Karl’s birth story


Continuing this year’s tradition of writing up the kids’ birth stories, I figured I’d better get Karl’s up there. Yup it’s late as I’m starting this (10:09 PM), lets see how long it takes 🙂 I’ll preface this by stating up front this is a birth story, and there may be parts that aren’t squeaky clean, just for your reading discretion.

Where to begin???????????

I’ll start with a brief bit about the pregnancy. It was by HUGEMONGOUS leaps and bounds the best and easiest pregnancy I had. Don’t get me wrong. It was still a pregnancy, and while I absolutely LOVE the babies once they’re here, I DO. NOT. LIKE. BEING. PREGNANT. I’m just not one of those people. But…. if I compare it to pregnancy #1 and pregnancy #2. Piece o’ cake. Well, at least in the “morning” sickness department (I had very little with him). I was tired a lot of the time, but not so completely exhausted like I had been with the other two. It was an uneventful pregnancy. (There was a little tiny incident where I slipped down our back stairs around 36 weeks, but that didn’t cause any harm).

At 38 weeks 4 days (a Monday) I was at the office, I think there may have been an office meeting, don’t remember. I do remember feeling contractions. Nothing intense, but they were there and a bit regular (to the point where I was noticing them). I thought to myself “yay, this is it! We’ll have the baby today and that’ll be great!” It got to the point where I even texted Jared and told him I was contracting and thought maybe this was it, so just “be ready”. Then I went to eat some lunch. And it stopped. 😦

Tuesday afternoon. Repeat. 😦

Wednesday night: Repeat. 😦

Thursday afternoon: I had my 39 week midwife appointment. I had already been looking up ways to jump start labor, pressure points on the ankles, stripping the membranes… I asked Jared to come to the appointment with me because I had already decided I was going to ask the midwife if she could strip my membranes and I didn’t want that to jump start anything right then and there and not have Jared with me. Plus it was pouring down rain and they had stopped work for the day. Well, she asked how I was feeling (seriously?!? WHO asks a pregnant woman “how are you feeling?” when they’re anywhere past 36 weeks pregnant?) I grumbled my “I’ve been having on and off again contractions” reply just as desperately nicely as I could. (I think she caught my meaning). She said “well, lets check things out down there…… {gets gloves on}…… mmhmmm, looks like you’re about 3cm dilated” Me: Practically jumping off the table I was so excited (for reference, it took me a full 24 hours of steady labor with Katherine to get to 2cm)

Midwife:  Would you like me to see if I can get things going for you?
Me: {Um, hello?} Sure, that’d be fine.

Stripping membranes is fairly uncomfortable. Lots of pressure. I’ll leave it at that.

No, nothing just up-ed and started right away. We left the appointment and went to get something to eat. Gathered up the other kiddos, told mom that maybe tonight was the night and could we please bring the kids back to spend the night with you “just in case”? She said sure, bring ’em over after dinner (she’d been watching them all day by this point, and I think she needed a break).

So, that’s what we did. Almost. I decided I *needed* to go get some groceries “just in case” and I also *needed* to go pick up my new glasses that had come in, you know “just in case”. In the end nothing happened, but looking back, I was feeling TONS of pressure everywhere, not really contractions, but just pressure, and it probably wasn’t a great idea for me to go running all over by myself.

Took the kids to my moms. Had a disagreement with Jared over something on the way home (I decided it was better for me NOT to drive by this point). I think we got home around 8:00 PM. I was feeling frustrated and tired so I went to bed. I woke up around 10:30 with contractions. Decided that “this was it” like it or not, this was going to happen “right now!”. I walked around for a little while, contractions steady. I sat down on the couch contractions a little less steady. Tried a few pressure points on my ankles, contractions a little more. Walked some more, and they stopped.

It was about 12:30 AM by this point. I was put out. To say the least. Somewhere my rational brain told me to go back to bed and get some rest. So I did.

Woke up at 3:03 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

Woke up at 3:10 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

Woke up at 3:17 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

{Sometimes it takes me a while to get the point}

Woke up about 5 minutes later, thought to myself “seriously, again?” Then I think I finally “got it”.

So I got up and walked around some more. Then the contractions started to pick up. (Mind you, I still had to pee about every 5 minutes). They started getting a little more intense. I was timing away and they seemed pretty consistently to be every 2 to 3 minutes for about 30 seconds. Not quite the every 4 minutes, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour. I was debating whether to call the midwives or wake Jared up because there had been so many “false starts” (this wasn’t a false start, and I knew it, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to call at the moment).

