Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Emma Elaine Herrey: A Birth Story

For my own records, I want to be specific in remembering this occasion. Birth is kind of messy anyways, so I am giving you a heads up if you don't want to read the wonderful details ;)


My due date was February 25th. All day I waited and waited for something to happen, some kind of sign... but nothing ever did. Every minute that passed that horrible feeling in my gut grew, and I just knew I would go over my due date. Boo.

For a week after my due date I had constant texts from friends and family wondering when this little babe would come! (let's be honest... I was enjoying all this attention haha) I kept on saying the same thing, "Nothing new yet! We will let you know when we are on our way to the hospital." Eventually these texts got less and less, since nothing new was going on. For that whole week after my due date, the only thing happening were those contractions where my stomach got super hard and tense, but not painful. Joel's coworkers kept on saying, "You are still here?? No baby yet?" All he wanted to say was, "Obviously.. I am still here..."

FINALLY something happened on Monday night, the third of March. The first sign that labor was somewhat close: I lost the mucus plug! I most definitely knew what it was when I went to the bathroom... lets just keep it at that ;) We got really excited as I told Joel what it meant, that labor could be hours or days away. Either way, something was happening at least! And I was more than happy about that.

On Tuesday, the next day, I had an appointment with my midwife! She took my blood pressure (I was secretly hoping it would be high so I could be induced... is that bad of me??) and we talked. She also listened to the heartbeat and felt where the head was (fixed as usual), and she also checked to see if I was dilated. I was only dilated to a 1, but being a week and one day over due I was going to take that! She also stripped my membranes.

Wednesday came with contractions on and off, nothing serious. My sweet mother-in-"love" is so good at taking care of me and surprising me with things. She showed up and bought me a new flower for the apartment, bought my favorite ice cream, and gave me a wonderful foot massage with lavender oil to help me relax!

I woke up around 6 am Thursday morning to go to the bathroom, realizing I was having one contraction within ten minutes of each other. I was so excited, but nervous because the past two or three days my contractions came at night but my morning had stopped. They continued like this until 7 am and Joel woke up to get ready for work. I told him about the constant contractions and he texted his boss to let him know he wouldn't come to work that day. Joel went back to sleep as I continued to time my contractions, still within 7 to 10 min of each other. We didn't do too much all morning but relax and time my contractions, waiting for them to get more intense and closer together. Around 1:45 I called the hospital letting them know about my situation and they gave me the advice to wait to come down until my contractions were closer together and more intense. Joel and I decided to eat lunch at a cute little Thai place maybe 100 steps away from our apartment. The ladies working at the Thai place were obsessed with me being pregnant and that I was basically in labor. They couldn't stop talking to me and were so excited for me.. it was so cute.

After we ate lunch we decided to walk to the grocery store. At this time my contractions were about 6 minutes apart and getting a little stronger, but I could still walk and talk through them at this point. While shopping my contractions got closer and closer to 3 or 4 minutes apart from each other and we were starting to get a little nervous at this point.

Once we got done shopping we decided it is better safe than sorry, so we headed to the hospital. We got there a little before six and were shown to a room where we could wait. I had different midwives coming and saying hello, checking the heartbeat of baby girl and my heart rate and all that fun stuff. 

Around 7.30 one midwife checked to see how dilated I was (expecting the worst, aiming for a two so I wouldn't be disappointed) and I was STILL a 1. I was so so so sad and disappointed... I had to fight back tears while the midwife told me I was still in the first stage of labor and it would probably be wise to head home and try to sleep, and to come back when the contractions were 5 minutes apart and constant for two hours. The only thing the midwives told us was the contractions had to be 2 or 3 within ten minues. They had left out the 'constant' part. I mean, how are you supposed to know if you've never been in labor before?? My contractions now were between 12 and 15 minutes apart, so they weren't constant at all anymore. I was so torn not wanting to leave after all that packing and excitement of finally getting down to the hospital and telling everyone we were on our way FINALLY!! Only to be sent back home. I was a mess. Joel was wonderful and helped calm me down and he helped me realize that going home so we could rest well was the best option. On our way home I realized I had only slept three hours, hadn't eaten since 3 pm (it was around 8 at this time) and was in pain from the contractions. Not a good combination. As we were on our way we drove past a McDonalds and I forced Joel order me a meal and some fries. I can't believe how much better I felt after eating, even if it was fast food ;)

That night I took the medicine the midwife gave me and was able to sleep pretty good considering my situation! I woke up the next morning around 10 to contractions being 10 minutes apart. We couldn't do much all day but wait and wait (again) for those darn contractions to come closer together again. I felt so bad because Joel was missing work, but then he helped keep me alive by massaging my back and reminding me to breathe ;)

Finally around 7pm my contractions were closer together and looking more regular. We called the hospital to let them know, and we started preparing to leave. Again. Joel made BBQ chicken for dinner so we were set on food, and not starving once we arrived at the hospital! It is a 40 minute drive, and lets just say the contractions on the way down to the hospital the first time were a complete joke compared to these. I could tell a huge difference in the pre-labor pains, and I knew these were the real deal.
Hospital, round 2!

This was my midwife that delivered Emma! She was amazing and very sensitive to my needs and wants the whole time. Plus she spoke great English! That was kind of important so we could communicate well ;)

We got to the hospital around 9 when they checked to see how dilated I was, and I was 3 cm dilated!! I could take that! Finally I was considered to be in active labor. I was actually quite surprised, because I was expecting the worst. My midwives said they would check me again around midnight to see how dilated I was, and if I hadn't progressed as fast as they wanted they would break my water. 

I liked the laughing gas. A lot.

