Claire Elise’s Birth Story

Here’s another note I pulled off of Facebook.  Claire was born 2/08/2009.


The following is a note I had written to a friend detailing Claire’s birth story:

I started labor at 3AM, went to the hospital at 8:30AM, and I was at that point between a 2 and a 3, 80% effaced. In two hours, I didn’t really progress from that, so they were going to send me home. As we were standing at the counter in triage signing out, a contraction hit HARD. I clenched the edge of the counter, trying to maintain composure and not fall over, when I felt the strangest sensation. It was a bubble, then a burst! My water had broken. So, obviously, I stayed. Now, contractions aren’t fun at all, but contractions once your water has broken are the most horrifying pain I’ve ever experienced. I was BEGGING for the epidural before they’d even put me in my room! The nurses were great; they hurried me along and got the anesthesiologist as quickly as humanly possible. My mom made it there just in time to be with me for the last few contractions I felt. Thank goodness…John was turning pale and completely unable to deal with me. He would occasionally remind me to breathe, but other than that, he wasn’t really mentally prepared to deal with me being in that much pain.


The hospital staff were wonderful. They monitored me closely–as my contractions strengthened, Claire’s heartrate would slow at the peak of the contractions. Almost immediately, there were three nurses, one doctor, and the anesthesiologist in my room checking me. They changed my position, put me on oxygen, and changed some of my IV fluids. That helped, and her heartrate seemed to return to normal.


I LOVED that I couldn’t feel my contractions. I had people in my room until I was dilated to a 9.5. I was able to talk and enjoy that time with family and friends. I felt great! It wasn’t until a little later that I started to get a little tired, but remember-I’d been up with contractions since 3AM.


Finally, the doctor came in, had everyone leave (with the exception of John, my mom, and John’s mom), and told me to push. That was mildly stressful to me because I couldn’t feel the pressure. I asked the nurse if maybe we should back off the epidural, and she told me not to worry, that I was pushing right. I pushed for about 15-20 minutes before we became concerned for Claire. Her heartrate was dipping as I was pushing. The doctor said that he was afraid that she might have the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, and that he was going to use foreceps to help her along. We had her out in two pushes after that, and he was right–the umbilical cord WAS wrapped around her neck. What could have been life threatening became little more than an afterthought thanks to the doctor’s quick thinking.


Now, here’s the deal: If I’d gone natural, I don’t know how I would have survived the foreceps and the tearing involved there. And what’s worse–if I’d decided to do an at-home birth, Claire could have died because of her umbilical cord situation. That seriously makes me want to cry.

Anyway, Claire was born at 5:47PM, weighing 7lbs 15oz and being 19.25 inches long.


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