27 September 2011

Call me crazy . . .

. . . but I think my last labor experience was given to me to prepare me for a marathon. I'll explain after I tell you about labor and delivery with Enoch. If you have no interest in labor stories, even fairly positive ones, then read no further. :)
This labor was induced. I wasn't given any hormones; they just broke the water. I haven't heard any good stories about pitocin so I think I was glad about that. Labor was so long though that I'm not sure if I wouldn't have rather had hormones just so it would have been faster. However, as stated at the beginning I think things happened the way they did for a reason, or even more than one.
At my final appointment with my doctor we talked about having labor induced in a few days. If I recall, this appointment was on a Tuesday and we discussed Friday. We didn't set a time at the appointment because of a conflict with an elective induction. It was expected that that one could be bumped, but a nurse called me later that afternoon and told me that one wasn't budging, "So how about tomorrow?" she said. That kind of threw me. I was nervous and didn't sleep very well. But my appointment was for 8:30 am. We had to go in at 7:30. A wonderful friend of mine came over to hang out with our kids for a while and eventually took them back to her home.
Before we left for the appointment David gave me a blessing, as he has before every baby. I remember nothing about previous blessings, but this blessing was really helpful during labor. I was told that the Lord was proud of me and that He was confident in my ability to raise this child (which I hope doesn't mean he'll be extra challenging). I was also blessed to have confidence in my body and in the process of labor. As I go on, you'll understand why these words were so helpful to me.
I was dilated and effaced enough that breaking my water was an option for getting labor started, and I gladly took it. I also had an IV for antibiotics started fairly soon after I got there. I had tested positive for Group B Strep. They attempted breaking my water at 10:30. It didn't work. I got more antibiotics and they successfully got my water broken at 2:30.
I was allowed to walk around, but I kept being monitored and was put on oxygen because they didn't like what Enoch's heart was doing. Eventually I'd had too much oxygen (strange sensation) and they let me leave the bed. Later, when they monitored and put me on oxygen again I hyperventilated (again, too much oxygen) and it didn't get better until I was able to leave the bed. I did get to use a birthing ball and that was really great.
This labor was so hard. David was a really great coach. I was pretty sure I was going to pass out at times, but he kept helping me breathe right and stay conscious. Have you every hyperventilated? It's a very bizarre experience. I wasn't actually even breathing fast as usually happens. It was just because of the excessive oxygen I had. My face and hands started feeling numb/tingly. David had to keep telling me, "Look into my eyes!" as my eyelids fluttered open and close. I really did nearly pass out. Besides not caring for the pain of it I was so glad when it finally was time to push. That must have been around 8:30 or so, but then I had to wait for the doctor! I hate that part.
It took me thirty-five minutes to get him out! Even though I was fully dilated and effaced, his head was still at -2. Plus they had me push in a position that I never had before, at least initially. I was offered a squat bar, but I was pretty sure that I was too tired to use it. My contractions were also further apart than they have been before at that stage. I totally had recovery time between pushes. In fact, he had started crowning just before a contraction ended, so I had to attempt to relax for a minute or two with a baby nearly out! I did manage to take full advantage of that time and relaxed pretty darn well I'd say. I seemed to impress the nurses with how I handled labor - one of them told me I should teach a class. Which I thought was funny because I've never even taken one. :)
One really nice thing was that I didn't tear! I used olive oil on myself before labor, and then my doctor used mineral oil during. I have to say I was really pleased with my doctor. He was every bit as desirous as I could be of keeping everything as natural as possible. After my nurses changed I was monitored much less, which was really great. It's wretched to labor in bed, even with David massaging my back and applying counter pressure.
Enoch was born at 9:22 p.m., so seven hours of labor from start to finish. That was the same as on my first (pretty much), including the pushing. There were times that I wondered if a C-section was going to be the end result after all; I even almost wished it would because I was so miserable and just wanted it to be over. But I just kept trying to listen to David and handle labor the best I knew how. The words of the blessing kept coming to my mind, and it really helped. It was just so unexpectedly hard and long. With Kate we checked in the hospital at midnight and she was born two hours later - we didn't even count minutes on the pushing stage! It didn't at all prepare me for this experience. I just wasn't mentally prepared for a marathon labor.
Which brings me back to the beginning. I feel that the Lord was and is aware of my goal to run a marathon and gave me this experience to prepare me for it. That may sound crazy, but as I was beginning to train for a 5K, a relatively easy race, there were days when I could run or walk and I had decided I was going to run the whole time. As I went on with the day's run I felt I couldn't keep running and may just finish on a walk, but then I would think, "I just went through a long, hard labor; I can finish this at a run!" Frankly, if I had thought I'd be given a labor experience like this to prepare me for completing my marathon goal, I wouldn't have made the goal! hahaha
It's over now, though and I am feeling great. I just ran a 5K this past Saturday, and it went pretty well. I ran the entire distance. I'm not fast, but I finished with a respectable time . . . I just don't know exactly what it was. Whatever it was I think it was decent, especially given that I had a baby two and a half months ago. But the Lord has blessed me with an amazingly swift recovery, and I'm so grateful. It may seem strange that the Lord would care about whether or not I succeed in this goal, but I'm convinced that in this case at least it matters to Him because it matters to me. And that's pretty amazing.


  1. As someone who's labor ended in a Csection, trust me, you were not in your right mind when you were thinking you wanted one :)

  2. Ha! Very true. But that's how tired . . . and discouraged I was! I am very glad it didn't have to end that way.

  3. I think we all wish for a C-section at some point in the middle of natural childbirth, but of course once it's all over, we're glad it didn't need to happen that way. Great job, Rachael!

  4. Natural is definitely the way the to go! Good job and congrats!


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