Birth Story Part 2

For part 1 click here.

For some unknown reason I thought it would be a great idea to lay down on our bed with my head at the foot of the bed. So when Yolanda said she could see our baby’s head, I was not moving! This led to a bit of an extra unexpected challenge, mostly for Ben, but we’ll get there in a minute..

Yolanda said that when I felt the next contraction that I could push. This was the moment I had dreamed about. I was so excited to push after trying so hard not to push for the last hour. I was excited to get some relief and was even more excited because I knew baby would be here soon!

I pushed with all my might with that next contraction, and the contraction after that and the one after that.

Ben grabbed all the pillows he could find and used them to prop me up and keep me comfortable in between contractions. If I would have been laying the right way in the bed I could have leaned on our headboard, but I wasn’t thinking logically so I didn’t do that! Ben was sitting on my right side and I was pulling myself up using both of my arms on one of his arms during each contraction.

Yolanda kept me updated with baby’s progress into this world and shocked me by saying baby had a ton of hair! At some point Yolanda used a mirror to show me our baby. This was wonderful motivation!

I feel like I was pushing for an eternity with little progress. The contractions weren’t painful anymore and I barely felt them. I was quickly becoming exhausted and remember saying at one point that I can’t do this. It was then when Ben really stepped up and helped me through the pushing. I remember just staring at him and he could help me without even saying anything.

I’m working the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life when all of a sudden I hear a cell phone go off after receiving a text. I actually kind of got mad because I told Ben weeks before I wanted our phones on silent but looking back now I think Ben was a little busy so I can’t blame him. It was our friend, Lauren, who was asking me if their was any signs of baby because, well, Ben and I tried to coax out baby the night before. 🙂

I knew Ben checked the message but what I didn’t realize until hours later was that Ben actually texted her back.

The conversation went like this.

Lauren: So… any signs of that baby?
Ben: I can see the head!
Lauren: Haha! If that were true you would definitely not be texting me (she thought I was responding and didn’t know Ben was).

(half an hour later) Wait, are you serious??

(another half an hour later) Your non-response had me suspicious and excited all at the same time…ahhhhhhhhhhh

While Ben was texting Lauren I continued working my hardest to meet our baby.

Then all of a sudden major progress was being made and Yolanda told me how important it was to listen to her and do what she said. It was the best advice she could give me and I worked so hard to follow her instructions as I pushed so hard to deliver our sweet baby’s head. Yolanda urged me to put my hand down to feel my baby and I remember feeling baby’s wet hair and I believe it was about then that tears filled my eyes.

I watched Ben and his eyes as the love began to fill his eyes. This was the moment we had been waiting for. Pushing really had a purpose now and I carefully listened to Yolanda as she instructed me to push lightly, push hard, stop pushing and over a few more pushes I grabbed down and brought our child into this world. Our blue, squishy, slick baby was born at 10:10am on April 1st, 2013 after 8 hours of labor which includes one hour of pushing.

Yolanda quickly rubbed down our baby with a towel and covered baby up. Our baby quickly grabbed my finger as he/she rested on my chest. Ben and I both were crying as we watched our baby begin to cry. At this point we had no idea if we had a son or daughter but Yolanda did. After a few minutes of staring and touching and kissing our baby we found out this baby was a boy! Our Miles. Now things really felt real because this child, our child, had a name!

I had hoped to let a good amount of time go by before we had to cut the cord but due to my blood type we couldn’t so Daddy cut the cord a few minutes after Miles was born. I held on to our sweet boy while I delivered the placenta. I was nervous about this because I had just given birth to a chunky baby and wasn’t sure what to expect. Yolanda comforted me by saying I just gave birth to a baby filled with bones and the placenta doesn’t have any so I wouldn’t need to exert a ton of energy. She was right.

I’m going to share some not so pretty details but this is my way of documenting the birth so I don’t want to leave out anything.

Yolanda showed Ben and I the placenta and talked about it with us. She described different areas of it and then shared how she knew I delivered the entire placenta, how nothing was left behind. Yolanda then cleaned me up as I continued to hold Miles. Then came one of my least favorite parts of labor/delivery – moving! Remember my head is at the foot of the bed so eventually I would have to move. I was sitting on an absorbent pad (the kind used for bed wetters…) and Yolanda grabbed unto the pad from both sides and together we had to move me to the correct side of the bed. Because of the adrenaline I wasn’t in much pain after birth until that moment, ouch.

Then came another fun part, Yolanda squished and pushed on my uterus to make sure it stayed contracted and I didn’t continue to bleed. She continued to do this on and off for the next few hours and it was super uncomfortable.

It was around this time that Ben called both our moms to share the news that Miles had arrived. Ben told them we would call them later when we wanted them to come and visit. My brother was too antsy so my family came from Kalamazoo right away so they would be in town when we made the call to come and visit.

