Life of a Real Mom

Unedited Mothering

Tag: birth

Kay’s Birth Story – Final Chapter

Kay, my oldest child and only daughter, has been a wonderful gift to me. My recount of Kay’s birth story left off with Duncan and I walking around the mall, since the nurses at labor and delivery said my contractions had to be strong enough that I had to breathe through them and 5 minutes apart AND THAT WAY for 1 to 1 1/2 hours!

August 2, 1993

You hear from the pros to walk to get contraction going, but where do you walk in Arizona in August except in the mall? So, around and around the mall we went. I remember being embarrassed when leaning on Duncan and “breathing through contractions” in the middle of a crowd. Once I leaned up against a drinking fountain (pretending to take a drink of water) and nearly cried I was so frustrated that this painful experience wasn’t “painful enough.” I wanted to go to the hospital so badly. When Duncan finally got worried that we had waited too long, we both agreed and were out-of-there.

From my journal, “What a weird feeling to be actually going into the hospital to have a baby. We signed papers and the nurse waited for my contraction to end before she asked me to get in the wheel chair, which was embarrassing. I am eternally grateful for Duncan’s company and support. He was there, by my side the whole time and that gave me GREAT comfort. I am also grateful that we had been so open to each other and that he had made himself such a part of the labor so far…. When the nurses checked my dilation, I thought for sure I’d be at, oh – an 8 and the nurses would be amazed at how I had endured so much…, but I was at A THREE!”

Dr. McCrea FINALLY came in, introduced himself and decided to break my water. There was meconium in the fluid. Dr. McCrea tried to ease our minds, but I knew this was a sign of stress from the baby. The contractions were more intense and closer together. I had full faith in Duncan and my Lamaze class when I entered the hospital, but that confidence was wavering. It seemed that Duncan’s guiding rhythm was too fast or two slow, so I took that over. His voice was grating and in the way, so I told him not to talk, but his teeth! Oh, his teeth! I loved looking at his teeth.

In Lamaze class I had decided my focal point would be a beautiful visual of a calm beach. FORGET THAT! All I wanted to do was look at Duncan’s beautiful straight white teeth. So, I often pulled him close and asked him to smile big.

Two hours later I was astounded that I was still at a 3! I was still insistent that I not get an epidural, but the pain was so intense and constant. My back felt like someone was cutting it open from the inside with a knife. I had endured this for so long that I was literally shaking in between contractions. Was it possible to stay alive through this? What if it continued for another 12 hours? The time was absolutely crawling!

I finally agreed to take some Stadol to help me relax. “I felt a little droopy eyed at first, but was fully aware and still felt it ALL – it seemed – but at least I wasn’t shaking in between contractions. … A half hour later I was dilated to a 5! I wanted to push already too – couldn’t yet. Dad came to pick up mom and assisted Duncan in giving me a priesthood blessing. Soon I was allowed to push to help the baby down and then I was dilated to an 8! then a 10. It was such a relief to really push, which I must have done for nearly an hour. The crowning, I couldn’t see, but I could sense the head emerge and the doctor holding it. The rest I did see and WOW! What a neat feeling. A whoosh, a relief.”

Remember, we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl, so this added to our anticipation. Again from my journal, “I wasn’t even thinking of the sex of the baby, which is all Duncan was concentrating on, but I wasn’t too surprised when it was a girl! The dreams I had had scored 4 to 3 in favor of a girl, you know.”

“When Kay came out her head was very oblong and she was purple, cried hard from the very start, and had her umbilical cord draped around her like a Mrs. America banner. ‘What side of the family did this attitude come from?’ The nurses asked and called her peanut.” She weighed 6 lbs. 10 1/2 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long and was absolutely perfect in every way.

As it turned out, I was in labor for 22 hours (starting from when I had to breathe through contractions) partly because I had a vaginal septum, or extra membrane wall running parallel to the birth canal. Kay had to rip her way all the way down. This added to the stress on Kay and my recovery, but all ended well. I went into labor on my due date, but had Kay the next day on August 2, 1993. WOW! What an ordeal and what a beautiful blessed miracle.

Here is a journal entry on August 14, 1993:

“It is a wonderful thing to know that a beautiful NEW baby recognizes your voice and seems to even recognize your face. It is also wonderful, but scary to know that someone is totally dependent on you. I like to think that she is smiling on purpose, especially when she grins while I am talking, singing, feeding, or playing with her. I also like her “talking” as long as they are happy sounds. Her eyes add so much to her gorgeous face. … Well, I’m being summoned. Good night.”

