Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Natural Birth Story

Just a few minutes old! 
Jackson has been here for 4 weeks now! 1 whole month of us parents staring in amazement, awe and wonder. He's the perfect addition to our family. He's so cool and chill and obviously our child. I don't know what we did to deserve this little miracle, but I'll take it!
I had an incredible natural birth experience. Jackson was born February 27th, at 7:13pm. We were 10 days overdue! He weighed 9 pounds and 8 ounces, and was 22 inches long.
Around 1 1/2 weeks before delivering, I developed sciatic nerve pain which only worsened as the day approached. This was probably the only real uncomfortable side effect from my pregnancy. I worked from home the last week and was pretty inactive.
I was starting to get REALLY worried that I would go too far past due, and no longer "qualify" to deliver at the birth center. Luckily, I had great midwives, pineapple, the "miles circuit", acupressure, 6oz of castor oil, etc, etc, etc, that put me into labor before my time was up. My water broke at 1pm on 2/27. I was actually on the toilet when it happened, and my initial thought was " bladder is officially shot." it took a moment to realize I wasn't peeing :p. TMI, yet?
Once I decided that my water may have broken, I called Seth (who was on the way to class, of course) and told him "I THINK my water broke... Though I'm not really sure." I told him to go to class anyways, because I had always read that it can ‘take hours to days’ before you go into labor from your water breaking. I called the midwife next (Melissa happened to be on call!) and she had me come up to the birth center for a check. Then I called Wendy! (my Mother-In-Law). While packing, I experienced that HUGE gush you only hear about in the movies, which confirmed it. I called Seth and Melissa back and said "it's DEFINITELY broke".
Seth met me at New Birth (along with his mom, Wendy) where Melissa checked me and declared I was 4 cm dilated. She also confirmed I was having legit contractions. Woho! I was administered antibiotics for my Group B strep, and the plan was for me to go home and labor there until my next dose of antibiotics 4 hours later. Yah! This is exactly why I chose New Birth.
We went home to our cozy apartment (only about 12 minutes from New Birth). I packed up the rest of my things super quick, while Seth cleaned up everything spick and span spotless for the soon-to-be arrival of our baby boy. Stronger contractions came on fast! I proceeded to labor on the floor of our apartment like a complete wimp. I had grand plans of walking and moving around while laboring, but with my nerve pain, that was the last thing on my mind. I laid happily on my left side, putting some pressure on my belly (recommended by Melissa to help get Jackson into better positioning) and timed my contractions with my "contraction timer" app on my phone. Yes, they make an app for that ;)
The contractions hurt A LOT. Not gonna lie! But it was a good hurt. Each one felt productive, like it had a purpose. Each one was bringing my son a little close to us. Around 4:30pm, contractions were lasting about 2 minutes long, and we're about 3 minutes apart. Fun! I'm still lying on the apartment floor like a beached whale. I probably sounded like one too! Or a dying cow... That probably would give you a good audible picture. I was excited, and I knew I could do this. It was just a matter of time before Jackson was with us for real.
About to get weighed and measured!
We called Melissa around 5pm, and told her my progress. She must have had great faith in me, or maybe I just should have sounded worse on the phone, but she told me to wait until 6:30pm before coming back. ‘WHAT?’?! was the reaction going on in my mind... but I resumed the beached whale position back on the floor.
Seth was absolutely marvelous this whole time. Always right next to me, rubbing my back and sides through contractions (which helped immensely!) but not bothering me or asking too many questions. He knew I was prepared for this, and that I was confident my body knew what to do (it did!)
6pm came around. Somehow, everything was packed and ready in the car. (go Seth!!) I miraculously managed to lug my contracting, nerve pained, doubled over self out to the car. I attempted to eat an apple on the way there. I knew eating would be important to keep up my energy. Sitting through contractions in the car was the worst. By now, they were full blown. I felt the beginning of "transition" and I was fighting not to "push". Of course, there was an accident on the highway and lots of traffic. I tried to focus on my apple. We made it there eventually with Seth's mad driving skills.
