Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hannah's Natural Birth story (2 of 2)

So we got settled at the birthing center. Our food was already there from our false alarm on Tuesday. My room was still open and ready. Michelle started to run the water for the tub for me.

We were excited that things were finally starting to happen! Some of the excitement would leave for me though, during the contractions. Not many happy thoughts through contractions!

I got in the tub for a little bit. The warm water was awesome. And for some reason, being on all fours really helped me through the contractions. I would just sit on my heels, hold myself up with my arms and try to make it through each one.

Jared was so awesome with everything. He would rub my back, talk to me and gave me a pattern of breathing to follow. He was also really nice when I would snap and tell him to stop rubbing me. I think I even told him to "shhh" a few times. He didn't take it personally though :)

Michelle would come by every now and then, just to see if I needed anything. She promised she wouldn't check my progress unless I asked her to. That was a relief. I didn't want her coming in every hour to check.

Jared and I tried lots of different things. I was in the tub for a while. And then we tried the bed. That was a mistake. Every time I moved set off another contraction, even if I just had one! Couldn't handle contractions laying on my side. So we tried a birthing stool. A little better. But not much.

We brought a movie and put it on for a few minutes. I was on the birthing stool again with Jared behind me on the couch. I just couldn't relax. I'd just end up on all fours on the floor. Michelle came out and gave me some good tips. I would take short breaths and that left me light headed. So she'd have me take a deep breath and slowly let it out while trying to focus it down with the baby. That really helped.

I couldn't watch the movie. I just hurt too much. I began to seriously doubt the decision. I decided I want to get back into the warm tub. Of course, getting there set off like 10 contractions. I basically had to walk during them or Jared would have had to carry/drag me.

While in the tub, Michelle checked to see how far I'd progressed. In just 3 hours I had progressed from a 4/5 when we got in at 9pm to a 8/9 at 12:30am. It was time to call the nurse! She lived an hour away and Michelle guessed I wouldn't want to push until another hour anyway.

It was pretty good timing. Melissa, the nurse, got there right around the time I wanted to push.

Oh my gosh, I was terrified of pushing. I never really went through it with Aubrey. They just told me to push and I would try, but I couldn't feel anything!

But I got the point I had to try! It was just getting so painful! So I moved out of my all four position and got in a better sitting position to push.

I have no idea how long I pushed, but I don't think it was very long. Jared had jumped in the tub with me by that point to help me by giving me his hand and just having him nearby helped me so much.

The time came I had to start pushing. I just couldn't hold back. But I was so scared of the whole thing. I had made it so far, I just didn't think I could finish the work.

I tried pushing a couple times and it helped with the pressure from contractions. It was just a different pressure. I would push as much as I could and Michelle would get excited when she could see things happening. But from my point of view, I couldn't see what was happening. All I knew was that I would push and get to a point I had to stop and take a break.

I had some serious self-doubt moments. I felt I just pushed and pushed and that it wasn't getting me anywhere. I didn't believe I had enough power in me to finally push her out.

At one point I even asked in desperation, "Can't you just pull her out!?" Michelle held back a laugh and said, "I can't; there's no handle! You have to push her out!"

There were a few times I pretty much had my whole head in the water. I had to put my chin to my chest and hunch over to push and sometimes I would be sitting so low that I'd felt I was drowning in the water. We had to drain it to a low level for me to be able to breathe!

We were finally reaching the point where the baby was almost out. I just had a couple more pushes left to go. I really started to freak out and I just didn't believe I could do it. My breathing would turn panicky and I would just sob. Michelle said that's usually when you just have one or two pushes left.

Next thing I knew, our baby was out! It felt much better having her out and Jared immediately helped put her to my chest. It was just so great having her there and seeing her beautiful face! And it was so fun to see her dark hair! We've been wondering for weeks if we'd have another red-head girl like Aubrey or if she'd have darker hair like me!

After a few minutes, Jared got out and dried off so he could take the baby while I finished up.

We officially decided to call her Hannah Rae. She is just perfect! She was born at 1:44am on January 3, 2015. Weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20 inches long.

So that's the birth story! We had some great cuddle time, which was much needed. I needed some rest after not being able to take a nap and also from being up all night. Because I thought I was only cramping, I had skipped dinner. Which was a mistake after all the work I went through :)

At 5am, we decided we wanted to go home. I wanted to lay in bed and have some time to relax before we brought Aubrey home and introduced the 2 sisters!

