Andie's birth story

Andie's 9th birthday has come and gone, but I've yet to write her birthday letter.   I did just pull up her birth story and reminisced on that life-changing night.   I wrote this for the other mothers in the pregnancy yoga class I was in.   What a gift!

The Birth of Anderson Price Passin (Andie)

            On Friday, July 18 I was already one week and one day overdue.  It was a weird mental state to be in, because I was on the verge of constant anticipation and knew that my doctor would not let me go too much longer without inducing me.  I was nervous about induction because I wanted to try to go natural and knew what a challenge that would be with the pit drip.  After a week a walking two hours a day, eating eggplant parmesan, and squatting every chance I got, on Friday at 6:00 pm, when I went to the bathroom, I discovered bloody mucous in my underwear.  My bloody show in combination with rectal pressure that made me feel as if I had to have a bowel movement all day let me know that I was going to go into labor sometime over the weekend.   I decided to call my husband, Warren, to come home and I took a nap to get ready for what was ahead.  After a long nap, my husband awoke me to see how I was feeling.  I was having what felt like gas pain in my back every 15-20 minutes or so.  I knew I wanted to distract myself and labor at home as long as possible, so we tried to maintain normalcy.  I showered to get ready to go out to eat.  After some consideration, we decided on take-out because the contractions were getting tough to act normal through.  We went to the grocery store to get snacks for Warren for the hospital and went to pick up pizza.  I knew I may see the pizza again, but I was really craving it!  At around 10:00 the contractions really started to pick up.  They were between 5-6 minutes apart and the only thing that felt good was doing the cat on my sofa- this helped to relieve the pressure on my back.   I was using the yoga breath throughout them, and started to incorporate the ‘o’ sound.  Warren was massaging my sacrum throughout each contraction and doing the ‘o’ sound with me.  It’s funny because I was unsure if I would use sound in labor- I thought I would be too embarrassed.   Sound made all of the difference! I am so glad I had that “tool” in my toolbox.  It was the perfect way to control my pain, slow my breathing, and give me something to focus on throughout labor.   Later in the night my calm ‘o’ sound went from sort of singing, to moaning, to really yelling the ‘o’- loud enough to for the nurses to tell me thank goodness no one else was on my wing. 
            Anyhow, around 10:30 I took a shower at home and Warren talked to me from the toilet seat.   My contractions got to be two minutes apart and two minutes long.  Warren said it was time to call my doctor and head to the hospital, but I did not want to get out of the shower.  The hot water on my lower back felt so good.  Finally, he lured me out the shower and we spoke to my doctor.  She said head on to Piedmont Hospital.   At this point Warren was getting nervous, and really trying to push me along, but I just couldn’t get dressed.  I kept trying, but then a contraction would hit me and I got on the bed, leaning over the footboard, moaning out my ‘o’s.   Warren got firm with me and said he couldn’t have this baby here, so we HAD TO GO.   We finally got to the hospital around 12:45ish.   I honestly don’t remember the car ride (and this was only 10 days ago).  When we pulled up the man in the wheelchair raced me upstairs.  He asked how far apart my contractions were and when I told him two minutes, he said, “You are gonna have this baby!”   Warren and I were rushed into a room and our incredible nurse Connie said I had to lie on my back to be monitored and checked.  As soon as I lay down, I puked everywhere. (Hello pizza!)  It was miserable to be on my back.  She checked me out, and told me I was only 3 CM DILATED!!!!   I thought I was going to bust out balling right there.  Are you kidding me?  Only 3 cm?  My hopes were so high.  My contractions were so long.  I did the most horrible, inaccurate thing to do- labor math.  If it took me this long to get to 3 cm, how long will it take me to get to 10?  I immediately doubted my ability to go natural.  I decided I would probably get the epidural once I reached 5 cm.  Connie, the nurse, said she would leave us alone, since I wanted to go natural, and just to buzz her if we needed her.  I told her not to get her hopes up- I didn’t know if I could do this naturally.  Warren kept correcting me – telling me I could do it.  He reminded me how much I had prepared, and to take it one contraction at a time.  He continuously reminded me to be in the moment, and not focus on the rest of the night.   It was hard to do. 
