Monday, September 22, 2008

Selah Rose Birth Story

Ok, here goes...

I wrote a lot of this in the hospital and soon after I got home. It is not a literary masterpiece by any means. Lots of grammatical errors I am sure, but I don't have time to edit it too much and also, in it's rough form, it's kind of more pure I think. It's just what came to mind immediately when I remembered the experience. Enjoy, and sorry it is so long. You are getting 14 hours worth of material =) Also, to answer a few questions, I did not use any particular method like Bradley or hypnosis. I just read lots of birth stories, used my own experience and listened to my body as my coping techniques. And yes, if anyone is interested, I'd love to talk/help/coach although I am by no means an expert at all! I just had a goal, was committed and had a LOT of help! Thanks to everyone for all your sweet comments. I am flattered that anyone is interested in all this. I really wanted to do the birth story and slideshow for myself, but I am glad everyone has liked it. You are all so sweet.

39 weeks – September 10, 2008 –
At 7:17 am I looked at the clock with a contraction, just to take note, and said a little prayer that this would be the start of something. They kept coming and when I went to the bathroom, I was bleeding a little. At 7:30 am I called Trey and told him I thought I might be in labor. He had been at the hospital since 6 am and I told him not to leave yet, but that I’d keep him posted. I called my mom and she said she’d come over and get Sophie. I told her I wanted to finish packing, go get a pedicure and clean the house some. I wasn’t hurting, just noticing the contractions and I felt funny. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just knew something was different and this was it.
At 8:30 am my mom got to our house. Sophie had just woken up. I was rushing around trying to clean up and get things ready. I still wasn’t hurting too much so I went for a walk for 40 minutes to get the contractions stronger. I was booking it around our neighborhood. I had so much energy! When I got back, I packed Sophie a bag and my mom took her home.
After my walk things seemed to get a little more intense, so at 9:30 I called Dr Straughn’s office and told them what was going on. I knew it was still early so we decided that I’d come by the office and get checked around 1pm.
Around 10:00 am I noticed that the baby wasn’t moving much and I started getting a little nervous. I decided to skip the pedicure, called Trey and told him to go ahead and come home. I was feeling more crampy, had an upset stomach and feeling some pressure with the contractions. I still wasn’t hurting. I was just feeling very excited and having a huge burst of energy. I just knew I had to be in labor.
By 11:00 am Trey had gotten home. We picked up the house a little, got our bags packed, loaded the car and went the office. We prayed in the car that everything would go quickly and smoothly and that we’d have a healthy baby and mommy at the end of the day.
We arrived at the office around 12:00 pm and I was contracting every 2 minutes in the waiting room. I had been too busy to actually time them all morning. Dr Straughn called me 3-4/50/-2. (I had been in the office the day earlier when she stripped my membranes and I was 1.5-2 cm). They put the baby on the monitor in the office because I hadn’t felt much movement much since the contractions started. Baby looked great so we talked to Dr Straughn. She felt like I was in early labor and would definitely deliver in the next 24 hours. So we decided to go ahead and go to L&D. I hoped to get things going with some pitocin if needed and hopefully I would deliver soon rather than in the middle of the night when Dr Straughn wasn’t there. I really wanted her to deliver me and she wasn’t on call. Also Courtney (nurse/friend) was working that day and she was going to be able to take care of me.
At 12:30 we arrived at Labor and Delivery. I was almost embarrassed to show up down there not really hurting much. I was still smiling and so happy that we were going to have the baby today. Everybody was excited that I was there. I went to room 11 with Trey and Courtney. She admitted me and started my iv.
At 1:19 pm Dr Straughn checked me and I was 4 cm/60/-2. We called our parents to tell them we were at the hospital but not to come yet. Since I hadn’t changed much and was contracting every 2 minutes but not hurting, we started pitocin. Courtney pretty much just let me tell her when to increase it. That way it wasn’t ever more than I could handle.
At 3:44 pm I was 4/70/-2. I was definitely feeling more with the contractions after we started the pitocin, but they were still very tolerable. I sat on the birthing ball and stood up some swaying back and forth. I was not in pain, just slightly uncomfortable and they felt like strong menstrual cramps really. We were talking laughing and having fun. I kept telling Courtney to increase the pitocin since I hadn’t changed much and was still handling everything without difficulty.
