Friday, June 17, 2011

birth story

i'm feeling this weird pressure to keep this story all peaches and cream and edit out quite a bit. mainly because nothing really went the way i imagined. and while i'm so full of gratitude for our trudy (and the huge blessing that she is healthy), i am a bit frustrated at how things panned out. i just don't want to sound whiney or complainy. with all the reading and talking about birth stories i did and then even watching many deliveries (on tv or online) (i know i'm weird)... i thought i was prepared with the fact that all deliveries are completely unpredictable and anything can happen. but now i think that there just wasn't a way for me to truly prepare.

it all started on wednesday june 1st. i woke up around 6 am with contractions coming fairly consistent. luckily i had my 39 week appt that same day around 1 pm. at my appt my midwife told me i was 50-60% effaced and dialated to a 2. she asked me if i wanted her to strip my membranes to which i replied a big YES because i figured that since my contractions had already started.... we should just get the show on the road. after she did that really fun rigorous exam, we left and in no time my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. with having pretty horrible periods over the years and then a miscarriage last year... i knew this kind of pain. i can think of a handful of periods that i had where i couldn't do anything to ease the pain. no medicine worked and i just had to moan and moan for hours. my miscarriage last year, according to my doctor was a "mini labor". and man oh man, there is just no way to describe that kind of pain.

i was kind of getting stressed out because the house was not up to my cleaning standard and if i was going to have a baby anytime soon... that meant that my family would be at our house in less than 24 hours. i wanted it to be so perfect and pretty because... well.. i'm just so proud of it. we are so proud of it. we have no family here and so nobody had seen what we've made with our home. for the next four hours my contractions started really intensifying. it seems like most stories begin with contractions happening every 10 minutes and then 8 and then 5 or whatever. ya know? well i remember telling the nurses later that night that if i just could have had contractions farther apart (as opposed to every 2 minutes) i could have gotten so much more done every 7 minutes! but i just felt like i had 30 seconds to pick this or that up before another one would come. it was really frustrating. the midwife told grant to push on my lower back to apply counter pressure to help ease pain during a contraction, so we would split up and i would make the bed and he would switch the laundry and i would be yelling "GRANT!!!!!!!" every minute or so before he would run in and push against my back with all his might. with not wanting to go to the hospital and be sent home, we did this for four hours. by the time we got to the hospital, i was dying. unfortunately i was not impressed with how we were treated at all. there was no room in triage so we waited and waited. then when we finally got a room we waited another 2 hours before i was checked. this entire time my contractions were so horrible and only getting worse. none of the nurses were friendly and it just didn't make anything any easier, we were just left alone and needless to say... not very happy. finally when the midwife on duty came in to check me, i wasn't dialated enough and so she gave me two options. they were to either stay at the hospital, walk around and have them check me again in 2 hours (NO WAY I COULD HAVE DONE THAT. EVER. EVER.) or get a shot of morphine, go home, sleep and hopefully wake up in active labor and come back. of course i chose to get the morphine. the nurse practically promised me that the dose she gave me would definitely take care of the pain and that i would be in heaven within 15 minutes. she was wrong. dead wrong. morphine did absolutely nothing for me. we went home and stayed there for another 3 hours. then we decided that we both had had enough and went back. before the midwife could even check me, i threw up everywhere. a lot. she checked me and i was at a 3. then they gave me a room. with some more suffering and some IV fluids, 1:30 a.m. came and so did the anesthesiologist. grant had to leave the room due to the new epidural rules. she hit a blood vessel the first time and had to poke me twice. and then heaven. heaven heaven and heaven came. here is a little video of when i finally felt relief. i am a little bit out of it...

the next part i'm just copying straight from grant's journal because it was just all a big blur.

6/2/11
hours went by and britt was able to relax and rest a little. not really sleep (too many tubes, monitors, beeping, nurses, and blood pressure cuffs). come morning she had progressed to a 7, we were amazed! we all were prepping to have a bouncing baby by noon. meanwhile britt's family left orem around 6:30 am. i had the feeling they would come meet their granddaughter when she was 4-5 hours old. noon came and britt was a 7-8. not getting to a 9 for another couple hours. those hours from 7am on were fraught with epidural weening off and britt in bad pain for 30-40 mins till the anesthesiologist would come and give britt something to smile about. because it was taking so long for her to progress, the midwife broke her water and then a little while later... also gave her pitocin. everyone was getting a little concerned at this point, the baby had a bowel movement in utero, britt now had a fever and the baby's heart rate was very high. about the time the epidural was wearing off, the anesthesiologist was in an emergency c-section and couldn't come "top off" britt... she was fully dilated! while the nurse made a call or two for more drugs, jennifer (our midwife) informed us that there would probably be no help on the way and that it was pushing time. i could feel britt's apprehension but i must say that so far BRITTANY HAD DONE SO PERFECTLY! i told her so many times during hard contractions how proud i am of her. she really is my hero- she is so strong. 

