Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thayer Maxwell Washer - Our Birth Story

Before moving on and reading our birth story, you should probably start here to see how we prepared for this birth.

Thursday March 19 - 6:30 am

My alarm for work goes off (for the 3rd time) and I decide I need to get up.  I start the shower and go to the bathroom.  I notice there's a little blood when I wipe.  I take note and jump in the shower.  I had an appointment with Susie, my midwife, that afternoon, so I could tell her then at least.

6:59 am

I decide to go ahead and text Susie.  She asks about contractions. I tell her I'm having the same type that I have been having for a while now (as in like the last month or so). They didn't really feel THAT different.  She tells me that she has a dentist appointment at 10:30 so she will call me around 9 to check in and see if she needs to reschedule her appointment.  At this point, I was intending to continue to get ready for work and go in.

Gary had already left to take Wren to his mom's for the day and then he was going to go fishing with his Pop at Old Hickory Lake.  I gave him a quick call and fill him in because he's not great about taking his phone when he's fishing.  He called me back a few minutes later and decided he was going to come home, just in case.

I continue to get ready for work as the contractions get a little stronger...

7:25 am

I text my boss and co-worker and tell them that I'm going to stay home and see if my contractions slow down.

7:45 am

My contractions are a little stronger and I take my first oral pill for Group B Strep.  Susie doesn't routinely do IV's so her on-call doctor gives her patients an option for an oral pill and that's the route I decided to take.  It's just like having the IV so I would continue to take one pill every 4 hours until the baby was born.

I text my doula, Jessica, and let her know I was having contractions and this might be the day!  She said she would need an hour notice to drop her kids off and get to my house, so keep her updated.

8:15 am

I've had a good breakfast and I lay down on the couch to rest and watch How to Train Your Dragon 2 :).

9:05 am

Susie texts for an update.  I let her know I decided to stay home from work and that the contractions are stronger, but not very consistent.  They were averaging 5 minutes apart.  I let her know that I haven't noticed any more blood.  She goes ahead and reschedules her dentist appointment.

9:30 am

Gary and I take a little walk to the store at the end of our neighborhood.  Contractions are pretty consistent while we are walking and I even have to make him stop when we were on our way back home to get through one of them.

10:00 am

Jess texts for an update, but then ends up calling me and we chat for a little while so she can hear how I am handling the contractions.  If you can talk normal through contractions then you probably still have a while.  Once you have to start really concentrating and breathing through your contractions is when it starts getting serious and everyone needs to start making their way.  I'm able to talk through contractions at this point.

10:10 am

I start texting my family and letting them know this might be the day and just be ready!

10:30 am

Susie texts me to let me know that she has rescheduled another momma's appointment that was supposed to be after mine, to noon so she should be at my house by 1:45/2:00ish unless I need her sooner.  I let her know about how the contractions were stronger while we walked.  She said walk a little, rest a little and stay hydrated!

I decide to lay down and take a nap.  Gary and I both didn't really sleep well the night before because Wren kept waking up.

11:30 am

I slept for about an hour, but decide I need to get up and do some things around the house in case this is it.  I needed to get some laundry done and clean up Wren's toys.  Contractions continue and I do have to stop and breath through them a little more.

1:45 pm

I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast so I decide to heat up some mac and cheese.  Right as I get it out of the microwave and take a couple of bites I have a contraction and Susie knocks on the door. She checks me pretty soon after and I'm at a 6!  What?!  A 6 already??

1:50 pm

Gary texts Jessica and let's her know it's time.

2:00 pm

I text my family and let them know to start heading our way.

2:20 pm

Sent the first and last group text to some friends to let them know this was it.  Sorry to those of you I just left hanging.  I don't think I looked at my phone again after this point.  Jessica did do a little texting for me though.

This is when timing of things starts to get a little blurry to me... (I have Susie and Jessica's notes to help get me through this)

Jessica shows up and I'm laying on the couch while Susie and Gary are setting up the room.  They had to layer our bed with tablecloths and sheets, line our entire bedroom floor with tablecloths and get the birth pool fully blown up and started filling up.  Jessica helps them a little, but mainly stays beside me to get me through the contractions.

Susie texts her assistant, Mary, to let her know she needed to head our way as well.  Mary shows up and immediately starts helping Gary and Susie set up the room.

