Labor of Love
I am so excited, thankful, proud to announce that Nolan Vincent is here! He arrived October 30th, 2013 weighing 8.5 lbs and 21 inches long. He is the most amazing chill little man. We are just soaking him up. As well as the fact that we are a family of 4 now. :)
October 29th, I had a last minute scheduled appointment with Cindi, (my midwife), and Larissa, (chiropractor). I was 39 weeks and I was having some pelvic pain and I really needed to be adjusted. The last few weeks were so uncomfortable. I was trying my best to accept it because it was caused by him being so low and head down. That was a great thing! I would take the pain over him being too high or head up, like his sister was. ;) When I scheduled the appointment with Larissa, Cindi wanted to see me too just to check on how I was doing and the position of baby. It was a quick check up with Cindi. She asked how I was and I plastered on a smile and said, "ready". Oh, how ready I was. Ready to meet him, ready and anxious for the labor to start and ready to sleep comfortably. (haha! I forgot what it was like to have a a newborn apparently). We talked some and then she checked his position as well as his heart beat. All was great. He was low and engaged and I heard "I don't think it will be much longer". I just smiled and thought "I want to believe you but I feel like he will be in there forever". Went and got adjusted by Larissa and she too said the same thing and talked about how loose my bones were. I wanted to be excited but I really heard all these things since 36-37 weeks and he was still in there and not out. It's funny how slow time is when you're pregnant. As well as how dramatic you can be....or is that just me? ;) Anyways, I went on with my day. Picked Anna up from my moms, went home and we both took a nap. I woke up from my nap choking from vomit. (eww!). I ran to the bathroom and threw up just a small bit. I immediately texted my sister to ask if she ever vomited before going into labor. She answered that she did with her first right before labor started. However, it could have been from being adjusted. I again tried not to get too excited. I have been having contractions for a few weeks but nothing persistent and worth timing. I was having slightly stronger ones through out the day and into the evening but again, nothing worth timing. I told Kyle about the nap and that the contractions were stronger by a little. I also got in mega clean mode. I deep cleaned the bathroom and downstairs. Now looking back, I think I "knew" this really could be it. As much as I tried to deny it so I would be disappointed incase it wasn't. In fact, that night, while rocking and praying with Anna before bed, I prayed over the birth, (as I did every night just in more detail), and then told Anna that this could be the last night of her being the only child. It was 1030 pm when Kyle and I were watching Sons of Anarchy and the contractions kept coming. Still wasn't timing them but didn't know if I ever wanted to at this point. Instead I just moved from the birth ball to squatting. Trying to get comfortable and I was also feeling a little antsy. During a commercial I went to the bathroom and that's when I lost some of my mucus plug as well as started having bloody show. I called for Kyle and told him. He asked me what that meant and my mind was blank. I couldn't remember. I couldn't remember what to do. I was too nervous to text Cindi. I don't know why! I just sat there on the toilet a little frozen. When I finally came back to my senses, I did text Cindi as well as my sister Kristen, (since she would be coming over once labor started). They both pretty much just said that this could be it or it could still be a while. That I needed to rest just incase this was it. Kyle and I did a few last minute things to get ready for labor such as blow up the pool, make the bed and put up sheets and stuff. We went upstairs when we were done to get some rest. However, as soon as I laid down they got really intense. I was having to breathe and really concentrate on them. I would grab Kyle's arm when they would come. After a few of those Kyle wanted to start timing. I let him. The contractions were about 6 minutes apart. He then texted Cindi and let her know. She advised that I get in the tub and see if that stalls them. I got in and the contractions became even stronger and closer together. When Kyle started timing them there they were about 2-3 minutes apart. Here is when time and events get a little fuzzy. I was really having to concentrate. I did tell Kyle while in the tub that this might just be a really fast labor. I just couldn't believe how fast and sudden the contractions were coming. I decided I was ready for my mom and sisters to come on over. Kyle also told Cindi that we were ready for her. I labored a little bit more in the tub and then got out. By the