5 Dollars

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

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Joyous Birth of Isabella Kaylee Dollar

I can't believe it has been 5 years since I first held my sweet Kaylee in my arms. Time has flown by so fast! She has grown into quite a little lady and now Kindergarten is right around the corner. On the anniversary of her birth, I'd like to share her birthstory with you.

The Joyous Birth of Isabella Kaylee Dollar

On Monday, February 26th we had our 38 week prenatal checkup with our Midwife, Ronnie, at the Birth Center. It was up to me whether I wanted to have an internal exam at that point. Because I’m nosey, I opted to go ahead and have one. My cervix was about 50% effaced, soft, moving forward and beginning to dilate. Ronnie said she wouldn’t be surprised if we were in labor before the week was over. Wednesday night I decided to start using Evening Primrose Oil to help finish the process of effacement.

On Friday morning (3/2/01) I woke up really early feeling restless and crampy. I roamed around the house for a couple of hours thinking that this was very much how I felt the morning I went into labor with Keithen. I emailed my mom and step-mom (who both live about 2 hours away) to tell them that it could be soon so they should be prepared to hop in the car so they could attend the birth.

On Saturday night (3/3/01 – 39 weeks) I had some pretty good contractions starting at about 4:00 and going until about 10:00 p.m. They were strong enough to be annoying, but didn’t command my focus to get through them. I just went through my normal activities of playing with Keithen, eating, etc. until about 10:00 when I decided maybe it would be a good idea to go to bed early in case things picked up during the night. I remember feeling some contractions off and on throughout the night, but still nothing earth shattering.
On Sunday morning (3/4/01) I woke up really early, feeling restless and crampy again. I cleaned the living room at 4:00 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep. After a couple of hours I was able to go back to bed again. Sunday afternoon I took a nap for about an hour and a half, trying to stay rested because I just knew it was going to be soon. I had been having contractions off and on all day but hadn’t really stopped to time them since they didn’t seem very strong or close together.

About 8:00 p.m. they were close enough together and starting to command my focus that I started timing them. They were coming about 3 to 7 minutes apart at that point. We decided to page Ronnie around 9:15 and let her know that I was in active labor. She called back immediately and we talked through what I was experiencing. She suggested taking a shower and calling her back in about a half hour. While I was in the shower, Matt tried to call his parents to watch Keithen. Around 10:00 Matt took Keithen to Grandma and Grandpa Dollar’s house to spend the night. Before they left I told him “don’t linger.”

I put on some music (Sting – the same thing I listened to in early labor with Keithen.) Once Matt left, I called Ronnie back. We agreed to meet at the Birth Center around 11:15-11:30 p.m. Kristin, who had been our doula for Keithen’s birth, was going to volunteer to doula for us this time too. I called her next and found out that her girls were sick so she wasn’t going to be able to meet us. We talked on the phone for a few minutes and she commented that it sounded like I was having good, strong contractions and we were probably going to have a baby very soon. Next I called Tina (my step-mom) and my mom to tell them to hit the road. Mom offered to stay on the phone with me until Matt got back home but I said I needed to focus. All the time I was on the phone I was in the living room floor either draped over the birth ball, on my hands and knees or laying on my left side.

I tried to finish getting our stuff ready to leave for the Birth Center, but I couldn’t stand to be upright. It really felt as if the minute Matt got Keithen out the door my brain told my body “you don’t have anything else to focus on now, so get to work!” I went back and forth from laboring in the living room floor to sitting on the toilet. I was moaning really loud, saying “focus” and “open” through the contractions. At one point I actually crawled to the bathroom because I couldn’t bear to walk. I was starting to sweat and shiver and suspect that I was entering transition. I labored for about an hour by myself until Matt arrived home to find me sitting on the big potty and retching into Keithen’s potty. He said he needed to call his parents and I told him there wasn’t time, I was in transition and he had to load the car. I stayed on my side in the bathroom floor with my cold washcloth while he threw stuff into the mini-van. I had him put my shoes on me and get my coat for me. We left for the Birth Center about 11:15.

I reclined my seat in the van and lay on my left side, moaning and blowing through the contractions on the way there. Matt was constantly telling me that I was doing great. We joked a little about running the red lights to see if we could get a police escort. I peeked at the clock a few times on the way there and my contractions seemed to be about 2 minutes apart. The last time I glanced at the clock it was 11:32 p.m.

