Saturday, December 18

My Birth Story

October 13, 2010  (I've been meaning to post this.)

She’s here!  E was born on October 12 at 6:40am.  It was intense.  Before I say anything about her birth, I need to start from the beginning.  This whole experience has been amazing.  I know the Lord has played a role in it from day one.  Will and I had been trying to get pregnant.  After a few months of trying, I said that we probably wouldn’t get pregnant until Amy came home.  When I found out I was pregnant, we calculated the “due” date.  (I’m not a fan of that word.) It was 3 days before Amy was scheduled to get home.  (I didn’t know at this time that most first time mom’s have their babies late either…)  Anyway, the Lord knew that I needed Amy.  
Now, nine months later: Monday afternoon, I had a prenatal appointment.  We decided to do an internal exam since I was now 40 weeks.  Karen checked me, and I was almost a 2 and 90% effaced.  I have the mindset that dilation really tells you nothing and apparently that’s true.  I thought after that appointment that it would still be a few more days.  That night we had an FHE group come over as we were sitting down for dinner. (There was a miscommunication with time.) One of the apartments kept giving us a hard time about having the baby.  They wanted to be there.  
Anyway, they left, and Will and I ate dinner. Afterwards, Will was going to type up some notes for work.  I tried to lie down on the couch.  I couldn’t get comfortable, but that wasn’t anything new.  I decided to go into the bedroom.  Soon afterwards, around midnight, I started having some contractions that felt different.  They didn’t feel like the ones I’d been having, and they were coming pretty frequently.  I told Will that I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep, and he said he wouldn’t be able to either.  We knew this meant she was coming soon...we didn't realize how soon.  
So, we decided to watch a movie (Runaway Jury).  I began to wonder if today was the day.  I told myself maybe tomorrow, but after the contractions kept coming, I began to see the light.  I didn’t think she’d come the day Amy was coming into the states.  That’s too much excitement in one day.  Anyway, I decided I should check and see how close together these contractions were, since they seemed pretty frequent.  As we watched the movie, I would tell Will when a new one started, and he’d write it down.  An hour passed and they were all 3-5 minutes apart.  By this time, (1:30) it was getting hard to stay comfortable, so I decided to take a bath.  That didn’t work that well, so I tried taking a shower.  That worked better, but it was still hard to stay relaxed.  I was having some pretty bad back pain.  (I’ve had it this whole pregnancy, but this was worse.)  She was in the perfect position for delivery, so I’m not sure why it hurt so much.)  
Will was a little nervous, I think.  He wanted to help, but I didn’t need him yet.  I told him to do the dishes and then had him run a few quick errands.  I decided I’d better call my midwives and see if they thought I should go up to Rexburg.  I was told to go to the hospital when they were 3-4 min apart, lasting for a minute, and that happening for an hour.  They fit the rule, but I had only been having them for a couple hours.  I was hesitant to go, because I also knew that for most first time moms birthing time can be pretty long.  I had only been having contractions for 2 hours.  How many more hours would I have to go?  Anyway, I called and the phone system wasn’t working, so I eventually called the hospital.  She had me try calling the # again because she was really only supposed to call them when I checked in.  She said if I couldn’t get through she’d call them though.  After a few more minutes, I called her back and had her call the midwife.  We decided we would go up though.  (I was GBS positive, so I didn’t want to risk not getting the penicillin in time.)  Will gave me a blessing and then off we went.  
As each contraction hit, I tried to relax and breathe through it.  I thought the car ride would be pretty bad, but it wasn’t.  It went fast too, but that was because Will was speeding. ( I told him he didn’t have to, again thinking that we were being silly for going already.  My midwife called me on the way there.  I could still talk through most of my contractions, so they weren’t “that bad” yet.  (Compared to later…)  Anyway, she kind of said the same thing I was thinking.  Since we lived in IF and I was GBS positive, she thought it would be wise to come up, but I kind of got the hint that she thought I might be coming too early too.  Anyway, we got there around 3am and did the whole admitting thing.  They checked me, and I was at a 5.  This was the only time they told me what I was dilated to.  (I didn’t get too excited about being at a 5 either.  I thought it could still be quite a few more hours.)  They admitted me and things started getting intense really fast.  
I had prepared for a natural childbirth with the hypnobabies class.  It is a class that teaches you self-relaxation.  I was initially going to go to the classes, but then the instructor had a family emergency and wouldn’t be doing the classes again until October.  She told me to try the home study course.  I had read a lot of birth experiences of people using the hypnobabies method and was really impressed with their stories, so I thought I would try it.  (Many women have had pain-free births…if you don’t believe me, google hypnobabies.) I wasn’t the best student doing it on my own, so looking back now, it would have been better to go to a real class.  I did learn a lot and felt like I was able to handle the pain a lot better, but a lot of what I learned I couldn’t utilize during the last few hours of labor.  
So, while my contractions were intensifying, I tried to relax and think about everything I learned.  It was tough, and I couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried several different positions.  I was excited to birth with the midwives because they are really helpful in suggesting different positions and they have a Jacuzzi room in the hospital that only their patients can use.   I found that the only position that was comfortable was lying on my side with Will rubbing my back pretty hard though.  Sitting on the toilet was ok too.  So, for the next few hours I laid in bed while Will rubbed my back. I drank a lot, so I had to get up and go to the bathroom every now and then.  After a while, I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  Will was the only thing that kept me going.  I love him!  He was such a good coach.  We debated about getting a doula before birth, and it probably would have been great.  I told Will that if we didn’t get one, he would have to be pretty prepared.  He was awesome and did a lot of reading with me.  So, he was strong for me.  I would squeeze his hand for each contraction, and he would encourage me.  I could tell he was a little nervous at first with what to say, especially with the nurse there.  Speaking of nurses, they were amazing!  They followed our birth plan to a T!  They were very supportive.  I loved how they only checked me when I told them I felt like pushing and they only put the monitor on me a few times.  When they did put it on, they held it there instead of wrapping it around my stomach. 
After awhile, my body was getting pretty tired, and soon I felt a lot of pressure down below.  She checked me, but told me to keep waiting. (She didn’t tell me what I was dilated to…  I thought about my Savior and looked to Him for strength.  I also thought about Eve.  (Where E comes from…)  I’m curious to know how her birthing time was.   I think it was a beautiful experience for her.  Tough…yes, but still beautiful.  She didn’t have all these negative portrayals to dwell on like we do.

