I know that a lot of you wonder how everything went and if my birth plan had anything to do with what happened. I’ll be happy to tell you something about it! I was wondering how to do it and I decided not to give you the full story which is getting more and more popular on the Internet (just type “labor and delivery story” in YouTube to see full stories together with videos from actual deliveries) because those were very private and special moments. I’ll tell you more about general stuff, about what I already was talking about in my weekly updates or about what some of you asked me so far. If you have any extra questions or doubts about something you won’t see in this post, feel free to leave a comment. However, I want you to remember that I don’t commit to answer all of them – it all depends what they’ll be about :).
Starting from the very beginning because some of you asked how long it took and so on… In my last weekly update I said that my contractions were getting stronger. It was true of course but they weren’t regular and they’d stop for a longer while and then they’d come back and then stop again. On Wednesday 23 they started to be stronger again, that day I saw my doctor and I was 3 cm dilated. The same day I decided to go to Atlanta and hang out with Eliza. My contractions were 7-11 minutes apart during the whole day but they stopped at night. From Thursday morning they gained strength and from noon they were 4-5 minutes apart, some of them pretty painful. Then Nathan said: “I’m sure we’ll go to the hospital tonight” and I was like noooo, I don’t think so… But actually it did happen because in the evening they were coming around 3 minutes apart so after we left the restaurant we called the hospital and they told us to come and get checked. So we did, they hooked me up and checked my contractions and April’s heart beat for like 2 hours because we had to wait for a doctor who was busy at that time. Even though these contractions were coming every 3 minutes, I wasn’t in an active labor yet because I was still 3 cm dilated and so they told me that I can stay in the hospital and then they’d give me a small dose of an oxytocin to speed things up or I can go home and come back “later” but nobody could actually tell me when I should come back exactly because my contractions were already very close to each other and they were intense. I decided to go home when we got at 1 am. I was falling asleep between contractions but each one would wake me up, each one was stronger and stronger and at that point I knew things were for real. At 4 am my water broke which made the contractions even stronger and Nathan got up so fast I never saw it before. By the way, I had this gush of waters and I’m glad I could experience that because it doesn’t happen as often as you see in movies at all. Nathan called the hospital and asked how much time we had since I had to have two doses of antibiotic with a certain break in between but I don’t remember how much. We got to the hospital at 6 am because meanwhile I took a shower and dried my hair. And then I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced. At 10.22 am – 9,5 cm, 100% and this extremely strong urge to push because – saying straight forward – I felt April’s head almost outside. But then I had to wait for the second dose of the antibiotic to go down the IV (they made it faster) and so I had to resist and that was terribly difficult. At 11.05 am I said I didn’t care anymore and I didn’t plan on holding her inside anymore because I simply wasn’t able to and with my next contraction my doctor came to the room. He said that the baby had a big head! I touched her hair when she crowned (it was in my plan as well). I pushed out the head and the rest of her body was born by itself just a short moment after. It was 11.24 am. So the whole thing from my water breaking to April being born took 7 hours 24 minutes which is a pretty short time, especially for a first time mother.
About the plan…
The majority of things went the way me and Nathan wanted. I changed one thing and my doctor changed one thing but after I agreed for it because he asked first. If I didn’t agree, it’d be all good and he wouldn’t do anything. Right after we got there and we gave our plan to the nurse, she scanned it and put it into my documentations so that other people changing shifts could read it. Each and every one of them read it and made sure with us if they understood everything correctly and one of the nurses actually remembered everything by heart and repeated what was about her job and that was really cool. In general, everyone respected it all and wanted to help, nobody argued with anything and nobody tried to change anything.
After I read my plan again just now I realized that everything went as I wanted (besides these two things I mentioned earlier) but, for example, I didn’t use the shower because I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to eat either nor to have any music… Nobody asked me how much it hurt, etc. I was informed about everything that was happening and if my mind was somewhere else then Nathan was informed. I sat on the ball that nurses brought for me, I could move and change positions as I desired. I was free to make my own decisions and medical staff consulted everything with me. For example, they asked me if I wanted them to check how dilated I was and it was totally fine if I didn’t want to. Our photographer took pictures at all times, I wore what I wanted to wear, after April was born she was put on my chest, they measured her way after first breastfeeding (and first they asked if they could take her), she wasn’t cleaned and next day they asked if we wanted them to wash her (we said no), we were present while tests were performed, she didn’t get any medicines. I didn’t worry about anything because, first of all I had Nathan out there, second, I knew that nurses and the doctor worked with us and I felt like I could trust them and third, I felt that I had a control over what was happening and I could make my own decisions (I want to highlight here just in case someone wants to say that they gave me too much freedom – if there was anything wrong and I had to have a c-section, I WOULD agree for that even thought I really didn’t want it to happen). And so my – quoting a part of one of the comments – “extreme birth plan” wasn’t that extreme at all :).
I recorded a video about my plan so if any of you haven’t read the post yet and prefer to listen instead of reading, go ahead and click play!
Is there anything that I’d change?
No. Even though I didn’t do everything I thought I’d want to (like shower) I still had in mind that I had different options available for me. So I think that everything I wrote in the plan was definitely appropriate and useful. I already said it several times but let me repeat once again – if you write your plan, imagine how your perfect labor would look like and write your plan according to that picture in your imagination. At the same time, remember to stay open for possible changes because you never know how things will go.
In general I’m happy that I gave birth in this hospital because I don’t have any reservations towards their care, people working there, their relationships with patients and hospital itself. I’ll write a post about formal stuff as well as their care, prices and so on because I thought it’d be a cool post to add to the “life in the USA” category :). And I think I’ll also write about my general impressions and experiences but first I need to put everything together because right now I have a little chaos in here.
Talk to you next time,