Kyrie’s Birth Story: Part II

So sorry it took me so long to get this up!  I was out of commission the last couple of days due to a uterine infection, but I’m feeling much better and we caught it quickly so there shouldn’t be any complications from here on out, praise God!  If you missed it, you can read Part I of the Birth Story HERE.

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Things started progressing very quickly at this point. People began arriving… Stephen was the first member of my audience. When I heard him wake up I was so worried that he was just going to cry for me the entire night. He is never consolable at one in the morning unless I’m holding him.  Much to my surprise, God provided him with a very peaceful spirit and allowed my mom to hold him. He was even perfectly content (and kind of emotionless) when she had to leave for a moment. Next Jake’s parents arrived, followed by the midwife’s assistant and her back up midwife who was also attending the birth.

Birth AudienceMy mom went upstairs to see if Evangeline wanted to wake up. Now, if you know my daughter, you know that she is just like me and that being woken up does not put her in a happy place. But as soon as she heard “Mommy is having the baby,” she sat straight up and proclaimed “Oh! This is my favorite part!” She came downstairs bounding with energy and sat right next to Stephen to watch the birth.  Jake’s mom sat down to help and before long I had my own little audience with their chairs pulled up to see the big event.  It probably would have been terribly distracted if I had had any presence of mind to think about it, thankfully I was preoccupied.

They couldn’t actually see me in the tub during contractions because it was so tall, but I popped up in between and smiled and gave them thumbs up to let them know I was excited and everything was going well. Jake and I took a picture together and I was still talking and laughing in between contractions. They did get closer together, though I didn’t notice it much because they had started so close.

I started feeling a bit pushy so my midwife checked me. I was dilated to almost a nine already (and still happy in between contractions?!) so she told me to breathe through a couple more and that I was almost there.  At this point Jake’s back rubs stopped helping, which I managed to communicate mid-contraction. My brilliant midwife told him to try constant pressure instead of moving pressure. That felt much better. Contractions were getting so intense that I found myself holding my breath when one started. “I need you to breathe through these,” my midwife reminded me, which I did with quite a bit of vocalizing.

Breathing hurts less than not breathing, but for some reason the natural reaction is just to clamp up. About three contractions after my midwife checked me I let her know that my body had started pushing on its own during contractions. She started helping Jake by putting pressure on my hips while he pressed down on my back.  She asked me if I wanted him to get in the tub for support while pushing and I said no. Their cumulative effort was helping me manage and the last thing I wanted was to change it up and risk being in more pain, so I opted to keep everything the same. I was on hands and knees, not my preferred pushing position, but again I wasn’t about to move. I had found a way to cope and I was going to stick with that.

During the next contraction I started pushing. My midwife checked me afterward and said that I was fully dilated with just a little lip. I told her I was pushing through the last contraction and she said “I know; I wasn’t born yesterday. That’s why I checked you.” I didn’t laugh out loud but I did chuckle a little on the inside.  She asked if I wanted my water broken to push, and that she always felt more comfortable pushing without the bag of waters there. I was totally indecisive. I had no idea! I had never made it to the pushing stage with an intact bag of waters.

We broke my water during Evie’s labor at 5cm because I was tired of the slow progress, and Stephen’s broke on its own before his labor had even really started.  I couldn’t make up my mind, so I said we’d work through one more contraction and then decide, which was really me just stating the reality as the next contraction was already starting anyway. Several seconds later the point was totally moot as my water broke easily on its own and baby was crowning with the next push.

After that it took about five more pushes for baby to be born, way more than I’ve ever had to push before. But I had no tearing, and have been much more comfortable post-partum than I was with either of my other babies, so I don’t mind having had to wait a little longer in the pushing phase!  Baby was born at 2:10am almost two hours exactly from when active labor started. After doing some gymnastics with the umbilical cord… ahem… my midwife handed me our sweet little one and we put a towel over her to keep her warm in the tub. This is the first baby that Jake didn’t actually help deliver, but I think he was ok with that.

