Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Birth Story : Little Raphael

My Birth Story: Raphael Galileo's Journey to Earth

So I must say that while I have noble intentions and envisioned the birth of my son in a certain fashion, life happens and plans change! At the end of the day I do not feel like I missed out on my birth experience, nor do I feel like a whimp.... I am just glad that he is here healthy, safe, and sound. I did it, I am a mom.

SOOO the story begins on Sunday night and my doula and I decided to get the party started and we wanted to try some acupressure points, you know the points that get your labor started...I was 39 weeks and we both wanted to wait until at least I was full term....

So she comes over and gives me one heck of a shoulder massage and then massages the other "induction" points. I had heard mixed reviews about acupressure but I figured why not?


the next morning I woke up at 4 AM having contractions. They were not so bad at first, I could breathe through them; they felt like intense menstrual cramps that came from my back. I soaked in the bath for an hour, it still didn't get better, only worse, and closer together. At 7 am I call the midwife, she says it sounds like I am labor, but to come in and they would check me. Now at this point I was kind of stuck. My boyfriend was sleeping and I hadn't even packed my bags!!! Also my birth center is an hour away so I didn't want to go there on false alarm.

I wake him up and told him what was going on and he says let's go to be on the safe side. I quickly pack my bags bringing minimal stuff (clothes, baby outfit, laptop, bath essentials, etc..) You leave the birth center after 8-10 hrs provided you and baby are both safe and healhy...so I didn't bring that much stuff...

On the way out the door, I stop to go potty. I look down and there is my bloody show, you know what that means ;-) It confirmed my decision to go get checked at least. I called the doula and told her what was going on but not to come yet.

The drive there was actually quick! But I don't know if it's because I was breathing through those contractions and timing them! They were still breathable and manageable at this point. We get there at 9:30 and I am seen, the midwife I wanted to birth me happens to be the one on duty (super happy at this point).

She checks and and says yes you are at 5 cm, we need to go ahead and admit you to the center. I just looked at my boyfriend and knew okay this is it!!
We go upstairs and she hooks me onto the moniters and gives me some gatorade because I am dehydrated. I was GBS + so I had to be given the antibiotics through an IV as well. Because I was GBS+ she wanted to wait a while before she broke my water. Called the doula and told her the good news and asked her to bring us food....Called my family and told them to good news. Texted my job that I wasn't coming in today because I was in labor! It is about 10:30 at this point.

I go to the birthing suite...the Zen room as its called, that was the one I wanted since I first went there.

The midwife leaves us in peace and she comes in every 15 minutes to check baby's heartbeart and get vitals. The doula arrives with emergency food and water! Whoo hooo!
The doula, Katharine, sets up my room nicely, gets the room nice and dark and puts on relaxing music. It is beautiful and just as I expected. We play around with different positions on the birthing ball and walk around a bit. My contractions had kind of halted at this point, so we needed to get labor moving!

At 1:30 the midwife comes in to break my water, the words I wanted to hear. It was the weirdest feeling ever to have a constant flush of fluid come out of me and it gushed for about 2 hours, slow leaks, not the massive ones you see in the movies or on tv.

So at this point the contractions are starting to pick up and get worse. Coming in at every 8 minutes, then it lasted around 5 minutes for some time. But I was able to breathe through them and Katharine worked with me nicely.

At around 4 pm she comes in check me. I was almost 6 cm, and that was not what I wanted to hear. After all those contractions, I thought I had dilated more than ALMOST a cm!
Okay so at this point everything went downhill. The contractions got WAY worse and I started to feel this pushing sensation inside my rectum area...it sounds gross but that's what I felt like. Before the contractions were just heavy menstrual cramps that radiated my whole body, now it was that plus this heavy sensation (like I had to poop). That was SOOO uncomfortable and hurt like hell too. I could feel him moving down the birth canal.

I started going back and forth between hot and cold. I threw up twice, keep feeling like I had to go to the potty...and starting to get exhausted because it was getting harder to breathe through the contractions. Mind you, I had went to bed around 1 am only to get up at 4 am due to contractions.....so I was running on 3 hrs of sleep and pretty much no food.

