Monday, March 7, 2011

Jackson comes to our family March 7, 2011 Birth Story

Sunday my crampy Braxton Hicks returned. They had begun the previous Sunday but stopped completely by Tuesday. Jacks had gone from engaged in my pelvis to floating. At the time I was annoyed; but after Friday, I was praising the Lord's wisdom and timing! How amazing it is that he is so aware of us; even the position of a child in the womb. I got home from visiting Eric Sunday March 6th at about 8pm. While in the hospital, the warm March rain had begun to turn to ice and hail. I made it home safely but was amazed at how quickly everything was being covered in glistening, freezing drops. "This is not good," was my thought. My mom was on her way up from Virginia and was going right through the worst part of the storm - going via Binghamton. My brother and sister-in-laws left with their kids - how amazing they've been during this time!! Chrissy was nervous about leaving me alone, but we were all hopeful my mom would make it safely - and soon. The hail and freezing rain continued through the night. I could hear it beating against the windows. Mom called at 12 midnight - she was stranded (slid off the road - thank goodness for AAA!) and wouldn't be able to proceed until morning. The signs started at 4:30am. I woke up and knew I was having a baby that day. It was a mix of emotional feeling. I was hoping he'd hang in until Wednesday when we were hoping Eric would be released from the hospital. Yet there is an excitement in knowing the baby is coming soon. But I was alone with my kids and the roads were terrible - what if no one could get to me or the storm got worse? But the irony is that the ice storm made it so Chrissy (my sister-in-law) didn't have to work and her kids didn't have school so she left as soon as she could - making amazing time on angel's wings. Then there was the fact that I hadn't decided if I was going to switch hospitals at the last minute to be with Eric or not. I know many would see this as a no-brainer but when you are planning a non-medicated birth, it MATTERS big time. After Chrissy arrived, I felt better just knowing I wasn't by myself. It was still very early in my birth time. Things were coming on gradually and spaced apart nicely. Chrissy believed me but - the only sign I was going through a birth wave was that I swayed my hips. Like I said, it was still early. I was supposed to have my 40 wk check up that morning. So I called and said I wasn't coming in for two reasons. A) nasty weather B) I was having the baby that day anyway. I spoke with my midwife about the situation with the hospital dilemma. She said I would just have to go in to Albany Med strong and knowing my rights. Oh so not what I want to deal with in such a state. Besides the obvious, the last couple of days had been so exhausting. I hadn't slept and had been a bag of extreme emotions. I asked her who was on the floor at St. Mary's and she said it was her. Ultimately that was what swayed me. Margaret is my favorite. She attended Ty's birth and I really like her style. I felt like the worst wife on the planet, but felt reassured that at least we have Skype. I just really didn't want to walk into a hospital and staff to whom I was unfamiliar with and who are not natural childbirth friendly. Not to mention it is a HUGE teaching hospital while St.Mary's in small and intimate (however if you ever had a problem, Albany Med is where you would want to be). I have heard there are a couple OBs who practice there who are excellent with allowing choices during birth, but not only did I not know them, but it was more of the other staff I was worried about. At St. Mary's everyone is on board and excited when a mother wants natural childbirth. It seems to excite everyone. Plus midwives attend the whole birth while OBs are often called in at the very end. My mom arrived around 11am; safe thank Heavens! I felt so bad that she had been through such an ordeal, but I was incredibly grateful to have her arrive! I took a short rest and listened to my Hypnobabies Birthing Day Affirmations track. During that 45 minutes I had 4 birth waves that seemed a little more intense then they had been. I was in a debate about when to leave. Chrissy was a little nervous :) she kept asking me if I was sure I wasn't ready. Love her. I didn't want to arrive at a 10 like with Ty, but I also didn't want to hang around the hospital all day either. But by the time I got Ty "rocked" and put down for a nap, they were strong and frequent enough (about 5 minutes and beyond bad period cramps) that I felt like it was a good time to go over to the hospital. I was still skeptical, but hopefully I was at least a 6. Chrissy kept saying she thought I was further. We arrived some time after 2pm. The staff looked skeptically at me - could I really be in labor? I don't think they thought I was. Every couple of minutes I just got quite. I don't think anyone but Chrissy even noticed (she'd caught on by now). They put me in a room, but covered the bed with a linen until my progress was assessed. I had a heart rate strip done. Then the midwife came in - it was Debbie, not Margaret. This made me a little sad since I hadn't yet met Debbie. She checked me - she took forever. She had a look of confusion and slight disbelief. She looked up at me and said, "Well, you're an 8 with a stretchy cervix and intact (water hadn't broken)." The change was so funny - everyone became much more excited. I was given a saline lock as a precaution since I had hemorrhaged last time. They were able to get it in my forearm instead of my hand which I appreciated. I was given a lovely plastic ID bracelet and then got into the jacuzzi sometime after 3pm. I had been wanting to get into the water all morning but was afraid it would speed things up too quickly. Chrissy hooked up Eric on Skype so the wheelie table with the laptop followed me around. It was like the bionic husband. Anyway, Caroline and Chad had taken their and our kids to see Eric so I got to watch