Raelee’s Birth Story
Raelee Maurine was born on 7/2/13 at 6:25pm after 16hrs of labor. She was surprisingly huge weighing in at 9lbs3oz, 19.5″ long and 14.5″ head.
I was a little discouraged after my 40 week appt on Monday (when I was actually 39w3d–with the holiday week and Dr. B being off on Fridays, I was limited for when I could get in). There was zero change from the previous Thursday’s 39w appt where I was 1-2cm 80% effaced. And she was still very high up.
I had also started rethinking my birth plan. I was in a lot of pain for at least the last couple months of the pregnancy. It hurt to walk or roll over in bed or pick Kellen up or get up from sitting. Really, it was ridiculous, not to mention exhausting. I started dreading labor because I remember the pain I had with Kellen and I really was over pain. And labor was much much worse than the pain I was already feeling. I at least looked forward to Kellen’s labor even though I knew pain came with it (I had experienced painful contractions with my 2nd miscarriage). I thought about going into it knowing I would get the intrathecal again, but with it only lasting 2hrs, I was nervous. After having it for 2hrs and then going back to no pain meds at 10cm and having to labor down….yeah not fun. So the thought of an epidural started crossing my mind. I pretty much was thinking no though because I really hate the idea of being totally numb and I wouldn’t want it to stall my labor and lead to a c-section.
I woke up on Tuesday, 7/2/13 at around 2am with contractions…but I stayed in bed for an hour because I wasn’t sure that was what they were. Kellen’s felt just like menstrual cramps coming in waves. These felt like just annoying pain in my right hip and my back. But by 3am I knew they were coming in waves and were timeable–about 4min apart and lasting about 40sec. I woke John up around 3:30 and told him he wasn’t going to work. I called my dad because he was coming from 3hrs away to stay with Kellen for us. Them I labored on the ball or walking around or in semi hands and knees with my upper body on the ball. I actually was feeling hungry off and on so over the 6hrs I labored at home I ate a bowl of cereal, an apple and some Fig Newtons. We called Dr. B’s office at 8am when they opened so he would know he would probably have to leave later that day. I didn’t think he would want me to come to the office this time around–I thought with Kellen it was because I was a first time mom and he wanted to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm. I was wrong–he wanted to see me this time too. I felt I wasn’t as far as Kellen because I was still doing well. We got to Dr. B’s office around 8:15 and I was right–I was only 4cm. He still wanted me to go to the hospital and said I should progress about 1.5cm per hour. I wasn’t very excited about it, but I really didn’t like laboring at home with Kellen there (I locked myself in our bedroom).
We got to the hospital around 9am and our nurse was Kathy. Had to get a hep lock and she blew veins twice on my left arm and hand. Hurt soo bad. She asked another nurse to help and she got it on my right arm her first try. She put the wireless monitor on me and told me I was free to move around. I labored with just John for a while and the contractions got more intense. I had him apply counter pressure to my back and hips since it was pretty much all back labor pain. Kathy came back in around 10:30/11am and asked if I wanted to get in the jacuzzi. It wasn’t that great with Kellen but I think it was because I didn’t really try very hard to find a comfortable spot since I got in there so late with her. So I said yes and got in once it was full. It felt amazing between contractions and helped during–John used a cup to pour warm water on my belly during a contraction since it was outside of the water. I stayed in there until about 12:40 when Dr. B came and wanted to check my progress. I was only at 6cm and he wanted to break my water. I knew it was going to make contractions worse, but he told me it would also make them more effective, so I said okay. And man, the worse contractions hit pretty much right away. I was dying. I couldn’t move from the bed except to get in somewhat hands and knees with the head of the bed straight up and down and me leaning over it. John kept applying counter pressure, but it was not really helping. I started getting really vocal. This was close to when Lea and Lindsey arrived. They later told me I was kind of a buzzkill because they came to the hospital all excited and when they came in the room and saw me, their mood immediately changed since they saw how much pain I was in. Dr. B came back at 1:10 to check me again and I had progressed to a 7 so I did make good progress in a short amount of time. But it didn’t really make me feel any better. About 30 minutes later I started telling John that I was thinking about pain relief. He asked if I wanted the intrathecal again and I told him I didn’t think so because it would only last 2 hours. He asked about the epidural then and I said I was nervous because I didn’t want to be completely numb and I didn’t want it to stall labor. I was already thinking about how everyone says the 2nd+ labor is supposed to go quicker but I knew it wasn’t really. I already felt like it was going slower. We talked for a few minutes more about it and decided to go with it so we paged the nurse. She wanted to discuss all my options including IV meds, but I didn’t want to go that route and be all loopy. So she said she would call Dr. B to have him call it in to the anesthesiologist.
I felt like it took him forever to get there, and I forgot that the intrathecal works right away, but the epidural takes a little time. He had to insert the catheter twice because the first time didn’t work so it was somewhat painful. When it did start working, I was surprised that I could still feel and move my legs. I asked and Kathy said that they recently have actually started using lower dose amounts because they want us to be able to feel a contraction, but without the pain. It was actually just like the intrathecal! But I could actually feel the contractions more than I could with the intrathecal. I immediately thought that I made a good decision, but then thought that the contractions were not coming as quickly, so I asked about that and was worried about stalled labor. She said I was still having them and that they looked good and strong still. I had to keep switching from side to side because it would stop working on one side. But John and my sisters and I were able to have conversations.
