Braden Robert Smith
June 23, 2008
9 lb, 9 oz – 21 inches
My water broke around 12:30AM. I had been in bed reading and got up to go to the bathroom, as I was walking back to bed I felt like I wet myself. I went back to the bathroom and checked and it was all clear fluid, definitely not urine. I woke Adam up and told him that I thought my water had broken – he kind of rolled over, grunted and told me to go back to bed. A few seconds later it hit him and he was up asking me ten million questions. It kept leaking and I was starting to feel crampy, so I got online and started reading about early labor. After about 10 minutes, I decided it was time to let our doula (Heather) know what was going on – she was online at the time so I sent her an gchat message. She told me to take a hot shower and to try to relax, that either I’d be able to rest for a bit or else my contractions would really get going. She was right.
I got in the shower and my contractions started getting closer together, maybe 4-5 minutes apart or so. I finished in there and started walking around upstairs and they got down to about 3 minutes apart and were getting pretty painful. I told Adam that things were going a lot faster than I thought they should and that he needed to call Heather back and let her know. He did, and she told us she was getting dressed and would be on her way.
From there, things got a little hazy for me. The only way I could get comfortable was on my hands and knees, so I labored that way in our bed for a bit while Adam packed his bag for the hospital. I remember crawling in circles telling Adam that I couldn’t do this anymore, it was too much. (Hello transition!)
A few minutes later I told Adam that we needed to go ahead and head downstairs between my contractions or else I didn’t know if I’d be able to get down on my own. Adam kept in touch with Heather on the phone while I continued to labor (with his support, of course – he was great). I knew things were going a lot faster than what is considered “normal” and kept having him call Heather. There wasn’t much she could do though – she was on her way and cars only go so fast!
At one point she asked Adam if I was feeling the urge to push, and I said no. Then with my next contraction I really paid attention to what I was feeling.. and I realized that I was pushing with the contractions and didn’t realize it – oops! With that, Heather told Adam that as soon as she got there we were heading to the hospital. He still had to unload the car (he had a bunch of stuff in it for work the next day) and reload it with our stuff for the hospital, but I wouldn’t let him leave my side. He couldn’t get much accomplished between contractions because they were coming so fast at that point. I told him to call my mom so I wasn’t alone, thankfully she made it to our house very quickly. I remember saying to her “You told me this wouldn’t hurt!!!” as soon as I saw her.. I was in a LOT of pain at that point.
Just a few minutes later, Heather arrived and got me into the car. I remember her telling me to lay down in the backseat, but I couldn’t. I ended up spending the entire ride to the hospital in the backseat, facing backwards on my knees leaned over the top part of the backseat and half leaning on Heather.
Thankfully the ride to the hospital was very uneventful – it was about 4AM so there was no traffic. Adam ran a red light on 17 and Heather told him if a cop came to just keep going and we’d deal with them when we got to the hospital. A little bit later I told her I couldn’t stop pushing and she said something about me feeling for the head with the next contraction. That’s when I realized how close I probably was.
We got to the hospital and the labor and delivery nurses got to us very quickly. They got me in a wheelchair and headed upstairs.. there was an older guy getting off of the elevator as we were headed towards it, they were yelling for him to hold the elevator but he just kept walking and said hello to us as he passed.. totally oblivious to the lovely noises I was making. They got me upstairs and after almost falling out of the wheelchair (I couldn’t sit back in it, I was on the very edge), they got me to a room.
People aren’t lying when they tell you that all modesty goes out the door when you’re in labor. I’m a pretty modest person, but they handed me a hospital gown and asked me to put it on and it took me about 2.5 seconds to strip down and get it on, in front of a room full of people. Then they told me to lay down on the bed, and I wanted to laugh. There was no way I could lay down, that was the most absolutely uncomfortable position I could imagine. Heather talked to me though and made me realize somehow that I needed to lay down so they could check me.
I was fully dilated.
Dr. Greenhaw came in to say hi and see how everything was going, he told me I was going to push with the nurses for a bit and that he’d be back. He joked that he wasn’t taking his booties off because he knew he’d be back in a few minutes. The nurses were trying to put in my IV while I was in the middle of a contraction – she told me to hold my arm as still as I could, I’m not sure if I did. I didn’t want an IV, but at the time, I didn’t care. I knew it wouldn’t be in long enough to really matter so it wasn’t worth fussing over (not to mention, I was in no condition to fuss).
I’m not sure how long I pushed with the nurses, but it didn’t seem like much time passed at all before they went to get Dr. Greenhaw. He came back in and I continued pushing with the contractions. He mentioned something about an episiotomy and Adam told him that I’d really like to avoid having one. He said it looked like it would be a very tight fit, but he’d do what he could.
A few minutes later, Adam told me to look down between contractions – I was SHOCKED to see Braden’s head out already, I had absolutely no clue that his head was out and never felt it. Actually, pushing felt like such a relief that when they stopped counting at 10, I kept pushing for as long as I could. With a few more pushes, our little man was out! I was admitted at 4:36AM and he was born at 5:16AM. He stayed on my chest for a bit while Adam and I stared in amazement. A few minutes later they took him to weigh him and everything and Adam stayed with him (they did it all in the room just a few feet from me). Dr. Greenhaw was tending to me, a portion of my membranes did not detach properly so he was taking care of that – ouch.
Thankfully I didn’t tear and didn’t have an episiotomy, even though Braden was a big baby (9lb, 9oz).. so no stitches! They brought Braden back to me just a few minutes later and he nursed for about 45 minutes.. he was a hungry little guy.
Overall I had a wonderful experience, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Dr. Greenhaw and the staff at Baptist South were absolutely wonderful. I never even thought to ask for pain meds, everything happened so quickly and by the time I was at the hospital, I was pushing and didn’t need it. If I had not been so prepared by taking Bradley classes and doing a lot of reading, I don’t know that things would have gone so smoothly – its a great feeling to know what is actually going on with your body and to understand each stage of labor as you move through it.
Next time, I’m checking into the hotel right next to the hospital when I hit 38 weeks – Braden came in just over four and a half hours, who knows how fast number two will come!