Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Arie Jackson is Here!! Birth Story and Week 1 in review!

On Sunday night, March 4th, Jack and I went to bed talking about how we never thought I would still be pregnant.  We both had a feeling that he would come early and neither one of us could really wrap our heads around what it would be like to be pregnant come March 17th.  We had also gone to Target and I bought a yoga ball to bounce on to get things moving along.

  (Jack and I before heading to Target)

Jack and I watched some tv before going to bed and I spent a couple hours bouncing on the ball.

 (Me bouncing on the ball lol... I have no idea why I took this picture but my belly was just as round as this big ball!!)

We went to sleep and at 2:30am on Monday I woke up with contractions and got up to try to get more comfortable and a couple of steps away from my bed, I felt a warm gush.  I stopped and then took another step to the bathroom and felt another and I gasped and Jack woke up and said what?  I said my water just broke! He jumped up and I sat on the toilet to stop from making a big mess.  
Jack got up to let the dogs out and stock the wood for the fire and I texted my mom.  I had been having my mom read natural childbirth books and I texted her and asked what page she was on on the book.  I started timing my contractions and they were already 2 1/2 minutes apart.  We called the OB's office and the on call OB was my favorite one (who I read my birth plan to a couple months ago) and she said to go ahead and head in.  
We headed to the hospital and in triage they confirmed that my water had broken and they had me change into a hospital gown and then we were taken right into a room.  They had me sit on the monitors for 20 minutes in the bed to confirm that I was having contractions and they confirmed that I was.  After the 20 minute mark was up, I wanted to get up.  This was my first confrontation with a nurse.  The nurse told me that Dr. Cornelius (the OB that I loved) was off at 7am, and since it was about 4am, they were going to stick with what the next OB on call wanted to do and how she normally ran things.  I asked who the next OB on call was... Dr Cambell.  Hmm.  Well, she was my absolute least favorite OB in the practice by far.  4/5 were fabulous and then that one was like uhhh no thank you.  I told the nurse that I wanted to walk the halls and the nurse said no, your OB will want you on continuous monitoring.  I said no.  At some point when I first got in to this labor suite, I was checked and I was 100% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated.
This nurse said well, fine, I can TRY to see if I can find a portable monitor for you to wear but no promises, we are really busy.  Okay, I said, in the mean time, take these off, I'm getting up.  I asked for a labor ball too and she seemed incredibly annoyed by that request as well.  She brings back a labor ball and it wasn't inflated enough to help me so I asked for a pump so that I could infalte it some more.  She tells me that they don't have pumps and brings back another larger ball... again, annoyed.  So I'm bouncing on the labor ball and waiting for her to come back with this portable monitor.  She brings one back and can't get it to work, then she leaves and comes back with another and can't get it to work.  At this point, I'm over the monitoring all together.  I said I'll come back to the room every few laps for you to listen to the baby's heartbeat if that makes you feel better.  Fine, she agrees.
So Jack and I take to walking the halls and slowing down for each contraction.  They definitely are getting stronger.  My mom asks the nurse for a banana for me... I was super disappointed because I KNEW as soon as the nurse knew I wanted to eat, they would watch me like a hawk.  The nurse said no and brought back apple juice for me.  Whatever, I'll take it. 
Once it got uncomfortable to labor in the halls of the maternity ward in front of all the nurses and staff, I went back to my room.  I decided that I would like to try the tub with the jets.  The hot water felt amazing but the shape of the tub was the most awkward shape ever.  At this point, shift change happened and I lost this unenthusiastic nurse and she was replaced with my next nurse, Sarah.  Sarah was fabulous.  She was fully supportive of my natural childbirth plans and agreed to stop offering me medication.  At some point around here, I had another cervix check and I was now at a 3-4 cm.
The new OB comes in and says hi and requests a cervix check for progress and I declined.  My nurse happily obliged not checking my cervix and then my OB starts saying things like that she would want me to be on IV antibiotics starting at the 12 hour mark of my water breaking.  She started saying some other interventions that she wanted and I simply was not interested and stopped listening.  I had decided at that point that I really didn't like her. 
I turned on my music and listened to Chris Tomlin for hours singing, because for some reason that was the only artist that really helped soothe me.  (For those curious, the songs on my list are Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), Awesome is the Lord Most High, Born That We May Have Life, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Enough, Everlasting God, Glorious, Glory in the Highest, How Can I Keep From Singing, I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous), Jesus Messiah, Let God Arise, Let Your Mercy Rain, Made To Worship, My Soul Magnifies the Lord, O, Come All Ye Faithful (yes, I don't know how that one by him slipped in but that was there lol), Rejoice, This is Our God, Unchanging (Raise Up Holy Hands) and Uncreated One.  
