Friday, September 12, 2014

Picturesque Birth and My Story of Labor

    Well since my 37 Week pregnancy post, so much has happened! I had my baby, a few days early too. Which was a bit of a surprise to my husband and I, since everyone said that typically the first child is late. Well our dear daughter was early! 

    It was definitely a rough labor too, but the Lord blessed us through it. First I had my bloody show and contractions started early on a Sunday morning. That night, or rather that next morning, my water broke early in the AM (all over the bathroom floor). Stupidly I woke my husband up right away, so excited that labor had officially started (right?) Ha! Boy were we wrong. 

    We had hired a doula and so I contacted her right away, we were disappointed to hear her say to get rest and just take it easy. Here we thought the baby was coming in hours but we were wrong! I guess we thought this because the hospital and doctors had warned that if my water broke we needed to get to the hospital right away. But the doula instructed us otherwise. We believed she knew best so we stayed home. 

    My contractions came fairly close together, about five minutes apart, so we called our doula. She came over, to help me through laboring at home for as long as we could. Unfortunately what my husband and I realized many hours later, but failed to think through at the time, was that I am a private person and also a mother hen at the same time. So having a stranger in our home, staying over night, I became more concerned about her comfort level and her than labor. So because of my anxiety levels, contractions eventually stopped. Meanwhile, it had been over 24 hours since my water broke (and it was continuously leaking)... so we sent the doula home so I could try to relax and get the contractions to come back.

    Soon after sending her home, my parents called in a panic. They both were getting very concerned that I had not gone to the hospital yet, by this time my husband was very concerned too. I decided it was time to go to the hospital in spite of what the doula told us to do. Thank God we did. When we got to the hospital they were shocked that I had gone 32 hours since my water had broken. They put me on antibiotic and pitocin to induce labor. They said they really wanted to avoid a csection and actually abide by my wishes so I had to induce, since labor wasn't continuing naturally. 

    I was crushed. I wanted so badly to have a natural labor, and I knew that being put on pitocin made it very hard to do, since contractions would eventually come faster and faster.

    We asked my mom to come so she could be there with me and pray. Thank God we did, because she asked all of her prayer partners to pray and helped be a support that I really needed. Mr. Picturesque of course was so supportive, but he was just trying to help me cope through the contractions. Unfortunately the doula coached me in a way that did not help with the contractions, she wanted me to groan and moan through them... but instead I just yelled. Breathing through the contractions, or lamaze, was a better coping mechanism but she did not coach me in that way. Unfortunately, like with my water breaking, she again encouraged us to do something that was not best. We trusted her, because she supposedly was trained in this area and had her Masters degree in perinatal health.  

    After an additional ten hours or so of labor in the hospital, and consistent contractions, I was so exhausted. The contractions were so close together and the pitocin increased them just as I was getting adjusted to the new wave. I couldn't take it any more. Because of this, exhausted as I was... I weakly talked to my husband about the possibility of an epidural. He knew it must be pretty bad if I was asking for this, because I desperately had wanted to have a natural birth. But by this point I had been awake for over 48 hours, and had barely eaten anything. I was weak and couldn't imagine how I was going to make it through the delivery process. 

    I talked about it with the doula, only for her to tell me that I shouldn't get an epidural. At this point she was very upset that I had gone to the hospital at all, gone on pitocin and that labor wasn't progressing the way she thought it should. So I wasn't surprised at all when she responded this way. My mom, however, had been used to fighting her and told me that it was okay. This was a big deal for my mom to tell me it was okay to get an epidural. I was raised knowing that she had delivered her children naturally and she always encouraged us to avoid medication unless we knew we couldn't make it. So her saying it was okay, meant the world to me. 

    When the anesthesiologist came in, I was 5 centimeters dilated and I was at 0 effacement. But I knew I needed some rest prior to pushing, or I wasn't going to make it through. The thing I absolutely refused to do was get a csection (unless that was the only way). So we decided to get the epidural. 

    Ironically the anesthesiologist was better at coaching me in breathing than the doula was. For the first time, I actually found I could deal with the contractions with his coaching. 

     I hope with my other children I can deliver naturally, but for this particular labor, the epidural helped me relax before the pushing began. Soon after receiving the epidural, I finally was able to rest and take a nap. Within an hour, I felt the need to push! I pushed for three hours straight without taking a break. The nurses encouraged me to take a break through a few of the contractions but I knew that I could do it. Besides if I took a break, it felt weird to sit there doing nothing when my body was telling me to push. As I said after three straight hours of pushing, I finally delivered our baby girl! I did have a 3rd degree tear, which was annoying, but eventually all healed!

     Finally we had met our baby girl and we were in love right away! It wasn't exactly what we had planned for labor, but God took over and it was beautiful. When it came to pushing, all of the hard work and pain was worth it. She is our baby girl and I can't imagine life without her and neither can my husband! 

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