05-26-2016

Quincey Nox | Birth Story

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Well, Quincey was due May 15th. Naturally that date came and went. At 41 weeks I had to do a non-stress test and an ultrasound to make sure he was looking good. Which he was.

Wednesday (May 25) was a weird day for me. My hands were so swollen that I couldn’t hold a pencil while doing school with Audrey. And Ruby kept crying, this wasn’t different than any normal day but it really upset me and I ended up calling Jordan and asking if he could come home, which he did. Dr. Sara said that if I had told her that she definitely would have known I was having the baby that night/early morning. As it was, her guess was Thursday anyway.

My mom had been texting me that night saying that I was having a baby on Thursday. So she was going to sleep early so she’d be ready for the call. Lauren texted me similar messages as well. There had also been many messages from friends telling me they thought Thursday would be the day.

That night we went to bed around 10:30 p.m. As we laid in bed I told Jordan that I was suddenly very nervous to go through labor again. Surprisingly he was very reassuring, and I drifted off to sleep. (Jordan usually saves all sympathy for the actual labor, and reminds me that I wanted more babies, so labor is part of that. He’s not wrong.) I woke up about 3 times between that time and the 12:30 am. I was crampy, having some Braxton Hicks contractions, but really nothing new except that they’d occasionally wake me. At 12:30 am I got out of bed and started pacing the downstairs. My sister-in-law was working so I was texting her, and let her know I thought I was in VERY early labor. Every time I’d sit down or try to lay back in bed everything would feel intense. But not like contraction intense, it was just really uncomfortable and I didn’t want to hold still.

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At 1:30 am I no longer wanted to be alone. I still wasn’t having real contractions, but I was uncomfortable and wanted company. So I woke Jordan up. It was seriously the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. “Um, I’m uncomfortable and lonely, will you pace with me?”

For the next 20 minutes we paced, and cleaned the downstairs. I just couldn’t hold still! Then at 1:50 am I had my first real contraction. It wasn’t super painful, but it definitely required some attention to get through. I had been instructed since the beginning of my pregnancy that as soon as I had a real contraction I was to call Dr. Sara, because Ruby was born so quickly. There was a bit of an internal questioning as to if I really should. I mean, I’d literally had one contraction. And I was still very much in control of my brain. But I followed orders and told him to call Dr. Sara. In the 30 minutes it took for her to get to me I had another 5 contractions. I still didn’t want to lay down or sit, so I kind of knelt on the floor on the side of my couch and would rock my hips as Jordan applied pressure as I’d have contractions.

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This was the weirdest labor I had experienced. It didn’t start off really intense. In between contractions the midwives, Jordan and I just chatted. I felt a little discouraged, and pretty certain that this was going to fizzle out and that I had wasted everyone’s time. Lauren was called around 3 am to come, and she joined in on the conversation.

Around 5 am everything was set up and the birth tub was ready to go. So I jumped on in! I love the warm water when I’m in labor. While I was in the tub I played with my phone, Jordan, Lauren and the midwives took a nap. I was boredWhich made me certain that labor was going to stop at any second. Or that I at least had several more hours or days until my baby was coming out. Dr. Sara kept telling me that this was a much more “normal” labor than what I had previously experienced and that it wasn’t going to fizzle.

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Around 7 my mother-in-law joined us, and at 8 my mother did. I was grateful for some new people to talk to, since my current companions were very tired and taking naps (as they should! Nothing was really happening.) We also invited my sister-in-law to join us, and she did after her shift.

The girls woke up around 8 in the morning, and sat on the bed for a while. Sydney quickly lost interest but Audrey wanted to help pour water on my back. Although, she REALLY wanted to get into my tub! haha.

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Around 8:30/9 things finally started to pick up and it became the labor pain that I had previously experienced. Very intense and needing help, a lot of help. As usual my back hurt so badly, and I asked Dr. Sara to break my water because I knew that would relieve the pressure in my back. And it did. I started trying to push around 9, but it was different. It hurt, it didn’t feel relieving at all.

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It was the strangest sensation I’d ever felt. It hurt to push. But it also hurt to not push. I also felt that while I was pushing he wasn’t moving. Around 10 I decided I wanted to lay on my bed, so out of the tub I went. During this time I wasn’t doing so well, I was hurting badly. I was pushing hard and felt like he wasn’t moving and I was using up all my energy trying to get this kid out. Dr. Sara put me into different positions to try to help him come out. Very slowly he was starting to come out. But pushing was really hard this time. I would hyperventilate between contractions trying to catch my breath, I was squeezing Jordan’s hand so hard that it was also hurting. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it, and I truly believed I couldn’t.

 After an hour and a half of pushing he finally was born, and he was placed on my chest. Born Thursday May 26th, 2016 at 10:43 a.m. Quincey kept going from anterior to posterior while I was pregnant, and he couldn’t make up his mind in labor either. He came out kind of funky, which is why it hurt so badly to push him out and why it took so much more work to get him out.

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This is when things got scary. With Quincey also came a big gush of blood. Or as Jordan calls it “a blood waterfall.” Dr. Sara told someone to get ready to call 911. Dr. Mia instantly grabbed a shot of pitocin and stabbed it in my leg, then grabbed a second shot. Dr. Sara gave me a suppository and Joy (the student midwife) put pills in my mouth while Dr. Mia started an IV. This all happened within a few minutes, and the bleeding subsided so it was determined that we didn’t need to call 911, the storm had passed.