Jack and I slow danced through my contractions and he pushed on my lower back during them and I hung on to his neck.  I spent some time laboring bent over the labor ball while Jack rubbed my lower back.  I labored over a chair, standing in the shower, sitting in the tub... I preferred the tub jets to be off, the sound of the jets was too distracting.  
For me, the labor was an amazing experience.  Each contraction and each song of worship just brought me a little closer to my miracle baby.  I cried and laughed and really realized that this baby is coming and we are going to meet him some time soon.  Every time I would start to get discouraged I would tell Jack to tell me something and he would say things about what he thought the baby would be like or how long it took us to get to this point or how amazing it was going to be to finally see and hold our baby.  
Randomly throughout the labor after the 2:30 pm mark, my OB began calling and having nurses come in to harrass me about starting IV antibiotics.  I wasn't interested, I didn't think that it was to the point of needing antibiotics and I didn't agree with her 12 hour mark not the 24 hour mark.  I was laboring on my own and making progress on my own, I saw absolutely ZERO need for me to be hooked up to an IV bag.  The Hep-lock was bad and uncomfortable enough to deal with!!  I could tell this OB was getting annoyed with me not following her instructions because she was calling more frequently but naturally, not coming up, just calling.  And because I wasn't on monitors, (besides the intermittent doppler of the baby's heartbeat to make sure he was still doing great) the nurses had to come to my room to check me.  
Jack and I went into the bathroom and closed the door for several hours while I labored in the tub and the nurse came back to talk to my mom.  I had told my mom that I was not interested in the intervention of an IV with fluids and antibiotics yet and that I was also afraid that they were going to start pitocin without me knowing it.  The nurse assured her that they wouldn't do pitocin but I didn't believe her one bit, the OB had already used the phrase "get things moving along" or something like that in her visit and I fully did not agree, my labor WAS moving along and there was ABSOLUTELY NO need to make it go any faster than it was and I was determined to do it completely without any pain medications and I had already told myself that if I needed to get pitocin that I wouldn't even try to do that without an epidural.  So since I didn't want an epidural AT ALL, I did NOT want any extra interventions.
The nurse also told my mom "off the record" that she didn't agree with the antibiotics and was just fine telling the OB that I refused them.  The first couple times the nurse came to ask, we used the "let's wait an hour" phrase and that seemed to keep them off my back for a few hours.  BUt then when she came back and I was in the bathroom with Jack, my mom explained to her that I was not going to take them at all and that we were only trying to keep the nurse away for as long as possible but to be clear, I was not going to follow that recommendation by the OB.  I didn't agree and didn't want it. 
At about 8;30, I was getting really really tired and discouraged.  It had been 18 hours of laboring without medication at all and drinking only water.  I was spent and needed a lot of encouragement.  My labor was definitely changing and felt much more intense and I was starting to feel a lot more pressure.  Sarah, my amazing nurse asked me several times if I wanted to be checked and I kept saying no.  I was scared of being discouraged by a number and I didn't want to hear something very discouraging.  I said that from everything I read that this felt like it must be transition.  I had already had a IBS attack several hours earlier and cleared out my bowels and had spent several sessions throwing up.  
(One more thing to note... that night, there were 25 babies born.  The nurses were SO busy, that we hardly ever saw them and once each nurse on each shift realized that I wasn't going to be cooperating with what my OB was calling and demanding, they left me alone.  I mean, completely alone.  In my room, it was my mom, Jack and I almost the entire time by ourselves.  At some point during all of this one of the nurses had gotten the impression that I wasn't a first time mom, so they just assumed that I had done this before and was determined to do it again and wouldn't be swayed... so that little misunderstanding ended up helping me quite a bit during labor to keep all the interventions at bay.) 
Finally I decided to get checked because things seemed to really be changing and speeding up and I wasn't sure that I could keep on like I was without knowing what was going on.  Sarah checked me and announced that I was a 10 and that she could feel the baby's head.  Jack and I started laughing and then crying.  I was so relieved and overwhelmed, I was right there and I was about to meet my baby.  
From everything I had read, it was best to let your body push on it's own instead of tiring yourself out and pushing when your body wasn't ready.  I had climbed backwards up on to the bed and I was too uncomfortable with each contraction to push on my back and that was another thing I had flat out refused to do.  The room filled with nurses and staff as they prepared for his birth, and someone called my OB.  After about 20 minutes, and me saying that I wasn't ready to push yet with each contraction, my OB showed up and insisted that she check me and performed the most horrifying pelvic exam. I screamed (after not one scream or yell of any kind through all of my labor) and she announced that I was only a 4 and that my nurse must have lied.

