Finally, after 18 months, I'm blogging my sweet boy's birth story.
WARNING: This is not for people who don't want to hear all the nitty-gritty details. If you don't enjoy hearing about a cervix, stop here. :)
I was due Friday, January 16, 2009. My due date came and went and I had such anticipation of when I'd go into labor. We were all prepared. His room looked adorable, our hospital bag packed, car seat was in the car and we had finished our birth class. All my life, I've wanted to birth my babies naturally. My Mom gave birth to my sister completely naturally, she couldn't with me because I was stubborn and breech.
We took a 6 week birth course at the hospital and I really liked it. I had wanted to take the Bradley class but, that class is 12 weeks long and we couldn't commit that time. The class at the hospital covered everything from nursing, to c-sections, to breathing techniques. The instructor was great and although I know she was required to teach the class in a way be beneficial for anyone, I could tell that in her heart she had a belief in natural birth.
She taught great breathing techniques and I feel like both Jeremiah and I got alot out of the class. I felt mentally prepared and strong and that's how I needed to feel if I was planning on not having any pain medication. One of the other things that helped me prepare were some ladies at our church that had great birth experiences. Talking to them excited me and made me feel inspired.
So, the "big" due date came and went. I was huge, ready and waiting. Monday morning came and I had an appointment with my midwife. Just for fun, I asked Sally if she wanted to come with me. She waited in the waiting room while I had my appointment. During the appointment, my midwife asked me if I'd like her to strip my membranes since I was over due. I said sure and as she did that, my water BROKE. Yep, right there in her office. She said that had never happened to her before and that my body just really must have been ready! At that time, it was about 1pm (Jan. 19th). I asked her if I could go home and get my stuff for the hospital. We agreed that we'd meet at the hospital at 5pm.
I came out to the waiting room and told Sally what had just happened. I was going to have this baby, SOON! We got in the car and I called Jeremiah. He was really excited and said that he'd get off work and meet us at home. I'm so thankful that God gave me a little "nudge" to bring Sally to this appointment. She drove my car home because we didn't know when the contractions would start.
Our drive home was normal. I wasn't having contractions yet, that I could really feel anyway. We came home and Sally made lunch. Soup and sandwiches, I think and I put some amazing worship music on. Ever since we got home, I didn't really feel comfortable sitting down so, I just kept moving. I cleaned up the house and just stayed busy. I started feeling slight contractions around 2:30. I just breathed through them, spent time on the exercise ball and kept the good music on. Jeremiah started timing how far apart they were and they were never more than 3 minutes apart. They were one on top of the other. Honestly, I felt embarrassed telling him that I was having another one because it didn't seem real that they'd be that close.
We left the house around 4pm to get Sally's car and head to the hospital. I remember leaning my seat back in the car and just breathing through each contraction. Over and over and over. The ride wasn't miserable but, it wasn't fun either. Jeremiah drove faster than he normally does and he and Sally were nice enough to not talk to me during contractions. I think the car ride was actually very quiet.
We got to the hospital a few minutes before 5pm and I got checked in. They had me lay on my back on the bed to monitor how I was doing and how close my contractions were. Laying on my back was NOT fun. For me, having contractions and staying still in a bed just don't mix. The medical assistant tried to give me a hep-lock in my arm (in case I'd need an IV) but, my veins weren't cooperating and I really didn't want to keep laying there. I have awesome veins and this is the only time in my life that anyone has had a problem. I really think it was God because I didn't want to have anything hooked up to me, injected in me or anything. She gave up on it and they said that my contractions were really close together (no kidding) that I was dilated to about 4cm and 100%effaced.
I got into the tub that they have in each room at about 5:45pm. Dealing with contractions in the water is soooo much better than laying on a bed. The tub is huge and it also had jets. It was pretty dark in there and very relaxing. Jeremiah and Sally brought chairs in there and just hung out with me. They helped me breath through each contraction. About every 20 minutes or so, a nurse or my midwife would come in and listen to the baby's heartbeat and make sure that we were doing fine.
At about 7:45pm (2 hrs after getting in the tub), my midwife came in and said that it sounded like I was really working through contractions and that they sounded close. Yes, they were very close together! She said that she wanted to check and see how far I was dilated. She checked me and I was 10 cm!!!!! I was so thankful and so surprised because I never knew I went through "transition". Transition, were you go from like 7cm-10cm, is supposed to be the most difficult and painful part of labor and although my contractions definitely hurt, it was never as bad as I expected it to be. I actually cried tears of happiness when she said I was fully dilated and it was time to push.
I got out of the tub, and onto the bed. There was a big clock on the wall in front of the bed and I could see that it was 8pm. I wanted this baby out before 9pm. Pushing was the hardest part of labor for me. I never felt that overwhelming urge to push and it hurt, BAD. Jeremiah counted to 10 for each push and it helped me stay motivated. Sally put cold washclothes on my head and face and those really helped. At 8:58pm, Judah was ready and the midwife had me reach down and pull him out, onto my chest. I just got goose bumps remembering that. He was (and still is) absolutely perfect. He was 9lb, 7oz, 21 inches. Big, healthy, alert and wonderful.
It was the BEST day of our lives so far. Judah's birth was everything that I ever wanted it to be. I had prayed for a fast, safe and completely medicine-free birth and God gave me exactly what I'd asked for.
Now, I'm anticipating what it'll be like to deliver this little girl. Even though I still have about 10 weeks, I'm already excited. I plan on delivering at the hospital again with the midwife but, part of me wants to deliver at a birth center and have a water birth. Either way, I know it's going to be an amazing experience.