Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Birth Story

For those of you who don't know, JT is here!! Yes, our little boy made his entrance into the world a tad bit early. At 37 1/2 weeks, he joined the world as we know it and man, are we glad! Well, let's start from the very beginning....a very a good place to start...
Friday May 20th, 2011
I had it with pregnancy. As many of you know, I had a very easy pregnancy; however, when I entered month 8 things started to change. By month 9 I was swollen all over and miserable. That night I cried to Mr. Soup when he came home. I told him that I didn't know how much longer I would be able to take being pregnant. He comforted me and told me that I'd get through it and that it would only be a few more weeks. We ended up eating tacos, watching the season finale of The Office and calling it a night. We planned to spend Saturday finishing JT's nursery and going out to dinner to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.
I had trouble sleeping that night. I was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. When I finally went to sleep I had weird dreams, which isn't all that abnormal for me.
Saturday May 21st, 2011
Mr. Soup and I woke up and discussed our dreams because we both remarked that we had weird dreams. His was about JT and mine was about Arnold Schzwarzneggar's mistress (go figure!). We also decided to wash our bed sheets and as I got out of bed, my water broke....or so I thought. It wasn't how we pictured it at all. On TV they make it seem like a big gush of water. It was more like a steady stream. We both started screaming and I jumped in the shower while Mr. Soup called the doctor. We got the on-call doctor who told us to head over to the hospital. Luckily, we live less than a block away, so we took our time. Mr. Soup shaved, I showered and ate breakfast. We both watched some TV and said good-bye to the dogs. We had no idea if we would be back in a few hours or a few days.
When we arrived at the hospital, we were admitted and they immediately started doing tests to see if in fact my water broke. Well, what do you know...tests were inconclusive. They decided to do more tests and the doctor on-call said I'd probably go home that afternoon as it did not seem as though I was in labor. Mr. Soup and I were bummed, but we figured it would give us more time to get things ready for JT, plus we were really looking forward to our anniversary dinner (well, I was because I'm always hungry!).
I just want to remind you all that we arrived at the hospital at 10:00am and by 3:00pm we still had no word as to whether my water broke. They did tell me that I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. They looked at my uterus with a sonogram machine to check the sacs of fluid. At around 4pm, they did a sterile speculum test to see if the water would fern; it did not. The doctor came back and said that since I tested positive for GBS, she wanted to proceed with delivery to be on the safe side. She still couldn't say for sure that my water had or had not broke.
So, they immediately started giving me Patocin (sp?) to make my contractions stronger. They also told me that I could get the Epidural when I wanted. I decided to hold off because I still couldn't feel anything at all. My nurse (who was by the way...AMAZING) told me that when I couldn't talk through my contractions, to let her know and she would contact the RNA to administer the epidural. During this time, I started to get really hungry. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and my nurse knew it. Before I got the Patocin, she gave me some crackers and chicken broth. She said, "pretend it's a cheeseburger." I tell you that was the best tasting soup and crackers I've ever had! It hit the spot.
At around 9pm, I sent Mr. Soup home to get some clothes for himself and my nurse told me she was going on her dinner break. I told her I was fine. I really felt fine and I could talk through my contractions. Probably ten minutes after they left, I felt a wave of strong contractions. I started crying and writhing in pain! I pushed that nurse button with all my might and my nurse came back from her dinner break immediately. She checked to see if I had dilated anymore which I had to a 4. She immediately called the RNA and he was there within 5 minutes (usually it takes them about 3o minutes to show up, but my nurse was awesome and got him to come ASAP) I called Mr. Soup and told him to hurry up because I was getting the epidural. I really wanted him to be there for it, but the RNA was so fast. My nurse helped me through those painful contractions and took Mr. Soup's place when the RNA administered it. At that time my water broke (or the rest of it came out...the doctors now think I had a leak or tear that caused my water to "break" twice) After the RNA administered the epidural (which took all of five minutes) I started feeling immediate relief, but 30 minutes later my contractions were still pretty strong. He came back and gave me something stronger to take the edge off. Mr. Soup did not like seeing me in all that pain. I think that was the hardest part for him. I've never seen him so worried in my life. Pretty soon, I went numb and could barely feel the contractions.
May 22nd, 2011
At midnight I reached 10 cm; however, JT was still high up. They had me turn and move to try to get him to come down. At 3:30, JT had dropped down into position. They could actually see his hair! The nurse had me do some practice pushes and then immediately called the doctor to tell her to hurry over. At around 4:00am, I started pushing for real and when the doctor arrived at 4:20, I did a few more pushes before JT entered the world at 4:34am. I was determined to deliver vaginally and I was so proud of myself for doing so well. My nurse said I pushed through 8 contractions before he arrived. I felt so empowered and the minute I saw his little purple self, I started crying. His cry was so beautiful as was he. I was a little bummed because they immediately took him to the warming table (after Mr. Soup cut the cord). They had preached skin-to-skin in all of our childbirth and breastfeeding classes, so I was a little taken aback. However, Mr. Soup was over there immediately snapping pictures while the doctor delivered the placenta and sewed me up.
Disclaimer: Gross info below--
Yes, I pooped during delivery. When we learned that they were going to augment my labor, I told Mr. Soup that I wanted to have a bowel movement before pushing because I did not want to shit during labor. Well, I did, but I guess I didn't let it all out. Mr. Soup said the poop during delivery was tiny and not that big of a deal. It really wasn't in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I did tear. I have a 3rd degree tear. It really isn't that bad. I had some pain in the hospital, but it was mild. My doctor seemed to think it was a big deal and prescribed me Vicodin, which I have yet to take. More than anything it's just annoying because it's another thing I have to attend to while caring for my son. I want to focus on him as much as possible, but I have this thing in the way. Because I started tearing, the doctor did a small episiotomy to prevent any further tearing.

