Parker's Birth Story (Sherry's Version)
October 13, 2005
One week has passed since I gave birth to you. I have been struggling to find the energy and words to write the story of your delivery. I am hoping that your Mom and Dad, and my friends, Carol and Kim, who supported me during the final weeks of pregnancy, will write their own version of your birth from their perspectives.
Around 1:00 A.M. on Thursday, October 6, 2005, I woke up having contractions. At 40 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy, I was excited about the idea of delivering you. I could not help but wonder if it was a false alarm, so I tried to go back to sleep. Each subsequent contraction awoke me, and by 2:00 A.M. I was fairly confident that you were on your way. I was beginning to feel sick to my stomach during the contractions, and at one point I did vomit. I decided to take a shower and wake up my sweet husband, Paul, with the news that today would be the big day. He helped me work through the contractions until around 3:00 A.M., at which time I had some bloody show. Paul was so excited that he woke Kim and Carol up. They immediately came to my bedroom and helped cover the carpet and bed just in case my water broke (fat chance – details later). I remember pacing back and forth between my bathroom and my bed, feeling as though I was wearing a track in the carpet. With some of the contractions I leaned against Paul, with others I got down on my knees and held onto the edge of my bed. I did my best to use my hypnobirthing breathing, which really seemed to help. I had wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but by 4:00 A.M. the contractions were getting harder to deal with and I felt the need to get to the hospital. Paul woke our oldest son up and told him that we were leaving. A neighbor would be checking on the boys at a decent hour.
At 4:40 A.M. our group arrived at the hospital. The nurse at the desk was not a nice woman. It seemed as though our presence was an inconvenience. My midwives had told me that I could labor in a laboring tub at the hospital, but Nurse Hatchet informed us that the only room that accommodates the tub was already taken. The truth is that the tub can be accommodated by any of the rooms, but that only one room has a drain in the floor. Obviously the nurses do not want the extra work of emptying it in any of the other rooms--understandable, yes, but a bummer for me nonetheless. Next I was informed that I would have to go to an exam room so it could be determined whether or not I was in labor. Carol and Kim were not allowed in, as I could only have one person with me. Who makes up the rules anyway? Paul told the nurse that this was my sixth child, and that I know when I am in labor, but rules are rules. I had the pleasure (sarcasm, sarcasm) of enduring a 20 minute strip test in a reclined Midwife’s chair, and a cervical check to boot. I was informed that I was 3 centimeters dilated, 80% effaced, and the baby was at -3 station. Needless to say, I was admitted into the hospital.
By 5:10 A.M. I was getting settled into room 15 at the hospital. I asked Paul to call your Mom and Dad. I knew that they would get to the hospital as soon as your Grandma arrived to take care of your big brother. Paul, Kim, and Carol helped me work through the contractions, which were getting closer together and more intense. They kept feeding me ice chips so I would stay hydrated. I had hoped for a drug free delivery with you, but I was under so much stress at the time of your birth that I decided to ask for an epidural so I would be better suited to deal with all the emotions that were invading my mind and body. By 6:45 A.M. the epidural was in place and I began feeling much more relaxed.
Your Mom and Dad arrived at the hospital just after 7:00 A.M., and joined us in my room at 7:15. They were visibly nervous and excited. I know they could not wait to meet you. They said that your big brother was sick, so he would probably not be able to come to the hospital to see you. That made me sad.
Not much happened between 7:00 and 9:00 A.M. I could tell that I was having contractions, but they were not close together. Robin, my Midwife, checked my cervix at 9:00 A.M. I was still 3 centimeters dilated, but was 100% effaced. She noted that you were -2 to -3 station, and that you had moved your body over to my left side. Robin tried to break my water with an amnio hook, but the bag would not break. My body had created a strong cushion to help you into this world. Robin decided to let the bag of water alone. It would break at a better time. She asked me if it was okay to start a Pitocin drip in order to move my labor along. I was fine with that.
At 9:32 A.M., the Pitocin was started off at 6 ml. At 9:57 A.M. it was upped to 12 ml. Robin checked my cervix at 10:10 A.M. At that time I was 5 cm dilated and you were at 1 – 1 station. The contractions were beginning to cause a fair amount of pain, so I was given more medicine through my epidural. I asked for just enough to take the edge off, but no more than that. I wanted the drugs to wear off before I began pushing.
The Pitocin was increased again at 10:30 A.M. to 18 ml, and one final time at 10:50 A.M. to 24 ml. At one point between 9:30 and 11:00 A.M., I was overcome with emotion. Your Mom and Dad left the room for a bit and I let the tears flow. You and I had spent so many months together. It was almost time for you to leave me.
At 11:13 A.M. I felt the urge to push. Robin checked me at 11:15 and said that I was complete and that you were at +2 station. I had already decided early on in my pregnancy that you would be the first baby that I would deliver without those stupid stirrups. You would not come into this world with me pushing you uphill. I remember the feeling of your Mom’s sweaty palm holding my hand as I pushed. I remember being surrounded by my husband and two close friends, Carol and Kim. I remember feeling blessed.
