A little background before I delve right into my Labor Story.
This was our first pregnancy and I was elated and a bit overwhelmed when we found out via two little lines on a pregnancy test on January 9th 2010, we were expecting, this date was sentimental to me because it was my late Nanny (grandmothers) birthday, so it had an even more special meaning to me. We also were in the middle of moving into a new home and remodeling – putting in a new kitchen and floors and basically living in a construction zone. So it seemed the spare bedroom I jokingly referred to as a nursery “someday” was actually really going to be one sooner than we thought.
So fast forward a bit, things are going good my due date was on or about September 8th and I was just hoping he wouldn’t come on 9/11, for my own feelings about the whole day. Saturday August 7th my friends and family threw me a lovely Tea Party themed baby shower and it was beautiful, elegant and a great time with all.
Everything made its way home and into the nursery and as I looked around at all those pretty gift bags and boxes it felt like the nursery was swallowed whole, good thing Sunday is garbage night at our house. My hubby and I sat down to go through everything and soon we were out of gift bag mania and it looked clean and things had a home and some of the little clothes and blankets were in the wash. Monday came and I went to work, excited and full of energy to share all the information of the baby shower with my coworkers, some of whom had attended. The little one was still a month away and I was getting ready to start making some work arrangements at work in the coming weeks and figure if I would work all the way up till the end or take a few days off before. That night for dinner we ordered pizza. We ordered a different pizza then we usually do, perhaps a craving – a white pizza with eggplant and garlic. Ever hear of the eggplant parm babies www.scalinis.com/Bambino Coincidence – ? Who knows?
Tuesday in work I just felt really uncomfortable at my desk, I couldn’t get comfortable at all, my back was hurting and I just didn’t feel like sitting at my desk I called my boss and said I was taking a half day and headed home. I arrived home around noon and my husband was working on our house – “I’m taking a nap” I practically fell into bed exhausted tired, about 5-6 hours later I woke up, I had out in the deepest sleep I had in months (looking back I think my body was preparing) I awoke to find my husband had installed wood blinds in our living room – drilling and noise I didn’t even hear, along with the bell and dog barking from the delivery truck with the blinds. I was sort of hungry so we had some left over white pizza with eggplant from the night before and I remember not being able to sit comfortably in our dining room to eat, my hubby and I chatted a bit, commenting how I did not hear all that stuff going on. I was still not feeling alert and just feeling an overall un comfortableness, I went to bed early.
Around 3am I awake as usual over night to pee. At 36 weeks it is a constant thing right momma’s? I noticed along with pee was a mucus glob – I went to get the “what to expect when Expecting book” flipped through till I came across mucus plug and was relieved that it said – No need to call the Dr. urgently or worry, this can happen up to a month ahead of time it’s your bodies way of getting things in order. Whew I felt relived – I woke up Hubby and let him know what happened and what the book said and that I would call the Dr. tomorrow morning and settled back in to sleep. Alarm goes off – I hem and haw I really don’t want to go to work I’m still feeling exhausted and now even cranky, my back is still achy and I remember leaning over the bed a bit before I got up enough energy to head to the bathroom to get ready for work. My husband heads to the kitchen to let the dog out and make coffee and I use the bathroom (how much is too much information? Warning it may get graphic)
So, I use the bathroom as in bowel movement and it is a mini relieve of pressure and the uncomfortable feeling and just when I am finished I hear a POP (Thank you Cousin Marie who just 4 days earlier at my baby shower told me she heard her water break making a popping sound) well it did it felt like a balloon popping and then warm liquid, yep my water just broke. What the?? Dan – ummm I think my water just broke – it’s too early I think to myself, he gets note pad and writes down 8-11-10 @ 7:10am water broke. It feels like warm soup to me and it’s now on the bathroom floor – (per my hubby’s notes – I still have the piece of paper from that day) Okay first noticeable contraction 7:13am about 30 seconds– wow that hurt – okay wait another one, second contraction 7:14 am approx 40 seconds– this is too fast they aren’t supposed to come this fast (now I am regretting not taking Lamaze classes). Mind you I am still standing in the bathroom and hallway area leaking; I say I am going to try to take a shower – why? I really don’t know I have thought about this a few times since the day and either it was just a natural thing my brain wanted to do or because I have seen plenty of tv shows where it seems people s water breaks and they shower and get ready before going into the hospital, who knows) Now I can’t even stand up all the way inside the shower and I am just letting the warm water try to calm me – running over my back, while still experiencing contractions.
