The birth of Maya Shalom
Jamie was due on Sun Aug 23, so as we entered into this week (the 2nd week of being overdue) there was certainly some anxiety that began to creep in. While we knew that plus or minus 2 weeks was completely normal, the subject of being induced began to be very present as people would continually ask questions, and our doctor wanted to schedule a date around the 2 week mark. We went in for an appointment on Tuesday around lunch time to perform a non-stress test and ultrasound to make sure that everything was still healthy for the baby. While we were there, the doctor swept Jamie’s membranes in hopes of getting things going a little bit. Jamie started feeling some contractions shortly thereafter while we were still in the clinic, which was a good sign that something might actually be happening. I went back to work after the appointment but told her to call me if she needed me to come home. At around 3 in the afternoon, I got a call from Jamie saying “I think….oooooooh man……I think I might……wwoooooh….eeeeee…….I think I might be in labor…….ooooooooowwwww…..but I’m not sure…….what do you think?”. I knew it was time for me to get home 🙂
Jamie’s mom, who lives down in California, hopped on the first flight she could find and showed up around 7pm that night. Meanwhile, I stayed with Jamie and tried to help her through the contractions while her brother, who is living with us for a month, made sure we had all the food, water, etc that we needed. As the evening wore on, Jamie started throwing up quite a bit, and around 11pm we decided we better go to the hospital. Her contractions were about 4 minutes apart, lasting around 60 seconds, and we were concerned she was going to be very dehydrated because she couldn’t even keep water down.
We checked into triage and they gave her an IV which helped give her a little energy back. However, while she was there, her contractions started to space out some, going back to 5-6 minutes apart, and eventually almost to 10 minutes apart. She was dilated to about 4cm. We decided to take a walk around the hospital to try to speed up the labor. After walking around the hospital for about an hour, they got to be 3-4 minutes apart again. However, Jamie got pretty tired out from that, and when they inspected her cervix again, she was still at 4cm, so they could not admit us (it was too busy and she wasn’t showing enough progress). After resting back on the bed for a while to try to regain her strength, the contractions spaced out again. After being up all night at that point, we were all pretty miserable. We decided we’d rather wait around at home then at triage, so they let us go home. Jamie was very exhausted at this point, and in A LOT of pain. When we got home, one of the suggestions from Betsy that really helped out was for Jamie to try to slow things down by resting and attempting to “sleep” through the contractions. That helped Jamie get through those morning hours. However, she was obviously still in quite a bit of pain and she continued to throw up pretty regularly.
By 11 in the morning, Jamie had had enough. She was completely miserable, and had no energy left. She was also probably pretty dehydrated as well. While she had been drinking a lot of water, none of it had been staying down. She had been laboring for almost 24 hours and seemed to be making no progress. Despite her being adamant about having a natural birth up to this point, she now said “I can’t do this, I just want to get a c-section and cut this baby out”. We called our OB doctor, and she encouraged us to come into the clinic where they could give her an IV again. That helped give Jamie a little more energy, and the doctor was fantastic! She knew exactly how to give Jamie confidence, and was adamant that Jamie could do this naturally. We decided that it might help to break Jamie’s water and see if that would get things going. The doctor called the hospital to see if they could admit us in a birthing suite, and she pulled some strings and made it happen.
When we got to the hospital, (it was about 4 in the afternoon by now) Jamie was able to get into the jacuzzi tub, and that really helped her out. She started to figure out how to deal with the contractions in there much better. After getting out, they broke her water and noticed that she was dialated to about 6cm, 90% effaced. She then got back into the tub and labored for about another couple hours. She was definitely in a lot of pain, but was handling things with a lot more confidence. Eventually her back began hurting a lot and she felt like being on her hands and knees so she got out of the tub. She was doubting things quite a bit at this point. She had been in laber for well over 24 hrs, and was pretty exhausted. She asked the doctor if she should consider some pain medicine or an epidural, and the doctor told her that she didn’t think she needed anything. She could do it. They looked at her cervix and saw that she was now at 9cm. That gave her the confidence she needed to finish things off. She rode the contractions for a while longer, until finally a little after 9pm, the cervix was completely gone and she was ready to push. Jamie was a x-country runner in college, and when she got to the pushing stage she attacked it like she attacked a hill in cross country. She was amazing. She pushed that baby out in less than an hour and we found out it was a girl at 9:58pm. She came out head first with her head facing down. As soon as the baby came out, Jamie exclaimed “What a rush!!!”. She was on cloud 9 at that point (and so was I).
I can’t say enough about the phenomenal job Jamie’s OB doctor and the nurses at Swedish did. They were extremely supportive and nurturing, and without them, this could have been a much different result. Also, a huge thank you to you, Betsy, for helping us bounce ideas off of you and for being available for all of our questions throughout the process. You were a big help!
Maya Shalom was born at 9:58pm on Sept 2nd. She weighed 7lb 15oz and was 19in long. We’ve posted some pictures here:
We are really thankful for the Bradley class. It really prepared us for these past few days and gave us the tools we needed to get through it and come out with a great result. (we were also lucky to have a healthy baby that was a reasonable size despite being a week and a half late)
Thanks again for everything.