Saturday, November 5, 2016

August's Birth Story

I'm so thankful that August is here! I can't believe it's been a week already. Time flies. I keep thinking about him growing up so fast, next thing I know he'll be going off to college, and I start tearing up! I love this little guy so much already.
Disclaimer: The following birth story is mostly for me to process and journal this experience, so if you don't like gory details, don't read! In the end, I am super thankful for my healthy baby and that's what matters, but it was not pretty!
We went in last Friday for the induction. Since I was positive for the Group B Strep (1/4 of the population is colonized, it doesn't really bother the carrier, but the baby can get infected so they give doses of penicillin to prevent transmission.) We got there at 7am, by 8am we had gotten another ultrasound to make sure he was still head down position and were taken to our room and hooked up to the baby heartbeat/my contractions monitor. The nurse started and IV and started the antibiotic. I had to get 2 doses before they could start the induction so we were left to ourselves and instructed to walk and try to get labor going. Um yeah, what did they think I'd been trying to do the last 3 weeks! I had tried all the things they recommend: sex, walking (I walked 5 miles the night before the induction), castor oil (do not do that! diarrhea and no labor!), evening primrose oil, red raspberry tea. So anyway, Doug and I walked the halls. Then they came in with a breast pump to try to get contractions going. Didn't really do anything either. Around 2pm the midwife came in to check me, I was 3cms dilated and 80% effaced and so bummed because that's what I had been a few days before at the doctor's office. So she said we either needed to try breaking the water or starting Pitocin. We did some googling and some talking and decided to start Pitocin. The doula came to the hospital and I guess I started having some contractions but nothing crazy at that point. She had been at another birth the night before so we told her to just go home for a bit, no point sitting and watching Fixer Upper with us at the hospital! Around 6pm I texted her again that nothing was really happening. Minutes after that I heard a loud POP and felt like a snapping from my abdomen. I stood up and fluid was gushing out. My water had broken naturally. After that the contractions starting hurting badly. I tried different things to get thru them, rocking on the exercise ball, leaning over the bed, hugging Doug, holding a hot pack to my abdomen or back, the only thing that felt somewhat ok was sitting on the toilet. Since with every contraction more amniotic fluid would come out anyway. But then I started feeling trapped in there because I'd go to stand up and go back to bed and another one would come. The next several hours were such a blur. The doula was there and she kept suggesting different positions, I would try them and nothing felt good. I tried to listen to the birth affirmations and do my hypnobreathing but it was so hard to expand my abdomen during the contraction just because my abdomen was rock hard. At some point the nurse came in and turned down the Pitocin because she said my contractions were too close together. Maybe around 7 or 8pm they checked me again. Now I was at 6cms. And I the thought of having 4 more cms to go was too much. I asked for some pain meds. The midwife offered an IV medication of something called Nubain. I felt bad because I hadn't done any research on any pain meds thinking I could go natural, but I needed something. The next hours blurred by. It was not pretty. There was yelling, groaning, unbelievably loud burping (now I am a burper, but I would never burp so loud in front of strangers like that!), I was hunched over the top of the bed on all 4s and with every contraction I would throw up a little, and at the end of each contraction I felt like my body would involuntarily contract and start to push. I tried not to because I know you're not supposed to push before you're at 10, but it was involuntary. Between contractions I would just lay my head near my throw up bucket and take a few breaths while Doug and Faye (the doula) rubbed my back. I was so thirsty but I just could not even open my mouth to ask for a drink. Around 11pm I was checked and was at a 9. I must've been checked again in a bit, but I don't remember, I just remember the midwife asking if I felt like pushing. I remember saying I don't know, and then the next thing I knew I was pushing. At some point they had me flip onto my back/side because I think his heart rate was dropping a bit. I was supposed to push 3 times with each contraction, which was hard because sometimes the contractions wouldn't last 3 pushes. And there was sweet Doug next to me reminding me we wanted to "breathe the baby down like in hypnobirthing". I tried that, but again, it was like my body just couldn't stop from pushing! I don't remember how many times I pushed, maybe less than 10 contractions? They kept saying they could see the head coming, they asked if I wanted to feel it (no) but I did want a mirror but was too out of it to ask. Oh well. Next thing I know I felt painful burning and then a little purple faced baby was plopped on my chest! And I just sat there looking at him in almost disbelief. Then the midwife was saying it had been 2.5 mins and time to cut the cord so Doug cut it and then they took him over to get checked out. He was born at 12:07am on Saturday, October 29th. My 42 week old baby!
