Birth Story: Ellia Gianna

So, Ellia’s birth was cray! That is the only way (and word I can use) to describe it! I was due to have her by Saturday, November 14th, 2015. Even though it’s just an estimated due date, I was truly hoping to go into labor and have her then. I was ready! Instead, Brian, Jonah & I went to our usual Saturday night service at church (as we had gone the previous night as well for a healing sermon). We made it through most of the service and then I started to get wicked bad contractions. I had been getting prodromal labor contractions for at least a week off/on, but these were a little different (and more painful). Once I told Brian what was happening, we both agreed to start heading home before the sermon ended. At this point I was pretty much losing focus on what Bishop Joseph Garlington was saying anyways, so it was probably the best thing.  

Once we got home, I had Brian get Jonah some dinner (I had made sauce before leaving for church that night), and get him ready for bed while I took a bath to see if things changed. They did – and they stopped! Even though my contractions stopped completely after having a bath, I was definitely getting excited at the progression I was having. Since I had called Allyssa to come over (in case we went into labor), she went ahead and spent the night at the house. The night was fairly normal, and we were able to get some much-needed rest!

On Sunday, things were pretty much like any other day. I didn’t really have too many more contractions – maybe I did but I don’t remember them being too bad, and we just went on with our day. We basically just took it easy, and then by the end of the night I had made Brian get me a Publix wrap for dinner (as well as some Chinese food for he and Jonah). After dinner we did our usual night time routine for Jonah (with some dancing in-between), and then went ahead and got him off to bed. By the end of the night I had already called Allyssa back to the house to come over and watch Jonah in case something happened that night. She came over with Melanie and we visited for a while. We got Jonah into bed, and I took a shower. In the shower I was having some contractions that were pretty uncomfortable but I was able to bear them.

After the shower, Brian and I went into the room to watch a show we’ve been watching on Amazon Prime called “Suits”. We were just starting up an episode that we had stopped earlier when the labor pains (contractions) hit again. Things were starting to get uncomfortable. Brian then contacted Zoe (our doula) and she insisted that I get into the tub to see what happens again. I obliged ..even though I had just taken a shower 🙂 This was about 10:30PM.

I got into the tub, but things didn’t slow down. I was getting wicked bad contractions while laying there – and some were to the point of me crying in pain. About 11:00PM I talked to Zoe on the phone so that she could see how things were going, and if this was it. Little did I know, that Brian had already been texting her and she had mentioned that she thought it was the “real deal, but don’t tell her that” 🙂

By about 11:20PM my contractions were starting to get more intense, and I started to shake. Not sure if this was because I was nearing transitional labor or if it was because I was cold. That is when Zoe said she didn’t trust my patterns and decided to head over to the house. Zoe told us to let us know what the midwife says once we get the call back, and to let her know if she needed to head to the hospital instead of our place. I told Brian I honestly just thought we needed to go to the hospital, and talking to Antoinette it was confirmed that we should come in.

IMG_0405

Allyssa helping me through a contraction by putting counter-pressure on my back! She was pretty dang good 😉

So Brian and I started gathering things together, left Allyssa to care for Jonah until the rents came and got him in the AM, and we left for Dekalb Medical Center. I will note that Allyssa did a very nice job of applying counter-pressure on me during a contraction before we left 😉 When driving (and before we even got to the interstate) I made sure to tell Brian to not “drive like an old lady”; as he does have a tendency to drive VERY safe, but it can be VERY slow! The ride to the hospital took us about 50 minutes. Brian drove the best he could, but my contractions started to get worse and worse! Luckily we made it to DMC in about 45-50 minutes give/take – and traffic was light because it was super late at night. As we were turning onto the main road to the hospital we saw a car beside us, and one that pulled in by us as we pulled into the women’s center – it was Zoe!

2015-11-16 00.28.50

When we first arrived in triage.

When we got to DMC, we proceeded to head up to L&D/triage to see the status of the baby. By 12:16PM we were at the hospital, getting checked for dilation, and being hooked up to some monitors in triage. Let me just say, hospitals are TERRIBLE with their check-ins. I don’t understand how you can ask a laboring woman to sign this paper and that paper and ask all these questions when they get there. Someone needs to change that…LOL! Once the nurse checked me, she measured me out to about 6cm; which was GREAT! I knew then that what I had been experiencing in the last week – and last couple of hours – was progression! Things for me in labor are super different. I honestly don’t think that I am able to have “normal” contractions. Contractions are hard, and everyone says they are ..but seriously, MY contractions with BOTH of my babies were CRAY! There seriously were no breaks, and they lasted about 5-6 minutes each. Every time one of the nurses or techs needed to ask me something, I honestly couldn’t respond to them. It was like that with Jonah, but it was worse with Ellia.

