Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The E True Hollywood Birth Story

Well here goes. I know you're all anxiously waiting to hear every last detail, right? No but for real. I know this will probably bore most of you but I need it for my own personal account so just pretend to be entertained.
Thanks.
So Friday morning, October 16th, we met up with Candace on our drive out to Wilmington and arrived bright and early at New Hanover Medical Center at about 7:45.
My Lover pranced inside the building all cheerful in his bright orange GBS shirt Valinda made for him. He couldn't WAIT to get that thing on.
Not really.
He was so annoyed about having to wear that thing, you have no idea. He looks like he's having fun with the whole joke, but he's not. Ask Candace...he was super annoyed.
Whatever.
So was I when they gave me that orange card.
Get over it.
He does look mighty cute in it though. Orange works for him.
When I got to my room I met my SAVING GRACE...
Nurse Gail.
She was BEYOND amazing.
Here's the deal,
I read that entire Bradley Method book, cover to cover. I gagged at the pictures I was forced to look at, but I read it. ALL of it. I wanted to be prepared because BEFORE I read it, I doubted myself and this whole "do it natural" plan I had schemed up.
After I read the BULK of the book, I was pumped.
NO, my Lover wouldn't be my coach, he's just not like that. And that's OKAY. I had Candace if I needed someone. I was super psyched that I could handle it...NO PROBLEM.
UNTIL...
I read the back portion of the book.
If you've never read it, lemme sum it up for you quickly.
It lists reasons that you may not be able to follow through with your natural plan.
C-Sections
Medical Emergencies
and then...
INDUCTIONS.
It basically says:
"If you're gonna be induced with pitocin, you gotta be Shi**in yourself if you think you're gonna be able to do this crap naturally. Pitocin jacks with your contractions, it gives you no breaks in between, no breathers, no labor "waves" but more like labor hurricanes.
Soooo, don't even try. Thanks! Bye now."
Needless to say,
I
WAS
DEVASTATED.
All my hopes went down the drain and I wallowed in my misery for days.
UNTIL
I got a call from my Kempy. My sweet Kempylulu :)
She told me something that changed my thinking back to positive.
She said that when she was going to have her natural labor, she talked to her doctor about how she wanted it to go. He told her that she needed to imagine herself 6 months after having the baby and running into a good friend who asked about how the birth went. He told her to imagine herself telling her friend EXACTLY how she wanted to see it go. Every detail. Then he said, I want to make that happen for you and I WILL as long as you let me know what YOU want.
After hearing that I thought to myself,
This is my last birth.
My last pregnancy.
My last chance to experience what labor is REALLY like.
What labor was like for my mom, my grandma, my great grandma and generations long long ago. I knew that if I couldn't say I did it naturally 6 months after this birth, I'd be disappointed in myself for ever. So I decided THEN. I WILL do this naturally. Regardless of my roadblocks, I WILL. I mean...I can't DIE from it.
SOOOOO....
I prayed.
A LOT.
I prayed and prayed for a supportive team to be with me during my labor and delivery. I prayed for good nurses who would want to help see my goals become reality just as much as I wanted them.
And guess what?
My prayers were answered :)
The first thing Nurse Gail asked me when I came in the room was what kind of labor I wanted to have. Pain meds? No pain meds?
I told her everything.
I told her my reasons for why I was doing this.
I told her my fears.
My concerns.
And she says to me...
Well...
I wanna help you do this! You don't have to be superwoman to have a natural birth, you can do this!
She told me she'd start the pitocin really low and only bump it up every 30 minutes until I reached a point where my labor could go on it's own. She said she'd do her best to make the pitocin mimic what an actual labor would be, not blast me full so I'd turn into the excorcist.
And at that moment, I fell in love with Nurse Gail :)
And so...
It began.
At about 10:00 am, I was hooked up and being pumped with pitocin.

The contractions didn't start for awhile. She pumped it up several times before I started to feel anything at all. I was busy texting and facebooking for some time before I started to feel even a tinge of cramping. I don't remember what time exactly they broke my water, but I'm thinking it was a couple hours after they started the Pit. Contractions didn't pick up TOO quickly after that like I thought they would, but they did start to become pretty annoying. I would lay with my head in the bed trying to relax and follow the Bradley Method like it taught...relaxing my entire body, trying to visualize the contractions and see them as discomfort...not pain.
Ugh...it wasn't fun.

