avett's birth story- part two

(part one here)

Dr. Dott came in and sat down on the end on the bed and broke my water.  Maybe this is weird but I loved the way it felt.  The water was the most wonderful warm temperature and it felt comforting.  There was a sense of release of pressure and with every contraction more water flowed out.  Dr. Dott said he would monitor my contractions for the next 15-20 minutes to see if things would start moving along.  The contractions started coming immediately.  Cindy asked me if I had received the Northside gift yet.  At that point I thought it was some sort of baby goody bag...diapers, samples of formula and what not.  Nope.  It was an enema.  I did not want that gift, but lucky for me what ensued in the following 5 minutes made Cindy think Avett was about to walk out of me so...no gift.

Cindy suggested that I go empty my bladder so I did.  But first she hooked me up to the telemetry monitors so I could move around and labor however I needed.  As soon as I sat down on the toilet the contractions started coming very strong. So much so that I had to ooh and ahh pretty loudly to get through them.  For a moment the sensations of the contractions were so intense I thought, "Oh my gosh, my baby might be born on a toilet."  I couldn't let that be Avetts story so  I knew I wanted to get back to the bed as soon as possible.  As soon as I could muster the strength I walked back to the bed and got in to the position that I would stay in for most of the rest of my labor.  Sitting up in the bed with pillows behind my back and my legs in the butterfly position felt the best, this position was my sanctuary.  I came prepapred to labor on the ball, walking, on all fours, pretty much whatever it took but nothing felt as good as sitting right there in that bed and concentrating through each contraction.  At one point I even tried to do the 'labor dance' with my arms around John's neck.  I just about ripped his shirt.  I was most calm when I could sit and close my eyes and think about relaxing breaths.

I prepared for the birth by using essential oils and listening to hypno birthing tracks.  I had a friend send me Doterra's Whisper oil and it helped me through the first few hours of labor.  For the last two months of my pregnancy I would dab the oil behind my ears and right under my nose and I would listen to the tracks during Evaleighs nap time.  It was so helpful to relate that smell with the deep relaxation I was able to feel during that time.  So, during my labor I started with the oil under my nose and on my chest and it helped me breathe deeply down in to the contractions.  It helped me to get in to a zone and I was able to concentrate on the smell as I inhaled and that was what my mind focused on more than the pain from the contractions.  In the beginning of labor I would close my eyes and just be silent during the contractions, Cindy could read just what I needed and always respected the silence that I needed during those times.  Towards the end there were a couple of contractions that I could hear her praying me through them. She would always remind me to keep relaxing and to breathe slowly. 

Most of the time when a contraction would come I would either want to hold John and Cindy's hands and squeeze them.  A few hours in to labor I started tickling johns hand or massaging it through the contractions.  Those contractions weren't nearly as painful as when I would tense and squeeze the life out of johns hand.  As long as I focused on staying relaxed things were bearable.

Time was such a funny thing during labor.  Every once in a while I would open my eyes and glance at the clock but the minutes and hours felt the same.  John would come to my side, Cindy would feed me some ice chips, Dr. Dott would come in and check on me.  John was right by my side at the first sound of any little noise I made.  He was so patient with my requests.  For a few contractions he would look at the monitor and tell me as the contraction climbed and then descended.  At one point I said (probably very rudely) ,"Don't tell me when they are starting, I only want to know when they start coming down!"  There were times I would want to hold his hand and then as soon as we touched I couldn't stand it and I would tell him not to touch me.  Another time as I was in transition I grabbed a blanket from behind my head and threw it across the room.  He just looked in to my eyes and told me I could continue on and that I was doing a great job.  The truth is I didn't know what I wanted.  My body took over and it was like a train going down a hill with no breaks.  Everything was forging ahead powerfully and all I could do was take the ride.

Dr. Dott was such an empowering influence during the labor.  He would walk in and tell me, "I am so impressed by you, you are doing such great job." Or "You are going to make it, you can do this."  I felt so supported knowing that he believed in my ability to have a completely natural birth.  He would massage my clavicle and tell me to breath and his presence was so calming and encouraging.  At one point I was overcome with the emotion of the labor and I told him I loved him.  He just looked at me and said, "You are just another one of my daughters."

As my labor progressed I turned on my hypno birthing tracks I had practiced with and the difference between the contractions I had with the track on was so different than when I didn't have it playing.  I loved being reminded to enjoy the time in between contractions and use that time to rest.  I craved that moment.  I was so grateful to have those as I neared transition. 

I remembered being checked at one point and being at 8cm, I don't know what time it was.  Then all of the sudden the contractions started to get more intense than I had ever felt them.  I know I must have looked desperate. I stared in to John's eyes and told him I couldn't do it anymore and on the surface I really thought I couldn't.  But as I said that out loud in my mind and soul I knew I could.  Somewhere inside of me was a place I had never been before but I knew that I had more strength there.  

