Fiona’s Birth Story

***This is the unedited unfinished version. I just wanted to get something up here**

03/02/2010 Fiona Olivia Birth Story

2/27/2010 Saturday My 30th birthday. Roger work 7am-7pm. I just relaxed all day.

2/28/2010 Sunday Roger worked 7am-7pm. We went out to dinner at Rosalita’s in Lantana Florida. I was unable to sleep, I could not get comfortable. At one point I was in the front room doing positions from the prenatal yoga video. I came to realize that I was having what felt like menstrual cramps. I did not recognize them at first because it had been 9-10 months since I had them. I did not think I was starting labor as the cramps were a constant pain/ache feeling. They were not strong. They were just annoying enough to keep me from getting comfortable and keep me from sleeping, just like my menstrual cramps always were.

3/1/2010 Monday At about 3:30 in the morning I started to realize the the constant menstural cramps that I had been feeling started coming and going in a rythmic pattern. I then googled what contractions felt like. I was already pretty sure that these were what I was feeling. Labor was starting and I had no idea how long it would last nor when our baby would be here. I waited until 4 am to awaken my husband. He had been fast asleep since we got home from dinner. I told my husband that the contractions were starting and we started to make plans. He had been scheduled to take a class at work from 8am until noon and he was scheduled to work the next day from 7am until 7pm and then he was not scheduled again until Friday. He decided it would be good to go into work and talk to them about what was going on. He arranged to reschedule the class and take time off for Tuesday. On his way back home he stoped by the grocery to pick up some food. We had a rather empty fridge and should have gone to the store the day before as we shop every week for food.

While my husband was gone I worked my way through the contractions. From 3:30am until around 8 am they got more and more intense. I had to focus more and more to breath through the contractions and focus on relaxing every muscle in my body while thinking “OPEN” hoping that would help my cervix dialate and open. I managed to eat a bagel with crème cheese and I should have eaten more. I did manage to move around during this early state of labor, but by the time my husband returned from the store the contractions were intense enough that I was laying on my bed on my side and using all of my concentration to relax and breath through contractions. I was also trying to dooze in between contractions as I had not gottem much sleep the night before.

While my husband was gone I called our midwife and told her what was happening. She advised that I was in early early labor and I should try to get some rest and eat. She also said I should call our Doula and also let her know what was happening. I spoke to our Doula and she asked if we wanted her to come over now. I said I didn’t think so. I asked her when most people had her come. This was my first pregnancy so I had no idea how to manage things well. I told her we were fine for now. She said she would get ready and be by the phone if we needed her.

My husband returned from the store with food and a shower adapter so we could fill the birth tub with warm water from the shower. I think my husband returned around 10am or so. By then my contractions had taken hold of me and were like waves crashing into me. They were between 4 and 5 minutes apart and they lasted between a minute and a minute thirty seconds. It was a Monday so USA network was running a Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon all day and that was what I was watching to try to distract me from what was upcomming and help me snooze a little in between contractions. It worked a little. It gave me something to watch while being carried away by labor.

The contractions seemed to be getting more and more intense. Now I would call to my husband when one was starting, he would come let me grip his hand while the contraction washed over me and then he would go back to making preparations for the birth. I eventually started to notice that there also was an extra painful peak to the contractions. I knew once I made it over that peak the end of the contraction was going to be ok. I did manage to keep using the bathroom about every hour. I had read that a full bladder would slow down labor and I was not in favor of slowing it down. At some point I started to feel hot so I had my husband get me a wash cloth and keep wetting it with cold water so I could rub it over me.

I had started out wearing black maternity shorts, underwear, bra and a long sleeve red shirt. When I first started to feel warm the red shirt came off. Rubbing cool water on me while a fan blew on me felt rather good at this point.

