Friday, October 28, 2016

Owen Luke's Birth Story


I've been waiting for the moment when both boys are down to sleep to write up Owen's Birth Story and here we are! I have been so excited to share his story with more family and friends who are too far away to visit so this one is particularly for them, but also for Owen to look back on one day and read for himself. This birth story is a little longer than Kellen's story (as you'll see why below) so I apologize for the length but again there's a reason for that! So without further ado, here is the birth story of Owen Luke...

I began having something called "prodromal labor" that last week of September. Prodromal labor is different from Braxton hicks and it is essentially being stuck in early labor for days (or weeks even), having labor contractions that are uncomfortable and genuinely hurt that come consistently but won't send you into active labor just yet. All I'm going to say is I do NOT wish this for any mom-to-be. For real...it sucks and makes you think you are crazy because you think you are in labor but it continues to stay the same and not go anywhere though your contractions are strong and consistent (mine came for days every 8 min and did not feel so nice). Because you are in labor but it is not comfortable :( it is physically and emotionally exhausting, especially because Baby boy was hanging out so low (station +1 to be exact, which is pretty far down in your pelvis). I literally was laboring during the day and it would usually get more intense at night. I wasn't sleeping very much because I would get woke up by one contraction and then another. The only comfort I could really find was taking a warm bath and during the day with Kellen letting him splurge a little more on tv time just so I could sit and rest when I could. We had one night where they were so strong I thought it was labor (as they kept coming so Ben insisted to go to L&D) and we were sent back home because while I was having labor contractions, my body wasn't dilating or effacing more quite yet enough for me to stay. My doula Chelsea gave me some much needed reassurance that I was not crazy, that I was in labor it just was a different way of laboring that takes a little longer.

September 29, our family all got together that evening and picked apples for cider making for the weekend like we do every year. My contractions were coming every 8 minutes and I was SO uncomfortable I literally walked around waddling (if you had only seen...so embarrassing). I had been taking evening primrose oil like crazy in hopes to efface, made a pineapple smoothie with the core in it (yum yum) to efface and walked around as much as I could that day (as not fun as that was) all to see if my contractions would take a turn and actually go somewhere. I started to notice I was bleeding more and more while we picked apples that evening and I texted my doula Chelsea about it and she said that meant labor was just around the corner and to hang in there! I wanted to cry I was so exhausted from the mind games this prodromal stuff was playing at. I wanted to know if my body was making progress at all. I prayed that God would make it stop all together so I could function normally and not be so tired for Kellen during the day or that it would finally just go somewhere already!

After apple picking that evening, I was in the tub all night mostly and in bed i tried to reposition myself lots so I'd try to be comfortable somewhat at least. It was Friday morning around 8am or so, Ben and I had coffee together and I ate a bowl of oats, as I'd read somewhere that also kickstarts labor too (funny huh?). As I ate Ben took my hand and said "why don't you contact our doctor and see if he can check if you've dilated and effaced anymore? That might be encouraging to hear your body is doing something.". I told Ben that was a good idea and then I began to cry and tell him that sometimes I felt like labor was never going to actually come. He reassured me it would and encouraged me more and then on his way out to work he told me to call him if any progress had been made and if anything changed. I told him I was doubtful and that id do that anyway. It was around 9am that time...

I then called my doc who just so happened to be the labor and delivery doc that day at the maternity ward and I was told to come in and get monitored and checked to see if I was dilated and effaced more (as at my last appointment I was effaced 50% and almost 2 cm dilated and baby boy was dropped to +1). I dropped Kellen off at my sis in law's to play and told her I'd be back pry in an hour and it was probably just the pain in the butt (literally and figuratively speaking) prodromal stuff and not the real deal (thankfully Ben had put our hospital bags in the back of my car though just in case I was wrong...)

As I drove to the hospital to get monitored, I noticed my contractions getting stronger, longer and closer together (I mentally noted about every 6-7 min). But I shrugged it off and thought it as nothing, as I didn't want to get my hopes up it was actually going anywhere.


10:15am...
I then got to L&D, checking in around 10:15am. my doc had the nurse monitor my contractions and check me. She told me after monitoring a bit that I was having contractions now every 5-6 min and my cervix had effaced to 85% but I hadn't dilated anymore. I was happy to hear I had effaced more at least but was told I should pry go home and labor a tad more. The nurse predicted I would be back there in more active labor that night which I was so grateful to hear! I was so happy things were starting to change! But then I thought about driving back home...I told my nurseI'd go home but that I was now scared to drive myself home because I felt the contractions were starting to really hurt and I had to stop and relax through them a lot more than before (all the while still thinking I was stuck in prodromal stuff still note). Then my nurse asked me "so how fast about did you have your son Kellen?" And I told her I had him quickly going from 5-10cm in 30 min. She hesitated a moment and then said "why don't you call your husband, you guys do laps an hour around here and see if your contractions make you dilate at all? Then if so you should stay...".


11:00 Am...
So we did just that. I called Ben and told him to come because either way I wasn't driving home by myself. Ben pushed for us to stay, his gut saying it was pry a bad idea to go home sine I had had Kellen so fast and mine was saying so too at that point. When we walked around the ward, my contractions picked up and were more painful and strong than they had been recently. I told him I wanted to go back to the room I was in. My nurse could clearly see things had progressed, checked me and said I was now almost to 3cm dilated and said "yep you should stay". We were declared then to be in active labor and I was finally going to meet my son!

