A deep breath. It’s September 21st and I’m 38 weeks in: nothing in my house is set up for a baby even though my baby shower was weeks ago. I have tons of clothes, blankets, socks and other things for baby, but nothing is organized and the crib is still in its box.
September 28th and I’m 39 weeks. I can still touch my toes and as it turns out, put my foot behind my head. Little man continues to love kicking ice cubes off the top of my stomach when he’s awake and has the hiccups 8 or 9 times a day. The crib is set up, and tomorrow I’m going to go walking with a few girls to try and see if this little man will join us. Hot wings, pineapple, and tons of walking around at the dog park. Let’s go baby!
October 4th and it’s my due date. Still having randomized contractions and making sure I walk as much as I can, but it seems like little man needs a bit more time. Friends and family keep asking when I’m going to be induced. It’s really sad to me that this is the frame of mind people have about birth, but that’s a topic for another time. They are showing their love through their concern. I got a stretch mark between two of my stretch marks today. It itches like no other!
October 11th and still no sign of Eli. Jordan’s little sister (Jordan = My Fiance) is having a baby shower in two days, I promised a lot of people not to have him that day so not to steal her thunder! I hope he doesn’t prove me wrong. Even my biggest maternity shirts are too small. I feel like a tent but can STILL touch my toes!! I’ve only gained 13 pounds during this pregnancy and it’s all belly. I hope to be so fortunate every time! A lot of people have started to tell me “horror” stories about babies being born past their due date. Someone told me today that my placenta was going to detach inside and my baby was going to suffocate. I know that this can happen (it sadly happened to one of my own sisters, RIP Clair.) but it has only a little to do with being “overdue.” It makes me sad that people see the words “Estimated Due Date” and think that things are set in stone. Estimation, not expiration! Baby HAS to come at some point.
41 weeks today, and letting my little man bake as long as he likes. The last few weeks is when they are building their brains, so build away Eli!
Today is November 5th, and Elias Jude Hunt was born three weeks ago today, on October 15th of 2012. This is his birth story:
Let’s start at midnight of the 14th. I texted the god-mother of my little boy(Danessa) that I was having bad back pain and felt really sick to my stomach. Food didn’t taste good and I just felt bad all around. She asked if we were having a baby, and I responded that I wasn’t having contractions just felt sickly. Jordan(my fiancé) and I went to bed at that point. I woke up three or four times to go to the bathroom and my back still really hurt each time. I think I drank about half a gallon of water between the four times which is probably what contributed to all of the bathroom trips to begin with!
We woke up at 7:00 so Jordan could get ready for work. He left by about 7:20 and I went about cleaning the kitchen. I remember feeling one or two small contractions but not really paying attention to them as they had been happening for 5 weeks at this point. At exactly 8am (according to my coffee pot) I had to stop washing and grip the counter through a contraction. It startled me a little but I kept washing dishes. Surprise! At 8:06 (thank you coffee pot) I had another contraction, just as strong. At 8:12 I had another and I texted Danessa that I realized why my back had hurt and I had felt so sick the night before. I stopped doing dishes and went to take a shower. I stayed in until about 8:45 when I decided to throw the last thing or two into the hospital bags. I was still having contractions just 5 and 6 minutes apart and they were getting a little longer and stronger each time, though I could still talk through them. At 9 I called and woke up Danessa to ask her what she was doing for the day. She said she was off work (thank goodness!) and I told her we were having a baby, so at some point I would need her to pick Jordan up from work-35 minutes away. She and I continued texting and she printed copies of my birth plan for the nursing staff. My contractions suddenly got a lot longer at about 9:30, so I called her again and asked her to go pick up Jordan. She asked if she could at least shower and I laughed and told her yes, but to hurry because I had an odd feeling that this was going to go by pretty quickly. (I saved that text in my phone to prove it later!)
I called and explained everything to Jordan, and then called my dad to give him the heads up to come into town since he lived six hours away. I spent the next hour getting in and out of a tub of hot water and laying on a towel on my bed. I was throwing up in-between every contraction even though I had eaten nothing. I kept drinking water to both keep hydrated and having at least something to throw up! At some point I started to shout a little in the middle of a contraction because breathing just wasn’t cutting it.
At 10:36 I called my OB and asked at what point I should go to the hospital. The nurse stayed on the phone with me through two contractions and told me to go as soon as my ride got there. A short while later Jordan and Danessa arrived: Jordan got me and my bags into the car and sped like mad to the hospital. It was a scant three and a half miles away.
When we got there, it was 11am and Jordan jumped out of the car and went in to get a wheelchair. Danessa parked her car and then got into our car and parked it so it wasn’t left in the emergency zone. We rushed back to the labor and delivery area where I promptly asked for a barf bag. The nurses scrambled for a moment and led us into a triage room. Danessa stayed to help me change and manage the bags while Jordan gave the nurses my information. They came in and said they couldn’t find my information but had spoken with my doctor personally and that they were getting my information transferred. The nurses came in and started to hook me up to all kinds of monitoring machines. I told them no and had them read my birth plan, but they told me it was policy to at least check my heart rate and the babies before I could be admitted since they had no records for me as well as an internal to get my dilation. Everyone’s vitals were good and I checked at a 6 for dilation. After about 20 minutes and a bunch of signatures they still had me hooked up to the machines. I asked them a couple of times to take it off and simply unhooked it myself after a long while. They were mad, but saw no point in arguing anymore. All this time the contractions stayed 4 and 5 minutes apart, I was still vomiting between each one.
