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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Memorable Moment

A long time ago (ok back in January!) Pastor Mac's Ann tagged me for a "Most Memorable Moment In My Life" meme and this is me, finally getting around to it! It is hard to pick one because let's face it - we all have plenty of memorable moments throughout our lives.

The most memorable moment I decided to write about was Kayla's birth story! I have a feeling this might get kind of long, so grab a drink and read it when you have a few minutes! This is all about the actual birth, to read about my feelings upon getting Kayla's diagnosis you'll have to read this post.

I think I read every pregnancy book out there; ok not that many, but I did read everything I could and tried to prepare myself as best I could for what to expect, what to bring, how labor would go, things I would try etc. Funny thing about labor and delivery is you can be as prepared as you'll ever be and things still won't happen the way you think. It's just so unpredictable!

When I packed my bag I had camera, video camera, books/magazines, lotion, back massager, Therma-care heating pad, swim trunks for Joe (they don't have a birthing tub at this hospital, but an extra large shower stall where they said some women are comfortable in the water and your partner can get in with you - I was anticipating needing this). I contemplated buying an exercise ball so I would have that as well. The hospital had a few birthing balls, but I was worried they would all be in use when I might need one! In the end I didn't buy one though.

We went to the birthing classes at the hospital and I tried to remember everything that was taught. A couple times Joe and I actually practiced going in to labor and timing the contractions (because the book said to do this!) He timed the "contractions" while I practiced breathing and he talked me through each one. We couldn't get through these few practice trials without laughing and being serious though!

I read all about early stages of labor and what it felt like, what to look for, how you'll know etc. Over the weekend of July 12-13 we finally finished the nursery (I was due on the 23rd!) and I packed my hospital bag. On the 14th I wrote in my pregnancy diary, "Last night I had some crampy-type feelings. I don't think they were BH contractions because it felt different, but it wasn't in any pattern either - just off and on. I have a dr appt tomorrow and I'll find out if I'm any more dilated."

Monday was the 14th and I was at work with these "crampy-type" feelings all day, just off and on. I was standing in front of a coworkers desk just rubbing my stomach and feeling tired when she asked if I was ok. "Yeah, just some cramps." (hello! contractions! or at least the very beginnings of contractions getting my body ready for labor.) My supervisor was leaving the next day on a business trip for a few days. Before he left at the end of that day he stopped by and said to me, "Now there isn't going to be a baby before I get back is there?" I replied, "I don't think so, but I can't promise anything!" (When I looked back on that I thought it was so funny he asked me that because Kayla was born the next day!).

Monday night I didn't sleep well at all, tossed-turned, experienced more "cramps", was uncomfortable, kept going to the bathroom, and finally the alarm went off around 5. I got up and was eating breakfast but I just didn't feel well at all and my stomach kept hurting with cramps! I called in to work and left a message basically saying I didn't feel good, but if I felt better later that morning I would try and come in.

I sat in our glider with a heating pad and an afghan wrapped around me. On the end table was the baby name book. I decided to flip through the boy's section again. We had Ethan Tyler picked out but I wasn't completely decided and I wanted to be prepared in case we did have a boy. (No we didn't know the gender). I felt so drowsy and just couldn't keep my eyes open. I finally gave in and slept off and on.

I finally admitted to myself these were contractions and I better start timing them! I started timing them at 927 and timed until 1123. ( They fluctuated from 18 minutes to 9 minutes.) I think Joe must have called then to see how I was doing. I told him I was miserable and that I thought this was it. By that time I was back on our bed trying different positions to get more comfortable - laying on the pillows, kneeling over pillows etc. Joe told me to get up and walk around (because that's what we learned in child birth class you know!) I told him I didn't feel like it! He came home from lunch, helped me get out of bed and walked me around our house with me moaning and groaning the whole time and complaining that I didn't want to walk, I just wanted to lay down in bed! I knew he was only trying to help and do what we thought we should be doing to help with labor, so I let him have a few minutes of walking then I went back to bed.

Joe had a meeting at 2:30 and asked if I was going to be ok or if I needed him to stay home with me. I didn't think we were anywhere near ready to go to the hospital so I told him to go on back to work. (At one of my OB appts the doctor asked me if I knew when it would be time to go to the hospital and I answered "when the contractions are 10-15 min apart?" He told me no because a lot of times the contractions will stop, or get further apart and that is too soon and they end up sending the mom home, especially first time moms. He told me not until the contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. I have no idea how true this is, or if I should have gone in sooner, but I listened to what he said.) So I was anticipating hours more of these contractions, and that I would probably be in labor for another 12 hrs or so, because I was a first-time mom you know and they have longer labors.

