5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Seven years ago today, I became a mom.....

Seven years ago today, very late at night/early in the morning, I was birthed into motherhood. After about 18 hours of unmedicated labor, Keithen was born. He was so little and perfect. He was this helpless little being who depended on me to fulfill all his needs. Now he's a headstrong and resourceful seven year old who can do things for himself. Where in the world did my little baby boy go? How did he grow so big so quickly? In honor of his birthday, I'm posting his birthstory below.

We are proud to announce the arrival of KEITHEN BRICK DOLLAR at 12:46 a.m. on Monday, February 1, 1999! He weighed 7 lbs and 13 oz and was 21 inches long. His head was 13 inches around! His APGAR scores were 8 and 10. He was born with a full head of dark hair.

Mommy had been dilated to 4 cm and 100% effaced since Monday, Jan. 25 with the baby's head engaged. At our appointment on Thursday, Jan. 28 Dr. Ferrara said that there was a bubble of fluid between the baby's head and the membrane, so Mommy would definately know when her water broke. He also said that he would not be on call that weekend.

Mom began labor at home on Sunday morning (Jan. 31, Superbowl Sunday) around 7 a.m. She had been timing contrax for about an hour when Daddy woke up. At 8:30 a.m. we decided to call our Doula, Kristin, to see if she thought we should call the doctor yet. Kristin suggested we wait about 45 mins before deciding to call the doctor and see how things were progressing.

Mommy got in the tub for a while and burnt some candles to try to relax and then got dressed. She ate a little applesauce and jello and drank a big glass of Gatorade. While Mommy was eating, Daddy had to charge up the battery on the van so we would be ready for the trip to the hospital.

About 10:00 a.m. we decided it was time to try to contact the doctor on call. Mommy's contrax had been running between 4 and 11 mins apart for 3 hours by that point. Daddy talked to the answering service and then had to wait for the doctor on call, Dr. Feeney, to call us back.

By the time he called back, Mommy's contrax seemed to be a pretty consistant 4 mins apart. He told us to head to the hospital. Daddy called Gretchen to let her know that Mommy wouldn't be coming to work. He also let Kristin know we were headed for the hospital and would call her from there. Mommy grabbed up her toiletries and stuffed them into the labor bag while Daddy packed the food bag in the kitchen. We grabbed some extra pillows and headed for the hospital.

When we got to the hospital about 11:00, Daddy went with Mommy up to the L&D floor and then went back down to get our stuff from the van and put it into a parking place. Dr. Feeney hadn't called the hospital to say we were coming, so they weren't prepared for us. Mommy had to sit in the waiting room for a little while and then the nurse took her to a triage room to check her over. Mommy was happy to see that the nurse had the copy of our file from Dr. Ferrara, complete with our birth plan. After checking Mommy over, she said she was going to find Dr. Feeney and show him the birth plan.

Daddy was back with our stuff by now and in the restroom. Nurse Judy returned after talking to Dr. Feeney and told Mommy that he basically wasn't going to honor anything that Dr. Ferrara had signed off on in our plan. He had told Nurse Judy that Mommy would have to have an IV because all of his patients did, that he would cut an episiotomy if he wanted to, that Mommy would deliver with her feet up in stirrups and he would cut the cord when he wanted to. Mommy called Daddy out of the bathroom and told him we had a problem. He asked Judy if he could talk to Dr. Feeney but they couldn't find him at first. Judy came back after a few minutes and asked if Daddy could talk with him on the phone. Daddy talked to the doctor and he just wasn't willing to be flexible on ANYTHING. He wanted to do it HIS way and the fact that we had spent the last nine months educating ourselves about our options didn't mean anything to him.

At this point, our options were to deliver with Dr. Feeney, ask for a Family Practicioner, or leave the hospital. We called Kristin to see what she thought we should do. When Mommy talked to her, she said that she had a client who threw this Dr. Feeney out of the room before. Well, that cinched it. There was no way this guy was helping Mommy deliver our baby. Kristin suggested we get one of the nurses to put Daddy in touch with Dr. Ferrara.

