Friday, September 11, 2009

Ike and Jack or "Because the bust driver said so"

I had a tumor. A big tumor in my stomach. At least that's I was thinking about my baby as I entered my 42nd week of pregnancy with my third child. Far from being overjoyed at the prospect of having a brand new bundle of joy, I really just wanted to get this whole pregnancy over with because of how terribly uncomfortable I was. Curiously enough, of all the people I was consulting with about the pregnancy, it was Shayleigh's bus driver who provided the answer as to when Jackson would come. Every day she would drop Shayleigh off she would ask,"He's not here yet?" and every time the answer was no! But I remember on the 10th of September in 2008 I was just kind of feeling funny and when I picked Shayleigh up that day her bus driver said "You'll probably have him soon because of Hurricane Ike." Her sage advice coupled with my own strange feeling (meaning I lost my mucus plug) made me decide that I should sound the alarm. So I called Sean and my Mom to let them know that they should probably head to bed so they could get some rest since the bus driver decided tonight would be THE night. Then I decided to pick up the house a little bit and go to bed in case the bus driver was right. I had a pretty hard time sleeping for some probably had something to do with that whole 42 weeks pregnant thing...I don't know. Fast forward a couple hours and around 1-2 a.m. I started having some contractions but didn't think much of it because that was pretty normal, so I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't. So I got up and went and did some things around the house, played around on the Internet and started watching the contractions. I think at the point that they were every 4-5 minutes apart is when I started to call people. I don't really remember the order in which I called them in but I do remember some of the conversations. When I called Bonnie, my midwife, I told her I wasn't positive this was it but just wanted to let her know what was happening. Apparently she could hear something in my voice because she basically said, "I am on my way and so is that baby!" Once Bonnie thought I was close enough for my Mom to come, I called her and Sean to let them know that Bonnie was on her way and that it might be time! After all the calls, I started to get my home birth gear ready to go. Bed converted to baby mode? Check. Box o absorbent pads (you can guess why we'd need those)? Check. Small swimming pool for our living room? Check. Pump to blow that pool up? What pump? Opps! Aside from all the interesting things going this hectic day, I learned a valuable lesson. It not possible for a full grown man, much less a pregnant lady, to inflate a pool with their mouth. It won't happen. Therefore I had to call Sean back and advised him that he needed to bring me breakfast and a pool inflator. After the major items were knocked out, Nicole, Bonnie's apprentice made it to the house and started helping me to get everything set up. It was pretty funny because Bonnie got stuck behind a train (which of course would happen in Saginaw, TX) and she was just freaking out! I told her not to worry because I wasn't going to have this baby without my husband there! While I was in Saginaw, he was still in Fort Hood, TX. Nicole went ahead and checked me to see what kind of progress we had and I was only a 3. After Bonnie arrived she wanted to check me as well just to make sure. During Bonnie’s exam, I went from a 3 to a 5, which was really exciting and scary all at the same time because Sean was just leaving Fort Hood. The next few hours were a little crazy. We were trying to get everything ready and line things up for the day. I called Barbie, my close friend to let her know that it was time. At some point Sean, Barbie, and the photographer, Lynsey arrived all pretty close together. As soon as Sean got there I went from a 5 to an 8 while being checked. I think it was during this or after that because I had a bulging bag of waters Bonnie went ahead and broke it. Thinking back I remember the kids waking up and it just being really hectic in the house. Barbie got the kids ready for school and took care of all of that.
It was at the point I got into the birthing pool for the first time (which was an ordeal itself) because we THOUGHT Baby Boy Butler (as he would be called for the next four days) would be making his appearance soon. That was probably sometime before 9 a.m. The rest is really kind of a blur... I remember going from the pool to the bed, the bed to the pool, and so on and so forth. At some point my Mom arrived and made some eggs for everyone because that's about all we had in the house since I planned on going to the grocery store that day...simply because I didn't really think he was going to come and that it was all a practical joke (remember that the next time a bus driver gives you advice). I assume that at some point Bonnie suspected that B3 (Baby Boy Butler) was facing the wrong way and that's why he wasn't coming down. So Bonnie called in Donnellyn, another midwife for reinforcements.

