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Old 06-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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Mommy to Eli and Baby#2
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The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

I've been meaning to write this for six months but just haven't managed to get around to it until today.

I had a healthy and relatively uneventful pregnancy, aside from some pretty painful sciatica and some hip pain. Baby girl had been head down from quite early on and was growing well. Our son had come at 39 weeks and 5 days, so I was expecting this baby to make her appearance between 39 and 41 weeks, and planned to work until just past 39 weeks.

My labour with my first was precipitous and was a really traumatic experience. I thought I was in early labour when I was actually in transition and totally lost my focus. They yelled at me not to push when my body wanted to, then by the time they were ready, baby was having decelerations and the OB cut a third degree episiotomy without telling me what he was doing. It was awful. I felt like I had been worked on like a trauma victim. I felt like I'd come in after a car accident and when they'd finished working on me, they went and got a random baby out of a closet and handed him to me. The whole thing felt so frantic and disconnected, and it took a while before DS felt like my baby rather than just a baby.

I spoke to my family doctor about wanting to avoid a repeat of that experience. He mentioned inducing and I said I was not comfortable with that since there was no medical reason to do so and it would make interventions more likely, not less. He was generally supportive but I had to meet with the doctor who supervises all obstetric cases. The first and only time I saw her, she recommended induction and when I declined, said it might be dangerous to go into labour naturally because the baby could be born in "an unfavorable environment". Really? Like... my house? We live about 40 minutes from hospital and it's not like we're in a third world country with unsanitary conditions.

I decided at about halfway through to switch to midwives so that in the worst case, they could come to me. I found a practice that could take me and started seeing them. I had to schedule visits so that I could meet all five midwives and finally saw the last one at my 38 week check.

I was due on December 13th, so I went ahead and got our family tickets on a local Santa Train for December 1st because my son was really excited about it. I was just over 38 weeks at that point and had been having Braxton Hicks since about halfway through the pregnancy. I told DH that if I had any the morning of, I wouldn't be getting on the train because it was an hour ride and I did NOT want to deliver a baby in front of some guy in a Santa suit.

The day came and when I went to the bathroom that morning, there was a bit of the plug and a slight tinge of pink. I figured I'd wait and see how the day went before deciding. I had maybe one or two very mild twinges the whole morning, and I decided it should be okay to go on the train. DS had a great time, so I'm glad baby waited!

That night, my son had a fever. He is a fever guy so he spiked up to 104.5, though he wasn't feeling too bad. He had had a fever earlier in the week and been checked for a secondary infection, so we were sure it was viral but I was up checking on him through most of the night.

The next morning, DS was still hot, so I decided we'd better go to the grocery store and pick up more Tylenol since we were low. DH headed to work and I took DS shopping around 10:30. We picked up the basics so we were there for maybe an hour. I was having mild cramping off and on. It wasn't painful or anything. DS kept wanting to get into the cart and then out, so I figured it was all the lifting. I decided to go home and take a bath to see if they would go away since that usually worked when my Braxton Hicks contractions would get going.

On the drive home, I was hit with one strong contraction. It HURT but was very short. All of a sudden, I realized this might be the start of something so I started timing. Or I tried. The whole rest of the ride, I didn't have a single contraction. Then, as I pulled into the driveway I had a very mild cramping. It didn't hurt at all - it was more a light tightening feeling - and was so mild that I couldn't pinpoint the start or end.

Once we were inside, I asked our friend/boarder, J., to watch DS while I took a bath. I also texted DH to let him know that I'd had one good contraction. I didn't have any more in the bath which was disappointing. I did feel like I wanted to relax on my knees with my arms hanging on the edge, which really should have been a clue! I was just about ready to drain the tub when I had one more painful contraction, which gave me hope that something was brewing.

I got dressed and went downstairs to time the contractions. I had told the midwife I would call when I had two strong contractions but decided to have lunch and see what happened because the contractions went right back to light tightening that wasn't even close to being a one on a pain scale.

