Sunday, May 31, 2015

Magnolia Quinn

Our little one has finally arrived. I was beginning to think I might be pregnant forever, but she's now almost two weeks old and I kind of can't believe it. 

My due date was May 13, 2015. I don't really believe in due dates, only "due months" but my midwife, Kathleen, had told me (at 33 weeks along) that the baby was very low and when she decided it was time, she was "going to be coming very fast." I also hate being checked, and don't really see the point in it since dilation can change so quickly and doesn't guarantee anything anyway, so I usually ask to not be checked. At 33 weeks I was in a car accident with a semi, so they checked me because I had had to go to the ER with never-ending contractions. She said I was a 3.5-4 then. Even though I know that didn't mean anything, like I said, I have walked around at a 3.5 for weeks with my other kids, I was still a little excited that she said she was so low and I was already dilated that much. 

At 38 weeks, I asked to be checked again just to see what had been happening. The baby was SO low and my belly looked so weird because of it, I was starting to get worried she would be early and we wouldn't have anyone here to watch the girls. A different midwife, Allison, checked me and said the baby was very high and I was "maybe a 1." 

I was pretty disappointed. I decided I really, really didn't like that midwife :)

Cody's mom was coming on my due date, and the day before that I had my 40 week appointment. I had a different midwife, Amy, check me again and told her what had been happening. She said I was a 3.5 for sure and maybe the baby had moved last time, causing the cervix to not be as stretched, but she said she was definitely low. She said she could feel my water was bulging out - which I took to be a good sign that it would break any day!

Tami got there and we got to go out to dinner, go to the Stockyards, and watch Pride and Prejudice just waiting for the baby to come. Cody and I would walk every night after the girls went to bed and time my contractions. I have never been able to go into labor on my own and I have been praying this whole pregnancy that my body would figure it out and my labor would start without pitocin. When we would go on our walks I would have regular contractions ever 2-3 minutes apart the whole time we were walking, but I could almost always walk through them and talk through them and I knew they weren't really doing anything. When we would get through with our walks, they would stop. 


Charlotte was 4 days late, and my water had broken in the middle of the night. I kept hoping and praying that every time I woke up to pee in the night my water would break like it had with her. No such luck. We got closer and closer to Tami leaving (May 19) and still no baby. I started feeling really guilty because I really thought we would've had a baby sometime when she was there! On Monday morning (May 18), after walking and being active all weekend, I decided to call the midwife to see if I could just come in and be checked and see if I had made any progress. I wanted to be able to tell Tami that SOMETHING was happening and her coming wasn't (yet) in vain! 


The midwife, Kathleen, told me that because I was 5 days past due, I needed to come in and have the baby observed to make sure she was ok and they could also check me then. However, I had to go to the hospital to do it because they didn't have the equipment to monitor me in the office. I felt pretty silly going to the hospital when nothing was happening - they checked us in and kept asking what was happening and why we were there (Kathleen said she would call and tell them we were coming but I'm assuming she didn't), and I just kept saying, "The midwife told me to..." Because I wasn't having any contractions and I knew I wan't in labor! They got me all set up and started monitoring the baby and my contractions. After a while the nurse came back and said I had been having pretty non-stop contractions, but they were so small they definitely weren't doing anything. However, the baby was doing great so that was nice to hear. 

Finally the on-call midwife, Lindsay, came in (so many different midwives!!) and checked me. She said I was... 3.5. She told us that we could get induced that day or any day that week, or we could go home. She told me some different induction options (balloon -which she said wouldn't work on me, a pill that could start contractions but could only be administered every 4 hours and then nothing else could be done, or pit) and left Cody and me alone to talk about it. 

We eventually decided (after a lotttttt of talking and me crying) that I would get induced that day. We both came to the realization that my body just doesn't go into labor on it's own and will probably always need a little jump start. I could've waited until 42 weeks (the longest they'll let you wait) and I'd probably still be pregnant right now. My body just needs a little extra help and that's ok...even though it didn't seem ok to me then!

They took me to my room in the hospital and the nurses came in and started bustling all around to get me started. Then Cody started having second thoughts about me getting induced and the whole questioning myself about induction started again..

We kept going with it and my nurse got me on an IV. I swear I hate IV's so much. They kept saying I didn't have any good veins (FIRST time in my life I've ever heard that) and finally found one - the nurse found it in my arm by feeling for it with her eyes closed. Because it was so deep, she kept apologizing even before she started (sure made me excited about what was coming...) and afterwards was saying, "I'm so sorry, it was so low I had to dig around for it a bit." ... Thanks.

