I figure I'd better write this so I don't forget any of the details. The actual birth of our baby was one of the things I was most excited about. Sounds crazy, but it is the truth. First of all, we decided at around 7 months that we wanted to have a natural birth. After doing research we decided to take classes to learn the Brio Method of natural childbirth. This method is husband coached. We found an instructor in Norman, Oklahoma that taught a series of classes to get you and your partner/husband/coach ready for a natural childbirth. The classes were amazing and taught us so much about babies, breastfeeding, and the natural act of having a baby.
(The classes included so much that it would be hard for me to explain on here. If anyone is interested please contact me and I can get you a name of number of a wonderful person who was our instructor.)
Being educated about what was going to happen was the best thing we could have ever done and is recommended to all!!
And now our story of how Annie was brought into this world: (It's long so grab a drink.)
On Friday I lost my mucus plug, which of course got me excited but I knew that it doesn't mean much. It could still be days before I go into labor. So I went to the Pioneer Reunion Parade with my sister in law then came home and relaxed. Saturday woke up and was kind of restless. Ryan had practice and so I decided to do some shopping to get out of the house. I went to Handcocks and bought some fabric then went to the grocery store to get some staples for the pantry (just in case I went into labor).
While running around I started to have contractions (some painful, some not). Most of all my low back was really hurting. I came home, made the curtains that I had set my mind on making and then decided I needed to relax. I went and laid down and decided to call Ryan and tell him he should come home. My back was still killing me and I needed him to rub on it. The contractions were few to none. One every 20 minutes or so and not painful.
After dinner we sat and watched the storm outside and the contractions started again, so I started to time them. They would last 30, 45, 60 seconds long and around 10-15 minutes apart. Still, I wasn't getting excited. The electricity went off around 8:30 pm and we decided it would be best to go to bed, just in case. The electricity came on about an hour later. I woke at 2:45 a.m. with a little more intense contractions. I got up and ate a bowl of cereal then went back to bed. The contractions stayed at the same intensity for hours. They came every 8 minutes or less and lasted 30-60 seconds. We rested in between them and used our relaxation methods during them. This went on for the rest of the night and into the morning. At around 10 am they were lasting the same amount of time but getting closer, to less than 4 minutes apart. I was still talking in between them but having to really concentrate during them. About an hour went by and all the contractions were less than 4 minutes apart. Ryan decided to call the hospital and talk to a nurse to see if we should come in. At 11:30 we packed the car to head to town (we live 25 minutes out of town). I had 4 contractions on the way to the hospital. At this point they require full concentration. Most of the pain in my low back.
We get there and get looked at, we are going home. I was dilated to a 1. This of course was upsetting but didn't affect us much. We just said ok, took a breathe, went home to keep doing what we had been doing. I get home and decide to take a bath to see if it would help me get through the contractions. Contractions are still 4 or less minutes apart and getting more intense. I lay in the bath for probably 30 minutes and then started to feel funny and got out. I was not talking in between contractions at this point. We start switching positions to find something that will help me relax. Ryan is doing great at this point. Really talking to me and rubbing on my back. At around 2:30 I had a really hard contraction and had to throw up afterwards. (This freaked Ryan out a bit and I could tell he was starting to get worried, yet he didn't say so.) We continued with what we had practiced. (Just a side note: time flies and is not the same when you are in labor). (Another side note: when we left the hospital they told us to call Dr. Godfrey, the on call doctor, when our contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.)
At around 3:30-4pm my contractions have been around 60 seconds long every 2 minutes for the last hour and a half. Ryan called the Dr. and talked to him. I was in the kitchen working through contractions. Ryan came in and said we were going back to the hospital. We worked through a few more contractions and I threw up for the second time. We got in the car and headed that way. I kept my eyes closed and stayed focused on each contraction. I had 7 contractions and when we were 5 minutes away we stopped at red light (for you locals, it was Lincoln and Scott St.) and I had to throw up again. I got out of the car and all four in the side of the road. When I was done Ryan got me back in the car and we were finally at hospital. He parks and we slowly get back to the fourth floor (L&D). I look horrible at this point and Ryan isn't looking so hot himself. I get checked and I am at a 1 1/2 and it is about 4:45 pm. We are getting a little upset and the main question being why am I not progressing? The nurse, who had helped me earlier, was wondering the same thing. I am not saying anything. Eyes closed and working through each contraction. I throw up again. After about an hour of working through contractions, each being ever 1 1/2 minutes and lasting 60-90 seconds, the nurse asks if I would like her to call Dr. Godfrey to see if could give me some light pain medication. Ryan and I discussed and we agreed. I still have not been admitted into L&D, I was in triage. I couldn't be admitted until I was at least a 3. (side note: Ryan had called my Mom to help. She got there right before I got the light pain medication, around 6 pm)
The light pain medication helped me relax a little. I continued to work through contractions just knowing I was going somewhere even if it was really slow. The pain medication wore off in about 30-45 minutes. At 8 the nurse came in to check me and I had had no change. Dr. Godfrey had already told the nurse that if I had not changed I was to be sent home. She was going to give me another hour and then check me again. I remember thinking and telling the nurse there was no way I could be sent home. My mom is in the room trying to help and Ryan is in the restroom throwing up(his nerves are out of control). I've started to get the shakes and the nurse comes in at 9 to check me. (side note: I've been in labor 17 hrs) This was a different nurse, but I had made clear I really didn't want to go home, there had to be something we could do to make me progress.
