Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My LONG Labor & Delivery Story :-)

Wow, where did this year go??? It seems like it was yesterday that Ivan was born.
I still remember the first time I held him. My first thought was  ¨He feels so warm¨.
I have to be honest, I was kind of in shock, I couldn´t believe that I had just given birth !!!
Although I was in labor for 24 hours, I pushed for a little less than 20 minutes and had a complication free delivery.

Now that it has been a whole year since my labor and delivery experience, I have finally decided to put it down on ¨paper¨  ... figuratively speaking :-)

When my husband and I got married we knew that we wanted kids, and we didn´t plan on waiting 5 or 6 years, we wanted to be young enough to enjoy them, and not be mistaken for their grandparents. It was decided that after two years of marriage, we would start trying.  On June 1st 2009, to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, we went to the beach.  Since getting off birth control the previous November, my cycles had become very regular.  I was a bit nervous to be at the beach since I should have started my cycle that day, instead, I felt a little different, I had a feeling that something was up. I waited 1 more week to take an at home pregnancy test, just to make sure  it wasn´t a false alarm.  Guess what, it was positive !!! How ironic, on our second anniversary, the day we had previously decided to start trying to conceive, was the day we realized  that we were probably already pregnant.  So here is how it went down...

It all started on Saturday the 30th of January. Two days earlier I had gone to my 38 week (almost 39) appointment and my OBGYN informed me that I was still only half of a centimeter dilated (I had been at half a centimeter for the past month).  Just about every woman in my family had delivered at 8 months or before, and even though I knew that delivering prematurely is not hereditary, I thought that I would surely go early.

My Estimated due date was February 5th, I could not comprehend how I had made it so far,
don´t get me wrong, I was enjoying my pregnancy.  I knew that this special time would be gone soon, and it was nice to know that my baby was safe and warm inside my belly, the real work would start once he decided to make his grand entrance.  Still, I was amazed that so far I was the only one to last so long, and I was not about to go past my due date.

The day after my appointment was Friday. I had to supervise the fundraiser the youth group was having after school, so I got up and got myself ready for the day.  I stopped by the post office to check our box and waited in an extremely long line, went to the supermarket to pick up some supplies for that afternoon, and I believe after that I went home for some lunch :-) After lunch I made sure that everything was ready for the sale.  To make a long list of ¨Things I did¨ short, When the sale was over, money counted and put away, and everyone had gone home, I broke out the tennis shoes.  For thirty minutes I walked around the Church grounds and talked on the phone with my sister telling her how I would probably make family history and be the only one to go past my due date.

I decided to go inside after my best friend brought over a homemade cherry cheesecake, and of course, I NEEDED to refuel !!! I had 2 pieces of cheesecake and 1 piece of delicious flan that one of my students parents gave me.  I called my sister again, we talked some more (as I continued to snack) and that pretty much concludes the pre-labor day.

Back to Saturday the 30th of January.  Around 4am I started to feel crampy, nothing too bad, but strong enough to wake me up every few minutes. Finally at around 7:30am I decided to get up and go to the restroom.  While I was getting out of bed i felt like I had lost some ¨fluid¨. No my water didn´t break, it turns out it was just a ¨bloody show¨... yeah yeah I know, TMI,,, what did you expect to read in a labor story!

I couldn´t go back to sleep and I had had enough of laying in bed uncomfortably, so I decided to take a shower.  I had started to look at the clock every time I had a contraction just to see how far apart they were.  Since they were between 7 and 11 minutes apart, I was convinced that Ivan had decided that today was the day.  I washed my hair, shaved my legs, painted my nails, cut my bangs, plucked my eye brows and waited for hubby to wake up.

Finally at 9:00, I nudged him to remind him he had a meeting to go to at 10 and tell him that I had been up since 4 with what I thought were contractions.  I was very calm when I told him, He was sleeping and I didn´t want him to jump up and run.  Besides, for the most part, first time moms have long labors,,, boy was I right!!!

My Husband got up and got ready, while I packed my hospital bag and got some breakfast. After his meeting we decided that  since the hospital was over an hour away, and we had no idea how long the wait would be, that we should probably head in that direction and do something to pass the time.  We went to the bank and I got to cut in line for the last time, something I look forward to doing if I have more children !!! Since it was hot and our car
didn´t have A.C. we went to the Outlets to walk around.

By 1 pm my contractions were getting stronger and closer together, I didn´t want to go all the way to the hospital just to be sent home, so we went to the movies and saw Avatar,,, well my Husband saw Avatar, I stepped out every 20 minutes or so.  After the movie, I was pretty uncomfortable during contractions, but I wasn´t ready to go to the hospital just yet. I was hungry, so we went to ¨Panaderia EspaƱa¨ and to our surprise, Real Madrid was playing, and they won!!!

