Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Elijah's birth story

Elijah's birth story

I was on the way to a friends party around 6pm Monday night. I had two Braxton Hicks contractions on the way that I could feel in my back. I figured it was because I was sitting driving. I got to the party and I kept having the Braxton hicks. They didn't hurt but they were uncomfortable. I decided to go home just in case things picked up. I called Sean on the way and let him know what was going on. It was around 8pm. By the time I got home they had stopped though. I had texted a few friends and told them I was having contractions but they weren't hurting. It was 9:30 Right after that I had one that made me need to bend over the couch to get through. Sean went to the water heater and turned the water up while I made the bed with the plastic cover. I kept having contractions 5-7 minutes apart. I called Brealin, one of my midwives, because I was going back and fourth between telling people to come over or not. I was afraid things would just stop and they would come over for no reason. Also things felt so different than my past labors so I was so confused what was happening. Brealin was amazing and told me that they would come any time and it's not a big deal if they leave. So I decided to see how things go and if they got stronger. I called my mom and told her to come over anyway. Sean started airing up the pool and I had more intense contractions. About 10pm I sent this awesome meme I made last week to let everyone know I was in labor and to come on over.  I was getting nervous because things just felt so different than my other labors. I kept having Sean do counter pressure during contractions which is something I've never wanted before. I've always been more about me just holding his hand and counting through contractions but that wasn't enough this time. My mom got to the house first and had donuts in hand :) She gave me a hug and helped me through some contractions while Sean was setting things up. I asked Sean for a Priesthood  Blessing. He gave me one while mom did counter pressure on my back. Sometime between 10:20 and 10:40pm everyone had gotten to the house. Brealin, Stephanie and Amy - midwives, Adriana to take notes, Mom, Jess, Andrea and Amanda as support, Andraya- friend and photographer, Myrna- friend and videographer. I let everyone know where the coconut bras and lei necklaces were. I wanted my birth to be a fun party so I ordered them online a month before Haha. Everyone put them on. It was pretty funny looking up and seeing everyone in them while I labored.

At some point I got in the pool and then got out of the pool and then got back in and stayed there for the rest of the labor. The contractions were so strong and it just felt so very different than the last labors. That's all I could think of. It just felt like, more. I kept feeling my belly and then my vagina and it felt so different. I couldn't figure out what it was. I looked up and told them something felt wrong or different. I whispered to Sean to please say a prayer for me. He whispered in my ear a prayer that me and Elijah would be safe and that things would go how they are supposed to.  I started feeling like I needed to push. My body would do some small pushes during contractions but I didn't feel ready. I asked Brealin to check me. She asked "and what is it going to tell you if I do?" She was right. It didn't matter how dilated I was. I needed to listen to my body. But I was so confused. It didn't feel right. I wasn't scared. I was just confused. I knew Heavenly Father was helping me. At one point Amy came and whispered in my ear "I just wanted you to know there are angels in the room with you. Watching you, helping you. You can do this". I asked Sean to pray for me again. Mom came over and held me for a bit. Since I had gotten in the pool I was in the same position I had been on to deliver both Rebekah and Abigail. I was on my knees and leaning up against the pool. (Rebekah's birth was a hospital birth but I was leaning up against the hospital bed. Same position though.) It was how I was comfortable both times and I wanted to birth in the same position because that's what worked. I kept feeling like it was wrong though. And I would move my legs between contractions and contemplate switching positions but I didn't. Finally after one contraction I just couldn't do it anymore like that. I flipped over like a starfish and pushed my legs against the pool. I didn't know what I wanted. But the pool felt too big. I didn't feel like I had any support to push on. I was wanting to ask for Sean to get in the pool but my mouth wasn't forming the words. Amy had intuition after I had said "there is too much pool" and says to me "do you want Sean to get in and take up some room?" Yes yes that's what I want. Sean got changed and got in the pool behind me and I leaned up against him. I felt so much better at that point. I felt safe and protected. I could do it now that he was with me and helping me. I started pushing again with each contraction. I could feel it in my butt and back more than I ever had. All I could think of during this birth was how different it was. Well it turns out that it was in fact very very different. I had a contraction and I felt what was like a giant balloon popping and expelling from my vagina at the same time. It was my water breaking. Stephanie mentioned how the contractions would feel better now. She checked me and then explained that the reason it was feeling so different was because my baby was breech. "DAMMIT" That's all I could think. Which I then said out loud and then immediately apologized for. I don't curse. Also I'm a quiet, calm birther. I knew right then this was not going to be my usual quiet calm birth. This was going to hurt. More. And be harder. But I'm here already, pushing. I have to keep going to get my baby out. I'm going to have to work for him. I can do it. Sean and my midwife and God are going to get me through this. I will have my baby. I was scared for a moment and then it left. The fear was replaced by strength and confidence I could do this. I could hear in my mind  Heavenly Father tell me "you can do this. For Elijah. You can do this" that became a chant in my head. I was mouthing, not sure if I said out loud or not. "I can do this. I can do this. I am doing this. Push. Get him out. Get him out" I know my sisters told me they thought I was telling Stephanie to get him out. But what I was trying to say was to myself that I needed to get him out. The rest I'm not really sure how it all went down. I just know Stephanie helped me a lot. She was like a magical midwife. She coached me through the pushing and told me how to do it. At one point she had to stick her hand inside me and help put Elijah in a good position for me to push him out. Not only was he frank breech, which means his butt was coming out first and his feet were up near his head, but he was also what they call anti superman which means he had his arm up above his head and behind it. So he was stuck even after I got his butt and body up to his armpits out. Later Stephanie told me that it was the most difficult breech position she has had to help deliver. Apparently Elijah just really wanted an intense birth story. All while pushing I had forgotten everyone else was in the room. All I kept my eyes on was my midwives. I knew sean was behind me supporting me. That's all I needed. I kept praying and pushing. It was so hard. I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere with my pushes. But finally Stephanie said to me "deana you have to push your baby out NOW". She had her serious this needs to happen for the safety of your baby" face on. That scared me a bit. Sean reached down and grabbed my thighs and pulled them up into my chest almost. I pushed and pushed. I could feel her hand inside of me while I pushed and he came out. I felt relieved. I did it. I gave birth to my baby. Finally. Stephanie scooped him out of the water and he was kind of limp. Sean hugged me. I could tell he was scared and worried. Stephanie had to give a few puffs of air with the face mask thing. It was less than a minute but the whole room was quite and tense. All I could do was hold his little foot in my hand and tell myself everything was fine. I felt warmth and safety again but I was worried. Stephanie got him breathing normally and crying. She handed him to me. I held him and kissed him. I was so tired. They helped me out of the pool and onto the bed. They checked him out and he was fine. I was so exhausted I just wanted to lay on my side for a minute. I had a big contraction again and the placenta just kind of flopped out like a jellyfish. Sean cut the cord at some point and then took Elijah so I could just lay there for a moment. That birth was exhausting. They brought me orange juice and a granola bar. Everyone came and gave me hugs. I know I ate a donut at some point while feeding Elijah. I was surprised at how quickly and easily he latched on and ate.

