Friday, October 8, 2010

Melissa's Birth Story Part 2

Kevin and I left Shirley's house at about 9pm in her Tahoe. We had swapped vehicles so that they could have our minivan with the girl's car seats already installed. As I got in the Tahoe, I knelt on the passenger side seat and hung over the headrest. There was NO way I was sitting down during a contraction. As we drove home, I told Kevin that I finally understood why women in labor did NOT like being in cars.

When we got home, I decided to give Kevin's poor fists a break and opted to take a hot shower to relieve the pressure in my back. The water felt heavenly. I could have stayed in there all night if I wasn't needing to save some warm water for the birth pool. Kevin wanted to start timing the contractions as he noticed that they were lasting longer then usual. I agreed, and told him I would yell out "time" at the start, and "over" at the end of each contraction. I let the hot water hit my back while I put my hands on the wall in front of me and rocked side to side chanting "open," "open," "open" with each rock. My hips were like the top of a metronome swinging back and forth to the rhythm of each contraction. The words I used were those that I had learned to be very powerful during labor. I wanted to give my body every opportunity to open and relax so I could progress instead of tensing up or trying to fight the power running through my body.
I noticed after yelling out "time" a few times, that the contractions were coming very close together. Kevin came in after a while, and told me that they were now 2-3 minutes apart and about 35 seconds long. I decided to get out of the shower so we could start filling up the pool sooner then later. Things seemed to be progressing quickly, so I threw on my birthing gear {sports bra/swim shorts/dress}, and met Kevin in the living room so he could continue tracking the contractions. We were feeling fairly confident that this might be "it," and so I took the liberty of uncovering the birth pool. As soon as my contractions were close to a minute long that is where I wanted to be. I began using our living room wall to lean on, and put a towel on the laminate flooring underneath me just in case my water broke. I continued working through each contraction, rocking back and forth and saying "open" "open" "peace" "peace" repeatedly until it was over. They had become a little more intense, and I had to concentrate more to get through each one. Kevin noticed that I was having to work more to get through them and suggested calling Kimberly. I told him he was not allowed until they were almost a minute long. We argued a little back and forth, and I could tell he was annoyed, so I told him he could text her an update instead.

At 1020pm, Kevin began timing the contractions again. They were coming every 3-5 minutes and were getting longer and longer. My chanting went from "open" "open" to "I can" "I can", as they became more and more intense. Soon, I was unable to say any words at all. I began vocalizing through them instead with a low "ahh" noise (another way in which you can help your body to stay relaxed and open) which had Kevin asking once again if he could call Kimberly. I had been pretty stubborn up until then, worrying that it would be too early, or that I wouldn't be far enough along to get in the pool. It took a few 50 second contractions that had me speechless with hands shaking to finally agree. Kimberly was on her way, and would be at our home in about 15 minutes.

It was 11pm, and Kevin was trying to fill the birth pool as quickly as possible while we were waiting for Kimberly to arrive. He attached the birth pool hose to our water heater, and within 10 minutes the pool was half way full of warm water. I walked by between a contraction and noticed that there was something in the water. It was mineral build up that had been at the bottom of the water heater and had come out of the hose. Kevin was obviously annoyed as he opened our back doors, and poured all the water out onto our back patio so he could start over again.

At 1115pm Kimberly arrived and helped Kevin to start filling the pool again. This time from our bathroom sink and outside hose. Kimberly listened to Dallin's heart tones during a contraction and he sounded perfect. I was glad that he was tolerating the contractions well. Our doula began warming water on the stove in a big pot and pouring it in, pausing only when she heard me start to vocalize through a contraction. I needed firm fists in my back each time in order to relieve the back pressure. She did a great job of reminding me to breathe deeply and spoke in soft tones to help me relax. At about 1130pm there were 3 inches of water in the pool and Kimberly asked if I wanted to get in. I agreed. Even though it wasn't much at the time, it was relaxing to be in the warm water. I laid my head on the side of the pool and tried to rest as much as possible between contractions. Kevin started playing a hypnobabies script aloud on the computer and I tried to relax and let my body do what it needed to. This is about the point where I lost all track of time. I kept my eyes shut so that I could focus as the contractions became stronger and longer. I found myself drifting off to sleep in between them which helped. My vocalizing became louder and longer with time, but Kevin and Kimberly were there feeding me relaxation cues and sips of water after each contraction. They also continued warming water on the stove and pouring it in to keep the temperature comfortable for me.

Poor Kevin picked up the last pot of water off the stove that he thought was just warm and ended up pouring scalding water on his hands as he was trying to put it into the pool. He was a good sport throughout all these little mishaps. Kimberly had me sit on the seat in the pool so she could check Dallin's heart tones. Once again, he sounded perfect.

At 130am (Sunday Sept. 12th), 2 hours after I had gotten into the pool, I was having very intense contractions. I was tired, especially after not getting much sleep the night before, and I still didn't know if I had progressed very much. I was so busy working through contractions that it had not even ocurred to me that I should have Kimberly check my dilation (she is an RN and is certified to do so). Feeling discouraged, I asked "how much longer do you think I can do this?" Kimberly and Kevin reassured me that I was doing a great job, and that I could definitely keep doing this. I WAS doing it.Their confidence in me lifted my spirits and I continued. But at the peak of the next contraction my body did something that we were not expecting. It started pushing all on it's own. Not once..but twice.

to be continued...

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