Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Birth Story

Here it is, folks. ***Warning*** It is very long and detailed. Just letting you know!!

Hannah Beverly Simonson
November 30th, 2008
7lbs 15oz, 21in long

I had been having contractions (ctx) through Friday (the 28th) and Saturday on and off. My mother-in-law took me to have a pedicure and reflexology done on my feet to try and speed things along on Friday (my due date) and ctx slowly got stronger through Saturday. By that evening I decided I would try walking at the mall (I hate labor-inducing walking). They increased in intensity by walking but decreased in frequency. I didn’t like being in public w/ ctx so strong I had to stop walking and talking to get through them, so we came home. By 10pm I felt like we should go to the hospital, so we packed up and left.

I was really annoyed when we got there because it was after 8 and we had to park at emergency and walk down this long hallway to L&D. The walking brought stronger ctx which I didn’t like, even though I knew that’s what we wanted. The triage nurse found me to be at a 4 and 85% effaced still (I was 3+ and 85% at my dr appt a few days earlier), which discouraged me because I thought for sure all those ctx would have been doing something. She suggested we walk for 45 min or so and then get checked again. We did that, but I was still at a 4. I asked if we could go home; I didn’t want to labor all night at the hospital.

We got to bed around 1:30am. I could not handle the ctx lying in bed, so I covered the labor ball with a sheet, wrapped a blanket around myself, and managed ctx by tilting my hips forward and breathing through them with great effort, then dozed in between on the pillow on the bed. They varied in how far apart they were between 4 min and half an hour. At about 3:30 they got so bed that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, so I woke up Mark and he started helping me through them. He would remind me to relax where he saw me tensing up (my face, shoulders, hands, etc). I had an idea to have him massage my lower back through the ctx, and what relief! They were a million times better than before. We did that till about 5, when I needed something to eat.
I scarfed a bowl of honey nut cheerios between ctx and then I realized that might have been a mistake, because afterwards I felt like throwing up during every contraction. My mom came downstairs around 5:30, watched us manage a contraction on the couch, and said, “Go back to the hospital right now!” Mark ran around getting our stuff that we had brought back in, and every time a contraction would start, he’d race back to me to massage my back. Without that back massage, I probably would have asked for the epidural the minute we got to the hospital.
Anyway, we got there without having to do any ctx in the car, except one at a red light. It was early enough that there was nobody else on the road, so luckily we just stayed stopped until my contraction was over, then kept going. The women’s services door was open by now (6:15am) so I got in a wheelchair and was rolled into triage again. The same nurse checked me again, and found me to be at a 6 and 100% effaced. Yay! I knew that the long night had been worth it, but I also knew that transition was right around the corner, and I didn’t know if I could handle it. With Natalie’s labor, transition ctx were right after each other with no break in between. It was super intense and for me, the most painful part of her labor.
We got to a room and got through a few ctx and the doctor stopped by. He checked me and saw that I was stretchy to an 8 with a bulging bag of waters. I was confused because 8 is supposed to be during the transition period, but I hadn’t felt like it had begun yet. I had just thrown up before he got there, and I wondered if I was in transition, but wasn’t sure because it was just so different than Natalie’s labor. The doctor asked if I wanted my water broken and I said sure because I knew it would keep things going. He did, and there was meconium in the water. He didn’t make a big deal out of it, but they did tell me that when Hannah was born she would have to be checked out right away instead of being placed on my tummy. Anyway, after the water broke the next couple of ctx were harder still. I was so scared because I didn’t know how they could possibly get more painful, and I STILL thought I hadn’t started transition yet.
Dr. H wanted to see how the head was moving down during a contraction so he waited for one. The one that came was the most intense by far. It took me completely by surprise and I yelled, “get your hand out!” He did, but there was no relief. He said, “That’s not my hand, it’s the head!” All of a sudden everyone was running around getting stuff ready for the birth. He said, “If you feel like pushing, go right ahead.” I said I didn’t feel the urge yet and since I was following my body, I was not going to start pushing yet. He was ok with that and we all just waited for more ctx. I think I was still in denial that the baby was almost here, because still I hadn’t had the ctx on top of one another like with Natalie. They were still a few minutes apart, and I had time to rest in between each one. I used that time to close my eyes go deeply within myself to handle the next one. Mark said at this point he couldn’t even tell I was having a contraction except that I would nod my head at the beginning and say “ok” at the end. He massaged away, the dear heart. I was sitting up with my knees out to the side like in a butterfly stretch, and suddenly I was hit with giant pushing contractions. I laid back (the bed was reclined) and started moaning and yelling and covered my eyes. When I opened them again, the bright lights were shining on me, and people were putting my legs in the stirrups. I didn’t want to push that way, but when they told me I could move, I just couldn’t. The ctx were so strong that I couldn’t possibly think about anything else. It was 8:30am when I started pushing.

