Monday, July 25, 2011

Birthing that babe

Yes. This is a birth story.  Which means two things:
#1- It inevitably contains some details you don't want to hear about.  (Read: blood, pain, etc.)
#2- It is inevitably a long story.

Thus, I have devised the three-length story system.  Decide how much you want to read and then pick your story!!

#1- Short and Sweet:
Will was born!  Mama & baby are both healthy and happy and Will is quite likely the easiest baby on earth.  Mama is really happy about that.

#2- All the Info, None of the Schmuck:
Will was born on Thursday, July 14th at 9:38am.  Mama was in labor for about 12 hours and birthed that darn baby "au naturel," aka without medication.  He weighed 7lbs. 4oz. and was 19 1/4in. long.  His Apgar scores were an 8 & 9.  He had low blood sugar for the first 24 hours but is now doing great.  He is a big eater and an awesome sleeper, usually only waking up once or twice at night to eat.  He was already back up to his birth weight by his first appointment at 4 days old.  He has his mama's lips and cheeks, his daddy's nose, and big eyes that happen to come from both sides.  He rocks.

#3- The "Nitty Gritty" (but not really too nitty or gritty)
I spent the beginning of last week walking all around town trying to induce labor.  I walked 3-4 miles to Grant's work one day (resulting in a migraine...), we hiked up Red Rocks amphitheater, etc.  On Wednesday night, we went to bed around 10:30 and I was having what I thought were mild contractions.  I fell asleep not thinking too much of it since I had been having similar contractions all week.

By about 1am I was awake because the contractions had gotten a bit stronger and were only a few minutes apart.  Too uncomfortable to sleep, I started wandering around the apartment.  I was confused as to whether this was the "real thing" because my contractions weren't very strong but were super close together.  From what I had heard and learned, contractions started far apart and slowly grew more regular and close together.  I intended to follow the 5-1-1 rule: go to the hospital when contractions were five minutes apart and one minute long for a hour.  However, as mine started at 3-4 minutes apart for 1-2 minutes long, I wasn't sure what to think.

I called my mom around two o'clock (you're welcome mom!) because I was nervous about her getting here in time for the birth.  I knew it was not yet time to go to the hospital, but if I was in fact in labor, my mom would need at least a few hours notice in order to hop on a plane.  She told me to call Julie, our doula, as well as the doctor to see what they thought.  Julie, who was the teacher for our childbirth prep class, said that it sounded like Baby T was probably positioned in a way that caused my contractions to be so close together.  Of course, if they got stronger, then it was probably true labor, but it was just too early to tell.  The doctor felt similarly.  It wasn't yet time to come to the hospital (which I knew) but if they continued to be regular, close together, and growing stronger, then I could come into the hospital and get checked.  If nothing else, I could wait until the OB office opened in the morning and get checked then.

At that point, I decided to wake Grant up so he could help me time my contractions.  He helped me time for about 2 hours as my contractions progressively got worse.  For pretty bad ones he would help by pushing on my lower back or doing a hip squeeze.  After a while, I told him to go back to bed.  I figured if I really was in labor, I would need him a lot more at the hospital then I would at home.  By five or six am, I told my mom that she better hop the next plane because I was pretty sure this baby was coming.  My contractions were more consistent at that point: about 3-4 minutes apart and getting stronger with each one.  At six I woke Grant up and told him that it was time to go to the hospital.  If this wasn't true labor then I was going to need some drugs to cope with the contractions.  I couldn't talk much through each contraction at this point.

We packed the bags, called the doctor, and headed out the door.  During the three-mile drive to the hospital I had at least four or five strong contractions (which are not fun to deal with sitting in the car).  When we walked into the ER, the nurse asked me if I was there for a scheduled induction.  Right then, a contraction started and the nurse goes, "Oh, I can see that you're not!"  We headed upstairs and got settled in our room. (As settled as you can get when strong contractions are coming every two minutes...)

When our nurse, Helen, came in, she said it was clear that I was in active labor.  She asked me what my pain level was.  What a bizarre question to answer.  What is a 10?  Screaming about to die?  And how does my pain level help her determine anything?  What I'm I just a total wuss and claim everything is a 10?  (I told her not to ask me what my pain level was after that).  She checked my cervix and declared me a "stretchy eight," meaning that I was probably a 7 or so but since I was fully effaced, I could easily stretch to an 8.  Hooray!

Part of my "birth plan" was that I preferred to avoid as many medical interventions as possible including an epidural, episiotomy, etc.  I was open to the possibility of an epidural if I was in labor for a long time or was having strong contractions without dilating.  But I was really hoping that my fairly high pain tolerance (thank you, life of migraines) with breathing techniques and some good ole optimism would be enough to see me through.  When Helen told me I was an 8, I knew that I could make it the rest of the way on my own.  I told Helen not to ask me if I wanted medication, that I would let her know if I needed it.  And I never did.  Yay.

