Monday, September 29, 2014

Levi's Birth Story

On May 14, I woke up around 2 in the morning with some mild cramping. I was five days overdue, and I felt like Levi would be coming very soon. I climbed out of bed, made myself a big smoothie, and walked around our house in anticipation of my natural birth. Corey wakes up for work at 4:45am, so I let him sleep until then. I really enjoyed just walking around alone, drinking my smoothie, thinking about our future, and sitting on my yoga ball when a contraction came along. By the time he woke up and called in to work, my contractions were 3 minutes apart. I put on my tight miniskirt that I bought for this day. We called the midwives and let them know that we would be coming soon.

We left for the hospital around 6. After being sent to admissions, I was told by a nurse to lay down in a bed while she started an IV. I told her that I didn't want to lay down and that the midwives had agreed that I didn't have to have an IV put in. She put one in anyway, and then told me that I couldn't drink water after I had asked Corey to bring me my water bottle. She left the room for over 30 minutes. I was furious, and scared about my hospital birth at this point. I later found out that Corey left the room and yelled at the nurse to get me to the midwives and to my birthing room. She came in with a wheelchair, but after some discussion, let me walk to the room.

Once in our room, I ran a bath. Corey's mom brought him breakfast to eat while he sat next to me by the tub. We were notified that our doula was on the way, and around 8am she walked in the room. The whole atmosphere changed immediately- she was such a positive influence on everyone. I climbed out of the tub and she set up a weighted yoga ball while I dried off. I tried multiple positions, but my favorite was definitely the yoga ball. When a contraction would get too strong, she would massage my hips while I leaned on whatever was around me- Corey, the bed, the ball. She had me in a state of meditation for hours. I think our room was mostly silent besides me humming and her words of encouragement. Then I hit 9 centimeters.

Things get a little hazy here. I stayed there for what felt like a very long time. I kept wanting them to check me (even though I originally didn't want to be checked) so that I could know how close I was to the end. I was in a lot of pain and the doula had to keep refocusing me. (For time reference, at 11:00 I was 9 cm and 100% effaced, but I didn't start pushing until 1:45.) Corey was amazing at supporting me. He stayed close to me the entire day, let me breathe my bad breath right in his face, and didn't say a word when I would push him away in pain. Sometimes my doula was all the womanly support I needed and craved.

Pushing was really hard. I had been in labor for almost twelve hours and I was tired. Levi's heart rate was dropping, and they were putting an oxygen mask on me. I had to sit through at least five contractions without pushing so that I could bring his heart rate back up, and that was incredibly difficult. They kept telling me to stop pushing, but it was just instinct. It was all I could feel. Eventually, I had to get an episiotomy. When they said the word, I immediately started to cry. My doula, once again, was the one to keep me calm and focused. She stared straight into my eyes every time I would open them. I remember feeling like she was just an angel. We were so closely connected for that day. After 25 minutes of pushing, Levi was born at 2:14 pm.

I didn't let him out of my arms for over two hours. We delayed the cord clamping, weight check, and didn't bathe him until he was home. What an overwhelming love it was, seeing and holding him for the first time. I physically felt my life change forever, for the better.