Flashback Friday: Labor Stories Part 1

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Lately some friends from church have been having babies and it is quite humorous to observe all the face book stalking that takes place now a days when one is in labor.  Even just 3 yrs ago when I had my youngest, it wasn’t like this.  Now when your in labor you update your status before heading to the hospital and then the whole world is checking your page and your close friends page looking for updates.  So much productivity for all your friends and relatives is lost as people keep checking profiles hoping for status updates.   3 years ago we would call a few close friends on our cell phone and let them pass the word along via phone chains… so old fashioned… now all 258 of your friends (some whom you haven’t seen in 10 yrs) can know at the same time with a simple status update on your laptop or phone. 

As I watch (and read about) my friends having their babies and with my due date just about a month away, I can’t help but think back on my previous three birth stories.   My next will probably be recorded live, on facebook, so I figured I’d use some Friday Flashbacks to record a few recollections from the past and a few lessons learned in the process.  

We’ll start at the beginning, with my son. I was so excited about his upcoming birth. I knew that it was incredibly unlikely my baby would arrive on the due date but there was still part of me that deep down inside thought I’d be one of the special ones.  I marked off the week of my due date on the calendar so I could sit around and wait for my baby to arrive.

BIG MISTAKE!

Lesson learned:  Make plans, make lots of plans for the week of your due date.  Plans fun and exciting things… girls day out with your girl friends, special date with your husband, family fun with the kids… do not leave the week open.  If you have to cancel your plans b/c your have a baby, no one  will be mad.  Seriously, is there a better excuse out there for canceling plans then, “Sorry, we’re going to the hospital to have the baby, we’re going to have to cancel our lunch.”    No, I don’t think so.

But, I didn’t know this lesson… so my due date came and home I sat.  Nursery set up… bag packed…house cleaned… car seat ready….  With nothing to do I thought I’d make a birthday cake, hoping to inspire the little one to make an appearance. 

baby cake 008

Still no baby… so, I took walks, got General Tso’s chicken for lunch…took more walks… and grew very frustrated.   

Due Date +1 … Scott went to work and I sat at home waiting for labor pains.    Really, really long day.

That night Scott was up late working on grad school homework, and since we did a classic Pooh theme for the nursery, I decided to watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  (what can I say, I was in Momma mode).   One of Scott’s co workers had told him that day that when his wife was in labor she woke him at 3 am to tell him she was in labor.  I don’t know why that story was particularly note worthy, but I do know that before I went to sleep that night, Scott said to me, “Feel free to wake me at 3 am and tell me you’re in labor.”

No lie… around 2:30am I woke with contractions.  Having never been in labor I was  not sure if this was it or not.  I tried hard to remember everything I read… they felt like cramps, seemed to be coming consistently… I went to the bathroom, laid on the bed for awhile, and then around 3 am… I woke Scott to tell him I was in labor. 

Poor guy, had just gone to bed a little after 1, having stayed up to try and finish his grad school work.   He stirred a little but didn’t register what I was saying. 

A few minutes later I stirred him again and he looked at the clock and said, “Oh my, it’s 3 am!”  (He had thought I was just waking him for a normal work day).  He was up and ready to time contractions for me.

This part was tricky.  Scott is an engineer.  He likes formulas.  He likes cold hard, cut and dry facts.  And it’s pretty simple, you go in when the contractions are 6 minutes apart.  But here’s the thing.  Contractions don’t really work like that.  I had a hard time telling when my contractions were starting… they were kinda slow at first and then would build in intensity and then slowly die down.  It wasn’t like I could tell him exactly when they started and when they stopped.  Do I tell him the moment I feel something or wait till they hurt really bad?  I didn’t know.  And this confused him somewhat… how could I not know what I was feeling.   Scott literally wrote down the exact start and stop time of every.single.contraction on 3 sheets of notebook paper from 3 am till 7am when he called the Dr.  He even wrote documentary style anecdotes beside some of them such as, “this is definitely the real thing,”  and, “pretty sure I am getting that epidural!”  (I had been previously non-committal).  

According to our detailed documentation my contractions were getting father apart rather than closer together so we were fairly certain when the Dr told us to come by the office, he’d be sending us home before sending us to the hospital.

I have never been so happy to be wrong as I was that morning!   The Dr. sent us to the hospital!!

Scott got me a wheelchair, but then one of the elderly volunteers informed us that it was her job to push the wheelchairs and Scott couldn’t push me.  I didn’t want grandma pushing me in a wheelchair so I walked.   Not sure why that mattered so much… nice of her to volunteer I guess.

So walk I did… right up to labor and delivery.

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The Dr eventually stopped by and broke my water around 10 or so.  (I think… this was 6 yrs ago, so the details are fuzzy).   I do know that they were really nice and gave me the epidural long after the point where they are supposed to say it’s too late.  I am so thankful too because I had been dry heaving a bit from the pain and the epidural was like a breath of fresh air (Having seen my transformation Scott now says he doesn't understand why they are optional). 