Around 4pm my husband started filling the birth tub with warm water. Our water hearter is really small, it really only give you time enough for one quick warm shower before the hot water runs out. My husband contected a hose to the shower adaptor and placed the hose in the tub and let the warm water start to fill the tub. He had to turn the water off every 10 minutes and then turn it back on after waiting 15 minutes or for the hot water to come back. Thus it took some time to fill the tub. The tub also came with a lid so that helped keep the warm water in.

Our midwife had called a couple of times to check on the frequency of my contractions. I had forgotten to call and check up with our Doula, but then again I had forgotten a lot at this point while I had no concept of time. Nothing else existed but these contractions and I was trying to focus and use them to open me up and let my baby come out.

Between 5pm and 6pm my husband made me eat. I am so glad he did but I so did not want to eat. I had to force the food down. He had made me this rice/noodle thing that he had mixed with chicken soup so it had chicken stock and bits of chicken in it. It took a whole hour to eat as I could only take one bite in between each contraction. I wanted to make sure it stayed down in my stomach and that I did not vomit it up as that would take energy away form labor. During this hour that I was eating, our midwife called and checked on the contractions and requested to listen to me go through a contraction.

She must had heard something that signaled to her that the birth was getting close because she arrived at 7pm. I think at some point our Doula called or we called her because she was all like “hey what is going on, I though you would have called me by now”. I don’t remember how the conversation transpired but I think I tried to apologize and I also emphasized that I had not told my husband that I had talked to the Doula early in the morning. I was not sure when the Doula and the Midwife usually arrived, I just know we really wanted and needed them at the end. The Doula said she would start making her way to our apartment and see us soon.

At around 7pm whe the midwife came I was down to wearing just my underwear and bra. The more cloths you take off the deeper you are into labor. The midwife came into the room and said she would need to check my dialation. She did and it hurt quite a bit. I can not believe they check pregnant women every hour at the hospital and have all kinds of people check them. The midwife said I was at 7cm. No wonder I was feeling like the contractions were right on top of each other, I was in transition. The midwife started pulling out her stuff and setting up stuff and was telling my husband that after checking the water temperature in the birth tub, it would be good if I got in the tub.

The midwife gave my husband a digital thermometer and he checked the temperature and found the water to be quite warm at 108 degrees. He started adding some cold water to get the temperature down to 100 degrees. I went through some more contractions while I was watching my husband get the water temperature perfect. Finally the tub was ready and my husband and the midwife helped me get in the nice warm water. The tub felt great. My husband asked if I wanted to take my bra off, it was the last article of clothing I had on. At first I was like “no” just because I did not want to mess with it. Later he told me he thought I had kept it on to avoid being naked but at the time I had no concept of being naked. I was just trying to make it through each contraciton. After another contraction my husband helped me out of the bra and ther I was in the water tub having a home birth with our first child and I had all of my cloths off in front of our midwife and our doula who had just arrived and I had absolutley no concept of being naked in front of people who I am normally not naked in front of. This meant I was probably about 9 cm dialted.

So from about 8pm until around 11pm or so I was in the birth tub going through transition. I started out trying to float on my back and let my husband hold my head above water. This was amazing and helped during what felt like to be the worst part of transition. Being about to float in the warm water really let me try to relax during the contractions. I then moved to float more on my stomach and hang my upper body over the edge. I still had my little wash cloth with me and began using it to put cool water on my face.

While I was floating on my stomach, our midwife showed my husband a red line that traveled up my butt crack and showed him that it would be at my sacrococcygeal joint when I would feel like pushing. I was hearing this and thought how neat and how I wish I could see my own back right now. Every contractions I had to brace myself on my husband. I would grip his arms with both my arms and tense my grip and focus on relaxing my lower body. At one point my husband had run to the bathroom when a contraction came. The doula and the midwife were also busy setting somethings up. Once they heard me start a contraction they both came near and my midwife, because she arrived first, just put her hand on my uper arm and it felt so comforting. It was amazing how just a small touch could make me feel so much more comfortable. I don’t know if my husband realizes how much it helped me to be with him and touching him during every contraction.

