Baby D Makes Three

born December 27, 2012

Coraline’s birth story

on January 7, 2013

disclaimer: this is a birth story. there are some parts that might be graphic and descriptive. also, it’s long.

I went to bed on December 26th convinced I was going to be the first pregnant woman to stay pregnant forever. this baby was never coming. I was uncomfortable to say the least and as much as I had loved the experience of being pregnant, I was ready to not be pregnant anymore. I dreamt all night that I was in labor. I dreamt how I would cope with the contractions and how labor would progress. I woke up on December 27th around 7 am with a very intense, painful contraction. immediately, I knew that this was different from the braxton hicks contractions I had been experiencing. I poured a bowl of cereal, knowing I needed to eat well before active labor set in. as the contractions got stronger, and more painful, I did the dishes, and started to pick up some things around the house, and soon realized this was not going to go as I had planned. this was not a slow build up of contractions where I could get things accomplished in between them. they were already around 5 minutes apart. the first ones were around 30 seconds long but they were growing longer quickly.

at 8 am, I knew this was not false labor, so I called J at work and told him he needed to come home. I thought about getting in the bath, but the idea of laying down, even in the tub sounded excruciatingly painful, so I got in the shower instead. when J got home he jumped in the shower as well, since we knew we would be heading to the hospital at some point that day.

I spent the next hour getting dressed and trying to relax through contractions using all of the techniques we had learned in our birthing classes. I was trying all of the positions that seemed like they would relieve some of the pain, but it was getting to be too much. the only position that really helped was standing with my arms around J’s neck and giving him some of my weight.  I even got sick from the pain. we decided to try to go for a walk at around 9:40 or 9:45 and I made it to the end of the driveway before a huge contraction stopped us and I decided I couldn’t do it.

in my plan for how I wanted to labor, it was really important to me to stay home as long as possible, because I was worried that the earlier we got to the hospital, the more impatient the doctors and nurses would become and the more interventions we would receive. but at this point, I was in far too much pain to contemplate staying at home any longer. at this point, I was feeling very discouraged with how I was handling labor. how was I going to have the pain medication-free birth experience I so wanted, if I couldn’t even handle early labor at home for more than three hours?

we left for the hospital and I had four strong contractions on the way there, on what was probably a 10 minute car ride and sitting in the car for those was excruciating. J dropped me off at the door, and I made it to a bench in the lobby before the next contraction hit. J parked the car and met me in the lobby to get me to the labor and delivery unit. at 10:08, a nurse met us at the front desk and led us to triage where I continued having strong contractions. she gave me a gown and had me go to the restroom to change. I was in so much pain I could barely get out of my clothes, let alone get into the hospital gown. at this point, I was having an emotional breakdown. I was going to have to ask for the epidural because I knew most first labors lasted anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and there was no way I was going to be able to last for that long. I was asked some admission questions including was this my first child and as soon as we said yes, I could tell the nurses were thinking, mhmm, she can’t be in that much pain. but at my next contraction, when the nurse in the area next area heard my breathing, she excused herself from her patient to hook me up to monitor my contractions. at this point, it was getting really hard to breathe through them, and J had to continue to remind me to breathe and not to hold my breath. laying in the hospital bed seemed to make the contractions stronger. my original nurse came back in the room to check my cervix for dilation and as she checks me she says “Oh my goodness!” which freaked J and I out so much. then she says “you are at a 9, let’s have this baby!” J and I were in shock at this point. no wonder I hadn’t been handling early labor well at home. I was in active labor, and possibly even in transition.

things started happening really quickly around me at this point. J called our parents to let them know that I was in labor, at the hospital and the baby would be here soon. they wheeled me in the triage bed into labor and delivery, and called dr. L. in the labor and delivery room, the nurses were preparing everything and I was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was so close to having this baby. J was doing an amazing job keeping me breathing and holding my hand. he kept telling me how amazing I was doing and that we were going to get to meet our daughter soon, which really helped me get through. I started feeling a lot of pressure as well as the pain, and my water broke which I thought would relieve some of the pressure but it actually made it worse. I started feeling the urge to push and the nurse told me to try a couple of practice pushes with her but then they had me stop pushing and try to pant instead of pushing. that was so hard. my body needed to push. dr. L arrived and I could finally start pushing again. at this point, dr. L needed to manually turn Cora because she was sunny side up. I can’t even tell you how excruciating that pain was, but the nurses told me later that it was really lucky for me that dr. L knew to do this, otherwise I would have pushed for hours before she was born.

I pushed through 3 contractions and she was born at 11:21 am. an hour and 13 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. and 4 hours and 21 minutes after I realized I was in labor. when Coraline was measured and weighed, she was 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 19.5 inches long.

Coraline was immediately placed on my stomach and I got to put my hands on her and look at her while the nurses wiped her off with a towel. J cut the cord and she was moved to my chest and covered with a warming blanket for some skin to skin time. at this point, I was a mess, crying so hard. I was just so happy to see this perfect little girl that I had dreamed about for the past 9 months finally here with me.

while Cora and I had skin to skin, dr. L delivered my placenta and stitched me up – I had needed an episiotomy during the labor.

I am so thankful that I was able to labor and deliver our baby without pain medication. I so wanted to have that experience, but I had been really anxious and scared about the pain – I had no idea what to expect. it was the most painful experience of my life. but it was also the most rewarding. all that pain had a beautiful purpose. the labor and delivery nurses commented that I must have a very high tolerance for pain, and that I was obviously made to have babies. Dr. L commented to J during the delivery that he’d better pay attention in case he needed to deliver the next one since Cora came so quickly.

we were able to have a couple of hours recovering and Cora breastfed for the first time. she is a great eater and I think the class we took and all of the information I read about breastfeeding really helped. the nurses and hospital staff came back in to do the admitting paperwork at this point since my labor was so fast, there hadn’t been enough time to admit me before hand.

J stayed right by our side the whole time we were recovering and we held our baby girl together and talked to her for the first time in the outside world. J had also brought me a present to the hospital – a pair of beautiful earrings to match a necklace he had given me for Christmas three years earlier. what an amazing husband he is.

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2 responses to “Coraline’s birth story

  1. Auntie M says:

    Those hips are of great purpose! Im glad to hear it went so well. I knew it would. Thank you for sharing. You know I love birthing stories. Especially my own:) I love you three!

  2. Holly says:

    wow! What a flawless labor, A.J. was also face up and I had the opposite outcome you did, I was that 18 hours of labor and pushing for over 3 hours because he wouldn’t turn. I had every nurse and doctor in the L&D department in me that day (fun times). I think we had to try every position possible in attempt to get him to turn, they were ready to take me into an emergency C-section the bed all ready waiting for me outside of the room. They gave A.J. one last chance and tried the vacuum and he finally turned as he was born, and then of course he was jaundice and had to do photo therapy for 5 days ugh! labor stories are always fun. Congrats and I’m am so stinking jealous how easy that went and how small she is. A.J. and Leyna both weighed 8lb 13oz yikes hahaha

    And the nurse is right if you go for number 2, one of our friends wasn’t even at the hospital for 20 minutes with number 2, the nurse had to deliver her. crazy! I can’t wait to meet her! So many new cousins arriving 🙂

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