Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Birth of a Brother Part 2

Part 1 is here

I was terrified of riding in the car for the 20ish minutes to the birthing center while having the contractions and was thankful when I only had 2 during the drive. We managed to arrive about 15 minutes before the midwife and I was having a really hard time because I couldn't do the positions that helped while waiting for her. Once she arrived we were able to go straight in and after using the bathroom I laid down on the bed.

Once we got my antibiotics administered we settle into a bit of a rhythm. After an hour or so (around 10:30pm) Alli checked me and said that I was at a a 7 or 8! Right about this time I got a little bit of a break, I am not sure what the difference was but my mood lightened and I went back to talking and laughing between contractions. I also got into the tub shortly after being checked.

Just moments after birth!
While in the tub I felt what seemed like a kick in the pelvis (but he was head down) and I am pretty sure that that was my water breaking the rest of the way. Looking back, I think that that was what kicked my labor into high gear. I got out of the tub pretty quickly because of discomfort and back onto the bed. Contractions began to get close enough that I couldn't change positions without having one in the middle of moving!

After a little while I began to feel like I was going to throw up during the contractions and got shaky, I finally felt like I was in transition! I also began to feel like I couldn't do it, I couldn't make it. The contractions were so painful and intense. Carolynn stayed with me the whole time and kept encouraging me and reminding me that I could and that I was doing really well. She helped me to keep breathing and to use deep sounds to get through the contractions.
Those cord cutting scissors barely did the job, he had to hack at it!
Finally I felt a pushy contraction! When it happened during a second contraction Alli decided to check me again. I was fully dilated! She encouraged me to follow my body. During the next contraction I began to push for real and it felt like total chaos to me. I didn't feel like I had any control or input on how I reacted to the contraction. I was scared of the pain and of tearing again (I got a 2nd degree tear with Matthew) and I think that played a role in my feeling out of control. In that first pushing contraction I felt his head moving down the birth canal and as the contraction eased Alli told me that he would be born on the next one! I couldn't believe he had crowned already!

The break between contractions was weird for me, I didn't realize that I would get a break. It is kind of like when you are in a really hard winter and you forget that spring comes!

As the next contraction began Alli told me to push gently then pant so that he wouldn't come too fast. I tried but apparently ended up hyperventilating instead of panting! I felt like everyone was yelling at me and that I wasn't pushing hard but they didn't think so! Shortly into the contraction his head was born and even though I tried to stop pushing, his body followed right after. The sudden stop in pain is so amazing right at birth! He was born at 12:40 am on August 15, 2016.

So happy!
Right away Alli told me that he was there and to look (I seem to just relax and forget that the baby was just born) and there he was! He was gray and mostly still and I was confused for a moment before realizing that he was moving and trying to breath. He was put into my arms and Alli began vigorously rubbing his back with a towel and I remember thinking “why is she rubbing him like that? I don't mind the mess” before realizing that he hadn't cried yet! I began rubbing him too and he gave a good cry which made all of the rest of us cry! It felt so good to hear him crying! We began looking him over and bonding with him. His hair appeared dark at first but as it dried we realized that he was blond. I also shortly realized that there was meconium all over my hand and his back! He had pooped into my hand in those first few moments and I didn't realize it! We cleaned that up quickly and eventually we tried having him nurse. He latched on just fine (though a little shallow) but it hurt really bad.
First look at mommy
Once we had had time to bond Alli took him so that she could weigh him and do his newborn exam. He weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces and he was 21 inches long. He didn't appreciate his newborn exam and began to poop and poop and poop! Once she pronounced him a healthy newborn she helped Jon put a diaper on him then Jon brought him to me to put clothes on. It turned out that Jon guessed the closest birth time, weight, hair color and eye color (blue)!

Once he was clothed, swaddled and settled again we began to slowly prepare to go home. People began to pack things up and clean things up. Jon and I had put together little gifts for each of the people who came to the birth and we gave those out then.

We headed home about 3 hours after he was born and settled in to sleep.

A few days later (once we got to see him awake for more than a few seconds) we named him Asa Robert Langford.

