Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quincy Jane's Birth Story

You know the part where life gets so good that you have to pinch yourself over and over to make sure it's real?  I'm there.  All the pieces of the puzzle seem to have come together and I am as content, happy and complete as I've ever been.  Which has left me savoring every moment and putting off blogging about any of it!  But, here we are on her due date and she's already 15 days old, so it seems an appropriate time to add the story of her origins to the blog.  Let me start at the beginning.

I went in for my 37 week appointment on April 4th wondering how much progress all of the contractions I'd been having had made.  Quincy was so low, it seriously felt like she could pop out unannounced at any moment.  I was crossing my fingers (and legs) that she'd wait until my mom arrived on Thursday, but all signs were pointing to "any moment now."  In fact, I even snapped this picture of my belly before I left the house, thinking it could be the last belly shot.   ...and a shot of my gloriously unswollen feet!  It was a first for me to not be a little swollen in the ankles at the end, so it seemed noteworthy!  Basically, I knew something was up.

After sitting in the crowded waiting room at my OB's office for three hours, I was finally called back.  Tired and a little mind-numb from sitting for so long, I really wasn't prepared for the reaction I got upon examination.  Apparently, I was SO effaced that my Dr. thought I was complete for a few seconds and thought she may be catching a baby right there in the exam room!  That was amusing.  In reality, I was 5cm, 100% effaced with the baby below 0 station and my water bag bulging.   Basically, I was a ticking time bomb and she was shocked my water hadn't broken in the waiting room!  I started getting excited that the time was near, but was not quite prepared when she said I should head to the hospital right then.  My mind went a little ..........                                                         ............ blank.

I told her I was confused why I should go to the hospital if I wasn't in labor and was totally prepared to head home and say "no thanks."  But, there was a huge storm headed our way with potential for very high winds, golf ball sized hale and tornadoes and some certain heavy rain and thunderstorms.  She was very concerned that my water would break, send me into a quick labor and find me unable to get to the hospital in time.  Then she threw in that they could just break my water the next morning (if it hadn't broken on it's own in the night) to send me into labor and have me delivered the next day.  I wasn't so hot on that part of the plan until she added that she was leaving town on Thursday morning and wouldn't be able to be reached to consult with the on call Dr who would deliver me if I happened to somehow stay pregnant for three more days.  Which basically meant, either I deliver with her in the next couple days, or I wait and potentially secure myself a visit to the OR for a c-section with the on-call who'd almost certainly section me.  I told her it was a deal and left the office stunned.  After covering my seat with the garbage bag and towel I had waiting in my car "just in case," I headed home and called Dustin to fill him in.  It was go time!

After an hour or so spent lining up help with the kids via our amazing friends/neighbors, the Maples, and gathering items, we snapped a quick "final family of four" photo, got the kids to bed and headed off to the hospital.  Between the thunderstorm and knowing we were about to have a baby, it was quite an exciting ride!

Dustin stuck around long enough to see that I was settled in then came back home to be with the kids and get some decent rest before "showtime."  That night involved a lot of poking and prodding to get the IV started, the blood tests ran, the monitors hooked up, etc.  My first nurse failed miserably at getting my IV placed and after ruining three perfectly good veins and filling my forearm with IV fluid, I was stuck getting my IV on my hand.  That was "unfortunate" as the nurse put it.  I concur.

This became my bathroom buddy as I found myself pulling it in there with me about a dozen times during the night.  Oh, joy!

I woke up at 6am the next morning, water bag still intact, feeling anxious and questioning my decision.  I kept coming to the same conclusion though.  I would rather kickstart labor slightly early and ensure a decent shot at a VBAC, than wait, somehow make it a few more days until my OB was gone, and end up with a c-section because of an unwilling doctor.  I was pretty sure my water would be breaking on it's own any second anyway, so it didn't really feel like cheating.  Around 8am, Dustin showed up again and we waited.  By 9:30am, in came my doctor.  Ten minutes later, my water was broken and the real wait began.  So, I did what anyone waiting for contractions would do.  I took pictures to document.

The man.

The soundtrack.  A little Innocence Mission and The Civil Wars.

The refreshments.

My feet.... obviously bored as the contractions weren't exactly picking up from the water breaking.  So, we started a very slow pitocin drip around 1:15pm.

A little nap on his part as the contractions picked up.

Dustin went for some lunch and I took the final belly shot while listening to some Innocence Mission on the iPod.  Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and easy to breathe through at that point.  It was one of my favorite parts of labor.

Soon, they were spacing about 4 minutes apart and getting some work done.  I went from a 5 to a 7 the first hour on pitocin and was still texting and laughing and feeling AMAZED at the ease with which I was progressing.  Though I was well aware it would get harder soon, labor was going perfect and I was enjoying every second of it.

I asked Dustin to take a picture, but by the time he got the camera ready a contraction was about to begin.  This is the look of "Seriously, you're going to take it NOW?"

And this is what a contraction looks like.  DEEP breathing as we approached transition.  The doctor said I looked like I was at a yoga retreat when she walked in the room in the middle of one.

