Friday, Oct. 16th
Went to the hospital for another Non-Stress Test and check of my blood pressure. BP was still high, fetal heart tracing looked great. Scheduled an induction for Tuesday, Oct. 20th. Checked my dilation, and I was still only at 1cm and Josh’s head was -2, still floating. Went home to stay on bed rest. I have to say, bed rest SOUNDS really great for someone like me who could read books all day anyways, but bed rest with a 4-year-old and 2-year-old (even as awesome as mine are) is REALLY hard! My friend Raylene came over in the afternoon and went to the store for me, got the kids dinner and PJ’d and cleaned my kitchen. SUCH a blessing!!!!
In bed that night, started feeling contractions. They lasted 1-2 minutes long, but were 15-20 minutes apart. Intense, but this is usually how I labor. I told Anthony when he woke up, but told him to go to work.
Saturday, Oct. 17th
Contractions continued all day long, but stayed more than 10 minutes apart. It was frustrating, knowing I needed to stay laying down because of my high blood pressure, but knowing that I could really get labor in gear if I was able to walk around and “do stuff”. I called my mom and told her I was in early labor and that maybe she should plan on coming earlier Monday morning instead of Monday night. She felt like it would be better to come Sunday night, she just “had a feeling”. My intuitive mother! =)
In the afternoon, Emilie, a friend from school, came and took a stir-crazy Jonathan and Hannah on a walk down to the park. It was so great to have her come and get them… they played for almost 2 hours and came home nice and tired! By the time we went to bed, my contractions were 10 minutes apart. Still no worries, since this is pretty typical for my labors.
Sunday, Oct. 18th
Anthony took the kids to church, and then dropped them off with his mom on his way out to work. I was pretty tired and cranky from not sleeping very well. I was also worried. We had gone to the hospital so many times on false alarms, I didn’t want to “cry wolf” again, BUT we also had Hannah, our last baby, at home because I didn’t think I was far enough into labor yet. So I was stressed about making the right decision. I knew the induction was going to happen on Tuesday, but I really wanted to avoid that, if possible (I’d had pitocin with Jonathan and it was rather hellish). Chloe Evers’ mom came over and swept and mopped my house for me… SO amazing!!! I barely know her, and she called and asked if I needed help cleaning my house… I’m so blessed! After she left, things got really interesting, and my contractions were about 7 minutes apart and REALLY intense. I called Anthony, my mom and finally my midwife. Between contractions, I was happily listening to “Twilight” on iTunes… just so you know what a die-hard Twi-mom I am! =P
Anthony came home at about 6pm and off we went to the hospital. We stopped at Carl’s Jr. on the way down, since Anthony hadn’t eaten dinner yet. He ordered his burger with onions (boo! hiss!), the selfish man. We saw Carolyn Watson ordering in front of us, and Anthony shouted that we were going to the hospital to have a baby. Her incredulous reaction cracked us up!
Our friend and doula, Amy Boggs, was sadly out of town, and I knew my mom was still a few hours away, so we called Julie Marshall, who had been on stand-by as our baby sitter. But since the kids were with Anthony’s parents, and Julie and I have attended births together before, I asked if she could be with us, at least until my mom got there. God is so cool how he arranges things, and Julie just happened to already be down in SLO, and met us at French Hospital. Her sweet kids blessed us before we checked in: Ean asked to pray over me and had the sweetest blessings to speak over me. When he said “amen”, I saw that his twin, Ali, was crying. I asked her if it was OK if I borrowed her mommy until mine was able to be there, and she said “yeah, I’m just so happy that Jesus is giving you another baby”. =D
We checked in, and I was dilated to 3cms and 50% effaced. The hospital was pretty full, so we didn’t get a tub room, but we had a giant bathroom with a nice shower. After all the normal checking-in routines, I got back into my “labor mode” and spent the night moving from bed to rocking chair to shower and back.
Anthony, Julie and my mom rotated sleeping and supporting me. Early in the morning, all three of them were asleep, and I actually enjoyed laboring in the dark on my own… this was a work that only I could do. I sang in the shower
“Jesus walked this lonesome valley
He had to walk it by himself
Oh nobody else could walk it for him
He had to walk it by himself”
Working with my body felt so right, and having people that I loved close around me (even if they were sleeping) was just wonderful.
