Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birth Story

Charlotte Jane was born on Sunday February 10, 2013 at 1:26 p.m., weighing exactly 7 pounds, measuring 19 3/4 inches long.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to have a natural labor, but never researched it much or talked about it until I became pregnant with Charlotte. I found out about Alpha childbirth through a friend and looked into it. I was so impressed and knew we had to take the class, it lined up with everything we believed in. Kyle and I attended the classes months before our due date and I am so thankful because it gave me plenty of time to soak in all the information. We learned so much that we had no clue about. We were given devotions that talked about labor and also a cd to listen and meditate on. The weeks leading up to Charlotte's birth I would listen to the cd over and over and go through the scriptures... claiming His word over my life and Charlotte's. Childbirth is such a mystery, especially to first timers like myself.... I had no idea what to expect even though I had prepared for it.

My pregnancy was pretty much a breeze I had all the "normal" symptoms that most pregnant ladies get until the very end of my pregnancy. I was about 4 weeks out when I went to the doctor for my routine check up and my blood pressure had spiked and there was a small amount of protein in my urine. The doctor was concerned about preclampsia and ordered blood work. Thankfully my blood work was good, but we still had to take precautions since I did have some warning signs. My doctor wanted me to rest two hours in the mornings and two hours in the evenings which was extremely hard for me to do. After a busy weekend and not resting as much my blood pressure went back up that Monday.
It was then when the doctor talked about being induced very soon! That appointment was extremely hard on me, I remember crying before even leaving the room and feeling very defeated. I also felt mad at my body for not doing what it was supposed to, it wasn't until I called my doula that I calmed down. She reminded me that my body was not broken and it would do what it needed. After praying all the way home I felt reassured that God was with us and would not leave. The verse that I had been meditating on kept coming back to mind... that he would complete the work that he had started in me.

The next week at the doctor all the symptoms were the same and the conversation came up again about inducing that weekend or the very next week. After telling my doctor that we would think and pray about it we went home to rest as much as possible. The next few days I started having really bad migraines that would not go away and I knew that was a sign of preclampsia which meant I was only getting worse. At that point I knew what we needed to do and that was to get the baby out before making things really complicated. On that Friday I called and scheduled my induction for Sunday, February 10th (this was so crazy to me). I always thought I would go into labor naturally so this was really hard and actually a little scary to me. I know that a lot of women like to have a time planned to have their baby but to me it just felt strange.

Saturday, Kyle and I had our very last day out being a family of two. That night my family came over and made us a BIG meal and stayed with us until late that night. I was feeling so anxious the whole time, even to the point of having to go to my room a few times to be alone. The reason behind all my anxiety was first, I had NO clue what to expect the following day and second that I didn't want to have to get a c-section... I knew that being induced would up my chances especially since it was my first birth and it was 10 days prior to my actual due date. Around 9:30 I drank a castor oil mixture hoping to kick start my labor. The only thing the drink did was make me relaxed at first (it was the champagne) and then keep me up all night in the bathroom.

Early the next morning Kyle and I got all our things loaded up, showered, and we headed to Nashville for an eventful day. :) After checking in we headed to our room and met our nurse and then our doctor came in shortly after. He immediately wanted to break my water (something I did not want right away) and start me on pitocen. After he broke my water my contractions started almost immediately, he was shocked and told the nurse to go ahead and start pitocen but at a low dose. Kyle and I walked the hallways before getting hooked up and then came back to the room. By this time I would say it was around 8:00 am.

When she started pitocen I started to feel my contractions even more, they went from being a little cramping/ annoying feeling to a lot of cramping to where I was uncomfortable in the bed. Thankfully we had brought my birthing ball which is where I was planted the majority of my labor. Kyle also started playing my praise and worship music which helped me push through.

I have to say after a certain point I do not remember a whole lot. I just remember being super focused and seeing people come in and out of the room. I had my doula, Kyle, mom, and sister there to help me get through each contraction. They rubbed/ massaged me, prayed over me, held my hands, gave me ice, fanned me, helped me to the restroom when needed. At the end I really had to go to the bathroom, after going I remember crying to my mom saying I didn't think I could do it any longer... this was the most pain I was in the whole time, I would say even more so then the delivery. I could not even stand to go back to my birthing ball, Gaylea had to come in and help pick me up. I literally felt like I needed to push. Thankfully just a short 45 minutes later I was completely dilated and ready to go, I had dilated 4 cm in 45 minutes! That my friends was an answer to prayer!

It took 3 pushes to get her to crown and then 3 more pushes to get her out... not sure how long that all took. They let me push as I was having a contraction so it was all up to me. I forgot to mention that when I was crowning, my doula grabbed my hand and said, "feel your babies head Laura"... for the record that sooo did not feel like a head. ;) I loved that everyone in the room (my mom, Kyle, doula, granny, mother in law, and sister) was cheering and telling me what they were seeing. As soon as she was out of the cozy womb she came straight to my chest. I know every new mom says this, but I can not tell you the amount of love I felt for my sweet baby. I was so thankful that God delivered us both and brought us through safely, it was only because of Him that our day went as well as it did and I was able to have the natural childbirth I desired.
After having time to think back on everything that day I am amazed at the way God made our bodies. Labor was such a painful experience but it was pain with a purpose so I knew I could push through. Thankfully I had trained before the labor process like one would for a marathon and used many breathing techniques and relaxed as much as possible through each contraction. At the very end when I thought I could not make it any further my body began numbing itself which I find amazing... I remember saying that I felt drunk and even started to doze off. Later my doula said that is what our body naturally does... no medication needed! I am not saying the delivery process was easy but it was much more painless to me then the labor. All I wanted was to see my girls face and hold her in my arms. Thanks be to God that is exactly what happened! :)

My family could not wait until after our bonding time to come in and meet her so they made their way in the room but was not able to hold her just yet. After a hour or so the nurses came in and gave her a bath, which she did not like and we have video to prove it. Soon after that we were able to pack up and move on to the postpartum room. We had a GREAT experience and LOVED our night nurse.

When everyone left for the evening it was surreal to know that this was our new normal, us three from here on out. My heart has so much love for this little tiny girl and I can not wait to see what all the Lord does in her life. I pray that she grows up knowing how much she is loved not only by us but by her heavenly father. My life will forever be changed and my has it been changed for the better.... cant imagine life any different then right now.