Saturday, February 1, 2014

Juniper Grace // Birth Story Pt. 2

I slowly waddled my way across the hospital to labor and delivery (the midwives office is attached) and tried to walk through each contraction. Even though I was certain that I wanted the epidural, I was really nervous that it was going to slow things down so I remember telling the nurse that I could still manage the contractions for a little while longer (but every time another contraction hit I found myself changing my mind!). We unpacked our things and settled into the room. I finally lost my mucous plug when I went to the bathroom (something I was expecting to lose before labor started). Truman put the playlist on, my mom got the essential oil diffuser running, and the nurse hooked me up to the monitor. I wasn't cold, but my body started shaking with nerves. I was nervous for the procedure of the epidural and I was nervous that baby girl's entry into the world was going to be as violent as Penny's was (vacuum, episiotomy). My mom massaged my legs while I took deep breaths of my essential oils, read through scripture, and texted friends/family with updates. It helped to get my mind off of delivery.
When the anesthesiologist arrived, he whipped open the curtain and said "someone having a baby!?" He was really fun and liked to crack jokes so that helped to relieve some nerves. I warned him that he would need to talk me through the procedure and he gladly did. I sat on the edge of the bed while Truman and the nurse held my hand. The worst part was having to sit still through the contractions. There were only a few times where the pressure/pain of the tube was really uncomfortable and I just repeated "I can do this" over and over. I remember feeling a little silly giving myself a pep talk in front of the nurse--I'm sure she's seen worse. The anesthesiologist commented that he liked my playlist, told us congratulations, and was on his way. 

As my legs and abdomen slowly started to numb I was able to relax a bit. The break from the contractions was much needed. I wasn't keeping track of time, but the next few hours were spent resting as much as possible. Truman went to the cafeteria to grab lunch while my mom stayed with me. The pain of the contractions was gone, but I still felt a lot of pressure through each one and it was causing me to be slightly nauseous. She was sitting on the edge of my bed rubbing my arm when I felt an increased amount of pressure in my abdomen. All of a sudden this loud burst of noise comes over the monitor and my water breaks (bursts, actually) causing us both to jump. My mom shot off the bed and we laughed hysterically. Thankfully I was covered by sheets, but we got a good laugh at how startled we were. The midwife came in to check me (I'm assuming around 1 or 1:30pm) and I was dilated to 8-9cm. I was SO relieved to hear that the epidural hadn't slowed the process and that I was getting close to delivery. Kali showed up, ready to take pictures and the nurses started to prepare. The epidural was slightly wearing off on my right side so I was having to work again through contractions.
Aside from actually meeting my girl, this is my favorite part of labor and delivery.
The mood in the air changes. The nurses start lay out and prepare all the tools and the adrenaline starts to pump. Instead of dreading the next contraction, I welcome it. Knowing that I'm minutes away from holding my baby. Instead of fearing the pushing, I buckle down and focus with all of my energy. Knowing there is only one way out. The midwife said she could feel her head right there and I felt a wave of excitement and giddiness. I felt pressure in my bottom with each contraction and she told me I could start to push when the next one came. 
This is SUCH an unflattering picture, but I pushed with all my might, listening to her every instruction and taking a break when the contraction was over. I was excited for the next one to come, hoping each time that it would bring me my baby. We did this through a few more contractions and her head started to crown. My midwife asked if I wanted to reach down and touch her head and I said no way. I know that some people find that really beautiful, but I did not want to feel what was about to come plunging through me (sorry). They laughed and I pushed. My midwife was so calm and relaxed through the whole thing, like she was making me a cup of coffee. She casually asked Truman if he wanted to come around a catch his daughter and since he isn't bothered by all the gore he gladly accepted the invitation. As the next contraction approached I knew this was it. I could feel her pushing her way through my body slowly. I had my eyes closed to focus and my midwife shouted "open your eyes! open your eyes!" as June was pulled out into the world at 2:42pm. I'm so thankful she did that so I could see this beautiful, purple, wet bundle lifted into the air and placed on my chest.
I was crying hysterically. So overjoyed. I think the first thing I muttered was "oh, I love that beautiful cry!" June curled up onto my chest and I held her tight for a long time. 
My words just don't do justice the joy I felt to be holding my healthy baby girl safely in my arms. Truman cut the cord and kissed me through my tears as we marveled again at this amazing entrance of new life. 
June sat quietly through all the poking and prodding and I anxiously awaited getting to hold her again. Kali was sure to make note of the song that was playing when she was born "Call Me the Breeze" by Beth Orton. My midwife informed me that I had only second degree tearing and I was SO thankful for that (with Penny I had fourth degree).
Truman and I spent some quiet time alone with her in the room to settle from all the excitement. Penny had been patiently waiting in the lobby with her Uncle Jamison, my dad, and Jeanette.
She wasn't quite sure what to think of her baby sister the first time she saw her. She just kept pointing in curiosity. After a few hours, everyone started to shuffle out and the nurse prepared to take us to our room. She wanted me to go to the bathroom first so I slowly walked with her and as I reached the toilet I felt my body get very faint and start to fade. I've never passed out before and I was trying really hard to stay awake. I thought that I had succeeded and when I came to I said "whoa I almost passed out!" She laughed and said "honey, you did pass out." I quickly realized that as I noticed the other four nurses that were now standing around me. I believe I called them "blue people" haha. I got back into bed so they could hook me back up to the IV. I was slightly bummed to end such a great delivery with this. Regardless, I still had my healthy baby girl to delight in. We eventually got into our room and they plastered a sign to my door saying "leaf" labeling me as a fall risk! The rest of the family got a good laugh out of that and Truman now calls me "little leaf".

I am so happy and blessed with Juniper's labor and delivery. It went so much smoother than I anticipated and the recovery has been much less painful. She is my sleepy little snuggler and I am loving all the cuddle time we've had. God has blessed us in so many ways and I am so excited to embrace this new life as a family of four.

Cheers, J.


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