I had an appointment with my midwife on Friday (39w2d) and baby was super low. It was getting difficult to walk around between the SPD and having such a low baby. We went over my birth plans which essentially came down to " don't touch me unless you need to or I ask for help" I laughed and told my midwife that I would see her Sunday (my last 3 babies before Evie were born on a Sunday). I left and double checked my appointment for the next week and told the receptionist I likely wouldn't be there for it. i just really felt like baby was going to come very soon.
Saturday I didn't even have so much as a Braxton Hicks and I was not thrilled. i was starting to wonder if my intuition had been off. My 8 year old son had a major behavior and as a result broke his brothers metal toddler bed. We decided to go shopping at an IKEA for a bed set I wanted for the boys to replace it. I had no idea that IKEA was like the Labyrinth and you couldn't get in and out quickly. The littles had a blast and we found what we needed. It took us hours to find the exit and then the lines were INSANE so we opted to leave without what we came for because at that point my hips hurt so bad I wanted to cry. I lost the remainder of my plug while walking around IKEA. We stopped at a panera on the way home and I had half a sandwich but didn't really feel that hungry.
Suddenly I began to have a panic attack and I realized baby would be coming sooner rather than later. I felt that way before each of my babies births. We went home collected the older children and went to church. I met up with people I hadn't seen in a while and they were all asking when I was due. When I told them Wednesday but I felt baby was coming tonight everyone was excited. I felt especially anxious this time and asked our deacon and priest for extra prayers.
We got home and fed the kids and I just wasn't hungry. I kept going back and forth to the bathroom. I also felt like I had a hand poking me really low and as a result also needed to pee every 10 minutes. Around 11, I started to feel some real contractions and really got nervous. I just felt like something wasn't right and there was some sort of impending doom. I tried a half glass of wine and all it did was give me heartburn. I started to feel hungry but everything I tried to eat made me gag. I was so mad that I didn't nap earlier because now I was tired and too keyed up to sleep.
I put on my birth music (full of eminem and fort major as well as some great praise and worship music) I sat on my ball and tried to be calm. I wasn't in any pain yet and the contractions weren't even time-able yet. I just wanted to nap and it was making me so mad that I couldn't. Around 1 am we called the midwife to let her know that yes I was in labor and would head over when I felt ready to. At about 1:30, my legs started trembling and I started gagging after every contraction. The hospital was 25 minutes away and it was snowing so we called the midwife and let her know I was heading in.
I got in the car and prayed a rosary with my husband and that brought some relief of the fear and feeling something just wasn't right. I didn't have one single contraction in the car at all on the ride there. As soon as I got out of the car however I had one on top of the other across the parking lot into the ER. It was now just after 2 am.
I got up to L&D on my own without a wheelchair but had contractions every 10 feet. It felt good to be moving and to have something to focus on outside the fear. I got hooked up to the monitors and had my stress test (hospital policy) it felt nice to hear squish on the monitor and see baby was doing fine. it calmed my fears some thankfully. i was still gagging and puking after every contraction at this point. My midwife checked me and said I was 4 stretchy to 6 so we were in business.there would be no other checks for the rest of labor! I got in the tub and it felt lovely for about 30 seconds.
I started to feel trapped in the water and wanted to get out it was now 3 am and my contractions were every 7 minutes or so, some worse than others. I was still feeling the need to pee every 5 minutes so I sat on the toilet and had a wonderful strong contraction. We listened to baby for a second and everything sounded great. I tried the ball but baby was so low it hurt. I could feel squish filling my hips at that point. I got something to help with my nausea since I couldn't stop gagging and it was making me crazy. I needed to stay hydrated if I wanted to avoid an IV. I decided to go for a walk and got about 5 feet from my room when I had to pee again. I tried a few more times to go for a walk but had to pee constantly. I felt like I had something prodding my bladder constantly.
I figured out that raising the bed and leaning over it felt awesome.The contractions weren't super painful except for the very peak of it. sometimes I pictured god hugging me, sometimes I pictured random sexcapades DH and I had embarked on. So i did that for the next few contractions it was now 345.I asked them to lower the bed so I could sit on it one contraction later I had to pee again and went over to the toilet. DH informed me that I had a bunch of bloody show on the pad on the bed. I figured I had about another hour or so to go. As I sat on the toilet I suddenly felt my body push and felt Squish slide down and I found myself growling. The midwife came in and checked just to make sure baby wasn't going to be born in the toilet.
There was baby crowned and ready to go. it was now 3:55 AM.
She asked if I could get up and I told her I couldn't move. Her and my Hubby picked me up and moved me to the bed where I asked to be. I could not move on my own and they helped me position myself so that I could push when I was ready. The pressure was intense but not painful I felt full and slit in two along my pelvis. then my water broke as my body pushed on it's own again.. I remember saying "oh that took care of some of the pressure" then in the same moment baby came out with her hand by her face and she kicked at the same time. She flew out of me as the midwife tumbled her out of the cord that had corkscrewed around her body.
I looked and realized what I saw and asked " DID I JUST SEE BABY VAGINA?" (hows that for tact?!?)
Baby was placed on my chest and latched right on. I squealed with absolute delight over baby. She was latched on cord intact for about 15 minutes. Then I cut the cord (first time in 6 babies) and about 10 minutes later the placenta came.
Everyone was happy and then the temperature in the room changed and my midwife was telling the nurse to start an IV right away. I started shaking violently. I couldn't talk and I could barely breath. My midwife looked me in the eye and explained I was bleeding really badly. She told me quickly what was happening and assured me we were fine. I got a shot of pitocin in my leg. another shot of something else in my leg (methagin I think).I received cytotec as well, plus some other meds that they had to put in my bum. an IV in both arms and hands and 4 bags of fluids with pitocin while they got blood. I had an oxygen mask placed and I kept asking if I should give baby to DH but they assured me the best place for her was on me. Dh and my nurse helped keep baby latched on. at one point DH asked "what was that" and was told it was a clot bigger than my placenta itself! I started to feel a little faint and told him if anything happened to me to not leave the baby's side. I told the nurse she had pretty teeth .They called in the OB and prepped the OR. 90 minutes later everything was stable without them having to truss my uterus like a turkey. the OB was awesome and very caring, even came to check on my later and bring me info about what options were if the bleeding continued. My midwife at one point stood there rubbing my hands.
Despite all of it, I felt very cared for. and my birth was freaking amazing. i refuse to allow the drama to color that in any way.So I'm on bed rest for 2 weeks to ensure no issues. I am so in love with this little girl but struggling with being a mother to 6 children and 2 girls. Tandem nursing and supply issues from blood loss are not making it any easier.
Oh Mylanta! I can't believe my little baby is here in my arms!!!
It all started when my water broke Friday night. I had been eating labor-inducing foods like eggplant and basil, bouncing on the birthing ball, and swaying my hips all day. I remember that I had been thinking all day about how random events would be funny if I went into labor that day: like the fact that my parents were out of town and we were house-sitting for them while watching my memory-impaired grandmother. Later that night, I realized it was a full moon. And not just any full moon, a blue moon!! I got SUPER crazy excited, texting Michael at work and posting on FB that maybe it would be my night!
