Sunday, November 16, 2014

River Willow's Birth Story

We had an almost, sorta, yes but not really, somewhat 95% successful home birth. 

Here's how it all went down: 

 The boys went down to stay with Jeremy's parents for the weekend.  We used this kid free time to go out and about, do a whole bunch of walking (to try and spur on labor) and get a few last minute things we needed before baby came.  I went to work on Sunday and didn't feel any contractions other than braxton hicks, which have been a constant for a while.  That same night, (sunday night) around 10pm, I started to have what I thought might be legit contractions.  They hurt.  They were kinda maybe 10 mins apart.  I thought I should go to sleep to try to get some rest just in case these were the real thing.

I didn't sleep great...woke up on and off hurting a bit.  It was about 630-700 that I finally gave up on sleeping anymore and decided to get up.  The painful contractions continued.  I didn't start timing them quite yet, because I think I was just in disbelief that this was the real thing.  I didn't get the chance to go into labor on my own with the boys, so I really didn't know how it was when it first starts.  After I walked around the house and cleaned some, I decided that these might be the real thing and woke Jeremy up.  We started timing the contractions and they were about 3 minutes apart.  I also then called my midwife.  She said that since I was induced early with the boys, and hadn't started labor on my own with them, that she was treating me like a first time mom, thus expecting a somewhat long labor.  So when I was on the phone with her about 0800, she said she'd take her time, get her stuff and assistant together and be over in about an hour or so.   It was this time that I also sent out a mass text to friends and family alerting everyone that labor was officially on.

I continued contracting. I walked around the house a lot, vacuumed and cleaned up the area where we were going to birth/set up the pool.  Midwife and her assistant arrived about 0930ish.  They got here and began to set up all their supplies.  I think we started timing contractions again, but I don't remember where they were.  I think around 10 or 1030 My midwife checked my and said I was almost completely dilated.  We didn't expect me to be complete this soon, so we didn't have the pool set up or anything.  Once she checked me, her eyes lit up and she said,

"You're almost complete, we're going to have a baby here soon!"

I got really excited and anxious at that point.  I didn't think that I was going to be dilated so quickly.  It did not feel like I had been in labor very long yet.  My midwife got really excited too.  Her and her assistant and Jeremy started running around getting everything ready.  My contractions started getting more and more intense.  When the pool was ready, I got in and it felt awesome.  I then labored for a while in the pool.

My water had still not broken, and then all of a sudden while I was sitting in the pool, I felt a huge "pop" down there.  And my water broke, in the water.  after that I almost immediately felt the urge to start pushing.  Pushed and pushed for a while, and was even able to reach down and feel baby's head slowly making its way down!

The pain was pretty bad at this point.  I was sort of stuck in a position sitting in the water bent over the side of the pool, on my knees, eating grapes and drinking gatorade between contractions with a cold rag on my head.  At this point my midwife started monitoring baby's heart rate with her doppler. And this is where things got crazy, or exciting as Jeremy says.  As our midwife was listening to the heartbeat, I could see concern on her face.  She said I needed to get out of the pool so that she could get a more accurate listen to what was going on.  I got out of the pool and did some pushing while in the squatting position, and then stood up in between contractions.  Every time I would push baby down into the birth canal, her heart rate would significantly drop.  A significant drop in heart rate like she was having is a sign of oxygen deprivation, usually from cord compression.  We could feel baby's head in the canal, so it wasn't a cord prolapse, but something was going on.  My midwife looked at me after monitoring her during a few more pushes, and she said

"We have to go."

I knew what that meant and I was terrified.  I wasn't terrified that something bad was going to happen to baby, I was terrified that we'd get to the hospital and I'd have to be rushed in for an emergency c-section, and since I've had no pain medication on board, they'd have to put me under general anesthesia.

I totally had a feeling of defeat come over me at that point.  I was hoping I could just hurry and push baby out quickly before EMS got there and then it wouldn't be a problem, but she was taking her time coming out, so unfortunately we had to go in.

The ambulance crew arrived and put me on the stretcher and took me into the back of the ambulance.  They wouldn't let Jeremy or my midwife ride with us!  Which I thought was awful, because had I delivered that baby in that ambulance, those dudes would have had no idea what to do.  The ambulance ride was the worst part of the whole thing.  Here I am still contracting and pushing, lying in the back of a bumpy ambulance with 3 clueless dudes just chilling next to me.  I really thought I was going to deliver on my own in that stretcher.  We finally made it to the hospital and I was rushed up into a L&D room.  Immediately the room was filled with what felt like 20 people in blue scrubs all surrounding me while I'm in terrible pain and trying to push a baby out.  Some of them are positioning me to push, some are strapping on monitors, some are starting IVs, some are talking to me about possible c-section and anesthesia risks.  They have me push a few times in there, and then they have me bear down and not push (which is AWFUL, btw, when all your body is trying to do is push out a 7 lb baby out!)

They tell me that they're going to try everything that they can to allow me to deliver vaginally, but they roll me into an OR room, just in case.  This was when Jeremy showed up.  He had to follow the ambulance and I was afraid that he wouldn't make it in time.  They start prepping everything and I continue pushing.  I think I started crowning at this point, and they mention that they need to use forceps to get  baby the rest of the way out.  I never caught a glimpse of the forceps, but Jeremy said they looked like salad tongs.  As they were maneuvering the tongs and getting ready to pull her out, the doc let me reach down and feel her head coming out.  It was crazy.  I could feel her hair!  Next thing I know she is out and on top of me and the doc said, "look at what you have!"  We looked down and were so excited to see that we now had a little girl in our arms.

She stayed with me for a long time.  They didn't take her away to get her weight or give her shots.  They let me hold her for as long as it took to deliver the placenta and clean everything up.  I was very thankful for that.  We then went back to our room and Jeremy's parents came with the boys not too long after.

River Willow Tucker
Born on November 3rd, 1:52pm.  7 lbs 5 oz.  21 inches long. 

Foxx meeting River

Judah meeting River

Even though we ended up having to transport to the hospital, I am so thankful that I was still able to deliver River vaginally instead of having a cesarean.  I was also thankful how respectful the staff was about treating me having come in from a home birth.  That was also a fear of mine, that I would have gotten some push back or fingers shaken at me for attempting a home birth.  I knew that there were risks going into it.  But there are also risks with hospital births.  And the statistics for the 'crazy emergencies' that would result in severe injury or death are extremely low in the first place.  The key was having a birth attendant (my midwife) whom I knew well and trusted well.  She said we needed to go the hospital, I trusted her.  We did and it all turned out great anyway.  

The heart rate dropping problem?  River had her cord wrapped all around her back and through her arms in such a way that when she would get pushed down into the birth canal, the cord would be squeezed so that it would stop blood flow during the squeeze.  Solution:  Push baby out quicker! 

So there ya have it.  Attempted a home birth, ended with a vaginal hospital birth.  Not too bad.  
All that matters is we have a perfectly healthy, thriving little girl.  



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