Monday, October 20, 2014

A Labor of Love

To start my story, I have to briefly go back to when I was pregnant with N. That pregnancy was so stressful that I can't say I enjoyed much of it. The birth, though I tried to go all natural, was hard, the recovery was painful and it left me with a lot of regrets and disappointment. Now, you're probably thinking, but you had a healthy baby, so who cares? Well...while I am incredibly grateful for a healthy baby, there is more to giving birth than just the baby.
In January, we found out that I was pregnant...quite a surprise, but it came a pretty perfect time. N would be 3 when the baby was born and I was in really good shape. I wanted to really enjoy this pregnancy since I wasn't working full time this time.
I had a gut feeling that if I was going to be as sick as I was with N, then this baby was going to be a boy. Since we found out so soon, I had about two weeks before the "morning sickness" set in which gave me time to make some meals and snacks and freeze them.  It helped out a little!
Other than being fatigued and ridiculously sick for the first 20-22 weeks of this pregnancy, baby and I were which I was very thankful for! Once I finally got my appetite back, I drank my weight in green smoothies to replenish all the lost nutrients from being sick and went back to eating normal food which led me to gain 20lbs a month! Lol!
Not working full time helped tremendously...  Around 38 weeks, I was still feeling pretty great. Some SI pain, but I really didn't have too many complaints and wasn't "anxious" to "hurry up and have this baby". I wanted to just enjoy that time and not stress about when the baby was going  to come.
My whole goal for the labor and delivery was to be peaceful...and by Gods grace, it was just that .
My due date was a Sunday, Sept 14th. The Friday before I suggested that we all go for a walk on the beach. We hadn't made it out to the beach that much this summer, so I thought this would probably be our last chance to go before the baby was born. It was so peaceful and beautiful... S even took a few nice pictures of me and my rotundness. I remember just sitting on the beach and breathing in the warm, salty air ...thanking God for this beauty. I felt stress free and had a great sense of tranquillity.
I went to work that weekend and had a few contractions, but nothing special... The weekend before was about the same. Monday was uneventful, I think I went grocery shopping? That night though, I cracked a piece of my molar off thanks to some caramel corn. That did stress me out, but I made an appointment to see a dentist the next evening.
Tuesday, I planned a picnic lunch at the library with N. I wanted him to get some energy out and just spend some good quality time with him. It was just a wonderful day.... A lady we met at the park and I talked and she said as we left "hope you go into labor tonight!". I just smiled and shrugged... "That'd be nice but I'm not holding my breath!"
That evening, I went to the dentist appt and they said it wasn't too bad and just needed to be filled. It was like a weight had been lifted... That was one expense I didn't have to worry about right away.
That night I made some really good soup, Kale, Chicken and white bean and went to bed fairly early.
I woke up at about 12:30, my stomach was killing I headed to the bathroom. I went back to bed , but woke again a few moments later and had to go again. I first thought that that soup must have done a number on my stomach because it felt the same as when I accidentally took a Ducolax. Terrible stomach cramps, many trips to the bathroom and then it felt like my back was seizing up. I nudged Scott after about an hour if that nonsense and said, "umm, I think I'm in labor". I started timing the pains and noticed a little bit of a pattern. At first, I thought I should just try and sleep as much as I could, but that wasn't working. Scott and I got up and started to get things together ...clean the house, do some laundry... Scott took a shower. The rushes came closer and closer together, about 3 mins apart but not more than 30seconds long . I decided to text my mom around 3am. She didn't reply so I called her a while later...We chatted about everything and she said she'd be on her way soon. She told me to go sit down and rest and see if they contractions slowed down. I was getting tired again so I did sit on the couch for a while. The rushes slowed down to 5-8 minutes but they were stronger and longer. I slept in between rushes and Scott played Destiny on the PS4. I had been looking at my Scripture cards and listening to my awesome playlist.  Still feeling so peaceful, meditating on God's word  and picturing the rushes bringing my baby down. I tried several labor positions, walking and squatting... Sitting on the couch, cross legged was comfortable for a while. Laying down was unbearable. At the start of a rush, I would take a deep, cleansing breath and then will my self to release the tension, and magically, the pain of the rush would go away even though I was still contracting. I had practiced the "J" breathing technique from Hypnobirthing videos and it helped so much.
