Monday, May 12, 2014

Jack's Birth Story, Part 2

**Part 2 of this story is really long, so I will cut it off and do Part 3 in a couple of days!**

In Part 1 of this birth story, I said all I could do was pace.  I couldn't even sit down, my body was wanting to pace……

The pacing was for a good reason, drawing Jack lower, although he was pretty low at my midwife appointment, I mean, she could feel his head ready and not very far up!

So, I decided to go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet, just to rest a bit and see if anything would happen in the pushing department, because I had been in labor for about 4 hours and, from previous labors and deliveries, I "knew" that Jack was probably coming really soon, and since both of my last deliveries had been on the toilet, I knew he'd probably be born there….yes, I know it's weird….

Anyway, I sat down on the toilet, and my husband got a chair and sat with me, timing my contractions.  He had made a small place on the floor with towels, just in case I had Jack on the toilet.  See, we had gotten a new toilet and the seat was a lot smaller than any seat we'd had and Dave wasn't sure he could grab Jack through the really small hole, so he made a place on the floor for me.  As a side note here, Dave really, really was NOT wanting me to have Jack on the toilet, because it was so hard to get our two previous babies out when I couldn't really move after they came out…..but he needn't have worried.

I sat on the toilet for about an hour, and I did start feeling a tiny bit pushy, but nothing really strong, and I was confused because my last two births were over by this time and I knew I was getting somewhere because there was a tiny bit of blood in the toilet.  My contractions were still only two minutes apart and they were very, very intense at this time.  As I said, Dave had made a place on the floor in case I wanted to sit on the floor and lean up against the wall to push, and there was a dark brown towel (my favorite color) down there, and it was funny because that towel became my focal point as the contractions peaked, and concentrating on that silly towel helped me maintain my deep breathing and helped me keep the breathing really even and steady, even though the contractions were NOT feeling good by this time! In fact, they were downright painful and I was thinking that Jack would be born pretty soon.

Another side note here: we had remodeled our bathroom, actually taken it down to the studs and dirt last August, and the bathroom still wasn't done, as we didn't' have a vanity in there.  I was wondering how that would be since I usually like to lean over the counter during the last really hard contractions, but this time, there was a lot of room and Dave was able to bring a chair in and sit with me and even make that spot on the floor for me in case I needed it.  So, I guess it was good that the bathroom was not finished then!

I should also note that all this time, while I labored through the night non-stop, my husband was right there.  He stayed with me, timing my contractions, and while I paced, he got the bed ready, taping kitchen garbage bags to the mattress with blue painter's tape and putting layers of towels and blankets under the sheet.  He put our blankets on over all of that so I would have a comfortable and warm place to go after Jack was born, and even in case I felt like I wanted to have Jack in the bed.  He was very quiet and very respectful of my need to just be very inward-focused, even more than any other labor and birth I've had.  

I was getting kind of frustrated at this point because, after being in labor with contractions only 2 minutes apart for most of the night, nothing seemed to be happening! All I could do was pace, and I was wondering how long this would last.  I was wondering if my energy was going to hold out.  I was getting worn out by this time.  It was now 3:00 AM, and still no Jack.  So, what did I do? I resumed the endless pacing! I noticed that I was really slowing down in the pacing, and I had to concentrate more on keeping my breathing even and deep.  The contractions were about 1 and a half minutes apart now.

When the contractions became painful and intense, I started using essential oils.  I'm a huge advocate for Young Living essential oils, and I have a lot of different oils in my home.  I have a diffuser, and I took the diffuser to the kitchen, filled it up with water and put a few drops of Young Living Peace and Calming oil in it.  I plugged it in on my husband's side of the bed and turned it on, the whole time marveling that I was still able to think straight and do this during these really intense, downright painful contractions! During labor with Jack, I used a couple of oils, rubbing them on my belly and on my toes, and I really think they helped me along.

Let me say at this point that I was totally shocked and surprised at myself for being able to get so far in the process without freaking out or panicking, because if you remember, I was pretty scared of labor and deliver, as I always am.  As the contractions got painful and closer together, I was sure I was going to start panicking at any moment, and you know, I just never did, and I attribute that to the fact that as I paced, I prayed.  And prayed.  And prayed.  With each contraction, I prayed that the Lord would keep me focused.  I knew deep down that losing it wasn't going to accomplish anything, and it might actually set me back. So, I prayed intensely, and had prayed before labor actually started.  I felt overwhelming peace during this whole labor and delivery.  I was incredibly astonished at myself at this point that I was so calm!

