Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aiden's birth story

I have been praying from the beginning of this pregnancy to be blessed with a natural child birth.  I was induced with Mason, and it was not pleasant, I came too close to a caesarean for comfort, and I didn't want a repeat of that experience.  As time has gone on, it's become more urgent for me.  My midwives urged me to be induced at 42 weeks, but I made the decision to wait an extra week for induction, wanting to give him as much time as possible.  My mom had me 3 weeks late, and my sister's second was three weeks late, so there was some precedent for it.  I felt the baby just needed a bit more time.  As the time got closer to the date, our prayers became more urgent and intense.

I was grateful to be able to make it to Jeremy's wedding last Friday, which would have been less than certain if Aiden had been born early in the week, but I was uncertain as to what would happen.  Mike had given me a blessing promising a birth free of complications, and I was doing my best to maintain that faith, but doubts kept creeping in, especially with all the false alarms I kept having, when labor seemed to be starting, and then stopped.

Sunday morning, I woke up around 5 and went to the bathroom, and on the way there, I had quite a bit of fluid drip.  I thought perhaps my water had broken, but apparently not, because there was nothing else the rest of the day.  But I had had trouble falling asleep that night, and wasn't able to get back to sleep that morning.  I was having some contractions, and I ended up throwing up, so I made the decision not to go to church.  Mike went and took Mason with him, but came home early after being lectured by my uncle (leaving Mason at church with Auntie April in charge).  My Aunt Liz came over and gave me a foot massage, then we went to my in-laws for dinner, after loading the car up with our hospital bags and Mason's bag.  I was scheduled to check into the hospital at 5 pm for induction.

Before dinner, my father-in-law gave me another blessing, with the help of Mike, Jeff, and Mike's grandpa, who was visiting for the wedding.  We ate dinner, said goodbye to the family and Mason, and went to the hospital.

When we got here, there was a bit of mix-up, they apparently didn't know we were coming, so we had to wait awhile for them to prepare a room.  I spent a lot of time walking around, because it seemed to be having a good effect on my contractions, but around 8, I had to get in bed and stay there for 2 hours after they inserted the Cervidil, which is supposed to help the cervix get ready for labor.  They were planning on removing the Cervidil at 5:30 am, and then start the pitocin at 6.  The nurse brought me an Ambien to help me sleep, and before we went to bed, Mike prayed that things would start on their own before the pitocin was needed.

I woke up at 4 am, needing to pee, and then I couldn't get back to sleep.  I had some contractions (probably all night long) and felt that labor was starting.  By 5 am, I was sure of it, and when the nurse came in, she confirmed that things were starting.  No pitocin needed!  I was thrilled!  We texted Mike's brother around 5:30 to tell him that if Alexis was going to be there, she needed to come soon.  He decided to drop her off before work, which was a good choice.  She was there around 6.

The nurse checked my dilation, I had dilated to a 3, was still 75% effaced, and the baby's head was moving down.  She monitored me for twenty minutes, then took me off the monitors and brought in a birthing ball.  I asked about the Jacuzzi tub, and she said they preferred I wait until I was dilated to a 4 or 5 to use that, as it might relax me too much.  A bit after 6, I was in so much pain, that I asked the nurse again, and she said it was ok, so long as I didn't spend more than half an hour at a time in the tub.

Of course the tub took awhile to fill up sufficiently, so I wasn't able to get in it until about 6:30.  I remember, I was practically whining to Mike, the pain was so bad.  The tub helped a lot, but it was still extremely intense, and I started wondering if I was cut out for natural childbirth.  I felt that if this was going to be going on for hours, I would have to ask for drugs, which made me feel I had failed.  And that maybe I hadn't prepared properly.  I was feeling very down, and very wussy.  And I was afraid I was setting a bad example for Alexis, I had hoped this would have been a good experience for her.

Around 7, which was the time I would have had to get out for a bit, I started feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom, and couldn't stop the urge to try to have a bowel movement in the tub.  It was the strangest feeling. I knew, intellectually, that the urge to push felt like needing a bowel movement, but I couldn't believe that it was time to push.  I got out, and went to the bathroom.  Every time I got back off the toilet, I would get back on when another contraction started.  Mike reminded me that it sounded like I needed to push, and I told him there was no way.  Finally he insisted on calling the nurse, and when she came in, she shocked me by telling me that I was now dilated to a 9 and yes, it was time to push.  All that was left was a bit of a lip over the baby's head.

