- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
Finally had the time to write out our birth story (excuse any typos or bad grammar, I wrote this on my subway rides to and from work on my iphone):
my updated due date on September 20 on a Friday came and went with no sign of baby making his appearance any time soon (they originally had my due date as sep 26 but changed it during an ultrasound appt). We had decided if I went over we would schedule an induction at 41 weeks but we were praying the little one would come on his own before then. On Monday the 23rd Anthony and I went to the dr for my weekly checkup, she checked my cervix and I was 3cm dilated and 70-80% effaced. Up until that day i had tried everything to get labor going: spicy food, long walks, doing the deed, even nip stimulation which Dh found amusing lol but still no contractions. I asked the dr how effective a membrane sweep would be, she said there isn’t a guarantee it will work but if I requested one she’d do it. I figured by this point, sure why not what have I got to lose? An hour after getting the sweep done I started feeling small contractions, nothing major or consistent to consider labor.
I woke up Tuesday September 24th to the same contractions but then they were progressively getting stronger and longer throughout the day, although in my mind still manageable. It wasn’t until that afternoon when they started hurting to the point where I had to seriously focus on doing the breathing techniques we had learned in birthing class that I realized this could be the real deal. Around 8pm my mom who had been staying with us since a week before my due date (I wanted her to be in the delivery room in case Dh couldn’t take it) said she was going for a walk as her dr told her she needed to walk to strengthen her knees after her knee replacement surgery. since it was dark I didn’t want her to go alone so I decided to go with her even though I was in no mood to take a stroll. It hadn’t occurred to me until later as we were walking that her goal was to get me walking around to help speed things along lol. Anthony and our 10yr old son Sean came along as well. At this point the contractions were around 7-8 minutes apart. By the time we walked a couple of blocks I was already at 6 minutes apart and barely able to breathe through the contractions. To get through them I would hold on to the gates of whichever house we were passing, with my head down to the gate and Anthony behind me providing counter pressure on my waist. At first I didn’t think it made a difference so I asked him not to do it for the next contraction where I immediately realized they damn well did make a difference! Once we realized the contractions were coming closer together now at 5 min apart we headed back to the apt. From the time we started walking back to the time we reached my door they had reached 4min a part and I started getting nervous thinking we had waited too long to head for the hospital. I called the dr to let her know we were on our way and as we are leaving I realize I wouldn’t be able to eat after being admitted, so I quickly scarfed down some oatmeal my mom had made me earlier that day (yeah, great last meal!) said our goodbyes to Sean and the in laws and off we went.
From my door to getting in the car I was already at 3 minutes apart and getting real nervous, Anthony was so nervous he started to pull away with me still not in the car lol luckily traffic into the city was not bad, we left at around 9:30, by 10 we were only blocks away from the hospital. The plan had always been for Anthony to drop me and my mom off at the entrance of the hospital and he would go park the car. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with manhattan but finding parking spaces is really hard, so when I saw a spot 3 blocks before we reached the hospital I yelled at Anthony to park there (ol’ eagle eyes never fails even in pain) my mom looked at me like I was crazy saying “he’s not going to drive you to the entrance?!” I said if we let this spot go he might not find another and the way these contractions were coming I’ll be damned before he misses the birth of this baby! So I got my way and he parked… And I walked the rest of the way. So every 3 minutes I had to stop and hold on to Anthony and let the contraction pass before we could keep walking. Typical New York scene lol a woman in labor trying to walk the rest of the way to the hospital. Some people just stared, others asked if I was okay. I just wanted to be left alone until we got to the hospital.
By the time we got upstairs to L&D, admitted and given a room it was around 10:18pm. Anthony had to go to a different floor to get some more paperwork to fill out and my nurse came in to ask me questions and about my birth plan. The plan was minimal intervention, a hep lock to avoid being tied down to a pole and no epi or drugs. Unfortunately an IV was standard procedure but other then that they let me walk, stand , move around as much as I wanted. The nurse was awesome she kept joking around I guess to keep my mind distracted from the pain and kept saying how great I was doing. While I’m answering all her questions in between contractions I realize they are only about 1-2 minutes apart and harder to cope. My dr comes just as Anthony is coming back, to see how I’m doing and checks me, I’m about 6cm so she asks if I want my waters broken to speed things up. She breaks my water and I look down to see dark green fluid. one of my dreaded fears: meconium. baby has pooped and so she doesn’t want me to push squatting as I had requested but wants me on the bed when the time comes (although I still don’t see what difference it made). So until push time I’m allowed to use the bathroom, stand and try positions to relieve some pain. let me just say anything prior to my water bag breaking pales in comparison…hoo-wee this is a whole new ball park! All my contractions were in my back, it felt like my back was being ripped to shreds. Transition with no epi was an experience like no other: nothing is as real as the pain and I’ll never forget feeling as alive as I did in those moments, it consumes you. all there is is you and the pain, like an ugly monster that takes a hold of you, squeezing you until it decides it needs you to breathe for the next time it wants to make you suffer. They kept asking me to lay on the bed, no I do not want to lay on the bed let me stand holding on to Anthony, squeezing and trying to remind myself that the contraction will pass,it’s only temporary and means I’ll get to meet my baby soon. With each contraction I remember feeling hot fluid dripping down my leg, i tried not to look at it because it upset me that it was greenish and made me scared that maybe something was wrong with the baby. I don’t remember what time it was (hell, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what day it was if you asked lol) but I do remember saying things like “I can’t be here” “I have to go” and “I can’t do this”. Silly I know but compared to what most women scream when in labor I think Dh got it pretty easy. my mom tried rubbing my back but I didn’t want to be touched, oh but “Anthony don’t let go! I didn’t mean don’t let me touch you!” lol now that I think back I feel bad for them, I really was beside myself with pain. I know Anthony was upset seeing me that way, he would tell me how great I was doing, that If I wanted to squeeze him hard I could. I could see the tears in his eyes because he wasn’t expecting it to be this intense. He still thanks me for going through all that pain and delivering our baby 🙂 I also remember seeing my mom wipe away tears as well.
