Warning: This is a birth story with actual labor and delivery details.I was so nervous about my labor experience this time around, not because the idea of labor scared me, heck I’d already done that part 4 times before, but because of all the unknowns that come from the actual going into labor part. Since we had only just moved a few months before I didn’t really have a friend base to count on for when I actually went into labor. I have a friend who lives about 3 hours away who was planning on coming to watch the kids when I went into labor but because my labors go so fast I was nervous about waiting for her to arrive. I was also really nervous about false alarms, I did not want to call my friend unless I was sure I was in actual labor and by then I was sure 3 hours would not have been long enough for her to actually get here before baby boy got here. I was especially nervous about going into labor at night and not having anyone to call. But by far my biggest worry was that my water would break at home and I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time. With the last 2 babies I was literally having a baby within a very short time of my water breaking and because I have problems with hemorrhaging after I deliver, having a baby at home or on the way to the hospital was not going to be an ideal situation for me or the baby.
For weeks leading up to the actual delivery I had been having some intense contractions. I even went to the hospital at about 36.5 weeks because the contractions were so intense and less than 10 minutes apart, but it turns out that I was passing lots of kidney stones which was causing me to contract. The kidney stones helped the contractions dilate me to a 3.5 and I stayed at that until my 39 week appointment. At my appointment I had a non stress test done, which I had been having done every week since 32 weeks due to the fact that it was a high risk pregnancy. During the test my little mans heart rate was going crazy during each contraction. This had happened at the two previous weeks tests but when they did an ultrasound at each of those he did not appear to be in distress, this time however his heart rate would stay up pretty high and take much longer to drop. I had made it very clear that I did not want to be induced because I wanted a natural, drug free labor like I had with the last two babies. My wonderful doctor looked at me very sympathetically and said, “We need to get him out, he is not enjoying those kidney stones of yours. I know you don’t want to be induced but this is the best thing we can do for him.” I left that appointment with an induction time for 36 hours later and was told to go to Labor and Delivery if anything felt off. If I wasn’t stressed enough before I sure was now because my induction time was set for a few hours before the time of Noahs VA appointment, the one that he couldn’t reschedule at all because if he did we would have to wait a very, very long time before the next appointment (the doctor was traveling here just to see him) and therefore we would be waiting a long time for his benefits as well. I know that with how fast my labors went I would probably be delivering our child alone and the thought of that was unbearable. We did 10 years in the military and had 4 kids and he was there for all of them and now that we were out of the military he might miss one of them? I hated the thought of that. I immediately called my friend in Georgia and asked her if she would come be with me so I wasn’t alone and she of course agreed and drove out the night before. In the end I was able to move my induction time back a few hours because I had to get my kids to school so instead of showing up for a 5:00 am induction date I was scheduled for an 8:30 induction.
I arrived at the hospital at 8:30 and Noah and Britney were able to get me settled in before Noah had to leave for his appointment. I sat there hooked up to the monitors until 11:00 when the nurse came in to check me and hook up my pitocin to start the labor. I had been having contractions that were showing up on the monitor the whole time I sat there hooked up so I asked her if it was possible for them to just break my water and see if I could have him on my own. She said she would check with the doctor and get back with me. Shortly after I asked her Noah arrived back from his appointment. I was so relieved that everything had been taking so long up until that point because it made sure Noah could be there. She did not come back in until 12:00 and my doctor, Dr Patel, was with her. He told me he was going to check me and break my water and then give me an hour and if I was not progressing steadily by then that he would hook up the pitocin. I was still at a 3.5 like I had been since 36 weeks. He broke my water then commented that he could feel the baby’s hair and we waited. My contractions got stronger but nothing I couldn’t handle, the nurse asked me for the millionth time if I was sure I wanted a drug free labor and I told her yes. She asked me why my chart said I wanted an epidural if I didn’t really want one and I told her that I had no idea because I had always planned on a natural labor and I had told that to anyone who asked me. She asked me how long I had been a smoker for and I looked at her crazy and told her that I had never smoked, she again responded that my chart said I had. I then started to get worried because obviously my chart was very incorrect. I went over my drug allergies, latex allergy, and hemorrhaging problems with her to make sure that that part of my chart was correct. After she left Noah and Britney started to watch my contractions and talk about how high they were and how close together they were. I was breathing through them and laughing at their commentary between contractions. After an hour the nurse came in to check me and I had progressed to a 4.5 but the doctor still wanted to start the lowest dose of pitocin (a .5 dose). I asked the nurse why and she said that I was not having any contractions. All of us looked at her funny and my husband pointed to the monitor and said “what are those then?” She responded that they were not true labor pattern contractions to which he and I both respond “That’s exactly what they have looked like with every single baby we have had.” She rolled her eyes at me and said she was starting the pitocin. I had agreed to the hour with my doctor and the hour was up so we started the .5 dose of pitocin. I wasn’t sure how well that dose would work since with my other two inductions I had to have the highest dose possible for me to actually have contractions.
