Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birth Story, part 1

I don't have time to write a whole lot now. Charlotte is at a swim class with grandma and daddy, and Maggie is asleep... probably for another half-hour or so. And I hope to take a shower before everyone is back and awake. But, if I don't start writing this now, I'm afraid I'll lose all the details to the haze of time. So here's a start...

My doc (I alternated appointments between a midwife and a DO- love both of them, and trust them both with Maggie's life and mine) had asked that we arrive at the hospital between 6 and 6:30 on the morning of the AROM. In spite of our best efforts, we were running about 10 minutes late, but figured that didn't really matter since nothing runs on-time in a birth center. Babies are not born on a schedule, right? Anyhow, my parents arrived to spend the day with Charlotte, and C and I left for the hospital. The nurses told us when we got there that we weren't expected until 9, but since we were there we might as well get the early monitoring done. I just wanted to go out to breakfast, but they convinced us to stay. 30-minutes later, all was measuring well- small contractions every 8 minutes or so, a steady fetal heart rate with appropriate accelerations when she moved around, no suggestion of an IV or other "invasive" paraphenalia.

The midwives (not my usual one... two others in the same association, but who work exclusively at the hospital) came in shortly after 8 to assess and found that I was essentially unchanged since my last appointment- 4cm, -1-station, and maybe 90-percent effaced. "Walk" they told me. I suggested I get dressed and walk down to the donut shop in the lobby for breakfast, but they asked me to stick to the halls of the birth center. C went out and picked up a breakfast sandwich for me, a muffin for himself. I walked. And walked.

The birth center is one not-very-long hall in the rambling hospital, so walking was extremely dull. I'd met one of the nurses (K) when she popped into my room to make sure the birthing cart was stocked with everything it should contain, and I joked with her that if she needed anything from the supply room down the hall she should just let me know and I'd pick it up for her on my next trip by. I don't know how many times I paced the hall, but eventually the midwives decided I should try somthing a little different and offered me a birthing ball to rock on. The checked me again at 9:30, and nothing had changed. More monitoring, all was well, but no progress toward a natural labor. One midwife said she wasn't comfortable breaking waters with the baby as high as she was, but the other insisted it was OK. I was told to walk some more, rock on the ball a bit longer, and they'd break my water at 11:30 even if nothing had changed. So I walked. The nurses changed shifts and the one who'd done several of my NSTs (and discharged us after Charlotte was born) was "mine" for the next 8 hours. I liked her a lot- warm and friendly, sincere, and chatty where I am quiet so I never felt like I had to make up conversation or entertain her.

11:30 rolled around, and I'd put miles of wear on my slippers and the hallway. More monitoring, another check, and no change whatsoever. Surely AROM would get things going. So, the midwives finally agreed with each other that I'd gone as far as I would without interference, and that as long as they kept a finger on Maggie's head to prevent the cord from whooshing out with the fluid it was safe to rupture the membranes. C ducked out of the room for a moment as he didn't want to see exactly how the membranes would be ruptured (it sounded worse to him that the reality of a "crochet" hook).





Waterfall from between my legs.

C came back in and stood off to the side, not sure of what to do.

It went on...
and on...
and on.

All while a midwife kept her finger on Maggie's head to keep the cord from slipping down.

Finally, the waterfall tapered to a trickle and the midwives told me there had been 5-6 times the normal amount of amniotic fluid they expected. Polyamnio-something. Not a problem, just an indication that Maggie's kidneys were working VERY well.

Maggie's waking up. Got to go...

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