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Keegan's Labor and Birth - Birth Stories

Old September 13th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #1

KateinDenver's Avatar

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Keegan's Labor and Birth

The following was written over the course of my entire labor, delivery, and early postpartum period. Most of it is in present tense because there were the updates I was posting to my DDC. If you are plan on having a natural childbirth or are curious about one, I hope my story can serve as an inspiration! It was so worth it!

Thanks for reading!

** Monday Morning (8/23/10)
Woke up to a contraction at about 12:45 last night and then had them all night. Finally woke dear husband (DH) up at about 4:30 and had really good contractions from about 5 to 8, about 3-4 min apart and requiring lots of concentration. Then, of course right after DH called out of work, they started to slow down and I got really sleepy and actually managed to take an hour long nap from 9 to 10. Have been having some contractions since then and have been eating, drinking, and taking short walks. Also lost my Mucus Plug (MP) at about 10:30! Dh and I are just hanging out now keeping things low key and hoping things pick back up again as the day goes on. I'll update as I can.

** update Tuesday morning
Contractions really fizzled out. Still having them here and there but not regular like they were. I got a really good night's sleep last night. DH is off to work and we'll meet up for the Bio Physical Profile (BPP) at 2:30 if nothing happens before then. Thanks for all the (Easy Labor Vibes) ELVs, I still need them!

** update Tuesday afternoon
Just got back from the BPP / Non Stress Test (NST). Keegan was moving, practicing breathing, had heart-rate accelerations, and his head was really low. The only thing that he didn't pass was the amniotic fluid level check. His highest was 1.8 cm and needed to be at 2 cm. So his overall score is 8/10. After the NST the nurse took the strip to the OB and came back and only said "The Dr. said he should be born in the next few days." First of all, tell me something I don't know. Secondly, if you are the Dr. I might get transferred to if I need to go the hospital, the least you could do is come and introduce yourself! Other than that, all is OK. Having mild contractions all day and they pick up tonight. Appointment tomorrow is at 10:30 to get the cervical balloon induction underway.

** update Wednesday Afternoon
Had a morning appointment with the midwives today. I was 2 1/2 cm and 80% effaced and at -1 station. For some reason the OB from yesterday did not send them the results right away like they should have. We relayed as much information as we were told, which was everything looked good except his fluid levels were a little low. We also told them that the Nurse from yesterday said that "he should come in the next few days" (duh). Anyway, they sent us home after sweeping my membranes.

Later, around 5pm Aubry and Leigh called us and said that they finally had the BPP results faxed over, which included this little tidbit: "patient should deliver within 48-72hrs". It sure was nice of the OB to wait over 24hrs to fax this to our midwives. I think we were all a little perturbed at the situation. So after having received this, the midwife on call tonight (Aubry) and the one for tomorrow (Leigh) decided to have us come back in. So, we went back down there and I got checked again, still at 2 1/2, but now Keegan is at 0 station, sitting on my cervix. Progress. They sent me home with some Cottonroot Bark tincture (which makes the uterus more sensitive to oxytocin) to hopefully make my contractions more productive. Because he was so low they decided not to do the cervical balloon dilation, but that if I didn't go in to labor tonight I have to go back tomorrow morning and get checked again and then do castor oil. Our fingers are crossed for tonight. I'm tired.

** Update Friday Afternoon
After I started on the Cottonroot Bark on Wednesday my contractions became way stronger and longer in duration. It came to the point where they were about 3 minutes apart for about an hour, so Jeremy called Aubry and we headed into the birth center around 2:30am Thursday morning. The car ride was awful! Met up with her and she checked me to find that I was only 4 cm dilated, and they don't admit until 5 cm. Since my contractions weren't really picking up at the time and my demeanor was not of a woman in active labor, that left us with the option of going home and waiting it out. We decided to come home. I felt so bad for getting Aubry up and to birth center for nothing, but I suppose that come with the territory. We got back home around 4am, I tried to sleep, but didn't, so I took a bath. The bath helped me relax between contractions, I think I even took a few cat naps in the water.