IMG_6452

In triage, working through contractions.

IMG_6464

Zoe, helping me through some more crazy contractions in our L&D room.

By 1-1:30AM, things were progressing and we were in our L&D room (#2003). When I was wheeled in (yes, wheeled in with the bed since I could NOT move my position at all), I heard peaceful music and the sound of water filling a super comfy-looking water birth tub. I was excited! Even though I couldn’t concentrate enough, or be aware of things around me as I worked through the pain ..this seemed pretty awesome. As soon as I got into this room, I went ahead and got naked. I don’t know what it is with me, I just don’t like things constricting me! And plus, all modesty is out when you give birth ..let’s just be honest 😉 I was soon able to get into the tub and BOY did it feel AMAZING!! The hot water was soothing, and it was nice being weightless as I labored in the tub! The funny thing is – I told them I had to pee right when I hit the water ..and I did. Sorry 😉 I was able to labor in the tub for a while, but the contractions I had were just horrible! 

IMG_6465

Very relaxing, warm birth tub! It felt amazing getting in this!

They checked on Ellia while I was in the water; as well as the nurses checking my progression. It was about 2:15AM when Loren (our nurse) had another nurse check my progression, but she accidentally broke my water; which was fine at this point since they did say that I had a pretty good bag of water in front of Ellia (like with Jonah).  

Before this point Loren was having a hard time seeing what my dilation was at. It didn’t help that I couldn’t really get into a good position for anyone to check. After the water was broken, the nurse pointed out that I was up to 7-8 cm in dilation. There was some meconium in the water (and I was a little freaked out), but things just kept on progressing ..and started to get more painful.

IMG_6508

As I was trying to push Ellia into an optimal position while in the birthing tub, I rested & was comforted by my amazing midwife Antoinette!

 

Antoinette (See Baby midwife) finally came into the room. My doula (Zoe) noted that my demeanor changed when she entered the room 🙂 At this point I couldn’t even talk to anyone (let alone LOOK around). She was able to check me as well and noted that it seemed like the baby was pretty high up still and I wasn’t fully dilated still. What she suggested next was seeing if when I bore down and pushed if Ellia would budge a little to move her position; as she said it seemed like her head was a little tilted/off-kilt. I tried doing that around 3:20AM; and even though the pushing helped me through the contractions, it didn’t do anything to bring her down. It was the strangest thing because once I was able to sort of push, some of my contractions seemed like they were a little more bearable – and I had some breaks that allowed me to randomly rest (in almost a sleep-like state).

IMG_6491

Doula Love.

Soon Antoinette wanted to try something different, so she had me get out of the tub (around 3:50AM) and sit on the toilet and try to push while I was in a more “open” position. At this point things were just crazy, and I tried it but it didn’t work. I think I hugged Antoinette more than I pushed. It felt so comforting having her there – she has such a sweet spirit. At around 4:15AM I was out of the tub and onto the bed. I was checked again to see any progression and I was at 9cm still ..and 0 station. Nothing had changed. My doula Zoe joked later that it was like I went through 5 different transitions.

IMG_6514_antoinette

Me “hugging” Antoinette as I worked through contractions on the toilet. This seemed to be common-theme with me that day.

I think this was the most frustrating part ..the fact that she was just chillin’ up high, not moving down, not progressing and I was just getting these INTENSE no-break contractions over the course of 5-6 hours. All I know is that while I labored in the tub I kept saying “I couldn’t do it”. I would cry and scream it. I was literally crying my heart out because it was so intense. Usually when someone says that they can’t do it anymore, they are VERY close. Everyone was telling me it was close, but this lasted for a LONG time. So finally, to help with giving me a break in my contractions I was given an IV with fentanyl ..however that didn’t last too long. They also said I could get more, but would only last “x amount of time”; and I was just not having this pain anymore!

IMG_6526

All hooked up!

