3.23.2013

Franklin's Birth Story


If you know me and my birth stories, you know they are lengthy. I love me a detailed birth story, and if it's my own kid's birth story you can expect a lot of detail. My mind gets fuzzier with each delivery so all I have are detailed blog and journal entries to go back to when my memory doesn't serve me right in the years to come. So this is mainly for me, and for you if you're interested. But if you plan on finishing this be sure you have a good chunk of free time ahead of you...

We had been anxiously awaiting Frankie's birth since the day my sister Crystal delivered her baby (Mar 1st). Not out of envy or jealousy (although seeing her with her fresh newborn did bring me feelings of excitement to have my own) but because Steve had a big tournament for his girl's soccer team he coaches in Vegas on the weekend of St. Patty's Day, and we had always talked about the baby coming early so that I would have time to recover and possibly join him as a little getaway together with our newborn. But the Mar. 1st weekend came and went and we accepted the fact that our hopes of me going were no longer possible. Our talk then switched to "hopefully he'll come so Steve has time with us before he has to go" to "hopefully he'll come so Steve can be at the hospital with us the whole time before he has to go" to "hopefully he'll come soon so Steve can make part of the tournament." At this point we were five days overdue and feeling very anxious. Steve knew how important this tournament was to his girls and we were both a little discouraged that this baby was a no-show when we were sure he would at least have been "on time" (I am now even more aware how silly "due dates" are and how dangerous hoping for an early delivery can be on your patience and sanity as a pregnant woman. Never again!).

I could sense how anxious Steve was feeling and had a strong impression to tell him that he could go to Vegas on Saturday for the second half of the tournament if he felt good about it even though I was six days overdue and could go into labor any minute. We both said a prayer and felt good about him going. I'm not going to lie, there were still some feelings of unease that would creep in from time to time the day he was gone. Despite being 100% ok with him leaving me for the day, I had serious anxiety about going into labor and him missing the entire thing. I had multiple conversations with my belly that day telling baby boy he was not allowed to come. Saturday was one of the longest days ever. Every Braxton Hick I felt would almost send me into hysteria. I did my best to stay calm and distracted myself with the kiddos - took them to Provo Beach Resort with my sister-in-law, visited my sister and her new baby, took the kids out to dinner, etc. I was more and more relieved every hour that went by - one hour closer to Steve getting home. That night I went to bed and Steve woke me up around 5 am when he got back (not that I was ever really much asleep!). A huge sense of relief rushed over my anxious body and I'm pretty sure that sense of relief triggered some hormones inside of me...

... Because I woke up the next morning feeling different. My lower abdomen felt heavy and a little achy. No pain really, just different.  The kids had woken up extra early (6:30am) so I brought them in bed with me so they wouldn't wake up Steve who was up all night driving. Normally this would bother me as I am so not a morning person, but the kids were being extra sweet and cute and looking back I am really grateful for that hour we had together just snuggling and laughing together. Later that morning my mom and I took the kids for a drive so Steve could get some sleep as he'd been up for nearly 24 hours. On the drive I had a few contractions that weren't the usual Braxton Hicks. They were lower, more like how it feels before you get your period. I refused to think much of it, as I had already had a couple "false alarms" in the weeks prior and refused to get my hopes up to just be let down once again if they stopped. But when we got home I just mentioned to Steve that I felt different and that today could be the day but not to get his hopes up quite yet. I was feeling pretty famished and ate a huge lunch. My sister-in-law came to pick up the kids and took them to Grandma's so Steve and I could get some very much needed sleep. We planned on meeting up there later for dinner (our usual Sunday routine). After my nap I noticed my contractions had stopped. "So much for having this baby today, I thought." BUT,  I then went to the bathroom and saw my "bloody show" (TMI? sorry). That gave me a ray of hope I needed, that labor was imminent. If not today, then soon.

I hopped in the shower and got ready to go to dinner at my in-laws. After my shower I started having random contractions again. They were very far apart, not painful, but harder and lower and so I mentioned it to my mom and Steve and we hopped in the car to go to Alpine. We decided to stop by the hospital on the way there and fill out our paperwork just incase "tonight was the night." But I was still in a little bit of denial because I did NOT want to be sad AGAIN if it turned out to be nothing. On the drive up to Alpine I noticed my contractions becoming a little closer together and a little bit stronger and I just made a mental note and would occasionally check out the clock to see if they were getting consistent (about 5-7 minutes apart). We ate a delicious St. Patty's Day meal and during dinner I noticed my contractions becoming more frequent so I started having Steve time them (3-4 minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds). I had this irrational fear for weeks about my water breaking and not having enough time to get to the hospital to deliver my baby. I know it sounds silly, but at my last check-up almost a week before, my doctor had warned me that the baby was sitting extremely low, I was dilated to a 3 and all the way effaced, and she told me not to wait long when I knew I was in labor because it was "going to go fast." I did not want to have a baby in the car, and I was fully planning on having an epidural and a pain-free delivery like I had with my first two babies. So I told my mom that I wanted to go to the hospital right after dinner and get checked in. At this point I was positive I was in labor and this baby was coming that night or early morning.

