Friday, December 17, 2010

Birth Story

It's been 10 days since Kaetana was born, so I figured it was high time for me to come write this out before I completely forget everything. Which, of course, I've already tuned out a good portion of it. Fail.

On Monday morning (the 6th), I woke up with contractions but didn't think a whole lot of them because they were mild and irregular. Plus, John and I had a doctors appointment that morning to see if Kaetana was any closer to coming out (this is 4 days post due date). W were met with the disappointing news that I hadn't progressed any more and ended up scheduling an induction for that Thursday (the 9th). Both John and I were pretty bummed out about that, because as you know I really wanted this to happen naturally, but figured my wishes weren't as important as getting her out before things went wrong in there. So we resigned ourselves to knowing that she would be born by the end of the week, and actually got really excited. So later that morning John went to work and I went grocery shopping with my friend Anna. It wasn't so bad until about halfway through when my contractions picked up and got pretty painful. I kind of lost my will to buy food so I had her take me home and soon after my contractions went almost completely away. It bummed me out, but I wasn't too surprised. I'd been having off and on contractions for the past week. The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful, and I went to bed with big plans to completely clean the house the next day and make sure everything was 100% ready for when she came home.

Little did I know that would so NOT be happening.

I woke up at about 2am on Tuesday having to use the bathroom. Got up, walked to the door and had to wait because our friend Sonny was in there (he and John were having their last "Halo Night" before baby.) So, I'm standing in the doorway of my bedroom waiting when all of a sudden I feel warm liquid pouring down my legs in to my slippers. My first thought? Shit I'm peeing my pants! So I yell for Sonny to hurry the eff up, and he moseys on out. I get in to the bathroom, sit down on the toilet, look down and notice that the "pee" is definitely not pee. It's brown, and green, and chunky and now I'm thinking I must have shit myself. Charming. So I finish up, stand up and it keeps coming. Then it starts gushing out and it dawns on me that no, this isn't from me. This is most definitely my water breaking, and baby most definitely passed A LOT of meconium in there and that just makes me completely flip my lid and panic. I yelled for John to come in and when he gets there I tell him what happened and you know what? He was the calmest person ever. I totally expected him to panic and freak out, but no. He proceeds to go get me new pants, a couple towels, and tells me to go get whatever I need to bring to the hospital while he cleans up. So we leave Sonny at the house, and head out to the Birthing Center which is in the next town over and I'm completely pissed that we have to drive all the way over there because as soon as we got in the car my contractions started getting really, really intense and really close together. It was the longest, worst car drive of my life.

We got to the Birthing Center where they confirmed that yes my water did break, yes the baby did pass meconium in it, and yes I was having her that day. Which made me completely freak out again! It was about 2:45am when I was finally admitted and put in to a room, and by then my contractions were really intense and I was having to rock on the birthing ball leaning on John to get through them. We called out doula and told her to head over, and then just waited. Once she got there, the contractions were REALLY bad, and most of the pain was in my back. Something I was really not prepared for was back labor, so of course that's what I get. I labored naturally for approximately 9 hours, trying every possible position to relieve the pain and pressure, at which point I was so exhausted I gave up and got an epidural.

The epidural was like sweet, sweet relief. It was truly an amazing feeling to go from the most pain of my life to feeling absolutely nothing. Now I thought I'd be so disappointed in myself for getting it, and I thought I'd feel really defeated by I'm not! I'm glad I got it because at that point I really couldn't have kept going the way I was. So during my natural laboring I progressed from the 2cm I came in at to 4cm. Pretty disappointing. After the epidural, and a good long nap, I progressed to 8cm by about 3 that afternoon. Everyone was really happy with the way things were going and we were all sure that she would come out within the next couple hours. But shortly after that I hit a huge brick wall, and her heartbeat started decelerating. The nurses put in an internal monitor to make sure they got the most accurate reading of her, and let me try to progress on my own.  A couple hours later the doctor came in and announced that I still hadn't gotten any further, and that she didn't like the way the baby's heartbeat was reading. So she decided that maybe the baby was too stressed out and that she wanted to give me a shot to completely stop my contractions and try giving her a little rest to see if her heart rate would go up and stabilize. They let me sit for about an hour with no contractions, and Kaetana's heart rate did in fact steady out and get so much better. Happy again, the doctor gave me a shot of pitocin to kick up my contractions again and she was pretty sure that we'd be fine. But, as soon as I got contracting again, baby's heart rate went down once more and it was decided that because I had been in active labor for a good 16 hours it was time to just go ahead with a c-section and not risk Kaetana's heart rate getting worse.

I was pretty upset about having to get the c-section. Obviously this was the last thing I had wanted, and I didn't mentally prepare myself at all for even the possibility. But that was the way it had to be so I resigned myself and John helped a lot with calming me down. So they prepped me and wheeled me off the the operating room where I laid there waiting for John to be let in so he could help me stay calm because I had the shakes really bad and I was pretty freaked out at the thought of having someone cut me open.

Lots of pressure and weird sensations later, they tell me they're going to be removing the baby and I saw John's face light up and just barely got to see her as they rushed her over to the little baby station off to my side to suck out her stomach and lungs before she really got to crying because they wanted to get as much of the meconium out of her system as possible. John left me to go be with her while the doctors sewed me back up and my shakes got worse and I was pretty freaked out because the baby didn't really cry much at all. But then they brought her over all wrapped up in a blanket and laid her next to me and I got to see and kiss her sweet little face and it was the very best feeling of my life. Then John and Kaetana left to go back to the room while they doctors finished me up and that was a horrible wait for me. When I finally got back to the room, I was so excited. They put the baby on my chest and I got to immediately breastfeed her, which she took to like a champ right away.

John was so amazing throughout the entire labor and birth process, and he is still being just as amazing while I'm recovering here at home. Kaetana looks just like him, and it makes me so happy to be able to look at her and see him so prominently shown. I am the luckiest person in the World, and I have the absolute best little family anyone could ever ask for. We are all doing amazingly, and Kaetana really is the sweetest baby I've ever met. She is beautiful, quiet, laid back and just an absolute joy to be around.

So that's my "birth story" and I realize that it's awfully written, but I'm not too great at recalling and retelling things so that's as good as it gets. :)


  1. Thank you Mandy for sharing your story with us. I can't imagine all that you went through but I imagine it was scary some of the time. I have yet to have a child but the birth always worries me, but I know that when she was born all you went through was forgotten and that's what keeps me wanting to still have kids know that all will be forgotten. She's so beautiful and what a great guy you have there. I don't think you could ask for a better partner. :-)

  2. She is perfect! (I just popped by from MODG!) Sorry things did not go as planned, but it surely all worked out in the end! Congrats!


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