The older kids came in and said hello to their new brother. Sydney cut his cord. The mood in the room had returned to being light and fun and enjoying the new baby. The kids then got ready to go to Grandm’a house while Dr. Sara weighed Quincey. 7lbs 9oz, the exact same weight as Zachary.

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And then comes what is suppose to be the easy part. The placenta. Except that it wasn’t coming. And it hurt really badly to try to push it out. Dr. Sara also tried to help it detach but it wasn’t budging. So it was time to call 911 and be transported to the hospital. At this point my wonderful mother-in-law grabbed my four older kiddos and put them in the car, making sure they were gone before the ambulance came.

The firefighters got there first. They tried to start an IV (it didn’t work) and then the EMTs got there. Since I was on a bed, had lost a lot of blood and had said a few times that I was really tired (Dr. Mia was making me tell her stories to try to keep me awake, I was slurring all my words and had super foggy brain, so this was a difficult task) they decided it was best to have the firefighters carry me out of the house using my bed sheets to help them. I guess this is one of the times it’s really good to be so small. Because that’s exactly what they did, carrying me out to the stretcher outside of my house.

Despite being scared, tired, and trying to stay awake I managed to tell Lauren that she needed to be the one to put Quincey in his car seat, because I knew she’d make sure he was properly buckled and fitted. Jordan and Dr. Sara were riding with me, Quincey was going with Lauren and meeting us at the hospital.

Once in the ambulance they started (successfully) another IV and hung up another bag of fluids. We got to skip the ER visit and went straight to Labor and Delivery where I was greeted by about 6 nurses and a doctor. The doctor’s bedside manner was lacking, especially because I was so scared to begin with. First thing she said to me was, “It’s probably placenta accreta and you’ll need a hysterectomy in that case.” This didn’t help anything for me in the whole “I’m terrified” department. (Placenta accreta is when the placenta embeds into a previous c-section scar and cannot detach because of placement.)

Once at the hospital they started yet another IV, and did several ultrasounds of my uterus to see where that placenta was and to figure out why it wasn’t detaching. During the ultrasound I lost it and started crying. I cried because I was so scared. I cried because I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy at this point in my life. I cried because I was so tired. I cried because I hurt so badly. I cried because I couldn’t move. I cried because I couldn’t hold my baby the way I wanted. I cried because I was crying and therefore felt like a big baby.

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They scheduled my surgery, it looked like it wasn’t placenta accreta and that I’d probably just need a D&C. But first we had to wait for blood, in case I needed a transfusion. That took a few hours. During this time they called in anesthesia to talk to me. She told me my options and my best option was to have a spinal, which made me start crying all over. My last experience with a spinal was with Audrey and it was so awful that Jordan didn’t want to have anymore children, and I didn’t want to birth in a hospital or with drugs ever again. So the idea of having a spinal was terrifying. Jordan and I talked it over and agreed that while it was scary, it was the best course of action. The anesthesiologist told me they could give me something to relax me, then give me the spinal. So it sounded a little better.

Poor Quincey pooped right as he was born and managed to cover himself in it. So Dr. Sara gave him a bath while we waited in the hospital. Poor kid had poop in his hair.

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But we were still waiting for blood. And as the time ticked by I was in more and more pain. My back was cramping really badly, and I had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. My anxiety was getting worse, I don’t do well with the anticipation of pain. The nurse kept saying that my uterus was filling with clots, which is why it was hurting so badly. But I wouldn’t let them touch me to “massage” them out, I had beyond reached my pain threshold. I couldn’t really move, and I wanted to just sit up and snuggle my baby, but I wasn’t able to. And as I watched the clock tick by I was becoming more and more terrified of what was going to happen during surgery. I hadn’t been given anything for pain at this point, and my back was becoming unbearable. I was also so thirsty, the back of my throat was so dry.

Finally at 4:00 p.m. they gave me the medicine to relax me and took me down to surgery. I gave everyone in the room strict instructions to make sure Jordan slept while I was gone. He had also gone through so much and he needed to sleep as well. My mom and Dr. Sara were still there and able to snuggle my baby while he slept. Once I was in the OR I was so relieved to see Tonia, the older sister of one of my best friends. I started crying all over again because it was so nice to see someone I knew, especially when I was so scared.

The anesthesiologist was awesome and got my spinal in on one try. Thank goodness! And while I still cared a lot about being there and having the spinal, I wasn’t so scared that I was dry heaving (like I was with Audrey.) Once I started going numb they laid me down and I told the anesthesiologist that I was still scared, and she asked if I wanted to go to sleep, which I really wanted to do. So she gave me some more medicine to make me sleepy, put a small pillow on my eyes and I went to sleep. I woke up to her taking off the pillow and the doctor telling me that it was the best case scenario. They didn’t even do a D&C. The actual procedure of manual extraction took about 10 minutes.

Since I was now completely numb from about my ribs down life was dandy. I got to keep my uterus, my back wasn’t hurting. I was being wheeled down to recovery where I’d be met by my husband and my sweet baby. The nurse helped me roll onto my side so I could just snuggle Quincey, which is what I did for the full 2 hours in recovery while Jordan and I talked. At this point the hormones kicked into high gear and I couldn’t stop shaking, they probably had some help from the medication. At this point I was told that at 9 p.m. they’d be taking some blood to determine if I still would need a blood transfusion. I had lost 1800 cc of blood, and had spent most of my pregnancy anemic (although thanks to iron infusions I wasn’t at the time I delivered Q.)

