by Paula Jackson
My pregnancy had been as close to perfect as is ever allowed. I had no morning sickness, no swelling, minor heartburn in the last trimester and I loved to feel my baby move inside me.
In fact I knew that I would miss feeling her in this way but I was also eager to see my baby girl. I had read everything I could get my hands on about labor, birth and breastfeeding to prepare myself for the new addition to our family. I had lists on everything I could think of, who to call to get all the official paper work needed, phone list for family and friends to call upon her arrival, a list of things to pack for the hospital. I even had a birth plan to take to the hospital. I felt prepared and ready for this little one and I thought things were going to go just according to plan. Well my baby girl was supposed to be born on June 30, 2001, which was a Saturday. I decided that I wanted her to be born on Friday the 29. I “planed” on starting labor on Friday morning and have her that night. J After all that was much more convenient for me. That way the house would be clean (I always cleaned on Thursdays) when I returned from the hospital, and my mom would loss only one day of vacation. She was going to drive up two and a half hours to keep me company during labor along with my husband and help me with the recovery.
Well, the first digression from my well thought out plan came on Tuesday at my doctors office. My husband was in the military so you saw whatever doctor was there when you went in. This time I saw the â€œheadâ€ midwife, I was told she saw all the women when they were this close to their due date. She stripped my membranes while she gave me an internal exam and then kindly informed me of what she had just finished doing. If she had bothered to ask me I would have told her not to this, I had heard about this procedure and was not interested in having it done. To be honest I was very upset that she did this without my consent. But now I digress so back to the birth story we go. I had begun contractions by the time I got home so I laid down on my left side to slow and hopefully stop labor. I mean after all I did not need to go into labor until Friday, I still had to clean the house, move the newly washed baby clothes, and my mom was not prepared to come until later that week. I did manage to stop the contractions since they were light and irregular, more a nuisance than anything but I did continue to have contractions periodically until I started active labor.
Given that this was my first birth and that I might be a little longer than I really cared to admit I decided to slightly revise my plan. I decided to take caster oil on Thursday morning and then begin cleaning the house and making my final preparations. My mom could drive up after work, be at my home by early evening and still lose just one day of vacation time. I knew that the caster oil might need a second dose to work and that it could take time so I thought it might be better to start Thursday morning so that at worst I would give birth early Friday morning. I figured that the caster oil and the physical exertion of cleaning should jump start my labor, especially since my membranes were striped and I was still having minor, periodic contractions. When I called my mom and told her my plan she decided to come early, which was okay with me, I loved her company. She said that because of what happen with the doctor (her striping my membranes) she had already caught up with her workload at work so that she would be free to leave earlier if she needed to.
By the time that my mom got to my house (about three hours after I took the caster oil), the house was clean and I knew I did NOT need a second dose of caster oil. I decided to kick back and count minutes between contractions because by that evening they should be strong and steady. HA right. Though I had contractions that were strong they were not steady, they were completely erratic. That night my mom suggested to my husband that he do his job so that we could get the show on the road. With that thought we headed back to our bedroom for the night. It did the trick. I woke up at 2am with contractions that kept vacillating being between two and fifteen minutes apart. My husband went to work saying that I would have the baby that weekend but certainly not that day. I was determined to stick to my plan, okay so everything had not happened as planned so far but I WAS going to have this baby today, on Friday as planned. So with that in mind I walked with my mom around my subdivision until it became to hot. Here in Texas in late June it became hot at 9am, and certainly to a nine month pregnant woman. Then I decided that things still were not moving fast enough so we went to Wal-Mart and walked there. My husband’s coworker’s found out I was in labor so he was sent home to wait it out with me. After my mom and I returned from Wal-Mart he decided to rent some movies so that I would be “entertained” between contractions. Yes I know, weâ€™ll not comment on that. He was honestly trying to help since he was sure it would still be a day or two until our daughter would arrive. By this time my contractions were strong enough that I did not want to go back to Wal-Mart to walk more. I had made a big mistake that really caused labor to be much harder than it had to be, I stopped eating anything â€œheavyâ€ around Thursday afternoon because I expected to be in labor shortly and I did not want to throw up in transition. I had very little strength to deal with the contractions.
Still no serious progress, so by early evening I began to get nervous that I would not have my baby on time so I divulged in every “midwifes” tale I could. After all the caster oil and husbandry duties did help so I began eating pineapple and continued to keep active. At midnight on Friday I finally went in to the hospital. I had wanted a home birth but my husband forbid it, which turned out for the best because I had a cervical tear that took three doctors to before they could fix it. I was seconds away from a blood transfusion and I almost passed out, to be honest I’m not sure that I didnâ€™t. So as much as I’m anti standard medicine this time my husbands instance saved my life. Back to better things. I was admitted at one in the morning, right after throwing up. I thought that was a good thing, it meant that I did not have long to, go I was in transition. Six hours later I was still having irregular but very strong (and painful) contractions I quite and got the epi. Things went better after that. Once I received the pain meds. My contractions became very regular, and of course the pain was gone. After two days of not really eating and very little sleep I do not think that I would have had the physical strength to push if I had not gotten the pain meds. Finally around one (five hours after the epi) it was time to push. No matter what position (I tried my back, half inclined, on my side) I pushed in her little head would not come past my tail bone. Finally my very inventive nurse rigged a way for my to get into a squatting position (because of the epi I could not stand), and out she came, at least she crowned. Just as she crowned they told me to stop that they would have to take me into the delivery room. I thought ya right, you get me to crown and then tell me to hold on for a bed ride. Well we made it, and out she came. She was gorgeous. Her skin was perfect, white no read bumps or milia, her hair was light and laid on her head just right. On June 30, 2001 at 1:40pm our Tivika Rose arrived. At that point the fact that nothing happened as planned did not matter at all. She was here, she was healthy and she was mine to enjoy and love for the rest of my life. She was a sweetheart and she still is the apple of my eye. She continues to delight us in all manner of ways and is just as excited about her new baby brother as we are over her.
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