Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Rest of the Story

I realize that not everyone is interested in birth stories, but I LOVE them, and I think that Jude's is a particularly good one. I'll do what I can to give you the whole story without getting too gory. If you're squeamish about labor/birth/women's bodies, though, you probably want to skip down to the bottom of this post, where there are cute photos of the baby.
So, on Thursday morning I woke up at a little before 6 a.m. with a contraction that I was pretty sure right away was the real thing. A few minutes later, I felt a strange pop in my belly, and I wondered "did my water just break?" It being 6 a.m. and all, I just laid there wondering and didn't get up. I downloaded Contraction Master for the iphone and started timing the contractions I was having, which were about a minute long and 5-7 minutes apart. After an hour of those bad boys, I woke up Brooke and told him I thought I was in labor. He said something to make me laugh and that was when I felt a little gush of fluid. I stood up to go to the bathroom, and there was no question- I was definitely leaking a lot of amniotic fluid.
So I called the hospital and said "I'm pretty sure my water has broken, but my contractions are still pretty manageable. Should I come right in, or can I take a shower first?" The nurse on the other end of the line asked about the color of the fluid and whether the baby was still moving, and then said I could take a shower. So I got in the shower while Brooke got Isobel up and dressed. We ate breakfast, checked to make sure we had everything for the hospital, etc., and then left. All the while I was having contractions which were definitely painful and progressive, but not unbearable.
We got to the hospital at about 8:30. In triage they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and checked to make sure my water had really broken, then told me I was dilated to a 4 or 5. The nurse said "looks like you're staying!" Brooke left to take Isobel to our friends' house, the Buchanans, where Isobel would be hanging out. I told him to stop and get a snack because I thought I'd be laboring for a while and he'd need sustenance. HA! The contractions were definitely more serious now, and I was starting to question my "try for a natural birth" ideas.
Anyway, I was assigned a room and got up there at about 9:30 a.m. As I was being wheeled into the room, I had a really intense contraction that made me feel nauseated. I thought "this is weird- I thought nausea was a Transition-stage type thing." But I felt better with the next one as I stood and paced the room. During that next contraction, my nurse came in and asked me to get into bed whenever that one was over so that she could start an IV. I did, and she tried to start the IV but apparently the veins in my hands are full of valves and things were difficult for her. While she poked around in both hands my contractions were starting to come very quickly, they hurt A LOT, and I was extremely uncomfortable sitting immobile in the bed.
This is where things start to get fuzzy. I know that my nurse called in another nurse to help with the IV, but by that point these contractions were VERY painful, I couldn't hold still, and I couldn't help moaning. I remember asking to get out of bed, but they were still trying to get an IV in. It felt like the contractions didn't stop. They were like waves, coming right on top of each other, not stopping and then starting again like the earlier ones. I couldn't process it at the time, but looking back this is definitely when I was in transition. I couldn't believe the pain, and I couldn't think about anything else. I was pretty out of it and definitely making some noise, but all the while the nurses were STILL trying to put in the IV.
Suddenly, along with all the pain, I felt a strong urge to PUSH. I didn't think I could control that urge, and I said "I'm gonna have to push!" My nurse checked me and said to the other nurse "She's complete." It's really blurry in my memory, but they must have called the doctor in at that point. All I can really remember is the PAIN and the discomfort of trying not to push. Brooke came in around that time and one of the nurses said "you're about to have a baby!" He says I was screaming when he came in, but I think it was probably more like very, very loud moaning. About a minute later my doctor got there, and a minute or two after that they were putting little Jude on my chest, at 10:10 a.m.

I was so out of it from the whole experience, I couldn't really even process what was happening at first. He was so small, and he was peeing. Dr. Marshall offered to let Brooke cut the cord, and Brooke handed the scissors to me so that I could do it (I love you, Brooke). Jude was there! I couldn't believe it! I kept thinking "how bizarre, he's already here."
I never even pushed. I was trying all along to resist pushing, and I guess it's a good thing I did because if I had pushed when I first got that urge, Brooke would have missed the birth of his own son.

He weighed 6 lbs., 12 oz., and was 19.5 inches long. He's a wonderful baby- he's enthusiastic about nursing, and when he's not nursing he's sleeping or looking around calmly. He hardly ever cries and he seems so patient and laid-back. I hope all of these great personality traits are really him and not just the sleepy newborn phase.
We all love him so much and can't wait to watch him grow up. Actually, to be honest I keep thinking "He's so perfect, I wish he could stay just like this." I never felt that way about Isobel because I was always so stressed out about everything. Now I really understand why people say the second baby is easier. Not just easier, but more enjoyable. I can really ENJOY how much I love him this time because I have the confidence and perspective that I didn't have with Isobel.

(he was the talk of the nursery in his fashionable babylegs. One of the nurses teased me because she thought they were too girly- she called him little Richard Simmons. Ha!)
And that's the rest of the story.


MillerNews said...

What a great birth story!! I have to agree that going natural was the best choice I made and I'm so glad you had a great experiance! Your the best! You should read my birth story if you haven't! :0)

Claire Cramer said...

So, so, so awesome. Go you!

Casey Joy said...

Wow! I didn't even know you did it natural.I love birth stories. I love love those baby legs are they aren't to girly!

krudlow said...

I'm so proud of you! What was the biggest advantage that you experienced with going natural? Jude is such a handsome little guy. :)

Isa said...

So they do exist. Inspiring birth stories. So the whole thing took, what, 4 hours! I want THAT, please please, pretty please...

Hugs to the whole family.

The babylegs are (still) so awesome. :)

littlemisspretty said...

I LOVE IT!! I hope I have a birth similar to that, since you know the story of the last one. He is too adorable, and he does look like Isobel.
Thanks for sharing you amazing women!

Missy said...

Wow! You are amazing! Having seen many births (live and on video) I have to say it sounds like you handled transition very well! But it can be so disconcerting (to put it mildly) when things are happening quickly and you're not sure what's going on. I hope you're enjoying the great recovery that typically follows a natural birth. Jude is just adorable, and I love his name! Good job!

Nicole said...

i love the whole story, and that you've got new photos.

i can't wait for april to come to meet him!

Andrea said...

Wow, he's like the cutest newborn I've ever seen (and that includes my own kids). :-D Congrats!

Grericag said...

Congratulations Brooke & Christina! It's fun to check out your blog! What an awesome birth story - so fast!!! I really hope our next baby comes faster than Kira did (she's 18 mos. now). I call it the cervix of steel - 30 hour labor, induced after 9 days overdue, no epidural...but totally worth it :) They say that after the first baby, deliveries typically go faster, so reading your story was very inspiring to me! You guys have 2 adorable little kids now! That's great that Jude is such an easy going baby- what a sweetie. Take care! ~Erica (Paul) Gardner

krista said...

What a great story and good job going natural!! I wanted to try it with Christian but then a soon as the pain started, got the epidural. I've heard that the recovery is a lot easier going natural. Jude is so adorable! I love the babylegs! We hope you are all doing well!