Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emma’s Birth

Name: Emma Nicole
We chose Emma 1- because we think it’s cute and 2- because we accidentally started a little pattern and decided to sort of keep it going. Joel, Kaylee, Logan, EMma. We tried to come up with “M” names, but Joel’s sister already has a bunch, so we came up with the “Em” sound instead.
Both Joel and I have sisters with the middle name of Nicole (Paige and Jenn) and since Emma Nicole sounds cute, we went with that.

Height: 21.5 inches

Weight: 7.9 lbs (one day after her due date)
Kaylee was 8.8 lbs on her due date and Logan was 8.3 lbs, 2 weeks early. Emma is my small baby.

Labor/delivery details:

Believe it or not, this is the quick version. If you’d like more details (especially if you’re interested in unmedicated childbirth) feel free to ask me.

I had my doctor strip the membranes during my appointment on my due date. I was barely dilated to a 3 at that point. I figured the cramping and contractions would start within a few hours, but they didn’t. Around 8:00 pm I started wondering if maybe I was having contractions, but I wasn’t sure. There were just a few an hour and it felt more like Emma was stretching out, causing my stomach to be firm from her pushing against it and causing a little pain that I figured was from her kicking an organ while she stretched.

Joel and I went to bed around midnight (not smart when a baby is coming, I know). I didn’t sleep great and then at 1:00 I woke up from a contraction. It wasn’t very painful, but it was enough to wake me up. I continued to have random contractions for the next hour. They weren’t painful, but I wasn’t able to get back to sleep.

At 2:00 they started to hurt more, so I searched for and downloaded a contraction tracker app for my phone. I started tracking the contractions at about 2:15 am. Each contraction was around 45 seconds and at first were between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I figured we needed to follow the 411 guide of contractions meaning they are 4 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minute, for 1 hour (give or take on each of them). At 2:30ish I woke Joel up and told him we should probably call his mom since it would have been an hour of contraction tracking by the time she got here. He called and we started preparing to go to the hospital. By the time we left the contractions were between 2 and 2 1/2 minutes apart and were more painful.

We got to the hospital around 3:50 am. The contractions were worse, but still bearable. Turns out I talk a lot when I’m in pain. They got me up to triage to check me and monitor the contractions. I was at a 6 1/2.

They got me into the birthing room (I was so happy I got it – the hospital only has one) about 30 minutes after we got there. The birthing room is reserved for those hoping to do an unmedicated delivery and is really nice. It is very calming with dimmed lighting and has a big tub in it. I got in the tub for 30-40 minutes. As I laid back, eating a sucker (to help with nausea during contractions), Joel commented that it felt like we were at a spa (the lights were nicely dimmed too). In-between contractions I was actually really relaxed, so I agreed with him during those times. But then the contractions got closer together.

The nurse had me get out when I felt even a slight urge to push. I got on the bed and the contractions started coming one right after the other. I was not prepared for that pain. I’d read books and knew I needed to try to relax, but nothing I did helped. I’d think that maybe changing positions would help, but when I’d move the pain would intensify. Nurses were up on the bed massaging my back while Joel gave me ice chips and honey sticks. I quickly progressed to a 9 (20-30 minutes?) at which time my doctor came in and broke my water. I laid down after he did so and immediately needed to push. I yelled something about how I was going to push and I hoped I was at a 10 because I was pushing no matter what.

The doctor was calmly, but quickly trying to get all suited up and ready. He always had one hand ready to catch her in case he needed to. Luckily, he was ready in time. Then suddenly the contractions and the urge to push stopped. I was still in pain, but it was different. I did feel some burning (“ring of fire” for anyone who has heard of that). It took one or two more pushes and she was out. From water breaking to Emma’s birth it was maybe 3 minutes. Thankfully! I don’t know how anyone can do hours and hours of pushing without an epidural. Emma was born at 5:28 am. Less than 2 hours after we got to the hospital and less than 4 hours from the time I consider I was in active labor. Yay for fast (but not too fast)!

So, I was able to do unmedicated. I keep being asked if I’ll do it again. Here’s my answer. If I had to do it again this month then no. The memory of the transition period (the time I was on the bed) is still too vivid. If I was going to do it again in a year or two, then yes, I think so. I figure the memory will dull a lot by then. Winking smile  Plus, I loved how alert I was during the pushing stage and right after (“alert,” not necessarily “with it”). 


