August 5th, 2015
Today, when I woke up, I knew something was different. However, I had made up my mind that I would ignore just about everything, as I’d had so many false alarms the previous two weeks, I couldn’t imagine one more. But, today was different. Upon waking and getting ready for the day, I noticed that I had started spotting. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but who wouldn’t be? I was one day shy of 40 full weeks!
When I finished getting ready, I hopped in the car to meet my sister for breakfast. Emily decided she would come with me to run some errands. I was too unsettled to sit around at home. Plus, I figured it would be good to walk around, and keep moving. We drove downtown, and as I traded in empty MAC containers for lipstick, I couldn’t help but notice – these cramps are killing me. So, we tested out some new lip colors, and slowly walked around the mall. Next up was supposed to be pedicures, but my sister decided she needed to be home with her family. I couldn’t blame her, but for some reason after dropping her off, I cried. I threw a minor pity party. I really wanted that pedicure. But I didn’t want to go alone. So I settled in at home, and decided to relax on the sofa. I listened to, and sang along with some worship music, read my Bible, and waited for Connor to come home from work.
Around 2pm, I checked in with our doula, Sarah, to let her know the latest. She and I were in agreement that the spotting and cramps were likely because of intimacy the night before. My heart sunk, as I was hoping it was the start of something good! I was so tired. I was so crampy. And – ugh, this bleeding. Why wonʼt it stop? I want… no need, ice cream… So, after Connor came home from work, we decided an ice cream date was in order. Before we left, I was still spotting and cramping, so I checked in with our doula again, and let her know I was doing my best to ignore things, and nothing new was happening. Connor and I drove to Dairy Queen and ordered some yummy treats. I wasn’t ready to go home, and since his sister and her husband were in town, we decided to pop over to his mom’s to visit. I needed all the distractions I could get.
Through the evening, I was unable to sit for very long. I kept standing, then sitting, then stretching, and rocking my hips back and forth. Ugh, these cramps. Maybe I just need more water. I kept reminding myself, Morgan, just ignore it. Youʼll know when itʼs time. Itʼs not time.
Our conversations went from babies, to life, to labor, and chatting about their experiences. Around 8:00pm, I told Connor that I was tired and ready to go home. My sister-in-law stopped us and asked if she could pray over me. In the middle of the front room, I sat on the sofa, big, tired, and emotional. She prayed. She prayed over my body, over our baby, over labor and delivery, and we offered up thanks for God’s goodness and mercy, and we were in great anticipation of the Birthday He had already picked for our little one. It was a beautiful moment. It was several minutes, pain free.
As we were leaving, Sarah checked in on me again. I told her that not much had changed. She suggested I take a warm bath, and snuggle in for the night, and get some good rest. I happily agreed. I took a nice, long, warm bath, and cozied up in bed.
August 6th, 2015
I woke up around midnight after tossing and turning in a fitful sleep. I had terrible gas pains, or so I thought. Eventually, I rolled out of bed and decided to head down to my exercise ball and the sofa. This was not uncommon; as my pregnancy progressed, I often retreated to the living room so I wouldn’t wake up my husband. After a while, the gas pains felt crampy, so I scurried to the bathroom thinking I needed to go. I repeated this multiple times, and assumed that whatever I had eaten, must have not agreed with my tummy. It was probably that silly ice cream I HAD to have. Around 1:30am these pains were coming pretty consistently. Leave it to our friend, Google, to give me answers, HA. Itʼs nearly 2:00am, and here I was googling the difference between contractions and gas pains. It suggested that if I could note a distinct start and finish, and time them, it was likely contractions. So, I gave it a whirl.
…………………………………..Start 1:42am – Duration 1:21 minutes.
…………………………………..Start 1:46am – Duration 1:26 minutes.
………………………………………. ….Holy cow, these are like 3:50 minutes apart.
I continued to time them for another 20 minutes, and they continued to increase in discomfort. I finally realized that I was having contractions. But I wasn’t convinced that it was go time. I had texted my mom earlier, and we had made plans that I would pick her up bright and early for my 40 week midwife appointment. I remember saying, “I’m not sure I’m gonna make it to my appointment.” Around 2:15 am I went up to our bedroom, and knelt next to Connorʼs side of the bed. I gently woke him, and showed him my timers, and asked that he wake up and help me. I was nervous, and up and down, and back and forth, often running to the bathroom to pee, again. He encouraged me to send some screen shots to Sarah, and at this point I was feeling confident that I was in the beginning stages of labor! I heard no response from Sarah, however I was also confident that I could hold out and continue on our own for a while. We continued timing my contractions, and laid together in bed in the dark, giggling, and talking about how we couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Itʼs time!
