Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I kept feeling like I must be a total wimp because I wasn't
even that far dilated and I was really hurting. I remember telling
Lisa that I wasn't managing the pain, and she said "yes you are"
"that is exactly what you are doing"
It was then that I realized pain management doesn't mean there is
less pain. It just means you are managing not to freak out. You are
managing to have moments of quiet and peace, but the pain is still
very much there.

The midwife kept telling me to go to my 'happy place'. "Go to your
happy place, lay on the beach and enjoy the sun...." etc.
I kept telling her "The beach ain't it, too much sand would stick to me,
I'd itch and get sweaty !!"

I know I threw up a few times and was relieved because it finally got
rid of the nausea from the car ride. At some point I ended up
laying on the bed, Dave alternately wiping my arms and forehead
with a cool cloth. I found some kind of quiet there and was probably
still for about an hour.

At this point the midwife came in and said I think you need to get
moving. "UGH, don't make me! I'm COMFORTABLE!!" The rest
I was getting felt wonderful. She pushed a little and said she thought
I wasn't making any progress laying in this position. I begrudgingly
got up and started pacing the room. The contractions hurt more.
When the midwife came back in I let her know that she was an
evil witch for making me move.
(At least I laughed when I told her this).

Kate told me that the anesthesiologist was going to come in to ask
questions-that it was just procedure. She came in while I was having
a contraction and asked "Do you want an epidural?" I said no, and
she responded "WHY NOT?!" What an asshole! She kept asking
questions and was completely oblivious to when I was having
contractions. If I waited to breathe through a contraction
before answering her she would say "Hello??" and I'd just hold
up a finger to tell her to wait a minute. Through the entire
night this was the one person that
didn't seem to get it...

Finally she decided to check me again and found that I was dilated to
6 cm.
She offered to break my water to get things moving and I said yes.
What a frickin weird sensation. It was hard to believe just how
much water there was.
With the next contraction

In retrospect the contractions up to this time were NOTHING.
Now I was in serious pain.
I hopped up and rocked. Buried my face in the towel.
Did everything I had been doing before, but there was NO relief.
"I can't do this!"
"I think I want Stadol"
Lisa responded that stadol might make me sleepy and groggy but
wasn't going to take away the pain.
I really didn't think I could take this pain. this was unlike anything
I'd ever ever experienced. There was not getting away from it.
A contraction would start and get worse and worse and oh my GOD

Suddenly I thought I was going to pass out so I was helped to the
bed where I sort of perched one hip and buried my head in Dave's
shoulder. I was kind of moaning/humming/growling and would
get louder as each contraction hit. They were unbelievably painful.
If Lisa and Dave hadn't been there I probably would've run
screaming naked down the hallway. The nurse hooked me up to
a monitor at this point and Dave could watch the contractions
on the strip. They were so intense I couldn't tell when they were
peaking so he'd watch and tell me "Ok, that's the worst of it" and
the midwife would remind me to try to take a deep breath and
relax in the moments before the next contraction would hit.

At some point a contraction hit and I was moaning and had to
hold my breath and push away from the pain. I heard Lisa say
"Sounds like an urge to push to me!" The midwife checked me
again and said "Yep! she's fully dilated"

At that point there was a lot of activity in the room and
Lisa leaned down and said "You're almost there- look at Kate,
when you see the nurse bustling around getting things ready
you know things are really moving"
It turns out I'd gone from 6cm- 10 cm in 45 minutes.
No wonder it was so intense.

Now the pushing.
At some point the midwife handed me a towel- she held
on to the ends and would do a tug of war with me. This made
pushing much more effective.
We knew this baby was going to be big, so the midwife asked
the Dr. to be present in the room for an extra set of hands.
He came in and introduced himself to everyone.
He grabbed my ginger ale and gave me a sip, picked up the
cloth and wiped my forehead and reassured me that he
thought I was working hard and doing a good job.
We were all impressed with how nice he was.

The rest of the pushing is a blur. It hurt. I pushed as hard as
I could and felt like I was turning my body inside out.
Felt like I was splitting myself in half.
At the same time, pushing was better than not pushing.
Dave stayed right with me, giving me sips of ginger ale in
between pushes and encouraging me. Lisa, Jenny and Kate
took turns holding the towel that I pulled on for pushing leverage.
At one point I looked up and Kate was holding the other end
of the towel. I had to laugh. She is so tiny I thought I'd fling her
right over my head into the wall. Lisa later told me that
Kate was sliding across the floor from my pull and Lisa had to
put a foot in the way to block her.

Finally the baby's head was halfway out, and everything got very
quiet and focused.
The Dr. came over to help because the baby's shoulder was stuck
on my pelvic bone. This was the one thing that I knew the midwives
feared during my pregnancy. It felt like the world held it's breath
for just a moment...
With the next contraction I pushed, the Dr. pushed down hard
on my pelvic bone to alter the shape of the opening and Jenny
turned the shoulders,
and out he slipped!!
After an hour of pushing we got to meet little Arlo!

Baby was placed on my stomach for a few minutes, and then
they had to take him out for a minute to be assessed since there
was meconium in the amniotic fluid.
Dave went out with him and they were back in what seemed
like no time. I got to cuddle him and we all chatted while
Lisa and Kate finished up nursing 'chores'

I asked "HEY, where is this almighty powerful feeling I'm
supposed to have?"
"All these frickin natural birth magical woo woo chicks
always talk about
this burst of ENERGY!!
I'm just EXHAUSTED!!

The room felt peaceful. Lisa hung out for awhile and took some
pictures. Dave snuggled the baby. I ate a bagel and sipped a
cup of coffee.
One of the other midwives came in and congratulated us. Another
nurse peeked in and said hello. Things were surprisingly quiet and
normal. We hung out for about an hour in this room before moving
downstairs to another room.

Dave, Arlo and I were all exhausted. We took a few pictures, and
then dimmed the lights. Dave stretched out in the lounge chair, I
settled in the bed, and Arlo snoozed away.

It wasn't easy, but it was exactly the birth that I had hoped for.
Without the support of the midwife, Kate, Lisa and Dave there is no way
I could've done it.
Big Doc Red


Kathleen said...

ok. now i am sobbing.
that was lovely, marni. thank you for taking the time to write this.

you are a good mama. xo

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Marni! I can't even tell you how much it means to me to hear about such a beautiful birth from "a patient's" perspective and to hear that I had been helpful in attaining the birth that you wanted. It definitely was a night to remember! Thank you for writing this and thank you for allowing me to have been a part of it. -Kate-