I was horribly sick from week 4 to about week 26, I got to the point where I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up, which was okay since I was put on bed rest in September when I started spotting and realized I had Placenta Previa (where the placenta is down over the cervix). This not only stunk because it landed me in bed but because it thwarted my plans for a natural child birth and/or a water birth as all pp cases that remain at the time of labor are mandatory c-section as it is not good to push a baby THROUGH your placenta. Bad things happen if you do that. So all my fruity ideas were laid to rest with me in my bed as I watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, read all of the Twilight books and slept the remainder of the time away. My most gracious and wonderful Grandy Joyce came to help lighten the load on Ben while I was out of commission. Luckily, with her diligent care and my forced rest, the Placenta migrated North, Grandy got to go back home and Ben and I decided to attend Bradley Classes to help prepare us. The further I got in these classes the less content I was with the hospital birth I had resigned to. I wanted to be in the water because warm water is the only thing that really grounds me and clams me and I wanted to do it my way, this was my birth and I wanted to be the one to deliver my baby, I didn't want this experience taken from me. ***Now let me preface this by saying, I in know way think any less of anyone who chooses to have a hospital birth, an epidural, c-section... whatever your choice. I simply believe that it should be your choice and that you should maintain as much control as you like***. I wanted as much control as God would give me and I wanted options, water, ball, bed, stool, walking etc and I DO NOT DO WELL WITH DRUGS, so the last thing I wanted was an epidural to mess me up for potentially the first six months of my daughters life if it were anything like the last experience I had with nerve blocks and anesthesia. So with the information I learned in my Bradley classes, the blessing from my doctor( Dr. Weslei Rice, a Family Practitioner who specializes in OB and is an advocate for natural childbirth whom I adore and highly recommend), and the desire to have a particular birth experience I started looking into my options. Both my Dr. and my Bradley instructor, Rachel Supercinski (who was also wonderful), recommended that I try Nativiti Birth Centersince Ben was not a fan of me delivering at home. Ideally our hospital would have had a birthing center and my Dr. would have delivered me there and in the water but our hospital is not there yet and so we decided we would deliver with a Certified Nurse Midwife almost 2 hours away from our home as it had what we were looking for and was covered by our insurance (after a few phone calls).
I had actually started labor on the fourth of April or I guess the evening of the third and contracted regularly throughout the night every three minutes. I called my mom around 3 am and told her what was going on because she wanted to be there for the delivery but she was in Florida and I was in Texas. I warned her that things were not intense at all yet but she did not want to miss it! She and my Dad got on a plane and were on their way. I called my doctor in Bryan and arranged to come in and be checked before making the long haul down to Houston (well, Spring, actually) to the birth center. My gut sank as I got in the car and the contractions stopped... I continued to drive to my doctor and upon checking me and said yes it looks like you are in labor and you might have this baby by the end of the night! Yay! In the mean time, nothing was happening so I took my round self across the street to St. Joesph's Hospital and visited my friend Margaret who had been admitted for an induction. As I sat with her for a while I had maybe three contractions and my mom called to tell me she and my father had landed in Houston and they were on their way! At which time I reported the doctors findings( I was 1 cm dilated and 85% effaced for those of you who care and know what that means) and also the unfortunate news about my stalling labor. She was bummed but remained hopeful. I then headed home to meet them, leaving Margaret and her pitocin and Kyle( her husband) with his laptop. I look back at the situation and appreciate how incredibly happy, comfortable and confident she was in this situation ( in a hospital, in a bed, hooked up to a fetal monitor and an iv getting a pitocin drip...) that would have made me sick to my stomach. Seeing her there made me really appreciate the different options we have in delivering our children based on our needs, personalities and quirks. I got home and met Mom and Dad and we then spent the week doing everything we could to get my labor going again while preparing for the little one to come. It was a blessing in disguise because I had wanted my mom to help me get things ready so badly but she did not want to risk coming out here and then having to go home and miss the birth. I went back into labor on the 9th of April and had nice easy labor. We ran errands, went out to eat and walked around that whole day. I went to bed all atwitter at the knowledge that I would soon be holding this baby, but when? I took some benedryl to help me sleep through the excitement and mild contractions and called my midwife, the only one I had yet to meet, Rena) and let her know where things were, she instructed me to call if things changed and I did, at 1 things picked up a bit but still no water breaking or plug loss, so we waited, at 3am I lost a little bit of my plug and contractions had picked up a little more. I gave her a call and she gave me the go ahead to come on in. Mom, Dad, Ben and I all piled in with the car seat and made a road trip for Spring.