Around 3:30am, Connor encouraged me to call the Midwives. I think this is when his nerves kicked in. Since we hadn’t heard back from our doula (which was my mistake, we probably should have called her, and later found out thatʼs what she prefers), I left a message with the midwives, and we waited for a call. Around 4:15am, one of the midwives returned our call, and listened to me, and we talked about how I was feeling and what was going on. After tossing the phone away and onto the bed mid-contraction. she strongly suggested we make our way there, but we weren’t in a huge hurry. As I continued to lay in bed, pace around, use the restroom, and get myself ready, Connor gathered up the remainder of our items and made us each a smoothie. By this time, I had noticed that with each contraction, I was needing to pee. It was incredibly strange to me, but I didn’t know what labor would be like, so I just went with it! We laughed a lot at my constant peeing!
As the sun was rising, we drove to the hospital. I made sure to have a giant beach towel under me as my water had not broken, and I knew it could at any time. I had heard that having contractions in the car was no joke… well, itʼs true. With each contraction I squirmed in my seat, unable to find a comfortable position. We arrived at Deaconess, and I managed my way through a few more contractions as we completed the check-in process. I was then taken to our room, and was incredibly pleased to see that we had been placed in our desired room! It was large, and in the far corner. It felt private, and secluded. I changed into the hospital gown at first as we hadn’t brought in the remainder of our things, and my nighty was in that bag. I didn’t mind, because in my mind, I thought for sure they were going to send me home! They placed me on the monitor and confirmed that my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, and lasting, at the very least, one minute. Upon checking my cervix she found that I was only 3 cm and about 80% effaced. I was devastated. I thought for sure that was the cue for me to go home, and come back when it was really “go time.” However, they decided to keep me, and monitor me for 2 hours.
Iʼll never forget that I had made my 40 week appointment for 9am. I mentioned over, and over again that I didn’t want them to think I was a no call – no show. Apparently, I was really worried about this because I didn’t just mention it once. They repeatedly assured me that they had taken care of the appointment for me.
At 7am, I received an encouraging text from Sarah, “Way to go, momma!” It also said to call her once I was awake and ready to chat. I immediately called her and let her know we were at the hospital. She suggested I take a bath, and call her when I was ready for her to come. I immediately started to cry. I was scared, and I didn’t know how to express it. So she asked if I wanted her to come, and I said yes. She explained that she would be there as soon as she could, but no later than 2 hours. After monitoring me, the midwives agreed that I was indeed in true labor, and helped to coach me through. It was time for a shift change, and I was so pleased to see that Val was there to deliver that day! I had only met her twice before, and I loved her soft spirit. Every time she came in the room, I felt a sweet and soft presence! At this time, my contractions were getting more intense, and the tub was no longer doing anything for me. Around 8:30am, Sarah arrived, and Connor was able to leave for a bit to get coffee and food, as well as unload the rest of the car. Sarah immediately had me chugging water, started up the diffuser, and rubbed my back and spine with essential oils. She promptly directed me to the toilet to labor for a bit. At first, I felt a little awkward, but I was so comfortable with her that soon we were laughing and talking, all while I was on the potty! As we sat in the bathroom, she coached me, reminding me that each time we move positions I’ll have to re-learn how to cope, and that a contraction is like a wave: it will start, and build, then slowly fade. I found so much comfort in knowing how my body was working.
My bleeding had increased, and I was still peeing with each contraction. As we changed positions around the room we placed a towel under me. I was so embarrassed. Connor finally returned, after being gone for a little over an hour, and this is when I asked for some mesh panties and a pad. This allowed my bladder to do what it needed without pee running down my legs in front of my husband. Sarah kept reminding us that with each new position, I would need to relearn how to manage, and breathe through the pain. The pain and the resting was so much more than I realized. It was strong, and intense, but then it was gone! I often started with a moan of “I canʼt…. I can… I can.. I can do this,” while they both encouraged me to nod my head “yes” instead of shaking my head “no” as each contraction came on.
Sarah and Connor were great at reminding me to drink my coconut water, and to take little bites of my sandwich. Sarah coached Connor on positions to hold me in, how to support me, how to sway me. As she rubbed frankincense oil, and clary sage on my spine and hips, we bounced, we swayed, we laughed. I cried.
My contractions were beginning to grow incredibly difficult. Around this time, my memory got foggy, and I know for certain my eyes only opened to walk, to change positions, or to meet with Sarahʼs gaze. I donʼt recall if I had any more cervical checks; time was slipping away. At one point, Sarah asked me to make eye contact with Connor during my contractions. I tried it once, and immediately started crying. Looking at him, I realized I had SO many emotions. I was scared, and nervous. I was in pain, and making low, primitive noises Iʼd never heard. Looking at him made me feel wild, and out of control. Our past collided with the now, and it was an explosion of emotions. I quickly dropped my gaze. I caught myself peeking up quite often, and my eyes always caught the clock. I requested several times to change positions because I didn’t want to see the time. I was impatient, and tired. As we danced around the room, Connor loved me well. He supported my weight, he held me close, he hugged me.
