October 19th, 2016 9:30 PM: Tony suggested it was time to go to bed, we needed to get rest for all that was to come. My parents were anxiously running around the house it seemed, doing what? I had no idea at the time, but my Mom was telling her clients that I was in labor and they would have to reschedule their appointments and my Dad I think was still thinking I should drive to the hospital at that moment. He makes me laugh! Me on the other hand, I was getting all my last minute stuff together! Did I have enough clothes for myself and the baby? Packed up my makeup essentials and probably a few extra things in panic. Meanwhile I was having contractions every four minutes. My contraction timer app on my phone told me to go to the hospital multiple times.. Tony wanted to listen but I knew better. By the time I was getting into bed the contractions settled down and became every 6-10 minutes apart. Just like I thought, this was going to continue for the next few days and I would be induced like my doctor had told me. It was time to sleep any I could and begin the next day like I had previously done.. (Before going further – you can read here what lead up to, well, labor day!)
October 19th, 2016 11:00 PM: Okay, contractions never did stop. Every 5-7 minutes they rolled in. The pain would begin as I was laying there, at this point I stopped waking Tony to tell him – I jumped out of bed to bend over, squat, all-fours on the bed, stand.. anything but lay down. Laying down made me almost cry.. Lord help me because I knew this was just the beginning. I was learn what laboring position felt better during each contraction for my own body. During and after each contraction I had to use the restroom, it may be TMI but for those who are wanting to try all natural childbirth.. you go #2 a lot during this time. Seriously, after every few contractions I would go to the bathroom. I guess Tony was lucky he was sleeping through it! I eventually woke Tony up before midnight to tell him about the pain and frequency of the contractions.. he said to call the doctor! He got our labor and delivery card the doctor office gave us, dialed, and got to the doctor on call. We explained I was having contractions 5 minutes apart but then one would jump to 6 or 7 minutes apart. She said, “Stay home, don’t come in, it’s your first baby.” Me on the other end.. I was annoyed and irritated! I asked her what more I could do, this had been painful for about three steady hours. She advised me to take a bath and relax the best I could..
October 20th, 2016 1:00 AM: I told Tony I was taking a bath. I got up, started the bath water, went through about two contractions, used the bathroom, and started guessing how many times I would have to get out of the bath to use the bathroom. Ugh, what I pain I thought! Again, better off that Tony was asleep because I probably wouldn’t be the nicest at this point. I got in the bath and got as comfortable as could be. The contractions rolled in but they weren’t as strikingly painful as laying in the bed would be. Good I thought, this is good. I was able to manage the pain, breathe the contractions through. I slowly started dozing off during contractions, fine by me! The more rest the better..
October 20th, 2016 1:50 AM – 2:05 AM: OUCH! I woke up in excruciating pain. I mean, pain I had never felt before. Contractions that, well if you think of a mountain as the pain this was the mountaintop! For fifteen minutes I had 4 contractions that put me in a panic that it could be possible for my baby to be born in my bath tub.. get out of the bath..