By the time we hung up with Kristin, Nurse Judy had already called Dr. Ferrara on her own. He had asked who was there and when he found out that a 2nd year Family Practice resident named Dr. Kevin Lusk was on call he said that we could deliver with Dr. Lusk and that they could call him in if there were any complications. So we waited to meet Dr. Lusk.

He was very young...probably younger than Mommy or Daddy. But he was just GREAT. He sat down with us and looked at our birth plan and said that it was absolutely everything he would encourage someone to do. He said he has worked with Dr. Ferrara a lot. Well, we felt really relived and agreed to let Dr. Lusk be our doctor. Then they moved us into a real room in the L&D suite.
Nurse Judy hooked Mommy back up to the external fetal monitor and the monitor for her contrax again when we got to the new room. She also put a Heparin lock on Mommy just in case they should need to start an IV later. They brought in the labor ball that Mommy had requested to use. Daddy used some lavendar lotion and a massager on Mommy's back as she leaned over the labor ball.

Kristin arrived about 1:30 p.m. and Daddy took her cel phone to go outside for a cigarette and to call all the Grandparents and let them know we'd been admitted to the hospital. Mommy ate some more jello while she talked to Kristin about how things had been going.

The next several hours are all pretty much a blur for Mommy. We tried several positions including sitting on the birth ball leaning over the bed, kneeling on the bed with the birth ball and a pillow, sitting on the ball in the shower, sitting in the rocking chair and walking around the L&D floor. We also used some aeromatherapy oils for relaxation. The shower really didn't help much because the water kept going from hot to cold. When Mommy was in the rocker, she had the shakes a little and our new nurse, Pam, wrapped her up in a warm blanket which felt really good. Mommy & Daddy both really liked nurse Pam because it was just like having our sister-in-law Susan there. (Susan is a L&D nurse in Texas.) Their personalities were VERY similar and we felt really comfortable with her.

Mommy kept feeling like her right hip REALLY hurt. Daddy and Kristin put pressure on her knees and that helped a lot. Some of the time we spent walking the halls, Mommy would have to stop and squat holding on to the rail to get through a contraction. Mommy was able to breath or rock through all the contrax though. Daddy and Kristin both did some more massage on Mommy's back to try to relieve some of the discomfort and pressure which helped. Kristin also heated up a lavendar scented rice sock for Mommy's lower back several times, which felt really great.

All this time the nurses would put the monitors on for a while to listen to the baby's heartbeat and monitor Mommy's contrax intermittently. They wanted to monitor for about 15 mins out of each hour. Mommy would let them put them on for a while and them whenever she couldn't stand to be strapped down anymore, she would ask Kristin and Daddy to take them off. We drank a lot of Gatorade through this stage and also water and ice.

Thanks to all the stress of how we entered the hospital, things were progressing pretty slow. The bubble of fluid that Dr. Ferrara had felt on Thursday was also creating a lot of pressure on some of the contrax. Mommy's contrax were a pretty consistant 3 mins apart, but they varied in length and Nurse Pam thought that they weren't long enough to really be productive. We started talking about the possibility of having the doctor break Mommy's water for her about 10:00 p.m. Between about 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Mommy had only progressed from about 5 cm when we arrived to 7 cm. At 11:10 p.m. we had Dr. Lusk break Mommy's water for her. It was kind of uncomfortable to have him do it, but afterwards it actually made her feel better for a little while.

They had Mommy hooked up to all the monitors again at that point and she couldn't stand it anymore. Daddy & Kristin took the monitors off and Mommy went to sit on the toilet for a while. Daddy came in and sat on the labor ball in front of her. Mommy held on to Dad's knees and would breathe through the contrax with him. A couple of times the contrax were so strong that Mommy would raise up off the toilet, really kind of roaring and Daddy would have to help remind her to breathe and relax. Kristin asked if Mommy was feeling pressure in her bottom and she said she was and that she was starting to feel pushy.

