Thursday, July 23, 2015

Adventures in Mommyhood: Our (very detailed) Birth Story

What a whirlwind it has been!  Baby girl is 2 months old now, and I am just now feeling like I have a few extra minutes in a day to get on the computer.  Being momma has changed my life completely... and becoming momma was such an awesome experience!

My last bump pic - 5/12/2015

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Jake and I were anxiously waiting for the moment I would start having contractions.  We were planning a home birth.  We hired two doulas, we had taken a hypnobirthing class, I was seeing my midwife once a week, I was getting weekly chiropractic adjustments to make sure baby was in a good position - we were READY!  After a few days of very very mild contractions, I finally woke up on May 13th at about 2:30 in the morning with serious contractions.  They weren't very painful, but I could tell this was the real deal.  They were strong enough to wake me up, so I got up and waited through a few more contractions before I woke Jake up.  Jake was so excited, he wanted to call the midwife and doulas right away. :)  I told him we should time the contractions for a while before we alerted everyone and he reluctantly agreed.  We were going to time them for an hour, but Jake gave in after about 40 minutes.  I was having consistent contractions about 5 minutes apart and he called to let everyone know.

My cousin, Jennie, was coming later to take pictures of the birth so before anything got serious, I put some makeup on and did my hair so that it was up and out of the way.  It had been months since I'd had sugar, so part of my birth plan was to start making a dump cake as soon as I went into labor so I waddled to the kitchen and got started.  Mom arrived during that process and took over for me.  I could still do it, but my adrenaline was pumping at this point!  The doulas arrived around 5 a.m.  I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to utilize a doula, much less two, but it seemed to be part of the home birth process.  One of the doulas took over timing my contractions.  I was pretty amped up, but they both thought that it was going to be a long day (my contractions were less consistent, but were getting stronger).  They were suggesting different positions, we went for a walk, all trying to get my contractions to be timed more consistently.  I felt like I needed to stand up all morning, but they thought I needed to get some sleep since it would be quite a while before baby got here.  At some point, they called my midwife from the other room to tell her that it was going to be a long day and that they were here too early.  The midwife called me and told me that.  I even had a contraction while I was on the phone with her, but apparently I am not the screaming type, so I just breathed through it while she was talking. She suggested that I send the doulas home and all of us get some sleep and just to call them later when things picked back up.  After we hung up, I cried.  Not because of the pain, but because this laboring thing was getting intense and if this wasn't hard labor, I wasn't sure how I was going to do when it got real.

Well, one of the doulas left, but the other stayed because she felt bad since I cried.  She talked me into sitting down and resting.  I did that, and closed my eyes between contractions, but they were so intense, and my adrenaline was still going strong.  I wasn't sitting long that I had a contraction and heard a tiny little "pop."  I thought I had peed a little, so I got up to use the restroom and clean up.  Looking back on it now, we think that is when my water broke.  I came back to the living room and she said I needed to eat something.  Honestly, eating at that point sounded awful.  Even if I had been offered cake, I would not have wanted it!  I took a bite of yogurt and felt like I needed to go to the restroom.  (Sorry if this part feels like TMI) I finished and went back in the den.  I was only in the den about a minute when I felt like I needed to go again.  So, I went in the bathroom and sat on the toilet because that felt the most comfortable.  All of the sudden my body was pushing and I could not stop it.  I still thought I was pooping, though, so it was all very confusing.  Jake came in there with me and I was making these moaning sounds while my body was doing the pushing thing.  The doula heard that and came in the bathroom.  She sent Jake to start filling the birthing tub (that was a miscommunication, since I did not plan to have the baby in the water - it was just there for laboring!) and she looked to make sure there was not a baby head coming out of me.  She stepped out to call my midwife.  Looking back, it seems silly that I didn't realize what was happening, but I really didn't realize I was pushing a baby out!  I thought this was just a different kind of contraction or something.  With each contraction, I couldn't stop the pushing.  The doula kept trying to talk me through it, breathing through it, but my body would only push!  She talked me into getting off the toilet (I definitely needed some convincing, since it felt like I was pooping with every push!) and onto the bed.  Jake was back with us at this point because there was a problem with the tub.  I climbed onto the bed on my hands/knees.  At this point, it was real.  I knew what was happening, and I could tell that the doula was doing everything she could to help postpone it until the midwife got here.  I wasn't scared, though.  Even though I was confused, my body was not.  It knew exactly what needed to be done and it was doing it!  The doula was praying over me and had me breathe through one contraction (instead of pushing) and it was literally the hardest thing I have ever done.  I was only able to do it through one contraction!

There was a ring at the doorbell and Jake went to answer it.  He knew we were getting close, but had no idea just how close we were to meeting our baby!  The assistant midwife was at the door.  He calmly told her that we were back in the bedroom and led the way.  This woman I had never met before walked in and I guess you would technically say that she checked me, but that consisted of getting a look at the situation and seeing my baby's head!  She got out the doppler to check the baby's heart rate.  Meanwhile, I started to have another contraction and the baby was making their way out!  Three contractions later, I felt our sweet baby enter the world as daddy caught her and handed her to me.  Since everything happened so fast, Jennie did not make it to take pictures before little missy got here, but the doula snapped this - which turned out to be my very favorite picture ever. (Excuse the obvious nakedness, but the edited version of this pic just doesn't make me nearly as happy!)

A few minutes after baby girl arrived, my midwife got to the house.  She was so disappointed that she missed it, but everything turned out just fine.  Hopefully she'll make it to the next birth - I'm thinking that I'm too independent to really get much benefit from a doula, so I'll be the only one telling my midwife how my labor is going.  I definitely think that will be a good thing!

So, there's our birth story!  I love telling it and I love reliving it as I do.  I can't wait to do birth again - it was AWESOME!

Oh, P.S. I totally ate a big piece of dump cake as soon as I was ready for food! It was amazing! :)