            We walked around the room quite a bit.  He stood behind me, sort of holding me up while we walked, my eyes closed all the while.  Then, he suggested a shower.  I took a shower for what must have been almost 2 hours!  While I showered, Warren sat on the toilet and told me our history.  (We had planned to do this beforehand).  He started from the first time we met, and went through every thing he could remember about us- our first date details, the first time we met each other’s families, the crazy long- distance time, etc.  Poor Warren was deliriously tired at this point – he said he felt like he was dreaming as he was talking- but wow- the distraction of our history really helped.  I couldn’t reply to him, or correct him when he was wrong about a certain detail- but at least I could listen to him as I breathed through the contractions.   Again, occasionally I would use the ‘o’ sound, and he would stop the story and make the sound with me. 
Connie came back in to monitor the baby, and I told her I didn’t know if I could get out of the shower.   She was so fabulous – she came in minutes later and told us we could move to another room that had wireless monitoring – where they could monitor me in the shower.  Perfect.  Warren packed up the bags, and we made our way down the hall. As soon as we got into the room, I got onto the sofa and the birth ball, and started yelling my ‘o’s through the very close, long contractions as Connie monitored me and the baby.  I was finally able to get up to make my way to the shower when I noticed drops of blood all over the floor.  We called Connie back into the room, wondering if my water had broke.  She said she’d check me to see about the water and to see how much I progressed.  At this point, I was convinced I’d get the epidural.  The pain was becoming overwhelming.   I prayed to be at least 5 cm dilated.  When she checked me, she said my water had not broken, but that I was 9 cm dilated!  I was elated. It’s true, just when you think you cannot handle it anymore, you are almost done.  I told her I thought I was going to get the epidural, and she said, “Not now, you are not! You are going to have this baby!”  She was so encouraging, telling me how great I had done – and that she had done it too- all natural.  She paged the doctor and told me to page her when I had the urge to push.  Maybe five minutes later I had the uncontrollable urge to push.  She and another nurse rushed into the room and told me not to push yet; instead, to blow like I am blowing out candles on a cake.  I did not want to blow, I wanted to push.  The only thing I can compare this urge to is if you are sitting on the toilet, 100% ready to poop – and someone tells you not to – even though you really, really have to go.  She just kept saying, “blow, blow, blow” and asking the other nurse to check for my doctor.  Finally my doctor came in, got prepared, broke my water, and told me I could push, each nurse holding my leg and Warren an inch away from my face encouraging me. 
I pushed through four contractions – 15 minutes total.   The pushing felt good in a weird way.  It at least felt productive.  During the second to last contraction, Dr. Fische told me she could see the head of the baby.  This was major encouragement – and in the last contraction I pushed with all of my might.  The next thing I knew I was looking down at Dr. Fische holding my baby girl.  I looked at Warren and he was crying – in awe of our daughter.   He cut the cord, and they placed little Andie on my chest.  I was overwhelmed, knowing that we brought her into the world.  Even though births have happened every day since the beginning of time, when it happens to you – it is surreal. I am still in amazement that Andie came from both of us and how much more I fall in love with her every day.  She was born at 5:25 a.m., about four and one-half hours after we got to the hospital. 

I am so happy that I stuck to my plan to go naturally.  I only had to have one stitch, and I think I owe that to my productive pushing – since I could feel everything.  I also owe a lot of it to the Pierce Yoga program – which gave me the tools, desire, and techniques to have the perfect birth.  When it was all over, I looked at Warren and said, “That was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I could do it again.”  He laughed, saying throughout labor I kept saying, “This is way worse than I ever thought!”  I guess there is something to that labor amnesia!  Best of luck to all you yoga moms!