As the evening wore on, I started to get grandma ready for bed. While waiting for her to get out of the bathroom, I did a deep squat in the doorway for a moment. When she went into her room, I walked over to make sure she was getting dressed ok and suddenly felt like I had peed my pants. GASP! Could this be it?! I texted Michael, "HOLY SHIT MY WATER JUST BROKE!" I put a pad on and told Michael that no, he didn't need to come home from work. I still wasn't having contractions. I stayed up waiting for him, hoping my contractions would start. I took a hot shower, hoping to relax my body into labor. I laid on the couch and watched tv. At one point I stood up to go to the bathroom and had that classic water running down your legs moment. I could see the little white flecks of vernix in the fluid. No doubt in my mind now. But where were those darn contractions?!
I didn't sleep well at all, anxious and excited about everything I suppose. The next morning we called my midwife, Rita, around 8:30am. It had been almost 12 hours post ROM without any sign of labor. She had me meet her at the hospital for a non-stress test to see how baby was doing and make sure my water really had broken. It felt good to finally be doing something. I was glad to hear my water really had broken and baby was doing fine. But no contractions. Rita told me she would give me 12 more hours to see if labor would start, but if it hadn't, we would need to take steps to get him out due to infection risks, even though I hadn’t been checked yet. So we went back home. I bounced on the ball all day. Baby hadn't really descended super low, so i was trying to get him to come down. I ate more eggplant and chocolate "labor cake." I paced the house. Nothing. We returned to the hospital at 7:30pm, as Rita instructed. I was either going to be induced with Cervadil, or end up with a C-section if my cervix was closed and baby was still high. It was still so surreal that we were having a baby this weekend, one way or another. Even though my mom had driven back into town and Michael's parents had met us that day, we agreed it would probably be better if they waited at home for now.
I was admitted into the hospital right away, and Rita checked me. Baby had dropped lower, but my cervix was still thick and closed. Soft, but thick and closed. And, baby was Sunny-side up. Rita placed Cervadil up under my cervix to encourage it to soften and open up. And then we waited. We tried to sleep a bit, but of course I couldn't. My mom stopped by for a bit and brought us some snacks. I ate more of my labor cake. Mom left, and we tried to sleep again. But at that point the contractions started! It mostly just felt like uncomfortable cramps. But I couldn't sleep. I'm hazy on the details now, but I think I just paced the room while Michael slept a bit. Around 12:00am, I started timing them. They were about 5 minutes apart. At this point, I think I was still deep breathing through them. I told the nurse, and she put me on the monitor for a bit. The contractions barely registered at all. She suggested a shower, but I didn't feel like it at the time. Michael fell asleep again, and I continued to labor away. I eventually started to moan through the contractions, constantly reminding myself to keep my voice low and exhaling all the way with them. I started lying on top of a bunch of pillows in the bed, sleeping between the contractions and moaning and swaying my hips through them. When that stopped working I moved to the counter. I held on and swayed my hips in circles. I didn't consciously think about the fact that this would turn the baby, but it was exactly what I needed to be doing. Eventually I timed the contractions as 3ish minutes apart for about an hour. The nurse came in to check on me again, and I could barely focus on what was going on through the contractions. She wanted me to go back on the monitor, but I refused. I also refused to be checked. I didn't want to be disappointed if I was only at 2 cm.
Eventually the nurse did put me back on the monitor. Again, the contractions barely registered. I didn't know it at the time, but both Rita and the nurse believed I wasn't progressing. Even though I was obviously in active labor and could barely stand to be on the bed during contractions, because the monitor wasn't showing them, my nurse seemed to think they didn't exist. (She wasn't mean or anything. Rita just told me later she felt that she hadn't been fully informed about my progress.) I continued to labor standing by the countertop, swaying my hips and moaning. I was constantly moaning by this point, just getting louder and more deliberate with each contraction. I sat on the toilet for a while, falling asleep between contractions and trying to "hee-hee-hooo" my way through them. At some point I threw up several times, probably 4 or 5 times total. It was worse when I was on the monitors. The hee-hooing eventually stopped working and I went back to moaning.
My morning nurse came in and asked me to go back on the monitor. She was very technical and lacking in people skills. I felt like I was on the monitor forever, pushing my hips up so I could still sway them with each contraction. If someone came in the room in the middle of a contraction, I would lose focus and it was so hard to relax and breathe again. I remember thinking, "I must be in transition, because I'm telling myself, 'I can't do this anymore.'" I also remember thinking, "Where the f*** is Rita!" as she was supposed to be coming in at 8:00am to check me. My mother eventually came. She told me later she was very worried when she saw how hard I was laboring and how little the contractions were showing up. Then the baby's heartbeat started to drop after contractions, a bad sign. My highly techincal nurse was very worried, and when she saw my blood pressure (I had been borderline pre-eclamptic for the past few weeks), she started an IV. At this point, we were all sure that I was not progressing, and that I was going to end up with a C-section. I just remember thinking, "I wonder what it will be like to have the epidural for the c-section.” Rita finally came, and with a "That's enough of THAT" she finally let me off the monitor. I jumped to my feet and leaned over the bed, barely making it before the contraction hit. When it was over, I climbed back onto the bed so she could check me.
SURPRISE! I was 8 cm and 90% effaced!!! We were all so shocked. I don't think I even registered what that meant. I barely had time to flip over onto my hands and knees before the next contraction hit. It felt like just a few moments later I told Rita I felt like I had to push. She said "Go ahead! If your body is telling you to push, push!" I was soooo surprised and grateful that she didn't make me wait till 10 cm. I gasped to her, "Am I having this baby right now?" I couldn't believe I had made it and I was actually going to deliver him! I started pushing and noticed the contractions changed. They no longer hurt like they did before. It was nice to do something different. But it felt like nothing was actually working. Michael and Rita and my mom kept rubbing my lower back and dabbing my face with a cold cloth. Apparently I was sweating a lot. I also remember that I was pressing my IV hand into my face and it hurt. I kept asking if he was crowning yet. Rita told me I would know when I felt the burning. She encouraged me to wait for the impulse to push and to breathe with the urge. Her encouragement meant so much to me. I could hear her telling me and my family how in control I was, how I was so in tune with my body, how I knew exactly what I was doing. It was SO encouraging to hear that and gave me the strength to go on. I finally realized he was crowning. I didn't know it, but as I was waiting for the urges to breathe him out, I was keeping myself from tearing and allowing the skin to stretch. I finally reached down and was able to feel his warm squishy head!!!! I waited for the next urge and pushed again. I remember feeling like Rita was shoving her fingers around the baby's head and it hurt SOO BAD. It burned like nothing else!!! I remember yelling "OW OW OW OW" and wishing she would move her fingers!! I don't remember feeling the head come out, I just remember Rita saying, "There you go! Finish! Finish!" and she pulled him out as I gave a final push. Actually, I almost think he was out in one push...it all happened so fast. My mom accidentally filmed the birth because she didn’t know it was happening!
