Friday, January 14, 2011

Lorelai’s birth story—Part 3

While I was waiting for the epidural, Dr. Heath came in, and I realized it was the same doctor who delivered my nephew Shaun five years ago, and we were in the very same room (I was there as Jillian gave birth to him)!  What a coincidence! Even though he wasn’t my doctor, I immediately felt good about things because Jillian had spoken so highly of him.  We talked about my situation with shoulder dystocia and ways to prevent it.  I discussed with him the idea of laboring down, where instead of pushing right when I get to 10cm, I would wait and let my body do the work of moving the baby down.  The theory is that this allows time for the baby’s shoulders to rotate into proper position (Logan had a fairly rapid descent, so that may have been one reason he got stuck).  He was totally on board with the idea and suggested a dense epidural so I could get some rest and not be overcome with the urge to push right away.  Sounded like heaven to me! I got my epidural at 1:30am and it was the best thing ever.  I even caught a few minutes of sleep (thank you, Tylenol PM!), and so did Adam.
A little bit before 3am, the Nurse Nancy came in to check me. I was 8cm and my water broke as she was checking me.  30 minutes later, she noticed that Lorelai was having some concerning heart decelerations so she woke the doctor up and they came to check me. In that short time, I had gone from 8 to 10cm, so Dr. Heath told me he was very sorry he couldn’t follow my birth plan, but I was going to have to push right away because Lorelai wasn’t tolerating the contractions (cue freak out number 1). He said he didn’t want to have to talk c-sections right away, but if I didn’t get her out ASAP, it was a strong possibility (cue freak out number 2).  They wanted to attach an internal monitor to her scalp so they could more accurately monitor her heart rate, but they couldn’t get it to read.  Of course I got scared that they couldn’t pick up her heartbeat (you guessed it, freakout number 3).  After several tries to attach it, they finally gave up and just readjusted the external monitors.  I pushed for a few contractions and seriously couldn’t feel a thing. Nada. Zip. Nothing. You’d think that would be a good thing, but I was very much freaking out that I wouldn’t be able to push her out fast enough if it came down to it, so I had him turn down my epidural (so sad, it was nice while it lasted).  Very fortunately, the pushing I did got her into a better position, so the decels weren’t happening anymore.  Dr. Heath agreed to let me continue to labor down. He went back to sleep.  I didn’t.
At about 5:25am, I called the nurse in because my epidural had pretty much totally worn off on my left side, and I was in a good bit of pain by then.  I wanted to go ahead and start pushing because I couldn’t take it anymore and I felt the urge.  The nurse told me my natural contractions were so consistent and close together that they looked like pitocin contractions. She didn’t want to stress the baby too much, so she had me push during every other contraction.  She called the doctor (woke him up again) at 5:50am and he checked my progress. He thought it looked like I still had a ways to go to bring her down, so he left to go back to sleep.  Seriously not 5 minutes later, I had a couple of really strong contractions and couldn’t help but push, so the nurse had to call the doctor back in ASAP—Lorelai was on her way out!  He brought in with him an extra team of doctors in case of shoulder dystocia.  Although I didn’t love the extra audience, it reassured me to know they were so prepared in case anything went wrong.
Over the next few minutes, so much happened in such a blur. A complete range of emotions overwhelmed me.  A couple of pushes after the doctor got there, at 6:03am, Lorelai was out! Not stuck! Such relief! Adam cried and told me she was beautiful! The doctor said “whoa, she’s huge”! I saw in the mirror that she was a girl! Elation! Only to be followed by immediate panic when we realized there was A LOT of meconium—she had pooped during labor.  Cue freak out number 4.  A few seconds later, we realize she had a true knot in her cord. Yep, freak out number 5.  Extra peds staff was paged and she was suctioned immediately while Adam hurriedly cut the cord.  She was whisked away to the warmer and I wasn’t able to hold her right away. Panic. Was she ok?  I heard her cry and the doctor reassured me that she was fine, and they were just doing a really thorough suction so make sure she didn’t aspirate any meconium.  Her apgars were 9&9! She had a ridiculous amount of gorgeous dark hair—no wonder they couldn’t get a good attachment to her scalp with the internal monitor! Then they got her on the scale, and holy crap, I just birthed a 9lb 1oz baby! 
As Dr. Heath was finishing up with me and examining the umbilical cord, he showed me the knot—it was very tight—and told me that we got lucky because that’s one of the causes of fetal demise in utero. Way to freak an already overly emotional mom out, dude!  Especially since I hadn’t yet got to hold my precious baby.  Anyway, we don’t really know when the knot happened, but I guess the theory is that as she descended, it got tighter, which is what caused or contributed to the heart decels they were picking up on in labor.  This stressed Lorelai out, which caused her to poop.  It’s just so ironic that the major concerns we had going into the hospital didn’t happen, but a whole mess of other things did.  All things considered, we were indeed very lucky that she was so perfect.  And she has been nothing short of perfect, ever since!
They finally gave her to me to hold, and it was heaven.  I finally had my little girl.  And because it was right during a shift change, Adam and I got lots of quality time with her before they had to take her to the nursery and move me to my postpartum room.  She nursed like a champ and we made excited phone calls to family and friends.  Another coincidence—my new nurse on duty was Takenya, the same nurse who had delivered Logan.  She was wonderful, so it was nice seeing her again (bummer she wasn’t the one to deliver Lorelai).  Plus, she got them to bring me breakfast, since I was starving!
So there you finally have it, Lorelai’s birth story.  I get so nostalgic thinking about my labor experiences—I so wish I had written everything down like this with the boys.  Each was such an amazing experience, filled with anticipation, excitement, fear, exhaustion, pain, and an overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment.   What a true miracle it is to grow and give birth to another human being.
Lorelai Eve
July 29, 2010 at 6:03am
9lb 1oz and 21.5 inches

Those are some seriously proud big brothers!

And a very proud Daddy!

(Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here)


  1. I'm so glad you shared the story! Makes me excited/nervous about my upcoming labor. It really is amazing, the way most babies are born without major complications when there are SO many things that could go wrong.
    Lorelai is just gorgeous and I'm so happy for your family :)

  2. Thanks for reading, Trish! I love birth stories, so I hope you'll share yours when your sweet boy arrives. Not too much longer!

  3. Just continuing to read your blog after your question on Mama Blog. I *love* birth stories, lol. I'm so happy everything turned out perfectly. But yeah, lots of freaking out!


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