Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kaitlyn's Birth Story

Friday morning, July 30th, I was not a happy camper. I was 2 days overdue, and had not slept more than an hour or two the previous 2 nights due to having constant contractions and so much pain. I was scheduled to be induced the next day, so I didn't want to go to my regular Doctor appointment that morning. And then since we were going, I was hoping that for some reason my Doctor would decide that I needed to be admitted to the hospital, so that I would not have to go home from the appointment to suffer through another day and night of contractions before returning to the hospital the next morning.

My appointment was at 10:30 in the morning, and I started with a 20 minute non-stress test to moniter Kaitlyn's heartbeat and my contractions. Then I was moved into a room to see my Doctor. She came into the room as I was getting up on the examining table. And then I felt my water break. At first I wasn't positive what it was, but then it just kept coming and coming, until I had made a huge mess :) I remember just feeling so relieved that I didn't have to go home for another day. We were also very happy that my water broke with my Doctor right there, and that it had not happened at home where we would have to deal with the mess!

Then they wheeled me downstairs to Labor and Delivery and we checked into the hospital! I got into my room at noon and was 5 cm dialated. Paul called both sets of our parents so they could start heading our way. Paul's parents began their 3 hour drive to the hospital. My parents arrived quickly so that my mom could be with us throughout the labor and delivery.

It seemed so unreal that we were finally in the hospital. My nurse asked me what I planned to do for pain, and we answered that we wanted to try to go without pain medication, or at least wait as long as possible to have an epidural. A few minutes later I was telling Paul that maybe I really did want to have an epidural! My contractions had become very painful and I was quite scared about what was all still to come.

As painful and scary as it was, things continued to move quickly. After a few hours I was up to 7 cm, and then it was not long before I was 9. I spent most of the time sitting on a birthing ball rocking back and forth. Paul was standing in front of me and I held onto him for dear life. I kept waiting for my nurse to ask again if I wanted an epidural, but she never did. So I never got one.

I was getting pretty tired, as I was not able to relax at all between contractions. I knew I was close to starting to push, and finally decided to get into the bed. But I was really scared to start pushing! I was laying on my side, legs clamped together, and clinging onto the bedrails. The nurse said, "You know, you do have to open your legs to get this baby out!" I didn't care, I was really scared to push!

Without my consent my body started to push, and I finally agreed to open my legs. I started pushing at 5 pm. I didn't feel like my pushing was making any progress but my nurse and Doctor kept assuring me that I was. It seemed like they were telling me for an hour that they could see the head and it was so close to coming out.

With every contraction I endured and every push I made my nurse and then my Doctor would tell me what a good job I was doing, how strong I was, and how much progress I was making. Despite the pain, sometimes I would find it amusing, knowing that they said this to everyone, no matter how good they were doing. But even though I knew they were saying these things whether they were true or not, their encouragement helped a lot.

Paul also did a great job encouraging me. Many times I told him, "I can't do this anymore." and he would say, "You ARE doing it." I am so glad that he was there to help me.

Finally a head came out, and then a whole body. I'm not quite sure how to describe the feeling. She was born at 6:40 pm. I heard a little cry, and then she was placed on my chest. As my Doctor delievered my placenta, gave me a few stitches, and whatever else she was doing to cause so much pain, I tried to just focus on the face of the little one I was holding.

I held Kaitlyn and nursed her for over an hour before Paul's parents and my Dad came into the room (my mom was already there). They all got to hold her and then watch as my nurse gave her a bath and weighed her. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, 20.6 inches long. After measuring her head my nurse said, "That's a big head!"

It was very special to have our parents there to share those moments with us, and they then left about 9:00 pm. Paul walked them down the hall, proudly carrying his new daughter. My nurse then helped me get out bed and into the bathroom, which was not an easy trip. But after I survived getting out of bed and going to the bathroom I felt so good. The pain my body had been in for weeks was gone, and they say you get a rush of feel-good hormones after delivery too. I couldn't believe how great I felt. I was walking around my room, and eating my dinner standing up.

Paul and I spent some time with our daughter and then we attempted to settle down for the night. We put Kaitlyn in her bassinet between us and tried to sleep. After a few minutes Paul whispered, "Are you awake?" I was still wide awake so we talked for awhile longer. Then he fell sleep for several hours. I was wide awake so I figured if I wasn't going to sleep I might as well be holding my daughter.

So I brought little Kaitlyn into bed with me and held her through the night. She felt so wonderful in my arms, as they had been aching to hold her for weeks. As I held her I thought about all the events of the day and how everything had gone even better than we could have planned it. I was so happy that I did not have to be induced, and that my body was able to do what it was made to do on its own. I couldn't believe our luck in how my water broke right when my Doctor came into the room, and it happened in a place where we didn't have to clean it up. I was amazed that everything progressed quickly with no complications. I was blessed that all of our parents were able to come and share the event with us. And I just couldn't believe that I gave birth! And to a 9 pound baby with no epidural! I had done it! There were so many things to be thankful for. As I kept going over them I thought about the Bible verse that says that Mary pondered many things in her heart after Jesus was born, and I felt that was what I was doing as I held Kaitlyn though the night.

Well, that's the story of Kaitlyn's birthday! Thanks for letting me share it with you! I am so thankful and feel so blessed to have such a beautiful little girl!


Melissa said...

Awesome, Beth! You did an amazing job! I'm so glad labor started on it's own and that you didn't have to be in the hospital long before she came. Your story takes me back... Such a wonderful moment to finally hold your baby.

Jennifer T. said...

I love "listening" to you speak so many wonders of being a first-time mommy. What a beautifully written blog. Someday, little Kaitlyn will be reading it before she has her own little girl. There is so much to ponder after a little miracle is born. Well done. Congratulations and best wishes to you three!