By now its a little after 1:00 pm. Britney left to go pick up Aowyn from our friends house and to get ready to get the boys from school. The next hour I was dealing with the contractions pretty well and Noah and I were watching movies on the TV. I had had 2 induced labors (both of which I had epidurals with) and 2 natural labors (no drugs with) prior to this and I knew that the induced contractions were way more intense and painful then the natural contractions so I was prepared for that. At about 2:30 the contractions were really in high gear and I was really having to focus on breathing through the contractions. The nurse and doctor came in and checked me around 3:00 and said I was still at a 4.5. I felt so defeated and wasn’t sure I would be able to do much more with out some drugs. The doctor told me he wasn’t going to up the dose of Pitocin just yet and would give me some more time, which I was very grateful for. I tried to joke with them and when the doctor asked how I was doing I told him that I was wishing I could change my mind and not do this. He laughed and said “You women are so strong, if men had to carry and deliver babies the population would have been wiped out a long time ago.” He really helped me feel a bit braver. I asked if they had anything that would help me sleep. I was already feeling exhausted from the last hour of contractions.
After he left the nurse asked me how fast my labors went because this was our 5th baby and I told her once I hit about a 6 or a 7 my labors went pretty fast. She asked me more specifically how fast they came once it was time to push and I responded with “Super fast. Basically no time at all.” Apparently that was not a good enough answer so she said, “I mean how long do you have to push 30 minutes? 10 Minutes? 5 minutes?” I chuckled and said “Zero minutes! I have not had to push the last 2 babies out, the basically popped out on their own.” She said that’s all she needed to know and left. I had Noah plug-in my diffuser with some Lavender in it and I tried bouncing on a ball for a little bit, but anytime I bounced we would lose our little mans heart rate on the monitor. The nurse told me I could bounce but that I would need to get his heart rate back every 10 minutes. I could only handle a little bit of time on the ball before I was too stressed about his heart rate to continue. I ended up climbing back in bed and putting a peanut ball between my legs. After what seemed like forever the nurse finally brought me the medicine to help me sleep. I told her that I didn’t want anything that was strong or would make me groggy because I knew that if my labor went fast that I wanted to be awake and alert. She told me that it only last for about 30 minutes. The next hour the pain was so intense. The contractions did not take a break from each other and I could not find a position that even remotely eased my pain. I was in tears and feeling like I could not do any more. The medicine never put me to sleep nor did it ever even make me slightly sleepy.
At 3:45 I asked Noah for a blessing (a prayer). I told him that I didn’t think I could do anymore. By 4:00 I felt a massive amount of pressure and I felt like my body was trying to push the baby out on its own. I called for the nurse to come check me. When she came in I told her that I felt like I needed to push. She checked me at 4:10 and said I was only at a 6 and that I would severely hurt myself if I tried pushing. I told her that I was not pushing at all but that I felt like my body was doing that on its own. It was the weirdest feeling, with each contraction I would feel by whole belly pressing down on the baby. I had never experienced something like that before. It was the most intense pain I have ever felt and I had already delivered 4 babies and had hundreds of kidney stones prior to that. The only way I can describe the feeling was that I felt like my body was grabbing the baby on both sides and trying to shove him out as the contraction pressed on him. I know that contractions push the baby down and out but this was a much more intense kind of pressure then the contractions and felt like something in addition to the contractions. I tried to explain that to the nurse and told her that in the past I went from a 6 to a 9-10 pretty quickly, within an hour or less but she seemed very preoccupied and said in a very condescending tone, ” I think it will still be a few hours, your contractions on the monitor are still not showing true labor patterns.” I wanted to tell her to take her true labor contraction talk somewhere else but I kept my mouth shut and nodded while holding back my tears.
