Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Shaughnessy Vale is born

The count down to birth day seemed to last forever for this pregnancy. It somehow really seemed so far away - like it would never happen, even though of course we knew it would...but WHEN! I was really hoping for early, not late :-) But, nothing really seemed to be "going on". At my checkup 2 wks before due date, all was good, no signs of labour in any way, and the midwife told me the baby was positioned "wrong" (face to side or face up, instead of face down). Since nothing was happening though, I hoped baby would sort that out and get in a better position when it was actually time to come out.

On Tues the 6th, at my regular checkup, I was 3cm - but not in any sort of labour. I was super surprised, and the midwife warned me that the baby was still at a high station, but once it descended a bit, it would go very fast. I was encouraged - I thought for sure I'd go into labour that day or night. But no - I woke up on Wednesday with a sigh. No baby. No contractions. Boooo. I walked about 3.5miles that day trying to getting something moving, and was now quite sure that Baby would come that evening/night. I didn't go to church, we just dropped the kids off and had one last "just us" date before our tag-along made it's appearance. Mack's Grill was yum, and I ate a ton - and unfortunately, felt perfectly fine:-)

I woke up Thursday morning again, disappointed. No labour in the night. What on earth?! I got up at 6:30 and started my day (which always starts with puttering around the kitchen...breakfast, coffee, dishwasher, etc), and I felt my belly tighten up. No pain at all, just a hard belly for about 30seconds. Not exactly big news by any stretch, but a new or different "sign" so I took mental note. Then it happened again, and took that as a "maybe this is it!" and grabbed an envelope off the island and jotted down the time. And again, and again. 6:35, 6:40, 6:45 - I woke up Brian up with a warning - I think this might be it. Painless at this point, but definitely a pattern. We decided to walk the block. I switched to keeping the time on my phone as we walked a one mile loop. Still no pain but every 5 mins consistently. When we got home I sat on the couch for a few, to see if that would make a change, but no. So I called in and talked to the midwife - given the fact that I have fast labour, was already at least at 3cm, and live more than 30mins away, she told me to come in right away (we had morning rush hour traffic to contend with). I tested positive for Group B strep a few weeks prior (a bacteria in the body harmless to mom, but can make the baby sick when exposed to it during birth) - I required 4 hrs minimum of meds before it would be considered safe to have the baby. If you don't get the meds, you have to stay in the hospital under observation for 2 days to make sure baby isn't getting sick. I've was Group B strep positive with Kenna and Brooks too. And I've not yet had a 4 hr labour, so both of them lacked sufficient meds, and we had a boring hospital stay. Back then, the hospital didn't even have wifi (nor did we have a laptop), and there was literally nothing to do. I remember with Brooks I had brought a book of crosswords and sodoku to do, LOL. This time I was sure we nailed it though - we arrived at the hospital at 9am, and still, although every 5mins, there was no significant pain yet - maybe like a mild cramp.

We unpacked our room, visited with the staff, got the IV hooked up for the meds, and they listened to the baby's labour pattern. Brian had a bit of work to do via phone & email, as did I, so we were taking care of those details - and it was really relaxing and nice. We both commented on it. With all three others I arrived at the hospital in active labour, and there has always been a flurry of commotion associated with that. This was definitely nice and calm and relaxing. Yay. I laid around on the bed, because I knew too much movement might make it go faster, and we had to last 4 hrs. Things were going well! Around 11am I was getting hungry, and told Brian he should leave and go get food - might as well, since nothing is happening, and once the baby is born we won't be able to go for awhile. Good idea. He went to go find food. This wound up taking awhile as his GPS lead him astray.

Around 11:30 the pain level increased and I could tell that the frequency was ramping up too. When the labour nurse came in, I asked her if I should be timing them, she said not to worry about it...okay, well, just so you know they are getting stronger! She said she'd tell the midwives (2 on duty that day, Lorena the midwife, and Caitlin, a midwife-in-training) to come check on me, which they did. 5cm, 0 station, 90% effaced. Lorena told me they were just going out to see their last regular patient of the day, and then they'd be in with me the rest of the afternoon. She said I could get in the tub, and maybe that would stall things for a few minutes. Good plan.

Brian got back around noon - and the contractions were definitely painful at this time. I wasn't hungry anymore, and I surely wasn't comfortable. After watching me through a couple contractions, he (who has seen this before) was like "just get in the tub" - I can't, they have to be in here, you can't just get in! But I told him what they said - last patient, then in here with us, so they should be in here any minute, no worries. Well, he'd just come through the nurses station on his way back in with the food, and had seen them leaving and discussing lunch...!!! Soooo, he was like "let me just go check on something..." and left to find our labour nurse Deanna. He told her my contractions were strong now, and I wanted to get in the tub, so she called them back. They came in by around 12:15 and said I could get in the tub - so I did.