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At this point Jordan also told me that we didn’t have a car. So when it was time to go home we’d need someone to give us a ride. That’s what happens when you are brought via ambulance.

Besides getting to hold my baby the best thing happened, I finally got to drink water! Yey! Seriously, that was awesome.

My 9:00 p.m. labs showed that my iron levels had gone down to 7.2. Dr. Sara had suggested before she left that if they suggested the blood transfusion that I should do it, that it would help me feel better quicker, and we wouldn’t have to worry as much about fainting, anemia, anxiety or problems with breast feeding. Originally my nurse told me that I wouldn’t be doing a blood transfusion because my numbers were above the threshold. So I got all excited about going home! Until Dr. D came in and told me that the threshold was a 7, so I was barely above the threshold and she strongly recommended that I do the transfusion, for all the same reasons that Dr. Sara had talked to me about.

I was then taken to a post partum area, and they got things set up. Around this time I told Jordan to go get something to eat, because 10 p.m. is really late to be getting dinner and the cafeteria closed at midnight. He was halfway to the door when he realized that he also didn’t have a wallet. Dangit! I told him to call his sister and ask her if she’d bring him some food, because I was only given jello cups and crackers. It wasn’t filling me up, let alone him. (At one point I requested to be brought 20 red jello cups. I think the nurse thought I was kidding since she only brought me 1 at a time. I wasn’t joking. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, I was starving!) He refused and said he’d be fine. Luckily, she called and asked if she could come visit and asked if she could bring anything, and she brought him some food and pjs.

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Blood transfusions take a long time! They gave me two units of blood, and each unit takes about 2 hours.  They started the first unit around midnight, the second just after 2 am. I was still unable to sleep, but I could move my legs, so I asked if I could get out of bed, for the first time in 11 hours. My nurse originally wanted to remove my catheter but I was starting to get a little tired so she left it in so I could just sleep and not worry about going to the bathroom until I’d napped. They got me up and out of bed, cleaned me all up, remade my bed. It was a little strange to me, because previously when getting out of a hospital bed I’m in a lot of pain and I require a lot of help. I was a little shaky on my feet at first, but was totally fine as I had no stitches from Q’s birth and nothing from them removing my placenta.

But I still had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. Moving my arms was difficult, and any moment that Quincey wasn’t in my arms he was crying. Around 3 am I asked Jordan if he’d snuggle with the baby so I could sleep just a little bit. This was the first time I’d slept in almost 2 days, and before I fell asleep I was starting to get a headache from my lack of sleep. Thankfully Quincey accepted Jordan’s snuggles and I got to sleep for three hours.

Finally at noon it was time to go home! My sister-in-law brought Jordan and I lunch from Burgerville and Jamba Juice. My in-laws brought my other children so they could see Quincey. And then they finally took out all my IVs, I had to sit in a wheelchair to leave because my feet were so swollen from fluids that I couldn’t put on shoes. But it was finally time to get back home and snuggle my sweet baby in my bed!

So the stats:

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Quincey Nox Sherman
May 26th, 2016 @ 10:43 am
7lbs 9oz 19.5 inches long

9 hours of labor, 1.5 of pushing.
(Totally not impressed, Q.)

01-31-2015

Ruby Lyndis Sherman | Birth Story

View More: http://laurenalbertsphotography.pass.us/samimaternity

Zachary was born at 43 weeks and 11 hours of hard labor. I figured that Ruby would probably follow the same pattern, especially the overdue part since all of my babies have been overdue. But I prayed that she wouldn’t be an 11 hour labor.

The day before my due date I woke up feeling super sore. Everything hurt. I texted Lauren and told her that I was pretty sure my pelvis was going to pop off and that I was “dying to death.” I was very dramatic about the whole thing, and very depressed about it being my due date was the next day, and even more depressed at the thought of feeling this way for another three weeks. I couldn’t sit comfortably, my feet couldn’t be crammed into heels anymore, I was not comfortable at all.

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Despite being very uncomfortable I survived the day; school with the kids, dance and piano lessons, celebrated Kazoo day, had Family Home Evening and then played the most difficult game of Frozen Memory with the family. During which I did a lot of shifting trying to get comfortable. I failed. Jordan and I went to bed around 10. I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks, they were irritating but no where near painful, so nothing new had been happening when I went to sleep.

I woke up around midnight and my BH were a little more pinchy, mostly just full of pressure. I woke Jordan up around 12:30 and asked if I could hold his hand while my contractions were uncomfortable, then I told him I thought I would be going into labor later that day, so maybe we should think about getting stuff set up. Maybe. I wasn’t sure if I was really going to go into labor. After all, it was officially my due date, and I don’t do that.

My midwife instructed me that as soon as I was having real contractions that I should call. My contractions still weren’t crazy painful, but I was becoming panicky about the idea of having another one and I was starting to burn up and sweat. Which reminded me of a friend’s labor from several years ago. So, maybe I was in labor? I told Jordan to call Angela (the midwife) around 1, figuring she’d come out and tell me this wasn’t the real thing and to call again later. My contractions were getting more painful but they weren’t getting more regular or forming a pattern. Sometimes they’d be 20 minutes apart, sometimes just 1 minute apart, and pretty much everything in between. Sometimes they’d be so painful Jordan would have to help me, and sometimes it was no big deal and I was fine to handle it by myself while he blew up my tub.

