Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Best Day of My Life

*Disclaimer: this is a birth story *

Friday I met with my doctor, Doctor Rowles, for my 40 week check-up. I was one day past my due date and I was baby would have already come. Dr. Rowles checked me, and I hadn’t progressed any further than the previous week. He also did an ultrasound on baby’s head to make sure his head wasn’t so ginormous that it couldn’t fit through the birth canal. Average size, all good. He then preceded to jinx the weekend by telling me not to have baby this weekend because he would be in Lake Chelan running a triathlon and then one part of a relay thing, seriously I am not kidding. I had a feeling though that baby wanted to come soon. Turns out I was right.

Saturday I decided to take my little sis to see Harry Potter. Ok really I just wanted to make sure I could see Harry Potter before going to the movies got more difficult. So I bought the tickets online and then went to the bathroom. In the bathroom it was clear I had lost my mucus plug. I was pretty excited but losing your plug doesn’t mean labor is coming at a specific time, just soonish.

During the movie I started having some contractions. Harry Potter must have put a spell on me or something. The contractions were about every 15 minutes or so and were lasting about 30 seconds. So it was definitely durable, though uncomfortable. They continued to progress during the day and I called Kyle to let him know things were moving. I was starting to get a little freaked out since my doctor was out of town but I prayed that it was just Saturday he was gone and not Sunday as well.

Fast forward…

It’s night and my contractions are painful, lasting about a minute and coming every 4-5 minutes. This means it is time for the hospital. I already knew that I was having back labor because I could feel baby kicking me in the front. Back labor is no bueno. It hurts a whole lot, but I was enduring.

We called the doctor and found Dr. Rowles was still out of town. So was Dr. Harrington who was supposed to be covering for him. So were six other doctors. I was a little upset at this point because now I had no idea who I was going to get, but I focused on the task at hand, making it through the next contraction. After waiting half an hour for the nurse to call back about what doctor was available and if we could go to the hospital we finally left around midnight.

We got the hospital, they set me up in an “outpatient” room, because they thought they were going to send me home. No way suckas! I was dilated to a 4 and baby wanted to come. So they let me have a regular room and the nurses asked me all sorts of questions about my health and such. They tried putting the IV in my arm and on the third try they were successful. I now have some pretty bruises because of their lame attempts. But they were nice nurses.

I walked around the hallway, threw up after some ill advice from my mother to take deeper breaths. Once I took those deeper breathes my stomach became a not and then I was on all fours in the hospital hallway (thank goodness this was at night) throwing up into a trash can. We decided walking wasn’t really my favorite and I wanted to try out the Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi was nice but back labor was still killing me. Kyle and my mother were both with me and so they took turns napping during the evening and helping me out. I am very grateful for them.

The contractions were getting worse and I continued to dilate and yet I had not met the doctor who would be delivering yet. This was really starting to irk me. His name was Dr. Maganito and I just wanted to meet the guy before he helped me through the hardest thing I would ever experience. I waited and waited, bearing through the pain. Eventually two of my new favorite people in the world came into the room, Dr. Anna (I wish I could remember her last name) who was a resident to Dr. Rowles and Dr. Danny (again I cannot for the life of me remember their last names…) who was a third year med student. They would prove to be angels sent from God.


oh the joys of labor...

Anna and Danny were super nice and spirited and I liked them right away. They seemed impressed with my coping through contractions and were fully supportive of my desire to birth naturally. I also got a new nurse around 7am, Tara, who was I love her. She was peppy and happy and she called me family since we share the same last name.

Eventually I met Dr. Maganito. He basically walked in and said hello while he let Anna and Danny check me out. At this point I was getting really tired, I had not slept since the night before and the contractions were sending me into a trauma like state. Every time one would come my body would shake like I had a bad case of the shivers. I would try different breathing techniques and eventually the contraction would end. Tara brought me a heated blanket which became my new best friend. It was so warm and wonderful and really helped with contractions.

