Monday, June 27, 2011

Claire's Birth Story


She's here! Our little girl was born June 25th, 2011 at 9:20 pm. She's a chunker, weighing in at 8 lbs 13 oz, 21.75" long and lots of dark hair :)

I'd been having contractions on and off for a few days, but every time we started to think "this might be it" they would stop. We went to the doctor Thursday and I was 90% effaced but still only 2 cm dilated. Friday morning, the 24th, I was having pretty consistent contractions starting around 5:00am, so Drew and I got up and took Abby on a walk with us around the neighborhood. I called in to work (which was going to be last day before maternity leave) and let them know I was not coming in. Then around noon: nothing. Yep, they just stopped suddenly. I was so discouraged and thought I was for sure going to go past my due date.
Drew and I went out to lunch and took care of some errands around campus, then came home and laid low the rest of the day.

Friday night/ early Saturday morning I kept waking up from contractions, but nothing regular or too strong so I would fall back asleep in between. I remember thinking at one point "hmm maybe I should track these" but I was so tired I just kept going back to sleep. Around 3:00 am Saturday I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable so I finally woke up and started timing the contractions. I woke Drew up around 3:30 am and told him I was having contractions about every 10 minutes.  We labored at home for a while. I sat on the birth ball in the shower, and laid on the heating pad for a little while while Drew made me watch some National Geographic show about naval air carriers. I remember at one point my friend Kristin called me in the middle of a contraction. After my contraction I listened to her voicemail where she said "The only reason you shouldn't be answering the phone is because you're in labor". Boy did she get a good laugh when I called her back and told her that, yes, I was in labor! Around 11:00 am, my contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart, so we headed in to the hospital! I was still in denial and thought for sure that we would get sent home.

We got admitted in the ER since it was a Saturday. I had a few contractions in the admittance office, and had to stop once on the way to elevator to get through a contraction.

We got up to Labor and Delivery and the nurse hooked me up to monitor Claire and then checked me; I was about 4.5 cm and 95% effaced...I was shocked! We labored in the room for a while and I got in the tub to help ease some contraction pain. When my contractions started to get worse, I asked the nurse to get a dose of the IV medication (fentanyl) to see if it would help with the pain. She checked me before giving my dose and I had made it to 6.5 cm. The medicine lasted about 45 minutes or so, it didn't take the actual pain away, but took the edge off of it so I could relax.

I had stalled out at 6.5 so my midwife suggested we break my water to see if it would help get things going again. Then things got really painful; I was having contractions right on top of each other and they were really strong. I would sit on the ball with Drew in front of me holding my hands and the nurse behind me rubbing my back. I just remember crying and crying and telling Drew I couldn't do it. I asked for another dose of the IV medicine. Drew was so great and really helped me focus on breathing and working through them, but the IV meds were not working this time.  I though that since they were so painful and so close together I was reaching transition (8-10 cm). I figured if I was that close I could do it without any more meds. They checked me again and I was still 6.5. I was so disappointed. I thought Drew and my midwife (Susan) would be disappointed that I couldn't do it naturally. The pain kept getting worse and knowing that I was only 6.5 and it would get harder and more painful from there basically made my decision for me. I needed that epidural! 

The anesthesiologist came in pretty quickly (thank goodness!). I remember during my pregnancy I was so nervous about the needle for the epidural. Well that pretty much all went out the window with the promise of pain relief! The hardest part was sitting hunched over and trying to stay still while contractions hit. Since I have an extra vertebrae in my back from my scoliosis it was harder for them to find the right space. The first try was a bust; he did the test dose and I had terrible electric shock like pains all down my left side. So out came the needle and he tried again up a little higher. The anesthesiologist was actually kind of a jerk, but after the epidural kicked in I could care less; heck at that point he was best friend! I could still lift my legs and feel a little pressure from the contractions but no pain. I was able to relax and talk with Drew and my mom for a while. The midwife came in about an hour or so later and checked me again. I thought for sure I hadn't made much progress since the epidural tends to slow things down; but boy was I wrong! I went from 6.5 to 9.5 and 100% effaced in about an hour and a half. Susan told me that sometimes people's bodies actually need the pain relief to be able to relax and let the baby work its way down. Since I wasn't feeling much urge to push the midwife suggested I "labor down"(let Claire work her way down herself ) for a while. About an hour later, at 8:20 ish I felt like I wanted to push. They turned off my epidural and I started to push
Holy moly. Pushing is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. And painful. And amazing. It's possibly the craziest experience ever.

I remember being so mad in my head because everyone kept telling me "just a few more". At one point Drew told me "You're so close!". I asked him if he could see her head and he told me no. I told him "Then quit telling me I'm close! You can't even see her!". And I have no idea how many times I told everyone that I could not do it anymore. Drew later told me that he had never heard the phrase "I can't" so many times.

Only an hour later, at 9:20pm our little Claire was in our arms! She did so great, and came out so healthy and strong! I remember telling everyone in the room "I'm never having more kids" after she had first come out. Then I apologized for being such a baby and telling everyone I couldn't do it a million times :) They let Claire lay on my chest for probably 30 minutes before they took her away to bathe and weigh her. Drew and I spent every minute of that time just starring at her and taking every little detail in. Needless to say we are totally in love!

Seconds after Claire made her entrance into the world









8 comments:

  1. what a beautiful story! she is precious and soooo snuggly!! love you guys!!

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  2. Thanks for letting me be a part of a beautiful experience! I knew you would do great Ashleigh. Love you all!!! Grandma T

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  3. We are so excited she is here! Praise God for a healthy baby and mama!!!

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  4. I've been through a lot of deliveries with the people I work with and it always makes me cry when babies are born! It's such a beautiful thing! She's beautiful Ashleigh! Congratulations to the both of you!

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  5. i am so happy for you all... i just balled like a big baby reading this and looking at the pictures... my turn is soon and i can not wait! she is so beautiful....

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  6. We can't wait to meet our first great grandchild face to face! She is absolutely beautiful and another of God's miracles. Welcome to the family, Claire!!! Your Great Papa and Grandma Wood

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  7. love love love love love these pictures!! She is so perfect and beautiful! Good job guys!!! Congratulations, welcome to the best time of your life!!

    Please blog every day. THanks. :)

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  8. Ashleigh...you are a wonder! Claire is so blessed to have you and Drew as her parents. Love you all so much!

    (Great) Aunt Alaina

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