Birth Stories

Nolan Alex:
Thursday Morning, our due date, 40 weeks to the day, my water broke at 5:30am.  Of course we would go into labor that day.  Alex’s work had been having trouble covering the night shift at his store so covering the whole day would be a pain in the butt.  I had 3 meetings including a staff meeting to know the plan for the year, I had 4k orientation to meet all the parents and set us school year expectations, and an IEP meeting for one of the students.  Mark and Katy (Alex’s parents) had a funeral.  My dad was heading up north.  My mom had had vacation and gave it back.  Well, ready or not, here he comes!

There were no labor signs leading up to it Wednesday night.  Alex worked 2-10 on Wednesday so I cleaned the kitchen because we were cleaning a room a day before the induction.  I went to bed around 11 and still felt nothing.

5:30am I woke up and I was only a little wet–me not the bed.  I thought I just had an accident.  Basically Nolan had been positioned in a way that did not allow me to completely empty my bladder for 2 weeks.  I just assumed he moved and the relief made my body go with out me knowing.  I got up, changed, and went back to bed.  I stayed awake for a while to make sure that with me awake and in control I didn’t get wet again.  I didn’t after half an hour so assumed I was right and rolled to go to bed….and that is when I felt it again.  Still not 100% sure, I went to go try to empty my bladder completely and change again.  When I lifted my leg, enough fluid (still a very small amount) convinced me my water was broken.  I calmly walked to the bathroom door that faces Alex’s side of the bed and said, “Alex, I think my water broke.  Please wake up.”

IMG_3047Alex got up and let the dogs out.  I did my hair and make up.  I was very calm. I was not in pain and I was not worried.  I went into the nursery and made the chalk board…after all, we always take the pictures on Thursdays. 😉  I called Alex up to take my picture with the board and he thought I was crazy!  I reminded him I was not in pain and not in a hurry. All would be well.  He took my pictures, we put the dogs back to bed, and we got in the car that was already loaded (and had been for 2 weeks!).

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30am.  Again, we were very calm and I was not in any pain yet.  I went to the ER because I was told I go to the ER if your water broke.  Upon walking in, we must have looked like an induction.  I was dressed and ready, we were casually walking, no big deal.  They sent us to the regular check in desk.  After signing in, we had to wait to be taken back to the desk.  We set down our bags and started walking.  I started to have some contractions that were uncomfortable, but not necessarily hurt.  After about 10 mins I decided I probably should tell them my water broke we were not an induction checking in.  They said it was actually our turn to go in, so we calmly registered.  We got all checked in with our on call Dr. because ours was in Dallas, TX moving his daughter into her college dorm.  We made our way to the maternity ward.

We walked in and we were greeted by the head nurse.  She took us to a room and had me gown up. She did a test to make sure my water did indeed break, and got me set up.  I passed my water breaking test with flying colors, though through this whole process of getting to the hospital and stuff, I did not have much fluid at all.  That darn noggin of his was blocking everything.  It was 6:45am. IMG_1227

Alex and I realized we forgot to brush our teeth so we both took the time to brush them right away in the hospital. We thought this was hilarious.

I was Strep-B positive so I knew I needed anitbiotics, but for reasons we dont know, when I had my preterm labor scare in June, they ordered a screening to know what anti-biotic to give me because I am allergic to penicillin, but the test was never completed.  They went to hook me up to my IV and get me ready for the antibiotic when ever it would come (they were going to wait until the on call doctor was actually on staff at 7am).  For whatever reason, my veins on the top of my right hand would not allow the medicine to flow correctly and after 2 fails, they had to put the IV in my left elbow nook.  It went in very easy there and worked correctly, but it  was in the nook of my elbow and I couldn’t bend my elbow all the way because it was in the way (and very painful).  I was checked, and only 2 cm.

They hooked me up the non-stress test for half an hour to get a reading on Nolan and look at my contractions.  His heart rate was excellent.  I was having contractions every 2 minutes but they were not quite painful yet.

I started walking around the room to get things moving and contractions were definitely starting.   I was getting more uncomfortable as time went on.  I was trying a variety of positions.  I was standing, I was squatting, I was leaning on the couch, I was on all fours.  I was up, I was down, I was just getting more and more uncomfortable….and still having contractions every 2 minutes.   A nurse brought me some toast (I decided I was hungry) and some water.  She asked if I wanted to get into the whirlpool.  I GLADLY accepted.

