Archive for Delivery

Charlie’s Birth Story 1.5 yr later

Birth Story; Charlie

I wasn’t going to write up by birthing story for Charlie. I’m not sure exactly why, but I guess just because I’ve been there before. I changed my mind because I had a request to hear my story from a friend. Since it was different from my labor and delivery with Thor, I decided to go for it!

I was more stressed this pregnancy than with my last one. My husband, 1yr old son, two dogs and I have been living in a room at my parents home since March. Our plan was to move to a different state in June, but with family issues and not wanting to switch doctors for prenatal care, we ended up staying longer.

The hospital where I was set to deliver was NOT at the top of my list. A friend of mine had delivered there a few months prior and I was not happy with her experience at all (although she didn’t have any complaints).

I went into labor with Charlie the night before she was born. I knew it was labor, but I wouldn’t consider it “active labor”. I was just uncomfortable with cramps and decided to go to bed early to sleep through it.

After an uncomfortable night of not getting much sleep, my labor pains were the same as they had been the night before. As long as I was sitting or laying down, my contractions were about 7 minutes apart, and felt more like strong cramping than labor pains. When I stood up though, my contractions were around 45 seconds to a minute apart, and very strong.

I was so confused about what was going on, that I left Thor at home with my younger brother, and the hubby and I headed out to the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital, which was less than ten minutes away, I was brought into a sectioned off room (where they take the moms who are clearly not far enough along to get admitted so they can check them, and send them home), while I waited for the midwife who was on call to come check me.

At this point, I didn’t look like I was in any pain at all so I can see why they thought I was going home. If they knew anything about me, they would have known that there was no way I would spend more time in the hospital than absolutely necessary for the situation I was in.

The on call midwife came in with her “student” to ask if it was okay if he could get some practice in and check me. If you haven’t had kids yet, I’m sure in your mind, you are screaming “OH MY GOSH, NO”, but after that first one, things get less “who are you touching me” and more “as long as you stay out of my way”.

The “student” proceeds to tell me how he is going to check my cervix to see if I actually need to get admitted, or if I can be sent home for a while longer, and asks me questions about how far apart my contractions are, jotting things down real casual like he’s planning on sending me home. It’s not until he finally checks me that he realized I was already at a “6” and that he did indeed need to find me a room in the completely full Birthing Center.

I’m going to tell you now that I sincerely wish I had done a home birth, and that I will not ever have a baby in a hospital again (unless I can go to Fargo and see Terry who delivered Thor), and even then, I would ask him to do a house call since we would only need him for around an hour anyways.

I was not happy with my experience at this hospital, and would not tell anyone to plan for a birth there if they had any other option.

Once I got moved to a room, my mother came and I was able to get settled in. I had the most phenomenal nurse! I loved her and wish I could have kept her through my entire experience at this hospital, but she was only there for the delivery process, and I get that. Most large hospitals are like machines, each person has their job on the assembly line, and it keeps them efficient.

I was told that I had to get an IV with antibiotics since I tested positive for type b strep during my pregnancy. I would usually have fought over this, and I honestly have no clue why I didn’t. The IV would have had to be in my system 4 hours before delivering the baby in order for it to make a difference, and there was no way I was going to be in that hospital longer than two hours without having a baby so the meds wouldn’t have mattered anyways. In hindsight, I should have told them no, and stuck to my guns. I’m thinking at that point, I really didn’t care anymore.

I hate the part the hospital when they make you lay in the bed to get a good reading on the baby’s vitals. Any time I have to be laying down during my labor is not for me. Probably why I prefer to labor at home. I went back and forth between the bathroom and the bed since it was as far as I could go with the IV in my arm, and after an hour of very intense labor (the longest hour of my life I swear) the nurse wanted to check me again.

-I have to add a little story in here because I thought it was so funny. My mom wasn’t there for my first labor/delivery, so this was her first time experiencing me like this. My husband was a seasoned vet by this time since we had done this together once before. He was on his iPad doing lord knows what while I was in pretty intense labor. I know they teach the husband how to help his wife through labor, especially when she is doing it without the help of drugs, but he was on his iPad. Now if you haven’t been here before, you probably have this vision in your head of the husband gently rubbing his wife’s back while she goes through contractions, offering up words of support. I think my mom had this mindset too. She was clearly concerned, and was wondering why on earth he was just doing his own thing when his wife was in an extensive amount of pain, and about to give birth to his second child. So she asked him about it. She asked him why he was just sitting there on his tablet while I was doing labor on my own, and he told her there’s nothing he can do at this point, and I don’t like for him to be in my way.

