It was January 20th and I thought I might have felt a few things off with my body. It didn’t necessarily hurt but my stomach was definitely tightening up while sitting at our bi monthly MOPS meeting. The mama who graciously volunteered to watch Jack while I was in labor was at the table too and I’m glad as it gave her a bit of a heads up that something was going to happen sooner or later. I went about my normal day, Jack and I ran errands – I got my eye brows waxed and returned library books. Jack behaved so well in the hair place that I decided to treat him with a doughnut. He loved it. Neil showed up for a couple minutes and a bite and he laughed that I could potentially be in early labor yet I still went to go get my brows done. Later that night I had a little girls time at the first Pursuit 31 meeting here in Goldsboro. It was nice to have some alone time and it was nice to meet a lot of lady artists Ive only known through the internet!
January 21st rolled around…I went to bed feeling fine but woke up around 5:30 with some weird feelings. So I immediately googled “what does a contraction feel like?” because I KNEW this didn’t feel like the day prior which I now assume was braxton hicks. Dr Google said I was indeed having contractions, as they felt like “more intense menstrual cramps.” Jack and Neil were asleep still since it was so early but I decided a bath was needed, mainly because I was tired of laying there thinking about having a baby but didn’t feel like going downstairs to watch TV or anything. In the middle of the bath Neil poked his head in to see what the news was. I had already text my doula and my birth photographer and they were aware a storm was brewing..literally since I was in the tub and all. I get out and I think I eat. I dont remember the time but everyone was awake. I think it was around 9 or so and I let the gal that was going to watch Jack and I thought “today was the day.” I decided I wanted to take a shower and Neil got Jack all ready to go. I finished and decided to braid my hair, I only mention this because it turned out exactly like I wanted to THE FIRST TRY while I was having contractions. I mean COME ON! That never happens. While Neil was installing Jacks car seat I had a little one on one time with Jack. He was so excited that it was the day he was getting a sister. Before he left, he looked at me, gave me a hug, started to cry and said, “please don’t die.” (insert crying sadly emoji here)
After he left. I decided I wasn’t clean enough (after a shower AND a bath) and I thought a bath would be nice again. All of this water sure made me sad I had decided to not give birth at one of the birth centers more than an hour away. I think ALL I wanted was water to make my contractions feel better and the sensation continued even when we got to the hospital. So taking a bath. My birth photographer told me she was about 2 hours out from being able to be at the house which made me worried as I had no clue how far along I was or anything. The contractions had definitely picked up but oddly not enough for me to “need a Tylenol” or anything which makes me laugh considering the second I start my period I take a pill and here I am having full our contractions with nothing. Silly how our minds think right? Still in the bath and I end up getting Neil to help apply pressure to my back and boy did it help. When he wasn’t helping me, he was packing up our car with all our stuff and cleaning the best he could. Finally Amanda, our birth photographer showed up and I was still in the water. I think at that point I HAD been in there 2 hours, it just felt ok. After she had been here a while she suggested I get out and perhaps go for a walk if I felt like it. She thought I might be further along than I thought I was. I decided, “sure, I could go for a walk I guess” and the second I got out it was ON LIKE DONKEY KONG! I got dressed as quickly as I could and then we headed to the hospital. That was about at 1 ish when we decided that.
We get to the hospital and decided to journey up to l&d instead of checking in. Mainly because I don’t remember checking in downstairs when I had Jack so I naturally didn’t this time either. We show up and the staff are like “who are you?” In all of the bath times I TOTALLY forgot to let anyone know I was actually in labor. So of course they thought I was one of those “crazy pregnant moms just showing up” I’m sure thats what they thought, especially since I was smiling and everything too. We also forgot to let the doula know we were heading to the hospital at this point too and well since she didnt know, she didnt come. Big fail on my part there. ;( Well, they checked me in and sent Neil downstairs to actually check me in since we skipped that part. They have me put on one of their awful hospital dresses and have me get on the bed so they can monitor the girl for a bit. That was the worst part of my labor with Jack. I hated that dang monitor! It’s the worst not being able to move. The nurses also tell me who is on call that day and I was less than thrilled. My first question to them was “when is he off??” and the answer was 8am. Big sadness there as he was the O N E doctor I didn’t really want delivering my baby. At my 36 week appt I told him I was taking home my placenta and he laughed at me. Like, literally laughed at me. The nurse in between contractions filled me in on how he is as a Dr and more of what to expect, basically, he was more “old school’ then other doctors on staff there. Neil showed back up and at this point, Im already feeling the need to push. During a contraction he’s still applying pressure to my back and I get a weird