So if you read some of my previous posts or know me...i am about natural living. Like, the way God intended it to be(but i want running water, cell phone, and a indoor toilet ok...just saying). but when it came to the birth of our first child i knew it was going to be all natural! ....well, i had hoped I was strong enough. Several reasons for this choice but the main thing was that i under NOOOOOOOOO circumstances wanted a ginormous needle coming near my spine! The stories of the side effects of epidurals sent my fearing mind into a tizzy, so YEP I planned on natural. Secondly, I knew the effects medicines can have on the very tender newborn.
So, I explained to Ryan about 2 days after we found out the news were were pg, that i wanted to do it this way. He didnt believe i could do it without meds from the start. The problem was, i was explaining this to him while i was flossing my teeth-got the floss stuck between 2 teeth that actually brought me to tears. He gave me that look that said, "REALLY AMANDA?" So 3rdly, I had to prove him and everyone else who thought I was incapable-----WRONG!
So fast-forward to everyone finding out. You know then, everyone wants to tell you the horror story of pushing out a 10lb baby that almost got stuck after 48 hours of labor, that needed to be cut(shivers), and the like. So everytime i heard this i put on my strong face and said to myself, "thats not gonna be me!"
So i spent the next 8 months preparing for the glorious all natural birth i was to have! MY friend Meghan had recently had a baby and had delivered with a midwife. So i thought natural caregiver=natural childbirth, step 1! Next, I wanted to take the Bradley Method classes. They however were 10 weeks long on Sunday during football season-Ryan said NO WAY the Vikings are going all the way this year and Im not going to miss it! (poor hub, such a let down every year). So instead I read EVERY book and workbook Meghan gave me. I listened exclusivly to stories of woman who gave birth sans meds and blocked out completely the rest of the stories. I was determined to be successful at this.
Around 7 months along i started to encounter some issues with high blood pressure. Ugh, twice I had to collect my urine for 24 hours to have it tested for protein to ensure i was not developing pre-eclampsia which can be harmful to both mom and baby. The bp stayed elevated so at about 36 weeks they started discussing the dirty, filthy, nansty, rotten word INDUCTION at 39 weeks. I wanted to vomit. I think I actually started crying. NO this was not in my perfect plan. After much research i knew that every one medical intervention increases greatly your risk of a C-section which made horrified me. I am a planner and a c-section was not in this lady's plan OK!! Period.
At 37 weeks they picked the day of the induction and gave me the instructions of what time to be there.
F-E-A-R consumed my thoughts and gave me nightmares. I went on each day wondering if 4-14-11, a Thursday, would be my son's birth-day.
So on Sunday 4/10/11 I was sick of being consumed with fear and anxiety. I did the only thing I could do-Let go and let GOD! I just prayed knowing my God would hear me and give me grace and the perfect birth meant for our 2-soon-to-be-3 family. It was unexplainable. On that day all and i mean ALL my anxiety and fear left me, period.
So Tuesday 4/12/11 came and I had an appointment with my midwife to check my bp, discuss last minute inducition items, and then had my membranes stripped. Um, yes this is uncomfortable but i found it a natural way to help my body prepare for birth. So membranes were stripped at 2pm, I then headed to my massage lady and told her to rub all the preasure points that stimulate the uterus, and then relaxed-headed to my freind Beka's baby shower. I was calmer than I had ever been in my life. I was taking in the beautiful spring day and happiness that Beka and I had as we were to soon welcome our babies Leo and Livia. I went home that night and slept the best I had the whole pregnancy, just thanking God that He had given me a peace about this birth that was before my husband and me.
4/13/11-4am I woke with a wierd feeling in my stomach. It felt like a Braxton Hicks contraction...but different. I went to pee and noticed the light on in the living room and said hi to Ryan who was up becouse he was used to working nights.(i think he wishes he had gotten some sleep that night!) I went back to bed and then at 5am woke up again, this time irritated becasue i knew i had to go to work and how was i going to work if i was tired(hahaha who knew!) But then they kept coming...about 10 minutes later i woke back up. I thought to myself, really? i cant be this lucky to have it happen the DAY before they were threatening to induce me!