Shortly after calling Angela I had another contraction that made me wonder if I was going to throw up, sweat to death or just implode. Or really, all of the above. So I rolled out of bed and found a pink bowl sitting on the floor. Perfect! If I puke, I have a bucket. The bathroom was too far away anyhow (15 feet is a long way away when you’re about to sweat to death.) Later I asked Jordan where the bowl came from, he gave a “are you crazy?!” look and said, “You said you were going to puke, so I got you a bowl…” I absolutely don’t remember telling him anything.

After I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be throwing up or imploding I texted Lauren and told her to come. When she didn’t answer right away I called her and yelled into the phone, “Read your text messages!” and hung up. This was at 1:35 am. She called back and said she was on her way.

About five minutes later I got back into my bed and told Jordan that I couldn’t do it anymore and that I was dying. I felt very out of control at this point, and my next contraction made me scream. Jordan applied counter pressure to my lower back which helped a lot. He also modeled the proper way to breath through my contractions. When I said I couldn’t do it he told me to think of the baby. I replied that I really didn’t like her very much right now. I felt very in control during Zachary’s birth. I was not in control during this AT ALL. I’m rather glad no one was around to witness all the swearings that I swore at this point in labor. I could have put a sailor to shame. Or made him very proud of my terrible vocabulary.

And then suddenly my water broke. I had no idea how dilated I was, or really anything about how close she was. I just knew that from past experience once my water breaks baby is coming fast.

My birth tub was not set up. It was inflated, but that’s as far as Jordan had gotten between trying to inflate it and trying to help me through contractions. He asked me what I wanted to do now, I replied I wanted to be in water, so he helped me sprint into the bathroom (the whole way there I apologized for ruining a mattress, which I didn’t but at that time I had no idea.) where we filled up the regular tub with water and he poured it on my back while I started pushing.

Which didn’t help the panic that had set in. Because NO ONE was here. My midwives hadn’t showed up yet, Lauren wasn’t there. I was still wearing pants. And I’m only talking about my panic, Jordan was totally calm. He realized way before I did that no one was going to make it and he was going to have to be ready to catch the baby.

Then at 2:04 my midwives arrived and started to set everything up. Jordan announced the he could see the head, so they ran into the bathroom just in time to help me stand up and deliver the rest of her body at 2:06 am. What Jordan didn’t tell me until afterwards was that her whole head was out, complete with her hand next to her face.

And I was standing there holding my baby when Lauren showed up at 2:07 am.

I was pretty shaky and just in complete shock. I think I said, “I just had a baby.” about 20 times. It was a two hour labor. I had a baby in two hours. I’m still completely shocked.

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Not to mention she was born on her due date.

Who does that?! (Answer: only 5% of births.)

A labor that last three hours or less is called a precipitous birth, and is also considered to be extremely rare, only 2% of births.

Jordan joked that Ruby is a Cinderella baby, the clock struck midnight on my due date and she decided to evacuate, QUICKLY.

Not only was she born on her due date but she was also born on what would have been my great-grandpa Russell’s 90th birthday. Pretty awesome!

Born: January 29th, 2015 @ 2:06 am

She is 7lbs 2oz, 19.5 inches long with a 14 inch head (not including hand.)

She is the exact same size as Sydney was at birth.

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07-03-2012

Sydney Capri Sherman | Birth Story

Sydney is going to be 5 soon! And since I didn’t have this blog when she was born, she’s the only one who doesn’t have a birth story. So Part 1 of the Sydney Countdown is her birth story!

DISCLAIMER: This is how I felt when Sydney was born. I wrote her birth story down in my diary and left it there. This is it being typed up. My feels are NOT the same now, my views on birthing, hospitals, and doctors have dramatically changed in the last five years. Please keep that in mind.

With Sydney I was due on July 8th, 2007. Jordan’s birthday is July 17th. The entire pregnancy Jordan said how he didn’t want her born on his birthday. He wanted her born one day early on 7/7/07. And we tried everything to convince my doctor to induce me one day early so that she could be born on that day. No such luck. We also have no luck with castor oil, red raspberry leaf tea, or driving over bumpy roads.

9 days later I still hadn’t had a single contraction, and I wasn’t dilated or effaced at all. So I was induced. I got to read my medical chart after Zachary was born, and they refereed to it as “prolonged pregnancy,” I wonder what they would have called my pregnancy with Zachary!

Check out those bellies

On the 16th we went to my regular appointment, were informed that I still hadn’t made any progress, but that it was time to induce, and since Dr. L knew Jordan didn’t want to have a baby on his birthday she started talking about inducing me on the 18th. At this point Jordan asked if she could be born on his birthday. EVERYONE in the room (nurse included) stared at him in shock. But they scheduled me for 11:59 p.m., July 16th, 2007.

Problem was that we had errands to run in Vancouver until about 5. And then we had nothing else to do. And I had already saw every movie PG13 and under, we nixed that idea. It was very boring once all the stores closed and we attempted to nap in the car. In the end we ended up going to the hospital at 11:30. The nurse was surprised to see us. But we figured waiting in the hospital was better than waiting in the car.