I managed to get out of the shower hair and body washed and leaning over the bathroom sink, naked and crying and scared, this isn’t supposed to happen so fast, I can no longer stand up straight they are every minute still and extremely painful – I am screaming in pain! I‘m embarrassed the neighbors are going to hear me– really how can they not? Literally, I am screaming with each contraction.
My husband, Dan, is amazingly calm and is trying to get my partially packed delivery bag together with things I am asking – YELLING – at him to put in there along with clothes for the baby – the blue outfit and blanket etc. I know they say pack in advance but I still had a month and had just started packing the bag. Mind you I somehow managed to walk, dripping wet – still bent over unable to stand up straight, to the nursery where my husband is getting stuff together, he looks at me and I’m still naked, I can’t even think about drying off or clothes – forget about hair styling. He says you have to get dressed, I can’t I said, he grabs a slip over dress (my best friend Kerri had given me from her maternity days – I had just worn it the day before for the ½ day I was at work) Dan literally pulls it over my head (no bra no underwear and I don’t care)
Okay it’s now 8:30am ish and we are getting into the Jeep – how am I getting in there, I can barely move. In all this commotion we forgot to call the Dr. Office or anyone, I couldn’t even focus to call anyone. So we are on our way – oh did I forget to mention my husband packed our dog Baxter – a boxer – into our car too. I realize the dog is there soon after getting in the car, he says I will drop him off at my parents on the way to the hospital – I guess at the time it was logical to him, he said he thought we were in for hours of labor in a hospital and no one to let out the dog, makes sense to drop him off.
*(side note) I forgot to mention also that we live on the Wolcott / Waterbury border now that we moved and my Doctor is in Trumbull or Bridgeport office and the Hospital the practice uses is Saint Vincent’s in Bridgeport. I remember being slightly concerned one of the last visits I had gone to and I was assured not by my Dr., but by one of the Dr. in the practice that I could travel from Massachusetts to there with a first birth and make it in plenty of time. Hmmmm I still need to talk to that Doctor, seriously. Okay so now you have a little background and the trip was going to be about 45 mins to an hour in rush hour traffic to hospital and drop off dog in the Valley at my in-laws before hand? *
Okay back to the road trip, my hubby was going a little fast to say the least, but in no way was I complaining. It was morning rush hour and on exiting our neighborhood we were almost in a car accident he had to steer really hard left, some idiot almost hit us. I couldn’t focus I was slightly laying back in passenger seat in recline no seatbelt around me cause really how was I going to wear the seatbelt and screaming in pain every minute. I vividly remember thinking this isn’t right there is NO in between time to recoup or breath from the contractions and this was the worst pain of my life so far – it was unbearably hard and fast. Dan calls my OBGYN – the office is closed it’s the answering service – I hear him trying to fill the woman in and she hears me screaming and I hear him saying, no every minute and okay – okay – okay follows. He hangs up, I said what did she say – he says – she told me to call the police. Huh… really?
Within moments he is on the phone with dispatch and giving them our traveling directions – heading south on Route 8 trying to reach St Vincent’s hospital, passing exit such and such etc. Then I hear him say okay they can meet us at exit 25. Later on, much later, like weeks, I find solace in my faith knowing I exited on Cross Street – exit 25. To be honest a lot is a blur somewhat because the pain is so extremely intense and I feel my thighs squeezing together to keep the baby in so I am not delivering here in the car. Dan pulls over and I hear the siren and in mere seconds my door is opened and there are voices and people trying to figure out “How are we getting her out” is what I recall, it was really hard for me to focus on people, then my husband says excuse me and comes over to me and says come on Joy we need to move you out of the seat – I step out of the car and am sitting / laying on a gurney they can’t buckle me on in the position I am in. I’m whisked into the ambulance (my first ambulance ride ever). I hear the cop say “Dad you can go in the truck (ambulance) and leave your car here.” Umm I can’t he says, I have the dog – the dog I hear a voice reply.
