August 02, 2008

Wow. That was...wow.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of comparing labor and delivery stories with me knows that Olivia's birth was epic. Thirty-seven hours of hard labor and pushing; a couple of cab rides; friends, family and a doula; three different locations; minor complications for mom and baby, and finally a gorgeous, healthy Olivia. There's so much that I love about the memories of all this now, but it was a long time before I could really think that I might be insane enough to do it again. Second labors are supposed to be shorter than firsts, but as was pointed out to me, 24 hours is shorter than 37 and that is still a really long time.

So once I proved that I am indeed insane enough to do it again, I tried to prepare myself. I hired another doula, who happened to be training someone...two for the price of one. I drank raspberry leaf tea (thanks, Mary!), and used primrose oil. I talked to myself and visualized a good (i.e. swift) delivery. But when signs of labor began Wednesday before last (on top of the contractions that I had been having for ages), only to slow and then stop, I started to be afraid, very afraid that labor was not going to progress the way that I had hoped. We spent my due date on a bit of a "Family of Three" date and it was sweet and bittersweet and I enjoyed it, but I was also acutely aware of the fact that I was not in labor and didn't feel like I was going to be anytime soon.

But then Sunday morning, I woke up around 4:30 with "that feeling," just like I did with Olivia. By the time Marc and I got up at 6:30, I was officially having contractions. By 7:30 when my mom came to get Olivia, I was on the birthing ball, moaning and unable to get up. Olivia, sweet enough through the whole morning to break my heart, took the baby seat which she had been vowing was off-limits for the baby for months and pulled it up saying, "Mommy, I'll sit here beside you and baby brother can sit next to me when he comes." Thank you, sweetie.

My friend, Katy, who was at Olivia's birth, called and listened for a bit as I labored and tried to micro-manage as Mom and Marc got O ready to go. Finally, she said, "Paige, don't you think you should call the doula? I think you should call the doula. Call the doula." But I had it in my mind that everything was going to take so long; I didn't want to wear out all my resources before 9am. Three contractions later, we called the doula.

With Olivia, I labored at home from 4:30a until 5:00p. I watched a little TV until things got to be too much, walked up and down the hall, laid on the bed, sat on the birthing ball...it was a day's worth of work and while I was in a lot of pain by the time I went to the birthing center, I was able to pretty much stay on top of it. But on Sunday, by the time I made the first switch from sitting to laying down to see if that offered any relief, I was already feeling a lot of doubt. Things were happening too fast, the pain was too intense too early. If I had to do this for a day and a half...well, there was no way I could do this for a day and a half. I started to feel panicky and was having trouble relaxing my muscles at all whether having a contraction or not. We decided to fill the tub, though I had no idea how I was going to get up and get to it. I didn't ask what time it was but I felt like several hours had passed since Amy arrived.

The tub was better. The contractions were coming very fast; some of them had a little lull only to start right back up, making me feel like they were coming right on top of each other, but I felt better able to breath and moan through them and was able to construct a positive thought or two...I'll never have to have that contraction again. Hell, I'll never have to do any of this again. Marc began to look a bit concerned and started asking if we should call the mid-wife. I put him off each time, afraid that it was too early. If I went to the hospital too early, I would get caught up. Caught up in the bed and the IV, unable to move and I knew that I would ask for an epidural. I just wanted to wait it out a bit more. And then, just like that...I needed to push. I really needed to push. Suddenly everyone was moving. Marc was on the phone. Amy and Christina were getting me out of the tub and trying to throw some clothes on me. I tried to find a shoe, asked for a shirt to go over my gown. Marc had the car on and bags out the door, an armful of shirts in answer to my request. Still though, I am wondering if it is time to go. By the time we got to the car, my only doubt was whether we would actually make it to the hospital. In between coaching Marc about his driving (good to know that you stay firmly yourself in times of stress and crisis), I held my hands between my legs and chanted, "I need to push."

We pulled up to the hospital and they actually came running out to meet us, throwing me on a gurney, and stripping me half-naked on the sidewalk. Where my water broke. And here folks, is where I lost it, maybe just a little. I literally went screaming through the lobby and up the elevator. I just wanted to get somewhere and have that baby. And I let everyone know.

Once in the room, everyone was moving, asking me questions, trying to get in an IV, trying to calm me down, trying to get me not to push. Screeeetch. What? Why? Why can't I push? Because the mid-wife wasn't there. Not in my opinion a good enough reason, so pushing I was. And when the baby's heart rate dropped a tiny bit during one contraction, everyone got on board and encouraged me to do so. Two contractions later, there he was...Sawyer.

 


 


We arrived at the hospital at 11:45 and he was born at 12:02p. When I finally let that sink in, I realized that meant I had been in labor from 4:30 until noon...all of seven and a half hours. Not bad. Not bad at all.

 
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16 Comments:

Anonymous alli said...

Congratulations! Maybe Olivia can give Fuller some "big sibling" advice for when our turn comes in February.

He is beautiful. And what a birth story! Congratulations again.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Congratulations!!!!

You and Marc know how to make beautiful babies!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

OK, when I left my first comment, I didn't have time to read the post, but wanted to leave my congrats just in case I got to read this too far down the road.

Well, I just finished reading and when I read about him coming out and you wrote "there he was...Sawyer" I started crying. What a great story!!

I can't wait to see more pictures as he gets older!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

alli, YAY! Congrats!

shannon, thank you! I'll post more pics soon.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Nicole P said...

Yay!!! Sawyer, I love that name. Welcome, little guy!

And congrats to you, Marc, and Olivia... Big sister!!! :)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Congratulations to all of you! Great photos!

9:39 PM  
Blogger alice said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:49 PM  
Blogger alice said...

Very nice. And what a beautiful boy and a gorgeous family!

9:50 PM  
Blogger Cara said...

Congrats! I'm so glad you are all well! He's beautiful.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous katiek said...

You're crazy, you know that! I tell you, I got some crazy mommie buddies. You felt like you had to push and you STILL weren't at the hospital! I read that and I thought, "Damn, she had that baby in her bathtub". I can only think that because I know that feeling. You don't get that feeling when you have an epi!
So enough pseudo-scolding and I'll say CONGRATS!! I love the name Sawyer! Great choice, better than, what was it, Bathtub?
Thanks for the story, I love birthstories! Great job Marc!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Wow, what an amazing story! I was sure you were giving birth in the tub, too.

Congratulations to all of you. He's beautiful.

9:55 AM  
Blogger c_eliott_j said...

how great would it have been to have him in the bathtub...and olivia wanted to name him bathtub!! hahha!! congrats....can't wait to meet him, and that was an awesome story!! i was on the edge of my seat reading it.....:)

3:16 PM  
Blogger linda said...

Good work guys! He is adorable.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

thanks, everyone!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

He's precious Paige. Congratulations!!!

9:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

OMG! He is so beautiful! Congatulations! And oh my...what a birth story. I just knew you were going to have him in that tub. Love the name!

9:32 AM  

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