A Birth Story

Monday, August 5, 2013

This is going to be by far my most lengthy post. I want to remember it for years and years to come. I don't know how long it will be but I know there will be a ton of details that no one probably even cares about, but I do. And ultimately this is for my husband and myself to look back on but I hope you all enjoy it! 

At 38 weeks my husband and I walked into, what I hoped would be, my last doctors appt. The prior week we had discussed sweeping my membranes if I was dilated to a 2. I was so anxious as we waited in the office and when the nurse called my name it seemed like a life time to check my bp, weight and get ready for the doctor. When he finally came in (we had probably been at the doctors office a total of 10 minutes, my nerves were just at an all time high) he checked me and I was at a 2! Not only that but I was 75% effaced! I couldn't believe it! After a painful sweep of the membranes we headed over to my parents house. No contractions. Just cramping. I thought for sure that my labor would be kickstarted and I would have him within 24 hours. No such luck. Days passed and my 39 week appointment came.  

This time I was going alone. Bryson had to work and at my last appointment we had discussed induction dates. The dates were going to be July 25th if I was 3 cm dilated and August 1st if I wasn't. Both days were perfect for us and we were anxious to see if I had progressed at all. L and I were waiting and watching Minnies Boutique in the waiting room when my name was called for the last time during pregnancy. We made our way back to get all my vitals checked and I had a sense of peace. Whether Little Foster came on his own or we had to be induced I knew it was only a matter of time until I met him so I had set in my mind to stop stressing and trying to force him to come and just enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy and the last days I had with just my little girl. 

I stepped on the scale and yet another week that my weight had stayed the same. I step off the scale and head over to the chair to check my blood pressure. I had stopped paying attention and was looking at Logan when I noticed the nurse hadn't said anything. I looked back at her and she said she was going to check it again. This time I was paying attention. After having bp issues with my first I was a little concerned. She said the doctor would probably want to talk to me about it and led L and I to our room. 

I was starting to feel very anxious without Bryson there but I knew that I had to stay cheerful and positive since I had L with me. My doctor came in and checked me and I hadn't progressed much at all and was not at the 3cm that I was hoping so badly for. August 1st it was. Or so I thought. Even though I wasn't at the 3 he explained to me that because my bp was dropping (and we have had it do it a couple times) he strongly felt I need to be induced the very next morning! I didn't even know what to say. Bryson was at work for 48 hours and I hadn't planned for it. I had a plan. The 25th or the 1st. Not tomorrow. I found myself nodding as he said be there at 5:30 AM and if my water hadn't broken by 8:30AM he would most likely break it because he didn't want Foster in my stomach longer than he needed to be. 

That day as I was checking out I was in a daze. I just nodded and took the card and headed straight to the car to call Bryson. He answered on the first ring. He was waiting to hear if I was at a 3. I told him he needed to find a way off because I was being induced the next morning and explained to him why. We both didn't know much of what to say. We were anxious, excited, nervous all rolled into one. After we had talked I sent a mass text to the family explaining the situation and called my parents to see if they could watch Logan that night. 

After I dropped Logan off I went home and sat alone in silence for a majority of the day. I knew that I would be spending the night alone and my nerves were getting the best of me. I concentrated on breathing and on the messages that I was receiving and sending. Thank goodness for Alex! She got me out of the house for a couple hours and it was so nice to not sit there and get emotional.

When I got home that night I finished tidying up a few things and basically just wandered around in the silence. I knew that I had a busy day ahead but I didn't want to go to bed to early and wake up a million times. Finally, around 10:00 I called Bryson and we talked and sat in silence for awhile. He promised to call me at 4:30 and wake me up. When we hung up I took my last pictures being pregnant and at 11:30 I went to bed anxious for the day ahead. 

At 4:00 AM my lovely husband kept his promise and called me to wake me up. Thank goodness he did because I had been sleeping harder than I had in 9 months. After a relaxing shower I took my time getting ready. Bryson got home a little after 5 and we loaded everything into the car. While we were driving to the hospital I was overcome with emotion. I was nervous about what was going to come, our future and how we would adapt as a family. I had a 30 second cry stint and Bryson was supportive and listened to everything I was worried about while being reassuring. 

We pulled into the hospital and headed up to the maternity ward. After checking in and getting settled in a room, everything was peaceful. There were no noises, no machines hooked up yet and I instantly felt more reassured. Bryson and I were sitting making small talk and figuring out our video camera. It seemed so calm for what I thought was going to be such a crazy day. 

As I was hooked up to the monitors Foster's heart rate dropped twice. We were waiting to start the pitocin to see if it would keep happening or if maybe he had just grabbed the cord. During this time they began talking to us about a possible emergency c-section if it kept happening. Thank God everything was normal and at 7:10 the started the medicine. 

The contractions were nothing like I had remembered them. They were extremely easy to breathe through and sometimes I didn't even notice I was having one unless the nurse or Bryson told me. I wasn't complaining! At 8:30 my mom came to the hospital which was supposed to be when they were going to break my water but because we had to wait to start the pitocin when the Dr came and asked if I wanted him to break my water, I quickly declined. I wanted my induced birth to be as natural and uninterrupted as it could be. 

