Monday, July 19, 2010

Isaac's birth

We finally picked out a name: Isaac.


Friday night we all went to bed about 10:30. McKay and Margaret went to sleep pretty quickly. I was having some braxton hicks contractions, but that's not new. I've been having those since 4 weeks pregnant, it's just these were a little stronger. I wondered if this would be it, but I've wondered that so many times, I didn't put any stock in it and eventually went to sleep.

Later, a contraction woke me. I get more intense contractions when I have to pee or I'm dehydrated, so I got up to pee and get a drink. I ended up having some pretty loose stool, which is a sign of labor being near, but I'd had that off and on for a week. I checked the clock after I got my drink and it said 1:15 and I went back to bed.

I had a hard time going back to sleep because I kept having these contractions. I would almost fall asleep when one would wake me up. I had 6 of them and I guessed them to be about 15 minutes apart. I got up and checked the clock: 2:45. I was right. But that wasn't close enough to make me worry much.

Again I got up to pee- afterall, I had some water a couple of hours before. I attempted to clean some dishes, but got as far as a bowl and decided that hunching over a sink wasn't my idea of fun at 3 in the morning. I jumped online and mentioned on Twitter that I might be in labor (these were getting more intense), but my last labor was so long, I didn't want to jump the gun.

I decided I wanted to bug McKay because it was not fair that I was awake and he wasn't (this was a theme in Margaret's labor too). I told him I might be in labor, but I don't think he believed me at first. He was going to be skeptical of any labor claims prior to 43 weeks. When I mentioned that the contractions were bad enough to keep me from sleeping, he started believing my claims. I told him we could have sex since it might be the last time for a while, at which he chuckled. Then I had another contraction and he asked, "Are you sure you'd want sex?" "Uhh... No." We cuddled for a little bit until another contraction and then we got up.

He went to his computer start "documenting" the labor. I asked him for a blessing and was told to remember to have faith, that my body was made to do this, that the spirit that I'm bringing to earth loves me, and to remember to follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I went to take a shower. I was hesitant to get out the birth pool out because it's a lot of work. Cleaning up a birth from the bath tub would be easier anyway. In the shower, I first decided that I was going to scrub the tub clean. You see, if I was going to get any labor pictures, I didn't want people to see the ring around the tub, so I took a washcloth and my baking soda and started scrubbing the tub, pausing for contractions. Then I gave up because that was kind of crazy and dumb. But I did get most of the ring out.

For the contractions, I would stand up with the water spraying on my back and I would lean forward onto the opposite wall. During these, I thought about the blessing and looked outside our little window above the shower. It was dark, but I thought about the tree outside. I tend to talk to trees (odd I know, but it's something I've been doing since I was a kid) and about a month and a half earlier, I had talked to that tree about being pregnant. It had some green fruit on it at the time and I asked it if making future trees was as taxing on it as making future people was on me. Anyway, now that tree's fruit is ripened and red. I couldn't see the tree in the dark, but I told the tree that it's time for me to have my baby, too, just in case it cared. I also thought about positions and as I was handling the contractions, I decided that I wanted to be immersed in water. I was really tired and I thought it would give me a chance to relax and sleep. I told McKay to start getting the pool ready.

At 4:30, Margaret stirred. I was out of my shower and I heard her. She usually gets up in the early morning and I nurse her back to sleep and sleeps until 7. I figured I'd try that, but the two contractions I had while nursing her were really intense and I couldn't take the contractions lying down. McKay was blowing up the pool. I went and sat on our birth ball and we put Netflix on for Margaret. I figured she'd fall back asleep or something at some point.