IMG_1229I got in the whirlpool about 7:30.  I would try to eat toast between contractions because I knew I wouldn’t get to eat for a while if I didn’t.  It wasn’t great and I didn’t like it at all but I got some down.  Contractions started getting more and more painful at this point.  I was starting to really have to breath carefully through them and was constantly trying to find somewhere comfortable.  They came in and asked if I wanted an epidural and I said not yet because I didn’t want it to slow my labor.  I stayed in there for an hour and finally it was to uncomfortable to be in there any more. The steam of the water made me feel light headed and I just kept slipping when trying to find a position so I got out.  It was 9:15.

I was out for about 5 minutes when I was done. I asked Alex to call the nurse to see if I could get an epidural.  They checked me first–routine to make sure I wasn’t to far along and I was 4cm.  They came in right away, and called the Dr.  Upon telling them I had scoliosis the requested the head anesthesiologist so that I could have a few complications as possible.  He walked in a few minutes later and assessed my back. He said an epidural would be no problem and got started.  I flinched a couple times, but otherwise did very well with the epidural.  It took him 10 minutes from walking in the door to walking out the door.  9:30.
IMG_1234
Oh the relief of an epidural!  At this point Alex called my mom to let her know how far along I was.  She decided at that point to leave work.  I decided I was hungry again but all I was allowed was jello.  I ate my red jello and it was good, but I was still hungry….so they brought me an orange jello (they were out of red…darn!).  At noon, I was 5-6 cm and “stretchy”  They decided to do the peanut ball, which made my mom laugh so hard!

1:00 they checked me and I was 7cm.  Progressing nicely, not in pain.  I took a quiet rest.  Alex napped in the worlds loudest chair and mom was reading.

2:00 they checked me and I was fully dilated!  They wanted his head to move down more, so they had me try the peanut ball a little more. That helped but they still thought he could go lower, so they had me go on all fours.  That helped even more, but still didn’t lower him that much.

3:00 They decided to have me start pushing.  The on call doctor was called to the Neenah hospital, but told us to call when I was very close.  I had a hard time pushing at first. I could not figure out how to not push in my face.  I pushed for 2 hours.  They said I was doing very well, but I was getting frustrated.  The two nurses (Libby and Anna who were amazing!!), could not figure out which way he was facing.  Nolan’s head was so swollen they couldn’t find the fontanel lines.  They thought that may be why I was having so much trouble.  They also said he was very big and I am, well, not.  Also, that stupid IV in my arm was giving me trouble because it was in the crook of my elbow, each time I grabbed my knees and pushed I was pinching the IV tubes so alarms would go off.  Alex got really good at turning it off after every push.  It was driving me nuts though! I had what we think was a pinched nerve that was not effected by the epidural so I was in quite a bit of pain (though it definitely could have been worse).  I was very hot and I wanted it cooler.  Alex kept pushing the power cool button, but at that point they told him he had to stop or it would be to cold for Nolan to come into the world!  Alex got a cool cloth and was rubbing my face and neck.  He was a God-send.

Finally I got some really good pushes and I was there!  It was not quite 5. There were 4 inches of crowning and they called the doctor.  The doctor was on her way.  Then, they nurses gave me the news….I needed to stop pushing. They were afriad he would come before the doctor got there so I had to stop.  I sat there waiting trying to hold him where he was so he didn’t go back in.  25.minutes.later. the doctor came in running down the hall.  The nurses had the gown ready for her. She gowned up, got into place and I could push again.  Thank goodness!  5:12pm.

I pushed for her and progressed well.  At one point she said I had one more push and if I didn’t get his head out, she was going to do an episiotomy.  I didn’t want one so when the contraction came I pushed like I never pushed before….and his head was out!  4 more pushes and my Nolan was here!   5:27pm.

The cord was short so they couldn’t get him to my stomach.  He rested on my hip bones held by the nurse while I rubbed him with my finger tips and Alex cut the cord.  He was then brought up to my chest and I was in heaven!  I did tear in two places–one a second degree, one a first degree.  Apparently she turned to get the tool to help me and I took over.  She stitched me up, the placenta gave us no trouble, and I was on the road to recovery holding our son!


8 lbs, 12.6 oz, 19 or 20 inches depending on who you ask. His head was super swollen and cone-headed so it was hard to get a good measurement.  We could not believe his weight! Initially, Alex thought the scale said 8.1, but there were many numbers after that!

