Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bennett's Birth Story. . .

{I wrote this post a week after Bennett was born and am just now getting around to posting it!! Ah! But I'm glad I at least had it written because I had forgotten a lot of the details.}

Our sweet baby boy finally made his arrival this past Monday 06.15.15 at 4:44pm. Weighing 8 lbs. 11oz. & 21in long. He was 3 days past due and I was sooooo ready to have him out and in my arms! I don't necessarily have difficult pregnancies, other than morning sickness and some discomfort, but this time around was the most difficult. (and I'm wondering if having 2 energetic little girls running around had something to do with it. ;)) But he is HERE! And he is beyond perfect. We cannot get enough of him!

^^ The last family photo we took just the 4 of us.

On Sunday the 14th I woke up hoping today would be the day, but I just knew it wasn't. No contractions or anything and I started to feel discouraged, like he was never going to come (which I know is silly, but it really did feel that way.) So we all had a slow morning, ate a big breakfast and got ready for church. I was talking with a dear friend of mine at church and I had told her about how I tried mixing some caster oil in my juice with my first pregnancy to try and get things going, and it did not work, all it did was make me sick. But then she suggested I try putting it in a capsule! (genius!!) I was ready for anything at this point. So later that evening I filled up 3 and took them hoping that would get labor going. When I had Hailey I walked and walked for a while and that helped a ton, so every night throughout the week Danny and I would go for walks after putting the girls to bed when his mom was here. 

After taking the caster oil, I was starting to have high hopes and went upstairs to pack my hospital bag. Later that evening Danny offered to give me a Priesthood blessing. It was the sweetest blessing and it was JUST what I needed. One thing that stood out to me in the blessing was I would have the comfort of knowing I would get to hold my baby soon. I'm so grateful for my husband for doing that for me and for always being so strong and supportive. I rely on him so much. We went to bed that night feeling calm and uplifted knowing everything was in Heavenly Father's hands.

2:30 am rolls around and I am woken up with the sharp pain of a contraction. I knew right then I would have him that day and I got so excited!  I've had braxton hicks contractions this entire pregnancy, sometimes pretty hard ones too, but I knew this was no braxton hicks. So I started to time them and they were pretty random. 10mins. 6mins. 15mins. apart. Then finally they slowed down and I was able to fall back asleep. Around 5am I got up to go to the bathroom and saw that I had lost my mucus plug. (sorry tmi) But thats something I haven't ever seen (or noticed) with either of the girls, so I knew labor was close. I was so excited and wanted to tell someone! Thankfully my sis in law Emma that lives in New Jersey was a couple hours ahead of us so I knew she was probably awake, and sure enough she was! I was glad, she was so excited and encouraging!

At 8am Danny woke up to get ready for work and I rolled over and smiled at him and told him "I think today is the day!" He got super excited and asked if he should call in to work. Right then a contraction came and I told him he should call in. But then after that my contractions started to slow way down to 20-30 minutes apart. 

So I went outside to feed the chickens and saw my sweet next door neighbor, Susan. (who has had all 3 of her kids naturally and she would give me the best advice!) I told her how far apart my contractions were and she said I probably still had a while,  I felt that way too, so I went inside to tell Danny he should just go to work. I thought if I did have the baby that day it wouldn't be until like 10pm or something.  But I am sooooo thankful he stayed home anyways. 

So I went about my daily business and got all last minute things ready for babys arrival, feeling completely fine. But as soon as a contraction would come I would close my eyes, breathe slowly and just tell my self to relaaaaax (as if my life depended on it.) Also, bouncing on a birthing ball was the BEST THING EVER, seriously it was amazing! It took all the pressure off and really helped my hips to open up & relax, it felt so great. Danny went outside to work on his truck and Sue offered to watch the girls for me while I took a bubble bath and re-read a couple chapters out of my hypnobirthing book (to freshen up on somethings I had learned about natural birth.)

I knew after having Hailey so fast I wanted my next delivery to be unmedicated. She came minutes after I got the epidural and I had always wondered if I could have delivered her without it. I also have a few friends who have the most amazing things to say about natural childbirth. So after doing some research, I really wanted to give it a try. I truly just wanted to let my body and Heavenly Father be in complete charge! (Although I have zero complaints about my experiences with epidurals!) So I prepared myself every day, in everything I did, I was constantly thinking about the birth of this little one. and always wondered how it all would go down. And now here I am writing his story!! I still can't believe it.