On the drive to the hospital I was pretty uncomfortable. Sitting in the car was not a fun position at all. My contractions started getting really uncomfortable, about 2 minutes apart (with a shorter contraction in between) lasting about a minute. I was a little bit snappy, asking my mom to hurry up and to keep up with certain cars in front of her, ha, sorry mom! It felt so good to pull up to the hospital and get out of the car and move around. Steve and I walked up to the fifth floor and checked in and my mom met us up there a minute later. I looked at the clock in the hall when the nurse walked us to the delivery room and it was 7:20pm. Little did I know that this baby was going to be arriving a very short hour and a half later....

I got into my gown and each time I had a contraction I would lean on this little table in the room and Steve would massage my back. Although they were uncomfortable, they were totally manageable, so I figured I was probably somewhere at a 4 1/2 or 5 dilation. The nurse got me all set up and then checked my dilation. I was dilated to a 7 and my water was bulging and just about to break. I was so shocked! I had no idea I could have been that far along. With Jayne, I was in excruciating pain at a 5 1/2 so I thought there was no way I could have been that far along when we got there. It felt pretty awesome knowing I was that much closer to having my baby and not really in too much pain.

The nurse asked if I was planning on getting an epidural and I said "Yes. But I think I'll wait until my water breaks because right now my contractions aren't that bad." The nurse then said "Ok, but I just want to let you know that when your water breaks, which will probably be any minute, your labor could go extremely fast and by that point there will not be time for you to get one." This freaked me out, as I had absolutely NO DESIRE to be in a lot of pain and go through transition and delivery without medication, so I told her to call the anesthesiologist immediately and we'd get set up with an epidural right away. In the short amount of time it took for the anesthesiologist to get there (maybe 5 minutes?) my contractions started getting much more intense and closer together and I was 100% ready to have my epidural and glad I didn't wait any longer. Give me the drugs!!!  The nurses reassured me how amazing he was and that I had nothing to worry about. I always ask before I get one because I don't want some young intern doing it - I want someone experienced. When he arrived he got me in position and it all went perfectly. I hardly even felt the needle go in! When he had me all set up I was so excited for all the pain to disappear...

..... but it wasn't completely gone. I could tell my left back and abdomen felt better (the side I was laying on when he gave me the epidural) but my right side and down (vagina and bottom) seemed to be feeling almost everything. I moved to my right side to see if I could move the meds down to the right with gravity. Nothing. My legs were tingly but not numb at all and I could move them entirely. This wasn't what I was used to - with Jayne and Vinny I was almost completely numb and could barely move my legs. I was completely comfortable and didn't feel any pain at all which was awesome. So, you can imagine I was feeling a bit annoyed that this wasn't working like I had expected. At this point my doctor arrived and I explained to her and the anesthesiologist what I was feeling. They began to tell me that although the epidural was placed correctly, and I was given the highest dose of medicine possible, my labor was moving incredibly quickly and the medication was not getting enough time to catch up with my contractions and pain. (While I didn't quite understand it at the time the doctor later explained it like this: with any medication (even motrin for ex.) they work at a certain rate to ease the pain. If you wait until you are in a lot of pain before taking your medication, the longer it takes to work. She said medicine can "keep up" but it has a harder time "catching up." So, because I was dilating so quickly, and my contractions were building so fast and not staying steady for a long enough period of time, the medicine wasn't able to catch up to my pain level. It had caught up a little, but not enough to completely relieve all the pain. Whereas, if I had been at a 7 for a longer time and my contractions had remained steady for awhile longer then it would have had time to catch up and give me the pain relief I needed to carry on the rest of my labor). Anyone else ever experience something like that? 