Lindsay said they would start the piton on a 2 and go up by 2's every thirty minutes, which meant I would be getting two drops of pit every hour, except every 30 minutes I would go up by 2..So at 11:30 am they started me on 2 drops every hour. At noon they wanted to increase it to 4 drops, but because my body is so sensitive to these drugs, I wanted to go up by 1, and not necessarily every hour. (Does any of that make sense?) The nurses were so kind to really do whatever I wanted and go at my own pace. I knew that labor could go ask slowly or (basically) quickly as I wanted it to - by seriously increasing the pit- but it scares me so much because of the terrible experience I had with it when I had Chloe. When I had Charlotte, I handled it well and I was only on a 2 then, so I didn't want much more than that. However, because my water hadn't broken yet this time I knew I would need more.

Anyway. 

They started me on the pit and kept increasing it throughout the day. I had Erica, my friend and photographer there to take pictures and Cody was there taking good care of me. It was nice to move around and be able to eat anytime, although I would've loved to not be hooked up to monitors or an IV. 

The contractions kept getting stronger as they kept increasing the pit drip. My nurses were great and young, which I was happy about. Something about having a nurse that's my same age, in my same stage of life, was kind of comforting. My nurse, Nyssa (Nice-ah) spent some time in our room just talking to us about our other kids and our town and schools and it just seemed normal. Then there was a shift change and we got a new nurse, Becky. She was an older lady, which at the time I was kind of sad, but mostly was worried because I asked when I could get in the tub (which I wanted to do SO badly this whole time) and she said, "They like you to wait until you're at least six sonometers dilated." ....Sonometers?? You mean centimeters? However, I think it was just a slip because she ended up being really fantastic as well. 

I kept joking that I wanted to have the baby before 8 pm because it was the season premier of Bachelorette that night and I didn't want to miss it. Also, I really liked Lindsay and wanted her to deliver me. Nyssa had said that at 7 pm they switched and it would be Allison that would be on call to deliver. I know this sounds awful, but I really, really didn't want Allison to deliver me just because when she had checked me all those weeks ago I had left being so mad, so I knew I needed to step up the pit drip. Around 6 pm I was at a 6 of pit and did not want to go past that.

Finally after waiting around and "laboring" alllll day (my contractions had gotten to the point that I needed everything to be quiet during them, and would lean over on the bed while Cody rubbed my back. I would have to really concentrate during them, but after they were over could go back to talking and joking and moving. Also, I labored mostly on the birth ball) the midwife came in to check me. By this point it was 7:30 and Lindsay was gone. I was pretty sad she wouldn't be delivering me, but couldn't really do anything about it at this point. Allison came in to check me and had a student there who she had do all the talking. Wendy (the student) checked me and said I had progressed to a....3.5! 

Seriously?! I had been doing this all day and nothing had changed? I was so disappointed. She and Allison told me that because they hadn't done anything they couldn't reverse (like breaking my water), that we could go home if we wanted, or we could continue to up the pit drip. I had no idea what we wanted to do, so they said they would all leave for 10 minutes to give us time to think about it. Allison, Wendy, Becky and Erica all left to let Cody and me talk it over. 

As soon as they left I told Cody I needed to go to the bathroom. The entire end of my pregnancy, my tailbone has hurt so badly. Sitting was so painful because the baby's head was pushing on my tailbone and it felt like it was broken. So sitting on the birthing ball and being in the hospital bed all day long had been awful. When I got off the bed, I realized I was leaking. I sat on the birthing ball because I had a contraction right away, and was leaking and bleeding a little bit. I tried going into the bathroom and had another contraction that I had to stop and hold onto the sink. I remember at that point it was really painful and I told Cody, "This is just miserable!" I was starting to get scared that things were really moving and this was really happening now and was I really ready to have a baby?! 

I finally got to the toilet - seriously the best laboring place. Afterwards I told Cody that the toilet is my "laboring happy place." Everyone should labor on the toilet. It felt so good to not have anything pushing on my tailbone I should've been sitting there all day!! After being on the toilet for probably 1 minute, my contractions started getting really bad. Cody kept coming in asking if I needed help and saying we needed to decide what we were going to do, but I was in so much sudden pain from the contractions I couldn't think about anything else. All of a sudden I realized I was sweating - I had one drop of sweat that rolled down my face and that never happens to me. I get sweaty if I'm really working out or hot, but I never have sweat that rolls down my face. After I realized I was sweating, I also realized...I was pushing! I had my hands between my legs and was pushing down on the toilet seat to lift myself up and was totally bearing down. 