Around 4:00 AM, I heard a little tiny voice in the back of my head as I was holding on to the vanity, it was my mom saying “I knew it was time to go when I couldn’t just walk through/stand up through a contraction”. Well here I was squatting by the side of the sink thinking “maybe I should…?”

To put things in perspective a little bit: With Katherine I never made it this far without an epidural. With John, I was induce and started an epidural almost right away.

I went pee yet again, and had some bloody show when I wiped and I figured things had gone quite far enough on my own. I called the midwife. She called me back within 3 minutes. I explained the situation and she asked how fast could I get to the hospital? I said 5 minutes once we’re on the road, but I have to wake up my husband. She said to come as soon as possible.

All said, it took us about another 45 minutes to get ready to get out of the house. Don’t ask me how that happened. While I was waiting for Jared to get up, dressed and ready, I remember feeling calm. A little anxious to be getting to the hospital (because I DIDN’T want to have him at home), but I was mostly calm. Things were more intense than I remembered feeling with the others, but I was still able to cope with it.

We arrived at the hospital just after 5:00 AM, and I lost it. It probably had to do with one) another couple walked in right before us, and she was quite obviously not as far into labor as I was, but you know triage, first come first serve and two) registration *needed* Jared to come and check me it (while I was hanging onto the nurses desk while squatting on the floor by myself, while the other couple went on ahead).

I got into a triage room, Chloe, my midwife showed up with in minutes (she had been my least favorite of the midwives at the practice, which was probably another reason I “quit”), I was alone otherwise. She needed me to get undress and I physically couldn’t do. I had a pretty good sized contraction as soon as I stepped down from the exam table. Fortunately she was right outside the “door” (a piece of cloth) and came back in and helped. I had really wanted to do Karl’s birth naturally. But those 5-10 minutes alone in the hospital were enough to take away whatever will power I had left and I truly panicked. {Next baby (no I’m not pregnant), but next baby: I WILL have someone with me the entire time}.

Chloe check me, I was 7 cm (!); asked me if I still wanted to do the ABC (Alternative Birthing Center). I said no, just give me an epidural, I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know if Jared was back in the room with me by this point. We were upstairs in the L&D room by about 5:30 I guess. It took a little while for the epidural. But I imagine it was done by about 6:30. A funny thing, I’m about 99% sure I had the same nurse that I had when John was born. (Actually, that wasn’t the only time it happened during this hospital stay; I had another nurse while I was in recovery who swore she remembered me from last time….)

I could still feel a lot of pressure. I distinctly remember Chloe saying at 7:48 AM that it looked like she wouldn’t get to meet the baby after all (her shift ended at 8:00). She fiddled around with something for a few minutes then said “lets just check once more before I go”. She looked and SUPRISE, there was his head. So of course that puts the entire nursing staff into a huge scramble of activity all the while I’m being told “DON’T MOVE!!!!”, not like I can since my legs are practically dead weights.

It took another few minutes to get everyone all set. I pushed and the redeeming moment of his birth was that I could feel him coming out (still no pain). So, whoever that anesthesiologist was, I want her next time too if I don’t make it to a natural birth. He was born at 8:02 AM… on Friday the 13th. He weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz, right in between the other too.

Kal and me
I was able to have him laid on me right away 🙂

The next few days were a blur. Highlighted by the fact that my brother closed the window in my room when the maintenance man said the window was broken and would need to be fixed.

He is named for my great-grandfather Karl Westling.
His middle name Joseph was picked because we liked how it sounded with Karl, after the fact we realized that it is the name of another of my great-grandfather’s: Joseph Barbarow. So, even though it wasn’t 100% intentional, I like to think of him being named for two of my great-grandfathers. 🙂

Karl with his siblings and Aunt
Karl with his siblings and Aunt

In the end, it was my best and worst delivery. Worst because it was the one I most wanted to have naturally and I didn’t get that. Best because he was born nearly a week early, and even though it wasn’t “natural” it was the first birth I was able to feel.

P.S. finished at 11:30 PM. If I just would stop getting distracted online, it may have been done faster 🙂

Good night all!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I've just posted. I do read and truly appreciate all comments. They make me smile!

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