Since things didn’t seem like they were progressing, and I was just exhausted and needed a break/relief ..I opted for an epidural. This was at about 6:45-7AM. To be honest, I was really down on myself about it. I had Jonah with no epidural and had a forceps-assisted delivery, AND I am a super semi-crunchy natural birth advocate that “didn’t like epidurals” but knew they were needed in certain circumstances. I didn’t realize that that circumstance would be mine! I have to say that my doula Zoe, Brian & my doula-in-training Kristen were super supportive of me in everything. I felt horrible. I felt like a failure, but Antoinette agreed that even though Ellia was looking great on the monitors, if we did an epidural it would probably help to slow down some of the contractions; giving me a much-needed break for my body to rest and recover – and be ready to birth this baby!

IMG_6530

Me, getting some relief!

OMGOSH – as my friend Tara once said “Jesus loves epidurals”. And boy, was she right!! Even though I was having intense contractions before the anesthesiologist came in to do it, it was like HEAVEN to get one! It worked super fast, stung just a little (with needle numbing the area first, and pressure going in), but I was still able to slightly move my legs. It was pretty much the perfect epidural. Got rid of the intense, painful contractions I was having but I didn’t feel like I was “stuck” (as in unable to move my body completely). Obviously I couldn’t get out of the bed and walk, but it was great having the relief ..and I needed it! Plus, I really wasn’t into changing positions and/or walking around before the epi. I was pretty much over everything ..LOL!!

It was around 7:30AM when the epidural was all said and done. I was then able to get some rest off/on before having this baby! When shifts switched, we ended up meeting with Martha; as she was the next midwife on-call. I love Martha. She’s such a motherly-type, and it was great having her there. She didn’t push anything, was just so patient (even with cervical checks), and she was just a loving person. I also loved my nurse Julie – she was super sweet (and was an awesome red-head too). The rest of the day was just a combo of waiting, eating (although I couldn’t eat too much), drinking fluids, being pumped with some IV saline as well as the epidural, and just hanging out with the doulas. We talked everything from farts, to breastfeeding & Jesus. It was fun, and such a Blessing!

IMG_6531 copy

The girls “pretending” to sleep for the camera 🙂

Around 11:30AM Monday, things started to slow down a little (as far as the distance between contractions went) and Martha suggested maybe a low-dose pitocin would help to just speed things up slowly. They started me on about 1 unit and that really made a difference! My contractions started to come at a closer distance and so they bumped me up again to see what it would do. The goal was to try and get my contractions moving the baby down more; as I was still stuck at about 9cm and was still at 0 station. I’d have to say that being at that position for so long, and knowing that she was just in an awkward position sort of made it a little frustrating. Even though it was annoying, I was honestly very thankful that neither of the meds were making her go into distress; as she was staying at a very healthy heart rate and there were no issues there. Martha made sure that I was aware of this constantly! Soon enough, the original epidural that I received was starting to wear off. I was thankful for them giving me another dose (bolus) intravenously that helped to numb things again so that helped! The “dreadful” contractions were starting to come back, so it was amazing getting the little boost again!

Because Ellia was sitting up high still (and still at her same positioning), Martha suggested the next thing to do was to try and start pushing to see if it would move her again. I’d have to say, the downside to getting an epidural really is the ability to feel “down there”. Even though my epidural did its job, it was hard to do mine. I did have a pretty decent epidural; as it was just enough to help with the contractions, but I was able to move my feet and not be so restricted. After trying to push (to get her move her position) for a good 2 hours, we decided to take a break. Martha said she had been in contact with Dr. Bootstaylor and that she was going to update him and see what we should do. At this point we just continued to wait again. This is when I started to feel a lot more pressure down there. Then at some point, my epidural started to wear off more. I then felt even MORE pressure. I was pretty much determined to go ahead and have this baby. This is why I love my midwives/doc – Martha didn’t restrict me from pushing at all. She said when I felt I needed to I could. I think I got a little obsessed because I just kept pushing. I was on my side pushing (versus on my back when originally trying to) – and I really liked this position. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that I felt all of this pressure. I was in a lot of pain, and at some point asked Martha if she could “stay with me”. She did, and it felt so comforting! I knew she had another patient, but she stayed with me and encouraged me! She was the most amazing midwife EVER!

IMG_6554

Martha stayed with me & comforted me through contractions.

