  I’m here to support you!

 

 

Find me on Facebook.

Mamitas Comes Earthside

Why a birth story? Because that is what women do. As a little girl, nothing fascinated me more than listening to my Tias in the kitchen at family gatherings talking about their births. “…And the head was THIS BIG!”… “My water gushed out like niagra falls while I yelled at my husband, GET ME A BEACH TOWEL!”… “I thought I was dying… then she came out and all the pain was forgotten.” I LOVE birth stories. I read every one I come across, no matter how dull or exciting. I am obsessed with the Birth Without Fear Blog and read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and was so empowered and PUMPED for birth after living through the births of sisters who have birthed before me. Birth stories not your thing? Then move along. Birth junkie? Read on. I say things like placenta, and membrane rupture and toilet. it’s the real deal. So here goes it!

I will not bore you with tales of how badly pregnancy drained me and how much I despise being pregnant. The short story is I was sick the entire pregnancy, I had such horrendous back pain that I was sent to physical therapy (helped not at all), and I had horrendous SPD. There is pretty much nothing I enjoy about pregnancy except not having to suck in my stomach and feeling the first kicks. I say FIRST kicks because my kids are so active in the womb, I do not enjoy the Irish jigs they dance day and night in my uterus for months.

I decided not to tell anyone my Estimated Due Date (EDD) because, your “Guess date” as I like to call it, is really no indicator of when you will have a baby. I told no one. Noah, my midwife and God knew. I always feel bad when a woman is approaching her EDD and everyone starts bugging her about when the baby will come and how she’s gonna have a big baby, and isn’t she overdue… I didn’t want to think about my EDD because I knew if I went over and people were asking me “Has that baby come yet?” I may go mental on them. Your EDD has a 2 week plus or minus swing on it, but in our impatient society, we like to think of an EDD as an expiration date, which it most certainly is not.

So, for all those nosey folks, my EDD was July 31st. And guess what? She didn’t come that day. Nor the day after, or the day after that day. With Captain I tried every natural induction scheme on the interwebs and he came when I gave up, so I didn’t bother this time around. I cried, and I wished her out, but I knew she would come when she was ready. At 40 weeks and 5 days the MEDwife I saw (not my normal, preferred Midwife) told me I would be scheduled for my induction at 41 weeks on the dot. I said that I trusted my body, and as much as I secretly wanted her out NOW, I was not about to have an unnecessary induction that could open itself to a bunch of other complications! She told me I would have a big baby and probably a c section, and I told her I would be fine, but agreed to a Non-stress test (NST) on the stroke of 41 weeks rather than an induction. I told her I would only consider an induction if something was truly wrong with my little Wombling or I was past 42 weeks. She gave me a look of disapproval and said she was transferring my care to the OB because she was no longer going to be responsible for my care after 41 weeks.

The afternoon before my NST brought on another wave of prodromal labor (or so I thought.) I had been in prodromal labor since 34 weeks. Contracting regularly with no baby at the end of it. At dinner I was breathing through the contractions and they were getting increasingly painful. I nursed Captain for what would be his last time not sharing me, and I contracted all through bath time and night time prayers and through my ritual couch cuddles and ice cream with Milk Man. I knew that this could be false labor again and so I decided I should get sleep since I had a 34 hour long labor with Captain and I wish I had slept before. So I slept and every few contractions would get so painful I would have to really wake up and breathe through it. By 2am I was in the throes of it. Breathing, and trying not to wake Milk Man and Captain who were sleeping away next to me. at 2:30 I had one of those where I couldn’t be quiet anymore. And I told Milk Man I needed his help to breathe through it. Of course, little Captain woke soon and wanted in on the fun. Milk Man suggested we call my mom an hour later and she came over to stay with Captain.

I labored on the couch and on the floor, incredibly excited for what lay ahead. See, as much as I hate pregnancy, I am obsessed with labor. I could watch birth videos instead of Hollywood movies every night with my popcorn and be in heaven. I looked forward to that sweet pain that labor brings all pregnancy long and it was really here.

I wanted to labor at home til I was crowning but MM and my mama were convinced I would go much quicker this time and urged me (somewhat against my judgment) that we should go to the hospital since its about 40 mins away. This is the first poor choice I made this time around. Anyway, armed with my ipod and pillow, I sang my way through contractions all the way to the hospital. Waterdeep is one of my favorite worship bands and their songs have brought me much comfort in the past, so I turned it way up and cried, and praised the Lord, and sang and breathed and gripped the heck out of MM’s free hand. He later said he knew I was in pain because it was the first time he’d heard me sing off-key! haha!

