My birth story 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I was tired. Like really tired. I was fighting off a sinus infection. I laid on the couch all day except for when I’d get up to pee (which was like every 20 minutes) or when I’d get more orange drink (that I had left over from my end of the year kindergarten party – don’t judge! Haha) Winnie, our shihtzu, was glued to my side all day too. We watched countless hours of Netflix. I binged on Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal and cat napped off and on. My husband was on 3-11 so we (the dog, baby in my belly, and I) were home alone all evening. For some crazy reason around 8pm I sprung up from the couch and made a casserole. Seriously? Yes. Seriously. I browned ground beef, chopped cabbage, cracked open a few cans of crushed tomatoes, seasoned it to perfection and ta-da! Unstuffed cabbage casserole! It was 9:30pm or so when I took it out of the oven. What a random thing to do. {nesting} So tired. So stuffed up. I was going to lay in bed but I knew Adam would be home soon-ish and I didn’t feel like walking up the stairs. 
I was nearly 38 weeks pregnant, exhausted, battling a sinus infection and then… MY WATER BROKE! Right there on my couch! (My apologies to everyone who has sat on it after that day😂) I wasn’t totally convinced that my water broke. I thought maybe I had just peed myself. It was 11:00 on the dot. I got up and sat on the toilet. Waters kept gushing and then eventually just dripping out. I was getting ready to call my hubs when my phone rang. It was him! He was calling to say he was going to work some overtime and he’d be home around 3:30am instead of 11:30pm. I advised him that he should come home and get some sleep because my water had broken and we were going to have a baby! Of course he didn’t believe me. “Daggone Lauren I know you’re trying to joke!” I assured him that I wasn’t. He told me to call my midwives and he headed home. The first thing Jatolla, the midwife on call, told me to do was to smell it. What?!😳 I had a sinus infection so I couldn’t smell the anything! I told her how tired I felt all day and about the gush and now drip of waters. She was so calm and kind which helped me stay calm. I showered and got fresh pj’s on. Adam came home and did the same. I called both of my parents and then I texted my doula, Sarah. Then, I went to sleep. Adam frantically cleaned the whole downstairs because he knew we’d be bringing our baby into the world and then into our home! Talk about partner support! But that’s a completely different post! -he’s totally getting a supportive partner shoutout post! It could probably be a “how to” for expecting partners! He rocks!-

