Thursday, April 17, 2014

2 weeks.

As of today, I'm officially 2 weeks post-partum. I'm also many, many weeks behind on posting here. While Oliver's due date was April 8th, he decided that April 3rd would be his birthday. Thankfully, he arrived just in time to meet the timeline that my family had for our move to Okinawa.

For a few weeks leading up to his arrival, I was doing everything known to man to jump start labor. I frequently used a yoga ball to prepare my body. I walked everyday. Often times, I was walking about 5 miles a day. I was doing squats, taking the stairs 2 at a time during every commercial break. Trying foods that are supposed to help. You name it, I tried it! It really is true though, the baby is not going to come until your body and the baby are ready.
 At my 38 week appointment, my midwife was able to strip my membranes since I was dilated to 3cm. With my son, this brought labor on within less than 2 days, so we were hopeful that something would happen quickly. My mom came down so she wouldn't have to drive down in the middle of the night, in a rush. Ali's mom also came down that day, and....nothing happened!
On the afternoon of the 3rd, Carlos was home, so I decided to take a walk along my normal route. I didn't have a single contraction the entire time, and as I was coming down the home stretch of the walk, I was starting to get more and more upset that he just wouldn't come. Then, I felt something I wasn't expecting and I became even more upset. I was pretty much 100% sure I had peed my pants! Considering this hadn't been an issue throughout the pregnancy, I was not very happy that it was something I could add to my list of different things that happened this time around. Now, I was officially more pregnant than I ever had been, and I was going to start peeing myself. Great!

When I got home, I went straight upstairs to change and take a bath to relax. When I changed, I noticed that I didn't smell urine at all. That's when I decided that maybe I didn't have a disgusting symptom to add to the pregnancy, maybe my water was leaking instead. I took my bath, waiting hopefully, for contractions to start. Nothing happened. After my bath, I texted the amazing doula that was going to be encapsulating my placenta, and let her know what happened. She recommended I rest, work the yoga ball, and if I continued to have increased leakage to eventually go in. I then texted Ali and let her know what was going on. Together, we decided that it'd be best to go ahead and get checked out after we had a chance to eat dinner.

Sometime around 6:30, Ali picked me up and we headed over to the Naval Hospital. They got me checked in, and hooked me up to the monitor and said they wanted to monitor me for at least 20 minutes. I was having occasional contractions, but nothing painful, and they were relatively far apart. Around 7:45, they finally checked me to see if it was actually my water and to see how far dilated I was. I was dilated to a "tight" 4cm and 75% effaced at that time. When he realized Lt. Dell had already stripped my membranes once, the doctor decided to try again. He was unable to get his fingers between Olivers head and my cervix, so he was unable to strip them well. A few minutes later they came back and stated that it sounded like I probably had a "pin hole" leak that had sealed itself off, because there was no ferning on the slide to indicate that amniotic fluid was leaking at that time. They also let us know that the baby had experienced a few late decelerations in his heart rate when we first got there, so they wanted to continue to monitor for another hour.

By 8:30, the contractions were really starting to hurt. They also were much more regular and coming closer and closer together. At 9, they came in to pull the strips off the monitor and stated they would most likely be sending me home. I was in a lot of pain with each contraction at that point, so we made sure they knew that. At 9:10, they decided to keep me...Oliver was officially on his way! For probably the 10th time, I asked if they had called Lt. Dell yet, since she said she would come in for my delivery, even though she was on leave. Luckily, they had. Ali called Brian right away so he could get there, and I let Carlos know they were keeping me so he could get someone to the house to stay with the kids and get down there. I really thought that with how things were going, labor was not going to move as quickly as it did with my last pregnancy, so I didn't tell Carlos to hurry...I was wrong!

They asked me about pain medication as soon as we got into the room. I told them I hadn't anticipated being able to get an epidural, so I guess I might as well take one! I also asked for something IV to help out while I waited for the anesthesiologist. During this time, they were hooking me back up to the monitor, starting an IV, etc. The nurse told me I had to be checked again to get IV medications, and she went to get the doctor for me. They want to insure that you aren't progressing too quickly before they give you IV medications, if the baby is born too soon after the medications, he would be too sleepy to respond appropriately to the outside world. The doctor checked me at about 9:50 and I was at 8cm and in a lot of pain by then, and guess what, because I had progressed so quickly, no IV pain medications for me. Plus, the anesthesiologist was still in the next room over, and the contractions were so painful, I wasn't going to be able to sit up to get the epidural anyway. So, another natural labor for me. I have to admit, I was not happy about that. Even though I had expected to not get pain medications, I really, really wanted it.

Again, I asked if Lt. Dell had been contacted and if she was on her way, they called her again to let her know how much I had progressed. I was experiencing back labor again, so I was incredibly uncomfortable. I was already feeling the need to push, but couldn't because I wasn't completely dilated yet. Carlos finally got to the hospital sometime after 10. Brian was already there at that point as well. Once I knew Lt. Dell was on her way, I asked (not so nicely) for them to please check me again because I really, really wanted to push to make the pain stop. When they checked again, the lip of my cervix was still over Oliver's head, so I wasn't quite ready to push yet. I asked (again probably not so nicely) for them to PLEASE break my water so that things would go faster. Within a few minutes of them breaking my water, I was ready to push, and Lt. Dell still wasn't there. I got through my first contraction of pushing, and she finally walked in. I was so happy! I don't know why, but I really wanted her there. After a few more contractions, Ali and Brian finally got to hold their son! It was amazing to see them with him, and I was beyond happy that labor was finally over!

My first time seeing Oliver!


  1. So proud of all that you've gone through for Ali & Brian. Science is amazing.. and the fact that you could carry their baby! And, I'm thankful for technology, for allowing me to "be there" during labor kind of.. even though I'm across the country. Love you lots!

  2. You are incredible, Caryn! Cannot believe how fast your labor was (although with no pain meds I'm sure it didn't seem fast)! So glad everything worked out - what a great gift you we able to give!

    -Catherine Parkinson