Truly, I am sorry for leaving you hanging, but I know this post would never make it further than the drafts folder if I did not get it posted. If you have not read the beginning, then scroll down to the post titled "Sienna's Birth" or simply click here to go directly to that post.
Continuing -- Part 2 --
So, we arrived at the hotel and got all of our stuff unloaded, except the birth ball and the birthing pool. As Cody brought the stuff in (and it is a lot of stuff) I tried to manage arranging it between contractions. The room was a Suite and the way the room was set up you walked into a main sitting area that had a TV, fold out couch, etc. with a long countertop along one wall. This was a sort of kitchen area that had a microwave and mini-fridge and plenty of space to serve as meal prep area... or in our case the perfect place for the birthing supplies. A doorway beside this countertop lead to the bedroom and bathroom facilities. It was very spacious and really a great set-up for the birth. It is strange how you never know what is going to be the thing that relaxes you during birth, but it turns out for me it was the bedroom window. The window ledge was waist high and about 8" wide and made a great place to lean on and look out at the freeway. For some reason I had thought the traffic would bother me and it turned out to be the opposite. Maybe it was the fast movement of things around me or the lights at night and the street noise.... whatever it was it seemed to calm me to look out the 3rd story window of the hotel and I would lean on the ledge with my elbows and sway back and forth. Sometimes I would even squat some and come back up. And that was the way I managed the contractions while it was just me and Cody.
Cody prepared the bed. Originally, the plan was to strip all the hotel stuff off, but with the supplies I broughht he decided to skip that step. He pulled the sheets and bedspread back to the end of the bed and covered the mattress and sheets with a plastic mattress cover. He then put on a set of our sheets from home and layered on a "plastic backed disposable sheet" that I ordered with my birth supplies. On top of that would be a "chux" pad each time I lay down for a cervical check. I plan to do a post later of birth supplies and explain the usage for those that might wonder what is needed.
Once the midwife arrived she had me sign a form aboout consent and liability and she observed me for awhile to see how I was handling contractions and how intense they were. It was decided that she would check dilation and we would move to the water. Instead of the birthing pool Cody and the midwife decided that we should try using the whirlpool tub. Cody began filling the tub with warm water and poured in about an ounce of Povidine for sterilization. As the tub was filling we did a cervix check and I was dilated to a 2. I was very excited to hear this. I had never dilated before and had been lead to believe my body was not capable of dilating! It may not seem like much to some, but I thought it was awesome. The down side to the cervical check was that it threw me into a series of very intense and difficult to deal with contractions. For me lying was the worst position to be in for contractions, so that made it worse. As soon as I was able to manage getting up I went to the window once again.
After about 10:00 PM time had no relevance to me, so I can not even estimate time frames any longer at this point.
The next goal was to get into the water. Again, I have no idea what time we started this. I put on my water birthing dress. It was suggested that I go naked, but I had not quite lost all modesty, yet. ;) As I was getting into the tub the midwife suggested that Cody get in with me and sit behind me to support my body. To my surprise he did! It was a bit crowded, but it worked. My husband is 6'2", so he takes up a lot of space. ;) At first I thought the water was not going to work well for me and I was tensing up. Cody was reminding me to breath correctly and the midwife started telling me to just relax my body and let it fall into the water. In my waterdress I felt comfortable letting my legs fall open without feeling like I was "showing it all". The simple thought of letting my pelvis fall into the water was just the thing to relax me through contractions when I would start to tense up. Cody and I would both have some cramped up moments in the tub, but we would shift a little or reposition slightly and carry on. It was going well. Periodically, during contractions and after the midwife would ask if I felt any pain at my incision sight or in that area at all. I never did and would even say that I felt great. Nothing at all was concerning me about the incision. I was feeling very good about the labor and how I was handling contractions.
Now, let me be very clear here. I am not saying that I did not have any pain. I could often be qouted as saying it feels like my pelvis is breaking apart. Not in a frightened way... just as a statement of observation. For someone who has never been through labor it was just something of an observation for me. In the past I had thought that dilation would be more of a muscular type pain, but in fact it felt like the pelvis bones were where the main focus of the pain was. As long as I was off my hips this was a manageable pain, though.