Once the tub was up and McKay started filling it, I got inside, even though it was only a couple of inches deep. I wanted to lean on the edge and McKay would dump the water on my back. Margaret played by pounding on the walls of the tub, which really annoyed me. We let her in to keep her from doing that, but then she would run around and touch me, and that was annoying too. I started doing a lot of vocalizing. I'm a very loud birther. I was thinking, "I can't do this much longer" because the contractions were getting a lot closer together which immediately reminded me of transition, but I decided that this was too soon to have transition so I ignored it. I thought I would check my dilation, but everything was just mush- and with my longer nails I didn't want to accidentally break my waters or something, so I wasn't very exact about it. I did get a little blood under one of my fingernails: aha! There was my mucous plug still in there all happy.

I gave up being in the tub and decided to go back to the shower while McKay was working. I would sometimes request a drink or food. In the bathroom, I went to the restroom again and had more loose stool. My body was definitely emptying itself to let a baby get through. In fact, I started to feel nauseous and my mouth did that watering thing that happens before you throw up. I successfully kept myself from throwing up thinking, "I threw up 12 hours before Margaret was born. If I have 12 hours ahead, I'll need all the nutrition I can get. I'm keeping this in!" Again I ignored this transition sign. I got in the shower. I tried taking the contractions on my hands and knees with the water spraying on my back. More thoughts of "I can't do this anymore." I kept feeling like I should stand up. Standing up or squatting contractions resulted in feeling pushy and sometimes I ended up pushing against my "better judgment." Also, I was having some back labor. I wondered if I should try changing positions to reposition the baby just in case it was posterior or something, but the voice in the back of my head was saying not to worry about it.

I went to the pool and bent myself over the edge. It was more full, but not where I'd like it. On my hands and knees, I asked McKay for counter pressure on my back during the contractions. They were awful and I was very loud. I wondered if our neighbors heard me- we had opened a window because it was getting warm in the apartment. That stand-up urge was back and the voice in my head told me that if I stood up, the back labor would go away. But I also knew that being upright made me pushy and I didn't think I was there yet. Meanwhile I had asked McKay for the bucket because I was feeling nauseous again. But, I was sure I couldn't be in transition: I hadn't lost my mucous plug yet! I started losing that 24 hours before Margaret was born, so there was no way I could be in transition and need to push. But that blessing about listening to the Spirit was repeating in my head at the same time "Stand up and push" was so I decided to go with that.

I had McKay stand in the pool with his back against the wall and I leaned with my back against him. He had his arms around me and that was really nice, like a family cuddle. He supported me while I pushed with the contactions. I had 2 contactions with McKay, during one of which there was a huge pop and my mucous plug shot out of me. My water broke and the forced pushed it out. I could tell the baby had descended and I went forward to hands and knees into the water. I thought McKy was going to get out of the pool and do something with Margaret, so I announced, "The baby is coming NOW" as code for "Don't leave me." He said, "I can see your butt changing." As a baby descends, the shape of everything changes and your butt gets all stretched out. In one more push, the head was crowning. I felt the hair and my perineum (still intact). McKay was showing Margaret, "Look! It's the baby's head!" and then, "It's the baby's face!"

On my side of things,, I was feeling the baby wiggle inside of me. At one point it wiggled itself back in a litle. Lots of wiggles. It was actually really annoying and I guess I was feeling "touched out" or something. I wanted to stand up to see if it was a shoulder issue and if changing positions would help. Meanwhile, McKay was telling me to stay in the water for some reason. We actually got into a little quarrel about it. "Stay in the water! "Why?" "Because....(some reason I wasn't paying attention to)" "That doesn't make sense!" "Keep the baby's head in the water." "Why? No." "You catch it in front of you so I don't have to pass it to you." "I'm standing up!"

I stood up and in the next contaction, I pushed it out and McKay caught it and passed it to me, and I noticed we had a boy, so I announced "It's a boy!" and we untangled the cord from around our little boy.

He was purple and not yet breathing. I could tell McKay was a little worried, so I reminded him that the cord was still pulsing and he was ok. I held him with his face down to drain out any fluids. There was a little cry, a pause, and then some more crying and he pinked up. He cried a lot more than Margaret ever did! We also checked the time. it was 7:27, so I guessed 7:25 for the time of birth. I tried to nurse him, but he wasn't interested at that moment. I wanted him to nurse so that the placenta would detach itself. At one point I asked McKay if I could have Margaret do that for me, but I was still standing in the tub with grossness all around me and Margaret wasn't in the tub for obvious reasons. I had one contraction and squatted and pushed thinking it might be the placenta, but it was just the rest of the bag of waters.