I actually wrote this a week ago, but didn’t post it because I hadn’t loaded the pictures onto the computer yet. Here’s what I have to add now:

I for sure want to do unmedicated again next time. It was a really neat experience. Really painful, but cool too. I liked knowing what was going on and not being hooked up to any IV’s. One thing I’ll do differently next time is I’ll have the doctor break my water sooner. Probably right after I’m in transition. Transition was definitely the hardest part and hopefully having the water broken earlier will help that part go faster.

Emma is an amazing baby! She’s really calm and sweet and seriously beautiful! Joel was able to take the week following her birth off of work and it felt like a vacation. I was able to snuggle with Emma the whole time and have been really enjoying this newborn stage.


I realized I hadn’t taken any belly pictures the whole pregnancy, so we took this right before leaving for the hospital (in-between contractions, of course).


First pictures of Emma (this was after we were moved from labor/delivery (everything from right after birth is on video).

First bath. They did it the next day and it was in my room. I loved that!

She loved getting her hair washed!

Being held by Great-Grandma Wilkey. Emma is her 92nd great-grandbaby!

This one is blurry, but I have to post it because it shows how Logan looked most of the time he was at the hospital meeting Emma. The kids were really cute with her and kept commenting on how little she was.

First family picture

Holding her little sister for the first time.  

Logan wanted to touch her and give her kisses, but he wouldn’t actually hold her because her belly button was “gross.” He was asking to see her hands, feet, and then tummy. He was grossed out by the umbilical cord. (Don’t worry, now that it’s fallen off he loves to hold her.)

Ready to go home!

She is seriously so beautiful!


Kristin said...

Love love love reading this! Thanks for sharing! I plan on going unmedicated and have been reading more Bradley stuff- I'd like to do a hypnobirthing/Bradley combo. Is that what you did? Any certain books that are must read? Anyway, way to go! And congratulations, she is beautiful!

Bethany said...

Kristin- Yeah, I did a combo. I also read "Natural Hospital Birth." I liked all 3 books, and am glad I read all of them. There were weird things I didn't listen to in each book and good stuff from each that I tried to implement. Because of this, I definitely recommend reading all of them (the "Natural Hospital Birth" one is less about method and more about what to expect and how to make sure you get the natural birth you want even if medical professionals try to pressure you into meds).

I could have been much more prepared than I was. Both the Bradley method and hypnobirthing books say that to really be prepared you need to take the class. I didn't. I also didn't practice the relaxation techniques they both talk about and I wasn't able to relax my body during contractions in the transition period. Honestly though, I don't know if I could ever get to such a deep state of relaxation that I wouldn't feel the pain, even with practice, but who knows. I do plan to practice the techniques next time (I didn't read the books till the last month).

I seriously lucked out that it all went so quickly. Those who labor for hours on end are amazing. Going from 7-9 was miserable, but luckily fast for me.

I actually just watched a documentary you might be interested in. It was the second episode of Ricki Lake's second documentary, "More on the Business of Being Born." It's on Netflix. It's a bunch of celebrities talking about their birth experiences. I watched it after having Emma and really enjoyed it. (BTW, I feel like I talk about the pain a bit like Alanis Morisette talks about it.) There is an F-word and at the very beginning I think it shows a naked woman in labor, just so you know. I just liked hearing all the different experiences. They all set out to do natural, yet they all had very different experiences. I loved it.

Good luck! And I'm glad you're feeling better!

Laura said...

Bethany! That's an awesome story! With Ella I had quick labor and the anesthesiologist was busy so I didn't get my epidural until I was almost complete. Right after they placed it they checked and I was a 10. If I'd only known I would have gone without. Maybe next time??? Thanks for sharing! -Laura Crawford

Kristin said...

Awesome! Thanks Bethany! I checked out the natural hospital birth one and another Bradley one. I'm excited about the process, and I want a good hospital experience rather than a tense/fearful/medical birth, you know? I was happy with Isaac's birth, but I'm glad for another chance with a little more insight this time. Honestly I don't think I could ever get to the 'pain free' state either... so that is why I like the Bradley approach. It's more like prepping for an athletic event or something. But I still like the massage/relaxation in hypnobirthing so I'm definitely a combo person I think. Now I'm rambling! Thanks again! :)

Tiffany said...

She really is a pretty baby! I just wish we hadn't been sick so I could have held her. I love all the pictures. I wish I looked that good after I delivered my babies.

Ponczoch Family said...

Loved reading the details you forgot to tell me:) Enjoy all the cuddle time you get with your sweet little Emma!

Maggie said...

That is so awesome! Way to be! She is a keeper.

Heidi said...

I just realized after reading your most recent update that I didn't ever comment on this post. Congrats on your sweet baby and going unmedicated! I love hearing other's birth stories. I'd love to talk to you about it more in person next time I see you too. :)