Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nora’s Birth Story: Part 2

Wow—over a year later and I am finally sitting down to work on this again-better now then never though!  Also, again, it’s a birth story, so expect some yuckyness. And it’s me, so lots of detail shouldn’t surprise you.  To me these moments are incredibly precious and my primary aim in recording them is preserve as much of the memory as possible for me and my family.

(Here is Part 1)

I left of going to bed on Friday night (after spending all day at the hospital and leaving against the recommendation of the Dr.).  I still can’t believe that I was able to get a good night of sleep (when big things are going on I tend to get insomnia), but somehow I did.  Which is awesome—I strongly believe being rested is one of the very most important things going into labor. 

At 9:00 AM on Saturday, 12 days past my due date, I had to return to the hospital for more monitoring (since the Dr. didn’t really want me to leave in the first place).  I expected to be kept at the hospital for an extended period as I had the day before so Bob met us at the hospital to take Joseph (Brad was working).  I was hooked up to the monitors and everything looked perfectly normal.   Some contractions pretty large contractions did register on the strip, and I even thought MAYBE I could feel a little tightening or something at the same time?  This was very exciting for me, since I had never felt a single contraction for Joseph without medical induction.  Dr. Kate came in to look at my strip after the designated 30 minutes.  She immediately turned off the machines and said I was free to go. She said everything looked good, and she didn’t want to monitor me any more for fear we would see something of concern.  Weird reasoning, I thought and as always, I didn’t feel exactly comfortable with her.  But I went with it, since I was till dedicated to trying as hard as possible to go into labor naturally.

I decided to hit up my favorite bakery since I had some unexpected kid-free time and then went to Bristol to meet up with Joseph and Bob.  I was feeling a little dreamy and lost, but I chalked it up to mystery and stress and magic of waiting for a baby.  When I got to Bob’s, around 10:30 AM or so, I used the bathroom and felt kind of nauseas and my back cramped up a bit.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  It passed and I then went to meet them at the skate park and spent some time watching and photographing the two boys doing their tricks. 




I was pretty sure we were going to end up back at the hospital for broken bones from one stunt man or another, but they made it out alive.  Then I decided I should go for a long walk to try and get things going. 


They kept riding bikes and I walked around town.  I was on a mission!  But, keep in mind I had been walking miles, on a mission to “walk the baby out,” for weeks at this point.  We did chat with one neighbor who commented I looked as though I was going to have the baby very soon.  Then we went to another neighbor's and visited with him and his daughter.  We had a lot of fun.


We had been invited to a birthday party that day and had not expected to attend, but since nothing much seemed to be happening around 12:00 I decided to bring Joseph.  We went to the store to get a present and then headed to New Haven.  On the way Joseph told me he didn’t feel good, I pulled over, and he puked all over the side of the road.  I could not figure out what to do.  I still had a feeling like I was kind of floating…And decided to still go to the party.  Might not have been the best idea, but that’s what I did.  I actually didn’t tell anyone about Joseph getting sick, because I was worried that I would have the baby and then Joseph wouldn’t be allowed to come visit in the hospital.  One of my worst fears at that moment.

We got to the party around 1:00 PM and enjoyed ourselves and lots of greasy party food.  At this point I started to realize my back was hurting on and off.  But, backs do that sometimes right?  Actually mine doesn’t usually, but it seemed reasonable.  However, at some point I realized it was really hurting.  I went inside to use the bathroom and didn’t feel like going back out to all the people.  At that point it seemed like a good idea to head home and lay down.  I had a glimmer of a thought that maybe this was what going into labor felt like.   However, it is not easy to leave birthday parties with tons of games and food and activities and an overexcited 6 year old.  Plus I was having fun talking to everyone and felt fine, until every once in a while I didn’t.  Finally I realized we needed to leave.  But they were just about to do the pinata and Joseph did not want to miss it.  I still felt more and more like I was in a dream and was having trouble getting out of the party…finally a 8 year old girl told Joseph she would get him his piñata treats and we got ready to leave.  On the way out a friend who is also a nurse was walking in. We stopped and chatted a bit.  I mentioned that we were leaving because I wasn’t feeling that good, and she got a weird look.  I even remember asking her if it was possible to only feel contractions in your back and she said it was certainly possible.  She said she initially only felt hers in her knees (?!?) and to get out of there. 
(Not a great pictures at all, but here I am enjoying the birthday party just hours before Nora was born!)

As we left the party at about 2:30 PM I called Bob and asked if he could take Joseph again, saying I didn’t feel too great and wanted to go home to lie down by myself. Well, at least that is what I think I said.  By this point everything seemed very surreal and dreamlike.   He said sure and I started driving to Bristol.  After we got off the phone my back immediately cramped up and I called him right back to say I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Bristol and would he meet me in New Haven.  That is what we did.  I also called Brad and said I was headed home.  When we met Bob I have a vivid memory of writhing in my drivers seat a bit, knowing I looked like a whale in pain.  Bob seemed pretty concerned, but I assured him I was fine to drive home.  I was still feeling like I was in a dream.  And it was still only my back hurting.  But I did start looking at the clock.  And realizing my back was hurting about every 5 minutes.  Hmmmmmm...  Of course by the time I fully realized that it was hurting every 5 minutes and what this might mean (labor!!) I was close to home, so I just kept going.  Not sure if timing your contractions while driving is the best idea…

Part 3 coming soon! 


Meredith said...

Ruth!!!! I've waited a year to hear the rest of this story and you're making me wait again?!?!!! 😁 can't wait about when you finally figured out what was happening, lol.

Ruth Bernstein said...

(Evil laugh) Sorry Meredith! I just can't help writing down (almost) every detail and it got soooooo long. Good news is I'm already working on the next, and yes final, installment. It's also the hardest and most emotional. Happy news years!

JG said...

Ruth this was wonderful to read!!! What an incredible experience! Isn't it funny how strange and subtle labor can be?? This is bringing back so many of my own memories from when I went into labor with Kaia and spent hours walking around Moorhead... I think I talked to you on the phone as I walked? Or was it just my mom? It's crazy how fast the memory slides away. :( So glad you're sharing all of this! Can't wait for Part III!

Ruth Bernstein said...

Yup we definitely talked while you were walking--more then once I think! I couldn't believe you were out walking around! You kept saying you were worried that you called me too early and I kept saying you DID NOT. Then I was in class all afternoon dying to check my phone. And I would love to see some detailed birth stories from all of you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good story, thank you, Ruth, good job.