But I timed the cramps and had four in a row that were ten minutes apart, so I went ahead paged the midwife. As I was waiting for her to call back, I had three contractions about five minutes apart but they still didn't hurt. Luckily, the midwife on call was M., whom I had seen a few days prior for my 38 week check so my history was fresh in her mind. I was still convinced it was Braxton Hicks/false labour and would stop any time but she said they were already at the hospital with another labouring mom, so why didn't I come in just in case?

I called DH and filled him in, and apologized for having him leave for what was surely a false alarm.

J and I gathered a few things and put DS in the car. I had been planning to drop him off with friends, but randomly decided to just bring him. Not sure whether it was because I thought we'd be sent home or because I subconsciously knew that there wasn't time...

J drove and I called my mom to let her know what was going on. My brother also called so I talked to him for a few minutes. He wanted to know what labour was like! Not the time, buddy!

The contractions continued to come at about 3-4 minute intervals. By the time we were ten minutes into the drive, I was convinced that it was the real thing even though it didn't hurt yet, so I texted DH to let him know.

Then the contractions started to come closer together and were longer and more painful. I stopped timing since there was no need but could still talk through for a while.

By the time we were halfway, the contractions were painful enough that I was needing to concentrate through them. I felt really good, though, and just quietly breathed through each one. I didn't feel like it was too much and I could really tell that the pain was productive so I just focused on the idea of opening a path for baby.

DS was asleep and J was driving fast but not dangerously fast. I was pretty sure we'd make it even though the labour was really rolling by then. I did call DH one last time when we were about 15 minutes from the hospital and told him that things were progressing quickly. He said he was about 20 minutes behind us. Then I had to hang up because I was past the point of talking or really dealing with the outside world at all.

We were about five minutes from the hospital when I began to feel baby move down into the birth canal with each contraction. After the third such contraction, I felt a pop and knew my water had broken but she was so well engaged that nothing came out. I didn't bother to mention any of this to J until later because there was no point in freaking him out. She was right there but I didn't feel the urge to push yet so I was sure we'd be okay.

We pulled up and parked right up front. I got out and had a small trickle of fluid. As soon as I was standing and walking, I could really feel how low she was. J got DS out of the car while I walked in and asked for labour and delivery. The receptionist started talking about registering and I cut her off. This baby was coming FAST. No registering, just a wheelchair because if I was going to have to walk to L&D at that point, I was pretty sure she would be born in the hallway!

They grabbed me a chair and J put DS on my lap, then rolled us through the hospital, which was very dramatic. We came around the corner and there were the two midwives, M. and N., sitting at the nurses station, having a coffee. I rolled up and between contractions managed to say, "It's real. Let's go!"

They directed me to a room and started getting things together. I asked for a gown and N asked whether I wanted to try to give a urine sample or not. I said I'd give it a shot and went into the bathroom. I got my pants off but gave up on the gown after that. As soon as I sat down on the toilet, my body started pushing. I called for J to take DS out to wait for DH and let the midwives know I was feeling pushy. N came in and confirmed that the head was right there. She sort of kept her hand there while we moved to the bed just in case.

They checked baby's heart rate and couldn't get a great read due to her position but what they could get looked good. M. asked to do a quick cervical check - the only one I had with them, unless you count N spotting me on the way to the bed - and confirmed that I was complete. I was sitting sort of semi-reclined and felt comfortable like that, so I was relieved that nobody mentioned laying down or stirrups.

I started pushing whenever I felt the urge and rested between. I had been quiet through the whole car ride because I really go inside my head during labour but now that I was having pushy contractions, I found it helpful to vocalize through them. The midwives were at the bottom of the bed, ready to catch but were very quiet and calm. It was so different than the atmosphere when I delivered my son. They didn't tell me when to push or say anything unless I addressed them, and then were just encouraging.

Through this whole part of the labour, I was talking to baby in my head, saying her name and encouraging her to be born. I felt so connected to her, another big difference from my last birth. I felt baby start to crown and N went to get some warm washcloths to apply to the perineum, which was awesome.

Around this point, DH burst into the room. I was glad he made it in time but honestly, I had been too focused on the task at hand to miss him much!

