Friday, March 29, 2013

Harris' Birth Story

On Friday, December 28th, 2012, Paul was at our house in Bowling Green helping the movers load the truck.  We were packing up for our big move to Seattle.  We were going to have to spend the next week or so at my parent's house.  I had a doctor's appointment that morning, so I was off to Glasgow.  It was a day before my due date.  I really did not think that I would make this doctor's appointment because Nolin was born early.  I have always heard that second children typically come early, so I assumed Harris would be early also.  However, that was not the case!  When I left Dr. South that morning, I jokingly told her that I would see her at midnight.

At about 4:00 pm that afternoon, I began having real contractions.  Nolin was with me at my parent's house already.  So, I continued to play with her as I monitored the contractions for about an hour.  Around 5:00 pm, I realized that Harris might actually be on his way, so I called Paul to let him know.  My contractions were anywhere between four & seven minutes apart.  I assumed that the movers were almost finished since they had been at the house since the morning, but it looked like it was going to take more time.  Around 6:00 pm, Paul decided to go ahead & sign the papers & leave the movers to finish.  I was so ready for him to be with me!

Around 7:00 pm I tried to go to the back bedroom to rest for a little bit, but it was hard to rest.  I knew it would be the last time we were a family of three & I didn't want to miss any time with Nolin.  So, I didn't lie down for long.

Paul put Nolin to bed around 8:00 pm.  This was really hard for me.  I knew that I would be leaving Nolin to go to the hospital.  I did not want to leave her.  She had not yet spent a night without either Paul or me.  I knew she was in good hands, but it was still extremely hard for me.

After Nolin was in bed, Paul ran some bath water for me.  When I was in labor with Nolin, I liked being in the water, so we thought this may help.  Unfortunately, the tub was not as comfortable as a birthing pool.  My doula, Bonnie, showed up around 8:30 or 9:00 pm & joined us in the bathroom.  I think I labored in the tub for about an hour or so.  Contractions were around four to five minutes apart at this point, I believe.  I remember asking Bonnie when we could go to the hospital.  I think in my head I thought the faster I got to the hospital, the faster this baby would come!  Haha - I should have known better!

I got out of the tub about 10:30 pm & got dressed to go to the hospital.  It was slow moving, because I had to pause for every contraction.  It's fun to labor over the toilet!  LOL  (It also makes for great pictures!)  I remember that Bonnie made a joke about my shoes.  I had tennis shoes to put on.  She joked that I couldn't have had slip-ons to go to the hospital.  Of course, I had slip-ons - they were in a truck, on their way to Seattle!  :)

We also made a joke about having all of Harris' labor pictures in the bathroom, so I made sure to pause on the couch in front of the Christmas tree for my next contraction.  I was thinking clearly between contractions!  Haha!

The ride to the hospital was difficult.  Since our cars had been shipped to Seattle, we were using my step-dad's truck.  Poor Bonnie had to squeeze in the back & sit sideways since my seat was laying back.  I tried really hard to rest on the long drive.  It was also pouring rain, so Paul had to be very careful & slow.  Contractions still seemed to be about four to five minutes apart.  I made sure to moan/hum through them, instead of screaming.

When we arrived at the hospital around 11:30 pm, Bonnie made me walk to labor & delivery.  When I was in labor with Nolin they put me in a wheel chair, but this time Bonnie made me walk!  (I'm not bitter at all!) So, of course, we moved slowly, stopping for each contraction.

The nurse put me in a triage room first, but then quickly came back to move me to a room.  She didn't realize that Dr. South knew we were on our way.  I guess Paul had sent her a Facebook message.  I remember being worried, because a nurse said that Dr. South lives pretty far out, so it might take her a while to get there.  Thank goodness Paul had let her know! 

After I was settled in a room, the nurse checked to see how dilated I was.  She told me that I was 7 1/2 - 8 centimeters dilated.  Someone came in to do some blood work & they were going to put a hep-lock in, because I didn't want to have an IV.  However, Dr. South said they didn't have to.  I had a fetal monitor around my belly for a little bit, but not for long.  It was so nice not to be hooked up to lots of machines!

Around 12:00 am, no joke, Dr. South walked in my room!  I laughed & said, "I told you I would see you at midnight!"  My joking didn't last for long though.  I was really hurting at this point.  I labored on my hands & knees some.  I wasn't able to hum through contractions at this point - yep, I was screaming.  I thought that surely I would have Harris soon!

Sometime after 1:30 am, I remember asking when this was going to happen.  I think Dr. South checked me again & I was 9 centimeters dilated.  Dr. South & Bonnie wanted me to be on my hands & knees during pushing, so it would help to me from tearing like I did with Nolin.  I tried to push in this position some, but I didn't like it.  It was too hard to rest during breaks.  So, I rolled over on my back.  But, everyone convinced me to get back on my hands & knees.  Again, I tried to get on my back, but every time I tried to roll over, Dr. South, Bonnie, & Paul were at my side keeping me from doing so!  Needless to say, I was mad!  Harris wasn't down yet, so they were trying to get gravity to help me.  Eventually I rolled back onto my back though & swore that I had to give birth that way.

So, just as it happened with Nolin, Dr. South assisted.  My water hadn't broken this time, but I did pass the mucous plug (gross, I know).  Well, after pushing for what seemed like forever, Harris was finally crowning.  It was so uncomfortable!  I'm not sure how many pushes it took, but finally his head was out.  I was relieved, because I remembered that being the worst part.  However, everyone started telling me to keep pushing.  It seemed very urgent, so it frightened me for a minute.  Finally, Harris was out!  It was Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 3:27 am - Harris' due date ironically!  It turns out that he had his hands up against his chin!  Sheesh! 

Healing from Harris' birth was much easier.  I did have a tear, but it was not as severe as the tear from Nolin's birth.  I didn't lose a lot of blood this time either, so no blood transfusion!  Harris & I were both very healthy.  :)  In fact, I was out of bed & showered just four hours about Harris arrived.  It took me three days after Nolin's birth!

I'm so thankful for such a great birth experience.  I am super thankful for those who helped me though it.  I know I was pretty stubborn at times!  But, I was the one in pain...I was allowed to be stubborn, right?! ;)

Paul & I are very blessed to have two beautiful babies in our lives now!

*photos by Susan Warrell

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