Monday, October 4, 2010

Forest's Birthday

Well I want to write this down somewhere while I can still remember it, and remember the feelings that went along with it.  I never wrote down Olaf's birth story and I wish I had, because 2 years later it's just a bit fuzzy for me.  And I remember it being just TERRIBLE in comparison to Forest's birth, even though it was probably not all that bad :)  Although I think I will try to remember it and write another post while I have it on the brain.

Forest came 13 days past his due date.  I know that the due date was correct, because I'd been doing the "family planning" with basal body temp, and I knew which day I had ovulated (TMI?  Sorry if so).   Going that far past your due date is not that hard physically, but it was a mental killer.

I think I have realized why it was so annoying to go past my due date with Forest (and Olaf).  I guess I just felt like was very alone at that place in my pregnancy.  Just think - out of ALL the pregnant women you know, how many do you know that allowed her pregnancy go very far overdue?  I can think of just a few.

Now it wasn't uncommon for our moms to go 1, 2 or even 3 weeks overdue before inducing labor or looking at other options.  But I have noticed a growing trend in pregnancy that if you don't have your baby before your due date, on your due date, or within 3-4 days after your due date, most women are encouraged to induce labor with pitocin, or in some situations schedule a C-section.  Their doctors even encourage it.  Now I am not against either of those, I think they are definitely a personal choice made by the momma and their doctors.  (I myself chose to be induced with pitocin at 11 days post due with Olaf so I'm really not against it.)  However it means there are VERY few people who can relate to being very far post due with their kiddos.  I mean seriously.  And then the women who went 3 days overdue tell me - "I KNOW, it's just so annoying isn't it, to be overdue?"  and I think "talk to me again in another week honey.  You probably hadn't even reached your real due date yet".  Anyway.  I could write a whole post on how annoying that is but I will just leave these ramblings here.

So in the week leading to my due date, and the two weeks after, I had progressively stronger Braxton Hicks contractions.  However they were never consistent, just annoying!  I kept trying to tell myself that they were prepping my body for the baby's arrival, and helping me to make some progress.  Luckily, they actually were!  At 40 weeks I was dilated to a 1cm, and at 41 weeks I was dilated to 1.5cm.  So you see, good progress for me.

I had an ultrasound at 41 weeks (Monday), as well as a non stress test for the baby.  The following Wednesday, we went in for another appointment with my doctor so he could go over the ultrasound with us.  He told us that it looked good, baby seemed to be very healthy, and he would see me either in the hospital, or the following Monday (at 42 weeks) to talk induction (bleh).  He also said he'd be out of town at a trail-run race on Sat-Sun this coming weekend, so if I didn't have it by Friday, his associate would deliver over the weekend.

Thursday came along and still no baby.  I decided SCREW THIS I am having this child.  So Steve and I whipped up a nice castor oil smoothie and I drank it down that night at 10pm, thinking maybe labor would start sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning.  Well contractions started at about 5am, pretty consistently.  I spent that morning rocking in the chair and relaxing through each one, while Steve watched Olaf.  Then at 10am I fell asleep, and woke up at 11am..... with no more contractions. They had stopped completely.  However, a nice delayed reaction from the castor oil meant that I got a serious bowel movement cleansing...  Lets just say it was not a pleasant feeling! I was pretty demoralized after that experience on Friday, so I decided that I would have to just wait for the baby :)

Saturday Steven and I did a ton of yardwork.  I mowed the lawn, planted about 10 plants in my beds, composted, etc... I was having good strength contractions every 15 to 20 minutes all day, but again they weren't real consistent.  That evening we went over to my folks house for a BBQ, because my Aunt Sandy was visiting, and we wanted to see her.  Dinner was delicious, but slightly uncomfortable because I kept having those dang contractions.  I sat down in the recliner after supper while everyone else just visited, and finally decided that we needed to go home so I could listen to my hypno-birthing tracks on my iPod to relax through the contractions.  (about 7pm).  Once we were home I settled into the recliner with my iPod and relaxed, and even managed to enjoy a few of the contractions - which I was thinking of as "pressure waves".  It was a nice experience.  They were getting "longer/stronger/closer together" as my doctor would have said.

