Twas the night before Christmas and all through the night I was feeling contractions, but small and not close. but then came Christmas morning and all of them stopped, so we had a fun morning with presents and french toast! Then at 11:30 I sought for a nap, but contractions again started up just like that!
Ok so that is how our Christmas started, it was such a blessing to be able to watch Jefferson's Christmas morning, I had said a prayer during the night that I would be able to do that, so it was really neat that real labor did not start until all the morning festivities were over. (this is the part where I am going to tell my birth story, and it is also for my record so Im adding a lot of detail, so if you don't want to read it feel free to skip down to the pictures!) So at 11:30 I started feeling contractions regularly about every 8 minutes. I waited till I had had 4 in a row, then told my mother-in-law (who we are living with) Mike had
just fallen asleep so I decided to let him since we were doing this natural and he was going to be my coach and work very hard. after some reading, talking to my parents on the phone to let them know what was going on, taking a shower and getting ready, waking Mike up and making sure everything was in the hospital bag. (Christina and Blain were awesome and got everything packed up in the car and took Jefferson) My contractions were only about 7 minutes apart so we decided that we would head up to Mikes sisters house for Prime Rib Dinner (well I wasn't interested in eating anything at this point, but Mike had been looking foreward to eating this dinner for a long time:) ) this was around 2:30. We had invited Janet Barton, who taught our Bradly class, (and I knew from being a nanny for when we were first married) She is a Doula and and awesome at what she does. So we had been texting her and decided that we would wait to go to the hospital till the contractions were more intense and a little closer together, this way we could do more of our own laboring at home (or Sarah's house :) ). well we got there and the finished up cooking, we exchanged a couple more presents. It was right around the time that dinner was on the table that I decided that it was time to go to the hospital, since my contractions were coming about 3-5 minutes apart, and were getting more intense, and we had a 30 min drive to the hospital. so poor Mike only hot a few bites of his dinner. we texted Janet and talked to her a little on the way there, so she could see how I was doing through my contractions, and then we met her there, Mikes mom Christina and sister Sarah also met us there a few minutes later(this was around 4pm), this was my amazing labor team, and they were all so great! They checked me and I was at a 5 and 90% effaced, so I got to stay. We got into our room and it was so different than the last time, since I was not having the epidural, and I decided that I would hydrate myself so that I would not have to be hooked up to any IV. I was free to move around and choose what positions I felt were best. during the first part of labor I did a lot of walking around, and would stop and completely relax into Michael and rock back and forth during a contraction. It really was great to be able to move around during this part of labor, I much preferred it to laying down during the first part of my labor. throughout labor I did different positions. they brought in the birthing ball (just an exersize ball) and I spent a good amount of time on this as well. at around 6 I got a new nurse and found out that since it was Christmas my doctor, Dr Chalmers would not be there but the other doctor in his office Dr. Ott would be attending me instead. This came as a bit of a blow to me, because I really like Dr. Chalmers, and knew that he was completley on board with everything I wanted. but this was his partner and was also supportive of natural births, and I had my birth prefrences paper in my file, and my whole team knew what I wanted, so I hoped everything would be ok. I did have to get a saline lock via the doctors request. (this is a tube they put in your arm so they can hook you up to an IV quick if needed) this was obnoxious but ok since it did not make me less mobile. well as my labor progressed, I switched between sitting on the ball and rocking back and forth, and kneeling behind the balll with my upper body over top of it. Michael was amazing the whole time he was there rubbing my back, or massaging, or tickling. talking me through the contractions, taking me to my relaxation place, and helping me stay deeply relaxed. Janet was also an awesome support, helping michael, giving advice on how to help me, and advocating for us so we could concentrate on labor, and also talking me through a lot of it as well. mom was so great to keep an awesome written record of everything that is so awesome to have, and she also recorded the birth, and would count through the contractions telling me when 15, 30, 45, and 60 seconds had passed, Sarah was a great at taking so many pictures for us, and was there rubbing my feet we aslo had an amazing nurse named Kellie who was there the whole time and was just as much a supportive part of the team as anyone else, it made such a huge difference to have such a support team there the whole time! at one point during transition I thought I feld the urge to push, but it was just gas I guess because it went away, and when the doctor checked me I was still almost an 8, and later when I felt the real urge to push I could defiantly tell the difference. As the contractions got intense I started doing a hum moan that just worked as a quirk to help my concentration, and I'm sure I sounded funny, but thats one thing I found about my labor is that no matter how ridiculous or silly it seemed, if it helped me I did it! anyway, near the end of transition I layed down and Michael and I did the relaxation position that we practiced so much during class. I was very grateful to have practiced this position, because it was great and helped me rest and really stay fully relaxed (with the help of Mike and the others:)) because I had practiced it so much! they checked me again and told me I was almost completely dialated, and there was just a small lip of skin over his head. I then changed to kneeling over the ball again on the bed to help labor progress. they brought out the squatting bar and I did a few contractions and oddly it slowed down my labor, which was nice to h ave a rest, but it usually has the opposite effect. so I went back to the ball postition, and did some grunty pushes to try to break my water, and it worked! it was a huge relief to have that pressure relieved! I had a lot of amniotic fluid so it sounded like someone had dumped a bucket of water on the bed, and my nurse later compared it to niagra falls :) less than a minute later I started pushing, and it took me a minute to realize that that was what I was doing, because that is just what my body started doing. I had intended to push in the squatting position, but when someone asked me if I wanted to change position, there is no way I was moving so I pushed kneeling backwards on the bed over the ball holding onto the headboard. the nurse panicked a little because the doctor was not in the room, but was reassured by Janet, and the doctor got there at some point during my pushing. It was amazing to be in control of my own pushing, and the only person I could hear was Janet helping my pushing be the most effective. Im not sure if the nurse and doctor even said anything, because I was just doing what I felt was right by what my body was telling me, it was really empowering and a cool experience. well after 6 minutes of pushing and 3 or 4 contractions I reached down to feel my baby and he was born! the doctor waited to clamp the cord, but only for one minute instead of longer as we requested because he stopped breathing for a couple of seconds, but no worries he started up a minute later! he then came straight to my stomach and I held him and bonded with him for over an hour before any measuring, weighing or anything happened, it was incredible! It was such a different feeling than when I had an epidural, and now that I have done it, I would not do it any other way, and another positive thing was that he caught onto nursing right away, what a champ, I really think that this was due to not being drugged, but that was just from observation between my two births so who knows! well he was 9lbs 6 oz and 21.5 inches long. my chuncky bundle of joy, and the best Christmas present ever, Ashton Joseph Thomas! it was so neat to go into this labor and birth educated and prepared, with a list of birth preferences so that everyone knew what we wanted for me and the baby, it really made all the difference! ok so that was really for my record more than anything and I realize it was incredibly long, so here is the fun part, pictures!
here is us when we first got into the room
Our big boy, 9 lbs 6 oz
this is him after he was all wrapped up
First bath , (though we chose not to do it till the next day)
all clean and wrapped up warmlythis is my Friend Krista who was visiting family for Christmas, and got to see him! she lives in salt lake- I love Ashton's hat in this picture
This is the first picture we were able to get with Jefferson, he kept moving when we got the camera! but his reaction was so cute, he was so curious about this new baby!
at home and so precious!