IMG_1247
IMG_3052

Stella Rose:

We did not go into labor on our own so we were off to our induction!  Our doctor got home the night before and our induction was scheduled for 6:15am, arriving at 6am on Thursday June 2, 2016.
Before heading out, we woke Nolan to give him some love and say goodbye.  Our sitter was coming at 5:30 to spend the day with him until my mom got out of work to pick him up.
We checked in and did our usual paperwork and hospital check in.  I arrived with contractions as I have been having for a while and dilated 3cm, 50%.

We finally got all checked in and started with Mesoprostol at 7:45am.  I had to lay for an hour and then I was free to move about.  Alex and I walked 13 laps around “the green circle” which totaled 2 miles.  I was walking with quite the pace because I really wanted to get contractions going and do as much on my own as I could.  Contractions were picking up on their own.

At 9:30am I got the IV so I could get the epidural when the time came.  The veins in my hand are not conducive to IVs so I had to have it put in my wrist.  It was far from comfortable and it made me pouty….but it was better than my elbow which I had for Nolan.
I was checked and at 4 after walking all our miles and the meds so Dr. O’Leary decided to break my water.  We broke my water at 11.  It was not long after my water broke that contractions started to pick up.
I didnt want to get the epidural to soon as the pain wasnt intense yet, but I also wanted to be sure they had time to get up there, get it with out being in agony, and time to relax a little before pushing.  We had a very nice anesthesiologist who put the epidural in at 11:45am.  It went well and it started working right away.
At 12:15 I was 4/5cm (nurse said 5cm the doctor said 4cm).  We decided to start to use the peanut ball to try and get things moving.
At 1:30, I got a very low dose of pitocin, and then another very low dose at 1:45.
Right around 1:50, someone kicked my catheter tube and I felt it.  I was also starting to feel the contractions and my toes were less tingly.  I told my nurse that I wasn’t in pain, but I was definitely uncomfortable.  She pushed the button on the epidural.  The contractions were getting increasingly worse so she pushed it again.  They called the anesthesiologist and he was busy so they sent another.  He noticed that the epidural had slipped a bit and fixed it and gave me a double dose directly into the catheter in my back….to no relief.

At 2, the contractions were AGONIZING and I was gripping the side of the bed and tears falling out of my eyes. They called the doctor and he came (literally running) at the sound of my voice.  He checked me and I was 7/8cm, but then told me to give a test push…..and instantly I was ready to have this baby!  Mind you–we have 3 nurses, the anesthesiologist, my doctor, and the pediatrician on her way because of the concerns with her heart and size.  Poor Alex is over in the corner by the microwave.  He made  his way to my side at this point. The epidural still was not working but there was no time.  I yelled I needed to push while he was putting his gloves on, washing up, and turning on the lights, and they were disassembling the bed.  Dr. told me to go ahead and when I did, his eyes got big and he came rushing  to the bed.  2 more pushes and sweet Stella Rose entered the world “like a freight train.”  That is when the pediatrician walked in…no one told her it was a hurry.
2:16pm She came out pink, breathing fine, and as perfect as can be.  She immediately went onto my chest where I got a glimpse of what looked exactly like a 2 pound smaller Nolan.  Alex cut the cord, she was brought to the Panda to check on her.  I sent Alex with the camera over to the Panda to check on her.  The pediatrician is telling him she is perfectly fine and he needs to come over by me because I am loosing a lot of blood.  I keep sending Alex to her.  Poor guy was a human ping pong ball that was weaving between the many people in the room.  The wide eyed anesthesiologist finally walked out of the room.
With my placenta being close, we knew bleeding was a possibility and it appeared I did have a little more than what is considered “normal.”  Mind you, we are taking care of all of this with no pain meds.  Now, I know that A LOT of women have and will deliver with out pain meds, but when you go in prepared for a medicated birth and do not have one it is a complete shock!
The bleeding was just getting under control and they handed a healthy looking baby girl to me for my skin to skin time.   We hadnt even been skin to skin for an hour and they told us they needed to take her for her echo.  The nurses tried to convince them to wait as the pediatrician cleared her, but they insisted.  I sent Alex with her to the nursery to get the echo done, and I was left in the room alone while they continued to work on the bleeding.  It was a scary hour on my own.  Nurses were a flurry but it still was hard.  I just dozed off when they returned to tell me I needed my catheter put back in to help control the bleeding….again no pain meds.
A very long hour later, Alex and Stella returned from the nursery.
 We finally had time to bond as a family.  The pediatrician came in to give us the GREAT news!  Stella does NOT have a double aortic arch!  We do not have to worry about her heart at all!  Her size is good, her stats are good, and her heart is good.  God is good!
IMG_9769
IMG_9786