Friday, December 9, 2011

{our birth story, part 1}

Here is the story of how our little family of two became a slightly larger family of three :)
After almost 9 months of pregnancy, I was DONE being pregnant. I was excitedly finishing the nursery, washing baby clothes, and nesting up a storm. While running around town on the morning of October 18th, I got in a fender bender! I was the second car hit in a chain reaction and everyone involved was freaking out when I stepped out of the car 9 months pregnant! Fortunately the damages were very minor but I was a little shook up and the adrenaline was a pumpin'. I remember asking the CHP officer, "Is it bad that I am hoping this will make me go into labor?" He just laughed and checked my car seat :)

Well lo and behold the next day I started experiencing cramping. Just light cramps but still something! I couldn't help but get excited! Over the course of the day the cramping got stronger and more frequent. After lunch with my Mom at In-N-Out and a coffee date/ walk with my friend Aly I was convinced that something was happening. After arriving home I excited announced to my husband that I thought I might be going into early labor.

At 7:30 pm Nicolai left for community group and I started timing contractions, keeping him updated on any changes. When he got home around 9pm, the contractions where really picking up. We labored on and on into the night. At about 1:30am my Mom came over to give Nicolai a break. The poor guy was practically falling asleep standing up. We didn't realize until later that I was having back labor and couldn't sit or lay down without a lot of discomfort, resulting in almost the whole night on my feet. At this point I had been awake somewhere around 19 hrs and was getting pretty tired. We called the hospital around 3am but decided to labor at home a little longer.

At 8:30am on the morning of October 20th after calling Labor and Delivery for the second time, we decided it was time to go to the hospital. The ride there was NOT FUN! Every bump and turn was adding to the discomfort and my greatest fear at that point was that I hadn't progressed enough and I would be sent home. The last thing I wanted was another car ride that morning! No thank you! When we arrived at the hospital, we had to stop at intake and check in. They had me sign paper work! All I could think was, "Are you freaking kidding me!" My hand was shaking so much, it probably didn't even look like my signature! :) While hubs finished getting us checked in I walked the hall outside the office with my mom. FINALLY we headed upstairs to Labor and Delivery. When we got there, we found out I was the only women on the unit that morning, and it stayed that way all day! After getting changed into my beautiful hospital gown and funky belly band, they checked my progress. Praise the Lord! I was at 4cm! I was so relieved to hear the midwife say, "You're not going anywhere, we are having this baby today!"
Over the next 3 hrs we labored in lots of different positions, I tried to lay down some and rest but it was more painful and was slowing down my contractions. Luckily the nursing staff was really flexible and pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. Finally after what felt like an eternity, my midwife checked me again to find that I was still at 5 cm! Progress yes, but not what I was hoping for. This was nothing though, compared to the disappointment I felt when and hour later I was still at 5, and another hour later. We talked about some options to speed up my contractions and decided to break my water. That did it. Holy Moly! Over the next hour and a half I dilated from 5cm to 10. All I can say is Ouch! We tried laboring in the shower, walking the halls, and massage, all of which helped at least for a time. At a certain point I started feeling really tired and began to doubt whether I could do this or not. Then all of a sudden...boom! I feel a huge bulge in my butt. I had heard about the infamous 'butt bulge' and was convinced this was it! Seconds later I felt like by body was lurching off the table trying to push this baby out. It was the craziest thing. I kept saying, "I need to push! I feel like I need to push!" Since it had been under 2hrs since they had last checked me, the midwife was doubtful that it was time but my mom insisted they check me. They tried to prepare me and said they didn't think I would be farther along than an 8. But they were wrong. I was a 10! This baby was coming! At this point it was somewhere around 4:30 pm and I was TIRED, but being told it was time to push gave be a burst of energy. It was almost over. Thank goodness!
As soon as the midwife announce it was baby time, a whole troupe of nurses and students came flooding into the room and gearing up. The baby nurse turned on the warmer and I knew I was about to meet my little girl. This also meant I had to push a baby out of my body, but it was too late to go back now :) At first they were going to have me push on my back, but as soon as I rolled over I knew that wasn't about to happen. I requested to push while on my side and it was so much easier. Every time I felt a contraction coming, I would grab my leg and they knew it was time to push again. It was pretty hard to talk at that point so I just did my own thing. Each time I started pushing I had a whole chorus of cheers to encourage me. Between doctors, nurses, students and family (Mom and Nicolai) there were 9 people all crowded around my bed while I pushed. It made it a little hard to focus on what the midwife was telling me to do, but luckily I just did whatever I felt I needed to do. On my first push, the midwife was shocked to see the top of Hannah's head! I was super encouraged knowing she was right there, and let me tell you, I pushed SO hard. I was ready to be done with all this craziness. After 20 minutes of pushing, she was here. She arrived at 4:59pm. It was such a strange feeling. She came fast and at one point the midwife told me to stop pushing but there was no way that was happening. Do you how hard it is to stop pushing with a child half out of your body? 

I felt so good! We had done it naturally like we had wanted too!
As soon as she was out they went to lay her on my chest, only she didn't quite make it there. Her cord was so short she only made it to the lower part of my stomach. After cutting the cord they moved her to my chest and we tried to nurse. 

She latched on right away and it was a very surreal moment. Nicolai and I stared in amazement at our daughter and at each other, practically speechless by what we had just done. After the  lovely birthing of the placenta and 10 was Hannahs turn to be checked out. 

They checked her head to toe and declared her perfect. Literally, not a birth mark or anything. She was flawless. She weighed 6 lbs 14oz and 18" long. 

Nicolai hovered around the nurse and watched to make sure his baby girl was being well cared for while I got to eat after what felt like forever. After about a hour of relaxing, we were moved to the postpartum wing at around 7pm. They let us extend visiting hours a bit so we could see the friends and family that had been patiently waiting for us.

tune in tomorrow for part 2!


  1. ah, it all sounds so strangely familiar:P
    So glad it went pretty well.
    And so sorry about the fender bender:P I didn't know!!!

    They tried to get me to stop pushing too...haha...what a joke. Like you can actually stop your body from doing that:P

    Anyway, still SO happy for you guys and Hannah! Hugs and loves!

  2. Beautiful! So glad to read this, so encouraging and beautiful. Way to go, Mama!

  3. <3
    i finally just got to read this!
    i am crying
    love you times a million
    didn't even realize you did it all natural.
    awesome! and your storytelling of it is great. you make it sound like it was a breeze though haha :)