Thursday, 3 July 2014

Good News! A Birth Story.

I guess the pregnancy posts are done. It's time to move on to baby posts! Our baby girl made her debut into the world on Saturday, June 28, 2014! It's only been a few days, but already I'm starting to forget some of the crazy details surrounding her birth, so a narrative is in order.

This is really long, so before I begin, here are the stats of interest:
-Labor technically started at 2:30 am Friday, June 27
-Labored about 26 hours
-"Pushed" for 11 minutes
-Baby was born at 5:11 am Saturday, June 28 (only about half an hour after we made it to the birth center)
-Labor and delivery was done naturally and baby was born in the tub at the birth center in New Braunfels
-Baby girl weighed 6 lbs 6 oz and was 18 inches long
-After two days, we finally named the baby Evangeline Nita Buras (Eva for short)

Friday morning I woke up around 2:30 to what felt like period cramps. After laying in bed for another half hour through several of these cramps, I figured I wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon and decided to get up and hang out in the living room for a bit. Soon after I got up, the cramps changed to what I figured must be mild contractions and began to get fairly rhythmic (maybe a contraction every 5 or 6 minutes, but only lasting about 30 seconds) . They weren't horribly painful, but they were getting pretty uncomfortable. Over the next two hours, the pain wasn't really increasing and they were staying about 30-40 seconds long, but they began to come every 3-4 minutes. I figured this was just false labor (I was only 39 weeks that day and was convinced I would be pregnant for at least 42 weeks), so I decided to get in the shower and see if that slowed them down. On my way into the bathroom, Skylar woke up and I told him I'd been having contractions for two hours, but it was probably nothing so to go back to sleep.

The shower didn't do anything to slow them down and I didn't want to deal with "false labor" anymore so about 6:30 that morning I decided to try lying down again and see if that did anything. They slowed down to 8 minutes apart and then gradually spread out to about 20 minutes apart and I was able to fall asleep between contractions. About 9:30 I called my mom to let her know that it would probably still be several days at least, but that my body was doing something (she was planning to drive down when I went into real labor and be there for the birth). I went ahead and got up and went about my day as planned. I had lots of chores I had been planning to do and it seemed like a good day to check off my to do list.

Throughout the day, as I cleaned and did laundry and such, I would have 1 or 2 contractions every hour, but again, figured it was just my body starting to maybe, kind of, sort of think about having a baby in the next week or so. As the day wore on, the contractions did get stronger, but they were still very manageable so I kept working. About 7:00 that evening Skylar and I were hungry and after spending the day on my feet, I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so we went to a Chinese buffet. On the way there, the contractions started picking up again to about 10 minutes apart until we got home a couple hours later. We called it a night and went to bed pretty early (around 10:00 or so), but the contractions started to get closer together and I quickly learned that I hated contracting while lying down. After the second or third contraction in bed, my body started shaking uncontrollably and I almost threw up. I knew that often happens during transition, but my contractions were only about 8 minutes apart at that point and I still didn't think this was the real thing. I told Skylar to go to bed and I got up to try to get some sleep in the recliner in the living room.

By this point, my contractions were getting stronger, but they were still very manageable. After a couple of hours I got out of the recliner, but I honestly don't remember what I did during the next two hours. All I know is, suddenly it was 2:30 Saturday morning and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, lasting about 1 minute each, and had been doing so for about an hour. Ah, I had finally reached 5-1-1. Up until that point, I still wasn't fully convinced I was in real, active labor that would result in anything anytime soon because I STILL hadn't lost my mucous plug, much less broke my water (I knew my water may not break until the end, but I figured I would at least lose my plug before real labor set in). I decided to go ahead and call my midwife to see what she wanted to do. She told me to get in the shower and call her back in an hour unless something changed before then. I called my mom and told her we were probably having a baby that day so she should start making her way down. I went into our room and woke up Skylar (yes, I had let him sleep during all that because there was nothing he could do and I wanted at least one of us well rested in case this turned into something). I tried getting undressed to get into the shower, but my contractions really started picking up and I knew it would be impossible to accomplish that feat. Suddenly my contractions were two minutes apart and it was becoming difficult to work through them. I told Skylar to call Galyn (the midwife) back and tell her how close they were. She told us to go ahead and come in to the birth center. Skylar called our birth photographer and loaded the car as I put in my contacts and brushed my teeth. Those things were incredibly difficult to do by that point!

