Monday, July 4, 2022

Roy's Birth Story

I really feel like this pregnancy overall was fantastic. Despite the week that I got COVID and my iron being really low that I had to get an infusion, I really had no hiccups. And I'm really grateful for that! I worked out every day till about the day I delivered and saw the chiropractor several times a month. All of these things helped facilitate a comfortable and mostly pain free pregnancy. Bodies are amazing and I'm so grateful for all the little things I did to help get Roy here. 

Roy has been a long time coming. I talked about the miracle of getting pregnant again here. So grateful he is here, safe and sound!

My biggest concern for the whole delivery situation was the timing of it all. I found out that all my family close by would be leaving for the family reunion in Utah the day after my due date. My hope was that Dallin could go to Mere's while I was in the hospital and that my mom would be here for a couple of days during recovery before she had to leave on her trip. But I mentally tried to prepare myself to go into labor with the possibility of calling a friend to watch Dallin or figuring something out with the ward to help out. I had a lot of tears about the whole thing. This wasn't how I wanted the situation to go. 

I know everything worked out because other people had more faith than me, ha! At my 38 week appointment, two days before Dallin's 4th birthday, I found out I was at a 4 cm dilated. I wasn't too shocked as that's how I was with Dallin. They said I could get my membranes stripped but I didn't feel right about the timing then. I really wasn't prepared. 

Then five days later for my 39 week appointment I apparently progressed to a five. That was a shock because I really didn't feel contractions, some Braxton hicks but that was it. And with Dallin it took me a long time to go from a 4 to a 5 laboring at home. I really wanted to get my membranes stripped that day but because the hospital was full they couldn't do it but she told me she would do an aggressive cervical check but not to tell the hospital that. I also got put on the elective induction list at the hospital. If they had room they would call me and I would need to be in there 2 hours after I got the call. I was glued to my phone waiting for a call but it never came. 

On Saturday the 25th it was a really beautiful sunny day. We went to the trail and I walked while Austin and Dallin rode their bikes. We got some spicy Indian food that night thinking maybe this will help. I found out the day before that my Mom decided to purchase a train ticket for Sunday night. We debated between Sunday night or Monday morning. I had my 40 week appointment scheduled for that Monday morning at 11:30 but felt like just in case to arrive Sunday night. I got some groceries on that Saturday as well just in case I was still pregnant by the next week. 

Sunday came and Alice-Anne texted me how things were going. I was near tears feeling really discouraged that no progress was being made. She sent me a link to learn more about the Miles circuit. Basically it's a lot of stretching positions to help induce labor on your own and get baby in optimal position. At my 38 week appointment I found out he was sunny side up, which Dallin was too until I pushed him out and then he turned. 

So after church I did the Miles circuit positions. They were actually really relaxing and one of the poses put me to sleep. That was a blessing in disguise because twelve hours later I would be up in the middle of the night working through contractions so any rest was so helpful. 

Mom's train got delayed that night by about an hour so we got her to the house around 10:15. It's amazing that the train stop is 4 mins away from our house. Makes it so convenient for trips and the time it takes to go from here to there is actually a little less than in the car (obviously without train delays). Mom told me "tonight's the night!" I was like 'yeah we'll see.' 

But sure enough around 3:20AM I moved my leg trying to get it in a better position over my pillow and it's like it instigated something in my body to start contracting. It's kind of hard to explain but I was uncomfortable and wanted to get on the birth ball or in a child's pose on my bed. All I knew is that I didn't want to lay back down. Nothing about that position was comfortable. Every once in a while I would ask Austin to push on my back. I really wish I had him watch the double hip squeeze. I tried to demonstrate it for him and I realize that he could have taken a minute to look it up on YouTube but oh well! We did the best we could. I ended up going into the shower around 6AM which felt so good for my back contractions. Dallin woke up early too and I felt bad but we all went down early for breakfast which woke up Mom. 

I ended up contracting mostly downstairs after that. I would lean my head up against the chair while Austin pushed on my back. I tried different positions but I ended up just finding some comfort on my hands and knees. Dallin was a bit hyper rolling around the floor. Grandma had to coach him that every time I'm in that position that it means mommy is in pain and he needs to be quiet to concentrate. He did pretty well after that. Amazingly Bryan got off work right around this morning time and picked up Dallin for us. 

Austin was starting to get a little nervous with how close the contractions were getting. I was like 'we're fine, we have plenty of time' but I could tell he had nervous energy and got our bags in the car for when the time was ready. They started getting a little more intense but I felt like I could still talk through in between. But we called the hospital anyway around 10:30AM and said we would be on our way. It took about 17 minutes to get there and the whole time I put on Bridget Teyler's fear cleansing birth meditation that lasted the whole ride. I had some intense contractions on the way and Mom was in the back seat rubbing my shoulder. I definitely teared up on the way. 

Even after we parked and walking to the hospital I had to stop on the way to go through a contraction. A nurse asked if I needed a wheelchair but I declined. I just wanted to get there fast. The hospital was really full but they got me into a room to check me which was around 11:15AM. The nurse was like maybe a 6 but more 5.5. I was so discouraged because I thought for sure they were going to send me home. I was kind of kicking myself coming to the hospital sooner but she said she would be back in a little bit to check on me again. I thought she would be back in 10-15 minutes but it ended up being more like an hour. 

