Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sam's birth story (part one)

This is the story of how Sam came into the world. On Thursday (May 15), I happened to not have any patients scheduled and took the day off to just take life easy during those last miserable days of pregnancy. So, Wednesday night, I started walking, hoping to induce labor and was rewarded with some mild contractions that were pretty regular, but became less regular as the night wore on. Thursday, I went for a two hour walk that was more eventful than planned. I had planned a leisurely short walk to try to get things going, but ended up getting chased by a nesting pigeon and getting lost trying to avoid the pigeon on the way home. Two hours later, I was exhausted, but back at home safe and sound. I'd been having contractions every 5 minutes and was hoping I'd be into labor by the time I got to my OB check that afternoon. (On the right: puffy and swollen Jen just after my 2 hour walk).

No luck, though. My doctor was out of town, so the PA refused to check my cervix and give me an update. She did find, however, that my blood pressure was high, so she put me on bedrest and sent me to the hospital to monitor the baby for an hour or so. There, the nurse checked my cervix and I was 1 cm dilated. The baby looked fine, so we went home a few hours later and I had contractions on an off throughout the night.

Friday, we went for another nonstress test (to monitor the baby) and my mom-friend, LeAnne, came to keep us company. The monitor showed fairly regular contractions, but I didn't feel very many. I was only dilated to 2cm and the nurse stripped my membranes to see if that would change anything. We went back home and LeAnne gave me a pedicure and we watched a movie to relax a little. By the time LeAnne left at 8:30p, I was having stronger, more frequent contractions. By 2am, the contractions were strong enough that I needed help getting through them and I woke up Joe for some coaching.

We had contractions every 3-5 minutes throughout the night. In the morning, we'd been in a regular labor pattern for 10 hours and decided to take a walk around the park to see if this was really it. The walk was beautiful and whenever a contraction would hit, Joe would hold me up. The contractions were getting longer and worse in my back, so we decided to go to the hospital. They were expecting us for another NST and Joe took pleasure in telling the nurse, "Nope, we're on our way to have a baby today!"

But, when we got to the hospital, I was only dilated to 3cm and wasn't all the way effaced yet. We stayed for our NST and then went home. I was tired, cranky and overall feeling discouraged. We'd been laboring for a few days and I was exhausted. I went home and slept while my wonderful husband and his friend, Ryan, installed the air conditioner so I wouldn't be so uncomfortable. The contractions eased off for the remainder of the day. (On the right: laboring at home, resting in between contractions. Doc was worn out from all the excitement).

But, by Saturday night, they were back. Dori (Joe's mom) had made it into town at this point. I had a lot of back labor and pretty regular, intense contractions and, again, made it a few hours before I had to wake up Joe to help with them. These were the most intense, painful contractions I had experienced and was struggling to cope with every strategy we'd learned in our birthing class. I didn't want to go to the hospital to just be sent home again, so we waited until about 10am to go to the hospital since we were supposed to have another NST that day.