A two-hour labor and delivery

A page on facebook asked its fans to share birth stories today. I got to thinking how I’ve never written about my kids’ birthday. So here I go…

Gabriel Alejandro at 3 months

My newest baby (he’s #6) was the hardest pregnancy but the easiest delivery.

After losing more than 20 pounds in the first few months due to severe stomach issues, I went into preterm labor around 28 weeks. I was leaking just a little bit of fluid and having regular contractions, but when I went to the hospital it all stopped. The contractions came and went for the rest of the pregnancy. They were stronger and more regular than braxton hicks, but my cervix wasn’t doing anything. We were in and out of the hospital a few times when they lasted more than 24 hours and got down to 3-5 minutes in between.

I had an appointment the day before my due date, and by that point I was begging my midwife to induce me, but she said it looked like he’d be ready any time now. On my way out of the office, a nurse said to me, “See you next week.” And I snapped, “I hope not!” Later I joked about how he would probably come on his own on his due date – April 1. I figured, since none of my others were born on their due dates, it would be the best April Fool’s joke.

After we got the kids to bed, my hubby and I were watching a movie, trying to get comfortable, and I started having really bad gas pains. The whole pregnancy had been miserable, so I just took a GasX around 9pm. At 10 the cramps were starting to get pretty bad, and I had diarrhea.  Then at 10:30, I realized the “cramps” were only 6-7 minutes apart. I woke hubby up and told him I needed him to call a babysitter. He fell back to sleep. I yelled at him, called my mom and the doctor, and tossed him the phone so he could get his parents to the house.

Then the contractions got REALLY bad – like the kind right before you push. They were 2-3 minutes apart and I was feeling pressure way down, like the baby was crowning. Hubby’s parents only took about 15 minutes getting to the house, but I was yelling and crying the whole time, telling him to make them get here faster.  “We have to go NOW!” I kept saying, as if he could control time. I was scared to deliver outside of a hospital, because I had hemorrhaged very badly with #5. As soon as we saw the headlights, I went out to the car, carrying almost everything, because I thought he was going too slowly.

The drive to the hospital should have taken just over an hour. We got there in less than 30 minutes, but it seemed to take FOREVER!

The van that flew us to the hospital

When we finally got there around midnight, the ER orderly who had to take me to the maternity ward was terrified. He kept asking me, “Why are you shaking? Are you cold? Are you sure you’re okay?” I told him, “I’m shaking cause I’m in labor. You’re lucky: The last time I started labor naturally, my water broke all over the wheelchair and left a trail the whole way through the hospital.” He ran the rest of the way through the building!

The hospital staff was so used to me that they just assumed I was in false labor again. They gave me plenty of time to pee and change, then hooked me up to the monitors in the triage room. By the time my midwife came in to check me, it was obvious that I was in active labor, and they rushed me to a birthing room. They wanted to hook me up to an IV, but I couldn’t be still long enough for them to get one in.  First I had to pee, then I wanted to get on the bed, but I couldn’t, then I would thrash as they started to get the needle in. They missed and blew a vein twice.

I said that this was the easiest delivery, but it was also the most intense.

I told them I needed to push at 1:25, so they helped me onto the bed, called my midwife back into the room, and started “suiting up”. My water broke in a big splash all over my midwife just as she got situated.  At 1:32am on April 1, 2011, Gabriel was placed on my chest. He peed all over me! I fed him for the first hour or so of his life, with the cord still intact, and the placenta undelivered.

Gabe’s first picture.

Then my midwife got scared. Apparently, if the placenta stays in too long, it can mean a hemorrhage. With my history of having nearly died on the birthing table just 2 years before, this was really a big deal. So she called for the doctor, who explained to me a procedure they would have to do, in which he would put his (very fat) hands inside me and pry the placenta loose, then scrape out any remaining pieces and do a full D&C. I asked if we could wait just a bit longer, called my mom to ask her to pray, and posted a facebook status asking for prayer. A few minutes later, as the doctor was setting up his lights and everything, my placenta just kind of came out on its own.

Thank you, Jesus!

A while later, they cleaned me up, weighed my baby (7lbs 7oz) and told me how perfect we all were. The midwife lingered a while, not wanting to leave us, and the nurses helped me go to the bathroom while hubby held his son for the first time.

Proud Papa

We went home the next day, and to church the day after that. And every day I love my babies a little more.

Gabriel is 5 months old today =)

Exactly 5 months after the nurse said she'd see me next week. I almost feel bad for being so snappy.

Do you like to read other women’s labor stories? I do! Feel free to share yours or link to a post in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “A two-hour labor and delivery

  1. wow! You’re an amazingly strong woman. I have been blessed with fairly easy deliveries (even the 10lber) and I already don’t want to do it again LOL. You’ve been blessed with incredibly endurance, faith and some very beautiful children!

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