Saturday, January 23, 2016

Josephine's Birth Story

Josephine Lynn Markham - January 14, 2016
On Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 12:50 am I felt a gush of fluid while asleep in bed. I immediately knew that my water was leaking. I went to the restroom to make sure everything was clear & all was good! I was not yet having any contractions.

I let Paul know that my water was leaking & also called the midwife to let her know. She was okay with me staying home for a while since the water was clear & I could feel Josephine moving. She warned me that if baby doesn't arrive before 18 hours, they like for the baby to stay at the birth center an extra night to make sure there are no complications. So she said that we should have a plan in mind for coming to the birth center at some point if labor isn't picking up on its own.

We decided to try & get some rest before the big event. So Paul went back to bed & I, of course, packed a bag for the hospital before trying to go back to sleep. I might have slept a little the rest of the night, but really I was too anxious! Sometime around an hour later, I began having contractions. These contractions were anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes apart & I was able to rest through them.

Sometime between 6 & 7 am, I decided to wake Paul so we could decide what we wanted to do. We decided to get Nolin & Harris taken care of & then head to the birth center. So, I got a bite to eat & also took a shower while Paul fed the kids & coordinated childcare. Paul & the kids also had to pick up our van that was being worked on, so they ran to do that before we headed to the birth center. I sat on the birthing ball during this time, to try to encourage more active labor. Once Paul & the kids got home, our friend arrived to watch Nolin & Harris, so we headed to the birth center around 10:30 am.

I must say that we are so thankful to have such great friends who stepped up to help us out & make it fun for Nolin & Harris while we were at the birth center!

Once we arrived, the nurses checked to make sure it was indeed my water that broke (it was) & monitored Josephine for about 20 minutes to make sure she was doing well. Everything was great, except the contractions were still only about 9 minutes apart. I was having fears of induction & getting pretty down at this point. Around 11 am, our midwife came in & discussed options with us. She said that typically they like to start pitocin by 12 hours post water rupture, which would be by 1 pm. Our other option was to try walking around to get things moving. I was so discouraged, I was almost ready to get the pitocin, but luckily Paul knew that I really wanted another natural birth, so he encouraged me to walk. We decided to meet back in 30 minutes to see how things were progressing.

I put on a robe & we began walking the stairs. We walked down to the cafeteria so Paul could get a bite to eat. Then we walked around the halls. Paul ate his hamburger while I stopped for contractions. A couple of the nurses got a kick out of him eating while I was in labor. LOL The good news is that contractions started coming closer together, so we decided to walk for another 30 minutes.

We came back to the room at noon & my contractions were 3 minutes no pitocin! Yay! We weren't sure when to have our photographer come since things weren't progressing too fast in the beginning, so she made it right as I went into hard labor. She was actually afraid she was going to miss it!

At this point, I labored in bed on my hands & knees for a good bit. I did not want to keep walking!

I also started asking for the epidural! I am my own worst enemy! I was so terrified this third time...more so than my first two labors. The midwife finally checked me at this point (she didn't early on since my water had broken). I believe I was about 7-8 centimeters dilated. Paul kept telling me that I made sure he knew I did not want the epidural. But I kept begging. So our midwife explained the process & basically told me I was so close that she felt Josephine would arrive before the epidural kicked in. So, I did it epidural. Once I realized it wasn't happening, I actually went into a zone & sort of tuned the world out. I ended up on my side for a bit, as this was the most comfortable position for me to deal with the contractions. I was also, as usual, the loudest in the birth center. LOL

At this time, the nurses were filling the birth tub for me to labor in. It has to be completely filled, then drained & filled again before it can be used. But by the time it was filled the first time, the midwife thought I was so close to pushing, that we didn't even need the tub.

Paul stayed by my side the entire time & gave me drinks of water after each contraction. He also kept giving me cold wash cloths. He knows me well enough to know that I didn't want to be touched, so he just sat there with me. I'm pretty sure at one point I pushed away the midwife or nurses hands...I so don't like to be touched in labor. The nurse continued to do intermittent monitoring of Josephine during some contractions. Luckily she was very gentile about it. Unfortunately though, they drew my blood during hard labor, so I wasn't super pleased about that!

After a bit of labor in bed I swore there was so much pressure & I wanted to push. So I was checked again & the midwife said there was just a little lip left. She encouraged me to get out of bed & at least go to the bathroom. So, surprisingly, I got up & did just that. Contractions sucked this way, so of course I jumped right back in bed. But getting up dropped Josephine down & I almost immediately began pushing.

As Josephine was crowning, they could see the water bag on top of her head. Turns out that she was still in the sac, & the leak earlier was just a high leak. I always joked that I wanted to deliver a child in their sac. :) I'm not sure how many pushes, but it was something like 4 & Josephine was here! One of the weirdest feelings from this labor & birth was feeling Josephine turning her head while she was crowning. In between pushes, she stayed in the same place while crowning, instead of sort of going back in. So it was the strangest feeling when she moved her head!

At 2:38 pm on Thursday, January 14, 2016, Josephine Lynn Markham was born after only about 2 1/2 hours of active, hard labor! Such a difference from our first two. :)

I couldn't believe I did it again, a completely natural vaginal birth. But I'm pretty sure this is the point when I told Paul it would NOT happen again. LOL

Josephine & I spent time skin to skin for over an hour & she also began nursing during this time. When we finally weighed her, we found out she was our smallest. We had been taking bets - Paul & I both felt she was only around 7 pounds, but the nurses thought 8. Turns out she was 7 pounds, 12.5 ounces, 19 inches, with a head circumference of 13 1/2 inches.

We couldn't be more proud! We are so thankful to be blessed with our three beautiful, healthy children! Nolin & Harris were also quite proud of their new baby sister!

Our photographer also put together this sweet birth video...LOVE!

*Photos & video by Sarah Sweetman Photography.

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