Liv Elaine Druelinger
Born October 13, 2011 at 6:07am
Weighed 7lb 10oz 20in
WARNING!!! I blog for my own benefit; so I can remember the events. I include all the "fun" details. Read at your own risk!
I started having contractions about 4 weeks before she was born. At first they would happen after intercourse, so we tried that every day, but they stopped happening after a couple times. A few times I woke up with them in the middle of the night. If I laid in bed they would stay strong, but if I walked around they died down.
Sept 27 38 week check up 1cm tight cervix, no signs of baby
Oct 4 39 week check up 2cm, Blanke offered to break my water that weekend, I didn't want to
Oct 5 went back in to Blanke b/c I thought I was leaking fluid. He ran two tests to decide if I was, one showed I was, the other said I wasn't. Blanke said the foresac could have ruptured or it could have picked up blood on the test, but under a microscope he saw no evidence of water breaking. I measured 3cm, which I thought was great and figured I'd be a 5 by Friday and have baby by weekend.
Oct 8 Official Due Date
Oct 9 40 weeks contemplated having water broke, discussed it with Jamie, decided we didn't want to "go there"
Oct 11 40 week check up. 3cm cervix still has a lip and far back. Discussed options with Blanke. If no baby by Monday, do stress test and ultrasound at hospital (b/c 41 weeks). If tests ok I can decide if I want to break water, if tests not ok, Blanke decides. If no baby by Fri Oct 21, will break water. Later, I had contractions all night, but they weren't consistent.
Oct 12 I had "bloody show" and lots of cramping (felt like menstrual cramps). I walked, cleaned, mopped, and pumped, to try to start labor.
Oct 13 Birth Day!!!
2 am woke up to contraction, but very inconsistent, couldn't time them, just very crampy, so I waited to call anyone
3:30 am called Amanda, lots of cramping, decided to go to hospital b/c by the end of the conversation they were picking up. Called Jamie told him to start driving home. Called Mom asked her to come pick me up. Took a shower, ate snack, and waited...
4:30 am arrived at hospital
4:45 am 5cm triage
5:30 am walked to room, got on birthing ball
5:40 am water broke on ball
5:45 am 9cm
6:07 am birth
Surrounding the birth was the drama that was happening with Jamie's job. About a month before I was due he applied for a job at Verizon. When he told me he would be gone for 4 weeks in Michigan for training during my due date, I said absolutely not. The job is out of the question. But the pay increase was significant. So he pursued the job. He went through several phone interviews and kept getting further and further in the process. We figured he could always turn them down.
He was scheduled to start training on Monday, October 3rd and it was Friday Sept 30th and we were still waiting to hear if he passed all the screening tests. VERY FRUSTRATING to a woman due at any moment. It was a stressful time for both of us- I was trying not to be the nagging 9 month pregnant wife asking a million questions about what to expect from the new job/training and he was trying to please his wife by finding out as many details as possible yet not over stepping his boundaries for a job he didn't even have yet. Very trying time. I was constantly battling my emotions; trying to be strong, yet crying if someone brought up the topic b/c I was so unsure of how things would play out. So on that Friday before training we finally got a call that he got the job and would be leaving for training. We had been told a million different scenarios of locations, times, and transportation for the training. None of them turned out to be true. He had one day of training in Michigan on Monday Oct 3 and had to drive, not fly. Then he had to work in the local store for the remainder of the week. We thought for sure this was God's way of allowing him to stay in town for another week so I could have the baby while he was home. Nope, didn't happen that way. God kept us trusting :)
Then the following week Oct 10-14 he started training in Cincy for 4 weeks. He was home on the weekends. In the meantime he was still taking 2 classes a week at Oakland City. So on Monday he worked 9-5 at the Evansville Verizon store, then went to class from 6-9, then drove to Cincy after class. Then on Tuesday he'd go to training in Cincy from 8-4, drive back to Evansville for class from 7-9, then drive back to Cincy after class. Then he'd stay in Cincy for training Wed-Fri, come home Friday night for the weekend, and do it all over again the next week. HORRIBLE! I felt so bad for him, and scared, driving so much and so little sleep.
In the meantime, I'm just praying I have the baby on the weekend when he is home. So every weekend I would debate whether or not I should let Blanke break my water so that I was in control of when labor started and Jamie would be home. But I just never felt at peace about it. To me, breaking my water was scarier than risking Jamie not being home for the birth. My thoughts were, what if he breaks my water and nothing happens, labor doesn't start. Then I'd have to get Pitocin, which means contractions would be a lot harder. What if I couldn't handle them mentally and had to get an epidural? I don't get epidurals b/c of the harm they do to the baby and the way they slow down labor; so that would be going against what I know to be good. Or even scarier, what if none of it works and they have to do a C-section? That is super scary to me. So I just never felt ok about it. One day over lunch on a Sunday before Jamie left for training I laid it all out and told him how scared I was. He reassured me that I was making the right decision to not be induced and that I had all the support I needed with Amanda and Mom during labor. My fear was that while he felt he wasn't needed during labor, just knowing he was there allowed me to focus on labor. What if he wasn't there? Would I be able to focus on labor? Or would I be so focused on his absence that I'd lose my focus and crumble?