October 20th, 2016 2:10 AM – 2:45 AM: I woke Tony up informing him that I just had had contractions back to back that I didn’t time but they were quick and intense. I honestly think he would have ran out in boxers if I didn’t tell him to just calm down a minute and let me time some more. I really didn’t want to get in the hospital and 1.) Be sent home or 2.) Be admitted too early that my labor would stop. We timed the next four contractions. 2-3 minutes apart, called the hospital and told them we were on the way. Immediate thoughts all going through my head: Text my Mom. Get dressed. My bag. Tony, our speaker. Phone charger. My bag. The diaper bag. Boppy. A snack? Water. Wake my parents up. Oh my gosh my baby is coming. Ouch, that one hurt. Panic? Cry? Jesus help me through this. When I come back to this house we will have our baby. Tony. Panic? I’m cold and shaky. Cry? Go wake Mom up. God is with me. Ouch. When I finally walked in to my parents room I whispered Mom and Dad a couple of times. Finally nudged her and when she woke I thought she was going to either flip off the bed or whack my dad! I told her about the doctor, bath and contractions and we were headed to the hospital. She ran out of bed and got me a necklace, my GiGi’s cross necklace that she put on me. So much symbolism in one piece of jewelry. I wolfed down a banana and refilled my water, going through my checklist. Tony had already started the car and was waiting for me to join him. At some point I wanted to stay, I wanted to keep this baby inside me, I suddenly felt fearful and panicked.. but then a contraction came and I was reminded this baby was coming regardless of anything I felt! As I held back my emotions, my parents walked me to our car after the I said goodbye to the dogs. Hugs and kisses, still I was holding back so many emotions. Even as I write this I hold back the tears. Why? I was having a baby and my whole life was about to change in ways that I had no idea! I was my parents babygirl and I knew they were relating in the emotion we were holding in. Although, sometimes I wish I would have just cried and embraced all them just once more as their “babygirl.” But I didn’t, I wanted to remain strong and carry on as I did. Maybe they cried when I left and maybe a few tears were let loose as I left but we were headed to give birth to our baby, get excited! Before we exited our neighborhood I had told Tony I needed to get my playlist going. “Birth” I had labeled it, filled with Hillsong United and one Kari Jobe song. Call me crazy, but this was my meditation music. I listened to Hillsong United almost every morning while getting ready for work and the fourth day after finding out I was pregnant, I was in Texas with Tony seeing them LIVE! Talk about a full circle! My in-laws had also sent videos for me that Tony shared while we were driving to the hospital, the tears came back! It would have been so easy again to just lose it but I held it together, knowing my family from both sides believed in me and was waiting to love both our newest addition and I!
October 20th, 2016 3:15 AM: We arrived at the hospital. The woman ahead of us was severely vomiting and Tony shoved me to the other side of the waiting room. Gross, I didn’t want anything to do with that before giving birth. The nurse came a greeted us, offered me a wheelchair.. and so the three of us walked from the ER to Labor and Delivery. Room #1 they put us in. Of course it probably was like 131 or something, but the nurses called it Room #1 and it was the first door from the entrance to L&D. Perfect! We had all our bags.. I advise momma-to-be’s to leave it all in the car! Bring your phone, charger, speaker, whatever for labor but you don’t need anything else at this point.. our first time parent mistake 🙂 They gave me my gown and so it began. The socks they gave me barely fit because I was sweating and my legs were even more swollen then I started with. What the heck, I thought. Why am I so hot? I asked the nurse and our room was at 75 degrees which was not going to work for me. She quickly put it to 65 degrees, thank the Lord! My parents were texting me that they would leave when I told them to. They eventually left on their own because, let’s be honest, during natural childbirth there is no time to text people back! Tell them sorry in advance. My parents showed up at some point and were just as excited as me, Tony was the focused on at this point. The check-in process was a little longer due to some hiccups in the paperwork but my doctor was on her way to check me..
October 20th, 2016 6:00 AM – 9:40 AM: My parents left the room and the doctor who I had talked to at midnight was still on call until 7AM. “Guess what you’re at?” she said to me. “5 centimeters?” “Guess again,” she said. “7 centimeters?” Yes! I was at 7 centimeters. This baby would be here in no time I thought! She even told my parents it would be soon, the baby was low, very minimal pushing she told them.. we were pumped! Tony kept telling me how proud he was. Because I was so far along they did want to monitor the baby’s heart rate and give me an IV of fluids. At first I was irritated because I had been so active the first 7 centimeters I wanted to continue, but trusted their advice to have me monitored. By the end I was extremely grateful for these two things! They offered me the exercise ball to bounce on to try and break my water. Absolutely! They told me I could get my music going, my Mom pulled my binder of bible verses out to start reading and they were bringing me ice chips. Life was good!A binder of bible verses? Before you judge me too harshly, I found verses that were encouraging as if I were running a race. I always resorted to music and verses to get me through the finish line of my 1/2 marathons, why would I think labor would be any different? I trained my body, worked out almost everyday of pregnancy, tried my best to eat healthy as I would for a running race, drank a gallon or more of water a day.. this actually seemed to be more intense training as I had a growing baby in my belly! I trained my mind too. I did my Mommy devotional every morning – allowing me to acknowledge the miracle God had done already with my baby and seek Him every morning to fix my eyes on the right things instead of the negative worrisome things that come into pregnant women’s minds! I was preparing during pregnancy and would use everything I learned during labor as well. Meditation & breathing. I also was focused on being more in love than frustration and hate.. This baby was made in love and Tony and I wanted to bring “it” into a room full of love! ♥
As I bounced on this exercise ball I had no progress. My water wasn’t breaking and I wasn’t dilating. The nurses shifted and my new nurse, GiGi (we called her, ironic?), swore she could break my water. I moved to the bed, laid on my left side as she placed this peanut ball between my legs, during each contraction it was extremely uncomfortable but I imagined my water being squeezed too.. still no breakage! Lord have mercy. My brother was on the way but in traffic, panicking he’d miss the arrival of his niece or nephew. I knew my body was waiting for him. When he and his girlfriend arrived I knew my water would break so soon! Nope. Still nothing but discomfort with this daggon awkward ball between my legs! Oh boy. I was frustrated as my contractions worsened and I had no idea to handle all the pain. The nurses were really great about honoring my birth plan as much as they could and I respected the parts they didn’t. I’ll share my plan with you, we stayed as simple and to the point as possible, knowing some things could go unplanned:
Birth Wishes for Baby Plath
Thank you for your help and guidance this far. These are what we would prefer to have for a natural, unmedicated childbirth ultimately wanting a safe and healthy delivery for baby and mom.
