Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sawyer's Natural Water Birth.

Background.
I cannot believe it's been over a year and a half since my last blog post. For Sawyer's pregnancy, rather than blog, I posted a weekly photo on Instagram with a little recap for the week. I wanted to do something a little different than with Oakley. 

This pregnancy was by far my toughest. Though, medically wise, I had no issues. I think it was a combination of all things. Having two other kids, more backaches, not being able to nap, weighing the most I've ever weighed and worst of all... ending the pregnancy in the awful Vegas summer heat. My due date was July 4th-- my absolute favorite holiday! 

I was also most nervous, because this time... we were perusing a natural birth. Natural birth is a scary enough thought, but especially when you know that the epidural you had with the last two took away a good amount of the pain. It's also not very helpful when everyone and their mom (literally) want to weigh in with their opinions, disapproval and lack of faith in you. HA!

I also switched Doctors this time. I knew that If I was going to do this, I NEEDED to have a doctor who backed me 100%. It was a really hard decision for me, because I really did love my last doctor, we got along really well and I didn't think there was better but I had mentioned wanting to go natural at my first appointment and he laughed at me and I knew I didn't have a choice.

I have so many friends who recommended Dr. Harter, some who had been to him, some who knew someone else who had.. and not one negative thing to say. He's known as "the midwife doctor", and he lives up to that name. I couldn't be happier with the change, and know it played a huge role in the outcome of my care both prenatal and during birth and postpartum!

Friday, June 12, 2015
I went to Doctor Harter for my 37 week appointment. At this appointment, he checked my cervix, I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. This wasn't uncommon for me. I told him that I was pretty sure I started losing my mucus plug the previous Sunday but was frustrated because it hadn't done anything significant yet, to which he replied "we can make it do something". I was SO excited that he was willing to strip my membranes. I left his office, had a few pretty painful contractions within the next few hours, then nothing at all. My sisters, mom and best friends all surprised me that night with a little baby shower complete with pedicures, dinner and frozen custard-- I was completely taken back. Love them!

Monday, June 15, 2015.
Tyler is off Sunday/Monday, but this particular Monday we knew it was close to baby's arrival and wanted to make it a fun-filled family day. Tyler and my cousin Jack went shooting first thing while I got ready at home. Tyler had been promising the boys he'd take them to Rocket Fizz, a soda/candy shop that he discovered a few days earlier so we headed over there once they got home. Ryder and Oakley had a blast picking out their own 4-packs of different bottled rootbeer and candy.
Driving up Eastern after, I saw a reflexology place and joked to Tyler that I wanted to go. We went into Home Depot and the more I walked, the more and more serious I got about going. We were meeting some friends to have Tacos afterwards but since we had a little time after Home Depot, he reluctantly drove me over and dropped me off while they waited in the truck. The massage felt so amazing. I did 30 minutes of feet only, and didn't even care if it put me into labor, my poor feet needed some relief!

Tyler was blowing up my phone the last 10 minutes because our friends had all gotten to the restaurant, so I walked over as soon as I was finished. Even though I had just had Taco y Taco Friday, I wanted it again. It was delicous, but shortly after dinner I started to feel pretty crappy. Not sick to my stomach, or anything in particular really.. Just not good and super hot and exhausted. We walked over to Nelson's for custard and it just got progressively worse until I finally told Tyler I needed to go home. We got home and got the kids in bed and then climbed into bed ourselves no later than 9. 

10:45pm
I woke up to a pretty intense contraction. I got up and went to the bathroom and tried to lay back down. I decided to start timing contractions, even though I was in complete denial and I didn't think they were painful enough to be "real". I had a text from April and started texting her to get my mind off of it. We were both pregnant so we always text randomly throughout the night when we can't sleep. In this case, she was such a huge help and support... way more than she probably knows. (thanks ape!) I woke Tyler up to let him know I was having contractions but I think he was in denial, too. I was so calm that he just went back to sleep after I told him. haha. I woke him up a few more times, and he just looked at me and went to sleep. Poor guy sleeps like a rock, I really don't think he had any idea that I even woke him up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The contractions were getting more intense and closer together but I had been told SO many times that it's not labor unless the contractions were consistently spaced out. They were jumping around from 5 to 8 to 7 minutes apart and I didn't think that was "consistent". I've since learned that I took that a little more to heart than I should have. Around 2 am Oakley woke up crying and came into our room. He only wanted me so I tried so hard to lay him back down but every time he'd start to fall back to sleep, I'd let out a quiet sigh or moan at the start of a contraction and he'd wake completely up. I know he knew something was going on. I finally had to tell Tyler he needed to deal with him and I spent the next hour or so focusing on relaxing on my hands and knees on the bedroom floor. At this point, I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I still hadn't felt that unbearable pain that I was so certain was coming... so I kept hanging out. 