Monday, Oct. 19th
Julie had to leave early in the morning to check on her family, and then she and her sister Katie Reynoso came back to help support us and take pictures. I had the honor of working with Julie during Katie’s last birth, so it was fun to have them able to work with me during my labor!
By 9:30, Lisa, our midwife, came in and I asked her to break my water so we could get to work. I’d had breakfast (not the greatest) was feeling full of energy and ready to see my baby. I was 5cms and 75% effaced when she did the AROM. After some monitoring to make sure Joshua was OK with having his little bubble world drained, Anthony and I got into the shower together. FINALLY labor started feeling strong. I could feel Josh’s head pushing downward and my body powerfully responded with each contraction. Being in the shower with my sweet husband was great, he was able to support me, give me counter-pressure where I needed and encourage me. And for once, he wasn’t a hot water hog in the shower! =D We stayed in the shower for about 30 minutes when my legs started shaking, and I was ready to get out. Lisa checked me again and I was fully effaced and 7cms already.
I squatted through a few contractions while leaning back into Anthony’s arms and the nurse monitored Joshua with the Doppler. After a few contractions, she very calmly but firmly told me and Anthony that I had to get back in the bed NOW and lay on my side. Joshua’s heart rates had begun to drop, a sign of fetal distress. I moved as quickly as I could onto my side and his heart rate recovered, but from that point on, his heartbeat only stayed in the OK range if I was laying in bed. This was really difficult for me, because that was how Jonathan’s birth had gone, with me being imprisoned in bed and feeling so helpless. Even though I know it’s better for the baby, my hips and pelvis had much less mobility and it makes contractions so much more painful when you can’t move your body during a contraction. However, I was much more focused on the process and not the pain and I felt so supported by the people around me. I knew that I could do it, and I was really close to the end.
Lisa ordered an amnio-infusion, a procedure that pumped liquid back into my uterus, with the goal that it will lessen the baby’s distress by cushioning and allowing the baby to rotate better. After an hour or so of this, I asked if she would check me again. I was at 9.5cm, and I was feeling very DONE, so I asked her to stretch me out to 10. If you think contractions hurt, having your cervix manually stretched is a motherfricker (pardon me). As soon as I was stretched out, I had to push really hard to get his head down far enough to maintain the 10 cms and Lisa announced that she could see lots of black hair!
At this point, I was totally expecting to FEEL the urge to push, but no such feeling came. Because of the heart rates and everything, it was important to get him out soon, but it was hard because I didn’t feel the need to push. With Hannah, I couldn’t have stopped pushing if I wanted to, my body totally took over. This time, Anthony had to coach me through the pushing phase. This was actually really nice. I had said that I didn’t want people yelling at me to push or counting really loud. I always thought that was annoying. So Anthony stayed with me, holding my head and counting quietly and and encouraging me through each contraction. The Twin Doulas, Julie and Katie, helped hold up my legs and my mom spoke encouragements from behind the midwife and nurse.
As I pushed Joshua down, my body finally started to take over. Once I could touch his fuzzy little head for myself, I just thought “this is it! here we go!” and pushed with all my might. I have to say, YES, crowning is a STRONG feeling, but it is not a painful feeling… it’s overwhelming fullness, to the point that you are going to explode with energy… and then I did! I pushed his head out, and then felt another contraction rise up right away, like how waves double up in a storm surge. It really felt like all the power in the universe was packed inside my body and I yelled with the effort and pushed Joshua’s entire little body out at once!
Julie and Katie can probably tell it better, since I couldn’t see, but the reason why I didn’t have the urge to push is because Joshua was positioned occiput transverse (OT), meaning that instead of being face
up or face down, he was face sideways, looking at my right thigh as he came out. His head wasn’t positioned in such a way that would encourage my cervix open. That’s why it had taken so long to dilate and why I didn’t feel the “urge” until the end. I guess Katie had to sorta help catch as he came out because I had pushed so forcefully he kinda flew out!
They put him right up on my belly and Anthony cried into my hair as I helped rub Joshua down and watched him pink up. He looked directly up into my eyes and I fell in love. Then he pooped on me. =)
Joshua Elias Rôhan Indie
7lbs. 5oz. 20 3/4 inches