I remember also that during this part of transition that I was hanging my upper body on the side of the tub, I would almost feel like I was going to vomit and would request to have the bucket near. As soon as the bucket was near I felt releived and didn’t have the vomit urge. I even one time started craving those vanilla oreo cookies that I had in the pantry. I don’t know why I did not request them, I think it was because I was worried about throwing them up. Now this sounds silly as throwing up probably would have made the baby come down even more.

Then I remember my husband and the doula telling me I was smiling just like those women in the chlildbirth videos. I did not believe them. They took my picture and then showed me and I said something like “I am smiling, what the hell is wrong with me”. I was still feeling the intense paid of the contractions but apparently enough oxytocin had been released by my body to take some of the edge off. It had happened so gradually that I could not tell but my husband said he could tell. He said my face had really started to soften a lot.

I then was thinking oh my gosh holy shit I don’t know if I can make it through this, I don’t know if we can have any other kids, this is brutal. For some reason I did not say this out loud. When I looked at my husband, I just wanted to tell him how much he was helping by being there and being supportive and how much I loved him and how much I wanted to push our baby out and see him or her regardless of how it may feel as it will burst in two form the waist down.

Around this time our midwife pointed out that if our baby was born after midnight her birth day would be 3/2/10 as 3 2 1 0 countdown. I can’t remember at what time she said this but I remember thinking “ohhh noo I don’t think I can last and still be doing this or pushing at midnight”.

About this point I used my finger and tried to explore the birht canal. I had previously been under the impression that as the cervix dialates and opens the birth canal widens also. As I felt around, I realized that this area felt the same as it always did. At that point I said something like “the baby isn’t going to fit through, I just checked”. At the time I was dead serious and then I also wanted to laugh at myself also. The doula assured me that yes the baby will fit through the birth canal.

I half believed her. This was my first child and it was like my brain did not realize that a baby was in there and it was going to come out.

The contractions started getting further apart at this point and I started to feel an urge to push. The doula and midwife advised me to let the urge build and that at some point it would be impossible to resist pushing. Yep, they were right. It was not long until I could not, not push. It was odd because I though I would feel something in front closer to my vagina but all I could feel was this intense urge to push that felt more like I had to have a bowel movement. Our doula and midwife made suggesitons on how I could push effectivly and I don’t think I followed their directions well as I had no idea what I was going but it really helped to have their guidence.

I was not making a lot of progress pushing while in the birth tub. They suggested I try pushing while sitting on the toilet. So we made our way form the birth tub to the bathroom. Our midwife sat cross legged on the floor in front of me sitting on the toilet. She had me place my feet on top of her legs and it actually made a great position to push from. My husband was on my right side facing me letting my brace my upper body on him. He even folded a towel and put it under my elbow above the counter so I would not hurt my arm during this process. With each contraction I pushed and in this position I started to feel my baby. I could feel the weight of her and I could feel her moving down some.

I forgot to mention earlier that since the midwife arrived she had routinely and frequently checked the fetal heart rate. I was always so glad to hear that it was constant and steady like she did not even know that we were in labor and she was being pushed through the birth canal.

We then moved all four of us to sitting on the bed. I remember I did not want to leave from the toilet until that bowel movement that was slipping out while I was trying to push my baby out dropped into the toilet. I remember I did not want to track it across the room to the bed. It must have dropped in the toilet before I moved as I didn’t see it as I looked back and sat on the bed. I was leaning back slightly and the midwife and doula were facing me and had set up plastic absorb things on the bed for me to sit on. They were doing a great job of keeping everything clean.

While sitting on the bed and leaning back a little on the pillows I started pushing again. The midwife was using her fingers to guide me in pushing. It did not seem like I was making much progress pushing. The doula and midwife and my husband helped me turn over and place myself on all fours on top of the bed. I pushed a little her and made a little more progress. The doula and midwife suggested I turn back over to how I was before and in the process of turning over I could feel the baby so low almost in between my legs preventing me from walking. It was amazing. It was like I was finally getting it that there was a baby coming through.