Walking into New Birth was exhilarating. I had imagined the day I would finally walk up to that building for the "real deal". That day was finally here! I'm pretty sure Melissa and the nurses knew my answer when they asked "You look great! Would you like to stay here?"
‘Holy Lord, thank you Jesus YES YES YES’.
I actually just say "Yea" but I was a lot more elaborate in my head. I went to the room, where I assumed the standard whale position on the queen sized bed. Ahhhh, love this place... I chose the "Contemporary" room. It had all my favorite colors, and it was the same room my sister-in-law had her baby (Jackson's cousin!).
Dressed to impress! And go home. Such a rockstar!
Melissa told me they wouldn't check me for a while unless I felt like I needed to push. The pushing sensation had sorta died since I was fighting it off in the car. I laid in the bed for a few minutes until I had to pee. I forgot there was something worse than contractions in the car... contractions on the freaking toilet. Oh my lord… Yup, that pushing sensation was back. I resumed whale position back on the bed, where they administered my second dose of antibiotics.
Melissa and the intern (whose name I have forgotten) checked my cervix. Almost a 10?! What? 2 more contractions later, I was a legit 10 cm dilated. It's about 7pm now.
Somehow, Mom, Dad, Dedi, Wendy, and Seth are all in the room now... Along with Melissa and a whole team of nurses. It's time to push (after dad leaves, of course). I was still on my left side. This position felt the most comfortable all day. Why change things now? Wendy held my leg up for me, while Dedi coached me on pushing. "Chin to chest!" Was the most helpful advice. My body knew what to do. I knew which contractions were "good" ones to push with. It was VERY painful, but still an effective pain. Yes, I was a bit of a screamer towards the end. Dedi coached me to hold the scream (and my breath) and turn it into pushing. This helped! I do not know what I would have done without my team.
Quick nap to pass the car ride...
In about 3-4 good pushes, I was able to reach down and feel his squashy little head. In about 2 more, he was OUT and they handed me this wide eyed beautiful slimy boy who I instantly knew was OURS! He rested skin to skin on my tummy and let out an annoyed little cry when nurse Aubrey started toweling him off. He was perfect, and he was here.
We did the delayed cord cutting, so he could get all his blood back before clamping. Seth cut the cord, and they laid him on my chest skin to skin. It was a wonderful, glorious moment. Most of the staff cleared out, and things got quieter. Holding Jackson was the most surreal thing I've ever experienced. So much love for this tiny creature with the cone shaped head and squinty eyes. Yet he's so perfect and so OURS that you can barely contain the emotion. It's still like that now.
Seth held him while Melissa helped me deliver the afterbirth. The placenta was pretty fascinating...
I got to drink my New Birth fruit smoothy and relax for a few minutes with our son. Then we started breastfeeding! Its harder than it looks, by the way. Cats, dogs and horses make it look easy... Later I was served breakfast in bed. Yum! The nurses baked a delicious chocolate cake and sang us Happy Birthday. Then I relaxed in a hot herbal bath to promote healing.
We were able to stay the night at New Birth. Aubrey was our nurse, and she was perfect! Well trained and very confident in her work. We were in excellent hands. She checked on Jackson and I every hour or so while we rested, and also helped us breastfeed.
We were discharged around 7am on 2/28. We had two home visits 24 and 48 hours later. Normally you'd have one, but with the Group B Strep, a second visit is made. Both nurses checked us out, and offered more support with breastfeeding.
The next morning, recovering and relaxing at home! 
My birth experience was amazing, and it was everything I wanted. My midwife Melissa was fabulous. The whole New Birth team was fabulous. My family and friends were fabulous too.

Jackson is the best baby a mom could ask for. We love love love him to pieces! He the next step in mine and Seth's life, and we could not be more pleased that he is ours. We love you Jackson!
P.S: I went to the chiropractor 1 week after delivery. She was completely able to eradicate my sciatic nerve pain! Woho! 

1 comment:

  1. Love your story Dana! This will be a wonderful thing to go back and look at when jackson is "all grown up" . Love uou guys ;-)


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