Ronnie had just arrived when we got there and hadn’t even gone inside yet. When I got out of the van she asked how I was doing and I told her I was pretty certain I was in transition when we left the house. She started walking faster and had a little trouble getting the door unlocked. We went straight back to the birth room while she turned off the alarm. Karin, the birth assistant, arrived just after we got the lights on and Ronnie was getting ready to check me. I was complete with a bulging bag of water. Ronnie said “did you want a water birth.” When we said yes she told Karin to start filling the tub now. Ronnie checked the baby’s heartrate and did my vitals while Karin got the tub ready. I wanted Matt to go out to the car to get some more of our stuff and Ronnie told him there was no time, we were having a baby NOW. I asked about getting my antibiotics since I had tested GBS+. Ronnie said it was too late for that. Karin lit the candles in the bathroom and helped me into the warm water. Matt filled my water bottle with Gatorade and put on the CD my mom had made for us to play during labor.

Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” began to play and I instantly relaxed into the hot water. Ronnie commented on our great choice of music. I floated around in the tub to find a position I liked and Ronnie said I could start pushing anytime I wanted too. Matt asked how we would know when my water broke since I was in the tub. Ronnie explained that the water would probably get cloudy or we might hear a pop. We were talking and laughing and I commented on how relaxed I felt.

I think I pushed through 2 contractions with the bag of water still intact before she suggested going ahead and breaking my water. I knew it was really going to hurt after she did this, but I trusted her judgement that it needed to happen. I took a few deep breaths to focus myself, took Matt’s hand and shook my head that she could go ahead. She couldn’t tell if she got it or not and wanted me to shift so I was sitting in the tub with my back to the side wall instead of the end of the tub. The bag broke and she showed Matt how the water changed as my amniotic fluid came out into the tub.

The contractions became really hard once the cushion from the bag of waters was gone. Ronnie kept reminding me to keep my chin down to my chest and I think I was about to pull Matt into the water with me. Someone, I think it was Matt, told me to reach down and feel my baby’s head. I opened my eyes and looked down and could see this little dark head coming out of my body. I took both hands and touched the head in amazement, even feeling how much hair the baby had. Ronnie was urging me to keep pushing. I could feel myself bruising as I put my whole self into pushing out the baby’s shoulders. Ronnie was having a hard time maneuvering to support the baby’s head and had me get onto my hands and knees. With another big hard push I heard our sweet baby crying. I had only pushed for maybe 15 to 20 minutes. I couldn’t see her and asked “what is it? What is it?” Matt announced that it was a girl and I was able to turn over and hold her in the tub. The cord had already stopped pulsing so she went ahead and had Matt cut it. I tried to get Kaylee to nurse but she wasn’t latching on. Ronnie and Karin took her to the warmer to check her over. I told Matt to go with her and get the camera. I could hear her crying in the next room.

Karin helped me out of the tub and into the bed. They brought Kaylee back to me and we tried to nurse but she still wasn’t very responsive. Ronnie told Karin to get the oxygen and they put her back on the warmer and started stimulating her and gave her some oxygen. It was a little scary to watch, but I also knew that babies who are born fast often have problems getting started breathing. Ronnie thought she might also be a little cold since she wasn’t actually born into the water. Once they were convinced that she was OK I got to hold her again and get her started nursing. I pushed out the placenta and Ronnie reported that I had no tears, only a couple of little skid marks. My uterus wasn’t firming up so Ronnie tried massaging it. That only worked until she would stop, so she suggested a shot of pitocin to help things along. At some point I asked, “did anyone happen to notice what time it was?” Karin said Kaylee was born at 12:12 a.m. on Monday, March 5, 2001. I was only in active labor for about 4 hours, including pushing.

We were just starting to get cleaned up and settled when Tina and my Dad arrived. I said Tina could come in and as soon as she heard it was a girl she sent Dad back out to the truck to get something pink they had brought with them. Once I was cleaned up a little and had a shirt on Dad came in and we all hugged and talked. It was at least another hour before my Mom and John arrived with their arms full of afghans, clothes, diapers and gifts for big brother Keithen. Kaylee was finally weighed and Matt reported that she was 7 lbs 7 oz. (She didn’t get measured until right before we left in the morning. She was 19 inches long.) We all visited for a couple of hours and took turns holding Kaylee then everyone left so that our new family could get some sleep.

We all curled up in the big bed together. I didn’t sleep much, I was too busy watching Kaylee. She actually rolled onto her side at one point to face me and we looked each other over. It was about 10:00 a.m. that morning when we checked out and brought her home.

Something had told me all along that this was going to be a little girl. She’s absolutely beautiful with the softest skin and makes the sweetest little baby noises. She’s nursing better now and seems to be a little more alert and responsive. I feel pretty good, just a little bruised and crampy. It’s so nice to not have to deal with any stitches this time around! Big brother Keithen is very proud and has lots of kisses and hugs for his new little sister, who he calls “Kay” or “sissy.” He’s peeking into the Pack and Play to check on her every chance he gets. He’s already trying to teach her to play peek-a-boo like a good big brother.


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