Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Journey to Knox

I can't believe that our little guy is here!  It seems like yesterday that I found out that we were expecting him :)


And then we found out that he was a boy!


It is so hard to believe that it has already been 6 weeks since we were blessed with his arrival.  And it's taken me way too long to sit down and write out the story of Knox's birth.

For those of you who aren't a birth nut like me...here's the short story.
Contractions started around 10-12pm on Tuesday.  They were consistently 10-12 minutes apart until around 6am and then were around 6-8 min apart.  By 9 am, they were 4-5 min apart and we started to get ready for the hospital.  We arrived and waited forever only to be told that I hadn't made any progress with dilation.  We headed home only to turn around 45 minutes later to head back.  I got my epidural when we got there, they broke my water, and he was here 45 minutes later!

{24 weeks}

Now the long story!
First, some background.  With Layne, I had a failed induction that turned c-section. {her birth story}  With Gray, I decided that I didn't want to go through another c-section and was determined to have a vaginal birth (VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).  After 24 hours of long labor, he was born!  It wasn't easy and there were several times that I stalled for hours and they started to talk a repeat c-section.  I was super stubborn and pushed through. {his birth story}

This time, I wanted to do everything possible to make sure that I would have another vaginal birth.  I researched and researched and decided that having a natural {med-free} birth gave me the best chance of success.  Gray was posterior and having an epidural {and hence not being able to move around} was the worst thing possible to getting him to turn the right way and allowing my body to progress.  This time, I decided to do everything possible to avoid it.  To prepare, I read tons of books on natural child birth and did a Hypnobabies Home Course.

{30 weeks}

I had been having contractions for days, but they were never more than 20 or so minutes apart consistently.  On Tuesday night, around 8 pm, my contractions were 10 minutes apart consistently.  I decided to try to sleep some around 11 pm and was able to get about 2-3 hours of sleep before waking up around 2 am.  Hubby was awake too, so we watched the Olympics. Around 5 am, we both laid down to try to get some sleep.  I was back up by 6:30 with contractions around 6-8 minutes apart and had to breath through them.

I decided to try to get a bath and listen to my Hypnobabies CD.  The water felt wonderful!  Laynie woke up and hung out with me for a little while until she decided to get some breakfast.  During contractions, I'd have to put my head down and concentrate.  By 8 am, my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.  Grayson woke up and kept me company between contractions.  I was too distracted to do my Hypnobabies though.  We waited another hour or so and decided to get showers and get ready to head to the hospital.  {This was my biggest dilemma!  We live an hour from the hospital so I didn't want to wait too long, but I also didn't want to get there too early and be tempted to get an epidural since I was trying to go natural.}

{36 weeks}

We dropped the kids off at my parent's house and headed to the hospital.  The car ride was miserable, but my husband was amazing with helping me to stay focused and continue to breathe.  At this point, it helped to use the "peace" cues from my Hypnobabies tracks to focus.  We got to the hospital and went straight to L&D.  We were told that triage was full and waited in the waiting room for over an hour.  Every contraction, I'd have to stand up, hold onto Matt, and sway my hips.  I finally sent Matt up to the desk to see how much longer.  I was ready to leave and go to the OB office to be checked instead if it was going to be much longer. They finally brought us back only to find out that I was 3 cm {I had been 2-3 cm for a few weeks}.  I decided to leave and labor some more at home.  I was discouraged, but I knew that my body was doing what it needed to do.

I was exhausted by this point...and hungry.  We grabbed something to eat and went back home.  We got home around 2 pm and I decided to turn up my Hypnobabies CD and try to rest.  I quickly went to sleep only to be woken up with each contraction.  They were getting so much more intense and since I was dozing off in between them, I wasn't able to get on top of them each time.  I decided to stay up and get into the bath again.  After 2-3 more contractions, I could sense a big change in the intensity.  I was shaking terribly and vomiting. I yelled and woke up Matt and we decided to head back in.

{39 weeks}

This car ride was much worse and right during rush hour too.  My legs were trembling and I was being very vocal through my contractions.  Matt prayed with me through several of the contractions, and I swear that was the only way that I didn't lose my mind.  I was borderline hysterical...and if I wasn't almost fully dilated, I knew I wasn't going to make it without medication.  We valeted the car...no way that I could walk from the parking lot and they skipped triage and took us straight back to a room.

They checked me right away and I was only 4 cm.  I was totally broken emotionally.  I asked for the epidural and 20 minutes later, I had relief.  They gave me the perfect light dose.  Enough to take the edge off, but I could still move and feel my legs and feet and move around by myself.  Right after the epidural was administered, I was already 5 cm and they broke my water.  Within minutes I was feeling pushy.  Checked...and I was 7 cm.  Two more contractions and I knew I had to push.  They checked me again and I was 9.5 cm with a little lip.  There was no holding back...my body was telling me what to do.

{39 weeks}

By this point, my epidural had either started to wear off (my body metabolizes epidurals super fast) or wasn't working fully because I could feel every sensation in my bottom.  Pushing was the weirdest feeling.  I screamed through my first two pushes which I think scared and amused my hubby at the same time :)  Two more big pushes and he was out.  The "ring of fire" was the perfect description for what it felt like, but once he was out...it was the most amazing feeling ever.  A mix of relief and euphoria.

My sweet angel was put right on my chest and proceeded to pee all over me :)  He was beautiful.  That was when my heart melted for the first time that day.  I looked over to my husband and saw him praising and thanking God and that was when it melted for the second time.  The whole experience was perfect.

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When we realized how quickly I was progressing, I had Matt tell my parents to bring the kids over with them instead of dropping them off with my grandma.  I was so happy to have them come in and spend time with us and Knox before anyone else did.

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They were totally smitten with him...as if you can't tell.  And they both wanted us to come home right away.  They couldn't understand that we had to stay for a little while.

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Since the birth, I've thought a lot about how the birth went.  And I've really thought about if I had any regrets.  My answer?  Absolutely not.

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I put everything that I had into preparing and trying my best to have a natural birth.  And I whole heartedly believe that this birth was so much easier because of all of my preparations.  I love that the birth went so quickly once I was in active labor.

I've went back and forth on if I think things would have been different had I stayed at the hospital instead going back home.  I've thought through what would have happened had I had them break my water before getting my epidural.  In the end, I'll never know.  What I do know is that the raw emotion that I felt with Knox's birth was totally different than with the other two births.  And I wouldn't want to change that for anything.

Read here about our first few weeks...I'll have some updates soon!

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