things got so so painful for britt as the last of her drugs wore off and as the baby lowered. she just grabbed her legs and pushed through each contraction- i knew she was in so so much pain and it crushed me so badly that i couldn't do anything to help. she had pushed for so long now without much visual progress and just pain. when jennifer pointed out that we could see the baby's head... i was so excited but britt was (and had to be) in a bit of her own world in order to deal with the pain. i didn't get/expect much of a response from her. she was excited, i know it. but also scared and dying in pain. next the baby's hair could be seen- so exciting. each contraction would come and the nurse would grab one leg, i'd grab the other and britt would grab behind her knees and push like hell. front row seats for what was the most miraculous show on the planet. p.s. britt's parents were on their way and because she was at a 9 for so long, with each hour that passed, the glimmer that they would be here became larger and larger. i thought they had no chance of making it but it was definitely getting closer. 

time crept on as britt was superwoman and pushed and pushed regardless of EVERYTHING in her wanting to just die. i was so incredibly proud of her, i hated HATED seeing her in more pain than ever before and i couldn't help but admire her and love her so much. the jones family was an hour away when i could see baby's hair and i thought "no way". as britt kept pushing, i soon was able to see the top of her head. i remember thinking how tiny it seemed and how excited i was. her head would come down and back with each push- little by little it crept down the birth canal- to the absolute agony of britt. i could not believe what was happening. she was actually coming. britt's fam was getting off the freeway and would be here in a few mins. for the last 10 mins or so it seemed that on the next push she could pop out. maria (britt's mom) popped her head in during one of the last horrific pushes before the end. i, at the request of britt, asked her to just wait in the waiting room. it was just too crazy to jump into that horror movie mid climax. two contractions later and after extraordinary effort on britt's part, baby's little head popped out. i distinctly remember her skin color being pale and darker than i expected. since she had a bowel movement in utero she had a greenish hue due to the meconium. we were told, sadly, that because of britt's fever, baby's increased heart rate and the meconium, that she would be taken to the NICU for an automatic precautionary 48 hour period where they would administer proactive antibiotics and do blood tests while monitoring her closely. we were told they would take her right after she was born. that made us so sad. everyone reassured us that it totally seemed that she would be 100% okay and that these were just precautions but we were still so bummed. not necessarily because we were afraid she wasn't okay, we both really felt she would be okay, it was mainly that she would be taken immediately and then for the next 2 days we wouldn't have her in our own room and we would have to go visit her in the NICU. back to baby... i also will never forget how lethargic she looked. as i mentioned, we both had a feeling she was going to be totally healthy but this was actually a bit unnerving. she looked almost drugged and her eyes were open and were moving so slowly and almost rolling back into her head. and not crying. jennifer (midwife) and nurse were hoping to bypass NICU protocol for the baby and instead of instantly letting the dr take her, she wanted to let me cut the umbilical chord and then place baby on momma for a few mins prior to them taking her. that was the plan but when she came out looking so exhausted and not crying... plans changed. she apologized to me as she quickly cut the chord and then passed off our little girl to the docs. i was both nervous for our new baby and concerned for my dear sweet wife who had just gone through the most painful and arduous experience she had ever had. i stayed with britt trying to console her while tearfully expressing my utter joy at baby's arrival. britt was still in her "dealing with the pain of labor & delivery zone" so she wasn't quite able to just let go and share in the joy at that particular moment with me. especially because she couldn't hold or even (at her angle) see her new baby. not long passed and continuously emotional, i and the docs noticed that our little girl was pink and moving. this helped to confirm our hopes of her being healthy.


