July 28th 2013
It was a hot Sunday in North Florida. We didn’t have much planned that day, basically the definition of a lazy Sunday. I was two days past my due date and was getting pretty anxious. That afternoon I went on my daily “I’m gonna walk this baby out” walk in the July heat. My neighbor was out doing yard work and every time I made the loop he would shout out a “You need some water? ” Girl, that baby has dropped!” “Go home before I have to deliver your baby!” Each time me giving him the smile and wave.
I came back home, hopped in the shower and started getting ready for dinner. While getting ready I had to pee for the 20th time that day. Did the deed and there was a little something extra when I wiped. My mucus plug. Seeing it shocked and excited me. If I’m losing my plug then there’s probably some progress down there. At my doctors appointment a few days prior, I was dilated to 1cm and had my membranes swept so I was hoping this lovely glob was a sign of progress!
I skipped out to the living room and announced to my husband “I lost my plug! It still on the toilet paper. Wanna see it?!?’ He glared at me for a few seconds then said “yeah.” So he followed me into the bathroom to meet my snotty little friend.
Then I text a few of my girl friends. We have no TMI limit.
Shortly after we finally flushed the plug, we headed out for dinner. Little did we know, our last dinner as a married couple with no children. We went to FishHouse (if you’re in the Pensacola, FL area you MUST go to the Fish House. Grits a ya-ya are amazing!)
I ordered sushi (the cooked kind) with a ton of wasabi. we have all heard the spicy food wives tale so I figured I’d give it a shot.
After dinner we relaxed, watched TV and got ready for bed and I fell asleep wondering when I was going to meet my baby.
July 29, 2013
This morning started like no other. It was about 4am and I woke up to mild contractions. Not strong enough yet to be painful but definitely uncomfortable. I was able to go back to sleep for about an hour. I knew this was it and I was trying to relax and get as much rest as possible. After laying in bed was not longer comfortable, I moved into the bath tub. Being in the water felt amazing and really helped me to relax.
Contractions really started to pick up, so I got out and made myself some breakfast. Scrambled eggs and a Pbj. Yes, I know….odd combo. Contractions were getting much stronger and I decided to start timing them. The best way to describe contractions is a roller coaster. It starts slowly. The intensity goes up, up, up, up, a second or so of steady, like you’re at the top of the ride ready to plummet to the bottom. Then you’re on the way down and relief is immediate. And in between contractions, it was like just another Monday. No pain.
My goal was to have a natural, unmedicated birth with interventions being used only for emergencies. I prepared myself mentally for the marathon of labor and my focus was on breathing and relaxing. Think about it….your body is trying to open up. It’s better to relax and let it open, rather than to tenses up and work against it.
At this point, I started feeling really nauseous. I remember from my Bradley Method classes that getting sick can be a sign that you’re in transition (the last part of active labor). Contractions were about 4 minutes apart so we decided it was time to head for the hospital. It’s traditional for “Bradley Births” to drink orange after you deliver. We didn’t have any OJ on hand so we made a pit stop on the way to the hospital. I remember we parked next a county sheriff at the gas station and I was so close to rolling down my window being like “Can I get an escort?”
When we arrived at the hospital it was raining. Jerett dropped me off by the door and parked the car. I delivered at the Naval Hospital so it was much smaller than your normal busy hospital. I loved my experience there! Labor and Delivery was on the 8th floor so we made our way up. I loved how laid back the naval hospital was. You basically walk up and they point you to your room. It was obvious that I was in hard labor so they checked me right away. I remember thinking “If THIS is 3 cm, I don’t know if I can do much more.” The nurse checked me and I was at 8cm. I think I said out loud “Oh thank you, Jesus!” Which would be really the only thing I would say while in labor. I was very much in the zone. I just kept my mind on relaxing and was very mindful of my breathing.
Then the back labor kicked it. The only position that felt comfortable on standing over my bed swaying my hips back and forth. Jerett was a great help and coach. He would rub my shoulders, apply pressure to my lower back and was great at following my cues. I was so in the zone, I really didn’t have much sense of time. A few minutes/hours went by and I felt the urge.
“Ok! I have to push, NOW!” The nurse had me get on the bed and she checked me and I was fully dilated! Due to my request for minimal interventions, my water hadn’t been broken and had not broke on it’s own. Well it did with the first practice push and then IT WAS ON. The nurse stopped me from pushing because she didn’t want to be the one to deliver the baby! Thankfully, my doctor was close by and it was time to get to work. Pushing was in some way a relief. Like I could finally put all this pressure I was feeling to work. It took me a few push to figured it out. I remember I just started praying to myself. “God, please help me to make this quick! I can’t do this for long.” My mind went to all those stories I’ve heard of women who pushed for 3 hours. If you are one of those women, you’re my hero and I love you.
Things got a little intense at this point. Addison was stuck on my pelvic bone and her heart rate was dropping. My doctor wanted to do an episiotomy to help get her out. Thankfully, he had a midwife assisting him and she stepped up and saved the day…and my vigina. There’s no way pleasant was to say this so I’m just gonna say it, She inserted her fingers in my bum (didn’t even buy me dinner first) moved Addison a little, told me to give her a big push and the next thing I know, I look down to a pink, wrinkly little baby with the most beautiful almond shaped eye staring back at me. I only push for about 15 minutes. We did immediate skin to skin and she nursed right away. She stole my heart in an instant and I never want it back.
I love sharing my birth story because this is by far my greatest achievement. For me, birth was about honoring my body and it’s amazing ability.
There was a time where I would think someone was “wrong” for electing a c-section over natural birth but I’ve learned that I was wrong. Regardless of the type of birth you have in mind, you should birth your baby the way your want to. Natural, C-section, meds, no meds, whatever! There are way too many Mommy Wars out there and this should be one of the most amazing times in your time. You don’t need to be judge about the way you want to birth.
So let’s make it a goal to love and support each other. Being a Mom is hard enough! Let’s love instead of judge!
To my sweet Addison,
I think God everyday that he chose me to be your Mommy. You have brought me so much joy and love. Your smiles makes my soul happy. I often wonder what those beautiful almond eyes will see in your life. You never will know how much I love you. Happy Birthday! (I’m totally not crying right now)