I decided I wanted to get to our chair on the other side of the room so I could try nursing while sitting. McKay was originally against that idea because we didn't have enough chux pads to line the way (we had used them up lining the bathroom/kitchen route). We leap-frogged a couple of chux pads in front of me as I walked over there and lined the chair with towels and chux pads. I sat and eventually had another contraction and pushed the placenta out 25 minutes after the birth. I got something to drink and eat and sat there and nursed. And that was that. McKay cleaned up everything and we had a baby!

I probably could have had the baby an hour earlier if I had listened to the transition signals instead of denying their existence. Also, I was really amazed at the direction I was getting from the Spirit. I was getting whole sentences about "If you stand up, the back labor will go away," which is unusual for me. Direct guidance like that is really rare for me, so it was nice. And I liked when McKay supported me at my "stand up and push" stage. Lots of happy oxytocin!

Because McKay was busy with filling the pool and responding to requests, we didn't get any pictures until after the placenta was out. Here I am at our chair after the cord was cut:

His cord was tied with ties we made at FHE a few weeks ago. Each of us chose a color of embroidery floss. Margaret chose red, McKay chose green, and I chose blue. Then we braided them together into ties for the cord.
Just a few hours old:
A day old:

38 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story, Heather! Thanks for sharing all the details with us! He is so beautiful. I'm loving the picture with you nursing him while he's still all naked and covered in birth-y goo. makes me so excited for another baby- and that's saying something!

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  2. Yay!!! I've been waiting for this story! So awesome!

    Congrats on your birth and your baby. Good job mama!

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  3. Mary Beth8:22 AM

    Simply amazing!
    What a beautiful Birth Blessing you received.
    I love that you had help from the tree.
    Welcome, Isaac!

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  4. Awww, he's so cute! Congrats!

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  5. What a lovely story! Isaac is such a cute little chunky boy! Gosh, I can't wait until my baby comes! Reading this story and seeing these pictures is making me really want to go into labor!! (But, I need to wait at least three more weeks! Argh!!)

    I really like the part of your story where you received such direct inspiration from the Spirit. I hope I have that when I'm in labor. That "intuition" that I want to experience is a big part of what I didn't like about Bug's birth (I didn't listen to any internal promptings, because I was so distracted by obeying hospital policies!)

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  6. How wonderful!! What a great blessing and how nice to get such direct inspiration! You're definately living right! I love seeing how well the birth went, thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Oh congrats! Blessings to you all.

    How heavy did he end up being? He looks like a chunky little monster....

    I had a 9.4 lb and a 10 lb baby, so I recognize "big baby" signs.

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  8. well done! he's beautiful!

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  9. beautiful!

    You look great, baby is gorgeous, and Margaret looks so happy :)

    I can tell I'll be back to read this in a few months when it's my turn again. Thanks for sharing!

    I hope you are absolutely loving your babymoon, and Isaac is such a wonderful name!

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  10. That was an amazing birth story. Thank you for sharing it and for chatting with me last night. I am so very happy for you. Your birth story was so inspirational, who wouldn't want an awesome birth like that. Go UC! Go Heather!

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  11. Oh how wonderful! I have been reading your blog for a while (even though I don't think I have ever commented) and I love it! You are an inspiration to me to have more faith and trust in myself. You have given me confidence to nurse anywhere, even in sacrament meeting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experiences. What a beautiful birth!!