After Joe left I decided to get in the bathtub because I read/heard being in the water helps with contractions. At that point I just couldn't relax enough in the tub, it felt like the contractions were coming much closer together and much stronger. I thought I should start timing them again. I timed from 1:16 to 2:03 just to make sure they were consistent. They were. Consistently 2-5 minutes apart with one 7-minute thrown in there for good measure. This is when I started to worry. I called Joe thinking I would catch him before he left for his appt; no such luck. His coworker asked if I wanted the # where he was at and through a contraction I said "mmmhmm" but then he asked if I wanted him to call Joe for me, again, "mmhmm". Within minutes Joe called me back and I told him, "I think it's time to go to the hospital, the contraction are now 2-5 min apart." "I'll be right there." was his response and he was gone.

From the time I got out of the tub and was timing the contractions I was in the bathroom on the floor hunched over the toilet (with the lid down!) I just felt better in a hunched over position like that and didn't want to move. That's how Joe found me when he got home, and he seemed kind of hurried and frantic...gee I wonder why! He asked if I called the OB yet (no, can you do it for me?) He got them on the phone and they told him to just go on up to the hospital. He asked if I wanted him to call my mom and I said ok. Her and my sister were at my aunt's house because they were planning on flying in the next day (or maybe it was the day after). Either way he called and when my aunt answered he said, "This is Joe is Donna there?" in a hurried voice. My aunt was confused. She was thinking who is this strange guy calling Donna at my house?" She asked, "Who is this?" He said, "Joe, Michelle's husband." Then I heard my aunt loud and clear "Oh my gosh is Michelle in labor?! Donna! Michelle's in labor!" Joe said we were going to the hospital now. Afterwards I found out they were in chaos mode too...running around throwing clothes in a suitcase so they could all beat feet to the airport and pray they could get on a standby flight. Then Joe called his mom and got her voice mail so he left a message.

This whole time I'm still in the bathroom and he's trying to get me up and out to the car. I kept making excuses and telling him to go put the bag in the car first, don't forget my body pillow, make sure you bring this, rub my back through this contraction, no just one more please. I even told him to just call an ambulance to take me to the hospital because I didn't think I could make it there driving in the car. The thought of having to sit up front in the passenger seat and endure these contractions was not a pleasant one. I told Joe, "I don't think I'm going to be able to go through the rest of this labor without anything, I'm going to need an epidural when we get to the hospital." (I was going to try and deliver naturally.)

Then. Oh my. I felt a huge amount of pressure and told Joe, "I think I feel the head!" He told me "it's not the head, but come on let's get to the hospital!" I felt panicked, really thinking I could feel the head coming out so I told him, "no you have to check! Please see if you can see the head!" So he very quickly looked, said there was no head and let's get going now! (Later Joe told me when I said I thought I felt the head he could feel the blood just drain from his face.) So I finally got myself out to the car and semi-laid down on my pillow and suitcase in the back seat. Joe drove with one hand and had the other hand reached back between the seats for me to hold on to during the contractions. He kept talking to me, trying to keep me calm, I I just kept squeezing his hand and concentrated on the sound of his voice. After 3 contractions he told me we were halfway there so I should have 3 more and we would be there.

We arrived in the parking lot and when I got out of the car I told him to leave everything there and let's just get in and get me settled in the room then he could come out later and get my stuff.

We got to the front desk about 3:00. They weren't expecting us (we thought the OB's office would have called) so Joe had to do all the explaining for me (I just didn't feel like I had the energy to talk). One nurse brought us into the delivery room and told me to go change in to the gown. Joe and I went to the bathroom and all I wanted to do was stand there and rock back and forth on my feet and not move. Then I lost my mucous plug which Joe let the nurse know. She said, "well just don't push." I didn't feel like I had to push until she said that! I finally changed and then she wanted me to lay down on the bed. I said I couldn't, it was too uncomfortable and all I wanted to do was stand. I couldn't handle the contractions laying down on my back. She told me we just need to check the baby's heart beat and after that you can get up and walk around. At this point it was only her in the room and she didn't seem to be in any hurry with me.

I finally gave in and laid down, another nurse came in and they were doing their thing. Got the monitors on, were getting my information for the wrist bracelets etc. Then someone checked me. All heck broke loose. "She's complete and I've got a bulging sac of waters! Get Cindy over here NOW!" (Cindy was the midwife at the OB office who was on-call that day.) As soon as that happened I heard a pop and a gush...there went the bulging sac of waters! After that everything happened so fast and there seemed to be so many people in the room. (I don't think they were expecting me to be that far along...neither was I!).