feeling, hear a pop and the great flood of 2015 starts! My water broke with a trickle with Jack so this was 100% new. I also had forgotten that my water HADN’T broken. But yeah, it was.. a little intense, especially for Neil who doesn’t handle bodily fluids and smells that well to begin with. Luckily, he held it together. Soon after they cleaned up the wet mess they started having me fill out paperwork. Why that couldn’t just wait til you know.. i WASN’T pushing out a kid ill never know. I guess if Id died or needed blood or something similar? All the same it was super annoying having to sign my life away while having contractions and laying down. Sounds like a blast doesn’t it? After my water broke the nurse decides its time to check me. I guess they’re not supposed to check for dilation, its a drs job. But she checks and I’m at an 8. Eventually the DR makes it in, this is maybe 5 or so minutes later and again, I’m still feeling the need to push and he checks and I’m at a 10. Whoo it’s officially baby time, I can start pushing he says.. and I’m like.. “uhh Ive been pushing this whole time, I don’t care if you catch my baby or not.” Of course that was just what I was thinking at this point. Oh and I’m really hot. I remember being really hot. My birth photographer and Neil did an awesome job at calming me down and Amanda duel wielded her camera AND something she made into a fan to cool me down. She was awesome and worth every penny JUST for the fact of the fanning. I mean the photos she captured were spectacular but that fanning job yeah.. that did the trick. The DR is getting all his tools out and ready and he non nonchalantly asks if “I tore with my first?” I had torn a little with Jack so my answer is yes and before I know it he has given me an episiotomy. At this point I am effing pissed but there’s not much you can do at this point as I’m also in stirrups. Another thing “he prefers” is mamas laying on their back in super uncomfortable stirrups. He’s also still got his hands all up in my nether regions and the only thing I can think of .. and say if I remember correctly is telling him “to get his hands out of there! I’m sure he’s stretching me with oil or something to help her out but at the same time, he’d already done the damage with me by cutting without my consent I just didn’t want him in there anymore. It was also super uncomfortable with his hands.. I mean labor is obviously uncomfortable anyway but I feel like up until that point I had a pretty good grasp at popping out a baby. He totally ruined it for me. Anyway, I pushed and she fell out.. you know, since he’d cut me and all. As soon as she came out I’m fairly certain he cut her cord before she had skin time (it all happened so quick anyway.) But seriously, the freaking DR cut her cord and who knows if it had stopped pulsing or not it wasnt something we had talked about since you know.. he had only really JUST walked in. ;( Anyway, then I had a baby and we named her Lindy. Well, her name was Lindy the second we found out she had a vagina. We named her when we named Jack and were brainstorming names for both genders. She was always Lindy. We flipped a coin on her middle (literally, we did this so we could say we flipped a coin) which ended up being Jane and not Joy our other choice.
We got to the hospital at around 1:45pm ish and I had her at 3:01pm the same day. So all that up there went incredibly fast. Over all, I am happy with how things went down considering where I chose to deliver due to being too far from the birth center (which is at a hospital with an OB vs a birth center with a midwife). I waited and held out at the house as long as I could before I felt the need to go to the hospital. I had a natural birth and I didnt even let them give me an IV and they tried. I have a beautiful baby girl ( weren’t so sure at first but about a week into her life we decided she was ok.) Newborns are generally not cute (or so I think) and I’m not ashamed to say it about my own kid even. The 1 thing I was worried about was him saying No to having a birth photographer there to document it an episiotomy wasn’t even on my radar honestly. It wasn’t even a question I knew or thought to ask about prior to being in the delivery room. Yes, sure I could have done without the episiotomy. If nothing else ruined my awesome birth it was that. I’m just so upset he didn’t really ask, and if he did I surely don’t remember saying “yes, cut me! I do plan on letting him know just how unhappy I am about it at my 6 week check up too. It just makes me so sad, AND it made it incredibly painful to sit down for nearly 3 weeks. That is until my friend/fellow photographer/doula Courtney sent me some awesome spray and herbs to help. They definitely DID help too. I’m so thankful she sent them my way! Anyway, things could have gone worse as any birth does so I feel like I don’t have that much to complain about, I’m just sad about it thats all. It tainted what would have made me delighted to deliver at that hospital again if that hadn’t happened.
Take a look at this awesome video Amanda did for us. It’s great and makes me so thrilled we had a photographer there. I always tell people, birth photography is not all about the vaginas. Its about the process of becoming a mother and capturing that. It’s so beautiful and I am so happy I will have this and these photos to look back on for a lifetime. I cannot thank Amanda enough for being there to help and document this baby “popping out.”
My awesome birth photographer was Amanda Ditzel with Manda’s Memories Photography
Awesome handcrafted birth and postpartum help from my friend Courtney | Layne + Lainey