My mom brought Sophie up to the hospital around 5 pm. She looked so cute in her big sister shirt. I got a picture of her with me sitting on the birthing ball. She definitely knew what was going on and was excited to meet the baby.
At 4:38 pm Dr Straughn checked me and I was 4 cm /75/-2. She had to leave to get her kids but told me she’d come back around 6 or 6:30. Her husband was going to be able to keep her kids for a little while. We talked about options and I felt that since things weren’t going very quickly, I wanted her to break my water so she did.
At 5:00 I was feeling the contractions more in my lower abdomen after my water was broken and wanted to get up again but only if the baby’s head had come down. Courtney checked me again and I was 4/70/0. So I felt ok getting up especially since we were able to keep the baby on the monitor even when I was standing or on the birthing ball. At this point I was only slightly more uncomfortable.
Dr straughn was back at 6:25 and I was 5/75/0. She said the head was way down. I was still talking through contractions even though I continued to get a little bit more uncomfortable. I tried not to be disappointed that things were moving slowly. I knew that we were about to turn the corner and things would start moving a lot faster. I just wanted to turn the corner soon! The whole day I tried to do whatever hurt the most as far as positions because I figured the more it hurt the more effective it was. The baby’s heartbeat looked great this whole time and stayed about 135 and was very reactive. We listened to my labor playlist on itunes and really were having fun.
Around 6:45 I forced Trey and Courtney to go eat some dinner since the Warrens had just brought food up to the hospital. At this point I was not able to talk through contractions, but was laughing and smiling in between them. Andrea (friend), Allison(sister in law) and Elaine(my sister) were in the room visiting with me. I would just say “hold on” when I started a contraction and breathe through it, then start talking again when it went away. Dr Straughn came in at 7:05 and I was 6/80/0. She felt like it wouldn’t be too much longer. Yea! By this time I was on 32 mu/min of pitocin which is a pretty good bit. Over the next hour, it was definitely getting more intense. I was alternating sitting on the bed sideways or sitting on the birthing ball. Courtney was stroking my arms and upper back while Trey put pressure on my lower back. I was still able to talk in between contractions, I just didn’t feel as smiley. They were reminding me to breathe and relax with contractions which helped so much. You wouldn’t think that would be so hard to remember. But your first instinct is to tense up.
At 7:55 pm Dr Straughn came in to check me and it about killed me to lie flat on my back. But I was 7/100/+1. Yea! I knew we were close and was so glad of it. I tried to stand up for a few contractions but it was too hard so I went back to the birthing ball.
Daphney the nurse/photographer had been in for a while taking pictures and suggested that I lie on my side with a rolled up towel under my stomach around 8:16 pm. She said that for some reason this was a great position at this point in labor to help get you complete (10 cm). So I got on my left side and Daphney was rubbing my forehead talking to me. Courtney was rubbing my arms and back. Trey was still putting pressure and rubbing my lower back. I quickly became much more uncomfortable and was really having trouble staying relaxed. Daphney told me to keep my eyes open which helped a lot. I tried to focus on something on the wall and told my body to relax with the contractions. When the contractions went away, I could totally relax and it felt so good. From about 6 cm on, in between contractions it felt like my body released something to help me relax. It was like a natural drug that made me feel sort of dreamy when the contraction started to go away. At this point, that dreamy feeling got even stronger. It was the best feeling ever when the contraction started going away. That is why I think this is totally doable, because you just do one contraction at a time.
At 8:27 pm I was nauseated and feeling tons of pressure. I knew I was in transition and started moaning a little which I couldn’t really help. I asked Courtney to turn down the pitocin because there seemed to be no break between contractions. I remember thinking, “it’s too late for me to get an epidural.” I think I even said aloud, “This is when you want the epidural.” It was the only brief moment when I started wondering why I had wanted to do this. However, the thought went through my mind and left just as quickly because I knew I was about to have to push a baby out. My whole body was tingling like it was asleep which was weird, but it was almost like a natural pain killer.
