This is going to be long. Like, real long.
But, there are lot’s of pictures so that’s always good :)
This was such an amazing day. It’s taken me until now, almost 2 weeks later, to process it all. I’m sure I still will be for a while to come.
From the beginning:
I had an appt. on my due date, the 14th. No progress was made, so I was still at 1-2cm which was a bit of a bummer. The midwife gave me some “homework” to due over the next few days and said if still nothing by Monday the 20th I was to come back and they would use a balloon thing (can’t remember what its called) as an induction measure. I really didn’t want to have to do that. My prayer all along was that I would go into labor on my own. I really wanted to experience that, with no interventions. So, I upped my praying! Thursday the 13th, instead of just lounging around the house, like I wanted to, me and Aubrey spent most of the day over at Natalie’s. It was nice to get out of the house and have some good talk to distract from no baby. And, the chocolate chip cookies didn’t hurt either ;) I felt fine the whole day, except just tired. A couple of contractions here and there. Nothing out of the ordinary. I even told Natalie with how “good” I was feeling what were the odds something would happen. Well, guess the odds were pretty good.
The past couple of weeks I had really been trying to keep on top of laundry, dishes, keeping the house just cleaned up! So, of course when I got home from Natalie’s I didn’t feel like cleaning up anything. Not that the house was that much of a mess, but, still not what I would want to come home to with a new baby.
Well, about 2:30am I woke up with this horrible pain! It hurt to move in any direction. It was like my insides were ripping every time I tried to roll over, if I tried to sit up I would get a shooting pain and it would just take my breath away. Finally, I woke up Philip to help me sit up. As soon as I did my whole stomach cramped up and pain throughout my whole back. He started rubbing my back and finally it calmed down enough for me to stand and go to the bathroom. Philip went back to bed and I was too nervous to lay back down again (fear of the pain) so I went and sat in the chair in the baby’s room. After sitting for a few minutes I felt a contraction. Which, was out of the ordinary for the middle of the night. So, I just sat.. then another came. Decided then to take note and start timing. Just kinda felt like I should. Well, sure enough they kept coming. I timed my first one at 2:49am and went till 3:09am., from that time frame, according to the record on the app I had, they were coming every 3-4 minutes. That definitely caught my attention! The midwives told me not to wait till they were 5 minutes apart because second babies can come much quicker. So, I decided to walk around some to see if that would stop or change the frequency. As I walked I couldn’t really tell if they were still coming or not. I just felt tired. So, I sat back down and timed again starting at 3:31.. and they kept coming just minutes apart again. Though, the intensity would range some and the frequency was starting to space a little further apart. So, I’d walk, sit, lay on the couch.. and just keep timing. I didn’t want to call too early if it wasn’t the real thing. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.. but, I kinda was. I just kept telling myself “I’ll call if I get one more”. Well, one more turned to many more. Right about 5:00am I finally decided I should call. They said “C’mon!” YAY! Called my mom and let her know, then went to wake up Philip. He had no idea what was going on! Figured if it was the real deal, he would need some sleep to help me through ;) I crawled back in bed and he groggily asked if everything was ok, I told him “Well, looks like we need to go!” He shot up pretty quick. Haha. Filled him in on what had been going on and told him we needed to get there by 6:00. And, since the house was not up to par, I made Philip start cleaning ;) Though, once my bag was finished with the last minute things, I cleaned, too! Crazy. Things were not happening quite as I pictured, haha. We woke Aubrey up about 5:30 and told her we had to go to the baby doctor because the baby might be coming. She seemed pretty (sleepily) happy about that :) Loaded up the car and off we went! On the drive there I asked Philip if this is how he pictured things would be, he said no, and we both agreed things seemed too calm.
So, we got to the birth center right at 6:00am. She ( midwife Rachael) checked me, and lo and behold, I was at 4cm! SO happy to know there had been progress made. Baby boy had also dropped, but my cervix was still pretty high. She would get back to that later. Since I tested positive for the Group B Strep, she started my first round of antibiotics via IV. I don’t do IV’s well. I always bleed when they stick me and then have to move to another spot. I hadn’t ate anything since dinner, minus a few strawberries on the way there, so I started feeling pretty nauseas pretty fast. I had to have her stop because I started sweating like crazy and was needing a bucket! Thankfully, I didn’t have to use the bucket.. barely.