We got to the hospital and I didn’t want to go in, so convinced that my labor would stall the second I got to L&D. So we sat in the car and I labored there for about an hour. We went in and got checked in and when the Doc came into check me (my least favorite OB was on call!) I was only a 3. However, given my past experience, and seeing how I was reacting with contractions they advised me to stay. I wanted to leave so badly. But everyone thought this would be such a short labor and with morning rush hour upon us, everyone convinced me to stay.

I handed over my birth plan and turned up my ipod. As much as the staff may have preferred me to acquiesce to their desire to continuously monitor me while I was in bed and stuck to an IV and in a hospital gown, they respected my wishes. I was monitored 10 mins out of every hour while I sat on a birthing ball. I wore my labor uniform—Black tank and black skirt! and blasted techno and metal through every contraction, When I wasn’t on the ball being monitored, I was in the shower. MM and I had assembled a birth notebook with birth affirmations, scripture, songs, labor coping methods and dos and don’ts (Do NOT breathe on my when I am in labor, it drives me crazy… don’t reason with me… don’t fall asleep… DO talk to me… DO have a mint on hand if you are going to be close to me…. etc).

This labor, like my last was hard. And though everyone told me it was going to be a short labor, I knew it would be long. I was right.

For my 50 minutes off the monitors each hour, I labored in the shower. MM read to me and prayed for me, and for the 10-20 minutes I was being monitored, I would blast my music and labor on the birthing ball. The nurses jury rigged my monitors so I could be upright and have more freedom of movement.

When the on call midwife came in, I was stoked. Though she was not a midwife I knew previously, she used to do home births and was LOW KEY. The last person I need in my delivery room is someone who is as crazy as me. I need calm and docile. She was super cool and supportive. I was glad to have her on my side. She said she liked and agreed with my birth plan. She did, however want me to get a saline lock. I had a positive GBS and a negative and she said they might hold us back if I didn’t do the antibiotics. I wanted to hold off a little longer before I made my decision, and she didn’t pressure me.

I labored on. And On. AND ON. Hours went by. It was painful, but I was making my way through. I decided to do the saline lock after the nurse asked for the 5th time. And this is where my story goes downhill a little. First try for the IV: Failed. Second: Blew my vein. Third: Couldn’t get it in. Fourth: Called in another nurse and got that puppy in. Because they couldn’t get it on my left hand, it had to go in my dominant hand which I really didn’t want, but I didn’t have a choice. My wrists hurt so badly that I could no longer bear weight on them. Some where around this time, I told MM I needed back in the shower IMMEDIETLY to relieve some pain. I got in and let the hot water blast. And then it hit.

“No. No, no no, no, NO! OH, NO! NOT AGAIN! NO!”

MM Freaked out “What’s wrong babe?”

“NOOO! BACK. LABOR. NO! I can’t do this again! I can do regular labor, I can’t handle back labor!”

MM began praying. Each and every contraction after that was horrendous. Back labor is really difficult for me to handle. I go insane. At one point after an hour or so of back labor, MM asked what the loud banging in the shower was. It was me hitting my head on the shower bar as hard as I could trying to knock myself out. An hour or so later, I was laboring on the toilet (Yes, I know, so classy, but it is one of the most comfortable chairs to labor in!) and I began whacking my head on the bar on the back of the toilet and the nurse and MM had to tell me to stop. I wanted to get knocked out so I wouldn’t remember the pain.

Because they had jacked up my saline lock (Really not my nurses’ fault… I have lousy veins and they felt awful about it) I couldn’t bear weight on my wrists and being on all fours is one of the best ways to labor during back labor. We tried the TENs machine. Not helpful. Ice. Heat. The only thing that seemed to help was MM shaking my hips VIOLENTLY during a contraction. Almost like shaking the baby down. Sounds weird. Thanks to Ina May for that tip. Sounds strange, but you’ll do anything to get some relief from back labor.

And then the moments came. I began begging for drugs. I was so upset with Noah for following my instructions to not argue with me but change the subject. “Babe, I’m serious, get me the epidural now. Babe, NOW.”

“Hey honey, remember our honeymoon? …”

“MM, you aren’t listening, get the nurse NOW!”

“Um, baby, look at how cute our little Captain is in this picture”.

After a couple hours of that, he gave in and got the anesthetist. I was afraid everyone was going to hate me and judge me. I am sure they all did, but I was losing it mentally from her little skull pounding on my tailbone! It was an hour before they could come in. The guy was nice. And then I realized he was a student and had the anesthesiologist shadowing him. No biggie.

The escorted Noah out and brought in Clyde (the stabilizers for epidurals in our hospital are nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde!) and asked half a million questions. I tried so hard to be still. I tried so hard to relax.

Clean, sting, needle, catheter, OUCH. Something hit my spine in a weird way. He wiggled it around. I heard him and the anesthesiologist conferring. She seemed annoyed. The nurse was trying to breathe with me as I had to remain completely still.

“Its not working. We have to start over.” Okay, breathe, breathe.

