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Lydia's Natural Hospital Birth

Abigail Bland Pierce 7lb, 2oz. 20.5 in long 7:39pm, May 29, 2015 Short version: I had sweet Abigail Bland within 10 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Anna Wesley chose the name Abby, and Bland is after my paternal grandmother, Bland Coffey. We will call her Abigail or Abby. No double name this time. DISCLAIMER: If you're into the nitty, gritty details surrounding a birth, please continue. If words like amniotic fluid and placenta weird you out, stop reading now. Long version: I woke up at 4:45am Friday, May 29th with a strong feeling of pressure. Like "I gotta go, go right now!" kind of feeling. I knew it was the beginning of labor. I started the contraction timer app on my phone and fell back asleep. I had a few more contractions for about 15-25 seconds in duration, but was able to sleep in between them. I actually overslept by almost an hour and contemplated calling in to work. But it was my last day of work so I decided to press on and go. While getting ready for work, contractions were coming every 20-30 minutes apart and lasting 20-40 seconds. They were easy to talk through. It felt like my body needed to go poo. I was having a stronger then normal back ache with them, but nothing painful or even uncomfortable. I called my bestie on the way to work and she was astounded that I was 1) going to work and 2) driving myself there. I knew I needed distractions, and I do enjoy my work and coworkers! The whole morning I had been talking with Amanda, our doula, and keeping her in the loop. I was beginning to feel like we would have a baby by Saturday. Even my husband, Jared, commented that a 5/30/15 birth date would be cool...all multiples of the number 5. We're nerds like that. While at work, I sat on my yoga ball and timed contractions while answering the phone and tying up loose ends. My awesome boss said to take a late lunch and head home for the day. Mom treated me to lunch at Jutama's (spicy Thai food!), and we ran to Fred's before heading home. Contractions were coming every 10-20 minutes and 30-40 seconds in length. A bit more intense, but just the pressure of needing to go poo. We got home about 3pm and contractions were coming anywhere from 5- 10 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds for the next hour and a half. They needed to be a bit more consistent so Amanda encouraged me to walk. Mom and I laced up and hit the road. Anna Wesley (my 2 year old) joined us for a lap and a half. At one point she stopped completely, and I picked her up and carried her home. She'd been feeling change happening for the past few weeks; I'm sure she was really feeling it then. Once I started walking contractions were coming every 1.5 - 3 minutes and lasting 30-60 seconds. We walked 3 laps, about a mile, before contractions were too strong to walk and talk through. This was late May in Mississippi so the humidity was intense as well. I did ponder going somewhere inside to walk, but I haven't stepped foot in a Walmart since November 2014 and the mall was too far. Besides, we live half a mile from the hospital, I wanted to stay close. After the second lap, I started squatting during the contractions. I was doing a low to the floor squat. While outside I did lunges through the contractions, but squatting gave me the most relief during them. Meanwhile Jared was busy nesting for both of us...he was determined to grill his pork chops and make bacon and cheese potatoes for an early dinner. He did that while my Dad entertained Anna Wesley. Amanda asked if the contractions were painful. I was hesitant to say yes because I didn't know what was to come. I truly believe, for me, this was a mind over matter issue. Stay positive. Stay focused on the endgame, not the current condition. It was definitely uncomfortable. Every contraction felt like I needed to go poo; they were just getting more intense. About 6:30pm Amanda asked if I was ready for her to join us. YES, YES, a thousand times YES! Jared started to pack his bag, and I was finishing mine up. I gave Jared our birth plan to give to the nurse once we arrived at the hospital. At 7ish, Amanda arrived with her bag of tricks and ready to help Jared and me achieve the birth we wanted. Once Jared packed the car, I was really feeling rushed all of a sudden. I turned to him and Amanda and questioned leaving for the hospital. She explained that it was up to me to stay a little longer at home or head to the hospital. Many times going on to the "birth space" really helps the mom focus as opposed to being surrounded by a 2 year old, puppies, and grandparents. I decided to head on to the hospital and get in the zone. I had 3 contractions in the driveway before heading to the hospital. At this point I started to moan through the contractions as well. I've always found it odd that women moaned during contractions, but I totally get it now. Amanda reminded me that moaning is good and to keep it low like a whale (Dory, anyone?) and to not scream or go high. Staying low keeps things open, while going