Miles then nursed for the first time as we lay skin to skin for the first few hours after his birth. Yolanda left us alone for a few hours and put away our dishes, completed paperwork, cleaned up after the birth, etc. She came in to check on us occasionally and push again on my uterus but it was only for a moment or two before she was gone again. On one of our visits, Yolanda scoured our fridge and brought Ben and I some fruit to eat and then brought me some juice.

Ben took a photo of Miles nursing and sent it to our family and some friends to announce that Miles had arrived. Ben sat next to Miles and I as he read all the messages to me.

I knew how it important that first nursing session was and how vital skin to skin contact was for Miles and myself so Miles hung out on my breast for a long time until about 12:30pm when Yolanda came in to weigh, measure and check over Miles.

Here is Yolanda.

IMG_4108Checking Miles’ head, spine, and limbs.

IMG_4109Miles was less than thrilled by all this poking and prodding so Yolanda took a few minutes to snuggle and warm up our boy before continuing.
IMG_4112Next up was checking Miles’ lungs. Yolanda said she could hear they were working well because of the way Miles was screaming!

IMG_4116I did my best to sooth him from a distance but he was beyond comforting at this point.
IMG_4117Then came the part I was most excited for, to see how big our baby was! He seemed pretty chunky so I couldn’t wait to hear the official numbers.
IMG_4118 8 pounds, 8 ounces! That is a lot of baby considering I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall! I was about the same when I was born and Ben weighed almost 11 pounds. I was thankful for a “bigger” baby but even more grateful that Miles wasn’t as big as his daddy was at birth!

IMG_4119

Daddy took all these pictures and this is by far my favorite from those first few hours of Miles’ life.

Then Yolanda dressed Miles in his first diaper, outfit, socks and hat. We had a neutral outfit picked out for Miles but when it came time to dress Miles Ben ran into the nursery and came back with this instead.

This outfit was one of the few outfits we bought before our baby was born. It came in a pack with three other striped onesies and we fell in love with them! They were a bit too boyish but we didn’t care – turns out it didn’t matter!

IMG_4125Now that Miles was nice and warm and had lots of skin to skin time with Mommy it was finally time for Daddy to hold Miles. I couldn’t believe we had gone a few hours without Ben holding Miles but in all honestly that time flew by and it felt like only minutes.

Ben wanted to continue the skin to skin time with Miles so he took off his shirt before reaching for his son.
IMG_4126I had waited for this moment for so long. I couldn’t wait to watch Ben become a dad and knew my heart would melt when I watched him holding his baby for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed. Ben looked so comfortable holding Miles for the first time – like he was made for this. Ben is such a fantastic and supportive husband that I knew he would make a spectacular father.
IMG_4128Ben and Miles spent some time together while I put on one of Ben’s shirts and then continued to admire Ben and his love for his son. I then got some more snuggle time with Mr. Miles.
IMG_4132At some point Yolanda left our home and then we were left alone with our little family. Yolanda suggested taking a few hours to ourselves, shower, eat, and soak up this time together. Miles was quite exhausted so we put him in his pack and play and then I showered while Ben cleaned up the bedroom a bit to prepare for when our family started to arrive.
IMG_4135 IMG_4136My shower felt amazing. Ben helped me get into and out of the shower and also had to help me get dressed but overall I was feeling pretty well. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body so I wasn’t feeling too terrible at this point yet. After my shower I got some more snuggle time with Miles as we called our families and told them they could come visit.
IMG_4138Miles was so pink a few hours after birth.
IMG_4139Daddy also got in some more snuggles with Miles before our family came and we had to share Miles.
IMG_4140Miles’ Birth Stats

APGAR at one minute: 9/10

Miles lost one point for still being blue at the one minute check

APGAR at five minutes: 10/10

                                                         Born April 1st, 2013

10:10am

8 pounds, 8 ounces

20 1/2 inches long

Birth Story Part 1

As I write this I am watching my nine week old boy starting to doze off in his bouncer. I am still in shock that our baby is here, my son, is here. After his birth I knew I wanted to take in this time and to take a break from the blog. But I’m back and will pick up where I left up so I can document my sweet boy and the beginning of his life.

Here is his story, in more detail than you might care to know… this is your warning. 🙂

My parents came downstate for a few reasons; to bring some of Justin and Tia’s belongings back up North with them because they were moving back at the end of April and to visit us for my Mom’s Spring Break. They came into town on the Saturday before Easter. The plan was for them to spend a few days with Justin and Tia and then spend a few days with us. They hoped that our baby would be born during  the week but with my due date at the end of their stay, I just knew baby wouldn’t come in time.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Ben and I had a very busy Easter. We attended church in the morning then went to his parents’ house for a delicious meal. At this point of my pregnancy my carb intake was minimal but because it was a special day I did eat half a baked potato. Then my parents, brother and future sister-in-law came into town. Together we made an Easter dinner and then spent some time dying Easter eggs and playing Ticket to Ride. During dinner I helped myself to more carbs; crescent rolls and two helpings of cheesey, bacon mashed potatoes.

