WARNING – If you don’t like reading about the state of a woman’s cervix, amniotic fluid, pushing urges, etc., then do not read this story. Obviously a birth story will contain these things!
Walker’s Birth Story
This story actually begins in mid-July, when I was 35 weeks. The day that I hit 35 weeks, I was sitting in bed thinking, “this is it.” I had been up all night long timing contractions. They were about 4-5 minutes apart, very painful, and had been happening for about 8 hours. I had already woken Judd up and told him that I thought we should call our doctor. As I mention in all of my birth stories, my doctor happens to be a family friend – and treats me like royalty! We called him, and he said he would come out to the house shortly and let me know what to do so we didn’t have to go to the hospital just to be sent home.
I had been extremely paranoid my entire pregnancy that I wouldn’t carry Walker long enough and he would be born too early. I delivered Amelia at 35 weeks on the dot – and luckily, she was healthy. I started requesting checks for changes earlier than typically performed so that if something could be caught, we might could catch it and stop it. I consistently showed no problems, and that was reassuring. At my last appointment at 34 weeks, I was a fingertip dilated and no effacement to speak of. I wasn’t worried with that.
When my doctor got to my house that morning, I was 2cm, and again no effacement worth mentioning. He said that most likely, this wasn’t it. I was exhausted. How on earth could contractions be that painful and go on that long without being real? I had experienced prodromal labor with my other two pregnancies as well, but I had never felt contractions that painful and that close together that weren’t real. I say that is the beginning of my story because this exact same thing continued to happen for 3 full weeks…filled with many “is this it?” moments where I constantly wondered what was going on. It was incredibly frustrating and such an emotional roller coaster. Besides being painful to constantly contract for 3 weeks, it also made me incredibly anxious that I wouldn’t know when I was in labor and would be sitting at home about to birth a baby and have no idea. By the time I got to 37 weeks (full term) I was
I prayed constantly that if he was healthy, to please let him come! I was proud to hit full term, but I was so incredibly tired. Sleep was already a thing of the past because of the constant contractions at night. One night they were 2-3 minutes apart and didn’t change with rest or movement and were extremely painful. About the time I called Judd, they stopped. Not tapered off…just stopped. I actually cried that night because I was so tired of the false alarms.
The REAL story (and labor!) begin on August 7. I had been riding with Judd on the combine that day cutting rice. I told him to hit a few bumps… ;) Unfortunately for me, these fancy new combines ride so smoothly that you’d never know. I came home and fed the girls dinner. I had been having a few contractions that day, but nothing more than normal. I didn’t even bother timing them. There was no point. I had a doctor’s appointment the next day, and I was ready to see if there had been any progress at all from all the contractions I’d been having. At my 37 week appointment, I was 3cm, 50%. The baby felt REALLY low in my pelvis. I had trouble walking very far because it felt like a very intense pressure in my pelvis. I put the girls in bed and settled in on the couch. I decided that I might not have time the next day, so I went ahead and wrote out my 38 week post for my blog. I saved it, and minimized it on my computer until Judd could come home and take my picture. I started watching TV and Judd came home. I still felt normal – a contraction here and there but it was nearly painless. Judd ate dinner and sat down beside me and we started watching “World’s Dumbest Criminals” and nearly died laughing. All of a sudden, I felt a tiny gush. It felt exactly like what happened when my water broke with Caroline. Instead of instantly thinking that I had peed on myself, I got up and changed my liner and waited. If it was really my water breaking, it would happen again. I sat back down on the couch and less than a minute later, I felt it again. So I repeated the above steps – still wondering if it was really possible! After a few more times of that, I told Judd we needed to clean the house up (HA!) and get ready. I was pretty sure my water had broken. Judd sent my doctor a message that I feel necessary to write down because it’s just totally something he’d say. “It seems my wife has sprung a leak.” My doctor called shortly after that and told me if I really thought it had broken, to go to the hospital. We live 25 minutes from the hospital so I decided to do my makeup and my hair and if I was still feeling the leaking, we would go.
Judd called his mom and told her to come on down to the house to stay with the girls. I did my hair and makeup and actually got somewhat frustrated because while I was standing up I hadn’t felt anything. Once I sat down again, there was NO doubt anymore! We loaded up the car and called my parents and sister. Off we went! I was so excited. I was also SO thankful that this labor began with my water breaking…something that I couldn’t second guess myself with for too long! My fears of sitting at home for too long wondering if I was in labor were over!
