Monday, May 18, 2015

Isabelle's Birth story (mostly Christy's labor story)

Isabelle's Birth Story

Here is the story of Isabelle's birth. I've come to realize, perhaps, I am a person in complete denial about being in labor and birth. She was born Monday morning, April 27th, but let me back up to the Saturday before to begin.  I attended a baby shower. When I put on my dress, I looked in the mirror and thought, "Wow! Is my belly that high and sticking out?!" But I didn't photograph it because...I don't know why.  Later that day I read John some books. As he insisted on sitting in the middle of my lap, my stomach was very uncomfortable and I wondered how I could last another 3 weeks with him sitting on my lap.  That night I visited some family and we unexpectedly ate at an oyster bar for dinner...I had a burger and a few fries. Immediately my stomach started cramping frequently, I was sick, I wondered if I could make the trip home without needing bathroom stop. I felt horrible.  John had a 24 hour bug earlier in the week, so in the middle of the night when I also started vomiting (I was already up and sick anyhow) I thought maybe I had what John had, or food poisoning. I was up a portion of every hour, cramping, contracting, emptying my body...not pretty.  The next morning I stayed home from Church and slept. I also texted 2 other moms - all of our kids had the stomach bug earlier in he week - and they both came down with throw ups, fevers, aches that day too!  So I figured, I had the flu, food poisoning, or maybe early labor but I didn't really believe the 3rd option.  But I had no fever, no aches, and after sleeping most of the day I felt great except very weak.  I went to bed thinking, "thank goodness I'm not in labor. I'm so exhausted. I'd never make it through."  I ate what I could but it wasn't appetizing or handled well by my body.

At one point Sunday, I checked my baby bump in the mirror. Unlike Saturday. It didn't look so high and sticking out. I thought it was a little strange, but knew second babies don't drop until before birth. I chalked it up to different clothes.

Monday morning, 3 am. Woke up to pee, with a contraction, like I had a million times recently, went back to bed without a second thought.
5 am. Woke again to pee, contraction, and I thought it was weird that this time, I really didn't have to pee. I said a brief thankful prayer that John was still asleep and went back to bed. 
5:02. Wake. Try to pee. Contraction. Sleep.
5:04.  Wake. Try to pee. Contraction. Noticed that it seemed like this just happened 3 times in a row really fast.  Still bleary minded, I checked on Zach, who was getting up for work (he had been banished to the guest bed when I started throwing up). He got in the shower and I decided to count contractions. 4-6 Braxton Hicks in an hour and I was supposed to go in for monitoring,  was it 2 or 3 contractions I already had? I wasn't sure. I sat through a couple more. I had to gasp and concentrate on breathing through them. Naturally, I did what every laboring woman does next and facebooked a friend about it. As I wrote about the pain level, still referring to them as BH, I realized BH contractions are not usually THIS painful, just uncomfortable.  It was maybe 5:20. By 5:30 I told Zach he couldn't go to work, we needed to drop off John and check me for monitoring first "just in case."  I threw a few last minute things in my half packed hospital bag.  Thinking past what I needed wasn't on my radar, so nothing got packed for Zach. Wife of the Year right there.  I got teary over not finding specific pants I wanted to wear. I packed John's diaper bag for his day at school/sitter.  All the while contracting regularly.  Zach put his digital watch on me so I could time them but I couldn't really operate it mentally.  Contractions were no more than 3-4 minutes apart and still very painful.  
545-6 I called the sitter, who I knew rises very early, and told her we had to go to the hospital. "Bring John now," she said, right as he started to wake. I packed him a breakfast and we rushed him into the car.

6:15ish For me, sitting down in labor is my nemesis. It makes things so much more painful. I hummed through the pain and newly forming back labor pains while Zach essentially threw John into the babysitters arms (traumatic " DADDEEEEEEE!!!" Cries followed) and drove me to the hospital. 

