Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Birth Story: Everett Joshua

*This is the birth story of Everett Joshua. It is kind of long. If you don't like long stories, or birth stories then it might not be for you. However, I want to remember everything so fyi, it is a little detailed.

On July 27th my due date came and went just like any other day. Unfortunately I had gotten my hopes up that this baby would come early. I was uncomfortable, felt big, and had it in my head that this baby was different and would make an appearance earlier then his big sister. After the 27th passed I felt certain that the little babe was just waiting to be born on my birthday, and 30th. Nope, that day came and went as well. Finally I thought, maybe the 31st, my Grandma’s birthday. When I woke up on August 1st with no contractions, no broken water, and no baby, I decided that the baby had his or her own agenda.

I’m not going to lie that first week in August was pretty brutal. I had to call my boss and tell her to put me on the schedule so that I wouldn’t use any maternity leave before it was necessary. Thankfully my work is so awesome they ended up calling me off on those days I was scheduled anyway so I ended up not having to work that week which was amazing. That week was so hot there was hardly anything to do to keep busy. I had completed my “to do list before baby comes” and cleaned everything in sight. Chris also kept cleaning up every night before he went to work in case he got called back in the middle of the night, he wanted everything to be ready. Every day I would wake up and still be pregnant.

This is what happened that week: Monday: Got acupuncture in hopes to induce labor, it was not successful. Tuesday: Was supposed to work, got called off. Ate some tacos and spicy food. Wednesday: Was supposed to work, got called off. Chris and I took Vivian to the splash pad to play. Had contractions in the night, but they stopped. Thursday: Had my one-week-overdue appointment with Dr. Got the talk that he didn’t want me to go past Sunday. I talked him into a couple more days if I got an ultrasound and non-stress test. We also set up an induction time for Sunday at 9am if the baby did not come before then. I thought oh it will certainly happen sometime in the next couple days.

Friday: Went to the hospital for an ultrasound and non-stress test. The baby was perfectly fine and happy. I called my mom and told her to come watch Vivian during the tests (and also for moral support ☺ ). She ended up spending the night. Saturday: We went and walked around the farmers market. I bought an eggplant to eat for supper. We came home and watched the Olympics. Finally by Saturday I figured I was going to that hospital at 9 am on Sunday because this baby was just not coming on his or her own. This was definitely a hard day for me because I so wanted to trust my baby and my body to do what it was supposed to on its own, at the same time, those 9 days were long and I definitely could not wait another day.

Sunday morning I woke up when Vivian came plowing in to our room at 5:30 am. I took her back to her bed and laid with her until she went back to sleep. It was such a bittersweet moment knowing that it wasn’t going to be just her, I and Daddy anymore. Mama got a little teary laying there. Of course there was no way I could go back to sleep. I was so excited to meet this little one, but apprehensive about being induced. I so wanted a natural birth, just like with Vivian and was worried about the chain of events that can happen when you are induced.

About 6:30 we woke up and got things going. I did my hair and makeup which was a nice change to be “prepared” for this event ☺. My mom cooked us breakfast and I tried to load up on some food because I knew it was going to be a while before I could eat again. Chris, Mom, Viv and I all made guesses of what we thought the baby would be on a paper while we were eating. Then, it was time to go. This was definitely the hardest part of the whole thing for me. I was so sad to leave Vivian with my mom. But it was time. I was so ready to meet the baby.

We got to the hospital a little before 9am and met our nurse. It was the same nurse that had done our non-stress test on Friday! I was instantly at ease because she was so nice and I was hoping that she would be our nurse on Sunday. We did all of our check-in stuff then Dr. showed up. We talked about our birth plan with him, and I told him I really wanted to go drug-free if possible. He said that if the baby’s head was well engaged that he could rupture my membranes and see if things progress without Pitocin. So at 1007 he broke the bag of water, I was 2 cm, 80% and -3 station. Within half and hour after I was having contractions on my own. They weren’t bad maybe 7 or 8 minutes apart. But I was so happy for those contractions! I wanted my body to do that work on it’s own and it did not let me down. The Dr. poked his head back in and asked if I could feel the contractions that were showing up on the monitor, I assured him I could.

