Monday, July 27, 2009

The Birth Story: A Gator Tale

For the record, this is Allie's birth story in it's entirety. I don't tell the icky details or anything (well, not too many, only the funny ones) but if you get bored easily or squicked out easily then maybe you should come back tomorrow, I'll totally understand :) ~ UK

I know you've all been dying to hear the birth story (or something like that), so I decided to write it down in as much detail as I can remember. I love hearing other people's birth stories, it's all so dramatic and sweet and interesting and it feels like you are actually there with the person but at a nice safe, non-gross distance. Our Gator's birth was BY FAR the most easy going and relaxing birth we've had so far. Besides some short term, but major pain there in the middle, everything else was crazy low key and fast. It was the first time I've been able to really be present mentally for one of my children's births and really pay attention to what was going on. With Tot I was just so nervous and it was my first time and all, I didn't know where to look or what to try and remember. And with Little David I was so hopped up on Ambien it's a miracle I remember anything at all, actually. So this time, I was experienced and unmedicated (mostly), and I got to fully appreciate all of the birth - and it was way cool.

So, I guess my labor really started on Wednesday the 15th. Like I wrote here, I had my 38 week check up, scheduled my induction for Friday the 17th, and then went home. I had contractions all day, went back to the doctors, went to the hospital, and even though I had progressed from 3cm to 4cm I was sent home. The contractions continued sporadically the rest of the evening and into Thursday the 16th.

At this point, I knew I wasn't going to be having a baby until they induced me, so I kindof calmed down. I was in labor, just super, super early labor. I spent the day with Dave and my Mom (Dave took the day off work just in case I went into labor - he works an hour away) and the kids, playing around and cleaning up the house and packing up the odds and ends for the kids to stay with Dave's parents and for the rest of us at the hospital. Dave's mom picked up the kids that evening and then Dave, my Mom and I all went out to a movie/dinner place and saw Harry Potter and ate some rockin' food. Not too shabby for my last night pregnant! Movie was good (not as good as others, but better than some) and it was nice to sit back and relax and not think about the fact that in less than 12 hours I would be pushing something the size of a bag of flour out. We got home, set multiple alarms so we could be up and at the hospital at 5am. And then I slept.

We got up sometime around 4am so that I could get a shower and get to the hospital on time. I was so, so nervous that I was shaking. You'd think after doing this twice I would be all cool, but I totally was freaking out and quaking in my boots. Thankfully, my rockstar husband knew exactly what to do. He plugged in the iPhone and started "Eye of the Tiger" playing on the speakers. It's my power song. So I shadowboxed my way across our room and the bathroom while I got ready and within the first two minutes I was totally Unsinkable again. Eye of the Tiger never fails me, it has been my go-to song since college.

5am rolled around and we got to the hospital on time. I got into my room and changed into my CRAZY comfy hospital gown (seriously, this was one of the best parts of my stay - excluding the baby - it was so so soft and snuggly that I may have accidentally included it in my suitcase going home...) and hopped into the not as crazy comfortable bed. The nurses started up my pitocin at about 6/6:30am and then the miracle of birth began to proceed....


By about 8am I was getting seriously bored. The contractions had picked up and were vaguely intense but nothing like what I knew they could be. I was induced with Tot, and had a natural labor with Little David, and so I knew exactly how bad the pitocin contractions could get and how much worse they were then the natural labor I had with Little David. But I still planned on trying to do it without an epidural, so I figured this would take awhile. We got some music playing and chatted a little, and I mostly just played around with my iTouch while Dave played on the iPhone (we're so hightech) and my Mom read magazines. It was a total snoozefest.

About 8:15 my Doctor came in and checked me and I was about 6cm, so good, but not close yet. We joked around and chatted about all the bets people had made on how fast I would do this and he placed his bet for 10:30am. We decided to have him go ahead and break my water (I swear it looked like he pulled a knitting needle the size of a javelin out from the tray of ... utensils or whatever it is they call all that stuff) and up the pitocin at about 8:30am.

Well, that did the trick.

By 8:45 I was in PAIN. The real stuff. For those of you who have had natural labors, it went from early labor pain levels to transition labor pain levels in about 15 minutes. It. Was. Bad. Needless to say, I opted right for that epidural. Dave had actually punched the nurses button about 30 seconds before I turned to him and told him that I needed the drugs.

And they were glorious.

