May 21, 2011

Birth Story - June Apple - Part 1

Here is the second in the Baby Momma birth story series. June Apple! Her mom, Katy, 29, lives here in Louisville with her husband and June is their first child. Katy is a doctoral student and graduate assistant at U of L. 

This birth story was originally published on Katy's blog You're Being Awesome Right Now and you can read lots more about June's journey into the world and experiences since there. Take it away, Katy!

Okay, so here's the how it all went down:

Earlier in the week I went to see my midwife, Beth, to have a non-stress test to make sure the baby was doing well and check her growth. Everything looked good, and Beth told me to expect a tiny, but healthy baby. She said that she thought the baby would weigh between 5 and 6 pounds and that I should buy preemie clothes. I resisted this, because we have so many clothes already and the newborn clothes look so so tiny. Friends said their 5-6 pound babies fit in newborn sizes, which fueled my resistance. But, on my way to my friend, Angela's house, on Friday, January 14th, I stopped by Walmart (yuck) because I had a gift certificate and needed a changing pad for the nursery (and then it would be near complete!). While at the Hell on Earth that is Walmart, I saw a preemie sleeper and I bought it. What the hell, it was 5 bucks. I then showed up at Angela's and announced, " Well, I bought a changing pad and a preemie outfit. I can now officially have the baby!" Famous last words.

Around 1:30 am Saturday, January 15th, I was lying in bed with Amos and he was tickling me. He does that. I am VERY ticklish and it drives me crazy. Which is why he does it. Anyhoo, I had just gotten up to go to the bathroom and returned to bed when he started to tickle me. I told him, "Please stop, because I am going to have to pee again." He tickled me again. " Great. Now I have to pee." I got up and started to literally pee my pants. Or so I thought. I waddled to the bathroom, embarrassed by my total lack of bladder control. But then it felt different. I thought, could this be my water breaking? I had just met with Susan, our doula, that day, and asked her how often women's water breaks before they go into labor. She said not very often. So needless to say, I thought maybe I had just peed my pants and if so, that is gross. I went back to bed and told, a now falling asleep Amos, "Either my water just broke or I have completely lost all bladder control." He said, half-asleep, "Just don't get any placenta on the floor." And then he fell asleep.

And then I started to have contractions. Okay. Here we go. I laid down in bed and Juliette jumped up and curled up on top of my belly. She NEVER does this. I continued to have contractions every few minutes, not too strong, for about an hour and Juliette purred contently on my belly the whole time.

Finally, around 2:30, I decided to call Susan and let her know what was happening. By the way, I had yet to wake Amos up, as I thought, well, if I am in labor, he might as well get as much rest as possible because this is going to be a long haul. My midwife told me to expect a labor similar to my mom's, which was 36 hours long. So I prepared for the long stretch. I called Susan. "I think my water broke." "You probably just peed your pants." "Oh, okay, that's what I thought." "Go back to bed and try and get some sleep." Well, I'm having contractions." "Oh. Well, you should still try and get as much rest as possible. Call me in the morning, or if your contractions get longer, stronger and closer together."

So I tried to lie down for a little bit, but then decided I should probably start packing my bag for the hospital. I did that for a little while and then lay down on the couch. Contractions started to get stronger and I found myself obsessively reading the paper that Susan had given me titled, "When to call your doula. When not to call your doula, and go straight to the hospital." I took a shower. I lay down. I walked around. I lay down.

At around 4:30am, I started to get anxious because I didn't feel her moving. A decrease in fetal movement was one of the reasons listed under "When not to call your doula and go straight to the hospital." I called Susan. She told me that sometimes in labor, babies get really quiet, as they need to conserve their energy for birth. She told me to drink a soda and lie down and see if that got her moving. She told me to try and rest as much as possible, to conserve my energy. The only soda we had in the fridge was a strawberry Jarrittos, a Mexican soda leftover from our Dia De Los Meurtos party in October. I drank it and lay down. I didn't notice a change, but the contractions were getting more intense, so I decided that everything was okay and that I would just try and focus on relaxing, as much as possible. My contractions were every 2-3 minutes and my method of pain management was to moan though them. Miraculously, I did manage to rest, pretty deeply, in between them. At around 7 am, I decided that I wanted to be in our bed, instead of on the couch. I went into our room and gently woke Amos. "Amos, I am in labor. If you want to keep sleeping, I would suggest that you move to the couch, because I may make some noise when I have a contraction." Then I had a contraction. "Shhhhh, "Amos said, half asleep. "Stop being so dramatic."

Now, when I have told this story to others, they gasp at this point and make some remark about how I must have wanted to kill him. No. In fact, upon hearing this, in the middle of my contraction, I burst out laughing. Which was wonderful. I'm guessing he didn't realize fully what was happening, as it was 7 in the morning, he had been out honky tonking the night before and he was still half-asleep. By my next contraction, I think it started to sink in a bit more. His friend Chuck called around 7:30 to see if Amos was ready to go hunting. As I was moaning loudly in the background, Amos said to Chuck, "Uh, I think Katy is going to have the baby soon, and she would probably kill me if I went hunting." Good call.

Susan had told me to call her when the pain got to be more than I could manage by myself. At about 8 am, I told Amos to call her. He said, "Why don't you wait 15 more minutes?" Okay.....5 minutes went by. Amos called Susan and told her I thought it was time for her to come over. I told Amos to call our parents.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of June's birth tomorrow!

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