A few things surprised me about the whole labor process.  I had no idea that the nurse was pretty much assigned to you for your entire labor (or at least for her shift).  I had no idea that it was the nurse, not the Dr. who you would bond with, as the nurse, not the Dr. was the one that was really with you for the process.  I saw the Dr. at the office, again when he broke my water, and then again when he came to catch the baby.  

In my head, I had always envisioned Scott up by my head holding my hand while I had the baby.  In actuality, Scott was down there, with the nurse, totally coaching me through the entire process.  He was my life line… I looked in his face and I felt like I could do anything.  He totally talked me through every push. 

I started pushing around 3:30.  At around 4, the nurse said the baby was ready and she called the Dr.  The Dr. was with another patient and said for me to “hold it.” 

Yea, as if I was a 5 yr old kid who had to pee in the middle of the grocery store.

How does one hold it when a baby is crowning?

What do I do?  The nurse was obviously ticked.  She called the Dr multiple times.  I sat there “trying not to push” and waited over 10 minutes.

My son was born at 4:14PM but I promise you, he could have been born at 4:00PM.  Look at his face, it’s as if he’s saying, “What took so long, I was ready 15 minutes ago!”

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I had a slow and painful recovery9lb 5oz bundle of joy.  I don’t know if this is because I sat for 10+ minutes with a crowning baby or if it is because I had a  9lb 5 oz baby, but I will tell you, that I did not use that OB practice with my next baby.  Not only did the Dr make me wait, but when he did come in, he was on his cell phone while catching my baby.  Talk about feeling like merely a number.  Clearly this office, had too many patients and not enough doctors.

Of course all of that quickly faded into the fuzzy memories of the past, as I gazed upon my sweet baby boy.baby and Mom I will never forget the look in Scott’s eyes when I pushed my son out and as we heard his cry, Scott said to me with tears in his eyes, “It’s a boy!”  My life has never been the same since.  034

For more Friday Photo Flashbacks, click here.

13 comments:

  1. thank you for all those details. :) i love your birth story, expect for the cell phone/tardy issue. silly doctor. i'm so glad you have the story documented now. i bet you son will ask you to read this over and over. :)

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  2. Aw Great pictures! I love the one of the high chair and birthday cake! I can't believe your doc was on the phone! How rude! Visiting from More Than Words linky! Happy Flashback Friday!

    http://marvelousmommyamy.blogspot.com/2010/04/flashback-friday-baby-pictures.html

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  3. I love birthing stories!! You are a trooper for walking to L&D, and for also carrying a 9.5lb baby! My biggest was only 9.1!

    And so true, when you are waiting for contractions, they don't come.

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  4. I love you and the story of your first child's birth.
    It was so special to be waiting outside the door when he cried. Your Mom leaped with the greatest expression on her face. What joy we all felt. One Grandma, one Grandpa, one Nana and one Pop all hugging each other and laughing.

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  5. ON HIS CELL PHONE??!! What a JERK!

    I guess I get more time with the doctors than most since I have to have c-sections, but I agree... nurses are just the BEST aren't they? : )

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  6. i'm so glad you are re-telling your birth stories. i LOVE all birth stories and often say they are a female version of war stories. and i too must echo the "jerk" sentiment about your doc. hopefully some really crazed woman in labor has told him off by now and he has never done that again! can't wait to hear birth story number 4! (and 2 and 3 too!)

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  7. funny, Dave kept a precise record like Scott for our first also. As for your recovery it was probably because he with a big boy. Waiting for baby #4 to celebrate with you!

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  8. You tell a sweet birth story! I love the picture of the cake on the high chair. So funny that Scott wonders why epidurals are optional! They should be given upon entrance, in my meager opinion!

    I cannot even fathom holding in a crowning baby nor my dr. being on her cell phone! SO glad you switched practices.

    Can't wait to hear the next THREE stories!!!!

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  9. I love your advice about booking the week of your due date. I totally agree!

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  10. Such a beautiful story - and it seems like yesterday, not 6 years ago :-) I totally second Nana's comments! We are ready to welcome baby #4

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  11. Just want you to know the 4th is just as special as the 1st! Our nurse thought we were having our 1st, was a little embarrassed to tell her this was our 4th. She then said how nice it was to see such excitement, not every parent is like that. Each is a precious gift from God. Enjoy and God bless.

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  12. I totally kept precise records with my last labor for several hours, including details about how intense, etc!! I was looking for some sort of pattern and hoping I would know exactly when to go, but it didn't really work for me either. . .

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  13. What a sweet story! I love the fact that you made the cake. That cracks me up! It also cracks me up that your hubby timed contractions for four hours. That's dedication!

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