I love my husband. He knows me, and even if he doesn’t get me all the time, he doesn’t question it. He just goes with it. I like to do pain on my own. I like to be in my own head, and I like to get it done my way. That’s how I am, and I’m grateful for a husband who just let’s me.-

Anyways, once I finally get back into the bed in between my 15-30 second apart contractions (seriously, I could not catch my breath), the nurse was able to check me and said I was at 9.5. I didn’t want anything to take place that wasn’t 100% natural, but my water still hadn’t broken, and she asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her just to go for it, and almost instantly, my contractions changed from the “cervix opening” kind to the “time to push” kind. You other moms who have gone without drugs will know exactly what I mean when I talk about the different kinds of contractions.

I was on the bed and ready to push, my husband was holding one of my legs, and I had to call my mom to come over and help with my other one, because guess what? There wasn’t a single midwife in sight! Not even the “student” one was around, and I was pretty sure my nurse was going to be delivering my baby. Which would have been fine with me, because I was planning on telling whoever delivered the baby how to do their job anyways, and I had instructed the husband to takeover if they weren’t doing it properly.

Finally, after I had already instructed my nurse in the proper way to deliver my baby so that I did not have any tearing, in walks the midwife and her shadow. AND she has the nerve to ask if he can deliver my baby! Do you really think I freaking care at this point? I told her that’s fine, but he better assume the position and I proceeded to explain again about the whole stretching so there was no tearing thing since he missed the first lecture. I’m glad I explained to him too because he clearly didn’t have any expertise in this area and my hubby almost had to jump in.

After what felt like 3 or 4 pushes, he was pulling a perfectly yucky Charlie out of my vag and handing her to me. I remember saying to her “Sweet girl, I’ve been waiting so long to meet you!” As my husband took his signature “right after they came out” picture to send to everyone, even though the baby still looks like an alien at this point.

Charlie’s umbilical cord was extremely short, so we cut it pretty quickly. She could barely reach my chest for me to hold her before we cut it. We cleaned up a little, and were able to move upstairs to an “after birth” room where Thor got to come to meet his new sister (even though he was more interested in the buttons on the bed).

That’s about it! I did not have them put the gunk in her eyes, or get s vitamin k shot since she obviously wasn’t having a circ done. We did do the hep b and the foot prick to do the blood tests, but that’s it. That’s my Charlie story.

Forgot to add, my main reason I did not like this hospital was because I chose a certain midwife for a reason. Even though it was during business hours during the week, if it wasn’t my midwives day to deliver babies, then it didn’t matter. No matter what, I ended up having a stranger that I didn’t choose delivering my child. At tho hospital where my son was born, the midwives worked in the building so they would just come over if you got admitted, and be there to deliver your baby, then go back to business. Plus, no one compares to Terry.

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This busy life of mine…

Wow. What a year our family has had! We finally moved from Fargo (which was our plan for some time) and moved to St Paul for what was supposed to be a 3 month layover on our way to our final destination (Colorado Springs).

Well life did what it does best, and our 3 month stay at my parent’s house turned into a 9 month crowded living situation. I think that if it wasn’t for our children, and their sweet smiles, we would have been sent on our way a long time ago!

Here is the breakdown of our year for each of us:

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Joseph Family 2013

Daniel kept working for United Airlines through our move, commuting to Denver a few days a week to work. He ended his journey with the airline in August, and since has been focussing on his marketing company. We have missed our flight benefits, but LOVE having Daniel home and being able to spend time with him.

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Catherine left her job at The Children’s Place in March when the family moved. It has been bitter sweet transitioning from being a retail mom to being a stay at home mom. In September, Catherine became an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay and has been loving her business! She took a break in October to have baby Joseph #2 and loves being able to set her own hours and spend time with her kiddos!

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Thor has had quite a year! He learned to crawl, then walk. He travelled to 5 different states (California 3 times to see his Uncle Caleb). Thor got to celebrate his first birthday, and also became a big brother (a role which he has embraced like a pro!).

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Adalia Charlotte (otherwise known as Charlie) came into the world on October 9th at 12:47pm. She weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19inches long. She is a fabulous eater, and prides herself on being a better sleeper than her big brother. Charlie is still unsure how to feel about her brother, but she does let him kiss her even though he is extremely rough.