Once the room is set up, Susie checks me again and I'm still at about a 6.

Our bedroom set up as the delivery room:

We start trying different positions to get my water to break.

I get in the pool and squat.  This picture was taken during a contraction and I wasn't squatting :). 

I sit backwards on the toilet.

This is what I call the 'washing hands contractions' because I always had one after I got off the toilet.  Moving positions (i.e. sitting to standing, standing to walking) always brought on a contraction so that's a reason they wanted me to keep moving around.

*At some point during all of this Shelley and my mom and dad show up.  They come in and say Hi, but then go back to the living room.  Shelley does get the video camera out to get some footage.*

5:40 pm

Susie checks me and I'm at a 7 and 90% effaced.  My bag is bulging so they think it will be soon that my water breaks.  We keep trying different positions.

Lying on Right Side (Pretzel)
Whew that's a big belly!

I did venture out a little bit, but still had contractions so I had to do the 'lean over the couch.'
The hallway and a little bit of the living room was lined with tablecloths as well just in cast my water broke while I was walking around.

I laid on my left side, pretzel style.
I got the shakes and started feeling nauseous.  
I got on my hands and knees.
I squatted beside the bed.

7:40 pm

Susie checks me again and I'm at a 9 and 100% effaced.  I go to the bathroom and hope my water breaks while I'm on the toilet because that would just be awesome!!

8:15 pm

I try a different squat.
No luck!

8:50 pm

Susie decides it's time to AROM-Artificially Rupture of Membranes (A.K.A. break my water).  There was meconium and I tolerated it well.

9:15 pm

I try lying on my right side again

I sit on the edge of the bed

10:10 pm

Susie checks me and I'm back at a 8.  My bow (bag of waters) was opening my cervix, so once it wasn't there it closed back up a little.  

I laid on my left side for a while. The pretzel is when the bottom leg is straight and back.  The top leg is bent with a pillow under it.  It's a restful way to open your pelvis.

11:40 pm

Susie checks me and I'm at a 9 and 100% effaced.
I tried sitting on the side of the bed and I start to feel like I need to push with contractions.
I go back to lying on my left side.  Then to the toilet.  I had to pee a lot.

My sweet doula, Jessica, getting me through a contraction on my way back from the bathroom.

Friday March 20 - 1:50 am

Susie checks me and I'm dilated to 8/9 and still 100% effaced.

2:15 am

I get on my hands and knees and Jessica and Susie squeeze my hips to relieve some of the pressure and open up my pelvis.  Man did it feel good!!

I forgot to mention that Susie was checking little man's heartbeat the whole time and it was great throughout the entire labor.  That was never a concern!

2:45 am

I'm at a 9 1/2.  They give me 2 tabs of Arnica, which helps with inflammation and pain.

3:00 am

I'm at a 10!!!!!  

3:07 am

I start pushing lying on my back with knees raised.  

3:12 am

I lie on my right side and hold one leg up to push during contractions.

3:20 am

I move to my hands and knees and push.  Then flip back over to my back with my knees raised.

3:35 am

Susie checks little man's heartbeat and it sounds perfect during contractions.  I move back to my hands and knees to push a few more times.

4:10 am 

I get down in the floor with Gary sitting on the bed behind me.  I squat and push to hopefully get gravity to help us and I'm able to rest on his knees.

4:20 am

Susie lets me rest for a while.  We were all resting at this point so there are no notes except my blood pressure and fetal heart beat, which were both normal.  

Jessica is on my right side leaning over the bed and falling asleep.  Gary is on my left side and curved above my head falling asleep.  Mary and Susie are back and forth from Wren's room taking rests.  It was miserable!  We were all soooooooo tired!!

We try squatting again and I ask Susie, "What else can we do.  Why isn't he coming out?"  She says, "Kimberly we've tried everything I know to do in order to get him out and it's not working.  I have one more position I want to try and if it doesn't work we need to talk about going to the hospital."

*I was pushing great, correctly and they would see his head come out every once in a while.  However, when I wasn't pushing the cervix was gone, but as soon as I would push it would close back up a little not allowing his head to push through.*

The final position we tried was with a sheet.  I laid on my back with my arm wrapped around a sheet. Gary was at the other end of the sheet in front of me.  Mary and Jessica had my legs and they would hold them back while Gary and I pulled on the sheet and I pushed.  Susie would say, "You're doing it Kimberly! Keep going!  I can see his head!  This is the way to push!"  We tried this position for several contractions and his head would not come down.

