Thursday, July 23, 2009

No More Bumps: The Birth of Matthew Aaron (Part One)

The best posts always take the longest! (at least I tell myself that and it makes me feel better ;-)

I really love reading the birth stories of all my friends and talking to them about their experiences! It's amazing how something that ends the same (new child is born) can go so differently for so many women. Even between Josiah and Matthew's births there were many differences, yet many things that were exactly the same. It's also curious to wonder whether the similarities are because they were both boys or for another reason.

So without further ado...

It all began on Saturday the 13th. Matt and I were both up late the night before doing some last minute preparations for my Mom's arrival on the afternoon of the 14th (4 days before the due date). I was finishing painting the molding in the boy's room and Matt was rehanging curtains in the recently painted guest room and doing some work in his studio. I think we made it to bed by like 2 a.m. We had decided that since mom was coming on Saturday and the baby would come after that and we would have family flowing in and out of the house for weeks, that as a celebration of our last day as a family of 3 we would do some special things. We were going to find a children's hair salon, take Joey for his first haircut, visit a beachfront park and fly kites and have dinner out. We actually made it through most of that, I am proud to say. Matt had a meeting or a photoshoot or something in the morning (6 weeks out I can't actually remember what it was now...) until about noon so our fun started after Joey's nap. Sometime around noon I started to feel uncomfortable and like I was having a few contractions but they weren't painful. I had a few Braxton Hicks (just for the last month) and they felt about the same. These went on for a few hours, continuing after Matt came home. I really didn't think too much about it.

Right before we went out they started to get really uncomfortable/borderline painful and I would need to stop what I was doing for a minute or so. I remember as we were leaving the house I forgot something and had to go back in to get it, and I told Matt that it might take a while because it was pretty uncomfortable walking around, and the more I moved the worse it got. Probably this was a really good sign that it was all starting (Oh and I FORGOT!! I was bleeding this whole time! just a little bit but enough to figure something was going to happen that day or in the next few....I just assumed the later). So we left and went to get Joey's haircut, which was great and I'm so glad we did it all together. During that time I didn't really notice any discomfort but the whole thing was very exciting, watching your baby transform into a little boy so I probably could have had a baby pop out there and not notice!

When we left we headed to the park where we were hoping to fly some kites. We drove around for a while trying to find a good spot and discovered a new (to us) park with nice dog walking areas right on the water! By the time we got there I did NOT feel like flying kites. Not. at. all. I felt like sitting down or laying down. I was irritable and frustrated but didn't really know why. Everytime I stood up or moved around I was having a contraction or at least a LOT of discomfort and I just wanted to go home, well....I just wanted to eat somewhere and then go home. We didn't really have dinner planned since we planned on having it out and I didn't want to go home to no food for Matt and Joey and have to make something. Matt graciously agreed to ditch our kite flying plans and we found a great Indian restaurant nearby and sat down to a nice dinner! While we waited for food I called our BACKUP-emergency-we-won't-actually-need-you-to-do-anything-but-just-in-case friends, and explained what was happening. I felt very much like it was all starting but slowly and we would certainly make it 24 hours (less really until my mom arrived). Shows how much I learned from Joey's birth. They live about 20 minutes away from our house (the same town where I was delivering) and we had envisioned dropping Joey off if we had the baby before Mom's arrival. Dinner was great and after that we headed home.

True denial I think started to set in for both of us. I had to stop on the way to the car with a contraction but onward we plowed assuring each other that it was probably false labor. uh huh. False labor that gets painful, closer together, makes you bleed and you can't move during it. *sigh* Once we got home we put Joey to bed and all I could think about were Cristen's words to me from my "Thoughts on Two". At that point I knew, as I was putting him to bed that it was the last night he'd be my only child.

Matt encouraged me to take a warm shower and lay down. He thought maybe if I laid down it would all go away. heh heh. We really really hadn't thought that the baby would come before family made it! So I showered and he put things in the car (just in case) and we each did a few more things around the house. Somewhere around 10:00 I called my friend Sarah again to let her know that we weren't coming out (to the hospital and their house) that night and I thought it would be the next day and thanks for being available! Thank Heavens. Then I got off the phone and called our BACKUP2-this-is-really-going-fast-and-we-can't-take-Joey-anywhere-because-we-have-to-haul-you-know-what-to-the-hospital-can-you-PLEASE-come-over-quick! Jamie and Lexie live in Oakland :-)

I told Lexie what was happening at this point. I called because I honestly thought we were ok enough to be able to wait at home until my mom was here, and if things suddenly went fast enough that we had to go to the hospital then we definitely would not be taking Josiah anywhere! I said again, with full faith that it was true, that we just wanted to let them know and we'd probably be fine until my mom's arrival in like 18 hours...famous last words.

These contractions went from seriously uncomfortable to can't move or talk painful in like 2 hours. It was so fast. We didn't time them or write them down. It was just a little while later that I yelled for Matt (in one of the brief moments in between contractions when I didn't need him) that we had to call Jamie and Lexie and we had to leave for the hospital AS SOON as they hit the house.

