Abbie’s birth story: Part 2

16 Jun

When we arrived, my dad pulled into the parking lot at the same time (weird!) and so all 4 of us headed up to labor and delivery. We waited at the desk for what seemed like hours. All I remember is bending over and lifting up my leg because it was the only awkward position that took pressure off of my tail bone.

Once we were admitted around 1pm, we were taken back to our labor and delivery room (which was SO nice and big!) and I was told to get into a gown and get in the bed so the nurses could do their protocol, routine, nurse stuff. I hated every second of it. Luckily, we had our birth plan with us and handed it to the nurses/ doctors/ pediatricians on staff so that they all knew we were aiming for as natural of a birth as possible.  They were all SO willing to go along with most of our plan and that put me at ease. I could avoid any needles for a few more hours while they let me labor.

The time seemed to go by so quickly. The contractions continued to come and it was pretty miserable. The pain was all in my lower back and it was getting pretty bad. The worst part was, I had to stay in my bed, laying on my back (the WORST position to labor in or push a baby out), hooked up to monitors that watched Abbie’s heart and my blood pressure.  There was also a nurse that would come in every hour to take my temperature and check my BP.

A few hours later I was hooked up to an IV for fluids since I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink (although I snuck Gatorade and peanut butter crackers a few times).  That was also an unfavorable part of our time in the hospital… that painful IV port on the top of my hand!

  Around 5 or 6pm they came to check my progress and I still was only around 3 or 4 cm. The nurses said I needed to go on pitocin to get stronger, “more effective” contractions. I learned that night that “more effective” is hospital lingo for PAAAAIIIIN! They hooked pitocin into my IV and started me at a 2 (on a scale of 2-20…it goes up by “twos”). I still had no pain medication at this point and I was very thankful for that. I was already dealing with the IV, but was thinking to myself that I could NOT handle a giant needle being jabbed into my back for an epidural! Plus, we had studied all of the drugs that go into pitocin, epidurals, etc and how that affected mother and baby. The result of those studies was our desire to have a natural and drug- free birth.  Needless to say, I was trying my hardest to tough it out and handle the pain. We had taken a Bradley childbirth class that was all about relaxation and focus, but with these contractions on top of one another and all the pain focused into my lower back without the freedom to move…it was too much.

The nurse pumped up my pitocin to 4…..then to a 6 a couple hours later. Still with no pain medication. By 7 or 8 pm I was in the most unbearable pain that I have ever experienced and only dilated to a 5. I was getting to the point where all I could do was sit in my bed and cry through contractions since I was so sleep deprived and physically exhausted. I just couldn’t relax or stay on top of them anymore and I was becoming delusional (which was partly due to the high fever I developed during labor). I had reached my wits end and remember telling Justin “I need an epidural. I have to get one. I can’t take it anymore” between sobs. I knew if I didn’t have anything to help with the pain, I wouldn’t be able to push her out and have the vaginal birth that we wanted, which was the most important thing and all I really had left to hope for and that point. The thing that made me most relieved was our doula, Cee, saying it was okay to get it. Not that we needed her permission, but we were all on the natural childbirth band wagon and she knew how much we wanted that natural birth. So for her to know what I was going through and to say that it was probably a good idea to get it made me a more at ease and less guilty about my decision.

Around 11pm, I was 5-6cm dilated and the anesthesiologist came in. She kicked everyone out so it was just her, the nurse, and I in the room. I remember telling her I was so glad to see her but I was also very scared. I think the worst part was having to sit on the bed leaning forward, hug a pillow, and stay perfectly still while she was putting the needle in … ALL while having constant contractions in my lower back. Talk about miserable! Once she was done, she had me lean back and performed all kinds of tests on me to make sure the medicine was kicking in. It is the strangest feeling to slowly lose control over my body! After we knew the medicine was working, the nurse put a catheter in since I had no control over my bladder or my muscles.  This was also, as you might guess, miserable. Lol.

At 11:50. The OB came in to check me and break my water. She said I was 8cm dilated and before she could break my water with the amniohook, it broke naturally on its own!

We were all thinking we could rest for a bit until it was time to push…but 15 minutes later that I felt an urge to push rush over me! It was something that I couldn’t control. I remember yelling , “I have to push! I can’t help it!” Cee and Justin were telling me to breathe through it but it was the strangest thing that came over me and I could feel that Abbie wanted to get out…and quick! The nurse checked me and a I was a good 9 cm dilated! I forget what happened  within the hour, but at 9:50 she asked me to try and push a little and right after I pushed she said “okay you’re 10 now”!  The nurse called the OB and we were on our way to having Abbie in the world!


**side note: the whole time we were in the hospital, Cee was texting back and forth with one of our midwives, Hope,  and she had just arrived at the hospital to be with us to help me push : )

The OB came in and as she was tending to me I could see a bunch of nurses and doctors setting up the room for delivery. Stirrups came out of nowhere, my bed got taller, a baby incubator showed up, and we were ready for business. 

The “legit” pushing started around 12:50am. The doctors told me to just listen to my body and push when I felt like I needed to. I pushed hard quite a few times. It was so comforting to be surrounded by Justin, Cee, and Hope in that time. I remember I just had my eyes closed and I was so focused on their voices encouraging me. That was such a beautiful moment for me! Before I knew it, they told me “she’s right there! Push and bear down!” Suddenly, I felt a huge pop and out Abbie came! Abbie Noelle Shannon was born at 1:41am. Dr. Wilkes quickly unwrapped the chord from around her neck, cut it, and then the pediatrician took her to the incubator because there was meconium in the fluid. One of our wishes was to hold off on cutting the chord until it stopped pulsing, but since there was meconium in the fluid, they had to whisk her away and clear her lungs. At 1:57, I easily pushed out the placenta and the doctors started fixing me up (I tore pretty badly with 2 third degree tears).

Once she was cleared, she was brought to me and I tried feeding her. She was so precious! Abbie scored a 9 on her APGAR test right away…she was a big, healthy baby!


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