After being monitored for a little bit the nurse said we could get up and walk. I can not empasize enough how amazing it was to have a nurse who was advocating for us! She was seriously amazing and followed our birth plan to a T. She told us, “Just know that you have choices if your contractions don’t progress right away.” And I think just having that positive mindset was so amazing. I didn’t feel pressured at all, which in turn helped me to relax. Chris was also so positive throughout that I never felt worried about doing interventions that I didn’t want to do.

Chris and I walked the halls for quite awhile. Contractions were still not too bad. I was able to talk through them. Chris told me to do horse lips, which would make me laugh during contractions because I thought it sounded funny. We kept stopping by the kitchen to get juice for me and some snacks for Chris. I think contractions were maybe coming around every 4 – 7 minutes at this time. It seemed like when I would sit down they would back off. Chris was so encouraging to me throughout this entire time. He helped me do my exersizes which I think helped to keep things progressing.

Around 2pm I had the nurse check me again. Which once again was really my choice. I was 3.5 – 4 cm 90% and -2 station. Chris and the nurse both assured me they were really happy with this progress. Not only did I gain a couple cm, the baby was moving down and things were also getting soft. Since I was getting monitored I just rested in bed at this time. Chris pulled the recliner up to the bed and held my hand and we both took a little nap. I was totally sleeping between contractions, just like I had heard of other mama’s doing. I remember thinking, oh no what if things are slowing down since I am resting. But I was too tired to worry about it.

About 3pm we woke up, and got unhooked from the monitor. I said lets try some walking again. As soon as I got up I knew things were different. Contractions started coming around 2-4 minutes apart and were definitely more intense. I think that Chris and I only walked in the hall once and then I wanted to stick in the room. I was starting to make some noise during the contractions and leaning a lot on Chris. I seriously could not have done this without him. He was even more prepared then during my labor with Viv. He anticipated all of my needs it was amazing.

Around 5pm things were getting intense. I asked the nurse to check me again, and I was about 6cm 90% and -1 station. Major progress. I was painful but so happy at the same time. I knew in the back of my head that I was getting close to transition. Chris kept telling me that I was going to meet our baby soon, and was helping me through each contraction. I was starting to think, “oh my, this better not last another 9 hours,” and that is how I knew I was transitioning. I decided I wanted to get in the tub because I was really uncomfortable. Chris set it up, and the once I was in the water felt amazing.

For some reason I felt like my contractions majorly slowed down when I was in the water, but Chris said they were still every couple minutes. Man, the ones in the water were super intense. Chris told the nurse that he thought I was getting close. She paged the Dr. a couple times and I could hear her setting things up in the room. I thought to myself, “I hope she isn’t paging the Dr. too soon, after all I’m only at 6 cm.” I think I was in the water for about 45 minutes, when I thought maybe it would be easier to bear the contractions in a different position. I had Chris help me out and immediately had a huge contraction and was feeling kinda pushy.

At 6:25 (just and hour and twenty-five minutes after I was at 6 cm), I got back into bed to see how far I was. 8.5-9 cm 100% and +1 station. It was obviously super intense at this point. I really did not want to be in the bed because it was so uncomfortable on my back. So I decided to sit on the ball for a little bit until I got to 10cm. As soon as I stood up and then sat down on the ball I had another huge intense contraction, and some involuntary pushing. I looked at the nurse and said, “the baby is coming soon!” She paged the Dr. again. After another pushing contraction on the ball Chris and the nurse got me quickly back into bed.

