Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Owen's Birth Story

Owen's birth story really begins three days before he was born. As you may have read from previous posts, Owen decided to turn over and was in a footling breech position at 38 weeks. We were told that if he was still in this position when I went into labor, I would have to have a cesarean section. I was (understandably) upset by this news. But more frustrating was the fact that even if he cooperated, and turned back into a vertex position, we could not entirely rule out a c-section because he could just turn right back over. Basically, we had to know what position he was in while I was IN LABOR.

The midwives told me to come in at any point after I thought he may have turned. That was a little tricky because I didn't feel him flip in the first place. Nevertheless, two days later we went in and asked them to check, because we thought he was head down. They did an ultrasound and, lo and behold, he WAS head down. Yay! They decided to check the progress of my cervix, and were surprised to discover I was 3-4 cm dilated.

After discussing all the factors (we live an hour away, I have a history of quick deliveries, we have 7 other children who at that moment had a sitter, and the fact that I was 3-4 cm) we decided to see if we could get labor started. They gave me some homeopathic herbs (which are usually very mild) and in two hours I was at 6cm.

I was still in NO PAIN, although I was having contractions every 5 minutes or so. They gave me a room, which for some reason made it all more real to me. I remember thinking, "I'm not going home. We are having a baby!" Funny how thoughts come to you like that...

At this point I texted my friends to ask for prayer, called my mom and the kids, and Trever and I ate something. My sciatica was uncomfortable, but other than that I just felt tired. Eventually Jill (our midwife) asked me if I felt I could sleep through the contractions. I said yes, they didn't hurt very much and I was very tired. So, she suggested Trever and I lay down and try to get some rest. This was about midnight.

I slept for two and a half hours. At 2:30 a.m. I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. The contractions still did not hurt, but were keeping me awake. So I decided to get up. I sat in the rocking chair and Trever put on some praise and worship music. I sang. I rocked. I prayed. Trever read me scripture verses. It was a quiet, beautiful, peaceful time.

After awhile the contractions got harder. Jill suggested I move to the shower. That was a great idea. I stood in a nice, hot shower for almost a full hour. (Trever and I marveled that the water stayed hot that long and blessed God for the obviously monstrous sized water heater at the birthing center.) At this point, the contractions were becoming harder and rather uncomfortable. Trever was wonderful. He stayed with me through the entire labor, from beginning to end. When a contraction would come, he would put counter pressure on my sacrum in order to relieve the lower back pain. This helped so much I do not even have words to explain it. And his constant, kind, encouraging and supportive presence was a huge blessing and help.

Jill asked me to come out of the shower so she could check me, and said if Owen's head was down far enough, she would break my water in order to speed things along a little.

When she checked me I was at 7-8 and his head was down. So she broke my water. I had a lot of bloody show and felt a little shaky, but also excited we were getting close. I started feeling a little pressure, so Jill said she would fill up the jacuzzi tub. I stood in the shower while waiting for it to fill. (It is a very large tub, so it took about 10 minutes to fill.)

When I eased into the tub I knew I was in transition. I suddenly became very concentrated during each contraction, trying to relax and pray through each one. I wanted, more than anything, for everyone to be very quiet. I couldn't tolerate any distractions. I focused very hard on trusting God and letting go of any fear or unnecessary tension. The tub helped me relax beautifully between the contractions. Trever continued to put pressure on my sacrum, even though it meant that for each contraction he had to hang half of his body over the tub and put one entire arm under the water.

I think I was only in there about 30 minutes, and then I felt Owen coming.

Jill checked me in the tub, and agreed he was coming. She told me I needed to decide if I wanted a water birth or if I wanted to get out of the tub. I told her I wanted out. They helped me out of the tub and we moved over to the bed.

I should mention at this point that I also had a wonderful nurse. Heidi and Jill were the birth team I specifically asked God to give us for Owen's birth. Although I like all of the staff at the birthing center, Heidi and Jill were there at Aiden's delivery and I felt most comfortable with them.

So back to the bed- I laid down and realized right away I wasn't going to be comfortable in that position. This was the most intense part (of course) and I started to panic a little. It is fair to say this stage was pretty painful. I knew he was coming but I wanted to go home. LOL Trever, Jill and Heidi helped me get onto my hands and knees, because the pain in my leg and hips from my sciatic nerve was very painful at this point.

I stayed in that position through several contractions, for about 10 minutes I think. By then, my arms and legs were shaking from exhaustion and I told them I needed a different position. Jill recommended laying on my side. That sounded good to me.

After laying on my side, I knew his birth was eminent. I started feeling a strong urge to push. Jill told me to do whatever my body was telling me. Everyone seemed very encouraging and patient. I did not feel I needed to perform in any way. I pushed, small pushes, four or fives times. They did give me some pain medication at this point because my biggest complaint was still my leg and hips, when hurt SO bad at this point because of my sciatic nerve. I find it interesting that *that* seemed to hurt more than the contractions themselves.

At least three times I begged Trever to keep praying. He prayed, out loud, each time, asking God to give me strength, to help Owen be delivered soon, and safely, to be with us... At one point, in a moment I doubt I will ever forget, I looked up while he was praying to see both my midwife and my nurse with their heads bowed and eyes closed. I knew God was with us.

Then another push, and I felt him crowning. I remember looking over to Heidi, who was encouraging me to listen to Jill. Jill would tell me to push, then to slow down, so as not to birth him too quickly and tear. I felt an intense burning sensation, and Heidi told me the burn was good (although I distinctly remember thinking the burn was NOT good! lol)Two big pushes and his head was birthed, two more and his shoulders were born and then he slid right out. I could hear his strong, sweet little cry.

Jill wiped him off and placed him on my chest. Trever and I met our new son face-to-face. He was just perfect. I was head-over-heels in love. I think Trever was pretty fond of him too. ;o)

He weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long. Our biggest baby yet. He had a head full of peach fuzz. He is beautiful. I realize I am ridiculously biased, but he really is one of the top eight most gorgeous babies ever. ;o)

I thank God for the beauty of my birthing experience. I believe He was glorified and I am so grateful for every detail He ordained. I am also extraordinarily thankful for Trever, Jill and Heidi, who shared in this blessed event with me. It is definitely an experience I will treasure forever.

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