After I regained my composure, we headed downstairs to “the room”.
Aubrey was still in her pj’s and just going along with the flow. Philip brought all of our stuff in. I just walked around having some contractions ;) Rachael came back to “massage my cervix”. Have to say, massage probably isn’t the best word- Ouch! But, it did the trick and contractions started getting a little more intense and frequent. But definitely still manageable.
Natalie was in charge of taking pictures for us, so she was on her way by this point, and nicely brought us some breakfast from Chick-fil-A. Though, she also helped with Aubrey duty until the grandma’s got there :) All of my family was working so they were trying to get things figured out to get here. Well, minus Emily and Robert.. they weren’t real sure what to think of the birth center and what all that would entail, so they waited to see us till when we got home ;) Both of our moms got up there around 10-10:30.
Up until about 9:30, we all just hung out in the room and then walked around the park right next door. Our wonderful nurse Debbie was very helpful and more involved than I was expecting, which was nice. Apparently walking around the park was going to be in our future a lot. Debbie walked with us and showed me some moves that would help open things up, help with pain and “cut labor in half”! I was betting on that last part! I felt a little ridiculous at first the way she had me walking, but, after awhile I didn’t care anymore about how I looked or what anyone would have thought. I was getting down to business. Aubrey was also really glad to be outside and burn a little energy! It was such a nice day, a little chilly, hence me wearing Philip’s jacket ;) During this time, contractions were coming 5 minutes or less apart, pain was just uncomfortable, would maybe need to stop for a second, but I could still mostly talk through them. Whenever Aubrey was close by I would try my hardest to look like everything was fine, though she did pick up that things were different. She was very concerned for me and would come up and kiss my belly often. We had talked to her about whether or not she wanted to watch the baby come out, she was unsure, so we just played it all by ear. In the end, she didn’t watch, and I’m glad. I think it would have been too much for her.
Things were not going at all how I had imagined. I pictured myself wanting it to be dark and quiet so I could really focus and get in the zone. I thought it would have been much more painful earlier on. My biggest concern was getting through contractions, which ended up definitely being the “easier” part. I was hopeful that the whole process would take a considerable amount of less time than with Aubrey. I was not disappointed by any means with how things were going, just surprised. Natalie even commented several times at how easy things seemed to be. But of course, things didn’t stay that easy the whole time.
At 9:38 they broke my water. I was also at 4-5cm. which was a little disappointing. This is also when I got to wear those fancy Silhouette’s (aka Depends)! When you’re not hooked up to a catheter and laying in a bed covered in pads and all that, like in a hospital, gotta have something to catch all the fluids ;) Well, in no time at all things really started picking up! Debbie wanted me to go back out and walk, walk, walk! So, we did. Contractions definitely got noticeably stronger and closer together really fast. We walked outside for about 30-45 minutes and then came back in to get my second dose of IV antibiotics. I was having a much harder time with these contractions and really had to focus on getting through them. Philip was such a great help during this time. While walking outside Debbie suggested squatting during the contractions, and I found it felt really good to have Philip push on my lower back while he squeezed my hips with his thighs. Poor Philip got a good workout! After the antibiotics, I asked about getting in the tub (aka the natural birth epidural), Debbie said they recommend not getting in until at least 7-8cm because it can slow labor down. She said once the contractions started feeling “different” we would talk. So, we walked some more. At this point, it was pretty hard to walk. I was getting about 3-5 steps and having to stop. It was probably 10:45-11:00 at this point? (Aubrey was inside with the grandmas) These were much harder and were real low in my stomach. A few of them were bringing me to tears. It was just such an intense feeling, all I wanted to do was grab my stomach and make it stop.. which did nothing. Philip was such a good support- reassuring me, reminding me to breath, telling me I was doing a good job, rubbing/pushing on my back, couldn’t have done it without him! Finally I told Debbie I wanted in the tub,things felt different- really, like I needed to push or pee or something, and I just needed a break. She made me do another lap and then said we could go in. The longest lap of my life. Walking up the steps back inside was so hard, physically and emotionally. I just stopped and leaned on the rail, cried and prayed. Once inside, they checked me- 9cm!! I told them I was ready ;) I was actually really proud of myself for making it to 9 without any help. Once in the bathtub, what a difference! It was like an instant relief. I was able to breath and just take things in and regroup a little. Aubrey came in to see me, and for me to gauge whether or not she wanted to stay for it all, she got a worried look on her face when contractions would come. So, we decided to have her stay out.
