It all began on Thursday, February 16th. "Is this baby ever going to come, I thought?" I was okay with it not being here already, but the thought of having to get induced did not seem appealing (since I was planning on going natural-- more on that later). Plus, despite the curiosity and interest of family and friends, we were getting tired of everyone asking if the baby was here yet. (Like we would forget to tell them or something). I know that sounds rude of us, but I knew the baby would come when it was ready and we were perfectly okay with that. By Thursday, I had the feeling that things were going to happen soon. I was suddenly filled with motivation. I went to the gym. I ran some errands. I went to the Temple. I cleaned up and finished up some loose ends. Before Brandon left to ref basketball that night, we made a quick Dan's run and picked up what sounded good for dinner- Mac n' Cheese and Moose Tracks Ice Cream. Healthy, I know. He left and I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours. We hung out for a little while after he got home and then we went to bed.
Around 2 am on Friday, February 17th, I woke up to painful contractions. They weren't too unbearable to handle and I practiced my relaxation techniques to get me through them. I did that for about an hour and then finally woke up Brandon to tell him that I think something was happening. We started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart. That went on the rest of the night. Brandon would rub my back and continually heat up my rice bag. We were tempted to go to the hospital, but I had an appointment with the midwives at 8:45 that morning. I got up at 7:30. I had packed our bags a few days earlier, but threw in a few more things just in case we needed to stay. I showered, did my hair and make-up and then we were off. The contractions hurt, but they seemed to subside a little. I kept thinking, "I can totally do this if this is what labor is like." Ha. Little did I know.
|right before we left|
*Sidenote- My reasons for hypnobirthing* I had heard such great things about hypnobirthing that once I found out I was pregnant, I started researching it. I read a book. We took a class. We diligently practiced for the month leading up to Blake's birth. My intent on doing it natural was never to be this super hero with bragging rights for going natural. It was just that in my heart, I knew that is what I wanted to do or at least try to do. I heard recovery was easier, babies aren't too drugged up when they are born, and I was afraid of the epidural itself and what it would do to me. In addition to that, back in November, I found out my platelet levels in my blood were low. The platelets are what causes your blood to clot. If your levels are too low, epidurals are not an option. Period. When I heard that, I felt like that was part of the reason why I had been so drawn to going natural in case I couldn't get an epidural. My levels were 185 at the beginning and then in November they had dropped to 105. They would do a blood test once I got to the hospital to check my levels in case I wanted to get one. Every doctor is different, but usually the cutoff level is 100.
Back to the story. So the midwife suggested we go home to labor. So that is what we did. Brandon took the day off work which I'm so grateful he did! We knew it was our last day hanging out together so we did something really exciting. We went to O'reilly to get a new headlight for our Pilot and then Wal-mart to get some snacks for the hospital. Contractions still came at this point, but I kept my mind off of them.
Once we got home, we were both so tired from no sleep the night before. We took a nap for a few hours. I thought by now things would have picked up, but they hadn't as much as we had hoped. So we stayed at home. Brandon made me a smoothie and I ate more mac n'cheese. It tasted SO good. Contractions picked up hard around 9:00 pm, but they were still inconsistent. I used some more of they hypnobirthing techniques to get me through. My favorite was sitting in our make-shift bathtub. Around 10:00, we turned on the Scarlet Pimpernel to help distract me. We got through an hour of it before I needed another bath. The warm water helped relax me and made the pain more bearable. At 11:30, I was in tons of pain. The pain had switched from my stomach to my lower back and it killed! I tried so many different things, but nothing seemed to work. I called the midwife and she said that it was probably because the baby was in the posterior position. She suggested I do some different stretches to turn him. I did, but the pain was still so bad. I called her back and she said that even though contractions were still irregular, I should come in to see what was going on.
