Friday, September 26, 2008

I Hatched

Zion David Miller was born at 3:50 AM on Friday, September 26, 2008. He was 6 pounds 8 ounces, and 19 1/2 inches long. He was born 12 minutes after I entered the hospital. Heh heh. :)
I had had contractions 10 minutes apart for 2 days. I called the doctor's office after a sleepless night full of contractions on Sept. 25, but they told me not to come in until my contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour. They had continued to strengthen as the days went on, but were not any closer together. On Thursday evening, I took an early bath and laid down, hoping that I could get some sleep, since I had only an hour of sleep from the night before. I quickly discovered that sleep was not going to be an option - my contractions were really painful laying down.

I had spent the entire day reading online about prolonged early labor...and how people would go days to a week before having their wee one, and be really exhausted because of all the sleepless nights, so I was basically prepared to be enduring this for several more days. I felt very uncertain as to what "real labor" looked like, since I was basically induced with both boys, where they broke my water and then I got an epidural.

I decided to make good use of our whirlpool tub and filled it up to weather the night. I soaked in the tub from 11:00 PM till 2:00 AM, during which my contractions went from 10 minutes to 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 5 minutes for about 5 contractions, then 10 minutes - followed by a REALLY strong contraction. I got out of the tub because I was hungry and I wanted to see if my contractions were closer together when I was walking around. A few minutes later I started to feel some contractions that seemed pretty close together, but really felt like my brain was fuzzy and I wanted Tim to get up and help me figure out if this was the real deal and give me some company because I was pretty uncomfortable.

I woke him up around 2:30 AM, and basically started having contractions every 2-3 minutes as he walked around groggily and a little confused as to what I was asking of him. After I started bawling my head off because he wasn't with me, Tim finally figured out that his wife was in actual, serious labor, and that we needed to call Elvida to come over to stay with the boys, Mom and Dad to come to DE, and put my stuff in the minivan. We left the house around 3:05 AM, heading toward Beebe Hospital in Lewes, which is about 35 minutes away from Bridgeville. My contractions continued at 2-3 minutes apart. I wondered a little worriedly if we were going to make it to Lewes, and considered going to Nanticoke instead, which was 10 minutes away, but rejected it because I wanted to have the option for an epidural. I was in the front passenger seat, facing backwards, leaning between the seats. It was pouring rain, and was a terrible night to have to hurry to the hospital.

I watched the clock tick by the minutes. I could make it another 17 minutes. I could make it another 13 minutes. I had a few worrisome observations - I was shivering, like you do in advanced labor, and seemed to feel more pressure. At the same time, I was wondering if we would get there and I would be 3 cm dilated. I just felt like I had nothing to compare anything to..

At 9 minutes to the hospital, my water broke. I was basically like - OH, NO. I remembered how intolerable contractions were in the past after my water broke, and by this time I was having a pretty. good. sense. that I was in some serious labor, and quite likely toward the end of it. I hung over the side of the seat, praying LOUDLY. I did NOT want to have to have the baby in the minivan at 3 AM on the side of a dark rainy road. And the contractions were doozies. Then I started to feel like I was going to vomit, which made me know that I was in transition, and TOTALLY almost there. Tim screeched into the ER drive at about 3:36 AM. My contraction had just ended and I stumbled into the ER door, where another one whacked me HARD, and I hung on Tim, moaning, almost falling to the floor. After it was over, Tim whisked me into a wheelchair as the Registration people peered at me and asked me what my name was. "Carrie Miller." I eeked out. And then "I'm in transition."

They looked at me uncertainly as I writhed through another contraction. "Maybe we should just go ahead and take her up," one lady suggested. One lady hurried me down the hall, while Tim had to go back out to get my insurance information. I wretched over the side of the wheelchair as we hurried to the elevator, and again as we hurried off. As she pushed me through the double doors of the labor and delivery suite, I was hit with another massive contraction that arched me back in my seat and totally left me speechless as the nurse asked "What's your name?"

I groaned wordlessly, as she impatiently repeated "What's your name?"

The aide pushing my wheelchair scolded me disapprovingly, "Honey, now listen to her and tell her your name!" I finally was able to whisper "Carrie Miller" as my contraction ended, and then "I'm in transition."