6:30 I estimate this is when we arrived. I asked Zach to drop me off at valet, I was in so much pain I didn't want to walk from the parking lot.  Dumb idea to leave the girl who couldn't choose pants alone. I went in the wrong entrance and couldn't find Labor and Delivery. Luckily I was headed in the right direction and as Zach came out of the elevators, he led me to be right spot. I got teary again about not being able to find the right spot. We strolled in and I was feeling a LOT of pressure with each contraction, not like a head coming out, but enough pressure that almost felt like relief.  The nurses casually called the doctor as they busily got me ready - mind you I haven't even done the pre-work of hospital check in paperwork yet- so I'm not even really in the system. Oops.  Have I been exposed to Ebola? Is that important right now? After what seems like an eternity but was maybe only a couple contractions, the doctor appears. Everyone is still moving like molasses but he checks me and I hear (for the second time in my life) " You're at 10 cm. Time to move you to delivery." 

WHAT?! AGAIN?!  So we move to the delivery room. This time I can exit the room without them prying my hands off the bars of the bed. They quickly set up the delivery room and put my legs in the stirrups, which made me extremely cranky and uncomfortable. I remember saying, "these are hurting me!" And other such nonsense that only a laboring crazy woman would say. 

I remind everyone profusely that Zach is announcing the gender. The doctor breaks my water and tells me to push and I do, with a less intense version if the grunting I made with John. Except this pain was far different. The grunt escalated to a cry, to a scream, to a panicky high pitched wail as I pathetically (his word, not mine, but I agree) looked at Zach and was screaming as high as I could.  I had no idea how I could do this again with that kind of pain. The pain with John was different, still bad, but different.  I think I had another contraction/push like this then the doctor told me he was going to inject some numbing something and give me a small episiotomy. He wouldn't say what degree, just held up his fingers.  Ok- whatever, do I even have a choice? Then he told me I could push between contractions for relief. This felt really good.  I think Zach said something about the baby coming, or seeing it, but then one big push and I happened to be looking at the doctor and I saw him lift a baby right out, up and high from between my legs. The baby was dark colored but covered, really covered, in white vernix and around the umbilical cord I saw it was a girl. "It's a girl," I said before even giving Zach a chance to see. Oops again. Sorry, Babe.

As it turns out, she was sunny side up (posterior position) which is probably why the labor felt so different and I needed to be cut.  Also why the doctor pulled her out the way that he did, which was an amazing sight I hope never to forget.  Also explains the back pain during labor.

Time of birth, 6:47 someone said. They said we checked in at 6:36 but it seemed like longer than that. Maybe 6:36 that we got to the delivery room. Whatever it was, it was fast. 

There were so many surprises at once - delivering almost 3 weeks early, the speed, etc that the gender surprise wasn't as huge as I expected.  But I'm still glad (now) that we waited, although lack of agreement on the name made it difficult because she just didn't "look" like our top choice names.  Ironically, the name Isabelle was my first choice initially in the pregnancy, I had just forgotten it in favor of other similar names.  But I love her name, and calling her Izzy, and it's a name John can easily say.  

So there it is.  Despite the episiotomy, recovery this time (last time was allegedly minor tearing) has been a lot easier.  I've been less emotional ("less" but not non-existent) and a lot more capable than previously.  Which is good because John still needs me! Amazing how our bodies do what they need to do!

Oh and so Isabelle Jean, born 4/27, weighed 6lbs 1 ounce and was 19.25 inches long.  
Now at 9 days old, she weighs 6-4 (yesterday) and her favorite activity is sleeping. I can barely get her to eat on both sides and I have to wake her at night sometimes to avoid milk supply problems. She is so different from John in so many ways.

Second post coming for John and Baby: Davenports are a family of 4 at home saga.


anna said...

Loooove it! I laughed at the pants thing. And seriously, how do you not know you're in labor? Crazy woman. I knew I wanted to DIE so I figured that was labor right? Ha! :) Back labor is the worst. Had it with both babies. Ugh. Anyways, loved the story...and that you birthed your baby 10 minutes after arriving to the hospital. ha! So nuts!!!!

Jamie said...

Another crazy birth story! And a girl! Yay! Can't wait to see a pic of Izzy :) Congrats, Davenports!

jess said...

Holy crap, you're amazing. *SMH* I just can't even. I feel like the world's biggest wimp when I compare my "labor" with either of yours.