Jacqulyn’s Birth, by Suzie

Sep 16, 2012 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Birth Stories

Jacqulyn Celeste Renee Goins born at 1:24am, Thursday, October 17, 2002

Her pregnancy wasn’t too hard. I developed gestational diabetes (gb), but then I had it with my other two. So I don’t know why I was so disappointed to find out I had it. I broke into tears. Joey, my oldest, walked into the bedroom and asked so timidly, “Mama, are you going to die?” Thanks to him, my response put it all into perspective, “No, sweetheart, it’s just an inconvenience.”

So I found out I was pregnant in Feb. Told Joe’s sister, Laura, and swore her to secrecy until we made it into Texas in April. She was pregnant with her first.

Things went along pretty well. Except for the gb, I had no other complications. No pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) like the last two times. I started taking hawthorne twice day as soon as I found out.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant and passed the point when I have previously miscarried, 6 weeks, I called Darlene Curtis to midwife for me and Kimberly Radtke to be my doula. These two women were at the birth for Christopher. I was so pleased with his birth that I had to have them with me again.

Because of my gestational diabetes, my midwife had to transfer care to an OB. We went to Karen Jones. As it turned out, her philosophy of handling pregnancy and labor and delivery was in alignment with ours. She was open to hear about my needs and expectations, listened and understood them and did her best within reason to honor them.

So with the gb, Dr. Jones didn’t want me to go past 40 weeks because of the size a gb baby can achieve. The ultrasound in August, though, led us to believe that the baby was right on track as far as size and unlike Christopher, this baby’s amniotic fluid was not compromised at all. Jones called the weight at being in the 8-1/2 lb range.

As our due date approached, I hoped that I would go into labor on my own. That was one of the “improvements” I wanted to make with this pregnancy. I had already achieved one improvement by keeping my blood pressure in control. Why not go for more?

So we tried our own labor-inducing tricks – sex (I have never been as aroused in my other pregnancies than in this one ), homeopathics, evening primrose oil. I was too tired to do any walking. Then the Monday before the baby was born, Joe, Christopher and I went in for an appointment. We knew we would have to discuss induction. Previously I had asked Jones if there was some way to assure that she would be the doctor on hand to deliver baby when (I kept trying to be optimistic about it all) and she said no. It would be the luck of the draw as to who would be on call. Out of the 5 doctors in her practice only two were absolute no ways. The other three, including Jones and another who, rumor had it let a VBAC mom push for 5 hours without interfering, were fine.

But as we talked about induction that Monday, Jones said we would schedule it for Wednesday, the day she would be on-call. Yay!

So we got our ducks in a row, finalized packing and arrangements for our older boys, hotel, blah, blah, blah. I sent out emails telling everyone what the plan was, got lots of good lucks and wishes back.

Tuesday night we stop off at our co-operative school’s parent meeting, stay for the classroom portion, drop off our auction donation and Boeing matching paperwork and the donations for the rest of the school year. Touch base with friends about was going on. Left after the classroom portion and headed off to Trader Joe’s for a couple of last minute provisions. Went out for dinner. We got settled in our hotel.

I floated in the bath tub for a little while. Tried to calm down. I couldn’t go to sleep. I woke Joe up to talk to him about stuff.

Seven o’clock rolls around – time to get up. Breakfast for the boys included a trip to the continental breakfast. They thought that was very cool. We still have the pop-tarts. Joe made me some eggs.

At 8 I called the hospital to check their availability. That was when I found out they wouldn’t use the prostaglandin. It was against hospital policy. I told them I needed to call “my people.” The nurse sounded miffed that I would question her. (She later turned out to be something of a pill.)

So I called Darlene and picked her brain. I have notes from these conversations somewhere. So I can’t remember all that was said. I called Kim and talked with her too. I told Kimberly I wanted her there from the outset. I didn’t want to go in without her support. I then called Jones’ office and talked with Angie, who is an L&D nurse. She talked with Jones and got back with me. Apparently some research has been done within the last year the results of which showed the prostaglandin in a VBAC mom pushed the chance of uterine rupture up to 7%. We used prostaglandin with Christopher only 2-1/2 years prior with great success and no one but me was willing to take the 7%. So Jones and I had to talk about alternatives.

