Freddy’s Birth Story
On July 6th I went into the midwife for my 40 week appt and I was told that I was 2 cm dilated. This made me a little frustrated because I had had so many braxton hicks! We decided to try the foley bulb induction method because, with this being my third baby, things were likely to move along fairly quickly once they started and I was eager to get this baby out while my sisters were still in town! The Foley was placed and two hours later, the foley fell out. I was so annoyed! I was really hopeful that the foley would cause more contractions to come along but it didn’t! It just fell out! Of course the fact that it fell out meant that I was no 3-4 cm dilated but I was still annoyed that it hadn't done its job of getting things to move along! That night I lost my mucus plug and although I was excited and knew that this could mean an impending labor, I was still annoyed and also knew that it could mean 2 more weeks of pregnancy. ahhhh! The unknown!
On Friday July 7th, I decided to use some clary sage oil and rub it across my belly and ankles. I had heard that it was supposed to help contractions become stronger so i was optimistic. That night I had the worst prodromal labor EVER! Of course I had never had prodromal labor before so I didn't have much to compare it to but the contractions came 5 minutes apart and lasted 30 seconds for 6 hours. It was absolutely miserable and I got no sleep. I called my midwife whitney the next day and she suggested some therapeutic rest. I napped the next day and my mom and sister helped out with the kids so that I could get some much needed rest. I slept great that night and felt super refreshed in the morning!
Saturday July 8th was a great day. My family played with my kids and I floated in the pool and relaxed all day. We all had a great nap and I was feeling very refreshed. That night my parents had a party and after I went over and swam with my sisters and brothers in law and chatted and enjoyed our night. It was so fun having them here to visit and I was very grateful for a night of fun! I distinctly remember at one point around 9 oclock, I was in the pool and felt a contraction that felt a little different than the ones I experienced with prodromal labor. I brushed it off because it wasn't very strong and enjoyed the rest of my night.
That night I slept great but woke ever hour and half to 2 hours to pee. This was beyond frustrating because every time I would get up to pee, there was no pee! I knew the pressure was from the baby and it was annoying to say the least. I also woke to one or two more of those different kinds of contractions which was promising but mostly annoying because *the unknown!* I woke up in the morning and jumped in the shower. I was feeling sweaty so I figured a shower might be nice. At 7:30 on the dot, I turned the water off and had a big (ish) contraction. It lasted about 30 seconds and a feeling of dread came over me. This was more prodromal labor! i just knew it. Labor doesn't usually start at 7:30 in the morning and I just knew that I was in for a day of fake contractions that were just out of this world painful but not helpful in the least. I walked downstairs and told stephen that I just knew this day was going to be hard and I was going to call the midwife and then my mom and have her take the kids to church because I really needed his support during this supposed prodromal labor. I called Whitney and we decided that I would call her with any changes because my contractions were around 2-3 minutes apart but only lasting 30-45 seconds and I was talking through them pretty easily.
I called my mom and burst into tears. I told her that I was having prodromal labor but I emotionally needed stephen to be focused on me and asked if she would take the kids. She told me that it was going to be ok and that I should come swim with stephen to take some of the pressure off my body and everything would be ok. I cried for a few minutes, we got the kids ready for church and drove over.
The second I got in the pool I felt better. I used the jets in the pool as my own personal massage all throughout the third trimester so It was nice to use them during more intense contractions. My contractions started to spread out a bit, 5 minutes apart for one minute. Stephen and I timed them for about an hour and he was so helpful as I labored. Finally after about an hour in the pool, I could tell that stephen was getting really antsy to get to the birth center. Neither of us have every experienced going into labor on my own as I’ve been induced twice before so this was a new experience for both of us and stephen had expressed many times his anxiety about having a car baby! We called Whitney and I let her know that my contractions were about 5-1-1 and that I would like her to check me at the birth center. I was still feeling like this was prodromal labor because I could (but didn't want to) talk through my contractions and they weren't taking a whole lot out of me. They were super uncomfortable but Stephen and I were managing them really well.