They helped to move Mommy back into the room and onto the foot of the bed to be checked. Mommy wanted to be on her hands and knees at that point and was having to pant to try not to push. The new nurse, Tyrel, wanted Mommy to turn over to be checked. It took a little while until Mommy felt she could turn over and bear to have them check her again. We were really progressing fast at that point. From the time the doctor broke Mommy's water, it took her only about 45 mins to get from 7 to 10 cm.

So they called the doctor in and let Mommy start pushing. The nurse wanted Mommy to hold her breath in with each contrax while she pushed. Mommy really felt like blowing out and moaning with some of them as she was pushing. She could feel the baby moving down with each push. Kristin was right there on one side of Mommy saying "do what your body tells you" and Daddy was on the other side saying how great she was doing. In the back of her mind Mommy was remembering Susan's advice to let the baby do some of the work himself to get out instead of pushing so hard.

The contrax had kind of slowed down some by this point and the doctor was doing perinial massage on Mommy to help her stretch for the baby's head to come out. Kristin told Mommy to reach down and feel the baby's head. He was right there and ready to come out! Mommy only pushed on the contrax that she felt it was right too and she could feel the baby moving down and out. She was focused pretty much inward and could just hear everyone telling her what to do and that she was doing so well.

It took about 30 to 40 minutes for Mommy to push the baby out. It really burned as Mommy pushed out baby's head. She got a second degree tear pushing out his shoulders and then there he was laying across her belly! (She didn't even realize she had torn until Kristin told her.) They put warm blankets over him and didn't think at first that they could pull him up any farther on her chest because the cord might be too short. Mommy touched and rubbed him while they waited for the cord to stop pulsating. Once it had stopped Dr. Lusk clamped it and helped Daddy to cut it.

Then Keithen was moved up on Mommy's chest and was able to breastfeed right away. His eyes were wide open and he was so alert! Daddy was completely amazed and Mommy just stared down into that beautiful, perfect little face in amazement too. It was definately love at first sight! The staff was really great about waiting until he was done eating before they did all the routine newborn stuff like weighing him and putting on his ID bracelets.

Kristin had been taking lots of pix during the pushing stage and took some pix after the birth of Mommy and Daddy with the baby. After Keithen started nursing Mommy felt some more contrax and had the urge to push the placenta out. She pushed once then the doctor could maybe see it coming because they started encouraging her to push and the placenta was out after just two pushes.

It was all just absolutely amazing. I still am in awe of what I did and that I made it through the entire thing unmedicated. I feel so strong, like I could accomplish anything now. What a wonderful gift an unmedicated birth obviously was to our beautiful, perfect son. He was so alert and healthy afterwards! I couldn't believe how big he was and that his APGARs were so high. They almost never give 10's but he got one at his 5 minute assesment.
We had such a wonderful team there to support our family. Dr. Lusk was just amazing, all three of our L&D nurses were fantastic and our Doula Kristin was the strong and wonderful woman we knew she would be. And of course Daddy was such a huge help for Mommy to lean on with all his love and support. We couldn't have been more lucky regarding the team of people we had there to help us start our family.

Uncle Eric and all three sets of Grandparents visited us at the hospital and Mommy spent a lot of time on the phone with friends. Dr. Ferrara came to check up on Mommy and said she could go home whenever she wanted. He also appologized to us about the whole Dr. Feeney fiasco. He had no idea that was who was on call for him. Dr. Platz, Keithen's doctor, came to see us too and cleared him to go home whenever Mommy and Daddy were ready.

We decided to leave the hospital that night and were finally released at 9:00 p.m. that evening. We could have stayed one more night if we had wanted. I think I would have rested just as well at home or in the hospital, but I knew I wasn't going to eat very well until I got home. Grandma and Grandpa Williams helped us get home and filled our fridge with all the food they had brought. Over the next several days Mommy, Daddy and Keithen got to know each other and enjoyed showing Keithen off to all our family and friends.


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