June 6, 2011

Our beautiful little girl was born on June 6th at 7:44am, 9 days overdue weighing 7lbs 4oz and 21inches long.

I had been experiencing labor symptoms for weeks and we were almost sure this little one was going to show up earlier than expected. I had experienced hours at a time of contractions but they had always fizzled out. Our due date came and went and our Dr’s were starting the process to arrange for an induction. We bought some extra time with it being the weekend as they said they would most likely induce on the Tuesday since I would have to go for another ultrasound on the Monday. I was already losing my patience with the false labor I had been having along with the added stress of a possible induction date.

Mike and I decided to take the weekend to enjoy some time to our selves, clean the house, go for walks and stock up the fridge since it was imminent that we would be holding our baby soon one way or another. I had been feeling a little cabin feverish so on Saturday night I asked Mike to get me out of the house and go to a movie. When we sat down in the movie theatre I started having strong contractions every 7-10 minutes. I didn’t think too much of it considering all of the other false labor I had been having. As usual after about 3 hours the contractions fizzled out. Around 1am I woke back up feeling them a little stronger and a little longer but yet again after a few hours they fizzled out.

The next day our Dr had asked us to come in to the hospital. She wanted to check my blood pressure and maybe try and get things going so I wouldn’t have to be induced. At this point I had tried every natural induction method in all the baby books and online. I was willing to try anything to get labor started. I had even unpacked my entire labor bag in hopes “Murphys Law” would kick in and we would go into labor unprepared. The Dr rimmed my cervix and determined I was about 2-3cm dilated and about 90% effaced. I saw a gleam of hope and crossed my fingers that our visit to the hospital would get things going. About 15 minutes later I went into labor…..

Walking through the halls out of the hospital I started getting contractions so strong I had to stop and hang off of Mike to ease the pain. We got into the car and headed home to start the laboring process. For 4 hours Mike and I handled the strong contractions by changing positions every so often, walking and breathing. The birthing class information really came in handy and Mike was so good at keeping me focused and relaxed. Our 411 rule didn’t really apply for us, right from the beginning contractions were coming on 3-4 minutes apart for 1 minute long. I had labored like this for about 4 hours and at that point we decided to call in our Doula for support and a second opinion. When our Doula got to our house she determined I probably wasn’t in active labor and suggested I get up and walk or try nipple stimulation to really get things going. From there my contractions started coming every 2 minutes, 1 minute long for the next 4 hours. After ending up in triage at 35 weeks pregnant I KNEW I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible. Sitting in a room, hooked up to monitors with a bunch of other women laboring was NOT how I wanted things to go. Mike and our Doula helped me through each contraction with counter pressure, massage and even pouring water on my back in the bath (this felt amazing). My contractions started to get really strong at this point and I started feeling a lot of pressure down below.

After laboring at home for 10 hours we finally decided it might be time to go to the hospital. It was 2am and the streets were empty so the ride was short but the contractions were coming on stronger than ever. We arrived at Foothills and were quickly taken into Triage. I was quickly checked and sent into the delivery room at 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. We quickly put down are stuff and went to the bathroom, there we labored in the shower for 2 more hours. It was at this point the immense pressure and pain started to get the best of me. I started to come apart and I knew that my lack of sleep and focus was seriously affecting my ability to labor effectively. At this point I was ready to crumble and I knew if I didn’t get SOME kind of relief I would spiral downward fast. After putting it off for quite some time I opted to try some of the laughing gas. The laughing gas didn’t take away any of the pain but it helped immensely with my breathing. In order to take in the gas you had to slowly breathe in and out through the mask. The breathing of the gas quickly regulated a natural breathing pattern and I was able to cope with the contractions. For two hours more hours we labored with the entenox, switching positions in the bed and using the birthing ball every so often. The nurses and Dr’s were monitoring me intermittently so I was able to get up whenever I wanted. The entenox had helped me with my breathing so well that I was completely relaxed and almost able to sleep between my contractions. The Dr’s checked me at this point ( 14 hours into labor ) and I was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced at this point. I knew I was about to reach transition and that this labor was going to get tough.

We continued to use different positions, birthing ball, counter pressure and breathing to get through one contraction at a time. Every so often I had a contraction that made me feel like I was going to die. At this point I had been up for 24 hours straight and I was slowly falling apart due to exhaustion. I had asked what other pain management options we had. At this point I had completely lost my patience, control and focus on breathing and getting through contractions. I was more uncomfortable with exhaustion than the actual contractions themselves. We decided that in order to get through this we would try another option. The nurse explained to us we could be set up with and IV and have small doses of fentenol administered through the tough contractions. It’s a fast acting drug but also only lasts for a short while and is out of your body within 30minutes. You are also taken off fentenol completely before you are able to push. The drug can only be administered ever 10-15 minutes or so and for me the effects only lasted a short minute about 4 contractions AFTER it had been put in the IV. After we tried the fentenol I was able to regain some control and focus on breathing. The fentenol didn’t take away any of the pain but just allowed me to calm and refocus my energy. We labored for about another hour having a few doses of the fentenol administered through the rough contractions. At this point we had been in labor for 15 hours. I started feeling the urge to push and thought I might have to go to the bathroom. After an unsuccessful trip to the bathroom the nurses wanted to check me since I had been feeling a lot of pressure. It was music to my ears as they announced I was 10m dilated, 100% effaced and it was time to push. All of a sudden I felt like I had more energy than I ever have had in my life. My bag of waters still had not broken at this point so the Dr broke it with that beautiful crochet looking needle. As soon as the bag was broken I was +1 cm dilated and our babies head was very low. The nurse set up the birthing bar and asked me to push once to see what I could do. After one push they suited up as they said this little one was going to be born right away. Through the next contraction I pushed 3 times, holding for 10 with no breaks in between. The Dr was amazed with the pushing technique ( Thank you Sue!!! ). We pushed through one more contraction using the techniques Sue gave us and I knew that we were close. The Dr said the next time I had a contraction she only wanted me to push once. After 9 minutes of pushing all of a sudden at 7:44am our baby was placed on my chest and our little girl was welcomed into this world with loving arms.

The Dr’s let the cord pump for as long as possible and when it was finished Mike cut the cord. The Dr’s wiped her off and left her on my chest. We laid there for almost an hour or so before they actually took her away to get measured, weighed and looked at. It was a beautiful bonding experience and our strong little girl even crawled her way to the breast within the first 30 minutes of being born to breastfeed.

We had such an amazing experience with the birth of our baby girl. Our Dr was so amazing and kind that she actually stayed on to deliver our baby as her shift had ended for the night. Our nurse was spectacular and so supportive, she even came back the next day in recovery to check on us and say hello to baby Isla. Our Doula was such a huge part of our positive experience and I would recommend that every mamma and papa to-be get one!

We are so happy with our overall experience. We felt so in control of our labor, our hospital experience and all of our options. We were so happy with the outcome and couldn’t be more blessed to have a happy, healthy little girl.

Thank you Sue and Healthy Birth Choices for creating a class that prepared us for the start of an amazing journey. We used so much of what you taught us and I know that it helped with having such a positive experience.

Congrats to all the new mommies and daddies in our class and those soon to be.


Dawn, Mike and Isla

Foothills hospital birth story