Simon Edward Lieb
November 3, 2012
At 10 days past my due date you could say I was more than ready to have this baby.
At my last OB appt we scheduled an induction for Tuesday, November 6th, the last possible day before I hit 42 weeks. I really didn’t want to be induced but they wouldn’t let me go any longer.
On Friday, November 2nd I sent Joe to work and attempted to have a fairly normal day at home with the boys. I had my regular contractions throughout the day but nothing regular or seriously strong. I did start to feel a little different, what they call lightening (basically my bowels were emptying themselves out in preparation for labor). It felt familiar but I was hesitant to declare labor to be on it’s way since I’d have several false alarms already.
When we went to bed that evening I had a sense things were going to start soon, but knew I needed to rest. I slept pretty soundly for about 3 hours and suddenly woke up at 1am to a very strong contraction. Often I have stronger contractions when my bladder is full and/or the baby would pull on my round ligament. So I got up, went to the bathroom and repositioned. I fell back asleep for a minute and then another strong contraction hit. I got up and went to the bathroom again and then stared at the clock, waiting for another one to hit. Almost exactly 5 minutes later another wave came in, it lasted about a minute and required a bit of concentration/breathing to get through. I drank some water and relaxed a bit waiting for a few more to roll in before I woke up Joe. After a few more contractions I woke up Joe to tell him I was in labor.
I kept timing the contractions which now were varying between 3-5 minutes lasting at least 1 minute each. We gathered our belongings, got dressed, called my mom and call the triage nurse. I paced the bathroom a bit which helped keep them going and gave me something to focus on. My mom arrived to stay with the boys. Joe talked to the midwife on call who suggested we come in since my previous labor went pretty fast. We loaded up the car and headed out into the cool November night. I sat quietly and breathed through each contraction as they continued at about 5 minutes a part. we arrived at the hospital a little before 3am. It was very calm and quiet as I moved throughout the birthing center. I like to find a quiet inner place to relax while in early labor and that’s just what I did. The nurses asked me questions and tried to make small talk but I mostly ignored them unless expressly directed a question. I felt like I was being a little rude but didn’t really care.
Our nurse Peggy was very nice and sat beside me the entire time. She entered my information, monitored the baby and was very respectful of how I wanted to birth. One of the first things she requested was a copy of our birth plan, we gave it to her and she sat and carefully read through the whole thing. The next bit is a little blurry but here’s what I remember. The midwife on call came in to check on me and asked if I wanted to know how far along I was, I said sure. She said I was easily 6cm, maybe more and that it wouldn’t be long. They wanted to give me a heplock in case I needed to be given some sort of medication during or after labor. Peggy attempted to carefully insert the hep lock but apparently i have “squiggly” veins. She jabbed around a bit before calling in another nurse who attempted to insert the hep lock in 4 different places. All the while my contractions are intensifying. Finally they found a vein and left me alone.
As the contractions intensified so did the pain in my hips. I remember having bad hip pain with Noah and my midwife suggest that I push to relieve some of the pain, so that’s what I did this time too. It helped! At that point my midwife suggested that I change position in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure. Before all of the hep lock drama they suggested the tub and/or walking which I was very interested in doing but that phase had passed. I didn’t want to move. They suggested hands and knees but I didn’t think I could handle a big transition like that so they installed the squat bar and I sat straight up which gave me some good momentum. It hurt more at first but I began to ride the wave and let things go. In all honesty, I wasn’t as encouraged or motivated to give it my all this time as I had been in my previous labors. I wanted it to be over. I had fears of this intense labor lasting forever. I finally asked the midwife if there was anything she could give me to take the edge off. She checked me again and I was almost complete. She said no. She said if she gave me something now it would make the baby sleepy and the whole process drag out longer. She said I was almost there. I didn’t believe her. I’d heard the “you’re almost there speech” before and that could me another hour.