I could definitely feel things changing… I knew the time to push was coming. I had zero intentions of having the baby in the water. Zero. But, once in the bath, I just couldn’t see myself getting out . Honestly, I started to panic. I just froze at the thought of pushing. I was afraid of what it was going to feel like and I didn’t want to find out! I think I also had the 3 hours of pushing Aubrey in my head and that didn’t help matters. Everyone kept telling me I needed to start pushing, I could do it, relax. (Oh that word- relax! That word could make a person go crazy!) They kept asking if I wanted to have the baby in the water, I didn’t act like I wanted out, so they took that as a yes. I kept telling them to hold on, I wasn’t ready, I just needed a minute. This is when everyone said they started getting worried about me, that I wouldn’t push, I was just too scared. I kept trying to pray and focus… but man, that fear had me. Eventually, I couldn’t help it anymore and I started to push. I remember looking at the clock and it was about 11:30 and thinking “I’m going to have this baby out by 12:00”- I had a goal. Well, pushing wasn’t going good in the tub, I wouldn’t “relax” and position myself the right way.. they were getting worried about me.. so, they had me get out and move to the bed. Holy moly, that was one long, hard walk to the bed. I mean, I could feel his head crowning. I made it to the bed and just laid down however I could (which was the wrong way, haha). Philip just held me and kissed my head. It just hurt so bad. I finally got into the right position, and it really became go time. I started pushing, but as they kept reminding me, I wasn’t relaxing my body. Mom and Philip each had one of my legs to help me out.. but, I couldn’t help it and I kept pushing against them- which is not what I was supposed to do. I kept pushing and pushing.. but with little progress. His head was right there for so long (well, what seemed like for so long). I kept pushing as hard as I could, but man, it was hard. I kept my eyes closed during it all, Debbie kept wanting me to open them and be in the moment and look at Philip.. but, to me, that’s too distracting. I had imagined myself staying very quiet through it all (like with Aubrey) and just being focused, that was not the case. I got a lot louder than I ever thought I would. And, that is why I was glad Aubrey wasn’t in there. It was not the groaning that I kept seeing in videos, it was more of just grunting/screaming.. kinda. I felt like I had to in order to get him out. I won’t lie, it hurt! I wanted to quit, pretty sure I even said so. Debbie had me feel his head and look in the mirror to see how close I was. I do remember getting really frustrated with myself though- I was worried everyone was thinking I was taking too long, and I kept thinking “why is it so hard for me to get my kids heads out?!” My frustration with myself did not help, but hearing everyone cheer me on and hearing their excitement rise when I was getting his head to really come out gave me the motivation I needed. Baby boy was turned the wrong way and at one point I heard the midwife say he was rotating and I could totally feel it, which was pretty weird! But, didn’t hurt. I never felt the “ring of fire” as I’ve heard many talk about, which I’m glad for. Once his head finally came out I remember thinking “ Ok, relief is about to be here. Its about to be over. Just have to get the body out and relief will be here.” Unfortunately, that was a little harder to come by. Baby was turned sideways and his hand was in front of his face… so getting the rest of him out was a bit tricky. I looked up and saw him part ways out and just thinking while I pushed “Just pull him out! Get him out however!” That was pretty painful. According to everyone who witnessed, it was a good struggle getting him out. Philip thought they were really hurting him how hard she was pulling and twisting him. But, he finally came out with no damage done- to him or me!! I didn’t tear and avoided being cut (barely)- could not believe it! Man, just knowing he was out was such a relief! Watching Philip help grab him as he was coming out and putting him on me was such a special moment. Having that first moment of seeing your baby and finally touching them- nothing beats it.