My Lover was super supportive during the whole thing. He looked like this for most of the beginning though...
Eyes glued to the TV, drinking his Red Bull.
Candace was a dream because with all the fluids I was getting through my IV, I had to go pee about every 20-30 minutes. That's the bad part about natural birth...no catheter. I had looked forward to that catheter for 9 months. I know that sounds terrible, but I did. Ask my Lover. I hate getting up to go pee and unfortunately even during BAAD contractions...I still had to.
Blah.
Candace would sweetly unplug all my devices and unhook me from the bed, roll my IV over to the bathroom as she helped cover my bum from the world so I could go potty 5000 MILLION times that morning and afternoon.
Candace thought up the idea of having a birthing ball come in for me to use and it was such a good idea! I sat on the ball and swayed and bounced softly for about an hour or so. It was so relaxing and helped the contractions feel more weightless.


By about 3pm I was really in a lot of pain. I was off the ball at this point covered in warm blankets that Gail kept bringing in straight from the oven. I covered myself completely in them and tried to focus. I hung on for dear life trying to make it through each contractions, listening to Austin and Candace laugh and talk to try to keep my mind off the pain. As much as I wanted to know how far along I was, I didn't. I didn't want to be disappointed that I had only reached a 2 or 3 or 4 when I felt like I was at a 6 or 8. Despite my fear to ask, I called for Gail to check me. She had mentioned to Candace that she wouldn't check me during the entire thing unless I had asked...and now, I was asking. I had to know. Where was I? How much longer would I need to take this?

Gail came in around 4pm and did the check and to my GREAT dismay...
I was only a freakin FOUR.
WTC?
At that point I SERIOUSLY started to doubt my strength in handling the rest of this labor. I think Gail could tell from my face that I was frustrated so she quickly said,
"Just remember that the last half won't go near as slow as the first half, you can do this!"
What a wonderful woman right? Instead of saying...oh, well...do you want drugs now? Nope. She stood by me and helped me focus on my goal even when she could see me falling off the band wagon.
At this point, Candace decided she was going to get something to eat. She assumed she'd be there for several more hours since I was only a four and I encouraged her to go. I knew she was hungry and needed a break. She had planned to just get something downstairs so it'd be quick anyway.
Once she left the room...
I rolled over.
(Critical moment although at the time I had no clue what I had started by doing this).
And then...the world started to shake.
OH
MY
GOSH.
Immediately, my contractions turned from tolerable intense pain to...
OH MY FREAKIN GOSH I'M GONNA DIE, WHAT THE CRAP WAS I THINKING??!?!?!
I hung on to the side of the bed, resting my head on the rail as I "hummed" my way through each contraction which never seemed to end. It was like as soon as one started and stopped, another one was right behind it to kick my butt. I could barely catch my breath. That whole Bradley Method crap went out the window because at that point there was NO WAY IN HELL I could "relax my entire body". YEA FREAKIN RIGHT!
OVER and OVER they persisted which seemed like FOREVER.
My Lover was AMAZING at this point. When I'm in pain, I don't like to be touched or patted or rubbed or anything like that, I just want to be left alone and he stood by my bed in total silence (probably in utter fear by the way I was acting and humming) and left me ALONE. I think I held his hand maybe a few times but that's all I wanted and he knew that, without me telling him.

THEN,
The contractions changed. With the tail end of each one I felt the sensation to push. It was awesome. I mean, it didn't FEEL awesome, but it was awesome to see and experience how nature works. How your body naturally KNOWS what to do without anyone telling it. It was like I wasn't in control of my body anymore and it was in control of the labor. AMAZING. I'm getting teary just typing this because I've never experienced anything that amazing before. Right after my first push I looked up at Austin and told him to get Gail and tell her I needed to push, I was ready. Oblivious as I was, she was already in the room and had been for some time, just watching my contractions. She knew what was going on and she was already ready. They called the doctor at that point and started to roll me on to my back as they hoisted my legs up. I can't tell you how painful that was. I didn't wanna move at all, it hurt so bad. I wanted to stay balled up on my side. I looked at My Lover and told him to call Candace...this was it! Apparently he had already texted her but she didn't see the text because she was on the phone downstairs.
No Candace in sight and this was her only chance, I wasn't definitely wasn't gonna hold on!