They said I could get another bolus of the epidural (as the pump was sort of a slow-flow deal), and I pretty much agreed on it. I didn’t want to feel “those contractions” again. While waiting, I just kept pushing. I guess the downside with pushing a baby out is once you’ve pushed and pushed, and you keep pushing ..it’s gonna be more painful and you’re gonna have more and more pressure. That’s what happened. But even though it was so uncomfortable (and felt like I had to take a huge dump) something clicked! It worked!! Martha checked me and said she had started to move down further and was closer! I was so thankful and relieved; as it was getting hard to wait on Dr. Bootstaylor to come (he was on his way) AND I was told the anesthesiologist was stuck at a c-section. I literally said out out “seriously!?” LOL! Cause at this point, things were really painful ..but now there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel – we were having this baby soon!

Soon enough, Martha got delivery protocols started and I started pushing. In the midst of pushing, Loren (our original nurse who was super sweet) came in on her next shift to check on things ..she walked in while things were “in progress”, but I guess with being a nurse it didn’t bother her ..it was funny though 🙂 I just said hello. And the other thing that happened is Dr. B came as well. Martha then told him that we were having a baby ..she hadn’t been able to tell him anything had started up on its own until he was literally there – so he had become a birth spectator and cheerleader per his arrival!

Pushing this child out was really hard. It was hard because I was so ready. I was so exhausted, and I was getting sort of tired of hearing my husband say over and over “you’re doing great” “you’re almost there” “this is it”. I mean let’s face it – this was the last stretch (literally), I knew I was going to have a baby ..but sometimes encouraging words (in the midst of labor) don’t really help and encourage some laboring mothers ..like me! I definitely love my husband with everything in me, I was just over it LOL! So what I started to do was just push and push and push. And things WERE progressing ..it seemed like it took FOREVER to get her to crown, but once I did it was exciting ..and a relief! Although I was so focused, and had my eyes closed most of the time, it was awesome having a great birthing team with me!

Ellia started to crown and things started to turn real, and before I knew it she came tumbling out and (as my doula Zoe said) “looking like lady liberty”. What this means is her hand was up beside her face (nuchal hand), and her cord was wrapped around her. This could’ve been one of the reasons why she was having a hard time coming through the birth canal! In any case, Ellia was finally here; making her entrance into this world at 8:39PM on 11/16/15! They had to take her over to the warmer to suction her mouth because there had been some meconium in the fluid right as she was born, so she wasn’t able to feed off of the placenta as much as her brother did in birth; however, I was grateful that she was here safe, precautions were taken & that I had decided to donate my cord blood anyways ..so all of that blood has now gone to some much-needed babies/kids dealing with all sorts of illnesses and diseases.

IMG_6598

Ellia, wearing her coat of vernix 🙂

Let me just say, Ellia was a big 8lb 14oz baby of cheesy goodness. She had so much vernix on her body it was crazy, but she was beautiful. And she was ours! I am so grateful that I had the team I had in her birth, and wouldn’t have chosen them any differently! God knew what He was doing! It makes a world of a difference when you have SUPPORT! And the times when I felt like a failure, and that my birth plan went kapoot – I was super encouraged ..and still felt like a super mom/rock star because of what I went through in 22 hours, and because of the wonderful support TEAM that kept on encouraging me; even when I didn’t really like hearing the encouragement! Oh – and I’m taking my husband up on his offer of a “push present” because I do recall him telling me (after her birth) ..”oh you’re definitely getting a push present now” 😉

IMG_6619

Me with my baby girl.

But all I have to say now is that God is amazing, and was during all of this. I am thankful and grateful for my Savior and for His help through this because I know that I couldn’t have done it without Him!

IMG_6641

So grateful for these two women! My Doula, Zoe Das (L) & Kristen Tapley (R); doula-in-training.

 

 

Advertisements

My Birth Story: Jonah Noel

This is for those that are interested in reading my natural birth story of Jonah Noel. It’s pretty long, so be prepared. It’s also written to Jonah 🙂 Just wanted to at least put it up somewhere so I don’t lose it! It was an AMAZING, but hard experience that I wouldn’t take back for ANYTHING! I am so PUMPED and BLESSED & feel like such a SUPER MOM – and it’s all because of Him!! He got me through it – God is AMAZING!!

Birth Story of Jonah Noel Leighty • 2:11AM on 7/15/13 • 8 lbs 5.5 oz, 20 1/2”

IMG_5840

Me with my sweet baby Jonah.