Besides the labor pains, that day was perfect.  Hubby and I wanted to take advantage of our last ¨Care-Free¨ day, so we hadn´t called anyone to tell them we were in labor, except for my sister, but she was over a thousand miles away, so it was okay.

At about 7:30 pm, the game was over and we had finished eating.  My contractions were now at a steady 5 minutes per every 3 and then I would get one 7 minutes later, and the pattern would repeat itself.  I decided I should call my Doctor to let her know that I was having contractions and ask if she thought that I was in ative labor or if I could wait a little longer to go to the Hospital.  She told me that I could go in and get checked.  So we decided to wait a little longer :-)

We went to Marshals to walk around.  After 30 minutes of browsing, I was starting to get lightheaded during contractions, so I called my sister to ask her opinion.  Finally at almost 9:30 pm I told hubby that we should probably go to the hospital.

When we got to the Hospital and checked in at the maternity center, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and was told that I had to lay in bed for a whole hour while they tracked my contractions.  This wouldn´t have bothered me so much, if I had some company, but my husband was told to wait in another room.  That was a long hour !!! No one to talk to, no t.v. or radio to listen to, nothing, just a bed to lay in, and believe me, I  wasn´t to happy about having to stay in bed.  Finally an hour and a half later I saw my husband, and the nurse told  us I was definitely staying.

The nurse told my husband that if he wanted to get anything to eat, that he should hurry up and get it, everything would be closing for the night.  Of course, I told him he could go and I would be fine... It felt like forever, I was starting to hate that room.  While my hubby was out, a nurse came in and was setting everything up.  I told her that I needed to go to the bathroom, can you believe that she would not let me get up !!! I had to use a bed pan, I thought that to be unnecessary.  Heck, everytime I asked to get up they would say ¨Let me contact the Dr.¨,  I should have just done it without asking.  Anyway, she asked if my water had broken and when I said no, her response was ¨Don´t worry, when the Dr. gets here, she will break it for you¨.  I know that some people wouldn´t mind this procedure, but I did not want the Dr. to break my water.  Luckily, right when I thought about how I would tell the Dr. I didn´t want her breaking my water, I heard a pop, and it broke :-) ... what a relief.

When my husband returned, I was so sick of being in there alone, I told him it was time to call my parents.  He sent them a text message, and they thought it was a joke. Since it had been 30 minutes and there was no news of my parents, I asked him to try again. This time he called, it was about 12 midnight,,, my parents live an hour away from the hospital... they made it in 25 minutes !!!

My labor was progressing, by the time my mom got there I think  I was at 6 or 7 centimeters. Before hand I had decided that I would make no definite decision on whether or not I would have an epidural. Obviously I had no previous experience with labor, so my plan was to simply wait out as long as I could.    Allow me to describe my contractions... For me, everything was happening in the lower back, I felt no pain in my belly.  I thought that I was having back labor, but the nurse just told me that that was how boys deliver... I think I was right :-) It felt like a fire was lit inside of my lower back, like the flames were pushing on my spine.  Better yet, a bomb exploding is a great example.

In between every contraction I was shaking pretty bad.  I would try to concentrate and control the shaking, but it was pretty exhausting, I just couldn´t get myself to stop.
I blame the i.v. !!!  It would have been nice to be able to bounce on a ball or get into a nice warm tub at this point, but of couse, I wasn´t allowed to stand up.  Finally I told the Dr. that I would get the epidural.  She went to call him, 30 minutes later, they still had no idea where he was, there was some type of police check point going on that night in San Juan and they assumed he was there.  Another 30 minutes later the Dr. came in and told me that he was not gonna be able to come. Are you serious??? So despite my hesitation I agreed to some demoral. I felt immediate relief and was able to rest a while.  One hour later the guy showed up and yup, I got an epidural.

Finally at about  4:15am my Dr. came in and checked me. I was at 10 centimeters and was ready to push.  I pushed for 15 minutes and the Dr. gave me an episiotomy (not too happy about that).  About 3 pushes later at 4:39am Ivan was born !!!

I know that this has been a pretty long labor and delivery account, but bear with me for a few more thoughts.

Overall Birthing Experience:
Although Things didn´t go exactly as I imagined, overall, it was a wonderful, complication free birth.  My baby was born healthy, no breathing problems, jaundice, or anything.  That is what matters.

What will I do next time? 
With the knowledge I have now and the experience I have gained from Ivans birth.  I am seriously considering other options.  I will make sure I voice what I want and how I want it to be done  :-) I want to be in control of my labor and delivery.  I want to be free to move around and labor as I feel best. I want my hands to be the first ones to touch my baby... Home birth??? Waiting even longer to go to the hospital??? Birthing center??? We shall see.

January 31, 2010  4:39am
6 lb.s 3.5 oz.
19.5 in. 

Grandma :-)

Momma looks a little tired, but baby is sooooo handsome!!!

Our first Family Picture