Friday, March 7, 2014

We had a baby...

 On Wednesday, February 26th, I had just returned from an appointment at Intown Midwifery with Vickie Mantooth, and Daniel and I enjoyed a breakfast dinner at her house with the sweet family. That night, around midnight, I started have contractions. They varied in time, from 10-20 minutes apart. I just tried to keep sleeping, but they woke me up frequently.
   The next morning, the contractions slowed down, and I left for work. I was taking the middle schoolers on a field trip to Fernbank for the day and knew it would be perfect to walk out my baby. Contractions came throughout the day, intense, but only once or twice an hour. After school, I came home and forced myself to make a veggie chili--anything to distract me!
   Later that evening, I told Daniel we should spend the night at my parents house, because I felt like the baby was going to come that night. We got to my parent's house around 8, and my mom helped me go through some breathing techniques, just in case. I got in bed around 9, but was awakened every ten minutes with intense contractions. I'd just lay in bed and squeeze Daniel's hand until they passed. Then we'd try to keep sleeping. Around midnight, two painful contractions happened, and I felt my water break. I got Daniel out of bed, and we went out into the living room to sit by the fire and play with the dogs. After about an hour, I could tell I was losing my focus, and went to get my mom.
   She helped me breathe through contractions in her living room for about an hour and half. Finally, I said I thought it was time to go.
   The hour car ride consisted of me sitting in the back, and my mom continuing to time the contractions and breathe with me from the front seat. I was almost completely silent the entire ride up there until about 10 minutes away, when I couldn't help groaning. When we finally pulled into the parking deck around 3 am, we still had to walk a good five minutes in freezing temps to the hospital entrance. There was a lot of stopping as I went through contractions, but I made myself keep walking, refusing the offered wheel chair.
   By the time we finally made it to Labor and Delivery, the pain was becoming unbearable. The poor nurses, used to women coming in screaming at 2 cm, tried to have me fill out paperwork, but I could barely sign my name to a paper. When they took me back to a triage room, they had me get in a bed and started fetal monitoring. I could barely sit still as the waves of contractions were almost unceasing. I looked at my mom at one point and said, "I don't think I can do this!" It was a terrible moment. I just knew they were going to check me at a few cm, and all my prep for natural labor would be for nothing. Finally, the midwife came and checked me. "You're at 9 cm!" she said. I was in agony, but it was such a relief inside to know I was almost there. My mom got so excited and said, "Unbelievable. Kiley you are so awesome. You're there. You are GOING to do this!"
   My dad and Daniel's parents were called and told to hop up to the hospital quickly.
Even though I was relieved by how far along I was, I was starting to go a little out of my mind by this point. They began to wheel me to laboring room, and I was loudly moaning down the whole hallway. They then told me I had to scoot myself to the other bed , a feat which, at the time, seemed impossible. Finally I hoisted myself over to the other bed. Then the screaming started. I kept saying I needed to push, but it was like no one was ready for me to do it because everything was happening too fast. I think one nurse said, "Your midwife isn't back yet." As if I really cared who was there. I was ready to PUSH!
   Finally, Lindley came back, and I asked if I could start pushing. She said, "Absolutely!" and I got to work. Pushing is the greatest feeling in the world. Time kind of disappears, and you just exist from one contraction to the next. The pain is essentially gone when you can finally start pushing. Vickie Mantooth arrived somewhere during this time, and she stood right at my head while I pushed. I squeezed her hand so hard, that I vaguely remember thinking I was breaking some bones, but it felt so good just to have something to hold and someone talking in my ear. I pushed in several different positions, not feeling any concern about the baby, because I felt everything was going along smoothly.
   At some point, I looked up , and saw the room had filled with a lot of medical staff. I looked at my mom and asked what was wrong, and she said "Nothing, you're doing great."
   I knew something wasn't completely right, but I still wasn't concerned. They had me start taking oxygen because the baby's heart rate was dropping. This was really not a huge deal because it's normal for fetal heart rate to fluctuate while it's moving downward. The midwife, concerned with the heart rate, asked me for the next three contractions to stop pushing. She called a doctor in to make sure it was ok to continue. This is when I really lost my mind. Not pushing during this time was the worst part of the whole experience--there were several times I could not help myself and my body kept pushing regardless. My voice started to go at this point, because I just needed to keep going!
   When the doctor came in, she said she was fine with the heart rate dropping some, but she would watch me push a few more times before maybe using the vacuum to assist. Time to get back to work, thank goodness!! I was given a sheet to play tug of war with Daniel, a fantastic method when pushing. I've never felt so strong in my life. I pushed through several more contractions, and heard Daniel, my mom, Lindley, and Vickie saying the most encouraging things and hearing them all get excited at the same times, so I knew things were happening. At one point, I asked, "Is there any hair?!" After several contractions with the head not quite coming out, the doctor used the vacuum to briefly assist. No complaints from me!
   It only took a few pushes and out came the head! What a relief. The doctor stepped back, and let Lindley come forward to catch the baby. I think it took two more pushes for the body to smoothly come out, and I threw my head back with an audible sigh of relief. It was 5:50 am.
   I kept staring at the ceiling, because I wanted to give Daniel the opportunity to tell me if the baby was a boy or girl. It felt like forever, because his emotions were going crazy, but I'm sure it was only a few seconds. He said, "It's a girl! " I started laughing and looked down at our daughter laying on my stomach. Daniel cut the cord, and I pulled her up to my chest for some sweet skin-to-skin time. I thought I'd be boohooing, but I just kept smiling and talking to her. The hospital was great in allowing us to stay like that for probably 30+ minutes---enough time to begin feeding her and just stare at her.
  Family came in, pictures were taken, and we were totally smitten with our new, 7lb , 1 oz, 20 inch long baby girl!!


  1. so, stupid me read this between classes, about five minutes before my eighth graders were due to arrive. i was blinking SO HARD to stop the tears from flowing. i love the story and have so many questions about natural child birth for you. :)

  2. aw thanks! I was crying the whole time I typed it--such a crazy experience! I don't even feel like an expert on the whole thing at all. I just turned primal and like an poetic!