Thursday, November 19, 2009


Nolan Maxwell Sharp
Born Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.
He's well-loved already.

His birth story is still whirling in my mind. It's wild. Let me share...

After much debate and discussion with my husband and my doctor, we decided to induce his labor on Monday morning. We were concerned that he might not have enough amniotic fluid because this had been a problem in all three of my previous pregnancies. I was disappointed because I really wanted to do this completely naturally. My doctor told me 2 weeks prior to the induction date that I was dilated to 3 cm and already 90% effaced, so I really thought I would have him soon. So I was also a little relieved to finally be done with the pregnancy and meet my baby.

We arrived at Parkwest at 5:30 Monday. They got my IV in and we signed paperwork, but nothing much really happened until 7:45. That's when they started pitocin to encourage stronger and more regular contractions (I had been having mild, irregular contractions for about 2 weeks). At 8:00 my doctor arrived and broke my water. She confirmed that I was still 3cm. They turned up the pitocin every 15 or 20 minutes, so it didn't take very long for me to be in hard labor. I was having painful contractions every 2 minutes (lasting about a minute each) by 9:00, and they gradually got stronger and lasted longer after that. I had signed the consent form for the epidural but told the nurse I wanted to wait to get it. The truth was that, although I had suspected I would need an epidural to get through an aggressively induced labor, I was disappointed about not having the natural childbirth I had dreamed of for so many months. So, just kept telling myself that I would wait 10 minutes and then ask for it if I still wanted it. After 10 minutes, I'd tell myself the same thing again. I kept watching the clock and, when the deadline came, setting a new goal time. At 10:00, I was holding strong.

At 10:15 my dad brought my children back from the waiting room where they had been playing. They were loud and busy. They climbed on the bed where I was laboring and made noise and broke my concentration. It was at this moment that I realized I couldn't go on for 4 more hours (I was expecting a 2:00 delivery, which was pretty consistent with the labor time for my second and third children, minus just a little bit due to wishful thinking). I don't know if the pain actually got worse at that point or if I just lost my concentration and ability to deal with it with all the noise, but that's the point when I could no longer look ahead 10 minutes. I told Mike to call the nurse and ask for my epidural. He gladly did. I guess everyone must have realized that I was in a lot of pain at that point because my mom took the boys back out of the room, and my dad left altogether saying that he'd be back around lunch (and not to have the baby before he returned). My nurse came in right away and went immediately about the business of preparing for the epidural. As she was unpacking the kit on my tray, I told her that I needed to use the restroom before the anesthesiologist arrived. She told me to wait because he would be there in 10 minutes and put a catheter in place. I assured her that there was no way I could wait 10 minutes, and she helped me unhook the 50 thousand cords which tethered me to the hospital bed so I could go. Leaning on my IV pole for support, I made it to the restroom, where I was hit with the most unbelievable contraction. I was dizzy with pain, and I felt pretty sure I was going to die in that bathroom. I called to Mike who helped me cross the room back towards the bed. I had another very painful contraction just as we reached the foot of the bed, and I stopped there to wait it out before I tried to climb back in. It was different though. This was no ordinary contraction. This was a prepare-for-your-death kind of pain.

I told Mike and the nurse that it was suddenly extremely painful. They ignored me, minus a few consoling pats on the back. I guess, "THIS REALLY HURTS!" is just something that women in labor exclaim, so no real reason for alarm. After repeating it over and over and OVER the nurse finally asked if I thought maybe the baby was ready to come. I told her I thought maybe he was already coming. Mike wanted to assure me that the baby was, in fact, NOT going to fall out of my body, but first he looked to be sure that he knew what he was talking about. That's when he said, "The head is already out!"

The rest is a bit of a blur, but here's what I know. The nurse insisted that I lay down on the bed, but I absolutely couldn't move due to pain and panic. So, Mike pushed me backwards onto my back. The nurse grabbed the towel she had just put out for the anesthesiologist to use and caught my baby with it (because she didn't even have her gloves on at this point) at 10:30 a.m. after 2 and a half hours of labor and zero pushes. There was a little nursing student observing (it was her first day on the maternity floor). She couldn't have been more than 18 years old. The nurse sent her out to get help, and she gladly bolted. Within seconds, a crew of nurses descended on my room. Meanwhile, the nurse who delivered the baby was cleaning him up at the foot of my bed. I hadn't delivered the placenta yet, and the cord was not yet cut. She wanted to wait for the doctor to do those things. The doctor did arrive quickly (out of breath from running from her office) and delivered the placenta. She discovered that it was abrupted, likely the cause of the "I might die" pain I felt while walking to the restroom.

The anesthesiologist arrived shortly afterwards. We thanked him but told him his services would not be needed.

So, minus the induced contractions, I got my natural childbirth. I would highly recommend it. I felt GREAT afterwards, and the high of what my body is capable of still has me smiling three days later.

Oh, and the best part? He's wonderful. He's tiny and squishy and velvety soft and smells divine.

And that's the story of how 7 pound, 6 ounce Baby Nolan was born and made his mark on the world. Welcome, little guy. I hope you always have as much enthusiasm for life as you showed Monday.


The Kornioyenko said...

That is awesome. I can't wait to meet Nolan. From the pictures i think he looks like Jackson.

Marla said...

LOVE your birth story!

Betsy said...

Wow! That is an amazing birth story! Congratulations on your new baby! : )

R and K Marsh said...

Congratulations! We're so happy and excited for you all!! :-)

Jamie said...

First, congratulations on your beautiful baby boy, Nolan. He is absolutely precious!!
Second, WOW that is some birth story! I know you have no time to reply so this may be more of a rhetorical question.. but did you do natural births with your previous boys or was this a new thing for you? I CAN'T imagine! You are amazing & I'm glad you are still smiling from it. Also, out of curiosity what were the birth weights of each of your boys? Wondering if by some miracle my 3rd might be the smallest yet. LOL
Hang in there Mama!

Christian Prochoicer said...

Congratulations on another beautiful baby!

Ree said...

You are a Superwoman! What a great birth story. Congratulations on a successful delivery and a beautiful new son!