 She tells me to stop pushing and then tells me that I made zero progress in the 12 hours since my last check and she deemed my labor failure to progress and at that point it was 9:00pm. She was super ticked that she was called when I was "only a 4" and then started talking about interventions.

The room was full of staff obviously as they expected me to deliver pretty quickly and I really didn't believe my OB.  She kept saying no, Listen, you are a 4.  You have not progressed at all since your last check.  (She was also one of those horrible people who closes her eyes to emphasize words that she says and she was one of the super horrible types that closed her eyes through entire sentences... and that is what she was doing at this point.)  Then she turns to the nurse and (in front of the entire room) says that, "Well, I'm the type of person that is totally honest with people.  When i say that you're a 4, you're a 4."  So basically called the L&D nurse a liar.  WHAT motivation would this L&D nurse have to lie to me?!

At that point, I was so exhausted and drained from that labor that I couldn't argue and suddenly my OB was calling for all of these things that I never wanted. I had only had a hep lock up until that point and by choice, only drank water. I was too spent to understand that it was her nasty demeanor and horrible assault like pelvic exam that regressed my labor and almost completely stopped my contractions. Since I had "made no progress in over 12 hours since my last check," this OB was starting to plan for a csection.
I completely lost it. I bawled and shook and could not even think straight. My husband and mom were distraught because they watched me labor on my own all the way to 10cm and starting to push. They knew I was at the end of my rope and encouraged me to get an epidural to get comfortable and try to at least augment my labor with pitocin before going down the csection road.
At this point, my OB would not shut up about how labor is hard and how failure to progress means this or that and that she knew I didn't want to have a csection but that I should have started that antibiotics at 2:30pm like she had said and that she really didn't agree with me not doing that and that kind of stuff.  Finally I just looked at her and said, You need to leave.  She looked pretty shocked and I said, no really, I need you to get out.  
She announced that she would give me a few minutes (as though that was her decision) and I was crying and I just wanted to talk to my nurse.  As soon as she left, Sarah whispered, Can I please check you again?? She was so shocked that this had happened and she didn't believe the OB at all, how does a woman go from a 10 to a 4?? (I had read in books that this happens but I wasn't in my right mind at this point.)  Sarah checked me and very sadly said yeah you are a 4, I must have been wrong.  Then she starts whispering that i CAN'T let this doctor talk me into a c-section and to stay strong and I asked her if she thought I needed pitocin and she said that she was SURE of where I was and that my labor was going strong and that if I needed any pitocin at all, it was just a whiff to get things going again and that she was SURE I was going to have this baby vaginally.  She was at the end of her shift so she had to go and encouraged me to just stay strong and not let this doctor push me around. 
I cried harder than I can even describe. None of that was what I wanted, I couldn't think straight, I couldn't even make a rational decision any more and at about 9:15, the OB announced that she was going to go home. She also announced that I wouldn't be having the baby until at least 6:30 am and the next OB on call was coming on at 7am. Then she announced very matter of factly that the nurses needed to wait to call her because "since I was a first time mom, I would absolutely be pushing for an hour and a half."  She also said to "let her know when I was done."  Meaning when I was done with this whole labor nonsense and she would swoop right in with the csection to save the day.  Who does this woman think she is?!  The whole day all the nurses who came in and spent any amount of time with me at all watched me labor 100% on my own, and leaning on my husband and my mom.  And this OB is acting like I was just being this huge baby and that labor was just too hard for me and she'd fix everything with a csection. 
She left, I got the epidural and they gave me a saline bag and started pitocin and antibiotics. Within minutes of my doctor leaving and being allowed to lay down after the epidural, I told the nurses I could feel a lot happening in my vagina. I said I imagined that must be my cervix opening for how it felt and how my body was handling each contraction.  I said that I could still feel the contractions.  The nurses said it wasn't that and that my epidural must not be working and they were leaving to call back the anesthesiologist to fix my epidural.
We were left alone again and I felt labor pains again and just breathed and moaned through them like I was doing my whole labor, each contraction getting more intense than the next. After a short time, my epidural pump started spazzing out and the nurse manager came in to fix it and I was still breathing and moaning through the contractions.  The epidural was not working at all and the pump was busted. She said that there was no way for me to be feeling like that and that she too wanted anesthesiology back in my room. 