them with him while I relaxed in the tub (I had a tank top on). The birth waves kept coming and were intensifying. I'm not sure how long I was in the water; it was awhile though. It was nice. I did start to get hot so Chrissy, bless her heart, was draping cold wash clothes over me. I part way drained the tub to help cool off, but I knew what the hot meant (hormonal shift) and I knew what was coming so I was a little nervous about getting out. I also noticed my breathing change - although up to this point I still hadn't made any noise which actually surprised me. They were strong enough where it felt hard to breath and I had to focus on getting enough air and not hyperventilating. Finally I had two waves that felt a little pushy. Before things picked up too much, I figured I better get out and dried off. Chrissy helped me since I couldn't dry my legs very well and she got me my other tank top. Then it begun. My least favorite part with this birth - transition. With Ty I had gone through transition at home and it wasn't too bad. I finally thought real labor was starting. Ha! With him it was pushing that almost did me in. With Jackson, it was transition. Holy Moly. I hope I didn't scar Chrissy too much with this experience :) My Ahhhhhs and Ohhhhhhs came uncontrollably and something I'd never felt before. My uterus doubling up at the end - it would feel like the birth wave was going to be over and then - SQUEEZE - my uterus would contract - hard. Oh man! It would push all the air out it was so strong and hard to breath; I could see it pull up on its own. Crazy feeling - so powerful! I also couldn't get comfortable. I was so exhausted from the weekend that standing, which was most comfortable, was not safe. My body was too weak from lack of sleep and too much stress. So I knelt on the bed with the back raised so I could rest but still be up-right. Almost every natural birth reaches a - what the h*** am I doing? Where are my pain meds? And I swear I will NEVER do this again! - moment. This was it for me. The nurses, Chrissy, and Eric lovingly reassured me it would be over very soon and that I was strong and doing great. I was so very tired I couldn't kneel any more. Debbie suggested we break the water so transition would end soon. I consented. I flopped over on my back and just sat in the bed, totally zoned while she broke my water. Then I heard a familiar voice - it was Margaret! She had switched shifts with Deb but when she saw that I had come in, she made her husband bring her over and wait in the car while she went to - as she put it - "catch a baby." I felt re-newed strength from her presence and loved the way she took over. Plus this allowed Debbie to hold the computer so my bionic husband could watch from an angle Chrissy didn't want to see :) I started pushing shortly after. That dang stretchy cervix had a lip hanging on to Jackson's head so Margaret had me lay on my side while she pushed it out of the way. It took a little bit, but he got around it. From this point on, it felt good - I mean not like chocolate cake good - but working with pushing feels so much better than waiting to get the baby down to position. Margaret knew I was tired. She looked up at me and showed me about an inch with her finger. "His head is this far, hun. You can do this no problem. You are almost done." YES! At that point she also told me that some people and equipment from the respiratory department were going to come in and just set up just in case because there was meconium in the water when they broke it (I think my not breathing well had made him go into distress). I pushed and it felt so great to feel the progress, but I was still having a hard time getting a deep breath. Although the nurse was monitoring the heart beat which was hard because my whole hips and uterus were sooo sensitive! They had also but a pulse oximeter on my finger due to my shallow breathing. Can I tell you, that little rubber pulse ox was so annoying for some reason. I ripped it off my finger and threw it - "I can't stand this thing!" is all I remember saying. I was at the last push before he crowned so I don't think they minded too much. No one made me put it back on, thankfully. Then the ring of fire which really isn't as bad as it sounds. Plus then you know the baby is coming NOW! Of course it seemed to last forever. Chrissy said he had a really big cone head that just kept coming and coming. I could tell that something was not right because as I pushed the head out (I didn't wait for a contraction - I was too impatient and powered him out on my own), I noticed his body didn't slide out like it usually does and there seemed to be a lot of people suddenly around him. The nurse started pushing on top of my pelvic area - his shoulder was stuck and his face was purple. They got him out and usually the cord isn't clamped right away and baby is put skin to skin, but he was clamped and rushed over to the corner to the respiratory team. They didn't let me or Eric see him; on purpose I think. Chrissy said he looked... Well, not good. Gratefully he started to breath on his own shortly after. He quickly recovered and started to cry - thank Heavens. I started to shake uncontrollably from the hormone rush, so I didn't mind not being able to hold him at first. They stabilized him and then I told them to go ahead and take his weight and measurements. He was big and you could tell! Jackson Robert was born on March 7, 2011 at 5:37pm and was 8Lbs 10.5oz and 21 inches. That is 1 LBS, 2 inches bigger than Ty and almost 3 LBS, 3 inches bigger than Noel at birth. No wonder my body was working so dang hard to get him out! He is beautiful and I am so grateful for modern technology allowing Eric and I to share the moment even though we couldn't be together. What a crazy last couple of days!! ******PS- I can't believe I forgot this. So what Eric choked on was a piece of chicken nugget. After Jacks was born they had food trays brought to Chrissy and I.... Chicken Tenders. Talk about full circle!!