I looked at Joe and said, "I guess it's too late to ask for anything now." and I managed a weak smile.

In minutes Cindy was there and then they were telling me whenever I felt my next contraction I could push. She told me to put my hands here, bring my legs up, sit half-way up, take a deep breath, tuck my chin in, and push for a count of 10. I said "ok" and then "what do I do again?"

All of a sudden I felt calm and peaceful and I was waiting for the next contraction which I didn't feel happening. It felt like they stopped all of a sudden. That worried me. I didn't want to get that far only to have labor stop! I think I just finally let my body relax and that's why I didn't feel it. At the time I didn't want them to think that labor had stopped so I pretended I felt the urge to push and just pushed. And pushed. And pushed.

At some point Joe's mom called the front desk. The nurse came in to the room saying "the father's mother is on the phone." I think everyone just kind of looked at her. One of the nurses in the room said, "well he's a little busy and can't talk now!" (I found out later my MIL just wanted to ask the nurse about how close we were to delivering. She said "It's going to take us about 8 hrs to get there - will there be a baby before then?")

Finally someone called out they could see the head. Then when I stopped pushing I felt the head slide back in. This happened a few times. I would push, "there's the head!" and the head would disappear. (I remember from child birth class the instructor said it was like taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back because the head would make progress, then go back in the canal). After the 3rd or 4th time of someone saying they saw the head I said, "but it keeps going back in!" On the next push right before I stopped pushing I tightened my muscles and "held" the head there while I took another breath to push (thank goodness for Kegel exercises!) -I was not letting that head go back again! Joe said he even noticed that time the head didn't go back in. Then once the head finally came out I was expecting the rest of the body to just come sliding out next with minimal effort - that's how it seemed it always happened on the birth day shows on TLC! I think Kayla's shoulder was stuck though. I was pushing, but half-heartedly and Joe said Cindy was really trying to work the shoulder out. She finally told me she needed me to give her one big push and then, then I felt my baby's body come sliding out. I immediately sat up to see if we had a boy or a girl. At the same time I looked down Joe said, "we have a girl!"

She was born at 3:45...about 45 minutes after we got to the hospital. That's how close we came to delivering at home! Funny thing is I had an OB appt that day at 3:50.

And we had no camera. Remember when we arrived I had left everything in the car thinking Joe would have time to go get it later? I was so bummed thinking of all those "first" pictures we were going to miss.

2 of my pregnant friends also had OB appts that day around the same time, they couldn't believe it when they found out I had already delivered. They were able to stop by, as did Joe's commander's wife, all before I even was showered and out of the delivery room.

My mom, aunt, and sister were able to get on a flight. While they were waiting they had something to eat. They were 2 hrs ahead of us. About 5:45 my mom said "oh my stomach doesn't feel good at all." 5:45 was 3:45 our time. I was just giving birth.

After I called my dad with the news that he was a grandfather I called my mom's parents since I knew I wouldn't be able to get a hold of my mom. My grandparents then called my uncle (my aunt's husband who is a retired Delta airlines pilot). My uncle was able to get a message to the captain on their flight. They handed a note to my aunt which read, "Please pass to Debbie XXX wife of DAL Capt in seat1D that her niece gave birth to baby girl and all is well." My aunt went back to my mom's seat and handed her the note. She and Kelly read it and tried to contain their excitement when all they wanted to do was scream. My mom said all along she just knew I was going to have a girl.

Friends of ours went to the airport to pick them up and I think they arrived around 10ish. Joe's parents had a flat tire on the way and arrived close to midnight. I was surprised everyone was allowed in since it was well past visiting hours at the hospital...but I don't think there would have been anyway nurses would have been able to keep our families from seeing Kayla that day/night!

And about being prepared? Joe didn't get to use his swim trunks, I didn't get to use the heating pad or massager or lotion. Best laid plans huh?

I told you it was long, but there is one of my most memorable moments ever.


Kathleen Marie said...

What a great story! It is amazing how different every brith story is. My first two labors (both girls) took forever....I mean forever...! My third and eldest son was born about an hour after I got to the hospital. You just never know. Your second might take forever or be born at home or the car ☺ Babies come when they are good and ready and now for another cup o' tea! Hugs to you!!

PastorMac's Ann said...

qysWow, Michelle! What an amazing story. I was hanging on your every word!

Thanks so much for playing along and sharing this most precious moment with us!

Much More Than A Mom said...

Definitely memorable! It rarely goes as planned though, eh?

The Queen Of Cute Shoes said...

