This is Aiden's birth story, I hesitated posting it because not all my friends and family are interested in this kind of stuff, but it ain't about you! LOL I'm proud of what I did to get my little man here so I'm sharing.
Aiden Baris was born November 17th at 6:32pm. In the water like I hoped, and I think it went just the way I wanted it to. He was 7lbs 7oz and 19 3/4in long.
Monday morning I woke up around 4am feeling some contractions moving through my body. I thought these were probably just some bothersome Braxton hicks and didn’t get my hopes up, tried to get back to sleep. But when I couldn’t I decided to get up and do something for a bit to see if they would stop. I piddled around on the computer for a bit, sitting on my birth ball, and trying to ignore the contractions. I started timing a few just to see, and they were pretty consistently 4-5 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. Around 4:45 Baris’s alarm clock went off and I thought I had better tell him we could be having a baby today, but I wasn’t sure. It was weird to tell him that, since I still wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to get his hopes up. We got up and had some pancakes for breakfast around 5 or 5:15. I tried to sit at the table but that was no good, so I stood and ate my breakfast (most of it) and we went up stairs. The contractions were stronger but not unbearable so I thought I had better try to get a little sleep since I had only had 4 hours the night before. I laid down in bed with Baris while he watched the news. I texted my doula a little before 6am to let her know I thought today might be the day, and that I would call her in a bit and fill her in. She let me know she was ready.
I think I had Baris start timing the contractions again when I realized I wasn’t able to sleep, probably around 7 or so. At this point the contractions were pretty consistently 3 mins apart and always a minute long, with the exception of the little piggy back ones I was having when I got up to pee. And I had to pee a lot, so we had a bunch of those!
I think we called Mary around 8 or so. Baris was nervous about my contraction pattern (he’s a bit of a nervous nelly) and I had started vocalizing at the peaks of the contractions, so we thought we should give her a buzz. I tried like hell to walk through some of the contractions, but couldn’t so I would stop and kneel somewhere, and go about my business. At one point I face planted into a plate of toast crumbs and honey…which provided us with some entertainment and some good laughs. Aiden moved a lot between contractions, which was reassuring, but I really wanted him to cut it out cuz it was uncomfortable and I wanted to chill between contractions.
I haven’t the foggiest idea when Mary arrived, I think around 9 or so. Baris was intermittently working with me through contractions and taking things to the car since my contractions were holding steady at 2 to 3 minutes apart and a minute long, he wanted to be ready. When she got there I was really working through contractions. Of course the first thing she wanted to know was how long I had been in my current position (kneeling in my rocking chair draped over the back), but I had just gotten there so she gave me permission to stay.
Funny thing is that after being in that contraction pattern for all that time, when Mary arrived, my body must have decided it was time for social hour, because they spaced out for a bit. We all went down to the living room and I had Baris make me some more toast so I could snack a bit to keep up my energy. We chit chatted for a while, and Mary teased me about how no matter where I was or what I was doing when I had contractions, I always moved into some kind of hands and knees position. I wasn’t having back labor, it was just more comfortable for me.
Mary left for just a bit to put gas in her car since things slowed down. I got up to pee a little after she left and I started up again with the contractions. My doula brain told me I should hang out on the toilet for a little while since the contractions were much stronger when I was there. But I wasn’t feeling the “everyone can see me naked” deal yet, so I sat there with my pants on! I think I was on the toilet for 20 or 30 minutes when Mary “suggested” I move to the birth ball for something new. I sort of putzed around with the ball for a while, trying to find somewhere good to put it where I could lean against something. I put it in front of my table and we all hung out there for a while. Baris kept timing contractions (made him feel better I think, and gave him something concrete to do) and rubbing my shoulders with Mary in between contractions. I think this helped the most while we were at home because I kept unconsciously drawing my shoulders up, and having hands there reminded me to drop them down and chill. I remember commenting to Mary at some point how weird it was that I felt like two totally different people. I was totally focused and serious during contractions, but joking and telling stories in between…though it did take me an awful long time to tell my funny stories!
