Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Birth Story

I don't know if I would consider this obligatory or not. It has taken me almost a full month to be able to face telling my story. Perhaps I've been afraid of having Post traumatic stress syndrome. However, I promised myself that I would make a detailed account of the whole experience lest I forget and want to get pregnant again. I guess that's the only way people have multiple children is that they forget. Jokes aside, the whole experience all in all was unlike anything I could ever put into words. But I guess I'm going to try anyway. Before I have my own child I couldn't read enough birthing stories. I was so interested in everyone's experience because I did not know what to expect for my own. I would read and read and hope and wish for my experience to be in like this one or not to be like that one. For any expectant mothers or for whatever it is worth here is my story:
I guess I will start with my doctors appointment that happened on the last Tuesday of September. I had been feeling very anxious and hoping that I had been dilated and much to my demise my doctor told me to be patient and that it would be a while before I have the baby. She suggested that I get a birthing ball and bounce on it at night to make my cervix drop since it was very high. I did just that. Each night that week I practiced bouncing on the birthing ball as I sat and watched TV. Thursday night as I was bouncing on the birthing ball I started to feel a little uncomfortable and figured I would stop. Friday morning when I woke up to get ready for school . I did not feel very well. I had some deep menstrual cramps in my lower back but did not think much of it considering I had been quite uncomfortable the last two weeks of my pregnancy anyhow. I got ready for school and headed out the door. I noticed as I was teaching in class how uncomfortable I was I have to stand up and rock from side to side while I would teach. When I went to lunch that day with all the other ladies who have children of their own, I was describing that I felt this deep menstrual cramp in my lower back and one of the women said "Katie you're in labor." I didn't believe her and didn't think much of it. I went back in the classroom and decided I would call my mom and talk to her. When I told her all things that I was feeling she said " Katie you're in the early stages of labor." I figured that I would take it easy, finish the school day, and then return home and see how I felt. My mom suggested that I eat some food because I probably wouldn't be able to eat once I was admitted to the hospital. Another one of my friends at school suggested I go home and take a nap if I could sleep through the pain. She knew I would be very tired. I went home ate a big meal and laid down for about 30 min. before I was woken up with pain. I had told Joe that I thought I was in labor and he just had me keep him informed by text message. By now it was about 5:30 in the evening on Friday. Joe came home around 6:30 in the evening. We had planned to have the young women in my church over for a late night together. I decided to call my other leaders and ask if we could cancel. There was a church talent show that night and I said I would still go to that. At about 7 PM went to the talent show. There were a few people in the there who looked at me and said "you're going to have this baby soon aren't you.?"
After the talent show Joe and I came home and tried to rest. I think we watched something on TV but I was in so much pain I can't remember. We laid down to bed about 1030 that night. I think Joe fell sleep for a little bit. I didn't sleep at all. The pain was much too extreme to sleep through. By about midnight I had woken Joe up because i kept moaning in pain. He said we needed to call the hospital. When we called the hospital the doctor asked me a few questions about the kind of pain that I was in. She said it might be best if I came into the triage. I told Joe that I would want to shower and get ready before we left. Even though I was in a lot of pain. We knew it would be a while. So I took a shower, blow dried my hair and put on makeup before we went to the hospital. We got to the hospital by about two in the morning. We checked into triage and they strapped me up to all the monitors. They monitored my contractions and they were about 3 min. apart. Unfortunately I was not dilated enough to be progressing really at all it that went. They told me I was almost at a two. They told me I could go home and sleep and come back when I have progressed a little further or that I could walk around the hospital for a while to get things moving. They gave me some medicine that would help me sleep and we left the hospital by about four in the morning. We got home at about 430 and by now the medicine has taken. I was exhausted and completely dysfunctional. The pain however was enough to wake me up every couple of minutes right as I tried to doze off. By about 530 I got up to get into a hot tub. The hot tub seemed to ease the pain slightly but I was still having heavy contractions. I worked through each contraction and Joe got up at about 630 in the morning. Because the nurse had told us to stay at home as long as we possibly could, we decided that would be best to hang out a while. My mom called us at about eight in the morning on Saturday. It was the general conference for our church and so everyone had plans to watch that on TV the whole day. When my mom called she suggested that we go for a walk. By the time she got to our house it was about nine. She knew that there was no way I was going to go for a walk and that I had progressed too far to take a stroll. I was stopping every couple of minutes writhing in pain.