Then we are off sirens going, bouncing around in the ambulance and they are trying to ask me questions in between my screaming and pain. I try to answer – I am 36 weeks exactly in pregnancy and 35 years old (at the time of labor). I don’t remember any more questions they may have asked. It was hard to breath and the pain was uncontrollable and non-stopping and I just remember squeezing my legs together with all my might – why, not really sure. I recall pain intense pain and the EMT sitting next to me saying okay this may hurt – as he inserted an IV – I didn’t feel that at all, just the contractions. One hit so hard I went to grab for something, anything to squeeze and my hand went into one of the side compartments in the ambulance, he said squeeze my hand go ahead you won’t break it. They were really going to try to get me to St V’s but then I started screaming it burns… (I didn’t know that was a code for something) he turned to me and said you’re going to Griffin Hospital and you’re not going into ER we are taking you directly into Delivery – okay what did he want me to do, disagree with him? He also asked the woman (EMT or Paramedic) sitting down near my feet to check if the baby was crowning – she asked to switch places with him… (I think she was in training) he said just look, well she couldn’t really see anything, I mean I was holding my legs together so tight dental floss couldn’t have made it past my thighs.
I now know – I was holding him in. In seconds we are out of the ambulance and I am being pushed into the hospital – I only remember the ceiling, seeing the tiles and lights roll by and me screaming I remember still screaming in pain, it was uncontrollable I couldn’t help it. Then a left turn and we are in a room – someone is saying Dad is right behind us – they are getting me off the gurney and onto the table – I scream for drugs they stop and laugh at me (literally they chuckled at me) – one of the nurses says your going to have a baby any moment now – how did she know they didn’t even look at me. There are about 8 people in the room including Dan, they are scurrying around doing things one woman puts on a face mask like the clear kind the Dentist uses – I thought she was a nurse I later find out she is the OBGYN on call delivery Doctor. They are inundating me with questions now and I am trying to focus and still screaming in pain although I quickly get scolded from one of the nurses to calm down and stop screaming – easy for her to say her body doesn’t feel like it’s ripping apart without a break just constant Contraction – Contraction – Contraction and the burning.
I see my husband head towards the door and I hear a nurse say where you going Dad – he mentions something about the car and dog and the nurse says you’ll miss it – he heads back to my left side. I am hooked up to a monitor (I think) I remember hearing beeping and I know there were wires and they stuck an oxygen tube across my nose – that I didn’t like and think I pulled off. Next thing I know we are raising my legs and the Doctor is saying okay momma push – I try to it is excruciating and tiring all at once. The nurse to my right a blonde haired woman says hold your legs momma – I said “No – I can’t” flat-out – not being mean but I was in so much pain and so tired from squeezing my thighs together for the ambulance ride that I couldn’t, my legs felt like jello. So she instructed my husband to hold my left leg and she and another nurse held my right leg and then somewhere someone was nice enough to say hey there are straps that you can pull on momma. Second Push head crowns a little, then he went back in, (the weirdest feeling I must say) after he went back in a bit I was worried he wouldn’t have oxygen – funny the things you think of and say. “Can he breath” then the Dr without letting me know made the decision to cut me on the third push no numbing stuff nothing just a cut along with the third push – my husband still says that was sneaky of her she could have informed me. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/episiotomy.html
With that he was out and the greatest feeling of relief and release of pressure and pain flew out my vagina! Yep I said it! It was like Ahhhhh it’s over! This all took place within minutes of arriving at the Hospital.
