The Birth Story of Benjamin Keating Haase
[So back to Friday night] I went to bed around midnight and got up pretty soon after that out of sheer uncomfortability. I started timing the Braxton-Hick's, which started off around 3 min. apart but then would be really irregular with long periods of inactivity. Then the BH's started to get a bit more painful, which I was actually excited about. I woke up Dan and had him finish packing our bags while I took a shower so that I would look good in the pictures at the hospital (ha ha-like I would even care in a few hours) At about 5 in the morning I was so exhausted that I fell asleep for an hour and completed stopped the contractions. That morning I had a few, but nothing to write home about. I sat around all day and then realized that I needed to get up and move around if I wanted this baby before Christmas, so Dan and I went to Barnes and Noble, and that is when I started to get contractions that were really beginning to hurt and take concentration. I told Dan we needed to get home because I thought this was it. When we got home I ate a nice hearty pasta meal. I figured if marathon runners did this, it would be a good idea for a long labor. Contractions continued, but still felt more BHy then the crampy ones I had with my first. Around 10 p.m. I had a really painful contraction and then what felt like a small gush of water. I was hoping my water had broken, but when I walked around, it didn't happen again. Every time I had a really painful contraction though, I would feel the leak. I finally called my midwife at around midnight, and she said that since the contractions weren't completely regular, it probably wasn't real labor, but that I should take a hot shower and try to sleep and come in in the morning because of a potential water bag leak. Bummer! So I took the shower and laid down for about 1 minute when I had the most painful contraction yet and felt a definite pop and a lot of warm water everywhere. That is when the contractions started getting worse. I told Dan that I was going to the hospital no matter what my midwife said and then started to get in my testy mode, a sure sign of impending doom for me. Dan couldn't go fast enough or do anything right. He knows I'm in pain when I get to this stage. About this time our friend Drew Kniffen came over to take care of Christopher. We got in the car and made a very painful trip to the hospital with me being cheerful in between contractions and witchy during them. (I started yelling about my state taxes paying for these bumpy roads)
When we got to the hospital the contractions were TRUE labor. I would drop on all fours whenever they hit and just do anything I could to get through them. I did this outside in the flurry of snow, in the lobby in front of everyone, in the elevator etc. until I got to my room. (Somehow I thought that once I got to the hospital and in my room everything would be better, but labor just kept going. My midwife was already at the hospital with another patient who had arrived a few hours before me. I was disappointed that I would have to share her, and a bit nervous that she wasn't going to be with me the whole time. She talked to me for a bit and rubbed my back some then went to get a nurse to check us in while she went back to check on her other patient. I checked in at 1:40 on Sunday morning. At that point my contractions felt awful and I started to think that I couldn't keep going like this. My nurse asked me how far along I was, and wondered why I hadn't been checked yet for dilation. I wondered too and told the nurse to get Doris my midwife to check me .and make it fast. I just knew that I was going to be somewhere between a 3 and a 4 cm dilated and if that was the case, I figured that I wasn't going to be able to go naturally because I was already at the "I can't go on stage". Doris came back and wanted me to get up on the table so that she could check me. I told her that we would have to wait until the next contraction was over, and that she would have about a 30 second window to check because there was no way I was going to have a contraction up on the table on my back. When she checked, I remember thinking that it felt really tight still, and I might still be a 3. Doris said, "well, that's a surprise, I've got good news. You're a 9, and you can start pushing whenever you want." (She told me later that she thought I was going to be a 4 or a 5) I was excited, but didn't feel like a 9, and definitely didn't feel like pushing yet. I thought I would feel so different at that point. I told her that the thing I really need to do was to pee. We went to the bathroom, and she helped me try to pee which didn't produce much of anything, but made me feel better about starting to push later on. When I got up, I had the worse contraction yet, and definitely started to vocalize. When we left the bathroom, Doris told the nurse that she was going to go get her scrubs on. This was definitely the highlight of the hour. It meant that she actually believed a baby was going to be delivered by me, and soon. The second I walked out of the bathroom I felt like I had taken some kind of sleep medication, like Nyquil. I was so sleepy and weak. She returned, I got up on the bed, and we tried to push through a few contractions, but I just wasn't getting anywhere because what I really wanted to do was sleep and go home. She said we should try to do some squatting to get gravity on our side and I thought that that was a good idea in concept, but about as feasible as trying to lift 200 lbs. while on codeine. We started the squatting, but I couldn't hold myself up, so she held my arms and I leaned against Dan with all my weight.
This was definitely the worst
part of labor. Contractions were lasting about 1-2 minutes with only
about 30 seconds in between and they were brutal. All I could do was
yell through them. I knew what I had to do to push the baby out because
I could feel when a push was being productive, but it took such unbelievable
energy to do it, that I would only push for a second or two in each
contraction. It didn't feel like a baby was coming down at all. We did
the squatting through 6-7 contractions, then Doris thought it would
be best to get back on the bed because I was so tired at that point.
I got up and sat on the bed, but then didn't want to move again. Doris
told me I needed to lay down, but I just wanted to sit there and fall
asleep and have it all go away.
They took him to get cleaned up and have all the little tests done, and Doris had me deliver the placenta. I was a bit surprised that the placenta has to be pushed out, but it felt great to have everything truly come to a completion. Doris said the most critical time for a mom is at and after the delivery of the placenta which seems odd because you feel so euphoric and peaceful at that time and that the worst is over.
To get the bleeding to stop she had to push on my stomach really hard a number of times and go inside to do the same. They also gave me a shot of pitocin to help my uterus to contract and stop the bleeding. This was not fun, and I was ticked that after it was over, it was not over. She gave me a local anesthetic and then stitched me up on the right and the left sides where I had torn a little bit. It was painful but bearable. It took awhile, but then it was truly a done deal. They brought Ben back to me and laid him in my arms. I finally got to look at his little face. He was quite alert and looked really different from Christopher. At this point we hadn't named him, but of the names we had been considering, I was pretty sure that he looked like a Ben. He definitely didn't look like an Anderson which was probably because of the brown hair. His face was very scrunched up with deep furrows in the brow. He looked a bit like the alleged pilt-down man, but endearing none the less. Dan came back to the bed and said he thought that he looked like a Benjamin. I agreed, but didn't want to commit until we really got a feel for him. I was able to nurse him right away and had forgotten how flexible and helpless a newborn is. He did a great job, and the nurse commented on what a champ he was at nursing. They took him back to the warmer in our birthing room and then gave us some time to be a family together before they moved us to the recovery room. It was truly an amazing and miraculous experience.
Benjamin came into this world
at 3:00 a.m. on December 23, 2001 (his official due date) 1 hour and
20 minutes after arriving at Hinsdale Hospital. He weighed in at 8 lbs.
9 oz. and was 21 1/2 in. long with an Apgar score of 8 and 9. He has
just a bit of dark brown hair, and his eyes are still an undefined color.
He improved in looks tremendously in his first 24 hours and is quite
a cutie now. He doesn't look like anyone we know except perhaps his
older brother. He sleeps and eats well, and is generally a very good
baby. We are a happy family of four now and very thankful to God for
all that we have been able to experience with our marriage and two beautiful