it’s really long because… well it just is! I wrote down almost every detail so I didn’t forget a thing!
I guess I’ll start with my due date, which was July 27th, 2009.
EDITED TO ADD that we had calculated wrong and my actual due date was Aug 3rd. That’s why it’s so important that it’s just a guesstimate!
Also adding that that was my story in 2009 and it doesn’t reflect everything I believe or would do now but I’m still thankful for my experience.
Let me just start out by saying how amazing my whole pregnancy was. It really couldn’t have been more ‘textbook’ perfect. I got morning sickness (which by the way, was all day poison sickness. No joke, I felt like I was poisoned.), I even got pregnancy carpal tunnel (had to wear those wrist bands at night). Just all the normal pregnancy stuff! Me and the baby were healthy & the whole time I was a ‘low risk’ pregnancy. I was to deliver my baby at the Baylor All Saints by my wonderful Dr! My last prenatal appt was a week before my due date and everything was great. I was barely fingertip dilated and a little effaced, but that was something! yay! Well, then my dr. mentioned ‘induction’. I thought I made it clear that we would not be going that route so I was getting uncomfortable when she brought it up again. If everything is going great then… why are we talking induction?? So I told her how I did not want to be induced and went over my other “plans” with her. She basically said that my expectations for delivery were too high and I was going to be disappointed! She also said that I had no options- I would be induced! She said I came into this to have a baby & it shouldn’t matter how he gets here. I just didn’t agree with her!! The journey is just as important as the destination for me and everything was perfect with me and the baby. I had told her how I wanted a drug-free, no intervention unless medically necessary delivery so starting off with an induction would not be in my favor!! (I felt nerdy saying this too even though it’s what I wanted) This is where (as some of my friends call it) I ‘fired’ my dr!
I went home from my appt and emailed Lesley, my doula, hoping for some good advice! I was sooo thankful that we decided to go with her! She recommended that I contact the midwife group at the hospital I was delivering at. (Btw, my dr would be out of town during my induction so she was trying to get me to be induced on my actual ‘due date’ (today). Haha, yeah right! Just because you have a ‘due date’ does NOT mean that the baby is ready yet. Only God knows when your baby is ready. It could be 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after your due date.)
Tuesday morning I called the midwife group at the hospital I was to deliver at. I explained to the receptionist my ‘dilemma’ and she just kinda laughed & said “oh honey its too late for us to do anything for you now”. I understand since my due date was YESTERDAY but I dont care, SOME body needs to help me because I wont be showing up to no induction! Of course I didnt say this to her, but to Jared after I got off the phone with these people. 😛
So I talked to Lesley again and she assured me everything would be okay. ((BTW- If you are even slightly considering to hire a doula, GET ONE! I LOVED mine & again, sooo thankful I had her!)) She knew we hadn’t discussed any type of ‘out of hospital’ birth, but wanted to let me know my options as far as birthing center/home birth since she could tell I was so distraught about everything. As soon as she said ‘home birth’ my eyes lit up. And not in a bad way. I was definitely feeling this idea! Are you kidding me!?!? What was I thinking to have a baby at home?! Seriously though, if we hadn’t of rented & watched ‘The Business of Being Born’ a couple of weeks before I’m not sure how much I would have considered this! (I always thought people that gave birth at home (on purpose!) were crazy!!) So she gave me the contact info for a midwife that delivered at a birthing center, but her passion was home births! Perfect! I could feel my blood pressure drop back to normal & I was feeling much better! The only thing I was scared about was telling my mom I would be having this baby at home!! :O (She ended up being very supportive though))
I decided today would be my last day at work so I could really focus on the baby & get everything lined up. I called the midwife, Donnellyn, that night. She said we could come to her office that next afternoon to go over everything. <quickly!> Oh and I also didn’t inform ANY of my coworkers about this. They would definitely think I were crazy! And actually I do recall joking near the middle of my pregnancy that I hope I just have him at home. 😛
Wednesday: Today I decided to go to the zoo! The weather was nice and I knew I could get in lots of walking to get this baby moving down. Plus it was ½ price day! (There is something ‘special’ about a 1st time pregnancy- you’ve never been through anything before so you really have no idea. Knowing what I do now- if my water would have broke while walking through the zoo! Oh my!!) So me, mom, & JJ went to the zoo! (Jared had to work) We were there from 11am-5pm. It was kind of warm but I drank lots of water & also got a lemon chill! My favorite!
