TigerOne’s Birth Story – Part 1

10 Jan

It’s been almost 2 and half months since TigerOne was born and I think it’s time to finally write out this little dude’s birth story. The details are already starting to get a little iffy, so, here is my best shot. I’m going to break this story up into a couple of parts, because as you will see…. things took kind of a long time.

Knocked Up

We were lucky in that it didn’t take long for us to get pregnant. After only two months of seriously trying to conceive, we were elated, and a little shell-shocked to find out that we were pregnant the day before Valentine’s day. Wasn’t this process supposed to take a little longer? I had read many accounts of people struggling to conceive, and had braced myself for the possibility that it might take some time. Nope, it turns out that TigerOne one was just waiting for the chance to come into our lives.

My pregnancy was uncomplicated with the standard host of complaints; icky “morning” sickness in the evenings for the first trimester, fatigue, heartburn, and a fair amount of aches and sleepless nights towards the end. Throughout the 9 months I did prenatal aqua aerobics, took my vitamins, and went to all of my prenatal appointments. I read lots of books, sewed a baby quilt, researched cloth diapering systems, stocked up on tiny clothing and cooed over the ultrasound pictures that provided a glimpse at the budding life in my belly. Everything seemed on track and totally typical.

Tiger1 20 weeks
TigerOne 20 Weeks – It’s freaky little tiny human!

Tiger1 32 weeks
TigerOne 32 Weeks – Hello Mr. Cheeks! Looking cute.

I had known for a long time that I wanted to have a natural child birth, so my husband and I signed up for a Bradley Method course and learned all about breathing, labor positions, and how to rock a drug free labor. We explored home birth options but when they proved to be a little too pricey we opted to hire a doula and proceed with a hospital delivery which would be 100% covered by our insurance. The birth plan that we hatched basically boiled down to a birth in which I would go in to labor naturally, labor at home for as long as possible with the support of my husband and our doula, and then we would head over to the (very close) hospital to push out the baby. There would be no drugs for pain, no drugs to move labor along, and all other medical interventions were to be extremely limited. I had a lot of faith in this plan. Around 37 weeks I dutifully typed our wishes for the hospital, printed them on bright blue paper, and packed copies in the hospital bag. I was ready to get the show on the road!

37 weeks

37 Weeks – Baby could come at any minute… right?

Due Date Comes and Goes

40 weeks of pregnancy pass. My delivery date of 10/22/12 arrives and there is no sign of TigerOne. Although the Bradley Method teaches that first time moms are 8 days late on average, I am more than ready to have this baby. I try to be calm and relaxed but I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping at this point and I am filled with aches and complaints. Everyday I think that I can’t get more uncomfortable and then another day arrives to prove me wrong. People start continuously text messaging and Facebooking me to find out if the baby has arrived. I do a lot of lamenting and wishing this baby would be born already. I make a solemn vow to never harass full term pregnant ladies about whether or not their baby has arrived.

A visit to my doctor informs me that the baby has dropped, my cervix is soft but fully closed, and she expects that I will go in to labor very soon and won’t make it to my 41 week appointment. Great news! I want to trust her, but just to seal the deal I begin trying every suggested method of naturally inducing labor, including, but not limited to; long walks, swimming, vigorous cleaning, eating fresh pineapple, having spicy curry, continuously drinking raspberry leaf tea, drinking a Guinness, taking evening primrose oil, sex, acupuncture, nipple stimulation, and Cohosh tincture. The whole self induction process reaches a head one evening when I drink two rounds of castor oil, which results only in a fair amount of gagging and time spent on the toilet. What a bummer. A disgusting, exhausting, b-u-m-m-e-r. I give up and tell myself that I need to relax and the baby will come when he is ready. More time passes and TigerOne won’t budge. Meanwhile, I pack and repack my hospital bag, I cook like mad and fill my freezer with soups and casseroles, I reorganize the spice cabinet, and we see pretty much every movie worth seeing at the theatre. Halloween is approaching so we visit a pumpkin patch and get lost in a hay maze. I try to keep my chin up as time creeps slowly.

Pumpkin Patchin' 2 days Before my Due Date

2 Days before my due date distracting myself with decorative gourds

My 41 week appointment rolls  around and I silently curse everyone at the Drs office who was so sure at 40 weeks that I wouldn’t make it to this point. It is time for a non-stress test to make sure that the baby is OK in there. During this test they watch TigerOne’s movements and heart rate on a monitor. I’m not the slightest bit worried until the tech furrows her brow and says something about a “very sleepy baby”. TigerOne’s heart rate is a little slow, so I drink some cold water and change positions in hopes of waking him up. The tech’s brow continues to furrow, she has terrible bedside manner, and rather than explain what’s going on she just says that she wants to review the results with my doctor.

41 Week Non Stress Test

Non-stress, AKA Extremely Stressful Testing

My doctor does an exam and informs me that my cervix is ripe and now 3cm dilated. She explains that they are concerned because TigerOne’s heart rate is not having enough variations, they want to see it fluctuate with increases and decreases and instead it is just holding steady on the slow side. She also expresses concern that the baby seems very large and that we shouldn’t let him get much bigger on the inside. When my Doctor tells me that she thinks I should check in to the hospital for an immediate induction I unintentionally burst out in to tears. I want to go in to labor so badly, and yet I still want to do it on my own terms. She tells me I should go check in to the L & D floor and send my husband home to get my bag. I see our perfect birth plan flying out the window and I fight for a little more time to try to go in to labor on my own. The doctor agrees to re-evaluate things the following day, when she wants me to come back for an ultrasound to estimate the baby’s size  and to repeat the nonstress test.

We head home and that night I get a call from a neonatal specialist who has had a chance to review TigerOne’s heart rate strip from the non-stress test. The specialist has called to strongly encourage me to have an induction ASAP because she too is concerned. When I weigh the safety of my baby against my desire to not be medically induced, there is really no contest. I surrender and agree to go in for the ultrasound the following morning, and to check in for the induction in the afternoon. Given that I am already 3cm dilated, everyone seems to think that the induction will be quick and easy. I’ll have a little bit of pitocin to kick things off and then I’ll get right back on track with the birth plan. Easy peasy, right? Nervous and excited I crawl into bed and try to rest up for the big day thinking that tomorrow, or probably the following day I will get to meet my baby.

Up next, a tale of epic induction, a zen labor, a primal delivery, and meeting tiny TigerOne!


One Response to “TigerOne’s Birth Story – Part 1”

  1. Mary Sevilla January 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Marvelous record of the birthing event. Keep up with frequent posts, milestones in TigerOne’s life. Someday Auntie Carol can publish a book.

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