After I filled the diffuser, I was only able to lean over it and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes before I had a super, super intense contraction that lasted for about a minute.  For some reason, I decided to get into bed, because by this time I felt like I was being slowly and methodically torn apart, like stubborn Saran wrap! I got into bed and laid on my back, with no covers or anything, and I grabbed the side of the mattress and clenched it! It was now about 3:30 AM.  

I'm telling you, the contractions I was experiencing at this point were the type that usually, with previous labors and deliveries, have me begging to go home and just feeling really scared because they HURT!!But I felt a bit of peace that I was already home... and I was able to focus and breathe, and I know that was the Lord, because I was sure Jack was going to come out at any moment, right there in the bed! My husband came in and checked on me, and, very quickly, I told him…..

"Fill up the tub!"

He looked at me in shock and said, "What?" 

Again I said, "Just fill up the tub NOW!"

He immediately turned around and began to fill the tub!

Our only bathroom in the house is right next to our room, and the door is right next to our bedroom door.  I could hear the water pouring into the tub…..and I was wracked by a huge, long, very intense contraction.  I thought, how in the world am I going to be able to get into the tub, with contractions like these, I can't even get up!!

Dave came back into the room and told me the tub was filled.  

Mercifully and miraculously, the terrible contraction let up and I was able to quickly get up and actually walk into the bathroom! I put one leg over the tub and kind of slid down with a loud "woosh" into the tub! The only thought I had was, wow, this water is hot! 

I landed kind of on my right side, and seriously, not even one minute after I got into the tub, I began to bear down as hard as I ever have! My body took over and bore down, and within one push……


I remember distinctly Dave saying, "Honey, keep pushing, I can see his head," and then, Jack was here.  He swooshed out so fast, I was amazed! I said….

"He's here and it's over!"

Dave quickly swooped him up out of the water and wiped his face and then handed him to me…and the clock said 

3:52 AM

A side note here: Dave had brought towels into the bathroom when I asked (umm, commanded is more like it) to fill the tub.  So he had the towels ready to wipe Jack down and then for afterwards, after he was born and the cord was cut and I wanted to get out of the tub.  Without Dave there, I would have been totally scattered and nothing needed and necessary would have gotten done!

So, he wiped off Jack's face and handed him to me.  I had been wearing a tank top, in preparation for maybe having Jack in the tub or laboring in the tub, so I still had the tank top on, and I knew it would be modest too, in case the kids heard Jack and wanted to come in and see him.  

I locked my arms around my new baby son and right way…..Jack peed on me! I was fading fast at this time, and I didn't even care, I was just so glad that he was here and everything was fine!

He was very clean since he was born underwater, but he was covered in the cottage cheesy stuff, you know, that keeps babies moist and keeps their skin from drying out during their long stay in the womb.  He wasn't crying at all, and he just looked up at me through squinted eyes.  It was so warm and relaxing in the hot water! I kept telling Dave that I needed a towel for Jack in case he got cold, silly me!!

At this point, Dave was telling me to try to get him to cry, as he was trying to suction out his mouth and nose, and so I began patting Jack on the back, over and over….

And I was just so jubilantly happy that I had done it!!

After I have a baby, I usually get the uncontrollable shakes and quickly become dehydrated and kind of rummy and loopy, but this time, being in the warm water of the tub with my new baby son in my arms, I didn't get the shakes and I didn't get dehydrated at all.  I noticed that Jack was very calm and he hardly cried at all.  I didn't want to let him go!! I didn't want anyone to come in and take him away from me! I wanted to stay there in that bathtub all day!

So, we waited for the cord to stop pulsing and this took at least 20 minutes, and I just patted Jack's back and talked to him, and Daddy was checking me and making sure that my bleeding was under control.  It's interesting to note that the kids were still asleep at this time, as it was only about 4:15 in the morning.  

