Monday, October 15, 2007

A RIDICULOUSLY long post about Josiah's birth

Well I guess technically Joey is one month old today, since he was born on the 15th of September, so.... I thought it was time to share some of the details of his birth. Listening to all the different stories from my friends has been really cool and very eye-opening because every birth is so different!!

On Josiah's actual due date (a Wednesday), I blogged about going out for the "Preggo pizza" with our friends, which was great (!!) but didn't bring on any labor. I had a couple of slices of the leftovers the next day... and still nothing. Thursday passed and Friday and I don't really remember what I did, a few trips to the store and uneventful stuff and then Friday night Matt and I went out for a date to the movies. This stuck in my head because we went to an early movie, like 6:30 ish which we don't usually do (we're more of a 9:00 movie family) so we went to the movie during dinner time and we didn't eat dinner. During the movie I had *gasp* a snickers bar and half a bag of skittles. This was my last "meal" before the labor started I am embarrassed to say.

After we had gone to bed I had some bleeding during the night, and in the morning and we called the midwife to let her know. First I should explain, in the womb Joey was not exactly an active baby. I'd read other blogs about people's babies moving so much during concerts, movies, music, etc. Joey moved a little bit.....if I was really really inactive but even when I was sleeping I didn't feel him much. I had to stop OFTEN and eat something and do a kick count just to make sure he was still alive in there. There were days where I was in tears trying to count movements that just weren't there wondering if he was o.k. inside. I remember praying through extreme worry that the Lord would just get him out safely so I could watch him and know that he was o.k. and not wonder while he was inside me. But that is a digression....

So there was some bleeding during the night and morning and OF COURSE I didn't feel the baby moving AT ALL and was worried. The midwife told me to have something to eat and wait an hour and she would call Matt made some scrambled eggs. (bear in mind that all I've eaten was that sugar shot from the night before) So at this point there aren't really any contractions, but after the eggs I did feel plenty of movement from the baby. We told the midwife when she called back that the baby had been moving and we would just keep her posted and left it at that. I think around 9 the contractions started (except for one really intense one that I had at like 1 in the morning without realizing what it was). The contractions were....confusing. The first few were about a half hour or more apart. When they started I think I honestly thought I would be in labor for days. They seemed so far apart and sometimes I wasn't sure I was having one. Matt did some of the things that we had been waiting on, a final clean up of a few rooms, putting stuff in the car in case this was it...and I pretty much laid on the sofa and watched him.

After a while I asked Matt to keep a paper with the times of the contractions on them. I remember thinking if I can see how far apart they are, then we'll know when to go to the hospital. We found the piece of paper after we got home from the hospital a day later. Ha!! The times were like 20 minutes apart, 8 minutes apart, 30 minutes apart, 5 minutes, 5 minutes, 9 minutes. Then some of the times had stars next to them, and some didn't. The starred ones were the contractions that were really intense, I was sure they were contractions, and then the other ones... we were ones where Matt was like "are you having a contraction??" and generally I wailed something like "I don't knnnnnnnoooowwwwww." Well you know, it's tough if you haven't experienced it yet.

After a couple of hours it was harder to talk and harder to get up to do things so we thought it was time to start thinking about heading to the hospital. I wanted to take a shower...I probably should have taken it about 2 hours before because in the shower the contractions real and possible contractions, were close together (now I think they were all real, just not all equally painful). Right after the shower we went for the car and drove (about 25 minutes without traffic) into Berkeley, CA. to our hospital (where the midwife was meeting us). There was traffic on the way....a CAL game that had just gotten out (this was about 3 p.m.). I don't really remember much of the ride, I had my eyes closed and was just trying to breathe...but I remember saying to Matt while we were stuck in the traffic "no time for traffic, put on flashers, go around" but it didn't take too long to get there. Finally we got to the hospital and after some bozo wheeled me to the ER (while Matt is saying, very strongly we need to go to LABOR AND DELIVERY) a nurse took us up to L&D (while saying, "why in the world did they take you to the ER??").

We had already pre-registered at the hospital and didn't really have time to do the other stuff when we got there. They just slapped a bracelet on me and then I got an exam from a nurse. She was like, huh....I'm going to have to have someone else examine you also. What??? The whole time I was just thinking, don't say 2 cm, don't say 2 cm. I think I was expecting or hoping for 5 or maybe ideally 6 cm. So I asked, "What? how many cm??" She said, "well I don't want to get your hopes up and I need to have someone else look but I think you are like 8. " That was great news, but THEN.... my midwife got there and examined and she said "not 8, you're 10!" She said I could start pushing and have the baby whenever I was ready. Whoa, at this point we've been at the hospital for like 15 minutes. My water hadn't broken yet and there was a jacuzzi tub so she suggested getting in that for a while.

