Friday, April 25, 2014

Week 39 - The Story

Week 39

This week was Gideon’s birthday, so we went to the parque a couple of times, then we went to the zoo on Tuesday. We had a pretty busy weekend and first two days of the week, so I told David Wednesday that I was taking the day off and not getting out of bed. I was so tired, and I thought if Ruth could come at any moment, I wanted to be ready for her…not the exhausted hot mess that I was.

That day, and especially that night, I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. Now, I had been having contractions for four months, so this was nothing new. When David and Gideon went to football practice that night, though, they were pretty frequent – every 5-15 minutes – enough to make me look online for differences in BH and real labor. Everything I read said that real labor contractions got more intense and were in pretty regular intervals. Mine didn’t, so I didn’t worry about them…just viewed them as an annoyance.

David and Gideon got home around 12:30am, and David and I went to bed around 2:30am. While David went to sleep, I couldn’t sleep because of the hardening of my uterus and having to go to the bathroom after every contraction. Very annoying. Then, I had two real, very painful contractions. They only lasted about 15-30 seconds. But after the second one, I knew it was the real deal. It was 3:30am.

I woke David up, saying “Honey, we need to go to the hospital…I think I’m in labor.” Now, because my water hadn’t broken, and the contractions were short and spaced close together (David timed them at 30 sec length with 30 sec in between), I still wasn’t 100% sure I was in labor. But I didn’t want to be home in case it was.

We got all our stuff, got Gid in the car, called the Dr and our friends to come get Gideon from the hospital, and arrived at the hospital at 4:00am.

Apparently, My Body Doesn’t Like Pain

When I got to the hospital, I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and contraction monitor, as well as to an IV. I had tested positive for strep B, and had to take 2 doses of antibiotics over the next 4 hours to make sure Ruth didn’t get it. They checked me, and I was 5 to 6cm dilated. Uh Oh. If you’ve heard my story about Gideon’s birth, you know I went from 4 to 10cm in 1 hour. But that was with pitocin. Surely, I wouldn’t labor as fast without the meds. Surely, I would last 4 hours and be able to take all the antibiotics and let my body get a chance to rest (I hadn’t been asleep since the night before!) before having to push!

At 4:30am, my water broke. That’s when the yelling began. I’ve heard of women who can labor without yelling. I am not one of those women. I do not like pain. I do not like to be touched while I’m in pain. Nor spoken to. Just leave me alone. David has learned this, and actually stood in a corner most of while I pushed (it was also VERY hot in the room, and he stood by a window to be cooler…) They checked me again, and I was at a 7. And they moved me to a L&D room.

They hooked me back up to all my equipment while I stood and tried to handle the pain as best as I could. She checked me again, and I was at around an 8 or 9. (I really didn’t like her checking me that often…she seemed to always do it when I was contracting…and it hurt…a lot!)

At 5am, I was told I could push. I pushed a few times, but my contractions seemed to be getting less intense, so I was able to rest. But my dr and nurse were trying to get me to push…sorry, I’m not ready during that one (the dr actually tried to “help” me during one of the contractions by checking were Ruth was…I about lost it!) The nurse also tried to help by putting my feet in the stirrups or lifting my legs. I appreciated it, but she did it while I was pushing. Did I mention I don’t like being touched while I am in pain?

At 5:20am, David was leaving the room to go to the bathroom. I told him to hurry back. I needed him there. He was such an encouragement to me, telling me I was doing a good job (when I felt like such a failure and a baby for yelling and saying I couldn’t do it or that it hurt)…He was my support, even from the corner of the room. While I wasn’t having contractions or pushing, he was right there beside me, telling me how great I was doing and holding my hand…or trying to, at least. As he was walking out the door, I had a major contraction were my body wouldn’t let me not push…and told me to keep pushing until I had Ruth all the way out!

Don’t worry, David heard my cries and that they were longer than normal and rushed back into the room in time to see the whole show! He got to cut the umbilical cord, too!

Even without the Pitocin, it seems like this labor and delivery was so much more intense and painful and stressful than Gideon’s. David said I did a lot better this time (maybe his expectations were a lot more realistic, and he knew what to expect), but I don’t remember it being that way.

Maybe part of it was the frustration of the language barrier and the lack of communication between me and the dr and nurses here (that’s what I get for having an awesome midwife in Ft Worth the first time!), but I felt utterly alone during this delivery, and that I was a monkey in the zoo. (I was able to calm down when I prayed…which was maybe 5 min before I pushed my baby out!)

Part of it might also have been the rapid pace of the delivery or the irregularity of women having a natural childbirth here. The women might actually listen to the doctor and follow her lead! SmileSorry, I get a little (ok, a lot) crazy during my l&d process…And ladies who do that for 5-25 hours, I am so in awe of you! I was wishing for meds and a c-section almost the whole 20 minutes I was able to push!

When they put that little girl on my chest, though, I went from a yelling, mad-woman to a smiling, joyful, new-again mommy. None of the craziness or the pain mattered after that. The reason for the month bed rest and the agonizing pain was here, and it was all worth it!

To go from:

2014-04-24 05.04.55            to         2014-04-24 05.26.24

in less than 30 min is amazing! God really does know what he’s doing with adrenaline and endorphins and hormones and all that good stuff!

Ruth Judsyn Barker

7lbs 3 oz.

DSCF48022014-04-24 06.16.35DSCF4779

Her big brother is in Love!


One Big Family!




  1. Great story! I had Sawyer without meds, and I found out I'm the opposite of a yeller. :-) I got quieter and quieter. Thankfully, like you, my labor with him was very short. I don't know how women go naturally for hours and hours. Way to go, Danielle!

    1. Well, my first midwife told me to yell with Gideon when I pushed. It really helped! I probably took it too far this time. I don't think I'll do labor without a midwife or doula again! :-) I don't know how they do it, either, Melissa!

  2. Loved your story! I'm so happy for you and your sweet little family. :) Congratulations!