Sunday, October 2, 2011

Judah's Birth Day Story

Judah's feet!

The weekend of Judah's birth was absolutely gorgeous. We were finally out of the heat but it wasn't so cold that you needed a jacket yet either. Saturday, Sept 24 I kept having Braxton Hicks contractions all over the place but they were more intense than they had been. Still not painful but definitely noticeable. So after dinner we decided to go on a family walk to see if that would help things along.

We went on a gorgeous, cool walk under the trees. We went up and down some serious hills and walked for a long time. When we got home I definitely felt more pressure and lower back pain. When I went to bed that night contractions were about 11-minutes apart. I wanted to get good sleep if I was to go into labor in the middle of the night or the next day.

Final belly pic!

Well when I woke up the next morning, on Sunday, I laid there for a long time, waiting and listening to my body. I only had one strong contraction and then nada. Discouraged I got up and started my day. Getting up was doing something, however. I was noticing the contractions were coming back and I could time them at 6-minutes apart for about 30 minutes and then they'd disappear for another half hour. It was really weird to have the contractions come and go like that but that is normal in early labor.

By lunchtime I had bloody show. I could have cried with joy! Up until that I had no sign of anything happening except the occasional contractions that would regulate and then stop. We sent the two younger girls to Poppy's house and grabbed some lunch at a favorite, authentic Mexican food joint. My contractions were coming back and were still 6-minutes apart and strong (still painless and could talk through them).

We called Cathy, our midwife and she told us it was up to us what we wanted to do. She said to come on over and hang out, see what was going on. So Daniel, Elaina and I got in the car and headed to the birth center. Daniel's mom and sister drove separately. His mom was going to be a helper with Elaina and his sister is a photographer! And I have to say that I loved having someone else do the photography so Daniel could be part of his child's birth instead of scrambling with the camera. It was really great!

We arrived at the birth center at about 1:30pm. When we got there we chose the room we wanted for our birth and I got an exam. I was only 2cm. Cue some crazy discouragement! I thought we were going home! Instead Cathy told us to go walk, walk, walk. The birth center sits in the midst of this wooded area, along with other businesses, but it was so quiet because it was the weekend.

Come on contractions!

We went outside and walked in the wonderfully cool fall air, under all these beautiful trees! We walked and walked. I had the IPOD on so I couldn't hear anyone and could just try to relax and enjoy this time. I still kept getting really distracted so we headed back to the birth center where I paced the halls. Contractions were getting stronger and stronger. I had to stop when one would hit me. We were joking and laughing between them. My midwife would pop over from time-to-time and ask me how I was feeling. When I'd tell her they were getting painful she'd pump her fist and say "Bring it on!"

Got in the tub later on...

We'd check on his heart intermittently and he was doing great. My next exam showed I was at 3-4cm so progress was being made. I felt better and continued to do my walking but I felt myself slowing down. Before I had been pacing ferociously but now I had to shuffle because of the intensity and discomfort.

Later when I was in the tub; checking his heart with the doppler.

By my next exam (have no clue what time it was; maybe 1.5-2 hours since we arrived) I was free to get in the tub! I was surprised because I didn't feel that I was that far along in labor to be able to get in the tub (you have to be at least 5cm). I wouldn't have had the exams except that with all the sporadic contractions and needing to be far enough along for the tub I decided to go for them. That was the last exam that I was told how far along I was dilated.

Daniel and I talking between contractions.

Daniel filled the tub and I got in. The water felt warm and great but honestly... the contractions felt the same to me as when not in the water. I'm not a huge water person anyway so I started to doubt that I'd actually have him in the water and I was fine with that. I stayed in the water for awhile, listening to music and trying to focus on breathing. Contractions were picking up and I was having a harder time with them in the water than I expected. Things started to get intense and hazy. I remember bits and pieces.

I knew Elaina was coming and going from the room. At one point I opened my eyes and saw the clock said it was after 5pm and I went into Mom-mode. "Elaina needs to eat dinner! It's past dinner!" but everyone assured me she had snacks and was doing fine, to not worry about it. Back to Labor-mode I went...

Getting intense!

I remember my husband whispering to me, telling me I was beautiful and doing great. I also remember my midwife coming and sitting by the tub to add warm water and stir it in the tub for me. That felt good. It was just during contraction peaks that I wanted to jump out of my skin and run for the hills. When I started making noises during them, like moaning, I knew I was in transition and getting close to pushing. I kept trying to focus on my breathing and "breathe him down". The pressure was getting intense and I could feel his head getting lower and lower.