high closes things up. During this contraction I also reminded Jared that we wanted to do delayed cord clamping and that he would be the one to remind the doctor about that. I informed Jared he needed to crank the car and be ready to fly because I wanted to avoid having a contraction in the car. I think he was quite excited about having permission to use his "professional emergency driving skills" to get us to the hospital. Even though we live a mile from the hospital, I was not successful in arriving before another contraction hit. That one was hard to get through since I could not squat. After we arrived I had one more contraction before walking in. I squatted down at a concrete post at the entrance; I think we were discussing Amanda's third birth...she had her baby within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital and within an hour of arriving with her 4th baby. We headed straight to Labor & Delivery. I signed a few consent papers, had a contraction, and headed to our room to do a urinalysis. We were in Room #6, the same room I gave birth to Anna Wesley in 2.5 years earlier. I had another contraction while trying to pee in a cup. I just went to the bathroom before I left the house so I needed something to drink. Amanda stepped out to get ice chips, but there was no way I could pee in a cup with the contractions being so intense. Again, it felt like I needed to poo, not pee! As soon as I stood up from the toilet, my water broke with two big gushes and I felt pressure like none other. I sat back down on the toilet and grunted. Amanda immediately told me to begin moving to the bed. We were not going to have a baby on the toilet! I fell to my knees and tried to squat to relieve the pressure, but it was INTENSE. I yelled, "What the hell?!," which made Jared chuckle because I am not one to curse. I told Jared he was going to have to carry me because there was no way I could walk 10 feet to the bed. I somehow made it successfully to the bed and remember seeing the large, digital clock saying 7:33. Nurse Megan came in to check me. She was cool, calm, and collected. Jared asked how far along I was. She said calmly, but with a sense of urgency, "We're delivering! Everyone in here now!" WHAT THE WHAT?! I asked Jared for a wet washcloth because it was getting hot. He put it on my forehead, but I moved it over my eyes. I needed to focus on my body and pushing as opposed to the hustle and bustle of nursery workers and OR techs getting things ready. I don't know how to describe the intensity of the pressure I was feeling. It was like no other feeling I've ever experienced. I've read about the burning ring of fire; that's the best description for what I was experiencing. Amanda was on my left side, holding my hand and had my foot in her shoulder. Jared did the same on my right side. Amanda reminded me to bear down and grunt. In my head pushing a baby is not like pushing a cart around, but more like pressing down and out. I remember asking random things that made people laugh. Like "Who's my doctor?" Amanda took the washcloth off my eyes and said, "It's Dr. Moore. He's right there." I felt the need to introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Lydia." And I was super sad when I told Jared we didn't have our bags, which meant we didn't have the camera. They all laughed because that's what I was concerned with while I was pushing a human out of my body with no pain medications. I pushed about 6 times, and within 6 minutes had a beautiful baby girl on my chest. Dr. Moore was absolutely fantastic. He honored our requests to delay clamping the cord for 3 minutes and have immediate skin-to-skin contact. I felt pressure as well when I delivered the placenta. Dr. Moore even showed it to me when I asked! I also requested to take the placenta to have it encapsulated. He was good to go with that request, too. After Abby's arrival, I was a-ok with being given 2 shots of Lidocaine before Dr. Moore stitched me up. I tore to the 2nd degree and had a laceration as well. Surprisingly I did not feel the tearing during delivery. I was sure that I would! Dr. Moore also gave me a shot of pitocin and later cytotek in order to help my uterus clamp down and stop bleeding. With Anna Wesley's birth, my BP dropped due to excessive bleeding so we knew to take measures to prevent that this time. With this pregnancy there were specific things we prayed for surrounding the time of her arrival... -that she would arrive early or late, but not on time. Mom and Dad had to work until May 27th and they were going to be the ones to keep AW once Bambina arrived. -that I would labor at home for as long as possible in order to avoid an epidural. {Let me say this, drugs for pain are fabulous! I had an epidural with AW and don't regret that decision one bit. With this pregnancy I wanted to see how far I could go and staying at home for as long as possible would help me not give in and yell, "GIVE ME ALL THE DRUGS!"} Abigail Bland's labor and delivery were truly miraculous and an answer to our prayers. It was like a movie...all I needed was background music.