-Allow labor to begin naturally, in baby’s own timing.
-Allow water to break on its own.
-Once admitted, intermittent fetal monitoring to allow mom to be as mobile and comfortable as possible during contractions. If available, a wireless monitor for the ability to move as much as possible during labor.
-Limit the number of internal examinations, only when necessary.
-Would prefer not to have an IV, but if necessary please use hep-lock.
-No antibiotics/drugs unless discussed with both parents and doctor.
-Mom is allowed drinking fluids/eat snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
-Let cord stop pulsing as much as possible before cutting, then allow dad to cut if possible.
-Allow placenta to deliver naturally, avoiding pitocin.
-Mom and baby have skin to skin immediately and perform breastfeeding as soon as possible.
-Delay newborn procedures at least an hour after birth.
-Preservative free vitamin K shot.
-No eye ointment.
-No Hep B shot.
-Delay the first bath, really only hair wash, with both Mom and Dad present or performing the bath.
October 20th, 2016 9:45 AM: My nurse, GiGi, came in to see how I was doing and they checked me. I was 8 centimeters but my water was still holding tight. Since it hadn’t broke she did offer to have my doctor come and break my water, very timidly might I add. Tony and I looked at each other, nodded, all else out the window – YES PLEASE! They were going to all the doctors office and see who could come down (our dr’s office is connected to the hospital.) and I begged they request my normal OB doctor! She said she’d try but until then if I was feeling up to it we could walk the halls. Sounded good to me, get up and moving, onward Tony and I went. 8 centimeters, walking with a smile and a Popsicle in hand – the nurses were astonished! When the first contraction came as we were walking, I had to bear down and hang on to Tony.. it was PAINFUL. I must’ve just hit 8 centimeters because it was all a new pain and I suddenly had to go to the bathroom. As we scurried back to our room I was sweating in a panic from the pressure. When I sat, Tony had to help me because when I bent it hurt, I think he saw it in my face and could see the new pain I was feeling. I then even burped, throw up? I didn’t but I wasn’t sure of the changes my body was going through. We got back up and walked around some more. Another contraction, holy cow.. as I was bent over hanging on to Tony, my doctor came around the corner. What a relief to see him! Or so I thought. He asked me why I wasn’t in bed and to get there. We walked to my room, I got all hooked up and he broke my water and there was meconium. Instant panic knowing the baby needed to come out and quick!
