August 22, 2016

Clara's Birth Story

childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

Hi and welcome to the longest post ever. But so worth it because I finally made time to blog Clara's Birth Story also known as the day I became a mom of two.

Incredible. That is the word that comes to mind when I think of Clara's birth. First let me say that Clara is an absolute gem. She is laid back, sweet and a doll baby. She loves to be held so this post is brought to you by solly baby wrap. It has been my saving grace when it comes to getting anything done. We absolutely love CJ and it is hard to believe that she is one month old.

If you read the blog when I was pregnant with Skip or his birth story (part 1 and part 2) you know how dead set I was on having an unmediated childbirth. I researched, practiced breathing, made a playlist, read stories, took notes... All of it when it came to his birth. This time around I was open to letting things happen with no plan in mind. I hope to write a post one day (hey two kids) about both an unmedicated childbirth and one with modern medicine aka an epidural. One warning is that below is a picture of a fresh baby cord still intact so if that isn't your thing then close out now. I totally get it if it isn't your up of tea. Let's go...

Clara was due on July 6th but each appointment leading up to her birth resulted in no progress. I wasn't too discouraged because the same thing happened with Skip. My prayer was that when the time came my water would break so I would 100% now I was labor. I really did pray that which makes me laugh because contractions hurt aka I would know no doubt.

The day of the 5th we decided to be crazy and let a crew come in to rip up our floors and install new floors throughout our main living spaces. We felt it was better to do it before the baby and since she was in no rush to make her debut we gave the crew the go ahead. That evening the house was so dusty and dirty after the old floors were removed that I decided to stay at my moms with Skip while Rusty stayed at our house to get other last minute things done before CJ came.

Around 3 a.m. (on the 6th, her due date) I was woken up to pretty painful contractions that felt different than before. I tried going back to sleep but they kept getting stronger. Around 4:30 a.m. I went in to my parents room and told my mom I thought I was in labor. She jumped up and was immediately excited. I didn't time them at this point because I truly thought she wouldn't come especially not on her exact due date. My mom stayed at her house with Skip while I called Rusty to tell him I was coming home and I was pretty sure I was in labor.

When I got home (keep in mind we live about three minutes apart) Rusty was already up, showered and dressed ready to go to the hospital. I made him pump the breaks! I needed a shower and was starving. He made me toast with peanut butter while I got in the shower. After I got out I laid down for a few minutes to see how I felt and of course the contractions stopped. I was so disappointed not because I wasn't in labor but I thought I have had one baby I should know labor. I got everyone up and excited for nothing. This is one of the many times in life that I have to learn grace for myself.

The following day (July 7th) I went to the doctor for my 40 week appointment. She checked me and told me I had finally made a little progress. We decided that we wanted to wait on her to come versus induction and agreed to meet again the following Monday (which would put me at 40 weeks and 4 days). If we were going to meet on Monday and she hadn't come we would then make a plan for induction (which we had with Skip). Before we left our doctor told us she was on call all weekend and she had a feeling she would see us sooner rather than on Monday at the appointment. When we left Rusty started encouraging me and reassuring me because I had been so upset with no baby the weeks before. I don't encourage people to have their floor replaced but it really helped me towards the end. I told Rusty I was so glad she wasn't here yet because the house was a mess (not ready for a baby) and our floors weren't done. Again, I don't encourage it but it does help with distractions past your due date. ;)

Friday morning (July 8th) I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and was wide awake. I picked up my phone and like the old soul that I am started doing crossword puzzles on my phone. I had no contractions and felt really rested. Around 4:30 a.m. I needed to pee and got up out of bed to realize my pajama shorts were soaked. My immediate thought was I PEED MY PANTS! Ha As I walked to the bathroom liquid started running down my leg making me run to the potty because I thought I was still peeing on myself. As I was using the restroom I realized that it could be my water. Then I thought my house is a wreck! It is dirty! I have furniture everywhere! My hall bathroom is under construction! I can't have a baby today. She is suppose to hold off through the weekend! After that initial panic passed I got up to change my pajama bottoms still in denial that I was having a baby.

I changed pants and walked back to bed when a huge gush rushed down my leg. Clara was coming!! I knew then that God had answered my prayer. My water had broken and I immediately prayed for God to take away my anxiety of having a baby with a home in such disarray. I begin getting excited! I walked over to Rusty and woke him saying my water had broken! He was much calmer this go around. He was excited, emailed work quickly and began tending to me. I took a shower and painted my nails (priorities) while R made me breakfast. After showering and getting my bag together, I called my mom to tell her. Since Skip was still asleep she was going to come over to watch him while we waited for my mother-in-law to make it in to town to watch him.

