Graham's Special Delivery

I can’t believe he’s here! I keep looking at him in my arms and wondering where he came from, and who gave him to me to hold? It might be because I’m feeling a little delirious; I have now been awake for 27 hours straight! Or it could be that I’m still in shock from the unexpected turn of events his delivery took early this morning. Let’s just say the way Graham entered this world was NOT in our birth plan!
The last update Kenny posted was at 1:30am when I was 9cm. The midwives were confused about why things were taking so long, they thought for sure it would go quickly. One of them finally asked if they could check to see if there was another bag of waters, and when she did, she discovered that Mr. Graham was O.P. (Occiput Posterior). Not good. We tried everything to get him to turn over the next few hours, but he wanted nothing to do with it. Either did I. I have NEVER been in so much pain in my life. I screamed, I kicked, I cried, I think I even yelled that I wanted to die. I was able to get a pain shot moments before pushing, but trying to get through the previous 10 hours at 8-9 cm without any pain meds had definitely taken its toll. I was so frustrated that I had fought through it for so long, for nothing. I wouldn’t wish an O.P. baby on anyone…unless they had an epidural! Here are some fun facts Kenny and I have learned about O.P. babies:

• When a baby descends into the pelvis with the face up, a woman will typically start to complain of lower back pain and uncomfortable contractions days or weeks before her due date, and become increasingly frustrated, impatient, and sleep-deprived. Time goes by, the pain continues, and there is no sign that true labor has begun, no cervical change or fetal descent. Then, when labor does finally get going and the woman mentions that her contractions are strongest in her back, optimism for a fast, straightforward labor and birth begins to fade, and, as the day or night wears on with more pain, little progress, and, finally maternal exhaustion and pleas to do something, the reality of the situation becomes unavoidable. The incidence of persistent occiput posterior babies at delivery is about 5.5%
• Nothing can prepare a mother for the severe unremitting pain that accompanies labor when the baby is in a posterior position. Often, labor begins with short, painful yet irregular contractions which are often shrugged off by care givers as "false labor". It may not be productive as the ill fitting posterior head is not properly applied to the cervix, but the mother IS experiencing discomfort! She is often sent home to wait for "real labor" to begin but is unable to sleep and often unable to eat, sometimes for several days. So, adding to the stress of a painful back labor, we begin with a mother who is already tired out! I have heard women describe the pain as "it felt as though someone were sawing my back in half" or, "I couldn't even tell when I was having contractions because my back hurt so much!". All attempts to ease the pain have little effect and the labor is a long, hard exercise in determination.