Saturday, August 6, 2011

Abigail's Birth Story

Abigail’s Birth Story

The day before Abigail was born, at 41 weeks, 1 day gestation, I had my last OB appointment.  I measured 3 cm, 80% effaced and -2 station.  Dr. VanZant scheduled me for induction the next Tuesday, August 9th and I obviously didn’t make it to that day.  He said he was just going to break my water since I was so far advanced and see if that did anything before he actually used medicine to induce.  I think Dr. VanZant checking me had something to do with me going into labor the next day. 

On August 5th, I woke up at 2:24 am for the typical pregnant woman’s 15 millionth visit to the bathroom.  Shortly after getting back in bed, I had my first contraction.  I didn’t wake David at first because over the previous couple of weeks, I had 1-2 hours of contractions occasionally, so when these started, I wasn’t sure that it was going to be the real thing.  I woke David up about 3:20 am after the contractions were around 10 min. apart since the first one.  He started timing them and I was having them about 10 – 13 min. apart with an occasional random one that might be 7 min. or 20.  I actually slept between contractions from about 4:30 to 6 am which was such a blessing!  David’s parents had traveled up the day before and I called my parents at about 8am to let them know that we thought I was in labor.  David’s parents took Caroline to Chick-fil-a so we could have the house to ourselves.  The contractions continued throughout the morning and were getting progressively painful as they went.  I definitely had back labor along with the regular labor contractions and it was so good to have David there to massage my back!  It was definitely really hurting!

The contractions weren’t getting any closer together and that was a little frustrating so David suggested we all go out for lunch for a little distraction.  We decided to go to Texas Steakhouse and headed out. For some reason, I had really been wanting a steak and it was so good!  Just after we got out of the car there, I had to stop because I was having a contraction.  It was so weird to be in labor and be trying to go about our day as normal!  We had a good lunch and I continued to have contractions through it, stopping to breathe and get through each one.

We headed home and when we got there, I had to lay down.  I was so tired!  It turns out that I slept between 25-35 minutes and I had no contractions during that time.  If I had any doubts about whether or not I was in labor (and believe me, I did), they were about to end shortly!  I woke up to the longest and most painful contraction I had had yet.  It was aweful!  I had another one that was so painful that David said that if I had another one like that we were going to the hospital despite the fact that they were only 7 minutes apart and I would have only had 3 by that time.  My doctor told me to come in when the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart for an hour.  I had that third contraction and we decided that the contractions were so painful that it was time to go.  I really didn’t want to miss my window for an epidural and the contractions were so painful at that point that we thought I might just miss it if we didn’t go.  David’s parents had prayer with us before we headed out the door which was such a special time!

We arrived at the hospital about 2:45pm.  I had now been in labor for just over 12 hours.  Caroline’s birth from start to finish was only 8.5 hours so I was already over that.  I had to check in through the ER and when they called the nurse in L&D, she asked to speak to me.  I had no idea why she asked this, but she (Mary) told me later that when they told her my due date (9 days previous), several things went through her head including the possibility that I may not have had prenatal care since I was so far over so she wanted to talk to me to get an idea before I headed up.  We arrived in what I will call the “triage” room by about 3:15 or so.  It took a little while for the doctor on call to come in and when she did, her first words to me were, “so why are we here today?”  I was shocked at her asking that.  I didn’t know whether she was kidding or not.  Here I am in the L&D triage room hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and a contraction monitor.  DUH!  I’m in labor!  I finally just said rather timidly that I *thought* I was in labor.  She just said, “ok, I’m going to check you now.”  Needless to say, Dr. Bullard has a weird personality.  She checked me about 3:50.  I was already at 6 cm, 80% effaced and -2 station. It’s so great to come to the hospital so far along!  I had been able to be at home, laboring with David by my side instead of at the hospital.  They took me straight to my L&D room after that and it was 4:00.  Also, as I said earlier, my contractions were super painful by this point.  I was very ready the moment I arrived at the hospital to have an epidural and had told the nurse immediately when I arrived that I wanted one and didn’t want to miss my window.  They have to take blood work before they can do it because they have to make sure your platelets are up.  Not to disappoint from my last labor, my veins were horrible to get the needles in!  I normally have great veins and it is usually easy, but with both of my labors, it has been so hard!  I didn’t walk away with the horrible bruising this time though!  It also took them forever to get my IV in.  The nurse had the same issues and she even had someone else come to try to get it in.  So, even with all that, I still got my epidural at 4:55 pm.  It was just like last time.  I felt absolutely nothing, but this time both legs were so numb I couldn’t lift them!  David’s mom got to the hospital around 5:15 and my best friend, Angela, showed up at some point in there too.

At 5:30, the doctor came in to check me again and I was 7 cm, 80 % effaced and -1 station.  Baby was moving down and I was dilating at the rate they like.  They like to see you dilate 1 cm an hour.  At 7:15pm, the doctor checked me again and I was 8 cm, 90% effaced and 0 station.  While Dr. Bullard was checking me, she also discovered that my water had broken.  It broke on its own sometime between my last check and this one.  Around 7:00 pm is when nurse shift change happens.  So, the doctor (who had been checking me every hour) didn’t come in for 2 hours and by the time she came in to check this time at 9:19pm, I was 10 cm, completely effaced and ready to push!  Just as with Caroline’s birth, I had no idea that I was at that point.  Also, somewhere between these last two checks, my parents arrived!  They made it for Abigail’s birth!  None of us thought they would, but they did!

The hustle and bustle began.  On my next contraction, the nurse asked me to push then she immediately called the doctor and nursery nurse in.  Dr. Bullard entered asking if we were ready for her.  I think she was shocked that I was so close to pushing Abigail out.  I think they have the nurse push with you until you get the hang of it and are almost there.  With Caroline, it was different, Dr. VanZant had me push the first time and saw that I was ready so he started getting ready.  So anyway, Dr. Bullard got ready and settled and asked me to push and it only took 2 pushes and she was out!  I had NO idea she was out.  In fact, I was still pushing and heard someone say something.  I opened my eyes, saw Abigail, my eyes filled with tears and I said, “Oh my goodness!  She’s out?!?!”  I was shocked that it happened so fast and she was here!  She suctioned her mouth and nose and put her on my stomach.  My eyes were still filled with tears and I was in awe of the beautiful baby that was laying on me!  This was the first time I had had this experience and it was amazing!  I didn’t get this experience of having your baby laid on your stomach with Caroline and I am so glad I got it with Abigail!  From the moment they checked me last to the moment Abigail was born was only 30 minutes!


Abigail Kathleen Stanford was born at 9:49 pm on August 5th, 2011

after just over 19 hours of labor.

She weighed 8 lbs. 10.6 oz. and was 21 inches long.


            I LOVED going into labor on my own this time despite the fact that I was 9 days over my due date.  I really didn’t mind at all.  It was so amazing to labor at home for the majority of it all and to arrive at the hospital already at 6 cm dilated!  I definitely enjoyed Abigail’s labor and delivery more than Caroline’s even though it was over 10 hours longer!  It was amazing and I just can’t express how great it was.  I am so blessed to have had two wonderful labor and delivery experiences.  I hope the next one is just as great or BETTER!