Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bobby's Birth Story

Well, Sunday night I was having my typical irregular contractions, but they had me in a pretty irritated mood.  Brian and I took the kids to a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party that evening and I was just miserable.  I just knew though that these would die down just like they always do.  So I went to bed early thinking I needed more sleep since I was cranky.

I felt contractions on and off throughout the night, but not regular or that many.  Brian got up at 3am and drove back to Richmond, VA for the week.  He got there around 5:30am and texted me at 7:30am when I was awake that he was safe.  I was having contractions, but I hadn't bothered to time them since they are NEVER regular.  I texted him to "Have a nice day."  The thought crossed my mind that I should time them for a bit just in case.

Hmm.  What do ya know?  They were exactly 5 minutes apart.  I got up with the boys and started making breakfast.  They were still 5 minutes apart and getting where I wanted to sit down during them.  My mom came up and we decided I'd call Brian and call my ride to the hospital as well, my friend Ann, to put her on notice that I may need a ride soon.  My mom made the decision not too much longer to call Ann and tell her she was taking me to the hospital now.

Turns out it was good she did, because I was way underestimating my progress.  We left the house at 10am and I was feeling nauseated on the drive.  The contractions got a little harder and were 4 minutes apart.  I made the decision that I could be dropped off and wait for her in the skyway while she parked.  Brian called and gave me a pep talk so I wouldn't get an epidural.  Really it always sounds tempting, but since I know I can do it without, I'm not in love with needles, and there's always the potential for something else to go wrong when you put something in your spine I just cant bring myself to do it.

After Ann parked and met me with my stuff, we started to walk.  A man offered me a wheel chair and I declined thinking walking was good for me and moving the labor along.  However, I didn't make it far before I had a contraction and needed to lean over.  A man just brought me a wheel chair, so I took it.

When we arrived at the Labor and Delivery unit, they asked me if I was the one who called.  Oops!  That's Brian's job.  It had crossed my mind, but I forgot to actually do it.  The nurse asked if this was my first, and when I said, "My sixth" and my contractions were now 4 minutes apart they seemed to suddenly hurry me into triage and checked me right away.  8 centimeters!!!  Seriously?  I had guessed 6 or 7, but wow!  Brian was still about an hour and a half away.  I didn't think I'd make it that long.

They moved me to a room that was totally set up for delivery.  The bed was much more comfortable than the triage bed, the car, or the couch I was sitting on at home.  The contractions got harder and lower fast.  The midwife and nurses were asking me a lot of questions.  Some I could answer, like, "Do you want to hold him first when he is born?"  Some I could not answer because of my indecisiveness during labor.  I can't even remember what those questions were, but I know I was having Ann decide things for me.  That is usually Brian's job.  Everything went very fast and I only remember one guy (a doctor maybe?) telling me he might use internal monitoring or forceps, but only if they had to do so.  I remember him because he kept touching the bed when he talked.  All the while I was having painful contractions, and I do not like to be jostled about when I am trying to relax.

Next thing I know I said, "I'm feeling pushy."

"Do you want to be checked?"

"Do I have to be?" I asked.


"Then no, but can I push when I want?"

"Not until we check you."

So you know how that went down.  They checked me, and I was complete and ready to push.  Then came the doubt and indecision again.  I felt like I needed to push, but Brian wasn't quite there and I wanted him there.  I asked them to tell me when to push because I couldn't quite make that plunge on my own.  The midwife kept saying I would know when to push, but I just needed someone to tell me when to push.  Ann did that for me.  And I always have trouble making myself hold my legs and Ann did that for me too.

Let me pause the story to say, I totally thought she was just giving me a ride to the hospital.  That's all I asked of her, but she said I shouldn't be alone and she would stay until Brian got there.  How could I argue with such a loving offer?  And why would I want to?  Transition is a scary time with no one to support you, and that's just what she did.  I remember her repeatedly telling me how good I was doing.  She did just what I needed her to do and (Bless her heart!) got more than she may have bargained for since Brian still wasn't there when it came time to hold my legs and push.

Back to the story.  I pushed, and even managed to help with my legs, and my water finally broke.  I pushed, and his head came out.  I pushed again, and he was here!  He was here!  Bobby was on my chest and so perfect and beautiful.  Sweet relief for me.

There are two quotes from the book I am reading, Perpetua, based on a true story about St. Perpetua that I read this week after Bobby was born that really resonated with me and related to all my deliveries.  This book is amazing and it will not be the last quote on this blog from it, I promise.

"Paulus (her baby's name,) I am surprised to say, became for some moments not a son, but an unbearable object on which all my energy was spent to expel."

"The instant Paulus became separated from my body, he became a son again.  The son."

That so sums up how the delivery feels for me.  I have always felt badly about the first part, but hearing it put that way from another's point of view makes me feel more normal.

Brian arrived about 15 minutes too late to see the look on my face that he always loves so much when the "object" to expel becomes "the son".  He handled it well though.  Ann had even cut the cord for him.

People since the moment he was born keep asking about how I feel and if I'm in pain starting with the nurses.  After that, you feel no pain.  No ache can come close.  No pain seems to matter any more.  Plus I feel so much lighter!  I have a beautiful healthy baby and I feel great.  Tired, but great.


The Pilots Wife said...

Oh, my gosh! I got totally teary eyed on the "Let me pause" paragraph about your friend supporting you in Brian's absence. Did you leave out the part where you panicked when you realized Brian wasn't going to make it? :) I probably would have had a meltdown right before pushing. Well done, Mama! God bless and good luck with the resting/napping/sleeping with a house full of kids. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Therese said...

Oh Kelle, I"m just weeping tears of understanding at your words. Thank you for sharing your birth story. Your son's birth story, and that of Brian too.
What a sweet , sweet Ann.
When you are not alone, your strength rises.
Thank you for sharing.
How did you ever give that last push.
It's the most decisive painful moment I think. It can be.
Was it for you?
Bless you, Therese