Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Birth Story

I've been excited to share this for some time now.  I think because I knew before my son's birth...I knew then that I would have my own story and it would be exactly what God wanted.

I knew when I had written out my birth plan that it was flexible to change and not a legally binding document.  The thing most important to me was to just enjoy my experience to the best of my ability and to be proud of what I accomplished...no matter what.

And I did.

On April 30th, I attended a routine OB appointment where they were checking my amniotic fluid levels via ultrasound to make sure my son was okay, since I was nearing 41 weeks.  Unfortunately, my levels were dangerously low, and the safest thing for my son was for me to be admitted to the hospital to get IV fluids and induction.

Inside I was devastated.  I had never expected to be induced.  In fact, I was expecting to go to 42 weeks before that happened.  As long as my son was okay.

We couldn't risk his safety.  So my husband called our contacts to get ready, I called my doula, and I proceeded to grab a quick breakfast before being admitted.  When I arrived to my room, I was started on IV fluids and my OB gave me cervadil, with is a less invasive and aggressive cervical ripening agent that can help kickstart labor.  In fact, the OB on call that night told me this agent only works 10% of the time, and I would likely need pitocin.  How encouraging!!! (insert: sarcasm).  But I knew I had to trust God.  He knew what was best for my son, and I had to just go with it.

That night lasted forever.  I was constantly walking, on the pregnancy ball and in the shower.  Early labor had started and small contractions started happening.  The pain was enough that I couldn't sleep through it.  I was tired but encouraged.

The best decision I made in my entire labor experience was to not know how dilated I was.  I know myself.  If I had a number hanging out there in the air, I knew I was likely to get fixated on it and let it get to me.  Rather, I wanted to know if I was making progress...then I would know I was closer to meeting my son.  Meanwhile, my husband knew how dilated I was and continued to encourage me and pray with me.

The morning of May 1st, my new day nurse offered me if I wanted to move to a room with a hydrotherapy tub.  Moving was one of the best decisions I made that day because the tub helped a lot later on.  I was so fortunate to have 1:1 care from my nurse, which they reserve for patients who wish to not have an epidural and want a natural labor.  She, as well as all my nurses at the hospital, were attentive to my every need.  Even better, they always checked in with me on my birth plan, discussing it in front of me, in report, and asking me if there was anything I needed to change or update.  Their support was incredible.

At 8 AM, the covering OB arrived and told me he would need to break my water.  I wasn't progressing fast enough considering my decreased amniotic fluids.  I was internally having a mini meltdown, and for the first time, doubting God.  I said to my husband, "Why won't God let my body just progress naturally?" I was doubting and discouraged.  But God was with me then, as he is always.  Always faithful and always sovereign.  I reflected on the list of Bible verses I had brought into the hospital with me that specifically were for encouragement through the labor process.  My husband and I read them out loud together and prayed that my body would progress with labor.  The OB had said I needed to progress within the next hour or so to avoid needing pitocin.

Fortunately, within the hour I was (though I didn't know it) 5 cm dilated.  I wasn't walking in the halls at this point.  My doula had just arrived and my nurse was present as they explained to me that I was transitioning into active labor.  I would meet my son soon!

The next few hours are a blur.  Labor was by far the most challenging, yet rewarding experience I have received in this life.  The hydrotherapy tub, pregnancy ball, and peanut ball were my best buds.  My team helped me frequently change positions and prepared me to endure each contraction.

Another thing I was thankful in doing to prepare for labor was to take the week and a half that I had off from work prior to take time to meditate, pray and practice deep breathing.  Whether it was for 5 minutes or 20 minutes, I made this a daily practice so that I could take this with me into labor.  It was a good thing that I did.  Deep breathing and focusing on relaxing images was one way I was able to get through contractions.

As I neared 9 centimeters dilation, I was begging my doula and husband for an epidural.  "Too late," they said.  "You're doing this Lindsay!"  See, I knew this would happen.  In the weeks prior, I had told my labor team that I knew there would come a point that I would be asking for an epidural, and I needed them to encourage me and talk me through not getting it.  In active labor, they reminded me how close I was and how it was too late to get one because by the time I did, my son would be with me.  This gave me hope.  I remember saying, "I don't have enough strength to do this," to which my incredible doula replied, "God has given you just enough strength to do this Lindsay."

And He did.

Once I had gotten to almost 10 cm, my nurse told me that I could continue to endure contractions or attempt pushing to get to 10 cm.  I chose the latter, as I was ready to get this contraction thing over with and meet my son!  So the labor team started preparing the room for the OB and helped me with pushing.  The end was in sight, and I knew I would meet my son soon!!

From 1:00 pm and on I pushed.  Believe it or not, I felt like pushing was easier than contractions.  Maybe because you know your at the end?  Your kind of in this zone where you just know it's gotta get done.  I was probably about to take my husbands arm off between all my grabbing and clenching.  I was in almost this animalistic (for lack of a better term) mode.  I was reminded God's promises in these final moments and pushes.  Baby boy was crowning, and I was told I only needed to do maybe one or two last pushes.

At 2:05 PM, my son Jace Alexander was here.  With my last push my son was born, and I was able to hold him and immediately bring him to my chest.  The only word to describe it was surreal.  At 7 lb 13 oz and 20.5 inches long, he was my my perfect little miracle that I was so grateful for.

No one can describe the love and the emotions of those first few moments together.  What a gift that God has given mothers...to experience this.  If I could have frozen those moments in time forever, I would have.

I couldn't say enough about my incredible husband, doula Melody Hamm, and my awesome nursing team at Sarasota Memorial who were so supportive, encouraging and blessed me so much!!  My hospital birthing experience was so special to me.  God was so faithful to his promises, and I am so thankful for my happy and healthy son.

You, like me, will have your own unique and special birth story.  The details in between are irrelevant.  Each child will be a new experience, and one that is a miracle.  What a relief and comfort to know God knows exactly how your birth story will turn out.  We can find rest and peace in that.  Some stories may be sad, discouraging and maybe even disappointing.  But God will reveal to you his perfect plan for your baby, and will bring glory to himself through it.  He will give you hope and strength.  He will be faithful.

Enjoy letting God write your birth story.





 Blessings,

Lindsay



2 comments:

  1. I love that you shared your birth story! It makes me want to share mine too! I read this before going into labor and it helped me feel more in control of the situation and gave me some confidence that I could do it.

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    1. Thanks so much ;) reading your comment made me read this again! So special each birth story- please share yours!

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