Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drive-Through Delivery

This is what my uncle called my labor and delivery after hearing the story from my mom. I think it's pretty adequate. This labor and delivery was very different from my first, and I have to say, I much prefer the second version (although the first was a good experience too)! I wanted to give a few details for those of you who are avidly checking the blog for our birth story. I figured the best way at this point is to give you a timeline of what happened. Buckle your seat belts!

Tuesday, December 13:
Loose mucous plug in the morning.

Wednesday, December 14:

4 a.m: Notice watery mucousy discharge when using the bathroom.

7:30 a.m: More watery mucousy discharge. Don't think it's amniotic fluid but not sure.

10 a.m: Call the Birth Center after talking to Dan because of continual wetness. Could my water have broken?

1 pm: Appointment at the Birth Center. Upon initial exam, the midwife doesn't think it's amniotic fluid. Upon official view of fluid under a microscope, the midwife confirms that my water did indeed break!! We're going to have a baby.

(The Birth Center requires that you be in "active labor" within 24 hours of your water breaking. That meant I'd need to be in active labor by 4 a.m. on Thursday morning. So far, at 2 pm, I'm only having infrequent, slight contractions. And my blood pressure readings are high. Will I get to deliver at The Birth Center???)

1:30 p.m: Hooked up to a fetal monitor for a non-stress test. Baby looks great! Antibiotics are started since I'm GBS positive and we want them to be in my system for a minimum of 4 hours before delivery. Doesn't look like that will be an issue! I'm 2 cm and 80% effaced at this point.

3:30 pm: Back home with a 2 oz. dose of castor oil. The midwife suggested I take it at 4:30 to help kick start some contractions.

4:30 pm: I lay down to rest. I'm all emotional and weepy. Worried about my blood pressure. Worried because Edwin hasn't napped and here I need to be thinking about having a baby and I have no idea how it's going to play out! Lay on my bed and cry and pray and really try to give it all over to God. After all, I'm not in control - so why try to be?

5:30 pm: Chase down 3/4 of the castor oil with peanut butter swirl ice cream. I can't finish it all because I'm starting to feel myself gag with each successive swallow.

5:45 pm: Eat supper with Edwin, Dan and my mom.

6 pm: Feeling stronger contractions. The castor has already kicked in and the toilet is becoming my dear friend.

6:20 pm: Say goodby to a crying Edwin and go the birth center for a second dose of antibiotics.

7 pm: Antibiotics are finished. Contractions are definitely getting stronger and regular. The midwife doesn't think I'm at a point where I need to stay there, so we drive back home (it's only 10 minutes away).

7:45 pm: We put Edwin to bed while I'm breathing through strong, regular, close contractions and the castor oil is continuing to work its magic.

8 pm: Edwin is peacefully in bed (so thankful I was able to put him to bed because he doesn't do well with others!) and I'm sitting on our bed feeling a lot of pelvic pressure, breathing through contractions that are 2-3 minutes apart and very strong. We call the midwife and tell her we're coming back in.

8:10 pm: Arrive at the Birth Center and get to the birth suite we'd selected. We're the only laboring couple there. I'm at 6 cm, 100% effaced and the baby's head is right there. The midwife smiles and says: "You're going to have a baby right quick."

8:45 pm: Lying on the bed I feel my body begin to bear down during a contraction. I sit up for the next one and bear down then as well. There's a burst of amniotic fluid! My body has completely taken over, and I'm along for the ride. The midwife suggests squatting so she and the nurse bring over the birthing stool. It's perfect. I place my hands on the midwife's shoulders for the next contraction, bear down and the baby's head starts to emerge.

8:51 pm: After being coached to go slowly and give small grunts and pushes through the contractions and to breath calmly in between (yes, there's burning, but we want to take it slowly!), the baby is born, crying lustily. (The midwife gets drenched with more amniotic fluid.) The baby is handed directly to me, and I see we have a little girl!!

8:55 pm: The placenta is out. Labor and delivery are over and we haven't even been at The Birth Center for an hour. Wow.

Thursday, December 15

1:00 a.m: We're discharged from the birth center after the 4 hour minimum stay. We drive home and get to introduce our little girl to my mom. We get some sleep.

7:30 a.m: When we wake up in the morning, in our own bed, we look at each other and say: "What just happened last night?!"

We've been adjusting well. I've been able to relax and take it easy. Dan is off work until Monday. My mom has been here helping out, and recovery is going well. Elena was over a pound smaller than Edwin (although almost just as long) and her head is definitely smaller, so delivery was much, much easier. I really think the size of the head makes a huge difference!


  1. OH AMY~~~~so delighted for you, for your dear family! YOU GO GIRL!!!! thank you for taking the time to share your story, what a beautiful one it was and is. And so thankful the Birth Center is so close to your home. :)

    I am sure you are enjoying her, your DAUGHTER!! xoxo. What a lovely time of year to hold a newborn, so cozy!

    Merry Christmas from Strasburg,

  2. now i'm praying our Flynn has a small head! and that my actual delivery is somewhere near as short as yours! :) J/k, i'm not really expecting that for a first-time delivery, but so glad yours went so well!

  3. What a wonderful story! I'm so thankful you were able to deliver where you wanted, in a way that was so peaceful. What a blessing. You know how I love an good birth story as opposed to my tendency to do things the hard way! :)
    Love you,
    Beth Hess

  4. Amy! Thanks for sharing your story!! I'm so glad everything went smoothly for you! I hope Edwin will adjust quickly and easily! :) ~Emily

  5. I LOVE birth stories. Your second labor was almost exactly like mine (except I didn't quite make it to the birth center). Hopefully this means any other labors will be fast and easy too! Congrats on a beautiful little girl!

  6. So exciting, welcome to the world Elena! How fun that you have a little girl now, the best of both worlds with a boy and a girl in the family. I hope Edwin loves her! She also has a good birthday - my husband, Eric, was also born on the 14th of December. :)

  7. Amazing story! So glad you got to put Edwin to's always hard to worry about the other kids when you're in labor!

  8. Wow that's a great story! Congratulations on the little girl! You know your actually the one who made me look into a birthing center i just can see going through the hospital again

  9. This made me feel weepy! What a beautiful, miraculous experience birth is! Thank you for sharing all the details! =) Blessings as you continue to rest / recover & enjoy your new "normal." May the adjustment period go smoothly. I love the name Elena! Reminds me of when a certain someone used to call me Marlena. =)

  10. Hi Amy, Great story. Sounds like it was a beautiful birth. Wow, quick at the end! Its great the birth center is so close to your house. I look forward to meeting Elena. Sarah