Dr. Vogel came in as they finally uncurled my tense and shaking body to get my legs up and after the first BIG push, I started freaking out. I started saying I couldn't do this, I didn't wanna do this anymore, take it out of me!!!!! Honestly the whole room is a blur to me when I try to think back at how it all went. That is my ONE regret is that I think my eyes were closed during most of the end and I wish I had payed more attention to what was going on so I could of been more aware when August arrived.

My second push did it for me as I hummed through it and the nurse on my left said, "JESSICA, GRUNT!"...so I did and guess what?


Just 15 minutes after I had been checked as a 4,
This little guy just popped right out!
It was freaking AWESOME.
I can't even begin to describe the feeling of your baby leaving your belly and entering the world. It's like a big relief and you lose your breath as he comes out and your stomach literally collapses. It was like I could feel each little limb and shoulder and elbow slide right out of me. Something I'll NEVER be able to experience again. The pain immediately left my body as he came out and they laid his slippery little self on my chest, crying...both of us.
I had done it! I met my goal!



I'm not really sure at what point Candace came running in the room because like I said, it was all such a blur to me, but she got there in time to get some pretty cute pics of my little guy which I'll treasure for eternity and that means the world to me!
The placenta delivered smoothly and I didn't feel a thing with that.
I ended up tearing as usual with a 2nd degree whopper that required almost 10 stitches...OUCH. I didn't feel him stitching me up until about the last 3 or 4 that hurt pretty bad.
Recovery was super cool because I got up to go to the bathroom just a half hour after delivery!
That first night I was alone because my Lover had to go be with the kids and I sent my August guy to the nursery so I could catch up on some rest. Unfortunately, the whole night all I could think about was him so I didn't sleep TOO great and plus I had some super bad post labor cramping that needed extra attention.
Yea yea yea...so I did a natural birth and the post labor cramping was the thing that killed me. HEY, I said I wanted to do it natural once...not TWICE. Once I realized those Vicodin weren't taking care of the pain I didn't think twice about the morphine pill they gave me. It knocked me out for the rest of the night and I was feelin MY-T-FINE the next day :) Ready to love all over my newest Lowe man child!
And the rest is history!
Was it worth it?
YES. A MILLION times YES. I can never replace that moment no matter how hard I try. It will forever be such a treasure to me to know that I experienced natural childbirth. To know how it used to be done by ALL women. To know what every pain and sensation feels like. Nature is UHH-MAY-ZING.
Would I do it again?
Well first of all, NO because I'm not having any more babes...
BUT...if I WERE going to have more kids
(which I'm not because My Lover just got his referral to the urologist today!! woo hoo!!)
the answer would be...
HECK NO!
That freakin HURT!

33 comments:

Sara said...

Congrats brave woman you did an awesome job!!!!

Valinda said...

WaHoo! Great story! It made me sad I never got to do all that. And now that I and the rest of the world have seen Austin in his RAD shirt I will post August's outfit tomorrow.

The Nugen's said...

Ok, make me cry why don't ya! I am so proud of you. I would love to feel all those things, but I am not crazy and am taking all the drugs they will give me! But I feel liked I lived the experience through you...I am hurting already! Can't wait to see all your pictures from the day and from your recent photo shoot. Thank you for sharing your story!

Serin said...

I'm a new stalker and couldn't resist giving a you a huge congratulations on your new son and for your natural birth!

Sarah said...

awesome story! You are amazing!

Caroline said...

You really are a Superstar!

Lydianne said...

I loved reading your birth story. It made me tear up. You are awesome and and August is a cutie!

Carolina said...

this one is gonna get A LOTTA comments!

You're amazing Jessica! Sooo proud of you! Loved your story, the pics, the courage, all of it!

August...is a QT pie!! That full head of dark hair!

Congrats!!

Kris said...

Wow. I'm so proud of you.

Jessica said...

Great story, thanks for sharing! It was really interesting to me to hear someone else's experience with going natural being induced. It makes me wonder if it's really that different than naturally progressing. I always hoped the Bradley book exagerated the difference in pitocin induced labor or natural. Anyway, way to go! I liked how you described the euphoria of feeling the birth moment...you did a great job I think of explaining an indescribable feeling.

The Toland's said...

Wonderful story! You look extremely HOT in these pictures (I mean sexy HOT). I love the hair (you really did wear the headband :) tear(of joy)!

dena said...

yeah for hums and grunts!! you did it!!!

Katie said...

Haha, this is ALL good to know before I try to do this naturally :)

Gabby said...

