Friday, May 4, 2012

Micah's Birth Story

First off, I've discovered that it's going to take me twice as long to do anything with 2 little boys.  At least for now.  Including type up a birth story.  I should be sleeping since both boys are sleeping, but it all happened so fast I'm afraid I'll forget it!

I guess I will start with the fact that at 36 weeks I was already 2cm dilated.  Yahoo! Well, we all know that means diddly squat, right? I still let me hopes go up a little bit.  Silly me!

Still, at 39 weeks 6 days (Thursday) I had my last appointment.  In our case we still were at once a month appointments, so it was a long wait! I did have her check me for progress and requested my membranes be stripped as I knew it wouldn't send me into labor unless my body was ready to do so.  Well I was 5 cm dilated above the cervix and 3.5 below.  Meaning, if I had been completely effaced I would have been at 5cm! Well, that is what I call some progress!!
I had some pretty strong contractions at bedtime, strong enough to time at least.  However, I quickly realized that they were no where near consistent and attempted to get some sleep.  Yeah right, I hadn't slept in a week, I wasn't going to start now!

Friday I awoke to some pitiful contractions, a sore throat, and a little boy with an awful runny nose! Even his eyes were draining! I went into panic mode. Both the friend that was to watch Asher and the back-up friend have small children.  I couldn't send my child anywhere! That left my husband, mom, or MIL to pick up the slack. Great.  I/they wanted them be present at the birth.

My mom is a saint so I sent the hubby off to work as he had projects I knew he would not be able to stop thinking about if he didn't get them done and my mom came to keep us company.  Asher went down for his nap around one as usual and I started noticing contractions again.  They were strong enough to notice and once I realized they were coming regularly we started to time them.  14 minutes turned into 13 minutes, turned into 10 minutes.  They weren't that strong (I could still do things, talk, text) and they weren't speeding up quickly.  But they kept coming.  I texted the hubby almost 2 hours later.  I texted the midwife to giver her a heads up.  Later, I sort of accepted I was in early labor so I sent out a text to some people. 
I got tired of timing them so the hubby and I went for a walk before dinner.  That picked things up again and at dinner they were coming every 4 minutes! I was afraid to eat as I tend to get sick during labor, but still wasn't convinced that THIS was it as they still weren't increasing in intensity.  So to make a looooong afternoon a little bit shorter by 10 o'clock with my mom, MIL, hubby, and friend the photographer sitting around my living room I declared that I was tired and wanted to go to bed.  I had had enough and obviously this wasn't going anywhere.  I thought in my head that I would just sleep, wake up at 6 and things would start again tomorrow.  I knew what your mental state could do during a labor so I just figured I would shut it off mentally.  No big deal! And I DID.  I SLEPT.  It was AWESOME.  Best 2 hours of sleep I had had in over a week.

Until 12:03 AM.  A contraction woke me up.  I was so deep in sleep I remember thinking "OK, ow.  That hurt...".  And I laid there until another one hit.  And then one more before I was awake enough to think I had to pee.  I walked back to bed laid down and the next one brought me to my feet.  The hubby was still sleeping so I headed back to the bathroom, and without getting too graphic, I got stuck there, on the toilet, with no way to get anyone's attention as Asher was just 2 doors down zonked out. Great.  I remember sitting there thinking, "All I want to do is get in that bathtub" and that's when I finally accepted it.  It was time.

Luckily, my mom brought her dog Emma who I heard whining downstairs, she would wake my mom.  When I get into "real" labor I make a low what my mom calls "meditative" sound (ha!) so I knew she would hear me when she woke up.  Mom came in the door and I told her it was time.  She was off to round the troops.  Dear hubby came in bleary eyed, asked me what I wanted him to tell the midwife and I told him the same.  "Just tell her it's time".  I could hear that he had turned on the coffee maker in the kitchen and I remember thinking that was funny.

30 minutes later I was thankfully in the tub working though long, intense, close together contractions.  Someone was always there pouring water on my stomach and making sure the water was warm enough.  I guess there was lots going on downstairs, but I was unaware. The next face I remember making an appearance was the sweet midwife.  I remember thinking she looked so nice for 1 AM! She asked if I wanted checked and again I was leery but said yes.  I didn't want her to say only 5 cm...
Brad left to go help his mom with a car seat issue while the midwife took over for a minute.

Midwife: "Oh! You are very open."
Me: "Am I at least more than 5?".
Midwife: "Oh yes, you are at 9, and very soft.  You could push whenever you get the urge."
Me completely shocked and sooooo thankful: "God Bless you woman!".

Mind you this was at about 1:15 AM.  I don't know how I got that far and when it happened.

My mom popped in again and the news traveled around quickly. She said "everyone is here" and I looked at her in my mind thinking "well, if they want a show they had better get up here!".  She was laughing the next day telling me looked at her like, "well, so??". Brad was back before I knew it.