There was a shift change around 3:15 and our new nurse was Danielle. She checked me at 3:26 by request of Dr. B because he had a scheduled c-section at 4pm. I was at an 8. Shortly after that, the contractions started getting painful and I asked if it wasn’t working or something and she said that Raelee was probably moving down and I was getting closer and to make sure to tell her if I felt any pressure or pushy. She reminded me about the button that I could use to get more meds whenever I wanted and I felt like I was pushing it with every contraction. They were more manageable than before getting the epi, but they were still very painful. She kept asking me if I felt the urge to push and I kept saying no. But I also said that she was still probably high up and that with Kellen I never got the urge to push either and I had no meds when I was at 10cm with her. She decided to check me around 5pm since it seemed like the contractions were very close and painful. I was complete. Dr. B came in a couple minutes later and he asked if I felt pressure–when I told him no he wanted to double check and he also said I was ready to push, but yes, she was still high. So they got somewhat set up and at 5:10 I started pushing.
Wow, it was night and day from pushing with Kellen. Pushing was so so painful with her, and this time it was so much easier. I could feel and move my legs but when I pushed I wasn’t feeling it that well so I was nervous that I wasn’t pushing right. After a little bit, I asked if we should turn off the epi because of that reason and Dr. B and Danielle said I was pushing great and that she was coming down and I was making a lot of progress. I did stop pushing the button though so I think it wore off more because I started feeling pain in my right hip when I was pushing. After about an hour of pushing Dr. B told me that her head was having trouble getting around my pelvic bone and once I got her past that and her shoulders, she would be here. I had started getting exhausted by that point and I don’t think my pushing was as effective. But I think him telling me that gave me a little bit more energy. I guess I was sooo close to getting her past it, but again, it wasn’t happening. I asked jokingly if he could just reach in and grab her out, and he said he was hoping he wouldn’t have to help me but we would see. I didn’t quite get what he was saying but then a few minutes later, Danielle was on the phone and requesting NICU because they were going to use the vacuum. That freaked me out and I said I didn’t want the vacuum. Dr. B said he was hoping we wouldn’t need it, but that she was stuck. I tried with the next contraction and I guess it didn’t work because with the one after he did use the vacuum. But he had it on for about 15 seconds he said and then after that I was able to get her head around the bone. The NICU team didn’t come in. The next contraction she crowned. I couldn’t necessarily feel the ring of fire like I did with Kellen, but it was painful and I knew she was right there. The next contraction after that I got her head out and Dr. B said to just keep pushing. With Kellen I remember once her head was out, her body just slipped out so easily, but I had to push pretty good to get Raelee’s shoulders out as well. She was born at 6:25pm and put on my chest. She started to pink up pretty quickly and she cried shortly after as well. It was such a relief. With Kellen she was blue and not making any noise and then the NICU whisked her off–I didn’t have those emotional moments of joy right after. I got that this time! I started crying with her first cry and I looked at John and he was teary eyed 🙂 Dr. B was able to wait to clamp the cord and she stayed on my chest for the next couple of hours. I remember noticing and saying that she had big hands 🙂
I had one 2nd degree tear and a couple “finger nail” sized tears, so not too horrible I guess. Of course him pushing on my belly to help deliver the placenta hurt, but otherwise, repairs went much better than with Kellen as well. And it was helpful that I was holding Raelee during it. Looking at pictures, her head had a lot of blood on it. We noticed later there was a cut on her head and a pinwheel type bruise–we are thinking it must be from the vacuum.
Even though it was close to bedtime, I had John tell my dad to bring Kellen. I was so excited to see her and introduce her to her baby sister. She didn’t know what to think at first. She kept looking at me and I think she was concerned. Lea put her up on the bed and she said “Baby!” She just looked for a couple minutes and softly touched her. Then I had John give her her present from Raelee. It was a battery operated dog that makes sounds and walks. She was so excited. She got down and played with Lea and Lindsey and the dog. Then they took Raelee to weigh her and give her a bath. Everyone was saying she was big and the nurse asked for guesses. I said 8lbs2oz and others guessed similar and the nurse guessed 8lbs7oz. She put her on the scale and we were absolutely shocked!! No wonder I was in so much pain towards the end! And with her noggin size and then seeing her shoulders I realized why I was having trouble pushing her out! She cried pretty good with bath but was content under the warmer. Someone picked Kellen up and told her to give Raelee a kiss good-bye. She did 🙂
Then everyone left and John held Raelee while I showered. I felt good! I wasn’t numb except for in the vaginal area and I felt so much stronger than after Kellen (I almost passed out and 2 nurses had to help me). Then we packed everything up on a cart and made it down to our Mommy & Baby Unit room. She was still nursing great and we actually had to wake her up a couple times at the 3hr mark! And she slept great in the bassinet. The next morning Dr. B and our pediatrician Dr. Bradshaw can by before 8am. Raelee looked perfect! All her numbers and test results were perfect! Yay, no extended stay or NICU visit!! They both released us so a few hours later we paged the nurse to see about leaving. She got started right away (her name was Jo and she was awesome!) but it’s a process so we got out of there around 1:30–about 19hrs after she was born. Kellen was napping when we got home, and we started settling in.
She hasn’t been sleeping that great at night, but we know she will eventually. But she’s a very chill baby. We absolutely love our new family of four 🙂