Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jude's Birth

Jude Thomas Harding joined our family August 2 at 6lbs. 3oz. His birth was a lot different than the other four. After he had gone over a week past the due date, I realized he was stuck in a transverse lie, and knew I was going to need some help. I was planning to check in at the hospital, but also consulted a couple midwives to see if there was any way to get him turned. I went to a chiropractor and got the Webster technique done Monday afternoon on August 1. I thought he may have shifted position, and I also began to have a lot of contractions, so after dinner I went to a birth center an hour away to have the midwife who delivered my first child check us out and see if he could be delivered there. She found him still lying transverse and counseled us to go to the hospital. It was late at night but we were admitted. There was an experienced Dr. there who was able to turn Jude with an external version. Very painful! I was thankful to have not only Luke there with me, but my priest, Jenny, to offer prayers and support. And that my kids were in the very best of hands, since my mom had come earlier in the day. I knew we had a lot of people praying for us.

Next, we were transported to labor and delivery. My water broke soon after and it had meconium (new baby poop) in it, which was not uncommon after a version, since the baby can be somewhat traumatized from it. So I had to stay on the bed for the rest of the night hooked up to the moniter. Labor progressed very slowly, even with the pitocin they gave me. Jude was head down, but he stayed suspended several inches above the pelvis. Several times that night after very strong, painful contractions, his heart rate would drop and we would have to struggle to get it back up with uncomfortable positions and oxygen. By morning the contractions had become unbearable. I would only contract along the bottom of the uterus, as if my body was trying to keep baby up in there rather than get him out, and it hurt like hell. They finally gave me something to stop the contractions and I got a few moments rest. The shift changed during this time and the new nurse got things going again, but with less pitocin. Jude's heart rate dropped again, and it took longer to get it back up. When the new Dr. came in, we both agreed to a c-section. I was exhausted and knew we needed to get him out of there. It turned out that the cord was wrapped twice around his neck and was stuck by his head. This time, I was not at home in my birthing pool, reaching down to draw out my baby's soft head, feeling the ears, cheeks and face slowly emerge, and it was not Luke's and my hands that caught our little one when he came sliding out. This time, I could see nothing, my body was numbed from the chest down, and my arms were tied down. But I heard his first cry, and knew he was going to be alright, that everything was going to be okay. And I would shortly have my baby in my arms, which is what I had so desperately longed for since I reached full term. We are so thankful for a healthy baby boy with a very big appetite who already sleeps for a 6 hour stretch at night! Luke's version of Jude's birth can be read here.