Within about 10 minutes or so I started entering transition. This started freaking me out a bit. Although the epidural may have taken off the edge, the pain was still really hard to manage and I got a wave of anxiety - I began shaking and just kind of freaking out. I couldn't keep my cool and started crying. It was certainly a wave of emotions. I was at a 9 and my water hadn't yet broken so my doctor broke it for me so I could move things along faster. I was so glad she did because shortly thereafter I started feeling an intense amount of pressure and burning on my bottom and vag (I warned you this was detailed!). I had no problem shouting this out to my doctor - "my butt and vagina are killing! I feel tons of pressure!" She checked me again and told me if I wanted to I could begin pushing (originally I told her I didn't want to push and wanted the baby to just come down on his own.. like with Vinny). But with the overwhelming pain I was feeling, this was music to my ears. I said "YES! YES!" and completely felt the urge to push the little guy out and be over with all the pain. After three contractions of pushing (and the most intense burning ever!) his head and body came out and it was the most gratifying experience I have ever had in my life!!!!  My crew in the room (steve, mom, mother-in-law, doctor, nurses, even the anesthesiologist) were the greatest cheerleaders ever.  Whenever I would say "I can't do this!" they would all at once start shouting "You can do this!" "You got this!" "Come on tough girl!" "He's almost here!" And every word of encouragement was everything I needed to keep going. It was really incredible. Steve was right by my side and would get close to my face and just tell me I could do it and how good I was doing. He was so awesome.

When Frankie came out he had the cord wrapped around his neck. So after a quick skin to skin and Steve cutting the umbilical cord they quickly checked his vitals and brought him back to me to do skin to skin to help make sure his breathing was where it needed to be. He was pretty pale when he was born but his skin turned pink and his breathing picked up quickly once he was on my chest again and didn't end up needing to go to the NICU at all. That was a pretty neat experience. 

Seeing little Frankie and holding him for the first time was just as amazing as every other birth experience I've had. Nothing more miraculous than bringing in a new little baby into the world.  While I am experiencing lots of pregnancy hormones (I always have a good hormonal crying session after each of my kids... not really the "baby blues" but more from being overwhelmed with the intense feelings having a baby brings- the extreme joy, the overwhelming love, the physical pain and exhaustion, the change of dynamics, missing my two babies but not ready to have them home all the time, the intense gratitude, etc.), I am definitely in "baby heaven" right now as I'm soaking in this new little baby of mine, and I have every desire to do it all over again as crazy as that may sound. In fact, we went to the hospital to visit my sister's baby and when we walked in I told my mom I was having all these feelings of wanting to deliver my baby again and be at the hospital in my room again and experience all those incredible feelings all over again (Yeah, I'm kind of a freak of a nature, feel free to make fun;)

I have so much to be thankful for that it's making my heart feel like it's about to explode. I feel like the luckiest mama. Like I said, I am pretty emotional these days with overwhelming feelings of love, joy, and gratitude for all that I have in my life. Now I am getting all sorts of emotional just typing this. I just can't believe how incredible this new little baby of mine is and how grateful I am for all three of my beautiful children and loving husband. And having my two sisters with their new amazing babies too just brings another wave of emotions at how blessed we are as a bigger family. It is truly incredible and somewhat difficult to fully describe.

So I'd like to just end with this: I know God lives. I know it without a doubt because bringing a little baby into the world is such a testament to His existence. I feel His love and the love He has for His little children He sends into the world the moment I know they are there growing in my belly. And seeing and holding them brings an even greater testimony of the miracle that they are and the reality of a loving Heavenly Father who sends them down to us. I feel incredibly overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising His children, and wouldn't wish to be doing anything else. It is such a sacred and important calling to be a mother and I feel so richly blessed that I can hardly express it in words. It is the best thing I could ever be doing.

The end. (did you make it through the whole thing? if so, big applause from me to you!)

6 comments:

jo said...

Beautiful. Absolutely stunning. It was a blessing to have your water in tack as long as it was...it cushioned your little ones cord, protecting it from clamping into itself. Nature knows what it is doing;) and so do you. Awesome work mama!

jo said...

Beautiful. Absolutely stunning. It was a blessing to have your water in tack as long as it was...it cushioned your little ones cord, protecting it from clamping into itself. Nature knows what it is doing;) and so do you. Awesome work mama!

Casey said...

I am so happy for you! I love birth stories, and totally understand the sentiment of wanting to relive the days when you give birth. Enjoy that sweet newborn!

Christianne said...

this is so cool Dayna!!! It makes me so excited to have babies some day (or babiezzz as Kate would say)

Angie Harding said...

I made it through the whole thing and loved EVERY MINUTE! Ahhh! I love birth stories! This makes me soooo excited about having a baby someday. And i must be a freak of nature too because I plan on going natural if possible and I actually look forward to the experience of labor and delivery. I just think our bodies are so miraculous in what they are able to do in bringing children into the world. SO COOL! I can't wait. I'm so happy for you and your little family - growing bigger and bigger! :)

S.DAY said...

LOVED this!!!! Even though I heard you tell it to me, it's so fun to read again and again! And as I sit here and cringe over the sound of my youngest constantly screaming... C.ON.STAN.TLY..... I still get baby hungry and daydream about being in the hospital delivering another baby after reading this. I think the hormone high is addicting. And I'm an addict at heart.
xoxo
thanks for sharing your awesome story!
sday