We chose to break the bag of waters and hope I went into labor on my own. We got to the hospital 2 hours after our original appointment time and set about trying to induce labor. Kim was there. I had homepathics and tinctures which we had talked about with Darlene. Black cohosh was a no-no because it has a tendency to increase blood pressure. Since my blood pressure had been ideal, we didn’t want to mess with success. The Wise Woman Herbal by Susun Weed suggested blue cohosh and birthroot. So after the bag of waters was burst, I took several doses of the herbs. I was on external monitors and a heparin lock was put in. This is where Debbie, the miffed nurse, was called to in stick me. Carol, our first nurse, tried twice and didn’t get it. So she called in this other nurse who must have got it. But the time I opened my eyes, I saw a trail of blood trickling down my hand. I bit my tongue and didn’t say, “Well, I’m glad you called in someone who knew what she was doing .”

Kim and I conferred frequently while nurses were out of the room. Joe was busy tying up loose ends with the boys to free him up for the immanent labor. Our close friend, Julie Smart was called, she drove down and took the boys to the zoo and then back to Everett.

After I was hooked up, we started the walk around the Triage triangle. Not much distance, but I had to stay on the floor to assure they could use telemetry to monitor the baby. It seldom worked, but the nurse wasn’t too worried about it since I would come back every four or five turns around. Monitoring showed that I would have contractions while I walked and that baby was loving it. Responding and recovering to everyone’s satisfaction.

As we walked I felt the contractions getting stronger. But as soon as I got back to the bed, they would stop. So as we walked, Kimberly, Joe and I discussed the pitocin option. Not my first choice, but it was all we had left. We agreed to go for it. I had pitocin for Joey and knew the contractions would be fiercer than that ones I had for Christopher. But to get the baby out, I had to go that path. I assured Kimberly that I didn’t feel like I was selling or copping out. I knew that this was what we needed to do to reach our goal.

I made sure I got assurances that we would start out as low as possible and work our way up. The nurses said they would increase the pit by two units every fifteen minutes. That’s not the way it worked, thankfully. We called my friend, Joan Barton, to get her over to support us in labor.

We started the pit at 6pm. When Joan showed up, she and Joe talked in the big room while I was in the bath. It probably wouldn’t have mattered at what volume they were talking, it would have bothered me no matter what. I gritched about it to Kim, who was in the bathroom with me. I brought it up to Joe a while later.

The tub helped for a bit. They couldn’t run the jets because that would have messed up the monitors. As it was, I was fully submersible – hep lock, monitors and all. I had lots of pillows behind my head. The water was almost scalding hot. But with the pit contractions, the glamour soon wore off.

I remember lots of back labor and people pushing back on my back. For a while, Kim pushing on my hips worked to relieve the pain, but not as much as before. Before we were done, there were two people behind me using both hands on either side of my spine pushing as I leaned in as hard as I could.

Joe tried to check my blood sugar during labor. He tried and tried and was too nervous I guess. I had to do it. Later I got shaky and downed some juice we brought. I knew it was a different shaky than the shivers I got.

I talked to the baby to that it was time to go down and come out. I called on the Goddess to help me. I took several doses of Rescue Remedy. I was very close to demanding pain-killers. Kim kept reminding me that we had to get through this one contraction. That there was tremendous power in what we were doing. Just as the pit was starting, she commented about how I looked like a birthing goddess. She wore her baby head crowning earrings.

I moved about as I labored. Walking, swaying.

With many contractions before the pit I could feel the fluid leak out. It was clear! Big pads between my legs. I know how Christopher feels with the big diapers. Walking, slow dancing, we tried the supported lap squat late in labor. I couldn’t handle it all. It hurt so much more than with Christopher. At one point, I was in the tub, I know Joan or Joe was applying counter pressure when the nurse came in to up the pit to 8 units. She went on about the “optimal labor pattern” for me. I begged her to leave it as it was at 6. If she increased it any more I wouldn’t make it. I am grateful that she heard and heeded my request. She did try to tell me the baby would be out sooner, but I knew that if the contractions got any more intense, I would break down and beg for drugs.

I felt like pushing before I was fully dilated. The medical staff kept telling me to breathe through the urge. Kim was at my back saying to follow what my body was telling me. So I made everyone happy and breathed through my pushing.