I had been kneeling over the raised head of the bed, and I didn't even realize he was out until she passed the warm little slime-ball into my arms saying, "Take him take him!" I went up on my knees and just said, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god" over and over again. He was a little blue, and Rita kept telling me to talk to him and rub him. I looked up at Michael like "look!" It was incredible. I also peeked to make sure they were right about the "boy" diagnosis. =) I remember thinking, "When did the bed get to be so high??" I was scared to turn over and sit down, but kneeling hurt! They finally helped me to flip over and sit, and they put blankets over baby and me, and Michael just stood there next to me as we admired our little boy. I remember thinking, "Aren't you supposed to forget the pain when they come out!?" as it still hurt pretty bad. Thankfully though, I hadn't torn at all!! We let the cord pulse, and then Michael got to cut it after John had gotten all the cord blood. Birthing the placenta was so warm and gross. Michael was absolutely disgusted that I wanted to make pills out of it.
We got to nurse and do skin-to-skin for almost 2 hours before they finally took him to weigh and measure. He was a tiny 6lbs 4oz, 18.5 inches long! He screamed at being taken away from me. It made me cry. He peed on the mean nurse though, which made me laugh. Michael went over and started talking to him and holding his hand and he instantly calmed down. So cute and precious. They got me up to pee, and HOLY COW did that BURN! Hurt worse than labor in my opinion. I peed 3 drops and that was all I could manage. I remember the mesh panties with the thick pads just looked super comfy. I loved those mesh panties. Then they wheeled us off to the Mother-Baby unit where grandpas and aunties got to come see us. As comfy as my own bed is, I almost wished we were back in the hospital our first night home. I didn't mind not sleeping then. I didn't mind anything. All that mattered was that I had done it, and my son was in my arms. He was held virtually non-stop the entire first 24 hours of his life. I want him to feel and know he is loved beyond anything else.
I'm still in awe of my body and my mind and what I was able to accomplish as they worked together. I can't imagine doing it again, but at the same time, I'm excited to go back into that special place of strength and power. The fact that Rita told me later that I could have done it without her (though I doubt it; I needed her verbal support, if nothing else) and that I could "write the book and teach the class" still makes me swell up with pride. I almost feel bad about how proud I feel, but at the same time, I think it's ok to be prideful about something like this. ;)
A deep breath. It’s September 21st and I’m 38 weeks in: nothing in my house is set up for a baby even though my baby shower was weeks ago. I have tons of clothes, blankets, socks and other things for baby, but nothing is organized and the crib is still in its box.
September 28th and I’m 39 weeks. I can still touch my toes and as it turns out put my foot behind my head. Little man continues to love kicking ice cubes off the top of my stomach when he’s awake and has the hiccups 8 or 9 times a day. The crib is set up, and tomorrow I’m going to go walking with a few girls to try and see if this little man will join us. Hot wings, pineapple, and tons of walking around at the dog park. Let’s go baby!
October 4th and it’s my due date. Still having randomized contractions and making sure I walk as much as I can, but it seems like little man needs a bit more time. Friends and family keep asking when I’m going to be induced. It’s really sad to me that this is the frame of mind people have about birth, but that’s a topic for another time. They are showing their love through their concern. I got a stretch mark between two of my stretch marks today. It itches like no other!
October 11th and still no sign of Eli. Jordan’s little sister is having a baby shower in two days, I promised a lot of people not to have him that day so not to steal her thunder! I hope he doesn't prove me wrong. Even my biggest maternity shirts are too small. I feel like a tent but can STILL touch my toes!! I’ve only gained 13 pounds during this pregnancy and it’s all belly. I hope to be so fortunate every time! A lot of people have started to tell me “horror” stories about babies being born past their due date. Someone told me today that my placenta was going to detach inside and my baby was going to suffocate. I know that this can happen (it sadly happened to one of my own sisters, RIP Clair.) but it has only a little to do with being "overdue." It makes me sad that people see the words “Estimated Due Date” and think that things are set in stone. Estimation, not expiration! Baby HAS to come at some point 41 weeks today, and letting my little man bake as long as he likes. The last few weeks is when they are building their brains, so build away Eli!
Today is November 5th, and Elias Jude Hunt was born three weeks ago today, on October 15th of 2012. This is his birth story:
Let’s start at midnight of the 14th. I texted the god-mother of my little boy(Danessa) that I was having bad back pain and felt really sick to my stomach. Food didn’t taste good and I just felt bad all around. She asked if we were having a baby, and I responded that I wasn’t having contractions just felt sickly. Jordan(my fiancé) and I went to bed at that point. I woke up three or four times to go to the bathroom and my back still really hurt each time. I think I drank about half a gallon of water between the four times which is probably what contributed to all of the bathroom trips to begin with!
We woke up at 7:00 so Jordan could get ready for work. He left by about 7:20 and I went about cleaning the kitchen. I remember feeling one or two small contractions but not really paying attention to them as they had been happening for 5 weeks at this point. At exactly 8am (according to my coffee pot) I had to stop washing and grip the counter through a contraction. It startled me a little but I kept washing dishes. Surprise! At 8:06 (thank you coffee pot) I had another contraction, just as strong. At 8:12 I had another and I texted Danessa that I realized why my back had hurt and I had felt so sick the night before. I stopped doing dishes and went to take a shower. I stayed in until about 8:45 when I decided to throw the last thing or two into the hospital bags. I was still having contractions just 5 and 6 minutes apart and they were getting a little longer and stronger each time, though I could still talk through them. At 9 I called and woke up Danessa to ask her what she was doing for the day. She said she was off work (thank goodness!) and I told her we were having a baby, so at some point I would need her to pick Jordan up from work-35 minutes away. She and I continued texting and she printed copies of my birth plan for the nursing staff. My contractions suddenly got a lot longer at about 9:30, so I called her again and asked her to go pick up Jordan. She asked if she could at least shower and I laughed and told her yes, but to hurry because I had an odd feeling that this was going to go by pretty quickly. (I saved that text in my phone to prove it later!)
I called and explained everything to Jordan, and then called my dad to give him the heads up to come into town since he lived six hours away. I spent the next hour getting in and out of a tub of hot water and laying on a towel on my bed. I was throwing up in-between every contraction even though I had eaten nothing. I kept drinking water to both keep hydrated and having at least something to throw up! At some point I started to shout a little in the middle of a contraction because breathing just wasn't cutting it.
At 10:36 I called my OB and asked at what point I should go to the hospital. The nurse stayed on the phone with me through two contractions and told me to go as soon as my ride got there. A short while later Jordan and Danessa arrived: Jordan got me and my bags into the car and sped like mad to the hospital. It was a scant three and a half miles away.
