August 23, 2011

Baby Cherry Bud: A Birth Story

My sweet girl is catching some Z's in her swing, and I know the moment may be fleeting, so I thought I'd grab the opportunity to write down her birth story.

Monday morning (the day before my EDD), I went into work, feeling very tired and achy, but at 40 weeks, what else is new? I met the woman I will be teaching VPK with, managed to get some work done in my new classroom, and got at least slightly acquainted with the curriculum we will be using. All in all, I was considering it a very productive day. I was aching, especially in my back, but nothing too crazy.

Around 1:30, I was talking to another VPK teacher and suddenly felt a gush of fluid. Not like you see in the movies, where a woman is fine one minute and standing in a puddle the next, but a very know...gush. I must have made a sound, because the woman I was speaking to asked if I was alright, to which I responded with something to the effect (affect? I can never remember) of "I'm wet." She laughed and said "Oh, the joys of pregnancy." I shook my head and said "I don't think it's pee".

I say very dignified things under pressure, obviously.

I ran to the bathroom to discover that I was, indeed, wet, that it was not, in fact, pee, and that I was slowly continuing to leak fluid. Thank goodness for corduroy, which, until last Monday, I did not know was so wonderfully absorbent. It sounds gross, but it also kept me from looking like I wet myself as I went down to my classroom to collect my things and then informed my boss that I would be leaving early. I had to turn down several offers to be driven home, assuring everyone that I wasn't even having real contractions yet and that I was fine. I called Mr. CB on the way home to give him the update, and within ten minutes, was walking in my front door and changing into comfier (and less damp) clothes.

Contractions started within half an hour, and were about 10 minutes apart, maybe 30 seconds long. They hurt, but nothing I couldn't talk through and handle pretty easily. I was already prepared for a long night, so when ten minutes apart turned into seven within two hours, I was surprised. When that became only three by 5PM, I was incredibly surprised. At this point, contractions were taking some serious concentration to get through. Mr. CB was being amazing, being there if I needed him, letting me handle it on my own if I didn't. I spent most of the time walking around my living room and kitchen, swaying and rocking to help deal with the pain.

My mom called (or maybe I called her. I truly don't remember) around 5:30, and I gave her the update. Contractions three minutes apart, about 1 minute long. Still manageable, but no joke on the pain scale. She was getting worried that we were going to deliver our girl on the side of the road, we assured her that no such thing was going to happen, and that we would leave by six if things continued to progress the way they had been.

At six, I was holding strong at three minutes apart, but contractions had begun to double-peak occasionally, and Mr. CB made the executive decision that it was time to head to the hospital. Contractions slowed down considerably once we hit the road, but were still every four or five minutes apart and strong. We got checked in, triaged, and put in a room within about half an hour. I was a bit disappointed when my triage nurse told me I was only 4cm, but was very happy with 90% effaced and -1 station. The nurses were all very sweet about keeping me off the monitors as much as possible, not hooking me up to fluids, letting me walk around and pretty much just leaving me be. Contractions were staying slowed down (every five minutes), but I wasn't terribly worried.

And then.

My doctor had asked that I consent to being on the monitor twenty minutes for every hour I was off. I felt I was getting the better end of this compromise and agreed. Around 8:30 PM, I was on the monitor, and my doctor came in to check me. I was excited to hear if I had made any progress and also to get off the dang monitors when she said the thing I least wanted to hear.

"That's not a head."

Breech. Awesome. The sweet girl for whom I had prepared a lovely natural birth with no drugs, no pitocin...apparently had other plans. Unfortunately, the only doctor in my city who will deliver a breech baby vaginally is the head of obstetrics at our local teaching hospital. Which I wasn't at. I'm not really sure what would have happened if I had just refused the C-section, but at that point, I really didn't have the energy to negotiate or argue, and, to be fair, while I had researched the heck out of birth, breech delivery was something that I was so, so sure wouldn't happen that I didn't do my research, and I wasn't informed enough to feel comfortable insisting upon a vaginal delivery.

I cried, I bargained with God, I went through a quick five stages of grief, and then accepted that this was happening, and that my baby was going to come into the world via Cesarean.

I didn't realize how afraid I was until they wheeled me back to OR(around 9:45). Mr. CB wasn't allowed into the room until my spinal had taken effect, and I was shaking uncontrollably. My nurse, whose name was Jill, was beyond amazing. She held my hand and assured me that she wouldn't let the anesthesiologist surprise me with the needle. (at my request. I was running out of rational at this point). Let me just say that, while I have full confidence in the fact that, had Baby CB been head down, I would have made it through labor without drugs, that spinal was AMAZING. I was mid-contraction when it was started, and the contraction just went away. So wonderful.

They laid me back, prepped me, and brought in Mr. CB. He kept telling me "You're ok." and rubbing the top of my head. I seldom get sappy, but I really do think that what got me through the fear of surgery was keeping my eyes on Mr. CB, on how calm he was and how seemingly free of fear. I found out later that he was absolutely terrified, but he stayed so strong for me.

At 10:16, My doctor asked me "Ok, are you ready?", and we heard our little girl cry for the first time. I remember telling her "Oh, honey, it's ok, don't cry." and asking Mr. CB how she looked. They did all her statistics (7lbs, 15 oz, 20in long), then brought her over so I could meet my girl for the first time.They took her to the nursery to do her vitals while they stitched me back together. Mr. CB stayed with her, but made sure I was the first one to hold her. He didn't even hold her before I did. Getting to meet her, really meet her, was the most amazing moment of my life. I spent the next hour telling her how perfect and amazing and beautiful she was.

We went home Wednesday afternoon, and have spent the last week learning to be a family of three. Baby CB is nursing like an absolute champ, and Mr. CB is being the most amazing daddy I have ever seen.

A C-section was not what I had planned, and I think there is definitely some grief that goes along with not having the birth you envision, but I labored from 1:30 to 9:45 drug-free, apparently (I was told later) impressing the heck out of my doctor and nurses, and I got my daughter out of it, who is truly the biggest blessing I could have asked for.

Thank you all for sharing this journey from pre-conception to delivery with me.

Much Love,
Cherry Bud, Mr. CB, and Baby Cherry Bud


Diva Bud said...

what a GREAT story... :) You may not have gotten the birth story you wanted all along, but like you said, you have your baby girl now, and that's all that matters. good luck to you!!! :) :) :)

C said...


Administrator said...

Oh she's ABSOLUTELY beautiful - I loved reading your birth story & following your journey - congrats!!

PS - my daughter didn't come according to my "plans" either, lol...I guess they are showing us that they know what they want. :)

Cactus Bud said...

Thank you so much for posting your birth story. My little one seems to have a preference for being transverse, so I'm trying to prepare myself for a c/s just in case. Your c/s birth story was just what I needed.

Congrats again!


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