The original plan was to put a pill on my cervix to soften it. But according to their contraction machine I was contracting every 7 minutes, so they told me they could induce me with pitocin but since I wasn’t dilated or effaced there was a good chance they would send me home in the morning. By this point Jordan was already asleep, so I agreed to it. Years later I found out the pill they wanted to put on my cervix is NOT meant for inducing, and several hospitals have been sued for using it as it has resulted in maternal and fetal death. So, I feel pretty grateful for “contractions.”

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Of course I couldn’t sleep that night, I was strapped up to monitors and very uncomfortable, an hour later the nurse gave me some sleeping pills, which helped me sleep for 3 hours, and then she gave me a second dose, which granted me another three hours of sleep.

By 8 the next morning I was dilated to a 2, which at that point was considered good progress. By 11 I was at 4 cm, and they didn’t consider that good progress so they broke my water. I was pretty relieved by this because it meant I WAS having a baby that day. At 1 they checked me again and I was at an 8, having contractions every 20 minutes or so. I would lay very still in my bed and stare at the contraction machine, knowing that as soon as the marks on the paper started to go down I would feel relief. I got some IV meds at this point, which didn’t do anything except make me incredible dizzy. The whole room spun as soon as they were administered. At around 2 I was still at an 8, with contractions every 15 minutes and they weren’t impressed with this so they asked me to get an epidural, which I refused. She then asked in a condescending voice, “Why don’t you want an epidural? Are you afraid it’s going to paralyze you? Because it won’t. Don’t be martyr!” I still refused and the nurse then cranked up the pitoicin and told me to walk around. Upon sitting up I had water gushing out of me. I decided I would NOT be walking anyway. My contractions went from manageable every 15 minutes to insanely intense, having them every 2 minutes and within about 10 minutes the contractions were coming one on top of another with absolutely no relief.

The nurse returned around this time, with the anesthesiologist in toe. She asked me if I wanted that epidural yet. I agreed, but I was still very dizzy from the IV drugs and couldn’t hold myself up very well, Jordan had to help a lot. The anesthesiologist decided to put the epidural in between contractions, which all I had was about a two second relief, he tried to put it in at that time but the epidural needle bent in my back. And then he realized my contractions were one on top of another, so he put it in during a contraction, and it hurt SO badly that I was screaming in pain. The epidural made my entire body go completely numb from my chest down.  Around this time we had family members in our room, but when they checked me at 4 and said I was complete and it was time to push we kicked them all out.

They called in all the doctors and decided it was time to push. The anesthesiologist was called back in to turn my epidural down a little bit. I was still completely numb, with no urge to push, except that I felt like my back was on fire.

I spent the next five hours pushing, and pushing and pushing. The doctors would stare at the contraction machine and tell me I was contracting and that it was time to push, and then Jordan would count to 10 very slowly and I’ve have to push the whole time. When I would stop or was unable to hold my breath for that long I was scolded.

Around 9 the doctors gave me my options; episotomy, c-section, forceps or a kiwi. My doctor vito’ed the episotomy as I wasn’t tearing so there was no reason to do it. I ruled out forceps as I didn’t want my baby to have a giant scar (I didn’t even realize they still used them!) and I had no idea what a kiwi was, and as they wouldn’t let me eat anything I didn’t see it’s value. A kiwi, btw, is the manufactures name of the vacuum sucker, which would have gotten her out. So a c-section was decided. I fell asleep around this time, and drifted in an out of sleep for the next 24 hours.

Here is when I woke up:

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When being wheeled down the hallway to the OR. I woke up paranoid because I couldn’t feel my gown and I was afraid that on the way to the OR I was exposing myself to all our family members in the waiting room. (I was covered in blankets and we didn’t even go past that particular waiting room.)

While in the OR they kept poking me and asking if I could feel it.

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I was awake but unable to open my eyes when Sydney was born. I woke up for her first cry, the announcement of “it’s a girl!” and for her weight. I fell back asleep in between each event, but I am very grateful to have been awake during them.

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I woke up a little bit later and Jordan was sitting next to my head holding Sydney. The room was too bight so I couldn’t keep my very heavy eye lids open.

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When we got back to our room Jordan had to wait to showed her off to all the family members, he kept going between my room and the waiting room and kept asking the nurse if they could come in yet. Sydney hated being swaddled and kicked her way free, with the force of her kicking she flipped herself over and peed all over the blankets, the nurse was no amused by Jordan not staying in my room, and she said if he wasn’t back in the next minute she would be giving the baby a bath. Jordan missed the first bath due to the impatience of that nurse. But after the bath we were allowed to let the family members back in the room and when they left Jordan took care of her the whole night and next day.

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Sydney Capri Sherman was born on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 at 10:31 p.m. She weighed 7lbs 2oz and was 19.5 inches long. She had a gorgeous head of hair.

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They discovered after the c-section that she was posterior (sunny side up) and so pushing flat on my back wasn’t very helpful. In the first few picture you can see that she had busing around her eyes, which was a result of her hitting my pelvic bone for five hours. When they first cut me open she stuck her hand out of the incision and waved, Dr. K laughed, told Jordan what was happening and stuck her hand back in said, “Nope, that’s not how you come out!” and then pulled her out by her head.

Technically the c-section was an emergency, but no one was dying and everyone was just fine (which is why I waited an hour and a half for my c-section.)