Some time later (as I had no sense of time anymore) we moved to an actual delivery room. They tried to hook me back up to more monitors but I refused and pointed out that my doctor had signed and approved my plan ahead of time, because they now had my records. Jordan stepped in and tried to give the nurses the paper even. I was hooked up anyways because they said they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat without it. (It came strong and immediately when they hooked me up.) They checked me again and I was now a 7. I was given a saline lock “just in case” but wouldn’t allow an IV. I tried lying on the bed in a couple of positions but everything hurt. Eventually what helped was leaning over the bed (fully mooning that entire side of the room as Jordan so kindly pointed out) and swaying my hips back and forth. I tried breathing through each contraction, but yelling out is what really helped me so I let loose and yelled as loud as I wanted through each contraction. It helped me release all the pain so I could doze between them and move on to the next. Jordan kept asking me what he could do to help but I was so in my element alone that I didn’t know how he could be there.
Then, my head nurse came in. She argued with me until I allowed the monitor to be hooked up AGAIN for a couple of minutes and started reading through this big stack of papers and having me sign this that and the other thing. I asked twice if I could just do it later because I couldn’t concentrate, but she wouldn’t leave. I was stressed and signed all the papers and unhooked the machine again. This was at about 12:30. They checked my dilation again and I was STILL at a 7. I was instantly angry at the nurse for ruining my concentration and slowing things down. My yelling became more screaming and I was living in the pain of each contraction. Jordan asked if he could help: I had no answer for him. A different nurse came to me, grabbed my chin, and told me to take control. She told me to breathe through it, push the air out of my lungs like it was the enemy and to not let the pain own me. I screamed in her face that I couldn’t do it through contractions that were now only two minutes apart. After three she had helped me regain my composure. I didn’t continue blowing. But my yells were back to not being a scream anymore. She asked me what would help me relax so that things could progress. I asked if they had something to help with my back pain, but reminded her I didn’t want intervention or an epidural. She ran some towels in hot water and put pressure on my back. The heat was nice but the pressure was terrible.
Then I asked if I could stand with the shower on my back. The nurses agreed that it should be fine and brought me a chair to sit on in there. I ended up standing in-between the contractions and leaning over the chair while a nurse aimed the water at my back through the contractions. Within five minutes I was much more relaxed I told the nurse I was going to start pushing soon. She got a confused look on her face and checked me again. Suddenly I was dilated to 9 or a bit more.
I should mention that at this point, Jordan had gone outside because the nurse told him we still had a long while to go. Shortly after I was checked at a 9, I started to call for him. Apparently the family outside told him to come back in. I told the nurse I wanted to push. She started urging me to move back to the bed. I said no. I remember her trying to gently pry my hands off the chair and move me to the room and looking her in the eyes just as she had when she told me to breathe, and saying “Lady, I’m not moving.”
Well, all hell broke loose. My OB rushed in, towels were put all over the floor for traction, a big cart was dragged in, and everyone donned surgical capes; all of which was soaked promptly as I asked that the water be left on. I started bearing down and heard Jordan outside the door. I looked up and saw that he was stuck outside behind the cart and carried on. I half squatted with each contraction. My water broke suddenly and I felt an enormous pressure hit my pelvis. A nurse asked if she could hold my leg up so I didn’t have to squat so far, I said yes because my poor OB was already sitting on the floor. I kept pushing and suddenly felt as if I was on fire. I remember saying it burns and looking down to see some fuzzy little hair. I smiled so hard and asked if that was his head and touched him. I quite literally forgot the pain I was in or had been in. Shortly after I needed to push again and his head was out. Two more pushes and his whole body followed. My OB checked his airway and then handed him to me. He didn’t cry, he simply squeaked. They kept checking his airway but he was perfectly clear. He then promptly went to the bathroom for the first time on the floor. I carried him back to the bed and sat down.
Jordan got to come over and meet Elias with me then. They covered us in warm blankets and cleaned up the bathroom while the three of us sat there in wonder. About ten minutes later my OB showed me the now fully drained cord and clamped it. J cut it, and I delivered what I was told was a pristine healthy placenta. I experienced no tears and simply had an ice pack to sit on. I was so at peace that I didn’t even need Tylenol. Everything had gone just the way it should.
Elias Jude Hunt was born at 1:11 and weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, measuring a touch over 20 inches long. My total labor was 5 hours long and I only pushed for four minutes. I stayed up until 10:30pm that night and was walking around the delivery room and our final overnight room (#1111) the entire time. All of our family could hardly believe that I was so…ALIVE after giving birth.
Be inspired, and love your labor. Be confident that your body CAN and WILL do what it is programmed to do, and at peace that every time is different. Thank you for sharing my story with me.