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Jackson and Kira are enjoying being in Minnesota. They have made friends with the two dogs across the fence, and have had a blast chasing other animals (ranging from birds and squirrels to ducks and wild turkeys) throughout the year.

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We are looking forward to the coming year and the challenges it will bring, and we are so grateful for our friends and family that are so supportive of us.

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To epidural or not to epidural!

Please understand that I am NOT any sort of medical professional. This piece is strictly opinion and experience based.

I’m mainly writing this for pregnant women who are trying to decide weather or not to get an epidural when the time comes for the birth of their child.

You will come across women who are adamant about not getting an epidural and how it’s going to give your baby a bad start at life. There are women who have had epidurals and swear by them, along with women who have had one and say terrible things about their entire experience. I m not any of those women.

I have had one child. And although I had an entirely natural, vaginal birth, it is NOT for everyone! Also, even if you make it part of your birthing plan to either have or not have an epidural, that does not mean things will go as planned.

If you walk into the hospital in pain, with amniotic fluid dripping down your legs and fully dilated… Guess what? No epidural for you! They will throw you in a room and get you started pushing. On the other hand, if you aren’t progressing (in the dilation area) yet your contractions are only one minute apart, you might catch yourself praying for the medicine you swore to never take to get you through the 28 hours of labor ahead of you.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

In my opinion, you need to do what your body is telling you to do. Everyone has a point where the pain becomes overwhelming. That being said, I’ve never heard any woman say that every single one of their labor/births was exactly the same. Why do we think we have to plan every single aspect of every labor, then get upset if it doesn’t turn out as planned?

So long as your baby is healthy, and both parents are healthy, why not enjoy the beginning of your new babe’s life instead of making yourself sick worrying about this or that from labor. Squeeze that thing out, and snuggle it like crazy before they start walking and don’t want hugs anymore.

~Jord

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And Now There’s A Thor

I wrote this note/memoir for my cousin who is pregnant and due in the beginning of November. I’m sharing it with my WordPress family in case there are women out there who want to read a story from a real woman with all the dirty parts left in. No roses here…

Labor/Delivery

I know you’ve been wondering about labor, and it was all so fast for me that I decided to write it down.

It all began… I was at work and having contractions, did I know they were contractions? No. I just thought I was having cramps (Which I was since that is really what contractions are).

Tip#1: Download an app to your phone to time your contractions! This way, when the nurse asks you about your contractions, Dave can give them exact info. I say Dave, because you will be focussing on distracting yourself from the pain.

Not sure if you’ve been feeling any small contractions yet, but if not, they just feel like cramps low in your abdomen, and they get stronger as you go.

Movement helped with coping with the pain. Not that it made the pain go away, but it gave me something to think about. Something to concentrate on.

I would say that my contractions started getting uncomfortable around 11am. At this point, the pain was more just discomfort, and I didn’t know I was having contractions.

By the time freight came at noon, I had to have one of my girls come help me move boxes, because I couldn’t move them very well on my own. At this point, I was doing a lot of hip movement to help with the pain.

Surprise:
Something I had never been told before that happened was that my body started getting rid of all the waste that was inside me. Because of this, I spent all day on the toilet. Half the time, nothing came out, but I was grateful later not to have anything left inside me. I didn’t poop while pushing because there was nothing left.

I ended up leaving work around 2:30, only because my manager told me I looked like sh*t and to go home, lol. Thankfully, Daniel came and picked me up, because I should not have been driving (Although if you would have asked me at the time, I would have told you I was fine).

Again, at this point, I was more uncomfortable than in pain. I was visiting the bathroom extremely often, and there was a little bit of bloody discharge (Which is normal). I was okay to be walking around, but I was more than slow.

When I got home, I went straight for the toilet (Story of my day), and called the nurse line at the hospital. The nurse asked about my contractions, (which were 3-4 minutes apart) and about discharge, and advised me to take a bath since she didn’t think I should come in yet.

Daniel helped me run a bath and brought me ice pops (since I was over warm, and it was the only thing I wanted to eat).

I had been throwing up whenever I had a really strong contraction, and I didn’t last very long in the tub cause it was HOT and because I was more comfortable on my side (easier to throw up that way).

