Rosie’s Labor: The Cliffs Notes

I intend to write up a detailed account of Rosie’s Labor Story at some point, just as I did with Lucy’s. But until then, I thought it might be worthwhile to note a few of the highlights.

Editors’ note: You may note the relative shortage of photos in this post. That’s because things really did go so fast that we don’t have lots of pix of the labor process itself — that are presentable to the public, at least. (But particular thanks to Super-Doula Dora for the fabulous shots she did take!) For a few more pix, see the earlier post, Rosalind Hazel Boyd, as well as the modesty-enabled link to a bonus photo embedded in this post, below.)

I’m really pleased with the way this labor and birthing process went, even though it was a totally different experience from Lucy’s birth. Rosie’s labor started deliberately and intentionally (due to my amniotic-fluid leak), and a big part of the process for me was getting my head around the idea that a) we were going to need to induce labor in some way and b) our baby was going to arrive about two weeks early. But once I did get my head around that, it went very smoothly.

Here’s how events looked, starting midday on Thursday, March 13:

  • 11:20 am Midwife appointment. Yes, Ann is leaking amniotic fluid. Yes, that means the baby must come out soon.
  • 1:50 pm That emotional appointment (complete with fussy toddler) ends with concrete plans: meet Debi the Midwife at Evanston Hospital around 4:30 pm.
  • 2:10 Ann & Lucy arrive at home. Lucy gets a few ice chips plus a sip of Gatorade and settles in for a much-needed nap. Papa gets Mama a Subway sandwich for lunch — the last one needing microwaved lunchmeat for this pregnant lady!
  • 2:50 Ann tries to nap. (As if!)
  • 3:10 Ann abandons nap attempt, decides to listen to what her inner-pregnant-lady really wants. Goes for a walk to get head in the game. Papa catches up with her to make the neighborhood rounds.
  • 4:30 After several more walks (with contractions), Ann is feeling encouraged that labor could be a possibility in the near future, even though contractions slow dramatically when she stops walking. Lucy is awake and heads off to stay with Grammie & Grandpa for the next couple days.
  • 6:00 Arrive at hospital. “Hi, I’m trying to have a baby.” We snag the one room with the oversized labor tub. Sweet!
  • 6:30 Try standing in the shower with water hitting nipples in hopes of stimulating contractions. Ineffective and boring.
  • 7:30ish Use breast pump to try to stimulate contractions, plus go on walks in between attempts. Ineffective, and Ann starts to feel worried and pretty exhausted.
  • 10:30 Last walk in the hospital halls with Jon. Ann talks through her anxieties, feels much better, and goes back to labor room ready to try Pitocin.
  • 11:00 Ann is hooked up to a very slow Pitocin drip. The BBC’s Pride and Prejudice helps to distract us all. Ann & Jon get some much-needed sleep. Doula Dora sits absorbed by the movie — for all six hours of it!
  • 4:00 am (Friday) Pride and Prejudice ends just at the same time that Ann decides she doesn’t want to lie down anymore for these contractions, as they are getting strong enough to need attention.
  • 4:20 Bounce on birth ball and blow raspberries through contractions. Watch first half of Liar Liar and giggle a lot. “The pen is bluuuuue!”
  • 5:10 Ann wants to get into the labor tub. Midwife Debi checks Ann (4.5 cm!) and breaks the forebag of water (5 cm!). Ann gets into the tub. (Click here for a photo that is totally modest, in our opinion, but Ann is almost entirely naked, so sensitive viewers may want to skip this.) They start to dial down the Pitocin, since labor is well underway. At Ann’s request, Jon turns on some Lotus for us to jam to during active labor — the perfect choice!
  • 5:50 Ann rocks, floats in water, make low moaning sounds through hard contractions. Definitely hard work. Ann inexplicably starts saying, “Yar! Yar! Yar! Yar!” at one point. Inner pirate is released. We think this is transition.
  • 5:57 Time to get out of the tub. Right now! “I’m feeling pushy! I feel like I have to poop! I’m totally going to poop!” Midwife Debi orders the delivery-instruments table, instructing them to bring it quickly — she thinks a baby is coming fast, not a poop. Debi finally checks Ann: 10 cm, fully dilated.
  • Leaning on birthing ball on bed (sort of hands-and-knees), Ann pushes. In between pushes, Ann babbles, “okayokayokayokayokay.”
  • 6:05 Rosie is born! Mama’s commentary: “Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus.” Mama can’t stop thanking the Lord that the baby is out. And that everybody is healthy, of course, but the out part is really the focus at this moment.

Everybody out!

Photo: “Eehhverybody out!”

Whew! That was intense! And I’m really pleased with how it went. Midwife Debi has commissioned me to tell more people that all the Pitocin horror stories aren’t necessarily the norm. And it’s true — this birth was much faster than Lucy’s, but that’s typical for a second birth anyway, and it felt similar in intensity, just all crammed into one hour of active labor instead of four or five. Fast and furious!

Recovery is going well, and we’re looking forward to joining together as a family at St Lou! More on that soon.

Thumbs up

Photo: Papa shows off Rosie’s fresh footprints (inked by the nurse on his forearm) in the delivery room.

10 Replies to “Rosie’s Labor: The Cliffs Notes”

  1. I’m so glad the pitocin wasn’t too hard on you Ann! I wish it had the same effect on me. Sounds like another wonderful birthing experience! I’m so happy for you two!

  2. oh, my gosh, ann. I had a very similar experience with Josi, minus the pitocin and amniotic fluid. (thank you, God! and all the same labor stuff all crammed together). I’m so glad that you had a good experience – cherish it!

  3. So, the second Eric and I looked at this pic of Rosie we both exclaimed, “She looks just like Ann!”. We are not sure entirely why we both think this, but we concluded that we think it is the lips. And that when Ann laughs her face get scrunched up and her mouth gets really big! So awesome!!

  4. Hurrah! Sounds like you all had a terrific experience – yep, those fast labors have their own set of hurdles! Glad the pit was good to you and your family… and that your caregivers were wise in saying, “No more… she’s off and away!” (honestly that seems like the bit that usually gets flubbed – too much for too long… but your story shows that isn’t a requirement!)
    Again my congrats and thanks for the cliff’s notes version… inspires me… though I am still in the mental “Keep the door closed and locked” place.

  5. I agree with Allie – a total Ann clone! I’m so happy the labor was fast for you and the pitocin worked! Horray! Thanks for sharing your story. You always encourage me!

  6. I’m glad your labor experience went so well. I love that they turned your pitocin down once things got underway – with both of mine they just kept turning it up even when the contractions were literally one on top of another. I asked them about turning it down and they said they didn’t want labor to stall… oh well.

  7. I thought later that I should clarify something about the pitocin: my midwife told me that they started the pitocin very low (at 2 units, whatever the unit is) and never went higher than 8 — at that point, I was in active labor, and they dialed it down bit by bit. She said that some women are at 30 or 40 units of pitocin for several hours before it really kicks in. So, that gives some perspective about different experiences with pitocin — I bet I would have reacted much differently with a heavier dose!

  8. You did great Ann! The pitocin was high enough to get you contracting regularly, but low enough to let you sleep— I heard your quiet snores. And isn’t it wonderful that you did all your hard labor in the tub, with your husband at your side! Your pirate transition was fabulous.

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