While we were having fun, Jared was trying to get my prenatal records from my hospital for the midwife. That was kind of a pain, but we finally got them! The plan was, after we left the zoo, mom would drop me off at Jared’s office so we could go meet the midwife. Well, Donnellyn had called and was attending another birth so she wouldn’t be able to meet until later if it wasn’t too late. Well it got to be too late so we decided on meeting the following morning. Talk about time crunch!
Thursday: Jared woke up early to work from home for a little bit until Donnellyn arrived at our house. She arrived around 10am and we went over everything in short quick detail. I really liked her so that was good! It seemed a bit overwhelming to be doing this 3 days AFTER my ‘due date’ but we knew everything sounded great & I just kept praying. I knew no matter what happened, it would all be okay. (Why can’t I be so sure of this all the time, lol) She tested my iron level and it was 9.3. That was the low end and she really wanted to get it up so she left me with a bottle of chlorophyll & gentle birth. After she left, Jared got it okayed by his work to just finish his work from home since the commute itself would take up more time. He worked until 5 and then we got started on our busy night! I was told by the midwife to go get everything I would need on her list for delivery & to eat a nice healthy dinner. So Jared grilled some steaks on the grill and we headed up to WalMart to complete our list. By the time we got home it was almost midnight!! (We took a little detour to Claire’s because his brother was getting his ears pierced.) I was instructed before bed, to drink chlorophyll, gentle birth, a TON of water, and use evening primrose oil (that was supposed to soften the cervix) And actually we were supposed to do perineum stretches too but that just didn’t happen. We left everything else out on the counter because we were so tired and went to bed!!
Friday:The Fun Begins! I woke up at 3:20am with an unbelievable urge to pee! (go figure!) I didn’t even ask Jared to give me a push out of bed, I just carried my belly and tiptoed into the bathroom (running into the door even). I peed. Relief. As I went to wipe (remember, the belly is HUGE) I somehow put pressure on the top of my belly and heard a sort of <POP>. Uh-oh. And there went the fluid. A lot actually. I knew I was done peeing, even tried the kegel exercise to see if it would stop. It didn’t. I calmly called to Jared twice, the 3rd time with a little more panic. He came in and I said it wont stop leaking and started crying. I was soo scared because we had went over what I do during everything except if my water broke first! I was shaking also and seriously all of my confidence about L&D just fell out of my brain! After Jared calmed me down from almost hyper-ventilating we decided that laying down & trying to get more rest was the best thing. Donnellyn and even Lesley couldn’t stress enough to rest rest rest because I would need it! So we put towels all under/around me and I rested but couldn’t seem to fall asleep until about 5:30 when I took some liquid benadryll. At about 7:10 we woke up, called Donnellyn, Lesley, and my mom. Lesley had a friend in Arlington that was going to let us borrow her birth pool, we just needed to go pick it up. Johnny was going to go do that, and Donnellyn had me do a few things & said contractions could start anytime now…
To be honest I was scared out of my mind. Obviously I had never done this before and didn’t know what to expect. I was scared about contractions starting (and doubting I could handle them) I was also scared about contractions NOT starting. I knew my body hadn’t failed me yet, but my mind started playing ‘what if’.
Since I was leaking the fluid my belly felt really weird- like jell-o in my somehow stretched out skin. It felt like it wasn’t even real! I drank the juice and the baby was moving fine. I drank my chlorophyll, took a shower, & headed over to MawMaws for breakfast. She made it all (eggs, sausage, biscuits) on an iron skillet. (added iron) We explained to Maw Maw & Mandi about our decision to have a home birth. Of course they were pretty skeptical because they didn’t know anything about it, but I think they felt better that we were so confident in our decision.
About 10am we decided to go walk the park/lake area & see if we could get any contractions starting. We walked/talked for about 15-20 mins and it was getting too hot outside so we went back. (Afterall it was TX summer!)