Because I could hardly feel the contractions I expected labor would last longer than with sister so Bryson ran home to pick up the first season of The Walking Dead and my mom snuck me some trail mix. I was starving and who wants to labor on an empty stomach? When Bryson was back at the hospital he put in the first episode which we wouldn't watch at all. 

As the contractions and pressure got worse I went into a meditative state and for two uninterrupted hours it was heaven to just lay there with my eyes closed and concentrate. It was also a perfect time for Bryson to get some shuteye. Unlike me, he didn't sleep a wink the night before and I think knowing everything was ok and how calm it was in our room it was much easier to relax. My poor mom just sat there...not sure what she did for those couple hours, maybe played on her phone...

When we were all up and feeling refreshed the contractions were still coming every 4-6 minutes apart and it was getting close to lunch time. Bryson ran down to the cafeteria and had a very quick lunch and when he got back my mom decided to go down because I was slowly getting closer and closer to transitional labor. As soon as she left, at 11:50, I was laying down and there was a painful pop in my stomach. No liquid was coming out but I assumed my bag of waters had popped. I had to pee so I decided to roll off my side and try and get up to go the restroom while I still could. As I rolled over a little bit of water came out and we decided it was better to wait for the nurse just in case my water had broken I didn't want to get up and end up with Foster getting an elapsed cord. The nurse came in to check if my water had broken (incidentally, she was the same nurse I had with Logan and she's amazing!) and as she was checking more liquid was coming out. She was having to push down on my stomach and pull the bag/my cervix (my cervix was at an angle and was extremely painful to get to the whole time). After a couple extremely painful minutes my water was all out and I had a weird tummy with just baby in there. After that, Bryson was right back on the phone with my mom telling her to get back. When the next contraction hit it was like being hit with a bag of bricks. Labor was no longer easy to breathe through. 

Whenever she was helping get all the amniotic fluid out she also checked me, I was only at a four! A four?! I was so discouraged and because my water broke at an 8 with L I felt like I had hours of horrible labor left and wasn't sure if I would be able to make it without medicine. Because of all the pressure and fluids I felt like I had to pee a ton! I was in the bathroom and sitting on the toilet was awesome! Seriously, all the pressure was gone and it was perfect to lean on my toes. I was also 100% alone and it was nice to get into a zone that I knew I would need to be in if I was to go the whole way without anything. After 3 or 4 contractions in the bathroom, the nurse peeks her head in and tells me that we don't want to have the baby in the potty...no, we don't haha so I move to the birthing ball which was the bomb.com. It was better than the toilet. I was able to lean on my husband and rock my hips. For me it helped to concentrate on breathing to open up my cervix. I knew if I fought it labor would be miserable and it was better to help my body along. This is what I told myself hundreds of times that last hour. 

I went to the bathroom again and when I was coming out I had a contraction and had to put ALL my weight on Bryson. I knew that they were coming fast and hard and that as much as I wanted to be able to do things myself (walking/restroom) I knew I would need help from then on out. Or at least someone beside me. I sat back on the birth ball until I had to pee, AGAIN! This time Bryson came in with me. I love my husband, don't get me wrong he is my rock and I don't think I could have done it without him, but at this moment I wanted to punch him. I was sitting on the toilet through contractions and leaning on him and he knocks the hair dryer off the thing it hooks on and it goes off! and to me it was the equivalent of someone screaming in my ear. It took him a minute to figure out how to put it back then he knocks it off again! I was trying not to get mad but I think I, for a lack of a better word, sternly told him to shut it off. 

The plan from there was to head back on over to the birthing ball but instead I went back to the bed. It was hard for me to breathe through them silently anymore. I was yelling, then apologizing for yelling, then moaning loudly. I'm not sure how long that sequence went on for. Time was so fleeting. Each contraction seemed to last forever but time flew by. When each one hit I kept thinking I can't do this anymore but would keep telling myself that I could do it and thinking you can always ask for medicine the next one if you can't handle it. But I could handle it. And I did. Realistically, I wouldn't have been given medicine even if I had asked for it, but that was what kept me going to the next one. That and knowing how proud my husband would be of me if I could just keep going a little longer. I knew he would be proud of me either way but more so naturally. 

As you can see in the video I got the urge to push! I had never had that feeling before with Logan and it was strong and it hit hard! My nurse called the Dr in and she checked me. I was 9cm with a lip over Foster. She was working that while I was yelling that I needed to push now. As she was breaking down the bed I remember sitting up and grabbing my legs and I was still yelling I needed to push. My Dr was in the room and moving soooo slow...ok so not really. He was pulling clothes on left and right and everyone was breaking down the bed and opening things and the whole while (two contractions) I knew I needed to push. I felt like no one was moving fast at all even though they were flying so the logical thing for me to yell just so everyone knew that I really needed to push was, "I feel like I'm going to s*** my pants!" Poop just didn't seem effective enough. Now it seems dumb because obviously they could tell I needed to push and I was ready but in the moment it seemed like the right thing to say. 

