My (LOOOONG) Birth Story
So here’s the thing. We lied….
When we found out we were expecting again we intentionally waited an extra few weeks to tell anybody or make our announcement. So though our actual due date based on my LMP was May 12th we just told everybody “sometime in June”. And boy did we make the right decision, but more on that later…
My pregnancy was pretty awesome. I found out I was pregnant the day before my 21st birthday and it made me entirely too happy! Sure I was tired, but I had hardly any morning sickness. Of course I got the dreaded stretch marks I had avoided with my first pregnancy, gained more weight than I wanted to and felt like and elephant, but it was an overall easy pregnancy.
That is until my “due date”. Now understand that with my first child, my daughter Kaylen, I went 19 days past that magical date and each one of my friends had their babies and posted their pictures on Facebook even though I was the first to become pregnant! I endured well-meaning message after message, call after call, comment after comment asking if the baby was here yet (“Yeah and we just decided to tell no one!”), if I was in labor (“Totally am! That’s why I’m talking to you!”), and the “I’m sure it’ll be any day now!” (“Really? Ya think?”). It was too much! And even though it was out of concern and care it made the waiting unbearable! But she came when she was ready and we moved on…
So this time, though I knew I would probably go over, I expected a baby before June because I had done the math and the math didn’t lie…
Well fast forward to June 4th… 23 days “overdue” (by this point though we were fairly certain we had got our dates wrong… my cycles hadn’t been very regular and we had many possible dates of conception between the week I assumed I ovulated and the week I might have ovulated if I had a 39 day cycle like the one I had a few months prior to that one ). Still, I was freaking out and feeling the pressure from the select few we choose to tell my “real” due date (they will not be told next time!!!!). I was considering Non Stress Tests and Biophysical Profiles, but without insurance and an hour long drive to the nearest acceptable hospital, Karl and I decided to trust God and recommit this pregnancy to Him!
That being said I tried castor oil on June 1st and started taking black and clue cohosh on June 8th.
The black and blue cohosh gave me some contractions an hour apart and I started to have bloody show which was super encouraging! I could feel my cervix changing! I had Karl check my cervix a few times (my cervix had always been very posterior and I couldn’t reach it) and he assessed it as soft and fairly effaced and maybe 2cm. He is such a trooper and actually said “this is kind of fun!”
Most of Saturday the 8th I had contractions every hour or so, Sunday was every hour or half hour. Monday they petered out in the morning, but resumed by bedtime. I was planning on my 8th “last grocery trip”, but our car decided to completely die on us.
Tuesday dawned and we got our car towed. I borrowed my in-laws car and did my shopping trip with my daughter. Contractions we every 30 minutes, meaning I had one in the car on the way there, one in the store in the cereal aisle and one on the drive home. They were intense and required much concentration. I went home and made Philly Chicken Cheesesteak in the crockpot and put Kaylen down for a nap. Karl called and gave me the bad news on the car: $2200 - $4000. I made us a consolation prize in the form of a Pineapple Cream Pie with meringue.
We had dinner, commiserated, and put our little girl to bed at 7:30. By 9:30 contractions were between 15 and 30 minutes apart. I checked myself and with my limited experience guessed I was at 4 or 5 cm. We went to bed at 10:30, but then I decided things were uncomfortable enough that I should try a bath. It was instant relief except that I couldn’t have both my belly and back under the water at the same time. The back pain was the worst of it and it radiated into my hips and thighs. I got out, went downstairs and tried to distract myself with something on the computer, but couldn’t stand to be without Karl. I woke him and asked him to try counter pressure which worked, but I just couldn’t hold still long enough to let it help. Thing were fairly unbearable at this point because I was tired and just felt like lying down, but that made the contractions impossible to bear. I kept on trying to do the deep, helpful vocalizations, but they would just get higher and I felt a bit out of control. Karl mixed up some raspberry flavored Emergen-C and it smelled so good I could hardly wait for him to hand it to me. I jumped back in the tub. Time was the last thing on my mind, but I sure felt I had a lot longer to go… it was maybe 2:30am at this point. I finally checked myself again and thought I was maybe fully dilated with a small lip of cervix left and baby’s head was right there, but I really didn’t believe it or grasp that information. So after another contraction I checked myself again, and then again. The information just seemed so arbitrary at the time and sort of meaningless because in my head I had hours of labor ahead of me.