time I was out is when my mom showed. We went downstairs where my birth space was set up and I automatically got on all fours and labored. Sometime during this is when Kristen, Cindi and her birth team arrived. It wasn't until Cindi sat with me and placed her hands on my back and told me to relax my muscles that I even realized there were other people in the room. I was in my own world and found it amazing how easy it was to block everything out. I was only aware of the music we had set up, the oils we had burning and my breathing. It was really serene. Though the contractions were coming strong and fast, I didn't feel like I was in crazy pain. Don't get me wrong. It hurt. I guess it was just more of a very uncomfortable pain. I also will add that when I first started feeling those first real contractions I was so excited to feel them. I welcomed them. I had waited for this. I waited since I was pregnant with Anna! Three years later I was doing it. I was laboring and birthing my baby. I really think that mind set is what really helped me with the pain too. Well, the pain of contractions anyways. :) I labored for hours in all different positions. Hands and knees; hovering over the birthing ball; sitting on the birthing ball; sitting on the toilet; in the birth pool. It was amazing getting to labor however was most comfortable for me. I can't recall how many hours it's been or what time it was but when I was in the pool, I could feel myself dozing off in between the contractions. Cindi had asked if she could check me and see where we were. I was so tired at this point and I just didn't care. I got out of the pool and she checked me. Boy, did I regret allowing her to do so. It hurt like a...well, I don't know what to compare it to. It just hurt. She didn't just check my dialation though. Nolan was so active while I was in labor that she was needing to check his position and feel for his head. I was at this point 8-9 cm. She advised that we try and get some rest so that I am not drained and tired for the pushing. I couldn't move hardly so I just stayed there on the couch. Worst decision. I was so uncomfortable. This is the time when the contractions really hurt and it was hard for me to relax. I don't know how long I stayed there. My sister, Kristen, would rub my arm and encourage me everytime a contraction came. It was exactly what I needed. I learned that I hated feeling alone during labor. I needed someone there touching me. I needed to see someone when I would open my eyes. Because of how I was facing, when I opened my eyes I couldn't see anyone. They were all behind or on the side. I didn't want to move my head though. I finally got the energy to vocalize that I was hot and wanted off the couch. I also really needed to use the bathroom. I was drinking so much water during labor and it was going right through me! Cindi advised that I still rest. There was just a few hours left before the sun would rise. They helped me upstairs and that's where Kyle and I stayed for a while. Again, I have no recollection of times so I don't know how long I was up there. I was able to sleep in between contractions. It was nice even if it was very little rest. However, I eventually became uncomfortable laying down and was ready to go back downstairs to my birthing space. I desired the music and water. When I made it back downstairs I realized that Kristen and my mom had left. As well as the birth assistant. Nikki was now here to take the place of Rachel. Shortly after coming down stairs is when Anna woke up too. Kyle got her and called his mom to come pick her up. We knew she wouldn't be able to handle being there seeing me in pain. Now, I am so glad we made that call! I wasn't sure what I wanted to do until the last month of pregnancy. When Tricia came and got Anna is when my good friend, Ali arrived to take pictures. She was ever so sweet to offer. The pool was ready again for me to get back into. I labored more in there. I also was starting to push. Not exactly because I felt the urge but just to get him to drop more. This is where the birth began to feel like it was never going to happen. Eventually being in the water was spacing my contractions out and so I decided to get out. I labored and pushed on the floor. Again, in all different positions. All fours, squatting, leaning over furniture and even laying on my back. Which of these do you think was most successful in getting Nolan to come out? Yep- laying down on my back. ;) He would get so close and I would think it was almost over and then he would go back up. I pushed for hours! Then, when we thought he was almost out everyone talked me into getting back into the pool since I wanted a water birth so bad. I did. I somehow was able to walk, waddle is more like it, back into the pool. I pushed a while in there. Again, it slowed down my contractions and his heart rate