Jessica congratulations. What a sweet baby boy. I'm so happy that you were able to have this experience. It brings tears to my eyes to read your story. So proud of you. Way to go! Here's an idea for a post - Would Lover be willing to give his perspective of the whole experience? I'd be interested in reading that.

andi said...

Whoa, I am impressed all over again. (Firstly, and most importantly that you did it that way and it was awesome for you!; and secondly that you have now had 4 kids.) Congrats again!!

David and Teresa said...

Great story. Remember you love pain so you should have been in heaven during the whole process. Love Dad
P.S. Have Jakob or Austin leave me a comment on the football video.

Le said...

I like reading birth stories so I'm glad you posted this. And the orange shirt is great, must be a VERY talented person who made that.

And even if you think you don't like being touched when you are in pain letting people try comfort measures might help. Things like counter pressure and the double hip squeeze physiologically help reduce the "discomfort" of contractions and most people don't even realize they are being touched as the person helping starts at the very start of the contraction and although it is a constant pressure it lessens the discomfort of the contraction most moms notice that and not that they are being touched...

Lindsay said...

AWE-SOME. man, sister.. you are seriously making me wanna try this.... i'm feelin' pretty motivated to do it natural next time... or the last time. man... i can't believe it. that really was a GREAT story. you're a good story teller.

Lindsay said...

ps... you need to add august to your list of children on the side. :)

Amanda said...

You crack me up! Thanks for sharing:) Of course I could think of a very long comment with about 50 points to it.....but since you are having no more kiddos...there's no point! And I'll just say that t-shirt really is hilarious! I can't believe Austin wore it!!!!

Amanda said...

oh..and I hate to be touched when in pain also:) Totally understand. No one touched during my labors:)

Giaellis2 said...

WOW! Makes me wanna have another JUST so I can have this experience too! I was LOL at Lover in his tee shirt! I was ROFLOL at you humming and him standing there quietly! HA! You looke BEAUTIFUL, by the way and I LOVE the pic Candace took of you holding the iphone with your head in the pillow! Very YOU!!! Congrats again you ROCKSTAR on one freakin ADORABLE little boy!!!

Paige said...

That's awesome, Jessica. Childbirth is SO amazing and you described it PERFECTLY. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Bonnie said...

I love birth stories, ALL birth stories. But they are especially good when you know the mama. I'm glad that you had an awesome experience, now you can quit complaining about your pregnancy ;-)

I can't wait to hear you start complaining about your life with 5 babies!

David and Teresa said...

Loved that birthing story and yes, that is how it used to be for all of us women. I am proud of you for meeting your goal, Baby. I knew you could do this and now you have.

Love you so much
Mutha

***** said...

I am so happy with you and your happiness. I loved the exiting feeling of the baby too...soo cool. It's a detail that is often unsaid but one of the favorite parts of the whole process. Thank you for sharing your story. It brought back memories. Candace did a fantastic job of capturing some great moments too! You looked like a superstar! xoxo -- SS

Riece said...

Thanks for all the details! I really was dying to hear about how it went, with you going natural and all! I'd like to try that someday. It sounds scary and awesome. Eek!

He's adorable, well done!

kimmychan1967 said...

haha...heck no, luv the ending, the beginning and everything in between. i had 3 natural births and finally gave in with jack to the meds. my last was awesome in that it was the first time i was in no pain and actually enjoyed the process. fun to hear everyones birth stories. augusts is amazing!!!

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CK said...

Awesome!!!! Congrats! I always say I'll never have a natural birth again right after I have a baby. And then I do every time. So... a whole year later after the sting of the pain is gone, do you think you would do a natural birth again (assuming you could get pregnant again)? Or is your mind still set against it??? ;)

Asheya said...

I cam across your blog because I am looking for images to use for a birth website I am developing. What a beautiful birth story! I have a son about the same age, born July 2009, also my last baby :) I am wondering if it would be possible to get permission to use your pitocin photo for our new social bookmarking childbirth website. The purpose of the website is to help women find high quality information about childbirth online, and to help women evaluate the quality of information they find, to enable informed decision making. I would use your photo for our 'induction' category. You can email me at asheyahennessey@gmail.com . Thanks! Asheya Hennessey, Project Director, Dr. Michael Klein, Child and Family Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada.

Mish Lovin' Life said...

Aww I remember this story :) happy birthday little one! 3 already?! Wowza

Xo

Michelle