Thursday, March 8, 2012

Abbi's Birth Story

Abbi's birth story is a long one. Prodromal labor kind of indicates that, but hers was almost annoyingly so. Still, we got the best present at the end. :)

On Friday, February 24th, I went in for my 37/38 week appointment with my midwife. My blood pressure and weight were fine, and Abbi's heart beat and fundal height were measuring perfectly. Melissa (my midwife) checked my cervix. The previous week I had been a 3 and now I was a 4, 75% effaced and had "bulging waters". She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped, and I said yes. I know there's controversy about stripping membranes, but living almost two hours from the hospital, I usually choose to have it done so I'll at least be closer if I do go into labor. I started having stronger contractions (I was having contractions constantly, but they weren't strong enough to be considered active labor) almost immediately.

We shopped a little, then headed to the Winchester Wal-Mart. While walking around, I began to feel like I was leaking fluid. The contractions were every 4-7 minutes apart, and I continued leaking. I called Carl and told him to head to Lexington and we went to the hospital to be checked.

Initially I tested positive for broken membranes. However, the nurse checked the stuff on her gloves that was closer to my cervix and it tested negative, so she had me pee in a cup and my pee tested positive (meaning my urine was as alkaline as amniotic fluid normally is). However, I was still having the strongest contractions to date. She checked me again after an hour or so, and I had progressed from 4cms to 5cms. The first time she checked me she said that she didn't feel bulging waters, but the second time she checked me she said that she did. They gave me the option of going to my sisters house for a bit and coming back when I was more "in labor" (letting Carl sleep some and me eat something), or stay at the hospital. We chose to go to my sisters. They "reserved" the room (with the TUB!) for me for a few hours, because they just knew I'd be back in the wee hours of the morning.

We went back to my sisters, I ate a bowl of oatmeal and took a long shower. I then laid down to "try" and sleep.

I woke up several times throughout the night with contractions, but nothing regular. Mom said (because she slept with me) that she could hear my breathing change and get faster, and she assumed that was when I was having one. I woke up around 9-10 the next morning and was only having my very minimal contractions.

Both Carl and Melissa wanted me to walk around some before heading home, so Mom, Keevia and I went to the mall for a few hours. I never had much of any more leaking, and the contractions I had were my usual ones, with very few strong ones thrown in. We called it a day a few hours later and headed back to my sisters. We started packing up to go home, and I went to use the bathroom before we left.

Holy lots of bloody show, Batman.

We decided to stay another night. Carl went out and got a big exercise ball, and I spent the evening bouncing away. Nothing. Went to bed and got up the next morning...still nothing. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, where I had more bloody show. Frustrated, we headed home.

We literally hit our hometowns city limits and I started having stronger contractions. I had strongish contractions all that evening and the next day. I called my midwife on Monday afternoon to ask about the continual bloody show I was having (it was mainly mucousy with streaks of blood), and she asked to see me on Tuesday instead of Friday (when my next appointment was).

So, Tuesday morning we got up and headed back to Lexington. We got to her office around 10am. Again, weight, blood pressure, fundal height and heartbeat were all perfect. I had progressed to 6cms and was 80%+ effaced. She said my cervix was SO super soft she didn't see how I hadn't had a baby.

We decided, that since I was already 6cms dilated, and my body was so ready, and I lived 2 hours away, that we would go ahead and break my water. I called Carl and told him to head our way, then we went out to grab something to eat and some fruit and snacks for the delivery room. We got to the hospital, got checked in, and started getting settled in the room. Unfortunately the tub room was occupied.

Carl didn't get there until after 2pm because of a double wide trailer that was PUT TOGETHER traveling down the mountain parkway. There was no way for him to pass. My midwife was super understanding though and said she'd come and break my water once he got there. She got held up herself, so my water wasn't broken until about 3:30-4.

Funny story. I didn't have much water to break. Like, at all. I barely wet a chuck, and it took several, several tries to break it. My Momma thinks that it actually did at least leak on Friday. I don't know. I know that either the breaking of the water, the cervical manipulation, or SOMETHING catapulted me into much harder labor. 

I had a super sweet nurse who put me on the monitors directly after my water was broken for about 20 minutes. She then came in and started talking to us about books and Kindles, and Nooks while I bounced away on the birthing ball. I began noticing I had to reaaaaally concentrate to get through a contraction. I really only wanted to be sitting on the toilet because I felt like I needed to pee constantly.

I don't think Mom or Carl either one really realized how fast the contractions were getting more painful. Mom was talking to someone on the phone and was talking about how they were getting "a little harder". I remember thinking " freaking hurt..." and Carl was ordering a pizza (and asking me if I wanted any....). An hour after my water was broken, the nurse came in and monitored me again (just Abbi's heartbeat for 1 minute. LOVE THAT HOSPITAL). As soon as she was done, I stripped off and got in the shower.