Robin was content to let me push in my own way and in my own time. I pushed for awhile on my right side, then on my left. You did not like it at all when I was on my left side, so I switched back to my right. I felt as if I were pushing for an eternity and nothing was happened. Robin assured me that you were coming down. I switched to a hands and knees position, but the monitor would not stay on that way, so I went back to laying on my right side. At one point, the chief OB at Robin’s practice decided to make his way into our room. I was concentrating on pushing, so I missed his snide comments to Robin. Leave it to a uppity doctor to try to interfere with a normal birth. From what I understand, he wanted my feet in stirrups, but Robin stood her ground.
At 12:05 P.M., after 40 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy, 11 hours of labor, and 50 minutes of pushing, you were born! A handsome little boy with dark hair was placed on my abdomen. I remember how your skin felt on mine, soft and warm. And I remember your first cry, loud and high-pitched. Your Mom cut your cord. It seems that you were only with me for a moment before being whisked over to the warmer. Your Mom and Dad were crying. In fact, I think everyone in the room was crying. Your Apgar scores were 8 and 9. You weighed in at 8 pounds and 9.8 ounces and were 20.75 inches long. Your blood sugar was 65. Parker, you were perfect in every way. Paul, Carol, Kim, your Mom and Dad, and I had guessed at your time of birth and weight during my labor. Your Mom came closest on both—she had guessed 9:24 A.M and 8 lb. 6 oz.
My Midwife and others marveled at the true knot in your cord that must have been formed early on in the pregnancy. We were all glad that the knot did not cause you harm. Robin collected your cord blood with assistance from Carol and Kim. I’m not sure what time the placenta was delivered, but I remember feeling as though I were about to give birth to another baby. The placenta all appeared to be in one piece. Robin checked me and found that I had not torn. That was hard to believe considering how big you were.
After awhile, you were returned to me so I could present you to your Mom. She was so happy to finally hold you in her arms. Your Dad felt the same way. They looked at you and cuddled with you for some time. Then it was my turn to officially say hello to you. I could have looked at your beautiful face forever. I nursed you until you were sleepy and then gave you back to your Mom.
Paul left the hospital and came back with our boys and with food. Robert, Tyler, and Jeffrey were so excited to meet you. They washed their hands and took turns holding the precious little boy who had shared their Mom for many months. Rob tried to act like he was not eager to hold you, but I could tell that his heart melted when you were in his arms. Tyler has been begging for a little brother or sister for months now, so holding you made him feel more strongly about his cause. I will never forget the big grin on Jeffrey’s face as he held you in his arms and looked upon your precious face.
After my boys spent some time with you, it was time to go to the nursery. You disappeared for a very long two hours. Your Mom and Dad were hungry, so they left to get a bite to eat. Paul and Kim left with the boys, and Carol stayed with me. She helped me in and out of the shower. I felt much better once I was cleaned up.
I decided that I wanted to go home as soon as possible, so I asked my nurse, JoAnn, to find out when Robin would release me. I think Robin would have been okay with me going home that day, but the nosey doctor that I mentioned early decided that I should stay for 24 hours. I felt torn between wanting to spend some time with you and wanting to be at home with my family. I knew my boys would worry about me if I was away from home overnight, and I also knew that I would not get much rest in the hospital, as it seemed cold and lonely there. I was hoping that the hospital would let your Mom and Dad stay in my room if I left, so they could take care of you rather than you being put in the nursery.
At 6:40 P.M., 6 hours and 35 minutes after your birth, I went AWOL from the hospital. Okay, so it wasn’t really AWOL, but it sure did feel like it. I had to sign paperwork saying that I was leaving AMA (against medical advice). It made me feel like a prisoner who was trying to escape. Your Mom and Dad returned you to the nursery so they could see me off. Your Mom and Dad gave me a hug and we said our tearful goodbyes. They had presented me with a plant, flowers, and balloon after your birth, so I did not leave the hospital empty-handed. In the spring I will put the plant in my yard. Every time I look at it I will think of you.
By 7:00 P.M. I was at home with my friends and family. I knew that I had made the right decision about fleeing the hospital. Paul, Carol, and Kim took good care of me. Carol went back home on the 8th, and Kim followed suit on the 9th. It has been too quiet around here since they left.
One week has passed since I gave birth to you, Parker. I thought that I had cried all the tears that I could possibly cry, but here I sit here with more hot, salty tears rolling down my face—tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I shall never forget the little boy had a grand time head-butting my cervix, and yet spared my ribs. I shall never forget your kicks and punches, or your precious hiccups. I shall never forget the way you looked into my eyes in the hospital. I am not sure if I will ever see you again, but I will love you, even if it is from a distance. You will always be in my heart. Love, Sherry
Special thanks to Kim for taking such wonderful notes on the delivery. I would have been lost without them. And to Shannon for the comfy pajamas and slippers. I love them!
Final Pregnancy Pics and Birth Pics
It has taken me days to get through all the pictures, but I am finally finished. Woohoo!
These are the pictures of my final weeks of pregnancy (39 weeks on). I cannot express in words how happy I am that Kim and Carol were with me and my family to celebrate the end of my pregnancy. Every SM should be as lucky as me when it comes to having extraordinary friends like Carol and Kim.
And here are the pictures of precious Parker's birth. If you don't like the slideshow option, just click on the link at the top left that says "Back to Photobucket Album," and you will see the thumbnails instead. Just to help with the who's who in the pictures, Paul (my hubby) is wearing a white t-shirt, Kim is in the light blue shirt and denim shorts, Carol is in the black shirt, and Amy and Pete are in red. Some of the pictures are a bit graphic, so you may not want your children present when viewing them.