Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the birth of Paul Jacob

on sunday August 15th we went to GG and Spuds for regular Sunday dinner. they made a big turkey dinner with stuffing and 7 layer salad. i ate so much because it was so good. after dinner we all went downstairs to watch opening ceremonies of the summer olympics. during the show i felt a contraction that was different from all the others that i had been feeling in the previous weeks. when i kept feeling them i started to time them. jake and i had been cuddling on the couch and he noticed that i kept looking at the clock. we watched olympics for about an hour. around 8pm, spud joked that maybe by this time tomorrow we would have a baby. jake and i left a little after that because i wanted to get some sleep, i knew the baby was coming soon. jake and i slept alone for the last time that night. i woke up around 3 because i had to go to the bathroom, but once i was awake i could really feel the contractions and i knew i wasn't going to be able to sleep again.

i got a book and ran a tub. i was in there for a while and i called sara at 4:30am. we talked for a while because she was working the grave shift at BYU police dispatch and it was really slow. i was getting in and out of the tub a lot ( i kept moving because as the contractions got stronger i felt mor restless). jake woke up a little after 5 to check on me. i told him to go back to bed because my water hadn't broken yet. (oh the naivete of first time laborers) i thought it was still going to be a while. he went back to bed and i got back in the tub. by 7 i was having bad back labor and couldn't sit anymore because of the pain. i kept walking around the house, as each contraction came i would bend my knees and pulse in a squat because that position seemed to take away the pressure.

jake woke up to get ready for work but before he was even out of bed i threw the phone on his pillow and told him to call in because there was no way i was doing it alone anymore. he was so good as he got up and ready. i was in the bathroom again holding onto the sink. the cold porcelain felt good on my sweaty skin (i had tried sitting on the toilet, hands and knees, laying but everything was just too intense with the back labor. i just had to stay upright.). it was really hot (middle of august) jake would rub my back and time the contractions, give me encouragement, he was just so awesome! Sara got off work at 8 and knew i was in labor, so she was just gonna stop by but she wound up staying. she was probably the only one who thought of the details. she out pads down and put hot compresses on my back. jake was there for me emotionally and sara was there for me physically. time became irrelevant, but eventually the contractions came to close that i felt there was no break in between. my back hurt so bad, i couldn't tell the difference between a new contraction because of the constant back labor. (no one ever warns you about that, probably also had a little to do with being in transition) sara had called the parents and they talked to me until the contractions got too strong and then they listened over the phone and gave encouragement and advice to sara. it was just enough of them because they weren't invasive and yet they were involved. but at the same time all i had to do was put the phone down to get rid of them when they got to be too much, or ask my questions and they were right there, always offering wisdom and encouragement. (at one point i told jake i couldn't do it and that i wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural. he told me i would have to get clothes on and get in the car. that thought quickly changed my mind, it wasn't worth it.)

pushing became a form of pain relief. when i'd push the contractions didn't feel so strong but just right. jake tried to check me to see how dilated i was and wound up breaking my water instead (jake only checked me to see how far i was as encouragment. at no point did i feel compelled to check so that i could give myself permission to push. checking dilation was only for me to know my progress and not feel hopeless). when the baby started to crown i felt so relieved because i knew it was almost over. it seemed like that was the hardest part because i would make a little progress, then rest and the head would suck back in all over again. i started to get really frustrated ( i hadn't prepared for this) and tried to rush it because i just wanted my baby. i would reach down and feel that little wrinkly head. someone said it was covered with dark hair and that gave me encouragement. finally i gave one more push and his whole head came out.

i sighed from relief because i knew now it was all over. i didn't wait for the next contraction. i just pushed his little body out. i should have warned jake that i was pushing, but he was ready anyway. he was wiping off the baby's head with a blanket and he swooped the baby up as he slid out. immediately I relaxed. i wanted to hold my baby and sit down. (i had been standing at the sink this whole time and it helped to look myself in the eye in the mirror and talk myself through each contraction). jake was kneeling on the floor holding the baby. i stepped over the cord and sat down in the bathroom doorway. jake handed me the baby and grabbed the video camera. i held that tiny baby and looked back and forth from him to jake just finally amazed that we were all a family and that we made this little miracle. he had the biggest eyes and he was so sweet and i just loved him right away. i didn't want to miss a single second of him, but i was so tired. i handed him back to jake and stood up to pass the placenta. that felt like nothing after the baby. now that i wasn't attached to anything i got back in the tub. i passed a lot of blood in the tub until the water was all red and i knew i wasn't getting clean, but the hot water felt so good. i watched from the tub while sara and jake cut the cord and cleaned up my baby. momma and poppa brought over my favorite Burger King breakfast croissants and i got into bed and ate while i held my baby.

i'm so glad that i was able to have this baby in comfort and love. he is such a blessing. i am grateful for jake loving and supporting me. i love my boys.

(paul was born at about 8:30 am, giving me a first time labor of 12 hours. the hard part only took about 4 hours. it was hard! i handled it all really well until i hit transition. then i started to panic and i had to remind myself to relax. i would look myself in the mirror and give myself a little pep talk about why i wanted to do this. i would use as a mantra, i'm not the first to do this. i would picture myself some amazon warrior in the woods. for some reason being a warrior woman in labor infuses me with such a sense of power and strength that that woman is a someone i picture in all of my births. it really helped to stay vocal. i would make low moaning sounds. it was easy for me to get scared and pinch up at the peaks of the big contractions and i would have to remind myself to mellow out and relax my body. i asked for a lot of pressure on my back, the back labor was intense, painful, worse than the contractions across my belly. but they felt so much better when i would stand. jake would look me in the eye when i got scared and i remember seeing how steady he was and feeling myself come back down to his level when i would let myself get carried away. it really helped to have him there doing it with me.)

*this is the original birth story from where i wrote it in pauls journal. it was written in the few weeks following the birth. the (words in parenthesis) are my thoughts now, an older and wiser momma.

there is no greater feeling than the sensation of that tiny body passing through you. as it leaves your body this great rush of I DID IT floods you and at that moment you can do anything. i feel blessed to have never experienced anything else.


Emily said...

That's amazing! And yes, you are very blessed to not have known any other way to do it. It is the way God intended it to be.

TopHat said...

Hooray! I love birth stories. Transition is weird, huh? :)

april said...

you can ignore my other questions now...i see you did it at home:)! i love this birth story!

Misty said...

Aren't home births the best? I did mine with a midwife(she got there about 45 minutes before the baby was born), but I'll never go back to a hospital birth after that.

Rachel Hair said...

You are amazing Abby! Definitely an inspiration to me.