Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Birth story, part 3

The final part of the story, I promise…


This is when I feel that “labor” really started for me. 


It’s about 2-3 AM and sitting on an exercise ball is supposed to be a good thing for labor, so that is what I did.  The nurse also puts a big bean bag on the hospital bed and covers it with a sheet for me to lean over into and I put my head down.  It is relaxing and just what I needed.  We talked, looked at pictures of Alex in my wallet and generally rested.  Lance laid down on the daybed and tried to shut his eyes for a bit.  My doula gave me a neck and back massage which was wonderful!


I found that the more I relaxed, the more the contractions would come and the stronger they would come.  I relaxed on the exercise ball/bean bag for a while until the contractions were strong enough that I wasn’t relaxing anymore.  As the contractions got stronger, the more comfort I needed.  My doula suggested a cold washcloth and that was FABULOUS!  She got a cold washcloth and put it on my forehead and would rub my face as the contractions got stronger and stronger.  Soon, Lance had a cold wash cloth, too and was rubbing my back with it.  It felt so good and soothing as I was moving my way through these contractions.


What I mean by contractions is this – waves of crampiness.  I didn’t feel the whole uterus tightening from top to bottom, like I thought I would (or at least I don’t remember it).  I just would feel the “cramp” start to get stronger until all I was doing was breathing my way through it – I don’t remember what else was going on in the room, nor could I talk through it, then it would subside just as it began.  The cramp feeling was in my lower belly, not all around. 


Lance and I did the “slow dancing”, me putting my arms around his neck and just moving slowly back and forth, to help me through the contractions when sitting wasn’t right anymore.  I was checked again and found to be –1 station (still far up!) 6-7 cm, and 6-7 on the pain scale.  I started to get really nauseous and started throwing up.  My doula told me this was normal and it was actually helping the baby go down farther.  It was a good thing I had those brownies earlier – not something totally gross, like salad.  Then, as soon as that came on, it was gone.  


Lance was a champ through this whole experience, I must say.  I didn’t really think about him – he was just there for me, doing whatever it was that was necessary and helped me feel better.  I remember having him hold the throw-up bucket right at his chest while I threw up and I had my arms around him.  Later he told me he was pretty grossed out, but during it all he was solid as a rock. 


5-6 AM - At this point – I asked for an epidural.  I had no idea how long all this would last and I could see a point where I would want the epidural.  Thinking back – I wish I wouldn’t have done this – but, there is no going back.  I was in the “transition” phase of labor (going from 6/7cm to 10 cm – fully dilated) and this is the most intense part – of course I was thinking it was intense – because it was.   I have spent too much time on this already and beat myself up enough for getting an epidural and I’m trying to get over it.  The only thing I can say is that I totally could have done it naturally and going back to my Goals/wishes - “no drugs” were not a part of it.  I wanted a healthy baby, healthy me, VBAC, baby on chest experience.  I guess I didn’t really think about drugs vs. no drugs.  Also, when you are experiencing labor and your world is in 2-3 minute (or less) increments where you have no idea what else is going on in the room, let alone the world, let’s just say that you don’t have the clearest of minds and new thoughts don’t pop into your head. 


I had to wait a while for the epidural, I have no idea how long, but apparently anesthesiologists have to have “everything absolutely ready” when the nurse calls them.  He was trying to talk to me and make small talk  - why, I have no idea?  Doesn’t he realize I’m in labor and I don’t want to make small talk with the anesthesiologist? Nope, apparently not. 


This part was pretty difficult.  Sitting up on the bed, trying to be still, working through contractions that were probably an “8” for me.  But, after the epidural was in – I couldn’t feel a thing.  They did a big dose up front which totally knocked out all feeling.  Then there was a pump that would deliver the meds at intervals.  Looking back, I wish they would’ve just hooked me up to the pump to take it down a notch, not totally numb me up.  But, again – can’t go back. 


After the epidural took effect around 6-7 am, the nurse checked me again and I was almost complete!!!! 