Where did I end up since the bath didn’t work? Laying on my side on the couch, watching Troy on the downstairs TV. I had a garbage on the floor (for the throw up of course), a stack of icees on the coffee table, and my phone in my hand to track my contractions.

By the time I hit the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I was up on the couch, facing backwards, arms up on the back rest moaning, and moving my hips back and forth.

At this point, I told Daniel that it was time to go. I was not pleasant when telling him, although I was proud of myself for only yelling (well, more just raising my voice) one time. I also was only able to walk around in between contractions. The rocking back and forth of the hips was the only movement that happened during contractions.

I went upstairs (slowly) to pack a bag. Probably should have done this sooner, but I was still in shock since I was two weeks early. Even when I got home from work, I kept saying that I should pack a bag, then told myself I couldn’t have the baby because I was on the schedule to work til the 10th of September, lol. How silly I was.

Anyways, I could tell I was pretty delirious because as I rocked my hips back and forth, and said “right, left, right” in my head, I noticed that I was not moving the same direction I was saying, nor were my hips moving as fast as my mind was thinking the directions. It didn’t matter, it was just something I was doing to not think about the pain. There was no happy place to take my mind to, and all the planning I had done didn’t even cross my mind. My focus was just “right, left, right…”

Daniel was in the kitchen cooking the entire time from the bath through my watching Troy (which I didn’t get to finish). He kept my mom and Barbi (my manager) up to date on what was going on. Although I didn’t freak out on my wonderful husband, I’m not sure I would have been able to stand talking to my mother, even though she was perfectly wonderful, and helpful, and I couldn’t imagine not having her at the hospital with us!

I remember yelling out to Daniel nicely that I was going to the car. I leaned my arms up against my truck, rocking and waiting out a pretty bad contraction as I felt the lovely warm wet liquid they call “water” dripping down my legs. Having a pad on just delayed the inevitable, but the idea it was there gave me comfort just the same.

Why do they call it “water”? It’s gross not exactly clear liquid, with blood in it and all types of strange gunk. Mine even was a little yellowish because Thor had pooped inside me before coming out. Water it is not. Amniotic fluid. That’s what it is… The only good side is that it will wash out of whatever you decide to wear when it breaks… If of course it breaks on its own.

This lovely fluid continued to flow out of me as it pleased the entire way to the hospital, which was not a long drive, especially since Daniel drove 80 miles per hour the entire way, slowing down only for traffic lights. 6:24 is the time I remember leaving the house, and it couldn’t have been longer than a 5 or 6 minute drive.

During the drive was the only time I mentioned meds. I pretty much said “I can see why women like to get the meds… This really doesn’t feel good.” That was that. Before we left the house, I was thinking that I better be close because otherwise the medicine would be pretty tempting.

Daniel grabbed my stuff from the car when we pulled up , and I couldn’t wait so I got out myself and walked into the hospital since I was in between contractions and I wasn’t sure how long that would last.

Now I just want you to know what I looked like at this point, because it was not at all what I had planned to look like going into the hospital. My plan was to have my hair braided in some way that wouldn’t look like a crazy mess. You know what curly hair does when it doesn’t get done… I just didn’t want to look like a homeless person. Instead, my hair made it into a mess of a pony tail, somewhere on top of my head where it was out of my face. That was my only worry at the time I got into the tub, which was when I had put it up.

I was wearing my purple, Nike sweat Capri things, which have a yoga pant style waist band so they were comfortable enough to wear with my belly. At home I had on a cami, I don’t remember having the sense to put a bra on, so it’s lucky I thought to put on a t shirt before leaving the house. All these clothes ended up in a plastic bag until whatever day I was sane enough to do laundry after getting back to Fargo a week later… My tennis shoes (no socks because it was not something I was thinking about while getting dressed to leave) did make it through without getting wet somehow.

Once inside the emergency room, they checked me in, asked if I wanted a wheel chair (which I said no to). Daniel, who was clearly the only one thinking at that point said yes. So I stood in the emergency room waiting for Daniel to bring me the wheel chair while all the emergency room people stared at me thinking about how lucky they were to only have to be getting stitches or whatever their problem was that day.

Daniel wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery floor where the nurses asked me stupid questions like if they measured me downstairs… I looked down at my soaked pants and told them “nope, they just saw this and sent me up”. She also asked if we had a written birth plan… A question which I’m sure she wouldn’t have asked if she knew how short this was going to be. I told her that “we were going to do that tonight, but things didn’t happen the way we planned.”

