Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It's been two weeks since Asa made his beautiful arrival into this world. And when I say beautiful, I wholeheartedly mean "perfect" or the way birth was intended to be. :) Rather than trying to forget my birth I enjoyed replaying it in my head, over and over. I have a couple friends who have asked about my birth story and I feel (just as I've done with the story of Seth and my Engagement story) I should document the details if only for my own benefit.

I will warn. This will be long. And it will be a birth story--which means--blood, sweat, swear words, etc. j/k

I was induced two saturdays ago at 7:30am--Asa had been measuring slightly small. Though my midwife wasn't concerned, the doctor at the clinic who read my ultrasound figured if something was wrong (say the placenta was pooping out) it'd be better to nourish him outside the womb. Induction was never part of my "plan" er.."preference" and I had to mourn as the days drew closer to the induction date without any signs of my body going into labor on its own (or rather, with many frustrating "false starts" or warm-ups). My midwife wanted to start cytotec (i was skeptical--i'm well aware of the scary reports about this drug) at night and give me an ambien so that i could sleep through the effacement process. Though cytotec was not something I would have chosen for myself--after frank conversation with my CNM I decided to trust her judgement as I had entrusted her for my care, while opting out of the ambien idea (ie getting induced at night and "ripening" overnight). I prefered to skip the sleep meds and labor and efface through the day--even though that could mean a long drawn out early labor process. It must have been maternal instinct but going in sat. morn. was probably the best thing we could have done...

So we got in right away, and I am given my saline lock (seriously, worst part for me--I nearly passed out--had to have oxygen and everything--and i've been so good during the pregnancy, you know, with all the blood draws) and administered the cytotec. I was 1 1/2 cm and 50%. My midwife came back around noon and checked and I was 70% effaced with no change in dilation. But it was good news that the cytotec was working the way it was supposed to. (we were warned induction could either work well (with only cytotec jumpstarting labor) or that we'd need other things ("interventions") to encourage dilation (the "balloon" or pitocin) and that it could last until monday morning. AH! (Though I am sooo thankful to have a care provider who was in no rush to get Asa out or to begin pitocin) I was given another dose of cytotec and was told she'd return at 4:30 to check me. My doula, Kate, encouraged me to take a nap at 3:00 since the possibility of laboring through the night was very possible. At 3:30, after having really manageable menstrual-like cramps from the beginning of the day, started having them strong in my back--I "breathed through my contraction" for the first time and things progressed extremely quick after that. Unfortunately, all was back labor--right in my tail bone! OW! but I was fortunate enough to have an incredible nurse, doula and seth to take care of me. My nurse suggested a TENS unit which I had entertained the thought of but kind of forgot about during pregnancy. It's a handheld machine with electrode-like pads that you put on your tum and back and you control these tiny shocks that interrupt the pain receptors and thus the pain you may experience. It sounds crazy, but it got me through the waves. I had contractions that were coming one after another from the very beginning. At 4:30 I was checked and was 6-7cm and 90%. Labor got very intense but my doula really helped guide my breathing so I was able to stay on top of the contractions (by really surrendering to them :). Because of the back labor, the toilet was my favorite spot to be. I moved there one last time around 7:30 and had a couple contractions, but then I automatically started grunting. My midwife showed up right in time. I guess she said, "there's the head!" Then my water broke. I think it was then that people encouraged me to get up to go to the bed, but as I started I could feel his head down there and I kind of fell down to my hands and knees (on the bathroom floor) and pushed through my contractions. Midwife was great and seemed completely fine with me not moving, though the nurses seemed concerned that we were remaining in the bathroom. There were moments of frantic activity as I concentrated on pushing and resting through the contractions: people ripping the TENS unit off ("we don't want any shocks!") and someone holding the doppler continuously on my tummy. But it was only like 10-15 minutes of pushing and he was out. SOOOOOO crazyyyyyyyy. Seth caught him and I pulled him up through my knees. It's incredible that as I recall this moment, all I can ever remember is muffled sound, bright bathroom light beaming on our little boy, bright eyed, looking all around, covered in vernix. Seth was right there with me, he was tearful, I was not; intstead I was completely stunned, pain-free, and completely overwhelmed by everything that had just happened. The baby nurse took him to be cleaned up. Asa had to be under some oxygen for a tiny bit because since he came out so quick, he didn't have time to have all the fluid squeezed out of his lungs!
As I returned to the bed to recover (lots of shaking--hormones do weird things) I noticed the clock I had unconciously been watching all day was missing off the wall. I asked, as if it was really important that the room had changed, "where is the clock?!" Apparently the baby nurse had it brought in to record the time of birth--the giant wall clock--which seemed kind of silly to me.
Once all was said and done, with Seth and Asa in the nursery, and me recovering with Kate, our nurse answered the knock at the door where my mom and sister were out in the hall. The nurse said, "um, brooke, your mom is wondering if your sister can come say hi." (Mind you, no one knew I had delivered yet--last they heard, I was 6-7cm....) I turned to Kate and we knew it was time to announce the news, completely uncoordinated and disorganized. My mom came in, and I said, "do you know what has happened? I had him. He's here." I thought Mom was going to need to sit down--she was shocked, and Kate ran out to announce the news somehow to Seth's parents.

It was the perfect birth. No amount of planning could have made it as good as it was.

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