Oh that is memorable!! That's exciting that it didn't take that long! I could only wish that my future labors go that quickly and smooth. Thanks for sharing!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Oh what a great story!! Jason came quickly (about 45 min-1 hr after we got to the hospital), but it wasn't that harrowing.

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

WOW what a terrific story...I loved reading your story of Kayla's birth.


Jessica said...

I did the same thing and had Patrick's swim trunks packed too... he never used them either.

Great story, I love reading birth stories!

Tracey said...

Good lord, I thought I was reading one of my own stories!! Very similar to how fast I delivered. Isn't it cool to write it all down?

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I loved reading this! I am amazed at how much you remembered! Mine is a blur of pain! I am so glad you shared it with us- great memories for you three.


Barb said...

You're right - this was long - but I savored every word of it, Michelle. I love hearing people's birth stories. It's funny. My "babies" are now 25 and 27 and I still remember every single detail from start to finish, just like you do. You never forget.

I can only imagine how Joe must have felt when you said you could feel the head - he probably thought HE'D be delivering Kayla. No wonder all the color drained out of his face. LOL

Wonderful story!

Sara said...

thanks for sharing that story :) Giving birth to Nathaniel is my most memorable moment too :)

annie said...

Great birth story! My four are all different and more fun to remember than experience :)
What a blessing they are!
My Life as Annie!

Air Force Family said...

Oh Michelle, what a beautiful and memorable story! You tell it so beautifully as well.

Catch said...

I love birth stories...your so lucky your first time was 45 minutes...mine was 23 hours!!!! The second time was only 6 hours though and the third time was 5 or 6. I remember them all though. I think they are the greatest memories a Mother has. I sure enjoyed yours! Glad Joe didnt have to deliver that little girl!!!! LoL

Jessica Morris said...

I loved the birth story too! I found your blog from the critique my blog web site - your daughter is so beautiful and has amazing eyes! I love the name of your blog!!

Cat Lady said...

Thanks for sharing that! That was a great birth story!

Tammy said...

Michelle, what an exciting birth story! I was riveted to the screen as I read! I'm so glad you all really didn't see her head crowning in the bathroom!
My first baby came late in the afternoon after my water broke at 5 am- but was followed by major complication with me and a rather scary time.
However, my second one had so much prayer surrounding it...I delivered with no complications and it all went really quick...but not too quick to have my epidural, though! ;)

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story!

LauraJ said...

what an awesome memorable moment!! such detail is amazing, did you write it down somewhere? after 7 years and then some i dont think i could remember that much about A being born. i do remember the head playing peekaboo and the doctor putting her fingers on each side of his head to hold it there so i could push him out. i also remember putting my hand on his tummy when he was placed on tummy and thinking he was so warm!!

Beck said...

What a wonderful birth story!

Anonymous said...

Awww, birth stories always make me cry and your's was no different! Funny how each and every birth is different. I'm gearing up for #3 and can't wait to see how it all plays out!

Linda said...

That was indeed a memorable - precious - moment. I just can't believe they told you to wait that long. I fully expected Joe to deliver the baby!!
Wonderful story Michelle.

Nisa said...

I love this story. I didn't know you got your mom a note on the plane telling her she was a grandma... That's cool. I knew you were having a girl too...
love you,

Nisa said...

I love this story. I didn't know you got your mom a note on the plane telling her she was a grandma... That's cool. I knew you were having a girl too...
love you,

A Special Family said...

What a fabulous story, it brought tears to my eyes!
I am sorry I haven't been able to check your blog in the last 3 weeks, I have had no internet access at home (I moved) and am not allowed to check at work!
I have missed those wonderful Kayla stories and seeing her smiling face!!!

A Special Family said...

What a fabulous story, it brought tears to my eyes!
I am sorry I haven't been able to check your blog in the last 3 weeks, I have had no internet access at home (I moved) and am not allowed to check at work!
I have missed those wonderful Kayla stories and seeing her smiling face!!!

Anonymous said...

I love this story! It brought back memories of when i went through labor with my kids. Tiffany was fast like Kayla and of course you know how long your Godchild took.I remember calling your Mom and saying I had a dream Michelle had her baby and it was a girl. I remember how shocked she was and i was when she told me you had the baby. She wouldn't tell me what you had but i knew from the tone in her voice it was a girl.I remember talking to you on the phone when you were in the hospital and you were on cloud nine.
love ya.

PEA said...

Oh Michelle, I so enjoyed reading your story and isn't that always the case, you think you're so prepared but when it actually happens, forget the plans! lol I just made it to the hospital on time when I had Corey, they had no time to prep me or anything, his head was already showing! hehe The most wonderful feeling though...how completely pain free you feel after the baby is out:-) Hugs xox

chelle said...

