Sunday, April 13, 2014


Okay, I know you're ready to hear the story about Spencer's birth.  I had my last OB appointment last week Tuesday, April 1st, and had my membranes stripped again.  I was dilated to 4cm and he was still posterior.  I went for a walk that day and was determined that I'd try everything that week to make him come out, because I would have to have an ultrasound on Friday to make sure that the fluids were fine and that he looked ok.  Then I had to come back first thing on Monday morning and we would have to talk about induction.  The next day, Wednesday the 2nd, I tried everything I could.  I text my family, "The life of a woman trying to go into labor=4 mile walk, hot shower, dishes and laundry done, and 1.5 hour nap.  Nothing is working!"  My IP's were planning on coming up on Thursday after work due to an expected snow storm that night and into the morning.  We all thought it would be nice if they were here just in case I went into labor, and if not, then they could join me at the ultrasound on Friday.  Ben and I made a conscious decision to not clean the house perfectly that night, the first time in several weeks.

About 10:30 on Wednesday night I had my first contraction.  Ben started timing them after the second one which came on quickly after.  I believe they were about 9ish minutes apart.  I decided after the third one that I would let my IPs know that I had three contractions just so they could decide when they wanted to head up, because I didn't want to be blamed for them missing the birth (I'm sure that those feelings were brought on because I was so sad I missed my niece's birth by two minutes).  I wanted to make sure that the contractions wouldn't go away if I got out of bed and started moving around, so I got out of bed and ran up and down the stairs, which brought on harder contractions.  I kept texting them updates on each contraction. 

Sometime around midnight we all decided that it was time for my IPs to head up to our house.  Once they were on their way they called Liz, IP-B's sister who is the most AMAZING midwife!  She had Thursday off and text me just hours before that she had our address programed into her phone and so she was ready to go when she got the call.  I believed, ever since I asked her to be at the birth, that she was going to be able to make it and really didn't have a doubt that it wouldn't work for her to be here.  Guess what?  She made it to our house about one hour after my IPs did.  Shortly after she left I lost my bloody show.  I text Brianna, our photographer, around 3:30am and she packed up her little girl and made it up to St. Cloud.  She hung out with her family until I went into the hospital.  I let my mom know around 3:30 or 4:00am.  She got up and was here by 5:00ish.  We all sat around, except Ben who got some sleep, and chatted while I continued to have contractions.  They weren't very painful and I was able to talk through them.  I felt so great that everyone was here and relaxed a bit knowing everything was in place.

While my mom took the kids to school, Liz suggested that I try to get some sleep.  I did fall asleep and was happy to get a little nap in.  My counteractions slowed down a bit and we decided that it was time for Liz to check me and see where I was at.  When Liz checked me I felt like I wanted to keep that private, for whatever reason.  We went into Lydia's room and I had a towel under me, which was a good idea, because when she checked me and stripped my membranes again I had a TON of mucus discharge.  Yes, it was pretty gross.  I was dilated to 5-6cm and his head was still posterior.

Liz showed me some amazing tricks and positions to try to get his head in the right position.  I probably spent an hour or more in these positions to see if we could get the little guy to move.  Labor was slowing down.  After a while I wanted to get outside and walk.  Both my IPs and my mom joined me.  After a mile it was getting cold so IP-B and Mom went in and IP-A and I went for another mile.  I had a few contractions on the walk but they were getting less painful, not that they were that painful anyway, and a lot farther apart.  Once we got back inside I tried some of those positions that Liz had again.  Mom made me some eggs and tea and I went to take another nap.  I was terrified that labor would stop if I slept!  It did stop but I needed the sleep.

*I'll post a photo of the rebozo sling technique once I get it*

Once labor stopped everyone was trying to figure out a game plan for the night.  Liz's kids needed to come up, everyone there was looking at hotels for the night, both IPs families were worried about the snow storm and wanted to be close so they could meet the little man once he arrived.  So, hotels were booked, kids were on their way up with their grandparents, auntie and cousin were on their way to help grandma with Liz's kids, and Liz was about to take off to meet her kids in Albertville to bring them the rest of the way.

