This boy was so cute in his new (thrifted) cowboy boots today.
I didn't have a blog to share Casey's birth story on at the time of his birth. But I looked it up the other day and really enjoyed reading, and remembering his birth. It was difficult but beautiful. If you don't like reading birth stories, please don't feel like you need to read it.
I use a natural birthing method called hypnobirthing, specifically I use an at home study course called Hypnobabies. If your preggo and interested, the website is here. It has worked extremely well for me and I'm so excited to use it again for this birth.
However, please know, I am not one of those people that thinks natural birth is the only way, all women should birth this way, etc, etc. Not at all. Each and every mother who gives birth does so in the way that is best for her. I don't judge at all!
Casey's Birth Story - 11/19/11
My "guess date" of November 7th came and went and we all waited with growing anticipation for our little son to be born. I was getting increasingly antsy by trying not to think about it. At my doctor's appointment on Monday the 14th, I was 1.5cm dilated, 50% effaced, nothing special and they could even strip my membranes. So all week I did everything could to get labor going. I walked, (including up a very long steep hill behind our house, it was brutal!) are spicy food, crawled around on all fours and on Thursday at my appointment, no progress whatsoever. The day before, I was even hoping on one foot occasionally (worked for a friend of mine who was 41.5 weeks before she has her son). I felt like I was trying to shake him loose or something!
So at this point I was 41 weeks and 3 days and the doctors and midwives at our practice were saying that they couldn't really let me wait any longer for labor to come on its own. However, they couldn't induce me really because of the risk of uterine rupture and induced contractions can be extra strong and powerful. You can't do induction on a formerly cut open uterus. Yet, they couldn't let me continue and wait it out till her is born on his own, because also letting him continue to grow inside me (stretching the uterus larger) apparently also increases the risk of uterine rupture. So we were in bind. And it didn't help that at our practice of 6 OBs and 6 midwives, they were all differing in opinion of what to do! Talk about NOT helpful! Some of them were comfortable doing a form of "low dose pitocin" induction, others were not. I just wanted to do what was best! So we decided to go with the midwife and OB who were on call together on Friday, the 18th to do the low dose pit induction. I was 2 cm dilated so I wasn't starting from zero which was good and I had been having contractions off and on for basically the past two weeks so we were all hopeful it would “take” and work!
I was very positive and excited when I went to bed that night and I listened to a bunch of my hypnobabies scripts on my ipod (Fear Clearing Session, Birthing Day Affirmations and Deepening). We wanted to get up at 7am in order to get to the hospital by 8, but my alarm didn’t go off so I woke up at 7:20. Totally in shock I had overslept. I had thought I would be so nervous, anxious and excited I would be up at 6! I’m glad my body got those few extra minutes as I had no idea what was ahead. Fast forward…got to the hospital, I was still listening to some hypnobabies stuff off and on to help keep me calm. I got to wear my own clothes which was awesome and didn’t have to put on the horrible uncomfortable and ugly hospital gown. They got me all hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine and my IV and then Casey gave everyone a scare. Luke and I were just hanging out in the room and I was kinda of sitting in an uncomfortable position. I felt Casey make a big movement, as if trying to get more comfortable himself, I adjusted myself and then felt better. Well, immediately after this happened, about 4 nurses came rushing into the room, turned me on my side, put an oxygen mask over my face and fussed with the fetal monitoring belt on me to find his heartbeat. They found it and he was fine. I was wondering what the heck was going on. Luke had closed his eyes for a little bit and didn’t even notice what was going on. Then they told me that his heart rate had deceled twice and this was reason for concern so they needed to really watch him. If he did it a third time, it becomes considered a pattern and they need to question why and if there is a need for a different course of action (aka, c-section). The OB also came in and told me that since this happened twice before they had even started the pitocin, she did not want to start pitocin because if he was showing signs of distress with nothing, the “pit” would surely cause more distress, so don’t even attempt it. I asked if we could have a minute to discuss it. She and the nurses left and I cried a bit. I was so discouraged. We literally had been in the hospital only an hour and a half and already they want to cut me open! I told Luke I really really didn’t want a c-section. I felt Casey was fine. He had just moved to get more comfortable…..we agreed that we were going to try the pitocin. They were going to start me off with such a low dose anyway, I knew they could take me off it the second he showed any more distress. The OB came back in and I told her we wanted to try the “pit”. With raised eyebrows she told me, “ok, but when his heart decels again, we’re taking you off it.” “WHEN his heart decels?”, I thought. Totally assuming it would. Not the positive influence I needed. When she left, I asked once of the nurses if we could see Cynthia, our midwife, just to talk with her. Cynthia came in, reassured me, and was very positive and encouraging. They started the pitocin at a level 1. The nurses did proceed though to ask Luke his size for scrubs for if (not when) we went to the OR. They measured my legs for stockings….all this again kind of irked me, as if they were all expecting this to fail. Well, Casey’s heart never deceled again for the next 22 hours. I knew he was fine!! But since the baby and my body were just not ready for the baby to come out, the pitocin was a slow long process. And it wasn't like they could bump it up to make it go any faster. They had to be very careful that my uterus, and baby were handling it all ok.
