Since this is a birth story, here is a simpler version for my male readers and for any children who may read Raising Olives.
Because of the events that occurred in the first part of this story, Mark and I scheduled an induction, several hours later we had our second daughter, a healthy, screaming little girl whom we named Kaitlin. Both mother and baby were fine and days later when my mother was released from the hospital, she was able to hold her second grandchild.
My mom has now had the privilege of holding 18 grandchildren and by mid-July hopes to have had an opportunity to hold her 19th and 20th.
Thanks for reading, please come back tomorrow.
If you are a child, please get your mom’s permission to read the rest of this post.
By 4 pm,several hours before we were scheduled to be at the hospital for the induction, I hear that my mom is out of the ICU and the contractions begin again. I’m able to sleep through some of them and get a lot of rest before we head to the hospital.
On our way to the hospital we stop by a friend’s house. ( even though it is nearly midnight) Anna is due with her first in just a few weeks and her reaction and encouragement is exactly what I need to ease the nervousness.
As an interesting side note, after multiple moves by both of our families and living in different states for many years, Anna and I are once again going to be delivering a baby with the same OB within a few weeks of each other. Anna is due with her 9th just a few weeks before we expect our 10th. (That means Anna should be having that baby any minute now, are you in labor yet??)
We arrive at the hospital about midnight and by 12:30am they begin the Pitocin. The nurse explains that this is a very low dose to allow my body to adjust to it, but it’s not enough to get contractions going. The idea is that I will sleep the rest of the night and then early in the morning they will begin to slowly turn up the Pitocin until they are able to establish labor.
However, I’m already having regular contractions and as soon as they start the Pitocin, things really kick in. Mark settles in on the couch and goes to sleep, but by 3:30 I’m ready for some support.
I find out that Pitocin contractions are much harder to deal with than regular labor contractions, plus because of the I.V. I have to go to the bathroom every 3 minutes, well it seems like it. After Mark gets up I ask him to call Ivy, our doula. Mark really doesn’t want to call in the middle of the night, but I persuade him that she is used to this type of thing and I could really use her direction and support.
By this time the contractions are taking all of my focus. However, when Ivy arrives and looks at the monitor she says that they are not being very effective and wants me to get up and try to get a more natural labor pattern going.
I get up and walk around the bed as best I can with the monitors still attached. I’m seriously regretting the need for all of the lines and cords, this feels nothing like the birth of our first.
I finally find the best way to deal with this labor. I stand beside the bed and when a contraction comes, put my arms around Mark’s neck and hang allowing him to support most of my weight.
I can no longer stand being in the bed.
I have the urge to push way before it’s time, is this a Pitocin thing?
The constant need to urinate continues. Mark and I become experts at waiting until a contraction begins to subside, unplugging monitors and I.V., running to the bathroom and trying to get back out before the next contraction. As labor progresses it’s impossible to avoid having contractions in the bathroom, but it’s something that I dread.
By 7:00am I’m complete, my waters are still intact. Dr. G is not yet in and the nurses will not allow me to push until he arrives. The urge by this point is nearly overwhelming.
The nurses assure us that when Dr. G has an induction he comes in by 7, so they do not call him.
Blow, blow, blow. Don’t push! Concentrate, you’re almost there.
I am still on Pitocin, have been complete with no pain medication for over an hour and no one is letting me push. The baby is still very high.
Dr. G comes in just before 9, breaks my water and watches me push through 2 contractions. Then he says “She has at least 2 more hours of pushing. I’m going to get some coffee.”
I lay back on the bed, “They may as well do a c-section right now because there is no way that I can push for two hours.”
Ivy puts her face in mine and tells me that I can and will deliver this baby and I will not have to push for two more hours.
“Now get up on your feet, you are going to push in a squat position with the next contraction.” Mark and Ivy help me get my feet under me on the bed.
There is one nurse in the room, sitting at the foot of the bed, no nursery workers, no warmer, no doctor.
As the next contraction swells I begin to push. The nurse shouts, “Stop, you need to stop pushing.” I know that I won’t be pushing for 2 hours, the baby is ready to be born.
“Good girl, your nearly there, you did it.” Mark is holding my hand. Waiting is no longer an option. The nurse runs out of the room looking for Dr. Green and others begin to enter.
There is no time for preparation, our baby is ready to come and she’s coming whether the medical staff is ready for her or not.
Dr. G comes in, coffee spilled down the front of him, no surgical hat, shoes or gown, but he manages to slip on a pair of gloves just as the next contraction swells and our second daughter Kaitlin comes screaming into the world. Kaitlin was 7lbs. 14 oz.bright red and screaming mad at her quick entrance.
I’m able to hold her immediately and she continues to scream. It’s a striking contrast to the quiet entrance of our first daughter.
The pediatric nurses file in with the warmer and eventually take her to look her over.
Dr. G says, “I think she broke her collar bone. That shouldn’t have happened.”
In hind sight perhaps we should have paid more attention to this statement. Difficult labors, unexplained complications, babies who stay unusually high, broken collar bones and shoulder dystocia, all the pieces won’t come together in our minds until after our 9th is born, but looking back the pieces of the puzzle seem so clear as they drop into place.
Kaitlin’s broken collar bone doesn’t bother her as much as Amber’s bothered her.
This birth was evidently told and retold among the nurses because after I delivered subsequent babies I would be introduced to new nurses as “Remember the story about the girl who squatted on the bed and delivered so quickly that Dr. G nearly missed it and spilled his coffee down his front?”
Total pushing 4 contractions. For later births, Dr. G instructed the nursing staff to call him early and that I should not be allowed to push unless he is in the room.
After Kaitlin was born, Mark and I had doubts about whether we had made the right decision by choosing to induce. After we called my mother to tell her about the birth, we knew that we had made the right decision. My mom immediately began to cry and said, “I’ve been so concerned. It is such a relief to know that everything is OK.”
To finish the other part of the story, my mom was released from the hospital several days after Kaitlin’s birth. She had had a massive heart attack (a result of damage to her blood vessels from the radiation she underwent as part of her cancer treatment).
The doctors say that a matter of minutes later in getting treatment would have been too late.
If she had been home alone, as would have been the case if I had not thought that I was in labor, she would not have gotten help in time.
If I had actually been in labor, she would have been driving home with just Amber in the car.
The doctor that performed the emergency surgery that my mom needed to save her life was not supposed to be at the hospital that day, but had decided to come in to check on another patient.
The OR had been prepped for a non-emergent procedure just before it was needed for my mom.
God in His providence coordinated things in such a way that there is no doubt of His hand in it, but the beauty is that He did not need our help.
We take so much responsibility, we worry so much, but ultimately we must simply be faithful, be obedient, we must seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added unto us.
Coming up: birth story #3, in which I deliver a post date, very large baby with much difficulty (did I mention is was hard?) and decide that epidurals might be a good thing – if I ever have another baby, which is rather doubtful.