Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well I'm using this blog as a kind of journal and wanted to get Brianna's birth story written down somewhere for the future. So just to warn you it will be really long because I want to get all the details, so if you've already heard it, it might be kind of boring. So feel free to skip this post if you don't want to hear it again.

Well Brianna's due date was Apr. 23rd and I happened to have a doctor's visit that day. When the doctor checked me at my appointment I was at 1-2cm and about 70-80% effaced. Up until this point I hadn't really had any preterm labor, only a random contraction here or there, but nothing at all painful. I asked the doctor how likely it was for someone to go into labor without having any false labor and she told me it was pretty unlikely, so I assumed I would be making my appointment the following week to get me scheduled to be induced. During my appointment my doctor stripped my membranes to hopefully get things going. I wasn't anticipating it helping much because I'd had them stripped the week before and nothing had happened. But this doctor did a really good job - let's just say she looked like her name should be Helga and she was about as gentle as you would imagine a Helga to be. :) (Oh by the way I had many doctors through out my pregnancy. Going to a military hospital you basically see who ever is there. You hardly ever see the same doctor at each appointment. And the one you do see more than likely won't be the one to deliver you.) So I went home a little disappointed because I was really ready to have her because I was now over due.

Well Justin and I went to bed around 11pm that night and I had barely fallen asleep when I woke up at about 12am with what felt like menstrual cramps. They were coming about every 10-12 minutes and I thought hey finally some false labor, at least things are finally progressing. Well the contractions kept getting closer and closer for the rest of the night. They weren't too painful, but just uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep through them, so I got no sleep that night. The next morning Justin woke up to go to work to find me in the living room in the recliner because it felt better to sit during the contractions rather than lie down in bed. He asked if he should stay home from work and I told him no because I didn't want him to sit home for nothing (I was still thinking it might just be false labor pains). But after he left the contractions started intensifying in pain and were about 3-4 minutes apart. By this time I was pretty sure this was the real thing because it had gone on so long. I got in the shower and got ready for the day and then put the final stuff in our hospital bags. At about 9:00am I called Justin at work and asked him to come home because I was thinking we should probably start getting ready to go to the hospital. He got home and we got everything in the truck and then went and dropped our dogs off at the kennel.
So when we arrived at the hospital my contractions had been 2 min apart for about 2-3 hours, while they were painful they were tolerable. This being my first child I didn't fully understand that they were not only going to get worse, they were going to get ridiculously worse. I checked into Labor and Delivery about 10am and when they checked my cervix I was still only a 2. Ugh! They told me that even though the timing on my contractions were where they were supposed to be for full labor, I wasn't dilated enough (I had to be a 4) for them to admit me. So I was sent home. Double Ugh!

I was so frustrated when we got home, and I felt so stupid for going in. The nurse at the hospital told me to try and get some sleep because I more than likely had a long night in front of me, so I went and laid down in bed. Now for women that have been through labor you will understand my irritation when I was told to get some rest - there's no sleeping when you're having contractions! I mean come on! So I laid in bed, wide awake and in pain for about an hour and then gave up. The contractions were getting really bad about this time and I tried taking a shower to see if the warm water would help. Um, nope that didn't make any difference. So I got out and sat in the living room with Justin, trying not to claw the fabric off our recliner. At about 2:30-3:00pm I just couldn't take it any more. I started crying to Justin, not solely because of the pain, but because I didn't want to go back to the hospital just to have them send me back home, but I couldn't take the pain any longer. Justin tried talking me into waiting it out a little longer, but I just couldn't. So we hopped into the truck and headed back to the hospital.

Now I had watched birthing videos in the past and had always seen those "crazy" ladies making these awful, loud, obnoxious noises, and I always thought to myself, I am never going to act like that. But I couldn't help it, these awful sounds kept escaping from my mouth, for some reason it took my mind off the contraction a little if I made this loud, throaty moan. Yes, I did become one of those "crazy" ladies at this time. We got to Labor and Delivery and they took me into the room to get checked again. I remember lying in the chair repeating to myself, "please, please, please" over and over praying that I was a 4 - which I was... thankfully!!! So they took me down the hall to get me set up in my room and prepare me for my epidural. Holy crap I don't know how people go through a natural childbirth! I now consider these women loony. I wanted my epidural and I wanted it NOW! After getting my blood work done and my IV placed it was about an hour after I was admitted that the anesthesiologist finally came in.
So it has never crossed my mind to be the tough girl that wanted to have a natural childbirth, I was always in the frame of mind to get all the drugs I could. I would totally be okay if I didn't have to feel a thing - really I would. So I was more than happy when she had me sit up to get the big needle stuck in my back. It was kind of irritating though because she kept hitting nerves in there and making my legs jump and then she would tell me, "I really need you to concentrate on not moving". Um, hello I'm not doing it, you're the one jabbing things into my nerves and making me jump, believe me I'm not moving on purpose to annoy you. But she finally got it in and I was excited for some relief. Or so I thought.

Right after I got the epidural the next couple of contractions were a little bit shorter in length, but the pain was still all there. The anesthesiologist said that they would have to gradually increase the medications so my blood pressure wouldn't drop, so just to hang in there because it might take a little bit for it to fully work. Well I waited and waited and the contractions kept getting worse and worse. After 3 more hours of intense labor, I couldn't take it any more. I was so tired and in so much pain - and I hey I wanted drugs and this sure wasn't working dang it! Justin was trying to be really supportive and tell me I was doing a good job and every time I told him I couldn't do it anymore he kept reassuring me that it was going to happen either way and I was going to get through it. At this point I broke - again I started crying and told Justin that he had to make them do something, anything to help me with the pain. So the anesthesiologist came back in to talk to me about my options. I think she thought that I was just being a baby so she did a test to see if I was numb at all. She took an alcohol pad and touched different parts of my body with it. I was supposed to tell her when I could feel wetness, not just pressure. When the epidural is working you shouldn't feel wetness on your legs clear up to your belly/chest. I could feel wetness the first time she touched me clear down on my thigh. She kept repeating herself telling me, "no not when you can feel pressure, tell me when you can feel wetness". And I'm like "No really I can feel wetness clear down there - I promise!" So at this point she said that our options were to take out the 1st epidural and try again or we could try giving me Stadol through my IV. I thought there was nothing to lose by trying another epidural so I had her do it again. So she sat me back up and went at giving me my second epidural. Finally some relief came! This time it was totally different and I could really tell this one had actually worked. The only thing that I didn't realize is there are different kinds of epidurals and one that this hospital uses doesn't take any of the pressure of labor away. Why you ask - who the heck knows! So while I wasn't dying in pain anymore, I still had to breath through every contraction because the pressure was painful in of itself. So sadly there was no rest for me for the remaining time of my labor.

Well 2-3 hours after my 2nd epidural the doctor came in and wanted to break my water. Since the epidural had kicked in my contractions had slowed down a lot. But to her surprise when she checked me I was already to an 8. So she broke my water and told me that it wouldn't be much longer and she'd be back soon. After my water was broken the contractions picked back up and after 2 hours I was feeling a lot of pressure and wanting to push. The doctor came back in and checked me and I was now a full 10cm, but Bri was still sitting high in my pelvis and they wanted her to drop a little more so I wouldn't have to push as long. They sat me up in bed to try and get her to drop. The urge to push was really intense at this time and I found it rather difficult not to push. After about 1/2 hour of this I told Justin to go get the doctor because I couldn't wait any longer. She came in and checked Bri's position again, but she still wasn't where they wanted her, so they had me do some trial pushes to see if I could actually move her or if we should wait longer. But again to the doctor's surprise I was actually able to move her pretty good, so she said that we could start the pushing stage of labor.

Now Justin had always said that he really had no interest in watching the birth. He really just wanted to stay up by my head and just help me through it. Well there was only one nurse in my room to help me push, so Justin ended up having to hold one of my legs. So the poor boy got a front row seat and had to watch the whole thing. Now as I was pushing the nurse told us that she was pretty sure the umbilical cord was around the baby's neck because her heart rate would drop every time I pushed. But she said that as long as her heart rate came back up in between pushes they wouldn't worry too much about it. I had been pushing for about 1/2 hour when the doctor came back to see how things were going. She could see the head now, so she brought in 2 other nurses and prepared for the birth.

Now the pain was getting pretty bad at this point and I was so ready to have her out and be done with it. I really don't know how people push for 2-3 hours, because I was already so tired. They put an oxygen mask on me to try and help with stabilizing Bri's heart rate because it was dropping a little more now. They brought in a mirror so I could watch, which I didn't in particularly want to watch everything, but it did help me concentrate on pushing to see my progress. As I got her crowned I was in so much pain I started to panic a little bit in between contractions because it hurt so much. I was kind of oblivious to what was going on around me because the pain was so intense. At this point Bri's heart rate dropped and all I remember was the nurse that was watching the monitor's say that the heart rate's not coming back up and then she leaned over the bed and told me that I really had to concentrate and push really hard on the next contraction because we had to get her out now. The urgency in the nurse's voice struck a cord in me and I found the strength to give a really good, hard push and got her out. Justin said the the doctor grabbed the cord and hurried and slipped it off from around her neck and she was okay. A couple more pushes and I had her shoulders out and then all of a sudden I had my perfect little girl laid on my chest.

I can not express the emotions that ran through my head right then. There was this perfect angel in my arms and she was all mine. I remember looking over at Justin and just seeing the complete awe and love in his eyes - I was so overwhelmed, and started to cry. She let our her first little cry and it was the best feeling in the world. Our princess was finally here - she was gorgeous, healthy and ours forever!!! WE LOVE YOU BRIANNA!!!

Brianna Paige Walker
Born on Apr. 24th, 2008 @ 11:03pm
Weight: 7lbs 7oz
Length: 19.3 in
And 100% angel!

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