*This is meant to be record of our birth process. I have written this more for my memory than for anyone else, but since I have gotten the question several times in the last two weeks “how did labor go?” I thought I would share and save myself the time (and confusion) of trying to retell it to each person that asked. I don’t think there is anything too gross or explicit in the details here, but none the less the details are plenty! If you are not a fan of my wordiness please feel free to skip to the end for the pictures of our adorable baby girl.
The Story of Jayney Joy Joining the World!
I had started having strong contractions two different nights about a week before my due date but they were the kind that started and then stopped with no outcome. This made for an anxious week leading up to baby’s due date. I wasn’t so much worried as I was ready for a change. I had grown terribly uncomfortable in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, with lots of hip pain and swelling to my feet.
We were scheduled to be induced, Monday, February 6th at 7:30am. This was due to the prediction that baby’s size was potentially bigger than ideal for delivery without a c-section. The hospital called us at 5:30am to tell us they were too full for us to come in. I was disappointed but not surprised as I had been warned that we could get pushed back several hours if not days by my doctor and friends. We were told to call back at 10:00am.
I tried to go back to sleep but was too uncomfortable. I got up and watched TV on the couch. I had been having minor contractions on and off all night, but I didn’t think much of it since that had happened before without getting anywhere. I started having stronger contractions around 9:00am, lasting 45 seconds each, 8 minutes apart. At first I thought I was just working them up in my head and dreaming them bigger than they really were since I wanted to have a reason to have a baby this day! I was somewhat relieved when the contractions kept getting longer and stronger, meaning that it wasn’t all my imagination.
I called the hospital just before 10:00. They were still too busy but I told them I was starting to have contractions on my own. I honestly think they thought I was lying to get to come in. They said stay home until 4-5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. They said to call back at noon to see if things had slowed down. I was beginning to think our induction might not happen today.
When we called back my contractions were 4-6 minutes apart and right at a minute. I talked to our doctor and I was thrilled when she told me we were no longer considered an elective induction, go ahead and come in! Our doctor was as pleased with the news that I was having contractions as I was because she was going to have to tell me we would have to reschedule the induction for later in the week. This baby was making up her own mind about coming today! Apparently our little girl just needed a deadline to push. I can’t imagine where she might have inherited that tendency.
|Leaving to go to the hospital|
By the time we were checked into the hospital and hooked up to the monitors, about 1:30; my contractions were just 2 to 3 minutes apart lasting over a minute. At that point I was dilated to a 4 and 80 percent effaced. Then we waited and I labored through more contractions.
At 3:30 I was dilated to a 5-6, feeling more contractions than I wanted and decided it was time to get the epidural. It really was not bad to get at all. Of course I was nervous about the risks but the pain from getting it was nothing compared to contractions. The anesthesiologist said I was a fantastic at holding “the position” (which was basically slouching over a pillow) and told me I could give classes on proper positioning technique. Apparently my bad posture has one time in my life when it can be beneficial. I was very comfortable at this point and enjoyed having the ability to breathe again. We had a beautiful sunset to watch as we passed the time.
|Our pretty sunset|
|Very happy to be all hooked up to the good stuff!|
Things were progressing slow and steady but baby was still floating up -2, meaning she wasn’t coming down into my pelvis very well, despite contractions. Our Doctor said my water was right there and could easily be broken but because of how high baby was she didn’t want to yet, due to the risk of the cord getting pinched when the bubble of the water was gone.
At 6:30 I was very excited to get some broth, Jell-O and juice. I couldn’t have anything solid because of the chance I would have to get a c-section if baby didn’t move down. It may not sound like much but after eating light since the night before, flavored liquid really hit the spot!
By 7:15 I was dilated to a 7, baby had moved down to a 0 in my pelvis and the doctor came in to break my water. At this point we got all wired with internal monitors for baby’s heart rate and the pressure of my contractions. Then our doctor said she would be back to check in on us in about an hour and we waited some more.
When I was checked next, baby had come down but we were told she was “sunny side up,” meaning she was facing up instead of down. This position is more difficult to deliver due to the shape of the head, so we were hoping she would turn on her own so we could avoid c-section.
At 11:30 I had made it all the way to a 9.5 and was fully effaced! The nurse wanted me to do a few test pushes to see if we could get dilated fully but I was starting to get a bad headache which made me feel really nauseous. I was given meds and let rest a bit. Once I felt my headache go away it seemed like my epidural was starting to get pretty weak. I was just hurting too much to push. The anesthesiologist came back and gave me a little boost.
Pretty soon, a bit before 2:00, I was feeling up to doing those test pushes to get dilated. So for the next half hour the nurse had me roll on one side, push some, and let me rest a minute. Then she would roll to my back, have me push again before rolling me to my other side to push and repeat… I thought this was going ok, but because the epidural was so strong I wasn’t able to push very effectively.