He was born at 12:42am Tuesday 11/29. Active labor was about 4 hours with 20 minutes of pushing.

Talking to everyone that was in the room I learned that they were terrified during the pushing. It was really intense even though it only lasted 12 minutes it felt like so much longer. I'm glad that I didn't have any of that fear during or I think it would have been a different outcome. I felt so much love and strength from Sean holding me and helping me and I could feel Heavenly Father helping me. It was such a spiritual experience. I was worried and tired and it hurt so much and then I would feel my body give me strength again when the next contraction came.

I'm glad I had each person I invited there. I know they each were praying and holding a space of love while I was pushing. I know a few of them have since told me how they felt angels in the room with us.

Later Stephanie explained to me why she had to help so much with the pushing in the end. I knew I felt her hand inside of me while I was pushing. Which is not something she would have done unless it was absolutely needed. Because his arm was up and behind his head if I had delivered him like that it would have broken his humorous bone. Ouch. She had to put her fingers into his mouth on his jaw and flex his head down for his arm to move and me to be able to push his arm and head out at the same time.

Brealin was supposed to be the primary for this birth. We were both so excited for it. As part of her apprenticeship to become a midwife she has to be the primary midwife for 25 births, with Stephanie present. I was going to be the first. It was so special because I've been here since the beginning of her journey. I provided childcare for her daughter on call and she told me other than Stephanie I was the first to call her a midwife. I felt so honored and blessed to be able to be the first of her primary births on her way to be a midwife. After everything settled down from the birth I realized that, that didn't happen. Because he ended up being breech Stephanie took over the role of primary midwife. I'm grateful she did obviously because that's what needed to happen for Elijah to be safely born. Brealin had never seen a breech birth. But I felt like I had let her down. I know she didn't feel that way at all. I cried and she held me as I told her what I was feeling. She stroked my hair and assured me my birth still counted for something. And that now she has experienced a breech birth.

When I saw pictures from my birth I thought it was insane. How did he come out of me like that? I don't think I really processed what breech was until then. There is a picture of just his butt sticking out and his legs are still inside of me. I feel like Stephanie did some sort of midwife magic to have gotten him out. Also the picture of him right when he was fully born and his little body is limp and white. I'm glad that we are both healthy and fine. We both went through a lot that day. It's still an amazing birth story. I know God was in the room with us that day giving me the strength to get him out. Im so so glad I had the home birth even though it didn't turn out exactly how I had imagined and how my last one was. I was home surrounded by people who love me and I felt safe and protected. If I had been at the hospital it would have been a csection for sure, which is not something I would have wanted. I'm so grateful for my midwife and my support team. Sean was amazing and his love and faith in me gave me strength. Our little guy is such a cutie too.

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