My Birth Story!

Let me start by saying I never in a million years thought this would be my birth story to tell. I had always dreaded the thought of childbirth. I mean, no one makes it sound like much fun, let's be honest!

I had started tossing the idea around in my head about a natural, unmedicated childbirth. Still not sure if that's what I really wanted, Sean and I decided it would be a good idea to hire a doula to help with my labor. Stephanie has been my yoga instructor throughout my pregnancy. I knew she was also a doula. We took her partners prenatal yoga series, and soon after we knew going the doula route was right for us. I was comfortable with her and trusted her. Now looking back, we'd of paid her double! She was AWESOME!

It was Thursday, June 5, 2014. We spent the morning waiting on an AC repair man because our AC went out on Wednesday night. I just knew I was going to go into labor that night for the simple fact that it was 82 degrees in our house and I HATE being hot! Especially when I'm 9 months pregnant in June! Not only that, but Sean spent the night in the guest room because he was running a little fever the night before. Lucky for me, it wasn't until early Friday morning around 2:30 am that the contractions started. Sean was back sleeping in our bed and our AC was working in full force!

I got up to go to the bathroom around 2:30. Shortly after getting back in bed, I felt something I hadn't felt before. I didn't really think much of it until another one hit at 3, but still I convinced myself to keep trying to sleep. Just as I began to doze off, I was jarred out of bed by pain! It was so intense it brought me to my feet! I woke Sean up and told him I didn't know what was going on, but there was no way I was going to be able to lay down and keep sleeping. He stayed up with me and after an hour or so, the contractions weren't stopping. We tried to time them, but they weren't consistent enough. We decided it'd be a good idea to get some food in me in case this was indeed the real thing! Sean made us scrambled eggs and toast at 4:30. He really wanted to take me to Waffle House (yea right!).

4:00 in the morning!
Cooking us breakfast :)
Eggs & Toast with strawberry preserves

I continued to labor all morning with Sean's support. He was really good at staying by my side as each contraction would come. He was cracking me up. He mowed the yard at 7:30, tied up some lose ends with work, made egg salad, and finished packing our hospital bag - all while coaching me through my pain. He stayed calm and helped me remember to focus on my breathing, which helped a lot. The contractions were really picking up, but still hard to time.

I was trying to wait until 6 to call my mom. I didn't want to wake her if this was false labor. Sean called her since I was having trouble talking through my pain at that point. We told her to go to work but to take her bag just in case she needed to hit the road at noon when she got off. She even went as far as to go ahead and make arrangements for Louis at Camp Bow Wow for the weekend. Call it mothers intuition - she knew it was time and that she'd be southbound by 12:00 that afternoon! So glad she was, because it was definitely baby time! There was no doubt in my mind at that point. I knew I was going to have this baby over the weekend!

Around 11:00 I was really starting to lose it. I would get down on all fours and tell Sean I couldn't do it anymore. I was already feeling so tired, & breaks between each contraction were getting shorter. He sent Anastasia a text asking her opinion on when to call the doula, as she used one when she had Yasha. She advised to go ahead and call. He did, and Stephanie showed up to our house 30 minutes later! Hello game changer!

When she arrived at 12 o'clock, she immediately sat me down to rub some oils on my wrists and ankles to help speed up labor. My next contraction came on pretty fast once she arrived. I immediately stood up and leaned over the couch. She quickly stood behind me, applied counter pressure on my hips, and had me briskly sway from side to side. Within seconds I felt the pain go away. We labored like this for hours. She had me try different positions. We tried me laying in bed, leaning over the birthing ball, and sitting and bouncing on the birthing ball. The only positions that were tolerable for me were leaning over something, like the bed or couch, or sitting, bouncing on the ball. I also took several hot showers which was nice. The hot water felt really good on my back.