It was really helpful to have my mom there. She talked me through each contraction. She helped me breathe and allowed me to focus. She told Joe exactly what to do to help me out. It was amazing. It was like once she got there, I had double the support I had had before, and it made it almost bearable.
It was about 10:30 when I lost my mucus plug and we knew it was go time. We got in the car and headed to the hospital. I knew it would be difficult to get in the car and wait, but little did I know that because it was balloon fiesta weekend, and because of the fact that our mayor decided to close 3 lanes of freeway traffic on that particular weekend, we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on I 40. I cannot remember a lot visually because each time a contraction would come on, I would zone in to the pain and everything else around me became obsolete. I was frustrated that we were not moving and thought I might have to give birth in the car, but alas we arrived at the hospital.
It was about 11:30 AM when we checked into triage the second time. The nurse asked if I had decided on what to do for the pain. (You can ask Joe about how many times I went back and forth. I watched "The Business of Being Born" and another hippy documentary that I am too embarrassed to mention, and felt like I wanted to go natural but knew that I do not have the highest pain threshold. I wanted to have a decision made before I was in labor, but since he was 2 weeks early...) I quickly exclaimed "I want an epidural!" The nurse said, "Okay, let me check you. And I will get your name on the list for the epidural since the anesthesiologist is in the O.R." This time I was no measly two. That is right. All that moaning and breathing had me at a six. The wheeled me off to labor and delivery. My OB works at the hospital on Fridays and Sundays, so I knew she would not be the one delivering me. They brought in the most wonderful nurse midwife named Susan. She, my mom, and Joe helped me through each contraction and on through transition. It was about an hour before the anesthesiologist was up in the room. She started going through all of the precautions, and it seemed like everything was blurry and spinning right out of a movie. As I sat up on the edge of the bed my water broke. Susan asked me to get up to go to the bathroom and then she said she was going to check me to make sure we wanted to go through with the epidural. A nurse helped me to the bathroom and then left me there to do my thing. I felt a contraction come on like never before and I had the most incredible urge to push. I started screaming. Joe came running in quickly followed by Susan. She was looking in the toilet as if she was expecting to see a baby. Little did I know that he was really ready to come.
I got on the bed. Susan checked me and said " Katie, you are at a 10. It is time to push." The thought of doing this all by myself seemed horrifying. I think I even said several times " I can't do this." I do not remember saying this, but my mom told me that at one point in the process of pushing I looked up and said "Help me!" She said it almost made her cry because she knew what I was going through. The pushing lasted about 45 minutes. At one point Susan said "Katie, I need you to stop screaming so that you can use all your energy to push." (Who knew I would be so dramatic? j/k) With each push I felt like there was no way I could push again. When I got to the point where she wanted me to hold each push and push again I thought there was no way he would ever come.
Susan had warned me that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid and a NICU nurse would be there to take the baby right away if he did not cry. He did in fact cry and they immediately put his little body right on my abdomen. I will never forget looking up at my husband at that moment and seeing tears in his eyes. It truly was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced.
Benjamin London Bergsten was born on October 1st, 2011 at 2:48PM. He weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 19 inches long. He looks so much like his dad and has brought more joy to our family than can ever be recorded in words.
Ignore the horrible pic of me. This is just minutes after his birth.

Our Benny Boy

He still makes this face when he gets upset.

Just a little peanut.


Miriam said...

Oh that is so precious. I have a hard time putting my reaction into words, but I am so proud of you. And I am so glad you wrote this down! Benny will love to hear this when he gets older. Thanks for sharing :)

And I love the peanut!!!

Jess & Jessica said...

I love your birth story. It seems so much like mine with Brinley. I almost started crying reading the ending about how hard you worked for Benny to get here (I know exactly how you felt) and how your mom felt (that must have been hard for her not to be able to do anything for you). Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your beautiful sweet angel!

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