Monday, April 4, 2011

Birth Story Monday | Baby Aspen's Story

(Martha’s Notes:  I first met Suzanne in one of our many PR classes together at APSU. I remember my first impressions of her was how she was always dressed and accessorized SO cute and looked extremely put together! We worked on a few projects together, chatted about professors, and continued to take classes from Pam during our time at APSU. However, we never got to be close friends. Fast forward a couple of years… I posted a post about my plans for a natural childbirth and Suzanne sent me a message on FB saying how she had the same plans, but unfortunately they didn’t go how she wished. She just wanted me to be prepared in case plans changed. At the time I listened but didn’t think too much about that. Funny how now my plans have changed due to my complications! Thanks Suzy for the advice throughout pregnancy, the sweet gifts you gave me, and for sharing your story with us all!)

Baby Aspen's Birth Story by Mommy Suzanne
Saturday August 21, 2010. One of my baby showers was planned for the day. I decided to rest before getting ready. My water broke at 10:27 am. I was exactly 37 weeks to the day. I had just woken up and when I stood up I felt a trickle. Then a gush of water and it kept coming! My mucous plug was visible on the floor along with a lot of water. I was shaking as I called my husband and our doula, Rhonda. I couldn’t believe it was finally time!!!

After my water broke I began feeling pain in my lower back. We decided to wait a bit before going in to the hospital. I was trying for a natural birth. About 10 minutes after my water broke I began feeling contractions, They were about 10 minutes apart, and lasting about 30 seconds to a minute. Our doula arrived at 12:30 and I sat on the birthing ball and she rubbed my back. I was still leaking a lot of amniotic fluid. I was surprised, since I thought it would be one gush & done. I ate some lunch since I knew once I got to the hospital I wouldn’t be allowed anything. I even baked some cookies for my L&D nurses.
My mom couldn’t believe I was so calm at this point. She was freaking out more than me!
We decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and hopefully this would allow the baby to descend. I had some contractions while walking (and it was SO HOT. August heat in Tennessee!) While outside I was so aware of everything around me it was crazy! I could feel my senses heightened! When we came inside from the walk I decided to shower and hopefully that would help. I never got that far.  I sat down to go to the bathroom and felt pressure. We were concerned things were moving fast since my water had broken about 3 hours prior. So off to the hospital we went!

I got to L&D around 2:45 on Saturday afternoon. Got dressed in the gown and hooked up to everything. (even though I really didn’t want all that!) They agreed to an IV port for the moment and intermittenent fetal monitoring. But once they saw my blood pressure I was not allowed to really get up anymore. The baby’s heart rate was great and now it was time to check me. I was a whopping ONE CENTIMETER DILATED. Same as I had been at my check up appointment 4 days prior. I was crushed, very emotional. I was fearing a c-section since I know after water breaks they like to have the baby delivered within 24 hours. I was glad my husband and Rhonda were there to comfort me. I started doing some visualization exercises and picturing things opening. After several hours I was still not progressing, so they wanted to start the Pitocin. I was afraid of the intensity of the contractions with the Pitocin. At this point my contractions were pretty strong and they were irregular, coming every 5-10 minutes and lasting 3-5 minutes!!!! Humming/chanting was the only thing that helped me. My husband called it “my song.” I couldn’t do anything else. I was in Laborland! The contractions were unbearable and were going on 12 hours in labor with only maybe 1 cm progression, I knew I was going to have to do Pitocin, so I agreed to an epidural.
I had really planned for a natural birth and I had read SO much and thought I could do it, and I’m not going to lie, that epidural was GREAT. I am proud of myself for going 12 hours with nothing and especially with my crazy contraction pattern! Once they did the epi, we started the Pitocin and I got to get some rest. I did have some hot and cold flashes and I was shaking pretty badly with the epidural, but compared to contractions, that was nothing,

At  18 hours I had to go on antibiotics since my water had been broken for a while. When they checked me throughout the night I was progressing. It seems like things flew by. Around 12 pm they checked me and I was 9 cm. Almost there!!!! I mentally prepared and I could feel the pressure. My epidural began to wear off, which I actually am grateful for, because I got to feel a lot during the pushing stage.

I started to push around 1 pm. I had a couple practice pushes and pushed her down a bit and next thing I knew my doctor was suiting up and we were ready to have a baby!!! Pushing was a relief in a way, but it was SO HARD. I was on an oxygen mask for the baby and I had to remember to take a deep breath, hold it, relax my bottom and just PUSH. My husband and Rhonda helped greatly during this stage. Rhonda held my foot back and my husband fanned me & I was sweating and sooooo thirsty!!! I pushed maybe 8 or 10 times, about 45 minutes and I was getting tired. I decided internally to just get it done with the last push, and I bared down and I felt the “ring of fire” for about 10 seconds and I felt my baby slide out! I could NOT believe I just had a baby!! My doctor said I had one of the most shocked looks she had ever seen on a patient.

Aspen was 7lbs, 2 oz and 19.5 inches long and she was still covered in vernix since she was 37 weeks when she was born, she didn’t cry at first and then I heard her wail. I had a third degree tear because she had made a last minute turn and her head was sideways when she came out. I didn’t feel anything though thank God. They sewed me up and I finally got to hold my little princess. I told her happy birthday and that we waited so long for her. I didn’t cry like I had thought I would, but I was very happy. It felt like an out of body experience.

I am SO grateful for my husband, my doctor and my doula. I ended up being in labor for 28 hours, many doctors would have wanted to do a Cesarean, but my doctor had faith in me. Labor didn’t exactly go according to “my plan,” but that’s life. You have to be flexible. I am just happy I had a beautiful, healthy daughter and I got to have her vaginally. My husband was incredibly supportive throughout the whole thing. Bless his heart, he took a peek when she was crowning and almost passed out! The nurses made him sit down because he flushed and turned as white as a sheet!!! Lastly, I was so glad of our decision to hire a doula. Originally this had been due to the fact we wanted a natural birth. But even after that was gone, I really appreciated her knowledge of the things going on, and her comforting me through the contractions, pushing and everything in between! I had great support during labor, all of which helped me bring my daughter into this world!!!

(To read more about Suzanne's adventures with her baby, visit her blog, 'the life of little A'.)

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