Saturday, October 23, 2010

carter's birth story

i'm fascinated with birth stories, but if you aren't, you don't 
need to read this post. i'm just warning you that it's lO n G.

my first two children were natural early arrivals. i was sure this one was going to come even earlier. i was measuring 2 weeks ahead, and my braxton hicks were out of control. for three weeks straight, every night was an almost false alarm. i would start having regular contractions, get excited, then they would just disappear. i began to try all the "tricks" to induce labor. walking, sex, even castor oil. these were all useless; and i should have known. as my due date approached, i started to get more frustrated. i soon begin to doubt my body and it's power to do this. did it forget how to go into labor naturally? was everything okay? out of desperation, i finally scheduled an induction 6 days after my due date. i made my doctor swear that he would break my water before trying pitocin. my sweet mom even had to buy a later flight out after being here for two weeks already.

so tuesday morning it was. october 5th at 7am. monday night was surreal. knowing that i would have my baby in my arms the next day was a weird feeling. i was extremely nervous. this is how i described it to david," it's like knowing you're about to be stabbed, instead of someone stabbing you out of're bracing yourself with anticipation." that night we went out to ice cream as our last night as a family of four. it was bitter sweet. change scares me, even good change.

with my bag packed and alarm set, i fell asleep around midnight. 1:20am i woke up with a REAL contraction. i knew right away that this was the real thing. i thought it so funny that for those 3 weeks i could have thought it was the real thing. it's like i forgot what a real contraction feels like. this one was different. when the next one came about 14 minutes later, i was so relieved that my body did this by itself. no induction needed!!!!  a couple contractions later, i ran into my mom in the hallway as we were both heading to the bathroom. i started giggling and told her i was in labor. we laughed at the irony of the situation. my contractions got hard very fast. they went from 14 minutes apart to 9, then 4 in about 2 hours. during those 2 hours, i was in bed & then hopped in the shower. i remember the water hitting my back and thinking, i'm going to need an epidural for this one.  {i had had an epidural with my first, but endured a beautifully natural birth with the second. i wanted to go naturally with this one, but wasn't absolutely determined and hadn't really prepared myself for it.} i woke david up around 3:20 and told him to hurry. apparently HE didn't have HIS bag packed. he kind of scrambled around while i labored. they were getting painful, so i started to rush him.

we arrived at the hospital at 4:00 am. it was quiet and peaceful in the halls and the lady at the front spoke in a whisper. david had that giddy excitement that only an expectant dad can have. he attended my every flinch and need. if only it was always like that:) as i crawled into the hospital bed, i begged to be checked. the contractions were piggybacking each other and the breaks were less defined. the nurse checked me and said "in between a 3-4." what? i had been dilated to a 3 for a couple weeks already! by this time, the back labor was in full force and i had no rest. i looked to my husband, who was holding my hand and said," i need the epidural." i knew what he would say next: "you are doing great shalynn, you can do this." i replied, "no really, i've already done it naturally, i NEED the epidural." later he told me that he could see it in my eyes. he could tell the difference in the labor between this one and paisley's. after he gave me the okay (don't know why i felt like i needed it) i told the nurse that i needed an epidural stat. she tried to talk me into some other drug first. NO WAY. any of that makes me drunk and throw up. as i waited for the anesthesiologist, i did all i could do to survive. i had a rhythm with rubbing david's hand and staring at a light in the room. the contractions hit my back with as much force as my front and there were no breaks, just peaks.

the epidural came around 5:30. all i can say is pure elation. it didn't take long for it to kick in, and the relief was indescribable. i was giddy with relief. on cloud nine. hysterical. ecstatic! the nurse checked me as soon as the anesthesiologist left and i was a 7. david and i both thought that we would have time to rest after the epidural. not so. we started to shut our eyes and wait, but carter was coming soon.  i guess it was an hour and a half until she was born, but it felt like 20 minutes. somewhere in that time, my water broke. i wish i had been standing up or something so it would be more dramatic, because it really felt like a pop and gush!

pretty soon, the doctor was being called and nurses were prepping the room. all of the sudden, i didn't feel ready for what was about to happen. i begin to feel  lots of pressure. i let the pressure progress until the doctor came. when he was settled and told me to push, it only took one contraction. i pushed 4 times for 10 seconds each, back to back. that's it! carter kristine came out perfectly with no tearing on my part. she was suctioned and put on my chest. all i remember was laughing and giggling that she was in my arms. just laughing with pure joy and tears in my eyes.

6:56 am
9 lbs 2 oz
21 inches

besides the obvious joy of having my beautiful daughter here safe and sound, i was so proud of MY body. it's miraculous to me, the way pregnancy and delivery work. i grew a human being in MY body. i'm so grateful for the way God created my body to do this. there's nothing like giving birth, and i feel so fortunate that i've been able to do it three times... far...


Cami said...

What a great birth story! How beautiful that you were able to giggle when she came out! If you want to read my birth stories for my girls, let me know in an email. Also, did you post the birth stories for your other children on your blog? I'd love to read those too. I love birth stories.

Molly Bea said...

All I can say is you are made to have babies girl! Love you! thanks for sharing.

Lei said...

Oh, happy baby day! Thanks for sharing the story Shay, and congrats!

Anne said...

great story! so happy for you.