Here it is – the Brewster-In-Training’s Birth Story! Again, like the Littlest Brewster’s birth story, this is incredibly long. More so because I don’t want to forget anything than that I think you truly want this much detail. (Although I have a secret (not so secret now) addiction to reading birth stories on The Bump and I prefer the long and detailed ones myself.)
June 17th, 2014
-DB took the day off work to get some final stuff done before the induction and to spend a day together, just the two of us. We had a really nice time – went out for breakfast, did some stuff around the house, went out for a beer at the Hibernian, and picked LB up early from daycare. Putting LB to bed that night, knowing that it was my last night with her as my only baby, was really, really hard.
June 18th, 2014
-We’re supposed to call the hospital at 0730 to make sure they have a bed for us at 0830. When I call, they tell me to call back at 0745 as the charge nurse is busy. I immediately start to freak out that we’re going to get bumped either later in the day or to the next day. But when I called back at 0745, they said we could get there at 0900. I was so relieved; I think getting bumped was my biggest fear going into the induction.
-We got to the hospital at 0900, which meant that we didn’t get into a room until 0930. Once we got settled in, we met our labor nurse, Norma, who was absolutely amazing. She was very confident that I could do this without pain meds and that we would be having BIT before she finished her shift at 1900. We went over our birth plan and preferences with her and she was on board with everything – with the exception of not seeming to understand why I wouldn’t want IV narcotics. She seemed to think that they were no big deal but was okay with my telling her that I did NOT want IV Fentanyl. (Though she still had Dr. Privette try to explain to us a little later why Fentanyl is okay, which sort of irritated me and DB. Give the Fentanyl a rest, lady!)
-Around 1045, Norma got the IV started and drew some labs. She also checked me and proclaimed that I was 2.5cm and 80% effaced and that BIT was at -1 station. I was SO excited to hear this, as that’s farther than I ever made it dilating on my own with LB. At this point, Michelle arrived and we all just hung out, waiting on Dr. Privette’s orders to start the Pitocin.
-At 1130, they started the Pitocin at 2mL/hour, with plans to increase it every 15 minutes until I got into an effective contraction pattern. Since I had to stay on the monitors continuously and thus had a limited area in which to walk, I alternated between bouncing on the ball next to the bed and swaying with DB. For a good long while, it was easy to talk through the contractions and Michelle, DB, and I just chatted to pass the time. At one point, Norma had me get on my hands and knees in the bed for 30 minutes or so, to help move BIT into a better position. After we did that, she manipulated my cervix through a few contractions to get BIT’s head better placed in the birth canal and hopefully encourage better dilation.
-While I was on my hands and knees, my dad and his fiance Kathy showed up. They had brought food for DB, so I sent him out to eat with them in the waiting room (since I didn’t want to talk to them with my butt in the air), which was good because he later admitted he was starving. (A fact that he vehemently denied when I kept trying to get him to eat a snack, since I wasn’t allowed to eat and he didn’t want to eat in front of me.) They then came back in for 20 minutes or so, but left to go back to the waiting room when Norma came to check me.
-Around 1430, Norma checked me and said I was at 4 cm. I was pretty excited at this point because, while I had to stop talking and focus on the contractions, I felt reasonably confident that I could keep doing this without pain meds. During a contraction, I would concentrate on consciously relaxing my body. I had read somewhere about thinking about a flower opening (as corny as that sounds) and I tried that for awhile but it felt kind of stupid. (Okay, it felt really stupid.) So I would chant either “open open open open” or “baby baby baby” and try to visualize BIT moving down the birth canal and being born. Or I tried to think about Cherry Grove beach, as people had talked about “riding the waves” of contractions. Whatever I did, I tried not to tense up during a contraction – something I had done during labor with LB and that I could physically feel being counterproductive this time around.
-Around 1630, I was checked again and told that I was 5 cm and it was a good time to break my water. Dr. Privette didn’t get in the room to break it until 1700 or so – it is the most disgusting sensation when your water breaks, at least to me. There was no meconium in the water, so I was really pleased about that. Dr. Privette didn’t say anything about how dilated I was when she broke my water, so everyone assumed I was still at 5 cm. The hardest part about being checked and having my water broken was the need to lie on my back while they did it – that was definitely the most uncomfortable position in which to labor.
-Right after they broke my water, the contractions got really, really intense. I was on my right side through a few of them and then Norma told me I had to get on my hands and knees again for at least 15 minutes. This was really, really, really hard and incredibly uncomfortable. I remember thinking, “I don’t want to do this anymore!” and being terribly freaked out by the fact that I had last been told I was 5 cm. I honestly didn’t think I could do it for another 5 cm. After 15 minutes or so in that position, Norma had my lie back on my right side and sort of put my left leg up in the air. Next, she took her hand and (I think) literally stretched me the last little bit. During this point, I couldn’t help it – my body started to push all on its own. I remember thinking to myself, “You can’t push until you’re complete!” but there was NO way to stop it. And Norma said that it was fine, I needed to do what I needed to do.
-At this point, I told everyone I couldn’t do it anymore and that if I were still at 5 cm, I wanted the epidural. Norma said, “Well, you’re almost done.” I told her she was a lying liar because if I were almost done, she would be calling the doctor to come in. Norma laughed and said, “I want everyone to remember that at 1735, she called me a lying liar.” With the next contraction, she told DB to press the button on the call bell and, when the secretary answered, said “Send Dr. Privette in for delivery.”
-I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I was almost done and that I was going to deliver BIT soon. I had been really worried that I would have forgotten how to push since my last labor, but it’s honestly not something you forget. Once Dr. Privette got in the room, I had to flip onto my back, Michelle and Norma each got a leg, DB was petting my hair and telling me how awesome I was doing, and I got down to pushing.
-I can admit, I was not a nice person while I was pushing. I know I yelled the F bomb and shit quite a bit. I also yelled for them to get the baby out of me. And I yelled that I couldn’t do it. And at one point, I started yelling “Sex! Sex!” because I didn’t want them to forget to let the DreadBrewer announce if it was a boy or a girl. (It took a bit for them to realize what I was trying to say. DB couldn’t decide if I was saying I wanted to have sex (ha!) or that we were never having sex again.) It seemed to take FOREVER, particularly between when BIT’s head came out and when the rest of the body came out. Afterwards, they told me that this was because a) the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and they had to get that off and b) the baby’s right hand was up by the face and they had to manipulate the arm back down. When I was pushing LB out, it was like her body just popped out, really easily. This baby, it took forever to get the body out and it was so painful. I remember thinking about the ring of fire that people say only lasts a second or two and thinking that they were wrong, because it was minutes.
-At 1742, just 7 minutes after I called Norma a liar for saying we were almost done, BIT fully emerged into the world. Dr. Privette had DB look and he said (in utter shock) “It’s a girl!” They put her on my stomach and let DB cut the cord. I kept saying, “We have a girl? We have a girl!” because I was convinced (even more so than last time) that we were having a boy. And, truth be told, I really wanted LB to have a sister so I was super excited that my wish came true.
-After a few minutes, I delivered the placenta , which was intact. I had been worried about having to have bits of placenta manually retrieved without pain meds, so that was a huge relief. I also didn’t need a single stitch as I didn’t tear at all.
-They took BIT – now officially the Brewster-In Training – over to the warmer to clean her up a bit and check her out. Because of the nuchal cord and her hand placement, coupled with the rapid birth, her face was very swollen and purple. But she was a champ and passed all the tests and eventually came back to me. After a bit, they needed to weigh and measure her – she was 9 lbs 8 oz and 21 1/2 inches long! 6 ounces bigger and 3/4 inch longer than LB! They also checked a blood sugar on her (standard procedure for big babies) and it was within normal limits – hooray!
-While all this was going on, I was in utter shock that I did it without pain meds. I did it. I delivered our baby the way that I wanted. I told Norma there was no way I could have done it without her and it’s true. I was ready to give up and she didn’t let me. Without her and DB’s support (he must have gotten tired of telling me what a good job I was doing and how amazing I was), I would never have been able to do it. I was (and still am) so damn proud of myself.
So there you have it – the epic novel of BIT’s birth. It was very different (but by no means better) than the Littlest Brewster’s birth – but I’m actually glad that the experiences were so different. I can certainly appreciate both the joys of an epidural and the high of an unmedicated birth, having been on both sides of the debate.
And as everyone says, I got two beautiful, healthy girls out of it. And that’s what really matters.