They placed River on my chest and I must admit I was not smitten 100% at the moment I was confused, disoriented from the whole process and he was blue and covered with stuff and his head was a little misshapen. They let Dan cut the umbilical cord and they quickly moved him next to me to a waiting area to get him some oxygen and pat his back because his lungs had a little fluid. They then had to take him to get cleaned and looked at and Dad went with him. I am laying there still dazed – what the HELL, did this just happen, wow – and they are continuing to ask me questions, am I safe at home – what? Really I wasn’t expecting that one. Then one of the nurses comes over and says so how was that burning ring of fire – again I was taken back a bit – see that song by Johnny cash is a song my husband and I joke about like – how’s the burning Ring of fire in marriage, it’s our sweet way I guess. Anyway – she went on to explain the burning I felt just before he was born that says delivery is moments away – hmmm good to know and made sense now what the EMT was saying to me.
My water broke at 7:10am on August 11th 2010 and a mere 2 hours 23 minutes later my son was born at 9:33am with a natural delivery. Fast yes – Fun NO! – Want to know what I found out a few weeks later once I received my hospital records – I had a Traumatic Birth, says so right there in all my Hospital paperwork – Traumatic Precipitous Delivery. What is a Precipitous Delivery?
“Precipitous labor is the medical term for labor that lasts less than 3 hours from the start of contractions to delivery. The intense contractions associated with a very fast labor can be very painful, and the pace at which the labor proceeds leaves no time to administer pain relief.” Your body is going from zero to 10 centimeters in an extremely fast pace. While it might seem ideal to women who have had long labors to get through labor quickly, Precipitous Labor is not ideal for mother or child. Pain is intense and mothers and child are at greater risk. From an emotional standpoint, it can be exceptionally hard on moms. There is no way to appropriately describe the obscene intense pain that PL moms may have, what makes it challenging is there is little that can be done to relieve pain because of the time frame. Many moms feel frightened and disappointed in this extreme birth experience and can potentially cause baby blues or contribute to postnatal depression in some moms.”
I can attest to the f’ing INTENSE PAIN part for certain! Thank the Lord I did not experience the baby blues or depression – however I will say I think I did experience a form of post-traumatic stress from the event – it was on my mind a lot and still is– but not in a bad way, it was just very frightening and a lot to take in and deal with and process and I still bring it up and like to talk about it because I am in awe of how it happened.
I also found out Precipitous labor can result in:
Mother’s loss of ability to cope with labor – AKA I SCREAMED my lungs out and lost my voice!
• Emotional stress
• Cervical laceration
• Vaginal laceration
• Perineum damage
• Uterine atony after delivery
• Fetal distress
• Hypoxia from intense contractions
• Cerebral damage to the baby as a result of rapid movement through the birth canal • pneumothorax as a result of rapid movement through the birth canal http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-precipitous-labor.html
Well I’m not done – Nope, I have to deliver the placenta. HAving to deliver the placenta was weird and the doctor didn’t really talk me through it, she just pushed on my stomach told me to push a few times and then there it was, I guess.
Now I’m lying there still trying to absorb what just happened like a deer in the headlights, someone is bringing me a container of cranberry juice, here drink some of this, another nurse is asking me if I want breakfast and mind you they are sewing me up at the moment – huh do I want breakfast? Nice – but really? No I didn’t want to eat – I wanted to wrap my mind around the fact that I just had my baby a month early, not ready, scared, rode in an ambulance, in a hospital that is not mine and to a Dr I didn’t know and oh wait where is my husband and baby? Then a nurse comes in and says your mother in law is outside in the hallway do you want me to let her in? Ah umm sure, I am still in the delivery room – okay they had cleaned up and were prepping me to move but still. They bring my husband and baby back and I hold him all swaddled and in his little hat I had ordered for him – that I packed in the bag! It was our way of letting the World know his name.
They send Dan and the baby to the new room and the nurses help me off the table / bed to use the bathroom – really I didn’t have to go and didn’t want to try at all but they are making me at least try. Oh what’s this? A small little hand towel falls out of my dress – I stuck it between my legs at my house so I wouldn’t leak too bad in the car – it traveled to the hospital and I delivered and everything with it stuck up inside my dress – the nurse says do you want it… NO I don’t want it! Another nurse “Michael” – yes a boy’s name but she was the sweetest nurse I had – she took the time to talk to me and show me how to clean with the spray bottle with warm water over the stitches and my nether regions. She showed me the numbing spray that is like a miracle – good thing my friend Kerri had also mentioned the spray to me in advance and I had a can at home ready and waiting. I’m now being wheeled to my room in my dress still, how funny is that?
I arrive to my room a full (family) bed and the baby all snuggly wrapped and in his layette and my husband organizing our bags I am still trying to take it in. With every nurse check in everyone wants to talk about the unexpected delivery and share with me their perspective too, it’s good to talk about but in a way I still sort of feel like I am hovering above all of this watching it take place.
The nurses tell me they were almost all off the floor (with no active labors happening) visiting a fellow nurse who had some sort of procedure done when they got the emergency call and they ran down to the bay to see a Naugatuck Ambulance and were wondering why they were delivering me there – I also found out the Doctor who did the delivery was just about to go off duty and was called back. I later found out my own Doctor was at St. V’s hospital waiting for me…she later got the call from Griffin hospital that I had – had the emergency delivery there. Oh now it’s about 10:30 ish and I remember we have to call my boss and let them know LOL. The nurses were right, they ordered me some food, a tray comes with 6 – yep six – Italian Ices the good Lemon ones!~ I lost my voice from screaming and the nurses put in a few rush orders of Icees for me… that was nice of them,♥ I did share my wealth of ices. Along with the ices is some juice and a bagel. I also send my hubby out for Triscuits I had an overwhelming urge to eat Triscuits for some reason.
Breast feeding was slow in the beginning but he did seem to get it – I just later realize the young nurse who was teaching me at first had me holding the baby wrong (it just didn’t work for me – they kept saying no, don’t cross over your arms) it felt uncomfortable the way they were teaching me, as soon as we got home I did what felt right for us and well I nursed up until he was almost 17 months – so I think if the position they are telling you to use feels uncomfortable just do what feels right. I did meet with a Lactation Nurse while there and got some pointers on other things and how to notice if he was latched well and to watch the ears to see if they are moving and you can see the suction and swallowing from there. He was born on a Wednesday and my milk came in on Saturday – I awoke to huge breasts – I already was a hefty size C.
Poop – okay well I’ll start with baby poop that first poop is gross it’s black and tar colored and well just icky. My Poop – well who knew poop becomes a topic your thrown into as a new mom – from counting the poops a baby takes to hey Momma did you poop yet – have you gone yet, do you need something? I was given Senocott the stool softener and asked on almost every nurses visit if I had performed yet – I finally just said yes… although I hadn’t. Hey sometimes a girl just needs to relax and be home.
I’m trying to rest they keep telling me to sleep – I can’t and in fact I really don’t think I sleep more than a few hours the two days I’m there – I’m pumped with endorphins from the delivery and all that just took place and well I have plenty of pictures of Dad sleeping and baby sleeping but mom, not so much.
I shower on the day after delivery, Thursday and it feels amazing to take a shower – all be it that shower could have been a bit bigger and more accommodating. Afterward, I was having some cramping and soreness and I was given a long tube sock filled with rice and heated in the microwave – it works wonders. And so do the Ice packs they give you for your lovely lady parts momma – weird yes, but it helps and so does the numbing spray! Giant pads and mesh granny panties are funny but hey they save your own panties from getting ruined and just remember to ask for some extras to take home with you along with those disposable sit upon mats they give you for the bed – works for your own bed and couch etc. the first few days home.
We all seem to be doing well – had some visitors, Dan’s parents and two Great Grandmas, my Aunt Mary and two friends stopped by to visit. We enjoyed our lovely Congratulation Dinner that the hospital provides was nice – Steak, lots of appetizers and desserts and even a small bottle of champagne.