Around 11:30am, my water still hadn’t broken. The nurse commented on how my contractions sounded a bit “pushy.” I was still eating small bites, and drinking loads of water. This is when they started wheeling in the baby stuff, and getting ready for his arrival! My mind immediately went into panic mode! I lost it. I didn’t want it see it; I didn’t want to know it was there. I requested to get in the tub again. As the tub was filling, we started a saline lock. Once I was back in the tub, Val rejoined us. I labored in the tub for a short while longer. She watched as I managed some contractions. They checked babyʼs heart rate, and monitored me. I had moved to be on my hands and knees while in the tub. I started to cry again. I wanted to escape. I started to stand up, and my plan was to leave. I was gonna flea! Sarah asked me where I was going, and I quickly exclaimed that I was leaving. She asked me why, and I sunk back down into the water, and shamefully said I didn’t know. I stared to explain to everyone that I wasn’t supposed to have babies. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Loss, after loss, heartbreak, and infertility. Here I was, getting ready to deliver our baby! It was the most intense emotion. He was almost here. We were almost there!
It was time to get out of the tub, and they wanted to check me again. I was fully effaced, and 9.5 cm, but part of my cervix was caught. As my contractions kept getting more and more pushy. I knelt on the bed, arms supporting my weight. Sarah encouraged me to sing through my contractions.
All I know is I know that You are Here now
Still my heart
Let Your voice be all I hear now Spirit breathe
Like the wind come have Your way Cause I know You’re in this place
It wasn’t pretty. I prayed aloud: “God this hurts!” I asked for help. I asked for strength. I sang. I raised my hands in worship to a powerful God! Connor prayed over me, Sarah prayed over me. I felt out of control. It was hard to breathe. I was hot, then cold, then hot. I couldn’t breathe. I felt sick.
Keep Going. I can do this.
Around 12:30pm it was time to push! I rolled onto my side, and pushed 1-2 times. With each push, Val assisted in stretching the remaining cervix out of the way. Breathe, push, stretch, repeat. Out of nowhere my contractions completely stopped. I thought for sure my labor was stalling. Val insisted that this was normal, and they have no way to explain it, but sometimes women get a small break before intense pushing. I rested for 5-10 minutes. As soon as the next contraction hit, I was able to push again. It was a deep tightening that engulfed my entire torso. Every inch of my body could feel the contractions as I pushed with everything in me. I can do this, I can do this. Heʼs almost here. At some point, I asked for medications, but as I was asking, I also knew that it wasn’t possible, and, it was not what I wanted. (I admitted, I only said it for the sake of asking, as if someone would take me seriously.) With the next push, my water broke. It was a delicate “POP,” and a wild gush. I pushed again, and I could hear Connor praying over us in my ear. This entire time, my eyes were closed. Push. My eyes popped open. It burns. It hurts. I need heat. I want to stop, but I want to know if he has hair. I feel like I canʼt breathe. I feel sick. Iʼm hot. Push… thereʼs his head! With one final PUSH, out he slid.
I sighed, and breathed relief. Oh my gosh it feels so good to have him out! My little wiggle worm was peeking up at me. He was covered in blood and fluid, yet the most beautiful sight Iʼve ever seen. I was shocked. I looked around at everyone in confusion… Heʼs here!? We did it!
Connorʼs eyes were filled with tears. I held him close to me as we waited for his cord to stop pulsating. Connor cut the cord. As we wrapped ourselves in a blanket cocoon, I felt a warmth run across my belly. My little stinker peed all over me! In the moment, it was so precious. As they massaged my belly, and checked me for tearing, I gazed at this beautiful, chubby little man staring at my face. I was clueless to the world around me. They massaged my tummy some more, and I successfully delivered the placenta. I lost quite a bit of blood after that, however it was managed well without intervention. We attempted to latch him on my breast right away, but he was uninterested. He was so busy taking everything in and staring at his Momma! I was immediately in love.
Sarah stayed for about 45 minutes, and then left us to bond. They finished cleaning me up, and I was later transferred to the mother/baby unit where we later had visitors. I was proud. I felt amazing! I did it!
After getting to hold my babe and seeing his sweet little eyes peeking up at me I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving. God had been faithful. I wasn’t able to see the full picture at first, but now, now I could see. His timing was purposeful, His grace was enough, and His power was more than sufficient to lead me through, not only our past experiences, but the process of bringing our sweet babe earth side. He had placed redemption all over our birth, and I am continually blown away by his goodness.
Crosby Dixon Brooks – August 6th 2015 – 1:08pm – 8 pounds 8 ounces – 21 inches long
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