When we got there, it was 11am and Jordan jumped out of the car and went in to get a wheelchair. Danessa parked her car and then got into our car and parked it so it wasn’t left in the emergency zone. We rushed back to the labor and delivery area where I promptly asked for a barf bag. The nurses scrambled for a moment and led us into a triage room. Danessa stayed to help me change and manage the bags while Jordan gave the nurses my information. They came in and said they couldn’t find my information but had spoken with my doctor personally and that they were getting my information transferred. The nurses came in and started to hook me up to all kinds of monitoring machines. I told them no and had them read my birth plan, but they told me it was policy to at least check my heart rate and the babies before I could be admitted since they had no records for me as well as an internal to get my dilation. Everyone’s vitals were good and I checked at a 6 for dilation. After about 20 minutes and a bunch of signatures they still had me hooked up to the machines. I asked them a couple of times to take it off and simply unhooked it myself after a long while. They were mad, but saw no point in arguing anymore. All this time the contractions stayed 4 and 5 minutes apart, I was still vomiting between each one.
Some time later (as I had no sense of time anymore) we moved to an actual delivery room. They tried to hook me back up to more monitors but I refused and pointed out that my doctor had signed and approved my plan ahead of time, because they now had my records. Jordan stepped in and tried to give the nurses the paper even. I was hooked up anyways because they said they couldn't find the baby's heartbeat without it. (It came strong and immediately when they hooked me up.) They checked me again and I was now a 7. I was given a saline lock “just in case” but wouldn’t allow an IV. I tried lying on the bed in a couple of positions but everything hurt. Eventually what helped was leaning over the bed (fully mooning that entire side of the room as Jordan so kindly pointed out) and swaying my hips back and forth. I tried breathing through each contraction, but yelling out is what really helped me so I let loose and yelled as loud as I wanted through each contraction. It helped me release all the pain so I could doze between them and move on to the next. Jordan kept asking me what he could do to help but I was so in my element alone that I didn’t know how he could be there.
Then, my head nurse came in. She argued with me until I allowed the monitor to be hooked up AGAIN for a couple of minutes and started reading through this big stack of papers and having me sign this that and the other thing. I asked twice if I could just do it later because I couldn’t concentrate, but she wouldn’t leave. I was stressed and signed all the papers and unhooked the machine again. This was at about 12:30. They checked my dilation again and I was STILL at a 7. I was instantly angry at the nurse for ruining my concentration and slowing things down. My yelling became more screaming and I was living in the pain of each contraction. Jordan asked if he could help: I had no answer for him. A different nurse came to me, grabbed my chin, and told me to take control. She told me to breathe through it, push the air out of my lungs like it was the enemy and to not let the pain own me. I screamed in her face that I couldn’t do it through contractions that were now only two minutes apart. After three she had helped me regain my composure. I didn’t continue blowing. But my yells were back to not being a scream anymore. She asked me what would help me relax so that things could progress. I asked if they had something to help with my back pain, but reminded her I didn’t want intervention or an epidural. She ran some towels in hot water and put pressure on my back. The heat was nice but the pressure was terrible.
Then I asked if I could stand with the shower on my back. The nurses agreed that it should be fine and brought me a chair to sit on in there. I ended up standing in-between the contractions and leaning over the chair while a nurse aimed the water at my back through the contractions. Within five minutes I was much more relaxed I told the nurse I was going to start pushing soon. She got a confused look on her face and checked me again. Suddenly I was dilated to 9 or a bit more.
I should mention that at this point, Jordan had gone outside because the nurse told him we still had a long while to go. Shortly after I was checked at a 9, I started to call for him. Apparently the family outside told him to come back in. I told the nurse I wanted to push. She started urging me to move back to the bed. I said no. I remember her trying to gently pry my hands off the chair and move me to the room and looking her in the eyes just as she had when she told me to breathe, and saying “Lady, I’m not moving.”
Well. All hell broke loose. My OB rushed in, towels were put all over the floor for traction, a big cart was dragged in, and everyone donned surgical capes; all of which was soaked promptly as I asked that the water be left on. I started bearing down and heard Jordan outside the door. I looked up and saw that he was stuck outside behind the cart and carried on. I half squatted with each contraction. My water broke suddenly and I felt an enormous pressure hit my pelvis. A nurse asked if she could hold my leg up so I didn’t have to squat so far, I said yes because my poor OB was already sitting on the floor. I kept pushing and suddenly felt as if I was on fire. I remember saying it burns and looking down to see some fuzzy little hair. I smiled so hard and asked if that was his head and touched him. I quite literally forgot the pain I was in or had been in. Shortly after I needed to push again and his head was out. Two more pushes and his whole body followed. My OB checked his airway and then handed him to me. He didn’t cry, he simply squeaked. They kept checking his airway but he was perfectly clear. He then promptly went to the bathroom for the first time on the floor. I carried him back to the bed and sat down.
Jordan got to come over and meet Elias with me then. They covered us in warm blankets and cleaned up the bathroom while the three of us sat there in wonder. About ten minutes later my OB showed me the now fully drained cord and clamped it. J cut it, and I delivered what I was told was a pristinely healthy placenta. I experienced no tears and simply had an ice pack to sit on. I was so at peace that I didn’t even need Tylenol. Everything had gone just the way it should.
Elias Jude Hunt was born at 1:11 and weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, measuring a touch over 20 inches long. My total labor was 5 hours long and I only pushed for four minutes. I stayed up until 10:30pm that night and was walking around the delivery room and our final overnight room (#1111) the entire time. All of our family could hardly believe that I was so…ALIVE after giving birth.
Be inspired, and love your labor. Be confident that your body CAN and WILL do what it is programed to do, and at peace that every time is different. Thank you for sharing my story with me.
I thought I would share a little background about myself before I jump into my story. I'm a military wife. My husband and I were stationed at Marine Corps. Base Hawaii when I gave birth to our little angel in April 2011. Because we were so far away as a military family, it was just the two of us for the birth. Especially now and looking back, I feel so blessed to have had it so private and intimate. I gave birth at Tripler Army Medical Center, and although military hospitals generally have an awful reputation, I personally had an amazing experience. The hospital had a midwife program for low risk mamas and I opted for a midwife the first chance I got and after a terrible first experience with one of their OBGYN's. I could not have had a better hospital birth thanks to the wonderful midwives. And here is my story...
I suffered pre labor contractions for a week before I finally went into active labor. I became extremely impatient, frustrated and increasingly dissapointed when it wasn't the real thing. The day before I went into labor, I went in for my 38 week appointment and I told the midwife (who saw me about my contractions) so I allowed her to check my cervix which was 3 cm dialated and if I remember correctly about 75% effaced. She then told me she expected me to go into labor within the next 24 hours.
The next day on a beautiful Saturday morning, I woke up to my husband's alarm clock. I had no idea why he set an alarm for 6 am on a Saturday morning (later he explained to me he just "had a feeling"). I rolled over to ask him why and.. my water broke. HUGE gush. I told him I thought my water had just broken and...another huge gush. Definitely broken. I began to get so many butterflies in my stomach and couldn't believe after all my frustration and disappointment in the last week, it was FINALLY happening and I was about to experience what I'd been preparing for so long for. Most importantly, I would soon meet my precious baby girl.