I had 4 tears during delivery. Mostly 1st degree and one 2nd degree. The midwife was down yonder and there was a OB/GYN med student assisting her so I heard them discussing everything. It was a bit troubling to hear them say things like "I think that piece came from over there..." as they stitched me up. Later she told me she never recommends episiotomies, but for me, it would have been better. I guess you just never know till it's too late. They stitched me up for over an hour while I looked over at my baby on the table. I felt bad because that first couple hours is supposed to be really important for bonding and skin-to-skin. But I couldn't hold him during them working on me and using my abdomen for their sterile field. So Doug took his shirt off and held him skin to skin. Finally they were done and I got to hold him again and they took us to our new mother/baby room.
We stayed 2 nights in the hospital. August passed his hearing and heart tests, thank you God! And we had some visitors and tried to rest. The lactation consultants saw me at least 4 times and assisted with breastfeeding, which was so helpful.
Doug's "it's a boy!" cigars
So here we are at home and our little baby is a week old already.
It's hard to describe how I feel. I think I have a touch of the baby blues. I cried a lot the first few days, feeling tired and overwhelmed, and also so so happy and blessed. I look at Doug and cry and just feel so thankful that he's my husband and my partner and the father of our son. Overall things are going pretty well. My main problem is that those tears are really super painful even still. It hurts to walk and hurts to sit. I went to the doctor to see if it was healing ok, she said that when they stitched me up one side was more swollen than the other so when they matched up the seams they tried to match it, but it is uneven and so there is this hard ridge of skin that is just super painful all the time. Sometimes I'll get a random stabbing pain and one day I cried three times because of it. I didn't even cry during labor! Another day Doug had ran into the store to get something and I stayed in the car with August and heard him start to cry. I went to open my door to go sit back with him and couldn't even move my legs to get out of the car it hurt so bad, so I just sat there crying half out of the car until he came back. I go again next week to get re-checked, but they really can't do anything about it it seems. If it wasn't for that, I feel I would be doing so much better. I really am thankful breastfeeding is off to a good start and I have a healthy baby.
So one week later, I have lost 22 pounds, I'm not sure how that can be as my chest has practically doubled in size! Probably losing muscle mass as I can barely even walk some days.
And I think its time for some happy stuff.
Our little August Arthur.
We chose his name pretty early on. I had originally liked "Gus", and August is the name of my great-great-grandfather who was a farmer and who came to the US from Germany. August's middle name Arthur is after my grandpa (both on my mom's side). My grandpa was also a farmer and such a kind loving man. He died in a house fire when I was in high school. They lived in Wisconsin so I didn't see them as much as our other family, but our time there was always good. I'll always remember the sound of my grandpa's voice as he prayed before meals "Father, we thank thee..." I pray our son becomes a man who loves the Lord as he did.
His first Halloween
This was actually Doug and my second year anniversary!
this awesome fox hat my friend Megan made for him, maybe better wait a couple months!
big sister September has been adjusting ok so far
trying out the baby k'tan carrier
getting some sunshine while daddy raked the yard
I'm so thankful God chose me to be his mom, and to finally have my dream of being a mother come true. I hope and pray I can be the best mother that he needs! What a privilege and a challenge.


  1. Oh my goodness Anne!! That sounds incredibly painful!! Thank you for posting, I love love love reading birth stories. Hope you continue to heal well! Can't wait to meet your sweet baby boy!

  2. Thank you so much for your honesty! I love reading birth stories, but to sorry you had so much pain. Poor thing!! But he is so perfect!! What a cutie! Love the name!