New stuff gets laid out. Be still, be still! Clean, sting, needle, catheter, OUCHHHH!! My Body convulsed and I was told to be still (Rightly so, lets not cause any spinal cord damage, shall we?) That little bugger was being moved and swirled for a long time. The anesthesiologist took over and was wiggling it around. “We can’t get it in the correct spot. There’s a barrier, something is keeping me from being able to get it in. We have to try again.”

I began bawling. Did I really want this? YES. YES, I DID!

New stuff, round 3. Clean, sting., needle, catheter and ouch again. It took a LOT of fenegaling. They had to insert it in an abnormal place. Finally.

MM says that all took about an hour. So, MM comes back in the room and in about 15 minutes I am finally getting some relief. About 80% of the pain disappears, but it was enough to let me get some rest. I’d been up for a very long time. In about 40 minutes I begin breathing really heavily again, MM asked what was wrong and I told him the pain was coming back. Within 10 minutes I was feeling about 10% relief. I used the pump to administer more drugs and it did nothing. The nurse came in and asked if I wanted to speak to the anesthesiologist. So they send them both in and they shoot the medicine right into the catheter. I get about 70% pain relief. Within 20 minutes the pain was back in full force. Clearly, my body didn’t want the drugs. They offered to re do the epi for a 4th time, and I just asked them to turn it off since it wasn’t helping. The good news is that it was enough pain relief to make me sane again. The bad news is the contractions felt like a jackhammer hitting my tailbone. I took videos of myself telling my future self to never have a baby again and to remember the only reason to ever go to a hospital again is for the delicious ice chips. They are pretty funny to watch now.

So labor continued and the sun set and I was tired but I kept my music loud and my prayers short and frequent. My sweet Milkman snuck me bits of food and sips of Gatorade.

The MW checked me and said my membranes had ruptured and I was a 7. I informed her they hadn’t ruptured and we went back and forth on that one and I said whatever, maybe they did! About 20 minutes later I had a hard contraction and there was a gush. Water everywhere. NOW my membranes had ruptured. Oh, the pretty parts of labor! I went to an 8 after that. She said I was close to a 9 and as she checked me apparently I had another rupture and a whole bunch more water. Boom. 10 centimeters.

I told her I didn’t want to push until I felt the urge. I have known far too many women who hear “You’re 10! Start pushing!” and 3 hours of exhaustion and a c section later, they wish they had waited til their body was ready, not til a magic number was announced. So I labored down and I breathed through urges and then I called for her and informed her I was ready. That seems simple right? Wrong. Its hard to not push when you want to push. Blowing those contractions out took a great deal of concentration!

So, anyways, ready. She was awesome about not counting or telling me when to push or how hard. I told her I didn’t want to tear and she said she’d make sure I didn’t. So, I pushed when I felt like it, all the while listening to some incredibly motivating Metal on my ipod! (Though when the baby crowned I began singing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire quite loudly which I think surprised the nurse!)

20 minutes and no tears later, Mamitas came earthside at 8 something in the evening after 24 hours of labor, screaming her little face off. I wept immediately and MM looked crazed with joy (was it joy that his daughter was here or that labor was over?). I exclaimed “She’s so tiny!” and the MW said, “No she’s not! She is a big girl!” (I guess she seemed tiny compared to my toddler! She was a whole pound and inch bigger than Captain, at 8lbs 7ozs and 21 inches long). We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and she screamed and screamed and I cried and cried with happiness. Once the cord was done pulsing, Noah cut it and she was her own little person now. She was super fluidy in her lungs so they tried to aspirate more from her and checked her out a little extra which they don’t normally do, but she was fine. I finally yelled over to MM, “give her back to me now! I want to nurse!” He brought her over and she latched on and we were connected again.

The nurse brought me a giant club sandwich and apple juice and MM prepared my favorite post birth snack: Graham Crackers and peanut butter! I signed a release to have my placenta bagged and thrown in our cooler for encapsulation (more to come in a future post on that one!) and we just stared and marveled at our little one as the room cleared out of everyone but us three. Mamitas was loud and red and squinty eyed and fat. Just perfect.

We ended up in the hospital longer than I had hoped (Making MM more agreeable to the idea of a home birth in the future), but the highlights of our stay were making it really clear to the staff that we didn’t want to be bothered at night so we could sleep, an awesome heart to heart with the lactation consultant about cosleeping and tandem nursing. Staring at our little chublet and soaking in the quiet moments. And the best? Seeing our babies meet for the first time. Sweetest thing in the world.

Was it the birth I had planned? No, not completely, but mostly as planned. I am happier with how it went than my first, probably helps that it was a whole ten hours shorter than my first labor!

Tune in next time for tandem nursing joys and placenta munching. WHAT?! Yeah, that.

20140131-142655.jpg