Friday, July 13, 2012

The Birth Story: The Before

This should really be called a "Birth Saga" since there are three parts and more pictures and information than the standard person would want to know. But that has never stopped me before, right? So here is the Birth Story: Before.

Looking back on my labor and delivery with Grace I realized how medically involved it was. I was in labor for 12.5 hours, I had contraction and fetal monitors on the inside of my body, Grace's heart rate was all over the place, and I was about 15 minutes away from an emergency c-section. At the time I didn't know any different and assumed it was a relatively smooth experience, but looking back on it I wasn't too happy with how everything went. I felt like my body wasn't ready to go into labor and the pitocin caused funky contractions and an unnecessarily stressful experience. I decided when I got pregnant this time that I would just let my body go into labor on it's own and that would result in a more positive experience.

As evidenced on this blog I had many a Braxton Hicks contraction. I falsely assumed that these so-called "ineffective contractions" were actually effective for me and would result in an earlier delivery than what my due date predicted. The last few weeks of my pregnancy these BH contractions started getting pretty gnarly and were resulting in periods of false labor. I went to bed every night wondering whether or not I would be able to get any sleep. Getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night always resulted in two hard contractions. It was miserable.

At 38 weeks I got my membranes stripped and a few days later I lost my mucous plug. I walked almost daily and we tried all sorts of things to throw my body into labor. Every appointment that I set up for other things I would think to myself, "There is no way I will make this appointment, I'll definitely have the baby before then." But sure enough, I made every single appointment. At 39 weeks I had my membranes stripped again. And we tried all of the labor methods again. The weekend of my due date I started to break down. I kept getting random hard contractions during the day but never anything that remained consistent. Every time I got one I would think "Finally, this is labor starting." And it would stop. One night I was in the bathtub reading and I started getting consistent contractions. I tried to not get my hopes up, but as per usual, about 40 minutes later they just stopped. I burst into tears. I was exhausted and cranky, swollen, and hot. The next morning I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. I was relaying all of my complaints to her. Stating how miserable it was to watch everyone around me go days if not weeks before their due date and I was just about past mine. I had an out of body experience where I felt like I was so miserable that I was making everyone around me miserable as well. No one wants to hang out with a Debbie downer, am I right? That afternoon, I broke down and sobbed yet again (I blame hormones....). After a conversation with Aaron I decided that I was going to pull the trigger and talk to my doctor on Monday about getting induced. If I went into labor before then, then that would be wonderful, if not, then I knew there was an ending point. After I made the decision I felt a million times better.

On Sunday my due date hit. Nothing. On Sunday night I got a contraction so hard that it brought me to my knees and I thought, "oh my gosh, here we go." Nothing happened. Don't worry, I handled the situation maturely- I cried. On Monday Aaron took the day off to come with me to my 40 week and 1 day doctors appointment (the appointment I never thought I'd make it to). Apparently a sonogram is required once you are "past due" to make sure the baby is okay. We were informed that our little man was doing well and was "definitely still a boy," was approximately 8lbs 8oz, and we got our last and final sonogram picture.
My doctor walked into the room and said "When are we getting this baby here." And I responded "As soon as possible." I was still dilated to a 3 and 60% effaced. I expressed my concerns about getting induced and not wanting an experience like I had the last time. My doctor assured me that my body was more than ready to have this baby and that my experience should be more favorable. Although, I was still a little on the fence about things, I told him to go ahead and schedule an induction. We left the office and got a call while we were eating lunch. "You are all set and ready to go for an induction at 5am tomorrow July 3rd."

We spent the rest of the day together as a family a three. We had our "final meal" at Costa Vida

We went for a long walk at the mall (one last ditch effort to throw me into labor). Then got home and got Grace ready for bed. She was spending the night at a friends house and staying with them while Aaron and I would be at the hospital. I had to start fasting at 9:00pm for the induction so while Grace was in the tub we ate cookies and had milk. (I was also in the mood to spoil Grace and give her anything she wanted).

I took my last pregnancy belly picture: 40 weeks.
We got Grace settled at our friends house and we hung out with them until we were sure Grace was good and asleep. We drove home, finished setting out our things for the morning, set our alarms and went to bed.

For the first time in a while I got a good chunk of sleep. At 3:35 I woke up to use the bathroom. I couldn't go back to sleep, I knew that at 4:00am my alarm would go off, and we were about to get this party started...


Diana said...

Keep it coming!!! I LOVE the "Kara Version" aka Saga! I've been waiting for this since July 3rd. And I love so many things about it. 1 that you had your "last meal" at Costa Vida. 2 that you look FAB, seriously I hope I look like that at 40 weeks. 3 that you had cookies and milk with Grace in the bathtub. I'm kinda jealous of the fact that you got to know it was coming and be able to prepare for it, can't wait to hear the rest! Love you all and hope you're recovering good, I'm glad your mom is there!!!

Devrie Pettit said...

I love reading your blog, and I love me a good birth story. Ugh, the end - if feels like it my never come. I went through the same thing weeks before C was was awful! Can't wait to read the rest.

Sarah said...

Glad you decided to get induced. I've kind of decided it's the only way. :)

Marc and Miriam Deru said...

Those moments "just before" sure are memorable, and I love how you made yours! I think it's interesting how you didn't realize until later how your first delivery really went-- it was the same thing for me. I'm eager to hear the rest! Your hair is so pretty, by the way.

Rachel said...

I'm glad I came here when you have the other parts written so I don't have to be left hangin! And by the way, the saga version of stories is the ONLY version of stories I know how to tell on my blog, so I love reading yours :) That picture of Grace in the tub eating cookies rocks. And geez, I'm sorry you had such a painful last couple weeks to get him here! Oh yeah, you look amazing in that last 40 week shot. Ok, going on to part 2..