I told her I feel a lot of pressure and that it was feeling like it was before my OB got there and checked me the first time. She asked if she could check me again and when she did, she laughed and announced that I was at a 10 and 100% and at 0 station. It was time to push!!  This nurse was the most fabulous of the fabulous.  Remember how I said they had 25 babies that night?  Well, they were pulling nursing staff from all over the hospital to come help and this nurse happened to be the nurse manager of the csection side.  Then they called the OB on call and she insisted that ANOTHER nurse manager had to check me too to make sure because last time my nurse was "incorrect". Second nurse confirmed, baby's +2 now too. This baby is coming now. (Again, why would these L&D nurses a. make a mistake that grand or b. lie?!)  The room filled with nurses and I kept hearing them saying did anyone call her OB again?? Where is she?? And I kept yelling at them not to call her back and that I didn't want her there. 
At this point I realized completely what had happened, the violent exam had made my labor progress completely regress and had made my contractions almost all the way stop.  As soon as the OB left, the small dose of pitocin completely woke my labor back up and all the pain and pressure and contractions I felt in that little time was my body going from a 4 back to a 10. Also once I realized that my OB wasn't there yet, I did NOT want her there.  Also, the epidural that I did NOT want but felt forced into getting wasn't working and was completely turned off at this point.  The anesthesiologist finally made it back to the room at this point and came in to see me pushing and obviously he was not needed or wanted lol.  He laughed and was like okay good luck basically.
I started pushing with each contraction and I was hysterical about that OB not being called back in the room. I had completely lost control of my otherwise very calm way of handling the pain. I pushed maybe 4-6 times and my baby boy was born.  I guess I was very motivated to get that baby out before she came back lol.  Some of the nurses were trying to tell me to slow down and that there was no doctor in the room but I absolutely did not care, this baby was going to come out and my body was ready and cooperating so, out he came.  Some random on staff OB delivered him and they did the delayed cord clamping like I requested and then my husband cut the cord. I was still in complete shock that it happened so fast.
Evil beach OB comes walking in all angry and announces that she was brushing her teeth in her pj's. All of the nurses at this point are as disgusted with her as I am. She starts barking out orders at the nurses and then comes to deliver the placenta. She then announces all disapprovingly that since I didn't get an episiotomy (I didn't want one) that she would now have to stitch up my tears. At this point I was so done with her and even though she was between my legs I was completely ignoring her and just soaking up the miracle of my baby who was never supposed to be conceived.
 I fully believe that it was her violent exam that changed my labor so much and that I was RIGHT there. The way everything changed changed my ability to remain calm and I screamed through the entire few minutes of pushing. I still feel pretty dang resentful towards that OB and I'm going to leave that practice.  I can't believe an OB would conduct herself the way that one did.
Arie Jackson was born at 10:45pm on March 5.  He was 6lbs 1oz and 19" long.  I left the hospital Wednesday morning ... I hated being there!! And my mom was at our house cleaning and taking care of the dogs and cat. Breastfeeding has been going awesome thanks to the help of two amazing nurses/LCs at the hospital.
We had a bit of a jaundice scare and I went back to the pediatrician yesterday and he said that Arie is looking great.  He has gained 10 oz since Thursday's visit and he was THOROUGHLY impressed that I was exclusively breastfeeding him and that I wasn't supplementing with formula or pumping at all.  He said to basically keep up what I was doing and that Arie is looking great.
Hearing that from the Pediatrician REALLY made me feel much more confident about breastfeeding.  In the hospital, we had gotten switched into the csection recovery ward since there were so many babies being born and no beds available.  In recovery, we were pretty much ignored as well and I'm assuming that went along with them thinking that I wasn't a first time mom.  
Sarah, my awesome nurse from the night before who told me to stay strong came in to meet Arie on her next shift the next day and said that when she heard I was moved over to that side that she was SO sad and figured that my OB had bullied me into getting a c-section and then when she came in and I hadn't had one and I told her what happened after she left she was so happy to hear it.  I should have gotten a picture of her holding Arie!  
 Today is my first official full day without Jack.  He went back to work yesterday but my mom came over first thing in the morning and gave Arie a bath while I showered and then went with me to the pediatrician and to run errands.  After that, we came home and my mom left and I had just enough time to feed and change Arie and then Jack came home and we headed to the chiropractor.  Funny enough, Jack likes to tell people that I gave him a bruise on his shoulder during my labor and it turns out that he was in AWFUL shape chiropractically and that I was actually in much better shape than him.  My last adjustment was probably 6 months ago and the full pregnancy and labor and delivery ago lol... and still I was in better shape than Jack :P 
 My little miracle man has been sleeping on my chest for the last few hours and I think it's time to change his diaper and nurse him again :) 