He was born at 12:24, so I didn’t quite meet my goal. Though, I think if there had still been a clock visible to me from the bed, I might have made it. ;)
Everyone noticed right away how big he was. The last “guess” on weight was mid 8lbs. He had been laying on his side for weeks, so it was hard for them to really get a good feel on how big he was, so we were all pretty shocked when Philip held him up to weigh him at a whopping 10lbs 2oz!! Its no wonder he was hard to get out! ;)
Unfortunately, things were not all rosy right away. The pain “down there” was so intense, it was all I could focus on. I started getting real emotional and upset because it hurt so bad and I felt like I wasn’t as happy and in the moment as I wanted/needed/should have been? I just kept asking if it should be hurting that bad?? They kept saying it was normal. But, I don’t think it was. It took a good while, an hour or two?, for me to really feel better. It took less time than that though for me to feel better enough to redirect my focus, thank goodness. As they kept checking me and pushing on my stomach, I kept bleeding quite a bit. And man, that was painful them pushing on me! I just wanted a break from the pain! But, I know that’s part of it. After we got a little more situated, they wanted me to start feeding him. At this time, Aubrey was ready to come in. My mom said she was worried about me and wanted to make sure I was ok. Sweet girl. She was so excited to see her brother! I loved that moment. The smile on her face was just pure joy and happiness. She stayed with us in the bed for a bit, but then they needed to check some things on baby.. and push and check around on me again. When she went to push on my stomach this time though a HUGE gush of blood came pouring out. The nurse started to freak a little and started yelling for the midwife. Philip was still sitting next to me, Aubrey and Collin were walking out of the room and mom and Natalie were off to the side. I remember looking at them and them looking pretty worried. Not gonna lie, I was a little worried too! Wasn’t sure what was going on, but it didn’t sound good. Before I knew it, all three midwives and a couple of nurses were checking me out. Come to find out, I did hemorrhage. Apparently, with big babies, it sometimes causes the uterus to have to have a hard time connecting back once the placenta detaches. They kept a good eye on me and checked me often. They also gave me some kind of pills (can’t remember what they are called) they were inserted in me and a shot of pitocin to stop the bleeding. I also had to get an IV of fluids since I lost a good amount of blood. Things finally started getting under control and all I wanted to do was take a shower! Which, they let me. :) It was a bit awkward since I was hooked up to the IV, the midwife had to stand outside the glass shower door the whole time. No modesty in giving birth!! After the shower, lunch was here and I was feeling tons better!! Had my baby boy, my sweet girl and my awesome husband, what more could I ask for. We all hung out in the bed for a while, letting Aubrey hold him- she got really upset when she had to pass him off so they could check his blood sugar (it was too low for how big he was, so they had to supplement a little formula to get it back up). Poor Aubrey was up since 5:30 with a lot of excitement, she was hitting meltdown mode. Everything was making her emotional. So, we decided to let her go home with Collin and Papa for a break, and hopefully a nap- which was a no go.
Things started to quiet down around this time. Which was nice. We had a few visitors, but it was pretty low key. Just nice to sit around and be chill. This is also about the time I started getting pretty tired. I just had to be able to go to the bathroom, which was a feat, and then we could go home.
So, about 6:30pm, we started loading up. I was still in a good amount of pain, just really sore and moving in slow motion. But, we were going home and that was a great feeling!
It was such an amazing day. I feel so much closer and connected to Philip than I ever thought I would. I needed him so much that day and he was there completely. The trust and security I have in him now is so much more and deeper. He was the perfect partner in this.
I’m so glad I went the natural route. And, for those wondering, yes, I would do it again!
Wyatt Miller Hopkins
January 17, 2014 12:24 pm 10lbs 2oz 21.5 inches