Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kirsten's Birth Story

I wanted to share Kirsten's birth story with anyone who wants to read it. Warning: there are labor details which you may or may not want to read. So it's your choice!

Kirsten Jael's birth story:
I had my midwife appointment on Monday and I was about 2-3 cm dilated. Debbie (my midwife) said she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it till next Monday (my due date). Monday night I was waking up almost every hour. No contractions, just couldn't get to sleep and had to keep going to the bathroom. Tuesday morning I decided to stay home from work since I didn't sleep well Monday night. I took a bath since I was all achy from not sleeping. After my bath I was headed upstairs to get changed but I felt a little trickle coming out. I went back to the bathroom and wondered if my water was breaking. Over the next 15-20 minutes I continued to have more trickles and I realized I was definitely NOT peeing. I called Scott and then Debbie. Debbie said to come in to her office, and so Scott drove home from work and we headed to her office (after hurriedly throwing in all the last minute items in case we wound up at the hospital). I was not having any contractions and felt fine. At her office she confirmed that my water had broken and I was now at 3 cm. We discussed the various options but since it was around 10:15am when my water broke, Debbie was suggesting pitocin because she didn't want me to go past 24 hours due to the risk of infection. I REALLY didn't want to do pitocin so as Scott & I got into the car to head to the hospital, I had a bit of a meltdown. We agreed that we would discuss it further when we met Debbie at the hospital. I also called my doula, Janel, to let her know we were on our way.

We got to the hospital at about 12:45pm. At the hospital, we decided not to start pitocin but I did have to have an IV for the antibiotics for group B strep. After this I started to walk around the floor with Scott & Janel. I was having a few contractions but they were not real consistent or strong. Around 4:30, Debbie checked me again and I was still at 3-4cm. We discussed the pitocin again, and although it was not part of my birth plan, Scott & I agreed to it after discussing the pros and cons. The pitocin started around 5:15pm. After this contractions definitely got stronger. I couldn't leave the room anymore due to having external monitoring and the IV pole attached to me. As things progressed, my contractions got stronger and I had to really start to focus. I used music and Scott & Janel did a lot of massage, talking to me, and encouraging me. As it got more intense, I began to moan with each contraction. Somehow this turned out to be my main method of managing the pain, along with breathing. Scott & Janel also helped me to stay relaxed because I often would get my face scrunched up and this would cause me to be more tense. They often told me how great I was doing and that was really helpful. I also tried to just focus on one contraction at a time. I used the birthing ball a lot, as well as the squatting stool, getting on my hands and knees, standing holding Scott's neck, etc. At one point the nurse recommended that I get on my hands & knees with my head down to try and turn the baby since she was still face up. I did this for a while and the next time she checked me, the baby had turned. Yay!

Around midnight I was about 8cm or so, and then about 12:30am I was 8 and 1/2. I was getting really shaky and tired. Not to mention that I ate some pineapple earlier that day, so I was burping the ENTIRE time! Anyway, Debbie came back a little before 1am and after a series of really intense contractions, she checked me again. I was fully dilated! I was so excited, because I had been feeling the pressure to push but I couldn't until I knew I was at 10cm.

I began pushing around 1:00am. It felt good to push and it was different from the contractions. At one point, Debbie told me she felt she needed to do a small episiotomy because I was so tight and the baby's head was not going to be able to come through. She said she knew I would tear and that doing a small cut would probably allow the head to come through ok. I originally did not want an episiotomy but at that point I just wanted to see my baby! I agreed and she did a quick snip which I felt somewhat but it wasn't bad (she did numb it but I still felt it a bit). I kept pushing with Scott, Janel, the nurse, and Debbie all coaching me and telling me when to push and counting for me. I kept my eyes shut the entire time I was pushing as this allowed me to focus. It was intense, but I felt like I was making progress which was helpful. I pushed from 1am until 2:28am, when Kirsten Jael entered this world! It was the most amazing feeling to see her and touch her and hold her. I was totally in awe! They cleaned her up and I was able to breastfeed right away. She latched on quickly and did great! My mom & stepfather joined us in the room after a while to say hi to Kirsten. My mom is extremely excited to be a grandma!

Scott & I are so thankful to God for a healthy, beautiful baby! She is unbelievable and every time I look at her I am just amazed that she was inside of me just a few days ago! She weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz and was 20 and 1/2 inches long. Debbie felt that if I had gone another week or two, I might have ended up with a C-section due to the size of Kirsten's shoulders. So I am so glad that she was a few days early! And I got through it without doing an epidural or pain meds, which was one of the key parts of my birth plan.

We are so thankful for all of the prayers and well-wishes we have received. Kirsten is doing wonderfully and we are so in love with her!!


Katie said...

Oh my goodness, Esther, I'm definitely tearing up right now. It is so awesome hearing how God took care of all of you through the entire pregnancy and birth. :) Love you guys and can't WAIT to meet Kirsten!

Bookwoman said...

Thanks for your birth story, Esther. (I think you know I'm your mom's cousin Val - in Virginia)

I work as a lactation nurse now after a couple of years in mother/baby and as a nursery nurse. I always loved attending the midwife births when I was the nursery nurse, and I had midwives (in hospital) for my four births, too, many years ago.

Congratulations on Kirsten's arrival. Hope the breastfeeding continues to go well.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful birth story! (I love birth stories. What mom doesn't?) Praises to God for a safe delivery and a healthy, beautiful baby! God bless you guys!

Naomi said...

hahaa...i like the part "After 15 minutes of trickles...I realized I definitely wasn't peeing"
haha. Well anyway I can't wait to meet this helpless little creature (those are your words, by the way). Seriously though, I know you guys are gonna be awesome parents. Okay, love ya. see ya soonish.

Elizabeth said...

Amazing birth story! Thank you so much for sharing! You get an extra badge of honor for doing pitocin without an epidural. That is a rare accomplishment!

Michelle said...

I loved it. thanks for sharing. As a mom, I just love hearing about other moms' birth stories. They are all so exciting and miraculous. Makes me look forward a little bit more to my own birth story #4 ( i think the worse thing about labor now is KNOWING what's coming, and just not wanting to have to do it again!) But baby afterwards makes it so worth it, as you can tell since I am on #4 =)

Shan said...

Thanks Esther. Good idea to just post it once for all to read, although I still look forward to a quiet time with you to ask you more stuff :) I tried with both girls to write it all down and it's therapeutic to do so I think. At least for personalities like ours that like to analyze and process. Think I might be a tad bit worse than you in that regard though--hee hee. You did so great, especially in light of the unexpected things that happened. I'm also glad I'm not the only "moaner!" ha ha. It totally helps!