Luckily I had progressed or at least she said my cervix was thinner and I had dilated a little more. Finally I was admitted and then I felt like things really picked up. I tried doing the ball on the bed or on the floor. It was not that comfortable so I tried to support my legs with a pillow. There was a big picture in the room that had a huge wave crash over these rocks. I thought that was fitting for a labor room where every contraction feels like a huge wave coming over you. 

The contractions started to become more intense that I had a hard time doing the destressor breath. I felt like the only thing that helped was a horse breath. One of the nurses came in and asked if I wanted to do some pain relief. She said 'are you wanting to do it natural because you're doing a great job managing it'. The thing is this was the first time I really experienced some intense active labor contractions. With Dallin I was laboring but I was not progressing and so they had to do Pitocin to get things going and I believe that's when the active contractions happened. So I really wasn't sure what I could handle but I felt like I was close to getting an epidural. I don't know why I felt like I needed to prove anything but I didn't know really what I was up against. 

The anesthesiologist did show up and they administered the epidural but I also needed some pain relief medication just to get that in because the contractions were so hard. Austin was sitting in front of me and putting pressure on my knees and a nurse had to hold onto my shoulders. I had to be super still for the epidural to go in but it was so hard not to move. 

I laid down but immediately knew that it was not taking all the edge off. I could still feel some on my right side so they had me move to the right side to tip gravity in its favor over there. It took the back pain away but the groin area I felt it all. They brought her back in but she said she couldn't do anything for the sacrum. I wanted to yell 'then why the heck do I have this epidural anyway!' I'm sure it took some edge off overall but I was still in so much pain. It was intense and now I had to be laboring on my back mostly. Before mom had to leave the room for the epidural procedure, every time I felt a contraction start to come on I would motion her to come close. She wrapped one arm around my neck and I held onto her with everything I had. This is when I became like a little girl and just cried and cried for Mom to take this away. It hurt so bad.

Finally what seemed only 10 minutes for me (it was probably longer but time was really irrelevant for me) the doctor came in to check on me. They waltz in with the nurse nonchalant while I was laboring-I'm sure they didn't think I was ready but sure enough I was ready to push. It made sense because not long after I moved my body to the right to help the epidural I started tooting and really feeling like I needed to push. 

While I was preparing for labor in my pregnancy all the experts say not to push on your back and hold your breath but that's how I was coached in there to do it. I expressed before hand to the doctor that I worried about pushing on my back because of tearing but she said she would coach me through when the time was to stop pushing even though I would feel the need to. It was hard to advocate for myself in the moment and since I went to a clinic with a collection of doctors and midwives I didn't have someone who was with me the whole time and knew what I wanted. And this was the first time that I saw this OB. Plus she was an OB where most of the midwives I saw had no problem having me push on my side. Oh well. Not my favorite experience but I was still able to push him out. 

I probably pushed for 30 mins or so (it took about 10 or so contractions). I forgot just how intense pushing is. I'm so grateful though that my labor was shorter so I had some energy to push at the end. They kept saying 'you're doing amazing and we're not just saying that'. Mom and Austin were on my right side encouraging me and counting and Mom had a cool cloth on my forehead while I did it too. At one point a nurse had to have Austin move to the side so she could help when the shoulder was coming out. I think they had to turn him a little. I'm not sure if that's when I tore or not. 

One of the nurses asked if I wanted to see him come out but I was so focused on pushing while trying to relax my bottom that I just kept my eyes closed the whole time. I did get to touch his head. One of the random things that I'll remember about this labor is how many comments from nurses I got about my Chaco tan line haha!

Finally the doctor said 'open your eyes' and I got to see him come out! Amazingly afterwards while I was holding him I felt really good. I definitely had adrenaline for a while, days even, but I physically felt good and better than I had the first time around. I found out from one of the nurses that the amount of blood loss that I had was one of the lowest she's ever seen. That was so good to hear as I thought for sure I would need another iron infusion. I wonder if all that raspberry leaf tea, dates helped with all of that active labor and low blood loss. 

And funny thing is Roy weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, the exact same as Dallin. And I believe their height at 20.5 inches is the same too. I guess my body is just really good at birthing 8 pound 10 oz babies!

I felt like this birth was the hardest thing I've ever done but I did it! 

As I write this he's been with us for a week now and we're all adjusting to life with two kids but I simply love it. Emotions are definitely all over the place too thanks to crazy hormones but I'm so grateful for so many things that have gone well, breastfeeding being one of them. I cannot do anything of this transition without Austin. He has been so good to be up at night with him to help wake him up for feedings and allowing me to take all the naps I need. 

We love our little Roy Lewis! So glad he's a part of our family. 

1 comment:

  1. Birth Stories are my favorite!!! I loved all the details and the ups and downs of it (they are always such unique experiences no matter how well you plan!) you did so amazing, Julia! You should be so proud of yourself and that beautiful baby you created! I loved hearing moms role in all of it too. I am happy I could play a teeny tiny part in that story. I don’t usually text while in church but just as RS was ending I had a pressing thought to check in with you. I am glad the miles circuit helped give you a nap if nothing else!! Again, you’re amazing!