Dr. Dott came in and checked me and looked up and said, "Let's just try a few practice pushes."  I looked to John and wondered if this was it because only what felt like minutes before Dr. Dott said that I probably had another hour or two.  He had me hold my legs up and taught me to breath in blow out, breathe in blow out, breathe in...hold...and push.  As I did this he was telling John about a nerve that runs down my leg that he should rub.  He said it was connected to the uterus and would help make me feel better.  He also told me that the painful parts were over and that most of what I would feel now was a lot of pressure. The first time I pushed he looked at me and said with a smile, "You just moved your baby's head two inches down the birth canal!" I felt so empowered and pushing felt great! After a couple more pushes he got a phone call and took it outside.  I looked at John and Cindy and said, "I have to push right now!"  Cindy left and went to the hall to get Dr. Dott.  I looked to John and again told him I have to push right now! So I did a little. And a little bit more.  Cindy comes in to the room and Dr. Dott follows quickly behind and sure enough Avett is coming.  Then Cindy asks me, "Do you want the mirror?"  I politely decline and she gives me a stern look and says, "You WANT the mirror."  I had never planned on using it and quite frankly was a little scared of it but we were in it now.  It didn't get more real than that moment. So she rolled it over and there was everything.  I had a quick moment of, "whoa that's a whole lotta me staring back." But then it passed quickly because with the next push there was Avetts head!  It was the most encouraging thing to finally see him, I could see my little boy and I wanted to meet him and hold him so bad.  At that point nurses and the nursery team started rushing in and preparing everything for his arrival.  The energy in the room changed.  Dr. Dott turned around and said loudly but calmly,  "Stop talking, this is a place of peace and calmness."  He was protecting my birthing atmosphere and brought the peace back to the room.  He sat right on the bed with me and in the dim lights of that room and with my next couple of pushes at 3:23pm I brought Avett in to the world.  He cried and John cut the cord.  Dr. Dott look at John and said, "Present your son to the world." So John picked him up off of the bed laid him on my chest.  He was the most wonderful warm temperature and I couldn't stop saying how beautiful he was! A few tears brimmed my eyes and they took him over to clean him off.  I looked at Dr. Dott and kept saying, "I can't believe I just did that! That was amazing! The most incredible thing I've ever done!"  

He finished stitching me up because after all I did push a 10 pound 3 ounce baby out of my body (thank goodness for a little lidocaine shot!).  No major damage done.  I would do it a thousand more times.  Birthing Avett was one of the most sacred and incredible events of my life.  The births of my children are special to me in different ways and are the best days of my life along side the day I married John.   I'm so grateful that I listened to my heart that kept telling me to try for a VBAC.  I am so grateful that my body did what it was made to do and what I always knew it was capable of doing.  I love being a woman and having the opportunity to experience the miracle of birth.  We love our son so much.


Hilary Lemon said...

I have two thoughts:

1. I LOVED the mirror!
2. She wanted to give you an enema?? Say wha?

Avett is beautiful. Congrats to you all!

Lindsay said...

That was amazing. :) As I read I found myself holding my breath and cheering you on as if I were there! I'm really excited to be able to do something amazing someday when we have kids.

Kieren said...


Congratulations, again, on your beautiful boy.

Jessica Holly said...

Thank you for sharing! This is so special! I was the same way about the mirror! At first I was thinking there was no
Way I wanted to look at my nether regions but my nurse insisted and seeing Clara's head gave me the extra strength I needed to push the rest of the way!

Jessie said...

This was BEAUTIFUL story! What an amazing doctor and nurse you had to help give you the experience you wanted/deserve.

You almost make me want to try to deliver naturally. With 9.5lb babies I'm always afraid of pushing without an epidural, but you did 10lbs, so it's not impossible after all.

Maree Allred said...

Such a cutie! Congratulations to you guys!! We're so excited to have you back in the ward!

amy D said...

Oh, this is just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! I just love that you had such a wonderful experience. :) So happy for you, mama!

Jeans and a Teacup said...

Oh my gosh...Congrats! Thanks for sharing your story. I want kids but I'm scared out of my mind to go through pregnancy. I only hope I have such a supportive staff as you!
Jeans and a Teacup

Tracy said...

man he looks like john

Susie said...

Congratulations on your little boy! I have been reading since before Evaleigh was born and became extra interested this year as I was due on 10/7 with my first (she was born 10/6) so we were very close! I'm just now back from maternity leave and thought to check on you. Way to go on your natural birth - I'm so glad you had such great support in your doula, doctor, and husband. What a story!

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