4 comments:

James said...

That's wonderful and yeah for technology! I'm glad to see things are working out for you guys. But I'm not surprised, you are such wonderful people. I don't blame you for going to St. Mary's either. I had Nellie there, with the midwife (think it was Margaret too...I wasn't too with it during my last pregnancy) and it was the best birthing experience! Before that it was regular OBs. If by some miracle we decide for a fifth I may move back so I can have the baby there ;). I loved how when I got embarrassed because I was groaning and moaning at the end, they just told me to let it out, of course I think they may have regretted it, because then I didn't hold back lol ;).

James said...

okay, that was me Michelle. I didn't realize I was signed in as James...

Fichtner Family said...

Thanks Michelle. They are so good here. No one gets embarassed when you start being vocal. When Noel was born at Utah Valley I was on an epidural but had back pain that I thought was going to kill me. It made the nurses were sooo uncomfortable to hear me groan. It made me feel so ashamed! Not here. Like you said - let it out! use that power to move that baby!

CandyG said...

Jen actually had a similar experience. She also had a lip that the baby's head was caught on. The Doctor had her roll onto her side, and we rocked her back and forth to get the lip to go down some. Then she was able to deliver the baby. Unfortunately, Jen was pushing so hard, that she put her shoulder out from holding on to the bed handle so furiously! She is much better now. Emme came out with a cone head, and so when they measured her length, it included that cone! Once the cone went down, she was re-measured by her pediatrician, and she is actually only 19 inches long. She was a big baby too weighing in at 8lbs 5oz.

Congratulations on your baby Jackson, I love his name! God Bless you all!
Love, Candy