A strong contraction came and I thought I was going to throw up. With my previous births I always threw up during transition but this time I didn’t. I felt the urge but it passed rather quickly. Both the midwife and nurse were encouraging me that I was so close, reminded me that when you want to give up you are almost done. I knew this to be true but my body and brain didn’t believe them. The next contraction came rolling in and this time there was no “riding the wave” it completely swept me away. Where I had been quietly laboring with low tones and deep breaths I was now in full out labor. My body moved without my control to find the optimal position, I let out loud cries and released any amount of control I thought I had to my laboring body. At this point the midwife asked if it were OK for her to break my bag of water. I gave Joe the OK look and he told her it was fine. As soon as she broke my water baby Simon was on his way out.
Just as quickly as my body started to push the staff in the room multiplied and hurried about. The OB on call stepped in the room (he was required to be there since I have a history of shoulder dystocia). I don’t remember much else about the next few pushes but I knew there was nothing I could do to stop my body from pushing out this baby. Under no ones command I started to push. I felt myself open up and I also felt myself poop. (That’s the grossest part of labor but really, what are you going to do) The nurses moved stuff around adjusted the bed to the birthing position and I labored on. I pushed again and could feel the burning. The told me to hold the back of my legs and curl my body around the baby when I pushed. I did that and could feel huge progress. Finally, the head was coming out and they said, “one more push”. At this point they told me to pull my knees to my face they flipped me almost upside down and I pushed so hard and curled my body around that baby to push him out. I remember feeling like pushing upward was wrong, against gravity but they said they needed to get him out from under the pelvic bone. He popped right out.
Joe said my face and eyes turned red like something out of a cartoon or movie. He said it all happened so fast it felt unreal.
I remember them laying him on me and he immediately took a breath. I was still in a bit of birthing tunnel vision but was eventually able to focus my attention on to sweet Simon. I kept saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” to anyone that would listen. I looked him over a little and held him close then looked up at the ceiling trying to grasp on to the reality of what had just happened. It was all so quick and so intense. My body was shaking (as it did after my previous births). Joe cut the cord. And the placenta passed fairly soon after. The nurse examined him while I held him and he was fine. I put him to the breast and he latched on like a pro. I was so happy he didn’t have a tongue-tie or difficulty nursing like my others. Joe and I smiled at each other and I almost started crying because he nursed so naturally. Everyone in the room put in their guesses for how much he weighed. The midwife guessed 10lbs 2 oz and she was spot on. As they weighed him and did vary tests the midwife stitched me up (my least favorite part). She said I had a few small 1st degree tears but otherwise looked pretty good. At that point in labor you just want to be left alone.
Everyone asked his name and said they loved the classic names like Simon. (I’m sure they say that sort of stuff to all the new moms but I like to think my kid is extra awesome!)
A nurse brought us some orange juice and crackers as I tried to stop shaking. They continued to monitor our vital signs and fill out all the corresponding paperwork. The nurse checked my fundus and I had a bit more bleeding than she liked so they hooked me up to some pitocin to help stop the bleeding. (turns out the hep lock was actually useful.) After being on the pitocin for a bit she checked me again at which point I passed several golf ball sized clots, she wasn’t too thrilled with that. So the nurses consulted with the midwife and they gave me a shot of something to help stop the bleeding. All the while I felt pretty good and Joe said I actually look pretty normal, all things considered.
Finally the bleeding slowed down and they felt comfortable with me moving to a recovery room.
Overall, I was very pleased with our first hospital birth experience. I mostly missed recovering in my own bed and not having a nurse come check on me every hour, but fortunately we were all in good health and they discharged us within 24 hours.
We went into this pregnancy knowing it would be very different from our home birth experiences but we also knew it was the right thing to do given our history. Thankfully it was a relatively quick and easy labor. It was probably my most intense of the 3 but also my easiest. We had very few complications and for that I am extremely thankful.
Also, it turns out Simon is Rh negative so I didn’t need a Rhogam shot like with the others.
I’m not sure if we will be having any more but now I have 2 home births and 1 hospital birth under my belt, all of which were 100% natural. Even though I’ve done it before I am still completely amazed at what my body can do.
Simon is 6 days old and nursing like a champ, he’s almost back to his birth weight.
I’m recovering well. Aside from being tired I’m actually feeling pretty good. I am extremely blessed to have an awesome husband like Joe who has been taking care of everyone this past week.