Later that morning, at about 9 am, we went back to the birth center to get yet another NST (which he passed). The midwife on duty for the day, Leigh, sent us home with some castor oil which she was pretty sure would cause us to be back there later that night. She was very understanding and sweet about everything. She told us that if we didn't have the baby sometime within the next 24 hours they would have to transfer us to the hospital for an induction. As the day went on and the castor oil took its tole (don't do castor oil if you don't have to!!!!) but my contractions remained about 8-10mins apart. Since this was the third day or so of contractions without any sleep I was exhausted, a little depressed, and accepting the fact that we might end up at the hospital. DH and I settled on the plan: I could not make it through another night with contractions, we would meet with Leigh around 8pm that night either be admitted to the birth center and see how far we can get, or go to the hospital. Jeremy and I were a little more than bummed at this point that a transfer was looking like a real possibility, but we both knew that we had used every possibility have our birth at the birth center.

*** BIRTH ***
We called Leigh around 7 Thursday night and she took a little while to return our call from the answering service since she was in the middle of another birth at the time. When she called us back we told her our plan and she was very sympathetic. She told us that this is the end of the road one way or the other, and since you are going to have to have your baby at the hospital tomorrow we might as well try everything we can. She told us to head in right away so we could try breaking my water then breast pumps and then if nothing progressed we would transfer. We were super happy to hear this since the midwives are usually not in the business of breaking bags but made an exception due to our situation. When we got there we were suprised to find that there were three other families there at the same time! Two were in labor and one had given birth earlier. I was worried at first we wouldn't get our room, "the tent room", but Leigh said she didn't even offer that room to the other mommas because after 4 days of early labor I deserved the room I wanted! That was sweet of her! At around 9:30 pm she checked me and told me that I was still measuring the same as earlier that day (around 3.5cm). She hooked me up to an IV of saline fulids because she thought I might be a little dehydrated on account of the castor oil. Next, she broke the bag with an amnio hook, but nothing came out. This wasn't a super surprise as our BPP said our fluids were a little low and we knew Keegan's head was already resting on the cervix without any forewaters in between. Then, we started the dual electric breast pump to try to stimulate oxytocin release. We went through about 4 or 5 cycles of pumping, contraction (no pumping), pumping before Leigh had to step out a bit to help some other mommas. While she was gone DH continued the cycles and we only got through one or two before the contractions were down to 3 minutes apart, then 2, then pretty much it felt like I had no rest around 10:30 pm.

Jeremy told her I felt like I wasn't getting a break in between contraction so when she returned she asked me if I was feeling contractions, or feeling pressure. Since I couldn't really tell at that point she felt my belly when I had some pain and said that it was not contractions so it must be pressure. I really wanted to get in the birthing tub that was next to our bed at this point but she said we needed to wait a bit to make sure we were still heading in the right direction. I hated having to wait!! I also had the shakes in between contractions because I was having a hard time relaxing. Standing and swaying wasn't working anymore so I was side-laying in the bed with Jeremy. This is where I think a technique like hypnobirthing would have been very helpful... Maybe next time! After a half hour or so she checked me again and I had progressed to 5 cm, yay!

She let me in get the tub with the caveat that if things slowed down I would have to come out. The tub really helped take the edge off between contractions and things did not slow down. There really is a reason it is called the midwives epidural! It wasn't as hot as I wanted it to be so she was adding pots of hot water every 10 minutes or so. Through all my contractions she was having me lean forward to ensure he would be in the optimal fetal position. My legs were getting a little tired from leaning forward but I kept at it. At some point I finished my second liter of fulids and was disconnected from the IV. I was so happy because I had assumed my had needed to be out of the water so when she disconnected it I asked if I could put it in the tub and she told me I could do whatever I wanted! Relief!

Just before she had to attend to a phone call she said that if I had the urge to push in the tub to hold off and let her know so she could check my cervix because if it isn't fully dilated then it can swell if you start pushing. Jeremy and I were surprised and excited that we were already talking about pushing at this point. While she was out of the room I told Jeremy that I was having intermittent urges to push and to go track her down. It was very strange. My whole body would tense up and bear down even though I wasn't telling it to. When she returned she checked me and said there was just the tiniest bit of cervix left and that I could push whenever I felt like it.

