Birth Story of John David 09/15/13 (Sorry it is so, so long)
I want to start the story of my son’s birth by acknowledging the three babies I lost due to miscarriages the three years before. In April of 2012 I lost a very badly wanted baby, it was the third loss, and the most difficult one. After the loss of that baby, I decided I would not try for any more children. In fact, I was trying not to get pregnant; we were using more than one method of birth control from that point forward. To this day, we have no idea how John was conceived, other than God had plans for us that were out of our control. And I thank Him every single day for this miracle rainbow baby He blessed us with.
When I got pregnant, I decided I did not want any medical intervention due to the previous losses. I remember being 12 weeks or so pregnant and asking my husband how he felt about no doctors, midwifes, or other medical personnel for our pregnancy and delivery. He was scared of complications, and I had to agree to a few stipulations, but we agreed to have a completely unassisted pregnancy and delivery. I did all of my own prenatal care, we had an ultrasound through a private ultrasound tech to check for placenta previa, did a home beta strep test, and towards the end, my husband checked my cervix when preterm labor was a scare. We ordered all of our birth supplies, bought a birth pool, and prepared for all possible complications. We knew that if there was even a thought that something was going wrong, we would call an ambulance; we only live 5 minutes away from the hospital. Fortunately, our pregnancy and birth went perfectly.
Starting at around 20 weeks pregnant, I had more Braxton Hicks contractions than I could count. Often times they were painful, regular, and cause for concern; however, I managed to make it all the way to 38 weeks. The Saturday I went into labor, I was at work from 0630-1500. I noticed my first contraction that felt kind of different at 0640. I told my coworker that I felt weird and that I was pretty sure labor was starting. I kept saying I was going to leave work, but I kept putting it off until my shift ended up being over anyway. I called my husband when I got home and told him to end his fishing day early, and he got home around 5. I called my mom and told her that I was pretty sure I was in labor also. I took a shower, and asked my husband to go get dinner for everyone. I went for a walk through the neighborhood, and spent much of the evening outside.
Me and my gorgeous husband, Sean!
My mom Cora and youngest daughter, Aubree!
My oldest daughter, Autumn!
Around 8pm my husband aired up the pool. My contractions had been regular, but not painful all day, and I was worried I would go on like this for a very, very long time, so I asked my husband to check my cervix around 9pm, and I was approximately 5cm at that time. During that vaginal exam, my water broke and he immediately stopped the exam and never checked again. We did fetal heart tones, and they were great. My labor switched to active painful labor as soon as my water broke. I was no longer able to stand during contractions. Hands and knees was the only positions I could be in, and I moaned appropriately through contractions for a while.
Checking Baby's heart rate.
Filling the birth pool!
It was about 10:30 pm when contractions got to the point of occasional screams, yelling, cursing, and stating “I can’t do this” over and over. I tried taking a shower, but found it did nothing to help the pain. In fact, nothing I tried eased the pain in any way. Counter pressure just made me angry that I was being touched. My children, especially my 8 year old girl, were so sweet and concerned throughout the night. My mom was a great support person, and told me how great I was doing the entire time. We had my grandmother present, my dad, my sister, and unexpected family friends whom were very helpful as well. There were more people than I had anticipated, but due to the many trips to the store and needs of my children, they were greatly appreciated. We also had a photographer and videographer; we almost didn’t call them, but I am so glad we did. The video and photos we got are priceless.
A little rest between contractions!
The look I gave Sean when he told me to "Just relax."
I should say, I never knew what time it was; looking back at photos and asking people are the only ways I know what time things happened. I thank God I did not know what time it was; I probably would have panicked thinking “Oh God, I have only been doing this for an hour” and like thoughts. I got into the pool around 11:15, and it was relaxing between contractions, but I writhed and screamed through contractions. The only position I could be in was kneeling in front of my husband as he sat on the edge of the pool with my face buried in his side. I often looked at him and stated that I was going to die; he assured me that I wasn’t. I began feeling pushy right before I got in the pool, but was too scared to push due to no vaginal checks. I tried to feel for cervix, but everything felt the same, and I should have known then that there was no cervix present. I started pushing slowly while moaning. I never held my breath. I never truly had a bare down moment. I just kept moaning and doing soft pushes.
The position I stayed in, screamed in, and eventually birthed in! My superhero husband coaching me beautifully; he was so encouraging and calm. He just repeated how amazing I am and how great I was doing.
After about 20 minutes of soft pushes, I felt a pop when the baby slipped under my pubic bone, and that’s when I really started pushing. The baby’s head began crowning; the entire top of the head was pushing me open, and I was screaming “IT HURTS!!” With the next contraction, about a minute later, I pushed and his head stopped around the ears. It was unbelievably painful! Finally, with one more contraction the head was out. It felt like the next contraction would never come. Probably three minutes passed with just the head and his hands out. During that time, I felt his fingers, his nose, his lips, eyes, ears, and was able to compose myself for a few minutes while on a weird high. It was an out of body experience to rub my babies head while I could still feel him kicking inside of me. An unbelievable, life changing moment. Baby did not move anywhere with the next contraction, but came out into the water with nobody touching him, completely free, at 12:14 am, after the second contraction. The water was pulling him to the surface, it felt like someone was ripping him out of me, and I kept screaming “DON’T TOUCH MY BABY!!!!” I didn’t know until later that he was not being touched. My mom grabbed him in the water while I adjusted.
John's head out and I couldn't stop touching him!
The rest of him being born, but you can't see very well.
My mom reaching down and pulling him to the surface! She was crying.
I immediately flipped over and grabbed my baby, pulling him to my chest. He was kind of floppy and not breathing right away. I knew it was ok; he was pinking up just fine. I just waited and rubbed him with a towel until he coughed a little. I sucked the mucous out of his mouth and nose with my mouth and spit it out. He was then breathing with no problem. He did not cry until much later. The after pains hit within a few minutes; I had to moan through them. I held my baby, talking to him, showing him to his siblings, snuggled with my husband, and floating on a cloud. I took Placenta Ease Tincture and Arnica tablets. After 15 minutes or so, we got out of the pool and went to the bathtub so I could deliver the placenta and shower. John was COVERED in vernix, it was so thick, and there was a bunch of it floating in the pool. The placenta delivered as soon as I got to the tub. I was bleeding quite a bit, but I was not concerned. My husband took the baby, still attached to the placenta to the other room to cut the cord and dress him. The cord was clamped and cut about 45 minutes after birth.
Sean and I with Baby John for the first time! Instant LOVE!
I got very shaky in the shower, but finished washing up and put my pajamas on. The kids, my husband, mom, and grandmother got the baby dressed, weighed, measured, and all ready for me. The photographer got pictures of John with all of his siblings and grandparents. I climbed in bed and nursed John right away. He nurses ALL the time now. I feel great! I had a couple tears, but they were small and healing well. I am so in love with my baby. All of my other children love him so much. My husband is so amazed by him. I am obsessed with my baby. I do not like anyone else touching him. Baby makes 5 children for me, and while I said I was done the entire pregnancy and birth, now I am not so sure ;)
20 ½ inches
Aubree and Trenton with their new brother.
Nevaeh with Baby John.
Autumn is such a proud big sister!
Nursing my baby for the first time!
My beautiful boy!!
This is us the day after his birth!!!