Before I knew it, my contractions were no more than 3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each time. I told Tyler he needed to get in the shower RIGHT NOW. I'm not sure why I was so concerned about this, but he stunk and I didn't want him near me. He took a shower... a really freaking long shower, you know, cause he wasn't in labor. I texted my brother and asked him to come over with the boys. He didn't respond. I called him but he didn't answer. I called him immediately after a contraction and by the time his voicemail picked up, I was already having another. I started to panic a little and get all of my bathroom stuff shoved in a bag and yelled at Tyler to "get out of the freaking shower". Then got a text from Kyle saying he was on his way. Huge relief. He got to my house and I was wearing nothing but yoga pants and a bra. I didn't care. I was warned that around transition I'd lose all modesty and at this point I would need to get to the hospital, if I wasn't there already. They were right. I could've been completely naked and had zero cares.

I had to reprint out my birth plan because my signed birth plan from the Dr. was in my van that we had conveniently dropped off at the dealership the morning before. I was freaking out about this tiny detail. My brother looked at me like I was a nut case trying to find the computer and charger so I could print it out.. But I'm SO glad I had it. As soon as we printed it out, we headed out. In Tyler's truck, picture a 1997 Ford f-250, lifted diesel with horrible (or no) suspension. Ugh. It's hard enough to get into that thing while pregnant.. doing it while in labor was a huge feat!

The spaghetti bowl was by far the worst part of the drive. I had to turn around in the seat and hug it. I was NOT calm on this car ride and I'm pretty sure I swore a few times. I kept thinking "I'm gonna have a baby in his stupid truck." It was the absolute worst half hour of my life. We got to the hospital around 4:10 and Tyler dropped me off at the ER doors while he went to park. I sat outside on the bench and had at least 3 contractions in the short time while I waited for him. We walked in and told them why we were here and the called up to L&D. He asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I told him I'd rather walk... Sitting anymore sounded miserable. Except, I made it about 3 steps before another contraction hit, I bent over and couldn't move and he grabbed the wheelchair anyway. I literally could not walk. 

He got me up there quickly and the nurse (Karen) took me straight back to triage. She said she was going to check me then take me to a room, but I needed to pee first. I went into the bathroom, and for some reason I locked the door. I had 3-4 contractions in there because one would start as I was trying to get up and I'd sit back down. I heard Tyler try to come in but I couldn't unlock the door. Once I could, I headed out and she checked my cervix. I was at a 9. She immediately got on the phone with my doctor and told him she had me there and I was at a 9 with a bulging bag of water. (basically meaning my bag of water was coming out of me). 

She asked if I had a birth plan, and Tyler handed it to her. Then she asked what I needed and I said "the tub AS SOON AS POSSIBLE". She helped me get my sports bra and gown on. She was so patient in helping me! I had to bend over the bed a few times and she immediately jumped in and applied pressure points to my back and talked me through it. She was like having a doula and nurse in one! When I could finally sit, she wheeled me over to the birth room. I had to have a mandatory 20 minutes of fetal monitoring before I could get in the tub so she started that immediately. Dr. Harter walked in shortly after, and our birth photographer, Sarah got there around the same time. 