We started talking about heading to the hospital around noon, I was REALLY working through my contractions, and they were steady and strong at 2 to 3 minutes apart and a minute long. B called the midwives to give them the heads up (and so they could call the hospital for us) and they asked a bunch of silly questions which I refused to answer with any clarity through my husband. :lol I had Baris take my birth ball to the car in case I wanted it at the hospital and they didn’t have one, and we all headed off to the hospital. I fully expected my contractions to space out during the transition, but they didn’t, and I kept contracting and humming along in the van (thank goodness for stow’n’go, by the way, I was able to be on all fours in the back and have room to wiggle around). We pulled up to the ER entrance and Baris went inside to find out how we were supposed to go about all this. Which triggered them coming out with a wheel chair. But as the door opened on the van I remember thinking “good timing!” cuz I had just finished a contraction. I looked at the ER tech guy like he was out of his mind if he thought I was sitting in that chair, and we headed in. Not sure why he felt the need to support my arm the whole way, I remember it irritated the crap out of me. I waited there at the ER entrance for Baris and for the L&D people to come and save me from this moron ER tech. He actually looked at me and said (this is a direct quote) “You’re just having contractions, you’re not in labor right?” He almost lost his testicles. I was good about laboring quietly with the audience, but things were definitely not slowing down the way I thought they would.
Getting up to L&D took a while because I refused to ride in a wheel chair (which I sensed irritated the ER guy extensively) but I told them, “I’m in labor, I’m not broken.” I probably had 6 or so contractions on the way…and I found the halls painfully barren of things to lean over! Finally we were in L&D (really a nice area) and I saw Mary way at the end of the hall and thought, THANK GOODNESS! But She did seem awfully far away. I did just make it into the room before another contraction hit. Apparently we arrived at 1:15pm.
I decided to get into one of their gowns simply because I didn’t want to fuss with the IV they were placing for the antibiotics. They checked me and I was 3cm, 80%, and baby was -2. All this thoroughly pissed me off. They were graciously quick with getting the antibiotics up, but the baseline strip on the baby felt like it took forever because I didn’t want to sit still, so the baby kept coming off the monitor. In the interest of getting a good strip quickly I laid on my side in the bed so we could get this show on the road. They placed the IV and I remember thinking how bad my arm was burning. So during contractions I was moaning and carrying on through the contraction (I was having a hard time finding a rhythm that worked for me now, so getting on top of them was a real challenge) and in between contractions I couldn’t rest because I was consumed by the burning arm sensation!!! Baris fell into his niche and became my water boy. The whole time I was in labor I kept remembering to drink water (that doula brain again) and Baris was awesome about making sure I didn’t have to wait. At some point there seemed to be 600 people in my room, all chatting, asking questions, and pestering me. Luckily Mary picked up on me getting WAY over-stimulated and got me focused. Baris sent the chit chatters away and asked everyone to be quiet, and I was able to get settled again. Thank goodness for Mary and her awesome doula tricks, that was rough, I was waving my hands at them and I think at one point I told them there were way too many F---ing people in the room. I don’t know if there were really so many people or if it was really so noisy, but it seemed that way to me. Not to mention the sound of the monitor was really irritating the crap out of me.
I don’t know how long I was on the monitor, but it took longer than I had hoped. Aiden had been active and bubbly all morning, but once we got to the hospital he must have been in a sleep cycle, so I had some juice and water and he woke up and gave us a strip. But not before out of nowhere I started barfing. That was annoying, I can’t tell you how much I hate barfing. I can tell you how grateful I was that I chose Mary as my doula though. She was so positive the whole time. “Oh barf! That’s great, you’re dilating!” I felt like I was at the mall with her, she was so casual, and I trusted her completely.
