Lenna Gray Parkinson – Our birth story

Saturday, February 21, 2015 1 Permalink 0

I have been wanting to put my birth story up on my blog for awhile now but I guess I am just worried I wont do it justice. Since it’s been over a month now (I hate the sound of that!) and my memory of it isn’t getting better, I figured I better do it quick in case I forget more details! So bare with me! I have a feeling this will be all over the place, but that’s kind of how child birth is, right?
Our story starts on Sunday January 11th 2015. I woke up to consistent contractions. This wasn’t unusual for me. I had been having random nights of consistent contractions that would grow closer together and get more painful then they would just stop. So I thought nothing of it. After an hour of these contractions and feeling “cramping” that compared to light menstrual cramps, I got up to go to the bathroom. I thought I had lost my mucus plug (I didn’t, I’ll explain later) and I started FREAKING out. THIS IS IT. These contractions DO feel stronger than normal and they aren’t letting up yet. So I decided to shower. At 6:30 am. It was a luxurious shower! I shaved, I exfoliated my entire body, I stood in the hot water and those contractions just kept coming. Jake came into the bathroom in the middle of my shower and said “What are you doing!?” I said “Nothinggg.” Sheepishly. He replied “Are you showering to get ready for church or just to get ready for the day?” I said “I’m showering cause I had bloody stuff come out of me…” HAHA “Soooo…? Are we going to church?” He said, I replied “No, I think we are having a baby today.” after I showered I started timing my contractions and they were about 5 minutes apart. They weren’t breath taking, but they weren’t pleasant. So I started getting ready and informed my family of what was going on. While I was getting ready my contractions grew further apart… I about died. “This was just another contraction spell that would go away!” I thought. By the time I was ready it was close to noon (I took my time, curled hair and everything!) We decided to go to Jakes parents house to do some laundry because we needed it done and they live closer to the hospital that I was delivering at. The rest of the day I had contractions that would get as close as 5 minutes together then as far as an hour apart. I was so frustrated! We went to dinner with my family that night and they started back up again. YES. They were about 7 minutes apart and a little more painful than they were that morning. I was once again hopeful that this was it. We got back to Jake’s parents house to pick up our laundry. I remember bending over on the table and counter a couple times to relieve some pressure on my lower back and stomach while having some contractions but they weren’t too bad still. We went home that night and just went to bed. I told myself once the pain got worse and I couldn’t handle it, then we could go to the hospital. The pain did get worse when we got in bed, but it didn’t ever increase. My contractions woke me up every time and they weren’t stopping. They were coming about every 5 minutes and the only thing that helped take the edge off was lifting my left leg straight up in the air haha! It was pure relief! I remember thinking during every contraction “Ow ow ow ow. Okay next one we can start getting up to go.” then once it was over, I thought “That wasn’t tooo bad, I can handle these at home still.” This went on the entire night. I was able to sleep in between my contractions and at about 7 am on Monday the 12th I finally decided to get out of bed and lay on the couch. As soon as I got to the couch and turned on hulu, my contractions slowed down again. I was infuriated. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Maybe my body didn’t know how to go into full blown labor!? So I made the decision to relax that day and just try to enjoy it. I watched Nashville for awhile and my cousin brought me some lunch from cafe rio.
At around 3 o’clock I got on the exercise ball and bounced for maybe 5 minutes and a few minutes later I went to the bathroom. “Okay, THAT is my mucus plug.” I informed my sisters that “I don’t know what sissy crap came out of me yesterday, but I definitely just lost my mucus plug FOR SURE this time.” The stuff the day before was more like a smear of last day period. This was like a full on bloody clump of snot. (SO gross. There is no other way to describe it.) I started feeling more “menstrual crampy” than normal and got on the ball again and just hung out. At 4, more came out. I called my doctor’s office just to make sure that it was okay because I didn’t know if it was bad if I lost too much. The nurse informed me that it was in fact okay and to get checked into triage if I had more than 6 contractions in an hour. My contractions slowly started up again and weren’t consistent so me and my cousin decided to make dinner for Jake and her boyfriend. We needed a couple things and Jake needed to go to BYU to get something done for one of his classes and needed my help with it. When we got to the BYU building Jake jokingly asked if I wanted to take the stairs or elevator, I probably gave him a death glare and said “You’re joking. Elevator.” at this point my contractions still weren’t consistent, but walking made them come more often/closer together/a little more intense. After he finished at BYU we went to the creamery and picked up a few things. They didn’t have stupid sour cream! So we went to the smaller creamery and I went inside because it was raining and Jake was on the phone. After getting home, we made dinner and ate. I only had a little because my contractions made me feel a little nauseous all day and I didn’t have much of an appetite. We cleaned up and got last minute things ready for the hospital “just in case”. My contractions still weren’t consistent with time, but they were with pain. They slowly got more painful and by 8:30 I was bending over the table and I said “Okay, let’s go. That one hurt.” It was snowing outside and that gave me such a peaceful feeling. Walking out to the car I had to stop halfway because a contraction hit me and walking made the pain worse. I brought a heating pad and blanket which