Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birth Story: Third Addition

Here is the unabridged version of how our third child, Laura Jane, entered the world for anyone who is interested in the reading the tale.  It's a good one!  But then again I am completely biased.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It all started with a jog.  Well, it was more like a jog, walk, jog, walk, jog walk but it was the most I had run since I was 26 weeks.  I had absolutely no signs of labor at 40 weeks, 4 days pregnant but after spending the afternoon helping someone look for an apartment and a enjoying a pleasant dinner at El Cholo (at which we have been regulars with all three of my pregnancies) with my family, I had an unusual burst of energy.  I decided I was going to go for a jog.

Lance laughed, told me to have fun and went to bed.   I am sure my neighbors did a double take as they watched the huge pregnant lady slogging down the street with her dog in tow at 9 pm at night.  Is she crazy?  Yes.  Yes I am.

10 pm - an hour after the most painful "run" of my whole life ( imagine 20 plus lbs and a baby's head pushing down on my cervix with every step), my contractions started. They weren't painful but were every 5 mins apart. I proceeded to watch the Thurs night TV line-up (thanks to DVR), do two loads of laundry, shower, and pack my hospital bag.

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Midnight - I woke Lance up, told him I thought I might be in labor, put on my Hypnobabies CD and went to sleep while he got up to pack.

1:30 pm - My real labor started. My contractions were three minutes apart but only lasting 20-30 secs. Lance called our doula (Grandma Becky - who is a saint) and our childcare, guessing I would be ready to leave in 30 mins. Even though the pressure was more noticeable, especially in my lower back, I laughed and told him we had at least 2-3 more hours before we needed to leave.  Becky came over immediately and labored with us at home. Lance gave me a priesthood blessing that everything would go well with the birth of our little girl.  As long as I was standing and using my Hypnobabies techniques, I felt great.

 (A shout out for Lance here. He is the absolute best labor support you could ask for. He was there for every contraction, with gentle and loving support. I am so blessed to have him by my side.)

3:00 am - My neighbor and dear friend Heidi came over. I tearfully kissed my other babies goodbye. I am not sure why but I was so sad we were leaving before they woke up.  Heidi later texted Lance she was a little worried we were going to have our baby in the car on the way there since I was having so many hard contractions while she was there. The car ride was torturous as sitting made every contraction unbearable. Thinking I was only at 5 cm or so, I told Lance I might opt for drugs this time because if the contractions were so tense and close together for another few hours I was not going to last.  Little did I know that my time at the hospital would be shorter than anyone imagined.

3:43 am - We checked in at the ER (only after I had five contractions or so just on the way from the car to the building.) The clerk asked if they were expecting me in labor in delivery.

This guy obviously had never seen a woman in labor before!  Even though my contractions were coming now every minute or so, apparently I was so calm and collected he wasn't sure I was supposed to be there yet.  Luckily an ER nurse came out, saw me and offered to take me up. I refused the wheelchair. Walking and standing were my only way I was going to make it upstairs.

Still calm, thanks to hypnobabies, the nurses brought me into triage not thinking I was in hard labor yet.  While changing into my hospital gown in the bathroom, I lost it. I couldn't stop crying and all I wanted was my mom. Moms make everything all better.

 The following dialogue ensued when I emerged from the bathroom:

Nurse:  "I need to monitor your baby and check how far along you are."
Me:  "Sure. As long as I can keep standing."
Nurse:  "Well, let's just check you - see where you are at. Can you lay down for a minute?"
Me: "Sure. But I am feeling a lot of pressure."  All quite calmly.  Remember - no one thought I was really that progressed in labor.  Hypnobabies is a dream.  I promise.
Nurse:  (With absolute shock) "Whoah sweetheart! You are at a nine!"

Sweet. Relief.  That explained the crying in the bathroom. I should have guesses I was in transition!

Me:  "Great! Can I stand up again?!?" Obviously this nurse was not getting that the only way I was having this baby was standing up.

Nurse:  "Awww. . . No dear. You are having a baby. You won't be standing up again because I don't want your baby to fall out and need a cat scan."

The rest of events were something like out of a TV show or the movies.  My recollection is based mainly on Lance's memory here since I was not focusing on anything but my contractions at this point.  A group of nurses ran while pushing my bed down the hallway. An emergency code must have been given because a whole swarm of nurses followed and were rushing to get everything ready. One was frantically dressing the doctor in scrubs.

Lance told them I had a doula in the waiting room. One of the nurses laughed. "Well, you aren't gonna need a doula anymore!"

Angry that they wouldn't let me stand, I plead for drugs. No one was understanding that the only comfortable position for me and this baby was standing up. Not that I wanted to have the baby standing up, mind you.  I just wanted to stand until it was time to push.  Due to the chaos around me I was slowly losing the grasp on my Hypnobabies techniques and was starting to panic a little. By then I was a 10 and it was time to push. When I was denied drugs, I yelled "Well I am gonna start pushing. Now!!!" And possibly an explicit or two. I can't quite remember.

A chorus of nurses yelled for me to wait as the doctor wasn't ready. However, my body had other plans.  I didn't listen and started pushing.

4:08 - With lots of prayer and four pushes my dear girl was born - wailing with the beautiful set of lungs God gave her and into the arms of a doctor who was indeed ready by the time she came . They laid her right on my chest and all I could say was "I love you. I love you" over and over again.  Her hair - a lot of it and so very blonde. Her nose - her father's. Her mouth - mine. She is our miracle who arrived after only 2 1/2 hours of labor, 25 minutes after we checked into the ER and after only 8 contractions in the delivery room.

Meeting Laura Jane right after she was born.

To me there is something so beautiful about giving birth naturally. The way the body just knows what to do, the way you get a break between contractions to rest, the intensity of transition, the relief that comes with the hard work of pushing, anticipating meeting your baby for the first time and how all the pain is instantly forgotten when the baby YOU birthed is laid in your arms. It is all miraculous and strengthens my belief that there is a God in Heaven who beautifully orchestrates our lives.   And that I am a strong and amazing woman who can do hard things with Him on my side.

First photo with Mama and Papa
I love having babies. I love being pregnant. I love the whole labor and delivery process. Three weeks later I am still in a natural high of her birth and honestly hope to do it at least one more time. Just in case she is my last, though, I am loving every moment with her as if she was.

Sweet newborn snuggles.

And then there were five. . .

Only three weeks behind but. . . .

Announcing the newest perfect addition to our family

Laura Jane Beverly

Laura Jane Beverly

Born January 25th, 2013 @ 4:08 a.m.
7 lbs 4 oz
19 1/2 inches

And looks much like her big sister.

Elisabeth Dorothy

And a little like her big brother.

Carsten John 

Yup.  She definitely belongs to our family.

Birth story to follow.