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  12. Wonderful story! I am awed to think what strength is available if we listen for it. (Also, today I'd been feeling a little grumpy about scrubbing out my tub in preparation for moving. Now I can think "If Heather can do it WHILE IN LABOR..." :D)

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  13. Oh congrats! He is so beautiful and your story was beautiful. I loved the parts about following the spirit. I'm so incredibly happy for you. I love when babies are born! Wonderful job. :)

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  14. I got goosebumps when reading your birth story. Congratulations!

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  15. congratulations! i wish you minimal hormone fluctuation and enough sleep!

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  16. So exciting! Love the "your butt is changing" comment. I can't wait to see how my "natural" birth goes.

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  17. Wow!! That is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. What a sweet baby boy! I love margaret's excitement in the 1st picture!

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  18. Oh how wonderful! I'm all teary-eyed!! I'm giggling a little at the thought of you leapfrogging chux pads, heeee. Also glad I'm not the only one who would have been trying to scrub the tub while in labor. ;-)

    Congratulations on your amazing birth!!

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  19. Issac is MUCH better then Heather jr. :)

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  20. What a wonderful birth!

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share it with "the public." So many women need to know that birth is something not to be feared and need to know how spiritual it can be when we proceed with faith and not fear.

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  21. Thanks for sharing in such detail. I'm considering my first homebirth with my last baby any time in the next week or 3, and it really helps to read experiences like this.
    - Corktree

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  22. What a wonderful birth story! You've inspired me to have the next one at home--and quite possibly without a midwife.

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  23. Wonderful and fantastic! How does that compare to the days of labor? :O) I love the name Isaac too! He's so gorgeous and Margaret with her great big happy smile! I miss you guys!!!

    Thank you for sharing your real birth and real photos of real post-birth-ness! Birth is beautiful, it can be messy, but it's so simply beautiful. I hope many women will read this story and see these images and not be afraid of their own bodies' power of procreation and childbirth. I feel honored to be called your friend.

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  24. I'm so happy you shared those pictures as well as your story. So beautiful and normal, with your daughter cheery and happy wit have been there!

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  25. Wonderful!
    Reminds me a little of J's birth. Water and plug were the signs I were looking for and they happened not long before he came.

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  26. How brave you are! And how lucky too, you have a beautiful family!

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  27. Beautiful story! And I love the name Isaac.

    So, are you going to tell us the length of you gestation? :) Just curious!

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  28. Congratulations! You did a wonderful job - and props to McKay for being so helpful! He is a lovely little boy, and Margaret looks thrilled to be a big sister! God bless

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  29. congratulations!!! beautiful story and beautiful family.

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  30. Awesome! You and your family are awesome and strong! I am so gathering confidence from your story. Blessings to you!

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  31. Congrats again Heather! Beautiful pictures too.

    I think it's amazing how we deny the signs of transition when we don't think we're supposed to be there yet. I'm fairly sure that Peanut would have been born at least two hours earlier if I would have realized what was going on.

    Also, I have that exact same boppy cover! lol

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  32. Congrats to your family! Isaac is so handsome! YAY for a shorter labor---and YAY for the Spirit giving you such complete instructions. So amazing how much Heavenly Father helps us through the Holy Ghost in every circumstance of our lives. Beautiful story and pictures. Thank you for sharing your sacred experience.

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  33. He is so gorgeous! I too was waiting in anticipation to read this story. Loved it. Congratulations!

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  34. What a wonderful story, thanks for sharing! Your son is gorgeous!

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  35. Congratulations, Heather (and family ;) ! What a beautiful little boy! Thanks for sharing your story. And I love the name Isaac Farley!

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  36. Congratulations Heather! I am so happy for you. The pictures are just beautiful. They remind me of my babies birth now 17 months ago. Thanks again for all your help with nursing I will never forget it!

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  37. What a beautiful story and gorgeous baby, Heather! Congratulations!

    I had the same "full sentences, like someone's whispering in my ear" guidance from the spirit with my last birth and it was awesome! Heavenly Father cares about us and the safe arrival of these little ones.

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  38. Congrats! I LOVE how delighted Margaret looks in the first picture, like YAY BABY BROTHER!!!

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