I held her for a minute before someone inevitably asked if baby was a boy or girl, I had to move the cord to see, and when I did I just remember saying “She’s a girl! But I already knew that, Mommy didn’t even have to look to know you were a girl.” Which is true, from my feelings during pregnancy and then seeing her face when she was born, somehow I just knew.
Baby girl and I stayed in the tub a while longer. The placenta did not come out nice and whole like it should have, so my midwife had to work on that for a few minutes (not super comfortable if you were wondering). Unfortunately we didn’t quite get all the little pieces (which caused my uterine infection a few days later).  We found that she also had a true knot in her cord, just like her older brother did!  Not sure why my children like to do that…

IMG_1558After all that was finished, Daddy brought Jacob over to cut the umbilical cord, he had just been woken up after the baby was born, although he didn’t particularly care to. The story I heard was that when Daddy went to get him and said it was time to meet the baby Jacob’s answer was “No, let’s do it in the morning.” Sigh… a child after my own heart. But he was glad afterward that he was awake with all the excitement!

Finally it was Daddy’s turn to hold the baby while I changed clothes and slowly made my way to the family room to rest in the recliner. After a good while of sweet girl nursing, Stephen helped Daddy weigh her and the midwife did a few quick newborn measurements and checks.  Last, but certainly not least, Mommy got a very early morning breakfast of oatmeal before we all headed back upstairs to bed at the very sleepy time of four in the morning. We still had no name for her at this point; it wasn’t until later that afternoon that we decided on Kyrie.

Out of all three births, Kyrie’s was definitely the smoothest. She also broke all of the similarities that my other two shared. I suppose we truly have no idea what pregnancy and childbirth are going to be like no matter how many times before we’ve done it. It is always changing from one child to the next!  Yet one thing continues to remain the same… the sacrifice is miniscule and not even comparable to the reward of bearing life. And to those dear mothers whose pregnancies didnot come to such a joyous end on this side of eternity, my heart and prayers are always with you and the reward that awaits you in Heaven is greater still.

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Kyrie’s Birth Story: Part I

Kyrie Rose

February 14th 2015

8lbs 2ozs – 20 1/4 in.

Five weeks after I was let off of bed rest and there I was, still pregnant. I could not believe it. My mom and brother were in town to meet the baby who was not here yet, and I was a week past my due date which had never happened before. Needless to say, I was ready to get this little one out into the world! We had one more day before my family had to leave.
The days before we tried stripping the membranes with absolutely no results. I dilated a tiny bit from 2cm to almost 3cm, but nothing else of note. On Friday evening my midwife came over with one last option to try.

She gave me an herb regimen to use that night and the next morning. It included Evening Primrose, Verbena and Cottonwood.  She told me that at this point she didn’t want to get too aggressive trying to kick start labor, and I agreed. As much as I wanted to have this baby, I wanted the baby to be ready above all else. I started with the Verbena; I was to take it every two hours that I was awake and to switch to Cottonwood the next morning.

My first dose of Verbena was at 5:45pm, I immediately noticed that my contractions seemed more persistent. We had gone walking at the mall earlier in the day, which had set off some good contractions, but they had been dwindling through the afternoon. This seemed to revive them a bit. I felt optimistic, but wasn’t going to get my hopes up yet. After a month of contractions and false alarms I was over trying to guess if I was in labor, but it felt better at least trying something.

I took my next dose of Verbena at 7:45pm, but it didn’t seem to have the same effect. My contractions were waning again and this didn’t pick them up too much after the first twenty minutes or so. I did a lot of walking, swaying, squatting and sitting on my birth ball that evening. I ate some jalapeno cheetos, joking with my mom that maybe the spicy food would help.

Mom and I retired upstairs and chatted while we waited for 9:45 so I could take a final dose of Verbena and go to bed. I told her that I didn’t want to go to sleep because that just meant one more day of not having the baby.  After all, my contractions always petered out when I laid down. But away I went, consoling myself with the knowledge that we could try the Cottonwood first thing in the morning. I took my last dose of Verbena along with the Primrose oil and went to bed.