She left the room at 4:20. As soon as she left the room the flood gates opened and I sobbed to Noah that I couldn’t do it and that I needed the drugs. He very sweetly told me that he thought I was almost done and that he knew I was strong enough to make it through. I had lost all faith in myself after everything the nurse had said and told him as much. I told him I couldn’t hold on for a few more hours with that kind of pain. He held my hand and rubbed my back as I squeezed his hand with all my might as the contraction waves swelled through my body. I was exhausted. These new contractions that I had been having for the last half hour had left me feeling very depleted of energy and I wasn’t sure that my body couldn’t handle much more. I decided to get up on my hands and knees on the bed because that’s what had helped me work through the pain when I went through 36 hours of natural labor with Aowyn. I spent about 10 minutes up on my knees and during that time I had 5 contractions each one lasted a minute with only a minute in between. I have never been a screamer while in labor but those new contractions were so intense that I couldn’t help but scream into my pillow with each passing wave. As each contraction bore down on my body I could feel the baby being pushed down. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest and trying to force the baby out by grabbing both sides of my belly and pushing in and down as hard as they could. It felt like I was pushing with all my might, even though I wasn’t pushing on my own at all. Each time this happened my amniotic fluid would come gushing out like a faucet was being turned on, my bed was soaking wet. I tried to stop the pushing but since I wasn’t doing any of that on my own I couldn’t really stop it. After 2 contractions of this happening and me trying to stop it (And hurting more because of the trying) I stopped trying ignoring the nurses request and let nature take its course. I knew that I was not pushing him on my own so this must be what was supposed to be happening. After 10 minutes of this my knees were hurting from me pushing into the bed so intensely during each contraction.
I told Noah that I wanted to try standing and swaying. I stood up at 4:30. I had the first contraction while standing and the whole pressure/faucet thing happened again and soaked the floor, Noah went to grab a towel to put on the floor and I basically barked at him and grabbed his hand and put it back on my back and told him to not stop rubbing my back. I was swaying and moaning while leaning over the bed as the pressure continued. As soon as the second contraction started and I felt my body start the shoving on its own I knew something was different. Almost instantly I felt the babies head start to come out. There I was standing on the side of my bed about to have a baby fall out of me. I squeezed my legs together as best as I could. I screamed because the pain was so intense and yelled at Noah “He’s coming,” and tried to get back on the bed with every single move I could feel the baby slipping out more. Noah had no idea that I meant the baby was actually already coming out of me and he just thought it was time for me to push so he was trying to get me to turn my body as I was trying to climb onto the bed to undo all the cords that I now had tangled all over me. I told him to stop and just help me on the bed, I was partially on the bed by then and he happened to see the babies head, which of course freaked him out and he immediately stopped messing with the cords and tried to help me get all the way on the bed, which was nearly impossible because I had a babies head halfway out of me.
This all took a total of about 10 seconds. Neither of us even had time to think about the next move or to call the nurse because we were just trying to get me on the bed to prevent the baby from falling on the floor. Thankfully my scream was loud enough and scary enough that the nurse heard it and came in to see what was happening. I’m sure by now you can tell that she was not my favorite person on the planet that day and she when she came in and said “Why are you trying to stand up?” I wanted to punch her in the face. In between the agonizing pain of trying to hold a baby in that obviously did not want to remain in my body I yelled at her that I was trying to get back on the bed and that the baby was almost out. She ran over and gasped because sure enough, there I was only half way on the bed and I had a babies head halfway out of me. His eyes were already out and his nose was half way out. She told me to stop moving and grabbed his head to hold him in. She told me to stop pushing and wait for the doctor. I’m pretty sure the look of death in my eye looked something akin to the eye of Sauron burning into her soul as I screamed at her in what I’m sure sounded like the voice of a demon that I was in fact not pushing but that my body was doing that all on its own… you know because I told you not long before that my babies basically pop out on their own. She told me that I needed to wait for the doctor to come and I screamed at her yet again to stop pushing on the baby as the baby was pushing its way out and to just get him out because frankly the pain of someone trying to hold a baby inside your body as its trying to come out is a pain that is beyond all description. Thankfully she had hit her pager button on the way into the room and the team of nurses came running in right behind her with all trays prepped and ready to go. One nurse came over and tried untangling my cords, there was one behind my head, one under my behind, one in front of my face and one that wrapped itself around both my thighs (how that happened I have no idea), I looked at her about the time that she realized it was a futile effort and I know she saw the pain in my eyes because she looked at my nurse and said “Get that baby out of her, we can’t wait for the doctor.” I know she was thinking the same thing I was thinking, that the doctor’s office is on the complete other side of the building and that if he is with a patient this could take a while and this baby is already coming out. Honestly I have never heard of a nurse pushing against a baby as a baby tried to push its way out, but I’m sure it does happen, maybe more often than I realize, but for me in those moments of pain filled agony the thought of her continuing to do that until the doctor arrived was enough to make me want to shove her away and get that baby out myself. All of us were unaware that my wise doctor, who actually did listen to me when I told him that my babies come fast, came running as soon as he saw the page to the nurses and didn’t wait to receive the page for him. Thankfully he was not with a patient or on the other side of the building. He later joked with me that all of his marathon training paid off at work and that he had run up the flights of stairs faster than he has ever run in his life. As he removed the nurses hands and commented at how dark his hair was, he grabbed the baby whose eyes had already been seeing the floor for the past few minutes and let him slip right out, with me and my behind still only half way on the bed, one leg dangling over the side and with the cords still all around me.