I then found the business card with my midwives pager number and gave them a call. When she called me back and asked if I had felt the baby move since my water broke, I told her "no" so she suggested to get to the hospital as soon as possible just to be safe. I honestly may have felt her move and had just been to excited to notice.
So we got our things together and got on the road. The contractions at home and the entire way to the hospital were very tolerable. Not much more than what I'd been experiencing the week prior. It was a half an hour or so drive, no traffic and a beautiful and sunny day (like most days on the island). My husband and I were so giddy the whole way there with excitement; singing, laughing, and sharing our feelings about what was to come that day.
We arrived to the hospital and the labor and delivery seemed to be a ghost town. It was very quiet and it didn't seem as though they had many patients to attend to that morning. They took me to a small room in triage and checked to make sure my water had indeed broken, asked me some basic questions, did some fetal monitoring for about 30 minutes and all was well with Lily.
My midwife, Rosemary, then read a copy of my birth plan. She saw that I was planning a completely natural birth and said "Ok those are pretty common requests." The whole time I got the feeling she didn't have much faith in me because she "heard it all the time." She discoverd I had regressed a little to 2 cm and a little less thinned for some reason but she admitted me anyway since my water had broken. I got in my gown and they wheeled me to my delivery room where I met my nurses who were Godsends through my entire labor. I was still feeling fine at this point, smiling and answering all their questions with no problem. Once they checked my blood pressure and set in my heplock. I didn't allow the IV to be attached and they were perfectly fine with that as long as I stayed hydrated. They allowed me to walk around and do what I needed to be comfortable (anything but getting in the jacuzzi because it could have regressed my labor by relaxing me too much.) So my husband and I went for a stroll around the hallways in l&d. My contractions were getting a little stronger and I couldn't walk through them anymore. We went back to the room and my midwife asked if I had taken any lamaze or bradley classes or anything similar to cope through the labor. I hesitated for a moment to tell her "no" because I felt like she'd really have low faith in me then and assume that I wasn't prepared.
After that, I got on the birthing ball which was my the most relief I had during labor. The nurse continued fetal monitoring every hour for 20 minutes which was extremely annoying but she at least let me stay on the ball, which made it more bearable. After a few hours of that my midwife asked her why she was checking me so much, that I didn't need to be checked that often. I couldn't believe what I had just heard and that it took so long for someone to notice. I didn't know enough then to think to say something myself to the nurse and she did try to make me as comfortable as possible during the process.
As I mentioned before, my husband is a Marine so he was my only support person. He went down to the car to get our bags and while he was gone I talked to my mom on the phone while breathing through contractions on the ball. Later, I finally got permission to get in the jacuzzi which I was really looking forward to but unfortunately it didn't help me as much as I expected. It relaxed me between contractions because at this point I was utterly exhasted, but during the contractions it was almost as bad as laying on my back in the bed. While I was in the jacuzzi I came to a rock and a hard place. I told my husband "I can't do this" He encouraged me and told me I could do it and to remember that I didn't want any pain medication. I told him "I don't want an epidural I just want to die." I realize this statement seems dramatic but I think most, if not all women get to this point during labor. I had mentally prepared my self so well for a natural birth that the epidural was not even a thought in my mind, although that's what my husband thought I was referring to. I was just in so much pain and so tired I didn't know how I could carry on. But of course I did, one contraction at a time I got through it. One thing I had to remember is that it wouldn't last forever.
Eventually, I decided to get out of the jacuzzi and try something else for relief and shortly after I started going into transition, the most painful and intense part of labor. The contractions were increasingly difficult to breath through at this point and my back labor was excruciatingly painful. My nurses and husband were massaging my back, which I wouldn't have survived without, during my contractions. If they weren't already massaging I would grab the nearest hand I could find and press it as hard as I could into my lower back because it was the only thing that helped whatsoever. The contractions became so long and close together I had no break in between. The nurses were trying to take my blood pressure and were waiting until a contraction would end to check it but right as one started fading away, another would pick back up. I was feeling helpless and honestly terrified of the pain every time a contraction would pick up. The pain would start in my lower back and wrap itself around my body, tightening more and more until I felt like I would burst. I think if I had the strength to I would have cried.
At that point, I started feeling an urge to push which was truly unbearable at that point. Since I had the urge they checked my cervix which to my dissapointment was only 6cm! My husband told me "You're so close, you're almost there" but in my mindset I felt like it would never be over and couldn't understand why he would say that.
The nurses and my husband helped me get into different positions that might help ease the pain but nothing gave me relief anymore and the urge to push was getting stronger, my body literally forced me to push. There soon came a point when I couldn't change positions anymore because my contractions paralyzed me they were so strong. For a long time, I was stuck with one leg standing on the ground and one leg on the bed because while trying to climb in it, I was unable to move through back to back contractions. At this point I also ripped off my hospital gown because it continued to fall off my shoulder and the feeling of it hanging on me was extremely annoying and uncomfortable. I didn't have a care in the world who saw me naked and it was truly the last thing on my mind at the time. When I would get a short break between contractions, I hurried into a postion I was trying to get to before a contraction would start and leave me stuck.
As I was getting onto my side in the bed, my midwife noticed I was crowning, picked up my leg (I was still on my side which was the best position for me at the time and I couldn't even move if I wanted to) and she told me to just do what my body was telling me to do. So I pushed through the pain, exactly like they say, and after being exhasted through the labor I got a huge adrenaline rush while I was pushing. I pushed with all my strength. I even got mad when my contraction would fade away because I just wanted to keep pushing so it would be over. While pushing, I told my husband "I'm doing this, I'm actually going to do it." The reality of it all was just starting to hit me.
In about 5 contractions of screaming and squeezing my hubby's hand (poor guy, he said he almost cried he felt so bad that he couldn't help me) I delivered a perfect little baby. Lily Elizabeth. 6 lbs 3 oz 18 inches long. When she was finally out, the most euphoric feeling overwhelmed me. There was suddenly no more pain, and the room was completely still and quiet. I looked up and saw my midwife holding up my baby and she layed her on my chest. She came out with her hands by her face which tore me a little but I got two stitches and couldn't even feel it being done while I was on cloud nine holding my baby girl. It was the most empowering and beautiful experience of my life and I get teary eyed just thinking about it.
After I gave birth the nurses and my midwife were just in awe that I had actually done it. They kept saying how amazed by me they were and asked when I was going to start teaching a childbirth class at the hospital and saying "You were made for this!" They made me feel so good about myself but I did it for Lily and it was completely worth it. In fact I wish I could do it all again just to experience that moment of seeing and holding her for the first time all over again.
Lily latched on within minutes of her birth which was another new and beautiful feeling I can't find words to describe. She was so beautiful and perfect. My husband and I were both in tears as we met her. We were, and still are, simply in awe of her.