The contractions were much more managable in the shower. I either sat on the chair in there, or stood with the water hitting my back. A week or so before I had watched this video that a doula friend of mine had posted on Facebook, and being very, very musical I decided to give it a try. I began singing any hymn I could think of. I sang "Just a Closer Walk With Thee", "Amazing Grace", my favorite "Come Thou Fount" and more. Literally anything that popped in my mind I started singing. And it worked. It worked very, very well. If I sang, I didn't notice the contraction as much. If I didn't sing it was muuuuuuuuuuuch harder to concentrate through it. I stayed in the shower for over an hour (the nurse came with a handheld doppler and checked me while I was in there!). I only got out because I was starting to get very, very hot, the contractions were beginning to come on top of one another, and I couldn't sing through them anymore. I was pretty sure I was in transition.

I got out and had them move the bed so that I could lean on my hands and knees. ALL of my pain was right over my bladder area, and it was agonizing. There for about 10 minutes I was having contractions on top of one another, and then they slacked off to about every 3 minutes. The pain at this point was almost unbearable. My Mom started pushing on my low back (even though I wasn't having back labor like last time) and the pressure or something made it bearable again. Funny thing was that my chiropractor (who had came in about this time) couldn't do it like Momma could. I was checked somewhere in here and was at a 8 or a 9. My midwife told me the way I was sitting might actually be putting MORE pressure on that area of my stomach, so I moved onto my left side. I tried to rest as best I could between contractions. Looking back, I think I was ready to push here, but I didn't really have a strong urge. I weathered several contractions on my left side, and finally started sobbing that I couldn't do it anymore. My midwife recommended that I start pushing and see if that helped.

Oh, sweet relief. If I pushed through a contraction the pain went away. They got things ready, and I started REALLY pushing. In about 2 pushes she was crowning and I began feeling the ring of fire. I started pushing steadily and gently (when the midwife told me to) and then around 2 big pushes later, she was out! I didn't have any ripping or tearing again!

They laid her on my chest and started cleaning her off. She was slightly reluctant to cry, but they got one out of her pretty quickly. Throughout the entire birth I didn't really have very much fluid at all come out.

Keevia was in the room the entire time. Mom says that when it started getting intense she handed K her iPhone and Keevia climbed up on the couch, with her back to me, and watched Blues Clues. Either right before I gave birth or right after, I started crying, and she got a little upset that Mommy was crying... So Mom picked her up, and she was fine. I remember her going "That's Baby Abbi!" as Abbi was laid on my chest.

We delayed cord clamping until the cord had stopped pulsing, and then we snuggled with Abbi a little longer. I delivered the placenta with no pitocin and it was MUCH more pleasant than when I delivered it with pitocin with Keevia.

Because she came SO quickly (about 4 hours after my water was broken) and in only 4-5 pushes, she was bruised to pieces. She had broken blood vessels in her eyes, bruising on her eyes, nose and forehead, and big bruises across her back. I'm a mean old Mommy. They took her and weighed and measured her, then brought her back and she latched right on to nurse. She nursed about four times in the next two hours.

All in all, it was a much less painful birth than Keevias. With K's birth I kind of hypnotized myself and was silent. I was much more vocal with this birth (I even asked for a C-Section when she was crowning), but I was able to be more aware. I was more vocal because I could BE more vocal. If I opened my eyes with K I started hyperventilating. I was able to reach down and feel Abbi's hair and head as she came out this time. I think a lot of my pain was from being ready to deliver, but she just hadn't dropped fully. When I started pushing, I dropped her myself. Melissa had told my Mom and Carl while I was in the shower that she could stretch my cervix to a 10 when she broke my water, it was THAT soft.

I don't regret them breaking my water at all. I went so quickly it would have been difficult for us to get to the hospital if it had broken at home (especially if I had dilated more before then!) and almost impossible for Carl to get there. I have a beautiful healthy baby, and I couldn't be happier. I honestly never felt like I had a baby at all. The only real pain I felt after birth was from my tailbone, I think I pushed it out a little.

So there it is. If you read it in its entirety you deserve a medal! Ha!


  1. Yay! So glad to hear everything went well! You're a strong, brave woman! Loved reading your sweet story. There's nothing more precious than delivering a baby! Hope things are going well now and that Keevia is adjusting her new baby:) Many prayers for you in the upcoming weeks!

  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful birthing story, Shaina! I felt like I was there! :) Congratulations!

  3. I'm just dropping you a note to let you know I read your birth story and to thank you for sharing. I am in the middle of prodromal labor and at home at 5 cm so I've been wondering what I should do. I think I had prodromal with my first as well but it broke my water very early on and then I needed to be induced to finish the job. Congratulations on your little girl!


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