Avery's Birth Story

Here it goes!

I wanted to write down Avery's birth story before I forgot any details! If you are squeamish about birthing stuff, you might want to stop reading here. :)

PS This is going to be long!

Well, the funny thing is that on Sunday night (March 28) I got an email from the dean asking how I was doing. I wrote back saying I was feeling great and that my midwife said there was a good chance I would go late since I wasn't having any signs of labor (I hadn't had any contractions, hadn't lost my mucus plug, and the last she checked, I was only 3/4 cm dilated). Also on Sunday night, I was emailing back and forth with my department chair discussing schedules for the fall. The last email I read from her was around 11 pm. So, needless to say, I was ready for another week of work. My lunches for Monday and Tuesday were packed; my students' quizzes were graded and in my work bag ready to go. Monday morning, I was planning on going to my 39-week midwife appointment at 9:40 and then heading to work for my 12:05 class. On top of that, Matt and I both thought I would have a 2-week late baby. No, we didn't think we would have a late baby - we were convinced we would have a late baby. Even at small group on Saturday (3/27), we were discussing the next week's plans, and I told people, "I WILL be here next weekend - this baby is going to be late!" I think another reason I thought the baby would be late was because I was dreading labor. DREADING it. I was excited to meet our baby - I just did not want to go through the "I want to die" pain I had been hearing and reading about!

The one sign that I DID have of labor actually was all day long on Sunday - my lower back hurt. I even called my mom and said FINALLY - I'm having some sort of sign of labor. But I was thinking it would still be another 3 weeks before we met our baby!

- - -
2 in the morning
Around 2am Monday morning, March 29 (I'm not sure of the exact time... I just remember that the clock said 2 something) I woke up with some bad stomach cramps. I had been sick the night before with mild diarrhea (another early sign of labor) so I thought I was just sick again. I tried to go to the bathroom and then laid in bed in the fetal position enduring my stomach cramps. I had the sinking feeling that this might, might be labor, so I started to check my clock every time I had one of these cramps. There were 3 of them that were about 10 minutes apart, so I decided I should wake up Matt. I still didn't think this was labor - I just thought I was sick and that there was a small chance this was labor. I didn't want to cry wolf or anything, so I just quietly said, "Hey, honey?" He didn't hear me. I waited 10 minutes and said it again. "Hey, honey?" No response.

4:30 in the morning
I waited another few minutes, and said, "Matt! I'm not feeling good." Our conversation went something like this.
Matt: What's wrong?
Kiley: I'm having some stomach cramps.
Matt: What can I do? Can I help you?
Kiley: No.
Matt: Are you sure? Let me know if I can do anything.
Kiley: This might be labor, but I don't think so. I really don't think so, but it could be. But it's probably not. I really don't think this is labor.

I went and sat on the pot, and at this point, started shaking a lot. I had never heard of people shaking during labor, so this was another sign to me that I was NOT in labor. Nevertheless, I told Matt to start timing my stomach cramps to see how long they were - so he was just counting in his head for awhile and they were about 30-40 seconds long. Neither of us remember going to get the timer, but I remember thinking, "If this is labor, we (meaning Matt!) need to be more accurate on our timing of contractions!" So, Matt started timing, and they were 2 1/2 - 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. I tell Matt, "Look it up in the book! Could this be labor?"

So, Matt starts thumb through our Natural Childbirth the Bradley Method book while I start to thumb through What to Expect. Matt reads out loud something like, "Your contractions may be 3-5 minutes apart lasting 45-60 seconds long - and you should get to the hospital!" I literally opened to a page in my book that addressed exactly what I was going through, and it basically said, GET TO THE HOSPITAL.

5:18 in the morning
We decided it was time to call the midwife hotline.

5:40 in the morning
The midwife, Kathleen, called me. I told her my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart lasting 45 seconds long, and she said it sounded like I still had some time to labor at home, but that if I hadn't felt the baby move in awhile and I'd feel more comfortable, it's fine if I come in to the hospital. At this point, I start to have a contraction, so I hand the phone to Matt. I guess the midwife told him that it sounded like I was in a lot of pain and that we could go to the hospital if we hadn't felt the baby move lately.

I told Matt two things: "Load the car!" and "Just so you know, when we get there, I'm getting drugs." :) He told me to stay upstairs and he'd let me know when we were ready to go.

Driving to the hospital was terrible. My contractions were coming really hard, I hated every one with a passion, and was hoping that it would all just go away. I remember thinking in the car, "I'm getting an epidural when we get there. My mom will be so disappointed, but I don't care! I don't care!" Meanwhile, Matt's making phone calls to our family letting them know we were on the way. My mom was planning on coming to the hospital for the labor, but she told Matt, "Why don't you call me when you get to the hospital and let me know how far along she really is."

6:20 in the morning
We get to the hospital. Some guy wheels me up while Matt is taking care of the car. They wanted me to fill out a form, but my hand is shaking so badly it was hard to write. I don't even remember getting wheeled to the room, but once we got there, the nurse checked me right away and she said the most wonderful words I have heard in my life: "Wow, your cervix is barely even there - you are a good 8 centimeters!"

At this point, my game plan was to WAIT. I knew that if I waited another 30 minutes, it would be too late for an epidural, and then I would have no choice but to just do it! Also at this point is when my back labor started. Matt was pushing on my back with each contraction (btw, he did much better than the nurses!)

The midwife, Lisa, arrived. She was the same midwife who delivered Callie, and my sister loved her, so I was relieved to see that she was the midwife on call. Lisa asked if I wanted to do a waterbirth. At this point, I wanted SOMETHING to help the pain - even if I just thought it was helping - so I said yes, I wanted to get in the tub. The warm water helped a little bit. I actually made a joke when I got in the tub! The nurse was going to put my hair up, and I said, "Could you braid it? Just kidding." We all laughed.

The nurse, Kathryne, recommended that I empty my bladder. As I got out of the tub, I lost my mucus plug. After about 20 minutes of sitting there, I was successful. The shaking continued. I found it very difficult to relax during contractions because I was shaking so badly. At this point, I started saying, "I can't do this anymore, I can't do this anymore." Matt, Kathryne, and Lisa were all SO reassuring. They knew just what to say to keep me going.

7:45 in the morning
My water broke - I was still sitting on the toilet at this point. After my water broke, my contractions got even worse. I just wanted to lay down, so I laid on my side on the bed. My midwife checked and I was - finally - 10 centimeters!! She said that whenever I felt like I needed to, that I could start pushing.

8:20 in the morning
Honestly, I never really felt a strong urge to push - just a mild one, I guess, but I gave it a shot. I was still lying on my side on the bed. I tried a few more pushing positions and finally ended up lying on my back on the bed with my legs on this pushing bar thing. Did I mention that pushing was TERRIBLE?? I HATED the burning feeling if you know what I mean!! It did not "feel good" or "feel like a relief" like other people had said! Matt, my midwife, and nurse were awesome during this time. They knew just what to say, just how to describe how to push. When I gave a good push, they'd say, "Yeah, right there, keep pushing, don't stop, you're doing great, hold it, hold it!" etc etc etc. That encouragement really kept me going. They told me I should put my hand down and feel her head, but I said I didn't want to! I didn't want a mirror down there - I just wanted to pretend that I was pushing a tennis ball or ping pong ball out!!

My midwife said I had one more contraction and the baby would be out. She lied! :) It ended up being two more because her hand was in a fist up against her cheek. That hurt and ended up giving me a third degree if you know what I mean. Ouch!

9:20 in the morning
Little Avery Waite was born! They laid her little slimy body on my chest. I was SO RELIEVED IT WAS DONE. The first things I thought when I saw her were: She has her dad's nose and sideburns! and She's a big baby!!

I thank God so much for a smooth labor and for giving me the strength to get through it. I also couldn't have done it without the help of Matt, Lisa, and Kathryne.

Christy  – (April 12, 2010 at 2:39 PM)  

Thanks for posting this, Kiley. I LOVE a good birth story! And I'm so proud of you for going drug-free, I knew you could do it!! I smiled so many times reading this, my births were very similar...I almost cried with relief when we got to the hospital with Audrey and I was already at a 7. (With Norah it was 9.5!) And I, too, HATED pushing. It's definitely the worst part. And I declined the mirror, and feeling the head. :) WAY TO GO!!!

Kelly Fischer  – (April 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM)  

Yeah Ki! You were awesome! I knew you could have a natural labor and delivery. Sounds like the Lord provided just what you needed right when you needed it! I can't waite to meet little Avery!

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