If you followed Facebook at all you know we had a few false alarms, so on Sunday Mar 30 when I began to have a lot of regular cramping I was hesitant to get my hopes up that this was actually “it”.
* * * *
Earlier that day I had told Ronnie I wanted to go walking so we grabbed the stroller, some Starbucks, and hit the mall. We walked for quite a while until I was feeling tired and suggested we head for home. When we got home I was overcome with exhaustion so Ronnie and Aaron cuddled on the couch with a movie and I took a nap. About 730pm I awoke with some cramping (kind of like if you eat something that doesn’t agree with you and get cramps from it) but of course given history I assumed they were nothing more than cramps and I put it out of my mind. By 830 the cramps began to regulate and were coming every 15mins, but still unsure I decided it wasn’t anything to worry about, but grabbed a cup of iced RRL Tea and some dinner. I let Ronnie know that there was some regularity to the cramps, but it wasn’t anything yet. I paced the halls of the house alternating with squatting, swaying, rocking, dancing and tailored sitting when I needed to rest. By 11 things had really picked up, the cramps had switched to notable contractions, and had been coming every 5minutes for a while. We called the midwife to let her know what was up, and she said to wait a bit (3mins apart) and then go to the birth center when I felt I was ready. At this point Ronnie was long in bed because he figure this was it, and I decided to do the same, I rested as much as I could but the contractions picked up quickly, and by 2 I was no longer able to sleep or talk through them, they were 3 mins apart and my mood had defiantly changed from my usual self to demanding, impatient and determined to have this baby!!! I gathered up my labor snacks and drinks bag, our other pre-packed bag, and let mom and dad know it was time.
When we got to the birth center of our local hospital they got me registered and took me to a room to get assessed. Each room has a pull out couch for dad, a bathroom with a beautiful walk-in shower with: hand held sprayer, a bench, birthing ball and grab bar to get into all sorts of nice positions. And then of course moms bed which has a separate control to split the bed making a modified all fours super comfy. The birth center knew my desire for no pain meds, no IV and Low intervention. They did Intermittent Auscultation with handheld Doppler vs Fetal Monitor, and my Nurse was actually a trained doula as well as an RN. They had called her to come in for me because they needed an extra staff nurse and they knew our views of birth lined up.
Baby was OP so back labor was INSANE and of course it took the baby a while to descend and pass the landmarks he needed to. But our nurse was fantastic; she had tips and tricks that were awesome! She was right there in the shower with me, rubbing my belly, or back, and holding the showerhead on the spots that felt good at that time.
By about 7am things started to change, I was in the shower (still) and all of a sudden I felt pressure, a gush of blood came, and I let out a scream. They got me to the bed and realized baby was moving down FAST but was not positioned well. They got me into a crazy acrobatic yoga type position to try and get baby to position himself correctly (Katie might remember it from Aaron’s birth) MY midwife Sue had not been on that night (another was covering call) so at that point she said NOT to bother the on call CNM, and that she would come in early because she wanted to be there for me. She got there and determined baby was getting into a better position and that things would be moving soon.
I had a brief period of fear, worrying that things were going to go wrong. So she told everyone to be quiet and she got up in my face, and told me that I could do it, and that I just needed to close my eyes for a few minutes and breath. I felt like I was in a scene from Ina May’s “Birth Story” as she rubbed my legs and chanted to “breath, let it go , you can do this etc etc” All of a sudden I yelled “SUE… I need to push” She said ok lets see. Then I yell “NO! Sue I AM PUSHHHINGGGG!” Ronnie looked down and saw shoulders. I pushed 2 more times for a total of 4 pushes and Eli was born, 8:48am 8lbs 1 oz. I lifted him to my chest and Ronnie cut the cord after it had stopped pulsating. Sue was at the foot of the bed and she began to look a bit concerned. The RN grabbed an IV start kit and a few extra hands came in. My placenta was not delivering, and I was beginning to loose a fair amount of blood. Even with controlled cord traction it was not budging. The on call OB was notified and they started Pitocin. Before the OB could arrive my placenta (or most of it) was delivered and with A LOT of very firm fundal massage the bleeding was beginning to slow to a less emergent rate. They left the pit running, and continued with very firm fundal massage, as the bleeding was still quite heavy. As the day progressed I began to sense that things were not right. I felt off, weak and not at all like myself. An attempt to get to the bathroom ended with me being carried back to bed buy 3 nurses. My blood pressure was bottoming out, and my heart rate was beginning to rise rapidly. I had sent Ronnie home to grab a shower and a nap, and then bring back some real food. It was while he was gone that the OB came in and said they needed to do an emergency scan, that I was going to need at least 2 maybe 3 units of blood and probably surgery. I called Ronnie and he showed up, we called my parents, and asked a few others to pray. The OB did a bedside ultrasound after a few other tests and decided they could manually remove the pieces and clots left and that she would not have to do the surgery. I ended up with 2 units of blood, which did help a fair bit, and I am on a high quality ($50/month) Iron Supplement. I am being monitored closely still and my Midwife and OB have both said my body is quite weak. Ronnie has been incredible doing what he can to help me. We want to thank also family and friends who have brought meals, or come and helped with housework, or taken one or both of the kids out for a bit so I can get a nap. We are blessed with an adorable little family, and God really answered prayers that things didn’t go from bad to worse.