I've been wanting to tell our birth story since Hayes joined our family but...being a mommy makes blogging a wee bit challenging:) So, I suppose I now is as good a time as any. Ryan and I found out we were pregnant on Father's Day in 2010. We were a little shocked. We weren't exactly planning for a baby, but we weren't preventing a baby either. And so the excitement began...
We had decided before I got pregnant that we would not find out the sex of the baby. I heard so many stories of the magical moment when a baby is born and the doctor yells "It's a ..." I wanted one of these magical moments for myself. Since we made the decision before I got pregnant, it was easy to stick with throughout the pregnancy. I didn't even think of finding out as an option. I must admit, it was fun torturing our friends and family with the big secret. I am so glad we didn't find out Hayes would be a Hayes and we will definitely make our next baby a surprise.
So, that was one decision down. After we found out we were expecting, I started toying with the idea of a natural child birth. I had several reasons for wanting to attempt this method of delivery. I was concerned about adverse affects of medication. A huge reason for me wanting this was about the experience. We were so thrilled to be pregnant. I wanted to feel every second of this sweet baby growing and moving inside of me. I also wanted to fully experience every second of bringing my baby into the world. When I finally made my decision for sure about natural childbirth, we made another important decision....finding a doula!
The hospital we delivered at has a fantastic doula program that we were able to use. We were matched with an amazing doula named Beth, who also taught our childbirth classes! Beth has 5 children of her own, so she had a little experience in the area:) We loved that she also worked at the hospital and already had a great relationship with the nurses and doctors. After completing our classes and meeting with Beth to discuss relaxation and pain management techniques we were interested in...we were ready to have a baby! Or so we thought...
On Tuesday, February 15, I spent my day at home waiting on the cable man. While waiting, I went on a mad cleaning frenzy. During my cleaning frenzy, I started noticing something odd....and a little embarrassing. I was peeing my pants...or so I thought. I became very frustrated, but chalked it up to a weird pregnancy thing. When Ryan got home, I told him what had been happening and how annoying it was. Ryan's response was so funny, I will never forget it. He informed me that he remembered learning in our classes about the different ways for my water to break which could result in a slow leak or a gush. Someone was listening:) He made me try random home tests he found on google to see if it was leaking fluid....and we thought the tests were negative. The next morning, I decided to call my doctor and just check on the situation. They asked me to come in just to check everything out. So I left work at lunch and headed to the office. I truly thought he would tell me it was not amniotic fluid and I would pick up lunch at Chick-fil-a before going back to work. You can imagine my surprise when the doctor walked in and said, "Your water broke...you should go to the hospital right now."
At that point, I was only dialated 1 cm. We did not know when my water had broken for sure though, so they wanted to induce me so that my labor would progress faster. Doctors typically prefer delivery to happen within 24 hours of water breaking to reduce the risk of infection. I called Ryan on the way home and only got out "You need to come home now" before I burst into tears. I was so shocked and overwhelmed and nervous and excited all at the same time. So, instead of going to the hospital right away, I went home and put on a load of laundry. Smart, right? There was no way I was going to the hospital without my husband, and my yoga pants. Once Ryan got home, we loaded up the car and headed out. (Amy delivered my clean yoga pants later that night)
We were admitted to the hospital around 1:30. Once I was hooked up to the monitors, I found out I was having contractions that were about 2 minutes apart. What I thought was an active baby had been contractions since the night before...nice to know. So we started on our journey of labor. The first few hours were so exciting. The contractions weren't painful at that point...hence the excitement. I was started on Pitocin to help speed up my labor. I had hoped to go sans Pitocin...I had heard horror stories about Pit contractions. But, I forged ahead with my Pitocin and lack of epidural. For some silly reason, Ryan and I didn't go to sleep while my contractions were mild. Big mistake. Around 11 p.m., we decided to try and get some sleep since it was evident our baby was not coming anytime soon. Right after we turned the lights out, in came the nurse. They decided to put in internal monitors to get a better read on my contractions and Hayes's heartbeat. And that fun task caused the rest of my water to break. I will say one thing about that moment....gush doesn't do it justice. After that, my contractions became more intense. Sleep was not happening. I spent most of the next 8 hours in a rocking chair. I was able to focus on deep breathing and rock through each contraction, which made them easy to manage. Ryan and our doula were also great at telling me when I had reached the peak of each contraction and when it was ending. At 5 a.m., the nurse returned to tell me I was 5 cm. At that point, they increased my pitocin and life got a tad bit more challenging. The contractions that came as a result of the increased pitocin were not fun. Most of them were piggybacking with other contractions. They had become more intense and closer together. Ryan, the doula, and myself thought this meant I was continuing to progress in my labor. Silly us. This started the rounds of vomiting/dry heaving. Interesting fact....vomiting/dry heaving made the contractions less painful. Is that interesting? Maybe only to me...
8 a.m. Nurse is back to check progress. I am hoping and praying for at least 8 cm...but I will take 7. Nurse looks at me and says "You are still at 5 cm." I almost threw something at her head. How dare she tell me that. 3 hours of intense, ridiculous, never ending contractions had gotten me no where?! At this point, I hadn't slept or eaten in over 24 hours. As much as it broke my heart, I knew I couldn't continue on my own. I was far to physically and mentally exhausted. I asked for (demanded) an epidural. And I got one, 30 minutes later. That was the longest 30 minutes of my life. That epidural was so amazing. It felt like a nice warm blanket wrapped my tired body up and put me to sleep. I actually fell asleep as they laid me back down. I slept for about an hour and when they checked me, I was ready to push. As it turned out, my body needed some rest to finish up the process.
Time to push! It was 11 a.m. at this point and Ryan and I are thinking we will get to meet our baby soon. An hour later...I'm still pushing. I was so tired at this point that I was actually falling asleep in between contractions. At noon, Ryan asked the nurse when she thought the baby would be here...and she said 12:30. I wanted to throw something at her head too. But that would require too much energry. So I kept pushing. And at 12:41, I heard the magical words I had been waiting for since Father's Day. "It's a boy!" I heard someone ask what his name would be and Ryan answered "Hayes Patrick." I was so in love and I hadn't even held him yet. They placed him on my chest and my world was over as I knew it. He was crying and when I started talking to him, he stopped and just looked at us. He wrapped his tiny fingers around one of mine and looked at me with those big blue eyes and I was so in love that I didn't even know what to do.
Hayes Patrick, you are such a precious gift to your Mommy and Daddy. We have loved you since you were just a dream in our hearts. I love the story of how you came to us and wouldn't change a single detail.