“This is story of my baby Jonah’s birth. On July 11th I went to my regular OB appointment for you. Actually, it wasn’t a “regular” appointment since they had been monitoring me for Pre-eclampsia, but none-the-less I went in for the usual check-up. My BP definitely was high, so I just kept my cuff on for the whole appointment rechecking and rechecking. Kimary was the midwife that saw me that day. She had been trying to get my lab work from Quest with the latest 24-hour urine test that I did (that way we could see the numbers to get an idea of what to do). In any case, she suggested the option of induction. I told her that I wouldn’t mind doing it; especially for the safety of my baby (you) and myself. So when it was all said and done, I was scheduled to come into the hospital that night at 8PM and be induced.

Brian captured this board a couple days before Jonah was actually born.

Brian captured this board a couple days before Jonah was actually born.

I wasn’t really into the whole induction thing – since I really wanted to go more natural with a water birth – and not force you out. But I also didn’t want anything to happen to either of us, so there really wasn’t much of a choice. And Quest still hadn’t gotten back to Intown about my labs. So I went home from the appointment and just prepared for that night. I believe I took a nap (or was just lazy), and then when your daddy was home we started packing things up. It was crazy. Surreal. I was about to see my baby by this weekend (that’s what Kimary said – by Saturday).

After we packed everything up, we headed to Atlanta Medical Center and checked in. They had NO rooms – everything was full. We ended up going to the waiting area and hung out there until about 11PM (when they said our room was ready). While in the waiting area we met another couple – they weren’t in labor but she was having contractions. We also were entertained by Hell’s Kitchen (with cuss words every two-seconds) as well as Full House. It was random. That night Anjili was on-call. She came into the waiting room before they took us back and was discussing the induction stuff. Our doula Ashley had suggested we ask about the Foley Bulb – so it was funny when Anjili suggested it. Basically what is was was a catheter that is place up through an opening in the cervix (at that time I had a very posterior cervix and I wasn’t dilated but by less than a cm or something), and then they fill the balloon on the end of it with saline (water). So basically the idea was that the weight of the balloon on my cervix acts like the “baby’s head” in order to open the cervix up. It’s a more natural way of induction.

This is what the Foley Bulb looked like. Eek!

Anjili told me that she was an “expert” at putting these in, and I trusted her. That turned out to be exactly the truth. This hurt sooo bad going in! It gave me the worse cramps and pain that I had felt, but I tried to relax and endure it. The nurse on-call that night was Keia, she was so sweet. She helped and assisted Anjili while she put this in. Once it was in place it gave some cramping, and then we were on our way to seeing you! That night I experience some pretty heavy cramps/contractions. They were pretty bad. Your daddy was there all the way with me, sleeping on a rather uncomfortable couch and eating countless snacks and drinking Gatorade. He actually did end up finishing that Gatorade – and it was either a 64 ounce or 128 ounce. He said he wasn’t going to have Gatorade for a while.

Me, shortly after we were put in our room at AMC.

Me, shortly after we were put in our room at AMC.

The next day Anjili came and pulled the foley bulb out. That whole night it was making me have bloody show – and I made your daddy clean it up. It was crazy. When Anjili took that thing out she said to “relax”. Man, that was hard. She tugged a little and I could tell it was going to come out, but man. Yea, that hurt. So basically the foley bulb took me to 4cm (they considered a foley four). That morning we also had Dr. Bootstaylor come into the room to check on us. I was pretty much out of it since they had given me some different sleeping medicines the night before in order to help me sleep. Oh, I mustn’t forget our wonderful nurse Mimi that came on after Keia had run her shift. Mimi was our favorite. She was a Korean girl that was married to a pastor that pastored a Chinese-American non-denominational church. She was sooo sweet! After they had inserted and taken out foley bulb (on Friday), they started me on a low does of pitocin. They basically were trying to mimic “natural” labor as closely as they could. So they started at 2 units and went up from there. I pretty much ended my stint with Pitocin at about 12 units.

Me with the wonderful "peanut" that our nurse Mimi gave me!

This was the wonderful “peanut” that our nurse Mimi gave to me!

