Walter is a week old today! (When I started this blog post. He could very well be a year when I actually get it published!) The time has just flown by! I thought I would write out his birth story since I haven’t had a chance to disclose many of the details. AND some of us are birth nerds! Plus I had a lot of people praying over the specifics of this birth.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017: Cow day at Chickfila! We dressed up, and I even managed to make a makeshift costume for Eleanor. Anthony had a cow flashcard velcroed to his hat. I was feeling a lot of pressure and was pretty uncomfortable. I even texted my doula to see who was on call that night as a midwife.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Nothing came of it, and I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and well rested which was pretty unusual at this point in the pregnancy.
8ish I texted Anthony and my doula that I had a little blood when I wiped that morning. It was really insignificant in my mind, but I think I was excited that something was happening.
10:00 I already had a chiro appt scheduled for that morning, so I loaded up the girls and headed out for an adjustment. I remember telling him that I thought things were happening.
10:15 I texted Anthony and told him that he may have to take a half day. I told him that I may be having contractions and that I didn’t want to be alone if things were happening.
10:30 Fortunately, Anthony read between the lines and decided to pack up then and head home. He called his mom to have her come pick the girls up before nap time because if something was going on, I didn’t want to have to wake them from their naps.
12ish Anthony came home, and we sent the girls off. I walked them to the door and reminded my mother in law that it could totally be a false alarm.
Anthony and I tried to lay down and rest, but I was having consistent contractions at this point. I was breathing through them. I started tracking them on an app, but each contraction was super erratic. Like the first one was 8 minutes apart, then 6 minutes, then 4. And then the app was like, “It is time to go to the hospital.” I thought that was ridiculous, so I stopped tracking them.
1:30 Since sleep wasn’t happening, we decided to get up and pick up the house and play a game. I started having contractions that I was moaning through, so I had Anthony call the midwife to see when exactly I was supposed to come in. Since I had tested positive for GBS, I needed to be put on antibiotics at least 4 hours before delivery.
The birth center is closed on Wednesday, so we called Jean directly. She told us to meet her up there around 2 or 2:30.
1:45 We packed a few more things, like games because I always think I am just going to be sitting around bored forever, and headed to the birth center.
Contractions really picked up on the 15 minute drive to the birth center. I had already contacted my doula via text, asking her if she would be mad if I called her to come too early. In between contractions, I called her and told her that this was her official call, and I wanted her there. She was dropping her girls off in Sanger and would be headed down shortly.
2:00 We arrived a few minutes before the midwife, but I was so happy to be there and be able to stand outside of the car for the next contraction.
I was unable to lie down on the exam table because the contractions were coming hard and fast. Jodie, the student midwife, asked if I felt pushy from the way I was standing. I remember thinking she was crazy because I thought labor was just really beginning. I was trying to convince myself that being dilated to a 3 would be success at that point.
I was officially admitted at 2:20 and was laying in the birthing suite having both of the midwives check me. Jean said, “Well, you can just go ahead and push your baby out whenever you are ready.” I was a bit emotional because I was not mentally prepared to be at that stage of labor. I wasn’t ready! My doula wasn’t here. My stuff from the car wasn’t even in the room. I remember asking my midwife to pray for me as she has done a couple times before during my pregnancy. It is so comforting to know that everyone in my birth room wasn’t relying on my strength to bring this baby earthside. God had a plan for this birth, and the prayer was just that I would relax and trust His process and timing.
Anthony called Rebekah, our doula to ask her what oils he should rub on me because I was asking for them. Rebekah asked how far along I was. Anthony told her that Jean was telling me to push when ready. In her head, Rebekah thought that maybe Jean was just saying that for my benefit and that I was maybe an 8. To which Anthony replied, “No, she is complete.” Rebekah was still 2 miles out. She also received a text from Lauren, my amazing birth assistant, that I was complete.
2:40ish Rebekah gets there. I am on my back on the bed squeezing the life out of Anthony and Rebekah’s hands. I vaguely remember Rebekah praying over me, reminding me of all the running and work I did to prepare for this birth, and Anthony crying. (He later admitted that at one point he started doing his completely inappropriate response to pain (from me squeezing his hand) which is to laugh, but he stopped himself.)
I am not the best at pushing. I have a hard time figuring out what to do with my body to help him move down. I was just doing a lot of pointless, and energy expending screaming. Thankfully, I was able to put my chin down to my chest, suggested by midwife, and bear down instead of scream for parts of the contractions, and I was able to start to feel his head come out.
I don’t remember the ring of fire this time, PTL, but I do remember having to take a break after getting his head out, but the next contraction came, and I birthed our son, Walter Daniel.
I was able to cut his cord, and he nursed right away.
I have always been paranoid about delivery of the placenta because one time at an appointment, this poor lady had to be transferred to the hospital because her placenta had not come out yet. I could think of nothing worse than having to go to the hospital after all that hard work.
Well mine was not coming out. And by golly contractions were just as intense as before delivery. After about 40 minutes they started an IV, which I wasn’t nervous about because I was super ready for some pain relief, and man, was that stuff nice! Sign me up for that if I ever birth again! Rebekah had pulled Anthony aside and said that if the placenta did not come out soon, they were going to have to do a manual retrieval, which apparently is as painful as it sounds. Fortunately, it came out on its on!
We had brought a frozen lasagna with us, so we had dinner, I took an herb bath, looked through my birth affirmations since there wasn’t time for that beforehand, and called our parents who were all shocked that he was already here!
Throughout this pregnancy and delivery, I really wanted to be able to trust God better about the process, so that my body would be able to relax. God is so great to design birth with breaks in between contractions. And I remember those breaks and the relief it gave me!
God also surrounded me with an amazing support system. Rebekah, my doula and good friend, is super knowledgeable, and there wasn’t any awkwardness transitioning from hello friend to hello person who is completely naked, screaming on the bed. Lauren, my birth assistant, has been at all of my births, watched my girls for moms’ group, and loved on my family for years. Jean was the first person I met at the birth center and one of two midwives who have taken my blood, outside of the nurse practitioner who took my blood years ago and told me just to never have children because of how hysterical I was during the blood draw. Jean (and Patty) years ago made me feel comfortable and normal with my needle phobia because everybody has a “thing.” Jodie, the student midwife who actually caught the baby, transitioned so well to our support team even though I had only met her twice. Something about everyone believing in you and wanting you to be successful makes everything work so smoothly. And also my husband, I really wanted him to be a part of the birth process. During the girls’ births I was totally uninterested in having him touch me. Thankfully he was able to recognize when he needed to come home, I leaned on him for contraction support, and held his hand all through pushing. I felt more confident in us because I knew he knew what was going on because of the birth classes we had taken.
God also gave me the ability to run (and a partner to train with) through the majority of my pregnancy. I stayed physically active up until the last few weeks.
We also went to a Birth Boot Camp Class which was so informative. It is just simply amazing how God has designed our bodies and what we are capable of! With Eleanor’s birth I choose to birth at a birth center out of fear of needles. With Walter’s birth, I was confident that it was the right decision, and I had the information to back it up! (Obviously, moms, you do you! Birth where you feel comfortable!)
Shout out to all my date-eating and evening primrose oil for softening my cervix like so fast, and red-raspberry tea all the time for making my bleeding afterwards so minimal that Lauren even made a comment about me drinking it.
After Elizabeth’s birth, I super needed a birth were I felt proud and strong of what I was able to do, and I am so thankful to the Lord for providing me with that experience. I am still riding the birth high!