Monday, August 21, 2017

Natural Birth Story

Finally, after a year and a half, I've finished writing M's birth story.


When

M's due date was February 4, and he was born February 6.

That morning, after a week of freaking out, afraid I'd have to be induced for going over, I finally surrendered to my body's timing, M's timing, and God's timing. My husband, Gary, offered to shop with me at Joann Fabrics (and he hates that store, God bless him) for some craft supplies so I'd have something to do to keep my mind off the timing of everything. After we went shopping, we returned home, and I was sorting through some beads when labor struck!

First real contraction

For some reason, I thought I'd be a unicorn who wouldn't have labor pains and wouldn't know I was in labor until my baby's head was poking out. Crazy, right? My dreams of a unicorn birth crashed with that first exciting contraction. It was a deep, DEEP ache I had never felt before. I had already been dilated to 3cm for a month, and I don't know if that helped with the speed of things, but my contractions got to 5 minutes apart or less right away. Bloody show happened, and I called my family so they could meet us. Eeeh!! While we waited for my family, I took a shower so I would be fresh. Contractions got really freakin' real in the shower. So real that I threw up after getting out and told Gary I needed help standing and walking.

At the hospital

When we got to the hospital, they checked everything. All looked good, and I was dilated to 6cm, so they admitted me. Yes! I passed out my natural birth plan, which requested that they not even offer me an epidural or any pain meds, and I got right in the tub to help with the pain. I had been nervous about being naked in front of nurses and my birth team (Gary, my mom, and my sister), but labor became my one and only focus, so I announced, "I don't care if you all see me naked!" All thoughts of modesty were so far gone.

Our "this is it" moment

Gary and I had some time to ourselves. He massaged me in the tub, and this is where we had that big moment that rocks your universe and makes you go "whoa." By the end of the day, our boy would be born, and our lives would never be the same.

A drop in heart rate

M's heart rate dropped a little bit, so the nurses made me get out of the tub and into the bed so we could get hooked up for monitoring. Which I didn't want, but I was okay with it and going with the flow. I just wanted M to be safe. His heart rate went back to normal, so they thought the tub was the cause and didn't let me go back in. Now I was SO COLD and trying to relax through the shivers.

The calm

Through the contractions, I closed my eyes and focused on breathing and keeping my body relaxed. Every nurses who came in made me feel like such a rock star because they were all amazed at my self control. My birth support team helped a lot with massages and encouragement.

Phase two: OWWWW FREAKIN' OW

At 8cm, the contractions got more intense and my self control and calm started to fade. I told my team I didn't think I could do it. It had been 8 hours of labor, and my water hadn't broken. My OB offered to break my water and told me that it would speed things up and had no risks (which I now know isn't true), so I agreed. This was the least natural part of my birth. She broke my water and within 20 minutes, my body started pushing on its own! They told me to stop because I was only dilated to 9cm, but I had no control over it. So they helped my cervix dilate to 10cm, and it was time to push.

Delivery

I wanted to give birth in a squatting position, but my OB said I had to be on my back. I went with it because I honestly didn't feel like I could move into the squatting position anyway. Gary and my mom held my feet while my sister stayed by my side. It was about twenty minutes of pushing with the contractions when they said they could see his hair! A couple more pushes and he was out.

My sweet, beautiful boy

They laid his slimy, wiggly little body on my stomach. I held him, so afraid I would break him, and said, "My sweetheart, my sweetheart..." He was born at 10:05 PM with red hair like me, 7lbs 6oz, 19 inches. With fuzzy little shoulders. He was perfect and finally here.

Breastfeeding

I wanted to give M the time to initiate breastfeeding on his own with the breast crawl, but the nurses helped position him instead while we were skin-to-skin, and I went along with it because I was distracted and excited by my baby. He latched right on! A natural.

Just the three of us

Gary and I had an hour of alone time with M, cuddling him, soaking up this beautiful change in our lives before we introduced him to the rest of the family. It filled my heart to see Gary and everyone else in our family hold him for the first time. There was so much love.

My favorite moment 

Every time a baby is born, the mom gets to ring a bell that plays a nursery rhyme chime through the whole hospital. Since M was born so late at night, they told me I would have to wait until morning. We didn't actually get the chance until we checked out of the hospital. The nurse wheeled us to the bell. I snuggled M close and pushed the button. The chime announced to everyone the arrival of my baby boy, and that was my sob-happy-tears-because-my-dream-has-finally-come-true moment.



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I would love to hear your birth story! Feel free to share in the comments.

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