Friday, September 28, 2012


Madelyn Claire
September 19th, 2012
7lbs, 11oz.
20 inches long

Well, she's here! My sweet girl was born last Wednesday morning after I went into spontaneous labor early that morning. I was set to be induced on Friday the 21st (my due date) because I was so incredibly anxious and had been walking around 4cm dilated for the last two weeks. Not a good reason to be induced but my mom was also leaving town on Sunday and I didn't want her trip to be baby-less. I'm sooo thankful I went into labor on my own though because I was able to see exactly how my body handled labor and what it could do. 

Here is Madelyn's birth story:

It all started around 37 weeks. I went in for my appointment and found out that I was already 3cm dilated and highly effaced. I didn't want to get my hopes up since I know it really doesn't mean much but I would be lying if I said it didn't make me a bit anxious. Suddenly I was analyzing every twinge in the hopes that it might be labor. This got even worse the next week when I found out I was 4cm and my doctor declared that I would probably not make it to my next appointment. 

I started going insane with anxiety over everything. I even had my first episode of false labor when I had contractions that were about 10 mins apart for a few hours one night. They were painless though and never got any stronger. The following week (right before 39 weeks) I had him sweep my membranes. I was hoping this would get things going for me. Instead, it just threw me into a major false labor that I ended up heading to L&;D for just to have it stop as soon as I got there. I had called my in-laws down from their home 2hrs away and everything. My mom even changed her flight from Sunday to the following day. Once we knew it was false I still had  my mom come out early though because I figured it would help me relax regarding the whole issue of what to do with Nathan. Add that and my induction which I scheduled the day after my trip to L&D and it really did make me a less anxious. 

Then Tuesday came. I started having the same type of contractions I'd had in all of my false labor so I did my best to ignore it and I refused to let myself get excited. From early on in my pregnancy I had a thought that Sept. 19th might be the day but again, I didn't want to let myself get excited so I just kept ignoring it. They were not painful but kept up into the evening when I started to get a very light back pain. Again, nothing different than what I'd already had. 

Around 3am I woke up from the back pain. It wasn't killer, but definitely uncomfortable because I couldn't sleep through it. I got up at one point to walk around to see if it would stop. My frontal contractions only came while I was standing but they were still painless so I grabbed a piece of cheese and some water before heading back to bed. There I tossed and turned until about 5:30am when I finally drifted off. 

At 6:20ish I woke up with a start because I needed to get ready for work and had slept through my alarm.  I was also immediately disappointed because I realized I had slept which must have meant the back pain had disappeared. Then I stood up. 

Suddenly I had my first frontal contraction that I could actually feel some sort of pain behind it. And they kept coming, less than 5 mins apart as I started to get ready. After just a few minutes I realized this might actually be it so I woke up Caleb and took a quick shower. I could hardly focus as I gathered my last minute items and texted everyone on my list. 

Around 7am I woke my mom and Nathan up and we continued to get ready as my contractions got stronger. About 7:20ish I knew it was time to go since my contractions had gone from slightly painful to something I either needed to walk through or lean into. Caleb and I left and we got upstairs to L&D and checked in at 7:41. At this point I was really unsure I was going to be able to do it med-free which had been my hope since about 33 weeks. 

I wanted to be checked dilation-wise before I said yay or nay to the epi. I knew if I was still at a 5 or so I wouldn't be able to do it. Well, low and behold I was already at NINE! Before checking me the nurse even said "Let's check you just to make sure you aren't an 8 or something crazy already". Ha!

Luckily my doctor was already at the hospital because Wednesday mornings are the days he has scheduled c-sections. During one of my contractions Madelyn's heartbeat suddenly slowed. The nurse made me flip sides and even gave me oxygen. I was worried but knew that worst case I'd have to go in for an emergency c-section. I remember thinking how they'd do that since I didn't have an epi and I realized they'd have to just knock me out cold and what a bummer that would be but at least she'd be contractions didn't allow me to dwell too heavily on that but I remember it crossing my mind.

The things I thought I would focus on during my contractions back when I was planning did not really come to fruition. I did keep one hand on my cross necklace but instead of thinking of all the verses I'd looked at, I did what I've done in other times of great need and gone to the Lord's Prayer. It's always something I do instinctively and it must be because I've had it memorized for years. The peaks in my contractions were very short too so once I figured that out I was able to get a better handle on those last few contractions that took me from a 9 to a full 10cm. In fact when I got into that "zone" that they described in all of the Natural Birth books, I actually felt my skin humming. It was weird but I was just staring straight ahead and could feel my face and hands hum.

All of this was happening after Madelyn's heartbeat came back up but my nurses wanted her out ASAP just in case. So my doctor was soon there and as soon as he broke my water my body started to push. I couldn't control it at all in the midst of the contraction. Once that stopped I was able to keep from pushing until they were fully ready.

On the next contraction I pushed a total of 3 times. Twice for her head and once for her shoulders and she was out. I remember it feeling like I was running a marathon when I pushed Nathan out (took 30 mins) but this was the easiest thing in the world.

They immediately put her on my chest but had to take her quickly to do the APGAR scores and clean her up. Even though she was crying a little bit they quickly determined they needed to help her breath and within a few minutes they knew they needed to take her to the NICU. I did get to hold her for few minutes before they did and as many of you know she had to stay in the NICU for a week due to a high white blood cell count. Her breathing was normal by 1pm the day she was born.

As for me, I did have some excess bleeding and had to be put on pitocin to stop that, especially since I didn't get to nurse right away. But it stopped quickly after the pit was administered and although I had to have a heplock as a precaution for the rest of the day, I felt great.

So I was able to have my med-free birth but I am still shocked by how ridiculously quick it all was. I'd hoped it would be quicker since Nathan's induction was under 10 hours but I never expected to be one of those few women who don't feel their contractions until transition. I always tried to tell myself that the fear of getting to the hospital in time was silly since you usually have a few hours or more. Riiight. If we ever have a 3rd, I'm going to be much more concerned about how far away we drive in those last few weeks!