At 12:30 am on Saturday, February 18th, we got to the hospital. Our stuff was still packed in the car. It was a little surreal driving there realizing the next time we were at home we would have a baby with us. I still remember the hospital being so quiet and peaceful when we got there. I could not stand up during contractions, so I sat while Brandon did all the checking in. They took us to a room to hook me up to the Fetal Monitor. At this point, we still weren't sure if I would be staying or not. Contractions were still irregular about 5-8 minutes apart, but oh, so painful. However, being checked was the worst part of all! I was a only a 4 at that point, but they wanted us to stay. It was a relief knowing things were progressing, albeit slow. And just a change of scenery from laboring at home all day was nice. We dimmed the lights, tried to relax and let things happen.
Things happened, but slowly. I was at a 6 for 5 hours.
The midwife shift change was at 7 am. Around 9, the new midwife said that I wasn't progressing quick enough so they would need to give me Pitocin. I was so opposed to Pitocin to induce labor, but by this point, I didn't think it was such a bad thing since I had already been doing this for so long. She also suggested I get an epidural because I was still so far from being done. They looked at my blood test and couldn't get an accurate reading. So I got my blood drawn again and waited for a half hour to get the results back. 82. That was my platelet level. It had significantly dropped since November. The normal cutoff level is 100, but the anethesiologist on call said his cutoff was 85. Ugh. Heart sunk. I had mixed emotions. I was kind of excited to have an excuse not to get one, but at the same time, I was super tired and wasn't sure how much longer I could go on.
Pitocin was making the contractions much harder and stronger, but because of the risk from my low platelet levels, I was not ready to jump on board with the epidural. Also, I was an emotional wreck by this point. I decided to get another pain killer, not quite as strong or effective, to help me. It was effective for the first 20 minutes or so, then it would wear off. I would get another dose and same thing, it would wear off. Finally at 11:00 am, I was ready to get the epidural. It was still a tough and very emotional decision because of the risk, but we said a prayer and felt good about going forward with it. At 11:30, I got the epidural.
At 11:30, I was a 7. But then for the next 3 hours, that is where I stayed. They would continue to turn up the Pitocin levels. Contractions still irregular. My oh my. We were beginning to think we would never have this baby!
Finally at 2:30, our midwife said that they would monitor me for the next 2 hours and if I hadn't progressed, a c-section may in my future. I lost it. I had already worked so hard and long and that was the last thing I wanted. I cried and prayed my little heart out.
At 4:30, the new midwife came in with the student resident. It was so untactful how the resident worded it. The first thing she said was, "We've decided that if you haven't progressed, we are doing a C-section." I said, "Now?" She said, "Yes." I didn't get it. Our baby was doing perfectly. Throughout the entire process, they called him a textbook baby because he was handling everything so well. If he was doing well, why couldn't I have more time to get there? I was angry. I wanted to put up a fight. I was emotional and in no state to hear that I needed a C-section. Brandon spoke up like my super hero and said, "Hey, before you freak my wife out anymore, can you please just check her to see if she has progressed and then talk about the options?" Go Brandon. I love how protective he was of me and my emotions at that moment. They checked me and I was a 10! I was singing Hallelujah! A c-section wouldn't be necessary after all, thank goodness. I still hated how they approached it though.
All the nurses and midwife left. Brandon and I had the next hour to talk and get excited. This was it. Our baby was finally coming!
At 5:30 pm, they came back in and got things situated.
At 6:15 pm, our baby was born. It was the most amazing thing. Brandon announced the gender. We both thought it would be a girl, but the moment he said it was boy, it just felt right and we were super excited. As much as a little girl would have been, I wanted an older brother for the rest of our kids. I just held him on my chest while they stitched me up. It took about 2 hours since Blake had his hand up by his face and tore me up pretty good internally. At that moment, I was extremely grateful I couldn't feel a thing.
As hard and long as everything was, as soon as Blake was born, I forgot all about that. I had a precious little boy in my arms. I will never forget how I felt. He was fresh from heaven. I was in heaven. We were a family of 3 and I felt super close to Brandon. I would do it all again tomorrow for that feeling.
And even though it went much differently and looonger than planned, I look back to the experience with such fondness. It was a positive experience overall. I would definitely try hypnobirthing again because I truly think it is possible to go natural if things can move quicker. But I don't feel defeated. I don't feel like a failure. My situation caused me to be flexible and in the end, I still ended up with a baby. The most perfect baby ever. I am in love.