Sleeping like a baby

at least one of us is, because I'm definitely not getting any sleep!
Oh to be able to sleep just about anywhere and in any position!

Silas has completely captured my heart


My Natural Birth Story

I finally have a few spare minutes to write about my birth story before I forget it. It is hard to believe that one month ago Silas was born. Brett and I were talking about it last night, how we can't even imagine life without him now! We have been very blessed by his arrival into our family. I love him so much, and I am also amazed at how my love for Brett has grown even more watching him love and care for little Silas.

Brett and I were really committed to having a natural, medication-free birth. It is something that I really wanted because I felt that my body was created to do this. After we found out we were expecting, we began looking into natural birth resources and enrolled in the Bradley Method class. Even though I wanted a natural birth, I was still really anxious about it. I don't handle pain well, and as prepared for birth as you can be you will never really know what it feels like until you are there. Regardless of that, I'm one of the people who likes to be prepared and know what is expected. I knew that if I educated myself, Brett and I would be able to make the right decisions during labor if medication and intervention was necessary.

It all started on Wednesday February 9th. Brett was home sick with a sinus infection and fortunately I was home on a snow day. Looking back I realize what a special day that was for Brett and I. We were both home together, relaxing and enjoying one another before our lives would forever change. All day I felt great, everything was normal. I had been having a few random Braxton Hicks contractions every once in a while, but I was only 38 weeks so I didn't think much of it. Between about 8:00-9:00 that evening I started feeling, what I thought, was gas pressure and pain. Now I realize I was beginning to have contractions. Up until this point at my weekly doctor's appointments I have never had my cervix checked, but I was going to have it checked on Thursday at my next appointment. We went to bed about 9:30 that evening, but I didn't sleep well because of the pressure that I was feeling. I do remember at one point thinking, "Could these be contractions? No, it's too early." I slept off and on until about 2:00. Finally I got up and started walking around to alleviate some of the discomfort. I found it was really comfortable to sit in a chair and lean back. At 2:30 I noticed that I was bleeding, so I pulled out our Bradley book to review the information and decided that it was time to wake Brett up and call the doctor's office. The doctor on call told me to go ahead and head over to the hospital to be hooked up to a fetal monitor and be checked in to make sure the baby wasn't in any stress. Brett and I debated back and forth if we should even bother bringing our bags, which I just happened to pack that day thankfully! We finally decided it would be wise to bring our things just in case. I still didn't realize that I was in labor.

Around 4:00am we finally arrived at the labor and delivery ward of the hospital. The nurse checked us in, hooked me up to the fetal monitor and checked my cervix. The nurse told me that I was dilated to a 5 and was in fact in labor! By this time those "gas pains" that I was having were beginning to get pretty regular and coming every 5 minutes. So needless to say, they were not gas pains but in fact contractions. The nurse was pretty impressed that I was having them all night and not realizing what they were or experiencing severe pain. My thoughts are is that if you have never had a contraction, how are you supposed to know what they feel like? As I was being checked in, and having my IV line inserted, I became very nauseous for a few minutes. I think it was mainly because everything was setting in and I realized that everything we had been planning for was about to happen. I had a few moments where I didn't think I could do this, but lucky for me Brett was an amazing coach and comforted me.

From about 4:00-7:00 when I wasn't hooked up to the fetal monitor, I would be walking the halls. My contractions were starting to become a little more intense, but I still can not say that they were painful. It was much more comfortable for me to labor standing up and walking around, then laying in the bed on the monitor. I even tried to sit on a birthing ball, but that really wasn't very comfortable either. When I had to be monitored and in bed, it felt much better to lay on my side while I was having a contraction. Sometime between 7:00-8:00 I was checked again, I was dilated between a 6. By this time my mom had made it to the hospital.

My doctor, Dr. Newby, came in around 9am to check me. I was pretty lucky that she was at this location on this day. My doctor is apart of a pretty large practice that has two offices, one at this hospital and another office at a different hospital. We were scheduled to have an appointment with her later in the day at this location, so the chances of her being able to deliver my baby greatly increased.
We had a wonderful nurse to support us. When she came in at 7:00 she asked about our birth plan and we told her that we really wanted a natural, med-free birth. She was totally on board with that, and at no point did she ever offer medication to me during a contraction. She helped me get into positions that she thought might be more comfortable. I continued to walk the halls, but as I was having contractions that were becoming a bit more strong, I had to lean up against the wall. I know this sounds crazy, but through all my contractions I really can't say that I was in pain, rather I was just really uncomfortable and felt a lot of pressure.

At 10:00 my doctor came back in to check me and I was still at a 6. She asked if I wanted my water broken to get things moving along a little faster, but we said we said that we wanted to wait a little while longer. Brett called our Bradley instructor at this point for a little advice and she reminded him about the Natural alignment plateau where it appears that I am not progressing. She encouraged us to remain positive and hold off on breaking the bag of waters a little while longer. At 10:15 I was hooked up to the IV to have some fluids to avoid dehydration for about 20 minutes. Being hooked up to the IV is what we think really made things progress. I remember looking at the clock around 11:00 after the IV had been removed thinking that the contraction were getting more intense. It was too uncomfortable to walk the halls anymore. I tried to stand through a few contractions leaning up against the table, but the contractions became more frequent. I was in transitional labor and this is the point where I really began to feel some pain. It was best to sit on the side of the bed and lean over a chair during the contractions.
At 11:30 my nurse was getting ready to check me again because I was feeling a lot of pressure, almost like I was ready to push. As she was preparing to check me I was laying on my side, during the next contraction the pressure was very intense. My water broke. It felt like a balloon popped inside of me, something like I have never felt before. As soon as my water broke, things moved really quickly. Within the next two contractions the urge to push was undeniable. The nurse checked me, and sure enough I was crowning. I was told to breathe through the next contractions and try not to push as we waited for the room to be transformed and the doctor to arrive. The pressure to push was unbearable. Finally the doctor was in the room and on my next contraction Silas came out. I really don't think I had to push at all, he was ready to be born!

He was placed on my chest immediately after he was born. The next hour was a blur, but Silas got to remain on my chest for the whole time. He was born at 11:43am weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 18 inches long. I was able to have the natural birth that I wanted with no medication. I can honestly say it was only when I was in transitional labor was when I really felt great pain. In fact the most painful part of my labor was the afterbirth when the nurses and doctors were pressing on my stomach trying to get my uterus to contract and I had to have stitches for a minor tear.

My labor went better than I had ever planned or imagined. I know I am one of those lucky ones who had a fast and easy labor. The only thing I would change for next time would be to eat and take a shower before going to the hospital. I was so hungry all during my labor, but couldn't eat anything. For me going through the Bradley Method classes really helped me prepare for my labor, and even though this may sound crazy, I'm looking forward to my time around!

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