Thursday, January 29, 2015

Haven's Birth story | It's about time!

I kept postponing writing Haven's birth story and before I knew it she was one! Unbelievable. So let's go back and time and revisit the birth of our sweet Haven. First, I honestly thought I would have a baby around Thanksgiving. According to my pregnancy history I would not go past 38 weeks. This was reaffirmed many times by my midwives. As I came near to being full-term I began to have a lot of pressure and contractions. At my weekly visit at 37 weeks the midwife felt confident that I would have a baby within a week based on symptoms and position. Each day I became more and more uncomfortable. Something I had never experienced with the first two. Well, the week rolled by and no baby. I was already feeling quite anxious about doing the the whole childbirth again and the anticipation of not knowing when was not helping at all.  Since I had assumed I would have a baby any second I tried not to buy a lot of groceries thinking they would go to waste. Poor kids lived off frozen pizza. They seemed to love it though. 

When, I went to 39 weeks we were right at Mark's birthday. I hadn't planned anything assuming again I would have a newborn so in a quick effort I pulled together a birthday dinner. It really was a miracle considering I could barely walk through the grocery store. By the time I got to my next appointment the midwife looks down and says, "Well, you've never been this pregnant before." No, I hadn't and it was no walk in the park. My due date rolls around on Thursday and I begin to accept I'm going to be pregnant forever. So logical. We had told Emerson months ago the baby would be there for her Dad's birthday so she was totally confused. 

I was at a loss too and decided to try some Evening Primrose Oil.  I had known for awhile that the baby was posterior. So, I had been doing some ball exercises Friday evening to try to persuade the baby to turn. While on my knees with my arms on the ball I began to feel crampy. Nothing really out of the ordinary since I had false labor many times in the past few weeks. It started to be pretty regular and I waited about an hour to conclude something could be happening. The cramps were 3 minutes apart.  I decided to give the midwives a call since that was pretty close despite the fairly low intensity. The midwife who answered was Sarah, who had delivered Ezra. I was immediately comforted that she could possibly be there for this baby. She suggested it was false labor and to take a warm bath to calm things down if it was. You can imagine how thrilled I was. So around midnight I took a bath and the cramps spaced out to 6 minutes a part. I was instructed to try to sleep and see what happened. I put my hypnobabies track on and tried to rest. In reality I was laying down wondering if things would kick it into high gear. Ezra's birth was a whirlwind and I had reason to think things could move quickly.  

Around 5:30 or so I began to feel very sick and threw up a little bit. Cramps were still spread out but combined with other symptoms Sarah wanted me to meet her there at the birth center based on my previous births. We began to get things together around 6:30 to go to Chapel Hill. Once I started walking around the "waves" did intensify. I arrived at the birth center and was checked. My birth plan stated I didn't want to know how far along I was. Sarah confirmed the baby was still posterior so she tied up my belly very tightly and I sat on a ball with my head on the bed to try to get the baby to turn before labor progressed. 

Time went by very slowly and after an hour I laid down to nap since I didn't really sleep all night. Around 9 I woke to labor pretty much at a standstill. In my mind I should have had a baby already so I was pretty discouraged. Mark and I were pretty hungry so the new midwife for the shift suggested we get out and get some breakfast. So, we head to Southern Season. We walked around looking at different goodies. The walking started to move things along and I was nauseous again. I felt like things were progressing so somewhere in the mix we also got Starbucks and headed back to the birth center.   Once we got back I did a variety of things to work through the waves. I walked around and spent some time in the shower with hot water on my back. I was thankful for hip squeezes to counteract the pressure I was feeling. Labor seemed to be moving along but waves were still 6 minutes apart. Somewhere in the afternoon I was ready to get in the tub. I had remembered with Ezra's birth being so annoyed with the water getting cold, so I made sure that it was nice and hot. I was able to listen to hypnobabies and really be in the moment. The hot water was very therapeutic and made the whole process manageable. I spent a lot of time with my arms on the side resting my head with a cold cloth. For some reason I had a terrible headache and the cold helped to keep my mind off of it.

About 3:30 I was checked for progress and she said I was getting close. Around 4 the pressure was very intense. I had tried to avoid my water breaking prematurely by eating foods high in vitamin c the last few months. That happened with Ezra and it was not an experience I wanted to relive as far as speed and intensity. Well, I had succeeded and now the the baby was almost here causing incredible pressure with the amniotic sac still in tact. We debated breaking it, but I resisted since I knew it might increase the waves more than I could handle. Within 20 minutes my water finally broke and I felt a huge relief! Things started to move forward but of course me being cynical thought this kid is never coming. My midwife assured me they would not be hanging out in the room if a birth wasn't imminent. The sensation started to shift and I felt I wanted to push. Much to my surprise nothing happened and I had a feeling this baby is the wrong way. Allison told me she thought it was a hand and she would turn around soon. Well, with how intense my labor became I felt like jumping out of my skin. I was no longer able to hang out in the tub so she suggested we get out and try to get the baby to turn. I was on my hands and knees and I was certain that this baby was not going to ever come. After really what seemed like eternity of trying to push but having incredible pain that I couldn't get past I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. At 6:49 Haven arrived sunny side up after nearly two hours of trying to push. I have never been so relieved in my life. She was screaming so incredibly loud and all I could say to her was, "I feel like screaming too." Haha. She was immediately on my chest and I was staring at this little person, and turned to Mark. "Well, what is it?!?" All the waiting and not knowing if it was a boy or girl, then we didn't check right away. We of course were thrilled to have a sweet girl added to our family. 
The midwife informed us she is the loudest newborn she has ever heard. 
We quickly learned she doesn't like being cold, having her diaper changed, or clothes. 
All still ring true today. :)
We could easily see she was bigger than the rest. The only one to have little rolls on her arms. She was 6lb 11oz. Small in terms of the norm, but big for us.  After she stopped crying we could see that she looked so much like Emerson as a baby! 

Sweet time with Dad

The next morning we were all ready to go home. Thankfully we stayed the night she was born and rested before heading home. That also gave us time to think of a middle name. :)

Here is our midwife Allsion, and also Sarah who delivered Ezra. She was there the next morning to meet our new baby. 

We were thankful for a healthy deliver even though it took a little while. I was especially thankful for several answered prayers. To say I was dreading delivery was an understatement. I was extremely anxious and weary. Every time false labor would start I would think, "I'm not ready for this, I do not want to do this." In God's grace I was given time to prepare myself. The uncomfortable weeks I endured allowed me to set my mind towards the birth and be eager for labor to come by week 40. I had prayed for peace as I felt like I had anything but that when Ezra was born. I can honestly say I was able to let go and be in the moment to cope with my waves. So even though it was much longer, it was much gentler on me. How gracious God was to us during the arrival of our sweet Haven. I'm especially thankful to my husband for capturing this moments on camera. I will treasure them always.

They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:30

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