Remember when I used to blog?
Or at least update my blog on a semi-regular basis?
It's been a long time. So long, in fact, that I completely gave up writing when I found out I was pregnant all the way back in January.
A lot has happened since then, but for now I'm going to focus on our sweet baby boy who joined our family just two short weeks ago.
Meet Tyler Yates.
Since September 28th I had been dealing with false labor. Almost every night I'd wake up and time contractions for several hours before they'd taper off and I'd fall back asleep tired and frustrated. My mom came into town on September 30th because the last two babies came over a week early we wanted to be sure she was here just in case. But this little guy was happy to stay put just a little longer.
My due date (October 9th) came and went, and right around midnight on October 10th, just minutes overdue, I woke up again to some pretty painful contractions. I figured this was no different than the false labor I kept having. After a few hard contractions they tapered off again and I fell back asleep. Around 2:30am I woke up again, my mind racing. I had never gone overdue. I was tired from the false labor and frustrated my baby wasn't here yet, worried that my mom needed to leave in a week, and hoping I wouldn't have to get induced. But there was one thought that kept coming to my mind: I didn't care when he arrived, so long as his delivery went smoothly.
You see, when I was first pregnant with Tyler I got it in my head that I wanted to have an unmedicated delivery....no IV's, no epidural, just me enduring to the end. I had almost made it to the end during my delivery with Blake before I caved in and got an epidural. He was born just minutes later. I was kicking myself for not holding strong. This time I was determined to go through it with no regrets.
As I lay awake I had this feeling to go downstairs and sit on the exercise ball. I grabbed my phone and read my scriptures as I rocked back and forth on the ball hoping the contractions I felt earlier would start up again. Sure enough, by 3:00am I started to have contractions again. This time they were strong and consistent, and they got progressively more painful. I began walking around my kitchen to help relieve some of the pain, and even knelt down next to the couch if it got to be too much. By 4:15 they were coming hard and fast, just 3 minutes in between. I went and woke Ryan up and told him to shower fast because we needed to head to the hospital. I also woke up my mom to help me time them while I waited for Ryan. By 4:45 we were in the car headed towards the hospital. This was it! He was finally on his way.
We went in through the ER, got all checked in, contractions still coming hard and fast. A nurse then brought a wheelchair and whisked me up to Labor & Delivery. They took me into triage and checked me....7 cm dilated. In the back of my mind I kept thinking how crazy I was to want to do this naturally. I started second guessing myself, but knew I needed to hold strong. My amazing doctor had moved away last year, so I had searched for a new OB and ultimately decided to make the switch over to a midwife group. I knew that if I was going to follow through with a natural birth that I would need that kind of support. By the time I was situated in my delivery room my midwife, Janice, showed up. I had gone through the rotation to make sure I had seen all of the midwives in the group since I would get whoever was on call, and they were all fantastic, but Janice was exactly who I needed that morning. She was amazing! But, more on her later.
In triage I requested a labor tub to help relieve the pain of the contractions, but Janice was worried that I would already be too far along by the time it was ready. Instead she encouraged me to get in the shower. It felt so good to let the hot water run over my back and belly. After awhile I could feel myself bearing down. Janice checked me and I had progressed to 9 cm. My water was still intact, and she offered to break it to help things move along, but knowing how painful the contractions are after that I chose instead to get back in the shower.
This is the point at which I wanted to give up. Mind you, it had only been three and a half hours since my labor started, but it felt like an eternity before I'd be done. My whole body ached and I was trying so desperately to keep my mind focused, but it was taxing. Janice could see the panic in my eyes and offered again to break my water telling me it would all be over shortly after that. So we did just that. She broke my water at 6:50 and the panic set in. Those first few contractions without the cushion of the water were off the charts instense. I found myself gearing up for each one, praying they'd be over quickly. After two or three I felt the baby drop and I was ready to push. Rather than being told when to push, Janice encouraged me to push when I was ready. Pushing made the intensity of the contraction bearable. My hands gripped the sides of the bed and my nurse and midwife cheered me on, telling me how far I'd come, and how close he was to being out. At 7:17am, after 4 or 5 hard pushes, Tyler was here and I had delivered him naturally!
It was the hardest, but most amazing experience! There was this rush of adrenaline, and I had finally proven to myself that I could do it. I looked over at Ryan and said, "I did it! I really did it!".
They immediately put Tyler on my chest for skin-to-skin and he got to stay there for over an hour. I even got to cut his cord (only after Ryan said he didn't want to).
We were all shocked at how chubby our little pumpkin was. Everyone in the room made guesses as to what he weighed, and Ryan's guess was the closest at 9 lbs. 5 oz. When they finally took him to be weighed he tipped the scales at 9 lbs. 6 oz. and was 22 inches long. My biggest baby by far!
I still have such great memories from the births of each one of my kids, but Tyler's arrival is one I'll never forget. His arrival was hard, amazing, everything I had imagined, and a lot that I hadn't. It was such a sweet and humbling experience, and I wouldn't change anything about that morning.