I am the luckiest guy in the world to have a beautiful, happy and healthy family! This is going to be my most important journey ever!
Here is the birth story as written up by the doula:
Well, Amelia, everyone waited patiently (more or less) for your arrival; especially your mama. You kept everyone in suspense about when you would come until the very last minute!
On October 8th, Janelle agreed to try and entice you to come and went to St. Vincent to begin preparations. You didn’t seem to mind too much and by morning we thought it was likely you would probably make an appearance sometime that day…
October 9th, 6am, mom is feeling the changes that will ultimately bring you. Things are calm, and Matt and Janelle are excited, pensive, hopeful, nervous, wondering how your birthday will unfold. Nancy is our nurse in the early morning and she is helpful and kind. Janelle is leaking fluid by now and it’s clear and baby is doing well. Ctx are a little frequent, so nurse gives more fluids and things quiet down . Janelle is tolerating them fine.
Room is busy all morning. Nurse Robin comes in to begin care. Olivia, a student nurse joins the group and an intern, Dr. Brotherson, stops in as well.
7:15am Janelle up out of bed for a walk around the hall and then back to bed. It’s nice to refresh and stretch. She eats a few animal crackers and Matt goes out for a stretch and a break. The ctx are changing a little, sharper. Janelle is calm and collected and has a great attitude. She is smiling and expectantly waiting and observing what is happening inside and outside.
8:10 Stephanie comes in to check on Janelle and learns she is 1-2 ct. She releases Janelle’s water – still clear and good – and places the balloon to help dilation. She also places a device to measure ctx strength and starts Pitocin.
9:05am – Matt is softly talking with Janelle, rubbing her back and encouraging her. Janelle is still in good humor and shares that pressure is building. She would much rather be upright, but is confined to laying/reclining for a while after last exam and rupture of her waters to make sure baby’s cord stays in a safe place. At this point, she has lots of questions – great! Robin, our nurse, is very good at explaining and trying to answer all questions Janelle might have. (5)
9:40 Janelle is on the floor on hands and knees. Ctx are pretty regular and we resist turning up Pit any further for now.
9:50 Janelle is back to leaning on bed (6)
10:10 Janelle tries leaning on back of raised bed.
10:30 Starting to vomit, ctx are getting stronger and she expresses some worry for the first time. Janelle receives some Nubain to take the edge off and it seems to help for a while. She is able to rest a little more easily between ctx and Matt actually snoozes a bit in the chair. I rub Janelle’s legs for a while and this seems to help her to relax. (6)
1pm Balloon cath is removed and Janelle’s cervix is 4-5 cts. Labor is much harder now and Janelle is needing more support and encouragement from Matt and I. We take turns doing a press to help open her pelvis and this gives her a welcome relief. Even Olivia pitches in to try and help. Janelle is constantly on the move now, trying to find positions that give her relief. The ctx are very frequent at every 2-3 minutes and they require all of her attention and focus. (36)
3:15 Steph finds that Janelle’s cervix is 5-6 cts dilated. By now, Janelle is very, very tired and has coped incredibly well with artificially strengthened contractions that come very frequently. Baby is tolerating the augmented labor, but it’s starting to wear on Janelle. She requests an epidural. Dr. Semple comes up very quickly and places epidural. By 4pm, Janelle is resting comfortably, so everyone else takes a rest too! We get Janelle all tucked in, Matt retires to the recliner and I go to next room to sit awhile.
5:30pm Everyone is still resting, but awake. Samantha is our new nurse and she’s got lots of energy! It’s nice in a way to help infuse the atmosphere with new energy, especially with Janelle being confined to bed now and feeling a little static. (60)
6:00pm Samantha notes that the ctx don’t seem to be registering and she is being asked to increase the Pitocin. Suspicious that ctx are actually very strong and frequent, she palpates the old-fashioned way (yay!) and finds that Janelle is contracting just fine – and strongly! She won’t increase the Pit because of her findings and relays info to Stephanie. Steph comes in and finds that Janelle is now almost complete! Baby is doing fine and tolerating labor well. We help Janelle to change positions from back to side to back to side to help baby’s position. Janelle is still comfortable, but she can feel pressure increasing. Steph suspects that the baby may be posterior and that’s part of reason we keep trying to help Janelle shift position to help move baby to a better place.
7:25 Janelle tests pushing a little. By 7:40 she’s pushing with more confidence. She’s able to hold her own legs easily and push with lots of strength. Now we have Nurse Laura helping.
8:20 Dr. Tseng comes in to evaluate and see if he can turn baby. He asks for epidural to be turned down and Pitocin to go up. He feels that in ½ hour, when Janelle is able to feel more sensation that she will be able to push more effectively. So that’s what we do and then we help Janelle to get on hands and knees on bed. This position will help baby to turn. Janelle can take a break from pushing unless she can’t resist and wait for contractions to bring baby even lower and gather her strength for the pushing efforts that lie ahead.
9:35 Janelle is back to pushing in earnest. She can definitely feel more and it is helping her efforts to move baby. She pushes and pushes. She is so amazingly strong. She likes to get in as many pushes as she can every time she feels pressure to push and her pushes just get better, with her last pushes always being her best! Every ctx, she’s ready to go and asking to push and then pushing for as long as she can before resting. All the while, she is still holding her own legs and supporting herself. We help to guide her by counting, which she likes. It seems to help keep her on track and remember to stop for breath. This is really hard work and Janelle is feeling the strain. It’s exhausting and long and she wonders if she is really making progress. She’s hot, thirsty, hungry, tired and has to keep pulling energy from some mysterious place. She looks at Matt after another effort of pushing and says “You better love me!” to which Matt replies, “I do, hon. I do.”
Janelle continues to work hard. Baby is still tolerating labor and Pitocin. Janelle’s primary effort is to get baby to move under the pubic bone. Steph has to consider whether Janelle has the steam to do that and then still finish bringing baby the rest of the way. She explains that she wants Dr. Tseng to come assess Janelle and the baby and then make a call on how to proceed. Dr. Tseng does so and feels that Janelle is pushing with much more effectiveness and that she can birth the baby on her own if she continues. (!!!!!!) So that’s exactly what Janelle does. She pushes and pushes and pushes. Such effort in another scenario could have birthed multiple babies!! Who is this passenger that Janelle is working so hard to bring?!?! She finally gets the baby past the tough and works for another hour, pushing and pushing. We see more and more of the baby. It won’t be long now and we keep encouraging Janelle who is giving it everything she’s got.
11:55 Dr. Tseng is watching as Janelle has gotten the baby to crowning. Janelle is so, so, so close and Dr. Tseng sees that she is exhausted. He asks her to push and he helps her and baby with a small vacuum to help bring baby the last bit of way. Janelle births the baby’s head!! A pause and then Stephanie helps guide the shoulder. Baby is no longer posterior and has rotated into better position. A longer pause and Stephanie works on guiding the baby’s body while Janelle pushes some more. This is not a tiny baby!! One more push and baby is out. Wow! She’s here! It’s 12:01, October 10th, and she’s here on her own time! Welcome Amelia!