As everyone knows, Josephine Elizabeth joined our family on November 30, 2011. What you may not know is how she decided to arrive. Here is a scaled back version of her "Adventure to Birth."
Let me start by reminding you that Tuesday the 29th I had my 38 week check up. My doctor had determined I was 3cm dilated. In my head I started thinking, "It's time...she's coming." So that night I was a woman on a mission. I wrote a fairly detailed email to the grandparents about Jack's daycare arrangements, hospital info, etc. I had Tyson put the infant seat in the car and we brought the hospital bags downstairs. Tyson could tell something was up.
At 1:30am I was up with Jack and felt fine. Then at 4am I started feeling contractions. I waited a few out and then decided to start timing them. They were 5 minutes apart, so I got up and started moving around (to see if they would stop). By 5:00am I knew it was "the real thing." I woke Tyson up and he jumped in the shower. Then I started calling people. I called my mom to let her know, then called Nancy. While I was on the phone with Nancy, my water broke (all over the guest room floor. nice.). Finally, I called Brooke - who had offered to come stay with Jack. By 6:15 - Tyson and I were headed to the hospital.
When we arrived they "checked" me again and much to EVERYONE'S surprise (nurses, doctors, ME!) I was 8cm! Immediately I was asked if I wanted an epidural. I told them I was feeling pretty good and I would wait to see how things went. I knew I only had 2 centimeters left to go...
Background: I had a bit of an "epiphany" after Jack was born. I was annoyed that I had received an epidural too late. It didn't seem to have worked well and my entire thigh was numb for more than six months afterward. So when I became pregnant with Josie I decided to do my "homework" and understand what a natural birth would entail. I read a lot of books, watched "The Business of Being Born," and talked to as many "natural birthers" as I could. I really felt like I could do it.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning - my contraction were hard and strong...and I felt that everyone who walked in the room asked if I wanted "something for the pain." I looked at Tyson - "Can I do this?" I asked him. He assured me that he knew I could. And my nurse (who was awesome) - told me that no one else would ask if I wanted pain medications. That was it...the decision was made.
Labor was intense. I won't go into details, but if you are interested - I won't lie to you when you ask. I'm pretty sure my eyes were close 95% of the time. I had such intense back labor and tried every position possible to ease it. By 9:45 my doctor (ironically, the same one who had checked me Tuesday AND the same one who delivered Jack) announced that I could push. Best.Words.Ever! Again, I will save the details...but there was lots of "coaching", a birthing bar with a sheet to pull on, and I will admit - I was the woman who scares everyone in Labor & Delivery. Yes, I was the screamer. Trust me...you would have been screaming too.
Fifty minutes later, our sweet baby girl arrived. She was "sunny-side-up" (aka: posterior) - which explained the intense back labor. The relief I felt was unreal. I held Josie for a long time before they took her away to be cleaned up. As they were cleaning her, they heard her making grunting noises (which is an indicator of respiratory distress) - so they took her to the NICU for observation. Tyson, being the amazing Daddy that he is, went with her. After an hour, I was taken up to the NICU to nurse her. She was a champ and the doctors determined she was just fine.
We spent Wednesday night in the hospital. Josie was in the nursery most of the night, so I could rest...and was brought in for feedings. The second time around, the hospital seems like a prison. They have crazy rules and they make you do things that seem silly (with the first baby, you don't know any better). If you can't tell, I got in "trouble" for breaking their rules. I knew I needed out of there! We were discharged at 3:30pm and I was happy to be home where the policy is - my baby, my rules.
So - would I do a natural birth again? Yes, I would. Honestly, I feel great. And I'm proud of myself for "pushing through" (literally) the pain. I was in control 100% - from start to finish. Granted, I realize this birth plan is not for everyone. Obviously, from start to finish my labor was a little over 5 hours - so it seemed completely do-able in my head. If I was dealing with a long, drawn out labor - my feelings may be different. But - knowing what I know about Jack's birth...and now Josie's birth... I better be in a hurry to get to the hospital from now on. Tyson's an amazing birthing coach...but I don't think I want him to deliver our next child in our family room or along the road somewhere.
3 weeks ago