My mom came over and we all kind of danced around so excited to meet Clara June! By this time it was about 6:30 a.m. and normally when Skip wakes up. We went in to greet him and love on him. We gathered our things and told Skip we would see him soon. As I got in the car I started bawling. I was thrilled to have CJ but I truly adored our life with Skip and knowing it wouldn't be the same again made me sad.

We made it to the hospital around 7 a.m. and I was beyond excited to see our nurse who helped deliver Skip. Lisa, all the praise hands emojis to you sister! I got checked in to the hospital and changed into my lovely gown. I explained how my water had broken but since I had waited so long to go to the hospital no fluid was coming out at the time. Lisa did a swab test to make sure it was fluid while my contractions started picking up. After about thirty minutes and a confirmed yes to my water breaking I got my iv port and we put on our walking shoes. We started walking the halls of the hospital. I was the only one on the floor so the nurses got to chat with me and really welcomed us. Rusty went to go get a late breakfast/early lunch around 9 a.m. and Constance (my other favorite nurse) took me outside to walk around. My contractions were picking up but nothing worth writing home about. I was starting to swell from all the walking so I came went to my room to sit and be checked. I was at a 3 and not progressing at all. With 2+ hours of walking and squatting I had progressed 1 centimeter. My nurse brought in the dreaded pitocin. With my water breaking outside of the hospital and me taking so long to come in the risk of infection was getting closer so I got pitocin put into my iv. (With my first birth I was anti pitocin but again another post!)

Every told me that your contractions with pitocin are worse but I felt zero difference between contractions with pitocin (Clara June) and contractions without pitocin (Skip). It hurt. It hurt bad y'all. When I was in labor with Skip and the contractions began getting close together I yelled. Truly, yelled at the top of my lungs or more like a moan but it was loud. This time around I tried picturing my body riding to the top of a wave (height of contraction) and then riding down. It helped until I got to a 6. I lost my mind then. I began fighting nausea and had uncontrollable shakes. My body would not stop convulsing and I was freezing cold. Again, none of this happened with Skip. My mom got my attention and asked me if I wanted an epidural to which I replied no. I had done this once before so I could do it again. Rusty and my mom started begging me to get one (seeing me hurt isn't high up on their list) so just like that we made a pro/con list while I labored through more contractions. I finally relented even though I was more petrified of the epidural than unmedicated labor. My mom fist pumped. It made me laugh while riding the waves of contractions. She is a really good fist bumper.

At this point I was still a 6 and was not progressing. The anesthesiologist came in to go over everything with me. He was exceptional at his job and quite comical. He explained the process, side effects and sensations I would feel all while I was having convulsing style contractions (which has to be weird for him or are they use to it?) Jonathon prepared everything and the needle being inserted didn't hurt at all. The hardest part for me was being still through contractions bent over a bed while wanting to vomit. When he started pumping in the epidural I felt a terrible burning sensation on my right side. It hurt but again nothing like the contractions.

My mom and Rusty came back in as the epidural was starting to kick in. Within minutes I felt truly incredible! No pain. No shakes. No freezing temperatures. I was felt so relaxed and peaceful. Crazy enough I went to sleep for an hour and would have kept sleeping but the nurse came to check me. No one told me that your legs are limp noodles so when the nurse checked me she lifted my leg for me. It made me laugh. You guys I cannot explain what it was like to laugh and joke with my family and the nurses. With Skip I was miserable. Again another post but my labor really picked up. Epidurals typically slow labor but it helped progress mine.

Around 4:30 p.m. I started pushing. It felt so good and familiar to push. It also brought the excitement to an all time high because we were so close! The buzz in our room was contagious and everyone was overjoyed. It was such a wonderful birth and experience. It felt so good! After pushing just a few times our sweet Clara June made her appearance at 5:02 p.m. About 30 minutes later Skip came waltzing into our room with flowers for his sister and flowers for his mommy (thanks Grandma Gena!). Of course I lost it. He climbed into bed and wanted to check out all the monitors and tubes. We placed CJ in his lap and it was truly one of the best moments of my life. I am weepy just typing it. One of the greatest gifts I could ever give my son is a best friend in his sister. Skip truly loves Clara and helps anyway he can. Our family feels complete and whole. Thank you Lord for your ultimate blessings!
childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

childbirth, epidural, birth story, birth stories

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