Just as Liz was finalizing plans and ready to leave, labor started again.  This time the contractions were much stronger and 5-6 minutes apart.  Not going to lie, I was nervous about Liz leaving at this point.  I could tell things were progressing faster than before.  We decided she should check me before she left just to see where I was at.  Back to Lydia's bed...I was still dilated to 6 cm but his head was in the right position and my water bag was bulging out of the cervix now.  I think Liz was a little nervous about leaving, too.  She told me, "If your water breaks go straight to the hospital!"  I think that was the best advice she could have given me at that point.  I gave her a hug and told her I would hold on until she could get back.

Once Liz left I thought I should touch base with the hospital and let them know they could expect me sometime that night or maybe in the morning.  I knew my doctor had off that day, however, she was going to make an exception and allow the hospital to call her no matter when I went into labor and she would decide if she was able to attend the birth.  This was going to be here first surrogate delivery and I think she was pretty excited that she had been so involved in this amazing journey!  When I spoke with the hospital staff I asked them to let Dr. Jokhadar know that I was in labor and to call me back about the plans for who would attend the birth.  I needed to be mentally prepared for what I was going to see at the hospital.  They called back and said she would need a little time to get to the hospital so I couldn't come in at the very last second if I wanted her to attend the birth.  That seemed fair enough, so we all decided that we should pack up and leave the house in a half an hour to assure ourselves enough time so Dr. Jokhadar could make it.  The packing and planning began...

Ben realized we didn't have anyone "officially" lined up yet to help with our kids, but my cousin, Montana, was our "on-call" babysitter.  We discussed that she would get the kids from Kid Stop and tend to their plans that evening.  Lydia had dress rehearsal for Shrek the Musical and the boys needed to head home and be to bed on time.  Montana said that my other cousin, Sierra, would be able to help out so that the boys wouldn't need to get out of bed when one of them picked up Lydia at 9:30 from rehearsal.  Just as we were finalizing plans, I was still on the phone with Montana, I heard and felt a little pop (one of the strangest sensations ever).  I'm sure I said, "UH, hold on!  I think my water just broke!"  I darted toward the toilet, and sure enough the water had broke.  Let the chaos begin...

Megan, my sister, was in the bathroom with me.  I had her call the hospital back right away and then call Brianna.  Brianna planned on meeting us at the hospital.  The hospital called me back and said Dr. Jokhadar was on her way and would attend the birth.  I felt so relived that she would be there!  I'm very grateful that she came in on her day off.  IP-B was on the phone with Liz and he told her that my water broke.  She was an exit away from Albertville, so she switched cars with her sister (who is another really awesome person!  Switching cars was due to the space they needed for kids and car seats) and flew back up to St. Cloud.  Ben was heading out to drop off our car seats with Montana.  Megan and Mom dropped everything and headed out.  I road with my IPs to the hospital and met everyone else there.  We drove up to Emergency parking but I was feeling okay so we parked in the parking ramp and walked into labor and delivery.  When I stood up, I had a HUGE gush of water.  I waddled into the hospital. 

Once we got checked in and went to our room,  the bed was raised as high as it would go so I could labor standing up, my birth plan was handed to the nurse, the tub was being filled with water, and I got the birthing ball.  Once we got into the room it's kind of a blur because labor got really intense almost immediately.  I actually don't know when Liz got into the room.  At one point I looked up and Dr. Jokhadar was there.  She asked if she could check me.  I said she could so long as she could do it while I was standing.  I didn't want to lay down!  If I remember right, I think I was at 7 cm (again, it was a blur so I could be wrong).  After she checked me I got on the birthing ball and Liz massaged my back.  THANK GOODNESS FOR LIZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  With every delivery I have had, I talk about this amazing gush of water that I get when I stay relaxed through a contraction. This labor was different, only because the gush came at the height of the contraction instead of the end.  I also had way more water gush out with each contraction.  The floor looked like it had two or three gallons of water on it.  I had to take off my socks because they were saturated!  My mom tried to give Liz a break from massaging, but I fired her because she didn't take the pain away like Liz did.  Truly, between Liz's massage and the gush of water, some of my most intense contractions were painless.  The water gave me almost the feeling of a topical anesthetic.  It tingled and I had no pain.  I needed to go to the bathroom but I was terrified to sit on the toilet.  Every time I sat on the toilet with our kids is when the shit hit the fan.  I have a hard time relaxing on the toilet, but I needed to pee.  Same story, it was horrible to sit on that toilet.  After peeing I went back to the birthing ball.  That was the point where I told Liz that I couldn't do it.  I imagined someone just sticking me with a needle and knocking me out of my misery.  Liz is simply amazing at what she does.  She talked me through every contraction and kept massaging me.  Not long after that I decided I wanted to sit in the tub to see if the warm water would help.