The anesthesiologist got there by 9am and proceed to give me a spinal block epidural (or however you say that). It took MUCH longer to get than my epidural with Taylor and I had to go into my happy place to get through it. Funny enough, all I kept thinking that entire HALF HOUR (seriously) was If I am as limp as a rag doll, the contractions won't hurt as much. Just limp like a rag doll. Just like Raggedy Ann. Like Raggedy Ann giving birth. How would Raggedy Ann even do that?" And I pictured all of these tiny Rag Babies falling out from under Raggedy Anns dress. Yes, it was weird. And yes, I actually snickered aloud at the thought of all those Rag Babies just falling from limp Raggedy Ann. But it got me through the eternal epidural and by the end, I was completely free from all pain.

Again, It. Was. Glorious.

And just like I had remembered from my labor with Tot, the epidural felt like hot chocolate on a cold day. I had once again gotten so cold, so pale, and so tense from the pitocin contractions that I simply couldn't relax and DUDE, the epidural made me relax. It was awesome. I declared my love once again to the anesthesiologist, and she took her miracle cart elsewhere to be the star in another laboring woman's dreams.

So, at this point, it's 9:30 and I am feeling GOOD. Totally pain free, and actually can't even tell if I am still contracting or not. The doctor came back in at about 9:45 and proceeded to hang out with us and chat and we all told jokes and stories and laughed(has to have been the most relaxed birthing atmosphere ever) and a little before 10am he checks me and lo and behold I am at a 10! I am feeling nothing so I don't really believe him, and when he asks if I want to go ahead and push, I was thinking "Well, sure, we can give it a go, but I don't think anything is quite ready yet."

How wrong was I!

Everything got set up, Dave got beside me (after asking if I would like Eye of the Tiger playing on our little speakers - I declined, because while funny to think about, not entirely appropriate) and he held my hand, the nurse set up the mirror so we could watch (TOTALLY GROSS) and two pushes later, at 10:07am, Allison Margaret shot out into the world like a greased pig. And she was perfection.

We laughed in total disbelief because no matter how many kids you have, it's always totally incredible that one minute they are this invisible person inside of you, that you only know theoretically, and the next minute they are outside of you, totally knowable. All the waiting is over and they are HERE.

So, that was the birth story. Lots of laughing, minimal pain, totally relaxed, and total perfection. Dave and I have already decided that should we decide to walk this road again (and that is by no means a certain plan) that we are going to do it exactly the same way, as far as it depends on us. My recovery has been freakishly easy (no tearing - hurray!!), my energy levels high, and our family mood one of going with the flow. We are much more prepared for this child mentally than we were for our other two, and that seems to have made a huge difference.

All in all, I give this birth an A+ and high marks for hilarity. It's not everyone who gets to enjoy such a comfy hospital gown and awesome epidural , and it's certainly not everyone who gets to shadowbox to Eye of the Tiger on the day of her labor and delivery.

I'd say it was a pretty great day to be Unsinkable :)


A Fancher said...

That's a great story. I get nervous every time- usually starts the day before. I get cold, shaky, can't eat much. I think it's just b/c even though I've done it before, you never know how this ones gonna go. I have been induced with all 4. I always thought of the water-breaker as a crochet hook.
What did you think about the mirror? I have never used it.

thirtycentcircus said...

ok, I just have to tell you this so you can laugh as well, during your labor and birth I was sitting in Dr. Allen's office WAITING on him.....the WHOLE TIME!!! I kept following the updates on facebook and wondering if he was in delivery with you guys....and he was! I totally shocked him when he walked through the dor by asking if he just visited with the Chapman's and all he could do was laugh and say YES!!! CONGRATULATIONS I want to see her soon!!

Diana said...

You rock, Unsinkable! I love birth stories! Thank you for sharing, and I am SO glad it went So very very well for your third! I can't WAIT to meet the Gator! I'm sure she's lovely! Post more pictures SOON!

Unsinkable Kristen said...

Ashley - The mirror was...interesting. I'm glad I watched and if we have more I'll watch again, but it is truly gross.

Jenifer - You guys have to come over some time and see her!! Seriously, anytime is good for us, come on over. And that is hilarious that you were waiting for Dr Allen!!

Diana - Pictures coming forthwith. Well, as soon as I can sit down long enough to upload them :)

Kristen said...

I, too, love birth stories! She is beautiful!