From the time I stood up to work through those contractions until the time that our little man was born was 11 minutes. He came into this world fully at 4:41 pm even though he had plans to be born a few minutes sooner. The doctor put him on my chest and I cried and kissed him and talked to him and admired his tiny little hands and face as the nurse finally got me untangled and Noah cut the cord and the Dr Patel told him how grateful he was that I was not alone because I might have delivered a baby on my own on the floor. From the time the nurse checked me and told me I was at a 6 and it would still be a few hours until our little handsome man was born was a whole 31 minutes. She ended up apologizing and told me that she hadn’t believed me when I said that I went that fast and then added “You wont make it to the hospital with baby #6.”
He was my fastest labor. From the time they started Pitocin till the time he was born was 3 hours and 41 minutes (add on an hour from the time they broke my water) and he was by far my most painful labor which is saying a lot because Aowyns labor was intense and a whopping 36 hours. I think because it all happened so fast it was more intense. And not once during that whole time did my contraction pattern ever change from the time she said I wasn’t having “true labor pattern contractions.” What’s that they say about all labors being different? Well she sure treated me like mine should just be run of the mill…. I guess I was right.
I read an article by a midwife later that night and she talked about how when her patients who are dead set on laboring naturally and not taking any pain meds and have been preparing themselves their whole pregnancy tell her that they don’t think they can do it anymore and finally ask for drugs that she knows its time for them to push. I wish I had read that beforehand because I’m sure it would have helped me out a great deal. Because that’s exactly what happened to me. From the time I told Noah I couldn’t do it anymore and I wanted drugs to the time I was holding a baby in my arms was less than 30 minutes. I also wish the Nurse had listened to me and stayed in the room when I told her how badly I needed to push and how fast my labors were because I think I would have had a lot less traumatic delivery and maybe we could have actually gotten some pictures of the delivery… as it was we barely had time to get me on the bed let alone get a camera ready.
Thankfully our little man was born healthy and I only slightly tore from the pressure of having a babies head sitting there for longer then it should.
Welcome to the World
Fynnock Grady Jenkins
8 lb 14 oz (Dr Patel joked with him that he couldn’t have given him just 2 more oz for a 9 lb baby)
Picture overload ahead!!!
He didnt cry when he was born nor did he cry when he was on my chest but he sure wailed loudly as soon as they took him away from me and he proceeded to cry unless he heard my voice or held Noahs hand. The nurses all commented on how sweet it was that my voice calmed him down.
He loved his bath when they were running his head under the water but did not like it one bit when they had to wash his body.
I just love that head full of dark hair. Honestly out of all the babies in the world he doesn’t have nearly as much hair as others but compared to all my other babies he was born with the most by fair, and the darkest.
During all of his ultrasounds he always had his hands up by his face, it was hard to get a good facial shot because his hands were always up there, either rested on his forhead or curled up by his mouth and cheeks and he has been no different in birth. He loves to have his hands up by his face.
He has his daddies nose, mouth and chin for sure. Pretty much he is totally his fathers child… I have yet to see any of me in him.
Getting ready to go home. My last two babies were 6 pounders so I had some newborn clothes for him, but he was by far my heaviest baby and not even the longest so the little chunky monkey barely fit his newborn outfits.
Unfortunaly we had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after birth which the nurse said is a nation wide law and I say baloney. I went home with the last 3 after 24 hours…. oh well. We were ready to bust out of that joint and go home.