6:05 am

We discussed going to the hospital because Susie doesn't know what else to do and she didn't want to put me or the baby in an emergency situation.  See why I think she's the best midwife in the world?! :)

My sister gets my bag packed.  I slowly, through contractions make my way to the car.  I have to lean back in the seat with my right leg up on the dash because I was scared I was going to squish his head.

The 5 mile ride to the hospital felt like forever.  Every bump was amplified by 100%.  Every time Gary put his breaks on I felt it.  My sister was following him so he slammed on his breaks for 2 red lights and I was not ok with that.  At this point I felt like a failure.  Embarrassed that I had just written that big long blog about how I was going to have this amazing home birth.  I didn't understand why he wouldn't come out.  Was I going to have a c-section?  Would they make me push longer than I already have been?  How would pushing in the hospital be any different then pushing at home?  All kinds of things were going through my head.

When we got to the hospital, my sister immediately goes upstairs to get me checked me.  Jess runs and gets a wheelchair.  I stand up and have the longest contraction ever.  I can't even sit in the wheelchair because this contraction won't stop!  I finally sit down and they start pushing me.  TILE FLOORS?  REALLY?  Who's idea was that?  I felt those bumps, EVERY SINGLE ONE!

We get to the registration and Shelley and Gary continue to check me in.  They get my insurance, ask me a ton of questions and all I want is to get this baby out!  

7:00 am

She finally lets us in and walks us to our room.  When we get in there it's empty.  Where are the nurses?  Susie had called ahead to let them know we were coming, so we all thought they would be waiting on us.  Shelley runs and tells them and in comes 4 nurses.  They start ripping my clothes off of me and poking and prodding and asking questions and getting me all hooked up. It was definitely a different atmosphere than my house was. They were all being so kind though!

One of the nurses checked me and said, "Well you are at a 10."  Susie asked her if there was a lip and she said their wasn't.  But we had been there before.  I would be fully dilated and then start pushing and the lip would show up.

7:20 am

Dr. Didier comes in and checks me and he feels the lip and can tell that the baby is very high at this point.  He said he didn't want to try any of the in-operable resources (vacuum or forceps) because he thought he would get stuck.  So, my options were: try and push or have a c-section.  

It hurt my heart to hear the words push.  I had been trying that for the last 3 hours and nothing was happening.  What do we do?  I don't want a c-section.  I planned for an all natural home birth.  How did I still end up in this position?  All I wanted at this point was for him to get out.  I look to Susie for help.  She is scared that the pushing will only lead us down the same road we have been on for 3 hours and I pretty much agree with her.  I keep just saying I want this over with. Susie says, "We can all leave and you and Gary can talk about it if you want."  There was no talking for me.  I already knew I was too exhausted to push for another I pretty much made the decision and Gary 100% agreed with me.

7:45 am

I am prepped for the OR.  After they get me prepped I ask them how long until he can come out. They tell me it shouldn't be that long, maybe 30 minutes.

8:00 am

I can't help but push during contractions at this point and Susie and Jess let me know that it's ok to push to relieve some of the pressure.  I think that Susie peaks under my gown a few times to see if she sees anything.  Nothing different then what had been before.

Mary has to leave to go to work.  Bless her heart, she had worked a full day on Thursday and had to go to work again that day.  I have no idea how she could make it through the day.

8:35 am

I am getting very agitated and I keep asking Jessica over and over again, "When are they coming?  Is it time yet?  Are they on their way?"  I remember it plain as day because I was so done and ready for him to get out.

8:49 am

They take me back to the OR.  Once again, those darn tiles!  When I got to the OR everything went pretty fast.  The nurse anesthetist  became my best friend.  Gary had to sit in the hall while they prepped me, but as soon as he got in there I introduced him to my best friend.

I was able to rest at this point.  I don't remember a lot, but I do remember Gary and the nurse anesthetist talking a lot.    

