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

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