Okay. Where to begin …
This is a crazy one. At least we think so! I am not going to leave out any of the details so be warned! If you are obsessed with reading birth stories like I was, sit tight and enjoy!
(obsessed with this sign my friend Therese made for me!)
I guess I will begin at my 40-week prenatal appointment (08/27/14).
We had been going to the local office for all of my appointments but made the last one at the hospital’s office so we could do a final “test ride” (our hospital is 35 mins away) and see my favorite doctor in the practice. I had not made any progress since the last appointment. I was going to ask him to strip my membranes that day since my biggest fear was hearing that dreaded “I” word that starts to get discussed once you reach term. As I mentioned before I was induced with Ella, epidural, whole nine (still a vaginal birth) and my recovery was horrible. I wanted to try for a natural birth this time around. My concern with the membrane sweep was my water breaking prematurely and having the end up being induced due to the ticking clock. I was still at 2 cm (since 38 weeks) and I forgot to ask how effaced. None of it means anything so I didn’t really hang on those numbers anyway. He told me the baby’s head was down, but not engaged enough to do a safe sweep. He pretty much said I would just be in pain and mad at him, and then there was that risk of my waters breaking. So we skipped it. Then it came up. Induction. I completely understand there are many risks post-term, but what does a “due date” mean anyway? Research shows first babies are statistically born at 40+7 and second 40+4. I was still feeling amazing, and in no rush at all…but did want to avoid induction so hoping he would come within 10 days past my DD. Bottom line we discussed coming in at 41 weeks (which was the following Wednesday) for a sweep, then a non-stress test. If all was good we would try to hold off on induction, see if my body naturally went into labor. As I said in all of my previous updates I felt like I was in the best shape of my life and was working my butt off to be prepared for labor and help with recovery. I was working harder 40 weeks pregnant than pre-pregnancy! And feeling amazing while doing it!
Friday morning (08/29) after right another incredible yoga class I received a phone call that ruined my groove .
It was a scheduler saying she scheduled my induction for that following Tuesday night (!?) and I would also need a non stress test so she left the number. I called back and told her that was not what I discussed with my doc. She said she was just told to schedule my induction. It didn’t even make sense because I couldn’t go for the stress test until Wednesday…so I was supposed to just go in Tuesday evening (which I ALSO didn’t like…because those added interventions show an increased risk of emergency C section, last time I went in the AM for Ella). When I resisted she explained that my doctor may not get back to me until Tuesday so she would just keep it on…I told her “I know you are just doing your job of scheduling, however I am not comfortable with this, and you can keep it on but I am not coming in. It doesn’t even make sense if I can’t even make an appointment for my stress test until Wednesday, I won’t even by 41 weeks yet on Tuesday?” My doctor called me back right away and apologized saying that was probably just what they had available, he just told her to schedule it. He was still on board with our plan. I scheduled the stress test for Wednesday (09/03) and moved the sweep to Tuesday (09/02) afternoon. We would wait to induce until that following weekend.
Each day following that felt like a week. I called Michael and told him how upset I was, and he just said “that’s still a long time from now.” Which in baby-land, he was right. Anything could happen and what would be would be. It was nice slowing my schedule, and having clients away so that I could take care of myself and enjoy that “me time” getting to yoga or barre classes daily –it felt really, really good. Saturday morning (08/30) I took the class I usually teach. I had a joke going asking each instructor who was going to be the one to put my in labor!?? I was opting out of a lot of the handstands and doing extra yogi squats and lots of rocking on my hands and knees instead of holding down dog. I was like “move on down, baby!” After a 75 minute practice that Saturday morning Mike and I went for a 40 minute walk. I came home, showered, cleaned the house, went out for a pedicure with my Weezy, rested a bit, and got ready to have dinner with my in-laws. My sister in law was sleeping over that night with her pit-bull and Ella actually wanted to sleep in HER own bed with her! Yes, she still co-sleeps with us because “her back hurts when she sleeps in her own bed” according to her (she rarely even slept in it to know that her back hurts).