I liked pushing a lot more than the other stages of labor! It felt good to be actually making progress and I was getting more rest in between the urges. I was only pushing when I felt the urge. My position of choice for much of this was on my knees, sitting, holding on to my legs just above my ankles. Not as tiring as squatting but felt effective. After 40 minutes I was about ready to deliver. She set up a mirror and a flashlight in the tub so she and DH had a good view as he was crowning. Jeremy and I both got to feel his head. Jeremy and Leigh could see that he had a lot of hair. At one point, I was in about the middle of the tub when she said either she was jumping in the tub with me or I was going to have to get closer, and I sighed, then replied, "I'm coming" and we all laughed a bit.

As delivery came closer she offered Jeremy the chance to catch Keegan with her, which he accepted with smiles. In the last moments she explained that the plan would be to place him in my arms, on my chest right away then assist me out of the tub and on the bed so we could avoid a tub full of placenta. They don't deliver placentas in the water because you can't tell how much blood is lost in case there is a problem. As he came out my eyes were closed and he was about to be put on my chest Jeremy saw the tub turn red very quickly and thought I had torn badly. I caught a glimpse of him as Leigh was pulling him up and noticed his belly looked red. Leigh was in action mode at this point and whisked Keegan off to the bed and was calling for Katelyn the nurse outside to come in right away. She instructed Jeremy to help get me out of the tub as soon as possible. Keegan's cord snapped as he was being delivered. Leigh did a great job of making sure the cord stub on Keegan and the one still attached to the placenta were quickly clamped. The whole ordeal was pretty much over and in control before I fully realized what had happened. We were both relieved that it wasn't a major complication, but were a little bummed that he didn't get to receive all his cord blood. They don't clamp the cords of babies at the birth center until they stop pulsing which I was really interested in seeing. Another, "maybe next time!".

After the cord was all taken care of I had him on my chest and felt great! I wanted to look into his face more but he was facing the side so mostly I was looking at the top of his head and stroking his silky smooth back. The blanket that was handy was brown with pink dots and Katelyn joked about with us, saying it was mostly masculine! She put that over his back to help keep him warm. While Jeremy and I were staring at our little man, Leigh went to work having me push out the placenta and repairing the tiny skin tears I had. I'm a believer in perineal massages now! So thankful I didn't tear badly. I only needed three little stitches. After a few minutes Keegan starting rooting and we got to breast feed for the first time with a little help from Katelyn. After a little bit of sucking it was discovered that Keegan had his first poo and we were both covered in meconium! Yuck! Katelyn also brought us some cut up apples and cheese and crackers along with 4 ibuprofen tablets for me to take. Once Leigh was done fixing me and things were more in order in the room, Leigh and Katelyn left the three of us alone for about 10 minutes to bond as a new little family. Katelyn came back and asked if I wanted a bath and I said sure! Jeremy took Keegan and I waddled to the bathroom. Copious amounts of blood were going everywhere! The thought crossed my mind that this is another reason why the birth center is so great as compared to a home birth because I didn't have to clean any of that up! Getting in the herbal bath felt great. A few minutes later they brought Keegan to the tub for a quick dip to clean his bottom. We decided not to dip his head because they say if you don't clean the head it helps your milk come in faster. After a few wipes, Katelyn and Jeremy took Keegan back to the room and let me be. While I soaked, Jeremy and Katelyn did the newborn checks. Leigh came in the bathroom and sat down beside the tub and asked me if I felt like superwoman. I smiled and said not really and she laughed at me and told me I should! I thanked her for all her hard work and for being so sweet and understanding.

Time flew by and before we knew it we were heading home after 4 hours (around 6:22) as one new happy family!!

In the end he was 41 weeks, 4 days. 8lbs 9.5oz, 23 inches and a head full of hair.


Last edited by KateinDenver; September 14th, 2010 at 12:51 AM..
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Old September 14th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #2
Pelvic tilts fix that!

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Beautiful! I am so proud of you!


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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #3

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Such a great birth story!

sounds like you (and your midwives) did a fantastic job!!!!


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Old October 13th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #4
loving life

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Sounds like you did a fantastic job!!! Congrats.


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birth, keegan's, labor
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