DSCF6551 DSCF6553 DSCF6560My mom snapped this picture of me and the baby bump at the end of Easter Sunday. It would be the last photo of me pregnant.
DSCF6568My family left around 9pm and after cleaning up a bit, Ben and I went to bed. A few hours later I woke up with the strongest urge to pee and pee NOW. I quickly looked at the clock and noticed it was 1am and that I haven’t been sleeping for very long. I went to the bathroom but still felt the urge to go. I went back to bed but the feeling was so strong that I got up almost instantly to go to the bathroom again. This time more liquid came out.

It was at this point that I grabbed my Yoga ball and decided to spend some time on the computer until the feeling went away so I could go back to sleep. I was a little concerned about the extra liquid that just left my body and I decided to ask the ladies in a Facebook group that I am a member of. The Facebook group is filled with women who all had April due dates. I explained what happened and one mom said it sounded like baby would be here soon and a few others agreed.

As an hour passed by I started to feel quite uncomfortable and was having what I believed to be contractions. I woke up Ben at some point and then he went back to sleep. Around 2am I woke him up and asked him to be with me.

I started feeling more and more uncomfortable as the minutes went by. I now knew that I was having contractions but I wasn’t too excited yet. Even if this was early labor, I knew I could be in labor for hours or even days before baby arrived or that labor could stop all together.

Over the next few hours I worked with the contractions on all fours, on the Yoga ball, over the couch, leaning on a wall, bending over the kitchen counter and anywhere else I felt comfortable. I did my best to walk around the apartment and Ben did his best to keep me comfortable. Ben was timing my contractions and providing me drinks from a V8 juice box. We still weren’t convinced I was in real labor, at least I wasn’t.

Ben was suppose to go into work at 4am and he called work a few times letting them know that I was having contractions and if they continued he would not be coming in. Eventually he made the call and said he wouldn’t be coming in early but would continue to update them if he was coming into work for his regular scheduled time at 7am.

We weren’t sure when to call our midwife and since I figured I’d be in labor for FOREVER, we waited until a reasonable time to call her. It was difficult for Ben to time my contractions because they were pretty constant. Ben called our midwife, Yolanda, around 5am. It was around this time that the contractions were getting harder to manage so I moved to the bathtub. It was also around this time that Ben called work and said he wouldn’t be coming in that day.

After speaking to Yolanda, Ben updated me on what she said. Yolanda said it sounded like I was in early labor but it was likely that as the sun came up the labor would stop and it would probably start again in the evening. She would stop by around 8am to check on me and see how things are going.

5am to 8am is a blur to me. I spent most of my time in the bathtub sitting on a thick towel because it hurt so bad to sit on the hard bathtub. I did my best to breath with the contractions and I truly spaced out for quite awhile. Ben slept for awhile on the toilet and he thought my contractions were calming down and updated my midwife. In fact, my contractions were getting stronger but I was getting “used” to them and was finding a way to work with them and accept them.

I bounced around from the bathtub to the yoga ball to the toilet. I enjoyed sitting on the toilet because there was no direct pressure on my butt unlike sitting in the tub or on the yoga ball. Labor was getting pretty tough but I was still managing the pain pretty well.

8am rolled around and Yolanda arrived but we were unaware of her arrival. Our phones were on vibrate and she called both phones multiple times. At some point our neighbors saw her outside and after questioning her why she was on their porch, they let her in. Ben updated Yolanda with what he was seeing and then she came in by me. I don’t recall speaking much to her but she talked a bit to me. Yolanda checked my progress and said my water hadn’t broken yet and I was 6cm.

I was in shock. I was in labor. Our baby would be born at some point on April 1st, 2013.

Yolanda left and said she had some things to take care of and would be back no later than 2pm. She told Ben to call her if my water broke or I was feeling the urge to push. Ben called my mom and his mom and let them know the news.

It wasn’t long after Yolanda left that I couldn’t get comfortable and felt the urge to push. I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes in the tub or on the yoga ball. The pain was unreal at this point. I remember sitting on the yoga ball shivering because I was so cold and paranoid that I would be feeling this way for another 12 hours. I knew I was just 6cm and had 4cm to go before I was ready to push so I did my best to not push because I thought it was the right thing to do. I even remember Ben saying something along the same lines. We both didn’t even consider that I was progressing that fast.

I ended up spending most of the next hour on the toilet by myself. I had asked Ben to leave me alone and I couldn’t stop myself from pushing at this point. Finally I asked Ben to call Yolanda back. She arrived around 9am and after observing me for a few minutes she decided to set up everything she needed to deliver our baby.

I spent time alone focusing through the pain while Ben and Yolanda worked together in our bedroom. At some point I moved from the bathroom to the bedroom. I don’t remember if I moved without assistance or if Ben helped me. I do recall laying with my head near the foot of the bed and curling up into a ball. Yolanda came in and checked me once more and sure enough my water had broken at some point and she could see our baby’s head. It was time!

Our baby would be born soon and likely before lunch time.

It was go time!

(to be continued here…)