May 22, 2011

Birth Story - June Apple - Part 2

 {Katy and June on Derby weekend}

Without further adieu, here is the conclusion of Katy, Amos and June's story...

Now, Susan and I had just gone over my birth plan the day before, and my plan was to labor at home as long as possible. I had asked her, as a part of the plan, when she thought would be a good time to go to the hospital. She said when I was 6 or 7 centimeters dilated. She said she would now this by how I acted. Not knowing what she meant, I went with it. This is why we hired her. I wanted to be at home as long as possible, so I could avoid all the interventions and rules that come in to play as soon as you walk into the hospital. I wanted to be able to get up and move around and not be hooked up to anything and eat, drink, dance whenever I felt like it. For the record, I did not eat, drink, or dance, but I could have if I wanted to. But I didn't.

Susan got to the house around 9am and I was in the living room sitting on a yoga ball, with my grandmother's quilt wrapped around my shoulders and Rosco, the dog, standing guard. Susan sat on the floor next to me. Afterward, she would say that every time I had a contraction, my left hip would lift up off the ball, and she thought that maybe the baby was bearing down in an awkward position. She asked me if I thought I might be more comfortable if I moved to the couch. She thought this might change the position of the baby, but she didn't mention any of this to me, she just posed it to me as if it might make things more comfortable. I guess she didn't want to worry me unnecessarily. I moved to the couch and lay down. As soon as I did, shit got INTENSE. Whoa. Serious pain. I thought to myself, If I have 24 more hours of this, I will never be able to do it without an epidural. I had told both Amos and Susan, and had written it in my birth plan, that I did not want to be offered any sort of pain medication. We had all agreed that an epidural would only be discussed if I had been in labor for something crazy, like 43 hours, and I was really suffering. At this point I had only been in labor for 8 hours, and it was starting to really be painful. How was I going to do this? Susan would later tell me that as soon as I moved to couch, I transitioned into hard labor. I didn't know this. I thought I had a day to go. I had, of course, never done this before.

Susan asked if I was starting to feel any pressure. I said, "I guess so." Truthfully, it was kind of hard to tell, it was all so intense. Again, I had never done this before, what the hell do I know? Then Susan said,"'I think we should probably go to the hospital soon." Oh, good, that means I must only have 5 or 6 more hours of labor. I can do that.

Amos ate a big breakfast and offered me some food. No food for me, thanks. He finished packing the bag. I had this list in one of my pregnancy books of what to bring to the hospital. Amos was going off of that. He would look at the list as say, "Okay, shampoo." And then go and get the shampoo and put it in the bag. He'd then come back, pick up the book again, "Okay, deodorant." Then he would go back to the bathroom and find the deodorant. Not the most efficient packer under fire. But charming. The bag got packed. "Katy," Amos called, "Do you know where my black sweatshirt is?" "Sorry, sweetie. My uterine homing device is a little busy right now, you'll have to find it yourself." The sweatshirt (aptly printed with "Spawn Till You Die) was found. He told me he packed me several books and Scrabble. Susan told him she didn't think we would be playing any Scrabble.

Susan called the hospital to let them know we were coming and that we wanted a room with a big tub. Finally, I was going to get to take my first bath of my pregnancy! Yay! (Foreshadowing...I never got that bath) We got into our cars. We started toward the hospital and I thought I forgot my purse. Amos went back to the house. I hadn't forgotten my purse, it was in the bag. We started off again towards the hospital. At this point my contractions were so intense I was lifting off the seat and screaming like a Neanderthal (I actually don't know if Neanderthals screamed like this, but trust me, it was some primal shit.)

Thankfully, the hospital is only 8 minutes from our house, so we got there fairly quickly. Amos dropped me off at the emergency room entrance and parked the car. Susan took me up to Labor and Delivery while Amos registered me. When I got up to the L and D floor, I was wheeled into a room and I got up onto the bed. The nurse told me she was going to check to see how far along I was. When she did, she looked at me and said, "Okay, your baby's head is right here. The doctor is delivering another baby, so if you feel the need to push-don't." WHAT?! I thought I had 5 or 6 more hours! Where was Beth, my midwife? She was still at home, in her jammies- not going to get there in time. I had a contraction and felt the need to push, and just had to breathe through it.

Amos came in to the room and said, "Oh no, I forgot the birthing ball." Susan put her hand on his shoulder and said, "We aren't going to need the birthing ball. She's going to have this baby now." Amos' eyes got really big and he turned and walked to the opposite corner of the room. His back was to me and for a minute I thought he was using his cell phone, but then I realized his head was in his hands. He turned around and came right next to me. He was crying. For the record, not crying like he did at the wedding. No hysterical sobbing. Just tears. This was happening. Now.

Dr. Stell, a lovely doctor I had met when I was in the hospital in December came in the room. Amos asked her if he could catch the baby. She told him he could, if there was time. Another contraction. This time I pushed. As I was pushing, I thought, Oh God, I am not pushing the baby out, but I am about to poop on this table. I don't want to poop on the table! That would be too embarrassing! I thought about stopping. I tried to mentally rewire my pushing energy. Then I thought, Fuck it. I need to just push this baby out, poop or no poop. I pushed again and out she came in one fell swoop. No time for Amos to catch her. Dr. Stell put her on my chest. "Oh, Baby. Oh, Baby. Oh, Baby." I said over and over again. She was here! She didn't cry, she just kind of squeaked. 9 1/2 hours of labor, arriving at the hospital at 10:50am and giving birth at 11:11am. She was perfect and tiny and perfect. And she had so much hair! It was so dark! She was perfect. And AWESOME.

June Apple, born on January 15, 2011 at 11:11 am. She weighed 4 pounds, 12 1/2 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long. AWESOME.

Awesome, indeed. Thank you, Katy for sharing your beautiful story. Cheers to short labors!

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