Elizabeth's birth story.
Some of it might be off a bit off, but this is my memory of it.
Elizabeth Valery Schaefer 10-16-09
October 15th at about 9:30 pm I started having contractions. I had been having them on and off for about a week, but they never lasted long. This time they stayed pretty regular (every 10 minutes or so) and weren’t going away. My grandma was staying with us so she could watch the girls if I went into labor,. Good thing she was there, even though I wasn’t due for another week. We weren’t sure what to do, because it was obviously very early labor. Gwendolyn came so fast, that we were worried about this one being as fast, or faster, and the hospital is 45 minutes away. I should have just gone to bed, but we didn’t know what was ahead, so we headed for the hospital around 11pm. We got there and went to triage and the midwife checked me and I was only dilated to 3 cm. She suggested that I walk around for an hour, and then check my progress. When she checked me an hour later, I was dilated to a 4, so we decided to stay, since I had made a bit of progress. I called my mom and told her to head down, and kept our doula updated. I tried to sleep, and was able to get a few winks in between contractions, but that only lasted an hour or so. We ended up staying in triage until 7am, because they were short nurses for the delivery rooms. At 7am I got a L&D room, and a new midwife. By then my mom and doula were both there, and I continued to labor, and it seemed like it was slowly but surely progressing. I got into the tub for about 45 minutes, just to get some relief, but didn’t want to stay in any longer, as it might have been slowing my labor down. Walked the halls a few times, otherwise nothing exciting happened. Around noon the midwife decided to check and see how far I had progressed. I was still only 4cm dialated! I couldn’t believe that after 11 hours of laboring I hadn’t progressed at all! I was so exhausted by this point. I felt like crying when she told me that. When she asked if I wanted to have her break my water, I quickly said yes, hoping it would speed things up. It worked, too well! The first contraction I had after she broke my water was 2 times as strong as the one before, and the next was 2 times stronger than that. Within 15 minutes it was almost unbearable! My back hurt so badly with each contraction, and I was so tired. I must have labored like this about an hour, than I decided I needed to sleep, and wanted the pain to be gone, so I asked for an epidural. By that point my contractions were longer than the breaks in between, and I didn’t think I could last hours that way anymore. I was just so tired! If I had realized how fast I was progressing, I don’t think I would have asked for the epidural, but who knows. So they said before they could give me an epidural, they had to fill me with liquid through the IV. I still don’t understand why, but whatever. Once I realized that it would take over 45 minutes to pump me full, I wanted to cry. Maybe I did, I don’t remember. I remember saying over and over how tired I was, and how much it hurt, and please hurry (either looking at the IV or the door, lol.) Somewhere between 2:00pm and 2:30pm I felt the need to get on the bed. I felt too tired to do anymore. I got on the bed on my side, and about 5-10 minutes later I felt her coming, and I said so. “HERE SHE COMES!” They believed me… lol The midwife and nurses came running, got my “undies” off and I think that is about all they had time for before I pushed. They had my leg pushed up (I was on my side) and I pushed 2 times I think, and her head was there. I felt like resting a minute, but they all yelled to push, so I pushed again, and her head was out. One more push, and out she came! Ah, what a relief that was! I said so too! LoL I was just so happy it was done, I almost forgot about the baby. They laid her on my chest and I thought to myself, “oh yeah, there is a baby from all of that”. The labor was the hardest by far that I have had. I might have been in as much pain with Gwendolyn, but I knew that I was about to give birth with Gwen, so it was ok in my head. With Elizabeth, I thought I would have to go on like that all day and all night, and I was too exhausted that I couldn’t even think halfway straight. The delivery and recovery made up for the labor. She came out super quick, and that didn’t hurt nearly as bad as it had with Gwendolyn. Recovery was also a breeze. I remember sitting gingerly with my first two girls after their births, but never had that problem after Elizabeth. Even my hemorrhoids (which were massive according to the midwife) were almost gone the next day, and never really hurt. Elizabeth was perfect and beautiful, and I am glad that in the end I didn’t end up with an epidural. Elizabeth didn’t need formula supplements like the other girls did, but did have a bit of bilirubin, so needed to be checked the day after we were discharged. We only stayed at the hospital one night after she was born.Her bili was fine when checked, and she never needed any treatment.