9:21 am

Thayer Maxwell was born!!  Man did he have some lungs.  He cried and he cried LOUD!!  Brooke, one of my sweet nurses, came over and told me he weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 22 inches long.  She said, "You did everything you could to have him naturally he just didn't want to come out that way." He was occipital posterior "sunny side up" along with his head presenting off centered "asynclitic" and with the cord wrapped around his neck twice.  I did absolutely EVERYTHING I could have done to have him naturally, but he (and God) had different plans.

He just kept crying! I loved hearing it because that meant this was all over!! I wondered when I would get to see him.  Before going into the OR Susie had tried to get the Dr. and the nurses to agree to give me and Thayer some skin-to-skin time immediately after he was born, but the hospital isn't staffed for something like that in the OR.  We had to wait until we got back to the recovery room before we could have our intimate time. At this point I just wanted to see him!

There he is!

10:00 am

I am back in the room.

10:15 am

Thayer is in the room and we do skin-to-skin and nurse on the left side.

10:36 am

Jessica has to leave because her husband has to get to work and she had to go take care of her 3 kiddos.  Not sure how she survived that day either

10:45 am

He nurses on the right side.  Susie stayed to help me nurse.

.12:10 pm

I get moved to my postpartum room and Susie had to leave.

This was the most exhausting experience I have ever had, but I DO NOT regret my decision to have a home birth.  I truly trusted Susie and knew that if I could have done this at home she would have figured out how to make that happen, but that's just not how our story went.

I never even thought about how everyone else felt during all of this.  Susie came on Tuesday and she said she has been waking up in the middle of the night thinking of different positions we could have tried and she would run to look at her notes and realize we did that position.  I never thought about this being a failure for her too.  She kept reassuring me that we tried everything we could.

Gary told me he felt defeated until we got into the OR and he finally felt at ease.

It was definitely an experience I'll never forget.  Unfortunately, Susie does not do VBACs (Vaginal birth after cesarean), so I will not get to work with her as a midwife in the future :(.

I have shed some tears over it and wondered if I had done something different during pregnancy would his position have changed, but in reality I can be thankful that he is here and healthy!

To be honest, labor kind of scares me at this point and I hope to be able to overcome that before we have another baby, so please pray that I am able to overcome that feeling before we decide to grow our family some more.

We love our little man and are so happy he is here!!  Wren thinks he is pretty amazing too!!

Here we are with Susie!!

and our awesome doula, Jessica!

Here's little buddy at his first check-up on Tuesday.  Already almost back up to birth weight!!

We went back to the doc again Friday to get him circumcised and he had gained 3 oz!  So he is growing and thriving just fine even though his entrance into the world was not what we expected :).


Krista Morton said...

Love your blogs! So happy for Gary and you. Even tho it wasn't how u guys wanted or planned so glad you and baby are healthy and home sweet home :)

Britney Brush said...

Kimberly, you are a warrior! I love you and this story, even though it didn't turn out like you thought it would. I have to say that I know EXACTLY what you mean about those tile floors. They are the worst! I am so proud of you. Miss you greatly!

Jessica said...

Oh sweet girl!
I am crying over here.
This is such a beautiful story. I just want to hug you. Because this was my first experience with a homebirth Cesarean I wasn't sure how to react, what to say, how to feel. I wasn't sure, at the time, how you felt or thought.

I absolutely know that God had His own plan for you and Thayer. This story is wonderful!
I am so incredibly proud of you. You rocked it!
You handled every contraction like a champ!
I hope that you know and acknowledge how amazing you were and are!!
I love you and your sweet, sweet family!

brittanyanderson5 said...

This seemed like a movie! Just when I thought I knew what was gonna happen, it all changed! I'm SO proud of you! Thayer is so blessed to have YOU as his mommy! :)

Aubrey Carroll said...

I am so glad you posted your story! I am so proud of what you did and you are such a strong woman! You should never feel like a failure when you brought a beautiful life into this world without ever stressing him or yourself! I loved your story and I am beyond happy to have read it!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! So happy for you/your family and love that you shared your story. Can't wait to meet little man! See you soon! Libby

Angela Cordle said...

You did everything you could've done!! I can't even begin to imagine the strength of your contractions to get you to a 9/10!! You really are a warrior!! Thayer just wasn't meant to come that way and that's fine. Your next baby will have its own journey as well so don't fret on your past experience bc if this one told you anything, its that every baby's journey is different! One thing you can count on is that you'll be a great mama bear and do whatever is best for you and your cubs!