Ruthie’s Birth Story

>So, unlike Zoe, I knew my due date with Ruthie, which was Valentine’s Day of 2008.  So, the day before Ruthie was born (she was born on Saturday, February 9th, 2008), Jeff and I decided at the last minute to make plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day the Saturday before by going out to lunch and then catching a movie; I don’t remember what movie we were planning to see now, since we didn’t actually know when she was coming. I had called up Jeff’s mom to babysit Zoe and she said, “Well, I’d be more than happy to watch her, but I don’t think you’re gonna actually make it.” My response of course was to “Don’t tell me that!” and then she chuckled and we hung up.

So apparently, my mother in law was right, since we were getting ready, and my water broke roughly quarter after 12. We were running behind, and she had just barely called Jeff about 5-10 minutes before. Jeff had reassured her that we were getting ready, and to expect us to be there within the next 30 minutes. I think my water had broken right when he hung up. I remember I was standing up and reaching to grab my purse off of the couch when I felt something pop and fluid leaking. I then said loudly to Jeff, “You need to call your mom back!” and he said “Why?” to which I responded, “My water broke!” He then called her back, and I do remember there was laughing involved. Probably had to do with her prediction. I did think it was somewhat funny, but I was more concerned about getting a change of clothes and getting Zoe ready even faster. We get into the car, and on the way to the hospital, I called my parents to let them know my water had broken and that we were on the way to the hospital. We get there at about 12:45, and the lady at the desk asked if I was sure that’s what happened. I explained to her that this was my second pregnancy, and that my water broke with my first child and so I knew 100% that’s what happened. Then that’s when I found out that I was not the first to get admitted that day for my water breaking, I was lucky number 8! Apparently, favorable atmospheric conditions will cause your water to break if you’re close to your due date; in this case, there has to be a drop in barometric pressures. When I got to the hospital, I was 3 plus cm dilated, and I was 80% effaced.

After we get there, we just sit around and wait. My inlaws showed up at about 3:00pm to sit with us at the hospital, mostly because they were bored and had nothing to do. I got to 4 plus at about the same time they showed up, and stayed there for quite a while. Then at about 5 pm, before the pain got too bad, I requested an epidural. That was done right, and this time I was able to move my legs around sleep for some time to get energy, since I hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast, and obviously not for lunch. I HATE the policy of no eating while a woman is in labor, and it didn’t help that Jeff went to Wendy’s and was eating FOOD IN FRONT OF ME. And let’s not forget my favorite fast food place is WENDY’S. Then at about 7pm, they -being everyone else but me- decided that Zoe needed to be taken to my sister in law’s house and I started bawling. I don’t know why, but the idea of Zoe not being there upset me more than anything else. So, my father in law took her over, and at that point I was about 5 cm dilated. And then things really took off from there. They were probably expecting me to take much longer than I did.

My father in law got back at about 8:15, and at that time, I was dilated to nine plus! They quickly called the doctor, and while I was waiting for him, I apparently went from 9 plus to fully dilated; all I had to do was sit straight up and rock side to side a few times. It was quite funny because while we were waiting for the doctor to show up, we were making jokes and every time I started laughing, I was feeling Ruthie sliding down the birth canal a bit more. While waiting for the doctor, the nurse asked if we wanted to know what color hair she had, and we said yes (of course!!!) so she had me to a little push, and that’s when we found out that Ruthie had black hair. At this point I had crowned without actually doing any major pushing. It was amazing knowing that my body was doing this all on it’s own without me doing any work!

My OB got there at about 8:20 and got prepped and ready and the nurse let him know I was about to laugh her right out, and to hurry up! So then when he was completely done prepping, he had me start pushing. I pushed through 3 contractions, and she was out at 8:34. She probably would have been out sooner but after the first two contractions that came almost back to back, the third one was about 4 minutes after the first two. So we literally just stood -well I was laying down of course- and waited. The nurse did try to correct my pushing, but the doctor told her that I was doing just fine, and to not worry about it.

She was 7 pounds 6 ounces -6.2, but they rounded down to 6- and 20 inches long. And because she had come out so quickly, her head was perfectly normal shaped; absolutely no conehead. Zoe had one, but Ruthie didn’t. In addition, I tore in two areas. The first tear was in my perineum, and was just a first degree tear. The second place well… if you invision the area being a clock, I tore between 12 and 1.. my labia minora tore, and I had to get stitched up there. The tearing looked really bad for about 6 months, but after the swelling went down, you can’t tell that there was ever a tear that occurred in that area. I really think the fact that Ruthie came so quickly, and because her head was perfectly shaped it stretched me a little more than I could take, and that’s why I tore in two places. And I don’t think I mentioned Zoe’s APGAR scores, but they were also the exact same as Ruthie’s.. 8 and then 9. It’s so odd that they were both the same size and had the same APGAR scores!

What was so different with Ruthie’s birth is that it was way less stressful. I had an amazing nurse who refused to rotate patients, because she wanted to stay with us until the very end. Also, the atmosphere was just so wonderful.. we were cracking jokes, and laughing, and instead of treating Zoe like she was an annoyance, she gave her a hat and blanket and a little pink tub for Zoe’s doll that she had brought along; she even gave Zoe a newborn diaper to put on the doll! It was also great to have my OB deliver Ruthie, versus having another doctor do so. We think that he lived close to the hospital because from the time he was called to the time he showed up, there was maybe 10 minutes of waiting. And of course when I got my epidural, I specifically requested that they give me fresh batteries due to what happened with Zoe, and so they obliged, I remember watching the anesthesiologist unwrapping a battery pack and putting into the machine.

I think the best part though was when she came out, they put her right on my chest and gave me towels and things to help clean her off.. a major difference between the treatment I recieved after Zoe was born. I later on found out that our nurse was given “The Nurse of the Year Award” for our hospital the year before (2007) and the anesthesiologist was named “Anesthesiologist of the Year” for our insurance group the year before as well (this is no easy feat, since we are covered by the largest insurance group in the entire state of Utah) and of course my OB was just so amazing, so I had a great team working with me. In addition, I was able to get Ruthie to nurse within half of an hour of her being born. We did have issues with her having an over-vigorous latch, but with patience, and some time with the lactation consultant, I was able to learn how to help correct it; and was able to correct it after we went home. I ended up breastfeeding Ruthie until 2 weeks before her second birthday; however it was not self weaning; we had to abruptly stop her from nursing; something she did NOT want to do, but after 2 days of being firm about it she stopped asking to nurse. I’m grateful that I was able to have a fantastic nursing relationship with both girls.

Obviously, there were major differences between the deliveries of the girls. And I think this time around for Oscar, I want to do things a bit differently.

  • It was pretty frustrating just laying there.. and laying there. I had brought some embroidery to work on, but that bores me pretty quickly, so I didn’t do much with it. I want to get up and MOVE. Walk around the maternity ward or even my room, and maybe even sitting and bouncing on a yoga/birthing ball. My SIL did that with her last labor and delivery, so I want to ask her how that helped her. Even if my water breaks, I think I can still walk and move, provided I have adequate protection from the fluid leaking out and leaving puddles; most likely those disposable mesh undies and pads they give to moms to catch the postpartum bleeding.
  • I want to try and go natural without an epidural. My pains with Ruthie never got bad, and I honestly think I could have stuck it out. I plan on asking my OB what’s available for short term pain management, and I’ll see if they even have nitrous oxide available at my hospital. I know it’s currently only available at two hospitals in the US, but I’ll never know if I don’t ask! And hey, I might even start a cool trend in my area. I think if I go into the hospital with the mindset of “I can do this!” then I CAN DO IT!

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