This is one of the most exciting and hardest posts I've written. Exciting, because Isaiah's birthday is hands down the best day...ever!! Hardest, because there is no possible way for me to capture with words the experience of giving birth. I really want to tell this story because while I was pregnant (and even before) reading other people's birth stories was one way that I prepared for my own delivery day.
As I mentioned in the last post, on Thursday Sept 12 Andrew and I woke up nice and early to go to my midwife appointment. Kim told us everything looked great from the ultrasound we'd had the day before and the baby's heartbeat was strong. Although I was only 1cm dilated, I was 100% effaced which was wonderful news. We left her office feeling confident that I was indeed going to go into labor on my own very soon! Which was a huge glimmer of hope for me because as my 42nd week of pregnancy was fast approaching I knew the topic of induction would come up, something I wanted to avoid at all costs.
Andrew went to work and my parents and I spent the day doing errands. Andrew called me mid afternoon to say that he was going to work from home for the rest of the day because he wasn't comfortable being in his office with such poor cell reception. He apparently sensed that labor was approaching. I started having small contractions here and there while I was out running around with my parents, but nothing alarming or unmanageable. Andrew and I had plans to head to a friends birthday party that evening. When Sarah Kate told me that she was having a birthday gathering on the 12th I made sure to let her know that I hoped NOT to be there because obviously I wanted to have my baby by then. Well, it was the 12th and still no baby, so I knew we would be making an appearance at her party! It was about 5:30pm when I noticed that my contractions were getting stronger. My parents were heading out the door to go to the food trucks in Alpharetta. I clued them in a little that I was feeling more intense contractions, but still wanted them to go and enjoy themselves for the evening. Andrew made us some food and I changed into the only dress that was comfortable at 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant. As we were sitting at the dinner table I down loaded a contraction timer app..
|Celebrating Sarah Kate (in the middle)|
Around 9:45 we made our way home so that I could get a little more comfortable. It seemed like we walked through the front door and my contractions immediately got worse. I was definitely in pain and tried to find ways to manage it, but I wasn't doing a very good job. I texted Kim and let her know that my contractions were closer together and getting more painful. She told me to relax, take a bath and try to get some rest. I thought "yeah right, there is no way I am going to be able to get some rest with this pain". I was also texting with a friend back home who is a doula and she suggested the same thing. So, Andrew and my mom got a bath going for me with some lavender oil. I felt some relief in the tub. Andrew was being extremely helpful and sat in there with me to time my contractions and help me through each one. I was probably in the bath tub for 30 minutes and I couldn't take it anymore. I got out, put some comfortable clothes on and sat on my birthing ball for a while. We never heard back from my Kim, probably because we later found out that she wasn't on call until mid day on the 13th.
The above screenshot was what my contractions were at on Sept 12 at 11:19 pm. Regardless of hearing from Kim or any other midwife from her practice I told Andrew it was time to go to the hospital. I couldn't take it anymore. We got our stuff together, said a quick goodbye to my parents and headed to the hospital. My mom and Dad were empathizing with my pain just by the looks on their faces, but I'm sure when I walked out the door they did a little celebration because I was FINALLY in labor. I was so thankful that the hospital was no more then 5 minutes away because having a contraction in the car is extremely painful. We pulled up to the L&D drop off area, I finished having a contraction and we hurried to try and make it inside and down a short hall before I had another contraction. That didn't happen; we turned a corner and I crumbled to my hands and knees. A kind nurse passing by got us a wheel chair and pushed me the 50 feet to the labor and delivery unit.
I changed into a robe and immediately was put on a monitor by my nurse Connie. She was so calm and soothing even though I was freaking out. She asked me what my pain level was and I think I said a 7. After being monitored for what felt like forever she checked to see how much I was dilated. When I heard 2cm I about lost it. NO WAY, ONLY 2 CM?! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Because I was 100% effaced, Connie knew I'd progress quickly so they told me to walk the halls for an hour and then they'd check me again. Well, walking the halls felt like the worst idea ever, but Andrew somehow convinced me. We walked the hallway, that I had earlier been pushed down in a wheel chair, for about an hour and a half. I was practically sleep walking; trying my best to zone everything out. At one point I noticed Andrew was talking on the phone. It was Kim, my midwife. She was so sweet to call at 1:00am even when she wasn't on duty. She told Andrew that I should get on my hands and knees to work through each contraction since my back labor was horrible. After that, things seemed to click. I would walk to one end of the hall and get down on all fours and have a contraction. Andrew would get down with me and rub my back each time.
I'm sure most moms feel this way about their husband or partner, but I was so impressed and completely captivated by the way Andrew attended to me during my labor and delivery. I never thought I had any extra room in my heart to love him more, but boy was I wrong. He was so amazing and patient even when I told him to stop talking :) I still feel bad about that.