We made the 30 minute drive to the birth center in New Braunfels, and sometime during those 15+ contractions in the car, I accepted this was it and we were having a baby that day. We finally got to the birth center around 4:30 and Galyn helped me inside as Skylar brought stuff in from the car. She checked me and said I was at a 7 and that my water was going to break any minute. As soon as she said that, there was a tidal wave! She said I could get in the tub if I wanted, but I decided to stop by the toilet first. While sitting on the toilet, I had two contractions and during the second one, I felt my body forcing the baby down which caused me to involuntarily lurch forward. I was so surprised by that feeling! I got in the tub and had another contraction just like that one.

All of a sudden, my body was not my own anymore. The baby was being forced down so fast and hard that I had no control at all. Labor up until that point was exactly as I had expected it. Not fun, but manageable through the pain. I did NOT, however, expect to go from 7 cm to 10 cm in less than 20 minutes and have my body turn itself inside out while I stood on the sidelines and watched. My body was pushing the baby out and I could do nothing about it. Galyn realized what was happening (probably by the exorcist type sounds that suddenly were coming out of my mouth) and rushed to "hold things together" as the baby was already crowning. She told me to stop pushing, but I had no control. I wasn't the one pushing - my body was. I tried so hard to stop it, but the baby was about to come flying out. Galyn told Skylar she needed him to help catch the baby so she could make sure the "damage" from the force was as minimal as possible. Skylar barely got his watch off just as the baby shot out and almost hit the opposite end of the tub. He grabbed her and lifted her out of the water to put her on my chest.

She soon started crying the most perfect little cry and opened her eyes after just a minute. I was in shock. I couldn't believe she was here! It happened so unbelievably fast that I didn't have time to process it all. The baby and I stayed in the tub for a while as the midwives drained and refilled it and we nursed a little bit right there. After a while though, I had to get out so Galyn could assess the damage to my nether regions. Because of the technique these midwives use, they almost never have a woman tear during birth. They maybe get one tear every 8 months. But we knew I was going to be the unlucky one in that statistic, simply because of how crazy fast this girl came. Sure enough, I got torn up pretty good and she had to stitch me up, but it wasn't (and still isn't) as awful as I had expected it to be. After making sure I was stable and checking/weighing/measuring the baby, the midwives and photographer left us to rest and eat the breakfast Stephanie (the apprentice midwife) had gotten for us. Honestly though, I just wanted to get home and get to my own bed. We did eat and rest for just a bit and then I got cleaned up just as my parents got to the birth center at 9:00. They saw the baby, gave hugs, then went on to meet us back at our house.

We got home, rested and my parents drove back that afternoon (they'll be coming back down next week). Since then, Skylar has been off work and we've been trying to figure out how to take care of this beautiful, perfect baby girl. We've had some problems with nursing, but that's to be expected and we're slowly getting better at it. On Monday, we finally settled on a name: Evangeline Nita Buras.

Evangeline means "messenger of good news" and Skylar first became interested in the name because it's the name of the little girl in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Nita was Skylar's mom's name and it means "Gift of God." We'll probably call her Eva. We feel like names are super important and should be meaningful so we didn't want to settle on a name until we met this girl and felt more sure of what her name was supposed to be.

She is just the sweetest thing and is SO beautiful. I've loved watching Skylar interact and love on her and this baby loves him right back. His voice and warmth soothe her. We're still in shock at how it all went down, but we're so grateful everything went well and that we're all healthy and happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment