Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
My name is Lisa and the only thing I have ever wanted to be was a wife and a mommy. I am now happily married and the mother of 4! I love my husband, I love my kids, I love Jesus, I love cloth diapering (never thought I would), and I enjoy having all my family living within a few blocks of my house. My husband and I were married July 2, 2005 and were thrilled to find out on August 3, 2005 that we were expecting our first child! This is the story of my first birth when i was 20 years old.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
My due date was April 13, 2006 and my baby was born April 9, 2006
What was your baby’s name, weight and length?
Merry Patience was 6# 9.8oz. and 19 inches long
Please give a brief synopsis of your birth:
I had this feeling for most of my pregnancy that my baby would be born on a Sunday morning. I was born on a Sunday morning and i just knew that she would be too. Saturday, April 8 i woke up with a twinge of morning sickness, which seemed a little odd because thankfully the terrible morning sickness i had in my first trimester had ended by 12 weeks. I pushed through it and soon felt better. I spent the day watching my 5-year-old nephew and almost 2-year-old niece. By the end of the day i was exhausted, more so than usual. I really wanted to go to bed early but couldn’t because my husband was still up preparing for his sermon the next morning and the only place i could sleep comfortably was on the couch in the living room.
As long as i was still up i pestered him for the millionth time to ask someone to be prepared to preach for him should we be having a baby on a Sunday morning. He finally decided that we were close enough to our due date to get around to that and called a friend of his from seminary. We finally went to bed around 11:30 that night. A little after 1AM i woke up and thought my water had broke and I woke my husband to tell him.
I felt completely fine, no contractions. We called the doctor, and he told us to go to the hospital and let them check me out. We got to the hospital about 2:15. As we were walking through the parking lot i had my first contraction and boy did it HURT! It was very strong! And with it i felt a gush. My husband didn’t realize what was happening and kept right on walking. I couldn’t move and i couldn’t talk to tell him what was going on. So i just watched him continue on without me! He finally noticed i wasn’t with him and came back for me.
We got up stairs and got changed, i think i had a couple of contractions during all that. They hooked me up to monitors and checked to see that yes, my water had broken and i was still 1cm which i had been for a couple of weeks. The nurse told me that my doctor wouldn’t be on until noon. I asked her if he would come if i was having my baby before then. She informed me that my baby would NOT be born before noon. I told her that my baby WOULD be born that morning. She looked at me like i was stupid and i told her that she didn’t have to believe me, but my baby would be born that morning. She never did answer my question about my doctor coming.
After finishing the paper work i continued to labor in the bed and the toilet. I tried several different positions over the next while.
Between 4:30 and 6:00 i got sick several times. I was very uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. The atmosphere in the room was very disturbed and disjointed feeling. I asked everyone to pray. They all took turns praying and then my sister asked if i would like my mom to sing. My mom was too choked up to be able to sing so she suggested her ipod which she had just loaded with praise and worship music. That was the key to changing the atmosphere to a more peaceful and relaxing environment. That helped me SO much.
At 7:05 i was 4cm and Merry was dropping. Lots more pain and lots more praying but now i had peace. A little after 8:00 i was 5-6cm and 98% effaced. Not long before that Merry’s heart rate was dropping really low with each contraction so they made me lay on my right side and gave me oxygen.
Around 8:20 i had some IV pain meds. I’m not even sure what. I think it may have been Demerol. And some Finegrin to help with the nausea. It helped a little. I think i was able to sleep through a contraction or two but then they came back as hard and heavy as they had been before.
At 8:30 i felt like pushing but it wasn’t time yet. I was only 7-8cm. At 9:10 i was 9 1/2cm and at 9:30 the nurse started letting me push. I had a bit of a lip but she worked Merry’s head during a contraction and was able to get her around it.
The nurse let me push for a while. My doctor wasn’t going to be there so they had to call the on call doctor. Eventually my nurse told me i had to stop pushing because he wasn’t there yet, that she could deliver my baby but that would be a lot of paperwork for her. (Gee, thanks. And stop pushing??? What?? I don’t think i can!!) Pushing was great! I don’t remember feeling any pain while i was pushing. Finally the doctor got there and finally we were pushing again and i was yelling for people to pray. They prayed!
At 10:19 her head was out and the cord was wrapped around her neck twice and her body once. At 10:21 the rest of her came out. Sunday, 10:21 in the morning, just like i knew it would be! I thought that i would get to hold her but the doctor passed her to the nurses so they could get her untangled from her cord. He briefly held her up (by her leg and her arm) before passing her off.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
It hasn’t been until recently while I’ve been reading birth stories that doing anything to prepare for labor and birth even occurred to me. I grew up knowing a lot about giving birth. At 8 and a half i was able to watch my aunt give birth to my cousin. I have 2 sisters that are much older than me and i learned a lot through their pregnancies and the births of my nieces and nephews. I felt very prepared already. I did read Your Pregnancy Week by Week and we took a childbirth class. But i didn’t feel like i learned a whole lot that i didn’t already know.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
Having a baby!! My life long dream come true! I liked that my mom and my sister were both able to stay with us through the whole process (hospital rules only allow 1 labor support person during delivery but no one got kicked out!)
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I didn’t like not getting to hold her right away. I wish that i hadn’t had the pain and nausea meds. They really didn’t help very long–10 minutes of relief, maybe. The fenegrin made me SO sleepy (on top of being up all night!). I had a really hard time making my eyes open so i could see my daughter once she was born.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
I imagined that i would feel contractions in my belly but it was all in my back. All 4 births have been that way.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would have started the music and praying sooner. And prayed about better nurses!
What do you remember the most about your birth?
I remember being in so much pain and know that i jut had to get through the next contraction. I remember holding Joel’s hand through it all and being so comforted by that, just knowing that he was there with me. Even tho there wasn’t anything he could do to make it better. At some point just before we started pushing someone brought him coffee and he passed my hand of to my sister. I held her finger and was equally comforted just having her with me.
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
I don’t think i had really imagined it being any certain way. I had thought that i would feel like i was in labor when we were driving to the hospital. So that was a little awkward when i felt so normal.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
I did it! I was just tired and happy! It felt so unreal that this tiny baby was MINE. I had spent a lifetime holding other people’s babies, wanting my own, and always having to give theirs back. I finally had one to keep forever!
How would you describe your recovery?
Very easy. No stitches or anything. I was pretty swollen for the first few days. They had all kinds of ice packs on me and i remember being uncomfortable sitting on them.
How has your perspective of your birth experience changed in the last 6 years since the first week of having Merry?
After giving birth to my second i know that her birth could have been much worse. But after having my third (in the hospital) and then my fourth (at home) i know that it could have been better. I appreciate it in that i know which parts to be grateful about.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
It is bad to say no? I have always know that this is what i was made for. Giving birth to Merry so quickly (About 8 hours from the first contraction until she was born) and relatively easily for a first-born just confirmed that.
If you could recommend a certain type of childbirth experience, based on your own experiences, what would you recommend to other women and why?
After giving birth to my fourth at home i would say natural and home birth all the way! It’s so much better to be in charge and not have to do what other people want. But overall i wasn’t displeased with Merry’s birth.
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
If you’re that close to your due date and that tired forget waiting on your husband to go to bed! I wish that i had taken a nap that afternoon and gone to bed early like i was wanting to. I think i could have managed better and not had pain meds if i wasn’t so exhausted.