The rest of the story unfolded rather quickly.  I ended up on all fours with the lower section of the bed dropped down as I neared transition and the contractions started hurting across my back. I think it was nearing 5 o'clock at that point.  No stranger to back labor, thanks to Naomi's birth, I knew just what to do... and luckily, so did Dustin!  He was the BEST birth partner ever. Seriously.  So good that while I was at a 9 and between contractions, I told him he was doing so good, he deserved a motorcycle.  He was THAT good!  He pressed on my back as hard as he could each contraction, which didn't make it painless, but certainly took the edge off.  He even rubbed my back a few times between contractions and helped with the bed pan while the nurses left us to ourselves (best nurses ever).  I had about a dozen pillows I was using to support my belly that he kept helping me readjust and I'm pretty sure he'd have fanned me off with a giant leaf if I'd asked him to.  He was perfect.

I remember being checked a few times and the Dr. popping in to see how things were progressing.  At that point I was feeling a lot of pressure with the contractions, was at a 9 with just a lip of cervix left and we knew it was close to time.  She asked for five minutes of warning to make it back from her office across the street and left.  I spent a contraction with my head in a bed pan feeling nauseous, but I never actually threw up.  Thank goodness!  The nurse was watching the monitor from the nurses station, which left Dustin and I to ourselves.  The pressure suddenly got serious.  Next thing I know, I feel like I need the bed pan (not to throw up this time...).  The nurse could see that I was starting to push during contractions, ran in and started panicking to get the dr back up to the room.  The rest is a blur.  A contraction struck as I was still on all fours, which was great for me, but not preferred by the staff, as it's a little trickier to catch the baby.  I seriously thought I had to poop (sorry to be blunt, but I'm sticking to the story the way it was!).  So, with the bed pan ready to go and a big urge to push, I hear the dr. burst into the room and I can hear someone saying "Pant!  Don't push!" to which I remember yelling "I HAVE TO POOP!!!!!!" really loud and next thing I know Quincy shot out in one big push and nearly landed in the bed pan.  Everyone was slightly shocked - Quincy and I most of all.  After some interesting maneuvering to get myself sitting back up on the bed (not easy with an umblical chord hanging from you, an internal monitor and an iv), the dr handed me my tiny little girl.  Bliss.

I literally feel like I won the lottery with her labor.  I started out at a 5 and spent just under 5 hours laboring (really only about two of those feel like they count, since getting to an 8 was a total cakewalk) and had my baby girl on the 5th, not the 10th.  Which, is actually perfect and seems so obvious to me now since her name is Quincy, and that means "fifth."  I should have known!  She really is sassy.  I got to VBAC without an epidural like I wanted and really only gave in to the pitocin part of the equation, which ended up just fine and really felt right at the time.  I did find out they stuck me in a usually unoccupied room in the far back corner as I warned them upon arrival that I was pretty noisy the last go around.  The cleaning staff filled me in on that little tidbit, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Turned out I was only noisy that last contraction or two, but I also never heard anyone else, which is nice.  I loved my nurses and the dr, had great support thanks to Dustin and have been completely blissed out on a birthing high for close to two weeks. The tiredness crept in a few days ago, but it's not too bad and it's for a GREAT cause.  The kids absolutely love their new sister, especially Naomi, who is weirdly gentle and attentive to her and not the slightest bit jealous at all.  I thought she'd be a jealous little monster and was prepared for the worst on her part, given her age and everything, but it's been such a pleasant surprise!  I think I paid my dues with the first two births, but it's almost gross to me how perfect this all has been.  I'm totally in love and happier than ever before.

He's pretty smitten, too.

And so is he....

And so is she.... she decided Quincy is her "pretty little flower".

Yep, my little Quinny Mini came just when she was supposed to and has filled our lives with so much more happiness and love... and a little sleep deprivation.  My mom is here helping (hallelujah!) and Dustin's parents will be here in a week to help out and meet Quincy, too.  Then comes my sister and her baby boy, Aiden.  The good times just keep on rollin'....

 Welcome to the world, Quincy.  You are so, so loved.



  1. Congrats! Beautiful little girl- enjoy being a family of 5!

  2. AHHHH!! Just when I think I am completely content with the thought of not having another baby I see this and MELT!!! She is just precious and I can feel how sweet and tiny she is through your photos, they are beautiful. Congratulations on the amazing addition to your family!

  3. Congrats! She is gorgeous and so is her story. I love all the images and love how easy her birth was. I'm curious as to how you have been doing your belly shots? I love the black and white with focus all on your shape. I'm 17 weeks and would like to try some shots like that. Can you fill me in?

  4. Congrats to you guys....she is so beautiful!!!!Enjoy your time together!!

  5. Thank you, everyone! Melissa, I took the belly shots in the bathroom mirror with our white shower curtain as the background then I used Photoshop to whiten it even more so it kind of disappeared. : )

  6. Wanted to say a huge congrats on your little one and also on your vbac! I am from jm and we have a lot in common, we have via pm on there before. Again your kids are just beautiful and it was awesome to read Quincy's birth story.

  7. just saw your comment back... thanks :)