actually started dropping. Cindi allowed me to try for as long was safe and then we just decided that he was coming out so much better on the floor. I somehow was able to climb back out and walk back to the floor. I pushed and pushed! It hurt and he was not coming out. Cindi told me that I wasn't getting mad enough. That is when I started getting really vocal. You hear about how beautiful a woman's "labor song" is. Well, if there is such a thing as a "pushing song", let me tell you- it's not pretty! Mine wasn't anyways. I was scaring myself sometimes by the noises that were coming out. :) I didn't care though. I was ready for this baby to get out! I was tired and I was in pain. I wasn't feeling this relief from pushing that I heard and read all about. It was making me angry. I wanted to push when I felt the urge but it turned out that I needed to be coached. I needed Kyle or Nikki to count for me while pushing. The kind of things that I said were unnecessary when writing my birth plan. Well, they were for me. I kept wanting to give up mid push. I was just too tired. Then I hear everyone cheering. My mom, Cindi, Nikki, Kyle and Ali. Telling me that he is coming out. I was doing it. His head came out and I was so excited and anxious I actually reached down about to pull him. Cindi had to remind me that I needed to push the rest of his body out and then told Kyle to come and catch his son. I pushed one last time and Kyle caught him and laid him on my chest at 12:12 pm on October 30th, 2013. I dreamed of this moment. When I became pregnant with Sky and knew that we were going to have a homebirth. Then after we lost Sky and I became pregnant again with Nolan, I dreamed like you wouldn't believe. It was a constant dream going on in my head. During the day; while I slept. Dreaming of this pregnancy going to full term. Dreaming of me feeling a contraction. Me pushing and birthing my baby and holding him on my chest and me just crying because I did it. I successfully carried this baby full term. Allowed him to come into this world on his timing and birthing him naturally. When that actual moment was here and it was no longer a dream, I didn't cry. I just held him so tight and silently thanked God for blessing me. He was crying and I would tell him that I was here. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Better than I could have dreamed or imagined. We did do it.
Kyle was so amazing during the whole thing. He was my rock. Telling me that I was doing a great job when I felt like my body wasn't doing a good job pushing this baby out. He allowed me to grab his hand or arm at each contraction. He would kiss my head as a silent way to tell me that he was there and he believed in me. My heart grew so much that afternoon. Making room for me to love Nolan as I do Anna. Also, falling deeper in love with Kyle. Nolan latched right on and nursed for a good hour. I ate some food that Kyle cooked and tried getting some energy back. After Nolan was done nursing, Cindi weighed him and did some vitals. He weighed in at 8.5 lbs and was 21 inches long. My perfect little boy. It was a long labor and a long 4-5 hours of pushing but I wouldn't change any of it. I feel so blessed to have had a successful home birth after having a c'section with Anna. It confirmed to me that I can do it. So thankful for Cindi and her birth team at Gentle Birth Options. From when I first made the phone call to schedule an appt after finding out that I was pregnant again, they were excited for us and believed and encouraged me the whole pregnancy and into the birth. Cindi who would gently remind me that I didn't need to be afraid during the birth and that I could do it. Ali who was so generous to come over and take pictures of it all. She captured some of the most memorable moments for my family. Her sacrifice and patience during it all is such a blessing. Being a wife, mama and business owner herself and gifting us with her time of taking all the photos of this whole experience and then editing them. There are not enough thank yous. My amazing mom and sisters. Present for the birth or not, they each too were there for me during the whole pregnancy and birth. It be through prayer, listening to me voice my excitement or concerns. They were and are the best support team I could ever ask for. Kyle who is my amazing partner. What a great team we make. He had to listen to me list off our to do lists the whole pregnancy as well as complain about how uncomfortable I was at the end. He still amazes me as we work as a team with two small kids. Both of us losing sleep at night with a newborn and a tot who decided doesn't need sleep either, he takes on his daddy and husband role with no complaints. I am beyond blessed that God chose him to be my husband and the father of my children.
He even was born with a perfect heart shaped birth mark. So much love!