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Karin's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story

Karin making cookies on Bean's birthdayI was so excited that my waters had broken, but I knew it would be a wise idea to get some sleep. I tried. It was so hard, but I got about 6 quality hours. I expected my contractions to get going right away, which did not happen. Nothing happened. TJ took off the next day from work, and we went walking again. We also went to the store to stock the refrigerator. When riding in the car, I did have some significant contractions about five minutes apart, but they spread out or stopped when I got out of the car. This went on all day.

Nancy called about coming up because she lives about an hour and a half away, but TJ and I wanted her to wait until things started happening. We thought sitting around waiting would make me more stressed out. We also called Teri (my sister in law) and let her know that my waters had broken and to be on alert but not to come yet. She had a three and a half hour drive, but she was coming mostly to help out after the birth.

Wendy wanted us to do castor oil if nothing happened by 8 pm. I really was not excited about that, but I knew I was running on borrowed time because my waters had been broken so long. TJ and I tried some spicy food and acupressure first. Still nothing. Time for the castor oil! Ugh, that stuff is awful! I drank it in orange juice, and I think it will be a long time until I can drink OJ again. We went over to the exercise room to walk on the treadmill for a bit. Still nothing. We decided to try and get some sleep on Wendy's advice, so we called Nancy and told her to do the same. After I lay down, I got some fast and furious contractions! They were coming three minutes apart and lasting one minute and twenty seconds! After 45 minutes without knowing the intensity, I asked TJ and then told him to call Wendy right away. She told us to order the tub because we were afraid labor might progress very quickly (family history), and I didn't want to miss out on the tub. Wendy came over immediately and checked me. I was only at 4 centimeters, and as quickly as they started, the contractions stopped again. Wendy sent us back to bed and told us she would check in early in the morning. Exhausted, frustrated, defeated and even a little scared, I climbed back into bed. As a side note, I would not recommend castor oil to anyone. It didn't help get the contractions going, and it made for some very painful trips to the restroom!

Karin in the tubAbout 7am the next morning, Wendy stopped by to see if anything was happening. It wasn't. She told me to get in the tub to try and relax, and she was going to check in with her backup physician. She said there was no reason to think about going to the hospital because I didn't have a fever, but she needed to get the doctor's backup. As I got in the tub, she received a page from someone else. She went in the other room to return the page and came back with a change of plans. Yahoo! I was really scared about facing the fact that we might be in for a transport for augmentation. I was very happy to get a little more time. Wendy needed to run up to the birth center and talk to another client who was laboring with the backup midwife (Heather had just left on vacation). The other mom was having a tough time. Wendy thought she might relax with a familiar face since she hadn't met the backup midwife before she went into labor. Wendy told us to try some nipple stimulation and showed me how to do it. She told TJ to try and get me to eat something, and she would be back as soon as possible. We started the nipple stimulation at 8:00. After 15 minutes of stimulated contractions, the contractions started coming on their own-hard and fast. A short time later, TJ paged Wendy to ask her if we should continue stimulating the contractions or just let them come on their own. Melissa returned the page and told us to keep up the stimulation. She also told us to get some black cohosh from Wendy's bag and take one dose of that. I was in the throes of very intense almost nonstop contractions. Wendy called back in what seemed like just a few minutes-but I think was a little longer-to listen to me through a contraction. She told me to let them come naturally and then she wanted to talk to TJ again. She told him that she and Melissa were on the way, in the carpool lane as fast as possible-it was still rush hour traffic, but if I said anything about pushing, call them immediately and they would pull over to give him instructions.

There was no time to call the support team. Things were moving very fast! TJ came through and was absolutely amazing. I think he was a little scared at the idea of possibly catching the baby, but he didn't let it show. I couldn't have done it without his strength.

Wendy and Melissa made it back with a bit of time to spare. Wendy checked me and I was at 8 centimeters! I had gone from 4 to 8 in about an hour and a half. Wendy remarked that she had never seen nipple stimulation work so well, and she would never have left if she knew how fast things would move.

I think that the time from 8-10 centimeters was the worst. It wasn't overly painful, but it was extremely intense…I felt like I was being tossed about very strong waves with a powerful undertow, but I managed to stay on top of things very well. I was looking to TJ for sympathy to make it stop, but he told me over and over that he loved me and I was doing just great. When he wouldn't give me what I wanted, I appealed to Wendy. She also stood firm that I was just fine.

At no point did I ask for drugs or doubt myself in any way. It was tough yet exhilarating.

I was ready to push, and Wendy asked me to get out of the tub. She said I looked too hot. Since I had been in there for awhile, I was very warm and thought it a good idea. I couldn't get much farther than the edge of the mat on which the tub sat. I got on my hands and knees, but immediately decided this was not the place to be. I tried the bed, which was even worse. I didn't know what to do when suddenly I decided that I needed to use the bathroom. Wendy followed me in which wasn't a big deal to me. I sat on the toilet and immediately started pushing. Ahhh . . . what relief! Wendy called TJ into the bathroom and he stood next to me putting pressure on my back between pushes. Wendy told me to take 2 fingers and feel inside for my baby's head. I did and screamed "Oh My God, it's a baby! And it doesn't have any hair!" All of a sudden, Wendy insisted that I get off the toilet. I couldn't. I could hear what she was telling me, but I couldn't move. I was concentrating so very hard. The next thing I know, I was scooped up from behind by TJ and he and Wendy moved me into a supported squatting position. I felt the ring of fire; it burned but felt so good. All of a sudden, the baby was out! One push and it came out screaming and very pink! Bean was born on March 15, 2002 at 10:55 am weighing 8 pounds 4 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. I had only a very tiny tear from Bean's quick appearance.

MirandabirthWe were mesmerized by our Bean! What an amazing experience! My first words were "I can't wait to do this again!" It was worth every second of those 10 long days late.

After a few minutes, we decided to check out Bean more closely. Remember, we still didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. I lifted the baby up for TJ to announce…it's a baby girl!!! What a surprise because we were so convinced that she was a little boy. She looks exactly like the baby girl in my dreams, and she is absolutely gorgeous! She looks just like her papa and has a full head of hair.

Welcome Miranda Catherine to the world!

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