The tub is a hot tub, but for some reason, today it was not hot! Room temp at best. Having laboured in the tub with Kenna, and having a water birth with Brooks, I knew that the tub cut the pain incredibly. Well, the secret is apparently out - it's not water that cuts the pain (although it helps with other things), it's the HEAT that cuts the pain. So I was out of luck this time. The contractions were long (over a minute each) and strong. I have nothing to compare it to, because all my labours ramp up like this in a FAST way, but let me just assure you, a fast labour might be better than a slow one, but WOW do they ever hurt. There is no graduation of pain, or "reasonable" controlled escalation as there are in normal birthing patterns. The advantage is, it doesn't hurt for long, but it hurts more. Again, I don't know this from personal experience because I can't compare to slow, but this is from what I've read on the topic. Anyway, suffice it to say, my memory must be failing me, because this hurt a heck of a lot more than I remember in the past. I was struggling to find a comfortable position in the tub, and basically nothing helped. Each contraction was feeling like it could be "the one", however, they were just sitting back watching me. Usually they give you encouragement, like, "push if you feel like it" etc. - But they didn't want me to have the baby yet, so they weren't offering me anything helpful at all.

After being in the tub for 30 minutes or so, after a doozy contraction ended, I asked - how much longer? Deanna told me "I'll let you go at 1:30! Actually, 1:27, I'll call it good at 1:27!" Ok, I replied, but what time is it now? "It's about 12:50" I just looked at her, realizing that I probably couldn't make it last 40 more minutes, but I said "I'll try"...then I felt another huge contraction ramping up, and moments after saying I'll try...I didn't really try, haha! It was something I couldn't really even control - she had to come out! In that one contraction I pushed her out (and the midwives sprung into action over the side of the tub!)

There was a little commotion going on, and the midwife was saying she couldn't grab her, and stuff like that, she also the words "en caul" but they didn't register with me - I didn't know what that meant. My mind immediately went to the negative, I thought there was something wrong. After Grey's prolapsed cord and then shoulder dystocia, I thought maybe that happened again - Shoulder dystocia is a known complication of a water birth, and they make you sign wavers to that end. What I didn't know is that my water never broke - and still hadn't. She was still in her bag of waters, and it was making it hard for them to get her!

Her little hand was up at her face - as it had been in every ultrasound we had - and that is what the midwife was able to grip at last, and pull her out the rest of the way. People ask if I looked at her in the sack, and I didn't. I was too distracted. It's one of those weird moments when it's over in a second but feels like forever at the same time. They declared her born at 12:56 on one piece of paperwork, and 12:57 on another, lol. The midwife was doing her thing (clearing the sack from her, though I didn't realize it at the time) and brought her up out of the water and handed her to me. She didn't cry and opened her eyes to look at me. Lorena said "awwww, look at him!" and I immediately thought she'd noticed that it was a boy, and wowsers, I was wrong again! But then she said "wait, do we know what it is?!" and we peeked at her curled up on my chest...it's a GIRL!

Being born en caul is very rare, happening in less than 1 in 80,000 births, apparently. It's also called "being born in a veil" - which is very fitting. I didn't know that that is what it was called. One nurse was so excited about it ("she's famous out there!") and asked if that is why we named her Vale, I was like, um...I picked this name out in March...so...no. LOL.

I think because of lack of pressure with me being in the tub, and the fact that she came out in one contraction, instead of more slowly, there just wasn't the pressure to pop the sack. But whatever the reason, she was another fast and easy birth (no tearing) - water births are the best!

Brian got to cut the cord this time - the only other time he did was with Kenna - Brooks was too rushed (they were scrambling big time to catch him), and Grey's was so traumatic they didn't have time for "fun stuff". I think that's all I can remember?! Some of the first pics are posted below...

A few more things - Vale and Kenna were both born in the "blue room" and both boys in the "pink room". Vale is a Brooksie twin, because they were both water births, both 8lbs even, and both have O- blood (like Dad, while Kenna and Grey are A- like Mom). Since Brooks is the only rightie, we are thinking odds are that she'll be a rightie too, and then we'll have 2 sets of boy/girl twinsies:-)

Kenna's story is here (my longest labour/birth start to finish at almost 5hrs, she was posterior and never turned)
Brooks' here (least painful labour, shortest by far, and accidental water birth)
Grey's here (fast labour, traumatic birth)

IV for meds, all hooked up! I texted this pic to the kids at home:-)

Lets have a baby! We're ready!

The first few contractions upon arriving. I couldn't feel them yet.

First picture taken of our baby after she was born. We did skin to skin for about an hour - she wasn't warming up well, maybe because that tub she was born in was so cold?! 

Getting her weighed and measured - 8lbs even, 20ins...she looks longer than 20 - I wonder if it's because she's kind of skinny, or if she wasn't all the way stretched out when then measured?

First pic with Daddy

They took her to the nursery to warm her up under the lights. They didn't want to bathe her until she was warm. That worked like a charm. I stayed back in the room and changed and re-did my makeup (kids and pics would be happening soon!), and then joined them in the nursery. She's "bald" in the front! She has the least amount of hair of all the kids, by a long shot, because of that bald patch!

Time to get back to our room!

Sweet girl

No comments:

Post a Comment