The following is a guest post by Jolene, who had an unmedicated, peaceful birth with her first baby in-hospital just 2 days after Thanksgiving! Jolene, isn’t it cool that some years Lachlan will have his birthday on Thanksgiving? -Elizabeth
So, Friday morning I woke up just fine aside from a little bit of swelling in my feet from being on my feet all day on Thanksgiving. I woke up at 3 am in order to go Black Friday shopping with my mom & sisters. I went in and out of stores, bought a few things for Arwen for Christmas. Even went so far as to buy a special baby for Arwen that could be fed and changed with the intent to give to her as a gift from Lachlan. I joked about going into labor early with my mom & sisters because of second hand cigarette smoke rather loudly in line behind some women who kept lighting up… I guess I sort of jinxed myself! Although, I had done that the week previous when the dr’s on the military post were trying to get me to wait until the 29th for a Dr’s appt. that it’d be great if I just had him this weekend while my entire family was here and before they even got a chance to see me. Needless to say, Michael has banned me from ever saying something like that again. lol.
Anyway, back to the story, we got back home around 7 am and I laid down for like an hour before I heard Arwen up and moving around. I got up and made breakfast for everyone, and coffee for my parents, Michael, and Grandma. Was cleaning up dishes from the night before and all of that… I noted that I had pain in my lower back, but didn’t think much of it. Like I said, I’d been on my feet A LOT prepping for them to be there and doing Thanksgiving prep and cooking.
All day long, my mom, Grandma and I went through clothes people had sent for Lachlan. We washed them and folded them and put them into bins by sizes. I’m really thankful we got this done, because it came into handy when I realized I’d be needing clothes ASAP! We watched movies as a family, cleaned up, and I made a trip to Walmart with my mom & sister for pizza fixings to have a pizza party. I realized at this point that I was losing my mucus plug, but I also had read so much that said it could be days or weeks before anything happened so I didn’t read too much into it.
When we got home, the pain in my back was also in my stomach, but I didn’t really do much aside from sit in my glider and watch movies. I thought relaxing would help…Around 10 pm I climbed into bed hoping sleep would help, but after a little while I realized that was futile. So, I got up, filled the bath tub and soaked in a warm bath for about a half hour or hour. I got out of the tub, and climbed back into bed, Michael massaged my back for a while. But, soon I told him just to go to sleep because my parents needed to go to the airport in St. Louis for 2 am and he had to drive them (at this point it was midnight). I couldn’t bear laying in bed another moment, so I got up and got back into the bathtub. Within moments I was vomitting, and vomitting again… When I got out of bed, I couldn’t walk/talk through the contractions, and I threw up yet again. So, finally, I woke Michael up and asked if he’d take me to the hospital. I knew I was in labor at that point, I think before that I was in denial.
My Grandma volunteered to go to the hospital with me, because at this point we still thought my parents would be going home and Michael would be taking them to the airport. My sisters would stay at the house with Arwen, so we didn’t have to wake her. It was 1:30 am at this point. Of course my mom flipped out when she realized I was probably in labor and she was refusing to go home. However, my dad had a commitment he had to be home for today. So, with many tears, I left them behind and headed for the hospital. Michael, stayed with me while I got checked in and I walked myself to the ob-gyn floor. They weighed me, then set me up in a room. Once they heard my symptoms, they checked me, and the nurse informed me I was 8 cm dialated. (This was 2 am). Michael, who obviously isn’t familiar with the scale for dialation and what it means, then asked if he had time to take my parents to St. Louis without missing the birth (St. Louis is 2 hrs away). The nurse laughed and said he probably didn’t have a chance to make it to the next town and back. When Michael informed my mom of this, she flat out refused to leave and told him she was walking to the hospital if he didn’t come and get her lol. So, he left quickly to get my parents.
The nurses who were with me, were amazing. They flat out asked what I wanted with my birth and vowed to help me achieve exactly what I wanted. One told me plain and simple that I was running the show. At this point, I was so exhausted from the past few days, I was finding it hard to do anything but focus on Lachlan and waiting to see him. I think he was the only reason I was staying awake at that point. I literally laid there, focused on the tv which was turned off, but served a good focal point, blowing through contractions. Meanwhile, Michael was on the phone trying to get Delta airlines to push my parents flight back so that they could be there.
I was at 9 cm before I even knew what was happening, and was feeling the overwhelming need to push. The doctor (who was a Captain Obvious type) was against me starting to push before ten, but the nurse basically reiterated that I was in control of my labor and they coached me through starting to push. I started pushing around 3 am. Michael, was holding one of my feet still conversating with Delta airlines woman, who was quoting a 50.00 fee for pushing the flight back. She kept commenting how calm I was lol. They could see his head immediately, but he kept going back a little bit with each push. However, they kept commenting on his amazing head of hair, and how much he was moving. His head was moving back and forth even in the birth canal!
My mom and Grandma stayed in the room, as well as Michael and well by proxy, Delta airlines woman. lol. After about an hour, the airlines woman told him they’d taken care of it and there’d be no fee for the flights to be pushed back to 5pm. She wished me good luck and hung up…probably good for her, because half way through pushing I asked for the phone to tell her off. (My only weakness during labor is that I apparently threaten airline workers who work to ruin my perfect labor and delivery and threatening my husband who was making jokes the entire time…lol).
The most intense pain came when his head finally came out, and in a way that was even overshadowed by my need to see him! I sat up and watched as he came out, with one hand in a fist near his face (the reason it took so long for him to come out while pushing). Then he in essence, waved at me, and the doctor set him on my stomach. I asked them to delay clamping his cord, and they did. Michael got to cut the cord, and teared up while he took a mess of pictures. He’d been updating facebook the entire time and apparently felt it his duty to add more pictures. I’m glad for that, because as much as I thought I’d be all about the pictures, I was so much more all about Lachlan and just looking at him. I still can’t stop just staring at his every feature. He is so absolutely perfect.
My Grandma was so excited to be there for her oldest grandchild’s baby’s birth and it was the first birth she witnessed, aside from her own births. My mom, Grandma and I were busy crying and spending time with Lachlan, while Michael went and got my Dad from the waiting room. He immediately joined the crying party when he saw his first grandson. Of course, this is very special for him because he has all daughters and a granddaughter before Lachlan.
They allowed me all the time I wanted to spend with him, feed him, etc before they cleaned him off. He was 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 and 1/2 inches long and his head circumference is 14 in. Originally it looked like one of his eyes were brown and one blue, but I realized the next day that their both blue! Also, something you both will love to hear! He’s what they refer to as “naturally circumcised” so he’ll be left just as he was born, he’ll have no cutting at all. I am SO happy for this! My little man is just perfect as is.
My husband then called everyone he knows and let them know Lachlan was here, and that his wife was a soldier. I had no meds, didn’t cry or scream or anything near that. I was actually more complaining I was exhausted than anything else and just wanted to see him already! All of my nurses have been amazing, and we’re supposed to go home tomorrow.
Lachlan is just perfect! He’s been eating every two hours since birth and has stayed with me, they have been great about letting us have every choice with him. Including honoring our request not to give him a pacifier or supplement with formula at all.
If you’d like to share your birth story, perfect or imperfect, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.