I had to get undressed, which had to wait until I was done having a contraction, and put on a belly band (which I asked if I could go without because I hated having anything touching my stomach but she said no). I got into the bed wearing the ugly gown, which was fine cause I had it on for less than an hour anyways.

The nurse checked me once I had the heart monitor on to check Thor’s heart rate and announced that I was ready to go, 10 centimeters! She told me not to push til the midwife on call got there, lol, like I was just gonna go at it or something. The only thing I asked her was if my son had hair, but she didn’t check, even though she told me that his head was right there… Ugh…

The midwife who delivered Thor was not my regular midwife. I did have an appointment with him once and he delivered multiple babies for women that I work with and that went to my church. I think I was actually more comfortable with him than I was with my regular midwife. I will definitely go with him when we have our next baby.

It only took less than 10 minutes for Terry (the midwife) to get to the hospital. Just enough time for them to prep the room for delivery. My nurse tried to get an IV into my arm (They do this just in case for any reason they need to give you fluids) which I didn’t want or end up needing so it was fine that she wasn’t able to get my vain.

The nurses also asked me if I had planned to have any medicine and when I told her no, she seemed relieved and told me we didn’t have time so that was good.

Terry checked me, and thankfully he was able to tell me that my son had a head full of hair which is all I wanted to know at that point! He also told me that there was mirconium in my amniotic fluid (which meant that Thor had pooped before coming out) so once I finished pushing him out, they would have to take him to check his lungs Before i got to hold him. This meant Daniel would have to cut the umbilical cord quickly if he wanted to do it. I wasn’t too upset like I thought I would be that I couldn’t hold him right away. All I cared about was that he would be okay.

I scooted down on the table and Terry asked me if the contractions made me want to push yet. I told him no, and this seems strange until you’ve felt it. You WILL know when the contractions change. The regular contractions are down low… The ones that open up your cervix. The “pushing” contractions are up high, and they are squeezing things out.

Once it was time for pushing, the hardest part for me was holding my legs up. Daniel held one side and my nurse… She tried to hold the other one, but was too distracted by my sons head coming out of my vagina.

I pushed through three contractions, all the while, Terry was helping me stretch open so I wouldn’t tear. It was so strange to be pushing like I was trying to poo in a room with other people.

Terry had me stop pushing once Thor’s head was out and switch my hips to a different position so I didn’t tear as his shoulders came through, which I appreciated so much! One last push and I was done! Whew!

7:07pm about a half hour from when we got to the hospital, I was a mommy!

They took Thor straight to a warming table after Daniel cut the umbilical cord to check him out and make sure he didn’t swallow any of his poo. They also took his temp since he was considered pre mature, and told me I had to take his temp every time before feeding him.

Finally, after concluding that he was fine, which we already knew, I got to hold my son! He was perfect, and warm, and smelled just like a new baby should. I didn’t cry because I was still in shock since everything went so fast. I just wanted to call my boss and make sure she knew I wouldn’t be in the next day.

I had to push the placenta out, and Terry showed it to us which was kinda gross. They also pushed on my stomach a ton to help get as much blood out as possible. I was pretty much leaking blood at this point, and glad I didn’t wear any of my own clothes. I just kept asking when it was okay for me to take a bath.

I fed Thor, which was wonderful. It was awkward and strange, but so beautiful and natural at the same time. Daniel went to Quiznos to get us food since anything I had for breakfast was no longer in my system and I threw up everything else. I got to spend some time alone with him, and it was perfect.

I just remember thinking I can’t believe I squeezed this huge thing out of me. He was inside of me, and now he wasn’t. I told Daniel I was in love with another man, and that was about it.

Is there anything I would change or do differently? No. I was glad that it ended up being only Daniel and I in the delivery room. Even though the nurses kept joking about how easy I made it look and my midwife said he would just set up a cot in the parking lot and send me home for the next one, it was still a new experience for me, and it was so intimate only having Daniel there.

What was the hardest part? The hardest part for me was the circumcision. I wanted to cry when I saw it, but now it’s nice and healed up.

Did I forget the pain? NO WAY! I think other women feel pain differently, and Thor is worth going through the pain I felt, but oh I remember it. That’s the thing about pain though, it doesn’t last forever. I also know that I will do it again, cause its worth it.

Cat

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