Pushing this time was totally different than with Natalie. My body forced me to push and I could not do otherwise. It was like throwing up—you can’t stop once it starts. I pushed a few times and got lots of encouraging comments from the nurses and Mark and Katie (my sis). I felt myself stretching, but at this point the ring of fire was relief compared to the contractions. I screamed a couple of times, but they reminded me that I have to hold my breath to push, so I had to really gain control of myself to be able to hold my breath. I could feel that I was going to tear, and blew out through my mouth for a minute or two to allow myself to stretch. I think everything was just going too fast though, and I had to push again. I got a small 1st degree tear which made me happy because I didn’t tear more than that. Anyway, I heard suctioning and asked, “Is the head out?” I didn’t even feel it come out, weird. They said yes, and I pushed again and felt her body come out. What a strange out-of-this-world feeling. It’s so incredible that an actual human being came out of my body. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

She was born at 8:40-- I only pushed for 10 minutes. They took her over to be checked out, and honestly I didn’t even mind because I was still reeling from the pushing so much I would not have been able to enjoy the moment of meeting her as much as I would have liked. It took a minute or so to hear a cry, but Mark was over there watching and sending me happy faces, so I knew everything was ok. I delivered the placenta, got stitched up, and was able to meet my darling little redhead.
The feeling of no pain once the placenta was out was so incredible. That was truly a time of euphoria for me. It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful and happy that it turned out so well. We are both happy and I am healing amazingly. I already feel like I did 3 weeks postpartum with Natalie. I am so glad she was finally born!


The Collettes said...

Even though I already heard the story, it is so good to hear again and see pictures too! I like the one where you are having a bad contraction and your hand is over your eyes, just like you said! :) It makes me wonder if I really should try for a natural birth... but pushing while numb STILL wears you out. Ok, I'll still try.
Good job for reaching your goals, and good job to Mark too! He looks so calm in the pictures.

Kishpaugh Family said...

I love this story! It is so inspiring, and I am so glad you put the pictures. Mark looks like the most supportive husband ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!

Mike and Meg said...

I have wanted to hear your story for so long! You are so brave! I don't know if I could do it naturally! You looked great on Tues!

Steph (and Bryant) said...

I loved your story! That is incredible. Way to go!!!

Stock Family said...

Oh my goodness. No offense or anything, but I am super grateful for my c-sections :) You are a strong woman to go thru that! Obviously, I was not meant to do that. While reading your story, I cried, cringed, cried again and became very tense! I wish I could experience that awesome feeling of the baby coming out. I never will, but it was fun imagining it thru your story. Thanks for sharing! I've been waiting to read it!

Brewer Family said...

Oh my goodness! That sounds hard and unpleasant. You are so brave. I am glad you are feeling so well, and that you have a beautifuly happy baby. Congrats

The Terrys said...

You are so brave on so many levels... Reading that just made think of you as superwoman. What an amazing thing for you to do. I had an epidural and never felt anything after I was dialated to a 4. Congratulations.

Erin said...

What a beautful story. I loved the pictures; you look so strong! Such an inspiration-this is, afterall, what we were created to do. I am so glad your experience was just what you wanted. Your newest addition is beautiful. :-)

Francis said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story (I got a little teary - but don't tell anyone)! You are so amazing and I am so glad to hear that your recovery has been so much better this time. Let me know if you need anything. We would love to come over and play since Natalie isn't wanting to leave (totally understandable)! Thanks again for sharing!

Jenna and Dillon said...

Wow, that was so inspiring! Congratulations, Alisa. I am so glad you got the birth you wanted. Hannah is a beautiful little baby!

Jamie said...

Yay! that's amazing! Did you use drugs with natalie? or was she natural too?

The Ayers Family said...

That was really well written... it almost makes me feel like trying natural, but since I'm not looking forward to getting pregnant just yet, it's hard to say what I'll decide if ever given the chance!