We got to the hospital and Judd took my 38 week picture since it was after midnight, now August 8th. We walked in and got admitted and went up to the room. I got into my gown, still not having any contractions that hurt or felt close together. My nurse checked me to see where I was. She said, “You’re about 7cm.” and my mouth fell open. I couldn’t believe I was 7cm and hadn’t had a single painful contraction. Impossible! My second thought was that my family wouldn’t make it again! Amelia had come in such a whirlwind that no one made it in time. I sent them a message and told them the news. I think it was around that time that my mother took over my sister’s driving and they got there a bit faster. ;) Since I wasn’t really contracting regularly yet, we decided to just hang out for a while and see if anything would happen on its own. My family arrived around 2:30am (they made it!) and Judd was asleep on the couch. I hadn’t been able to sleep at all – I was just too anxious! We all sat around and talked a little, then everyone tried to catch a nap here and there. I finally slept for about 30 minutes.
Around 6:30 or 7:00am, my doctor arrived and checked me. I was still at 7cm. He ordered Pitocin, and I ordered the epidural! My CNA came in and started the process of my epidural – which I promise you must have taken 45 minutes. (It probably didn’t take quite that long, but it was the longest process of an epidural EVER. My other two seemed so quick compared to this one.) Once I got the epidural, they started the Pitocin and we waited a few minutes. It didn’t take long for my contractions to pick up and get painful. I say painful because I could still feel pain in my left hip that radiated down my thigh. OUCH. I gripped the bed and tried my hardest to just deal with it, but it was excruciating. I was afraid the CNA would want to completely redo my epidural so I kept putting off asking him to fix it. Finally, I caved and decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I was almost in tears from my hip feeling like someone had taken a jack hammer to it. He came in and explained I had a “hot spot” and topped off my epidural and had me roll over onto my left hip. Thankfully, that finally seemed to help and the pain just turned into intense pressure.
About 3 minutes after he came in, I felt the most intense pressure I’ve ever felt in my life to push. I never felt it with the girls except maybe a “I think I might need to push” type feeling. This was a “GO GET SOMEONE – I CAN’T STOP PUSHING!” type feeling. Ha! I told my mom, Judd, & Audra who were all in the room that I needed to push…now. I can’t even remember who went and got the nurse but she came in and told me I was complete. She had me push two times then told me to stop and not push anymore. That was a difficult task. It felt like even if I wasn’t pushing, he was still moving down (although I don’t think that was really the case, it was just pressure). She called my doctor who had gone over to the clinic. He got there much faster than I anticipated and I was so glad when he walked in. A little bit of anxiety set in at this point because I was just so nervous for the pushing part!
They had me start pushing and at first it felt like my pushes weren’t doing anything. Judd says every time I pushed you could see his head and then when I stopped it would disappear. After one or two pushes, I finally got the hang of it and I was pushing with all of my might. I could feel a lot more with this epidural than my previous ones – but it wasn’t terrible. After what felt like 10 minutes, but according to everyone else was only about 3 minutes, Walker was born! When I looked at him I thought he looked about the same size as the girls (both were 6 ½ lbs) but it turns out he was 8lbs! I was so relieved that the waiting was over. He did great and was screaming in no time! I needed 1 stitch, which is nothing! Everything went great and soon after they let the family come in to see us and that was a special moment for me. With the girls, the policy was that Judd could go show off the baby while I recuperated, but it apparently changed and I got to be a part of that moment. It made a world of difference! After the family left, Walker nursed for the first time and ate like a CHAMP. By far, he is the best nurser, right off the bat. He has continued to nurse really well! At 6 days postpartum he started sleeping 3 hour stretches at night – which I appreciate. It’s different with him than both the girls since he isn’t jaundiced and is already back at his birth weight. Since he’s not jaundiced, he wakes himself up to eat when he’s hungry – which the girls didn’t do. I can actually let him lead the eating and it is SUCH a different experience being able to let him lead it. I’m so thankful he didn’t have jaundice issues like the girls. I specifically prayed for that and my prayers were answered! What a blessing!
This pregnancy and postpartum recovery have been difficult for my body. Without a doubt, the most challenging, physically speaking. I think my body is trying to tell me that I’m no Michelle Duggar and I need to slow it down. I’ve gotten the message loud and clear! However, I wouldn’t change a thing. He fits perfectly into our family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
August 8, 2012
7lbs, 15.9oz – 19 ½ in long
Audra and I took some newborn pictures of Walker and I wanted a share a few!