Sheldon’s Birth Story (as told by Siba): Memorial Day 2011
Being Memorial Day weekend, I told Jason that we should go some where for part of the time to distract me from waiting to go into labor. Since we were both done with work already in anticipation of the expectant arrival of a little one, we decided to stay in town Friday and Saturday night to avoid the rush of people and head out on Sunday night. So on Sunday we ran errands and packed up our little motor home to travel north to Willow. Sunday was a beautiful day and we went for a walk that morning and explore the campground that night before sitting in the sun, grilling hot dogs, and having a campfire. We went to bed around 11pm and were looking forward to another beautiful day on Monday.
Around 3:45am I rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom. A little while later around 4am I felt a strange kind of pop and then felt like I had peed myself. I rolled out of bed again and went to the bathroom. My pajama pants were wet and I told Jason I thought that either my water had broken or I had just peed my pants. Luckily we weren’t too far away and the Internet on our phones still worked and we found a little test to do to see if my water had truly broken. After lying in bed for another 45 minutes we determined that indeed we did think my water had broken. So we packed up the motor home and headed back to our house to call the doctor to see what we should do next. On the drive home I started having contractions, but they were not bad at all and around 6-7 minutes apart.
At home I took a shower while Jason called the doctor. Jason also told the doctor that we thought that there might be meconium in the fluid because it was a greenish brown color. He told us that we should just stay home and call at the time we had discussed before (when the contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour and each one lasted around one minute). However, he did say that if nothing progressed we should call and be ready to head to hospital at 4pm. So we finished packing our hospital bag, I got a mug of Sleepy Time tea, we put on a movie, we went for a couple walks, ate some lunch, and anxiously anticipated the upcoming arrival. For the next seven hours or so the contractions got progressively worse and closer together. Eventually we reached the point of having fairly strong contractions that were about 3 to 4 minutes apart for two hours. Jason called the doctor’s message service again (it was a holiday) and we headed to the hospital.
At the hospital we checked into triage and they hooked me up to monitors. However, even on the drive to the hospital my contractions had become more irregular and less intense. At the hospital that is how they stayed, so after an hour of monitoring we had confirmation that my water had broken, but my doctor wants pretty strong labor before he’ll admit you to the hospital so we all got sent home with the instructions to come back at 8pm if nothing had progressed any further or the contractions got so strong I couldn’t handle them. So Jason and I headed home with his mom and sister who had just arrived from Fairbanks.
The drive home, however, started a different story. My contractions started coming back on the drive home and as soon as we were home they were longer and stronger. All of my labor pains were exhibited as back labor so standing up was my best option, but no position really provided relief. I was so hot and as things intensified I ended up throwing up the lunch I ate earlier as the contractions got stronger and closer together. I had Jason put pressure on my hips, which was slightly helpful, but after about forty-five minutes at home I felt a sudden urge to poop. However, as soon as I tried I realized something was wrong and stopped myself. Jason had started drawing me a bath when we were trying to figure out our options, but as I continued to feel the need to push I told him we either had to call the doctor again or head back to the hospital. His mom stayed with me while he called the doctor, who said he would meet us at the hospital. After one hour at home, I was back in the car with some help for what felt like a very long twenty-minute drive to the hospital. Jason said that he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in the car because of the sounds I was making (he has described them as tribal), he choose to do neither and stayed amazingly calm through the entire ordeal. All I can say is that working to not push when that is all you want to do is terribly painful and difficult.
At the hospital we drove up to the birthing center and were met by our doctor and a wheelchair. Jason and him helped me into the chair between a contraction and I was wheeled into our room. Between another contraction I got partially undressed and into the bed. Our doctor checked me and found that I was at a +3 station (the baby’s head was just over an inch from crowning) and that there was meconium in the fluid as we had suspected. However he told me I could push with the next contraction and with the first push Jason said he could see the top of the head. I pushed one more time and then the doctor told me that since I had a lot of stretching to do yet that with the next pushes I was going to have to go a little slower to avoid tearing (I did end up getting stitches for a second degree tear). So I did a couple lesser pushes and then one more big push and Baby Sheldon had arrived. After about three seconds he was screaming and Jason told me it was a boy. In the end, we got to the hospital around 4:55 and had a baby at 5:11pm. His APGAR scores were 9 at one minute and 10 at five minutes and we had a perfect little baby boy. Jason wanted to wait to decide between a couple boy names and after a couple minutes decided upon Sheldon (my dad’s name) Douglas (both his and his dad’s middle names).