Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Abraham's birth story // Part one

This pregnancy was so different. I had learned so much and was a lot more informed about pregnancy and birthing. My whole heart and soul wanted to have this baby naturally.

Disclaimer: If you are preparing for your own natural birth, I would advise you not to read your story. You deserve to be surrounded by positivity and faith, not fear! Soon you will have your own wonderful story to tell. :)

I'm going to talk more about why I so desired to have a natural birth in another post, for now I'm just going to tell the story.

My due date came and went (Tuesday, February 4). Then the next day, then the next. Before I knew it, it was Thursday of the next week and I was at my "post-dates" appointment that I NEVER thought I'd make it to! They did a non-stress test and everything was normal. I refused the ultrasound (sufficient research that it is safe has not been done) and I did not feel it was necessary. A normal pregnancy is up to 42 weeks, and I was not there yet, so I found no need to "check fluid levels" etc. I was extremely peaceful about my the health of my baby (I attribute much of that to my Hypnobabies preparation/Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations). I was relatively unconcerned about the possibility of complications and was confident that he would come in his own due time. Since the midwives I saw were still under hospital reign, they would only allow me to go to 42 weeks. My induction was scheduled for the following Tuesday. I kept waiting thinking he would come "any day now." Well Saturday came (41 weeks and 4 days) and I was really starting to worry. My induction date was only a couple days away. I really wanted him to come when he was ready, but I knew I had to try something. I so badly wanted him to come naturally and not be induced. My midwife had suggested nipple stimulation and after doing some of my own research, I found that to be the best option.

Went to the beautiful temple on my due date. It was incredibly freezing that day.

Saturday night I did that in combination with walking. I took our big red wagon across the street and took Jude and Trace on a walk around their neighborhood. My friends were teasing me about being so pregnant and taking these two boys on a wagon ride. I put Jude to bed that night and we had a precious time together. I did a blog post about how priceless our time was and my joy in being a mother. I had been wanting to do a blog post about Jude and my love for him and my overall feelings before the baby was born and I felt content once I wrote that. I had also been wanting to watch the movie, Ephraim's Rescue, for weeks in order to "pump me up" and inspire me for my birthing time. The movie depicts the story of my fourth great-grandmother, Elizabeth Simpson Bradshaw, and I am extremely inspired by her faith and draw strength from her often. I had wanted to watch it right before I went into labor. I decided that night was a good night, so my mom, Dan, and I put it on. A couple times during the movie I said, "I just felt a pressure wave type thing, but don't get too excited, it was probably nothing..." And that was that. I got my cup full of ice and went to bed. I don't remember doing this, but I had downloaded a contraction timer app and just now as I look back on it, it showed my "waves" lasting over a minute and about 2-5 minutes apart. But I had learned not to get my hopes up, so I didn't.

Jude was getting over a respiratory illness so he had been waking up in the night. I heard him crying at 5:00 so I brought him some milk and we laid together (heaven). I got back in bed but couldn't fall asleep. (It gets kind of blurry from here on out...) I was feeling some lower uterine "pressure waves"/pain. They weren't too bad at first. I walked around my very small space upstairs trying to stay comfortable. By 7:00 am they were starting to get pretty uncomfortable. I started clattering around the room inconspicuously trying to wake Dan up (without really waking him up). I just thought if I was feeling this uncomfortable he should know about it. I got in bed with him and he must have calmed me down because the contractions became difficult to determine and less uncomfortable. I got up, not wanting my labor to stop or slow down. After a little while, we decided to go on a walk outside. It was a beautiful, cool, quiet Sunday morning. I walked downstairs in my classic blue moo moo and my mom woke up. I told her nothing was going on. (Denial?) After Dan finally found his sweatshirt, we started our walk. I had been timing them with the app but we decided to leave it at home and just enjoy our walk. We were texting our doula and she wanted a more accurate count so Dan ran back and got it. They were lasting about 40 seconds and 3 minutes apart. Our regular doula had illness in her family and informed us, I think the night before, that she wouldn't be able to come if I had the baby in the next couple days. I had been texting her over the past couple days and did again this morning. She told me to call my back-up doula but I wouldn't. (Denial, still?!) While on our walk, the back-up doula, called me and just wanted to get a feel for how things were going. We walked and talked. She wasn't totally convinced I was in labor and we wanted to time things more accurately. At the end of our conversation, she told me to call her back when I was having a contraction so she could talk to me through it and hear me/get a feel for how I was doing. I told her she just did. I guess I was coping pretty well at that point. But I would have been a little too bamboozled if that wasn't "it!"

