Let me preface this story by saying that 4 years ago, I was clueless when it came to anything concerning birth. I’ll never forget hearing a group of friends chat about things like “birth plans” and “natural childbirth” and I remember thinking “I guess I’ll just have whatever kind of birth the doctor tells me to have”. Hearing this conversation sparked a great curiosity in me. Well, any of you who know me know that I am a hardcore researcher. There isn’t anything out there that the good ole’ Google can’t teach me. So there I began my endless obsession with all things birth. My poor husband of only a few short months began being bombarded with every article / blog / documentary out there that promoted natural, unmedicated births. Let’s just say his vocabulary has expanded greatly. So there I was, years away from pregnancy with a fully developed birth plan. I had joined the club. :)
Fast-forward to July 6, 2014, the excitement began. After multiple tests it was confirmed, I was pregnant! By the 12th week of pregnancy the despicable morning sickness had passed and I was in full-blown pregnancy bliss. I absolutely loved every minute of it! According to my fellow pregnant cousin with morning sickness that hung around far too long, I was the “Mary Poppins of Pregnancy”. Before I knew it, it was March 15, 2015 (aka – D-Day). After watching many women sail right into 42 weeks, I was prepared for the long haul. I went to church that morning and kept the nursery (Last minute practice. I was well-prepared for birth, but had no clue what to do with a real, live baby :) ). That day we hosted a big lunch at our place and I felt great to say the least. It was clear to me that D-day was coming to a close with no baby in sight, so later that night I crawled into bed thinking about the work day that lay ahead. I laid there for what seemed like hours, wide awake and hungry. Around 12:15 am I headed into the kitchen and fixed a big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That’s when it happened, my water broke. I stood up quickly and thought “Did I just pee on myself???”, and then there was more. I called for my husband who immediately confirmed that I didn't have an accident, but was actually in labor! With the recent chain of events, we had our Bradley book out for our last minute crash course. Then my first contraction came and five minutes later another. I remember sitting on my birth ball and saying to my husband in the most matter of fact tone – “These contractions are not pleasant”. We still laugh about that today! I was convinced the road ahead was going to be a very long one, so with that in mind I decided we needed to get some rest. When neither of us could sleep, I suggested we watch “Father of the Bride II”. As my contractions intensified the movie idea was quickly thrown out the window! My labor seemed to be progressing much faster than we had anticipated which made for a very nervous husband. I kept thinking that surely we must be timing my contractions all wrong. He kept saying, “when are we going to the hospital???”, and each time I calmly replied “it’s just not time yet. I’m not going till I’m in transition.” Up until this point I refused to call my parents who lived nearly two hours away because I felt that they should just get their rest since it would still be a while. Before I knew it my contractions were barely two minutes apart and my husband decided it was time to call my parents. After hearing them talk, I finally gave in and went to the hospital where I was welcomed by the sweetest nurse on the planet. As she went to check me, I shuddered at the thought of only being 3 centimeters; I was just convinced that is what she would say. Well, to my surprise, she looked at me and said, “Wow! You’re almost 100%!” I sat up very quickly and said “100% what???” That’s right, folks. I had succeeded in making it to the hospital at the last minute, I was 9 ½ centimeters! Apparently my body skipped right through transition. Good thing my husband talked me into going to the hospital, because I probably would have waited around for it too long! In class, I had always heard the phrase “urge to push”. Boy, did I figure out what that meant! In no time at all, I was in a room and pushing. Thankfully, my parents and photographer managed to make it on time! Next time, I’ll call sooner. :) Even better, my wonderful OB came as soon as we called. I was extremely blessed to end up with him. I couldn’t have been more thankful for that! Between him and my nurses, I was so calm and relaxed! They even managed to get a few laughs out of me in between pushes. Seriously, they were the best. I felt so overwhelmed by everyone around me. My husband did in fact remember all he had learned in birth class and was so supportive. My mom stood quietly to the side and captured the entire thing on film. I’ve only watched it a million times now. Between her video and my dear photographer, not a moment was missed. After a decent amount of pushing, I finally exclaimed those three amazing and empowering words, “I did it!!!” After an amazing 7 hours of labor, I had achieved my goal of a completely natural, unmedicated birth and I was staring into the screaming little face of my precious baby Jack! He came weighing in at 8 lbs 11 oz and was 21 inches long. This was hands down the greatest moment of my life and I genuinely look forward to experiencing it again (and again :) ). Our baby Jack is now two months old and is developing quite the little personality. We are so thankful for him. In the beginning stages of labor, one of the first things we did was pray. We prayed for a healthy baby / mommy, a smooth delivery, and that God would be glorified through each moment in the hours to come. Watching each of those prayers get answered is by far one of our greatest blessings!