During this time in the water I began to need something more to soothe me. I had been praying through contractions from the time we were in transport up until now. In the weeks leading up to this point I had been "collecting" Bible verses and songs, as well as, a few motivational thoughts to help get me through labor. I had printed them on pretty paper with a plan to hang them around the room somehow... only I did not bring tape. Anyhow, I did scan over the list a couple of times, but while in the water I could not hold onto a paper list. I started to ask Cody for my music. The original plan was to play the songs on the list via my computer and youtube. I had this all set up in the sitting area, but we were in the tub. I started asking Cody for my music. I told him, "I need my music." He finally came up with the solution to play Pandora Radio via the iPod. Yippee! And amazingly beginning with the first song that came on they were playing the music from my list! I was not really shocked. I knew God was in this, but it was beautiful affirmation of it for me. As I listened to the music and sang with it I was truly relaxed. I would stop singing only when the contractions were more intense and I needed to focus on breathing evenly.
Somehow, a couple of hours must have passed and the midwife wanted me to get out of the water and do another cervix check. I did not want to get out nor did I care about a cervix check. I stayed a bit longer mostly because I simply did not want to move from where I was. Finally, I got out and dried off a bit. Again, I went back to that window for comfort while managing contractions out of the water. After a few minutes they convinced me to lie down for a cervical check. I knew this was going to be a painful time for me and I was not eager to get to do the check. I knew it was likely to throw me into another serious of intense back to back contractions. When the midwife checked me, sure enough the intesity rose. It seemed like forever to me that she did this check. When she pulled her hand back there was a gush of liquid with some blood mixed in... nothing bright red or alarming to me... it was what I would describe as more of a bloody show mixed with otherwise clear amniotic fluid. Being on my back when these intense contractions began I felt like my hips were breaking. As soon as I got through the first contraction I got up and went to the window with the "chux" pad between my legs to manage this series of contractions. I had a few moments of dripping some blood, but again it was not a lot or was it bright red or alarming to me. And it stopped after these few intense contractions. As I stood at the window the midwife checked the baby's heartbeat through a couple of contractions. After that she walked into the sitting room area for a brief moment. As she walked back in she announced that she thought it was time to make a hospital transfer. Honestly, I was shocked. She said that the last two times she had checked the baby's heartbeat it had been high and this last time it was 174. I knew from my own research that the safe range for the baby's heartrate was 120-160. She said I was dilated to a 3, so that was progress (in my view), but the baby's head had "capping" or swelling from pushing up against the cervix. The fact that the heart rate was rising was a sign that the baby was not handling the contractions well and there was too much pressure on her head causing the "capping". She also said my heartrate was rising, but I must say that I don't see how it could not during contractions.... especially, during these intense ones set on by the cervical check. I also think the bleeding scared her a bit. But the thing was is that she was making the judgement call that we should transfer and ultimately if we had not help and she was leaving then, my options were gone unless I was willing to go with an usassisted birth. I was not willing to do that. I stalled a moment.... not purposely. I neededo process it a moment and I said that a couple of times. I also needed to clear my head between contractions (remember they are consistently every 3 minutes at this point and had been for several hours), so I could decide what in the room needed to go with us to the hospital. This is were it all changed for me. This is where I had to let go of what I wanted and succumb to what had to be. It was not my choice, yet it was for the safety of the baby and myself and it was clear my husband could not do this without a midwife to guide him.... nor could I. I needed someone to coach me through.
I changed and we quickly gathered a few things that we knew we needed and left out for the hospital. We got to the elevator at the same time as a couple with a toddler. There was no option, but to get on. And you have to remember that we are at hotel trying to conceal that I am in labor. Somehow I managed to not have a contraction in that elevator and made it through the front lobby and out into the lobby and onto our shuttle bus without it being obvious I was in labor. As soon as I stepped foot on that bus... that very bumpy bus... my contractions came back in full force. Transport time to the hospital was under five minutes, but it seemed longer through contractions. During this drive I begged Cody to please not let them torture me once we got to the hospital, although I new it was inevitable. I had done this part before when I went into labor with Caden two days before his scheduled c-section. We parked the bus and I walked into the emergency room with Cody and the midwife who had followed us in her car.
We registered at the desk and they quickly put a hospital band on my arm and within minutes I was headed up to labor and delivery. They brought me a wheelchair and I asked if I could just walk. Of course not... and that is where the torture began. They don't mean to torture you. It is just that in following "their rules and protocol" that is what it ends up being. I could have walked and managed those contractions while standing, but they "required" me to ride in a wheelchair.
And that is where I am going to have to end for now. Sorry, but it is one week and three days after this birth and recovery had been difficult. Just last night I was throwing up and feeling very ill, again. I am supposed to be sleeping right now while my husband is gone with the kids to homeschool co-op. So, I am going to cuddle my tiny one and snooze and I will continue the rest of the story as soon as possible.
To be continued.....