It was quite the experience, choosing natural childbirth. I'm glad I did it this one time (if I choose not to do it again). My recovery is definitely going better, which is great!

Hannah's Natural Birth story (1 of 2)

Jared and I were so excited to find out we were pregnant in the spring of 2014. We always knew we wanted to have a couple kids so it was great that our family would be growing!

But we wanted to do things differently this time. Having Aubrey in our lives is wonderful, but her delivery was pretty hard on me. I made a few posts about it, if anyone wants to go back and read it. (click here to check out Aubrey's story). To summarize, after 2 epidurals and an episiotomy I didn't want, my recovery was really rough. It took me a long time to get back into the swing of things.

I didn't think Aubrey would tolerate me having a rough recovery with this next delivery, so we talked to friends and I learned that a lot of women in my ward have done natural deliveries.

Not to offend anyone, but at first, I thought going natural was for hippies who were all organic and it just wasn't for me. My friends are all normal, so learning about why they went natural really changed the image for me.

Being in control was a large factor in why I chose to go natural. I didn't like being stuck in a bed in a hospital when having Aubrey.

Another large factor was that everyone said recovering from natural childbirth would be a little easier and faster. With an active toddler at home, I would need an easier recovery!

So anyways, everything was going really well! I read a book about natural childbirth several times. Made notes. Talked things over with Jared and my midwife. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Except I had never been through it before.

I was induced with Aubrey and didn't really get to feel normal contractions. And I couldn't feel anything from the waist down so I couldn't even feel myself pushing her out.

I was really nervous about how I would react to having contractions start. And with the goal in mind of having this baby before New Years, there was a little added pressure.

After having my membranes swept on Monday and Tuesday before New Years, I felt that annoying cramping. It started to get worse Tuesday night so we thought, "Hey! Contractions! Let's go to the birthing center!"

False alarm. I was feeling contractions, but not the right ones that were making progress. So that was disappointing.

New Years came and went. Still no baby. I was getting a little sad, because I really wanted her out!

Because I was technically past my due date, I had an ultrasound and a non-stress test to make sure everything was still OK with the baby. My fluid had dropped a little bit, but nothing dangerous. I passed all the tests and the heartbeat was a good, strong one so I was given the all-clear to go another few days. The midwife I saw checked to see if I had dilated any more since Tuesday. Nope. So she went ahead and swept my membranes again. 3 times in one week is quite enough! Never doing that again...

Aubrey has been a rockstar at every prenatal visit. We got home and she went down for a nap, because being so good is exhausting. I wanted to take a nap too. But the cramping kept me up. Bummer for me!

The cramping started to get worse, but after a week of pretty much non-stop cramping, I didn't really focus on it. Just had to get through it.

Jared let me have the car that day. It was time to pick him up and my cramping was starting to get really bad. Enough to where on the way home, I started to tear up during the cramps while Jared drove.

Things kept getting worse as the evening went on. I was laying on the couch after about 2 hours of crying. Aubrey was sweet during most of it. She put her blanket on me, rubbed and kissed my arms and even hugged my legs.

Out of concern, Jared called my midwife and wanted to know what we should do. After explaining what was happening, my midwife, Michelle, said we could come to the office and get checked if I'm having contractions or if it's really just cramps.

Unwilling to get my hopes up, I just insisted they were cramps. Didn't even bother packing up some things I wanted, like my iPod or some more snacks.

We dropped Aubrey off at an amazing family's house. Our Bishop and his family are just so great. Jared just called and they were more than willing to have Aubrey over, even though they already had company!

Jared drove us to the Auburn Birthing Center office and Michelle let us in. My eyes were all puffy from crying. The bumpy roads to get there were NOT welcome during my "cramps."

She checked to see if I had dilated more than the 4 I was at previously. I hadn't. But then she checked during a cramp and said I was at a 5. So I was in labor.

Now all my crying made sense! I was so adamant about not getting my hopes up just to be dashed again that I didn't even seriously consider the cramping to be contractions. And they also weren't what I was expecting, so that threw me off.

It was time to head down the road to the birthing center!