This is the birth story- from beginning to end- of my second born son, Joshua Thomas. Born Wednesday morning, 10/27/10 at 10:45am. Five days after his due date, 8 pounds 9 ounces, 19 inches long.
This story actually has two parts. First, I want to share a little background on my pregnancy and where I ended up delivering Joshua. As I believe I shared with you, I was originally at the hospital and then switched to a birthing center. Well, turns out at the very end I switched back to the hospital. This is that part.. feel free to scroll down if you want to read just The Birth Story. 🙂
I started off going to the hospital. Being in a new town, when I found out I was pregnant I simply went to the main hospital in my area and the one that my insurance covered. It is/was a good hospital- your typical mainstream hospital. However, there were several things I didn’t like about it right from the beginning. I could go on and on about all the little details, but one of the main things that I didn’t like was not having one doctor/midwife. I had whoever was on call for that particular day. I know this is probably normal for a large practice, but I was used to having one doctor 24/7 at a smaller practice in my old town. I was used to seeing the same doctor every visit and I knew he would be at my birth with Lucas no matter the time or day.
I didn’t like the idea of having several doctors see me and not really knowing who was going to be delivering my baby. Over the course of my pregnancy at this hospital, I saw about four different midwives and two different OB’s. I loved one of the midwives, hated the other, and was okay with the others.
So, what was the chance that my favorite midwife would be there when I was at the hospital, ready to deliver my baby? Slim chance I thought.
I also really wanted a water birth, or to at least labor in the tub as long as possible, but the Hospital didn’t have one. Each room has a shower but no tub. This was a huge disadvantage for me. With Lucas’ labor I was in the tub through most of it, so I knew this was really important.
I finally decided to look into a birthing center. There are two in my town. The one I wanted was booked (makes sense- I was calling only about a month before my due date.) but the other one had an opening. I started going there at 36 weeks. (Late, I know!) Things were going pretty well and I was excited to have a water birth. There were three midwives who worked there and two that will be at your birth. I met them all and liked them all. It was just a few minutes from the hospital (the husband liked that) and had a large tub that supported water births. I was excited and ready to have a water birth at this birthing center.
Well, you won’t even believe this… but at my 39.6 week appointment on Thursday, the day before I was due, the birthing center told me they were going out of business next week. They told me that if I didn’t have the baby by Wednesday-(the day they were closing and as it turned out, the day Joshua was also born) that I would need to deliver at the Hosptial or they would come to my house for a home birth.
Oh yes. I am so serious.
Awesome. Way to go birthing center. I’m 39 weeks 6 days pregnant and you’re telling me this. Saweett. This put me in a situation. I had to decide if I wanted to stay with the birthing center and hope to deliver by next Wednesday, (which I thought I for sure would considering I would be over 40 weeks!) have the midwives come to my home for a home birth or leave them completely and go to the hospital.
They asked me if I wanted them to sweep my membranes (a way to induce labor) or if I wanted a list of ways to induce labor. I told them no. I didn’t want to induce labor, I was fine waiting until the baby was ready to come on his own, even if that meant I wouldn’t be able to deliever at the birthing center.
I thought a lot about what to do and about all my options, but at this point, I was just fed up and I said screw you to the birthing center. I didn’t want to deal with them anymore. Even if I did end up delivering on or before Wednesday (which it turns out I did end up delivering on Wednesday) I didn’t want to go there anymore.
I decided to go with the Hosptial and registered 5 days before I went into labor. I had never seen the birthing rooms and I had no idea who my midwife or doctor was going to be.
I didn’t have a doula- obviously not enough time to find one- it was just myself and my husband.
Now on to the actual birth story!
I was four days “late”. Both grandmas were here. My husband had his sub plans written out for each day. We were all waiting. I was anxious and annoyed. I knew labor had to be here any day now- I knew it would come eventually, but I didn’t know when.
That day (Tuesday) I was having mild cramps on and off. I didn’t think it was labor, or even the start of labor. Although, I was hopeful considering I was 4 days late! The cramps were sporadic throughout the day. I went for a walk, went to Target with my mom and went to the chiropractor for a last minute adjustment. That evening, I began having contractions at dinner. I didn’t know if they were actual contractions (I didn’t want to get too excited) or just cramps, so I didn’t think much of it. The night went on and around midnight or later, I knew I was going to have this baby. I was finally… in labor!! During the night at home I took a couple baths and showers. I bounced on the birth ball a lot and at one point I started crying hysterically saying I miss Lucas! I miss Lucas! I was so tired, I finally slept for an hour from 2:30-3:30am. I remember waking up from that “nap” feeling SO refreshed and thankful. I was absolutely exhausted being up all night, and that little snooze gave me a burst of energy.
I woke up at 3:30am and was still having contractions. They were about 5 minutes apart and rather painful, but again, I dint know how serious things were. I didn’t know what to do because I wanted to stay home as long as possible, but I also didn’t want to have the baby in the car on the way to the hospital. I was really torn on staying home longer or heading to the hospital.
I remember saying to my husband, around 3:30- right after I woke up, let’s just go to the hospital just in case. I will have them check me and we can always come back home if it’s nothing.
My goal was to be at 7cm when I got to the hospital.
We arrived to the hospital a little after 4am. I think it was around 4:30 when we finally sat down with the nurses and they made me sit on that awful bed for 20 minutes to listen to the heartbeat while I’m having contractions. She “checked me” (is there a better way to say this? Can we change this wording? It sounds so weird to me.) and I was 6cm.