At a quarter til 6am, my mom got to our house...Noah woke up not long after that. I stayed walking around the house, pausing for contractions. I was drinking water, vitamin water and eating some snacks to keep my strength up.
My mom suggested taking a hot shower... My rushes were 3-5 mins apart and getting difficult to talk thru. I let the hot water ruin over my back as I was having wicked back labor. I decided to shave my legs since I was in there and had I silly thought, here I am in labor... And I'm shaving my legs. OK! Lol  But from that, I had to squat a little to reach and it was then that my labor quickly intensified. But the rushes still weren't continually the same, so I figured i had a ways to go still. I had a particularly rough contraction before I got out of the shower, my back seized up and I thought I was going to fall over (there isn't anything to grab ahold in my bath.)... Once I got out I sat for a while and tried to rest. That got uncomfortable so I started pacing again, but my mom noticed I was getting emotional during the height of my rush and suggested calling my midwives office. I had called Labor and Delivery around 2 or 3 am and they had said, come on in when you get closer.  My midwife's MA answered and I remember my mom so calmly told her that my contractions were 2-3 mins apart and we were thinking about heading to the hospital. This was around 9 am. The only thing holding me back from going to the hospital right then was the fact that no one was there to watch N (and I really didn't want to leave him!). Originally my brother J was supposed to come with my mom so he could watch N, but in the rush, my mom forgot to wake him up! We got S's sister to come over and stay with N and then we were off to the hospital.
The drive there was uneventful... Rushes came 5-8 mins from then on. Sitting was not comfortable, but going up to triage was a breeze. They took my vitals, asked me a bunch of questions and then checked to see how much I was dilated. I was an 8 with a bulging bag of waters! I shouted, "Hallelujah, you can't send me home!" :) They admitted me and took me to my room... From then til about noon they were in and out trying to start an IV and draw blood for labs. That was not fun...I had been drinking water throughout labor but all my trips to the restroom had taken its toll and I was a little dehydrated.
I was a little worried that my contractions might not go back to being closer together and they might want to give me Pit, so I tried to walk around but sitting in a squatted position on the edge of the bed was the most comfortable for a while. My mom suggested the shower again when my back was killing me, so I had her help me. She used the hand held shower head to run the hot water over my back. It felt wonderful, but at the same time, my rushes intensified again. I had to hang on tight to the rails and started to feel my body bearing down. It was painful and for the first time I cried out... I felt myself losing the control I had over my breathing and thus the contractions. That was probably around 1 or 2pm. I  think my midwife came  in after that and check on me...she advised me to go with my bodies natural reflex of bearing down. There was so much pressure, I k ew I was close but I couldn't quite get control over my breathing again... I was panting and couldn't get a deep breath to calm down. It was  about then that I asked for some Nubain. My mom and husband told me that I didn't need it, that I could get thru without it (which is what I wanted them to tell me) but I felt like it was going to take a lot longer if I didn't have something to help me control that wicked back labor. My nurse had to check me before she could give me the meds and as she did, *pop* my water broke! I was complete and with my water gone, the pressure/pain was gone...rushes were bearable again. I probably could have gone without the Nubain at that point, but I got about a half dose.... This is when time slowed down. The time stamp on the pictures my mom took when my waters broke was 2:45pm. I sat there, meditating on the Word...and I stopped noticing everyone else. It was just me and God. I praised him and claimed the promises of Jeremiah.
Suddenly I felt like I needed to be on my hands and knees. I had read Ina May Gaskin used this position many times. I buried my face in the pillow and breathed my baby down...ignoring the nurses who were trying to keep the heartbeat and contraction monitors on me. Even before my midwife was encouraging  me to try and push, I was already pushing... Doing the "J" breathing. I remember saying, "He's coming..." I was talking to him at that point, the baby that is. "Come on down baby..." He was still kicking my ribs before I had flipped over.
I tried to remember to push slowly but firmly and not rush it just because it hurt. My midwife was a huge help....and with a few pushes, James Allen came into this world with a squeaky cry at 3:09pm. That's 25 mins from water breaking to baby being born!
I was overjoyed and so thankful for a healthy 8lb 3oz boy and that everything went so amazingly well! Labor was not scary, there was no fear...only a peace that passeth all understanding. I give God all the glory!
N got to meet his brother very soon after that and fell in love with him instantly.
Sorry for being so wordy, but I didn't want to leave out anything! It was an amazing experience and I am in awe of how good God is.