At some point Sean ran to the grocery store to get me some light snacks because Stephanie wanted to make sure I kept my strength and energy up. He got greek yogurt, fruit, apple sauce, and carrots and hummus. I think I managed to eat a yogurt and a bowl of apple sauce with cinnamon added.  I attempted a Kind bar, but I remember not liking how dry it was. Too hard to swallow when a contraction hit.

After many hours at home, Stephanie suggested around 4:00 that we might want to start thinking about heading to the hospital. It was a Friday afternoon, and our house is 30 minutes from the hospital, without traffic! When I heard the words come out of her mouth, I immediately began to cry. I was so scared of leaving the house because I was in a groove at home and was comfortable. I was scared of having contractions in the car. I was scared I would get to the hospital and my birth plan would go out the window. I was doing it, I was laboring, and I wanted to continue doing what I was doing! I also knew Dr. Allen wasn't on call for the weekend and she wouldn't be there to deliver me. Stephanie talked me through exactly what would happen when we arrived. With that, I sucked it up, pointed Sean in a few more different directions, making sure our bags were ready to go, closed the blinds, and loaded up in the car!

The drive wasn't fun, but I survived and to be honest, barely even remember it. We made it to the hospital before 5. We drove right up and parked in one of the laboring mother spots right up front! I remember as I was getting out of the car, there was another couple getting into their car with their new baby - headed home! I couldn't help but feel excited knowing that would be us soon!

We got to Labor & Delivery and got checked into our delivery room. That process was extremely quick, as they could see I was clearly in active labor. No triage room for me! I changed into my hospital gown and then was told to lay on the bed. They had to monitor me and the baby, check me, ask me about a bizillion questions (I barely remember this entire process - I hated having to lay down while having contractions!).

The first set of nurses were terrible! It was almost shift change and they were in no mood to help me I felt like. They put my hep-loc in the worst spot ever - it was in my right wrist. I couldn't hold a pen to sign my name, or hold anyone's hand to help with a contraction. Ugh! Once they got all the hospital procedures done and figured out my progress, it was like the gates of heaven opened (well, ok - maybe not THAT great yet - I was still laboring after all)!  I had dilated to 6 cm. I was very encouraged by this! Dr. Allen stopped by for a minute before leaving the hospital. I felt good that she was able to see me and confirm my birth plan was still ok to follow.

They new nurse, Angie, was like a gift sent from above. She was nothing shy of amazing. This woman never left my side, and helped me follow my birth plan completely! She encouraged me by talking me through tough contractions while Sean and Stephanie were busy pushing on my hips for the pain. She let me labor out of the bed, and when she needed to monitor the baby's heart rate, she would come to me with the monitor and not strap me down every 20 minutes! She fed me apple juice and ice chips, and was just all around so encouraging and up lifting. We had the lights very low, and calming music on the iPod dock. This helped me zone out, which is what I needed!

The hospital provided this COACH scrub top for the soon to be Dad!
I labored on the birthing ball, with my arms leaning over the bed mostly. I did take a shower while sitting on the ball, but that didn't last long because apparently the ball was on top of the shower drain and we almost flooded the room, ha! Whoopsie! I had no idea what was going on at the time.

As the evening progressed, my memory gets a little fuzzy. I met Dr. Kindrick who was the doctor on call that would be delivering me. I loved her and immediately felt better about Dr. Allen not being there. When she checked me, I was at an 8. It was 8pm by this point so I was progressing about a cm per hour, which is very standard. I was glad to hear how far I'd come! I knew I could make it to a 10 at that point. I wasn't prepared for the news she had for me though! Apparently my water hadn't broken!! A previous (first shift nurse) told me it had! Although it was a little discouraging, I think it helped me mentally thinking it was already broken. Dr. Kindrick asked if I'd like her to break it, but I decided to give it a little longer to see if it would break on its own. I remember Stephanie and Angie continue to remind me if I felt the urge to push to let them know. That sort of stressed me out because I had no urge yet, and I kept thinking I should for them to keep asking me.