Each time the med staff would give me a reason I would assure them that I understood. It didn’t the change the fact that I still wanted to push. Finally when Jones said I was 9.5 cm she said, “You go, girl.” It was about that time I really called the Goddess down to me. Kim kept asking me what I said and I ignored her. It wasn’t for her ears.

My contractions were loud at first. I cried on Joan and Joe. Pictures show me with a little more raw emotion than I am used to seeing. I’m tearing up even as I type. I howled, grunted, cried. I shook the squat bar. I said, “I am too old for this” at one point and no one had any witty retort.

I shit while the baby moved down. I asked for someone to wipe my butt. At that point a nurse came in and made our nurse take a break. This nurse was sitting in a chair off to my left, her legs stretched out and her arms across her chest. With the butt wipe request, I could feel everyone look at her. She said, “Oh, I guess that would be me.” She took her time getting her hands washed and other things that she needed to accommodate me. Yes, she did get stuck with the shit job. After her response, though, we all knew she deserved it.

I almost offered to get her more popcorn and beer for her comfort. Later, as we talked about it, Joe, Joan, Kim and I agreed she was the one who was slated for the “person we could all hate” role that had been the OB at my son’s birth last time.

Once when they were wiping my bum, Kim commented on my hemorrhoid. I said it was a big as the King Dome. She said I couldn’t use that analogy any more (as the King Dome had been demolished). If I had been up for the repartee I would have said that if it had a retractable roof, I could make some real money.

At one point, the doc or nurse wanted to put in a fetal scalp monitor. I refused it. I told them they’d have to do their best to get the baby monitor, but no internal monitor.

At another point, when the first nurse was off shift and a new one was coming on, I heard they confer about my first birth in Texas. It was gratifying to hear the clucking of tongues and sighs of sadness as they commiserated about how that experience was not optimal for me. I’m sure it colored their attitudes about the impending birth in my favor.

My pushing was intense and I quit vocalizing. All my power went into the pushing. I heard Jones murmur about how powerful it all was.

After the hot bath I would shiver. A bath sheet was put over me. I wanted to take about 20 of those things home.

Kim told me to put my finger in my vagina and feel the head. I had to stick my whole finger in there, but I did feel the head and was motivated for go more. Then the burning started. I called out that I was burning. Darlene was there by now. Jones was called and almost missed the birth. And wouldn’t you know it, the nurse we all hated was right there putting her hands out to catch. Dar told me to breathe through the burning but I couldn’t hold out too long. And I told them so. It was happening fast and furious. I was Brighid and I had work to do. Jones showed up and got prepped. She asked Joe if he wanted gloves. “I didn’t use them the last time, I don’t want them now.” Jones helped a bit, but not so much as to keep Joe out of the way.

I was on the bed, my left knee up and resting on my right knee like sports stance. At one point we tried a contraction on my side/back with a nurse pushing my left leg to me. I had to yell at her to let up when the contraction was done. I couldn’t push her back across the room like I wanted to.

But holding onto to the squat bar and on one knee I could see the baby coming out, when my eyes were open. Joe and I both cried out, “It’s Jacqulyn!” She was put on my belly, her cord was too short to get her all the way up to my breast. I cried, I laughed, I was done.

I had torn to the rectum, but it was superficial. Jones used a hemming stitch. After about 45 minutes, after weighing, measuring, wiping, Kim suggested we get her to the breast. She went right for it. We were all amazed. She latched right on to my right nipple. After a few minutes I needed to sit up. I moved my left hand away (it has been keeping my breast away form her nose) and tried to sit up. My breast blocked her nose. Kim saw it and leapt to the rescue. Jacqulyn had turned very blue. The nurses swooped in. I felt stupid but knew that it wasn’t a defect. The baby just couldn’t move out of the way.

But she was fine. She had a few more choking moments during the day due to mucus and other birth stuff coming up, but we were able to call nurses and syringe it out. But those episodes helped me decide to stay the night. We could have gone home that afternoon, but I wasn’t ready.

I couldn’t sleep much that day. Joe crashed on the pull out chair for 2 hours and went back to the hotel to make calls. I stayed in the room watching Jacqulyn and reveling in our accomplishment.

See Jacqulyn’s birth photos.

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