They looked at me bemusedly. "I think we should just go ahead and put her into a room," the nurse said. Then I said "I need to push."

That got an immediate reaction. "Oh, no you don't!!" the nurse stated very loudly and firmly. I shifted my position in the wheelchair to the edge of the seat, entirely not caring what she thought or desired. "NO YOU DON'T!!!" the nurse said, now in a high state of alarm. "You do NOT sit like that!! Sit back up!!"

"I have to push!!!" I said again, stoutly maintaining my position of imminent birth as someone hurriedly pushed my chair into the room.

"No, you are not pushing!! You are going to get into this bed and we are going to check to see how far along you are and call the doctor!! This is not the time to push!!" The nurse was very displeased as she folded back the blankets and slowly inched the bed down from it's higher position. Another contraction hit HARD and I prayed "Jesus!!! Help me do this!!! JESUS!!! Help me!!!" I could tell the nurses were swinging between irritation and moderate concern that this crazy lady was actually going to push this baby out.

"You need to get into this bed," the nurse instructed me as I went into another full transition contraction. I started to push. The nurses heaved me into the bed, turned me on my left side, and pulled my pajama pants off. I was groaning loudly.

"Can you sit my head up??" I panted, wanting a better angle than flat on my back.

"Nope!!" the nurse said stubbornly. "We're going to check to see how far along you are."

"Stop yelling if you're not having a contraction!" the nurse next to me said sternly. I puttered into a moan, totally confused as to whether I was supposed to NOT be feeling any contractions at this point, because I was pretty sure I was in constant contraction mode. I pushed again. "Oh - there's the head!!" the nurse said urgently to her co-workers.

"Stop pushing - blow like you're blowing out a candle!!" the lady beside me urged. I huffed a feeble candle breath.

"Can you please put my head up??" I asked again.

"NO! We need to check this baby's heartrate." I pushed again as I thought - you can check it in 3 seconds when it comes out, lady.

"He's having major decel's!!!" the nurse to my left declared. "We need to get this baby out NOW!!" (Of course he is having major decel's [decelerations - where the baby's heartrate is dropping with a contraction] , I thought irritably. He is almost out!! He's totally squeezed!)

"Push even if you don't have a contraction!!" the nurse at the foot of bed shouted at me. "This baby has to come out!!"

"Can I have my head up??"

"NO, you may not have your head up!!"

I pushed, then pushed again. I was entirely grumpy that I had to push this child out from flat on my back, but pretty much not able to do much of anything about it. I felt the infamous "ring of fire" burning as the baby crowned that I was always curious about. His head was out. Another pushpushpushpushpush and his body was out. The nurse were in a rushing tizzy. I felt like I was in mild shock. I could see the baby beside me as they clamped the cord. He wasn't crying yet, but he was a pretty good color. They rushed him over to the warmer, and he started crying on the way. Oh, good.

Tim burst into the room. He had had to miss the entire thing, because the ladies down in registration wouldn't let him come up until he gave them my insurance card. He cried when he heard the baby, because he was so sad about it. I felt bad for him, but was thinking as I was delivering that it was probably good Tim wasn't there because he would probably have been totally freaked out by all the urgency.
They decided the baby had been born around 3:50 AM, 12 minutes after we entered the hospital door, although Tim thought it might actually have been before that. The doctor arrived in a few minutes to deliver the placenta. I was totally stoned/out-of-it/run-over by-the-labor-truck feeling. Who woulda thunk it? I could not BELIEVE that I had just barely had that child in the hospital.

Laugh. Out. Loud. Oh. My. Word.

Don't feel too grumpy at the nurses. They did a great job - I just totally threw them for a loop, and they were acting in confused survival mode, wondering what in the world was the deal with this yelling crazy lady. I think my nurse was still mildly perturbed with me when she left that we had waited "so long" to come in - but, what can I say? I'll know better next time.
Having the baby "au naturel" was actually a lot more tolerable than I thought it might be. It was totally do-able. I think one thing that made it a lot better was that my water did not break until the end, because contractions are so much worse after that. Also the whirlpool tub helped a lot. Also probably the fact that I thought I was still in mild/moderate labor as opposed to "the real deal". I remember hearing people talk about feeling like they are going to die when they are in transition, like there is just no way they can do it. I did not feel that. I was simply very wide-eyed at the fact that I was going to HAVE to do it - and glad I could PRAY VERY LOUDLY as I was doing it, even with nurses staring at me bewilderedly.