Uh oh – little man seems to be bit jaundice and his bilirubin levels seem to be high – they keep testing him over night. Friday, it’s our discharge day and we are waiting for the okay to take or little one home and well a Nurse comes in and explains they are ordering him a Wallaby and it will be delivered to our house – it is basically a blanket with fiber optic lights to help lower his bilirubin level – a DIY under light therapy for babies at home. We have to agree to keep him on it all day and night except while nursing etc and come back to hospital tomw (Sat) for a blood test to see his levels. We are released they follow us to the car to make sure we have a car seat (albeit he went home in a pink one I had to borrow, his was being delivered and well he arrived early) and we are off and headed home. At our house my Mom and Dad and Brother and Nephew are waiting from us they came up from NJ to see us – our first house guests with the little one. They don’t stay long and we are settling in – introducing little man to the dog and cat and his new home. The Wallaby arrives and we wrap him in it – he glows like the glow-worm. It’s actually sort of cute.
We travel back to the Hospital on Saturday and we get bad news his levels are Dangerously high they do not have a NICU at griffin Hospital so they are calling around and trying to figure out where they are sending him – I am in Panic mode and just holding him. After some discussion and figuring out which hospital to go to, we went to the CT Children’s Hospital extension – which has its own floor in Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. http://www.uchc.edu/md/pediatrics/connecticut-childrens-medical-center.html
They gave us our own room and I was able to spend the whole time there with a bed and food provided since I was nursing. Leaving him in a NICU ward was my biggest concern. I am grateful they provide this option – it was comforting to be able to have our own room while we were going through this. Little man was pricked for blood every few hours and that was not a fun experience, he was in an incubator under “the Lights” light therapy to break down the blood cells and hopefully lower his levels. Every diaper was weighed to make sure his urine was an optimal output and that he was getting nourishment from me. The little eye protectors they placed on him he kept knocking off and well that is not good since the lights are strong for their little eyes so my husband and I took turns making sure we were watching to put them back on.
Did I mention I had a bed – yeah I slept even less there then the delivery hospital, I was a walking Zombie by the time we were able to leave. I basically didn’t move from the baby’s side the whole time there (3 days), except to take one quick walk down to the cafeteria with my husband for a plate of food; I did make him bring the food up to the room to eat. I washed my hair Sunday in the tiny little bathrooms sink and washed up – I felt better and I guess looked better because a few nurses commented – oh mom you look more relaxed – umm I just washed my hair ladies. Anyway, I also finally got to poop – it was a mini battle, I will admit that, but I said to myself in the hospital room bathroom, if I went through what I just went through poop wasn’t going to get the best of me, it was over and all was okay, not where I would have preferred to be but hey. I also was still nursing myself with the stitches and using the sitz bath/ peri spray bottle with warm water and numbing spray and so would have chosen to be home but I was fortunate to be able to stay there with him. My ankles did swell to unrecognizable sometime on Sunday – but I think it was the hard floors in the hospital and I wasn’t elevating my legs while sitting and nursing, it did go down a few hours later. On Monday August 16th – I tackled calling my health care provider and making all the calls I needed to while we were waiting on the final tests. We got the good news in the early evening we could go home. They were AMAZING there and the on call Doctor has become my child’s pediatrician.
We spent (two years ago) from birth on Wednesday, August 11th till Monday August 16th in the hospital with only one night at home – I was so looking forward to just getting home and figuring out what was normal for us.
It took me a few weeks to recoup from my own stitches and heal down there – I was no way ready for the 6 week mark the Doctors give you to have sex again. I think men count down those days – I was wishing I had six more weeks – and in fact after my follow-up visit I was told to wait I think it was 3 more weeks. All in all the delivery was traumatic but is ingrained in my memory – the days and weeks of recouping after have faded into mommy brain as I am certain happens to a lot of moms. Lack of sleep seems to be more vivid in my mind then the healing process.
Well my lovely friends & family, that is my Labor story and it seems so intense in my head, like it just happened, however two weekends ago my little man turned 2 years old and I know the time is just going to keep flying by.
I wanted to share my story of his exciting arrival into our life and see if anyone else may have had a similar birth experience.