I actually didn’t think it was very possible that I would actually have my baby on Christmas Day. That was a whole 4 days before my due date. I had arranged with my birth photographer a deal that on the off chance the baby came on Christmas, she could potentially still make it if it was late afternoon. I thought that was great. I mean, who has their baby when everyone is enjoying their Christmas brunch and opening presents? Apparently Peter has quite the personality because that is when he decided to arrive. We didn’t end up having a birth photographer there. I wasn’t going to make people come while their children were opening Christmas gifts. I also knew I could have my sister come document, but things were so crazy that photos were the last thing on my mind to try and organize. It all worked out great, and we got some precious pictures on our trusty iphones.
Alright, let me back up to Christmas Eve. We spent it at my sisters house, and we enjoyed a non-traditional Mexican dinner. It was fantastic! We stayed there until about 9pm. I even told my sister that night that I knew so many people that were having their baby around my time, and I was excited to see who had their baby on Christmas. One of the people I knew was bound to. We certainly didn’t think it was me….again, I should probably not act like I know when the baby is NOT going to come. Taylor and I made our way back home, we watched 2 episodes of friends, and then we decided it might be fun to sleep in the living room that night. I fell asleep at about midnight, and little did I know the fun was about to begin. So far I hadn’t had any labor signs, or any idea that soon my body would be in labor. It is kind of funny to think about, we still had to pack our hospital bag on Christmas day, and we also had on the list to figure out how to work the car seat. ….We weren’t quite all the way ready.
At 12:30am I woke up to some cramps/indigestion it seemed like. I went to the bathroom. Sure enough, I had some diarrhea. I was not feeling super great, so I decided to jump in the tub. The cramps were pretty strong, but I also felt sick to my stomach. Everyone told me that contractions felt like cramps, but that you get a nice break in between where you don’t feel anything. ….Yeah I didn’t realize I was actually having contractions for a bit because I would have some intense contractions, and then when it stopped, I was actually still feeling cramping. I finally timed my intense ones, and realized they were only 3 minutes apart. I kind of didn’t think this was the real deal. I thought, these feel exactly like bad menstrual cramps. Exactly. Why don’t people tell you it feels exactly like them? haha. I practiced my hypnobirthing breathing, and relaxed in the tub. I started putting things together in the bedroom, and once it was 4am, I decided to wake Taylor to pack the rest of the hospital bag. I got back in the tub. Soon after I also had to throw up a few times. (poor taylor held the bowl while I did that, and HE was trying not to throw up too haha). After getting out of the tub, Taylor said he thought it was time to go to the hospital. I agreed. Contractions were still 3 minutes apart….& I was just laughing the whole time because I always read in others birth stories that they would get ready and take a shower before they headed to the hospital. I don’t think I even brushed my teeth. haha I am very low maintenance.
The car ride to the hospital was really long, it took us 30 minutes to get to the hospital because we were the only ones driving at 5:30am Christmas morning, and there was a foot of snow on our driveway, as well as it still snowing. I had way too many contractions in the car, and those were probably some of the hardest ones. When we arrived inside of the main entrance at 6am, there wasn’t anyone on the main level. There was a nurse leaving from her shift, and I was about to have another contraction so I went down on my knees to focus in on it. The nurse immediately grabbed a wheelchair for me, and took me up to the L&D.
In the triage room, the nurse kept telling me I meant serious business. I thought that was great, because I had no way to know if these contractions were early on or not. She checked me and I was 100% effaced and dilated to a 4. They admitted me and put me in a birthing room. I immediately had them draw me a bath. Got in the bath, but the jets didnt work, so we switched rooms, and did it again. By that time, my midwife arrived. Her and Taylor helped with pressure points on my knees and back while I was in the tub. I just kept breathing through the contractions and trying to go with it. A few times I fought the contraction happening, and realized how much WORSE that felt, so I tried to just focus so I wouldn’t do that again. The contractions seemed to be just as consistent and intense as when I woke up, which was good news to me. We decided to have her break my water to see if it would make things progress faster (although I wasn’t sure it would). I was dilated to a 6 when she broke my water. I was expecting the contractions to be a lot more intense after that, but they weren’t. Honestly at this point I was pretty tired. I was kind of ready to have the baby. I just kept doing one contraction at a time, and I didn’t pay attention to the clock. I was soon dilated to an 8. I was in the tub, and I just remember my midwife saying we needed to get out of the tub. I didn’t know why because I liked the tub. We never officially had the “you are dilated to a 10” conversation. I just remember sitting on my knees on the bed, and all of a sudden pushing with my contractions. -Just a little bit at the end. I was there, almost there, and Taylor could see the head. Him and my midwife were with my every step of the way. I was so happy. I was doing this thing unmedicated! Oh I was already kinda pushing! Yay!
