I’m still processing this birth, but I like to write everything down as soon as I can so I don’t forget anything. I’m just not ready for it all to be over yet. The pregnancy yes, but the birth was so quick!
Monday, the 26th I scheduled a stretch and sweep with my midwife (Lyndi has now nicknamed this procedure a “search and seizure” LOL). I knew I wanted to get past Christmas but every single day I was pregnant was becoming more and more difficult. My hip pain was radiating to my lower back and into my uterus, causing painful and irregular contractions that would not let up, my nausea was coming back full-force with the heartburn and I WAS DONE.
She did the stretch and sweep and I left the office contracting regularly and happy. I was dilated to a 3 and my cervix was soft and favorable-all good things. I continued to contract through the night and next day and into the night again. I woke up Wednesday the 28th determined not to do another night. My hips were now charlie-horsing on and off, my lower back spasming and my uterus continuing to join into the fun-cramping and contracting but nothing regular. I hadn’t slept much because of this symphony of misery, on top of the nausea, heartburn and incessant need to pee!! (there is no calm, serene pregnant woman here, just a sad, sad pile of sadness) Cyndi came to my house to do another stretch and sweep and found I was now dilated to a 5 and in great shape to go into labor…whenever my body would just kick in and do it. She hung out for 2 hours while I paced around and bounced on my ball waiting to see if anything would happen. She said I should stay upright and push things until 3 pm, but after 3 it was time for a nap and a rest so I didn’t wear myself out. She left and I hopped in my bathtub for a minute. It was wonderful-it quieted my hips, stopped the lower back spasms and finally my uterus started contracting more normally.
I got out of my tub and decided to go for a short walk around my circle before naptime (this was around 2:45ish) Bob and Lyndi decided to come with, and we got my girls all dressed and grabbed their bicycles so they could ride around while we walked. I even put on my running shoes, with Paisley tying my laces for me. I made it to the end of the driveway, turned to Lyndi to tell her I was losing some more mucous…and then corrected myself as my pants filled with fluid. I was sure my water had just broke.
I quickly called Jon and told him to come home and Cyndi and told her to come back before even going into the house. As soon as I got back inside I realized I had just lost several clots and lots of blood…not my water but contractions were picking up QUICKLY and I had very little time to process this information. Bob went to work filling the birth pool, Cyndi was back at my house in a flash and Lyndi helped me pull off my shoes so I could get my dang leggings back off! Cyndi checked on Fox, who was fine, and wasn’t super worried about the amount of blood so we carried on. I had maybe 2 minutes to ask Jon to call my sisters and text anyone else that was supposed to be there and then I was in my own crazy fuzzy world of contractions.
It gets really blurry from here. I got into the pool and people kept asking me questions and I remember it being next to impossible to answer them-I just couldn’t because what was happening was consuming me. Getting into the pool was surreal-it was so strange to be on the other side of things and also know that my pregnancy was ending. Jon and Cassidy reminded me that I wasn’t going to be pregnant anymore and I couldn’t think too hard about it because I didn’t want to start crying that hard yet. I remember wanting to smile between a few contractions thinking that very thought-this was the end of one of the most difficult seasons in my life and I was finally going to meet this baby boy that I loved so much.
I asked Jon to get in with me for two reasons-first, I needed him and second I needed him to displace some water and make the pool deeper. With Stella he had been up to just his knees in birth goo in the pool and was quite comfortable with his role as hip squeezer. This time I wanted him to actually get in and I just wanted him next to me. After doing a few contractions trying being on my knees and trying sitting I switched to leaning into him and it was wonderful. Feeling his chest against my back, his beard scruff on my face and his strong arms around me was so comforting. He later told me he loved this too because he could feel what was happening as I contracted having his hands on either side of my belly. I never thought I would like this position but the counter-pressure from the floor of the pool was really nice and I felt more grounded that I had anticipated (I think because of Jon). I remember asking him several times to “hold me” so I could relax my arms but not move.
I kept my eyes closed through almost everything and even though I didn’t look at my birth affirmations, they all floated into my head at different times. I reminded myself that my body was capable and strong, OPEN became my mantra and I really tried to allow everything to just happen and open me up and let my baby out!
I love how my birth necklace turned out from my Blessingway.