Our doctor came and checked on us about 2:30. She said that since baby was still face up and I wasn’t getting that last .5 dilated, a traditional delivery was looking less promising. She gave us the “deadline” of 4:00 am. If no changes had happened in that time we would be moving towards getting a c-section.
After a long hour of “resting” and letting the epidural wear off a smidge, I started feeling a lot more pressure so I called for the nurse to come check us. I was just sure I had made some sort of progress and was utterly disappointed when she said there was still no change. I was stuck at a 9.5. I figured that there was no way in the half hour before our doctor retuned that it would change in time. I wasn’t really upset at the prospect of c-section, more just that this had gone on so long with so little progress. I don’t like working that hard without getting much in return, and the real work hadn’t even started yet!
I was so surprised when the doctor came in to check about 4:00am and said we were there! Finally fully dilated and ready to start with pushing. Again baby seemed to push a deadline just a little too close. Baby was still facing the wrong way but we were going to try and see if she would turn with regular pushes.
From 4:00 on was where the real battle began. With some work through several contractions the baby’s head was finally visible! This was very exciting for me because I thought we were really getting close and then upon further question of how much they could see Dusty held up his hand and showed the tiniest of gaps between his thumb and pointer fingers. Seriously! I was thinking this baby HAS to be almost here and he tells me he can see like two hairs on the top of baby’s head! I was glad hear I was making some progress but having a hard time with the slowness of the pace. I couldn’t tell what was going on down there other than knowing even with an epidural it hurt and I kept waiting for the nurse or someone to tell me I was almost there. When I asked next “how close is she?” the nurse smiled sweetly and said “Oh honey, it’s the longest inch of your life.” Not the most motivational speech but I was glad to hear the honest answer rather than continuing to think the next push could be the ONE. Somehow, knowing that birth wasn’t super close made me accept the fact that I had to keep working, much more than being told repeatedly “you are almost there” and having it not be entirely true.
I kept pushing until about 6:00 when our doctor came in again to see how we were progressing. Our doctor checked me and found baby had rolled face down sometime in the pushing up to this point as we had hoped would happen. After having her monitor me through a few contractions she decided it was time to deliver the baby! This declaration meant lots of equipment and people being positioned into the small room. Our doctor wanted to help speed up the work I was doing with contractions with the use of a vacuum to pull baby’s head through. She cautioned me that if the vacuum didn’t help make that extra little difference we need to move baby out, we would be looking at a c-section once again.
Once the vacuum was in place, I pushed through one contraction. Then our doctor took the vacuum off and I rested and waited for the next big contraction, which I was feeling much more of now that my epidural was wearing down again. When the next contraction came, the vacuum was put back on. Dusty tells me that Baby’s head came out with the first push on this contraction. I wasn’t really that coherent at this point so when they said “we have the head!” I was still thinking “yes, we have seen it for a while now” and didn’t understand they meant her head was actually out!
After pushing for so long I didn’t have a very clear understanding that this was the final moments of pushing. I felt like I would just have to keep pushing forever! So it was very much to my surprise, on the second push of that contraction when our baby came out the rest of the way!
The nurses placed this little slimy blob up on my stomach and I remember thinking “where did she come from? No one told me this was the last push or anything!” I stared at this little person in amazement and listened to those first few precious cries for breath, while thinking “oh my goodness, you are really here!” After all that slow progress and work, part of me couldn’t believe the last few minutes had gone so fast! I kept looking back and forth from our baby to Dusty. Although, he had a better view and wasn’t as surprised as I was, I remember thinking that his face reflected the same amazement and awe with the situation that I was feeling.
Our little Jayney Joy Walsh had finally joined us out in the world at 6:38am, February 7th, weighing in at 8 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 inches long! We could not have been happier!
The cord was cut, and the doctor started to stitch up some of the tearing that had occurred. I mentioned that I was able to feel a lot of what she was stitching and was thankful when they gave me another boost to my epidural. From here the nurses checked on Jayney and got all her vitals, making sure she was healthy before returning her to us, to ogle over, count ten fingers and toes and take in the miracle that we had been given!
|Just a few minutes after Jayney arrived!|
*I want to note that while my record here mostly catalogs what I was going through and what was happening with Jayney, Dusty’s role through everything was irreplaceable. He was such a trooper through all 17.5 hours I was laboring in the hospital. He stood by me to hold my hand, helped me remember my breathing, updated our families regularly and kept me well stocked with ice chips. He was not at all fazed by the graphic nature of the birthing process and made me feel like I was the strongest woman on the face of the earth with his encouragement. I really don’t think I could have made it through without him.
Here are a few more pictures from the first few days with our girl!
|All bundled to go home|
|Welcome to your new home Jayney|