Not sure what time they filled the little tub for me, but it was long overdue, I just wanted to get in some warm water. I was glad to be rid of the antibiotics, but the port had to stay, so they put a glove over it and taped the edges to keep it dry. Let’s just say now it didn’t work, but I’m glad it didn’t, you’ll see. Now I had been having some light bloody show all morning, and when we arrived. But when I got up to get in the tub, I went to pee and was TOTALLY grossed out by the sudden goop factor! How terribly distracting and encouraging. HAHA! Getting in the tub was a miracle. The contractions still hurt like a SOB, but the water was so relaxing. The tub was big but still small and I couldn’t really get in a consistently good position for the contractions, but the water helped me to zonk in between my contractions, the dark bathroom was a godsend as well, because I really was NOT digging all the commotion in the room (again, I’m not sure there was so much going on afterall, but I only wanted to labor with my husband and my doula, not the entire hospital staff). Mary commented how I was a totally different woman once I got in that water. I didn’t notice it at the time because my contractions were so intense and I thought I must have been a total maniac, but in hindsight it made a big difference. I think I expected it to make the contractions somehow feel different, it didn’t, but it made ME feel different, and that was what I needed to deal with the contractions.
Not sure how long I was in the tub, must not have been long though. I kept asking Mary if they were filling the big tub for me, I wanted to be able to get on my hands and knees, and rolling around in the little tub was just not going to cut it. She asked the midwife about the birth tub when she came in and she wanted to check me cuz there was a line for the birth tub. I wasn’t the only one with my eyes on the prize, and I needed to be 5cm before they could let me get in there. I looked at the midwife and told her I didn’t care about the other mom’s problems. :rofl Given the circumstances, I consented to a check, but begged her to check me in the tub so I wouldn’t have to get out before it was time for me to move to the big tub. Bless her heart she did it, and left handed even! I had a great midwife. :happy The good news is that I was 5cm with a bulging bag, so they started filling the tub. I THINK we moved to the big tub a little after 3pm (that window between when we arrived and when I transferred was the longest period of time in my memory, even though Aiden wasn’t born until after 6:30). I was so driven to get to the tub that I got out of the little tub, used the potty, barely covered myself, and BOOKED across the hall to the big tub. I think I heard them have a little giggle at me. I climbed right in, told them it was too shallow, and had a WHOPPER of a contraction. But I was in the big tub, so life was WAY good despite that WAY crappy contraction. I was able to get into a rhythm finally, and I moved all around the tub on my hands and knees, just kneeling, squatting, just rolling around like a fool. It was wonderful. The midwife was a doll, offered to bring in some musical CDs, but I didn’t really care. I was making my own soundtrack. I’m pretty certain everyone in St. Paul knew I was in labor. :L I think at a couple points I told Mary, the midwife, and Baris that I must be scaring the crap out of the other women on the floor. They were kind enough to reassure me that we were way at the end of the hall and the door was closed. I didn’t really care, but looking back it was funny.
I started having some righteous contractions that were all up front and across my hip and back like a belt of FIRE. I thought my hips were going to EXPLODE right off me. I had labored pretty well for a while and suddenly I was just overwhelmed by that hip and back pain and started getting lost in it. I started telling Mary I couldn’t do it (again, we did this a couple times earlier in the little tub too) and she just looked at me and said, “what are you talking about you ARE doing it.” Mostly I was freaking out during the contractions for a while, but then it got to where in between I was so dumbfounded that I was asking her whose damn hero I was trying to be anyway! :howling Baris was a ROCK during all this (apparently I was in transition, but I wouldn’t let her touch me for a while) and was right there with water, a rag to wipe my face, and lots of good kisses to keep me going. He kept telling me how good I was doing and how much he loved me, and I couldn’t believe how much I loved him right there in the middle of all my crazy pain and what I thought must have been the definition of chaos.
I argued with Mary and the midwife for a while, they wanted me to let her rupture my bag, but I was not digging it, and I openly told Mary it was because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But I did finally decide to do it. I think I was 7cm, she ruptured the bag(everything was clear!), and honestly, I didn’t notice any difference, everything was already too intense as it was. They were discussing my next AB dose whch was due at 6:10 and I said “no. no. no. if I’m not done by then, no.”The nurse tried to argue with me but my midwife looked at her and said “she refused, drop it,” or something to that effect. I was pleased.