Around 1:45, two hours after arriving at the hospital, I was put on the monitor and checked again. 4 CM, YES!!! I was going to be admitted. The nurse asked if we had a birth plan. Andrew pulled out our binder and handed the plan to her. Connie took so much care in reading through every part of our plan. I spent a lot of time procrastinating on writing out a plan. I didn't really know what to write. Our midwife really encouraged us to write one just so that the hospital staff would be on the same page as we were. After all, I spent 9 months planning and talking through my labor with Kim and Andrew not anyone from the hospital. When I thought of it that way, it made sense that I should at least have something to hand them. I went to the bump.com and downloaded this birth plan. I liked this option because it prompted me with questions and possible responses. She talked through it with Andrew for a few minutes, I signed some papers for the water birth we had planned and then we were on our way to our room.
Once we got to the room, Andrew made sure I was ok and then went to move the car and bring our stuff in. He set up our speakers and put on my playlist that I had created specifically for labor. The lights were dimmed and we had very few interruptions. I fell into a grove and managed the contractions even as they got stronger and stronger.
At 3:30 I told Andrew it felt like I was sitting in water. I got up to make sure I hadn't spilled my water and Andrew said "maybe your water broke". We called one of the nurses in and she confirmed that indeed my water had broken. From that point on things got really intense. My contractions got pretty unbearable at that point and to make matters worse the nurse told me I had to be put back on the monitor for a half hour before getting in the water. My midwife was on her way and it would take about a half hour for her to get to the hospital. It would work out well for me to be done with the monitor by the time she got there.
I brought a bunch of snacks to the hospital to try and keep my energy up, but nothing sounded good. In order to get a good read on the monitor I needed to spike my blood sugar so the baby's heart beat would do what they wanted it to. Andrew convinced me to eat a popsicle, drink some juice and possibly my fifth mini can of ginger ale. It took a little longer then a half hour but finally they got the read they wanted. Elysia, the midwife, arrived at 4:30 and I was so relieved to see her (even though I had never met her before). She checked me and I was 10cm dilated! I went from 5 cm to 10 in an hour and a half!! Woohoo I was so ready to get in that water. Before I got in the nurses asked me if I had a swim suit top or a sports bra that I wanted to wear in the water. I said I had planned on it, but I didn't even care at that point. I was in a room with 3 medical professionals and my hubby and I didn't give a care who else walked in the room, all modesty was out the door.
Instant relief fell upon my body when I stepped in to the tub. The water was set for about 99 degrees. My Labor playlist was still playing and at one point my nurse Lori said she loved my choice in music. I relaxed through the first few contractions in the water. Before I got into the tub I had started feeling the strong urge to push with each contraction, but the water was so soothing that I was able to sit through a few before I started pushing. Everyone was standing around me, Andrew was behind me, and at one point I fell asleep. That's how amazing that water was!!! I remember waking up when I was about to have another contraction and noticed that everyone was hustling around the room getting equipment and other essentials ready for the delivery. I wondered in my head if my falling asleep was some indication that the baby was about to be here, but I never asked. My urge to push was back and with each contraction I pushed. This was my favorite part of the whole labor process. Simply amazing to feel each push and that my baby was almost here!! After each push Lori reached down with her gloved arm and listened to the baby's heart beat with an underwater monitor. It took a good five or six pushes for me to feel that progress was being made.
Andrew was being so attentive and helpful. He put a cold wash cloth around my neck to keep me cool and let me squeeze his hand...really hard! Finally after about an hour of pushing the medical trio surrounding me along with Andrew started encouraging me even more with each push. He was almost here! Then I heard them say, "you're baby has a lot of dark hair". I could have told them our baby would have a lot of dark hair before I even knew I was pregnant. Lori asked if I wanted a mirror to see, to which I replied NO WAY!! I think that would have made me stop pushing so hard. A couple pushes later his head came out. Elysia reached down and unwrapped the cord from his neck. "one more big push" she instructed. I looked up at Andrew and he was already crying his eyes out. It was the sweetest thing! I pushed once more and just like that the baby was placed on my chest and I couldn't believe it. One of the nurses reached over and suctioned out his mouth and nose. Then we heard the sweetest cry we've ever heard. Someone looked at the clock and said 6:31am. Then they asked us if we wanted to know what it was. Boy or Girl?? Andrew lifted up his leg; IT'S A BOY!! I looked at Andrew and said, "It's Isaiah". Andrew could hardly get a word out, still crying!! I tried to soak in as much of that moment as I could. I'm sure I was in shock, I couldn't believe it finally happened.
|You can see that Isaiah thought the white towels needed a little color :)|
September 13, 2013 at 6:31am sweet Isaiah was born. 7 lbs 13 oz 21 inches long. We are so blessed!