They were getting more intense, lasting about a minute and coming every 1-2 minutes. We went back home and my mom was getting up. I so kindly said, "You better get dressed if you want to come." (Sorry, Mom!) I was really feeling them at this point. I remember leaning up against the kitchen table and pacing around. Then I threw up. Dan started making the calls: the midwife, the doula, the babysitter, the hospital. There was some issue with the midwives answering service and it went to an automated answering machine. Dan left a message, unsure if it went through/to whom. I decided to go upstairs and get in the tub. I had a friend who swore that a hot bath was as effective as an epidural, if not more, and I did not want this labor to go by without trying itI I got in the hot bath and was so relaxed. My friend was right. That works. It was incredibly relaxing. The contractions were almost completely obliterated.  Between the altered state of mind I was in and the relaxing bath, I fell asleep for who knows how long. I remember worrying that my labor was going to stop because I could barely feel the contractions anymore. My mom came up after a while to check on me. I had her pour ice cold water on my face and body to cool me down and that felt so nice. I remember something clicked in my mind and I knew we needed to go. I got dressed and walked downstairs. Jude had woken up and our lovely friend, Nikki, who was going to watch Jude had arrived. Nikki gave me a big smile and I remember being unable to smile or say anything to her. I told Dan we needed to leave right away. I held Jude and gave him as many kisses as I could. I took him outside in the fresh air and held him so tight. Leaving him then was incredibly difficult, knowing he wouldn't be my only baby from then on. Tears streamed down my face as I hugged him. Dan was bustling around busily gathering all our things and getting everything ready for Jude.

We started driving and I said, "shouldn't I be listening to Hypnobabies or something?!" I tried to pull it up on the iPad but it didn't work. I threw the iPad and was grateful we live less than a mile from the hospital! My mom dropped Dan and I off and I booked it inside as Dan gathered a few things and probably reminded my mom where to park. The parking lots were all almost completely empty and it was kind of eerie in a way. I went up the elevator and remember feeling so miserable and frustrated because I wasn't even sure I was going the right away. Dan followed closely behind.

I went to the front desk and the man asked me why I was there. I looked at him with a completely disgusted look on my face and all I could manage to mutter was "BABY." He took me right back to a bathroom in triage and handed me a yellow gown with what seemed like fifteen unsnapped snaps on each arm. He told me to get undressed and put this on. I looked at him like he had lost his bloody mind (excuse my french) and he quickly offered to help me snap the snaps. I didn't even know if I could get undressed let alone don that forsaken gown. Once that task was behind me, I made my way to my bed. The nurse (I remember her being really sassy. Who knows if she really was.) asked me a couple questions and checked me. She informed me that I was at 8 cm and started bustling around. Another nurse joined her and as they were wheeling me back I heard her say, "She's 8 with a bulging bag." I was relieved but also just mad at the world.

The next little while was all a blur. Everyone started bustling around getting everything ready for me. My nurse was probably in her late 50's and spunky and spry as can be. She was also orienting a new nurse. As they were rolling me into my room and I was crying out, my nurse asked, "Do you want some pain medicine?" And I yelled, "NO!!!" She must have not seen my birth plan. ;) I got into my room and between signing a bunch of papers (most frustrating thing ever), I threw up and my water broke at the same time. Bed change, please!

I had had this vision about my birth being a peaceful, spiritual experience and I had really wanted Dan to give me a blessing at the onset of my labor. I had forgotten until now so I had him give me a blessing. Between the contractions and nurses coming in and out it wasn't exactly what I had imagined, but Dan later told me he blessed me that things would go quickly. I didn't internalize it at the time, but that was the best thing I could have heard!

(Read part two here.)