04-12-2012

Zachary Orlo Sherman | Birth Story

February 2012- Started having Braxton Hicks contractions at 36 weeks. I was VERY excited because with Sydney I didn’t have any contractions until I was induced, and I didn’t have any contractions with Audrey until 11 days past due. Yeah, this was a big let down.
March 27th, 2012-Lost my mucus plug. Again, got VERY excited. And was horribly let down when there was no impending labor.
March 29th-Had Braxton Hicks contractions every 3-7 minutes, holding for 1 minute for about six hours. Got bored and went to bed, and was really disappointed in the morning when I woke up.
April 2nd- Went to my 42w 4d appointment. It was suggested that I try acupuncture.
Between April 3rd @ 5 and April 4th @ 9pm- Had two acupuncture treatments and my massage therapist friend, Corrie, poked at my pressure points 3 times.
April 5th, 2012 12:00 a.m.- I went to sleep, horribly depressed that I might actually break the world record for longest pregnancy (376 days.) I was completely convinced that my baby would be born in the middle of the night, so when I hadn’t had ANY Braxton Hicks contractions for the past 3 days, I felt SURE that I was going to be pregnant for another several weeks.
April 5th, 2012 2:00 a.m.- Woke up in a lot of pain. Got up, went to the bathroom, noticed I had bloody mucus, got excited because I KNOW that is a sign of impending labor, and walked around and realized that they weren’t going away, and I couldn’t hold still during them, nor could I form any word other than a weak, “Ow.”3 a.m.- I got back into bed and woke Jordan up. He held my hand through the next thirty minutes of contractions. I wasn’t timing them, and at 3:45 Jordan decided that I was in real labor and that he had better clean the house.At 4 am he called in sick and timed a few of my contractions. He asked if I wanted him to start calling people yet. I told him not to, because it was only 4 am, and people were sleeping still. And if it was real labor it’d still be real labor at 6.

At 5:00 he decided I was having too many contractions that were too strong, too close and lasting for too long. So he called his mother to have her come get the girls, and he called my midwives to tell them to come out. I decided I couldn’t handle laying on the bed, sitting on anything (yoga balls included) and that a shower was the solution. It kind of was.

At 6:30ish the first of my three midwives arrived. Michaela set everything up and started taking vitals, and helped me through the contractions while Jordan set up the birthing tub. Michaela asked if I wanted to be checked. During the pregnancy I kept refusing because I’d never dilated or effaced before, so I wasn’t up to being disappointed for 7 weeks. But I decided I wanted to be checked, and during the exam I mentally prepared myself, “I’m only going to be at a two, and I’m only going to be about 20% effaced…” At the end of the exam I started to have another contraction and Michaela and Jordan quickly helped me roll onto my side, which was a tolerable position. After the contraction ended Michaela informed me that I was at 8cm and 80% effaced. I then decided this was the time to called my mother and told her to come out.

At 7 am Jordan called Nikki and Lauren to come over to witness Z’s birth. Nikki is a good friend who had a homebirth of her own, and I wanted a support person who had experienced it, but didn’t necessarily have all the medical knowledge that a midwife or doula would have. Lauren was super awesome and offered to take pictures of Zachary’s birth.

7:30 the birthing tub was kind of ready. Due to my taking showers early in the labor we ran out of water quickly. But I really wanted in my tub. Even thought it wasn’t warm it still felt SO much better than being on my bed. My mom arrived around this time and Jordan put her to work boiling pots of water to bring up to the tub. Of course this can’t go off without some hitches. Like my always getting things under the back burners, so with 4 pots of boiling water it got smokey, and all the fire alarms in the house went off, including the room I was in! Jordan disconnected it for the remainder of the day and put it back together after Z was born. On my way to the tub and while I was in it I started to shake uncontrollably. I was asked if I was cold, which I wasn’t. I spent most of the labor being warm. I was then told that it seemed like I was going through transition, which I didn’t feel was accurate, I’d read about transition and besides the shaking I didn’t feel like I had any other symptoms.

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8:00 is around the time Nikki and Lauren showed up, and it was then that I uttered the only swear words I would say the entire time. They asked how I was doing and I replied, “Currently I’m wondering what in the hell I was thinking!” They both smiled and Nikki said it sounded like I was on track to have a baby. I’m very proud that this was the worst swearings I swore.

10:00 Pamela had arrived by now and she wanted to check me to see where I was. I, however, didn’t want to get out of the tub. So Jordan helped me float on my back so that I could be checked. I was told that I was at 9.5 cm and 100% effaced.

I spent between 9 and 11 going on about how I couldn’t do it. And how I needed to go to the hospital. I was asked what hurt, and I replied that my back was unbearable. So between my three midwives and three support people they all took turns putting massive amounts of counter pressure on my back. I’m sure they all went home sore, but it helped so much. Before the pain in my back had been relieved I was pretty much freaking out. As Sydney was posterior and my back felt like it was on fire despite not being able to feel anything else, so I was having flash backs to that experience and freaking. I was constantly reminded that I could do this, that I was doing this, and that the pain I was feeling was my baby descending down, not him being posterior. (Although Lauren says it wasn’t really two hours.)

My mom was really funny and told me that I was doing it, and reminded me how when this was all over I would get to tell all those who nay sayed at me, “I told you so!” And then she added, “Because I know how much you love being right!” I replied that no one liked being wrong.

My midwife, Pamela, reminded me that in order to go to the hospital I would first have to get out of the tub, which I was really against, and change out of my wet clothes, get dressed, and get into the car and endure an excruciatingly painful car ride to the hospital, where I would be greeted with an OR prepped and ready to give me a c-section. This really motivated me to keep going, as I absolutely did NOT want a c-section. There was no more talk of hospitals after that.

