Ewan’s Birth

This is the story of Ewan’s birth, not super graphic, but it’s got the basic details of timing and parts of labor. Read at your own discretion.

Last Friday the 19th I had another biophysical profile exam, which did not go as well as they had hoped. We had a less than friendly ultrasound technician. [Note to other future parents, for a valid exam the tech must watch your baby for 30 solid minutes looking for movement, this one tried to quit and fail us after 12 because I guess she had better things to do. Then she tried to insist it had been 30 minutes.] Never the less things looked less great than they did on Wednesday, namely, like my last two births the amniotic fluid was low.

I had been having contractions every night, for hours, as close as 6 or 7 minutes apart but they’d generally fizzle by morning. Very frustrating and tiring. Seemed like my body just couldn’t quite get pushed over the edge into labor. They had wanted to induce on Wednesday and so by Friday we were willing to consider induction if the test results looked worse after those two days. After a non-stress test that also looked slightly less reassuring than Wednesday’s we decided that today would be the day and we’d start the induction as soon as possible.

We sent the girls off with my mom to go to swimming lessons for the morning. I had made it through every lesson but the last one.

We had some lunch, and they tried to start an IV. It took three people and six attempts to get a working IV. I have a big bruise on my left arm from them unsuccessfully digging around for a working vein. I’ve never had this kind of problem before, eventually they got one settled in my right elbow.

The labor and delivery room with a better tub wasn’t quite clean yet so we walked around the hospital and I did the four flights of stairs to try to help the baby move down and hasten labor.

At 1:40 they hooked up the pitocin and my labor kicked off immediately. I had to wait hours for it to take effect with Josie and Celia, not in this case. I was right back into my normal nighttime pattern of labor I’d been having for the last week. I hung out on the ball, tried to do my squats, anything to get this baby moving on out. My doula was on her way and showed up a bit before 4. By that point my contractions were very much 2 to 4 minutes apart and required full concentration. Mostly I just want to be left alone during labor and not spoken to or touched much. I was trying to wait it out a bit before getting into the tub for the relief I had well anticipated.

By 4:20 I called uncle and decided to get into the tub as the only method of pain relief I had planned. The relief was instant and wonderful. The weight was off my back and the nurses were happy too because the monitors were doing a better job of watching the baby who was still doing well. After a while I even got enough of a break between contractions to fall asleep between a few of them.

Somewhere past 5, the nurse came in concerned that the contractions had slowed down some, but after she arrived the contractions picked right back up again and didn’t stop. Can we all say transition? I complained that they had turned up the pitocin, but they hadn’t, so I was hopeful I was indeed in transition. They actually turned the pitocin down because the contractions were just one on top of the other. I tried to move around in the tub to get things to progress again and by 6:18 I was starting to feel the urge to push during contractions a bit. My doula noticed, the nurse offered to find the midwife to check me and went out. I agreed to be checked. Next contraction or so, that’s it, I’m pushing, my doula goes running out of the room. She’s telling the nurse who is trying to page the midwife that I’m crowning, i.e. baby is coming NOW. Lots of people come running back in, trying to drain the tub and get me out. Because of the pitocin I’m not allowed a water birth. I stand myself up and enjoying the nice steadiness of the tub bars try to convince them that birthing standing right there is a good idea.

The midwife arrives thankfully and says that yes I can just have the baby right then and there, they just had to keep the baby from touching the water and everything is ‘ok’ on their end. The head is out, without any ring of fire pain. The midwife is nice and calm, tells me to give a little push to turn the body. I try to give a little push and ok the baby is born! 6:23. 5 minutes from when I started to feel like pushing. I turn to look and tell everyone ‘It’s a boy!?!?’ I was surprised. The midwife literally got to catch the baby in my case this time.

The cord was really short and so the midwife felt she needed to cut it so I could move out of the tub. Jordi cut the cord and they brought Ewan to the warming table to rub him and he was crying very quickly and loudly before even leaving the bathroom.

Ewan right after he was born

I got over to the bed and we all got in some good snuggle time. He wasn’t particularly interested in nursing but we spent some good time keeping warm and cuddling. Our doula Maria went home and we started settling in for transfer over to recovery. My parents arrived with the girls and Josie got to come in and meet Ewan. Celia was asleep in my dad’s arms even though it was only a bit past 7, it had been a big exhausting day. Jordi brought Ewan (yet un-named) over to the recovery side and gave him a bath and they did his initial examination.

Jordi giving Ewan a bath

I got moved over to recovery and waited for Jordi to get back with Ewan and my parents and the girls waited with me too. Once we were all together again we settled in to start to get to know one another. Josie held Ewan while Celia declined to leave my dad’s lap, she was still exhausted though awake.

Josie holds Ewan for the first time

Josie upclose with Ewan

Note Celia's feelings on the situation

We sent them all home to rest, the girls were out in the car ride home. Jordi and I tried to settle in for the night, even with the constant temperature, blood pressure and other hospital requirements. We woke up in the morning and started in on trying to get out of there! Plus we decided on a name. Took us until 7pm though to get home, lots of other people checking out the same day. He passed his hearing test too.

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