Dec 16, 2008

Ella's Birth Story (Part 2)

We got to Debbie’s office at a little after 4pm and I was already 6cm 100% effaced. She sent us right over to the hospital. We called Evelyn and Evelyn and Debbie met us over there. We were settled into our room at a little before 5pm and I continued to labor in my sweats and t-shirt. I spent most of my time standing, draped over the birthing ball, swaying or rotating my hips back and forth. Evelyn talked to me. Jason held my hips a lot and massaged my back. I did a lot of breathing and low moaning through each surge, putting into action everything I had practiced and felt like I was able to keep my whole body relaxed. By 7pm I was 8cm and things became more intense. It was harder to stay relaxed, I was tensing my face and making higher pitched noises and getting to a point where I thought I could not do it. Everyone encouraged me, Evelyn’s voice reminding me how to relax was very grounding. Then Evelyn did a hypnosis script with me while I laid down. I felt my whole body relax again, it felt Sooo good.

I did not progress past 8cm as quickly as any of us thought I would. In hopes that doing so would get me to 10cm and pushing faster, I agreed to have Debbie break my water. After that the surges became even more intense and I went back to the point (which Evelyn had warned me would come) where I wanted out! I didn’t think I could do it. I prayed for relief and focused on verses like,“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” –Phil 4:13 and “Do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10. It got to the point where I felt nauseous at the peak of each surge. I can remember Evelyn encouraging me to throw up, saying “Go ahead, it’ll give you another centimeter.” So, I tossed my cookies and sure enough after that I was 9cm. Debbie then encouraged me to push through one or two contractions in order to help get that last centimeter of cervix out of the way. That was by far the worst part of the whole thing. But at last I was able to push…..

I began pushing around 8pm. While it was the hardest workout I have ever had, it was a totally different sensation than contractions and after I got the hang of it felt really good to push. I pushed in the bed and also sat on the toilet and pushed through some surges. I could feel her move down more when I did this (because it allows gravity to work and allows your tailbone to expand backwards in a way that it can’t when it’s pressed up against a bed). But by that point I was too tired and shaky to do all of my pushing sitting down.

I pushed for 2 hours (it seemed like a half an hour to me) and at the very end little Ella began to become stressed. Her heart rate didn’t recover up to the rate they wanted it to in between pushing and then there was meconium (she pooped, which can cause infection if they inhale it when they come out). I could feel the atmosphere in the room become more intense and the tone in Debbie’s voice changed a bit as she told me that I needed to get her out in the next few contractions. I heard her start to consider an episiotomy (which was one of the things I wanted to avoid) but everything changes when you hear your baby may be at risk and I told her to do what she needed to do, so she did. And with two more surges I pushed little Ella out into this world. There is absolutely no sensation in the world like it! It was amazing!

Because of the special circumstances they clamped and cut the cord with lighting speed, showed us our baby for a split second and then took her to the corner of the room where a doctor and two nurses where waiting to check her over. They cleaned out her airways and put a little oxygen mask on her and I kept looking over her way because she wasn’t crying. Jason had to leave the room because he caught a glimpse of all the blood and of the placenta and it was really crowded and hot in there at this point. He came back in quickly though and stood by Ella, then came over to me and asked if I was okay. I was shaking and shivering violently which they assured me was normal. But I was bleeding too much. They massaged (and by massaged, I mean REAMED on) to get my uterus to start contracting. They did this three or four times and then had to give me medicine to try to make it stop. Within 20 minutes, my bleeding was slowed to normal and Ella was in my arms doing just fine. There are no words can describe that moment.

She was a bit confused at first, wide eyed and looking all around, intermittently crying. Then she settled a bit and nursed for a good 45 minutes. The nurse brought me a little bit of food and Jason fed me while I fed her. It was beautiful. We spent a few hours with her in the delivery room and then they took her to the nursery and her daddy went with her while I got cleaned up. My nurse told me that Ella weighed in at 7lbs 8oz and was 20 inches long.

We got to our room at about 1:30am and Jason brought Ella back in to nurse again. She stayed with us the whole rest of the time at the hospital and we brought our little girl home Wednesday the 10th!


Amy said...

What a great story! Made me cry! I've got to get up there and meet this little one in person!

Cheryl said...

I LOVE that picture of Ella! So snuggle-able! :-)

So glad you shared your birth story. I wish I had had a doula and midwife when you and Jen were born. I think you had a great team!