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Some time during this I noticed my contractions started to slow down. I noticed this because my relaxing in between contractions worked so well that I would fall asleep. And then be woken up with a contraction. Once I noticed I was falling asleep I asked if they were slowing down, and I was told that they were slowing down, they were only 15 minutes apart now, but that it was perfectly normal and that I should try to relax and nap in between contractions the best I could. Nothing was stopping labor now, I was told.

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11:00 around this time my contractions came back to every 3 minutes and I started to feel a bit out of control. I had it in my mind that SOMETHING was wrong, not medically though, and doing SOMETHING would fix the “wrong.” Problem was I didn’t know what I wanted. So I decided to stand up in the tub during the next contraction. This didn’t work, so I was instantly back down in the water. I tried it again with the next contraction, still didn’t make it better, so I had it in my head that the problem was the skirt I was wearing. It was sticking to me (while I was out of the water) and therefore it MUST be the problem. It wasn’t, but I also had no way of getting it back on. Jordan asked what I wanted and I replied that I wanted to curl up on my bed in the fetal position and cry. So it was decided I would go lay in my bed, not in the fetal position though, but I’m sure if I actually started crying it would have been okay too.

11:30 The midwives suggested that I start pushing with the contractions. And I quickly discovered that pushing during the contractions helped my back hurt less. Which helped ease my fears about posterior babies. I pushed for a while on my side until there was this loud POP and my water broke. But I had been pushing at the time, and with the force of the contraction and the pushing my water shot everywhere. Everyone got a good laugh out of that. I always thought when your water broke on it’s own it trickled, my shot out and gushed. I was told that there is a HUGE difference between your water breaking at 2cm and your water breaking at 9.5 cm. They checked me again and Monica (third midwife) told me she could feel the baby’s head, it was only one knuckle away. And it was suggested that I get back in the tub.

12:50 back in the tub I went and I pushed. It was strange, because once my water broke all the intense contractions stopped. I had no intense urge to push, instead every few minutes I would feel my body start to push and my back would hurt again, and pushing made my back stop hurting. So when I’d feel my body start to push I would push hard.

Something awesome with this pushing experience was that I was allowed to push for as little or much as I wanted. With Sydney the doctor’s stared at the contraction machine and then told me to push and would count to ten (slowly) and if I didn’t push for a full 10 (slow) seconds I would get scolded. Apparently, holding your breath for 10 seconds is vital to delivering babies.

I was put on oxygen in between pushes, I would push for the entire contraction and then when it stopped I wouldn’t be able to catch my breath, which caused me to panic. This, for me, is another cool moment. Pamela was on one side of me holding my hand and counting my pulse, Michaela was on the other side, ready to catch Z when he came out, and also listening to Z’s heart beat in between and sometimes during contractions, and Monica was behind me (along with Jordan who was supporting me while I squatted/keeled/stood in strange positions) with the oxygen mask, helping to calm my breathing. Whenever I would start to push all three of them would back away, let me do my pushing, encourage me and then once I was done they’d resume their positions.

Another awesome thing was that when I did things that were helpful to the pushing (chin to chest, getting into a squatting position, etc) I was encouraged all around and told how great I was doing. When I didn’t do them, I wasn’t scolded or told what to do, I was still encouraged and told how awesome I was doing. Lots of encouragement all around.

1:06 p.m. I pushed really hard and all of a sudden I felt all this pressure come shooting out of me. And I mean literally, Z pretty much shot out, and was quickly snatched up by Michaela and placed on my chest. I just stared at him in shock. I did it! There was lots of cheering from everyone and me just being in shock that he was finally here.

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I wanted to get out of the tub as soon as possible because it hurt to sit on the plastic floor, so I was kind of squatting while I waited for the cord to stop pulsing. While we were waiting and talking about the cute baby, Jordan excused himself to take a much needed and deserved bathroom break. About ten minutes later the cord stop pulsing and Jordan got to cut the cord, the first time he’s ever had the opportunity to do so.

When it was time to hand him to Jordan so I could get out I realized that no one had checked or announced that he was a boy. I voiced this and got a good chuckle out of everyone, my mom saying that she hadn’t checked either. So I lifted up his blanket, and sure enough he’s a boy…and he was peeing on me, lol.

When I stood up I was advised to push, and with the push came the placenta. Which was shocking to me, because I’ve never seen one. It was also no big deal after the baby was born! haha.

Then wrapped in lots of towels and blankets Zachary and I laid on my bed while everyone checked us to make sure we were okay.IMG_7551
Upon examination it was determined that Zachary had, in fact, gestated for 43 weeks. Apparently they have some sort of test for it? Although he is my latest baby he is my least peely baby, so apparently he liked being cooked.

From the time I had labor contractions to the time he was born was 11 hours. I had no early labor, my labor started hard and quickly, with contractions starting at every 5 minutes.

His stats were:
Weight: 7lbs 9oz
(there was some discrepancy amongst the midwives on this, as he pooped twice before they measured him, but I’m cool with this number, lol.)
Height: 19.5 inches long
Head: 14.5 inch circumference.

All in all I feel amazing. I required a few stitches, so I’m pretty sore. But compared to how I feel after c-sections, I feel AWESOME.