We had an amazing dinner at the new Blue Bell Inn. The waiter brought out a free dessert with a candle wishing me well which was very sweet. We went home, Ella settled into bed with Rose and Lennon and Mike and I had our bed to ourselves without a body thrashing/sideways sleeping toddler for the first time in who knows!?
I was woken up at about 3am with bad period-like cramps in my lower belly. I got out of bed to walk around and see if it went away. I was not convinced at all that it was the “real deal.” Maybe practice labor. I couldn’t really lye down and get comfortable though. Mike woke up and asked if I was okay, I said “I don’t know, I think I am getting contractions but it may just be nothing. They were getting a little stronger and of course he couldn’t sleep. He got up, got dressed, and said “I am going to go pick up your mom.” He wanted her there for me, she was going to be “my doula” in a sense. My sister in law then woke up. At that point Mike and I had been timing the contractions on an app called “full term-labor contraction timer” I downloaded onto his phone a week prior. Rose took over timing the contractions.
I kept saying to her…I don’t know if this is real. I hope we are not causing commotion for no reason. I even doubted how much pain I was in. I only had this to compare to Pitocin labor, 3 years ago (you forget a little) and also with Ella labor was in my back. This pain was in my lower belly and shooting down my quadriceps. Of ALL the books and birth stories and message board I was obsessed with reading…I NEVER heard of thigh labor?
I had one thing in my head. Contractions 3-5 minutes apart, 1 minute long…and many books I read said going to the hospital when you can still talk “BETWEEN” contractions was too early.
Let me back up by saying that this entire pregnancy Michael had said “The moment you go into labor we are heading the the hospital. It’s 35 minutes away and second babies come fast.” My thought was that we still would have plenty of time. Babies don’t come that fast, I thought it was adorable how quickly he thought my labor was going to be…and would joke to him (and other women in our family would agree) that I only could “hope” it would be that fast,
Bottom line. I read too much, and my husband was right. He was never so right in his life.
***ready for the crazy part…***
My bag was packed with essential oils, massagers, a birth preference, info from a doula for Mike and my mom on how to help me through the stages of labor, all that jazz. My birth ball as well which felt great last time and was useless this time. Ladies…you do what feels good intuitively. Again, never in my life heard of leg labor and ALL that felt good to me was dropping to my hands and knees and rocking, breathing and moaning (which I said I couldn’t see myself doing). My contractions STARTED at about 2 1/2 minutes apart from the beginning. They went from a 2 on pain scale to a 10 VERY FAST, and they were NEVER 1 minute long. More like 35-45 seconds long. I was always able to talk in between them.
Imagine this scene. My wailing on all fours (you do what feels good!). A pit bull barking and running around. A toddler waking up and me being upset because I didn’t want her to witness this. My sister in law brought Ella into the den to watch Mickey and she was actually not even phased). I went up into the nursery with Mike and my mom to labor. All Mike was saying from 3:37am when he got my mom on was “WE NEED TO GET IN THE CAR NOW!!!” We called the doctor around 4:10 or so but was still not getting a phone call back. 15 minutes later the phone rang, she was delivering a baby. Of course. She got on the phone with me but that quickly another contraction started. She got info on the timing of the contractions from Mike and when I got back on the phone she said “I heard that one and if you are in that much pain you should come in. The problem was, every time I would get up to make my way to the car I would have to drop down to my hands and knees. Getting in the car sounded like torture. Seriously? How does ANYONE ride in a car in active labor? Yikes!!! Also, my mom was gently but firmly rubbing my back and belly which also felt really good and helped keep me calm. The key is getting control of your breathing as soon as a contraction starts. I sometimes would get panicked at the beginning and it would make the entire contraction even worse.
Finally, about 5am we walked out to the car. I had them grab towels in case my water broke. The back seat had 2 car seats, Mike took out one so my mom and I could sit in the back together so she could help me. I am standing at the top of the driveway, still really upset about HOW I was going to deal with a 35 minute car ride with contractions this close together (still thinking we HAD all that time left before the baby was coming)…and BAM.
“MY WATER BROKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Run back into the house.
