Disclaimer: Detailed Version of how Macky came to enter this world is below. Although I personally think birth stories are amazing feel free to skip this one ;)
I also want to preface this post with some major concerns i have had since we first got pregnant. Although i know when it comes time for labor anything can happen and things are not always in my control, my last 2 labors were not at all what i had hoped they would be. A c-section after many hours of laboring with the twins and then with Davis, a complete induction, doctors and nurses that didn't listen to a word i was saying and then no good instruction when pushing (especially with Davis being so big) causing some major problems post labor and a very long recovery--one that rivals my c-section recovery.
This time around I have been receiving my prenatal care from a civilian office instead of the military hospital. This decision was by far the best we could have made and that was evident within the first 5 minutes of being at the hospital when I was able to make my own decisions about how this labor would go instead of being told what to do.
I was adamantly against pitocin--i had it the past 2 times, and each time we had to use the highest doses and quite honestly it made things brutal. All i have wanted is to have a natural birth experience, both because i wanted to know what it would be like but more so because from what i've read and heard recovery is so much better. Recovery has been my main concern from the beginning of this pregnancy. Again, i know i couldn't control everything in my labor--but i am convinced that wouldn't have nearly the problems i had last time if i could have full control over my pushing... to have that i needed to NOT have an epidural and after the last 2 labors i absolutely knew i would not make it without an epidural if they pumped me full of pitocin. and there's the backstory to our decisions and wishes this time around :)
So Macky's story starts at my 38 week prenatal visit when the doctor checked me for progress and found my amniotic sac to be bulging out of my cervix...sounds kind of crazy, but apparently it can be fairly common. The concern was that if my water broke at home, it takes a good 30 mins to get to the hospital and IF we left immediately (which with 3 other kids, we wouldn't) i may not have been able to get the hospital in time. After breaking my water with Davis, he was out within the hour. That's a chance we didn't want to risk.
SO....we agreed to induction...BUT ONLY by the breaking of my water. That wasn't exactly what my doctors wanted--because i'm sure they didn't want a longer than necessary labor-- but i wasn't giving up that easily and was willing to progress more slowly if my body could do it on its own.
~waiting for the doctor to break my water~
My water was broken at 10 minutes till 2 and then we waited. Contractions started off about 20 minutes apart and very mild. I found it most comfortable sitting on the a birthing ball and with a lot of breathing and the support of my shoulder rubbing husband (for counter pressure) we were making it through.
After 2 hours my contractions were a steady 4-5 minutes apart and i felt like we were really progressing. The nurse came in and told me that our doctor wanted me to start some pitocin and with the immediate fall of my face she reminded me that i had every right to say no. So we did decline the pictocin again and bargain for another hour to see if the contractions would get closer and stronger on their own.
An hour later, i was having contractions every 2 minutes or so and they were strong. I was certain everything was working out this time. My nurse came in to check my progress and to my great disappointment i had not dilated any more than the 4 cm i had been for the past week. It was very discouraging. I went from an extremely positive attitude to feeling completely defeated instantly. I knew that it would be hard to bargain against the pitocin any longer and all i could think about was how we had a similar experience during my labor with the twins and i never did fully dilate after hours of laboring. So we agreed to the smallest dose of pitocin and i asked to be consulted whenever they increased my dosage.
The next hour was rough, contractions every minute and pretty darn painful. Partly because of a very sleepless night prior and then with no news of progression, we were 3 hours in and i was already tired and discouraged. Mike was my mental support during this time. I couldn't stand for him to be anywhere other than right beside me working with me through every contraction. I had been sitting on the ball for 3 hours now and although it was better for contractions, my legs are feet were absolutely asleep. I moved to the bed to get in a different position...crisscross and back straight up seemed to be best. It was at this time that things got seriously intense. If you've been here you know. I started telling Mike and my nurse i needed something for the pain. This time around the nurse remembered my prior wishes and offered us some other options...a complete difference from labor with Davis when my nurse gave me an "i told you so" laugh when i told her i couldn't do it anymore. This nurse offered the option of IV meds and told me that they really could be helpful for about 2 hours and i would be able to get a little rest. Oh man, i was sold. What a 2 hr nap would do for me! So i agreed and she went to get the meds.
While she was gone...less than 10 minutes i had 2 AWFUL contractions. I felt a big move from the baby, a LOT of gushing and the pain was INTENSE. The nurse came back in my room and saw the difference in what was going on. She needed to check me for dilation again because they can't give the IV drugs after you have progressed to 7cm. I was a 6. PROGRESS! i was so happy for a good sign AND happy i could still get the meds :) So she walked around my bed to get to my IV bag and in those 5 steps i had a serious contraction... like my first scream. Up until that point things had been pretty quiet, i usually internalize my pain and am not very vocal. My nurse looked at me asked me what was going on and i told her it was time... it was burning and i needed to push. Again completely unlike my nurse with Davis who pushed that comment aside and told me that was impossible, this nurse, my angel nurse Kristen, she walked right back over and went to check me for progress even though she had literally done it just a minute prior and all she had to do was look before she made eye contact with me and said the baby was definitely there but i needed to wait while she got some help in the room.
~the picture of pain, complete with a barf bag by head cause i was so incredibly nauseated...not that i had a second between contractions to actually let it go~
So i held on for about 5 minutes---5 VERY LONG MINUTES. The doctor and team arrived, i had 2 more contractions that the doctor had me just let happen no pushing and then he gave me permission to push and told me that if i did it right, the baby would be out with just one push. And he was right. Before i knew it...and with the greatest relief i have ever felt, at 6:40 pm on Jan 7, 2015 my baby boy Macky came into this world and we were both just crying.
~Macky's first breath~
It was pretty perfect. The high from having a baby is completely amazing. The happiness and love of holding your baby for the first time is indescribable. Oh and the sweet relief of it all being over while at the same time thinking...oh man i'd do this again in a heartbeat. It's crazy.
To top it all off there were no stitches, no serious tears, and none of the problems i had with Davis. Mike and I have been in awe of how well this labor went. Walking around an hour after delivery, feeling like a normal human being in the days after. I didn't think that was ever in the cards for me. We feel so blessed.
NOT TO MENTION we have the most precious little baby to take care of now. 8lbs 15 oz of pure sweetness. He loves to be held and snuggled and he hates to be far away from us. He snorts like a little pig when he's getting upset and marathon nurses for over an hour sometimes. We are completely and utterly in love with this gift from God.
~daddy cutting the cord~
~my baby boy, big but we've seen bigger!~
~one proud daddy~
~meeting my son~