To me it seemed like the contractions weren’t stopping at this point, and I was involuntarily pushing. But the Dr. still wasn’t there. All of a sudden there were like four other nurses in the room. My nurse asked me if I could breath through the contractions. I was like there is no way, and I looked at Chris and he told me to push if I needed to push, which was exactly what I told him to tell me before I started labor. I did not want my labor to stall out again during the pushing phase.

Within minutes another lady came in, I thought she was another nurse. Nope, she was a Dr that was out at the desk, and was walking by our room. She stopped in and asked if we needed any help, and said “I will just hang out until your Dr. comes.” By this point I’m pretty sure the baby was crowning. The new Dr looked at our birth plan, and then said okay well let’s help her out ☺ I wasn’t saying anything at this point. The new Dr. gowned up and was ready to catch the baby. Chris and nurses were helping me out, and within 5 or 6 pushes the baby was out!

The Dr handed the baby to Chris to see what it was, Chris and I were both looking but between the tears and adrenaline it was kind of hard to see if it was a boy or girl. Chris finally got a look and said “It’s a boy!” It was so amazing! We were both shocked. Even though earlier that morning we had both guessed boy, I think in the back of our heads we kind of thought it was a girl. Basically we had no idea what we thought it would be. He was born at 6:42 pm (Just an hour and forty-five minutes after I was only at 6 cm). And right before the end of my nurse’s shift. She said later she was planning to stay until I had the baby anyway. Still in the back of my mind it was a relief.

They put the little guy right up on my chest and he definitely let us know that he was not crazy about being out of mama’s cozy tummy. He was looking all around and crying like crazy. His apgar scores were 9 and 9. He was super alert and healthy, although a little bruised up from such a speedy delivery. Chris and I were in shock and were so happy to have the little man in our arms. The Dr. (who was my new hero) said so does he have a name? Chris looked at me, and I said, “His name will be Everett.” It was perfect.

A few minutes later our regular Dr showed up. I felt bad because he was just at home waiting in his scrubs, apparently something was wrong with the paging system. One thing I did not anticipate fully with this baby was how painful I would be after the delivery. Man, the second baby brings so much cramping afterwards. I was almost more painful then during labor. Thankfully that calmed down within an hour. Everett latched on and started nursing within minutes after delivery. However, I had to hand him off to Chris because I was so painful I couldn’t concentrate on both him and the cramps.

By 8 pm the room was cleaned up and we were just sitting there with a new little baby in our arms. He was still just wrapped up in his blanket with no diaper on or anything. The nurse’s hadn’t taken him from us one time. They just let us be together and bond. I did hand him over to Dr. for his newborn check. He peed all over the Dr. when he was getting checked. But everything looked great.

Soon after my parents came up and brought Vivian along before bed. It was surreal to see her come in and look at me holding the baby. I will never forget the look on her face when she came in. She looked surprised and excited, her little mouth was in an “o” shape. She looked at me, then looked at Chris, then wanted to kiss the baby right away, it was so sweet. Unfortunately I was still pretty painful at this point, darn afterbirth cramps. So they did not stay very long. I hated to see Vivian go. It was so bittersweet to be there holding the new baby, but to be completely powerless to hold Vivian and pick her up too.

After they left my percocet kicked in, and also the afterbirth endorphins and I felt great! I practically jumped up to go to the bathroom and was walking around the room. It was around 9pm and we gave Everett his first bath. Then I ordered a huge supper, I was starving. Everett nursed a few more times throughout the night. Chris pulled the couch over next to my bed to sleep and after making about a million phone calls we finally fell asleep around midnight.

It was such a crazy, wonderful experience. I had so much support throughout the entire delivery. Chris really anticipated all of my needs before I even asked. We really worked as a team throughout the entire birth, it was amazing. When Everett was born it was such a relief. He was so healthy and strong. We instantly fell in love all over again. My recovery has been so much better then it was with Vivian. I have had more energy, and not as much pain as the first time. We are so blessed and happy to have a healthy little boy as a new member of our family.
And just like that we became four.

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