I had a washcloth over my eyes and when it was time to push I was ready. The first contraction came and I pushed how I thought was right. With that one push his head came out part of the way, then I threw myself back because it hurt so bad and he went right back in. I had tunnel hearing with my Dr. He told me if I did that then he would keep going back in. Even after the contraction was gone I still needed to push. So I kept going. He told me I was probably going to tear and he was helping me all he could. When the next contraction came I knew what I needed to do. I was still listening to everything my Dr was saying and hadn't opened my eyes. I pulled off the washcloth to look because I thought that would help. WRONG. I saw my husband in between my legs and to many people in the room that I immediately wasn't concentrating on what I needed to be. Washcloth goes back on. Through the Dr's voice I heard my husband say in a wavering voice, "Baby he has so much hair, one more push" and that was just what I had needed for the last little bit. With everything I had I pushed and he was born! I heard his amazing cry and then with a tiny push his body was born. 

Fosters nurse had him in a towel and was wiping him off as my husband came up to me. I can't remember what he said but I know that that moment was perfect. I knew everything was fine and everything would be fine. Everything that I had been concerned about that morning was gone. It was that moment that I had been waiting for. After Bryson and I had our couple seconds, Bryson leaned over and grabbed him. Who wants to cut the cord when there is a baby there!? He set him on me and him and the nurse were wiping him off and I touched his head....YUCK. Not for me haha I'll wait until the vernix is all rubbed in. The plan was to feed him right then but Foster had other plans, like peeing all down my chest. I was all wiped up and tried to feed him but he was just not having it. I decided to let him get his shots and weighed and then I would try again. 

Bryson brought him over to get all that done and my Dr had been rubbing my stomach this whole time. When he was off my stomach he pulled and *plop* there was my placenta. I didn't even have to push it out! With Logan it burned and this was more of a relief. I had torn just enough for one stitch and he told me that the anesthesia would hurt more than the stitches so he was just going to do it quick. That was fine with me but it definitely didn't  feel good! I now know what it would feel like to get my down there pierced and you can bet your bottom dollar that that will never ever happen. 

Sorry, I was sidetracked, where were we? After all that Foster was brought back over to me and the lactation consultant was there to help me get him to latch. When he did that was such a beautiful moment. It was the one thing throughout pregnancy I was worried about. I had such a bad time breast feeding L and the fact that everything was going so perfectly was enough to make me shed one or two tears. 

A couple minutes later sister came in to meet her brother. She climbed right up next to us and wanted to hold him. So she went down to a chair so she could meet him. He even got her a present! That's truly the moment when our family of three became a family of four. Since then she has been smitten with her little brother. She loves holding him and playing with him all day long. 

Foster Brady Ballard
Born July 24th, 2013 at 1:13pm
Weighing 6 lbs 11 oz and Measuring 20 1/2 inches long

I felt so dumb after delivery because I was still getting contractions that were actually pretty hard to breathe through. I didn't know that with baby #2 your cramps after birth are a lot worse. Not only that they let the Pitocin finish to help with the bleeding. The cramping eventually quit after a couple days but I wish I had known that before! That's why I'm putting it in here, so whenever I decide to have another baby and am getting all sentimental and re reading birth stories then I remember! 

I have such an incredibly handsome husband

One of the most touching photo's I have. This is a moment I will look back on many, many times. It's such a special time when a man becomes a daddy. 

Our amazing nurse, Louise

This is where my little boy tinkled all over me! First minutes of being born and he showed us what he thought of the world! 

Meeting sister for the very first time

She loves her brother so much. 

She even brought him a present! She picked this out for him when I was only a couple months pregnant

And Foster got her a present! 

He knows her so well already ;) 

Meeting Gramps

Meeting Pops

Meeting Grandma Leslie

Seeing all his aunts and uncles for the first time


Playing with Mamy

Skin on skin time with mom to relax 

Meeting Mamy 

Adjusting at home has been so easy because I have this little helper here! She helps me so much and is in love with her brother


kkryno said...

Wow! So wonderful and to see how excited Big Sis is about him is so cute!

Aspen Ballard said...

Thanks! She was so excited, and is still excited! She loves him so much :)

Summer said...

Your family is just gorgeous! So glad life is so beautiful for you! :)

Aspen Ballard said...

Thank you Summer :)

Anonymous said...

he's such a beautiful baby and oh my goodness you still looked gorgeous throughout the whole thing. i'm totally jealous.

Aspen Ballard said...

Awe well thank you :) I was feeling pretty haggard by the end of it haha

Ina E said...

Such a wonderful post! you look gorgeous despite everything!

hope you follow me as well Aspen =)

Keep in touch!

Aspen Ballard said...

Thank you so much! I do not feel like I looked as good as you are saying but I definitely felt that amazing! Such an empowering birth

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