I went downstairs and asked Ryan to start timing them(note to new mom's--keep this paper for your scrapbook, i cherish our record of these hours just before our son was born) Around 6:30 am we called Sandy our midwife and she thought i was in "early labor", acted like it was no big deal and to just come in for a labor check at 10:30. So at this point I am annoyed that she is acting like its no big deal but whatever! I got in the tub around 7am and the hot water seemed to help my contractions which at this point i might describe as a pain level of say 4-5. I was trying not to get too excited bc I thought what if they go away and then i have to actually go to work today? Silly me!
At 9am I told Ryan I wanted to go for a quick walk down by the river to help labor along. I put my shoes on, walked out the door, down the 4 front steps, 2 sidewalk squares out and GUSH!!!! The grossest feeling EVER ok! I thought honestly I had lost complete bladder control and was slightly embarresed that i had to tell Ryan I peed myself! Then it hit me "AHHHHHHHHHHH Your water broke Amanda" Then it hit me-Leo was being born today whether we were ready or not. I was half exilerated and half shaking with anxiety.
I went back inside and took a bath while Ryan called our midwife back and she said to come in immediatly. I was excited she had "immediacy" about it finaly.So after my water broke the contractions were stronger. I knew I would be unable to eat food once i got there, so the foodie i am I was sure to make 2 waffles and an apple for the drive down. We hopped in our newly purchased mini-van and made the 50 minute drive to Waterloo. I hesitated to call anyone because even at this point I thought, "what if they send me home because i really just peed myself and it wasnt my water breaking?"
We got there and they plop you in a wheelchair which i find to be stupid because... HELLO! Birthing is a sport ya'll not a side line venue ok! Get me walking and get this labor moving!
We get upstairs in the "triage room" where they check to make sure it was really my water that broke. The nurse smiled and said, "yep guys you are having a baby today" Reality and doubt sets in. I started doubting myself, maybe i cant do this natural and i should just bit the spinal needle and get it over with. Then Streangth overtakes my mind-"YOU ARE DOING THIS! GOD, RYAN, and SANDY are getting YOU THOUGH THIS"
So we get to our REAL room where we would be having our baby and spending the next 2 days. I was giddy with excitiment. Sandy came in and said "I can tell without even checking you that you are dialated to about a 2-3" I laughed at her thinking she was crazy, my body had been working for the last few hours and was CERTAIN with ya know all the medical training i had(zilch) that i was about an 8-9 right>?
She checked me and said, "yep your dialted to 2 i could tell because you were smiling at me" At this point as much as i really like Sandy I considered telling her off....but knew in the hours to come i would need her!
She thought we should try me getting in the shower and having the water beat on my chest. I thought she again was crazy....and then i did it....and then bammmmm. Real labor set in. No more smiling. No more laughing. No more jokes. It was GO-TIME. 11am.
So here is where i explain that my previous marathon training and completions came in handy. So we start relating labor to the Leo marathon. I think at this point I'd say i was at mile marker 10 of 26.2 miles. Now any marathoner will tell you with confidence that if you can successfully run 10 miles the remaining 16.2 miles is stricktly a mind game. Meaning your body can get thru 10, your body can get to 26.2 miles.
I spent the next 2 hours in the warm jetted tub. Sandy at my head talking to me through each contraction. Ryan near, well my other end spraying the hose on my back like a good hubby trying to aleviate the back labor i was experiencing. Sandy would remind me with each contraction that we are going to finish this marathon like i did the last running marathons.
I remember thinking of my last marathon where i had injured my hamstring 4 days before Grandma's Marathon. So as each mile marker went by i thought ok, you have an out to take the medical transport back because your injured. But each time I thought ok, you can make it 1 more mile then you can stop. Before i knew it i was to mile 22 and thought well shoot, i can crawl the last 4 miles if i need. And so, in the words of George Lopez I'd say "I GOT THIS"!!!
So in the marathon and George Lopez spirit i kept saying "I got this!" and my mantra "GET IT GIRL!"
Around 3 pm I got out of the tub becasue I was hot and started laboring in lots of different positions. On the ball, backwards on the bed, leaning over the bed, with 1 leg up on the bed-you name it.
At this point Ryan had not eaten at all today. In my concentration Im not sure i noticed. Next time I will pack something for him-bless his heart!
