Birth Story: Starring Chance

July 1 · 2 comments

Goodness, where to start. ¬†Oh, from the beginning I suppose ūüôā

I went to my first appointment at Woman’s Hospital. ¬†They told me my due date was July 3rd, two day before my husband’s birthday. ¬†Great timing right? ¬†Well, after doing research and discovering possible birthing options, I switched to Ochsner Medical Center. ¬†I started seeing the midwives instead of the doctors (all will be explained later). ¬†They told me my due date was June 19th… I’m thinking “Oh boy, a two week time frame that the baby could ‘show up’ and it be ‘right on time’. Great.”

Fast forward to June 2010, specifically the 19th. ¬†I’m big and round at this point and clearly about to pop.

This is an idea of how big I got

 

I had many people ask me when I was due…. You should have seen the look on their faces when I said “today.” A clerk at a nearby gas station almost flipped out on me thinking I was getting ready to go to the hospital because I was in labor. ¬†It was hilarious. ¬†However, in my mind, I was wanting that day to be the day he came and it was disappointing as each day went by.

I discussed with the midwives ideas to help naturally trigger labor and the potential of having to induce the closer I got to 40 weeks. ¬†I had a not-so-nice doctor strip my membranes one week. ¬†Then, a few weeks later, we scheduled a day for a midwife to strip my membranes, I went walking around the block, and I had a chiropractor hit those “trigger points” that help start labor. ¬†Talk about my body being in over-drive. ¬†Suggestion: don’t do it.

Alright, before I get to the juicy stuff, I want to let you know what I wanted out of my birth. ¬†First off, I found that there is a huge difference in mentality between a midwife and a doctor. ¬†Doctors are by the book. ¬†If you don’t have your baby between 38-40 weeks, you are in trouble. ¬†Midwives are like moms that have given birth a million times. ¬†They know what a woman’s body is capable of handling and they are willing (if mom and baby are healthy) to allow a pregnancy to go to 42 weeks. ¬†Also, regarding expenses, they are cheaper, but we didn’t choose the midwives for that reason. ¬†Second, I wanted a natural birth. ¬†Yes, that means I didn’t want an epidural at any point of my labor and delivery. ¬†I personally believe the woman’s body was meant for delivering in such a way. ¬†You know back in the day with Adam and Eve, there wasn’t an anesthesiologist there to keep her from pain. ¬†Anesthesia wasn’t used until 1842 (yes, I did research). ¬†I figured millions of other women in the past had done it and lived and I had friends who had lived to tell about it, so I could do it too. ¬†I wanted to be conscious and aware when my son made his entrance so we could have that unbreakable bond. ¬†To continue, I also wanted a water birth. ¬†Knowing the baby lived in water in my belly and would be born in water (quickly removed of course), I knew that it would be the easiest transition for him. ¬†I also wanted my husband to catch the baby and cut the cord as well. ¬†Basically, I chose the hospital that would let me “do my thing” without staying on top of me or trying to control the situation. ¬†One benefit of Ochsner was that I was allowed to walk the halls with a wireless baby monitor if I chose to.

I guess long story short, I wanted a hospital that supported what I wanted for my birth. ¬†I wanted natural, I wanted control, and I wanted freedom. ¬†Ochsner gave me that and more, with Woman’s I couldn’t have that even if I paid them extra.

Now for the juicy stuff. I was 41 weeks pregnant and I wasn’t having any signs of labor, so we decided that we would induce. ¬†I would go in after the church service that night on June 27th, I would be induced, then I would go home to rest and come back when contractions started. That didn’t happen. ¬†I went in at 9:30pm ¬†to be induced, however, when I was checked about an hour later, I was 4 centimeters and 90% effaced which meant no induction was needed and I was stuck at the hospital until I had the baby.

Pardon the undies, but this is me at the hospital.

Ugh.  I walked the halls a lot (a lot= numerous hours) and I kept dilating, but I had hardly any contractions.  About 3 hours later from the first check, I was 6-7 cm and still 90% effaced and no contractions.  At one point, we took a nap because nothing was happening and we were exhausted.