Still I got out to tell Karl. He held me as I had another contraction and asked me if I thought I might be in transition and I replied “I think I’m past that.”. And then it finally clicked. That horrible, unbearable feeling during contractions was because I wanted to push, but was fighting it because I didn’t believe it could be time for that already.
I thought I’d lay on the floor for a moment to rest and suddenly had another contraction that made it nigh impossible to breathe (let alone try and blow bubbles with my lips). I ended up pushing like crazy while Karl told me to breathe. I kept saying “I can’t stop pushing…. I don’t want to tear, but I can’t stop pushing!” I knew I had to get out of that side lying position or baby was going to fly out!
I got on my hands and knees on an old blue comforter spread over a plastic shower curtain liner on the floor and had Karl get me the mirror. It was difficult, but I was able to slow down the pushing a minuscule amount. I pushed and then didn’t to try and let the baby’s head slowly stretch me and I checked the mirror constantly and held my perineum to keep from tearing. I could totally see baby’s head, but neglected to tell Karl that because I was so focused.
At the time I didn’t realize that Karl had no idea how soon the baby was going to be born… I barely knew myself as I was trying to go slowly. Last time I pushed for 3 hours. So when Karl said he had to go to the bathroom I said ok. I was doing just fine on my own and thought I’d have more time.
But then suddenly I felt confident I wouldn’t tear and with a strong contraction I pushed baby’s head out while giving a cry that was totally different from any other noise I had made. I quickly and quietly called for Karl and he came in much surprised that the head was out.
At that point I got a bit nervous to hear the baby cry and know it was all okay and so I pushed the rest of the tiny body out without another contraction. I’m pretty certain that this is when I got my tiny tear.
Karl caught him at 3:21am and I instantly saw that we had a son! We passed him through my legs and I sat down. I immediately felt great and was so excited! He cried loudly and we wrapped him in a towel.
Karl was great at monitoring my bleeding and we did a dose of Angelica tincture as a preventative measure.
He nursed after twenty minutes and I then had two contractions and squatted over a bowl while holding him and birth the placenta about 40 minutes after he was born. We did a preventative dose of Shepherd’s Purse to prevent excessive bleeding. I really didn’t bleed too much at all!
I got to jump in the shower and felt a bit light headed afterwards. I had some more Emergen-C while Karl cut the cord and did 3 EldonCards to see if we had an Rh + baby. He was O+.
The three of us got to nap together in bed from 6am until 9am when Kaylen woke up. Just as I had prayed she slept through the whole thing. I was able to get Kaylen up, give her kisses, and tell her all about her new baby brother! They met and she gave him a sweet kiss!
He was 7 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 inches long!
We each had our worries; Karl about the baby breathing right away and me bleeding too much and I myself was worried about there being meconium in the waters and tearing, but thankfully none of those came to pass. Well except for the small tear I received which is so unbelievably painless I hardly can believe it’s there. In fact, we realized afterwards that we never noticed my water breaking. We still don’t know when that happened. Probably when I was in the bath.
I had a midwife friend (who traveled 5 hours round trip to give me my Rhogam shot, file the birth certificate and do a newborn exam) check me over and she said that it had already begun to heal up not even 20 hours after the birth! I’m three days post-partum as I type this and I feel basically back to normal, which makes it hard to just lay around, but I am just so grateful I’m healing well!
I can’t believe it happened almost exactly as I hoped and prayed it would! Karl and I are still pinching ourselves over how perfectly it went! God is too good!