I started to get really freaked out because not even 10 minutes ago I was only a 3.5 and now I was pushing. I thought about a video I had seen online of a lady that had birthed in a birth center that started pushing at a 5, but the midwife had to really help her through it and I was thinking if I was pushing alone at a 3.5 I was going to tear like crazy and it would be awful. I started yelling for Cody and he came running in. When he came in I was sweating like crazy. It was rolling down my face so much it was like someone had dumped water on my head. I told him to get a hair tie for me but of course he didn't know where they were and neither did I so he grabbed some towels to try to cool me down. I yelled at him that I was pushing and he asked if he should get the nurse and I said yes. He ran out again to push the button and just then Becky came in. He told her I was pushing and she rushed into the bathroom. I had another contraction and was pushing really hard - I didn't care about anything, there was so much pressure I just had to push. All of a sudden there was a big pop and my water broke. It was such a sudden relief I honestly thought the baby had come out at the same time! I was so scared she was in the toilet! Luckily she hadn't :) Becky pulled the little cord by the toilet that calls for help and just started screaming, "Help! Help!" Two other nurses bolted in and they all helped me get back to the bed. I made it to the foot of the bed before having another contraction - not quite as strong anymore and had to stop but I was leaking everywhere so I said, "I'm making a mess!" and Becky made me keep walking. I told her I couldn't move but she told me I could and keep walking. 

During this, Cody had texted Erica to come back, but couldn't get ahold of her. I thought for sure she would miss it all! He called her a couple times and texted and I don't know when, but all of a sudden she was there along with Allison, Wendy and about 5 nurses I had never seen. I was laying in the bed, which had been the most uncomfortable and painful the entire day during contractions, but every time I said I wanted to move they said she was coming too fast and I couldn't. I kept saying I wanted to get in the tub, but again they said she was coming too fast and they didn't have time to fill it up. Finally someone just turned the water on I think to appease me, which actually did make me feel better, but then after about a minute the turned it off. I remember thinking - That much water will not be enough for me!! Too bad I never got to get in. 

Allison said she was going to check me and told me to tell her when my contraction was over so she could. I appreciated that so much. When I had Charlotte, I had a nurse come in that I had never seen before that said she was going to check me. I was right in transition and said no, no because I didn't want anyone touching me. She was so rude and said, "Fine, then I'll check you during a contraction." So I felt obligated to let her check me then instead of waiting until I could handle it better. When Allison actually asked, I felt so respected and like this really was my process and they were here for me. I wasn't an inconvenience - I was important and my feelings mattered. When my contraction was over, I told her and she said I was an 8. I remember thinking I would have time to go get in the tub then because I still had two centimeters to go (ha! it always takes me about 2 seconds to go from an 8-10), and when I suggested it they again said no, we didn't have time and she was coming right then.


After a minute of laying on my right side they told me I needed to roll over to my left. I'm assuming it had something to do with the baby or umbilical cord but I remember thinking, "I can't even roll over in the middle of the night in my own comfortable bed with this giant belly and you want me to do it now!?" Luckily I made the trek :) but when I rolled over I was so close to the edge we all thought I was going to fall off the bed. Wendy told me to scoot back but I was holding onto the bars near the top for dear life (80% because of pain 20% to not fall off), so Allison said I was fine and not to make me move again, which I also really appreciated.

I am a loud, loud laborer. Making low, moaning sounds always helps me really have more power in the labor process, even though it's kind of embarrassing. This time around, I was really, really loud. The one contraction I had after my water broke before I was in the bed wasn't too painful compared to the ones on the toilet, but by the time I got on the bed, they were awful. So, so painful and because my water had broken and my pit level was a 6 (Becky had turned it off in the bathroom, but it was still all in me) they were SO hard and intense and seemed never ending. I couldn't wrap my mind around what was happening and how to get in control of my body and how to relax during them like I had with Charlee. I kept grabbing onto Cody's neck and his shirt and literally trying to pull myself up on him. In my mind, the bed was hurting me and I had to get away from the bed. Cody kept telling me to take deep breaths and Allison kept asking me if I could hear her and to STOP pushing. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I had been pushing forever and didn't stop in between contractions - probably because there was so much pressure and pain and I was still kind of freaking out that this was even happening this way instead of the calm, relaxed way I had in mind. Allison ended up being the perfect midwife for what I needed at that time. She was super calm, very relaxed and in control of the whole situation. I ended up being really happy she was there and loving the way she did things!

Allison had me reach down to feel the baby crowning. I honestly thought the head had to be out by now. When I felt and she was just barely crowning, I was a little discouraged, but even more determined to get this baby out! They kept talking about how much hair she had and that was exciting to feel. We've never had a baby with hair!