I was glued to my computer screen ... reading this totally made my day! Thank you for sharing!

~Melissa~ said...

That is an amazing story Michelle!

Miranda said...

Wow, Close call :) I was induced and Shaylee came a-lot quicker than expected. I only pushed for about a minute....Really. The midwife was a little freaked out. She barely had enough time to set up.

K.T. said...

WOW that is quite a story!!!Great Post!!

JennaG said...

I see everyone commented about this story! I love birth stories--we should have a tour of birth stories or something! What an experience for you--you sound like my sisters. They both delivered all their children shortly after arriving at the hospital. I feel a little left out!

Air Force Family said...

Just dropping by to say hello! I'll be back later to see if you've posted anything for today.

Amy said...

What a great captivating story! You had me clinging on every word. My mom went into labor and I was born 1 hour later. She didn't have a chance to breath before I came! Then again I was 3 weeks late!

As far as my post yesterday~yes, it is true. And it's not the first time it has happened either. I don't know if people can't stand me being happy despite my circumstances or what. Like I said~I feel sorry for them.

Have you printed this story off for Kayla's baby book yet?

Jenny said...

What an amazing story!

Man, I love a good birth story.

SiouxSue said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. It has been 37 years for me--the last time, and I wish I had written it all down. Be sure you keep it!

Tammy and Parker said...

I LOVED reading this story! It just made my whole evening!

Thanks so much for sharing!

The Barkers said...

That was fun to read! I went into labor unexpectedly at 34 weeks! My sister-in-law and I were talking by the pool on a Sunday afternoon. I knew the baby had moved down that morning. I felt different etc...I told her, ya know if I go early I'm not ready at all. So, she decided to help me pack bags that afternoon. While packing, my water broke and we were at the hospital around 4:30. I had Jonas the next morning at 11:24. We actually got everything ready, even cameras! We also managed to get Joe a change of clothes. He had to meet us at the hospital in his police uniform. I hope it doesn't happen like that if we have a next time!

Michelle said...

Love hearing your/her story, Michelle!

Julie Bo Boolie said...

Such a powerful blog.. such an amazing story. I'm sitting here with tears running down my face.

Thank you for sharing this most memorable and intimate moment.

Julie Bo Boolie (who's having trouble with blogger today!)

Becca said...

What a great birth story!


Anonymous said...

That is a fantastic story and wowsa, are you a hero! What a memory! I wish I had a birth story anywhere near as eciting, but lemme tell you - scheduled C-sections sure drain the drama right outta L&D.

A perfect way for your perfect little girl to enter the world. Unexpected yet full of synchronicity.

Rae said...

That's such a great memory! It was a long post indeed but it felt much more like a captivating story. I couldn't have stopped reading even if I wanted to. I'm happy everything went well during labor, besides the pain and all. I hope my future labors go that quickly. Thank you for sharing this memory with us! =)

Christina said...

Great post, an amazing story! And of course, we already know Kayla is amazing too.

To answer you onw hat you wrote on my blog about the shoes, that is great he is sending you some more! Ask him to send you Betty, they are soooo cute :-)

Melany aka Supermom said...

I loved reading this. I just got tears in my eyes. Beautiful

smileymamaT said...

Wow that was fantastic! Thanks for sharing that, I coudn't take my eyes off it!!
I forget some of the details of my 3 girls being born, but with the last, the DR told us to get there at 10-min apart. So we did, at 3 am in the worst snowstorm of January, and no plow had gone by, we made it to the hosp. and then waited 12 more hours before she arrived! Jeesh!

Laurie said...

I've seen you on Shannon's blog so many times and am so glad I finally stopped by yours in time to read this incredible story. Kayla is precious, absolutely precious. Thanks for sharing the miracle of her birth with us!

Barbara H. said...

That was a close call! Glad you got to the hospital in time! I can imagine your mom getting the news on the plane and having a hard time containing herself.

Beth said...

I came across your blog through a link from another.

That is an AWESOME story!! We have two little girls (2 and 1). We took natural childbirth (Bradley method) classes and also had natural, unmedicated births with both girls! We arrived at the hospital at 2:30 pm and Bella was born at 3:06 pm. Brooklyn was born at HOME at around 3:57 am and we made it to the hospital around 4:30 or 5:00 am. Brooklyn just came SOOOO fast that by the time we were trying to leave for the hospital (we had two people on call to sit with Bella, 15 months at the time and neither answered their phones) my water broke and it was too late to go anywhere (with both of mine, I have labor, water breaks and then delivery within 5 minutes, so leaving at that point wasn't an option!).

Best of luck with the new baby and Kayla is an absolute doll!