At 6 the midwife came in and checked me again. I was at 6 cm only. She went and got breast pumps and suggested that we use nipple stimulation to progress labor. It worked and the contractions started getting stronger and stronger. I felt like I wanted to pass out. I was so sleepy and tired and I felt like I was going to pass out. I just wanted to sleep because I felt I had no energy. Now at this point I had been battling about the epidural and transferring to the hopsital because it was painful and I needed to sleep. I didn't know how much longer I could take. I had been at the birth center for almost 8 hrs to only dilate 1 cm the whole time there!!! I really wanted the waterbirth but the midwife said they like to do the water when the woman is 8 cm because it can relax the muscles and slow labor...it was tough...stick it out and have my waterbirth or go to the hospital and sleep.....

I reluctantly made up my mind and said I needed to go to the hospital for the epidural because I just couldn't take it. The midwife just looked at boyfriend and doula and no one disagreed with me. They all knew that if I decided to get the epidural then I really meant it, especially since I am soooo anti medicine and pro NUCB.

So we decided to drive to the hospital which was a ten minute drive. The contractions were unreal and I could not breathe them through. It was painful. I get to Labor and Delivery and the admit me in and the whole time I can only think about the epidural and the pain going away. At this point the contractions were like every 2 or 3 minutes and SO intense. They told me they were going to start and IV and then give me the epidural and that it would take an hour until I could get pain relief (the IV would take 30 minutes to finish and the epidural another 20-30 minutes to kick in). It got worse. None of the nurses could find my veins and it took 6 nurses to find my vein (in my other hand) to do the IV. After that the IV would not stay in my hand and it kept stopping. It was just prolonging thst epidural causing me to be more frustrated. The contractions were just horrible and all I could do was hold my doula and boyfriend's hand and breathe heavily. Suddenly I felt a HUGE urge to push and the nurse comes in and checks me. I'm at 10 cm fully dilated and ready to push. Soo much for getting thst epidural, baby had other plans!!!

Everyone rushes in and I start pushing. It was the weirdest feeling in the world, I never used that mucle before! I kept feeling like if I pushed then I would poop, but they told me that is how it feels and that I would not go to the bathroom on myself. Three pushes goes by and my boyfriend, doula, and midwife say that they can see his head. Another three pushes and I knew it was closer. Two more pushes, and the nurse said one more push. I pushed so hard until I was blue in the face and out came little Raphael. They put him on my lap and I held his slimy little body. One last push and my placenta came right out. I held him for a bit and then the boyfriend cut the cord. It was a beautiful sight to finally see this little creature that had been growing inside of me. Raphael was born at 7:42 pm at 7 lbs 5 oz and 20.25 in long.

I only had one minor tear and the midwife stitched me up.

I had done it. I had given birth naturally 100% despite caving in for the epidural and going to the hospital and not having my waterbirth that I wanted.

I have a newfound view of epidurals and I no longer can judge anyone that caves in, I understand that it is real pain, and that not everyone is cut out for it. I am still pro NUCB because I don't like medicine and the hard part is that I caved in. I cannot judge myself or be angry. I simply have compassion and understanding.

But I am glad that I still had my NUCB overall and that I did it. Yay. Overall my labor was only 16 hours and I only had transition for an hour. The hospital stay was great and the nurses and staff took really good care of us. I am glad I ended up in the hopsital...I had the best of both worlds. I got to labor the way I wanted in the birth center and the delivered at the hospital and had all my post partum care at the hospital (don't know if I could have handled that leaving the birth center 8 hrs after delivery). The after birth is pretty intense, enough said.

I ended up having to stay in the hospital for 48 hrs due to being GBS + and them wanting monitor the baby. Thank god I had at least packed my laptop!
There you go, my experience.

Here he is all cleaned up and ready to go home!!!!


  1. I cried as I was reading your story. A Leoa Vigilante, births a child - a warrior prince. We've been learning and sharing our stories since 2006 and I am thrilled for you. I felt I was right there with you as I read the piece, visualizing the 'nows' come together which ultimately lead to Raphael coming to Planet Earth in late 2010. I look forward to seeing you, your boyfriend and your child real soon.

    "I just looked at my boyfriend and knew okay this is it!!" - my favorite line.

    ~ SP

  2. Congratulations!!!! What a story and he is an absolute doll!