The Birth of Janae Michaela
This baby was the biggest tease! I had several bouts of false labor for two weeks prior to her birth. On April 26th I had been having strong regular contractions for several hours at a time. They were exactly ten minutes apart. I remembered that I labored with Jared up till almost the end with contractions that far apart, so I was starting to wonder if I might be in early or pre labor. I went in to the Dr.'s office to be checked and there was no change in my cervix. I was a bit disappointed but it really was not my due date anyway so I accepted it and just went on about my daily routine.
On Friday, April 29th Mike and I went out for dinner. It was the last day of his vacation and we wanted to do something alone together. We ordered steak dinners, which was a real splurge for us. While we waited and ate our salads, I got a strong contraction that demanded notice. I looked at my watch and kept talking and eating. Exactly five minutes later I had another one. This went on for 20 to 30 minutes. The waitress brought our dinners and I just didn't know what to do. Should I eat something so heavy if I was going to go into labor that night? I decided to have the waitress box the meal up to go. On the way home the contractions just stopped. Oh was I mad then!
The rest of the weekend went by with some bouts of regular contractions that didn't get strong. The worst part of this period of false labor was the uncertainty of it all. I knew that I didn't want to risk staying at home too long this time after what I went through with the last baby. I had peace in my heart about having a VBAC, but still with such high parity and advanced maternal age I wanted to be careful.
At my regular appointment on Monday May 1st, the Dr. told me that there was very little change in my cervix. I was still not effaced and only dilated to 1cm. I was really bumming then.
By May 3rd, I was pretty sure that my labor was imminent. The contractions would come regular and strong for a couple of hours at a time then go. I figured that it was going to start up and go fast once labor really started.
On Thursday May 4th, I had been having strong regular contractions all night. They actually woke me up. They were still ten minutes apart but I really felt them. Mike decided to stay home from work that day since my contractions were acting like they meant business. We were preparing to go shopping to try to get the labor going. I was standing in our living room with my purse on my shoulder ready to go out the door. All of a sudden I felt a pop and my water broke. This is when I knew why I was so big even though the Dr. and I both agreed that it was an average size baby. I would feel her legs and bottom through my tummy and knew she was not a large baby. I had a LOT of water! It was so funny. It just kept coming and coming. (Remember the Coneheads? --LOL) It took me a few minutes to figure out what to put on to go to the hospital in. I had a big baby quilt rolled up and tucked between my legs to catch the water because after losing about a bucket full on the hall floor it just kept coming. I threw on a nice spring maternity dress and borrowed my little girl's sandals and got to the car as quickly as I could. I kept thinking about Jared's cord prolapsing and was praying that Janae's head be in front of her cord. I didn't feel anything down there so that was a relief.
I kept hoping to feel her kick me on the way to the hospital but she was very still. I started getting a little scared. I kept poking my tummy and saying, "Come on Janae give mommy a little kick". She stayed quiet all the way to the hospital.
I conveyed my worries to the nurse in the labor room and she started getting the fetal monitor ready as quickly as she could. Just before she strapped the monitor's belts on me, Janae shifted and my tummy rolled like a wave. I was so thankful to see and feel her move! Soon I was all belted with the monitors and waiting for the contractions to get strong again. Guess what! They didn't.
The contractions were not real strong and still ten minutes apart according to the monitor. The Dr. decided to start some Pitocin. I dreaded having my labor augmented. I had Pitocin before and it made for a fast and furious labor filled with extra pain. I asked them to hold off as long as possible to see if nature would do it on its own. It didn't.
When the Pitocin was started hours of contractions followed. My cervix didn't show much change after several hours. Effacement took a long time. I most likely would have gone on for two more days at least like that without Pitocin. They didn't want to let me go that long with my membranes ruptured. After 12 hours of labor they gave me antibiotics through IV to prevent infection.
When I was about 4cm dilated and the Pitocin was set at the highest level that I received, the baby's heart rate started dropping during contractions and racing between them. They soon turned the Pitocin down and her heart rate stabilized again.
By the time my contractions actually started producing real results I had been in labor for many hours and was pretty tired. I finally made it to transition and requested a shot of Nubain. I might not have needed it if I wouldn't have been so tired. I needed to zonk between the biggies. It helped me though. I could zone out and relax between them. Soon the miracle of birth decided to finally happen and as I felt her drop and turn with a hard contraction I called for them to check. Only 5cm. Soon, after several more hard and painful contractions I started feeling the pressure and need to push.
As I felt her crowning and the desire to push became a life driven force that was almost impossible to deny, my Dr. said, Sheri wait! Don't push! Oh I hate when they do that! LOL. I tried to pant without much success, even tried to hyperventilate a little just to help me stop pushing and had some success, then finally he had a clean surface ready for Janae to arrive on and he gave me the A-OK. As usual, a grunt was about all I needed. A good strong grunt no less, but what's all this stuff I hear and read about long periods of pushing? I never experienced that. I felt the intense relief of the slight burning and stretching of my perineum as her head emerged into the world. The Dr. suctioned her and said "Sheri, look down here!" I did and soon all the pain was forgotten as I witnessed once again the miracle of my child's birth. Janae was extremely beautiful from the first moment. Even with the dusky, purplish, grayish color that they always are at birth, she was beautiful! As soon as she could get some oxygen in her little lungs she brightened up to a beautiful bright pink. She was alert and those beautiful eyes of hers seemed to focus on my face. Oh what a miracle! What sheer delirious delight! There is nothing in life to compare to such a miraculous life-changing event! How I thank God for each beautiful child he has blessed us with. Each is unique, as is each birth experience.