Friday, March 09, 2007

K's birth story

I've been dying to post this for several days now, but haven't been coordinated enough... I was lucky enough to have my mom as my nurse and she wrote this up from her point of view to send out to all of our family who had been praying for a safe delivery. I've included some of my thoughts and clarifications in the {brackets.}

{After finding out at our 36w appt that we had a breech baby on our hands, we scheduled an external version attempt for 37w6d. We then went home and tried every trick in the book to try to get her to turn on her own, which she refused to do. Our plan was to get her turned then break my water and get things moving before she turned back around. This way, I could still deliver at the birthing center. That was the plan. She didn't cooperate. She still stubbornly insisted on being head-up and I went home from the version attempt broken-hearted, sure that I would be pregnant forever. :) Little did I know that she would come on her own 4 days later, tushy first. :)}

Onto the birth story from my mom:

On Saturday, 8/5/06, I had an appointment at the hair salon at noon. AM {that's me} had been having a few mild contractions in the morning, but that was nothing new. At noon I called her from the hair dresser’s; yes, she was having some more that were slightly on the increase, but she didn’t want me to cancel my appointment, and she didn’t even know if these were real labor contractions. I held my cell phone in my hot hand the whole time I was getting my perm.

At about 12:40 her little sister called, she was with AM and told me the contractions were every 4 minutes and getting stronger! {We had gone to the store to pick up a couple packages of pads and walk a bit--just in case. So there I was, walking through the store having to rock my hips to live through the contractions. We made quite the picture, I'm sure. I called Hubby from the feminine hygiene aisle to tell him he should probably head home. Little did I know that he would get so frantic that he would drive 90mph on the freeway and beat us back to the house.} Oh no – there I was with perm rods in my hair! My hair dresser viewed me with some alarm; this was not the first time she’d been giving me a perm and had this happen! We hurried everything along as much as possible, and I was out the door at 1:40 with curly, wet hair.

I met AM & her hubby at the birthing center at 2 p.m {to make sure that this was the "real thing" before heading over to the hospital.} AM was needing to stop and breathe through contractions. She was dilated to 4-5 cm and 90% effaced. The presenting part was high and I did not try to find out what it was as I did not want to break her water accidentally. I could tell it was not a hard little head. Her husband went out to get some lunch while AM sat on the birthing ball, walked and breathed through contractions. Meanwhile I called Kelly, charge nurse on OB, to let her know we would be coming. She asked if I wanted to be AM’s nurse or be the grandma. She told me they had had 5 births that morning, and were very busy, so I knew it would be helpful if I were the nurse, which is what I wanted anyway. She told me I could get paid for being AM’s nurse if I wanted to, or I could do it without pay. (Not hard to figure out what I chose on that account!) We brought my favorite birthing center doppler and one of our birthing center night shirts along. We wanted to make it as much like a birthing center birth as possible.

We went across the street to the hospital at 3 p.m. There were no birthing rooms ready, and it took an hour to clean the one that had just been vacated. We signed consents, drew blood and put a saline lock in place, did admission vital signs, etc. while AM sat on the birthing ball or walked. At 4 p.m. we moved to the birthing room. AM was getting very uncomfortable but managing the contractions fine. When AM was 6-7 cm. Kelly, charge nurse, told me that the anesthesiologist who was in house that day wanted to do a dual room set-up in the OR: one for a normal vaginal birth and one for a stat c/section. She said I needed to call AM’s doctor, Dr. Julie, and let her know about this and have Julie call the anesthesiologist, who was “freaked out” about the vaginal breech plans. I didn’t tell AM and Scott about that, but I did call Dr. Julie, who came to the hospital and spoke to the anesthesiologist. She then asked AM if she would like to deliver in the OR in case of complications. AM answered a resounding,”No!” (What a way to undermine success!) Dr. Julie called Dr. D., who was to be the baby doctor, and she was planning to be in the birthing room for K’s birth in case there were any problems with the baby. It was wonderfully reassuring to all of us to know that she was in the hospital for those last couple hours. She came into the room and met AM and her hubby, and seemed very comfortable with the idea of a vaginal breech birth. (God bless these two wonderful doctors!)