I began to feel really pushy, and so she checked again and still told me to wait (I think I was fully dilated, they just weren't ready yet. :) ).   They were getting things ready in the room, and Will’s voice began to change (she must have told him that I was almost there or there so, I knew things were progressing.)  Karen, my midwife, came in and told me I could start pushing.  I was so relieved but still had a lot of work to do.  This was probably more intense than the first stage.  I felt a lot of water coming out at one point and thought my water finally broke, but a little later she grabbed a hook to break the water, so I’m not sure what that was.  Will started to get really excited.  He told me he could see her head, so that gave me a new motivation.  Then I started thinking negatively of all the bad stories I’ve heard in regards to pushing.  (People really should stop doing that.)  At any rate, after LOTS of grunting and working with my body she finally came through.  Words can’t describe how I felt.  It was SO tough, but then everything became beautiful!  The hormonal rush that happens right after pushing is amazing.  She was quickly put on my chest.  I was so in love and relieved.  She was very purple and funny looking, but I was in love.  Everything I had just experienced was forgotten.  We rubbed her off and just stared at her.   We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then Will cut it.  I birthed the placenta sometime in there too.  That was weird.  Then they took her to be weighed.  They thought she swallowed some of the fluid because she was having some trouble breathing, so Will and she went to the NICU to check her.  She was fine.  It turns out I wasn't there for the 3 hours for the medicine to work for the GBS, so we had to stay an extra day to make sure E didn't get it.  I got to the hospital sometime after 3, and Evelyn was born at 6:45.  CRAZY FAST!  

So, this was very long.  If you read it all, congrats!  It wasn’t what I imagined, but it was still a beautiful experience.  I am so grateful for Will and our little girl.  This experience really brought all of us together.  

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