Matt called and honestly, they must have flown to our house. Lexie did I ever mention that??? You got there SO fast!! Thank you so much. We left right away, but not before Lexie said a very nice hello and I basically told her that I couldn't talk and she should go upstairs *sheepish look*. Well seriously, I did NOT want to freak the girl out and suddenly yell in pain! I think we made it out of the house without me scaring her too much....I hope (after I said to Matt that I didn't think I could move about 6 times, and he very firmly said, YES YOU CAN and you have to RIGHT NOW). For those of you who know Matt you should see him in a time of necessity. It's amazing! I wouldn't cross him!

So Joey is still safely asleep in bed, Jamie and Lexie are staying at our house, my mom is blissfully unaware of any of this and getting ready to wake up and head to the airport and Matt is speeding to the hospital (he assured me he didn't think he went over 100mph). I closed my eyes most of the trip and intermittently shouted at him not to hit ANY MORE BUMPS in the road. Those were terrible! You never will realize how awful your interstate is until you drive down it in labor! Matt was very sweet. At a really really stressful time where he's probably worried about delivering a baby in the car instead of hollering at me something true and obvious like: "I can't control these bumps!" or "I'm TRYING not to hit any bumps!!" everytime I said (yelled) NO MORE BUMPS he just said "Ok." in this very calm reassuring voice that ridiculously made me feel like he wouldn't hit any more bumps ever and he wasn't even upset at me for yelling! I assure you that this kind of patience is not found everywhere and I DO know how lucky I am!
Everytime I opened my eyes on that drive we were further along then I thought we'd be. By this time it was 2:30 or so in the morning. We got there and found our way butted past inprocessing (that's what happens if you say you're pushing!) and examined in triage in about 2 seconds.

Thus begin the similarities... 10 cm. again. Trust me, we don't try to do this. I would much rather go from 7 to 10 cm in the hospital and have some time to adjust to the fact that there will be a baby SOON. I would rather not be in that much pain in a car or wonder how close it really was to happening on the interstate. I have this (so far unfounded) fear of getting to the hospital and having someone tell me I am only 2 cm. Anyway, I was 10 cm again upon arrival. We were in a room within minutes with a bunch of nurses and Sonja the midwife who delivered Matthew.
At this point with Josiah (just arriving at the hospital and 10 cm. dilated) I was told it was time to push him out and had over 1 1/2 of hard pushing. I wasn't ready to push and didn't have the urge to push. After considering this for 21 months.... I decided that my suspicion was that Joey wasn't at a very low station, even though I was fully dilated. I never asked so I don't know. See ideally when you are at 10 cms. dilated you will be at a positive station, maybe even +3...making it easier for the baby to come out.

This time I had the experience to ask and found out that the baby was at 0 station. So I asked if I could just wait and labor a while without trying to push him out. They had a tub in the room and I got in and waited about an hour or longer, pushing with the contractions and hoping for progress. After what seemed like FOREVER the midwife examined me and said that I was at (drumroll please):

0 station.

So I asked if it's possible that this is just how it goes for me, and if it's just a question of me buckling down and deciding to push the baby out. The midwife said it was hard to say....that eventually the contractions might bring him down further, or that it could continue the way it was. So, that was pretty much all I needed to hear. I said it was time to get out (can't have baby in the tub) and push the baby out. About 30 minutes or so of pushing later, Matthew was born. It probably could have been less time, but as he was still at 0, and my water hadn't broken, and he turned a LOT when he was coming out (Matt said that he could see his head turning right while he was coming out) it took a little longer for a second baby.

Wow- that was SO LONG. If you are still reading you must really be a good friend! :-) Well that is not quite the end of the road for us, so stayed tuned for Part 2!


elisa said...

I am hoping part 2 will ease the anxiety I've been carrying around about the most recent trip to the dr. And I know, it's partly my fault for not calling to ask. It's my weird phone thing. You know...

I tried to get you on chat, and I'll keep trying and hope our paths cross again...

But I've been praying for you! Never doubt it :)

Krisha said...

... waiting for part two! :) I'm learning so much :)

The Sinks said...

Ok, you made me cry again! Wow, you really want to make SURE you are in labor, huh? Arriving both times at 10cm! Crazy! I was so scared of not making it to the hospital (unnecessarily), so I didn't have the guts to wait that long!

Susannah Forshey said...

I TOTALLY share your fear of arriving at the hospital at 2 cm. I'd rather be out and about walking in interesting places (even if I do scare passers-by by yelling with each contraction) than waiting and waiting in a buttless gown in a sterile room. :D That's what I did, too, arrived at 9.5 cm. I wouldn'ta changed it a bit, either!

Lexie said...

Great story! You're such a good writer Laurie! I'm glad you thought we got there fast, I felt like it took forever!

La Familia Garcia said...

That is great! I love the part about how your wonderful husband was so patient over those bumps. Because I totally agree...they hurt! I was surprised it taking that long to push! You must have been exhausted!

I'll update soon! I promise!