Laugh out loud again. Oh my goodness.

I TOTALLY cannot believe I have a "birth story" like that in my repetoire. It does make for a great one, though.

We came home today, Saturday, September 27th. Zion is doing great, breastfeeding great, and so dear and sweet and precious and soft and tiny and kissable. I feel really good too, other than still catching up on my sleep. He was very fussy last night, and after swaying totally exhaustedly around at 2:30 AM on my third sleepless night in a row, the night nurse took him out to hold him and I got four utterly BLESS-ED hours of sleep. It was sheer heaven.

And that, my friends, is the story of how Zion David arrived.


Anonymous said...

Yay!! Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you that Zion is here and now you can just enjoy him. I loved your description of the birth story. I was alternating between crying and laughing. I'm so glad that you made it to the hospital, barely. Your description of the nurses made me laugh. They didn't know what to have you do :) I agree, they were in survival mode. You are amazing Carrie. I'm proud of you and thrilled that he is finally here. Just a few contractions here so far. Love you! Carmen

Anonymous said...

A beautiful story, ending. You're far more generous with the nurses than I would be if I encountered that response as a birth partner. J

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it feel wonderful to have it over and done with a precious baby in your arms!!! Here I was, praying for you all calmly this weekend while this wild adventure was going on! You are amazing- I love that you can laugh- even at the bad parts. I'm glad you were able to do the natural labor like you wanted, even though it was a little more dramatic than you probably thought it would be. :) I would love to hear Tim's version of this story- that must have been the most stressful drive EVER! Love you so much and I'm so proud of you and so happy too. He's precious!! Candice

Anonymous said...

Way to go Carrie! Wow - you did it natural!! Amazing. Your story sounds very familiar - the groaning and mumbling out info. in the emergency room. Being wheeled in the chair as a hard contraction hits, being basically "out of it" and knowing that you're pretty much fully dialated and ready to push while the nurses are wondering how far you are, trying to get you into bed. I could totally understand what you were going through! My water never broke until I was fully dialated either, and only then did I have a "bloody show" , which is why the doctor always told me to stay at home when I would call. They'd ask "was there a bloody show?", and I'd tell them no, and they'd say that I was probably in the early stages of labor, when I was in all likelihood about 7 cm or so along.
But wow - laboring like that in a moving vehicle does NOT sound remotely fun or comfortable. I was lucky enough to live just 5 min. from the hospital, and amazingly enough never had a contraction in the vehicle with either baby. I attribute that to God.
Glad your little boy is here. He's a cutie. A birth story to remember for sure. Love it.

Naomi said...

What an amazing story! Congratulations! I wonder how I could arrange access to a whirlpool by the time February rolls around... It's so good to hear stories like yours. I'm so squeamish about giving birth; I've heard too many birthing horror stories. But it's kind of late to back out now. :)

Zion is adorable! Have his big brothers had a chance to meet him yet?

Anonymous said...

Well, your little sweetie happened to arrive on Jason's 26th birthday! So glad he's here even after the drama of birthing. :) Yay for making it through natural labor! I sure hope we can have a near repeat of Cordell's birth for our Dec. baby. Marissa

Kyle Cullum said...

wow!!!! thats some story. congratulations. he's so tiny.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to tell you guys Congratulations!!! He is a beautiful baby.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Carrie! Zion is adorable. What other life experience do we have that makes us forget the pain (or at least say it's worth it)and be gracious to the nurses right afterward? Children are truely a gift from God. So looking forward to watching and participating as your boys grow. Very happy for all of you.Pat Mast

kdurec said...

Congratulations! That is one HECK of a birth story. My my goodness, you just experienced my worst nightmare! :D I am so glad that you were able to have Zion in the hospital (cute name, too)! :D

Kris said...

That is an awesome story! I feel bad for Tim that he missed the actual birth, though. You should feel so proud that you handled it all so well and made it through labor and delivery without meds. I hope you get some sleep soon...make sure you take care of yourself. funny...we seriously considered naming one our babies Zion. I love it. He's great! :)

Anonymous said...