October 20th, 2016 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Instant intense contractions.. the nurse did tell me it would be rough. I was in transition. The part where most people say women beg for the epidural. The NICU nurse visited and said if the baby didn’t cry she would take it immediately and bring it back after they did what they needed to do, she was sorry in advance. Oh Lord, please no, all this work.. I wanted to hold our baby right after.. trying to stay calm it was really almost impossible until I refocused. Thank God for my music. I seriously had to go to another world. I had to focus during every contraction knowing what would be would be. I slowly forgot about the possibility of our baby being taken away and was distracted by the painful contractions. It was a team effort! Tony was getting his hand smashed in my right hand. My Mom was watching me and praying on my left. My Dad would go to the end of the bed and put his elbows on the bed with his forearms up and I would pitter, patter my feet against his arms. Well maybe lightly kick was a better term. My brother and his girlfriend stood and watched, paced and probably prayed themselves. My brother was so uncomfortable seeing me like this.. as well as everyone but he may have been in pain for me! Tony too. Between this time was when Tony broke down, he couldn’t stand seeing me in this pain knowing there was nothing to be done to help. Thankfully my Dad was there to support him as I could lay there and only grin to tell him I was okay.. I would be okay.. that I love him.. and then a contraction would come. Sorry can’t talk, had to focus and since I was on my left side, he was standing behind me unable to see my face.. but my Mom could. Who also now thinks I’m just so strong. But at that point strong was all I could be! I was almost there. Two centimeters to go and then this baby would be here.. Our baby was coming!
October 20th, 2016 12:15 PM: I was now finally at 10 centimeters but I still had to wait a bit to start pushing. How annoying I thought. SO finally, they said I could start pushing after multiple contractions and lingering pains of, well pooping the bed! They called the doctor, he told us he was going to have lunch but I could start pushing. Well that was not what I was hoping for. We all got in position – Tony was holding my right leg, my Mom my left, and my Dad (yes he was in there but couldn’t see anything!) was in charge of pushing my shoulders up and reminding me to put my chin down. While sneaking his phone on video mode and recording the labor and delivery from our perspective.. After learning how to push and finally seeing the “dark long hair” (lol) the nurse called my doctor in! He arrived, joking about hair and highlights, just all chatty with the family – we were ready to meet our baby! I honestly thought I was sleeping between pushing, I was exhausted. I could only tell them I needed strength, I felt helpless and pitiful with how tired I was. They kept telling me I could do it. I remember Tony telling me how strong I was, my Mom telling me I was at the finish line of my race and to focus on my doctor, the nurse Nora telling me to breathe and focus, my doctor telling me one more push and my dad telling me, “You can do it Dan.” This push I was in pain and was so tired but pushing my hardest – my Mom telling me, “He’s right there Dan, push!” and Tony, I will never forget the sound in his voice when he told me, “It’s right there baby, push baby, you got it!” When he said it his voice was cracking and I knew our baby was coming out! The pain suddenly disappeared, I felt a huge relief after I thought I was going to rip in two, and I could hear the loudest cry from our baby while the doctor sucked it’s mouth and cleaned some of it’s face off! The doctor told us the head and shoulders were out, just a little more push to get the body out which was easy! One more push and this baby was on me! The doctor said, “We have a girl!” The cries from myself, Tony, my Mom and Dad are unforgettable. Cries of utter amazement and joy! “My baby, my babygirl, Coralynne!” I couldn’t describe the happiness and love instantly between my babygirl and I. Tony had to cut the cord quick and they took her to clean her up, but she was still in our room! The NICU nurse jumped for joy when Coralynne cried knowing she wasn’t needed. My Dad was able to get it all on video, simply amazing. Seeing her get cleaned off, weighed, her tests done, Tony’s shock as he see’s her, her spitting up for the first time, Tony holding her for the first time.. oh my heart! God was with us the whole day and blessed us, blessed us more than words can say! Seeing the joy this baby puts on our families face.. I never imagined such a feeling!
I think my family filled up the waiting room. My doctor clicked the music on allowing everyone to know a baby was born! He excitedly asked who was going to tell the family.. my Mom would have but she was stuck by me..literally stuck! The equipment barricaded her in LOL! So she was stuck with me while the boys watched Coralynne get cleaned up.. thankfully because I needed someone to be shocked with! We sat and talked about the amazement of me giving birth to this beautiful little girl, how shocked we were because all the wives tales were pointing to boy! The placenta was giving the doctor some trouble, wasn’t coming out easy and when it finally did I was bleeding.. a lot. They gave me two bags of pitocin to ensure the bleeding would stop, thankfully I had my IV, in although in my birth plan I didn’t want it! I needed the IV and the fluids during labor or else I truly don’t think I would have been able to push her out as quick as I did. I thank God everyday for this perfect babygirl! Everything happened as it was supposed to, I had my plan and was able to stick to most of it and our Coralynne was born October 20th, 2016 at 1:26 PM making our family complete ♥
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13