after they suctioned all traces of meconium from her mouth, nose & face and cleaned her up a bit, i was able to go over and meet our new little angel. she is perfect. absolute perfection. i took a quick video and talked to her briefly then went to show mom and make sure she could see baby from where she was still sprawled on the delivery bed recovering from the agony of delivery while not letting her defences down so as to be prepared for the delivery of afterbirth still to come. she is so smart and amazing. after the initial craziness died down, i went out to the waiting room and informed the jones family that mom and baby were fine and reported how well britt did and showed pictures/video of our angel. they were so thrilled. when i went back in britt was still on the bed pushing, a sight that after the last number of hours both her and i are ready to not see for a long time. i went to hold her hand and help her through it. it must have been horribly painful- the midwife was struggling to get it to release so when all was said and done, her entire hand to the wrist was inside my wife and then making a fist and coming back out. that happened a few times. i was way shocked, it looked so painful. britt later confirmed (not that i needed her to) that it was. FINALLy britt got to hold little baby girl (still no name). i was elated. i snapped a few pictures of the big moment. at this time of joy, jennifer had begun sewing up the many small tears that britt had suffered during the ordeal. we were told we'd probably get 30 mins with baby before NICU would come for her but not even 5 minutes went by before a lady came with a cart asking for her. we were so sad. baby girl was already searching for something to latch onto so we made the plea that she was hungry and to let mom feed her. hesitantly, she agreed. what i have learned so far from pregnancy, labor and delivery is that it is one form of absolute HELL after another. britt has always been really scared of breast feeding due to her extremely sensitive skin but has always insisted that she would do it regardless of the pain because of how important we feel it is. her first experience with it exceeded her expectations... in a bad way. after just a short feeding, on one side blood blisters had formed and she was once again enduring agony. even though it seemed like britt wasn't even in pain and just enjoying our baby. after that most unpleasant ordeal, they took baby away to the NICU. britt, who had torn quite a bit during labor, finished getting sutured up. (end of journal entry)


the NICU is a sad place. NO ONE wants to be in there. the nurses were right, our baby girl did stick out there because she wasn't 4 1/2 pounds or a crack baby. we absolutely abhored the idea that she couldn't stay with us. as we went back to our room we marveled at the miraculous events of the past day. not even 24 hours later they moved our baby girl up to a newborn nursery on our same floor. still considered a part of NICU but much less critical. we were thrilled. this meant that she would only be down the hall from us. we spent the next two days in and out of the nursery for feedings and figuring out a name for our little sweetie pie. we had a list of names that we loved and constantly discussed through out my pregnancy. i feel like explaining why we chose the name "trudy" in another post. as far as her middle name... no the name "emerson" is not in either of our families (at least not that we know of). we both liked the idea of a more boyish name for the middle name since "trudy" is so girly. plus i liked the sound of the 2-3-1 syllable pattern. tru-dy e-mer-son barnes. we were both discharged on saturday (june 4th) and eager to get home.

as i look back now, i always think of the moment when she came out. and i guess that is what is so disappointing for me. because i was so checked out (due to pain), i never got to really marvel at what was actually happening. it was almost like i didn't know what was happening. i'd be lying if i didn't say that i wished she could have been placed on my chest right after her birth. i wasn't able to hold her for almost 40 minutes and that felt like forever. i guess i just didn't know how important those first bonding moments were to me. while these things do make me sad, it's not like i'm pondering them every day and wishing i could go back. there is nothing i can do about it now. as i finish this huge longest ever post, trudy lies here next to me so peacefully. i'm so grateful to finally have her in my arms. i am amazed at how healthy she is and i love this new chapter of life that is taking over. recovery is not fun. at all. but i am filled with everlasting joy when i look at trudy's sweet face. i'm grateful to god for trusting me to raise her and i'm determined to do my best.

20 sweet thoughts:

communikate. said...

she's gorgeous! i love this story and that you didn't sugar coat it. thanks for be real! :)

hooray for new beginnings and new adventures.

Shane and Chelsea Elton said...

Wow! What an experience! Thanks for sharing it, I always love to read other people's birth stories. And while my situation was a little different, I had a lot of those same feelings about Boston's birth. I didn't really get to bond with him until the next morning (I had him at 4:40 p.m.) because I was so drugged after labor and a c-section. That was kind of hard on me. You are so right that labors are completely unpredictable, but luckily the end result makes everything worth it. Congrats on your beautiful, healthy girl! She's perfect and I'm so glad you're both doing well!

grant + brittany said...

oh that is not fun. especially a labor and then a c-section. you are a trooper. and boston is a lucky boy :)

niki said...

I loved hearing every detail. Loved seeing the video and how you and grant interact. I'm so sad for your pain and sadness but so happy for your joy. I definitely teared up reading this. Congratulations on a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Love her name and her sweet little face. How much did she weigh? Oh and I can totally understand how you're feeling. I didnt go through what you did but I get it. You'll feel much better about it all in a couple of weeks after the baby blues go away.

Jess and Matt said...

Oh Brittany, I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. You absolutely are allowed to feel sad about how it happened. I still feel sad when I think about Beckham's birth and 2 weeks in the NICU. I wish I could change how it all happened but I can't. Of course it was all worth it in the end, and you have a beautiful baby girl, but you have every right to be upset. She is gorgeous, absolutely perfect. I can't wait to meet her. I hope that you feel better soon.

