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It’s a Girl

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It’s a Girl

For anyone who wants lots of details, here’s our little birth story

I’ve been having braxton-hicks (fake, painless) “contractions” every night for the past 4 weeks, so we were ready to get this baby out, since I don’t really sleep anyway. More importantly, Deb, our childbirth ed instructor and my unofficial birth-coach will be at an out-of-state wedding on my due date and not back till July. Duane has a climbing competition on the due date, and Chloe & I want to be there to cheer for him. And the due date also happens to be the biggest full-moon of the year, so everyone else will be at the hospital having babies that day too, and only 1 of the 2 delivery rooms has a Jacuzzi. So we had plenty of reasons to want the baby out a couple days early, or 9 days early.

Tuesday, June 11 – I had braxton-hicks off and all during the day, and by evening they were 5-8 mins apart, so texted Deb to give her the heads-up, just in case (like anything is actually going to happen?)

10pm – I went to bed and has hungry, so I knew she must be dropping, since normally by tummy is rather squished. I really should have eaten something.

11:50pm – My water broke, so we called the hospital, texted Deb, got our stuff together and started driving (The hospital is  45mins away). I had such an adrenaline rush that I was shaking the whole drive.

June 12th, 1-ish am – I walked into the hospital with the announcement of “yes, I really am in labor, even though this doesn’t look very convincing” Shortly after arriving, the contractions actually started hurting s bit. The nurse asked if I wanted to walk the halls, but just any movement seemed to cause another contraction and I really just wanted to sleep.

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For the next several hours:

I think I did a great job with the whole “take a deep breath, and relax,” and the nurses seemed pretty impressed too. Duane has been training me in labor breathing by giving me painful back-rubs for the past few months, and it worked. We were both so tired, which probably also helped me relax. I did fall asleep between contractions, and a 3-5 min power-nap is better than nothing. The Jacuzzi was also wonderful, I think I took a 20 min nap in there, although turning on the jets made me puke.

For the most part it was just Duane and I doing our thing with nurses coming in occasionally to see if we needed anything or to check the baby’s heart-rate, or bring me a warm blanket when I got out of the tub.

8am – I was at 5cm. The nurse was surprised I was that far in active labor since I was so chill, and I was disappointed, “only 5cm?”

11-ish am – I was at 8cm. I was sitting on the floor leaning my head on the bed, because somehow that was more comfortable than being in bed. Contractions were getting intolerable and it was impossible to actually relax during them. I resorted to grimacing and whimpering pathetically. Duane tried to help by pressing on my back, sometime he got the right spot, other times I wanted to tell him to just stop, because he wasn’t helping. In those moments I reminded myself that he was doing his best, and I should be nice to him.

I asked the nurse if I was in transition yet, and she responded that it was hard to say (it’s not like they had been watching me constantly). Sometimes people throw up during transition, but I had done that twice already at various times. Then I threw up again. I decided now would be a good time to ask Deb to come to the hospital.

Noon-ish – I started pushing. I’ve been told this is a wonderful relief to finally get to do something, instead of just be in pain. I don’t completely agree, but it was nice to know that it was almost over. I was also getting hungry and wanted to eat, but what’s the point when I’ve puked up everything I’ve drank? Pushing was pretty much an out-of-body experience of intense pain and hearing myself yelling, and realizing, “oh that’s my voice making all that noise.”  There were a few moments when I busy yelling, I wasn’t sure if I was actually pushing at all. Then I’d realize the contraction had stopped, so I could probably stop yelling now.

Someone said that Deb arrived and I was vaguely aware of yet another person standing around me. Someone started dabbing my face with a cool cloth, so I figured that must be Deb. It was nice to have someone actually taking care of me, and not just focusing on the monitors and telling me to breathe and push.

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When Dr Gus announced that Chloe was in the birth canal and ready to come out, apparently I said, “I just felt her kick.” Duane the Dr looked at each other like “ok, whatever you say”. But I really did feel her kick my ribs, like one last final “good-bye” to her cozy little home in my belly.

At some point I announced, “I can’t do this” and started begging the Dr, “can’t you just pull her out?” I was informed that I needed to keep pushing.

Duane guided my hand to feel the baby’s head. That’s supposed to be motivational, but mostly I thought, “that’s it? a 1in x 1in spot of a soft little head, I was kind of hopping that more than that would be out.”

After about 20 mins of pushing the baby’s heart-rate dropped, they called in an extra nurse for her, gave me an oxygen mask (to help the baby) and I was told to change positions for baby’s sake, and also that I needed to push her out on the next contraction.

That was a little scary. I did not go through 9 months of pregnancy and 12 hours of labor for something bad to happen to her now. None-the-less it took me 2 more contractions to get her out.

They put her on my chest and started rubbing her to get her to cry. It was a relief to see her and know it was over, then I realized we did need her to be crying/breathing. She whimpered a bit and I started crying, not from pain, but from joy.

Duane had no intention of cutting the cord, “isn’t that what we are paying the doctor for?” None-the-less they gave him the scissors and let him have that honor. I whimpered, “wait till it stops pulsing”

“We have to make sure she’s ok” the dr reminded me. But she was perfectly fine.

We did it all without an epidural or any meds, so Chloe arrive un-drugged and alert, which the nurses found surprising. (I guess most the “natural childbirth moms” drive all the way to Boise to the birth center which has midwives deliver babies).

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Soon enough it was time to move to the recovery room. The nurses offered a wheel chair, or since I didn’t have an epidural, I could walk down the hall. I opted for walking.

I’ve only seen Duane hold a small baby a couple times, and he looked really awkward, so I was kind of wondering how he’d do with Chloe. Now he has a new love in his life, and he held her constantly the first day, and apparently I only get her when she’s hungry, or at night when he wants to sleep, and she thinks it’s time to be awake. He did hold her for a bit.

 

Becky
Becky
Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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