That's the thing about this stage of labor, I kind of lose all track of time.  It's just enough to focus from one contraction to the next, to stay relaxed, to breath.  I look around at times and my MIL is there, another time I see my friend Annie at the door with her camera, at another moment I realize I need more hot water.  From the moment I woke up with the first difficult contraction to the moment he was born was only 2 hours, but so much happened that I feel like time was actually stretched for those 2 hours.

After checking my progress the midwife listened to the heartbeat.  There we had a problem.  Micah's heart rate was low and we had to figure out how to fix it or how to transport.  The funny thing about that fetal doppler is that there doesn't seem to be a silent button.  The mom in labor can hear it all.  While we prayed the midwife checked again for a prolapsed cord.  When she said that there was no cord my panic lessened a bit, but still it was time to move.  I tried pushing a little with the next contraction and that took care of the heartbeat problem.  The guess was that the cord may be around his neck, and she was right! It was time to get him out.

I learned that if you choose a water birth once the head is out you have to stay IN the water until the whole baby is born so that the baby doesn't take a breath and then be put back into the water.  Since our tub is on the smaller side, it was getting a bit shallow at that point, and I knew I could push faster if not prone we decided to get out.  I chose a position (hand and knees - I pushed for an hour with Asher in the old on-your-back hospital pose so I wasn't doing that again) and got on the bed.  When people ask if we do a water birth I always say tell them that we don't have anything in particular planned, I just go where my body leads me. 

We were still in a bit of a hurry to get this baby out so I was having to push past the lip of the cervix that wasn't completely dilated.  This, my friends, was no walk in the park.  Once I got to the pushing stage with Asher I didn't have pain.  In fact, I could barely feel the contractions come on.  Not the case with Micah.  Although it didn't help that the midwife was manually trying to pull that lip of the cervix over the baby's head while I tried to push.  I know that I declared a couple of times that there would be no more babies after this one.  I also told them that THIS was why women chose epidurals.  The midwife thought I said I hoped it was a girl so she replied back "Oh, I hope it's a girl too!" in her sweet calm voice.  If it was different circumstances I'm sure I would have laughed.

Luckily I felt some relief once we got the head through that lip, at least the midwife could get her hand out of there (which I asked her not so nicely to do... :) ) and that helped.  However I had forgotten the next step, you know, the crowning.  I don't remember feeling Asher move down at the end like so many women talk about.  So I focused a little more and boy did I feel him come down.  In fact, I felt him hit bottom and I was able to tell them before they told me. :) I kind of panicked a bit then as I forgot what that felt like, but the nice thing about that stage is that you know that all you have to do is get that head out. It burns, but it's a means to an end. 

I don't know how long/how many pushes later, but the head did indeed come out and that's when the midwife saw the cord wrapped around his neck.  She was able to quickly remove it and from behind me I heard a bunch of "awwww...." which is a funny thing to hear on your hands and knees with a head of a baby facing everyone.  I'm not sure that would have been MY reaction.  My mom told me the next day she will never forget that because she was so taken a back by the fact she thought she was looking at Asher's face all over again. 

The body came out with a little more difficulty than I had imagined, I remember the pain being over once Asher's head was out, but his head measured larger at birth than Micah's.  Micah ended up weighing a half a pound more.  (I only gained 22 pounds with this pregnancy and was convinced I would have a 6 lb 7 oz baby.  Later the midwife would tell me it's always better to have a smaller weight in your mind.  I thought that was a good point.)

I was so relieved he was out and immediately heard Brad tell me he was a boy.  Micah was screaming bloody murder.  We were all shocked by how loud he was.  Asher still slept through even that! He calmed down once covered up on my chest.  It took us a minute before the midwife reminded us he needed a towel, he was cold! Jeez!

After some bonding and some initial latching on we learned he was 7 lb 8 oz and 20.5 inches long.  His hair was dark! And I'm not convinced he will have blue eyes like his brother, but they look SO similar in a multitude of different ways.  Micah also has his daddy's feet, so I'm not sure if I'm going to get my sprinter.... :)  Either way we are going to have to start marking photos so we don't mix up the two boys when looking back at these pictures one day.

And speaking of photos we are excited our photographer friend was able to be there to capture the birth.  I will have to post those separately as I don't have them yet but I am bursting with excitement (and nervousness) to see them.

I really love that I had the opportunity to have my babies at home and hope that if there is a third we will be able to again.  There is nothing like bathing with your baby, getting into your fresh clean bed, and having a quick snack before falling asleep as a family of 4. 

We praise God for this new life, a healthy baby, and a healthy family.  As a coworker of Brad's told him, with two boys we will now never know who broke that lamp, fan, dish, etc.  :) We are so excited to start this new adventure!

The most awesome thing of all I have learned is that there is indeed enough room in a momma's heart for two amazing little boys (and of course, their awesome daddy!).

1 comment:

  1. This is the first time I saw this post! Thanks for sharing your story, Melissa. :)
    Yes, I'm still waiting... big surprise. ;)

    Also. 22 pounds?! I have gained 40. And that is from my pre-pregnancy weight, not my lowest pregnancy weight (because I lost several when I was so pukey). lol!