Friday, March 19, 2010

Selah's Story

I want to get Selah's birth story written while every thing is super fresh in my mind. There are going to be a lot of details - but that is so I don't forget them - feel free to skim if you want.

Selah's birth story really starts at my doctor's appointment on the 10th. I left the appointment 4 cm dilated and with an induction scheduled for the 18th. For the rest of that week and through the weekend I had intermittent contractions that were strong enough that I would go "oh, that's a contraction" but they didn't really hurt. I was completely convinced that I would make it to my induction since I saw no signs of my body actually starting labor. My mom drove up on Saturday night to stay the week with us. It gave me great peace of mind knowing that she would be here for Ephraim for when we were in the hospital.

Monday, March 15
I had random contractions throughout the day. I had been getting contractions only at night, so this was a change, but they still were not painful so I didn't think much of it. I also had some lower back pain that reminded me of my high jump days, but again, it didn't last all day and would come and go so I didn't pay much attention to it.

Ephraim and I fell asleep in my bed around 8:30. My mom moved him into his bed and I stayed asleep. Forrest was working downstairs. Around 10:30 Ephraim fell out of bed (for the first time ever) which woke me up. My contractions had disappeared (which was typical for when I fell asleep) so I took my heparin shot around 11. Forrest and I watched some tv with my mom and went to bed around 11:30.

Shortly after we went into bed I started to get contractions. These were different. They were a sharp pain that took my breath away, lasted about a minute and were about 6 minutes apart. They were primarily in my lower belly. After 3 contractions I woke up Forrest and said "these hurt", but I stayed in bed and continued to time them. Forrest later told me that he was hoping they would stop because it was sleepy time. By 12:30 I nudged Forrest awake and told him we should probably get up and he should take Ephraim's car seat out of our car.

I went to the bathroom, saw that I was slightly bleeding and finally figured out that this was probably really it. I woke up my mom and told her we were going to go in. Forrest hopped in the shower and took one of the quickest showers I have known him to take. Ephraim woke up right as we were leaving and was upset, but waved bye-bye to us.

Tuesday, March 16th
We left our house at 1AM. We plugged in Valley Medical Center Emergency Room into our GPS just because we had never had our GPS take us to a hospital before. The drive to the hospital took a little over 20 minutes. I had several contractions on the drive, but was able to breathe through them. Once at the hospital we entered the emergency room and were escorted to the Birthing Center.

I was evaluated in Triage Room C. I was hooked up to the monitors and baby girl looked great. I was checked and was at a 6. The nurse told me "you don't have to prove yourself, we can just admit you." They called the on-call doc for my practice and thankfully it was my doctor - Dr. Rice. Dr. Rice informed them that due to when I took my heparin I would be unable to have an epidural. The nurse in triage started my iv and drew some blood. She even drew some blood to check my platelet level - even though Dr. Rice hadn't ordered it - just in case my platelets were good enough that I could get an epidural. My L&D nurse Lynn came and walked us to our room - room 2133. By this time my contractions were stronger, but I was still able to breathe through them.

me being evaluated in Triage - the last picture of me pregnant

I went into the bathroom right after getting into our room and by the time I got out Dr. Rice was in the room letting me know he was there and would be getting updates from Lynn. It was about 2:30 AM. Lynn filled the bath tub for me and I climbed in.

My contractions started getting stronger and I started to moan through them. Forrest told me I sounded like a walrus. They were still several minutes apart so we talked and laughed at my walrus sounds in between them. Forrest even said he could throw ice chips at me if it would distract me. I turned him down. My contractions continued to get stronger and I could no longer stay still. Forrest held my hand during each contraction and kept telling me I was doing great. Lynn would check on me and tell me I was "singing her song" and that I was doing amazing.

After being in the tub for almost an hour (it was around 3:20) Lynn had to check on baby before, during, and after a contraction. I asked her to check me because I was having some pressure. I was 8 cm. I asked if there was anything I could take to take the edge off and was told no. Lynn explained that I was progressing quickly and she didn't want to have a sleepy baby. Lynn believed that if Dr. Rice broke my water that we would be having a baby very soon.

She called Dr. Rice and he stated he wanted to hold off a little longer to break my water, as sometimes that slows down labor and he didn't want to do that. Lynn told me she would check on me soon and to call her if the pressure didn't go away during contractions. I asked Forrest to call her three contractions later (the contractions were only 2 minutes apart by now). I was at 9.5 cm and had a "bulging bag".

I moved to the bed and Dr. Rice broke my water at 3:47 AM. I was immediately told to start pushing. I'll be honest - I really struggled those first few pushes. I remember crying "I can't do this" and not holding my breath while I tried to push. Dr Rice told me "Amy - I know it hurts, but you are not helping yourself or your baby by not holding your breath when you push." Forrest commented later that Dr. Rice didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, but it was exactly what I needed to hear to get me to focus.

I immediately started to push better. It was a completely different experience than with Ephraim. No one was counting to ten - I just pushed until I ran out of air and then took a deep breath and did it again. Dr. Rice explained that she was making a turn around my pelvis. Hearing this helped me figure out exactly what I needed to do to help her. It was funny to see Forrest get all excited and have him, Dr. Rice and Lynn all yell "yes! just like that!"

I got to experience the "ring of fire" - although that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. 13 minutes after Dr. Rice broke my water at exactly 4:00AM Selah Ruth was born. She was placed directly on my chest and started crying immediately. She hardly needed any suctioning (unlike her brother who had to be taken off my chest for not crying loudly). After a quick weight check she was placed back on my chest. 7 lbs, 11 ounces (almost a pound more than her brother). She scored 9's on both of her apgars. Dr. Rice stitched me back up (I didn't really tear, only popped open the scar from Ephraim), told me I did amazing and then left.

Right after she was born
Selah nursed for over an hour after she was born. I felt bad that Forrest hadn't been able to hold her, but he kept telling me it was okay. They put the eye ointment on her eyes while she was on my chest and waited for her to be done nursing to get her dressed and do her vitamin K and hep B shots. Forrest called my mom and told her that she could bring Ephraim in anytime. He then called his parents and let them know that their granddaughter had been born.

Although her birth was nothing like what I expected it to be - it was perfect. I am glad that I got to experience natural child birth. If I hadn't been "forced" to, I am not sure that I would have ever chosen to go that route. If we have a third child, I may choose to go natural again... we shall see.


Colleen Wachob said...

I am so happy for you! Good job, Mama! Really - walrus noises?:) The doulas in Jackson teach a method of loud, yoga-like moaning (really loud - like you can hear it down the hall!)... you figured it out on your own! You are awesome!

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

What a great birth story, Amy! Congratulations!! SO happy for you and Forrest!!

Bethany said...

Awesome. You are amazing.

ingodslove said...

I can't read a birth story without tearing up a little at how amazing God is that He designed birth like this. It is cool that you did it! Thank-you for sharing your story. I think I didn't make noises until I was pushing, but I bet they did sound like a walrus- lol. I'll ask Bob. I hope you are able to get lots of rest! Welcome little Selah!