Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jonas' Birth Story

My baby is already 5 and a half weeks old!! He is sleeping peacefully next to me, and I should probably do the same, but I really need to do this! I already feel like I should have done it sooner, when things were more fresh in my mind....but here goes!!

The entire pregnancy went by so fast. I'm still kind of in shock that he is here. This was the first pregnancy I can honestly say I felt the best physically. I didn't gain that much weight, 30lbs, I ate super healthy and used essential oils throughout the pregnancy. I really didn't expereince much discomfort at all, I would go to each midwife appointment and not really have anything to tell them!! And the small minor things, like some nausea, or leg cramping, or restless sleep, or heartburn, we're all taken care of quickly and effectively with essential oils (and therefore never symptoms worth mentioning at my appointments!) I loved having them at my fingertips to use. It was such a blessing to feel so good the entire pregnancy and it was NOT taken for granted. I was so grateful to be able to keep up with daily life and the house and kids. I probably only exercised a dozen times in the whole 9 months, which is not much, but oh well.

I also went to a chiropractor recommended by my midwives during the last two months of pregnancy, first going only every other week, and them during the last month, going every week. I believe this also had a big impact in how I felt overall and kept the baby in such good alignment. 

As soon as we found out we were expecting, I knew I wanted a homebirth. After attending a "Come and See" event together at Riverside Midwifery, Luke was on board. I was so excited! During the last 2 months I started reviewing my hypnobabies materials and listening to the tracks at night, or during nap time. I did a lot of Visualize Your Birth sessions....I envisioned just laboring in the bedroom while they got the pool ready, and then when it was ready, I would be ready to get in and have the baby! 

Which is exactly what happened.....when it did finally happen. We had some false labor on May 3rd, my grandpa's birthday, which was very disappointing, I would have loved for Jonas to share a birthday with him! But it wasn't meant to be. Anyway, we called the doula and midwife, mmthey came around midnight and I ended up falling asleep and labor completely stalled. I felt so foolish, as I did before, with Owen! Which is why I'm shaking my head and finger at myself on this one, because it happened with Owen. I had an evening of solid labor that didn't go anywhere,and then a week later I had him. And during that whole week, I continued to have non progressing labor. So then when it DID happen, it went quickly. This birth was pretty much exactly the same. After that night when they came and ended up going home, I continued to have pressure waves all week. They never got intense, just stayed the same. They were more than Braxton hicks for sure, definitely pressure waves, but didn't start real labor. 

The morning of May 4th, after labor stalled that night, I spent some more time on the birthing ball and listened to some hypnosis tracks, followed by Audrey Assad's album, "Inheritance." The pool was next to me completely full, and I realized how it was upsetting me to see it just sitting there and to not be in labor. When the song, It Is Well came on, and I listened to the words, "it is well, with my soul,".... I burst into tears and told God, "it is not well with my soul! Help me!" I cried and prayed, and it was such a needed release of emotion. I texted Luke and told him I needed the pool taken down, which he was wonderful about doing as soon as he got home from work. 

In the days that followed I had peace about the baby coming in his own time and just tried to alternate resting, taking it easy, and going on walks in the evening and doing stretches. Friday I went to the chiropractor and Wegmans, stocking up for the weeks ahead. Saturday, I danced in the kitchen with the kids, especially to "Don't Let Me Down" by the Chainsmokers. I was happy and just thinking about holding my son.

Tuesday, the 10th, I had a GREAT appointment with my midwife Mycal. She did a stretch and sweep, released my tight ligament on the left side, and grabbed a tick off my belly!!! WHAT?!?! I was so nervous about the stretch and sweep but it wasn't that bad at all, implementing my hypnobabies relaxation techniques helped a ton!! She also measured me and told me I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. Super encouraging to hear!! Afterwards I went to Accupuncture, which was reccommended by my doula. It was so relaxing and I had a strong feeling that it (in addition to the stretch and sweep) was giving my body the nudge it needed! 

The rest of the day at home, I had a strong urge to clean. And weird things, like all the mirrors and the kitchen sink. I was not in the mood to cook or really eat dinner, so I just had a little bit of chicken. After the kids went to bed, I did some stretching in the living room and watched a few episodes of Pioneer Woman with Luke, then went to bed around 10:30pm. 

I woke up abruptly at 1am to some strong pressure waves coming 5-7 minutes apart and I knew immediately these were different than the ones I'd been having all week. I didn't hesitate for a second, I told Luke to tell the doula and midwife to come. I knew it wouldn't be a false alarm. They both arrived around 2am and started filling up the pool in the living room. (That was one good thing about the trial run, so to speak, on May 4th, I realized I did NOT want the birthing pool in my room like I had initially thought I would). It was WAY too crowded and I needed it OUT of my space, and totally free from the distraction of other people. 

So I just laid in bed, having pressure wave after pressure wave, and for every one of them, going to my special place, breathing slow and deep and saying the cue words, "peace" or "release." When I said "peace" Luke and Brittany (my doula) knew that a new pressure wave had started. Luke would put his hand on my shoulder or run his hand down my arm (which I told him to stop doing!) and repeat the cue words to me. I felt very comfortable and relaxed. When they told me that the pool was done, it was filled and ready, I don't know how long after that I said I would like to go get in, but eventually I told them I was ready to head out there, but first that I needed to go to the bathroom. When I was in there, I started to cry, just a few tears and I told Brittany, "I don't know why I'm crying, I'm actually really really happy. And she said, "it's because you know you're about to meet your baby." I was!!!!

I walked out the the living room, got in the pool and it felt goooooood. But I kept telling them it wasn't warm enough! So they added some more hot water, but then it was like up to my chin, so they had to scoop some out! I quickly realized that being in the water felt great, but very weird at the same time. It was almost too spacious. I couldn't ground myself at all, even leaning on the side didn't help. I asked Luke to get in and being able to lean on him for support was exactly what I needed. My body began pushing involuntarily and I was on my knees facing him with my forehead against his chest. With every pressure wave I said, "peeeeeeaaaaaccccceeee......." And would throw in a few, "oh gosh.....Brittany......Luke, oh, Luke......peeeeeeeeeaaaaccccce....." Brittany was great with prompts to keep accepting what was happening, say yes. So I would!!! "Yes, open, open, open, peeeeeeaaacceeee......" During one pressure wave, my whole right leg cramped up and was stiff, so the started massaging it to soothe it for me, and I turned over to try to help release it. It did help, and I knew the baby was crowning. I stayed with my back against Luke's chest and the midwives were able to get a good view...and I asked really quickly if I was fully dilated (I didn't want to push with a cervical lip) but they said yep, I was there! They could see baby's head. I was like, "good!" Mycal told me I could reach down and feel his head if I wanted, but I said no, that's ok. I don't know why I never want to do that! I think I might lose focus, I don't know. Anyway, I asked a few times, "am I almost done? Is it going to be over soon?" And Mychal was like, "yeah!" I even asked her, "promise??" No idea why I needed to hear her promise me I was almost done!! Such a child-like thing to say!! 

I felt the urge to really push with the pressure waves about 3 times and I thought, he feels so big! Such incredible pressure. As I was pushing Luke started praying to Our Lady softly in my ear, and her picture was right on the wall beside was so beautiful....I kept saying, " I love you, I love you, I love you"..... And then at 5:31am, Jonas was born and placed on my chest. We both cried and held our son. It was incredible.