Our sweet Selma Grace Warren is here. She arrived June 3, 2011 at 2:04 am. I had a great labor and delivery and if you'd like to read about it, I did the best I could to recall the details below. We didn't really write anything down at the hospital, so pretty much everything is an estimate time wise. If you watch the slideshow I am going to post later, the times I put on it area actually accurate thanks to my camera storing what time the pic was taken.
I think I gave this disclaimer before Selah's birth story, but I'll give it again. Selma Grace's birth story is in no way a literary masterpiece but life with 3 kiddos isn't allowing much time for editing things like this! I'm sure there's lots of typos etc... I do hope you enjoy it though and I hope it'll encourage you to go natural if you want to=) It was a harder delivery for me than Selah's, but it was totally worth it and I'd do it again for sure! If you have any questions about delivering at UAB, comment and I'll try to answer. We had a great experience delivering there and were very impressed overall by our care!
Selma Grace Birth Story
June 2, 2011 - 4:30pm. We arrived at the hospital and were triaged in MEU (Maternity Evaluation Unit). I was contracting every 3-5 minutes. At 5:00 Dr Hoover came in and I was 4/75/-2. So we got admitted, they started my iv and then we were transferred to a labor room around 5:30. They finished admitting me and got me settled in my room and about 6:30 Dr Hoover came in and broke my water. We had talked about this earlier and I wanted to try this before any pitocin to help my labor progress a little faster. I didn’t feel rushed though because Dr Hoover was on call that night, so it worked out great! We discussed starting pitocin if I was not progressing in 2 hours. She was fine with whatever I wanted to do though. I could do intermittent monitoring, walk around, pretty much whatever.
About 8:30pm I was only slightly less comfortable and didn’t feel like things were moving very quickly so I asked my nurse to start pitocin at a really low dose (2 mu/min) to get things going. Dr Hoover came in shortly after and I was 5/75/-1. After this I am really foggy on times. I slowly got more and more uncomfortable and we bumped the pitocin to a max of 10 over the next 4 or 5 hours. I was having strong contractions but was a little frustrated that I wasn’t dilating more quickly. I am guessing around 10:30 or 11ish Dr Hoover came in and I was 6/75/-1. Although I wished it was moving faster, I knew once I got past 6 it would go quickly. All the time I was alternating positions to try and help baby move down. UAB didn’t have a birth ball which was a little disappointing. If you want to go natural there, bring your own =) I didn’t think I’d miss it too much at first, but I wished I had it once I started hurting because it’s just comfortable to sit on and you can lean over the bed easier. Katie (my doula) was rubbing my lower back during contractions to help with the pain and it helped a ton. Trey was holding my hands and also rubbing my back. They were both great! My discomfort slowly inched up and I kept wondering when we’d turn the corner into transition.
Somewhere around 1:20am I was lying in bed and baby’s heartrate dropped. I had a big decel for several minutes. We changed positions though and got her happy again. A big benefit of being unmedicated was being able to move around myself when I needed to for her sake. The nurse checked me during the decel and I was still 6 cm. Katie told me not to worry though because I had started shaking and hurting a lot worse and she assured me I was entering transition. The contractions felt so strong but I only felt them really low in my abdomen and back. We tried hands and knees position to try and get her to move down or rotate if she needed to. Dr Hoover had told me earlier that the baby was transverse meaning she was looking to the side instead of at my back.
I was really having to concentrate and breathe through these contractions and I got up to the bathroom several times over the next 20 minutes because I kept feeling like I need to pee. My teeth were chattering and I was shaking so hard at this point. I knew it had to be soon which was good because I didn’t think I could do this for too long. At 1:45 am roughly, Dr Hoover came in the room and was happy to see (judging from my pain level - breathing heavily, making noise and shaking violently) that I was definitely progressing=). She checked me and I was 9cm thank goodness!! I remember being a little surprised though because I didn’t feel like I needed to push yet. She asked me to push once and tried to stretch me to 10 cm, which didn’t work right and hurt! She told me to hang in there another 30 minutes and hopefully I’d be ready to push then. I was thinking, “30 minutes, you have got to be kidding me!” I didn’t remember hurting like this with Selah and I started crying and grabbing Trey’s arm during contractions. I was really thinking, “I can’t do this much longer but Katie reminded me just to take them one at a time. Not long after that though, I felt like I had to push even though I knew I shouldn’t, so I just bared down a little bit to get more comfortable. Anything was better than just sitting through the contraction. I started to feel a bit of panic because I was feeling so much all at once. Dr Hoover had stayed in the room after she’d checked me I guess because I was acting like I was ready to deliver, which I was thankfully. Several other people came in and they started setting up the room for delivery. Dr Hoover and Katie were talking to me and coaching me through the pushing. I’m not really sure what anyone was saying but I know I heard them and I was trying to do what they said to do. I am guessing I pushed for maybe 10 minutes, but I’m not really sure. It felt like an eternity. I do remember them encouraging me to let the contraction build up before I started pushing which was hard to do. At that point, the pressure was so intense I was scared to push but I knew to make it stop I had to. Finally at 2:03am, she was crowning and I was feeling the “ring of fire” one of the hardest points, if not the hardest part of my whole labor. I was trying to push in between contractions but Dr Hoover was telling me not to push until I had another one, she was trying to help me avoid tearing (which worked). I remember saying something along the lines of “she better come out with the next contraction” and I also remember saying or possibly yelling “get her out” a couple times. At 2:04 am on June 3, 2011 I had the privilege of delivering my beautiful baby girl though. She was worth every second of discomfort and somehow, the pain of her labor made me more emotional than I’ve been with either of my others. I got to pull her out up onto my chest once her shoulders were delivered, which was the MOST amazing thing. I just started sobbing, partly because I was soooo relieved she was out and I wasn’t hurting anymore and mostly because I was so in awe of this precious little baby girl. (Katie captured a couple of great pictures of this moment!) We dried her off and I put her skin to skin pretty quickly. My nurses and doctor were so great to honor all my wishes at delivery. We delayed the bath so I could do skin to skin and breastfeed. They also delayed the hep b vaccine until she was 2 days old. I vaccinate but hate the thought of them getting a vaccine immediately after birth=(.
My recovery was so relaxed and not rushed at all. They gave us plenty of time to bond and let me get up when I was ready. We were there about 2 or 2 ½ hours after delivery and then they wheeled me up to my postpartum room. All in all, I felt like Selma Grace’s birth was harder on me than Selah’s, but Trey said from his perspective, I acted about the same during transition and delivery. I’m not sure, but if I have another one, I plan on going natural again. I definitely couldn’t have done it without Trey and Katie’s support. They both helped so much. My nurse Chrissy was fabulous too. She kept telling me how great I was doing and was so supportive of everything. I am so thankful to have been blessed with 3 healthy children, easy pregnancies and normal births. To God be all the glory!