Between Contractions.  Look Closely and You'll see Liz massaging my back
The moment I sat down in the warm water I realized I needed to start pushing.  Liz had the water spraying on my stomach and I kept asking for it to be hotter.  It felt so amazing.  The contractions weren't painful but I had a head that was starting to emerge!  Liz asked what I needed, "EVERYONE AND A CAMERA!" was my reply.  I don't think I opened my eyes until Spencer was born.  I was only told where people were located in the bathroom.  I know my mom's cold hands, which felt amazing, were on my forehead the whole time I was pushing.  Liz was near my feet.  I was told later where people were located in the bathroom.  I heard that there were 12 people, not including Spencer or me, in the bathroom.  It was a bit stressful because water births are not allowed at the St. Cloud Hospital.  It seems inhumane to move a woman who is pushing out a baby, so there he was, born in that hospital tub.  I opened my eyes only to see a stream of pee coming at me.  IP-B was holding Spencer and IP-A cut the cord after two minutes of delayed cord clamping.  I FELT ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

This photo is right before pushing

Mom's hands on my head

Ben helped move me, basically he carried me, to the bed so I could deliver the placenta.  I couldn't stop shaking.  I was cold and I think my body was in shock.  I remember someone asking if anyone looked at the clock to see what time he was born.  IP-B said it was about 6:50pm.  I don't know how long it took to deliver the placenta, but the placenta delivery was much less painful than I remember with our son, Jack.  It wasn't comfortable but not very painful.  I had one tiny laceration that didn't need to be stitched. I couldn't stop moaning and shaking, and I asked for Ibuprofen and Tylenol right away.  I was holding Ben's hand and Mom's hand and told them, "You know something?  I hear him crying and I don't feel the desire to hold him!  That's not our baby's cry."  He sounded so much different than our kids.  The only part I was worried about was when I heard him cry.  I didn't know what instinct I would feel when I heard the cry.  I felt NOTHING!  Liz came up and hugged and thanked me.  She stayed by my side instead of doting over her new nephew.  I can't speak highly enough about Liz.  She is amazingly talented at what she does and is one of the neatest people I have met.  I got warm blankets and my sister squeezed my legs to helped me stop shaking.  Little Spencer came in weighing 8 pounds 1 ounce and measured 20 inches long.  I was so surprised at his length.  I thought he was going to be a long little guy because of my rib issue. 

Again, so much is left in a blur, but I do remember at some point asking if I could see the baby.  IP-A was holding him at that time and came over to show him to me.  He's gorgeous!  I touched his little hand and I know I shed a happy tear and had the biggest smile on my face!  This experience was exactly what I pictured and everything I had dreamt.  Amazingly Perfect doesn't even begin to describe this journey.  The priceless moments of watching my IPs hold their son was my most magical moment.  Watching them become parents and being a part of it has fulfilled a long dream of mine.  It's just incredible!  Brianna snapped a few photos of all of us before taking off.  I'm told that she was standing on the sink in the bathroom when Spencer was born.  I wish someone would have gotten a photo of her standing up there.  I'm so grateful that she photographed the birth!  At some point my dad snuck in to congratulate us.  I don't think he stayed long at all.  Eventually, my IPs asked if I wanted to hold him.  OF COURSE I wanted to hold him!  Other than the fact that he was perfect and adorable, I couldn't get over the fact that he was really heavy!  Looking at him, it was hard to believe that I just pushed him out of me.  It's crazy to think about him curled up inside of me and now he's out and in his parents arms.  I don't think I held him very long.  I just wanted to see his parents holding him! 

Meeting Spencer for the first time
People slowly left, I'm not entirely sure who left when.  Ben packed all my things on the cart and went to get Lydia from rehearsal.  We had rooms just a couple doors down from each other.  My IPs families came to visit shortly after they had gotten into their room.  I hung out in the corner and watched everyone meet Spencer for the first time.  It was nice to be included.  I was able to watch grandparents hold their grandson for the first time, aunties and cousins meeting him and doting over him.  Gratitude poured out from everyone.  I feel like our extended family grew a lot larger from this experience.  They're all such wonderful people!  Once everyone left I headed back to my room, pumped for the first time, and slept.    

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