Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Aaron's Birth Story

On January 15th I woke up at 5am. To be more specific, Andrew woke up at 5 am, and I woke up shortly therafter, to a little boy calling out "wake up, mommy?" like he does every morning. I had been fighting a cold all week and had finally managed to get a decent nights sleep, and was not happy, so I took Andrew to the potty, then brought him back to bed and told him it was not time to get up and I was not waking up at such a ridiculous hour.

Twenty minutes later, I was lying on the couch with Andrew, reading him "Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever" and trying not to fall asleep, when I felt my first contraction. It caught me off guard, because it was my due date, after all. Who goes into labour on their due date? I kept reading, not too concerned. By the time I had got all the way to "100 fireflies", however, the contractions were starting to be pretty regular, I was having trouble concentrating and beginning to feel a bit chilly and shaky. I thought this was strange, but decided to get a drink of water, and let Dave know that I seemed to be in labour. It was around 6 am. He said "okay, thanks for keeping me updated" and rolled over and went back to sleep. After all, I was in labour for 9 hrs before my water broke and I needed to go to the hospital last time, so this was far from urgent.

Andrew and I read another book, then, since I was starting to feel quite ill, went and watched some Strong Bad cartoons on the computer. I started timing my contractions, because they seemed to be quite close together and intense. They were about 4 or 5 min. apart and 45 seconds long by 6:45. At 7 I woke Dave up and told him to start getting ready to go. So he had a shower and ate some breakfast, and watched videos with Andrew while I started gathering up the things Andrew and I would need for our adventures. The contractions were getting pretty strong now, and I had to stop and breathe through them.

At about 7:30 I went in to our tv/spare room and told Dave that he would have to finish packing things up. I sat down next to Andrew and he watched his video while I breathed through my very strong, regular contractions, and tried to interact calmly with him between then so he would know everything was all right. Andrew ate his apples and watched his video, seeming not to notice what was happening around him.

At 7:45 I told Dave he needed to pack up the car and call the S's to let them know we were coming over. I was now almost entirely in "the zone" -- I knew what was going on around me and was making sure things happened, but at the same time I was really detached and focused on relaxing through contractions. I get really intense and focused in situations like this.

At 8:15 or so we dropped Andrew off at the S's. They waved and wished me good luck, and I just kind of nodded at them.

At about 8:25 or 8:30 I got to the hospital. I thought it was kind of weird that as we drove up to the hospital my contractions started getting less intense. I went straight up to labour and delivery, letting Dave deal with signing me into the hospital. Shortly after this I was in the delivery room, and the nurse was sort of puttering around and getting things ready. She asked if she could check my cervix, just to see how far along I was. I agreed, and she seemed a bit baffled. She said "oh, I think you're about 6 cm, but I can't tell because your membranes are in the way".

Contractions were getting intense, so I asked if I could have some nitrous gas. The nurse offered me the mask, but it didn't really seem to be helping.

The doctor, who was at the hospital doing his morning rounds, came in and decided to check me. He said he might break my water to get things moving along. He checked my cervix and looked a bit surprised, and said, "Oh, you're fully dilated. I think we'll just let things be." He also noticed that the nitrous gas tank was empty -- they called maintenance to get a new tank, but it kind of came too late.

I thought I would try to go to the bathroom before I started really having to push, but instead my water broke on the toilet. I came back and tried to relax, but I really couldn't anymore. I told the nurse that I thought I had to push now. It was about 9 am.

I climbed up on the bed and the doctor came back and I got to work. It was amazing -- this time I could totally feel what was going on, I was so aware of my body and Aaron's passage through it. The doctor commented that I was "in complete control", which was cool. I knew exactly when to push and when to rest -- the doctor only had to tell me when to keep pushing because the head had crowned. 13 minutes later, at 9:13, Aaron was born.

I didn't get to see him immediately because the cord was wrapped around his neck and he was really blue and not crying or moving. About 10 min. later, though, after his nose and mouth were suctioned and he was revived, I had him laying on my chest, looking up at me. We were both a little bit startled -- it had happened so quickly.

After this, things were kind of surreal. I just kept looking at the clock and saying "I don't believe I just had this baby. That was so fast." The doctor filled in all the forms he would have usually done hours earlier while Aaron was having his first nurse, and Dave and I mulled over our list of names. You know it is Dave and I discussing names when you hear things like, "I don't know, enlightened one sounds too Buddhist" . . . "But I like the fact that Aaron spoke to Pharaoh on Moses' behalf when Moses was too afraid" . . . "I like Peter, but its a bit hokey to have Andrew and Peter" . . .

I was the talk of the hospital, which was pretty funny, because it wasn't as if I even had much to do with it -- I didn't plan my labour to be like that, that's just the way it was. My doctor said he would deliver all 10 of my children and that I was the perfect patient because he wouldn't have to miss any appointments that morning. Dr S. (not my doctor) thought it was funny that he could pop in to our room and congratulate us on Aaron's birth while he was on his morning rounds, two hours after we had dropped Andrew off at his house. The admitting nurse came and did my admitting screening questions ( are you allergic to any medications? have there been any complications during this pregnancy we should be aware of? was your last delivery vaginal or Cesarean?) three hours after Aaron was born, by which point most of the information was irrelevant.

I had a feeling it would be an easy, fast labour, but I had no idea it would be that fast. It was really intense, but I didn't feel overwhelmed or like I couldn't handle the pain. Overall, it was a really amazing experience, and I felt blessed to have been given such a complication free, remarkable birth experience. Not to mention such a beautiful and charming little boy.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

you are my hero!