Okay, so back to the birth. After they cleaned him up they brought him over to me. I immediately held him tight to my chest. I did not want to let go. Unfortunately, they had to take JT down to the nursery because he had some fluid in his belly. Mr. Soup was like, "Ash, they need to take the baby." I looked around and saw all the people waiting to take JT and I said, "Well no one is making me hand him over, so until they do that I'm going to hold him." I'd blame it on the epidural, but I really wasn't out of it. I just wanted some more snuggle time with my baby boy.
After they brought him back, I marveled at how beautiful he was. We had some skin-t0-skin time and he immediately latched. The whole thing was the highest point in my life thus far. I have never felt more strong, womanly and beautiful in my life and it is all because of this little guy. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat (and maybe I will again someday) I am now the member of a new club: the MOMMY club! I can't even recall what life was like before entering this club.
The rest of my hospital stay was not as magical as the experience I described above. In fact, I would describe it as hell with a few high points. While I am glad I had an epidural, I do envy mothers who have natural births in a birthing center because they send you home after a couple of hours. Being in the hospital gave me so much apprehension and I think contributed to my postpartum depression. Despite this, I am determined to end this post on a happy note. I have a beautiful baby boy now. I have a beautiful family!
I want to post on so many things from, including the following topics:
-hospital hell
-breastfeeding struggles and successes
-JT & jaundice
-postpartum depression
-dogs and baby
-exercising after birth (I am going to start exercising tomorrow! woo-hoo!)
Despite my desire to post on these things, I am very busy caring for my son. I may not get around to posting much, as I want to spend as much time as possible with him. If there is something you really want to know, let me know and I'll try to post something on it. Also, if you want me to post pics of JT, I will. I have been taking millions of pictures of him. I just can't stop!
I leave you with a few pictures of JT. We got suckered into buying the CD from the hospital photographer. Kind of a good thing because my friend who is doing his newborn photos won't be able to do them until the next couple of weeks. Here's my baby!


  1. Ash, I would love to hear and see more pics. I know you are busy and things hurt and you're probably exhausted, so take your time! I'm so sorry you had a third degree. That's a club I've never entered--- OUCH!!! But it sounds like you're handling it so well. I do have one word to pass along. I know you're excited to get back to exercising, but it could have some negative effects this early on. Many of us are ready and eager to charge after our pre-pregnancy bodies, but that usually ends up with heavier blood loss and feelings of uncomfortable pressure. Even getting up and doing some household chores can cause the bleeding to get worse. I didn't know this at first, and most people don't. But it's one of those things I've warned people about and they come back and tell me it's true--and it's true for me. So take it easy. And I'm certainly not telling you not to get out and walk. But just go easy on yourself :-) You got a sweet little reason to take it easy on yourself!! And I'm so glad you're in the best club ever!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea. I definitely don't want to increase bleeding. Maybe I'll stick to walking.

  3. Beautiful story and a beautiful family! So glad you had a great experience and can't wait to enter the Mommy club with you! Little Joel is perfect.