I dilated extremely slowly, like 1 cm every 3 hours and the pressure waves were coming pretty consistently at 5-6 minutes apart. So at midnight, Cynthia broke my water. I used my hypnobirthing techniques and it didn’t hurt at all. Luke then left to get some food as he was starving. Definitely bad timing! As soon as he left the pressure waves started getting stronger. I texted him and told him to hurry back. When he got back, he ate the stuff he got from Taco Bell in our room and the smell was so unbearable. He practically stood in the farthest corner of the room eating it, trying to keep it away from me! From about 12am-5am the pressure waves were getting uncomfortable and Luke was great, using our cue words of “release” and “peace” rubbing my arm, helping me relax. They were strong but manageable, more like 3-4 minutes apart, and I rested in between them. I spent most of my time in the rocking chair. My pressure waves would actually stop on the birthing ball. One of the coolest things was that I was feeling a lot of pressure in my back and we weren’t sure of the baby’s position, we thought he could be posterior. So Luke and I tried a couple different positions to help him turn, which he did! I think we both felt pretty proud and excited at that moment ( Around 6am I started vomiting with every pressure wave. They also became quite intense and probably about every two minutes apart. I wasn’t paying that close attention. I could just tell they were coming much more often. My “pit” at this point was at a level 9. I figured I must be in transformation (transition). The hardest part of the whole experience was being attached to so many cords. If I tried to change positions the fetal monitor would slip down and nurses would come in to adjust it, and find his heart beat. It got so annoying. It also made it VERY difficult to concentrate and focus on relaxing. I went from 5-10cm in an hour and a half and it was very intense. I feel I did lose focus and could not use hypnobirthing to its fullest at times because of all the distractions and fussing being done with all the monitoring equipment. Another great thing Luke did for me, was tell Cynthia to no longer tell me how far I had progressed when she did a cervical check. He knew it could potentially just discourage me. I did really appreciate that. I didn’t need to know, I just needed to focus. He also put my hypnobabies scripts on in the cd player so that it was playing out loud in the room and everyone could hear it. But again, I was having a hard time focusing and got a little panicky with the intensity of the pressure waves. I started to say I couldn’t do it. I was so tired, hungry, I just wanted to rest. I even did ask for the epidural! He told me I was doing so great and that I didn’t need it. Cynthia agreed and told me I WAS doing it. It was at this point that my body began pushing on its own with each pressure wave. Everything that happened from that point on was so surreal. It was like I entered a zone. It was just me and Casey. I blocked everything out, moved into positions that were comfortable for pushing and just let my body take over completely. I didn’t care, nothing else mattered, my son was coming, and it felt so good to push….Seriously. The nurses and my midwife’s reactions were certainly motivating too. I would push and they were like, “ohmygoodness!! Very good!! Wow! Just like that! Wow! Do that again!” I pushed with pressure waves, in between them, I just did what felt right and what my body felt like doing. No one was counting, it was just mother directed pushing. It was such a powerful feeling when he was crowning and when I pushed him out. It didn’t hurt. I kept visualizing my mental anesthesia down and out my birth canal in front of my baby like my months of hypnobabies practice had trained me to do, imagined my perineum as being soft and open, etc….and it honestly didn’t hurt. Luke was behind me on the bed, supporting my body, with his legs on either side of me. My hips felt uncomfortable with the position I was in (slightly leaning back on Luke, with me pulling my knees back toward me) so Luke would try to apply pressure with his legs against my hips, but it didn’t really help. I actually felt my hips widening to make room for Casey to pass through. It was amazing. I know it sounds crazy, but I enjoyed pushing him out. The whole pushing phase was incredible! I pushed for an hour but didn’t feel like it. He was born (22 total hours later) and immediately put on my chest, at 8:31am, Saturday the 19th. He nursed for an hour on one side before they took him and weighed him. He was 9.6! Apgar scores of 9 and 9. I only had a small tear, not quite a first degree. He came back to me and nursed for another hour on the other side. He is just amazing and we are all in love with him!!