I was really wishing my doctor, Dr. Hurst, was on call. Dr. Godfrey was off call at 7 am and Hurst was on call at 7 am. I felt that Godfrey didn't care. I had never met this man and he knew nothing about Ryan and I and our birth plan. But, he was a doctor and semi trusted his judgement.
The nurse went to check me and I waited for some better news. A 2? But she stayed down there a little longer than normal and then it got a little more painful. She finished what she was doing and said, "You'll now be admitted. Congratulations." Needless to say she did me a huge favor and I was now at a 3 and they were getting me ready to go to a L&D room. It was 9:30 pm and I worked through each contraction. Excited but wondering what I was going to do. I had not progressed on my own so how was I going to go anywhere after this?
On the way to L&D, Ryan and I had decided I would get the epidural. I was in my L&D room, it was about 9:30 pm and I had been in labor about 18 hrs and I was only at a 3. I got the epidural around 10:30.
I had always been scared about what an epidural would do to me so that is one of the main reasons I wanted to have a natural birth. I don't do pain medication very well. It went into effect pretty fast and I was able to relax. To my surprise I did not feel drowsy or sick. I was alert and relieved. The nurse suggested we get some rest. My mom made a pallet on the floor and Ryan and his mom where on the couch. I didn't really go to sleep. I just sat there continuing to breath from my gut, like we had learned in our classes. At 2 am I felt like I was peeing on myself and then I felt a huge gush of liquid between my legs, my water had broke. I called the nurse, I got cleaned up. I for the first time felt like I had accomplished something. My water broke on its own, YES! Still, I knew it could be awhile before anything could happen so I tried to get some rest. The nurse came in at 4:45 am and checked me. She looked up and said, "Do you want a little surprise? You're at a 8 almost 9." WHAT!?! I was so excited! She had felt me earlier in the night after I got the epidural and thought the baby was head down but sideways. Not head up or head down. So at 4:45 we decided to get into some different positions to help the baby turn.
Also at this point, Dr. Godfrey has already said that he would not be delivering. Dr. Hurst would be. I was relieved.
At 6am I started to feel more pressure and I was now dilated to a 10. It was time to start pushing. The baby was still sideways. After talking with the nurse, I decided to be taken off the epidural. I wanted to have a control over my pushing because at this point I could not feel much. The more the epidural wore off the more I was able to push correctly. After an hour of pushing the baby was not going anywhere and the nurse had noticed some Meconium in my discharge. I know this is not good but the nurses were very calm so I stayed calm.
Dr. Hurst came in a little after 7, checked me, got up and said, " I'm going to go break this girls water and then I'll be back to deliver the baby." Then he walked out. I continued to push with each contraction. He came in 15 minutes later and as I was having another contraction he got both hands in and manually turned the baby into the right position. Ryan says this looked like he was a quarterback getting ready to take a snap...I don't know what it looked like but it was pretty darn uncomfortable. We waited until my next contraction and I pushed really hard. I could feel the baby getting closer. Then we waited for another contraction and the nurses told me to push really hard. (at this point I was thinking I had at least another hour of pushing). Contraction came and I pushed like I'd never pushed before. I felt the head and then everyone started getting excited and screaming at me..."the head!" "push harder Kathryn, her shoulders!" "push hard kathryn" "Oh! she's out!!" then Dr. Hurst put her butt in my face and said "look at the genitals"...IT WAS A GIRL!!!!! My mind was so overwhelmed. I was crying and thinking, I did just see a vagina, right?
This happened very fast. Due to the meconium, they had our pediatrician in the room and respiratory care nurses to there to take her and make sure she didn't get any into her lungs. They sucked her dry and then let me hold her skin to skin while our pediatrician explained what tests they had to run to make sure she was ok and didn't ingest any meconium.
It was wonderful!! Dr. Hurst then stitched me up. While he is doing this I am wondering if he had to do an episiotomy. I didn't want to ask because this was a huge issue to me that we discussed a number of times at our appointments. Luckily, he looked up and said, "you did it girl, you tore a little and are only going to have two stitches. I am sorry that this is the only thing that went as planned."
I was so relieved. At this point I can feel my legs and I am ready to jump out of bed for joy! Of course they wouldn't let me yet but within 30-45 minutes I was up and going to the bathroom on my own.
Our birth story is nothing compared to, actually the complete opposite, the birth plan we wrote and brought with us to the hospital. I understand you can't plan everything. There is only one person who knew our plans for that day and it's God. With 100% of my heart I believe God knew what plan was best for us.
And something else that made me feel even more at peace with all that happened, on Tuesday Dr. Hurst came in to check on me and before he left he stopped and said that he is very happy that she was small enough to turn because a C-section was definitely an option. I thank God every day for all our blessings :)
Hello! Ryan here!
In addition to Kathryn's extremely accurate account of the event, I want to give a short overview of my rough and tumble experience during our 28 hour extravaganza!
The first 14 hours of the pregnancy wore on my nerves like a burr under a horses saddle. Judging by my exterior any onlooker would have thought,"This Dad has got his stuff together!" However, as soon as my dear wife's pain tolerance went out the proverbial window, I realized this was no job for a common chap such as myself. So... I called Kathryn's Mother as a reinforcement! Seeing my wife in so much pain and knowing that the only productive thing i could do at this point was to hide and watch, was no easy thing for me to swallow. This set my nervous system on a wild ride that even Mr. Toad couldn't fathom(Disney reference). In the end, I wouldn't wish away any of the erratic emotions or the sleepless hospital nights! What God had in store for me was well worth the effort and alement! YOU'RE MOTHER AND I LOVE YOU ANNIE!