I know it's been quite a while since I've blogged. The late spring and pretty much entire summer slipped away from me...poof! That's the current life season I'm in I suppose... time just poofs!
I've been more active on my social media but I wanted to share a longer throwback post...
Little mister will be joining us anytime in the next 3-4 weeks. Wow!
So here's a look back at some of Sampson's birth story!
Next up: Labor and Delivery. **Spoiler Alert: Long Post Ahead** I really meant to write this four weeks ago, when this was still so fresh in my mind. But alas this is actually the first few days I have felt able to sit and chill and not have other things on my to do list to do...like write thank yous for the baby shower haha. Or take a nap.
I wanted to write my experiences so that way I remember them to read later and cherish over and over. It's already been over 4 weeks since Sampson was born and so many things have happened in the last four weeks that I never want to forget. I don't want to forget that first weekend...or his little little face and how small he was and how precious he is...I am almost crying now just thinking how much he has changed already.
I'm not here to mom shame or mom guilt others or myself for that matter. My posts from now on are still going to be about my life experiences and activities but again so I can look back and remember all of these moments. Reading many blogs throughout pregnancy and these past four weeks have really opened my eyes. Take my posts with a grain of salt. Take in what you may or may not want to use for yourself and leave out the rest. No judging here. I am writing this for me so if you want to use it for your own...I'm glad I could help.
So now back to the title of the post...Labor and Delivery. Ever since I saw those two little pink lines...well I think even before then....but when I started researching labor and my options I knew I didn't initially want an epidural. Call me crazy...many did or at least I could feel their stank eye. But something in my heart told me that wasn't how I was going to do it. God gave me this body to give birth and I wanted to go as naturally as possible. I wanted to be able to move around and be in control of my body and I knew that with an epidural I wouldn't have that mobility. I also read in several sites that natural was the best way to start breastfeeding and I also wanted to do that as best as possible.
We found out we were pregnant in February. I went on a church retreat in mid March when I decided I needed to get a massage for my birthday in April. A fellow attendee referred me to a massage therapist in Sherman. The owner of the shop referred me to a therapist that also works in her shop, but she was also training and studying to be a doula. How perfect!
So I started going to Rebecca in April. After talking with her during my initial massage, I knew God had brought us together for her to support and advocate for me and help me see my vision for my labor and delivery. Plus a much needed massage on a regular basis...score! She has eight...yes I said EIGHT children of her own...having many varying experiences on the labor and delivery options scale. I trusted her from the very beginning....she's not judgmental, not 'you have to do it this way only', not bossy. She's sweet and caring and I knew from the start that she was right for me and helping me through this overwhelming point in my life. Again, blogs and other sites giving you their absolute 'this is the only way you should do it or you are a horrible mom' thoughts just were so....yeah. Overwhelming. With all the opinions and information out there....I wanted (needed) someone that had my best interests and was able to guide me in my vision.
I was able to relax with her. She helped me with topics I needed to think about, make decisions on, and most importantly get my mind set into what we called 'warrior mode'. My body is made for the changes it was going through during the pregnancy and then of course during labor and delivery. The massages of course were great to relax and help my body adjust to the changes it was going through.
September 24, 2015: If you read my last post this was the official green light to get to the hospital. This scenario was not what I had planned, thus not what I had wanted. But safety was the most important thing of course so after my appointment in the morning and drove my blubbering mess home to figure it out. Dominic and Rebecca were both great to reassure me that we were going to be fine and that I could still achieve what I wanted for the rest of the process even though I didn't go into labor naturally.
5:30 pm: We arrived at the hospital to start the initial process of softening my cervix to prepare for the pitocin induction in the morning. Dominic and I spent the night in the hospital with nothing more than uncomfortable cramping.
September 25th: Go time. We ate breakfast and then started the pitocin at 10:00am. The softening process overnight didn't dilate me at all, so it was suggested to break my water pretty quickly. I didn't want to break my water on purpose if I could help it. I knew that breaking my water would only increase the intensity of my contractions. Rebecca and I decided that she would come to the hospital after lunch so I wanted to wait until she arrived. We (and by 'we' from now on I mean Dom, Rebecca, and myself) waited two rounds of checking for dilation and after 4 hours I had not progressed as the doctor had hoped. My blood pressure was an ever present concern so we decided to go ahead and break my water at 2:00 pm to hopefully speed along my progression.
Let me say that out of this whole experience, breaking my water was the most uncomfortable and painful part of it all. But my crew and nurse in my room was absolutely the best and we got through it to continue the labor.
Due to my blood pressure and then breaking my water, unfortunately I was not able to be as mobile throughout the labor as I had hoped. We tried the rocking chair, all fours on the bed, leaning over a yoga ball...but in the end the only thing that did not increase my blood pressure was to reduce as much excess movement as possible. I could only lay on my side on the bed during my contractions. Dominic and Rebecca took turns using Rebecca's long scarf-like fabric to wrap around my hips and pull on to put amazing relief of counter pressure on my hips.The other held my hand and Rebecca sensed my needs and reminded me to keep my breathing and moaning at a lower register to stay focused and in control.
At 5:00 I had progressed to 5cm dilated. Which would have been great otherwise but with every contraction my blood pressure was clocking in at the 'treatable' stage for the preeclampsia. I had two options: start a magnesium sulfate treatment (which before delivery could send little man to the NICU) or receive an epidural so when I had a contraction, the pain would not increase my blood pressure. We at that point I had to go with the epidural for both of our safety.
By the time the anesthesiologist arrived, Rebecca asked that I be checked again for dilation. I couldn't tell you the time frame that had passed from 5cm to this point, but I was at around 8-8 1/2 cm. I had progressed so quickly, and Rebecca could tell by my actions that my intensity during contractions, that I was thankful she had me checked again. I may have had the epidural that I didn't really want when I was so close to the end the pain medication would not have taken been any help.
The doctor agreed that I could continue since I was going so fast. I pushed for 3-4 contractions and at 7:05 pm he was here! They laid him directly on my chest and Dominic and I cuddled and cherished the blessing that made us a family of three.
Wow! I did it! Just like I wanted and just like we had prepared for as best we could. I tore on my own just enough for one stitch and Sampson was perfect and healthy; 7.5 lbs and 20.5 inches long.
Dominic and I cannot thank the friendly staff at St. John's Hospital enough. The two nurses we had were amazing and their personalities were just what we needed during this special time in our lives. Dr. Dignan-Moore is an amazing OBGYN and I loved that she worked with us and our birth plan and kept us healthy and safe. Thank you!
I also cannot express enough how amazing it was to have Rebecca with us on this journey. No matter what path you desire your pregnancy, labor, and delivery to follow, Rebecca can be your advocate and 'warrior mode' partner. Plus her massages during the pregnancy kept me sane. Let me know if you or someone you know would like to get in touch with her to doula for you.
Well that's all caught up for now on that segment. Up next...Life as a Schmillen Mom...