Wednesday, August 13th, 2014....8:59 a.m.
Our lives will never be the same again and we couldn't be happier about it. I have so many different thoughts, memories and reflections about that day...and the day before for that matter!!
Contractions started around 3:00 am on Tuesday, August 12th. ALOT had happened leading up to that point mainly because Eli wanted to wait until he was good and ready...and 15 days past his "due date"! Because we were giving birth at a hospital we had to schedule an induction at the 2 week mark, but our midwives were pretty amazing and flexible and we were able to negotiate with them to wait just a little bit longer, so the actual induction was scheduled for Wednesday, August 13th. We were planning to try an herbal induction at 6:00 am on Tuesday and I really wasn't looking forward to drinking castor oil so I'm glad he decided to come on his own!
We labored at home until about noon and the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. At that point, I thought things would keep progressing but boy was I wrong! Contractions slowed and almost stopped on the 20 minute drive to the hospital and then we had to wait in the lobby for about 20 minutes because there were no triage rooms available. We got settled into the triage room so they could monitor me and check on progress. Our midwife, Anna, stopped in and after watching the monitor for a little bit and checking me...found that I was already at 6 cm. She told us that when she first saw me she was so close to just sending us home because she didn't really think I was in labor. Apparently I managed the pain well :)
We finally got settled into our normal room and had steady contractions all afternoon/evening. I snacked on a few things but just like everyone said, I just wasn't hungry for anything....so I drank a lot of water and snacked on fruit from what I remember. Dan did go get dinner from the cafeteria and brought it up to the room. I remember smelling something REALLY nasty and found out he had gotten broccoli. Ugh. That was the one time I remember being a bit bitchy and just asked him to leave. Haha!
I had really wanted to be able to move around with the contractions so we tried a lot of different things...including walking, using the labor ball, showering, getting into the tub (which btw was AMAZING except for the fact that the tub was so big and hard it was hard to find a good position for contractions), and having Dan help with a few positions etc....Around 11:00 pm our nurse and midwife came in for a chat to figure out what our next steps would be since my water still hadn't broken. My contractions were slowing a bit, so we decided to try to sleep for a few hours since I'd been up since about 3 am and then get back after it in the early morning . And just like that...an hour later my water broke while I was sleeping! Unfortunately there was a tiny bit of meconium in the fluid so that automatically meant I wouldn't get to do the water birth I had wanted...disappointing...but we definitely just tried to roll with it.
After my water broke, contractions did get a bit more intense and time seemed to just flow together. The birth center was SO busy that night so they were actually having to turn people away to two different hospitals, which meant our midwife had been in and out of our room maybe two or three times the entire night. Because of this, I was so so SO glad we had decided to get a doula...Julie Colby, from Lady's Slipper Wellness, was our doula and she was AMAZING. She provided so much support for both Dan and I...and was with us the entire labor. Our midwife did come in around 3 am (I think) and checked Eli's position. She realized then that he was sunny-side up....which would explain the horrible back labor I'd been having. We tried a few different techniques to get him to turn (which were very uncomfortable btw) and they didn't really work so we just went with it. Around 4 or 5 am I remember just not being able to keep my eyes open. I was so tired and really wasn't sure if I could do it!! Julie, my mom and Megan (our photographer) had just gotten back to the room from getting coffee and were a little hopped up on the caffeine :) so Julie went to talk to the midwife and they decided that NOW was the time to get moving. I guess I had thought my body would tell me when to start pushing but I had absolutely no idea what that "feeling" would be...so I had just been focusing on getting through all the contractions.
We started pushing on the toilet (yep..the toilet) to try and get a feel for what this pushing business was all about....but contractions decided to slow once again. At this point, 6:30 a.m., we had to do something to keep the contractions coming so we decided to start a small amount of pitocin to help with that. I remember not wanting to, but honestly at that point, we had to do something. The pitocin did change the contractions a bit and made them more intense so we started pushing again...this time on a birthing stool. I do remember at one point being SO annoyed that the contractions were so far apart because having to wait for the next contraction to push was NOT fun. I think pushing lasted for about 4-5 hours and Eli graced us with his presence (FINALLY) at 8:59 am!! Those last few pushes were pretty intense and I remember this amazing feeling of relief once he finally arrived! They did have to whisk him away for about 30 seconds to make sure he hadn't ingested some of the meconium but he was back in my arms so fast and everything was fine!! I'll spare you all the details after this point, but I do remember being STARVING almost immediately and could not wait to eat!! I think I ordered pancakes and eggs :) I also remember the warm blankets being absolutely incredible...I'm pretty sure I had about 3 of them on me at one point. Ha!
We spent the morning just staring at Eli's sweet face and letting the nana/papa (my parents) and grandma/grandpa (Dan's parents) meet the little guy!
I honestly can't say enough about the support team I had...They were all there pretty much the entire 22 hours of labor at the hospital: Dan, Julie, my mom and Megan. Dan was an AMAZING support the entire time and I know I couldn't have done it without him!! Julie supported both Dan and I and was such a blessing before the birth, during the birth and even after! I remember looking up multiple times to see my mama there and just praying...that in and of itself was incredible. And Megan had 3 other births that same night...but she somehow juggled those and then came back in the middle of the night to be with us!
I know doing an all-natural birth is not for everyone...but I don't regret doing it at all...Yes, it was TOUGH. The hardest thing I've ever done. Would I want to do it again tomorrow? Hell no :) but that's mainly because it was so long! Being able to actually feel everything was kinda incredible. The human body is crazy amazing and the way it all just works together makes me even more in awe of this God we serve!!
Eli is now 4 weeks old TODAY...Happy Birthday buddy! We cannot imagine life without his sweet face....right now he grunts a lot but there is a fleeting smile and he's starting to kind of "talk" to us which is really fun. He's starting to get a few more rolls in his arms and legs and can find his thumb every once in a while. He loves to be in the Boba and dad has gotten really good at putting him to sleep in the fleece sling. We can't wait for all the other new things he's going to be experiencing over the next few months!!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.