So, you just have to have a long post for the end of the first year, right? Right. Well, I’ll start from the beginning…well, not THAT far back (get your minds out of the gutter, people!). On July 8th, it was a Sunday, and we went to church as normal. Then, afterwards, we went to Chili’s to eat with the Duggans and the Rohlacks. I had quesadillas if I remember correctly. I also remember tripping in the parking lot on the way in and falling to my knees. We’ve always joked that maybe Abriella snagged the amniotic sac with her fingernails when I did that. Hey, it’s a theory. Anyway, we went home and continued on as normal. I talked to my friend, Bergen (fellow midwife at Ft Hood), on the phone about some patients, as she was now taking over checking my patients’ labs, and most of my patients for that matter. Anyway, as I hung up the phone (3:20pm), I stood up from the kitchen table, and started peeing on myself (or so I thought), and I scurried to the bathroom exclaiming to Stephen how I was peeing on myself, A LOT! As I sat on the potty, I actually did pee, but then little alarms start to go off in my head as I think to myself how I haven’t been incontinent during my pregnancy up to this point, but ALL OF A SUDDEN, I am! Hmmm. Then, the gross midwife that I am, I smell my undies, and think…hmmm, that smells a whole lot like amniotic fluid! I sit on the potty and ponder this thought…”I’m not even 37 wks yet! I’m not having a single contraction! We aren’t ready for this! I JUST stopped working! I have MANY naps and days by the pool yet before this baby comes! …Uggh, I’m not having a SINGLE contraction! I don’t want to be the first time mom planning an out-of-hospital birth who ends up having to go into the hospital for Pitocin because I’m ruptured and not in labor! Oh, are we ready for this!? This is NOT what I was planning for TODAY!” As these thoughts continue through my head, I hear Stephen coming looking for me asking if I was ok. Well, I get up and walk into the kitchen and inform the daddy-to-be that I’m pretty sure my water just broke. A look of excitement, shock, and terror goes over his face, and then the words, “Well, that’s not what I was expecting to hear!” Then, he decides to busy himself by going around the house putting the outlet covers on the electrical outlets! LIKE SHE’S GOING TO COME HOME WALKING!! haha! I still laugh at that.
Anyway, the story continues. I call one of my other midwife friends, Mary, to ask her for some nitrazine paper to help me confirm my rupture. She volunteered to go up to the hospital and get some for me. So, about an hour after I talked to her, she comes over with it, and I used some, and it turned bright blue (meaning it’s amniotic fluid), but I was already positive I was ruptured, as fluid kept trickling down my legs and dripping onto the floor. I know, gross. Still, no contractions. It was a few hours before I actually started feeling any kind of cramping at all. I figured it would be well over 24 hrs before I had her. I had figured we’d sleep the night at home before we even needed to think about heading to the birth center in Austin. Oh, yes, I had talked to the midwife on call at the birth center during this time as well to discuss plans, etc.
I talked to several people on the phone, Stephen and I tried to take a nap (yeah, right! like THAT was going to happen!), we tried to watch a movie (I got uncomfortable being in the bed), we ate a couple of times, and I started to have some short and mild irregular contractions. After Bergen got off of work, she drove over. It was probably 8:30 or so when she got there. We talked for a few minutes, and I had started having 60 second or longer contractions that were much stronger, but they were still 2-10 minutes apart. They were all in my back too, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t really wish back labor on my worst enemy. It was NOT pleasant. Stephen was doing great counterpressure on my back, but it still hurt a lot! Anyway, Bergen went home to make me a rice sock, since we all figured I’d stay home for a while longer. Well, pretty much as soon as she left (she lived just down the street at the time), the contractions started coming right on top of each other! I told Stephen to call Bergen and tell her not to come back and that we were LEAVING! I said, “I can labor in their tubs and showers just as well as mine!” haha! Anyway, Bergen was back soon thereafter, and was shocked to see how I had changed in just a few minutes. She asked if I wanted her to check me, to which I quickly replied, “NO! I don’t want to know that I’m just 3 cm!” I had that fear that I would get there and be the MIDWIFE that they told wasn’t in labor yet. I’ve had to tell this to countless patients who think they are dying (some even come by ambulance)–it’s hard to tell a lady that she’s not dilated AT ALL, when they feel they MUST be doing something. Anyway, lest I digress.