The nurse had Tyler hooking up the tub and started to fill it as I was being monitored. She was seriously the best nurse on earth. She was so encouraging and kept saying things like "only 2 more contractions and you'll be in the tub", it seemed so much better than "6 more minutes" or whatever. I was still amazed that at this point I could still, smile, joke and talk in between contractions. It was then that I realized we hadn't told anyone, so I had Tyler text our moms. Right when he was done, she said I was done with monitoring and I feel like I ripped the monitors off and ran for that tub! (though I'm sure I didn't come close to running). Tyler was right there with me the whole time, kneeling next to the tub. I remember him saying things, but not really remembering what he said. Just the overwhelming relief to have him present and being such a huge support. Throughout this process, he believed in me a whole lot more than I believed in myself most days. He was the best coach in the world, and I know a huge part of why I could do this was because of that!

The tub was like magic. It was instant relief. I was kind of in a frog position because I wanted my belly in the water but it wasn't done filling up. I remember thinking how much I wish I had been in that water about an hour earlier! Doctor Harter was sitting at the other side of the room just letting me do my thing and calmly and quietly said to push whenever I felt the urge. I was shocked at first. I put in my birth plan that I didn't wanted coached pushing or anyone counting as I pushed, but it was still such a huge difference than my last two and it was shocking to me that he knew I was capable of doing this on my own, and let me.

I started to push a tiny bit. I was a little unsure and scared that I shouldn't be pushing yet. THEN my water broke. It was insane. Because of the position I was in, I felt and heard his head just drop into my pelvis and as soon as that happened... I had to get that baby out, now! I started pushing like my life depended on it. Slowly the nurse and my doctor headed over to assist. I had asked my doctor to support me to prevent the awful tearing I had with the last two, and he did just that. I was able to push constantly, breathe then go right back to it because there was zero breaks between contractions. I pushed for about 10 minutes max and heard everyone start freaking out because his head was out, like I didn't feel it or something... The nurse and Harter helped me sit back to deliver his body and within seconds, I caught and pulled my vernix covered, baby boy right to my chest at 5:30 am. Seriously amazing. 

We chose to do delayed cord clamping, so they did everything for the baby while I was holding him. They'd come over every couple minutes to check his temps, pour water over him and just make sure he was breathing well and staying warm enough. It was a good 15-20 min before his cord stopped pulsing and Tyler got to cut it. I loved that no one could take him from me during that time. It was such an awesome bonding time!

The baby nurse took him over to do his weight and exam, 8 pounds, 1 oz, 19 inches. They helped me get out of the tub and onto a bed. I delivered the placenta then they made sure everything was ok with me. I had minimal, superficial tearing that I could've left alone if I wanted. I had such severe tearing with my last two, and the main reason I pursued natural birth this time. I was so surprised and excited about this news. I went with my doctor's suggestion of a few stitches and called it a day. Believe it or not, this was the worst part of the whole thing, but I was still just so excited to have no degree of tearing! 

Before I knew it, they brought Sawyer over to me! Our photographer took a few family pictures of us, and made sure to get one of Dr. Harter and our amazing nurse with the baby before everyone headed out. I couldn't believe how alert Sawyer was. He nursed with no problems and was just the most content baby I've ever seen. He was/is absolutely perfect! 

This experience has been the most amazing thing in the world. It couldn't have been more textbook perfect. Believe me when I say, that the 6 hours of labor and birth was cake compared to my last two births, where I received pitocin, an epidural, vacuum extraction etc etc. The "pain relief" was short lived in those cases. In this, the endorphins and hormones were 100 times more effective. Our bodies are seriously amazing and resilient. There was never a time where I thought I couldn't do it, or thought it was too painful to handle. The contractions were such a weird sensation and were SO intense, but they were not painful. This experience helped me grow so much as a person. I fought so hard to do this, I set my mind to it, took the classes, did what I was told, had a desire to prove everyone wrong (if we're being honest) and accomplished it. I'm proud of myself. It's brought Tyler and I closer together, and shown me how much that man loves me. He was my biggest advocate, and still tells everyone how awesome he thinks I did, or how proud he is that I did it. He's my rock. If I were to do it again, I'd choose this way, every time, no questions asked and so wish I'd known what I do now, with the first!

Now taking bets for Willard baby #4 ;). Just kidding. But seriously.


His story in pictures:
Captured by: Sarah Goodsell Photography 












































{thank you, Sarah!}





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