Since posting Malachi's birth story, I have had a lot of requests to view my birth plan. So here it is! Here's how I came up with it:
I started by doing a Google search for "natural birth plans". I came across a birth plan from "Earth Mama Angel Baby" that had a lot of the options I was looking for. I filled it out, saved the document, and printed it. I was looking it over, and I felt like it had to much "junk" on it: things that I just really didn't need that made it look longer than it actually was, and less professional. I wanted something nice and simple for my doctor to quickly look over. So I copied and pasted the parts on there that applied to the doctor on to a Word document. I also added a few things.
After my prenatal appointment where I went over everything with him, I decided I really liked the idea of having a plan that just applied to him and I wanted to expand that for the rest of the staff. I figured I'll have a better chance of the busy hospital staff reading my plan if it was simplified and broke down into categories that just applied to them. I also wanted "baby care plans" to hand to every single person that walked into our delivery room to make sure they all knew what not to give our baby that is routinely given. (My third baby was given a vitamin K injection when I didn't want it because the nurses handling her didn't know our plan as everyone was focused on me since I had some problems after delivery.)
After I did all that, I wanted something explaining to the staff that they didn't need to read the whole thing and to share a few kind words. I didn't want to come off as having an attitude. I just figured a nice introduction and a few compliments couldn't hurt! So I made a cover letter to go with my plan.
I haven't seen a birth plan like mine, and I'm pretty proud of it! I hope it'll help you make a layout for yours and you have as much success with it as I did!
Cover Letter for my birth plan:
Birth Plan for Jessica Mehu
Thank you for looking over our birth plan! I tried to make it simple and quick to look through by breaking it down into categories, so each staff member can just look at the areas that would apply to them. I am flexible, and understand that lots of things can happen that would change my plans. If everything is going perfect though, I have a few specific wishes and greatly appreciate them being respected! I am a huge advocate of natural birth and hope to have a beautiful, natural birth experience at Allegiance Health! I know from my previous three births that I’m working with a great team!
My birth plan. Each category had a separate page, and I had printed several “baby care plans” out to hand out at delivery. There was a copy in my chart at labor and delivery, and I had a copy with me just in case.
Labor (for L&D nurses):
- I prefer minimal internal vaginal exams or at my request only.
- Please, no residents or students attending my birth.
- I request the following people to be present during my labor and delivery:
- Husband (I added names too)
- During my labor I would like to use:
- A birthing ball
- Jacuzzi tub
- Squatting bar
- I prefer intermittent monitoring to allow for as much mobility as possible.
- I need to have dimmed lights.
- I need people entering the room to speak softly.
- I would like to wear my own clothes during labor and delivery. (I have a special delivery gown)
- Please do not offer me pain medications. I have been through three induced labors without asking for pain medications.
- I am prepared to handle pain with these natural methods:
- Breathing techniques
- Deep (or guided) relaxation
- Water (soaking in Jacuzzi)
- I need to be able to walk around and move as I wish while in labor.
- Please always keep my door closed while I am in labor.
Delivery (for L&D nurses):
- Please read “Baby Mehu’s care plan” as well.
- I would like to be encouraged to try the following different positions for labor: Whatever feels right at the time
- I would like to have my birth photographed and videotaped.
- My husband and I would like to touch my baby's head as it crowns.
- I prefer to have the lights dimmed for delivery or, if it is daylight, to access only natural light.
- It's important to me to push instinctively. I do not want to be told how or when to push. (I need encouragement, not direction.)
- If there are no problems with baby, DO NOT remove him from me after birth! I wish to bond* with him before his assessments are done (weight, measurements, etc.). Any immediate assessments that are needed can be done while he is on my chest.
- I will be taking home my placenta (Paperwork for this is in my chart). *
*We are delaying the cord clamping and allowing the placenta to be born spontaneously. I would also like to breastfeed him during our first bonding period, so it may be a while until his assessments are done.
- I would like to be encouraged to try the following different positions for labor: Whatever feels right at the time.
- It's important to me to push instinctively. I do not want to be told how or when to push. (I need encouragement, not direction.)
- I prefer to have the lights dimmed for delivery or, if it is daylight, to access only natural light.
- I prefer to have no episiotomy and risk tearing (unless I'm having a medical emergency)
- To help prevent tearing, please encourage me to breathe properly for slower crowning.
- My husband and I would like to touch my baby's head as it crowns.
- If possible, please allow the shoulders and body of my baby tbe born spontaneously, on their own.
- My husband and me would like to help "catch" our baby.
- Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is clamped.
- I would prefer for the placenta tbe born spontaneously without the use of Pitocin, and/or controlled traction on the umbilical cord.
- I do not want Pitocin to be given unless there are signs of hemorrhaging.
- I will be taking the placenta home. (Paperwork for this is in my file)
- I would like baby to be held by either me or my husband while doctor is finishing up with my needs, and then for baby’s assessments to be done (any immediate assessments can be done while he’s on my chest).
I understand that if there are any medical issues that arise during the birth that some of these requests would not be safe. This is what we hope for if there are no problems. We want this to be a special, calm experience for all of us. Thank you for respecting our wishes and helping us achieve the birth experience we’re hoping for! It will never be forgotten!
If a C-section is needed (for doctor and staff):
- My husband is to be present at all times during the c-section.
- I would like to remain conscious during the procedure.
- I would like the screen lowered a bit so I can see my baby being delivered.
- I need to have immediate skin to skin time with baby placed on my chest after delivery (even before the surgery is complete).
- I need to have contact with the baby as soon as it is possible in the delivery room.
- I will need my hands free to touch the baby.
- I would like for the cord to be clamped after it is done pulsating
- We would like to photograph or film the operation as the baby comes out.
- I need to hold my baby and nurse it immediately in recovery.
- I will sign any waivers necessary to permit me to be with my baby in recovery.
- As long as my baby is healthy, my husband will be the baby's constant source of attention until I am free to bond with him (i.e., holding, skin-to-skin contact, etc.).
Baby Mehu’s Care Plan (L&D nurses and anyone that will be caring for baby):
- In the past I have had problems because of shift changes and multiple people stepping in and out of my room not knowing our plan for baby. I’m hoping to avoid this with a care plan for our son. We greatly appreciate our wishes being respected and followed. (I am willing to sign a formal waiver for any of this.) Thank you very much!!
- If there are no problems with baby, DO NOT remove him from me after birth! We need to bond with him before his assessments are done (weight, measurements, etc.). Any immediate assessments that are needed can be done while he is on my chest.
- I would prefer for his assessments to wait until the doctor is finished with me, so I can focus on baby during his assessments. (My husband can hold him during this time if I’m in to much pain to hold him.)
- We are DECLINING eye ointment AND Vitamin K injection. (I would like only the orally administered Vitamin K to be given to my baby.)
- Baby will stay in the room with me throughout our stay.
- I’d like all newborn procedures to take place in my presence.
- My husband is to stay with the baby at all times if I can't be there.
- We prefer for his bath to be done in our room. If this isn’t possible we will bathe him.
- He is exclusively breastfed. NO bottles.
- Please discuss with me everything you need to do with my baby before doing it.
- I’d like my other children brought in to see me and meet the new baby as soon as possible after the birth.
- Malachi is exclusively breastfed. NO FORMULA or any artificial nipples.