A few minutes later at 8:32 pm I started to yell because I was feeling even more pressure. Courtney told me I was 9.5 cm and to push if I needed to. I think I screamed as they called the desk to tell them to page Dr. Straughn for delivery. Everybody started running around getting the room ready. I knew it wouldn’t be long. I couldn’t believe I was really doing this. I started pushing involuntarily and let everybody know. They told me to keep pushing and I remember being scared to. I pushed a little and it didn’t feel that good at first. The room was ready, Dr. Straughn was there, and when I started really pushing as hard as I could, it felt so much better. I couldn’t really feel the contractions anymore, I just knew when I needed to push. It was amazing how my body just knew what to do. I asked them if I was crowning. They said I was and I don’t remember this really hurting, it was just tons and tons of pressure and I was thinking, ”I have got to push this baby out, so I am going to push as hard as I possibly can.” I looked down in between contractions and saw the head crowning. I have seen this a thousand times when I was the nurse and not the patient, but I have to say it was pretty cool to see your own baby’s head crowning. I don’t remember any pain at this point just a little burning sensation. I know I was screaming during the delivery some, but I don’t remember the pain, just the adrenaline! After the next push I looked down and saw her head was out! Oh my gosh, that was so amazing. She had a loose cord around her neck and they unwrapped it easily, then her body flew out without me pushing I think. Dr. Straughn held her up and they moved the umbilical cord…. “It’s a girl, oh my gosh,” I couldn’t believe it was a girl. The whole pregnancy I had been so sure I was having a boy, but there she was so perfect and tiny. They put her up on my chest and Trey cut the umbilical cord. She was so cute and I immediately knew she was much smaller than Sophie. I couldn’t believe that Sophie had a little sister. Her face was so pretty and not swollen at all. Her head was round and perfect. I put her on my chest skin to skin and was just in total shock. I remember saying something like, “that wasn’t bad at all” which I wonder if everyone was laughing at me because two minutes before I was screaming. It really wasn’t bad and the feeling I had after she came out made it all totally worth it. I felt amazing and was so incredibly proud that I actually did it!
After I was all cleaned up, I sat up and she immediately latched on and started nursing. She was so alert right after delivery and kept looking around everywhere. She was so beautiful. Trey went and got Sophie and brought her in. She came in and I asked her if she knew what we had. She said,”It’s a girl!” even though trey hadn’t told her yet. I guess she just knew. She kept saying, “Aww, she is soooo cute.” Sophie was so excited and wanted to hold her immediately even though I was feeding her. We let Sophie get up in the bed with me and hold her then trey went to get our family. As they walked in, Sophie yelled, “it’s a girl” again. I think everybody was surprised! Then they all got a chance to hold her and we all watched as she got her first bath. We told them we were pretty sure her name was Selah Rose, but we hadn’t decided for sure. After that I got up and walked to the bathroom with almost no trouble at all and went upstairs in a wheelchair. I still felt amazing. Sophie and my mom stayed and went up to our room with us to get us settled. Sophie did not want to leave at all. But it was 11pm, so Trey walked them to the car and she went home with mom. She loved Selah and did not want to leave her. She just wanted to hold her. When Trey came back, he was so tired, but I couldn’t stop thinking about everything and replaying everything in my mind. My adrenaline was still going. I fed Selah a few more times and then sent her to the nursery at 2am and I slept for 2 hours. Boy was I tired the next day, but it was all worth it. It was the most amazing thing I think I’ve ever done. Having Sophie was different because she was my first so it was amazing just because I’d never done it before. I had an epidural though and was induced, so it was just a totally different experience. I felt so much better after this delivery and totally plan on doing it again. I had prayed so much that I would have a good experience and that God would give me the strength to have the baby naturally. Looking back, it was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. God is so faithful. He put this desire in my heart over a year ago for some reason and He stuck with me to the end and allowed me to have this amazing spiritual experience that I will never forget. I wish everyone could have as good of an experience as I did. I know that many times in labor things don’t go as we want and we have to change plans. I feel so blessed that I was able to have my labor and delivery of Selah exactly the way I had envisioned and prayed for it to be. Now I feel like I can be an encourager to others who have the desire to do it this way. I know it is not for everyone, but I would say to anyone, if you feel like God has given you the desire, then go for it and He will be with you every step of the way.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Slideshow of Selah's birth!