Friday, July 17, 2015

I slept pretty soundly until 2:15am when contractions started. I tried my best to sleep through them but I was so excited (and to be honest they weren’t pleasant!) I texted my mom around 4am and she was so thrilled that she wasn’t sleeping either. I checked my bag and then checked it again (which is hilarious because I never even opened it while at The Midwife Center). Around 7am I decided to eat breakfast. I was really excited but wanted Adam to get as much sleep as he could so I didn’t wake him. By 8:30 he was up and by 9am I was SO ready to head to TMC. 
My mom, gram, and my dad’s wife, Holli, were on there way to Pittsburgh and my doula, Sarah, was too. I told my family not to come yet because it would be a long day, but wild horses couldn’t keep them away. My contractions were coming on strong. I don’t remember much of the 45 minute car ride into the city except for hitting a red light and begging Adam to speed through and turn right on red. He did. Thank God!
Part of me felt relieved when we got to TMC. I didn’t have my baby in the car, woo woo! The other part of me was in a lot of pain! The sinus infection wasn’t helping. The midwife on call, Amanda, came in and then my nurse, Cheryl. Sarah greeted us there too. Everyone was so supportive and calm. Amanda had to leave to be with a hospital birth. What? I knew her. I wanted her. But she had to go. Adam and Sarah told me that Ann would be my new midwife. Ann is the director and doesn’t see many patients so I hadn’t met her before. No no no, I didn’t know her. She didn’t like me (lol, what, labor pain brain is real, my friends!) -fast forward, Ann was handpicked from God! She was the perfect fit for me.- okay, back to me being upset about having Ann as my midwife… I felt so much pressure and pain. Everyone encouraged me to rest between contractions but they were hardcore and didn’t ease up enough for me to. Adam and I swayed and danced around the Ocean room while I tried to focus on something other than the pain. Sarah brought me a tasty tea and I sipped on it occasionally. We kept the room quiet and calm. I thought I’d want music or something but I found peace in the quiet. 
At one point I sat on the toilet to relieve some pressure – but then, I threw up Exorcist style all over my sweet doula. She didn’t miss a beat. She wiped herself off and kept doula-ing. I got into the bathtub to relax. The warm water felt amazing. Adam and Sarah poured water all over me. I’d go between being really out of it and telling jokes. 😂 (they told me about this after – how they thought I was hilarious but didn’t want to laugh because I was in pain! Thanks guys!)
I felt the most comfortable and relaxed in the bathtub. Because of the setup of the tub I couldn’t push in there. (It needed to have 3 open sides and it didn’t. Next baby will definitely be a water birth!) When I got out of the tub I tried every position while pushing. Seriously, every single one. I laid on my back, on my side, on the ball (but couldn’t breathe at all, thanks sinuses!), squatting… I started getting scared and overwhelmed. I thought I was prepared for this unmedicated, natural birth but doubt was getting the best of me. What if my baby never came out? What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not strong enough. I asked Ann if I could go to the hospital. She smiled and looked me directly into my eyes. She asked if I really wanted to get into a car and drive there right now. Of course I said no. I asked her if they’d give me meds if I went and she said they couldn’t. Shit. I had to do this. (In hindsight I’m so glad drugs were not an option at TMC or I would’ve totally caved despite what I know!) I really was convinced at that point that I couldn’t. It was around 6pm when I glanced at the clock. I had been pushing for atleast an hour. I cried and asked if I’d even have the baby before midnight. Cheryl softly chuckled and assured me that I would. Ann continued to look me into my eyes and pep talk me. Adam held my hands and rubbed my hair. Sarah massaged my back without ceasing. My baby was moving down and ready to come out. Ann moved a large mirror to the edge of my bed and encouraged me to look at my baby’s head. OMG she must be insane. I’ll throw up (again) and probably pass out if I see that! I opted to reach down and touch my baby instead. This didn’t motivate me though. I was really tired and breathing was difficult with the sinus infection! Then the pushing continued. (Looking back, now that I’m a birth junky – I wish I would’ve looked into the mirror and I would’ve had a birth photographer). 
My family was waiting outside of the birth room door. I tried to keep myself composed. I’d apologize for loud moans “sorry I’m not trying to be dramatic.” Lol-thinking back on that makes me laugh. After one big push I yelled “IT HURTS, IT HURTS LIKE… LIKE A SON OF A BITCH!” (That’s one of my mom’s favorite things to remind me! Haha) My step dad arrived minutes before my baby was born. Everyone says he heard me yell and ran to the back of the center. I found myself most comfortable laying on my back. This was a total team effort at one point! My birth team helped keep me calm. After two hours of pushing my baby was born.

They immediately laid him on my chest. His cord was wrapped around his neck so they removed it and I held him. Adam held a tiny oxygen mask up to his face, but he was perfectly fine. I couldn’t believe it. My baby was real. He was here. I was holding him! I didn’t know he was a he yet and I didn’t care! I was so happy that my baby was finally here! All of my pain and tears were immediately erased! After minutes? I asked about the sex of my baby and they all told me to pick up my baby and see. “A baby boy!” I said and then cried and cried. I’m typically not one for surprises, but this was the greatest surprise of my life! I knew he’d grow up to be an amazing man just like his dada!
My family (God bless them and their patience) stood outside the door for nearly 2 hours while Everette and I bonded with skin to skin. Sarah snapped beautiful pictures. Adam laid in the bed with us and was in awe of the life we created. Ann and Cheryl worked on me. I had two bad tears that needed repaired. 

I wrote a birthplan and had submitted it to the midwives around 35 weeks. Silly me – I didn’t need it because I was birthing at the center with midwives and a doula. All of my wishes were granted. I wasn’t hooked up to machines, I could eat/drink as I saw fit, delayed cord clamping, etc. I didn’t need anyone to advocate for my birthing rights because I was at the safest place! It was a picture perfect birth experience. I’ve never felt so strong or as empowered! 

I can’t lie, y’all. This is such an emotional story for me to tell. It took me a few days to get it all down. Now, as I get ready to hit post and publish it – I’m rocking my not so newborn 15 month old in my arms… He is the greatest gift and sweetest blessing!

I’d love to hear your story! Where’d you have your baby? Home, birth center, hospital? Did you write a birth plan? Did you need it? Was it followed? What was your favorite part about being in labor? What would you change? I looooooove talking about and reading this stuff!