Damn it!  Damn it!  Damn it!


I would’ve had her and been pushing if I wouldn’t have had the epidural.  Waiting for the anesthesiologist was my “transition”.  If I could go back, I would’ve had the nurse check me right before she called the anesthesiologist.  After things settled down and I returned to the world of looking around and talking to Lance and the Doula and the nurse, we decided to try pushing for a bit to see what would happen.  Since she was still pretty far up there, nothing much happened, but I did learn how to push – which is different than you think, unless you’ve experienced it.  I pushed for about 20-30 minutes and the new doctor on call came in to introduce herself.  She said to save my energy and “labor down” – a term that means to let the contractions do the job of getting baby girl farther down my pelvis.


Everyone was able to rest.  Lance ate the breakfast that was brought to my room, the Doula ran out and got some coffee, I rested.  We were all tired.  The nurses changed shifts.  Below is the last picture of me pregnant – right after I got the epidural. 

 Sara's Birthday-3-2 Final



I still had her pretty high up there (+1 station whereas +3 is crowning), but by ~9:30AM – I was thinking we’re either going to do this or we’re not – so, let’s do this! 


I wanted to start pushing, even though I still didn’t have the urge to push.  I started pushing and it was really hard work.  The doula and the nurse kept trying new positions for me to see if they could find the magic spot for our little girl heart rate.  Lance would hold one leg, the Doula the other and I would wrap my hands behind my knees and bear down.  It’s amazing how much work it takes.  I was sweaty in no time.  In between contractions (that I was feeling a bit more of – maybe a 2-3) I would just go limp and relax.  As I would push through each contraction and change positions, I started to feel them even more, but it wasn’t painful as I was able to push through them and concentrate on that.  As we found out after a little bit of pushing – the epidural tubing came disconnected and I think this helped things quite a bit.  I could feel the contractions coming a lot more now and was able to push.  There were times when I would start pushing when the contraction wasn’t really at it’s peak and tire myself out before the end of it, but I just couldn’t push anymore and wasn’t able to relax and go limp after pushing since the contraction was still going strong.  So, I got better at timing when to push and to wait for the right time to push, not too early in the contraction.


During the whole pushing time, Lance and the Doula kept telling me how good I was doing and how the pushing was just right.  All I felt was that I was doing right and I was going to give birth to my daughter.  It was such a lovely, supportive environment.  That was all I heard.  Other people might have said things that weren’t so supportive, but it just passed in one ear and out the other. 


In the end, I pushed for about 1 hour (although I didn’t notice the time until after I was done), didn’t feel the urge to push (since she was so high up) until the end.  I was apparently so swollen that when the nurse checked me again – baby girl’s head just popped out from under my pubic bone and they called doctor to come fast.  She was ready to come out!  She was crowning and the doctor wasn’t there yet – and I had to do the HARDEST thing of this whole labor/delivery experience – hold one push!  That was the toughest part – when everything in your body is telling you to push and they are telling you not to.  My body couldn’t help it and my doula was whispering in my ear that it was OK to push a little bit – because really – how do you NOT push at that point?  I remember telling Lance to not let my leg down – do not! 


The doctor arrived and I did one push and her head came out.  I had to hold one more push since the cord was wrapped around her neck, but that wasn’t as difficult since her head was out.  One more push and she was delivered and on my chest. 



She was the most beautiful and wonderful thing in the world.  I gave birth to my baby girl. 


I did it!   I really did it!


I wanted a healthy baby, healthy me, VBAC, baby on chest experience and that is what I got.  All my goals/wishes were granted and labor/delivery was pretty much as I had imagined.  It was faster than I imagined, actually.  Only about 8 hours of labor, by my count and only a few of those that were pretty intense. 


Lance was crying, doula was crying, I was just in awe – no crying for me (which, looking back on it was strange – but it was just so much work to get her out that I was probably just so amazed and tired that the tears didn’t come)  


I did it!  I really did it!


Sara's Birthday-4-2 Final


Sara's Birthday-8-2 Final