Wow, let's talk about having a baby in water. I always thought that women who wanted to have their babies in water were really green and earthy and natural and I had a really stereotypical view of those kind of births. Well let me tell you...if I had been allowed to have Joey in that water I NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN OUT!! If you have the opportunity to have a baby in water or labor in water, do whatever you can. It EASES THE PAIN, it was SOO sooo sooo so much better. It was really easy the whole time I was in the tub. The only reason I got out was because the midwife said that she could see the head (and the bag of waters) and we really weren't allowed to have the baby in the water. So after like 15 minutes of heaven :-) I had to get out and go to the bed for the pushing :-( (about 30 minutes after we got to the hospital.

I won't drag this part out... about an hour later Joey was born, after some serious pushing. Interestingly enough for me, I never really got the "overwhelming urge to push". It was just time to push, so I pushed when they told me to. The water never broke, the bag kind of came out around Josiah's head and the midwife snipped it. He looked really sweet and beautiful, not all beat up, I think it was because of the shorter labor and not too much time in the birth canal. Matt held him for about the next hour and a half while I got sewed up and bled. I lost so much blood I had to stay in the delivery room a loooong time, I couldn't go to the recovery room, not even in a wheelchair because I couldn't even sit up without passing out. :-) But after they got the fluid levels back up and I got some medicine and could eat I felt a THOUSAND times better!! We stayed at the hospital eating and feeding Joey and sleeping (that is until some nurse came in to get some blood for some reason) until Sunday evening and then came home. It was almost less than 24 hours at the hospital which was cool.

All and all, it was a wonderful, exhausting incredibly rewarding experience, for both of us. Matt was wonderful and really helped me through the whole thing. We had studied The Bradley Method to manage the labor and delivery which encourages natural childbirth, coached and supported by the husband. I was excited to try the natural part (but not at all opposed to an epidural if I felt like I needed one) but the best part of the method for me was the encouragement Matt and I got to work together to help me to relax and focus on relaxing and on listening to my husband and allowing him to lead me through it. I know it's probably not the right thing for everyone but let me tell you, I didn't expect (nor was I trying) to get to the hospital at 10 cm dilated and when the midwife told us that I have never seen my husband look so happy or so proud. We had done it!

So that's my/our first birth story. Who knows what will happen the next time around, maybe the same way, maybe quicker, maybe with medicine...But I know this much, as far as Matt's involvement, I couldn't have done it without him and I loved being able to trust his knowledge and planning! For all you women out there with babies yet to come, I would encourage you to look into this method. If you are interested in a natural birth, it's fantastic to prepare you for that, but even if that isn't the most important part to you (because it wasn't for us) but you just want your husband to be really well prepared and able to care for you and help you through the labor, then this is a great method. To find out a little more, check out the site.

And one little side note...I think that giving birth, labor, delivery, recovery is a pretty amazing, intense and difficult time for every woman. I think that any woman, no matter how she had her baby should be applauded and congratulated. It is going to be hard, but rewarding no matter what way is chosen or necessary and God is in charge of it all! Congrats to all you mommies out there, even if your baby is having babies of her own. What a miraculous thing you did!!


The Sinks said...

Wow, amazing! Birth truly is a wonderful experience...a way to know God so much better, and to connect with your husband on such a deep, intimate level. I'm so happy for a great birth experience for you two. Sounds like you did great!!!

Herb of Grace said...

Awesome story!! Congrats to Matt for a job well done. Sounds like he's a pro when it comes to birth coaching... I totally agree with you about the water! I'm sure you know how sold I am on waterbirths!

The Crabtrees said...

So nice to read your birth story. Can't believe you did all your labor at home. Sounds like you nearly delivered that baby in the car! You did awesome Laurie! And baby Joey is so cute. Enjoy each moment. Before you know it not only will he be smiling "on purpose" but he will be talking your ears off, asking you dozens of questions, and you will wonder where that baby went. Hold him close. Love, Carol

The Salvatierras said...

So wonderful to read your experience! Thank you for sharing all the details. (c: That was my world in the hospital!! I wish that our hospital had had a tub. I would love to try that. I love that he was basically born in his bag of waters! Noah was almost that way too. More like, my doctor popped it which brought me to 10 cm and then out he flew! But he was a bit smaller than Josiah, only 5, 11 lbs. and 2 wks early.
You did a great job, though, Laurie!!! I'm so impressed!