As you may remember part I of Jaxson’s birth story was last Friday on his due date, November 5th. I labored for hours, getting to 6cm before it stalled. And we waited and waited for it to kick back in. Thursday was another round of prelabor, having contractions all night and well into the day before they fizzled again. Friday November 12, I was 41 weeks and we were ready to get serious about getting this baby out into the world for many reasons. I called my midwife, bought castor oil, and prayed that this would do the trick. (Yes, I did my research before taking it and I trust my midwife. I made sure to stay hydrated and there is no proof that it causes the baby to poop inside the womb, which it didn’t forJax).
Savannah was already had her grandparents since we thought the prelabor the day before could have been “it” and Mark had the day off, so we got lunch at the mall where I put about an ounce of castor oil in a milk shake and we did some Christmas shopping. When we got home around 3 or 4 that afternoon my contractions were irregular so I took another dose (my midwife suggests doing a dose every few hours) in lime juice and water. At 5pm Mark and I started watching a movie and right then the pooping fun began. It wasn’t too bad to me, just annoying to keep getting up to go. The taste of castor oil is probably worse since it is hard to get it to mix into anything! Like I said, I made sure to drink water constantly.
By 6:30 contractions were happening every 2-3 minutes but not painful (more like braxton hicks feeling) so my midwife said to stay at home and see if they get more intense and don’t fizzle out again. I took one more final dose of castor oil (midwife recommends 3 doses) in a snow cone to see if that would help. By 8pm things had definitely picked up stronger, still every 2-3 minutes but was feeling more with each contraction, especially in my lower back. Since we knew Jax was having a hard time getting to the right position for delivery, I laid over my birthing ball to encourage gravity to help him. About 8:15 I felt a pop, water trickle, and I suddenly felt him move lower and into position. I called my midwife and we all got ready to meet at the birthing center. During the wait I had a lot of pressure from either him moving down or the rest of my water bulging and every contraction was centered on my tail bone. We got to the birthing center around 9pm, where I worked through contractions by breathing and leaning against the wall while I waited for the tub to be filled and everything was set up for the birth. I noticed I started to feel a little nauseous with each contraction and at the peeks I almost was to the point of “I can’t do this!” in my head so I wondered if I was in transition phase, but didn’t say anything. I still felt confident that I could do this, knowing that each contraction was bringing me closer to meeting Jaxson and that each pain I felt only lasted for a minute. I remembered in the birthing class we took the midwife saying, “Who can’t do anything for a minute?” And I took that to heart each time knowing it wouldn’t last long.
I probably got into the birthing pool around 9:30, put in my headphones and finally let myself relax enough through each contraction, before I was almost was holding him in so that I either wouldn’t deliver him at home or when things weren’t ready yet. She checked me and said I was fully effaced and he was definitely lower, didn’t tell me dilation though. Just after that while she called the second midwife to be on her way, I felt a huge pop as the rest of my water broke and instantly felt him move down even lower and my body began pushing. When they say you can’t fight the urge to push, it is so true! My body took over. I began making noises I never thought I would make, I felt my body begin pushing uncontrollably. I remembered also from class to keep the noises low and to breathe the baby down instead of the high pitched tense noises that are counterproductive. Contractions were definitely intense and on top of each other, this was it! Jax began crowning soon after but was going slowly as my body knew I needed time to stretch to prevent major tearing. She asked me to change positions into let gravity help bring him down and then she had me stand up. Crowning was absolutely the hardest part of delivery, I felt the ring of fire, I felt the stretching, I felt his head right there but wondered if he’d ever come out. This was the only point I thought “WHY did I chose a natural birth?!” Because it was so intense in every way. Once I stood up and began to really push harder, he came out quickly. It is amazing how instantly there is relief! I sat down in the tub and held my new baby boy! He was born at 10:07pm, just about an hour after getting to the birthing center and 20 minutes of pushing.
She told me the cord was wrapped around his neck FOUR times, which is probably why I had so many issues with his position, false labors, and him crowning so slowly since my body knew it needed time to stretch for the cord too. Jax had always been very active in my belly so it didn’t surprise me he had a cord around his neck. Thankfully, God knew what He was doing and Jax had a very long cord so even with it wrapped four times, Jax never was choked and his heart rate was always perfect even during delivery. He came out with great color, just obviously tired from his journey. He didn’t cry, but made little whimpering noises until a few minutes later.
Then, it was my turn to have a scary moment. After the placenta came I started to bleed more than I should and I nearly blacked out trying to get out of the pool to the bed. My blood pressure dropped very low and I felt completely drained. They gave me a shot of pitocin and had me try to eat/drink. You could tell they were worried but after a few hours I was feeling better and bleeding normally. I still feel weak and trying to take it easy.
After I was feeling better 2-3 hours later we finally weighed and check out Jaxson. He checked out perfectly and weighed 8 pounds half an ounce, 19 and quarter long. He probably weighed more at birth but he had already pooped a few times in the hours before weighing him. We rested and nursed throughout the night on a queen sized bed, including Mark, with Jax in the middle. It was so nice compared to the hospital!
12 hours after arriving, we left for home. He’s perfect, I’m understandably tired and sore but doing great. Definitely worth the wait and hard work :-)