Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cara's Birth Story

It all started around 4:30am on 11/7/08. I started getting contractions that would wake me from my sleep and really grab my attention. I was so excited because this was the first time that my baby was "late" - it was already 3 days AFTER my due date. I know that due dates are only approximations but since my other 2 were early, so we were especially excited to finally meet Cara. ;) Since I didn't want to go to the hospital too early and wait around, I decided to try to sleep. I slept a bit on and off but around 7:30am, the contractions got close enough that I wasn't able to sleep anymore. I labored at home for a few more hours and took a nice, long shower that helped soooo much. When the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart, we decided to pack the hospital bag and head on over. [I know, the bag should have been packed and ready a while ago...hehe.] After arriving at the ER, they sent us to the triage room for some monitoring and I was promptly admitted. We were really excitedly and called some family members to start praying for a quick labor and delivery.

I was really blessed with excellent nurses this time around, who worked with me and encouraged me. I was also assigned a student nurse who was sooo excited because this was her first time assisting with a birth. She even stayed past her assigned time so she could see the baby being born and almost cried when the baby emerged. :) I also felt blessed because her instructor was a midwife - I had wanted to go with a midwife from the start because of my VBAC status but the closest one to me was too far - but there I was, getting one anyhow! Even though I wasn't technically her patient, she advocated for me to be able to experiment with different alternative pain-relieving techniques. It was really neat! My doctor was also really great. Even though I was a VBAC #2, he let me walk around, take a shower and try different things that I didn't get to try when I was laboring with Jana. [Back in Jersey with Jana's birth, I was strapped to the monitor from the moment I got to the hospital and had to stay in bed most of the time, so this was a welcomed change. :)] Kev also helped so much in giving me lots of massages and applied counterpressure when I needed it. He was the best coach and encouraged me so much!

Anyhow, I ended up doing lots of laps around the maternity suite to get things moving. I was making great progress, dilating and effacing well until 9cm. I got 'stuck there' for a while and got really tired, esp with no food since breakfast - and it was already 6:30pm. Finally, I opted for the breaking of my bag of waters, which only helped a bit. As the night wore on, I decided to get some pitocin to help me dilate but not before I got an epidural. [I had pitocin WITHOUT an epidural last time and I really don't think I would ever do that again!] I've heard so many people rave about epidural, so I thought I'd give it a try. :) Man, it definitely works to numb you up, esp your legs - I had what I call 'pillow legs' for a long time even after they turned it off. I was really thankful for the epidural since it gave me the chance to rest and regather myself to push. So, shortly after getting the pitocin, I reached the magic 10cm and began the hard work of pushing. I had ask my OBGYN to promise not to do the episiotomy, so he really worked with me to stretch out the perineum and I had barely any tearing this time around!!! Anyhow, after about 2 hours of pushing, I saw Cara's head emerge [I had a labor mirror] and at 11:51pm, she finally made her debut! :) [I had also asked to see the placenta again this time since I had no recollection of what it looked like last time from being so tired out - it's really interesting looking!!]

It was such a different experience from last time - I can honestly say that I had a good experience giving birth! Having a supportive husband, a supportive staff and a supportive doctor really made all the difference. Maybe next time I'll get to use the tub and skip the pitocin/epidural all together but I really can't complain. ;) The whole having a baby experience from the pregnancy to actually giving birth is truly such a miracle - I'm in awe of it everytime! :)