11 January 2012

Little Sister's Birth Story

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday January 9th at 11:30. All week I had been walking around dilated to 3 centimeters hoping to go into labor on my own.  Obviously it didn't happen.  I was really ready to have the baby so when my doctor asked if I wanted to that day, of course I said yes!  She told me to just head over the hospital and she would be there later after they had started pitocin to break my water.  I was hoping I wouldn't have to have pitocin, that she would just break my water, but I was willing if it meant I could hold my baby that day. 

I was admitted around 12:30 and because the birth center was practically empty at that time they got me checked in and hooked up really fast. The nurse, Meghan, started the pitocin about 1:00 and we were on our way.

My contractions started right away and were strong and regular for a while but then about 2:30 they kind of lagged. I hardly had any for the next hour and a half. I was getting pretty frustrated and then my doctor showed up at 4:00 to break my water.  Even more frustrating was that I was still only dilated 4-5 centimeters.

Breaking my water was really painful and it was worse because she was trying to move the cord out of the way so she had her hand up in me for a while. Finally she was done and said she'd see me in a few hours. She estimated I'd have the baby around 8. I figured it would be more like 6 but I didn't say anything. As soon as she left oh boy did the contractions start!

The first three were really strong but a few minutes apart so it was ok but and then they were right on top of each other.  They were so intense. I was yelling and groaning through them all but the nurse was awesome. She kept telling me I was doing a great job. I thought about getting an epidural and actually decided on it about 4:15 thinking I'd have hours of contractions like this to go. The next time the nurse came I was going to tell her I wanted one. At 4:20 I got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back she checked me and I was 7 centimeters. I knew I wasn't going to make it until the anesthesiologist came so I decided to do it without. Plus, I felt like if I had just held out a few more minutes with Mr. Smiley before getting an epidural then my contractions wouldn't have stopped and I would have been able to push him out better.

Anyway so they paged the doctor and started to get the room ready in case I had the baby. I remember that my bed was flat--I'm not sure why--maybe it was still like that from when she checked me, I can't remember--but I could feel her coming. I had a really strong contraction and told the nurse "She's coming!" I had my eyes closed but I heard her call for some help, "We're going to have a baby! I need some help!" and one push later her head was right there. I can't really say I even conscientiously pushed, it just happened. My body was acting independently of my mind. Then another really strong contraction and I felt her just slide right out of me. It was surreal. I really didn't feel any pain besides the contractions.  I just knew I couldn't stop her from coming. The rush I felt after was amazing! I couldn't believe that I'd just had a baby! I felt so good. She was born at 4:32 p.m.

They put her on my chest right away while the nurses were cleaning everything up and I said hello. She hardly cried, just stared at me. She was 8 pounds 4 ounces, 20 inches long and a 14 inch circumference head. A perfect baby!

A couple minutes later I delivered the placenta and then my doctor finally showed up thinking she still had plenty of time. She was really surprised that I'd had her so fast and that she totally missed it. I tore a little--what do you expect when someone my size pushes out an 8 pound baby--so she stitched me up and then went on her way! So much for the doctor. The nurses were wonderful! Meghan had actually just completed her midwifery schooling so she was completely qualified to do what she did. I couldn't have asked for a better nurse.

After checking the name list and trying out Lauren and Lily, I suggested Ashley. T-Bone said he was thinking it just as I said it and we knew that was to be her name.  Ashley Price Johnston. (Price is my maiden name) Little Sister latched on right away and has been my most adept nurser so far.  She's a natural.  We were able to just relax for the next couple hours and enjoy our sweet angel.  My dad and step-mom showed up a little later to meet her and then we settled in for the night. Little Sister slept like a champ, she's so calm, so I was able to get some rest. My mind kept reliving the events of the day though so it was hard for me to turn those off.

The next afternoon T-bone brought the kids to meet her and it was so sweet. Mr. Smiley was so amazed with her and of course Big Sister loves her to death.  When we got home last night we let Mr. Smiley hold her and he wouldn't give her up for a while. He's so gentle--hopefully that continues--and loving. He likes to tell her, "It's okay, it's going to be alright. I'll take care of you."  Melts my heart.  Hopefully they will be best buds.

We are so blessed to have our sweet Ashley in our home. I couldn't be happier.
She's here!

Meeting Daddy
Meeting Grandpa
Our family of 5!
Mr. Smiley gave her a kiss right away
My three kids
Going home!


Cheryl said...

Love, love, love!

I got teary-eyed when you talked about how she just "came out" and how you opted NOT for the epidural and how your body just did it's thing. Couple of things:

1. Your contractions were so hard/fast/close together because of the pit. But you might have already known that.
2. You are AWESOME! I'm glad your nurses didn't say "stop pushing!!" at you and that you just let your body push her out. That is not normal in a hospital setting; what a blessing!
3. Isn't it the best rush in the world!? Giving birth unmedicated? Well, I'm biased, but whatever. :)

I'm so happy for you! Not just because of your fast delivery, but because she's just gorgeous. Snuggle her sweet head and kiss her gorgeous cheeks for me. Hooray for babies!

Janelle said...

Beautiful experience.
Beautiful baby.
Beautiful family!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

She absolutely fits right in with your adorable family. Congrats. <3

Maren said...

Such a sweet story! I love how you did it naturally! Every time I hear stories like that it impresses me with how strong women TRULY are on their own, and it makes me think I could actually do that someday!

Brilliant story Jamie! I can't wait to meet her! :-) When is she getting blessed? I'll totally be there for that! YAY!

Erin & Danny said...

Great post. You really do have a perfect little baby and you still look like you are floating on cloud nine days later (much deserved if you ask me.) We are really very happy for this miracle in your life.

bythelbs said...

PRECIOUS! And I adore her going home hat.

Her birth story sounds very familiar to my #2 birth story.

I enjoyed the "after" of my unmedicated births more than my medicated births, but I enjoyed the "during" of my medicated births more than my unmedicated ones.