An hour later, the doctor was back to check me again. I wasn't interested. I just wanted to stay in my zone! I guess I changed my mind because she ended up checking me (she was very sweet and never pushy on any decision which I really appreciated). She said I was almost 9.5 cm. I let her go ahead and break my water because I was ready to get the show on the road! I was getting really fatigued. It took her nearly 10 minutes to break it! Not normal! She said it had such a thick lining around it there was no way it would have broken on its own. I was so glad I let her do it knowing that.

I'm pretty sure after this check I stayed in the bed. They got the squatting bar set up for pushing and I could feel how close I was to meeting my precious son. They were getting all set up. The bassinet was rolled in, the doctor got all suited up, the big light from the ceiling dropped down. It was so exciting, surreal, and intense, all at the same time! To be honest, I have no idea how I transitioned from laboring to pushing, but all I know is I started pushing at some point.

The doctor stayed with me the entire time, which apparently is not common. Stephanie said they usually just come in right before the head comes out to catch the baby. I felt so lucky to have had Stephanie, Sean, Angie, & Dr. Kindrick cheering me on during my entire 45 minutes of pushing!! Man, pushing was HARD! Apparently I was at a 10, but still had some cervix in the way. The doctor felt sure she could get the baby's head over it, it just made it harder for me to get him out!

Pushing was a total out of body experience. I remember the low lights, the people around me, the music, but I was in another place. I was completely checked out, but yet still so aware. When I would push, I'd sit up and grab the squat bar in front of me and push with all my might! Then, I'd lay back, and feel overwhelmed that his head wasn't out yet. I kept asking everyone if I was getting anywhere and if I was going to get him out?! I was really wearing out. Keep in mind, I'd been going since 2:30 Friday morning, and here it was after 10pm! Everyone kept rooting me on. Sean even told me at one point he could see "one hair" - NOT FUNNY! - I wanted to see the whole head of hair!! I would fall asleep between pushes. I was out of it. My body was shaking, and I was laying there praying for it to all be over soon. When I would push, I remember for some reason visualizing rocks! I could see the baby's head moving down, but beyond that, in my mind, all I could see was big, heavy, rocks! Ok, so that tells you how hard this was! Sean said he was getting worried because my contractions were beginning to slow down, but this is apparently very normal and my body was just getting me ready for the pushing and knowing I needed to rest in between.

Forty-five minutes later, I felt the head come out and then the amazing release of his entire body.  That was, without a doubt, the most beautiful feeling of all! At 11:15 pm our amazing Sidney Loyd was born! They immediately placed him in my trembling arms. I was on such a high. I had just delivered our baby boy, exactly the way I wanted. I felt so empowered that I got our 8lb 10oz baby out with not one drug. I did it! Sid's heart rate was perfect the entire labor, and was never in distress. Thank you, Lord, for that!

Feeling pretty amazing :)
Our beautiful boy!

I ended up with a 3rd degree tear. While the doctor spent a good while stitching me up (yes, I did get numbed first!), I just stared at Sidney. I wouldn't let Sean hold him yet because I really needed the distraction! The stitches weren't fun! My goodness though, he was absolutely beautiful!

The happiest!!
After I finally got all fixed up, his grandparents came rushing in to meet him! I was shaking all over still, but completely amazed with what I'd just done! Before getting to our recovery room, they came in to check Sid out. I slept while Sean observed and learned what he could. I didn't mean to sleep, but it just happened!

We finally got to our room around 4am. We three slept in our little recovery room, for the first time all together. What a blessing. We are truly blessed and so in love!

1 comment:

Linda said...

Catherine, reading this brought tears to my eyes. You are so amazing and your love for your baby and his well being is such a beautiful story. I am so, so proud of you and Sean for the way you brought this precious child of yours into this world. You now know a love that can't be explained until you experience it. The love of a mother for her child is the most perfect love there is. I love you. Mom