Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Labor that Wasn't - Birth Story

I had an appointment with my certified nurse midwife yesterday. **No, I'm not pregnant. Thank goodness.** I just needed to go in for that yearly check-up that I've already postponed for over a year. I needed to have my thyroid checked again too, talk about my weird feet, how I don't eat enough vegetables or exercise regularly and how much I love my IUD. You know, that appointment.

I arrived rather early and saw to my delight that my midwife was about 20 minutes behind schedule. I got cozy in the waiting room and settled in to read my book. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when the nurse called me right back. Seriously! I just hate when they're so efficient.

I had my last four babies with the midwives at this clinic and I usually saw Claudia for my regular appointments so we've become quite friendly over the years. Claudia and I spent an hour visiting yesterday. We talked about my health, our kids and our similar interest in books (we both loved Udall's The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint). As she went over my past health history again and entered into a new computer program, we reminisced about my delivery of Lilly.

Since I'm listening to Lilly whine right now and need to be reminded of how sweet she once was/could be again, I'll tell you the story. If you actually know me in real life, you've probably definitely heard the story before. (Especially if you happened to attend book club last night. Since no one read the book, we discussed my appointment and medical history instead.)

My stab-in-the-dark, best guess for a due date was late June. As June passed and we moved into the hotter days of July, I was getting anxious to have that wiggly little baby. My feet were uncomfortably swollen, of course.

Utah Dad was about to go out of town on business and I was staying at my in-law's home to be closer to the hospital (I was concerned about the hour drive from home since I had Thomas in two hours). On Friday, I saw Deb, a CNM at the clinic. I was dilated to a five and she stripped my membranes. She was on-call at the hospital the next day, so she told me to come back in so she could see if I had progressed.

I went in to the hospital to see Deb on Saturday afternoon. I was dilated to a 6 now but still not contracting and while she said she could go ahead and admit me, I didn't want to spend unnecessary time in the hospital. Even though she said she would break my water, I am nutty natural and didn't want too much intervention. She sent me out walking.

Utah Dad and I walked the halls of the hospital until that got excessively boring and then we went shopping. After walking around the store for a few hours, I was exhausted, so we went back to my in-law's house.

Sunday morning I woke up disappointed that I hadn't gone in to labor during the night. I was talking to my mom on the phone and she told me to go back to the hospital.

I was a little embarrassed to walk into Labor and Delivery and not be in labor. In my earlier pregnancies I had to convince the nurses in the triage that I was laboring enough to be admitted. They were always shocked when they finally checked and discovered I was already dilated to an 8. Duh.

Claudia was the midwife on call and Deb had filled her in on my progress (she was shocked and worried that I hadn't come back after my "walk").

I was now dilated to a 7. Claudia insisted that I be admitted to the hospital at this point. Utah Dad and I settled in to a room. I read a book - Thunderstruck by Eric Larson (it's good. I'm actually reading Larson's latest book-In The Garden of Beasts right now.) and visited with Claudia and the nurses. I would have contractions when I walked but they would all but stop when I sat down to rest.

Finally, after several hours Claudia suggested that she break my water. I relented and consented. She broke my water. I walked in to the bathroom. Walked out and nearly had the baby on the floor.

Yesterday as we visited, Claudia laughed as she recalled, "I yelled, hey dad, you better get over here if you're going to catch this baby."

A very sweet, darling little baby, that didn't whine so much back then.

I was so huge! I tell you, I got positively gigantic during pregnancy. Please excuse the pictures. I've tried hard to forgive UtahDad for his lack of photography skills. (These aren't too bad. They're the only ones that aren't completely blurry.)


Ammon and Jen said...

Wow! It sounds like you and I go/don't go into labor the same way. The waiting around is a pain, and the discomfort of technically being in labor (but not really) for 3-4 weeks is super lame, but once things kick in, I can't complain about 2 hour deliveries either. We have more in common than Eagle Mtn. and books... :)

Stacey said...

What a wonderful birth story! I'm a nutty natural too and I love reading positive birth stories! Thanks for sharing yours!

Laura@livingabigstory said...

Isn't it fun to remember the thrill of meeting the little ones ... especially when we're trying so hard not to go crazy in the moment?!

Mom of 12 said...

So cute! I love birth stories. I've been putting mine up slowly, but I still have a long way to go...

New Born Flowers said...

I also love birth stories, I am feeling very broody! I can't wait to have a 3rd child! Thanks for sharing!