July 9, 2017

Hudson's Birth Story

Yellow Swaddle  ||  Wave Swaddle  ||  Blue Nursing Dress  
Childbirth. Natural childbirth. I'm not gonna lie....freaking ouch. But holy amazing.
There was something really really powerful about experiencing every sensation during birth. 

It was Tuesday, June 13th. Had my weekly dr. visit, and I felt like my body was ready. I had been having so much pelvic pressure along with a few more signs and symptoms that made me feel like labor was near. At the appointment I didn't get the news I wanted, such as, "your body is so ready and close!" No, it was, "baby isn't in the perfect position yet" & I was 1cm dialated (which basically doesn't count 😂). Plus my cervix was only 25-50% soft. 
We talked about induction and what natural methods I could take prior to my appointment the next week. I really, really wanted to go into labor on my own. I figure, if my body is ready and starts things by itself, it gives me that much more assistance while in labor. After all if my body is ready, there will be nothing standing in my way! I kept assuring myself I would go into labor on my own, almost trying to talk my body into it! 
We decided, since the dr. wasn't convinced labor was near, we would go out for a boat ride that afternoon! 
My in laws just purchased a pontoon boat a few weeks prior and what better time since we were all itching to test it out. Well maybe the boat ride was a good idea because once we got out on the water and a few hours in, I started having minor contractions. Not too painful, but I would have to stop and take a few deep breaths to get through them. 
That night after we got home I didn't think anything of it. Midnight rolled around and BAM. I started having contractions every 10 minutes that were each lasting 45 seconds to 1 minute long. If you know nothing about labor, the rule is basically go to the hospital once your contractions are strong, every 2-3 minutes lasting 1 minute in length. Give or take. 
So as I'm awake, working through some very painful contractions, I thought THIS IS GOING QUICKLY. The next morning (Wednesday, June 14) my mom in law picked up Beckham first thing because at this point I'm still having hard contractions every 10 minutes. 
Blake stayed home from work and helped me all morning work through my hard contractions. Timing things and seeing how we were progressing. Things seemed to be picking up the pace and my contractions got to 3 minutes apart. I kept trying to move and do things. I took a long bath, painted my nails, even cleaned up some around the house. 
Then my contractions began to slow down. I was able to take a short nap which was very enthusiastically welcomed since I didn't sleep the night before. 
We called our doula, Shelly (who IS the freaking BEST EVER!), and we all decided she should come over and try to help us get things moving! We did a lot that afternoon. She had me do a "circuit" of curb walks, inversions, lunges, and some specific way of laying that are all supposed to help sift the baby down through your pelvis. Well, this helped contractions speed up a bit, but we worked for hours and it didn't get things going like we hoped. 
She gave us instructions on relaxation for that evening: a small glass of red wine to help me relax so I could get some sleep. She told us once I drank wine I would either slow down contractions almost completely, or my body would go into active labor and have a baby! Either sounded like a great option! 
Blake and I had dinner, and I drank a glass of wine (that tasted delightful after 9 months without any).
Pretty soon after that I was hit with some strong contractions & they gradually got closer and closer together! 
We called Shelly back about 1am (Thursday, June 15) because things were getting pretty serious. 
When Shelly arrived I was in, what she calls, labor land. Eyes closed, breathing deeply, concentrating HARD. My entire being focused solely on getting through the present contraction. 
In between contractions I got out of bed to go pee, and I felt a gush. 
My water broke! HAAAAAAAY.
At this point (after I peed and worked through a few more contractions), Shelly said it would be best to head to the hospital. 
We loaded up and headed that way. When we arrived we TOTALLY went to the wrong door. Which was locked. Hahaha so I proceeded to gush some more of my liquid onto a nearby bench. 
We finally made it around to the emergency room, which is a very SLOW MOVING place when you are in labor.
As I sat in a wheelchair moaning, not caring who was looking, I was also leaking my uterine juices ALL OVER the emergency waiting room floor.
Shelly used her jacket to try to cork my flow 😂(I still owe her a jacket), but we got a good laugh out of that, and I loudly proclaimed I was sorry about the mess to which no one acknowledged or seemed to care. Hospitals must be used to it. But those uterine juices don't mess around when they want to come on out. 

