Personal Tags: Ergobaby Birth Story Series
My name is Abilene Enriquez. I am a doctor working out of a hospital in LA, with a background in Family Medicine. During my training, I probably delivered close to 150 babies. The past 2 years though I've been working with patients who have been diagnosed with an advanced illness, often guiding them through the journey at the end of life. In a sense I think of myself as a midwife too, guiding people through a transition.Having a baby at the same time as I am working with dying patients felt like such a privilege to really see the magic of life come full circle. This is Joshua's birth story...
Throughout pregnancy, people shared their horror stories with me freely. So I feel it is my moral duty to share my own success story to balance out all the trash talk about pregnancy and delivery. It was a very smooth pregnancy. I did not have any wicked cravings, nor did I have any morning sickness. The physical changes came on slowly allowing my body time to catch up. I think people found my spunk quite amusing. I think I freaked people out each time I got down to squat next to a patient's bed. And I've seen people gasp as I got up from my squat.
The baby watch had begun. People kept asking "how much longer". There were a lot of hugs, and a lot of goodbyes from staff. It was my last week at work. Then plan was to kick back, relax, do some prenatal yoga and get centered on pregnancy and mommyhood. We reviewed the signs of labor, got the nursery set up weeks in advance, had the hospital bag half-packed. That weekend we went to a baby shower. There were a lot of pictures taken, and my friend and I were not too far off in terms of belly size. i woke up the next day, and I swear my belly was lower. I kept asking hubby "does it look like my belly's lightened?" and he kept saying "nah!". I had been having a lot of pains on my right side all week, and they've been increasing in frequency and duration. Also, I've been telling my husband "I smell different, like my OB patients"
Thursday-- I finally had my 37 week visit with my OB, and after telling him my above symptoms, he dismissed them like everybody else, refused to check me, and said "I'll see you next week". Over lunch, people talked about how the next day was going to be 11/11/11, and how it would be so cool if I could deliver then. One of our friends had just gone into labor, and she was really hoping to deliver on 11/11/11. The gang at the table was taking bets on when exactly she was going to deliver. I even placed a bet myself.
Later that day hubby sent a text: "Got the ergo carrier... we're complete with baby stuff ".
I jokingly texted back "Alright! Time to go into labor!"
Hubby: "Oh 11/11/11?"
Me: "Yeah :)"
I got up at 1:30AM for a bathroom break. On my way there, I got another one of those pesky pains on my right side. But unlike all the other times, this one did not go away when I lay down or walked around. And they kept coming. So I started timing them and realized they're coming at regular 4 minute intervals! The dog was beside herself pacing around me. "I think we need to complete our packing", I told my hubby after 2 hours of waiting. Half an hour later, we were out the door.
Walking in to the ER finally at a little past 4 AM, we ran into a guy who was so excited: "Oh my gosh, are you having your baby? Do you realize how cool this is?” A quick check and we were told "You're 5-6 cm and you've got a bulging bag!" I guess this wasn't a false alarm, I thought. Next thought was "yes, I want that epidural", and almost like a well timed punchline, a "Code BLUE" blasted through the PA system, and off ran the anesthesiologist to help with the Code BLUE. The minutes turned into an hour, my nurse kept offering me a dose of IV pain medications but I kept holding off, imagining my cervix dilating, and imagining how much better I would feel after the epidural. A little past 6AM, I finally gave in. I figure if I got an epidural at 6cm, I'll have enough time to burn off the Fentanyl before Joshua is born. No sooner had the words "Wow, this feels good!” left my lips did the anesthesiologist walk in saying "I hear you wanted an epidural?" Geez!
Less than 30 minutes later, I was blissfully happy, blessing the anesthesiologist and his "magical hands". I turned and asked for my make up bag-- guests were bound to arrive soon, and God forbid I look like a woman in labor! I started texting the team (I technically was still on call)-- "I will not make it to rounds today..."
My OB walked in and was impressed that I was doing so well. He did one quick check and announced "Well, your water just broke as I was checking you, and guess what, you're fully dilated!" He wasn't too excited though, as I was still at 0 station, and he wanted me to labor down for a few hours. Good! The nurses off and on would do some guided pushing with me. Hubby was happily updating people via text and Facebook.
Crunch time, they paged the OB at a quarter to 11, saying "we're ready for delivery". When the nurses realized the time though, they called him back and said "walk slowly, we're trying to deliver at at 11:00AM!" I guess my OB runs really fast, because he was out of the office already and didn't get the 2nd message. He later asked me "Do you really want to be on tv?" I frankly didn't care. Well, we kept pushing, and Joshua came out 4 minutes shy of 11AM. And what a champ this little guy is, he latched on right away. It was like he was saying, "I know I'm 3 weeks early, but I want to show you I'm ready".
I finally turned to hubby and said "I told you so!" (referring to this mysterious "odor"). His response was quick-- "Hey, what do I know?!" After all, my own OB didn't believe me either. Fair enough, fair enough...