Sleepy, sleepy ūüôā

Sometime early that morning, like before the sun was up, they checked me again and since I hadn’t had any progress, we decided to break my water. ¬†Here is where I say it’s all down hill from here (minus the negative connotation). ¬†After 8 am is when I started having contractions and they aren’t the kind you start off with, they matched the stage of labor I was in. ¬†My contractions got worse and worse. I would have a long, hard one and then a short, easier one right after back-to-back with maybe a few seconds in between. ¬†I did use the tub which helped the pain and it was relaxing, but I started throwing up and I hated being in the tub when the nurse came to check me EVERY 3O MINUTES. ¬†That, my friends, was annoying.

Us in the tub & our Doula, Rene'

(What is a doula? Click here to find out)

At about 2 pm, I couldn’t take the contractions anymore and I was stressing out and I didn’t feel like I was doing it right. ¬†I decided that I would get an epidural, but I wasn’t happy about getting it because I felt that meant I gave in to the pain. ¬†Dakota started getting nervous because he had gotten a bad feeling about it. ¬†He was begging me to not get it and he was crying. ¬†He called an older friend of his to sort things out. ¬†He was upset and scared, but I got it anyway. I resolved in my mind that although I was sacrificing the natural labor I wanted, I felt that by getting the epidural I would be more relaxed and I could push and still be awake when the baby was born. ¬†And being awake was my biggest priority. ¬†I wanted to see a baby being pushed out of me, I wanted to see my husband’s face, I wanted to hear the excitement of the people around me as the baby was born. ¬†I was determined to have all of this. ¬†In actuality, none of this happened. ¬†Shortly after getting the epidural, my body did relax, but the baby’s heart tones started dropping. ¬†They gave me an oxygen mask to help push air into my lungs for the baby, but it wasn’t working. ¬†I saw Dakota crying and I knew what I must look like to him. ¬†I was trapped in the bed with all kind of wires and tubes coming out of me. ¬†I was holding an oxygen mask that was too big for my face with the urgency to get air to the baby so he could live. ¬†He looked so helpless standing to me. ¬†I knew by watching him cry and seeing the tears in his eyes that I had to be brave for us because somehow I knew that the inevitable was about to happen. ¬†The midwife on duty confirmed it when she asked me to push and he wasn’t coming like he should have been. ¬†I tried again, but I saw it in her eyes when she was feeling for him. ¬†She said they were going to have to do an emergency C-section. ¬†Although I was mentally prepared, it still made my heart sink to hear. ¬†I knew it was worse for Dakota. ¬†They ran me to the operating room; switched me from the bed to the operating table. ¬†I didn’t want to be awake during this part. ¬†I remember the anesthesiologist-assistant-person (who I really didn’t like because he was a bit of a jerk through this whole ordeal) was by my head at the table, some other random people, the doctor we didn’t like, and a midwife we trusted. ¬†The epidural they had given me earlier hadn’t fully taken effect (AKA I could still feel them pinching me) so they had to give me something to put me under. ¬†As I lay there and the seconds seemed to drag by, I started thinking and, I’m not going to lie, I was scared. However, since there was nothing I could do and I had to trust these people who were supposed experts, I surrendered and put it in God’s hands and I was asleep.

At 5:27 pm on June 28, 2010 my son was born.  He was 20.4 inches long and weighed 6 lbs and 9 oz. He was wheeled in the room before me so Dakota got to hold him first.

Dakota holding the baby & yes, my husband is crying

I was still asleep when they wheeled me into the room. ¬†I remember waking up with some thick blanket thing that was blowing warm air on me and I was cold. ¬†I looked to see where Dakota and the baby were. ¬†Dakota came over and he said “James Peter”. ¬†I shook my head, I didn’t think that name fit him. ¬†I wanted to tell him the name that I wanted, but because my jaws were incredibly sore from having them held open during the surgery, I couldn’t talk. ¬†I did the next best thing and spelled it out with my fingers. ¬†So, from that point on, my son was James Chance ¬†ūüôā ¬†It seemed fitting to me considering the risk we were taking with the epidural.

After I had finally come to, Dakota told me what had gone wrong. ¬†The umbilical cord had been wrapped around Chance’s neck and abdomen and so when I pushed, it constricted around him which prevented him from coming through.

I do regret not having the birth that I wanted, but I’m glad I had a healthy and handsome baby boy. ¬†I do wish that I hadn’t allowed my family to walk in to my room, especially my mother. ¬†It’s not something I would ever do again. ¬†Having a baby is a sacred and intimate thing. ¬†However, I have learned and I will do my best to go for a natural labor for Evelyn.

 

What are/were your plans for delivering?  Were you scared?  Is there anything you regret?

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