While the foley bulb really gave me hard contractions, the pitocin didn’t. On shift change came Julie and another midwife-in-training named Carrie on-call. We also had a shift-change with nurses and got a really sweet nurse named Alisha (that was in-training under another woman; with which we couldn’t really understand her name on the board). We ended up getting checked and there really wasn’t much change dilation-wise. However, she did point out that I had a bulging bag of waters right where your head was, so she had suggested we could break my waters and see what happened. At that point we were only at 4cm and 60% effaced. And to be honest, I was a little scared about breaking my water. I think in the back of my mind I knew it was going to progress things a lot faster and harder, and the only really bad contractions I had had were with the foley bulb. Your daddy and I discussed this for a while, called Nonni, Grandma, Ashley & Erin and then requested to talk with Dr. Bootstaylor. We were given the option (before talking to the Dr.) that we could either go home or do it. I felt so much immense pressure about it – and since being there for so long, had just wanted to get it over with and see you. It just seemed like a waste to just go home, but the more we talked with our support system the more I thought that it was better to go home. We were both so exhausted (and the hospital beds sucked).

After talking to my Mom about breaking my water.       I was scared.

So on Saturday morning/afternoon, Dr. Bootstaylor called the room. Your daddy answered it while I was in the shower cleaning up, and he agreed for us to go home. We also agreed to another 24-hour urine and to make an appointment to see him again on the 15th or 16th of July (after those results were turned in). So we left and went home. Your daddy ran to the store and bought some tasty dinner (chicken from Publix and turkey for grinders), so we ate and hung out with your Aunt Lissa that night – until she went to church. I also started to have my own contractions at the house. Now these were a little more painful and would make me stop in my tracks. By that night we weren’t having any more signs, so we went to bed and slept for a straight 12 hours!

I believe this was after a nice hot shower & when we were told we were able to go home!

I believe this was after a nice hot shower & when we were told we were able to go home!

By the next day, things definitely kicked into high-gear! I started getting regular contractions that were very painful. Your daddy downloaded an app to keep track of them and they were anywhere from 1-2 to 4-6 minutes long. They were just so crazy! While talking to Ashley, she suggested I get into a tub and labor in there to see if it slowed things down. Even though it felt pretty decent at first, it didn’t let up. I ended up getting out after a while (since I felt so hot), and just labor while walking around the bedroom. I do believe I got back into the tub, and your daddy had fixed wash cloths in a small bowl of ice water in order to help me with the hotness of the tub. It just seemed like I couldn’t get into any positions that would help. I tried the breathing techniques (deep breathing) and sometimes it helped and then a lot of times the contractions were so painful that all I could do was cry. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it – but your daddy was getting mad at me and said “no, you can do this”. So I tried to stay as positive as I could and started to say that ..even though I was so doubtful since the pain was so bad! The other neat thing that I did while in the tub was start speaking in tongues. Your daddy and I started doing that and it seemed like it helped. There were just no words to describe how I felt, and it was such a bonding moment between us that I felt really helped me get through some of the hard stuff.

After a while we decided that I needed more support, so we had Ashley go ahead and head over. At that point, all modesty was pretty much out of the window. I had a small towel on since coming from the bath, but yea ..I was pretty much naked from here on out. Or as Ashley liked to say “Nekked”. There was just no let-up between these contractions I was having and finally (as I had been telling your daddy for a while) we called the midwife. Kimary was actually the mid-wife on-call so she told us to head into the hospital. She listened to me work through contractions over the phone.

Let's not forget about the 5-star entrées ;)

Let’s not forget about the 5-star entrées at AMC 😉

I have to say that the hardest part of that day ..was driving to the hospital. I think I had a small break in-between contractions at home in order for us to pack up. But it wasn’t that much. Brian and Ashley packed up things and I proceeded to the car and right as I as in the entrance to the garage I had to stop and have a contraction. Ashley did mention that she thought that once I made the decision to go to the hospital that things seemed to slow down. I don’t know, maybe it was a mental thing too. I knew that she knew what I wanted. I wanted a natural birth. I just know once I started talking epidurals and saying I couldn’t do it that Ashley was starting to get into her doula-mode. I didn’t want an epidural and I didn’t want a c-section. All I know is that these hurt, so I wanted to go to the hospital. On our way driving (man, your daddy was a crazy driver) I kept having contractions. It was hard because the car seat base was in the middle of the car, and I was on one side and Ashley on the other. At one point I was down leaning against the back of the front seat. Ashley just kept putting counter pressure on my back. That’s really what I had liked. And I just kept trying to do deep breathing – all while driving down I-75 into Atlanta.

Our Mother/Baby Unit recovery room view – the skyline of Atlanta.

