Judah Galen was born at 8:54 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2013. He weighed a whopping 9 lbs 8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. He is perfect in every way.
(To curb the question you may have, we had baby Jude 100% natural, no interventions. But I will tell you now, there shouldn't be any judgements to any other way of giving birth. It's all beautiful and everyone is different.)
At my last appointment with my midwife (4 days before Jude was born) I was dilated to 4 cm. She calmly told me to go home and be sure that I had everything in order. I did, I was already impatiently waiting to go into labor! So naturally, I had false labor that night. My mom said she even slept in her jeans. I didn't go into real labor for another 4 days. And when my labor actually started on Friday evening, it was so calm that I didn't really know if it was labor. But we decided to go into the hospital anyways because my contractions, though not very intense, were regular.
|Me and my sweet socks laboring.|
When we got to the hospital they had me walk around for an hour and after an hour of walking (and not-so-intense contractions) I was dilated to a 5 and they admitted me. We were so excited! Not to mention the midwife we had been praying we would get was on duty!
Another couple hours later and my labor really hadn't progressed. My midwife told me that she could feel a very soft spot in the amniotic sack, and we could wait for it to break or she could break it for us. Since I just knew that we wouldn't get any sleep at home, my water may break on the way home, and not to mention it was storming outside, Jacob and I decided it would be okay for her to break my water. So she went up there and felt around and "pop" goes the water. The midwife said, "oh I feel some hair".
After that my labor got slowly more intense. I no longer questioned if I was having a contraction, I knew they were happening. I should note that she broke my water around 3 a.m. and after that I didn't pay attention to the time.
Contractions were steady and steadily getting more and more intense. I could still handle the pain though. I was doing a side step and breath type motions during those contractions. Then at some point they became so intense that I wanted to lay down, or someone told me to lie down, I don't remember.
There was a green light within a light that I concentrated on the entire labor. I would feel a contraction coming on, look up at that little green light, and think "Let's do this green light. You need to distract me, little light." I know that sounds silly, but it helped. I would look at that green light, hear my mom and Jacob chanting "in and out...breath in and out...in and out", and then lose myself. I would lose myself not to the pain, but to some other universe... to some other place in my mind. It was a very different place, a place where I thought about my internal organs, my blood rushing, my pulse. I think this place is where God lets you escape to during very intense times of pain.
My mom and Jacob tell me that they were really worried about me during this time. My mom has been to a couple of my sister's baby's births and she says that mine was really "scary". I didn't think it was scary, I thought it was labor. But then again, this was my first time doing this. ;)
At one point, I gave up and said (well kind of whispered) "can I have an epidural?" I didn't have the energy to cry. But I wanted to. I needed rest, some form of respit from the pain. (I should note here that I didn't have an IV port put in when I was admitted to the hospital. I should've, but I didn't.) When I was asking for the epidural the all too eager nurse said, "okay, well you'll have to have fluids for 45 min before we can give you one." Shit. shit. shit. that's all I could think. whatever. I truly believed that I needed this drug and I needed it now. I have really small veins and with the intensity of my contractions, the nurse couldn't get my vein for the fluids. I don't know how it came about, but they figured out that I was transitioning and I was about to start pushing, sans epidural.
Yahoo!!!!! I get to push. I get to finish. I was so tired, and to be honest I didn't know how to push. I just knew that I wanted to. I think we did three different positions for pushing: squatting using a bar, doggy style on the bed, and on my back. I pushed for about an hour (or so I'm told). While I was pushing in doggy style on the bed, they figured out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. I didn't really even hear this go down, my midwife was so swift that I didn't really even know that he was in danger. She had me kind of lift my leg and with a smooth motion, he was safe and sound.
Pushing was such a relief compared to contractions. Here's a few of my thoughts during this phase of labor, "wow, this is so amazing", "shit. shit. shit", "the ring of fire is real", "and my God in heaven, thank you for allowing my body to do this".
One of the most amazing parts of this was when I could literally feel him moving downward in the birth canal and I could feel his movements in my lower abdomen. Holy cow, that was more miraculous than I can explain.
|It's amazing how huge I am here, but this picture is so true to the moment that I refuse to be ashamed by it. I love this moment.|
About an hour later it was over with one really hard, really good push, out he came. My little blessing, the other part of my heart, my son, was on my belly and all I could do was cry. I kindof hyperventilated, and kept saying, "he's so big!" He was big. An almost 10 lb baby just came out of me!
|I'm jealous by how good he looks, but here's my boys for the first time.|
They cleaned him off while he was on my belly. The look in my husbands eyes was worth more than any amount of money. And the feeling of love I had is something only a mother can understand, but no one can accurately explain.
|My big boy. :)|
After the cord stopped pulsing, Jacob cut it. Then, Jude and Jacob were in a different part of the room. They were sucking things out of Jude's little throat. This is when I looked down at myself. I was really in a state of... gosh, I don't even know. I had baby meconium poop on me, blood, and really only God knows what else all over me. This is also when I realized how tired and what my body had just gone through. I was uncontrollably shaking and I was so cold. I got kindof panicky but Jacob strolled over with my baby and gave him to me.
|He says, "give me boob!"|
--Quick sidebar, I feel like no one tells you this. When you're laboring the baby there's like 2 people in the room. And just as soon as they're born, the room is full of people helping to repair you and your very open to the world vagina. -- (fun stuff)
|We both were a little worn out. I was so so tired.|
I had no idea what I was doing when it came to breastfeeding but a few kind nurses, a not so helpful lactation consultant, Jude nursed like a champ. He still does, my big boy loves the good stuff. If you know a new mom who is trying to nurse, and you've been there -- help her. Seriously. It's hard to go it alone. I'm forever grateful for one of our friends, who later helped me by telling me I was doing the right thing, and she gave me books to ease my discomfort. My experience with breastfeeding is a whole other story, but long story short. I love it now.
|I'm pretty sure I was really trying to smile here, but I was so tired.|
That's really all there was to my birth story. I was so lucky to have my midwife, Leanna. I was so lucky to have my husband and my mom there. I was really lucky to have completed this monumental task without drugs. Being a mom has truly completed me. I didn't know I was missing this part of my life, until I held him in my arms. I never want to take a second of it for granted.
Peace out, friends.
If you have links to your birth story, post em. I love to read them.