Romney Family said...

Oh Britt, I am so sorry you had such a terrible delivery Not fun at all. I had Liam all natural no drugs whatsoever (not by choice had the other two with epidurals) and it was horrible so I know how you feel but these sweet little babies sure are worth it!! Congrats to you guys!!!

Mallory said...

beautiful story. I love grant's entry. My husband wrote down the birth story the night my daughter was born. It meant so much to me to have his perspective on in it all since I was in another world it felt like. I agree morphine does nothing! They gave it to me telling me I would sleep..umm I never slept a wink and the pain was worse. Little trudy emerson is gorgeous and I am so happy for your little family!!!

michael. mindy. dane. said...

britt, i'm so sorry it was such a hard experience! that is not fun and not the way you want to remember your sweet baby girl being born. she is adorable, by the way! so so sweet! i am glad that she is here and safe, and i hope your recovery is better than it's been so far!

emily+brett said...

how exhausting! and for the record i didn't feel like you were ever complaining or wining. i felt your sincerity {and grants} throughout the post. i've heard that a lot of hospitals outside of utah are not very accommodating to laboring mothers. i'm so sorry your labor took so long. strange they didn't give you pittosin earlier and break your water earlier. both those things speed things up. but you're right. there is no need to look back wishing what could have or should have been. i feel the same way about a few things that happened at perry's birth but try to think of all the positives.

much luck to your recovery. i feel your pain! and good luck with nursing. i had blood blisters when i first nursed steele too. if you can muster your way through the pain it is so rewarding in the end.

trudy...{and jamo} said...

i loved reading this and have read it 2x already. i can't imagine all that you went through. wow.
my mom wanted me to tell you that since you've had a baby "natural" you can do ANYTHING and you're wonder woman! pretty amazing.
I'm so glad you and trudles are healthy. breastfeeding? uhhh? ouch. talk to you soon!
oh, i loved the video! it made me laugh.

Traci said...

You are one tough cookie! I could relate in so many ways...my labor was somewhat similar. Hope recovery is treating you well, and you are enjoying your sweet little babe :)

Tara said...

She is so beautiful!

Sounds like you and I both had not that great deliveries... I am so sorry you had to endure it. You did amazing though, look at your beautiful little girl!

Congratulations.

--Sanam-- said...

Aww, what a gorgeous little girl! You did a great job :D Congrats :)

Day By Diva
Day By Diva

Sophia said...

I totally feel you. My birth experience was pretty awful and I couldn't enjoy those first few moments much either. I had to ask them to take her off my chest within one minute because of the pressure, nausea and blood loss. Thanks for telling the real story...Especially since there weren't fairies and rainbows and butterfly's present at Eden's delivery. So glad you are feeling good now and that Trudy is a healthy girl!

Kelly said...

oh my! I think those birth stories that are all wonderful and sugar... I think they are fake! ;) I laughed a little when you said you didnt want to sound whiney... DID YOU READ MY BIRTH STORY!? Ha. My story was full of ups and downs too so I really think its inevitable and NO ONE will think you are whiney. Every story is different but similar, its weird. I will agree NOTHING can prepare you for it. Or the recovery. By the way, I dont know if you are still breast feeding but I had the same cracks and blisters - ask your Doc about Newmans Ointment. They have to make it at a compound pharmacy and its VERY expensive but it saved my life. Good luck with the rest of recovery. Its by far the absolute pits!

David and Shalynna said...

You are a strong, strong girl! I'm glad you shared all the details. I can't believe everything lasted so long for you- including nausea during the entire pregnancy and then the whole delivery. I hope you are feeling better now. Trudy is just a doll and I think her name perfectly fits her.

Good luck with breastfeeding. I think I screamed every time Oliver latched on (hate that phrase) for the first three weeks or so. In just a couple months I'll be feeling your pain. Literally!

Oh and I didn't get to hold Oliver right after he was delivered either. Since he was so early they had to hurry and check his lungs and all that stuff before I got to hold him. I was so disappointed that I didn't get to hold him or nurse him right away, but the good thing is now you get to do that with little Trudy everyday! Enjoy these early days.

angela hardison said...

loved this! what a story, and good for you for writing it all down. i still can't get over how much i love her name :)

Kimber and Casey said...

wow. you courageous girl you! thank you so much for sharing trudy's birth story! what an incredible ordeal you went through and survived! goodness, glad you're home together now!

Reimstar said...

I have too much to say to leave in a blog comment. But you know thatI love you. So glad she's here!

Joyce said...

Congratulations, she is gorgeous!! I also had a mec baby, but he stayed in hospital for 11 days- the logest 11 days of my life !