It took three tries to get an IV in.  I now have serious bruises all over my hands and wrists.  Helen gave me half a bag of fluids because I was pretty dehydrated.  I sat on an exercise ball and worked my way through strong, close together contractions for about an hour and a half.  My water broke but not completely.  At that point, my OB came in and checked me again-- an 8.  What?!  I was a little upset about that.  Okay, actually I had a mini emotional breakdown.  How could I go through all these crappy contractions and not have progressed at all?!  The doctor decided to finish breaking my water and said that things would speed up significantly after that.

She was right... shoot.  Contractions got a lot more intense after that and about twenty minutes later I let the nurse know that it was time to push.  Well, that makes it sound a little too nice.  Twenty minutes later I started pushing and was yelling at the top of my lungs to let the nurse know... The doctor came in quickly (hooray), strapped on her gloves, and instructed me on pushing.  Sparing you the lovely details... Ten minutes later Baby T was born!  And what an absolutely incredible feeling that was!  First, to know that I did it.  To know that I made it through the pain and ickiness and to finally have Baby T here was incredible.  Second, to finally see our baby boy, knowing that he came straight from the presence of Heavenly Father to join our little family.  I was crying, Grant was crying, and Baby T was crying (of course).  Our little baby truly was a miracle.

As far as post-birth details, everything went really well.  I had a lot of extra bleeding which was a bit of a concern.  My red blood cell count was a 42 when I got to the hospital and a 27 when they checked it the next day.  Although it cut my energy level down to -1, the doctor wasn't concerned beyond that.  Baby T, (who we soon named Will Tarrant Tanner), had low blood sugar and had a hard time keeping his temperature up. He sported an awesome baby sleeping bag for the first 24 hours until his blood sugar was back up to normal.

As for my mom, she hopped on the earliest flight she could and landed in Denver around 9:15.  Because the airport is quite a way from the hospital, she missed Baby T's birth by about an hour.  Will has loved having his B-ma around, but probably not as much as Grant and me, (mostly because of food and naps, of course).

As of today, little Will is 11 days old!  Soon after his birth, it became apparent that we are extremely lucky.  He is a super sweet little baby, usually sleeping 3-4 hours stretches at night and eating like a champ.  It only took four days for him to get back up to birth weight and everyday he looks and feels bigger!  We are so in love with our little "T" and feel so blessed to have him join our little family.

T's first outing:

Being weighed at the pediatrician:

Sleepy smiles:

Our happy, happy boy!

PS- More pictures are coming but they are currently on Grant's computer... which requires the energy for me to transfer them over... meh


Steph said...

Kelsey, congratulations!! He is so cute! And hooray for you, natural birth is NO PICNIC. :) Enjoy your little sweetheart!

*Mikaela Marie* said...

Wow Kels- I am so impressed!! Deciding to do everything as natural as possible.... Very brave! I have a terribly low pain-tolerance, which makes me admire you for having no anesthesia!
As for Baby "T": Wow. He is so incredibly cute. Such a beautiful little boy.
So happy for you both! :)

Kimber said...

Yay! What a little stud! Great job making it without any medication-wow!

Taylor said...

I love him! He's adorable. AND, Kels, you little toughie! You just had a baby!!! AMAZING AMAZING. I loved the story, especially the part about you starting to push and yelling to let the nurse know. I was laughing out loud at that part. Well, I love you! Keep posting pictures!

Cindy said...

He is beautiful! Congratulations. I'm so happy for you and your little family.

Jennie and Dalin Nelson said...

way to go Kelsey! i am so proud of you! he is so handsome too!!! you guys are going to be great parents and i cannot wait to meet him in person!! congrats

Lindsay said...

Congratulations! He is adorable! That is awesome you went natural, great job!!

Shawn and Nina Olsen said...

Way to go on that natural childbirth! You are a rockstar... I know I would be a complete wimp and get that epidural asap. Will is so darn cute, I am so happy for you and Grant, congratulations Kels, I love you!

Betina said...

Congrats guys! He's so adorable. I love his little baby smiles.

Steve and Erin Larsen said...

What a neat birth story! You are a rockstar! Way to go all natural! He is a doll! Congratulations you two!!

Tara Kearl said...

He is soooo cute! I love the adorable smiley pictures. And, how hardcore are you?! Way to go birthing him all natural! :)

Jon, Andrea and Carter said...

Too cute! Way to go, no epidural! (I could never!) Our sweet Lincoln was born just a few days before Will. How fun! Hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing Kelsey! I've never had a baby (not yet at least) but there are so few people that do without an epidural. He is SO CUTE! I wish we lived nearby so we could get to know you three more :-)

Matt, Dyanna and Co. said...

Yay, Kelsey! It's quite the feat going au natural! :) You rock! And Will is ADORABLE....he does have the same cheeks as Charlotte. :) P.S. You look AMAZING. I wish I looked that great after having Char!

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