When we got to the light at Jimmy Carter/Freedom Parkway things were starting to get on my nerves. The light took forever. Who put a light there? Especially with stinking pregnant people! I remember yelling at the taxi cab in front of us to GO ..since they were taking forever. It was crazy! Once we got to the hospital, Brian parked the car while Ashley and I got out. I ended up having a contraction right then as we were in-between getting out of the car and going into the hospital. I also ended up getting them walking in. I was just walking really slow. Luckily when she pressed the elevator button a door opened right up. We got into the elevator and I started to just do laps inside while it took us to Level 7 – Labor & Delivery. When we got there we went right in and some of the nurses looked at us funny. It was Keia! She thought that we were in the Mother/Baby Unit already, but I told her that we had left the day before since nothing was happening. In any case, the nurses needed me to check in. I couldn’t even write my name – so I had Ashley fill it out for me while I yelled out the answers. A nurse came by and started walking me back to LDR #9 – where they proceeded to monitor me for 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes were the longest of my life. It felt good just standing up and doing it versus sitting down, but it was insane.

So Kimary came in and informed us that we could possibly do a water birth  I was excited. She suggested that we first jump in the shower and try stuff like that to help with the contractions. She had checked me as well – and I was 6cm 100% effaced at that time. So I jumped in the shower (at this point, and from the house – I was completely naked ..and didn’t care). So I jumped in the shower and then I asked your daddy to come in the shower with me. He didn’t know where his swim suit was, and thought it was still in the car, but then realized that he could just wear his gym shorts sans undies, so he came in and helped me in the shower. The hot water felt good, but the contractions were super strong. Your daddy helped by using counter pressure on my back while I had the contractions. It really did help. It was just so hard making it through these contractions – I thought that I couldn’t do it. I really couldn’t help but feel that way since they hurt so bad. We stayed in the shower for a while, with the hot water running down, but then the water started to become too much so I shut it off. To make matters worse, the water was pretty jacked up, and I think they had to jerry-rig something in order for it to work in the first place. Not only did Brian help me in the shower, but he traded off with Ashley – and she came in the shower (when the water was turned off of course) and helped to put counter pressure on my back. I know when I was having these contractions Ashley kept telling me to take advantage of the breaks, but there weren’t any breaks. That’s what made it difficult. I didn’t want to move, change positions or anything because frankly I couldn’t. It was just that intense. I did end up getting out of shower and making my way into the L&D room and sitting on the ball for a while and up against the window as well. It was just hard to get into any position that felt good. The contractions were really strong.

Shortly after you were placed on my chest.

Shortly after you were placed on my chest.

While I was in the shower though, they were using the doppler to check on the baby, but I guess it started to get a little harder to hear your heart tones, so they eventually hooked me up to the monitors to to keep an eye on you. Your heart rate would drop, go back up and then go to a good heart rate. Your dad said it was probably (and I agree) because of the contractions being so close together. I just had no time to breath and relax; giving you that time to relax as well. Like I said, it was intense. While I was being monitored, Kimary told me that I probably needed to empty my bladder. I hadn’t gone to the bathroom. So they put a bed pan/pad below me on the floor and I tried my best to pee in it. I could feel I had to go, but I just couldn’t. Thinking this was causing the delay in progression, Kimary decided to do a catheter and drain the urine out. Your dad still can’t believe they fit that catheter in me. All I know is that it was fairly uncomfortable, but it worked. I think they drained like 150 units of urine out. I don’t think that it was much to change anything, but it was something.

When Kimary checked me again she did mentioned the bulging bag of waters again. She thought that if she were to break my water then it would progress you more. So, being 6cm and 100% effaced still, I told her go ahead. I had been scared of having it done, but I was ready to see you – and I wanted to progress more. I just thought if I didn’t do anything, then it would just go on and on and on. I mean there’s nothing wrong with that, but after being at that hospital pretty much all weekend, and a few days before, I was ready to see you. So Kimary broke my water, and I felt a little gush – not too much. I think it was because most of the fluid was up behind you – and that’s what Julie had said. It was just a little fluid in front of your head. Even your dad said that it didn’t seem like too much when she broke it. And it didn’t really hurt either – I was so afraid of it hurting. I’m not sure why, since it was your bag of waters. It wasn’t like it was a part of my body that they were rupturing. I did go from -2 station to -1 station – and went from 6cm to 7cm dilated in just breaking the water.