And for some reason I got scared! I kept thinking, "I don't want to push!" I knew the pain would be temporary but I still lost it and the fear came in. I had a really strong contraction and my water broke in the water. It was like a whirlpool jet stream and it startled me and actually hurt a little! I asked Cathy about that and she said it was like a balloon bursting under great pressure. Normally your water breaking doesn't hurt so that was very interesting to say the least!

Time to get out!

I decided to get out of the tub after my water broke. The moment my feet hit the ground I waddled as fast as I could to the bed before another contraction could take over. I literally fell face-first onto the mattress as another contraction hit me. They helped me get on my side and Cathy kept suggesting getting on my hands-and-knees. All I could get out was "No!" What I really wanted to say was, "I'd love to but I just can't move!" LOL! When you're to this point it's hard to get the words out. The nurse was holding one leg up for me and I kept telling her, "No" so Cathy told me to grab my own leg as I would know what would be the best position for myself. Again all I could get out was, "No!" There was so much more going on than I could communicate. What I wanted to say was, "Something doesn't feel right! It doesn't feel right in this position..."

Cathy checking on his heart.

Finally Cathy just had me get on my hands-and-knees and stopped asking. I was glad for that because I had a few people suggesting things and what I needed at this time was direction. I was losing it and needed that. When I got in the new position the urge to push overcame me! They got the birth ball somewhat under my chest. I even tried biting the birth ball during a contraction (which we all laugh about now!). I had my eyes closed but I remember opening them and seeing Elaina there, near my head, at some point. I got excited! I got excited that she was there and that he was going to be here in moments!

I pushed and I felt his head come through but I didn't feel that relief that comes when their head is finally out. Cathy got serious and said quietly but sternly, "Do not push until I tell you to push and stop pushing if I tell you to stop". I don't remember if I answered her with a nod or with words or at all. The urge to push came again and I followed that urge. Since I was on my hands-and-knees I couldn't see what was going on but there was a LOT of tugging and it felt like baby was spinning in a circle... but finally! His shoulders came free and he was born into Daddy's hands.

My baby boy!

Daddy passed him up to me through my legs and I took my baby into my arms! His shoulders had gotten stuck, very stuck. But we got him out without a single tear to my girly parts and without hurting him! It was actually a really great thing that I was in the position that I was in because that is optimal for getting a stuck baby out. Praise God!

Double-checking to make sure he was indeed a boy!

He was so peaceful and quiet after birth. He did cry a little and the sound was so beautiful.

The oh-so cute beanie the center puts on the newborns!

Big sister kept begging to hold him!

Getting his weight; 9lbs 2oz

Breastfeeding and checking him out.

Looking at his dark hair!

After he was born and we were all cleaned up my midwife and some other ladies who work at the birth center partied! There were whoops and hollers out in the hall (I didn't hear them because the rooms are so sound-proof). Judah was the first baby born at the new birth center building! The center had been open for only a week. Cathy got pictures of Judah and put an announcement up on the center's FB page (with our permission of course). They hung an It's a Boy balloon outside the birth center, made us a BIRTHday cake and we drank a toast to our new baby.

My birth team and our BIRTHday cake!

It couldn't have gone any better. What a beautiful day it was! I may have felt out-of-control at the end but I truly had control in my son's birth. I'm so grateful to have had a professional present because he did get stuck and I'm so grateful that she encouraged Daniel to catch his son (something I've wanted him to do). He was nervous but said it was the most wonderful and amazing experience to be the first to hold his baby and hand him off to his mother!

Judah is exactly as I thought he'd be - very peaceful and snuggly! He looks like I thought he'd look. I do have to catch myself sometimes; I've accidentally said "her" in reference to him. I'm so used to girls, ha ha! I still can't believe we have a boy.


Monica said...

So awesome Joy! I am so excited for you and your little one and so happy that everything went well. Thank the Lord!

juliane2004 said...

Thank you for sharing that :) Congratulations :)

BrandiH said...

What a great birth story. Thanks so much for sharing!

Kristy said...

Beautiful, wonderful birth story! Thank you for sharing.

Susan Sene said...

Loved reading your story! I'm so happy for you! Kaylee got stuck too..I did tear but it was also my first vaginal birth and I had an OB not a midwife (but maybe that part wouldn't have mattered...who knows). :)

He's def a cutie!! Congrats!

Kristin said...

Look how precious he is!! So sweet!! I loved reading your birth story! I'm glad it went so well and was such a positive experience!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

What an amazing story! Im so glad it went well. I love his name too, seems to fit him perfectly!!!

Kristen said...

What a beautiful story Joy! He is absolutely perfect!

BabyJay said...

I love you story! You are incredible and very beautiful---thank you for choosing New Birth Company to have your baby!
Your life is so valued for your strong commitment to Christ and family. You are awesome!
I am proud of you!