I pretty much remember Donnellyn staying by my side from that point on. My wonderful husband also pretty much stayed by my side the entire time. He was just incredible! He did more than I could have ever asked for. After awhile in the pool the midwives wanted me to move to the bed to try some techniques to get the baby in the right position. At the end when everyone there was completely exhausted and needed some rest it was my Mom that stayed by my side and encouraged me.
After what seemed like an eternity of trying to change his position and to boost my energy to keep going with what seemed like everything except jumping on a trampoline, the midwives decided that it was time to go ahead and transport to the hospital. This was at about 12:30 a.m. I guess I must have gone into to my own world to deal with the pain and exhaustion because I had NO idea how late it was. Here are some of the fuzzy memories I do have of that time:

I remember Donnellyn praying with me and holding my hand through it all. I was so thankful for ALL three of my very amazing midwifes. Each of them played a very important role in my birth experience.

I remember trying to plead with Bonnie on staying home. I wanted that home birth SOO bad. I also didn't pack a bag like Bonnie said to do because I was so insistent on having a home birth that I thought it was pointless. She was right, it's one of those things when you do it you won't have to transport, but as soon as you don't, you will. I will always have a bag packed in the future!!

I remember Lynsey lying on the bed with me and us having a special moment and talking.

I for some reason remember getting out the door and the car situations being an ordeal, I'm not really sure why.

I gave Lynsey a hug and told her to go home that she needed to get some rest and that she had stayed more than I could have even asked for.

And I remember one LONG and EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL car ride.

That car ride to the hospital I think was the longest part of it all. I don't suggest ever getting into a car when you only have a lip of cervix left. I actually thought I might die. When we finally arrived at the hospital they got me a wheel chair and checked me in. At some point before we left the house they called to let them know that we were coming. Of course we had to do all the normal hospital routine, paperwork, IV's, vaginal exams... After getting a room, and seeing the doctor. He told me I would probably have to have a c-section and I of course I said, "Absolutely not!" I remember they were so nice and were very midwife friendly! After all I had, the hubby, my mother, and 3 midwifes. They let every single one of them stay, the entire time!! The Doctor said that we could try some pitocin and see if that would strengthen my contractions enough to change things. I ended up getting an epidural because at that point I had been up for over twenty-four hours myself, and was completely exhausted. It still took five hours before I could finally start pushing again. So the nurses let me get up on my hands and knees and push that way, just in case baby was still turned the wrong way. Apparently (I knew from the other two) I am a good pusher and brought the baby down pretty far so they called the doctor in and I had to slow down so that he could take his sweet time getting ready. I didn't have to push all that long, I think he's shoulders got caught just a little but not bad enough to do anything about. And then, he was here, our sweet little (HUGE) baby BOY!! When I pulled him to my chest the very first thing I thought was THANK GOD he is here and healthy!! But the very second thing I thought was “WOW, look at those hands, they are HUGE!” His hands were as big as his face (which was normal face size)!! So of course in the hospital environment they did all the normal things, cut the cord quickly, scooped him up to go dry him off, warm him up, and weighed him. He was a whopping 9.2 pounds (half of which was hands)!! I was so happy to have him in my arms!! He was just gorgeous! And of course still is!! He started rooting right away and so I nursed him and he did so well. He latched on right off the bat and nursed like a champ! So on September 12th, 2008 our little hurricane arrived at 5:48 a.m.

So in the end, even though I didn't get everything I wanted(a home birth); I did get everything I wanted. A healthy baby. Now I look back and am so thankful for the amazing experience I did get to have. A home birth is just one of those things that is hard to put into words. I have had two hospital births and they are not even close to the same thing. Yes, in the end you have a baby but that's it. At home the pain wasn't even close to the same kind of pain that I had in the hospital, it was more than tolerable. I could deal with it because I could move about the way I wanted, I was in my own environment, and I had everything that I wanted right there with me. I was in my husbands arm nearly the entire time. I wouldn't change it for anything. If I could go back I would do it all over again.
All of the images that appear black and white were done by the photographer Lynsey Stone