was my best idea so far! (Seriously, get a rice bag and let it hug your tummy during labor. Best thing ever!) Driving to the hospital was uncomfortable but I could still handle the pain. We got checked into triage at about 9:00. When you get up to labor and delivery you pick up a phone and tell the nurses that answer that you’re either in labor or there to visit someone and give them a code. I told them shyly “Um, I think I’m in labor?” Haha they probably laugh at people like me! When you’re in labor, you should probably know! I got all changed into my gown and went to the bathroom. The nurse checked me and said I was dilated to a 1 and about 90% effaced. I was pretty excited but also bummed because I knew that the early stages of labor could take a really long time. Jakes mom came over and we watched a game on the tv, I think it was basketball, but I can’t remember. Lori, my mother in law, asked the nurses if I could bounce on a ball and they brought one in for me. This didn’t help with the pain, but I was hoping it would help me progress so I could stay. After the first hour the nurse checked me and nothing had changed. She said I had a few options. 1) stay another hour and see if anything changes. 2) Go home. 3) Go home with percocet to help me get some sleep. I decided to stay one more hour and if nothing had changed still then I would go home with the pain meds so I could sleep. At this point the contractions hurt. I had to close my eyes and focus on my breathing and I knew I was laboring in my back. Right before the second hour was almost up there was a dip in Lenna’s heartbeat. I was laying partially on my back and that was the reason why so they kept me another half hour. Nothing had changed in my cervix so we were sent home with pain medication at 11:30. We decided to stay at Jake’s parents since they lived so close to the hospital and by the time we got to their house the pain meds were kicking in. Unfortunately they did nothing for the pain, they just made me feel extremely tired and really loopy. I got in bed around midnight and I was able to sleep in between my contractions for the second night in a row except I could only stay laying down through my contractions for a few hours. By 3 in the morning I found myself trying different positions with every contraction to find that nothing was helping the pain. I got on my knees, laid on my side, tried putting pressure on my back and the only thing that slightly helped was standing up and leaning on the dresser while swaying my hips side to side. This helped for a little bit but the pain was beginning to get unbearable. I also had to pee, like a lot. Because of the pressure on my back and pelvis, I constantly felt the urge to go to the bathroom and each time was excruciating. Sitting on your bum while in labor is the worst position possible then add trying to relax to go to the bathroom while a contraction is coming. It was miserable. The nurse told us to come back when I couldn’t sleep through the pain and after an hour of trying new positions I woke up Jake and told him it was time to go back to the hospital. On the way to the hospital I tried kneeling on my knee’s in the car because sitting hurt so bad haha! Jake said “Uh, you should probably put your seatbelt on so you can get there safely.” He was right, but it was the worst car ride ever! We were once again checked into triage to find out that I was still dilated to a 1 and 90% effaced. Nothing had changed and I wanted to cry. I was in so much pain and I was so tired. I was so ready for some sort of relief and I couldn’t believe my body hadn’t progressed at all. So we stayed for what felt like a day, but it was only an hour.. During almost every contraction I would cling to the side of the bed and my hands would shake. I was sweating after every contraction and then would start shivering in between them, I remember having one that hurt so bad and after I thought to myself “That was a good one, it had to have done something!” haha! Towards the end of the hour I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to progress in that hour and that we would go back to Jake’s parents. I was going to get right in the bath and labor in there all day long. A little after 5 am our nurse came in and checked me and said “Well, you’re at like a one and a half…” She then gave me the three options again and walked out. When she came back she said they decided they were going to keep me another hour because I had slightly progressed. I was mortified. I asked her if I could have some sort of pain relief during the next hour and she rejected me in case I would be admitted and wanted an epidural. Yeah right lady! I’m progressing like a snail, this is going to be all day, let me go home with some meds and take a bath! I did ask her for a heating pad, which they didn’t have, but they did have warm blankets! Those were the next best thing! I recommend those highly. That next hour was even worse than the previous. I had started making whimpering noises through every contraction and I was still clinging to the bed shaking during each one. Back labor is NO joke. Right before my second hour was up I asked Jake if he would give me a blessing. while he was giving me the blessing a new nurse walked in. Jake quickly finished and Annette, the nurse, came over to me and put her hand on my head and in the sweetest voice said “How are you doing sweetie?” I told her I was miserable and she said she could tell haha. The next thing she said was “Well my vote is that we get you here to stay, what do you think about that?” and I’m pretty sure that’s when I told her that I loved her! She asked me if I was opposed to pitocin and I said I wasn’t as long as I could get an epidural with it so I didn’t feel my contractions get worse. She agreed and said she needed to check me just to be sure she wasn’t going off of what someone else said and she said “You’re almost at a two and your cervix is paper thin! I’m going to try my hardest to try and get you guys to stay!” She walked out and I heard her yell to the staff “Oh yeah! She’s stayin’! Lets get her room and papers ready!” I almost started crying! The blessing worked! The church is true!! I thought. Then