M. encouraged me to just breathe for a bit to allow things to stretch and I did try but I was feeling really done. I just wanted her out. I remember clearly thinking that it couldn't be worse than the episiotomy with DS, so I went ahead and pushed. About three pushes and out she came!

Ivy was born at 2:27 on December 2nd, 2012, just an hour and eleven minutes after I called the midwife about what I thought was false labour!

They put her straight on my chest and lightly rubbed her down with a blanket, then gave her a clean blanket and a hat. She was crying right away and had a full head of dark brown hair. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before cutting it.

M. recommended pitocin because there was a bit of bleeding (I had a second degree tear) and the labour had been so fast, they wanted to make sure everything was okay, and I agreed. I delivered the placenta shortly after that.

One very healing thing about this birth - everything the midwives did, they explained why and asked for consent. They never talked down to me or pressured. They were never frantic and kept everything very relaxed. It really felt like they were there to support me, not manage me.

N. left to see to the other mom who was ready to deliver, while M. stayed and stitched me up. I held Ivy skin to skin while M got set up and the baby did latch and nurse a little but she was understandably shell-shocked. I opted to have some nitrous during the repair, so Daddy got some time with Ivy. After that, Ivy was ready to nurse again, so we did that for a while. I asked the midwife if she needed to take her to finish the newborn exam (they had checked her on my chest right after birth but hadn't weighed her or anything yet) but she said that there was no rush and she would be at the nurses station whenever we were ready.

We actually cuddled for an hour or so. J came in with DS for a quick look and then took him home. We called family and gave them the news. My mom had gone to pick up my sister, so we decided to have Ivy checked before they arrived. M came back and weighed her - 7lbs 6 oz, almost a pound smaller than her brother! She was perfect.

My mom and sister visited for a while, then left to go get DS, who came to say goodbye to "his baby". My mom offered to take him to her place for a sleepover until he got over his virus.

We stayed the night to appease DH but went home in the morning. I did have to send DH home to get the baby's bag because I had been so sure it was false labour that I hadn't bothered to bring it!

My recovery was so much better than the last time. I was never in the same kind of pain as I was after the episiotomy. I did overdo it on the third day because I just felt so good! So I was very sore after that but there is really no comparison.

Overall, Ivy's birth was a great experience. It did make me realize just how awful DS's birth had been, though. Until Ivy was born, I just assumed that having a baby was a horrible experience. I'm so glad that she came along to show me how wonderful birth can be!

A few pictures...

About an hour old:

Meeting big brother:

Last weekend at the drive-in, 6.5 months old:


Mama to Eli (01/10) and Ivy (12/12)

Last edited by Mommy to Eli and Baby#2; 06-20-2013 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:28 AM   #2
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Re: The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

Great job mama! She's a beautiful baby.
Aren't midwives great? It's so much more of a "team" thing with them - they're helping you and coaching you and letting you make decisions, not telling you what to do and doing things TO you.
Me DH married for almost 14 years, parents to 7 small people, so far.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Awww, Congrats!! I had a precipitous birth for our second... It's what made me want a home birth! So glad you got midwives who were so great! She's beautiful!
Katie- desperately loving Jesus sahm to A (7yrs), M(5yrs),
(3yr) a newbie R & married to my best friend B
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

Thanks! We think she's gorgeous but we're admittedly biased.

I will definitely be going with midwives if/when we have another and am trying to get DH on-board with a home birth. I have a strict no-births-in-cars rule!
Mama to Eli (01/10) and Ivy (12/12)
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

congrats mama! i had a precipitous delivery with my first (with an epidural) and i had a similar feeling of being completely disconnected.

with my dd, i had a natural hospital birth (although induced thanks to my stupid bp) and felt much , much more in control and connnected to DD!

absolutely agree with your last sentence.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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Re: The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

Oh, look at those eyelashes! So pretty! Congrats on the amazing birth and thank you for sharing your story!
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: The long story of a fast labour: Ivy's birth story

What a great story! She is such a cutie
Fiancée to Jason
Mama to Lili, 9, Alex, 6, and Oliver, born at home on 12/4/13
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