Aye-yi-yi! That's too close for comfort!! (Not that labor is ever comfortable, though!) Whew, my mouth was hanging open the whole time I read that birth story. I feel bad for Tim, too, knowing how vital a role Jeff had in our deliveries. Did the hospital not have a pre-registering option so you could have bipassed that step once you got there? Nonetheless, thanks for sharing with us. I'm so happy for you all! Much love and prayers- Angela

RosyRose said...

You are a champ! Have you ever thought that we should get some sort of ribbon or something for all we go through in labor and delivery? Seriously, at least they could give out the green ribbon participants award! You did Great! Did you know I had the same thing for my births. Yep, everyone. I got sent home with every single kid! What can I say-when you have contractions 2-3 days solid you think "how do I know when to go". I am so glad that is behind you and that God kept you and Zion protected. Blessings!

Rustin and Lynette Polinder said...

I agree with the previous posts that you are amazing. AND, you are right that he looks SOOOO much like Gabe as a baby! He is sooooooooooo ridiculously cute!!!! Give him lots of kisses from me.

Melissa said...

Best birth story ever! Congrats!!!

Elaine said...

Congratulations on your sweet little one and handling everything so well. And isn't natural childbirth just totally amazing? Maybe the barely making it to the hospital will be me next time--it's comforting to hear of someone who was induced for two labors and not with their third.

Kendra H. said...

Congratulations! As always, I admire your gift for storytelling. And that you have the energy and time to tell it so soon after the event. =)

Anonymous said...

Wow. . . .Way to go!!! Congratulations, your little guy is beautiful :). So sorry that Tim missed it. . . I'm not sure Brent would have been so cooperative with the registration people :). Hope your boys adjust smoothly and you can sneak in naps. Janice

Cottonista said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad he's here and everyone is safe. And I'm proud of you for keeping your head! I'm curious to know what it was like for Tim, driving through pouring rain with his wife in labor. I'm sorry he had to miss the actual birth. Registration, schmegistration.

Anonymous said...

I told Tim yesterday I SHOULD NOT HAVE BRUSHED MY TEETH before I came! Honestly, I shoulda hurried more!...had no idea you were that close...and I know you didn't either but so sorry Tim missed it. Althooooo.....not so sure what HE woulda said to those nurses if he woulda been there. One thing for sure...if he woulda been there YOU WOULDA HAD YOUR HEAD UP!!! Pity you!!! I think Beebe should have access to your blog and should learn something here. Tim was so funny when he was describing it all to the church...hope that got taped so you can hear it! Can't wait to hold lil Zion...he is adorable!!! Congrats to a sweet little family we all love! Elvida for the Yoders

Sherrie said...

Wow, you are trully SUPERWOMAN! Amazing! Sherrie

Kathy Beachy said...

I'm worn out just reading your story! Welcome Zion.

Jen Bontrager said...

Congrats Tim and Carrie! You really should have that story published!

Amy Yoder said...

Oh my that is almost our exact story with our last one and now I can't remember if I told you about it at Conference or not! Except we did not make it to the hospital. Dave missed the birth too because he was showing the EMT's in the door-so if Tim needs someone to talk to...:) I'm so glad he's here safely. Enjoy your three little boys!

ShaunJoy said...

Oh Goodness! Cutting it a bit close there, aren't we? God is definitely faithful and had His hand on the situation...and what a great story! :) Congrats on another beautiful, er, handsome boy.

Sabrina said...

What a story! Congratulations!

heather said...

Well now let me introduce myself....I am Joyce's cousin by marriage. I also go to church with Jen B. who told me about this amazizng birth story I should read. Then I also find out that you are Norm and Carol's daughter in law...and they are in the small group we just joined. Well nice to meet you. And WOW!!!! what a beautiful story, so well told. It brought tears to my eyes!!! Congrats on your new baby boy!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ah! Great Story Carrie!!! Some how I've completely missed this . . . I thought your blog was on my daily read thingy, but this confirms it's not . . . Anyway just yesterday, I was thinking about you . . . Blessings!!! - Aimee

jpall4christ said...

And I just Love the name!!! - Aimee