Jake had not been feeling well so he had gone to sleep with the kids a few hours earlier. We talked for quite a while, it had been a long day and we both needed to decompress. Sleep didn’t come easily, I kept having little contractions that did nothing more than to remind me that I had been having the same ones for months and they meant absolutely nothing.
By the time I was finally dozing off, Evie woke up and I jostled Jake to go check on her. He was gone for several minutes so I checked my phone to see what time it was – 11:49pm. Two hours since my last dose of Verbena.

Well… I was awake so might as well get up and take another round right? Within fifteen minutes of laying down I had another contraction, a different-feeling contraction. It was certainly the best one I’d ever had laying down! I decided that if I had another I would sit up and see what happened. Sure enough, several minutes later another contraction started, I sat up and maneuvered into a modified squat, trying to put as much pressure on the cervix as I could while still in bed.

Ouch.

Several things went through my mind…  I had forgotten what actual labor feels like. — That was definitely an actual labor contraction. — I’m not sure I actually want to be in labor after all.— If I have any more of those I will actually be in labor.

I had another one. Just as painful. After posting to Facebook (because that’s the most important thing right?) I went to go find Jake who had fallen asleep cuddling with Evie. All I said was “Jake… ouch,” while pointing to my tummy. He got up and I caught him up to what was going on at  that point. We both started looking for clothes so I could go downstairs and walk through the contractions that were coming about 2-3 minutes apart.

On my way downstairs I knocked on the office door where my mom was sleeping for the week and let her know that I thought I was in labor and asked if she could listen for the kids for us since we’d probably be preoccupied. I knew my midwife had had two straight nights with no sleep, so I didn’t call her right away.

IMG_1406The contractions were strong from the beginning, I could talk through them barely, and I had to stop what I was doing to hold onto something. My brother was still awake downstairs so we enlisted him to take a few pictures before things got going.  I decided to do a cute little heart shape, being acutely aware of what day it was.  And Jake is texting people to come on over.  :)

I took a quick shower to see if the warm water would help relax me during contractions. It didn’t help too much so I got out and asked Jake to start filling the tub. I called my midwife at 12:51am, but told her not to come out just yet. I didn’t know how quickly labor would progress and I felt bad making her get out of bed sooner than she had to.

My mom came down shortly after that and we started prepping the birth room, I turned on my music playlist, which was awesome for helping me focus through the contractions. I don’t think I made it more than ten minutes before asking Jake to call the midwife back, this labor felt way too much like Stephen’s labor and I knew we didn’t have a whole lot of time.

The timeline becomes a bit of a blur after that. Somewhere in there I went to the bathroom a million times thinking I had to go, but not really needing to; my midwife arrived; and we ran out of hot water, so my dear brother went on boiling water brigade (heat water on the stove, put it in the tub, repeat) and that was his job for pretty much the rest of my labor. He’s a swell guy, and single by the way ladies. 😉

I also changed into my labor gown, and started getting really grumpy with Jake if he wasn’t helping me through contractions. I actually remember joking with him after one that we knew we were in labor when I start yelling at him to “pay attention” during a contraction. He’s not allowed to talk or be distracted, lol! During all of my labors he has been my biggest support, though I’ve needed him in different ways. This time he rubbed my lower back through contractions which helped to take some of the pressure off.

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My midwife wanted to check baby’s heartbeat and to see how far dilated I was. I told her I didn’t want to be checked yet, and she only had to see one contraction to know that I was quite actively in labor. I asked her if I could get in the tub, because I wasn’t sure if the water was deep enough yet. She told me to get in whenever I felt like it, which I did very promptly.

The water was noticeably more comfortable. I briefly considered asking someone to get my essential oils out, but I knew that at this point in labor they really would do nothing for pain relief, so I decided against it. Jake continued to rub my back through contractions from outside of the tub.

To Be Continued…

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