I have to add that my midwife and Taylor were with me the entire time. To be helping me for at least 8 hours with no break is not easy. I had them doing pressure points the entire time (and I didn’t really have a desire to use any other tools I had learned in hypnobirthing besides that and me focusing on my breathing). It was great to feel so supported. At some point in my transition phase doing little pushes, the midwife said we needed to rotate the baby. So I laid on my left side while they put a peanut ball in between my legs. What transpired next was kind of blur. I remember them saying they were calling the dr (who was on call, and I was so happy to hear it was Dr. Douglas Allen – He is awesome!) and anesthesiologist to come just in case we needed them. The heart rate of our little boy had dropped for a while, and so they gave me oxygen and had me lay on my left side because he was doing better that way. They also reminded me lots more to take deeper breaths, and thats what I focused on mostly when I wasn’t having contractions too. I was taught to breathe a certain way during and after each contraction, so I put all my energy towards giving my baby oxygen. The dr came in, and luckily Peter’s heart rate had improved some. They had to monitor him directly on his head. He was also stuck behind my pelvic bone, so getting him past that was proving to be hard; especially with his heart rate that had gone down. The doctor was pretty serious and let me decide what I wanted to do. He said I can continue pushing for a while, but if it didn’t work, we needed to help things a little because of his heart rate. They were on my team in letting me try to avoid a C section. I am so grateful for that. Taylor also administered a priesthood blessing to me before we started anymore interventions to help our guy get here safely. I continued pushing unmedicated trying to help things along. Luckily I did open up more, but we still needed extra help. The doctor told me we could try vacuum or forceps before going in for a C section. From what he said, it sounded like forceps would give me a better option in this case to avoid the C section the most. I went with that, and the midwife said he was specially trained in using forceps and I was in good hands. I also decided before doing the forceps I would get the epidural so that I could be awake if we had to do the C section.
Having the urge to push while the epidural is being administered was pretty hard. It was intense, but looking back, I think I enjoyed that part the most because I really was in the urge to push phase. I pushed by myself for 15 minutes with the epidural before the doctor came in, and then he got out those nice forceps. He told me he was just going to guide the baby down while I pushed. I gave it all my might each time so that he wouldn’t have to really clamp down on our son with the forceps. After just a few minutes of pushing with the forceps, our baby arrived. 13 hours of labor, 7lbs 3oz (although the records say 4oz for some reason), 19 inches long. When he was born a giant amount of poop also came out with him (from him not me, haha). When the midwife checked my fluid a few hours before it was clear, so she knew that the poop had been recent and probably hadn’t been ingested by him. They were able to bring him to me pretty soon after, but the cord was wrapped around him so we did take it cautiously when he arrived.
So grateful for my midwife. She stayed the whole time during my labor, even when the doctor took over. She was a huge support, and her help with pressure points the whole time with Taylor was so helpful.
IT WAS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We were able to do skin to skin for a long while, and he was such a champ breastfeeding as soon as he wanted to. I ended up pushing for 3 hours (but only 20 minutes of that was with the epidural! I still am so happy I know I can do it all unmedicated because I was basically there. I felt the entire time once we realized he was having a low heart rate that everything would still be okay. I kept praying that we needed extra help to get him out. I felt our Heavenly Father’s love so strongly, and I didn’t question if our baby would be okay. I knew he would get here, I just had to do all I could to help. It is amazing the extra energy you have when you have to do all you can to get your baby here safely. I didnt care how badly I was going to tear (which actually ended up being a pretty good one…apparently as far as you can tear, lots of fun). I even kept telling Taylor the doctor was taking a long time stitching me up, and that it hasn’t ever taken that long from the births I have seen. I even peeked my head up and asked the doctor how my bleeding was looking. He said it was pretty great! I was proud I didn’t bleed a ton. Yay for eating dates! Everything in that study was basically true for me, so go look it up if you are curious. I was overcome with gratitude for my husband, midwife, doctor, the hospital staff, etc. Everyone was so amazing, and I felt so supported in my whole birth experience. Every time they needed to do anything they were telling me what other options I had, and let me make the final decisions on everything. I had a strong sense of thankfulness towards my birthing team because I felt like they were monitoring the baby, and giving me every possible chance not to have a c section! So, so grateful. I also think it was a positive thing that during labor and delivery all I felt was an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Looking back, and also some of the things I have had to deal with post-partum, I realized that the last few hours of my birth were pretty hard and traumatizing for my body. Our bodies are amazing, and I didn’t realize until probably the next day just how hard that portion of the birth was. It was such an intimate, sacred experience with my family that day. We shared many happy tears as a couple during labor and after the birth. It was so special, and I have never gone through something so wonderful/challenging with Taylor. This past while has brought us so much closer as a family.
Taylor’s first time holding Peter. What a moment to watch him holding our son after supporting and working so hard to get him here.
Our recovery room was the best in the hospital. As soon as we walked into it, I was so happy about all the windows. It was beautiful, and so easy to enjoy the next 48 hours in the recovery room.
I became super swollen from the IV fluids. Kind of crazy how much you swell in your body after the birth.
We have just loved holding him and watching him sleep or wiggle around.
First sponge bath with Dad. I was so happy to watch this in the hospital room. Our nurse at the end was so amazing. She was also there when I was in labor. She was amazing in answering all of my questions, and really going above and beyond. I am so grateful for her, and that we were able to have her at the end. She also helped Taylor install the car seat in our car, which actually took a good while before they figured it out.
Giving Peter some indirect sunlight to help him get rid of jaundice. He did great!
Here is his cute little outfit. Who knew that his newborn clothes would also be so big. He still hasn’t quite started fitting into everything, but he is so dang cute!