by the way - Cloth diapering is going amazingly.  This little guy poops with every diaper change and I am changing him every 2 hours at least and sometimes (quite a few times a day) he poops or pees in the middle of a diaper change so that diaper is scrapped too.  I definitely need more diaper covers than I have... but also because he is so much smaller than I expected, I could use a lot more newborn sized stuff.  I already ordered some more covers but so far I absolutely LOVE prefolds and covers.  It's so easy and diaper laundry is a cinch.  As a matter of fact, I need to wash laundry again today!  

But Jack and I could not be more in love and could not be more thankful to God for our miracle baby.  It still feels surreal that he is here and he is ours.  Praise the Lord for His Miracles!

Oh yeah, we also made it to church on Sunday which was FABULOUS!  Best service ever and it was so fun to be back at church.  This woman in the bathroom saw me changing Arie's diaper and she asked me if I had just had him that morning lol.  Yep, he's a tiny little peanut!

Arie Jackson
March 5, 2012  at 10:45pm
6lbs 1oz and 19" long.
He has Mama's face and Daddy's hands and feet. :)

World, meet a miracle :D


  1. Wow, this is so much worse than you had initially told me. I will never, ever understand why horrible people like her become doctors, let alone the type of doctor where you really need to have good bedside manner. I am so proud of you for getting to a 10 all on your own. In my eyes, you had him naturally, Allie. Like you said, the epi didn't even work. I'm so sorry you were bullied into getting unnecessary interventions and I seriously think you should file a formal complaint against the OB. Unfortunately, she's probably used to dealing with women who aren't as educated as you in their options and what they really want for their birth plan. She probably bullies a lot of women and they don't know it. She obviously is not used to someone challenging her authority and I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns.
    Welcome to the world, little miracle!

  2. you brought tears to my eyes, that is horrible that on top of going through labor you have to deal with someone like that. you should have been able to focus on your labor and have support. Arie is adorable and I couldn't be happier for you guys!

  3. i just read every bit of that. first of all, so glad your son is here safe and sound....as far as your first nurse and OB go...heaven help me! so glad that you stood up for yourself.

  4. What a story! That is so terrible on how the OB treated you. Not very good at all. Praise the Lord on how you were able to labor without alot of intervention for the most part. Glad that cloth diapering is going well. Prefolds and covers is what I use mainly and I love them. Washing them is easy too.

  5. Congratulations on Arie's arrival!! He is adorable :)

  6. oh wow, what an ordeal, and that OB and nurse should be reported. Yeah for doing so well with your labour, I only had a midwife for my dd birth - who said you need a dr. Glad the cloth diapering is going well too. We used the cloth squares for ours and no problems with washing
    Fantastic job with the breastfeeding. Yeah

    Congratulations Mummy, PTL
    love SuzanneinAustralia
    Hannah's Prayer

    oh a great birthdate too, mine

  7. Congrats on your new baby boy! I'm sorry to hear you had such a terrible experience with that doctor. Wow! That's just scary. I'm glad you are both healthy and safe at home!!

  8. Yay! He is so perfect! :)))))))))

  9. I just read your story and I think you're amazing! I live in a different country, but had the feeling we delivered in the same hospital. As I was in delivery(19.09.2015) and checked in the midwife that checked me didn't believe I said I was already contracting for 17hours(cause nobody delivers so long...wtf) instead I had to tell that it was 2hours(like when it was more pain). I was 4cm at check in, then told that I NEED to progress 1cm an hour(and sure it can't when you're stressed). Long story short - the second stage lasted 3hours and I thought I was not pushing enough, but my little boy had core wrapped around his neck - and to me it explains that my labour, even given pitocin in the middle of second stage(didn't feel it changed anything) lasted 31 hours. And after that i had placenta that was grown to the womb and no intention to come out(to me it seemed that all the stress and pitocin had made my body to forget to produce oxytocin, so no birth for placenta) and it was removed in full narcises, so I had and no first hours with my LO skin on skin. Then they gave him bottle, which caused nipple confusion and bf issues for the first 3weeks. So it had all made me into thinking I had done something wrong, but reading your story helped me to understand I wasn't. Thank you!!!
    Btw now I'm happily breastfeeding and having wonderful time with my little wonder ;)


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