It can be hard to put into words such a miraculous thing as the birth of a child. For me, the labor and delivery experience is truly sacred. I apologize that it’s so lengthy- but I had to give some history of Josh and Dekker’s births along with it.
Jake says I was more prepared for this baby than either of our boys. I had her room done, our hospital bags packed, had read lots of books, and put everything I could in order so I would be ready for her arrival. Of course it helped that I fully understood she could come as early as 3 weeks before her due date. Josh had come that early and I’d not been prepared because most people go to at least 2 weeks before due, and first babies often come much later- but he surprised us, my labor with Josh started with my water breaking at about 3am after my 37 week mark.
With Dekker I was a little more prepared; I’d had my strep B test done early so that we’d have the results back before 37 weeks (I didn’t want to have to have antibiotics again), and I knew I wanted to avoid an episiotomy, but I still didn’t think he’d come quite that early early, nor was I prepared for how FAST he would come. There I was on that magic 37 week mark, in the hospital- and my water broke at about the same time- 3am. When I’d gone to the hospital with Dekker I was having regular contractions, but because he was so early they just kept me in a triage room until I “proved I was in active labor” which meant I needed to progress more than a centimeter in an hour- or have my water break. We were in triage for more than 2 hours. My water broke when I’d just hit the 3cm mark- but I went from a 3 to an 8 so fast that they didn’t have time to give me the epidural I’d fully planned on having. I was SCREAMING in pain and shock. They gave me a local anesthetic that only kicked in for the pushing, and they put it in wrong so that I was left with pounding spinal headaches for two weeks after. I vowed that next time I would be prepared to handle a fast labor without medication.
This time of course, I didn’t want to expect her to come at 37 weeks, but I did want to be prepared for it. My guess was that I’d deliver some time in my 38th week (Nov 19-25). However, when at my 36 week appointment I found out I was already dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced, I began to think that she would be coming at 37 weeks too- after all I’d never been that dilated with either of my boys before going into labor. Those next two weeks passed very slowly. At my 37 week appointment I was still at 3cm, but was 80% effaced, and so I still thought that maybe she’d come that early too. But Naomi wanted to surprise us too.
I went in for my 38 week appointment at 1:15 and found out I was at 4.5 centimeters and 80% effaced! Jennifer (one of the midwives) told me that she thought I was going to do something- but didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. She told me not to wait too long before going to the hospital if I started having regular contractions since I’d gone so fast with Dekker. My mom had arrived from Washington that day, and the timing seemed perfect. I walked to pick up Josh from preschool in the hopes that we could “get this baby here”! I started having pretty regular contractions that afternoon and evening. I was watching the clock and they would come every 10, or sometimes even 5 minutes apart- but they didn’t hurt at all and I just couldn’t convince myself I was in labor- they didn’t bring that low crampiness I’d remembered with Dekker. The contractions spread way out by 10pm and I told Jake that I might as well stop worrying about them and go to bed, “this baby ain’t coming tonight” I told him. Then I woke up with a low crampy contraction at 2:30am. It had me on pins and needles cause I just had a gut feeling that this was it! Two more came 4-5 minutes apart and I woke up Jake and told him the baby was coming. We got ready, threw a few more things in our hospital bag and timed contractions that were steady and had me tingling with endorphins all over. It hadn’t even been an hour yet- but we hoped in the car and headed over to Orem Community Hospital.
We got there a little after 3am. I was so excited to see that Vicki Gonzalez, a friend from our ward/church that I was hoping would be working was indeed there! I think because I was so happy and “bouncy” as Vicki said, no one believed that I was really ready to check in and have this baby. They took us to a triage room and hooked me up to the monitors, checked me and found me to be at 5 cm and started going through all the admittance questions. As they were doing this, at 3:35am my water broke (what is it about this time of night?)! The nurse said, “Well, I guess there’s no question now!” and finished with the rest of the admittance procedures and said she’d go call Jennifer (the midwife). They took me to my room and Vicki was my nurse attendant (by request I’m sure). A few short minutes later Jennifer arrived saying she’d gone 80 on the freeway because she didn’t want to miss it. Sarah, arrived a couple minutes after her. Sarah is the newest midwife at the clinic I went to and was attending all the deliveries this month with the other midwives. She’s actually really cool and has lots of experience- and so I was really happy to have her there to deliver my baby as well.
Vicki had asked them to give me the best room they had available- and so there we all were in this large comfy room with the lights low. My room was separate from all the other rooms- maybe because they were afraid since I was going unmedicated I’d be screaming and scare the other mothers. Jake took a little video of everyone there. I went through some contractions with Sarah and Jennifer helping me by offering counter pressure and coping techniques/birthing positions. Sarah pulled out the birthing ball and we were getting ready to try that when I said perhaps she ought to check me first and find out how far I’d progressed. She found me to be at an 8 already! Everyone was a little surprised at “how easy” I was making it look. Sarah also said I had a “forbag of water” and said that that was probably cushioning the contractions and if I was ready to really have this baby she would break it for me and then I’d probably progress extremely fast to the pushing stage. So she broke the remaining pocket of water and sure enough the intensity picked up. I was struggled a little to get all the way to 10 cm. Jake was counting and said there were about 6 contractions that were obviously much more difficult. But without a huge needle in my back I was not constrained onto my back or in stirrups and so we moved and adjusted with each one. The women were wonderful at seeing my tense spots and helping me relax them, and kept reminding me to relax my jaw and use low noises to help stay loose through the contractions. Before I knew it the pushing instinct kicked in. Sarah and Jennifer scrambled to get their delivery gowns on as they saw the baby crowning. It happened so fast! Three pushes; one to get her down, one for her head, and one for her body. Then, ah the relief! Naomi started crying immediately, they placed her on my belly and I saw her pretty little face for the first time. Jake and I both bawled. She was here. She was healthy and perfect! 5:09 am is what the clock said her birth time was. Just over two and a half hours of labor! Very manageable. She weighed 7lbs 5 oz, and measured 19.5 inches long. With such a quick entry I tore a little, but the recovery has been much easier than that of the episiotomy I had with Josh.
Honestly, it was really a sweet experience. I had three women that I trusted bustling about offering me such great help and encouragement through it all. I had Jake there quietly massaging and rubbing me. I felt like I really couldn’t have asked for a better team to help Naomi come into this world. If you live in this area and will be having a baby I highly recommend delivering at Orem Community with the New Beginnings Midwife group. Even if you do not want to go unmedicated – their philosophy is really to let you understand and make your own decisions and support you in the process. They do deliveries with epidurals and the like as well. They are there for as much of the delivery as possible, not just showing up at the end. They are kind and supportive, and I never had to wait for more than 10 minutes for my office visits, yet always took as much time as I needed to listen and answer any questions I had. Jake had been really nervous about my plans to go natural and with midwives this time, but he admits that it was so nice to have them there and offering so much support the whole time, and he was surprised that I made it without screaming, crying, hitting, or wishing I’d gotten the epidural. The Orem Community hospital is small and quite, but with large rooms. The staff is amazing. I really don’t know that I would change a thing about my delivery this time. I’m so thankful for everyone that helped Naomi have such a beautiful entrance into this world!