The cord stopped pulsing and then, Hannah, our oldest daughter, came out of her room and realized Jack was here, so she immediately wanted to hold him.  Daddy closed the shower curtain, as it was pretty gruesome in the bathtub after the placenta came out, and she went and sat with him for a few minutes.  

Another side note: our camera was missing!! We couldn't take any type of pictures during labor or of Jack's first moments!! It was such a travesty and so horrible, but Hannah and Daddy managed to take pictures of him using Daddy's Mac Cam on his computer when he was several minutes old……sigh…..

**Part 3 coming soon!!**

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jack's Birth Story Part 1

I'm FINALLY posting Jack's birth story, and it's only been 4 months since his birth!

I found Page One of the pages I wrote down….but I can't find any of the other pages! I guess I'll have to wing it strictly from memory!

It's kind of a long story, so I'll try to make it shorter as I go, but if you love Birth Stories, this one is pretty good, if I do say so myself! HA!

As I had posted before in this post, we had found out that Jack was indeed head down and engaged on January 2nd! We were so so SO incredibly relieved, and I spent that 45 minute ride home from my midwife's office thanking the Lord for answering our prayers.

We got home from the midwife's at 7:30 PM.  She had told us that we could probably expect to have him in three days or so, and I was fine with that.  I really felt like I was ready and in that mindset which we who are about to have a baby get into!

The kids ate dinner and then we started Family Time, and we started singing. We like to sing together as a family, so we started signing that night at about 9:30 or so, because my husband is a Night Owl and loves to do things late! I didn't really feel like singing, and I noticed that I felt like I was really turning inward, listening to my body, because I had started having cramps by this point, and they were pretty good ones too! I didn't think I was in labor until I realized about 30 minutes later that these cramps were only three minutes apart and they felt like that familiar tighten-crescendo-ease off rhythm that real labor contractions have! I knew by then that we were going to meet Jack soon!! Dave asked me why I wasn't singing, and I shot him a look and said, between clenched teeth

"Because I'm in LABOR, that's why!!!"

Like I said, I was really turned inward, concentrating on what my body was telling me, and so I got up from the chair and began to walk around and do some light cleaning. By now, I was really feeling the contractions! It was about 10:45 now, and Dave put the kids to bed.  I was walking around, and at 11:00 I noticed I was really tired, so I decided to try to take a nap, because even though the contractions were only three minutes apart, they were very manageable for me.

I went into our room and I opened the window above our bed, and I could hear that there was a soft rain pattering on the concrete outside, and it was very peaceful and relaxing.  Our bed didn't have any sheets or blankets on it because they were waiting on being washed, so I just got into the bed and laid on my side.  This was comfortable at this point, although laying on my side hadn't been at all comfortable previously in my pregnancy, and I put a pillow between my knees and drifted off to sleep.

I was awakened by a serious, pretty long contraction at 12:30 AM, and I immediately began to shiver uncontrollably.  Now, when I start to shiver, this usually means that Baby is coming very quickly! However, at this point I didn't feel like pushing or anything, but I was freezing cold and I wondered where Dave was! I also noticed that the contractions were now two minutes apart!  I started softly calling for Dave, as a soft voice was all I could manage at this point.  He was in the older girls' room talking with them, and he finally heard me calling.  He knew I was in labor earlier, but now he knew it was Serious Time! He later said that, as soon as he saw my face, he knew it was Go Time!

I usually get very hot and sweaty when I reach transition during labor, but with Jack I got really cold, so I put on a sweatshirt of Dave's, and I took some liquid calcium/magnesium to help ease the contractions, and as always, the calcium made them very manageable! I started methodically pacing at this point.  I looked at the clock and it was about 1:15 AM by then.

You know, while I was in labor with Jack, I noticed that I couldn't stop pacing, just a methodical pace, the same route through the kitchen, down the hall, back up the hall and through the kitchen, over and over and over again.  And, I was breathing really, really methodically as well, and I found that the pacing was helping me to concentrate on my breathing.  By now, the contractions were getting pretty intense, and I tried leaning over the counter in the kitchen or leaning over the bed, but my body just wanted to pace! So, pace I did, around and around and around………

Stay tuned for Part Two, and I promise I'll have it up within the next couple of days!!