So, when you have back labor, they suggest that you get on your hands and knees and it will help baby to flip and supposedly it helps keep the weight off your back so the pain is more bearable. Well each time I tried this I cried because the pain was even worse than before. I did not like being on my hands and knees. Surprisingly, my favorite position was on my back propped up by the bed, sort of in a reclining position.


I remember this picture so vividly because right after Kyle took it, I had one of the worst contractions....

Ok, so I was tired, hungry, pain was getting worse and every time a doctor would come in and talk to me I would listen with my eyes closed because I could no longer physically keep them open.

Oh and every contraction started feeling like this:

I was struggling and Anna and Danny talked to me about getting an epidural. I really didn’t want an epidural but I had told myself that if labor was too long, I was going to need some sort of relief. They also explained at this point my body was in such a state of stress that I wasn’t progressing like I was before. I had been in labor for 20 hours and I needed a break. I looked at Kyle and I knew that the epidural was going to help me. Anna explained that in all reality at this point it was going to make the experience better because I would be able to get some rest and have some energy for pushing and actually meeting this baby. She sold me right there. As soon as I got the epidural I fell asleep for an hour and half. Then it was time to push.


After an epidural and a much needed nap.

This is where things got scary but I was completely unaware. My first two contractions came close together and because I did so much pushing immediately, baby’s heart rate dropped considerably. Dr. Anna was going to deliver, Kyle was holding one leg and Dr. Danny the other. Dr. Maganito was supervising and also switching rooms because another mom was about three minutes behind me. When Dr. Maganito saw the heart rate drop, he immediately called for the OR, ordered the nurses to give Kyle scrubs, and I remember hearing the word scalpel. I was so focused on pushing that I didn’t even realize what was going on. My mom told me later that amidst the brash decision to go for an emergency c-section, Dr. Anna (a resident mind you) stood her ground to a senior doctor and said, “No, I got this. This is not necessary” or something like that. She got me on my hands and knees (didn’t hurt at this point because my lower body was jello, although it was humorous to try to move my body without sensation in my legs) and gave me an oxygen mask. Baby’s heart rate improved immediately and we took a little break to recover.

Now I wasn’t even aware anything scary had happened, I do remember getting the oxygen mask and going “ooo I always wanted to try one of these” and just giggling about everything. The room had been so lighthearted and I hadn’t noticed a change because Dr. Anna maintained the lighthearted spirit throughout it all. She continued to talk to me and it was like she knew how to keep me calm and relaxed. That is what we focused on for the rest of delivery which went beautifully. After about an hour of pushing, Maxwell Thomas Prescott was born at 2:30pm.


welcome to the world little man!

It was surreal, an out-of-body experience seeing this baby who had just been inside me. I couldn’t believe he was here and I just looked at Kyle and my heart swelled to epic proportions. Maxwell was crying and I so I started singing “I am a child of God” to him (a children’s hymn) and he immediately stopped crying. It was such a special moment I will remember forever. He knew that song and he knew my voice. I felt so connected to him and to my husband.


When I see them together, my heart melts a whole lot.

My birth story wasn’t exactly what I had imagined, but Maxwell came into this world healthy and handsome and absolutely perfect. I feel blessed for the modern medicine that exists today that allowed me to enjoy the delivery of my child. I feel blessed for doctors who follow their instincts and hold their ground for the best interest of the patient. I feel blessed for my mother and husband who supported, massaged, and talked me through.

In the end I was proud of myself. I was proud for trying, I was proud that I knew when I need help, I was proud that I had participated in the creation of life.


Came home to a double rainbow...pretty perfect end to an amazing experience.


  1. YAY!!!

    Back labor--check.
    Involuntary vomiting--check.
    Lovin' the warm blankets--check.
    Nauseatingly ugly hospital decor behind you--check.

    Good girl, Gina! Bringing a new life into this world is such a hard thing, and I'm proud of you for knowing that it's okay to give it your 150% best, then get an epidural...and a nap.

    And Dr. Anna is my new best friend. Standing up for Dr. Scalpel and trying something else to avoid surgery? She wears the Crown of Awesomeness & will make a great 'grown-up' doc.

    Love lots!