(I can't help but keep adding more photos)

Got to love the hair :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Birth of a Brother Part 1

Before I start,  I wanted to apologize for the long wait. Our parenting journey since this little guy's birth has been a difficult one and I have put off and put off writing this because of lack of time. I hope you enjoy the reading and pardon the pictures being way ahead of the story, I don't have any photos from before the birth center!

On Sunday, August 14th, 2016 at around 11:00am my water broke. At only 2 days past my due date I was really excited to already be going into labor! Unlike in the movies though, my water breaking wasn't very dramatic, it only leaked instead of being a big gush. Jon and I had been outside cleaning and filling our little pool when I suddenly felt like I had had an accident but knew I hadn't! I told Jon very excitedly that my water had broken but he wasn't too optimistic and kept asking if I was sure (which I was, it felt just like my water breaking during Matthew's labor).

Our midwife
We had not attended church that morning because Jon's back had gone out again the night before and we knew that sitting in the pew at church would be too much for him. When my water broke we decided to wait until church was out to start texting and calling people (who doesn't hate it when their phone goes off in church?!) so we very impatiently waited for noon to come around! That morning I had realized that I was overdue for washing laundry so we immediately started making plans to take our laundry to my parents' house (we don't have a washer or dryer). As we drove to their house we were finally able to contact people and got many excited responses.

We started laundry once we got there and talked with our midwife on the phone. She asked all of the usual questions to double check that it was actually my water breaking, then we made a plan to meet at the birth center at 2:00 to start my antibiotics (I was positive for GBS). I felt my first few light contractions while driving to and at my parents' house.

My improved mood near the end
We decided to run home and get the rest of our birthing stuff (just in case) and headed to the birth center from there. When we got there Alli talked to us about the different kinds of antibiotics and we opted for one that would mean we could wait 8 more hours until we had to do it again. She also did a preliminary check and found that I was 3.5 - 4.5 cm dilated and my water was indeed broken (but the break seemed to be high). Once the IV was done she sent us home with instructions to call when contractions were around 5-6 minutes apart and 1 minute long and make sure I kept up on food and fluid.

At home we went back and forth between taking walks outside and playing a game while I sat and rotated on an exercise ball. As contractions began to pick up I quickly realized that sitting on the ball during contractions was not working so I sat in between contractions and stood during them. My mom arrived with our laundry a few hours later and stuck around so that she would be ready when it was time to go to the birth center. She took over recording contractions.

Contractions were intense!
After a little while contractions became 1 minute apart and 30 seconds long but very weak and I was super confused by it! I called my doula, Carolynn, and asked her advice. She said to start drinking a lot of Raspberry leaf tea and to take a shower. While I was in the shower they quickly became a lot stronger and felt like they were only a few minutes apart! I became concerned at the sudden change so I got out of the shower called her again and suggested that she should come soon. While we waited for her they slowed down a little so when she arrived we just hung around waiting for things to move along. My mom, Jon and Carolynn decided to guess when he would be born and what he would weigh, I chose not to guess (for my sanity).

After what felt like forever (but wasn't very long) the contractions became consistent at around 5 minutes apart and quite strong. Standing during contractions was no longer an option for me so I began to do hands and knees except with my upper body on the ball. I was having back pain during some of the contractions and this position helped with that and allowed my helpers (Jon and Carolynn) to put pressure where I needed it.

Around 8:00pm I asked for other suggestions for positioning because hands and knees wasn't cutting it anymore. Carolynn suggested laying on the bed in the exaggerated sims position. I stayed this way until we left around 9:20 to head to the birthing center. At this point was struggling to relax during contractions and came to realize that I was afraid of the pain and was afraid of a long labor (because of my labor with Matthew) and that was making it super difficult to not fight the pain. I finally began crying and told Jon and Carolynn what I was feeling. They encouraged me to embrace the pain and to look forward to each contraction (they are crazy! But I tried). I began to chant to myself “It's okay, pain is good, I can do this, pain is good” etc during contractions to keep my mind in the right place and it helped some.
He was so wonderful!

Part 2 here