 When I had Charlotte, I very distinctly remember pushing the head out, taking a second to rest, then pushing out the shoulders and the rest of the body just followed. This time I felt like the baby was the shape of a brick. There was no break in between and after getting the head out there was no little breather before pushing out the shoulders - it just all felt like solid, painful mass. That being said, I only pushed probably a total of 4 times at most and she was here! I told them that I had wanted to deliver her myself, so her head came out (and I also remember thinking- Oh, hi, "Ring of Fire!" Nice to see you again.) and then her shoulders and they had me reach down, grab her and pull her up onto my chest.



I loved that I was able to be the first person to ever hold her - that no one gave her to me, but that I did this for myself and after carrying her for almost 10 1/2 months, I should be the first person to "actually" carry her. I wish I had gotten to do that with all of my kids!

She was finally here. Little Magnolia Quinn was born and I was so happy to be done! From the time my labor started getting intense - around 7:45 pm, to the time she was born was only about 30 minutes. She was born at 8:18 pm - fashionably late for the bachelorette premier. She's so my child.

After having Charlotte I remember feeling immediate, intense relief. With Maggie, I still felt so much pain even though I hadn't torn at all. I felt like another baby was trying to come out! I think because the labor was so fast that my body was just kind of like.....what the h just happened here.



After holding her for a long time and then having Cody hold her, they weighed and measured her (8 lb 3 oz - my biggest baby!! they just keep getting bigger each time! and 19 3/4 long). I got the baby shakes pretty much right away and went from sweating and being insanely hot to being absolutely freezing cold, so they loaded me up on hot blankets and that helped with the shaking also.


After a while we tried nursing, which Maggie was super not into and still isn't into to this day! At first I thought it was mostly because she was delivered so quickly and had amniotic fluid left in her tummy (which she did) and she didn't feel that great (which she did) but all of that is for another post.


Cody and I talked about the birth a lot afterwards. It was kind of traumatic for me just because it was so crazy, but really amazing all at the same time. Cody said that he was tearing up the whole time because the whole process is just so amazing. I'm so in love with birth and even though right afterwards I said for sure we're done having kids, I already feel like I really love being pregnant (for the most part) and I really love labor and birth! Cody said he just loves that we had Charlotte and Maggie naturally because it's so much more real and authentic than getting an epidural (in my birth experiences only - not comparing to anyone else's). In my epidural experiences, I just sit there and push her out and I'm done. Doing it naturally for me is a lot harder and an actual "labor" - a labor of love. ;)

It's now been 13 days and I'm seriously so in love with little Maggie Q. It gets easier to figure out babies the more you have, and I feel like we've figured each other out pretty quickly. I can usually tell right away what she wants/needs and know her "schedule." (She always cries right after eating for a few minutes, eats every 2 1/2-3 hours, is hard to burp but if you massage her lower back it helps, etc.)
The girls absolutely adore her, too. Charlotte is her biggest fan and always, always wants to hold her, hug her and kiss her. I can't imagine life without her!!

8 comments:

LynnEl Springer said...

Such a beautiful family! These pictures say it all - the look on your face during labor and birth, Cody's smile when it's over, your look of exhaustion, and then the girls' smiles, and amazement over their new little sister - all their own! Thank you for giving us a new baby Walk little girl to love with all our hearts!

Mom

Kenny said...

The bathroom is totally your laboring place. That's where you did your best work with Charlotte. It's a safe place for your body to just completely open up. Thanks for sharing your birth story. I wish I was there!

Lindsay said...

I love birth stories and yhis one is awesome!! Thank you for sharing, it totally made me want to get pregnant again 😜 also, beautiful pictures!!! Oh my gosh I love them. Congratulations Stacey! You guys are such a cute and GOOD family--what a sweet and perfect addition. Last thing, I reallgblive her name 😍😍😘

Aimee Chinski said...

Stacey, that was amazing to read! Thanks for sharing. I seriously jumped in my chair when you talked about starting to push on the toilet and said to myself "oh no, Maggie falls in the toilet!!" But, I'm glad that didn't happen!! :) I think you may have inspired me to try to remember my story and write it in my son's journal!

Karen said...

Wow. What a crazy experience. I'm so glad it all worked out right and that Alison ended up being the right person for you.

Little Maggie is just precious!!!

Faith Garff said...

Nice work mama natural birth is hard! It's crazy how different pregnancy can be, just when you think you know what's going on, something new happens. Maggie is prefect.

derek and michelle said...

Wow! She is so beautiful and your birth story was beautiful as well. I didn't even know you were pregnant. I'm so glad i can still check in from time to time on here. I can't believe that you have 4 girls and it seems so long ago that we were friends in communications class. Congrats Stacy!!!

derek and michelle said...

Wow! That was beautiful. She's adorable. I can't believe that you have 4 little ones and it seems so long ago that we were in communications class. At the same time time flies. I'm so happy for you. I'm so glad I can check in from time to time on here.

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