My girls were in and out as things progressed. Paisley took on the job of getting me cool washcloths and was sure to bring my favorite colors and put them on my chest so I wouldn’t get too hot. We had my windows in my bedroom open and the backdoor with all of my chickens lined up outside, curious about what was happening. With many of my contractions I remember thinking “I’ll just breathe in the cool air and it will help” and I did and it would. I had to keep bringing my hands up out of the water because I was getting so hot, but I needed that hot water on my belly! I was not super happy when Cyndi said I was getting close so they had to warm the room back up for the baby by shutting all of the doors and windows.
I had the most amazing birth team. They were all constantly encouraging me, safeguarding us and keeping such a wonderful, peaceful spirit in the room.
I started wanting to push and I still can’t tell you if it was instinctual or if it was me just wanting to be all done. I asked Cyndi a few times to check and see where I was and the first few times she declined. I noticed that if I pushed down a little it would cut my contraction off at the knees but I still can’t tell you if that was just me, or if it was my body doing what it needed to. She finally did check and confirmed that my water was indeed intact and I had an anterior lip (9+). I asked her to break my water-I’ve watched women push and push on their water sac and I just wanted to be done!! She broke it on my next contraction and like a rocket I felt his head hit my cervix and soar right through.
One of my goals for this delivery was to catch my own baby. I wanted to with Stella but was just too busy holding myself up and couldn’t move when the time came. This time I moved my hand down and found his squished little head and kept my hand right on it as I started pushing. There are pros and cons to this-as soon as I could feel him move I wanted him to move more and faster!! But at the same time I didn’t want to rip my vagina to shreds. But I wanted him to move more and faster MORE so that went out the window and I shoved him out with everything I had. I had 3 big contractions of pushing and his head was out. Feeling his little head fill up my hand was the coolest sensation and even distracted from the burning. After his head was out Cyndi took over for me and helped maneuver his shoulders and I grabbed him and pulled him to my chest.
He stayed there, pale and stunned for a minute and then gave a little whimper. He was perfect.
Two hours. I was in active labor for only two hours. It was weird to feel like I had been somewhere else and was now in my bedroom surrounded by people. I had been in my own world for awhile and looking around at everyone there was so surreal. Jon and Cyndi helped me get out of the pool and into my bed so I could deliver my placenta. I made it all the way through labor without barfing! (this is highly unusual for me) My girls were quickly back in the room and by my side to meet their new brother. I hadn’t realized that they had left (things had gotten a little intense for them, so they had left for a bit) and they were so excited to see him! It was so lovely having them get to meet him so soon after.
I was so excited to find out I had no damage and no stitches needed!! Unfortunately my placenta decided it was staying put and had no interest in coming out. This is my least favorite part of this story. After waiting, cutting the cord, waiting, a shot of pitocin and no placenta…Cyndi went in to get it. It was horrible. Once it came we realized why-it was HUGE!! For some reason Fox needed the largest placenta ever and my poor exhausted uterus had quite a time detaching the whole thing and letting it go! Ug. I lost some serious blood (lots but within normal limits) over this whole ordeal and I’m sadly anemic all over again because of it. I tried to get up to pee and because my blood pressure had dove a bit, ended up just laying on my bathroom floor and having her give me a catheter instead. It was funny because I recall asking her to leave me alone and let me die in peace (I was not actually close to dying…but I was very tired) because I was super done being poked at and having my belly rubbed and pushed on. She would not oblige and gave me an IV which helped a lot. Jon and Bob gave me a blessing that my bladder and uterus would just chill out already and they did.
Snuggling up in MY bed with MY blankets all warm from the dryer, surrounded by so many people I loved and my new fresh baby was the best thing in the world after that. Everyone had a chance to hold him and snuggle him and he nursed so well! We did his newborn assessment and settled in. It was lovely.
So many tender mercies in one day. I’m so grateful for:
- Cyndi and Lisa keeping us safe and cared for.
- My incredible husband-he was just amazing with everything!
- Bob and Lyndi for capturing the most amazing pictures and video-aren’t they beautiful??!
- For Cass and all of her help with my girls and with me.
- My sisters for helping and being there. Christina made the most amazing dinner for everyone afterward!
- Everyone that was there and came after to say hi.
We’ve felt so much love and support and really appreciate everyone that has carried us through this difficult pregnancy. I don’t know how we would have survived if it wasn’t for our friends, neighbors and ward taking such good care of us. We have been incredibly blessed.
And we are just smitten with him! ♥