Mike: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WE HAVE TO GET IN THE CAR!!”
Me: “I am SOAKED!” Someone get me a change of clothes!”
I run into the powder room. and as my mom and many books said…you “clean yourself out” after your water breaks. Then I felt like I was going to vomit hanging over the toilet. Then contraction hit and I was bottom-less on all fours. Someone got me a cold, wet rag for my face and it felt SO good. Then I get up and notice there’s meconium in the water! All in a matter of a minute this all happened. I’m going “the baby pooped, this is BAD!” My moms going “honey, you pooped……” I am arguing, NO, the water is brown! That’s not from me!
They call 9-1-1. There’s no way I am getting into the car at this point.
A police officer shows up at 5:15am, I am getting a contraction in the bathroom. A minute later, the paramedics arrived.
They tell my I have to get on a stretcher. I argue because that just sounds horrific to me. I need to be on all fours. The woman paramedic says “I am going to check you, and if you are crowning we are not going to Abington Hospital (where I planned to deliver), we are going to Einstein (which is the brand new hospital down the street from us.) I didn’t know much about Einstein’s maternity or NICU, or anything. My practice was with Abington and they are known to be one of the best in the area. Einstein was just built.
Finally I relinquish all control, get on the stretcher, and am in the back of the ambulance. It feels so good the air is really cold and they let me lye on my side. My blood pressure was lower than I ever even heard of …60/35 or something like that. They put in an IV and apparently got it back up quickly somehow.
Meanwhile, out in the driveway Michael is freaking out. The other paramedic said to him “Sir, we can go to Abington, I have been there already tonight…but I highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend we go to Einstein. He says, I don’t know she may have more time.
Back in the ambulance, she checks me and calmly says “Miss, we are going to Einstein.” Followed by “I know you want to go to Abingdon, I have delivered 9 babies and (the guy in there with her) has delivered 11. But again, we need to go to Einstein.The other paramedic goes out to Mike and says “Sir, we are going to Einstein” he just says “OKAY!”
At this point I am out of my body. I did finally get my breathing under control and no more moaning. Maybe it was the fact that these paramedics were so amazing and in control. I was squeezing one of their hands the whole way and I started getting that urge to push during contractions. The only thing that felt good was to push with my breath.
I hear the woman on the phone asking for a NICU team in the ER. What did that mean? Is my baby okay? She reassured me that just meant to have all the doctors down to greet us. As they wheeled me in I looked out one eye under my wet cold rag and saw a ton of people staring at me. We enter a room, I have no idea who’s in there. There’s a nurse, a doctor(?), and someone else. They ask my mom to grab one of my legs and I just push as I need to. No coaching like last time. No tray table with a million little tools. Just 3 people in scrubs, my mom, and Michael.
08/31/14 at 5:56am:
3 hours of labor. 3 pushes. He’s HERE!
7 pounds, 2 ounces. 21 inches long.
All of the books I read, all of the things I packed, my “birth plan/preference” ..none of it mattered. Thank you, yoga
I see them about to cut the cord and I exclaim: “No, let it stop pulsing first!” and she says, I know honey we HAVE to get him checked IMMEDIATELY since he swallowed meconium. Which is what happened with Ella. I again, relinquish all control. They know what they are doing. I just want what’s best for him. At that moment, I just needed to lye there and take in what happened. I wasn’t feeling panicked to hold him, I just needed to lye there and take it all in. I could not believe what just happened. My mom was yelling “You did it!!” She had given birth 4 times and said that was the most incredible thing she had ever seen. Never from that perspective before. I just could NOT believe how fast he came. And even though I was at another hospital, I got what I wanted all along. A speedy, natural labor and to get to the hospital and just push.
They took care of him, and he was in my arms, skin to skin pretty quickly. He was doing great. My mother in law, sister in law and Weezy were on their way.
The nurse tells me to order breakfast. I am not hungry but she says, no you are ordering breakfast. I ask for an omelet with onion, cheese and peppers and fruit. She insists I get juice and throws on a bagel with cream cheese and a muffin. That food comes, and I eat every last bite. I needed it. Jaxon wasn’t latching immediately like Ella, but then he finally did and was a champ.
