Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everly Brooke~ The Birth Story

Yeah, I know.  Most of everyone found out pretty late about baby number 3.  The truth is, I got tired of seeing the bulging eyes and hearing "How will you juggle three kids?"  I got this.  Ok?  Ok. 

My official due date was 5 April.  Since this is my third child, we all expected that I wouldn't last that long...wrong.  The first of many wrong assumptions for this baby.  She lasted 40 weeks and 6 days in there.  That's right, folks.  Waiting was (as always) the hard part.  My poor sister Brette spent her entire spring break at my house waiting for the grand entrance. 

I woke up Wednesday, April 11 feeling large and slightly miserable.  Brette and I spent the morning cleaning up and chasing Parker and Caroline, as usual.  I started feeling contractions (the birth class ladies called contractions "surges", so I may use both words interchangeably) around lunch time that were nothing to talk about really.  I drank water, I peed, I took a warm bath...still having contractions.  "This may be it", I thought.  From lunch to around 4, I powered through irregular contractions, sensing them getting stronger.  Brette convinced me to call Matthew around 4 and at least let him know to start heading home.  Matthew got home around 7 (7?! Does it always take him that long?  Yes.  And I told him not to hurry.)  We all sat down to dinner as I surged on...cursing people at the dinner table.  Spaghetti is what we had, with Brette's "special" sauce and garlic bread.  After dinner, the kids both had baths and were sent to bed.  I told Parker that he would see me in a couple of days, because I was pretty sure I'd be having the baby (or at least going to the hospital) during the night.  Brette left to get Mom from the airport around 8, and they returned to the house at 9.  During this time I'm laboring upstairs in the Master Bedroom, trying to find a position that I liked.  I hated everything.  I went to the garage and got the exercise ball (and made Matthew blow it up with one of those ridiculous pumps).  Hated it.  I don't think it even lasted one contraction.  My "surges" were irregular, always lasting 60+ seconds...but with sporadic times in between.  They went from 12 minutes apart to 8, down to 3, back up to 6...all over the place.  The handbook we had from the Midwifery Center said not to call/come in unless your contractions were 60 seconds long, about every 5 minutes...for at least 2 hours.  My Mom came in and started to rub my back during a contraction (that's just how she is...show up, get to work) and I swatted her away (red flag #1).  Matthew and I learned how to apply pressure and alleviate pain during labor at this great class, and I really haven't had the chance to ask him why the hell he never even touched me/offered water or did anything other than sit on the bed watching Family Guy/American Idol (until I went crazy and demanded that it be turned off).  I can guess what his answer would be.  "I knew that if you wanted something, you'd ask me for it."  My Mom and Sister got a tongue lashing for whispering in the corner (red flag #2).  I was laboring in black stretchy pants and one of Matthew's Lucky t-shirts.  After a few surges that were intense and back to back (we're talking 2-3 minutes apart)...off came the shirt (red flag #3).  That warranted a phone call to the Midwives, and I spoke with Nell long enough to get the thumbs up to come in to the Birthing Center at DePaul.  Matthew heard HOSPITAL, and it was go time.  Bags were being thrown around, and everyone had a job to do.  And I felt like I had to poop.  Pressure seems like a better way to describe it.  Like something had to give.  All I could think about was NOT going potty in the car.  Feeling another contraction, I straddled the toilet backwards (I remembered that from the class...aren't you proud?) and got ready for the pain.  Feeling more pressure, I pushed...(think ab workout) and my water broke.  Pretty convenient, huh?  No mess...It's all good...accept the contraction never really stopped.  I felt down there instinctively, knowing already what I'd find.  A head. Or at least the top of one.  (I should mention that it was now that I told Matthew to call the ambulance...a mistake which I'll regret for...forever.)  I also learned from the handy birth class that you should NOT push through the "ring of fire".  Honestly, I felt no fire...the pain was not something that one could describe to another.  To prevent tearing and all that other not so fun that no one likes to talk about stuff, you don't push.  Got it.  Breath through contraction...although your body is pushing baby out...all by itself.  And out she came.  My favorite question to answer is "did she fall in the toilet?" No, silly.  I caught her with no problem.  Since I was sans clothing at this point (unless you count the pants I still had around one ankle) I put her directly on my chest and listened to her cry her first cry.  I vaguely remember yelling for my Mother at this point (Matthew was in the Great Search for String...silly 911 operator).  I needed something to wrap the baby in.  Those umbilical cords aren't as long as you'd think.  I held her, kneeling on my bathroom floor until the lights and sirens brought a house full of grown men, staring at me as if I were an alien. This was when I actually got to check the sex of the baby, Matthew knew...but I could have sworn that this little one was a boy.  At this point, it had been at least 10 minutes since she was born and I felt comfortable enough letting the paramedics clamp the cord.  I have to also mention here that the female EMT that was actually doing the "work" tried to cut the cord in the wrong place.  I corrected her, making her feel like an idiot in front of her peers...sorry about that.  She apologised a million times before the night was over.  After cutting the cord, they were ready to throw me on a gurney, which wasn't going to happen.  I felt a mild contraction, and then another...and birthed my placenta despite everyone's urging for me to be whisked away immediately.  I refused the stupid "stair chair" they had waiting for me in my master bedroom.  Matthew handed over my white (gasp) robe that never gets used, I wrapped whatever towels that we were using in between my legs and walked down the stairs to the stretcher.  I am proud to say that the carpets went unsoiled, even the rug in the bathroom, yay!  Did I mention, that these fools actually brought 2 ambulances to my house?  I think they wanted me to ride in one and the baby in the other (like I would ever in a million years allow that to happen).  They loaded me (holding the baby) in the back of ambulance A, Matthew up front like a little kid in a candy shop, with my Mom following and away we went to...CHESAPEAKE GENERAL!!!  This is where I'll skimp on details, mostly because the whole thing felt like baby jail.  The paramedics were obligated to take us to the nearest hospital, since having babies in this country has turned into a freak show.  My perfectly healthy baby and myself were an emergency, you see.  And this is what earned us a close to 48 hour sentence at the county lock up.  To see the pediatrician, you had to get your lazy behind up and walk them down the hall to the nursery.  Since a home birth was listed as a "complication", the on call obstetricians were determined to keep us.  Around 4 pm on Friday the 13th, we busted out of that place and Everly Brooke came home to meet the rest of the Duncan family.