Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catherine arrives!

Much belated birth post for Catherine. (Started in June, finished Sept. 2nd)
  • Catherine was due around the 29th of May, but other than a few contractions here and there, I really didn't have a sense that she would arrive soon. I had a few false alarms, days apart, where several contractions would come in a row along with a generally odd feeling that I associate with labor, but each time it would fade and I'd feel fine again.The night before she was born I did make sure we had all of our stuff ready to go to the hospital, but I can't say that I really knew she was on the way. I had made sure to be ready on a few other nights as well.
  • Contractions woke me up some time around 4 AM. They weren't very regular or strong and I dozed between them. Closer to 5 AM I woke Greg for support. Between 5 and 5:30 we heard M2 crying. Greg went in to check on him and M2 needed to throw up, poor guy. (He randomly throws up once a month or so with no other symptoms of anything. Should probably get that looked at...) M2 went back to bed on his own after that, which is unusual for him.
  • At this point I was really starting to struggle with the contractions. They were still around 10 minutes apart, but strong and uncomfortable. I had a difficult time trying to relax during the contractions and constantly felt like I would be more comfortable if I stood up, or sat, or whatever position was different from what I was doing.
  • I started to worry that I'd not be able to stay in control for this labor. Having my lower back rubbed was doing nothing and instead I just wanted to stand with Greg in front of me for support. A bit after 6:30 AM we made sure my mom was upstairs and started off for the hospital.
  • I was really feeling each contraction and just could not relax into it like I did for Joe's birth. This labor reminded me a lot of Rebecca's. The ride to the hospital and the check-in at the front desk seemed never-ending, although it was probably a combined 10 minutes. I had to bite my lip while the desk clerk checked us in so that I wouldn't snap at her for making us pause in the lobby and give our information, but she was really trying to hurry.
  • They checked me when we got upstairs and found that I was fully dilated!
  • I was in my own little world but I remember how fast the nurses were getting things set up. I was sure there were 5 nurses and the doctor in the room. I found out later that there were just 3 nurses! I really was only focused on myself at that point.
  • The difficulty I had been having made a lot more sense at this point, I was at the self-doubt transition stage already! I had only been aware of labor for maybe 3 hours at this point. I had no idea I could be so close.
  • It was rush, rush, rush to get my vitals checked, my IV hooked up, and the baby monitored for a few minutes. I was aware of so much action, bright lights, noise, and people asking me to hold still or stay in one position. The nurses were all very nice and apologetic for needing to mess with me. They didn't say anything when I changed my position or slid the monitor off, even though they wanted to get info on the baby.
  • They kept asking if I wanted to push and I wasn't feeling it yet. Eventually everything was set up and the room got so quiet and still. I could tell everyone was standing around me waiting. I hated that feeling of holding everyone up. They weren't trying to pressure me at all, but yet I wasn't comfortable with everyone waiting on me.
  • Soon it was time to push. I really wanted to feel in control of the pushing stage this time, but even after 3 babies I don't feel like I understand how to push effectively. I don't like how far apart the contractions are or how long it takes for them to really become productive. I think I rush myself too much and have trouble working with my body instead of trying to just get it over with.
  • M3 kept kicking me in the ribs between contractions during the pushing stage. It was a very odd and confusing experience. I don't remember that happening with the other two and was convinced that something was wrong.
  • The pushing stage was about 20 minutes again, although it felt so, so much longer. They were worried she'd swallowed some meconium. They asked me to pause once her head was out so that someone could suction her a bit.
  • Around this time the doctor said something like, "When you just have one push left I'm going to put a pad on your stomach so you will know that the baby will come out on the next push. Then you'll reach down and bring your baby up to you." I said as loudly as I could, "I can not do that. I can not do that." My arms felt so tired at that point. I thought that he meant he'd back away from the bed and I was sure that I would drop the baby on the floor.
  • Soon enough Catherine was born, at 8:20 AM, and we were able to hold her. She was quite blue, but perked up quickly. I was so relived to have finished the pregnancy and labor and very glad to see her.
Although I gave birth to all 3 of my children without pain medication and with very little trouble, it is interesting how much easier and enjoyable my 2nd birth was. In that case it really did feel more like hard work than pain and the experience was energizing. I thought that the difference was in the preparation we put into the relaxation methods we practiced. But for Catherine's birth, as well as Rebecca's, it felt much more painful and less focus. I had wonderful midwives for Joe's birth. I felt that they were really in tune with me, that they put me in charge, and I was much less worried about interventions and things like that. I wonder if that played a part in how I felt during labor the first and third times.


LutherLiz said...

I find birth stories so great to read. Thanks for sharing and Congratulations again!

Lucky Cracker said...

It's amazing how they can all be different isn't it. Somewhere along the way I thought they would just each get faster and easier with each baby. Wrong! Hoping this next time around it goes as nice as it did with George

Jo said...

Oh it's so interesting about the difference in births. I guess I assumed because it was a fast labor that it was an easier labor, hmm. And her kicking in between contractions, also very interesting. I don't if I just don't remember or if they didn't, but I don't remember my babes kicking (or really moving) at all during the labor. Either way, I'm glad it was quick, if not as easy as M2s, and she is such a cute little monkey.