I am not sure how long it was before I started feeling grunty, but the midwife was on alert and I let them check me. I told Mary I was terrified to let them check me, that I was going to still be 7 and that I didn’t think I could go on. I’m pretty sure I told them I was done, I think I even put my gloved IV hand out and told them to put something in it. But Mary got me level headed. At one point I again asked whose hero I was trying to be, please get the anesthesiologist, I’m done. But I did go ahead and let her check me, I had an anterior lip (ohhhhh goody) so she called it 9cm, +2 and said I could bear down if I wanted to. My brain flipped 15 times in my skull. I knew I was very close to having the baby and that all hope for doing it the “easy way” was now long gone. Baris and Mary were so good to me, a lot of this is a blur. I know I was feeling grunty, but everytime I gave a little push I scared myself off with the pain. Mary told me it would feel better to push. I disagree. It did NOT feel better to push, everything hurt like the dickens. But I kept moving around, and I finally was getting a few solid pushes out, I was using the tub side for leverage most of the time. I carried on like this for a while, pushing, not pushing, telling Baris how hard it was and begging Mary to make it stop cuz my hips were going to explode. I could feel his head pressing against my bones, it was so bizarre and painful. More bizarre, to me, was that when I really got on top of a push, that I kept bearing down despite that horrid sensation of his head on my bones like that! Mary commented later that when she was applying counterpressure to my hips that she could actually feel my hip bones shifting as I pushed.
The midwife had me turn so she could check his position and what was going on (I was in a lot of positions, none of which was conducive to her being able to see if the baby was coming down, even with a mirror :lol). When she checked me the lip was gone and I kept pushing, but then she thought it was back (don’t ask me how all this went down, I don’t remember). So I tried to just breathe and grunt for a few contractions, but the lip wouldn’t go away, so they told me she could reduce it. They did not explain the details. So I told them “OK, wait for after this next contraction, we’ll do it.” Stupid me. They waited, I turned over, then she waited some more…until I contracted again, and lifted the lip. I’ll just say that was horrendous, absolutely horrid, and I was shocked because I didn’t know she would have to do it DURING a contraction. I think she did this intentionally, knowing that I wouldn’t let her do anything while I was contracting if she told me. Sneaky woman. So we called it complete and I think they said once they called it complete I pushed for maybe 7 minutes, it was like 2 contractions.
Aiden came out of there like a freight train. I was SO done. I pushed, felt his head with my hand (OH MY GOD), pushed, felt his head pop under my pubic bone and instantly crown. I would have LOVED to have a picture of the look I gave the midwife when this happened. Because I literally had NO freaking clue, I was so shocked, I think I must have had the best look in the world on my face and it was all directed at her. It was so sudden, not gradual. I pushed again and his head was out (screw slow, you guys, I wasn’t having it at all). I was trying to push, but the feeling of his little body in there was insane and I backed off the first time or two I tried, then I just shot him out. 6:32pm. I felt like I was in a toilet. I didn't care how much it hurt, he was on my tummy and he was all gross and perfect and mine, and thankfully all the pain was over in my head. Baris kept kissing me, telling me he loved me, and marveling at our little boy. He cut the cord (we got a really cruddy picture of this), and we verified that he did indeed have a penis. Baris and the nurse took him while I got out of the tub (oh so tenderly because I’m pretty sure my hip bones DID explode as I thought they were going to…lol) and we moved over to the bed so I could deliver the placenta (which quietly made it’s move only 11 minutes after Aiden’s birth. I did tell them they needed to take the IV out now, but I wasn’t very adamant. They said something about it being there for an hour just in case, and I ignored them looking at my baby and kissing my hubby. Had a first degree tear. Funny how you can push out all that baby and still think that the repair hurts!!!
Oh and the IV? It fell out… sweet revenge!