Monday, May 17, 2010
Jeremiah's Birth Story
I am absolutely delighted that I found this! I was sure I had lost it. While I remember the events (and a few details that I left out) this was written less than a week after he was born, and there's no way I could recapture that feeling. He was born on January 3rd, 2005, in Alberta.
Commentary is in italics.
Jeremiah came along a little over a week later than advertised.
He made up for that week with a bang though, waking me up around 5am with -contractions- that, to my amazement as I watched the clock, were about 2-3 minutes apart. It was Monday morning, January 3rd, and my husband was due back at work at 9am after two weeks of vacation.
The first bang-zoom contractions were actually at 2am, and I decided that if I could go back to sleep, I wasn't really in labor, so I got a three hour nap *and* managed to sleep through early labor. In retrospect, probably a huge boon for a primip.
We're only 15 minutes from the hospital, and he is my first baby, so I called the hospital to see if I would be "lame" for going in, since I had only been timing for about 30 minutes.
The nurse said that I could come in, but that I could probably take my time. My sweetie and I piled into the car and headed out. He was so worried about me.
I was hooked up to a fetal heart monitor (that never seemed to be in the right place), and it looked like my baby's heartrate was dropping with each contraction.
I was encouraged, by the triage nurse, to consider getting an epidural 'just in case' I needed a c-section.
Panic started to set in. The nurse checked my cervix, and at 7:30am I was 3 centimeters and fully effaced. They would keep us. I was started on an IV for antibiotics, being Group B Strep positive.
After a little more monitoring, with me laying as much on my side as possible, I was given the go ahead to hop in the shower. The doctor was out of surgery and ready to check me around 10:30am. I was 5 centimeters dilated and she broke my water, which was green. More panic. Another 30 minutes of monitoring - probably the worst of it, as the contractions got worse and I couldn't move around - I think I finally started yelling at this point. The baby was fine and I could hop back in the shower. I never made it.
I had to push. It was scary how much I had to push. It didn't hurt, exactly, it just had to happen. A very sweet nurse named Linda quietly watched me struggle in the bathroom for a moment, and thought that she should probably check my progress.
I had asked her to come in, with great embarrassment, because I was defecating with each contraction and could not seem to clean myself enough to be 'presentable' and return to the delivery room.
I wasn't expecting much, and I was very ready to ask for an epidural, because I knew I wouldn't be able to keep from pushing at this point. As she leaned over me, I assured her that I would -not- be ready to push, and she laughed and assured me that I was. It was maybe 11:30am. The doctor had left for her lunch break, and she almost didn't make it back in time.
I don't remember how many contractions I pushed through, but it wasn't more than five. I heard the nurses commenting that the baby's heartrate was dropping sharply in the birth canal - lower than mine, and I needed no other motivation. Just thinking about how scared I was then still brings tears to my eyes. I ended up with third-degree tear, but I really don't think I felt that either.
Suddenly I had a baby on, rather than in, my belly, and I saw that we had a Jeremiah. It was 12:12pm. He weighed 7lbs, 9oz, and measured 20 inches long. He was quite a bit smaller than we were expecting, but I have no complaints. ^_^
The meconium team was there to suction him out, and they gave him right to me, all pink and glowy. Once everyone was done poking at him, he feel silent and blinked at us for an hour or so. I had the serious shakes right after delivery, so Jeremiah spent a good deal of time bonding with his daddy while his mommy was getting sewn up.
I was such a baby for the stitches. I whined through that, and every time the nurse pressed on my uterus. We stayed at the hospital until Wednesday morning.
Jeremiah has been an easy-going, watchful baby. He's very alert and strong. He still hates getting poked at, but forgives quickly and easily. He's a champion napper, and I find that I have to wake him to feed him at times. Breastfeeding has been something of a challenge, but we're getting better at it.
Remembering J's birth brings tears to my eyes. Happy tears, not resentful ones. I am struck, reading this, by the fear and tension I obviously had, over things that I now know to be perfectly normal, like his heartrate falling during second stage. And this was a perfectly successful, uncomplicated, barely intervened, rather quick birth!
I recall Caleb's birth (and now I guess I should write *that* up) with less tension and panic, and far more warmth, love and comfort, but also with less magic, less sense of triumph and wonder.