After Steve got Olaf to bed, and watched some TV, and played on the computer, he came up and started timing the contractions at about 1:30 am.  Basically we were both so exhausted that we would fall asleep between them, and they would wake me up, and I'd grunt loudly at Steve, at which point he would wake up, write down the time, and then fall back asleep.  (see photo evidence of timing below)  Finally around 3am I guess he decided they were getting pretty close so he called the hospital and told them we were coming, called my mom to come stay with Olaf, and got the car running.  We left at about 3:30am for Wenatchee.

Steve's timing paper...  I don't know what those stars were for!

I actually really enjoyed the car ride...  crazy I know.  But the vibrations of the car were really nice compared to just rocking in my chair, and the Hypnobirthing tracks were still working to almost completely relax my body.

We got to the hospital at 4:30am and checked in, which took forever (it felt like).   My concentration on the hypno-birthing tracks was failing as I got asked questions and sat in an uncomfortable chair under bright lights -- as lots of you moms have experienced. Hospitals are distracting places.  Got to our birthing room at about 5:00am and went through the usual fetal heartbeat monitoring, blood pressure, hep-lock etc.  According to the nurse, I had dilated to a 6/7cm and was 100% effaced.  Woohoo, I didn't come in too early!  I had decided already that I wanted to get an epidural, so the nurse notified the anesthesiologist and sent my bloodwork to the lab to make sure I could have one.  By this time it was about 5:45am.  We were TIRED. I essentially hadn't slept at all since the night before (Friday night), so I was really looking forward to getting the epi and then taking a nice nap before I needed to start pushing.

The nice Dr. came at 6:30am with my drugs.  It took about 20 minutes to get everything in, and then I was in that peaceful state known as NO PAIN :)  Loved it.  I was looking forward to my nap.  The nurse had called the backup doc (since mine was out of town) and he was there, and came in to check me.  He told me I was already at an 8, and he wanted to break my water.  After he broke the bag of water, I shot to 9cm right away.  So then he suggested I start pushing and see if I could make it a 10.  I just remember thinking WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MY NAP!!?  I was SOOOO tired :)   But I started pushing with Steve and the nurse by my side at 7:30 am.  And I was apparently much more effective than I was with Olaf (who took 3 hours + a vacume).  At 8:25 or so the doc came back in and this time he stayed.  I got to wait through a few contractions while he gloved up and then it was time to get the little bugger out!  Steve had told the nurse earlier that he wished he could 'catch' the baby, so at that time she and the doc told him to take off his watch and get ready to guide the baby out.  Which he did at 8:35am.  Forest was screaming and cherry tomato red when he came out!  They laid the beautiful little guy up on my chest immediately.  Ahhh, love.  True love.

I had an amazing experience this time.  The hypno-birthing that I had been practicing for months on end helped me to have a really wonderful and relaxing birth.   Literally, I felt very little pain for the first 6-7 hours of labor.   I felt like I was in control the whole time, and really did enjoy the whole thing.  I only really felt intense pain when at the hospital, and trust me, it was intense. But I was actually able to breath through all of it and only yelled like a banshee for two really good ones.  Compared with Olaf's birth, I was SO relaxed.  (also I screamed like a banshee a LOT more with Olaf)...  Pushing was easier, I felt more encouraged, and was just much happier.  It made me realize that birthing is supposed to be an amazing experience, not scary or frustrating.  And I was very blessed to have a healthy baby at the end of it.

So anyway... long story I know but like I said, I wanted to write it down so I could remember it!

Forest Tucker Saugen - I love you.


Anonymous said...

I started tearing up at the end! So sweet! And I want to hear about that hypnobirthing thing. Seriously, I've got somewhere around 4-6 weeks here and need some tips! And I'm glad that I won't be alone if I go late and don't induce. I don't plan to. :)

gina said...

i am glad to know what you went through. thanks for writing about it! the hypno-birthing thing sounds helpful! and what a great husband!

suzi said...

Welll that was fun reading your birth story for Mr. Forest! Brought back memories of being overdue (2 of my 4 were two weeks overdue) Annoying, anxious, uncomfortable but worth the wait of course! So exciting that Steve made the catch! You're right about writing while your memory is fresh!! What a gift to give to your children when they are about to become fathers!! I kind of want to know what the stars meant ;]]