I confessed my love for her to my husband. When she came back in she was taking us to our room. I was so excited I had somehow forgotten how awful my contractions were. I WAS GETTING MY EPIDURAL! Then while walking down the hall to the room I had a contraction and had to stop and lean up against the wall for support. She showed us our room, showed Jake where the juices and snacks were that we could have (I have always heard that no one lets you eat or drink while in labor but they let me have Jell-O, juices and water. It was heaven on my stomach!) Then the next thing I knew I was being hooked up to my IV for fluids. After that the anesthesiologist came in and started explaining the procedure for the epidural. I wanted to tell him “Can’t you tell me this after I’ve had it? I can’t listen to you during my contractions.” So during my contractions, I would close my eyes, breathe and nod my head. But he was literally the nicest guy ever and the epidural was nothin’. I would do it a hundred more times if it mean’t relief from that pain. My epidural was a dream too. The anesthesiologist told me before he gave it to me “I want you to be pain free, but feel pressure.” and that’s exactly how it was. I could feel the pressure of my contractions but I couldn’t feel the pain. I could even more my legs around and re-position myself. It was amazing.I did start to feel a little edge of pain around 10 so I pressed the button once and again about 30 minutes later. I was on my left side for the majority of the time and most of the medicine went to my left leg.. that’s the only downside of my epidural haha I had a completely dead left leg but could move the right one! It also made me really shaky. Like uncontrollable. Jake asked me at one point what was wrong with me because I was shaking so bad. Missy got me more warm blankets and that helped. The medicine did make me itchy which is another common side effect. It wasn’t too bad though. After all of this it was about 7:30am on Tuesday January 13th. They checked me at 8 am and I was fully effaced and to a 3. The doctor on call decided she wanted to break my waters because I was overdue and if the baby was in distress there could be meconium (baby poop) in my waters. A little after 8 they came in and broke my waters and sure enough there was meconium in my water. The nurses and doctor were all extremely calm and told me this only mean’t that the respiratory team would have to be in the room when I delivered and that mean’t I couldn’t do skin to skin right away. They put a monitor on Lenna’s head (inside me, it felt SO weird… I could feel the monitor move every time she moved!) and they wanted me to keep moving my positions to get her down quicker. After I got the epidural, my labor was kind of foggy. After two nights in a row with little to no sleep and then having drugs on top of that, I felt pretty good! We just kind of hung out, watched tv and talked. I was texting my family and friends keeping them updated. Jakes mom came back to the hospital and brought him some breakfast. I was checked again at 10 o’clock and was dilated to almost a 7. My nurse Missy, who I also loved, said she would be back at about 12 to check me again. My sister Chauncey and my cousin Katie were coming to take pictures so I let them know what was going on. I still thought it would be a few hours so I was very calm about them coming. Katie had a class but decided to skip it and get on her way, she needed to take the bus from UVU and it could take about an hour, this was now around 11:15 and I started to feel a little pressure but thought I could wait to tell Missy when she came back to check me at noon.  Chauncey got there and shortly after Missy came in. It was about 11:45 and I said “I think I need to be checked, I am feeling a little pressure.”  So Missy checked me and said “Oh yeah! She’s right there! Let’s start doing some practice pushes!” She and Jake held my legs and she taught me how to push, after about two pushes Jake said “Babe her head is right there!” I think after 2 contractions of pushing, I asked for a mirror so I could see. I never thought I would want to see, but it was kind of amazing and also kind of gross. I only pushed for about 10 minutes when Missy said “Okay that’s good, let’s wait until the doctor gets here.” I don’t know how long it took for him to get there, but soon after he came in, got his clothing on and I was back at it. Chauncey told me that I pushed about two times and my doctor told me if he gave me a small episiotomy she would come right out. So I said okay and Jake and I both looked away haha. After he was done Chauncey went down where the action was and watched. I pushed two more times and her head was out and by my next contraction the rest of her body was out. Lenna arrived at 12:16 PM on January 13th, 2015. She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and I cried immediately. I couldn’t stop crying. I watched them take her away to the table and clean out her lungs and heard her loud cry. I heard the nurses commenting on her eyelashes. Chauncey came over to me crying and gave me a hug telling me she looked like her own daughter at birth and showed me pictures. She was weighed, measured, wiped, diapered, vaccinated and put into my arms. I have never felt such love in my life. I miss this day so much and I never expected that. I miss my labor and I miss the feelings that I first had holding our baby girl for the first time and becoming a family. She was so calm once she was in my arms. Jake asked me what her name was and I said “Lenna?” it was a name we had talked about before but didn’t fully decide on. Her middle name Gray comes from my Dad’s family. It is my Grandpa’s, my Dad’s, my Brother’s and Nephew’s middle name and now my daughter.
We love you so much little girl! You rocked our world in more ways thought possible and we couldn’t be more grateful! You’re finally here.♡

Lenna's birth story
Lenna's birth story

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1 Comment
  • Jan King
    February 21, 2015

    That was beautiful Devan! I love birth stories and she is so sweet and precious! Congratulations!

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