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Michael's Birth Story

posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:52 AM by Rachel Supercinski   [ updated Jul 21, 2010, 12:34 PM ]
Wednesday afternoon, we had an appointment with the Doctor and Emily had her first exam which revealed she was only 1 cm, baby at station -3 and some effacement. We were sent home with instruction to go to the hospital or clinic when contractions were 5 minutes apart for at least 1 hour.

A little more than 1 day after the appointment, on Thursday at 4:45 PM, Emily started to notice blood tinged mucus. Tony came home from work and we left for the CPR class that the hospital offered. Bloody mucus plus some “harder than normal Braxton Hicks” type contractions happened all throughout the CPR class.

When we got home at 9:20 determined that it was definitely Bloody Show that was happening with contractions. Tony made Emily a grilled cheese sandwich which was happily eaten. Contractions kept happening. We started to time them and they seemed to be about every 3-4 minutes. Emily had been drinking very well for a while, had
now eaten, and was walking about the house to see if they’d subside. They didn’t. Emily took a shower and, while relaxing, it didn’t make the contractions go away. We went about getting the ‘last minute’ items into the hospital bag, including Emily making food snacks for Tony. At about 1 AM Emily took a bath so that Tony could
sleep for a while. Contractions were still every 2-2.5 minutes. After the bath, Emily tried laying down again and Tony would try pushing on her back. This helped some and contractions seemed to space out to almost 7 minutes apart. Emily rested a bit, but the contractions were worse when they happened. Being up and moving around made
contractions more frequent, but they were less intense, so Emily got back up at some point.

By 6 AM contractions were back to every 2-3 minutes and started to get more intense so we decided to go to the hospital. Before leaving, Emily managed to have 3 bites of oatmeal, but couldn’t manage much. We arrived at the hospital and Emily was ok to park further away and walk, and laughed at a joke that Tony said in the parking lot. At
which point, Tony stopped and looked at Emily and said, “are you sure we should be here now?” Emily shrugged and said, “We’re already here.” We got checked in at 6:30, got upstairs right before shift change, nurse Rachel (VERY SWEET) took some history and hooked Emily up to the fetal monitor for a first analysis, then passed us off to Shelley (Very AWESOME and a former Doula!) who examined Emily. Only 2 cm. Doctor said send them home or have them walk around the hospital for a while. Disappointed, we walked around the room and the grounds and talked about what to do. Emily was actually starting to get hungry and together we decided to go home to
eat. Went home about 9:30. Emily had 1 slice of toast with jam. Then labored walking around the house and lying on the couch. Contractions seemed to keep their 2-3 minute spacing regardless of position. Contractions started to get more intense and we went back to the hospital around noon. As we walked onto the L&D floor, the nurses who saw us leave commented, “oh now she’s serious.” We ended up back in the same room with Shelley and the exam revealed that we were now 4-5 cm. Dr. Davis again said send them home or have us walk the grounds because we didn’t want intervention. Emily was NOT going to make that drive again, so we stayed and walked the floor a bit
but mostly in the room. Each hour there was 20 minutes on the fetal monitor followed by an exam. Emily’s parents showed up around 1 to help as assistant coaches. We labored around the room and the floor for a few hours. Sometime around 3:30 Emily was at 6 cm. By about 4:30, Dr. Davis examined her at 7 cm. Somewhere in there
the waters broke but baby’s head was so far down that not much leaked out. We tried to move around to get contractions to be more intense. This might have been where transition happened. There was a period where Emily barely took 2 steps before turning to lean on Tony again. After the next strip and exam, Shelley said we were at 8-9 cm. The next hour, contractions were kind of different. Emily might have been fighting them, not wanting them to get stronger even though they needed to get there. The next fetal monitor strip seemed to last longer than usual because Shelley wasn’t getting baby heart accelerations like she wanted. Laboring on the bed was tougher than usual, Emily kept rolling about and the monitor would be moved. There were a few contractions that kind
of felt like pushing. Shelley was sure that when Dr. Davis came in he’d say Emily was at 10 and we were good to go.

Dr. Davis came in around 6:30 to examine and said Emily was still at 7 cm and the cervix was swollen. He wanted to give pitosin to get contractions really strong, closer together, and get the cervix opened. We asked about the alternative, and he said that if we went another hour it would have been 3 total hours at 7 cm (“not progressing normally”) and if the cervix stayed swollen the baby would not be able to get through and we’d be risking cesarean. Emily said that some of the contractions were a lot worse and Dr. Davis pointed out, “ah, but not all of them, I was all of them stronger like that.” We decided OK on the pitosin to avoid the surgery. Pitosin started about 6:45 forcing Emily to stay in the bed and on the monitor from there on.

The evening nurse came in, Jennifer (AWESOME, her mom’s a Bradley instructor and she’s had two Bradley children!). Contractions started to get worse and the first few that gave the urge to push Jennifer said don’t push, yet. Emily asked, “HOW?!!” Tony said to blow. Blowing and deep breathing proceeded for the next few contractions and Emily’s nose and lips started to get tingly, indicating hyperventilation. Jennifer said to cup hand over nose and mouth to breathe more CO2. Around 7:30 Jennifer started examining Emily again and had Dr. Davis paged & parents went to waiting area. Jennifer had Emily get on her hands and knees on the bed to help get the baby positioned right, apparently baby had gotten a little sideways. After a couple contractions on knees, Emily turned back around and got an oxygen mask to help with the face tingling. Jennifer said she could feel the lip of the cervix and wanted Emily to start pushing with the contractions so she could push it out of the way and around the baby’s head! She wanted Emily to get in 3 good pushes with each contraction. Now there were about 3 contractions on the back with Jennifer getting the cervix past the head, then she said to turn to the side to get the last bit. Emily asked when the Doctor would come back and Jennifer said when the head was protruding about an inch or so. Three pushing contractions on the side, then Jennifer wanted Emily back to her back and the doctor was back in the room. They kept saying, “Don’t let a contraction pass, if you feel it you push!” So that’s what Emily did. It only took about 5 or so contractions on the back again before they were saying, “look down and see your baby come up!” Then he was out officially at 8:14!

Baby boy was placed on belly, Tony cut the cord and there were only 2 tiny tears to be stitched. When asked what degree they were, Dr. Davis didn’t indicate any, simply said they were small. Baby boy was named Michael Blase (in honor of Saint Blase the patron saint of throat diseases in thanksgiving of Emily’s continued health after thyroid cancer) and he weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces measuring 21 inches long. We are very thankful for all our Bradley method teaching. It definitely came in handy. Emily’s parents are more than impressed with the whole thing and especially with Tony. The practicing we did at home paid off as Tony would coach and certain key phrases would resonate in Emily’s mind during contractions. Everything seemed to progress at such a gradual pace that even if we had wanted pain killers, we’re not sure when we could have made the decision to take them. We just kept plugging along and then we were pushing! And then, a baby!