We left our house around 4 and arrived at Nativiti around 6. We listened to my mix that my friend Jenna made along the way ( which was great and I will have to add to here...) and made one pitstop so I could pee where my water broke. Labor had intensified but was still pretty easy(Thank God, cause who wants to be in a car during active labor) My Doctor had told me to wait until I didn't want to get in a car and then get in the car. But that was when it was a 20 minute trip to the hospital not 2 hrs. I was really apprehensive about the timing and spent a lot of time praying about that part. That and that I would have the baby while my mom was still there. Pretty much the moment I got out of the car my contractions cranked it up and active labor ensued. I went in, Rena checked me and to my absolute dismay I was exactly where I was a week ago 1 cm dilated and 3 efaced. When she told me she might send me home I wanted to punch her (sorry Rena) I thought to myself, "good luck getting me out of here", I was already planning my Gandhi like approach of passive resistance. She told me she would give me an hour and check me again and if I progressed enough she would let me stay. It was like my body knew exactly where we were and what to do and man did it kick in hard. I used my ball at first and asked for a bowl because the hormone surge was making me nauseated and so they gave me a dish with some peppermint oil in it to try to ease it some, which it did but not entirely. My poor father sat there and watched me retch as I did my cat pose on my Yoga ball and I am sure he had flashbacks to a horrible Thanksgiving family vacation to North Carolina with me as a teen, durning my time of the month, curled up next to the toilet on the bathroom floor. I am sure he also was flashing back to my mothers horrible birth experience:( Luckily I had 12 years of that to prepare me and quite honestly this was a cake walk in comparison. After my hour of wishing I was in the water but not being allowed because I was not officially admitted yet, Rena rechecked me and praise the Lord, 3 cm she could stretch to a 4, I could stay!!!! I also had told Ben I wasn't sure I could do this for much longer which is a sign of transitioning from active labor to the pushing stage, Yay again!!! But no one believed I was there yet. They brought in my stuff and I headed for the bathroom. Now I remember being told I could labor on the toilet and found that appalling and yet.... you got it, I spent some time there admittedly because of my fear of things happening while I was in delivery if ya know what I mean. As things got more intense I headed for the shower, I really wanted to be in the tub but the shower was right next to me. I kinda went into a zone here, things were really intense and I remember wishing the stupid shower head were one of the wands with a hose type instead of the fixed and slightly drizzly one that it was. I also was convinced that Ben had abandoned me but apparently he was just on the outside of the curtain unsure what to do for me, cause I sure wasn't telling him, I was to busy and I was apparently breathing well... after about an hour of that I got out and said I felt like I needed to push so he went and got Rena. She was certain I was not ready and so we tried some inversions to get the pressure off my cervix to alleviate that feeling. In my head I was so concerned that I would push to soon and cause the non-dialated cervix to swell and then I would have to have a c-section as had happened to a friend of mine only 10 days prior. Needless to say I was willing to do whatever Rena told me to do to keep that from happening if I could, which included standing on my head at which point I adamantly protested, unable to stop the freight train within me from coming despite all of the breathing and "woooing" I was doing. She told me I could get in the tub to help relax me but she didn't want me in there for more than 30 minutes, blah blah blah... I don't know why she said all I heard was that I could get in the water. I love the water, warm and comforting wrapped all around me. I was able to relax but the train was still coming. Rena reached down and checked my progress and said, " oh, Where is your cervix? You can push now." Praise the LORD!!!!! Never have sweeter words been spoken. It was 9 am. I had gone from 1 cm to 10 on my first baby in 3 hours. No one could believe it but I didn't care. I was just relieved to be able to work with my body again instead of against it. Trying to stop a train is exhausting. I had a very calm and soothing 30 minutes of pushing. It was nothing like I imagined it would be. There was no screaming and it wasn't super fast. My good friend Anna, who is a Labor and Delivery nurse and whom had just had a water birth of her own a few months prior, advised me to take my time pushing to allow everything to stretch appropriately and so I did. I felt so calm and empowered and in control. I was so thankful that God laid it out this way, that he was letting me have this moment this way. I reached down and there was a full head of hair and with a few more pushes, at 9:26 am I had brought my sweet Lorelei into this world and onto my chest. I have never been so comforted by the screams of a child nor more in Love. As she lay on my chest Ben and I rubbed the vernix into her sweet skin and watched as the cord blood entered her body and she went from blue to a vibrant and healthy pink. Once the cord stopped pulsing Ben cut it and after another moment of bonding they took her to the bed to clean her up and get some stats. I then got her back to give her her first bath where I let her lay back and enjoy the warm water an float with her ears under the water, she looked so at peace. She also looked like a 2 week old baby at 8 lbs 12 oz and a week early! My mothers tears alerted me to the fact that she was there for the whole thing. She told me how proud of me she was and how beautiful and perfect my daughter was. They took little Lorelei and wrapped her up and gave her to her Daddy and stuck a little hat on her head. They took me to clean me up and she spent some quality time with her new family.
I think we left the birthing center around 2 pm. Daddy needed something to do so he had gone out and got lunch for everyone, which made him a big hit with all the staff if his charm wasn't enough. He wasn't doing to well seeing me work so hard which translates to pain for men. After our yummy Panera lunch we all loaded up in the car and headed back to the house. We stopped in Montgomery to take some bluebonnet pictures. I really wanted to jump the fence and get some better pics but it was not recommended that I do so. I am glad we got what we did though because the blue bonnets did not last long. We got home and some friends had cleaned strutter up for pictures since Lily was born on his 21st birthday and we took a few shots. Friends from church came and visited, Margaret with her one week old baby and Leah. I could not have imagined a better birth. I was so happy with how it turned out. God gave me exactly what I could handle and blessed me abundantly.A few days later one of the midwives came to my house to check on me and Lily. We were both doing well. I needed my sutures to be looked at and she took care of that, had some soup with Mom and I and then was on her way.The only thing I would change is I would have worn the dress I planned on using in the tub instead of thinking it wasn't time yet and not worrying about it. I really would like to be able to share pictures without showing things and I would have been in the tub sooner. I also plan on being checked as soon as I feel the train coming again. Such an awesome experience. Thanks for letting me share it with you.