The drive there was my biggest fear throughout pregnancy. I had vented to all my doulas (this is what happens when you’re a doula, you have a handful of doula colleagues who are amazing and support you like crazy!) that this was my fear and I am happy to report that it was so bad. The contractions were manageable and I got into a good rhythm. Plus I only had 3 on the 25 minute ride there so I was feeling OK. Whitney met us at the birth center and we got into a room to be checked at 12:20. I was 5-6 cm and had a very soft cervix. This was good news but I still felt like she might send us home because I was talking through the contractions fairly well. She said we could get settled in our room and continue laboring. So this WASNT prodromal labor and I was going to have a baby!!!! Oh the excitement! I couldn't believe I was actually in labor all on my own! No one had to do anything! My baby was coming and my body did it’s job! (This was something that I felt mildly disappointed in with my other two births and something I desperately wanted to achieve on my own at least once in my life! It felt like a huge success!) We got settled and texted Mary my doula and my mom and birth photographer to start heading our way. I knew it could still be a while because I wasn't feeling *that* in labor. Yes the contractions were intense and I was using stephen for support but we were managing and I felt pretty in control.
Throughout all this, I had been talking to Mary about possibly having a chiropractor come to the birth center to help things move along a little faster. We had made an appt to go together that afternoon but obviously had to cancel once my contractions were taking all my energy. Once at the center My midwife thought that baby may be OP and that was why contractions weren't coming as fast or strong. This can be a difficult position for baby to be born in and I wasn't thrilled about it. I told Mary to get to the birth center and we would reevaluate then!
Mary got there and I was so relieved. Stephen had been so helpful but there was something about Mary’s familiar face and the knowledge that I knew she possessed, that made me relax and trust my body even more. I knew I was now supported the way that I needed to be during this experience and I’m pretty sure I almost cried when she walked in! Whitney wanted me to labor on the toilet for a little bit because I had started vocalizing which can be a sign of pushing. I did but it was so uncomfortable! I got up and had them fill up the tub because I had planned for a water birth. Whitney had me labor in a squatting position for a few contractions and I had stephen stand behind me with Mary applying pressure to my sacrum. I wasn't feeling super pushy but when I got into the squat position, I was definitely feeling some pressure.
I was able to get into the tub and I immediately felt relief. It’s like my bones just couldn't handle being on dry land that day! This was around 1:45. My mom had said she would be there around 2:15 and I had specifically told my birth photog to be there at 2:30. Whitney had me check myself and see if I could feel my bag of waters or the babies head because we weren't really sure if they had broken. I could easily feel my bag of waters so Whitney asked me to push a little and see if I could move baby down. Boy did baby move!! The only problem was that my contractions were very far apart and not super strong. Ahhhh So frustrating! I pushed again and felt my bag of waters burst and holy crap it was creepy as heck!!! It felt like my babies head had exploded open! Obviously it hadn't but it definitely took me a second to gather myself. Another intense contraction, push and half his head was out. Last push and some help from Whitney and baby was here! They put him right on my chest and it was so amazing! A few seconds passed and we checked and saw that it was a boy! What an amazing feeling! I felt like a rockstar! The placenta was born in the water (Which was so cool! Thanks Whitney!) and we placed it in a bowl. The cord was insanely thick! Placentas are so cool to me (placenta encapsulator here!) and I had wanted the classic but slightly bizarre, baby attached to the placenta pic. Since the photographer and my mom hadn't made it, Freddy was attached to the placenta for at least 30 minutes. So cool!
I got out of the tub and sat on the bed to snuggle and breastfeed the baby. My mom walked in 5 minutes after freddy was born at 2:11. Poor Neenee (my moms grandma name), she just can’t ever make it to one of my children’s births! Maybe one day! Our birth photographer came in a few minutes after and took some pictures of us and baby. I got to cut the cord and overall it was an amazing experience! Stephen was awesome and my entire birth team was supportive of every single one of my wishes. I couldn't have asked for a better experience!
Shortly after the birth I was able to take a soothing herbal bath with freddy and then they weighed him. When they took him over to be weighed, and Esther ( our amazing nurse) said that he was weighing in at 10 lbs 14 oz, there was an audible gasp in the room! Holy smokes, that was a big baby! But he’s perfect and I got out of it fairly unscathed with only a 1st degree tear. This recovery has been a million times better than my last two and we are so in love!Freddy is healthy and nursing so well and we are recovering and relaxing with the support of my rockstar husband.