Ok, haven't actually written the birth story yet, but here is the slideshow of pictures that were taken. I cry every time I watch it and remember the details. Having a baby is such a spiritual experience and I hope I can remember her birth forever. Hope you all enjoy!
A couple things....
1. You'll want to turn down the music from my blog before you play the slideshow. Just scroll down to the bottom of my page and you can pause it or turn the volume down.
2. If you are thinking about natural childbirth, note that I really don't look like I am in that much pain in most of the pictures, because I wasn't. It was not that bad. If I can do it, anybody can do it!
3. The song I have playing with it was my inspiration/theme song for this experience. I love Rita Springer and the words to the song are amazing.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coming soon...

Baby pics and birth story of Selah Rose Warren. I can't wait to write the birth story just because it was so amazing. I know a lot of people won't care, but if any of you are interested in natural childbirth, you might like it. I had an amazing experience and plan on definitely doing it again. I can honestly say that it was one of the most amazing things i have ever done and totally gave me a sense of empowerment/accomplishment. Not that giving birth in general doesn't do that for women, but it was just a goal I had and actually being able to achieve it was great. I've also got to write it all down soon or I know i'll forget a lot of the details! Hopefully i can get it up this week sometime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big week at the Warrens'

Today is Sophie's first day of BALLET! I may be more excited than her, although she is really pumped about her "ballet costume." I only wish they had a one way mirror or window sothat we could watch them. I am gonna have to sneak up there sometime and peek in this year.
Sophie's birthday is also in 1 week. My little baby is going to be 3 years old! Also, she's not going to be the baby anymore, she is going to be a big sister (Please Lord, let it be this week). So naturally we are running around like crazy doing last minute things like cleaning house, working on the nursery, haircuts and new shoes... I think I am going to try to cram as much of my "to do list" in as I can before the baby. Somehow, I know running errands will never be the same with two kids in car seats. We have jokingly said we need to get a harness for sophie so I can tie her to the stroller/buggy. I don't think I could bring myself to do this. I did see the funniest "kid leash" that looked like a purse. Somehow you are supposed to trick your little girl into thinking she is just wearing a purse. Nevermind that strap in the back that mommy is dragging you around by. I think Sophie is a little too smart for that. Somehow I don't think we could convince her it was "fun." She'll just have to behave herself really well, because I also don't relish the thought of pushing a ginormous double stroller around.
Well, off to start my busy day... Think labor and baby thoughts for me!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

To induce or not to induce...

That is the question. Should I even be thinking about this now? Well, probably not, but when you work in labor and delivery and watch everyone get induced at 39 weeks, it's bound to be at the back of your mind. I also feel like my body is blissfully unaware that I am due in 11 days and is not doing anything to gear up for labor. My patient last week went into labor on her own and she was due after me! I was thinking "Hey, no fair! I am more pregnant than you are, and here you having your baby today."
I will be 38 weeks and 4 days tomorrow, which is when I was induced with Sophie. I had a lovely labor and delivery, so why wouldn't I just want to do that again? I can't really give you a black and white answer other than that I just want to experience going into labor on my own. Throughout this pregnancy I have had a desire to experience the whole process of laboring and delivering naturally. I can't tell you exactly why, but I really feel that God put that desire in my heart. Why did I not desire it last time? I have no idea, but I was definitely begging for that induction and would've been appalled to be still pregnant at 40 weeks.
I will say one thing though, it is much easier to say that you don't want to be induced earlier in your pregnancy as opposed to 39 weeks. I think our culture revolves around planning for the future so much that it is hard to not want to "plan" your birth. You start thinking about things like, when is my doctor on call, when can my husband be off work, will my family be in town, who will take my other child.... No wonder induction is so desirable to so many people.
Right now, I am praying for faith, patience and believing that I will go into labor on my own!

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in YOU. Trust in the Lord forever."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

38 weeks and no baby...

Not that I am surprised. I never expected the baby to come on his/her own this early. I really feel like this little one is gonna ride out the whole 40 weeks and come the week of my dute date. It's funny, people keep saying, "Oh, I think the baby will come this week." I however, have no such feeling. I think that this baby is perfectly content to stay right where he/she is. The good thing is that I am feeling very patient and not anxious at all right now, but I think patience will take on a totally new meaning the day after my due date. I have seen too many 41 week c/sections to feel great about waiting that long. One thing helping with my patience is that the baby was only estimated to weigh 6 lbs 9 oz last week on an ultrasound. I had one because I am measuring small, imagine that, me with the 9 lb first baby. Who would've thought. Needless to say, it's comforting to know that this baby is probably not going to be bigger than sophie.

I am staying busy though and I actually have 4 more days to work, the last of which I will be 39 weeks and 2 days. After that I am throwing in the towel on work and focusing on Sophie's birthday. I really hope that these two will have their own birthday, but if not, then I guess a baby would be a pretty good birthday present for a three year old little girl who is obsessed with dolls and babies!

I'll keep you posted on any news. Feel free to leave me encouraging thoughts, especially if you are one of those who had to ride it out until her due date and beyond. I am excited to see what plans God has for this delivery!
Love you all,