- We will not be receiving any immunizations in the hospital. (No Hep-B).
- We are not circumcising our son.
- Baby will stay in the room with me throughout our stay. I’d like all newborn procedures to take place in my presence.
- My husband is to stay with the baby at all times if I can't be there.
- My husband will be staying with me for the duration of my hospital stay.
- I prefer that my hospital stay be as short as it can be.
- I have three beautiful little girls that will be visiting throughout our stay.
Thank you very much!
In between contractions I had Marcel set up our video camera on a tripod because I wanted the whole birth process captured; everything that was said, every sound, everything. It was hard for him because I needed him right there with me through every contraction, so he had to run back and forth to set it up!
8:45 pm The doctor is here!!
I remember so clearly the moment he walked in the room. I could smell him before I even heard his voice (he wears very strong cologne!) and I was instantly relieved! I said,
“You made it!” and I must have had the biggest smile on my face. He said he had a feeling I’d have this baby in the next day or two, and I reminded him that I told him I wouldn’t have this baby when he was on vacation! There were a lot of smiles and laughs and I felt very safe and secure. He asked if I was ok with him checking to see where things are at and possibly breaking my water and I said that’s fine. He said after that I can get in the Jacuzzi or back on the birth ball; whatever I feel like doing. He estimated I was about 6.5 cm along now. I told him I was feeling rectal pressure. He said, “Well maybe you’re a little further along…” He reassured me that he reviewed my birth plan again and is on board with everything.
I climbed on the dreaded bed and lay down so he could check my cervix. That hurt bad. I didn’t like lying down at all, but I was ok with him checking me so it was fine. He patiently waited through a contraction so I was comfortable. He said, “Well that’s why you’re feeling so much pressure… you’re about 9 cm dilated and at about a +1 station!” Haha, I knew it! He broke my water which I was totally fine with and guessed with me about how many more contractions I would have till we had a birthday.
I was smiling, everyone was laughing and joking, it was so fun. He complemented me with how well I was in control. The lights were still turned down like they were the whole time, and I felt so powerful, happy, and peaceful. He asked me what I wanted to do now, giving me some off the bed suggestions, but I just wanted to stay where I was for the time being. He just said no problem, do what I need to do and he’ll just be hanging out here doing his “doctor thing.” I was told by the photographer and my husband that it seemed like he was meditating or sleeping on his stool, just hanging out with us. (I guess this was in between all his funny jokes… he had us all laughing and I still laugh when I watch the video, which I had Marcel start when I was lying down for the exam and we taped all the way till a couple hours after birth.)
The contractions were so very intense. After maybe two contractions after he broke my water I felt a small urge to push but fought it. I told him I felt a little pushy with that one and was holding back. He didn’t do anything about it, which is what I wanted, but I found myself a little scared to push without being told I’m complete and can push. It was amazing. Here I had researched so much about trusting my body and listening to my instincts and there I was, looking for direction to push! Thankfully the doctor knew my plan and just left me alone.
So I was searching for the strength to listen to my body and trust my ability to birth this baby without a doctor’s direction. It did take a few contractions to get there. It felt like forever, but realistically I think there was about 10 minutes of contractions with no urge to push. I realize now this was the time it took for me to gather myself and follow my body’s direction. I reminded the doctor not to clamp the cord right away, and he said absolutely and he didn’t forget. It was like I was making sure everything was perfect and in order before I brought my baby earth side. I still didn’t fear each contraction like I did with my other labors. They did hurt and were very intense, but I was aware of everything going on and felt like I was in total control of everything. It was an amazing feeling, especially knowing how close I was to giving birth, and still felt so calm and secure.
The doctor told the nurse to remove my contraction monitor because he could clearly see when I was having a contraction. I laughed.
I remember clearly the moment I realized I wanted to raise the bed more. I realized I didn’t want to give birth on my back and that’s exactly how I was at the moment! So I put the back up a little at a time. Every time I raised the bed, I had more pressure with every contraction and that urge to bear down was coming back; only this time I felt ready for it. I didn’t feel the need to strongly bear down, but I liked the feeling and wanted to continue letting my body bear down on its own. It felt great. I was grunting through the contractions and toward the end of them quietly moaned “oh yeah” because just felt awesome!
The doctor, who was still leaving me alone, could tell I was getting close and started getting things quietly ready. He said he had a feeling that when it’s time this baby is gonna get here like “gang busters” (whatever that meant!) so he wants to get ready. He told me he wanted to eliminate some of the chaos by not breaking down the bed, but instead we can just lower the foot part of the bed (as a precaution in case he needed to do something with the shoulders) and he tucked in the bag to catch all the “shtuff” under my bum.
My grunts were getting pretty loud and the nurse asked if I felt like I could push (which I ignored because I didn’t want to hear that). The doctor quickly corrected her and said my body is naturally bearing down right now and he thinks baby’s head is “right there”. A couple contractions later he checked to see if he was right, and he said “oh yeah, the head is right there”. He asked if I could move my bottom to the edge of the higher part of the bed. When I did that I couldn’t lean on the back of the bed anymore so I was straight up in a squat and held myself up with my arms off the back of the bed, and my feet were on the lowered part of the bed. I had one contraction in this position and it was the first and only one that I felt a strong urge to bear down with and it was the most amazing, powerful, and gratifying contraction I have ever had. I could feel his head moving down as I pushed and he was right there, and I did all of this on my own, with no I.V., and everything was going exactly as I had hoped, and it all lead up to that moment. I felt like I was a goddess and could conquer anything. I was moaning very loudly, screaming “Oh yeah” over and over. If anyone heard me in the hallway, they must have wondered if I was having a baby or making love. It was the most empowering moment of my life and also brought my baby’s head low enough to see!
That baby was right there, ready to greet the world. The doctor wanted to follow my plan of having my husband help with the delivery so he had him get gloves on and told me I had to lay back some if I wanted him to help. I really did not want to do that, and it hurt to lean back, but I really wanted Marcel to have an active part in receiving our son. As a struggled to lean back, I heard the nurse say to someone “no one can come in right now, she’s in the threshold!” I yelled, “who is it?!” and heard my mom say “it’s your mother!” I knew how badly she wanted to witness his birth, so I said, with much relief and shock that she made it in time, “she can come in!” I told her where to stand and with that hit the crowning contraction.
Now that did hurt, really bad. I screamed because that ring of fire was SO intense! I recognized that this was the crowning ring of fire so many women talk about (not sure why I didn’t notice it with my other births… maybe because I wasn’t as aware of what was going on?) and said, “he’s crowning isn’t he?!?” I heard everyone say “oh yeah, he’s right here” and specifically remember Marcel looking up at me and saying “he’s right here baby!” and that was so comforting.
The next push I birthed my son's head into my husband’s hands. Again, everyone was talking, but what I remember is seeing Marcel’s face. He kept me centered through the pain. He was so amazed and excited and said “Oh my God, oh baby, here he is!” I tried looking down so I could see him, but I couldn’t see around my belly. I’m so happy that I was so conscious and aware of all this and I think it’s so amazing that all I remember is Marcel. It felt so natural to have him down there telling me what was going on and encouraging me. I think God meant for it to be this way; for the father to receive his child and be involved in the birth in this way.
