Jace's Birth Story, One Year Ago Today...
Our baby boy turned one today! Where has the time gone? I ask myself this daily. I thought it would be fun to get personal this week and tell his birth story. I typed it up on my phone shortly after giving birth, and it was fun to read it and relive this day through my words. It's kind of long and there are a few photo's at the end if you just want to jump to those.
Each birth story is unique and oh so magical. This is one of mine.
January 30th, 2018. It was an absolutely beautiful 70 degree winter day. I was forty weeks and one day pregnant with our fourth (and last) baby. We also didn't know the sex of the baby. I already had three boys Zayne (11), Karson (9), and Beckett (3 1/2). I was hoping for a girl, while all the boys wanted another boy (insert eye roll here).
I had a visit with my midwife April that morning and everything checked out normal and great. I was so close and ready to have this baby. Not only because I felt like a beached whale and I was peeing myself at every laugh or sneeze but also because my mom was here now and time was ticking before she had to go back to work in about a week. I needed my mom's help desperately for as many days as I could get her after this baby was here, so April mentioned we could try stripping my membranes to get things moving just a little bit faster. I decided to give that a go, and it was not as painful as I had thought. Just awkward and a bit of pressure but over before I knew it. She also gave me some herb pills (can't remember what they were exactly) but good natural stuff that help things get moving. I took a dose of those pills before leaving her office. She said I would most likely be seeing her later tonight.
My mom, Beckett and I left April's and walked around a nearby outdoor shopping center to enjoy the sunshine. I ran into an old friend while browsing around, and we got a smoothie.
It had been about an hour and a half since leaving Aprils. I was now having contractions I could really feel and knew things were changing quickly in my body. We decided to go meet Garrett for lunch at a Thai place near his work. My huge body could hardly eat anything but I did manage to eat a little bit and enjoy what would be our last lunch with this baby on the inside. Contractions were still coming irregularly, but I was in no pain what so ever. After lunch I decided it was time to go home and relax and insisted that I drove because I was "fine". I got us home safe and sound, Beckett and my mom watched a movie, and got some Grandma snuggles in while I took a much needed nap.
After I woke up from my nap, it was around 3:00 pm and I was still having lots of contractions 10-20 minutes apart. Still no pain. I was having a home birth (Beckett was also born at home), so I didn't need to worry about getting to the hospital. April called around then to check in with me, and I told her I still thought it was going to be a while because I had no pain with contractions yet, but they were coming on more and more. I just continued to relax, watch tv and hang out with all my boys and my mom.
By 5:00 my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was still experiencing NO pain. None! Just lots of tightness, but I could walk, talk, and function as well as any 40 week pregnant person. I called April to let her know the timing of these contractions and she insisted she came over to check on me. She arrived around 6:00 and I was about 3 cm dilated and 70% effacement. I was still having contractions about 2 minutes apart or less. Still no pain. April confirmed these were real active labor contractions and we were both a bit shocked that I was still in no pain. She brought in all her medical bags and equipment and got it all ready to go for when things got a little further along.
Conveniently, April's sister lives around the corner from us, so she went over there to hang tight for a bit while we had one last dinner together as a family of five (plus my mom). I hardly had any appetite but really tried to enjoy it and eat a bit. By the end of dinner it was a little after 7:00. I messaged April and told her I was starting to have some pain with the contractions now and they were still about 2 minutes apart. I was still in a very happy mood and coping very well. I had planned on laboring in the bath, and was really hoping for a water birth this time around. I went upstairs and Garrett ran the bath for me while I set up my camera and got the settings where I wanted them. I took one last pregnant selfie and got myself into the tub just before 8:00. I was worried I was getting in the bath too early, but decided I could relax and just enjoy it for a little bit.
Right at 8:00 April's student midwife Sarah got there. She started doing some checks on me and the baby. I was still happy and smiling, but my contractions were intensifying very quickly. A few minutes after 8:00 April arrived and everything was going great. Zayne, Karson, Beckett, Garrett and my mom were all there keeping a close watch on me.
Around 8:45 my contractions were not messing around anymore. Shit definitely got real about now. Contractions one after another, and no downtime. They were strong, crazy intense and there was no way I was getting out of the tub or changing positions.
Beckett had been watching a video on the ipad in the bedroom and came in to show me and see what was going on. It was a nice distraction for a few seconds and I remember him saying "mama the baby coming" with such excitement. Zayne and Karson were just standing in the bathroom patiently waiting and watching.
I felt tons of pressure with an urge to push, so I did. I felt a slight pop and release. I thought maybe my waters had broke. April confirmed yes, that is what just happened and everything was clear and perfect. She reminded me to keep breathing deeply through each contraction, and honestly really helped keep me focused at this point. I remember telling her "I am at the point where I just don't think I can take anymore". Things were close. So so close.
I had another strong urge to push. This time I could feel the babies head crowning and I just kept pushing. The babies head was born and there was a moment of such relief. I felt the babies head and kept my hand on the head. On the next contraction, one last push of my life and the rest of the baby came shooting out into the water straight into Garrett's hands. He quickly brought the baby up and placed baby on my chest. He was born at 9:17pm.
I felt a huge amount of relief and happiness. It was over, I did it. I looked up at Garrett and asked him "What is it?!?" With all the excitement of trying to catch the baby in the water he forgot to look. He looked down at the baby and smiled. Looked at me and said "it's a boy". I looked down at this tiny little human smiling, and repeated "it's a boy". Rested my head back in the bath and just felt so much joy that he was earth-side. Healthy and with no complications.
I felt this natural high take over my body. I can't really explain it, but I felt the same intense empowered feeling after giving birth naturally to Beckett as well.
We spent about 30 minutes after the birth in the tub just relaxing, laughing and taking pictures. Garrett cut the cord with no hesitation, and then held his new son for the first time so I could get out of the bath. I took a shower to rinse off, while Sarah and the boys performed all the newborn checks and weighed him.
After the shower I slipped into bed. Was handed my perfect little baby boy all swaddled up, and had all four of my boys and Garrett resting in bed with me. We didn't have a name picked out 100% yet. He weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 21 inches long. Perfect little angel. April and Sarah cleaned up, and packed up all their things. They would return again the next morning to check on us.
That was it. Our little family of boys was complete.
Thank you to my always supportive and loving husband Garrett, my amazing mom who helped us so incredibly much throughout the birth and my post postpartum lifesaver, my midwife(s) April Clyde and Sarah Slobody for supporting our family and making me feel 110% comfortable every step of the way during this whole pregnancy. Check them out at Serenity Birth Center if you are in the Las Vegas area.
Now for the photo's. My mom was super woman and took tons (and also managed to get the birth on video with my iphone), but here are just a few of my favorites. It was night time and quite dim so there is lots of grain but I have learned to just embrace that. I am beyond thankful to have these images so I can relive my last birth forever and ever.