Kay, I loved you as a baby and I love you even more now. I have watched you play, grow, run, drive, serve, work, study, and learn. Though I have fed you, taught you, and guided you, you have become your unique self. You are beautiful, free spirited, smart and good. I have devoted so much time (Remember the long walks to library classes when you were 4? or the late nights studying with you in 7th grade? or tireless care during your recovery of a broken leg your junior year?) and yet, I feel that all credit goes to a loving Heavenly Father, who loves you far more than I do and who has protected you and guided you in the most crucial times. May you always listen to His whisperings and be open to Christ’s saving grace.

The End.

Kay’s Birth Story Continued …

At first, I wondered if the contractions were the “real” kind because they climbed, reached a peak, and decreased in intensity, causing pain in my back and stomach, which was caused to tighten. Other types of “contractions” I had felt before were Braxton-Hicks which were merely the tightening of the stomach (no pain) and menstrual like cramps in the lower abdomen (some pain).

These were real alright! And out of curiosity we made note of the time. I had 4 in one hour.

Duncan was so tired. He fell asleep quickly, having given me the directions to wake him up if they were super progressive. [Oh brother.]

August 2, 1993

Between around 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. they were consistently 4-8 minutes apart. I had given up on sleeping and was reading on the floor by the AC vent with the clock off the wall propped in front of me. (I found the contractions were more intense if I slept on my side.) None-the-less they were growing in such intensity I was really wanting some support and some help in relaxing and breathing. [We didn’t take those Lamaze classes for nothing, did we?]

I woke up Duncan, who said a few words of advise and then went back to bed thinking I was okay. (Wouldn’t you know that the last few contractions had been spaced more apart.) Unfortunately for him, but thank goodness for me, he couldn’t fall back asleep and helped me keep track of contractions while I tried different positions, wrote addresses for the upcoming shower invitations, and he read. It was such a relief to have him with me.

We took a walk to speed up the contractions, which was also helpful because it took my mind off the pain. The sunrise and full moon were SO BEAUTIFUL this morning around 5:00 a.m. when we took our first walk. Though the contractions were between 8 and 12 minutes apart, we went to the apartment and gathered up the “hospital bag.” Duncan asked, “Is it really time to get this out?” with a smile on his face. You know, I had imagined the time of our departure to the hospital many times. Would it be rushed? Would it be in the day or night? Will my water already be broken?

(Unfortunately that was far in the future.)

I slept for about an hour late in the morning. This little baby (We chose to have a surprise) of ours has been a mover and a shaker between contractions until now. I feel nauseous, then hungry, but dare not eat hardly anything. I’ve been cleaned out on the inside and have taken a shower. I’ve lost my mucus plug too. I feel most comfortable during a contraction sitting straight up or walking. Breathing is laborious and takes quite a bit of concentration. The intensity stays pretty consistent – BAD.

Mom called this morning and I couldn’t lie, so she knows I’ve been having contractions… We wanted to wait till we went to the hospital before we called her.

Duncan made me macaroni and cheese but after only a few slow bites, I was getting sick to my stomach. (All I had before was a glass of orange juice and a small bowl of cornflakes).

Our idea to walk around the mall was a good but painful one. We got to see my sister Lori at work, Baby Gap, who was surprised I wasn’t in the hospital. Mom was spreading the news that I was having contractions like wild fire!

Click here for THE REST OF THE STORY.

Kay’s Birth Story

August 1, 1993

It was fun to answer inquiries at church. “When are you due?”
“Today.” I answered.
I wanted to walk to church because I had so much energy. I kept up a really good pace – in high heels even.
With the Miamaid (14-15 year old girls) lesson I prepared being on abortion, the baby’s timely hiccups came in very handy. I had the whole class watch my flinching belly. Linda Shaw found it particularly fascinating.
We came home and ate. I have been focusing my prayers on a safe delivery, but more so on Duncan’s behalf: that he’ll have the strength, confidence, and desires of the father he wants to be. I know he’ll be a great dad.
After talking to E.C., my mother-in-law, on the phone, Duncan and I both fell asleep at 5:00 p.m and didn’t wake up until 7:30 p.m. by the call of my mom. I had had a really weird dream:
I dreamt that the hospital was a maze of rooms and activities. That I didn’t remember anything about the delivery, but had given birth to a 3 year old looking girl with no hair and a big smile. She had no resemblance to either Duncan nor I.
After we woke up and were reading some of the conference issue aloud to the baby, I felt a contraction – one like i’ve only felt at night. I’ve had 4 since then, averaging about 12 minutes apart. I’ve felt especially relaxed this evening. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

August 2, 1993

12:59 a.m. Yucky contractions between 6 and 11 minutes apart. No sleep last night.

For the continuation of the story (chapter two of three chapters) CLICK HERE.

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