Sabrina’s Birth Story

I went to bed around 11:00 on Saturday June 12, 2010.  Around midnight I woke up with a start and a feeling like I had just wet myself a little and still had to go.  I figured that baby girl #4 had just given me a particularly hard punch in the bladder in my sleep.  During my bathroom trip, I noticed that I had some particularly wet mucus tinged with pink and red and assumed that my mucus plug was dissolving.

I tried to go back to sleep, but I was having a few twinges (which I often got at night lately).  More importantly, I was really hungry and realized that I hadn’t had much to eat in several hours.  So, I headed downstairs and heated up some frozen Cheesy Tomato Pasta.

Rick was in his home office/man cave and heard me come downstairs.  He joined me in the kitchen, and we started talking about this and  that.  I kept feeling some twinges here and there and like I needed to use the bathroom.  Finally, I told him that I might be having some contractions.  He suggested that we both get some sleep just in case.

I tried to go to back to sleep.  But I kept having twinges that I now noted were about 10 minutes apart.  I was also having acid reflux and a continuing desire to use the bathroom.  At my midwife appointment that week they said the baby was at -1 station, so I figured her head was to blame for the bathroom needs.

At around 3:00 my contractions were about 6 minutes apart.  I woke up Rick, who had squeezed in an hour or so of sleep, and told him I was calling his mom to come on over.  He hopped in the shower while I called her and touched base with the midwife on-call, Lee.  Lee and I agreed that I would head to the hospital once the contractions got down to about 5 minutes apart.

When my mother-in-law arrived my contractions were still on pace.  But then they started slowing down.  I got up off the couch and started folding some laundry and cleaning up, and they seemed to get back on track.  At 4:00 I called my parents to head up from Kentucky.  Then around 45 minutes later we headed for the hospital.

We stopped along the way for some breakfast, so I nibbled on a McGriddle and drank some sweet tea before we got to the hospital.  Then it was straight up to labor and delivery where Lee was waiting (I had called her on the way).  I was dilated about 4 centimeters and about 85% effaced.  My bag appeared to be intact.  But my contractions had slowed down again.  They went ahead and admitted me and started the first bag of antibiotics for Group B Strep.

After that, not much happened.  My contractions only came about once every 15 minutes.  I still felt the need to use the bathroom a lot and my mucus was still kind of wet and red-tinged.  Sometimes I felt like I was wetting myself just a tad.  I tried walking around the room and “telling” my body to get to work.  Rick did some work on his laptop, and then we both tried to get some sleep.

By about 10:00, though, things weren’t looking good.  After four hours my contractions were still sparse.  While my cervix had thinned more, I was still only about 5 to 6 centimeters dilated.  It seemed, though, that my water bag was smaller and may have been slightly broken all along.  Lee suggested that we do the absolutely lowest dose possible of pitocin just to get some more contractions going.  While I was hesitant about using an intervention, I realized that I was working on basically one hour of sleep and this small intervention might save me from bigger ones later.

They started the pitocin drip and the contractions started becoming more frequent and intense but not at an unmanageable rate, which was my biggest fear.  I commented that I seemed to feel the contractions more in my back than I had with my previous three labors.  Within an hour I hit transition, and “I can do this!” became my mantra that I repeated through every contraction.  Towards the end, though, the “this” started turning into a 1-minute creel and I started feeling my body demand to push.

Lee tried to hold me off for a second because she had to move some cervical lip, but I couldn’t resist the urge.  They quickly started adjusting the hospital bed for delivery.  Right about that time the supervising obstetrician, Dr. Cannon, had stopped by to touch base on how I was doing.  She immediately started assisting Lee.

While Lee worked on guiding the baby out, Dr. Cannon gently gave me tips on more effective pushing and helped hold my legs back for me.  I pushed and pushed and pushed, and they kept saying “one more time should do it” and “you’re doing great”.  I asked Rick to rub my forehead because his hands felt so cool while every part of me felt so hot.  I heard comments about the baby having lots of hair, but I mainly kept my eyes shut and tried to rest between contractions.  With each contraction, I grabbed my legs and pulled them towards me trying to remember to keep my elbows out and hold my breath while I pushed.

Finally, at 12:21 pm (not that I was aware of time at this point)I felt the relief of the head coming through followed by the body.  Then they plopped this screaming little creature onto my belly, and I opened my eyes to see my new baby girl.  I tried to calm her down by rubbing her back and calling her by name, “Sabrina, Mommy’s here.  Mommy’s here.”  But she wasn’t buying it.  It had only been about two hours since the pitocin was introduced.

Ricky cut the cord, and then I agreed that the nurses should take her.  Lee was having a few issues with the placenta.  I just kept begging to be able to put my legs down, but Lee and Dr. Cannon explained that they needed to get the placenta out and give me a few stitches first.  I think that’s when they told me Sabrina had come out face-up instead of face-down, aka “sunny-side up”.

Getting the stitches  (7 in total) was not pleasant, and my legs were shaking and aching.  I started to worry that my recovery was going to be a lot worse than with my last two deliveries.  I was relieved, though, when I could finally rest my legs.  I immediately took the ibuprofen they offered and started trying to nurse Sabrina.  She didn’t seem very interested at first, but then she nursed for a few minutes before we were taken to our post-partum room.

Not long after we were put in our tiny room, Rick escorted Sabrina for her first bath. I tried to rest a little bit.  My post-partum nurse quickly returned and said, “I didn’t realize you had a large family.  We’re going to move you to a bigger room that just opened up.”  So, they wheeled me down the hall in my bed to what had previously been used as a double-room.

When Rick and Sabrina returned from her bath, Sabrina and I settled in to nurse and rest while he went home to get the family.  I think Sabrina and I were both glad that it was all over.

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One Comment on “Sabrina’s Birth Story”

  1. the Mom Says:

    Congratulations on Sabrina! How very exciting for your family.


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