At 4:15pm Sandy went to eat a sandwhich and said she'd be right back. Well, she never got to eat that sandwhich becuase 5 minutes later I started feeling pressure to push. I was disgusted with this feeling. To be real about it...it feels like you have to poo. Which i certianly did not want to do! I pressed the call button and Sandy checked me. The news i wanted! Dialated to 10, 100% effaced=ready to go!
Then fear again sets in. Can i really do this. The entire day i had noticed Ryan being really strong but could tell we were both equally as fearful at what was about to happen. Could it be? the man i had loved and been with for 11 years and we were actually having a baby?
While our faces silently told the other how we were feeling the nurse scurried around to get the room ready.
Mile 25. Sandy says, "You tell me when you are ready to push, just do what your body is telling you" ok....well i think im ready? So I pushed at the next contraction. The 1st push scared the strong right out of me! I was unprepared for the burning. Yes-this is what they call the "Ring of Fire"...you get why. So i didnt even push very hard the first 3 times because in my mind I needed to pace myself thinking it would be hours of pushing. So of course i need to conserve energy and pace myself to reach the finish line right?
At push 4 his head crowned. Through the pain. I could not beleive how ALIVE i felt. This is the raw feelings in life you cant ever get back. This doesnt come around but a few times in your life where you feel so REAL. I felt like i was skydiving, or bungyjumping! A rush mixed with true feelings in life.
So he stayed crowned and i took a break and some deep breathing still thinking it would be like another hour. Then, Sandy said, "1 more push and he will be out Amanda you can do it" WHAT??!?!! you mean this is almost over?" I thought. So i somewhat hesitantly pushed and I felt his whole body come out and was so shocked i actually jumped back in complete unbelief. Good thing Sandy was ready.....
I heard the most amazing crackly but strong cry, and within a nano second put him on my bare chest and got to feel my firstborn. His eyes were so alert, his cry so strong and pronounced, his fingers tightly grasping to grip tight my skin. I cupped his tiny baby bottom with the palm of my hand. I remember repeating over and over "He's so tiny" (the untrasound tech had scared the life out of me stating the week before how scared she was for me because he was going to be such a big baby 10 lbs likely) I was shaking which Sandy said is common. They checked his APGAR score and heartbeat while he was on my chest. All that exsisted in the world at those first special moments of Leo's life was Leo, Ryan, and me. I barely remember the nurse or my midwife talking to me.
Im not exactly sure how long he was on my chest before i birthed the placenta, maybe like 20 minutes. It was a wierd feeling is the only way i can seem to explain it. Secondly it can be explained by-Relief.
So you wanna know what i would change for my next birth?
I want it EXACTLY the same. No medical intervention. No room full of nurses or doctors. No monitors hooked up to me. Just me, Ryan, and my midwife to finish the Baby Marathon.
My Reality Check came in March 2012. My friend Meghan, the natural childbirth guru got some devastating news. Since her first baby had been born with shoulder distocia she would need to have a c-section to avoid potential tragedy of the baby getting stuck in the birth canal. I cried when her hubby told me the news because she couldn't talk because she was sobbing. I was grieving for her the loss of the most amazing experience of her birthing her baby by herself.
God always has the best plans though. She emerged from this stronger. I learned from her situation. I was so stuck in my way of thinking as the only way of thinking. Yep...i judged people for not doing it "my way" which of course was the "right way". It kinda makes me sick that I am that awful in my thought life
All I want people to get out of this blog(if u actually read the whole thing) is that this was MY perfect way to birth my baby. I am sharing to encourage others only to know that it can be done. Woman are strong enough even when you might doubt yourself. But if that is not what you choose or plans are de-funked, Lord-willing, we all still get precious babies!!!
Thats Leo in the middle with his friends at church Wed night
Violet, Livia, Leo, Lincoln, and Jackson. Some babies are even missing! Lighthouse Academy is going to have a huge graduating class come their senior year!
Back to Birth-Day!
Back to Birth-Day!
"'Im finally a Grandma!"
Our AMAZING midwife Sandy Lewis at Allen Hospital
A Gpa, a Gma, and an Aunt for the 1st time!
About 3 hours after Leo was born!
Garret becomes an Uncle for the 4th time!
He is so proud!
Precious baby yawns!
This was our first morning home!
Fast forward....11 months