When I had my daughter in June of 2014, I thought it was silly to make a plan for birth. I knew it wouldn’t go my way, anyway! So I went into labor with only one request: an epidural. When I went from four to ten centimeters in 25 minutes they told me that my only request couldn’t be honored. This time, with my son, I decided I would plan everything I wanted, as long as I was ok with it being thrown out the window. I had been taught that little planning or lots of planning, I still stood a chance of everything changing, along with the chance of it going my way. So I may as well plan, right?
I had spent days hoping he’d come early like his sister, who was five days early, but as his due date approached I was becoming nervous I’d be late. Eight days before our due date I had a checkup with my amazing doctor at 9:45am. My doctor checked my cervix and said I was 3.5 centimeters with a bulging bag of waters. I was terrified. When I was this dilated with my daughter, she was born less than two hours later. I drove to my sister’s house immediately after my appointment, with contractions about three minutes apart. From there, my mom left to get our hospital bag from my house, and my husband left work and picked me up.
When we arrived at the hospital, my contractions were two and a half minutes apart and I was six centimeters dilated. I had progressed in less than 45 minutes. My photographer showed up just minutes after me.
My nurse had a hard time getting my IV line in or drawing blood, but eventually I was all checked in. It was about 11:30am by the time they had me ready to go. I labored quietly, breathing with my husband through each contraction, with my mom rubbing my back. I started on the birth ball, moved to standing with my husband, sitting on the rocking chair, and then decided it was time to go back to the bed. I knew I was close. I was checked again and was eight centimeters. Only about 30 minutes later I knew the familiar feeling: I was ready to push. I looked at my mom as I breathed through a contraction and nodded my head. She knew what I needed and went to get my doctor. My doctor came in and told me to push whenever I wanted and the nurse brought me a push bar.
On the first push, my water broke. Two more pushes and Baby J’s head was out. They immediately told me to lie back on the bed, and I felt his shoulder come out as I lay back. Later I learned they needed me to lie back so they could untangle him: his cord was wrapped twice around his neck, once around his abdomen, and once from his shoulder down between his legs!
He was placed directly on my chest at 2:55pm, and we delayed cord clamping. We immediately breastfed and he was a professional latch-er!
About an hour later, after having my fourth degree muscular tear repaired, they weighed him in at 9lbs 3oz and 21 1/4″ long! I was immediately so proud of myself for delivering my big boy all natural, as planned. Our family came in from the hallway after he was weighed, and we bonded in my hospital room. My mom left to pick up my daughter to come meet her new baby brother, and the nurses brought her a sandwich for dinner. We were discharged the next day.
As a modest soul, I had contemplated having a photographer present at our delivery. I am forever glad that I decided to have her present. She was a wonderful fly on the wall and I never paid any attention to where she was in the room.
Photography by Alora Photography