I’ll take a six. It’s not a seven, but it’s not a four either.
We walked to the labor room. On the way I asked which midwife I was going to have and the nurse told me that no midwives were on call this week. I thought that was a little strange- no midwives on call the entire week? Um, okay. So she told me our doctor was going to be Dr. Johnson- have I ever met her? And my reply was, um, I don’t know. There are quite a bit of Johnson’s in the world. She laughed… but I don’t think she knew I was serious. Really. I don’t recall if Johnson was one of the fourteen people I’ve seen this pregnancy.
So anyways… we got to the labor room and the nurse came over and wanted to talk about my birth plan. She read it out loud me (thank you. I forgot I wrote that part.) and I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think she liked me very much. On my birth plan I noted that I didn’t want an IV and she wasn’t happy about it. It really bugged her. She ended up calling the head boss lady into our room who had a discussion with me and talked me into the IV. So, I got it. That thing… man, I swear there were points were the IV hurt more than my contractions! The position of it on my wrist with the tape wrapped around it pulling my skin in every direction was really annoying and seriously, quite painful.
(During this whole time I’m obviously in labor, so I’m walking around, squatting, sitting on the birth ball and basically tuning out anything anyone was saying to me. I don’t even know what we talked about. The weather perhaps.)
After the nurse got done talking to me and another nurse came in and stuffed a needle in my wrist, I was able to do my own thing. I went for a walk down the hall for a while and squatted during every contraction.
My midwife came in to say hello and check on me. Yes… MY midwife! The one I wanted! What a pleasant surprise. Apparently she was on call Wednesday mornings! Is that meant to be or what? Totally crazy. I was so stoked to see her.
A new nurse came in (shifts overlapped) and she was such a doll.
I got into the shower and took the birth ball with me and 5 minutes later my husband comes in and says BABE, YOU’RE FLOODING THE ROOM! He had left for a couple minutes to go get coffee and I guess when he came back the floor was wet. Like, the entire floor of the room was full of water. My response was, Well the nurse told me I could bring the ball in here! Why would she say I could bring it in here if I can’t do so without covering up the drain? So… you can bring the ball in but you can’t sit with it under the water. That doesn’t make any sense nurse.
This was funny. It made us laugh. They had to call in the cleaning people with the mop and use all the extra towels. Opps! Sorry guys! Thanks to the husband for getting this picture. The shower is behind that beautiful curtain on the right.
I very suddenly got an urge to push. I remember saying, UMM I AM PUSHING HERE!
They paged my midwife who came in, and she asked me if my water had broke. I said I didn’t know- I’ve been in the tub/shower quite a bit this evening. She checked me again (yippee) and said I was just about at 10 cm. dilated but my water hadn’t broke yet. She asked if she could break it, or if I wanted her to and I told her no. I wanted it to break naturally. Sure enough, about 5 minutes later during a contraction/push, my water broke.
(I was on the bed at this point and I ended up staying there. My contractions never got more than 4 or so minutes apart so it was nice to be on the bed because I could rest in between them.)
I remember it being very exciting. There! It broke! My water broke! Now I could push.
I remember it hurt really very a whole lot of really gosh darn bad. Like, a lot. I remember at one point thinking that I couldn’t do this and, I remember thinking, I wonder if they can get him out another way? Do I have another option here? Literally I had visions of my midwife sticking her hands in and pulling the head out. Why is that not an option??
I pushed for about 30 minutes. I remember this pain vividly. It hurt soooo bad. Oh my word, it’s going to be awhile before I can do that again.
Finally – my Joshua came into the world. It’s a boy!! IT’S A BOY??!!! IT’S A BOY!!! He was crying right away and I remember immediately thinking and saying that he looked just like Lucas.
My husband and I looked at each other. It’s a boy? It’s a boy! We thought it was a boy, didn’t we? What are we going to do with two boys? Are you happy it’s a boy? I’m happy it’s a boy. It’s a boy! What are we going to name him? Do you still like Joshua? Do you think he looks like a Joshua. Okay, his name is Joshua!
I remember talking about how much it hurt and saying I didn’t know if I could it again. My husband said that for our third he thought I should get an epidural since I did the first two natural. Ha! 🙂
What happened after that is such a blur to me. I was so tired and on a natural birth drug high that I don’t remember much.
Oh! Obviously, how could I forget.
I bled a lot. A LOT. They would push on my stomach and tons of blood would come out. TONS. They gave me a shot in my leg and some fluids I guess… I don’t really remember.
A couple hours later they moved us to the postpartum room. They did all the newborn checks and such and we went home around 6pm that evening. My bleeding was under control and we looked healthy. For the record, they wanted us to stay the night as it’s “normal procedure” but I insisted that we go home ASAP. I knew both Joshua and I were healthy and, obviously, if we were worried about anything or if something changed we would come back to the hospital immediately. The nurses cleared both Joshua and myself and thankfully, they were very understanding about us wanting to go home early.
I am so thankful for such wonderful nurses who took care of me and my baby and cleaned up after us!
Although I had several frustrating and stressful experiences with the hospital and birthing center throughout my pregnancy, in the end I had a natural birth and a healthy child, and that of course, is the most important thing to me! I give ALL THE GLORY TO GOD for this!