As we packed up into the car, I again started having irregular contractions, so I told Stephen to just drive the speed limit…I was fine. He complied. Well, somewhere along I35, I told him, “FEEL FREE TO SPEED UP!” to which he replied, “I already have.” I also told him to run a red light near the birth center….he did! haha! When we got to the birth center, it was a little after 10pm. I got out of the car and started walking inside, having to stop 3 times in that time to have contractions. I remember seeing the midwives through the glass doors, thinking, [insert whiney voice here] “they don’t even know I’m here!” Anyway, I finally made it in (Stephen was getting our stuff out of the car). When they saw me, one of them said, “Well, those look serious.” The other one said, “When did things change?” (I had talked to them on the phone not long before we left and told them it’d probably be a while before we came…ah how things change so quickly). Anyway, I told them, “I have to pee!” (don’t ask me why that seems so vivid in my brain), then I went into one of the exam rooms, and said, “PLEASE, TELL ME I’M SOMETHING!!” I had already had thoughts of pitching this natural labor idea out the window and heading somewhere for an epidural if I wasn’t dilated something significant! Well, it was music to my ears when the one checking me said, “You’re 8, complete (effaced), and +1!” HALLELUJAH!!! I then felt like I could make it.
I started pushing around 11pm. I figured it would be over soon. Who knew that she would try to come out all funkified (nice made up word, huh). She came out military presentation, with her hand up beside her head, and with the cord around her neck –(Further explanation for any that care: A brow presentation occurs when the baby’s head is in a position that is between a face presentation and a cephalic presentation. The brow presentation is also called the “military” presentation, as the baby appears to be imitating military personnel, standing at attention. “The abnormality of the flexion attitude, or when the head is not flexed properly, is very rare â€“ about one in every 500 births,” Dr. Michael says. “If someone has a baby in a malpresentation position due to flexion attitude, the decision of the delivery will be left to the doctor. If the doctor feels that the baby is not too big and the pelvis is adequate, the woman can possibly have a vaginal delivery, although the risk for a C-section increases but will depend upon the view of the doctor.” — or here’s another one: Moderate flexion or military attitude: In cephalic presentation, the fetus head is only partially flexed or not flexed. It gives the appearance of a military person at attention. A larger diameter of the head would be coming through the passageway.). So, anyway, I was blessed to get to push for about 1 hr 45 minutes to get that stinker out. But, she did finally come out! She was born at 12:50am on July 9, 2007 (9 1/2 hrs after my water broke), and made it to 37 wks by 50 minutes! Yeah, no preterm baby for me! 🙂 She weighed in at 6 lbs 6 oz (meaning she would’ve been a good 8 lbs or more in 3 more weeks! Yikes!) and was 18 1/2 inches long. We couldn’t have been more in love!
I do have to say that numerous times during that labor, I kept thinking to myself things like, “well, this is not what I was expecting to do today. this is not at all how i thought my labor would go. i can’t believe this labor was so fast. why isn’t she coming out? why did i have to have back labor?! uggh, why isn’t she coming out?!” I did discover that’s it’s really hard to let go in labor when you are a midwife yourself. I kept trying to manage my own labor and basically be THE midwife. I needed to let go and be a mom in labor! That’s hard!! Maybe I’ll do better next time!
So, after a few hours, we left with our little bundle, driving away from the birth center. We stopped at a McDonald’s drive through on the way home and chowed down as we drove home as a family of 3. It was totally surreal. We arrived home less than 12 hrs after we had left to go to the birth center. Crazy! (Click here for my birth story as remembered about a month after she was born if you care to read it–it’s a little bit different account than the one just given).