At this point my mother in law, sister-in-law, Weezy, my sister and my other sister-in-law (my brother’s wife) are all there. It was really special and so nice to have that time with them, and it was so convenient. If we were at Abington not everyone would have made it so fast or right then. Einstein is incredibly close for all of us. Later that afternoon the rest of our family came to meet the little guy. By 1:30 I was exhausted. Everyone started to leave and I sent Mike and Ella home so they could nap. It was a long morning for all of us.
My experience at Einstein was GREAT! Everything I had in my “plan” they said before I had to. They wanted him in my room they whole time. They encouraged skin to skin as soon as possible and breastfeeding. They wanted to do all his testing in my room (aside from the circumcision which is a sterile procedure I didn’t want to witness anyway). They didn’t even take him to the nursery until later that afternoon. With weez we had an hour with her and I didn’t get to see her for like 3 hours after that. They took him back, bathed him and had him in my room 30 minutes later. The nurses were amazing and they offered “room service” where they brought the food to you in a tuxedo. And, the food wasn’t too horrible. I actually found out later from one of the nurses that a midwife delivered Jaxon! I had no idea they were a midwife friendly hospital..which is rare in this area (and what I wanted from day 1 but Abington was not).
My recovery from this birth is like night and day. I had a second degree tear, but no hemorrhoids like with Ella (which I think is MORE painful than tearing). I am definitely sore, but was able to walk around after, shower, and not cry in pain. Nursing is much better too, mainly because I know what I am doing. I had talked to two lactation consultants in the hospital because Jaxon’s latch on the left was shallow and they gave me great tips. I remember with Ella suffering the first two weeks, bleeding crying every time she latched because it hurt so bad due to a shallow latch. I suffered through it and kept on, but there’s no reason for it. This time around I got it under control right away.
My hunger is like 5 times what it was during pregnancy. My milk came in on day TWO (yay!) and Jaxon got back to his birth weight at his first doctor appointment! We don’t even need to go back until 2 months. He is in the 85% for height and 25% for weight. His hands and feet are HUGE! We know he’s going to be either an athlete or someone in power some day.
He is SUCH a good baby so far. So chill. Must be all that yoga! He’s so so so so sweet. Ella is adorable with him and we are doing our best to make her feel really special. She’s made out like a bandit so far, everyone brings her presents every day.
Mr.Jaxon Carter came at a great time. He was very considerate. My mom was able to make it to the Aerosmith concert (her obsession) that night. Mike got him here before the NFL season started, and he came before my doctor wanted to evict him. He came when he was ready…and when he was ready…he was READY! The other funny thing was he was born on my friend Kristin’s birthday. She is the handstand guru at our studio, and took all of my handstand photos for me. I said to her it would be very fitting for him to be born on the same day as her and he was.
He’s nursing 12 times a day, pooping like a champ, and burping and sleeping in between it all (I am loving the “baby tracker” app to keep track of feedings, especially to know how long and which side, and diapers). Of course my little boy is the one born with a full head of hair (no wonder all the heart burn!). It took Ella two years to have hair as long as him. Now she has the most beautiful curly hair on earth.
That’s my story! If you read it all thanks! Even though the birth was short, the story was long because I told it! Looking back, yes it was freaking painful. I went into a rapid, intense labor quickly…but It was ONLY 3 hours of labor, drug-free, and he shot out. It doesn’t get any better than that.
A special thank you to the paramedics, the staff at Einstein, my mom for being there, my sister in law for taking such great care of Ella that night, my mother in law for being her amazing self and helping us and bringing us delicious food, the rest of our family for being wonderful and all the well wishes we received from our friends! We are truly blessed! Thank you to Micahel for being the best husband and father there is. Ella, Jaxon and I are so lucky! Last but not least thank you to Sol Yoga Studio, TRUBArre and PIT for keeping my body in shape up until the very end, and my mind clear and calm!
Share you experience with me if you like…I’d love to hear it!
Talk soon! Off to snuggle my babies!