Well one week of training went by and no baby. Then on Wednesday, Oct 12 I had been feeling crampy, like menstrual cramps, all day. Even though they weren't contractions, I had a feeling they were going to send me into labor that night. I woke up at 2am with the cramps, so I started walking in the house. I walked for 1.5 hrs. The time flew by b/c the whole time I was debating with myself if it was really labor and if so, I needed to call Jamie and get him on the road. But I didn't want to be wrong and have him get here and have to turn around and drive back. So I kept waiting "just a bit longer". I finally decided to call Amanda. As much as I hated waking her up (b/c she's pregnant with twins and very tired!!) I needed her to help me make the decision if I should call Jamie. During our 20 minute conversation I started out questioning myself and thinking I'd just go to the hospital to let them check me, and by the end of the conversation I was more confident this was labor. So we hung up agreeing to meet at the hospital and call Jamie. I called Jamie at 3:30am. As I was talking to Jamie contractions starting coming more obviously and harder. I then called my mom and realized they were coming too fast so I wouldn't be able to drive myself to the hospital. Still not wanting to sound stupid if it wasn't really labor (since they were nothing like Beck's contractions), I casually told her we were just going to go to the hospital to see what's happening. I didn't realize how casual I sounded until later she told me. She debated doing her make-up and hair. Thank you Jesus that she chose not to!!
We arrived at the hospital at 4:30am and checked into triage. Contractions were coming quick and hard by now. I was not doing well mentally. I remember thinking in my head "it's ok to not have control, as soon as Amanda gets here, she'll get you under control." I think now, why didn't I try to do something myself? Why wait until Amanda got there and rely on her? I have no idea. But as soon as she walked in the room, my mom was like "she needs you to help her." Haha. I remember my legs shaking uncontrollably; it was all coming so fast.
So they checked me and I was at a 5. The nurse said my contractions were a "pretty pattern". Rrriiiggghhhhtttt I thought. Pretty! Mom and Amanda kept talking about Jamie's status which was making me nervous and distracted b/c I knew he wasn't going to make it, so I put my headphones in and listened to worship music. That was the best decision I made! It was so relaxing and helped me focus. I got myself under control pretty quick once Amanda got there.
I chose to walk to the room, having several contractions along the way which I stopped for. At one point I looked up and saw Julie Hanson (my friend's mother) standing in the hallway, smiling at me. She was my delivery nurse. Once I got to the room, Amanda suggested I get on the ball to keep things moving quick. So I did. After about 2 or 3 contractions on the ball, my water broke. That scared the crap out of me!!! It happens without any warning and it feels like a water balloon exploding inside you. That jolted me a bit. I went a little hyper for a minute. I lost all focus and got very scared. Amanda did her job and reeled me back in. Without me telling her, she got me a cool rag for my neck b/c she knows I get hot easily.
So I got back in bed since we knew it was gonna come quick now. Amanda told the nurses that last time when my water broke things moved very quickly and they should start getting ready for a baby and call Blanke. They did just that. This was the best group of nurses, Julie particularly, that I could've hoped for!!! They checked me and I was at 9cm. At this time Amanda had a conversation with me. She reminded me that baby would come if I would roll over to my side. At first I was reluctant b/c I knew that would bring another phase, harder contractions and pushing. Then Blanke walked in. He came up to me and asked why I wasn't walking or on a ball b/c that's what we'd talked about in my birth plan to keep labor moving. I was dumbfounded. I couldn't understand why he wanted me to do that if I was about to push. I later found out that at first he thought the baby was already born when he walked in, but after he saw no baby, based on the tone in the room when he walked in and my calmness while being at 9cm, that I must not have been that far along and he was called too early. So that's why he was confused at my being in bed and smiling. Amanda interceded for me and told him I was just getting ready to turn on my side to get things moving. So I did. Immediately I felt the urge to push so I did. After a couple contractions my mom lifted my leg and saw the head. She motioned to Blanke and the nurses and they all scrambled to get to their places. Another push and her head was out. What I didn't know until later was that the cord was wrapped around her head twice. So Blanke told me to rest a minute while he took the cord off. She was completely purple and it was wrapped so tight he was afraid it was going to snap; but it didn't. Then he told me to push again and look to see the sex. It was a girl!!! Yay!! I secretly wanted a girl!
Mom immediately text Jamie a picture of her. He was still 2 hours away. I'm sure his heart sank when he saw that picture come through; but I'm sure he was so excited to see his baby girl.
This labor was SO different from Beck's. The false labor that started 4 weeks before birth but I had not false labor with Beck; this baby was 5 days late, Beck was 5 days early; the labor started as cramps; I walked for 9 hours with Beck to get to 5 cm and I arrived at the hospital at 5cm with Liv; I didn't moan or make any noise with this labor; and I felt in control this time. I stayed on top of the contractions and didn't let them get out of control or make me lose focus. What a difference it makes to have one "under your belt." I learned so much from my first and worked so hard mentally in between the two to grow from my first experience. But nothing could replace the value of a doula. I COULD NOT have done it without Amanda. And I don't know what it's like to have a doula who isn't your best friend as well, but it has to help.