So things carried on with contractions, but the girls became more concerned with the heart rate than anything. I also couldn’t get into any good positions to get comfortable, but hands and knees worked pretty good. There was a point of when I was turning around on the bed and switching positions that I totally screwed up my IV and it fell out of my hand – blood splurting everywhere. That was classic. It even got on your dad. I swear they stuck me with like 100 needles/IVs during my stay. It was crazy. So that definitely was a challenge to them since they wanted to keep me pumped with fluids, etc. Eventually I got into the position of standing up on the bed and leaning over the head of the bed. That felt like a comfortable position. Since your heart rate was crazy, things started to get serious – so they put me on an oxygen mask, and I tried to calm down. I knew that if I was freaking out then it wouldn’t help you. And I noticed that after a while things would look better with your heart tones, and Kimary was happy about that. Because your heart tones were all over the place, Kimary decided to put a fetal heart rate monitor on top of your head in order to get a better reading. Your dad said it was because they wanted to compare and see if what they were getting on the outside was about the same on the inside. Because of the scare with your heart rate, Kimary soon enlisted the help of Dr. Bootstaylor. I also go to the point of wanting to quit. I was so tired, hurting – and just didn’t know if I could take the pain anymore. I told Kimary that I just wanted an epidural or a c-section. It was just too much. She said that she had called Dr. B in and he was coming, and I had asked her and she said he was a few minutes away. So while I was naked, leaning over the head of the bed, Dr. Bootstaylor came in. I felt him rub my back to reassure me that he was there, and then the man took over.

Shortly after Dr. B placed you on my chest 🙂

He wanted to check me, but I just couldn’t move from my position – so he said, okay I’ll check you from here. So what he did was basically try and stretch out my cervix more manually. I think after Dr. Bootstaylor stretched my cervix out more you went from -1 station to +2 and I was pretty much on a road to having you. I was lucky with my condition – and the condition that you were in – that they allowed me to have a vaginally birth. I think any other practice would’ve had me get a c-section. Not Dr. Bootstaylor. I think he was determined to give me the most natural childbirth that I could have. And I pretty much had one – since I didn’t have an epidural. I still can’t believe all of the stuff I went through without pain meds. I really do believe in your body’s natural ability to withstand pain. It was crazy.

So we got ready to push. I laid on my back while they broke the bed down. I believe that they kept the bed together until they needed to use other means of assistance, but I basically started pushing. Dr. B had me breath in, hold my breath and bear down. They told me to hold my legs back but it’s like I just didn’t have the energy. He counted to 10, then I took another break and bore down again. At one point I got on my side with my leg up in order to help push you out that way – instead of being on my tailbone, but that didn’t progress to much. So he enlisted the forceps. Now, like I said, any other Dr. that had me as a patient would’ve probably put me into the OR, but Dr. Boostaylor was just awesome!! The forceps weren’t comfortable at all, and it sort of felt like my body was going to rip in half. But I was determined to get you out. I think they said I pushed for about 15-20 minutes total between everything. Once he had the forceps in there, it made it easier for him to get you out. All I remember is Kimary and everyone saying I am doing such a great job (pushing), but I just didn’t feel any progression. I would feel a contraction coming on, so I would tell Dr. B and he would say okay you ready and I would push. But I think that he wanted me to rest through some as well because it was better for you. I just wanted to see you 🙂

At one point I know they said they saw the top of your head and a lot of hair. I think I recall your dad liking that one. Dr. Bootstaylor told me feel down below and he put my hand where your head was. He pressed my hand onto it, but I didn’t want to press you back in! I can’t even recall if I even felt anything. I think at this time I was just in shock of everything. Soon enough I heard them said they had a head, and then before I knew it you were on my chest crying! They suctioned a TON of fluid out of your mouth, and I think you had some light meconium. Makes sense since you poo so much now 🙂 

You cried and cried and cried and because you were on my chest (all slimy), I couldn’t really get a good look at your face. I was just in so much shock. It was just so surreal. I had done it – I had a baby. And you are one gorgeous baby 🙂 “

 

The happy family of 3!

The Blessed family of 3!

Your birth was the absolute-best day of my life; apart from giving my life to Jesus. You have shown me what true love is and how capable I am to do something like this. Your daddy and I have grown so much more in love. He was amazed at what I did. I was amazed. I gave birth. It’s truly an amazing gift from God, and I feel like such a superwoman! I think I’ll be ready to give you a brother or sister in a couple years’ time 🙂