Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Story of Teagan's Birth

While I had some time this morning, I briefly wrote down Teagan's birth story, so here it is! :)

My labor with Teagan was short but intense, but before we get to that, I should give you some background information. David's sister, Diane, was visiting us this past week and wrote about the days leading up to Teagan's birth from her perspective in the following paragraph:

I got out to IL on Monday (well Tuesday AM thanks to the storms), and was pleased to hear the weekend before Loretta had been having lots of contractions. I hoped that meant that this little one would come on time. Nothing on Tuesday. Wednesday morning dawned bright and unseasonably warm. Nothing. Loretta kind of shrugged her shoulders and apologized that this baby seemed to be late too. That day we (Grandma, Loretta, Kieran, and Aunt Diane) went to the Children's Museum to play with Kieran's friend Maya. I made Loretta (I mean I encouraged her) to walk around a lot and bend and pick up her son. Hoping that would jump start labor. Nothing. Thursday came. And went. Nothing. Friday came and... On Friday night was went to Papa George for some Greek cuisine. Loretta started having pretty regular contractions. I pulled out my pad of paper and we counted them about everything 3-8 min. apart! Sweet! My plane left in the afternoon on Saturday and I was hopeful that this was it! It was not it. On Saturday morning the contractions faded. I had to make the easiest decision of my life. Should I leave or extend my trip by two days. I called the airline and made the switch (best money I ever spent). That night Loretta, Jackie and I went out to see the movie Juno, which is about a pregnant teen aged girl. Loretta laughed at the birth scene which was about 20 sec. long. Girl's water broke. Everyone went to the hospital. Push. Push. Baby out. We all made fun of how Hollywood makes birth seem like one quick scream, and then it's all over. (Little did we know...) We got home that night, and for the millionth time I asked hopefully, "How are you feeling?" Hoping like crazy that she would finally answer, "I feel terrible, like I'm having a baby or something." But she just looked at me and said, "Sorry, I'm feeling fine."

(back to Loretta's perspective) As Diane noted above, I had been having contractions off and on since Friday evening, but nothing regular or painful. I went to bed Sunday in the early morning at around 12:30 a.m. (we are night owls) not feeling like anything was going on and thinking that Teagan was not anywhere near being born, which I felt bad about since Diane was leaving Monday afternoon. I seriously did not think that Teagan would be born until after she had left. Then, I woke up around 2:15 a.m. with intense, regular contractions. I laid in bed until around 3:30 trying to go back to sleep, but at that point, I decided to get up and start timing contractions (and take my somewhat noisy self out of the room where my 20 mo. old and husband were sleeping). I spent about 45 minutes in the bathroom, timing contractions and laboring on the toilet, which was the most comfortable position I could find. The contractions were just about 3 minutes apart and intense. With Kieran, my labor started similarly--contractions around 3-4 minutes apart for several hours, then they dropped back to about 5-6 minutes apart for about 24 hours. They never went away, just slowed down slightly, and they were nowhere near as intense as the ones I was feeling on Sunday morning. I was getting pretty discouraged because I thought for sure I would be in labor for at least 24 more hours based on how things had gone when I delivered Kieran. Also, my water hadn't broken nor had I seen any show or mucus plug (which my mom kept asking about hopefully).

At a little after 4 a.m. I woke David and told him I thought I was in labor. We decided to wait to go to the hospital until after Kieran woke up (usually around 7:30/8ish) since he'd never woken up w/out us before, and we were still thinking that this was the very beginning of labor. I spent the next hour and a half laboring in the living room on my exercise ball and in the bathroom. By 5:30, I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. The contractions were coming a bit more quickly and were even more intense. We decided that it would be better for Kieran to wake up with his fun Aunt Diane (and maybe grandma) than for him to wake up to an in-pain momma. I decided I wanted to find out how dilated I was, then labor in the tub until I got an epidural. At that point, I was resigned to an epidural. If I was going to be in labor as long as I had been with Kieran (36 hours, plus or minus), I was sure I was going to need an epidural to make it. We woke up my mom and Diane to let them know what was going on. We decided we would call my mom once we were at the hospital and knew how far along I was. David gathered together our things and started the car--at one point during a contraction I shushed my mom when she was trying to coach me by breathing differently that I was...

