Friday, December 20, 2013

Reagan Brooke's Birth Story

Introducing:

Reagan Brooke Dew.
Born :  December 14, 2013 4:01 pm
Weighing: 7 lb 5 oz
Length:  21 inches

It all began the week of December 9.  I had been having contractions on and off all week.  It was hard for me to determine BH contractions from the real thing and I spent a lot of sleepless nights timing contractions and wondering to myself if they were real or not, only to be disappointed and exhausted. 

Sick of this little girl giving me the run around, Thursday night I decided I was going to try and take matters into my own hands, and try to naturally induce labor.  I walked 45 minutes on the treadmill, I pumped for 20 minutes, I tried a handful of other things, all in hopes of jump starting labor. 

For a while it seemed to be working.  But once again, after a few hours of steady contractions, by the next morning they were virtually gone.  So Friday evening, I decided I was going to stop.  I was going stop trying to make this happen, I was going to stop making something out of nothing, I was going to stop worrying, and just let my baby come when she was ready.  I took a long bath, completely relaxed, and decided I was going to go to bed early and wake up with a fresh prospective.

That's when the contractions really started to pick up.

Putting Logan to bed that night, I knew this was the last time I would put him to bed as an only child.  And I bawled.  I bawled like a little baby.

After I composed myself, it was off to the hospital.  After they got me checked in, they examined me and I was dismayed to find that I was only 1 to 2 cm dialated and 70% effaced.  The nurse seemed pretty sure they would be sending me home that night, but she agreed to monitor me for an hour.  My doula (aka my gift from heaven)  arrived and she and Daniel began rubbing my feet and helping me to relax.  An hour later I had dialated to 2 cm.  Another hour of monitoring.  Dialated to 3 cm.  That's when they agreed to admit me.

By 3 am I had dialated to 4 cm.  The nurses didn't want to call the doctor in in the middle of the night, and only she could break my water or order Pitocin, so my labor pretty much stalled out.  We all rested until the next morning.  Around 9 am the doctor called in and agreed to give me some Pitocin.

The Pitocin helped the baby to descend and I continued to thin out, but I was still at 4 cm until 1 pm when the doctor finally made an appearance.  She broke my water, upped the Pitocin, and said she was headed to Target.

This is when the contractions really came, and they came hard and fast.  Daniel and my doula were amazing.  They really helped to keep me relaxed and use my body in the most effective positions to make the labor really count.  2 hours later, I was dialated to 7 cm and feeling the need to push.  The nurse checked me, felt the baby's head and we all knew it wouldn't be long.  It was around this time I began REALLY feeling it and asking for an epidural.  Alas, the baby was coming too quickly, and it was too late.

Unfortunately, I couldn't push until I was dialated completely, or until the doctor came back.  Target is all of 5 minutes away, but my little girl wanted to be born in a snow storm, and the roads were awful.  I was ordered to get on my hands and knees until the doctor came back to finish dialating.

When the doctor finally arrived, she checked me and it was time to push.  Keep in mind, that I am in the most mind blowing pain of my life.  Seriously, I thought I was going to die.  Serious pain.  Ok, anyway, back to the pushing.

Contraction 1:  Begin pushing.  Much to everyone's surprise, we didn't see the top of the baby's head.  We saw her face.  We saw her lips.  She honestly looked like a fish.  I will never, ever, ever forget that sight, or my doula's voice saying, "That is her lips!  You need to push her out!"  I pushed with everything I had, but the pain was so intense, I couldn't get her out.

Contraction 2:  I am yelling, "I cannot do this.  Just cut her out of me!"  The doctor is saying, "You need to push her out."  My doula is saying, "She's doing what is best for the baby, you can do this.  You're doing this!"  Daniel is saying, "I'm going to pass out."  The nurse is getting a chair to catch Daniel.

Contraction 3:  I gathered everything I had inside of me, and was able to push her out.  I immediately thought to myself, "That was the stupidest thing I've ever done.  I should have never tried to do this naturally.  I will never do this again.  I'm so glad I didn't die."

She is beautiful.  She was completely bruised and looking like she had lost a boxing match, but she was perfect and healthy and beautiful.

We are all in love.  Logan loves her.  It is so sweet to watch him become a big brother.  I know he is going to be her best friend, her protector, her guardian.  She already has Daniel wrapped around her little finger.  And me, well she is the apple of my eye.  I've been waiting my whole life to have a baby girl and it's just as wonderful as I imagined it would be. 


Take Aways:

1.  My body can do remarkable things.  Yes, my delivery was awful.  It was painful and traumatic.  But a few days removed, I can see that it was actually pretty incredible.  Only 0.02% of births are face presentation (medical term).  The nurse told me in 32 years of being in labor and delivery she had never seen one.  It usually means a c-section, because it can be very dangerous for the baby to come out that way.  I'm sure an even smaller subsection of those birth are drug free.  My body was able to do something that not everyone can do.  That makes me feel pretty amazing and like I can do anything.

2.  Follow your instincts.  Nothing was clear cut in my birth story, but I followed my gut.  And although I begged for the epidural at one point, I'm glad I followed my plan for a natural birth.  The nurse told me if I would have gotten one, it would most certainly have lead to a c-section.  I felt like every decision I made put me in the perfect position to have the safest possible birth for my little girl, in the situation we were in. 

3.  Hire a doula.  This was one of the best decisions I have EVER made!  She kept me going when I was getting discouraged, she helped my labor to progress, and she helped me get through to delivery.  While the nurses were catching Daniel and saving him from passing out, she was there willing me to push the baby out.  I could not have done it without her.  I will never ever have a baby again without a doula.

At the end of the day, she's here and there's nothing better than that.  It was awful, but I'd do it in a heartbeat for this amazing little girl!

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