I have to tell you, this made me feel a WHOLE lot better.  I had been feeling so wimpy, and the whole time, I was going through transition, and my body was booking through the labor process, so of COURSE it was painful, and of course I started thinking I needed pain meds.  I think most people feel a desire for meds during transition.

She called in a doctor and another nurse and they started getting stuff ready.  Someone said that if I wanted my midwife to be there I'd have to hold on, and I asked where she was.  When I was told she was at least half an hour away, not counting rush hour traffic, I said I wasn't waiting.  I couldn't NOT push when the urge came, and I wasn't waiting for that long.  I stood by the bed, pushing with the urge for several minutes, until my legs started to give out, then was on the bed without the stirrups.  It was interesting, I didn't feel the "ring of fire" with Mason, I didn't feel anything at all when pushing him out because of the epidural.  So I was surprised how quickly I could feel the head moving down, how quickly the "ring of fire" started, although it was obviously much more intense when he crowned.  I was actively pushing for about 17 minutes, and he was born at 7:55 am.  My midwife came in 3 minutes later.  She later said the nurses would be reminded about what to do when a patient is in that much pain.

Thermometers are mean!
He was (relatively) clean, there was a bit of meconium on him, and some blood, but they were able to put him up on me right away.  I held him for at least half an hour before deciding to let them weigh him, then got him back with just a diaper and nursed him for a bit.  He weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 22 inches long.  I had a second degree tear which was stitched up quickly, and that was it. 

Mike having me taunt the IV machine I never had to use
It's funny, Aiden pushed it as close as he could go.  An hour longer and I would have been on the pitocin.  And then, when he decided to some, he came FAST!  I was so grateful that I was able to do this labor on my own, without the pitocin.  I had started to wonder if there wasn't something wrong with me, that I couldn't labor without the help of pitocin.  I thanked my Heavenly Father last night for letting me have this birth work the way I hoped, and even faster than I had hoped.  I had figured it would go faster than the (two days!) labor with Mason, but didn't think it would be THAT fast.

So here are some pics of the cute baby to sum up my adventure.  Sooo worth it!


  1. glad to hear that things went well and what a cutie you have as a result of your hard work. Life's a rollercoaster. I love it.
    congratulations from David & me
    Terrie Martin

  2. Congratulations! I am so glad things turned out well for you--birth is such a wonderful, miraculous process. I fully believe in supporting women in their birth choices, whatever they may be, but I have to say the one thing I have against "unmedicated" births is that I often hear comments like this:
    "I started wondering if I was cut out for natural childbirth. I felt that if this was going to be going on for hours, I would have to ask for drugs, which made me feel I had failed. And that maybe I hadn't prepared properly. I was feeling very down, and very wussy. And I was afraid I was setting a bad example..."

    I've had friends who have felt like complete failures after laboring for 12 hours at a 9 and end up needing epidurals or c-sections, and it makes me so sad. Medication doesn't make you a "wuss," an epidural doesn't make you a "failure."

    I think my midwife said it best: "I had two of my children without medication and one of them via c-section. I don't love the c-section baby any less. It's like, would you rather have a good wedding or a good marriage? A birth is one day, but being a mom is forever."

    You are a strong woman! Congrats on your beautiful baby. I am so glad things went well.

  3. Lindsay, I can see your point, and I didn't really mean it that way. I mean, at the time I felt that way, but when you are in the middle of labor your hormones are all over the place, and you aren't very rational sometimes. I ended up getting an epidural with my first after a day and a half of labor on pitocin, and looking back, I don't regret it, because I would have probably gotten a caesarean otherwise. I suppose I should have said something to that effect. We have to do what we feel is best for us and shouldn't judge others for the choices they make.

    In this situation, I felt that much worse because I'd only been in active labor for an hour and a half and was thinking I was going to be laboring for hours longer and didn't think I could make it. I didn't feel it was fair because I had wanted so badly to give birth naturally and I had made it for a day and half without meds with pitocin last time. I couldn't figure out what had changed.

  4. I'm so glad you had this experience and were able to see what your body is capable of!

    I felt the very same way with my first birth; that the pain was surely going to be much worse because I'd only been in labor a short time, and suddenly I was pushing and it was all over! Women's bodies are amazing, and I am so so so so happy you were able to achieve your natural birth goal! I wish I could have been there!

  5. Me 2! Although I'm more thrilled than bummed - better for me to miss it and have him come the way he did. I'm sitting here feeling bummed about being home and not holding your newbie. :( But I'll see you guys soon! - GREAT Auntie Lizzy (the BD)

  6. Way to go!! I'm so glad your labor went well and as you hoped :)


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