It felt like forever but in reality it was only minutes before the dr checks me again and tells me I’m at 7 1/2cm. I say I want an epidural but both my mom and Anthony try to remind me I wanted to do it all natural. Yeah, ok. I yell at them I don’t care anymore I want an epi lol but I compromise and say I’ll try to hold out for two more contractions, if I’m not ready to push by then I want that epidural! Of course that didn’t happen, I had several more contractions and I ask the nurse to call the dr because I feel a stronge urge to push. The dr comes in and waits for yet another painful contraction to pass and checks me, FINALLY I’m fully dilated and it’s go time! I quickly get on the bed and with the next contraction they tell me to hold my breath and push.
(I’m gonna take a brief pause just to make note that for the birth of my first son, I had gotten an epidural and since all the contractions were in my back I really thought at that time that the epi did nothing. But in reality it took the edge of the pain off if I compare both labors. I also had no feeling in my legs so when it was time to push I didn’t really feel anything so it took me longer to push him out, I also only remember feeling a tugging when the dr was stitching me up from the episiotomy. Again, no feeling whatsoever down there.)
Okay, so it’s time to push, I hold my breath as instructed and bear down….and immediately stop. Holy Mother of God it hurts! It burns and I can feel this huge mass, this little person, right at the entrance of my lady parts. Now I know why they call it the ring of fire. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place as that doc “The Business of Being Born” puts it. If I push it hurts like hell but if I don’t push the contraction monster is there waiting for me. I still remember telling the dr “can’t you just pull him out?!” She just stared at me like I had 2 heads. All the while my new nurse (a different nurse then when I was first admitted who was so sweet and encouraging) is telling me how to breathe because apparently I’m doing it wrong and tells me to hold my leg back (um, and what pray tell are you here for? Just to supervise?). It took a lot for me not to tell her to quit barking orders and hold my leg back, so I ask Anthony to hold one and I think either my mom or the traffic director nurse held the other. The sensation of something big and heavy feels very uncomfortable and makes me want to continue pushing, so I make sure each push counts. While pushing Anthony tells me to breathe because according to him I was holding my breath too long and turned purple, the nurse is yelling to push, my mom is encouraging me saying she can see his hair, while my dr is lube’ing me up and hooking her fingers and pulling back my lady bits to help make room for baby to come out. After a couple of pushes everyone is telling me the baby’s so close and he’s got so much hair! So I take a deep breathe and push as hard as I can and I feel his head come out, another big push and out comes one shoulder then the other and the rest of him. The first thing we hear is him crying which is a huge relief, the dr exclaiming”where the heck were you hiding him?! He’s a big baby!” My mom squeee’s with excitement, Anthony is oohing and aahhing commenting how big he is, and I’m laying there in shock that I actually just did it, I gave birth with no pain meds!
What a relief! It’s over! My baby boy is out and I don’t have to feel pain anymore…FALSE. Now is where I think my dr is secretly plotting against my “all natural” birth because I had strongly expressed my desire for no pitocin. After the baby is out I can hear him crying as they wisk him away to clean him and check on him due to the meconium. But I’m still feeling contractions which I find strange, Dh says the dr gave me a small dose of pitocin after the baby came out to stimulate the placenta to come out. Uh, why? Doesn’t that stuff naturally come out on its own anyway? I should mention we opted to save baby’s blood cord so as the baby is being examined and cleaned I’m still laying there spread eagle with the placenta still inside and the cord hanging out while dr is collecting the cord blood. I could feel the cord tugging as she worked, very weird feeling. I also feel the milder contractions too. Once she’s done, she starts working on stitching me up because I tore. Again I realize an epi would’ve been awesome possum because I could feel her poke me with a needle 4 times to numb me for the stitching, but it’s not enough, I still feel every stitch, every pull, every tug. Anthony holds the baby while the dr works on me and I ask why I’m shaking so much. Dr says of course I’m shaking, my body just went through so much trauma. We take pictures but I don’t remember much except wanting to hold him and hearing him cry the whole time. Once the dr is done they give me the baby and Anthony takes pictures. I ask the nurses to dim the lights because the baby is still crying and the minute they dim the lights he calms down and stops. Magic -or mama senses :)The dr asks what name have we chosen, er… We’re still undecided. Either Marco or Michael but I just can’t decide. Anthony tells me he won’t send family and friends news or pictures of the baby’s arrival until I decide on a name. So I look at my sweet pea and decide he doesn’t look like a Marco, so Michael Sebastiano it is 🙂 Michael is the English version of my dad’s name and Sebastiano because we got married at St sebastian catholic church 🙂
After I’m all stitched up they take my little big guy away to have him weighed and measured, we take guesses on how big he is. My little chunker was 8 lb 12 oz and 21 3/4 inches. A lot bigger then expected since Sean was 6lb 6oz and 19inches. He took to the breast right away. I almost forgot to mention Sean’s sweet reaction. Almost to the second Michael was born and he’s crying, Sean calls my mom’s cell to find out if his baby brother has been born yet, he can hear the LO crying in the background and says “is that him? Is that my little baby brother crying?!?” My mom confirms and Sean begins to cry saying “I can’t believe it! He’s finally here and I can hear him, he sounds so beautiful, I love him so much!” Sigh, my big boy knows just how to melt my heart 🙂
Phew, that was longer then I expected, here’s a pic of him in the hospital and a picture of my handsome little man now at 4months