They wheeled us back to an emergency room to check my cervix and monitor baby with the intention of making sure I was actually in labor. 
Sure enough I was 5-6cm dilated, and my cervix finally decided to loosen up and was 100% soft. 
So began our wheelchair journey across the hospital to my birthing room.
It was upon this walk the nurse asked if I wanted pain meds. I told her to just get me a baby aspirin and cut it in half. (Sarcasm). She assured me no one would judge me, but I assured her I was good. Maybe she didn't believe me since at that time a man on a gurney passed by looking quite out of it. I couldn't even contain myself and blurted out, "IS THAT GUY DEAD? CAN I BE THAT GUY!???" Because truly at that moment I would have rather been dead than working through my contraction 😂truly. I found joking a very beneficial and natural way to take the edge off during labor.

Once we arrived in the birthing room the nurses started preparing the room. I was so tired from not sleeping for 2 nights that I preferred to labor in the bed (which totally surprised me). 
This is when I got pretty serious. It was business time, and I could feel my body working that baby down. I tried to focus each contraction on my body opening. I concentrated hard on not being afraid but embracing the contraction pain as something that was working for me. Stepping into the pain so to speak. Basically, I tried to get out of my own way and let my body do what it was made to do. Big mind over matter here. After working through lots more contractions I felt my body bare down. It was ready to push. Without me doing anything my body started pushing and the most barbaric screams came out of me. I legit could not even control it. I felt very tribal in this moment and hoped that I wasn't freaking out the entire hospital floor with my animal like sounds.... although I also didn't actually care because you know, labor. 
Then the actually pushing started. Once I felt the contraction build I would bare down with ALL MY MIGHT. Take a breath and go again. 
It was hard. Pushing is hard. Especially pushing a big-headed baby out. But man, pushing that baby out truly makes you feel like you have superpowers. 
I kept hearing everyone say push past the pain keep going! The encouragement and constant reminder that the baby was almost here kept me going!
Finally, after one hour of pushing, Hudson came sliding out.
The amount of relief I felt in that moment is too great to put into words. Elation, relief, thankfulness, joy just filled me up. 
I couldn't believe that I just did that. And I felt so proud that I did it all natural without any pain meds. 
And the best part was that I was able to experience the good stuff that I missed with Beckham (since I was literally unconscious). 
The cleaning of the baby, the cutting of the cord, the placenta coming out, immediate skin to skin, and being completely right minded and able to think so clearly. It was remarkable. Nothing was numb, my body and mind were clear. It was such a high. 
I truly believe that anybody, if mind made up, can do natural childbirth and enjoy it. I enjoyed experiencing all of it, and I think I will choose to do it that way next time! 
I laid there soaking in the new life that I worked so hard to bring earthside. They stitched me up since little buddy decided to come out with his hand up. Yay, hello RIPPPPAGE. However the cord was wrapped around his neck so his little hand up was probably a blessing. (Just not for my downstairs).
I wish I could properly put into words what an incredible experience natural childbirth was. Yes it hurt, it was majorly intense, and I'm still healing; however, I feel like there is truly nothing I can't do now. There was something deeply spiritual about it. I had to rely heavily on the Lord sustaining me and giving me strength and peace throughout it. 
It couldn't have gone smoother, and I truly got the birth experience I hoped and prayed for, for so long. 
God's gifts are good, even when they hurt. 🤗

And I got to say, I could not have ever done that without a support system. My husband and my doula, Shelly, were both so amazing. They stayed by my side, spoke encouragement to me the entire time, helped me stay focused, and also helped keep me cool with rags and fans. And occasionally wafting some peppermint oil my way to help me not vomit. 
I'm so thankful they were both there to help me. Teamwork yall, it's a real thing in labor. Even though I did all the hard work I couldn't have done it without them. 

Now we have this perfect squishy little delicious new life we get to love on everyday. It's been so fun. Hudson is such a sweet baby we feel so blessed. Adjusting has been far easier this time around. Mentally and emotionally I'm doing so well. No postpartum depression, and I think part of that is due to my amazing natural birth experience! 
Feeling so thankful we have two healthy, happy boys. And feeling thankful my vagina stitches are dissolving. 
Cheers to childbirth.

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