|My last pregnancy photo, at 36 weeks|
James dropped me off at the door of Labor and Delivery and then went to park the car and wait for my parents to get there. I gave Liam a hug and a kiss, it was hard to leave him for some reason. I knew I wouldn't see him for a while, and I was going to miss him! I checked in at the desk, and they took me to room 4. I still didn’t feel like I was really in labor, but the nurses assured me that I was very much acting like a woman in active labor. Reg (short for Regina), my first nurse, got me hooked up to the contraction and heart monitors, then confirmed by ultrasound that he was head down. She also checked me, and at that point I was dilated to a 5+. My mom came in for a minute to give me a hug, wish me good luck, and tell me she loved me, and James came in a few minutes later, at about 10:15. I was so glad to see him! Reg had left the room for a minute to get some of the supplies needed for the birth and James went into the bathroom to pee. He didn’t think to lock the door, and when Reg got back she walked right in on him! It was hilarious. Luckily he had his back to the door, so his modesty was uncompromised. Mine, however, was not, as I tried multiple positions to make the contractions more comfortable while my gown was gaping open in the back. Those things are the worst! They agreed to remove the monitors so that I could move more freely, but wouldn’t budge on inserting an IV hep-lock in case I needed medication for my high blood pressure. While Reg finished setting up the instruments the doctor would need to sew me back up, the nurse who would be attending my birth came in. Her name was Chari, and she was so great. She wrote down our unofficial birth plan on the white board since I hadn’t had a chance to make up or print out my own birth plan.
|Labor & Delivery whiteboard|
We turned on my hypnobirthing tracks on the iPad, and I found that the most "comfortable" position was while sitting on the bed with the bottom dropped down and James pushing on my knees. He would kneel at the bottom of the bed and put his hands on my knees and apply counter-pressure during contractions. The next 45 minutes went by pretty well, the contractions were painful, but manageable, and the Hypnobabies (thanks to a wonderful woman who lent me the program) helped me to relax and stay focused on my breathing.
At about 11:00, the contractions were getting pretty intense. We worked through them as best we could, James supporting me and helping me remember to breathe through each one. Chari was a little worried about my blood pressure, so she called the doctor. Erin got there at about 11:30. and I was so glad because I was worried she wouldn't make it there in time. She had to drive 2 hours from Logan. Dr. Thackeray came in a little later. He checked me and said I was dilated to a 7+. I was having a really hard time at this point. Erin was rubbing my back and James continued to apply counter-pressure. Chari would periodically reach down during a contraction and monitor Everett's heart rate to make sure he wasn't getting too stressed. I know it was difficult for her, but I'm so grateful that she didn't try to convince me to do continual fetal monitoring. We tried some other positions, but I honestly just didn't want to get off the bed. Standing up seemed to make things worse and after each contraction I was so exhausted I wanted to lie down.
|My amazing husband supporting me through labor|
I've also never felt closer to my Heavenly Parents. I thought a lot about God, I felt his presence there. I know he loves and is concerned for all His children, especially as we bring new life to this world. I felt my Heavenly Mother, her loving care and comfort. I thought about Christ in the garden, and the pain he suffered, and I wondered if he had experienced this pain too. A few phrases popped into my head during this difficult time, the first: "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me" because I really thought I might die, but I also knew that I wouldn't, and that it would be over soon. The second: "I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree". It's probably because that's the song we sing to Liam to help him calm down or when he's sad, so I think that's why it brought me some comfort, Also because it made me think of my first little boy and how much I loved him and how important it was to me to bring his brother into the world the best way I knew how.
|First picture of mommy and baby|
|Daddy and Everett|
*All birth photos courtesy of Erin Oakeson