Jordan was amazing during this whole process. During my “I can’t do this” period he was awesome at reminding me that I could, and that it wasn’t an option to go to the hospital at that point, and reminding me why I wanted this. And about how badly my epidural experiences have been. He also held my hand and supported me the whole time, not eating or peeing for 11 hours because him leaving me would make me panic. He also was great about chasing me around the tub, from the outside because I was adamant about him not getting in it with me.

It has now been a week since Zachary was born, and I’ve had a lot of people ask me if it was worth it to have an all natural birth. And I enthusiastically say YES!!! I am so glad that I waited until Zachary was ready to come out, even if that meant being miserable and pregnant for 43 weeks. There were so many pros that I can’t imagine ever having another baby in a hospital setting (unless it’s medically necessary, of course!) I was able to hold my baby right after he was born, something denied to me in the past, I was able to get up and walk around before 8 hours later, I have been able to successfully breast feed, and I have no giant monstrous cold sores of doom that require antibiotics to go away, I also don’t have a damaged vertebrae, so I can happily sleep on my back. Those reasons alone make it SO worth it to me to have gone through the pain of an all natural birth.

I’ve also had some people ask me about “the ring of fire,” which I didn’t have. Probably due to the water. Something else I was worried about was pain in my scar. I’ve heard that a lot of VBAC moms complain of pain in their c-section scar during labor, which I also didn’t have. For which I am so grateful, because I’m sure that would have freaked me out more.

Like I said, if we have anymore babies I am so having a home birth in a tub again. Except next time I won’t take two showers prior to filling up the tub 😉 I would also have a photographer there again, because the pictures she got were AMAZING. Go check her out here. No, I won’t show the naked pictures to others, but it is so cool to be able to see them for myself. I kind of had the cheap seats at Z’s birth, lol.

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(Zachary and his Abuelita, the “sight and sound of all things delicious.”)

And now that I’ve finally posted Zachary’s birth story, I’ll get up some other new posts that I’ve been meaning to do. :)

06-27-2010

Audrey Thyme Sherman | Birth Story

This is going to be a LONG post, just a forewarning!

As many of you know, I really wanted to go for a VBAC with my second child. I wasn’t keen on surgery again. Unfortunately, I never went into labor. I had the option of being induced or having a repeat c-section, I choose the second option having had a miserable induction last time, I asked my doctor to schedule it for the last possible date she felt comfortable with, which was 16 days past my due date. (I was due on a Sunday, and they don’t like scheduling c-sections or inductions on Sundays.)

So June 22nd came and Jordan and I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. Did you know the sun is up at 5 am?! I didn’t. I got to the hospital and we got all checked in. Then there was lots of waiting; luckily there were things to do to keep me busy.

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Then I got to walk myself to the OR, and sit down on the bed so they could give me a spinal block. The nurse I had was great, and it’s a good thing too, because apparently I have a pretty damaged lower back. The spinal block has a much smaller needle than an epidural, and every time they poked me with it the needle would bend because there was too much damage. Well having needles bend in your back in EXTREMELY painful. I seriously thought I was going to throw up or pee, I was so scared. My nurse was great at keeping me calm and relaxed. They decided to go farther up my back and use an epidural needle, as it’s bigger and could get through that spinal tissue. Not only did that work, but I also didn’t feel it when they poked me. This took about 60 minutes, and my poor Jordan wasn’t allowed in the room during it, the staff inside the room told me how my husband was outside the room interrogating everyone who walked in or out of the room. Jordan says he was really close to telling them off and walking in anyway.

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So finally, at 8 am, they let my Jordan in and he got to sit next to my head as they did the surgery. He got to also look over the curtain, and he happened to look up right as they cut into my uterus and the water gushed everywhere. Well, he jumped and went, “OH MY GOSH!” Causing me to become annoyed and telling him to sit down.

And at 8:08 am, I felt all the pressure in my belly and by my ribs being relieved as my baby was pulled out. My beautiful baby girl! They brought her around so I could see her before they started cleaning her off. Jordan left my head at this point so that he could take pictures. I could kind of see them from where I was laying. She was 7lbs 3oz, 19.25 inches long.

I seriously started crying, and when Jordan got back he thought something was wrong and kept telling me that she was perfect, and beautiful, and that there was nothing wrong with her. Took him a moment to realize I wasn’t crying because I was upset.IMG_1689

After she pinked up they let Jordan hold her, and since my arms were not strapped down this time I got to touch her and talk to her.

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We got back to the recovery room at 9, and then went from there to my hospital room, where my mom was waiting for us, and she took pictures of the baby’s first bath.

Everything was going great, and we thought we’d get to go home on Thursday, June 24th. They did all the tests and did the final weight check and realized she had gone from 7lbs 3oz to 6lbs 8oz, which meant she had lost 9% of her body weight! 10% is where they get really worried, so they wanted to make sure she didn’t get there. So we had to start supplementing with formula, and I had to start pumping. They did a weight check 12 hours after they discovered her weight loss, and she had gone to 6lbs 10oz, which they assured me was great, as they weren’t expecting her to gain weight, they were hoping she just hadn’t lost anymore. The next morning they did another weight check and she was at 6lbs 13oz! So we got to be released on Friday morning.

Audrey Thyme Sherman is the sweetest baby, she loves to be held, she eats well (now) and sleeps great. She even sleeps through Sydney’s screams and cries. We are so glad that she is part of our family. And today we took her in for a weight check and she is at 6lbs 15oz.