And in this corner…
Weighing in at 11 lbs, 6 ounces, 21 inches long…
Oliver Robert Nicholas Krebs!!
The story begins at 5:30 am on Monday, April 9th, 2007. I was sleeping peacefully when I awoke to contractions. Having awoken to contractions before, I ignored them, and promptly went into the kitchen for some early morning fuel. After gobbling down a bowl of cereal and a huge glass of milk, I went back to bed.
However, I could not fall back asleep. The pains were too intense for me to rest comfortably. Hmmm, this is new, I thought, as I took out my phone and began timing them.
An hour later they were still coming, and at a rate of between 6-8 minutes apart. I woke Lee up and told him to expect to miss work. He sleepily asked if he could rest a little longer. I tried to do the same, but they were getting more intense. I got up, took a hot shower, ate a little more, and then called Ellen. After speaking with her I decided to keep my doctor’s appointment that morning. We called Devon, who picked Monkey up and took her to work with him, and then went in to see about these pains, which were now about 4-5 minutes apart. Oh yes, and they hurt.
When we arrived at the doctor’s office they saw us immediately and Dr. Giovine said, “you may want to go to the hospital when you get a chance. We will meet you there.” So we did, we stopped home, got the camera, got lost a few times, and arrived at the hospital with the contractions about 3-5 minutes apart.
It took a long time to fill, but once it was done, I was very happy to be in it. I stayed in it for most of the labor, the water helped a lot. We tried a few other labor tricks, such as walking around, and even danced up and down the hallway together, but in the end, I really wanted to be back in the water.
So things went swimmingly. The nursing team I had were very open to an all natural birth, and didn’t even make me use a Heparin Lock. They monitored me with a Doppler when I was in the water, and didn’t make me sit through more than the initial 20 minute monitoring when we arrived. I labored in the tub until I hit transition. When I started having contractions that came in couplets and triplets and required all my concentration to breathe through I got out of the tub. I would have loved to continue in it, but the water height was such that I couldn’t keep my face out of it any longer.
We moved to the bed and I hugged the back of it until it was time to push. One of the nurses working with me was a massage therapist, and she began using massage and counter pressure to help lower the intensity of the transactions. I was really feeling the pain, the contractions were so intense that I felt compelled to try and escape my body. There was a point when moaning turned to screaming, and I distinctly remember telling Lee that “I would really like to leave my body now” about the time I hit 8 1/2 centimeters.
From then on, it was a very short labor. I started needing to push not too long after she told me I was 8 1/2 centimeters, and began pushing without thought not too long after that. When it was clear I was really needing to push, Dr. Levy had me flip over and sit, so we could deal with any shoulder dystocia if the problem arose. He crowned very quickly, and then, just when I truly began to understand the phrase “ring of fire” the contractions stopped. Here he was, head half out of me, and my body slowed things down so I could push him out without serious damage. Of course, I began to feel the need to crab crawl backwards up the bed to get away from the pain left by a half in, half out head, so I was less than pleased with my body’s decision at the time. However, I did get to reach down and feel his head a few times. Finally, I had a really strong contraction, we began pushing again, I began screaming, and wonderfully, out he popped!!
It felt so great to have him out!! Dr. Levy put him on my stomach, and I looked at his purpley screaming body while I heard “Wow, what a big baby! Wow, what a huge cord! Okay dad, this cord is really thick, you are going to have to use a lot of pressure to cut it!” Then I pushed out the placenta, which we both looked at and touched. (Such a cool feeling!!)
It was about this time that I began shaking fairly uncontrollably, so they brought warm blankets and cleaned Otter up and brought him back to me.
I didn’t know he was an 11 lb baby until a few hours later, when they were wheeling me up to recovery. On the way, the nurse who measured him came out with his chart to tell us his weight, glanced at the chart, said “Let me double check this on the scale”, and came back out saying, “Nope, it was right, 11 lbs 6 ounces. Was this a natural birth?”
It was about that time I started getting the rock star comments. I also better understood my need to scream.
We are both home, and he is a happy baby boy, very serious and very hungry! I am glad I got to have a natural birth, even though he was such a big baby.