Then doctor told me he needs me to push again for the shoulders. I didn’t feel the urge to, so I asked if I had to do that right now. He said yes he needs to get this shoulder out, and I knew this was a crucial time and trusted him (I found out later that one of his shoulders came out with his head, something that we had discussed prenatally as one of the reasons he’d tell me to push the shoulders out without the urge to do so) so I pushed as hard as I could and ouch did that hurt! I never had pain when I birthed my daughter’s shoulders, but this boy has some broad shoulders!
9:16 pm I heard everyone say “here he is!” and I opened my eyes and saw Marcel handing my beautiful baby boy to me! I immediately said, “Oh sweetie, oh baby, oh my God, hi sweetie” and fell completely in love.
Words just can’t describe this moment. I’m so thankful for these pictures though, because my photographer perfectly captured this moment for us and they perfectly show how I felt! I was laughing and crying and felt like I was floating on a cloud.
I cleaned off Malachi’s face while I was in awe at my beautiful baby that I birthed, after months of growing him inside of me! I did it! I felt so strong and amazed at how perfectly my body created this child and brought him earthside and so thankful to God for giving my body this ability!
Just a few minutes after he was born, the cord stopped pulsating and the doctor asked me if I wanted to double check and make sure I didn’t feel any pulsating. I enjoyed feeling the cord, and it was indeed done, so Marcel cut the cord.
Aside from the nursery nurse checking his breathing and putting on our bands, no one touched him. No one took him from me at all, just like I stated in my plan. There was no resistance or problems with this. No one even tried to take him.
Malachi was so calm and peaceful in my arms.
This image is very powerful to me. This was the first birth my mother was able to witness, and I love how she looks over at our initial bonding, looking so satisfied and happy for us. Pure, raw, excitement and joy!
I was so happy to be able to kiss his sweet head before he was cleaned off and handed to me like a little burrito.
Look how excited the RN was for us… The only people in the room during his birth besides Marcel and I were my birth photographer, my mom, my doctor, the RN and LPN who was aware of our birth plan, and one nurse from the nursery that was told to read our plan as well. We had no need to give anyone else our “baby care plan”. Everyone knew exactly what we wanted and followed it perfectly. If there was anything they weren’t sure of, they asked. Everyone was very respectful of our needs. Once the placenta detached and delivered, the doctor worked quickly to finish up so he could get out of our way. He checked me for tears, thinking I might have torn more since Marcel delivered the baby, and I only had a small skid mark in the perenium area. After numbing me up really well he gave me a couple stiches, made sure the nurses knew what we were doing with our placenta, gave us tons of congrats, and had the nurses turn off the overhead light so we can peacefully get baby to the breast.
9:30, less than 20 minutes after birth, I was able to breastfeed my baby. He hadn’t even been weighed yet!
The nurses would check in on us to see if we needed anything, and to monitor my bleeding and blood pressure.
He latched on perfectly, and stayed on for an hour!
The nursery nurse told me to let her know when I was ready for her to do his assessments and said she can just do his bath at the same time. I let her know I just wanted his hair washed with my baby wash, and she said that was no problem.
Enjoying my calm, peaceful bonding time!
At 10:30 the girls meet their baby brother! (He still had not left my arms!) He was so alert and peaceful, as soon as they stood next to the bed and he heard them, he turned to look at them and checked them out. A beautiful sibling bonding moment!
Photographer momma… haha
Malachi decided an hour wasn’t enough time to eat… so he nursed on the other breast for another 45 minutes!!
After the girls left I was so curious about how much he weighed, so I paged the nursery nurse to come in and do his assessments.
She came in around 11:30 pm. He was so content and peaceful he didn’t even fuss while she was checking him out, and I was able to watch and focus on him.
He weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz.! (Notice he’s still not crying)
His head was 14 in. around and he was 21 in. long
Happy baby getting his hair washed with momma’s organic baby wash.
The nurse asked if I wanted her to put a diaper on or not, and if it was ok to wash the ink off his feet which I was fine with. She also asked if I wanted her to put a HUGS tag on him (the security system tag) since he wouldn’t be out of my sight. I told her I didn’t even know that was an option, and since it is in the way and pointless, let’s leave it off. I was impressed that not only was she following my birth plan, she was thinking of other things I might want or not want done and asking about it. My happy, peaceful son after he was cleaned up.
I wanted her to leave him undressed so we can have a lot more skin to skin time. Since he was so big for his gestational age, she let me know they normally do blood sugar checks, but quickly offered to just throw that on my list of procedures I was refusing on the waiver form, and I went with that option. I said I’d watch for symptoms of low blood sugar (she informed me what they were) and we’d check him if that happened. He was eating like a champ though, and at no time needed the check.
Shortly after his bath we were taken to our post-partum room where we had a lot more nurses to meet, and all of them read our birth plan and were very respectful of it. I was almost totally pain free. I always heard that the after pains get worse with every baby, but this was by far the least pain I had experienced after birth. The cramping was almost worse than the labor after #2 and 3. I was taking 800 mg of Motrin every 8 hours for at least 2 weeks after all my babies, but I didn’t even feel like I needed anything after I had him. A couple times a day, for the first 3 days, I had 400 mg of Motrin just because I felt a little crampy and feared it would get worse. My bottom wasn’t sore at all (again, first time ever). I had no Pitocin at all (Pitocin is routinely given after all births) and I think this might have something to do with it.
All of Malachi’s checks were done in our room and he never left our sight. The only time he was poked was for his 24 hour test for the state (which I consented for), and he didn’t even cry for that even though he had to be poked twice because his blood clotted so fast (even though he had no vitamin K injection). He was very alert and breastfed every hour at least. I was pretty sore from that, but didn’t mind. I knew it would pass once he got his latch perfected and my milk came in. Once my milk came in we started having some latching issues, he still nursed at least every hour around the clock, and that lasted about two weeks, but didn’t stop me from breastfeeding. No formula was given; he perfected his latch by three weeks, and at one month of age weighed 11. lbs. 11 oz. and grew an inch in length!
My doctor stopped in to see me on the 16th, even though he was on vacation! I was enjoying relaxing at the hospital and having the nurses take care of us, so we decided to stay as long as we could (which was a first for me). He and I stayed practically naked the whole stay and he either nursed or lay on my chest the whole time. He was a mommy’s boy right from the start and would get very upset if I set him down. He just wanted to be with me, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I felt like I was dreaming; it just didn’t even feel real. Everything had gone so perfectly. We had no attitude or problems from any of the staff the whole time. Everyone followed our birth plan and respected us. I am so glad I made the choice to birth my baby at the hospital! Even though I didn’t have any problems with the delivery, I felt safe and secure, having my respectful, funny, talented surgeon in the room with me and all the medical equipment we would need in case of an emergency, but still had a calm, peaceful, 100% natural birth experience;