12:30 Pm...

We call my doula and she arrived around 12:30. I had been in the tub for a little while at this point to help relax through my contractions (as the warm water was a natural pain-reliever for me and I felt could help me achieve the natural, relaxed birth I wanted Owen to have) and Ben had a spa playlist going for me to help me get in the zone and relax. Ben went and got our bags in the car and my doula helped relax while I labored in the tub. With every contraction I relaxed my whole body and surrendered to the pain, taking one contraction at a time and telling myself mentally "God designed me for this task and this pain is good pain" and "Every contraction brings me one step closer to my son". I focused, breathed deeply and my doula gave me nibbles of a Cliff bar I'd brought to snack on and sips of Gatorade and water when needed. I did not want to be talked to or touched but just in the zone and in the warm water where I could relax.  While I relaxed, Ben stepped out to go get a quick lunch and my doula Chelsea stayed by my side.

12:50pm...

With every contraction, I felt baby descending lower and lower. It was the most cool and most odd thing! And then I'd have a break. This labor so far was much different than from Kellen's where I had a natural birth with pitocin and zero breaks in between contractions and the contractions were extremely painful. My labor with baby #2 was manageable, the contractions came in waves and built up in strength and I actually had breaks and time to relax in between. I was so thankful for the break everytime a contraction had finished. At this point I was still laboring in the bathtub with the jets going and pulsing on my sides which felt so nice combined with the warm water! I then hopped out quick between a contraction to use the bathroom and take a drink of water and then I could not get back in the warm water fast enough! I literally did not want to get out at all and was so happy to labor in there.

1pm...

At about 1, the nurse came back in to check in on me. She listed to baby boy's heartbeat on the Doppler while I was in the water and said quietly to me so I would stay relaxed " I'm SO glad you did not go home. Looks like things are progressing for sure".

1:24pm...

I remember with each wave of contractions, at this point I began to say to my doula Chelsea and Ben, "I'm feeling a lot of pressure...I am feeling kind of pushy..."

My doula went and got my nurse I think then and she requested I be checked again. I got out of the tub and back on the hospital bed to be checked and my nurse told me after the exam I had a small anterior lip. In other words I was fully dilated, the edge of my cervix (the front) was a little bit swollen and was still in the way of baby's head. And at this point I could pretty much push but we had to wait for our doctor to get there! I was elated and Ben said to me excitedly "We're gonna meet our son Sarah!"

1:30pm...

We were still waiting for the doctor to arrive and as exciting as it was I could literally push anytime now I had to wait. It was unbearable not being able to push knowing I could but my doula, nurse and Ben were all awesome in helping me get through the waiting. With every contraction and through wanting to bear down, they talked me through it, my doula giving me instructions on how to breathe so I wouldn't push while waiting for my doctor to arrive. It was so hard but they were so wonderful to help me during that time waiting. Towards the end however, I thought I just couldn't wait anymore so I began to push anyway because it was too intense not to push and I had tried so hard not to I just couldn't fight it anymore. The nurses at this point called the ER Doctor in to come catch baby boy just in case but reassured me my doctor was almost there in the meantime.

1:40pm...

Thankfully, my doctor arrived at 1:40pm to save the day haha and Ben told me I could finally push along with my doctor telling me I could push after greeting us. I was never so happy to see anyone in my life I think haha! I was so relieved I didn't have to wait anymore and I began the hard work of pushing at this time. Pushing was also much better this go round of labor because here I also got to slow down and relax and take breaks unlike pushing in my first labor with Kellen. I was so grateful for this change too.

1:48pm...

And on Friday, September 30th my second son Owen Luke was born at 1:48pm! He was finally here! I was so elated, relieved and joyous my little boy was here as was Ben. I took him to my chest right away and held him close and I noticed he had a bright head of blonde hair! I remember also thinking he looked so much like my Dad, his Grandpa Rusty, and myself. He was definitely from my side! Also on a funny note, Owen's birthweight was the exact same as Kellen's when he was born as well as his height! Not only was he the same in weight as Kellen was when he was born, but Kellen was also born on a Friday at 1:51pm and Owen on a Friday as well at 1:48pm, both having been born at 38 weeks along in my pregnancy. Ben and I thought that was so fun to see the similarities between the two brothers.


I was so glad Owen was here and that prodromal labor and the real labor was all over, pregnancy was over and my son was here and healthy! And as a plus, I achieved my goal of having another natural birth with believing in the process, staying strong and listening to the encouragement from my husband and doula.




  


So I guess there you have it. We are so thankful that after a long journey of trying to add another sweet member to our family that we've been given the gift to have another son thank you Lord! We are so in love with him and we've even fallen more in love with Kellen in the process of transitioning to being a family of 4, as he is such a helpful big brother and he is so sweet and considerate to his new little brother. I am so thrilled I get to see them grow together and love together. Ben and i's hearts are overflowing with joy at this new bundle in our home <3

With love from the second-time mama of boys,
Sarah


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