((lifting our feet up because there’s little sugar aunts covered on the path))
I was checking in with Donnellyn every couple of hours to see how I was progressing. Since my water had been broke for about 8.5 hours at this point she wanted me to get Vitamin C tablets to up my immunity & it also helps iron absorb better. So we went to Target for that & even made a couple laps. We came back to the house & Johnny & Jared set up the birth pool in our ‘playroom’. Then, Donnellyn called and needed me to go get my blood drawn for my iron levels. We had to go asap because if my levels weren’t high enough it wouldn’t be safe to have baby at home. Eeegh, I was kind of freaking out. I had been taking my prenatals with iron and this liquid iron from my dr for 9 months and it hadn’t done much- I didn’t think 24 hours of chlorophyll would have done anything! Johnny continued setting up the birth pool while we ran to Ft Worth to get my blood drawn @ Quest Diagnostics. (1pm) On the way there I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a huge bowl of spinach salad. (lots of iron!)
((Donnellyn had called me back a few hours later and my iron levels had gone from 9.3 to 13….. Excellent! )) Praise the Lord! How much more confirmation do I need that I can have this baby at home!! 🙂
At 3:00pm mom came over.
At 4:00pm I lost more amniotic fluid & I did my pelvic tilts. (To make sure baby was in the right position)
At 6:00pm Still no contractions and Donnellyn wanted me to eat a real good dinner and she’d be over later that evening. So mom and Jared ordered me steak and potato and salad from Logans.
At 7:00 we went for a walk around the neighborhood with my mom. Donnellyn arrived around 7:30. 16 hours since my water broke and still no contractions so she checked the babys heartbeat-good, my blood pressure-good, and no sign of infection. She is not God, so she had no idea why labor hadn’t started yet, but she wanted me to take a shower, drink my chlorophyll and vitamin C once every hour, take my temp every 2 hours (to watch for infection) to use dynahex in my peri bottle every time I used the bathroom, and to take benadryl to fall asleep. I didn’t get much sleep the night before so I had a good chance of getting more rest before labor started.
At 8:00pm Autumn came over. She braided my hair in 2 braids & made me laugh for a little bit. It was very encouraging having her there. I told Donnellyn about my fears I had & she said I needed to let them go if I wanted this baby to come out. Before she left she gave me these little pills to dissolve under my tongue. She didn’t have any extras so she had my mom go to the health food store to get something similar- master gland. She said I could wait til the morning to take them if nothing changed over night. (But she was pretty sure it would)
Donnellyn left, mom left, Autumn left. It was storming. Me and Jared layed down, prayed for contractions, kept checking my temperature, chlorophyll, Vitamin C, and then benadryl to fall asleep. ((You can imagine how much I did not like having to take all of this stuff. ))
8.01.09: (Saturday) It’s AUGUST! We knew this baby would be waiting until August! Funny side-story… on Jared’s mom side of the family all the kids birthdays alternate between Aug & Feb. Jared’s birthday is August, Baeli (Jareds cousin) is February, Tanner (Jared’s brother) is August, Seth (cousin) is February, then another set of cousins came, Carmen being August and Joe is February. It only makes sense that this baby be born in August!
2:30am I woke up to pee & drank 1/2 a bottle of water. I was completely shocked that I still had not gone into active labor coming on 24 hours since my water had broke!! I prayed for contractions and assured myself that I was ready and not scared. I was strong. I could do this. As I was praying-3am- I started having contractions. They were around 7-8 minutes apart so I drank more water & Jared got up and cooked us breakfast. It was still really early in the morning, but my water was already leaking and I had no idea how fast/slow things would go at this point or even if I’d still feel like eating later.
4am- I had some bloody mucous but the contractions had basically filtered off.
5am- I layed down to rest more
6am- I had more bloody mucous and lost more fluid. We talked to Donnellyn and she now wanted me taking 2MasterGland every 30 minutes! Ugh- the problem with this is that I don’t swallow pills! So Jared opened them up and put them in a smoothie for me. (BTW- Jared took sooo much care of me this whole time. Made sure I checked my temp every hour, wrote it down, gave me all my vitamins and stuff, filled my bottle of dynahex when I went to the bathroom, etc…) After a couple hours of this Master Gland business I couldn’t even look at another smoothie! It was so nasty- I was no longer able to get it down. Mandi & MawMaw brought over some jello, applesauce, and pudding to see if I could get any of that down with it. (Of course, I couldn’t)
2:00pm– mom and Raven came over
3:00pm– We took a little nap and Donnellyn came back over. She said we should go out to eat or to the movies- something to just relax because she thinks we are being ‘watched’ too much, waiting for something to happen. I had to sign a waiver that I refused to go to the hospital after water breaking for 24 hours. She also said that it was up to us as to how long we let it drag on without intervention. Of course I asked a ton of questions for safety/health of the baby. She said baby has plenty of fluid and she consulted with an OB at a Denton hospital- they both agreed as long as there is no sign of infection- we are all clear. So we wait. 🙂 ((This was a very long process and some people didn’t understand why I just didn’t go to the dr. and get it moving. You can’t always rush -nature- and just because I was ready (and exhausted) didn’t mean the baby was! ))
7:30pm- Had some ribs from Chili’s for dinner
8:00pm– It had cooled off more so we went for another walk. I started getting some contractions so I went ahead and told Jared at each one so he could write them down. I really wasn’t paying attention and they weren’t that big.
About 9:30pm I went ahead and googled NS. I figured it couldn’t hurt so I did one and I had a contraction right away. Then I did both at the same time and had another right away.
10:00pm I called Lesley- we chatted for a while about how my labor was progressing and how my ‘water breaking’ could have possibly been just a high leak, which would explain not really going into labor yet. She said if by morning, still no contractions, then to do some NS, but to go ahead and get some rest tonight. Me and Jared got ready for bed and layed down- relieved to be getting at least one last night’s rest.
11pm– CONTRACTIONS START Of course any other time this weekend I would have been thrilled but we were going off hardly ANY sleep at all. I knew I needed rest because I’d been up all day and barely had any rest the past couple of nights. I knew these were THE contractions because they were not like the ones I’d previously been having.
8.02.09 : I tried to go to sleep, but after each contraction I would wake up. About 2:15am Jared called Lesley. She advised us to go back to sleep to get more rest and to call her back when the contractions were less than 10 minutes apart for at least an hour. As soon as he got off the phone with her they were closer together so at 3:30am Jared called Lesley back. I had also called my mom so she was on her way over. Around 3:00am it hurt too much to be laying down when the contractions came. I just couldn’t get comfortable. Mom got there (with my gatorade :))and we sat in the living room talking. The contractions weren’t near as bad while I was sitting on the couch. I checked my email, looked on facebook, and even sent my pastor a message! haha. (That was probably my first time on FB in forever. I didn’t start getting on there regularly until later)
Lesley arrived at about 6:30am. She wanted me to try and rest more so I propped the pillows up on the bed to lean into them. After about an hour of that she had me get onto my pilates ball at the side of the bed. It really hurt at first until I got used to that position. I’m really glad I had her there because I wouldn’t have tried that position. I had tried it earlier and it hurt too bad to continue doing.
Around 8:30am they wanted me to eat some breakfast if I could so I had some of a banana and some eggs. It was kind of hard to eat (I didnt really FEEL like eating) but I knew I had to.
The next couple of hours were spent walking around the house, talking, laughing, contractions, etc.
At about 11am Donnellyn came over… she was excited that things were moving along. She decided to check me… after 12 hours of being in labor I was only dilated to a 3. (!!!) I was definitely bummed & looked just completely exhausted! The contractions were pretty hard too. At this point she told me I had some options. She said it wouldn’t be horrible if I wasn’t able to do this at home. She said I could go up to the Denton hospital to get an epidural so I could get a little more energy to push this baby out. She said I wasn’t even half way done and I needed much more energy than I had. With all the non sleep the past few days she just wasn’t sure if I could make it. It could be another 11 hours of labor at this point. I was pretty crushed to hear her say this! I talked with Jared… actually cried to him. Pregnancy hormones + non sleep + being in labor= emotional wreck Rachel! We talked about what was important to us, Jared said he would do anything I needed him to do… I said okay please pray with me. I want to do this at home, I need to do this at home. (Not just for the sake of doing it at home, but because I really felt led to deliver at home!) I know I can do this… it’s THAT important to me! I knew that everything fell into place like this for a reason and I wasn’t giving up just yet! We talked about possibly trying to rest a little more to get some energy or to get some protein in me and then to just push through. SO we decided to go for it. I went and ate the rest of my ribs from chilis… ((I pretty much had to throw it down when a contraction came and just fall into Jared concentrating very hard.)) I had half of my 20gram peanut butter protein bar and drank some apple juice and lots of water. I told myself I had all the energy in the world and I’m ready to get this baby moving!! Donnellyn said she wouldn’t stick around ‘watching me’ so she’d be back later. She left about 1pm. At this point, my dad stopped over because he hadn’t really heard anything else from me since my water broke! It was kind of neat to have him there- except when a contraction came.
Lesley wanted to use this band around my belly on the ‘birth ball’. She said sometimes the baby’s head could be just slightly cocked and this would help lift him up and reposition him in the birth canal. Mom went to get them some lunch from Chapps and I started to do lots of walking in the house. (It was too hot to go walk around outside or else I would have) All of a sudden I couldn’t get from one piece of furniture to the next before having another contraction!! Within 20 minutes I was exhausted from all the contractions because they were like 2-3 minutes apart! Every step that I took my bones would pop like they were expanding. It was the craziest feeling in the world and all seemed to be happening so fast. (Compared to my weekend!)
Now honestly, the last few hours were mostly a blur to me. I just did what everyone told me to. I had no concept of time or anything. I know that by the time mom got back with the food they were putting me in the birth pool. Originally, I was just going to get in for a little bit to relax, but I never got out once I got in. Before I got in the pool I went to the bathroom. This whole time they were saying they want anything coming out to be clear and never green. Well I got a little freaked out because things were looking green! (Remember this green thing for the end) Lesley said she wanted to see it so I showed her. She called Donnellyn and they said everything was okay. Donnellyn was shocked to have to basically turn around and come right back out here though.
I got in the birth pool around 1:30- Donnellyn came back about 2:00pm. Like I said, this was all a blur. I had some very heavy contractions! Duh- I was in labor! I know I didn’t want Lesley to leave and I didn’t want Jared to leave. They were helping me breath through the contractions. Lesley kept telling me to let them “roll off my belly” and she would pour water on my stomach. That did ease them some! Anytime she didn’t tell me this during a contraction I would kind of start to freak out and they would hurt worse. I remember my whole body started to shake. It was like I was cold, but nope- just in labor.
At about 4:30 they wanted to warm up the water so they had me to sit on the toilet. A couple times I had urges to push but it may have been the position I was in. In between contractions they somehow got me back into the birth pool!
((Not sure when but my mom text my dad, Roy, and Mandi when I was about to start pushing. Dad and Roy were actually there when I delivered him!))
The ‘pain’ of these contractions was unreal. I have no idea how to even describe it. Lesley had a little hand held fan that I hummed along with during these contractions too. Down to the last hour and a half when I started pushing I was just COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED! I remember feeling the baby moving down farther and farther. I remember Donnellyn checking the babys heartbeat like a million times- and it was always going strong. I would even -miraculously- fall into a deep sleep inbetween contractions. I’m telling you, it was crazy!
I remember Donnellyn saying “there’s the top of his head, would you like to see it?” Umm no thanks, I’m just ready to get this thing out of me! I said no and just kept pushing. I felt him inch his way down and then the burn of him pushing through! They had me stand up real quick because she could feel the cord around his neck & she wasn’t sure how much it was. Out popped my precious baby boy at 6:34pm, weighing 7lbs 4oz. She undid the cord (just barely a couple times) They suctioned his mouth and nose until we heard the sweetest little baby cries. Jared said look at him and I turned around and they put him up to me. Omg he was the cutest thing in the world!!!
There was clapping coming from the kitchen after my dad and Roy heard the baby cry. (They said they didn’t even hear me make a noise, they just heard the baby cry and knew he was here!) 🙂 And remember the green stuff I was previously talking about? He came out pooping the meconium (tar like poop)!! It was all over me and him! My widwife said it was the messiest water birth she’s ever seen! 😛
Some of the first things I noticed about my son was his tiny heart shaped nose holes, his beautiful dark skin, and his huge brown eyes. <3 Welcome to our family Jaidan Lee.