Monday, June 2, 2014

Tracey Ann Birth Story -- Long Version Finale, Part 6

This is the finale of Tracey Ann's birth story... see the previous 5 parts here.

After 30-45 minutes of continued labor, and increasing urge to push, Dr. Katie checked my cervix and said that the swelling was not improving but  she was going to go ahead and let me push.  She said that I was going to have to work very hard to get the baby's head past my swollen cervix, but I was young, strong, and healthy, and she thought I could do it.

Despite all I learned about different pushing positions during my Bradley classes, I preferred to push laying on my back.  When I was finally able to push with the contractions, it felt good.  I was finally able to be active in the process of labor... although it took some time for me to really get the hang of pushing.

They instructed me to hold my breath and push with my diaphragm for ten seconds, then take another deep breath, hold it and push for another ten seconds, then repeat a third time.  Chris did the counting while I was pushing and this was the protocol they had us repeat with each contraction until the baby was born.

I pushed for about thirty minutes without much happening.  During this time, Dr. Katie took an ice cube and put it inside the finger of a rubber glove and pressed it to the swollen part of my cervix in between contractions.  With each contraction, she tried to push my cervix around the baby's head, but she didn't want to push too hard because I hadn't had an epidural, and she didn't want to cause me too much pain.

After about thirty minutes of pushing without much progress, Dr. Katie suggested I try to squat and push.  That only lasted maybe four contractions as both Dr. Katie and I did not like that position as well as my laying on my back.

Once I laid back on my back, I began to make more progress.  I finally figured out which muscles I needed to engage in order to push the baby... I don't know how anyone with an epidural ever figures out which muscles to engage in pushing.  Once I figured out which muscles to engage, things began to move more quickly and everything became more exciting.  Dr. Katie, Nurse Jackie, and Hubby would excitedly encourage me as I was pushing as they were starting to see the baby's head.

At this point, I had been pushing for about an hour (I started pushing around 6:30pm), and I kept looking at the clock thinking that I hoped I would have the baby by 8:00pm.  As Hubby and the hospital staff was getting more excited, I asked for a mirror to be set up, because I wanted to see what was happening.  I hadn't decided prior to labor if I would want a mirror or not.  I had seen several birthing videos at our Bradley class, and I didn't know how I would feel at that time.  It turned out, I wanted to see what was making them so excited.

As the baby grew closer and close to crowing, Hubby would get excited by what he was seeing and what was about to happen, and he would start counting faster and faster.  He was the one counting for each of my ten seconds of pushing, but he was getting excited, so his counting sped up.  I had to tell him several times to SLOW DOWN the counting because I knew I could keep pushing for a full then seconds, and I wanted to make that progress.

When the baby's head finally began to emerge and I really pushed it out, the rest happened very quickly -- probably only five seconds, but everything happened, for me, in slow motion.

I knew I was delivering the baby's head, but I also had learned that birth is a process -- sort of two steps forward, one step back... literally as the baby is born with each contraction.  When I was delivering the baby's head, I knew I still had the rest of the baby to deliver... and the next thing I knew the baby was on my chest.

What happened in those five seconds was that I delivered the baby's head, then Dr. Katie saw that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the neck and had suddenly tightened as I pushed the baby out.  Dr. Katie immediately worked to clamp and cut the cord (not in my birth plan... but it was necessary for the health of the baby).  Hubby, seeing that the doctor was about to cut the cord, knew that this was supposed to be his job, and put out his hand to take the scissors away from the doctor in an effort to help.  She quickly assured him, he would get a chance to cut something... but get out of her way.  Then she cut the cord and pulled the baby the rest of the way without any more pushing on my part because of the complication which arose (the umbilical cord around the baby's neck).

I heard some of what the doctor was saying, and definitely was aware that Chris tried to take the scissors from the doctor, but I wasn't aware of the actual complication of the baby being strangled by the umbilical cord (thank goodness!).  I would find out later that the baby's vitals had been so good throughout all of labor and delivery that they suspected that the cord just pulled tightly around the neck when I gave that big push to deliver the head.

Suddenly the baby was on my chest and all pain from the labor and delivery was over.  The nurse immediately came over and started suctioning the baby to make sure it was breathing and responding in a healthy way.

Hubby was a ball of emotions.  He was cheering me on, holding my hand, kissing me, crying, trying to keep his voice from cracking all while the baby was being born.  Once the baby arrived we were both so happy and overjoyed and proud of each other -- and we completely forgot that we didn't know if we had had a boy or a girl.

Thankfully the hospital staff knew that our birth plan included that Hubby would be the one to look at the baby and announce to me whether we had a son or a daughter.  The doctor then looked at Chris and reminded him that we didn't know what the baby was.  We both laughed, and were surprised to realize that we had forgotten.  We had so much joy in having our baby, we didn't care if it was a boy or a girl therefore, we had forgotten to check.

Chris looked at the baby on my chest and, through tears and a croaking voice, announced, "It's a GIRL!"

I couldn't believe it.  I was SURE we were having a boy.

Immediately after Hubby announced that we had a daughter, the nurse took the baby over to the warmer (not in our birth plan) because the nurse wasn't happy with her breathing yet.

She let our her first cry 59 seconds after being born... at 60 seconds, she would have had a lower APGAR score.  The hospital staff worked as quickly as possible to make sure that her airway was safe and clear and get her back to my chest as soon as possible.  I made my 8:00pm deadline... she was born at 7:56pm.

Meanwhile Dr. Katie worked to take care of my body what with the trauma of giving birth.  I actually had to ask the hospital staff to move the mirror that had been set up so I could watch the baby's birth... I didn't need to see the repair.

Without sharing too many details (I know... I've already shared too many details), I did have some complications because of the swollen cervix which led to a few complications in recovery, but I am SO grateful that our doctor honored my birth plan and let me have a natural delivery despite this complication.  I didn't even notice delivering the placenta -- the doctor had to tell me it was over... I never felt a thing.  I did feel the repair, and Dr. Katie said I could have some narcotics to help with the discomfort of the repair if I wanted it.  I had just endured natural childbirth in order to keep drugs out of my baby's system... I didn't need any narcotics to work their way into my first batch of breast milk.  I politely declined the offer of narcotics, and just kept breathing deeply, and focusing on my brand new baby during the repair.

Before the baby came back to my chest, the nurse asked if we had a name... and Chris and I looked at each other, and Chris said, "Is she Tracey Ann?"
I responded, "Yup.  I think she's Tracey Ann."

We then shared with the doctors and nurses why her name was Tracey Ann and for whom in our family she was named.

Tracey Ann came back to my chest, skin-to-skin, where I think she might have stayed for nearly the next hour.  She immediately began to nurse and she knew exactly what she was doing.  I was in awe of what she naturally knew what to do because I had no clue what I was doing, but she had no problems.  Chris put Josh Groban radio back on for us to listen to (which is what we listened to as I started my labor) so we came full circle.  I kept looking at Tracey Ann, and then looking up at Chris and having the same conversation over and over.
Me:  I can't believe I did it.
Hubby:  I knew you could do it.
Me:  I couldn't have done it without you.

I sent Chris out to see my poor parents in the waiting room to tell them that they had a healthy grandchild, and we would bring them in as soon as we could to tell them if it was a boy or a girl.

Well, that is our Tracey Ann's birth story.  I will post more about how we told our family that it was a girl, and about our hospital stay and first days as a family... but that is her birth story made possible by Bradley Childbirth classes, and my wonderful husband.

image signature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation.