Sunday, March 6, 2016

moses' birth story: he's here and he's 9 lbs big!! (also: oyyyy that was hard.)

Sometimes when I'm browsing on my computer I'll find my way to the folders that contain the photos/videos of my children's births and re-live the moments. It's incredible and amazing and also a little like watching myself being tortured? Ha! But really. EZ's c-section was hard in it's own right, and then with Sully's I remember it was hard but also so triumphant with a successful VBAC, and now Moses' birth was altogether something different too. Yes he was a VBAC and in some ways easier and more peaceful than the other two, and in some ways much harder and intense. Or maybe it's just that it's the most recent? I don't know though... I had so many popped blood vessels after this one that I might just actually claim it was harder? Or because I sort of knew what was coming? Who knows. He's here and healthy and awesome and we have a wonderful little birth story together.

I swear I was the most impatient I've ever felt waiting for him to show up. I felt huge (I actually measured 48 in. around... that's 4 FEET AROUND in case you needed conversion help.) So on Tuesday, Feb 2nd when some steady contractions started, I was STOKED. My "due date" was on Feb 10th, but I was already measuring 40+ weeks ripe and he'd been measuring big for months so I felt like he could come any moment. Contractions were sort of happening regularly, but would stop whenever I sat down. And then I sat down too long, and they went away which was sad. So my appointment on Thursday came and sure enough, measuring 41+ weeks now and I was dilated to a 3 and 60% ready.

Friday the 5th came and I put on my best patient face & took the kids bowling with my gal pal, Megan. I actually bowled one frame until I realized bowling made me feel like I was going to split in half because of the pelvic pain. Ha! But we spent a nice afternoon together and it passed the time. Matt got home from work & we ended up finding a baby sitter for a few hours, so we snuck off to an early Valentine's dinner where we indulged in delicious steak and artichokes and so much butter on everything. It was amazing and relaxing and there were some of the nicest people there who said really sweet things about "how calm I looked" and "you are radiating happiness" and stuff like that. Why aren't more people that gracious and wonderful when speaking to a largely pregnant woman? Also, they all wished me good labor vibes which was most appreciated. Then we went home and watched a movie (The Proposal, if you're wondering) and also watched my huge pregnant belly move for the next 3 hours. He was going NUTS in there and we kept joking how he was just trying to find his way out. Well! Around midnight I started feeling some cramping, and then at 2 AM they were strong enough to wake me up from sleeping & we started to get pumped this might actually be it!

So Saturday the 6th I found myself sitting in my (new!) rocking chair at 3AM timing contractions & seeing if we needed to get serious about going to the hospital. Around 4AM we called Grandpa David over to come sleep at our house, and we checked into the hospital around 5:30AM. The contractions were coming on 4-5 mins and strong enough to breathe heavy, but when we got to the hospital they had sort of died off & were sporadic and not very intense. Every time I would sit, things would slow down. But I was dilated to a 4 and they said they'd keep me, so we started a rotation of sitting for an hour/walking for an hour for the next 5 hours willing me along. We actually clocked over 2.5 miles in that hallway! Matt took a nap while I listened to an audiobook (Yes Please) while I cajoled the waves out of me and begged them to get stronger. Everything was really quiet and peaceful and I remember not feeling rushed, but just grateful we were there. I also listened to some music for a while, and when my Dr came in and asked me what I was listening to and I replied Justin Bieber, she scoffed & said "what are you a 12 year old girl!?" which might be the only joke I've ever heard from my doctor?! Ha. And also - JB IS GREAT. I'm just fine holding my own in the JB department, but way to make a joke (or make fun of me... which she might have been doing because like I said, she's not a joking type.)

By 11AM I was at a 7 and 80%, but was still calm & joking through each contraction and walking around just fine, so we all knew it wasn't hard enough to really be getting close. My mom showed up and walked with us for a while, and then around 12:30 when I hadn't progressed any further, my doctor did a "slow leak" to my water bag to guide his head down lower & to see if breaking the water would speed things along. Oh! And it worked! Because things amped UP rather quickly at this point.

My sister in law Megan showed up around 1 and then my sister Melina at 1:30, and in that 30 minutes I went from calm/joking/relaxed to can't speak/moaning/oyyyyy. Matt, my mom, Megan, Melina, and the nurses (especially wonderful Sara) took turns putting counter pressure during each contraction and I moved positions often from standing to sitting to laying. And moaning! I am definitely not quiet while laboring. Mostly just long, low moans and relaxed silence in between. Everyone was super supportive and not once (not even once!) was I offered any pain relief because everyone was on board for the unmedicated VBAC and just kept telling me how great I was doing (I asked for drugs toward the end, but by then it was too late. Freaking jerks.) I like having people's hands on me during labor because it helps me feel grounded. And I remember vivid moments making eye contact with certain people during the process and it was like being pulled back into the present moment instead of hazily floating about.
Ha! This is a good one below. Laboring is no joke. And this was before it got even harder! 

So after an hour and a half or so of hard labor (around 2:30 ish), my Dr checked and I was fully thinned but there was a lip holding me at 9.5cm - and for the next 30 minutes or so it wouldn't move. That was a long freaking time to be at the most intense part of the process.. and I remember thinking the room was loud and I was being loud and it was so very very physically painful & exhausting. In actuality, it was very quiet in the room and I was handling the contractions one at a time mostly in control of my breathing, but the intensity was playing tricks with my mind because it didn't feel that way while living it. (But the videos tell a different story.) Finally, after some help from the Dr holding the lip open during a wave, his head moved down low enough to keep it open & it was time to push him out of me. I pushed with the ferocity of a wild animal (and said "sheeeeit" really loud!) and he came within a few minutes of pushing at 3:10pm weighing 9.0lbs! When catching him the Doctor said "he's a monster child!" because he just looked so round and big! The next morning I noticed my eyes, back, and chest had a bunch of blood vessels showing through because of the intensity of the contractions & pushing, so obviously I was absolutely ready for him to get out once they gave me the go ahead! Matt cut the cord after a few minutes while I held him close until I was ready to finish the clean up process. I remember a sweet moment with me and Matt and Moses and so much love for our growing family before they took him away to weigh him.

And my Moses was here! Safe and sound and beautiful and with sweet sweet relief for his mother. He had a little lip quiver right away and a pterodactyl-style squeaky cry and was serious & grumpy (and has mostly stayed serious, and somewhat grumpy ever since!) He looked a lot like his brothers but with white white blonde fuzz on his deliciously round head. Once they took him away to be weighed, I sort of lost control of all the relaxation techniques I'd been using and held my mom's hand tight while the doctor tidy'd me up down there and I said "What the F was I thinking!? I don't ever want to do that again" and sincerely meant it in that moment. It's so hard. So animalistic and out of body and intense. I also think I felt a few symptoms of trauma/shock for the next 24 hours as I processed the intensity and tried to get rested after all the exhaustion. So many feelings! But like, a month later and I am already forgetting that feeling because birth is cool & there is just nothing in the world like it, and also I love babies SO MUCH.

Oh Matt! I love him too. And then we got to spend two glorious days in the best hospital (Lone Peak!) and it was amazing. I love the hospital. And I really love newborns. Moses is a good eater and is fuzzy and soft and doesn't smile even in his dreams because he's always so concerned about something. And boy, he is loved. That's the best part about this is how much love is involved.

I'm actually excited he'll be awake in an hour or so just so I can snug him again after writing this (he's a month old today!), even if it is the middle of the night. It's so special to have a new baby around and we're beyond grateful for his wonderful arrival and his place in our family.

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