We arrived at the hospital a little after 6 a.m. By the time I was in a room and being checked, it was after 6:15. The nurse checked me and said I was a good 6-7 centimeters dilated, which was a big relief for me. I had been sure they were going to tell me that I was only at a 3 or so. Dr. Nelson, my doctor, was not on call this past weekend, but we had asked early on in my pregnancy for the office midwife, Cathy Hinton, to deliver if Dr. Nelson was unavailable (out of town or not on call), and she had agreed to do so. We had also done the same thing when I was pregnant with Kieran because I saw both of them alternatingly throughout both pregnancies and both David and I felt really comfortable with them and with the fact that they would respect our wishes during labor. The nurses called Cathy and she headed over to the hospital. Fortunately for me, she was already up and in her car on her way home from the other hospital in town when they called to ask her to come. I kept alternating between laboring in the bed, standing up, and in the bathroom. I asked for an epidural, the nurse got things ready to start an IV for me. It took a few tries to get my IV in (I should have known to tell them to use my right arm rather than my left because my left arm's veins are always tricky when I'm having blood drawn). The nurses told me that the anesthesiologist was on his way up and that this particular one would want David to wait in the hall while he was administering my epidural. I headed for the bathroom again with David. While I was in there, both Cathy and the anesthesiologist arrived. I waited for the current contraction to stop and then headed back out to get my epidural. David stepped outside, Cathy Hinton stayed in there with me. It was a little after 6:45 a.m. This is when things started moving at warp speed.

I told Cathy that I felt like I might need to push soon, she said I didn't need to get the epidural, but I was adamant. At this point I seriously did not think I could do it without the epidural. The contractions were so fast and SO intense. I told her that I was also pretty sure I couldn't have gone from 6-7 centimeters to 10 centimeters and ready to push in less than 30 minutes. She said it was possible, I insisted on the epidural. The anesthesiologist was putting the needle in my back when I felt my water break and an intense urge to push, I tried to stay as still as possible, but informed Cathy that I now needed to push. She reminded me to stay still, the anesthesiologist took the needle out of my back--no epidural for me!--my nurse looked down and confirmed that Teagan's head was crowning. I said, "I need my husband in here right now!" and another nurse ran out into the hall to get David. I somehow climbed back up onto the bed, David ran back into the room, I pushed twice, literally less than a minute, and Teagan was born! Cathy barely had time to put on her gloves to help catch her! They put her on my belly--she was a hefty little babe!-- and suctioned out her mouth and nose, and then David cut her cord. It all happened so fast! My mom obviously did not make it to the hospital in time for her birth, and since it happened so quickly we have absolutely no pictures or video of her birth (but we also don't have any of Kieran's birth, either, but for different reasons), which are the only downsides to Teagan's birth.

When Teagan was being born, I could feel myself tear again in the same exact place I tore with Kieran, although it didn't feel painful at all, unlike the first time around. Apparently the tear was smaller, too. I felt great despite tearing, and delivered the placenta within 10 minutes or so.

Diane has a picture of her phone's incoming call log, which reads like this:

6:22 AM David (called to say that they were at the hospital)
6:48 David (called to say that they were giving Loretta the epidural)
6:56 David (called to say that Teagan was born)

As I mentioned before, I seriously doubted my ability to give birth without an epidural. I am a wimp when it comes to pain, and based on my prior record with these things, I felt sure that I would be in labor for a long, long, long time. As it were, I ended up being in labor for about 4.5 hours--WAY different from the first time around! Teagan was only in the birth canal for about 2 minutes at the most. She has the most perfectly round head. When the pediatrician was examining her on Sunday he asked David if she was a c-sectioned baby because her head was so round. The pediatrician was shocked when David told him that she was not! :) I am so proud of myself for giving birth with no drugs, and while I remember that it hurt worse than anything else I've ever felt, I also can't remember exactly what it felt like.

Everything else is going great here. I am sore, although I know to take it super easy this time around (unlike with Kieran--I totally overdid it a couple of days after he was born and reaped the consequences for weeks afterwards...). Teagan is nursing like a champ and my milk started to come back in yesterday. I could tell partially because Kieran is insistent on drinking more mommy milk all the time, too, and he's having a bit of a hard time sharing *his* milk with Teagan. Thank goodness for Daddy and Grandma to distract him a bit. He was super excited to wake up with "Bee Ats" (Baby X) as he still calls her, in bed with us all this morning. Our first night of co-sleeping all together went well last night. Hopefully it will continue to do so!

Thanks again to everyone for all the congratulatory remarks and well-wishes! We can't wait to introduce little Teagan to you all! I'm sure we'll have more pictures up in the next few day so be sure to check back.


Perpetually Sarah said...

Yay Loretta! You are such a strong woman. You did such an amazing job and with no drugs! That's incredible. I'm so happy for you all. I cannot wait to meet Teagan!

VeganLinda said...

Great birth story, Loretta! You are amazing! I can't wait to meet Teagan. Enjoy your babymoon and do take it easy. Call if you need anything.