I was sitting on the bed again leaning back slightly and I started pushing again. I placed my hand down in between my legs and I was able to feel a tiny bit of the head. My husband was so excited and started cheering me on. I started pushing with energy I didn’t know I had. With my right hand I was keeping my fingers on the head and feeling the baby come closer and closer and I started to use my left hand to push off from the wall behind me. At about that point the midwife took a picture and it is an amazing picture of me pushing with the baby’s heard starting to come out.

Our midwife and my husband had both been doing a good job of taking pictures throughout labor. I am so glad they did as I have all those great pictures now to remind me of the experience. When they were taking pictures most of the time I did not even notice.

With each contractions I was pushing and I was so excited as I could really feel my baby and I could feel myself push the baby out. As it was crowning they guided me to slow down a tad and let the skin streatch. There was this split second right before the head was completely out that it felt like I left my body for an instant, for an instant it was like everything was bright, like I had quickly gone to the moon or heavan for a split second. Then the baby’s head was out. I could hear the baby crying. It was amazing, we heard our baby cry before were even know what gender it was. My husband and I looked at each other. We were so emotional and excited and crying. Our midwife did something that I assume to be check the baby’s airway and then she said hey did do you want to deliver your baby. My husband said something like “oh yes” and then he reached down and as I had the next contraction and pushed he pulled out baby out of me and sat the baby so I was holding it with my left hand and the baby’s head was right near my left breast. We both looked down and looked to see if it was a boy or a girl. It was our girl and she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her leg. I untangled it and held her and my husband was on my left side with his hands still on her from pulling her out. My body began shaking what felt like out of my control. I had read about this and the midwife also said this was the hormones adjusting and my body realizing that I was not pregnant anymore and that it would not last too long.

We all sat there enjoying the moment. Our baby girl stopped crying once we were holding her. She even looked up at us with her big eyes. One instant there were only 4 people in the room and then the next there were 5 people. I could not find the words to describe what I was feeling. We realized she had been born on 3/2/10 like our midwife joked before and I was so glad. Our girl Fiona Olivia was here.

After a few moments, I don’t know how long, our midwife suctioned out the baby’s nose and mouth to make sure all the fluid was out. She did this all while I was holding my daughter. And then some moments later, maybe a half hour after birth, I started having some contractions again. I know it was the placenta being expelled and that is also what our doula and midwife were telling me. I knew this but I was so scared. The doula told me not to worry and to relax and push a little to let the placenta out. She said once it was out it would not hurt and it would feel like a relief. She was right. It was such a release once the placenta was out. Then the doula or the midwife I can’t quite remember wrapped up the placenta and kept it near me and the baby.

About 40 minutes after she was born our baby started nursing. I know it was aobut 40 minutes because I took a picture of her nursing on my phone and luckily it was time stamped. That was the first of many pictures I took of our daughter. She also peed on me with is a super healthy sign.

The midwife, doula and my husband started cleaning things up. They got started draining the birth tub into our bath tub using the hose we used to fill the tub. The doula and midwife were cleaning up the stuff they had gotten out and preparing some other things. I couldn’t see all of what they were doing and I was also holding my baby and in awe of what had just happened. We all kept talking and they kept their eye on me and the baby just in case. They told my husband to make some eggs for me to eat and they were the best eggs I had ever eaten.

The birth tub had been completely emptied and everything cleaned up and set up. The midwife, doula and my husband all returned near me and the baby on the bed. The midwife clamped the umbilical cord and had my husband cut it. This was probably 2 hours after birth maybe. I still had no concept of time. Then the doula took the placenta and my husband took a few pictures of it before she put it in a large Ziploc bag and placed it in our freezer.

Our midwife took the baby and right on the bed next to me completed the newborn exam. 20 inches long and I can’t remember all the things she measured and looked at. I had read over what they look at in my husband’s nursing book and she did a complete look over. While our daughter was being measure she pooped on the measuring tape. Again it was a healthy sign.

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