{At 6:15pm, I was dilated 8-9, and they decided to break my water to try to get her to move down a bit more. I was quite disgusted at the massive amount of fluid that kept gushing out of me--seriously, I was shocked! After leaking all over the bed and all the way to the toilet, I sat on the toilet and continued to be shocked. Afterwards, Dr. Julie jokingly said that we only had 2 hours to go. Little did I know....} During the whole labor, no staff members interfered with how we were managing things. I’m sure it helped that they were all busy with other patients, but I felt so grateful that they let us do everything the way we wanted. I put on the electronic fetal monitor for a short period of time while AM sat on the ball. Dr. Julie was fully supportive of all our choices, and seemed very confident that everything would go well. Fetal heart tones were always reassuring, and AM made steady progress. She was completely dilated at 7:45 p.m. She didn’t have any urge to push – just very painful contractions, and she was starting to talk about feeling very tired. “I’m so scared to push,” she said several times. We told her she didn’t have to push until she was ready, and Dr. Julie said she’d wait a half hour, until 8:15 {the 2 hour mark}, before she’d help her start pushing. AM tried a few tentative pushes in the meantime, with some pain relief, but she didn’t seem physically or emotionally ready to push. At 8:15 Dr. Julie went into her cheerleader mode and we encouraged stronger pushing. AM kept telling us that she was hungry and tired, and she wanted to make sure she would get pizza (canadian bacon and pineapple with extra cheese) right after delivery. Pushing was painful, especially with Dr. Julie’s fingers in there, “helping” during the contractions. {OUCHIE!!!!} AM didn’t feel she was making progress, although Dr. Julie reassured her otherwise, and AM said she didn’t have any more reserves to draw from. At around 8:40 she had a big bolt of pain on her left lower side, which Dr. Julie thought was related to pressure on a nerve. After that AM turned over on her right side and said she was going to stop pushing for a bit. {At this point, I was feeling like a horrible failure--like I was wimping out--and I was beginning to wonder if I was going to need a c-section because I quite honestly felt like I WAS NOT going to be able to get enough energy to push her out.} We gave her a bolus of IV fluids to improve her energy level. Then we went into wait mode. She was far more comfortable on her right side. Dr. Julie was sitting on the other side of the room, and I was just listening to fetal heart tones (with my doppler) between the contractions. The atmosphere was more peaceful. I was quietly wondering if we might have to add a whiff of pitocin to get this baby delivered. After a few minutes I noticed that she was pushing spontaneously (quietly) during the contractions. I asked her if she was feeling more of an urge to push in that position, and she said yes. {I was amazed at how much of a difference this made. Not only was I more comfortable, I was getting that uncontrolable urge to push that I never got with Brynna. This happened a few minutes before 9.} We continued to wait quietly. Before long, she emitted the birth sound! I asked, “Did the baby move down?” and she said “Yes!!” We looked and the baby was “buttoning” (this was Dr. Julie’s word to use in place of “crowning,” which, she said, you can’t use for a breech birth). I pressed the call button for Dr. Davidson and Ellen (the baby nurse), and they came immediately. I didn’t even get my gloves on before K was born, nor did we get the sterile drape down or the bed broken down for the birth. Dr. Julie reached in and pulled out a bruised little knee first, then the little bottom and the other leg came, and seconds later the trunk and arms. {When her bottom and leg came out, I was SURE that it was her head--I was quite shocked when they told me that it was just the first half of her and I still had to push out her head. Fortunately it was so quick that I didn't really have time to freak out about it before she was out and in my arms.} There was a tense few seconds with only the head inside, and then out it came with help from Dr. Julie! From start to finish the actual birth took less than a minute! She was safely born at 9:09 p.m. Were we ever thanking God!! K was a little shell-shocked (limp) at first but she quickly recovered and gave us a good hearty cry from the safety of her mother’s arms, where she stayed for about 10 minutes before she was taken to the warmer to be examined by Dr. Davidson and then by Ellen. Apgar scores were 8 and 9, and she was proclaimed to be perfect! We rejoiced with our wonderful doctors, and then with the other grandparents and two of the aunties, as well as B, of course. The pizza was ordered according to the new mother’s specifications, and we all enjoyed a major bonding experience. We were able to keep K in the birthing room the whole time, which was one of AM and her hubby’s priorities, and we had no interference from any other staff members about this.

I am so proud of Annie for her choices (and her husband for his support), and for listening to her body by turning onto her side and waiting to do more pushing until it felt right. We all feel very grateful for wonderful, supportive, skilled doctors who trust the natural processes that God has put in place; and most of all we are grateful to God for answering our prayers and blessing us with little K!

K. G.
7lbs 13oz
Aug. 5th, 2006
Born at 38w3d


The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Oh, great story!! You're a champ!! Breech birth? You're every woman's hero!!

Brenda said...

What a beautiful story! You are the woman!

Heidi said...

You've got me here with tears rolling down! I'm still so amazed at your wonderful outlook and attitude during the delivery. You are amazing and I'm grateful to know you!!!

I've been planning on posting Nathan's birth story for awhile now and hopefully will be getting it together this week too!