Midnight came and I was dilated to a 3, so they broke my water and I had laughing gas to help with the pain. It. Was. WONDERFUL. My midwives then said they would check me again at 3 a.m, and asked if I would like the epidural. I felt like I could handle the pain from the contractions so far, so I said I would wait on the epidural. HUGE mistake. Around 1 a.m. my contractions were building faster and faster because my water had broke, but what happened was they never went down, and I never got a break. The contractions stayed high at that crazy intense peak for the loooongest time. I was in so much pain I was barely conscious of what was going on around me as my midwives were frantically calling the doctor for the epidural and were starting to get things prepared for him. Joel was a champ holding my hand reminding me to breathe and trying to calm me down. I don't know how I would have survived without him! 

By this time the contractions were pretty intense and I was begging for an epidural! I think my face says it all...

My awesome coach!

 The doctor came with the epidural and I was so high from the laughing gas I barely remember him, except for when he started talking I could tell from his accent he wasn't Swedish. While I was on my side waiting for the epidural, he said, "Zer iz ah mosquito en zee rum. Diz iz guing to bite." He was trying to prepare me for the small pinch-like feeling the epidural needle would have, so I wouldn't move once he stuck me with the needle. All I could focus on was trying to ask him where he was from (I guess I was just dying to know haha) but I was in so much pain I couldn't get the words out of my mouth. He started with the needle but I jumped a little bit and he said, "Ve must do it uhgain. She can not move." Joel then told me, "Mollie! Cheeto is here and she is going to jump on your back, ok? Try not to move." (When we are brushing our teeth or slightly bending over Cheeto likes to randomly surprise us by jumping on our backs) The doctor tried a second time, and as I felt the pinch of the needle I said, "Daaaang yooou Cheeeeeto." I was soooo high on laughing gas haha!

Once the epidural kicked in it felt great.... other than I could still feel the pressure from her head pushing down from the contractions. Around 3 a.m. the midwife checked me again, and by the look on her face Joel thought I hadn't progressed at all and was nervous to hear what the news was. Suddenly she said, "She is dilated to a 10! This baby is coming within the next hour or two." Best. News. Ever. I am pretty sure I cried of pure happiness. My midwife told me to just breathe through the contractions and to not push quite yet until they came back.

I am not sure what time my midwives came back to help me start preparing to push, but it was around 4:30 I think? What had happened was Emma had turned the wrong way. Instead of her head facing down, she was facing up which made pushing harder. My midwife then told me if she couldn't come out, they would have to cut me instead of tearing naturally.

I had Joel on my left and one midwife to my right holding my hands getting ready to help me push while the head midwife was down below guiding me. They told me that once I feel the pressure from the contractions coming, I needed to take three deep breaths of the laughing gas and then once the contraction would come to hold my breath and push three times as hard as I could. As I was pushing in sets of three, my midwives and Joel kept on telling me, "Just one more push Mollie! Just one more!!" After they kept on saying that over and over I was so tired of hearing how close I was and I just wanted her here already!! I wanted to punch them haha. After pushing for a few sets, my main midwife grabbed my hand and had me feel where Emma's head was to show how close she was to coming. She was definitely stuck for quite some time. My first thought was, "How in the crap is she going to fit??" I guess her plan backfired a little bit, but I was on the laughing gas and couldn't tell her.

I kept on pushing in these sets of three, but after I felt Emma's head I heard Joel and my midwives telling me to continue saying, "Just one more push Mollie, you can do it! Just one more!!" past the sets of three. Now I was doing sets of four and five pushes during the contractions. The crazy part was Joel and my midwives were amazed that I had the energy to keep pushing, because they didn't tell me. Someone was telling me to keep pushing and I thought it was my midwives and Joel, but they didn't say anything. Joel says when I kept pushing they all looked at each other with shocked faces, amazed that I kept going.

Joel estimated that after about 20 pushes, Emma Elaine Herrey was born at 5:22 a.m. on Saturday, March 8th 2014. The first thing she did as she came out was poop all over the midwives. It was everywhere!! I didn't witness it, but Joel said he was amazed and fascinated at how much poop there was. Joel got some pictures, but I don't think I will post them here.. haha! ;)

I don't know if you can see them here, but I had red dots all over my face and neck from the pressure of pushing so hard. In fact, Joel had his hand on my back while I was pushing, and his handprint was surrounded by these red dots. I wish we would have gotten a picture of that!

In-law's coming to see their newest grandchild!

This is the 'family room' we stayed in after the labor.

First picture as a family!

These were buttons we would push to call the midwives if we needed help.

Getting ready to go home!

We laughed so hard when we put Emma in this because it DROWNED her!

And that is the story of how our little one finally entered the world! We stayed at the hospital for three days and it was perfect. We were fed (and we packed a lot of snacks as well) and taken care of. Every time I breastfed Emma I called in a midwife to help me, since I was super determined to master and get breastfeeding down. I am so glad I did! I felt much better leaving the hospital, and confident I could do it on my own.. even though it wasn't perfect.

We love our little Emma Elaine, and are so happy she is a part of our family.

Emma is named after my mom's mom, so my grandmother on my mom's side. Her name is Doris Elaine Sanders.

2 notes:

Megan and Jared said...

I LOVE this!! You are so amazing and strong! I need pictures of her! :) I'm so happy for the three of you. I can't believe your stitches tore open, I'm so sorry! That must have been terrible.

Shantel said...

Oh! What a special story. I'm glad that you took the time to write everything down, because you will definitely love looking back on it later when those details start to become fuzzy. I'm also glad that you just took the opportunity to spend time with your family while they were there. What a special little girl. Congratulations Molly!