After I got out of the bath everything was kindve a blur. It was about 1pm I think. I got dressed and climbed into bed to try and take a nap. Contractions were getting harder and closer. My sweet friend Susan Stange (I have a lot of friends named Susan. haha.) had been sending me encouraging texts that morning and stopped by to give me a slushie-- so nice of her!! After some time had passed I texted Danny to come up. He didn't know I was laboring this whole time. He came in and saw me in bed and started rubbing my lower back (which felt amazing!!) I then got up to pack my tooth brush and gather a few things out of the bathroom when Maddy walks in right as I'm having a contraction. Im starting to go deeper and deeper in concentration and I could not even respond to her when she asked me if my baby was coming out. haha. She was really concerned for me. Danny then walks in to take her out of the bathroom and all of a sudden I leaned over the sink and threw up alllll my lunch and blacked out a little bit. I felt a cool towel placed on the back of my neck thinking it was Danny but it was actually my mom in law.  Seconds later, Danny walks in asking me what he should do? Should we go to the hospital? I was hesitant to say yes, but he assured me that it was better to go and be sent home than to not go and have the baby at home or something.! So I nodded my head yes and he packed everything in the car. I slowly started to walk downstairs to head out the door when I hear "babe you have a visitor" it was sister Wright who lived a few houses down from us, she was so thoughtful and had brought coloring stuff for the girls, a bubble bath soap for me, and a little outfit for the baby! She didn't know I was in labor until then but I hope she knows how thankful I was, I don't really remember what all I said to her, haha. But she was so sweet! And then Danny helped me out to the car. 

On the way to the hospital we made a little video for the baby telling him how much we loved him and how we couldn't wait to hold him. We did the same thing for Hailey and I wish we would have for Maddy too. It'll be so fun for them to see one day I think!

We parked the car and went up to Labor & Delivery. As we're walking down the hall I bent over for another contraction when this adorable nurse walks up and see's me bent over. In her high happy voice she said "Hello, how are. . . . oh! I see! Okay come this way we'll getcha a room!" She then hands me the gown and says "Here's the gown if you like you can put it on, but I know some people like to wear their own clothes and thats okay too!" I told her the gown was just fine and put it on. After that I slowly walked over to Danny and he helped me up into the bed. It's now 3:30pm. A couple more sweet nurses (I loooooooved my nurses by the way!)  walk in and asked Danny if I was planning to have the baby naturally, he told them yes, and then they checked me. . .  I was dilated to a NINE!! Oh my goodness I was so happy to hear that! My baby was really coming!! They called the doctor right away and she showed up minutes later. 

The nurses kept commenting saying how sweet I was and called me a rockstar, which was so nice because I definitely was not feeling like a rockstar. I was in a lot of pain, but did my very best to stay calm and just breathe and tell myself I could do this. I could do this. I could do this. I could do this. . .

I remember being very sweaty, even though I was laying down breathing slowly. My body was working soooo hard & trying to relax. My bag of waters was still in tact and were bulging, so my doctor asked me if I wanted her to break it. I don't know why but I kept hesitating (maybe I was just hoping it would break on its own, but it never has in the past) Dr. Boheen told me, "It'll get ya done, I know its scary but theres really no other way out of this but that." and she was totally right, it was scary. I started to get scared. I had never had to feel pushing before, and as hard as I tried to not be afraid, I was. So she then broke my water and minutes later they had me start pushing. I pushed, but was afraid to push too hard and exert all that energy and have nothing happen. So I didn't really give it my all the first few pushes. Dr. Boheen would say "Just get mad and give it all you got!" I told them I couldn't get mad! (I probably just didn't have the energy. haha.) They laughed and said, "okay we need to figure out something else to say, what should we say?" I then said under my breath, "I just want him out of me." So they told me "Okay Ashley, one more really good push and you will have your baby in your arms!" 

So I pushed.

That same cute nurse that first saw us and took us to the room, was in the corner shouting things like "Come on Ashley you can do this! This is what you have been working so hard for! You got this!" I don't know why but she was like the only person I could hear. Her, and Danny whispering in my ear, "You're doing so great, babe you're almost there." His deep, calm voice was very soothing to me.

Finally, I bore down, took a deep breath, and screamed like I had never screamed before!!! (Screaming actually really helped those "pushing muscles" I didn't think I would ever do that. . . but whatever it takes to get that baby out! ;)) And out came his head!! Once I knew his head was out I gave it my all and out slides his little body! I reached down to grab him with the help of my doctor and lifted him up on my chest. Soooo incredible!! He was so warm. So perfect. So fresh from heaven. All I could say was "Hi baby, hi baby." As I cried and breathed in relief. My baby was here. It was over. I did it! I couldn't believe it.

I was able to hold my baby for quite a while before they asked to take him and weigh and clean him. Which was sooo nice. That first feeding was the absolute best, he latched on so easily and those tiny sucks and swallows melted my heart. There was such a calm feeling in the room the entire delivery. Which is exactly what I wanted.

After they got everything all cleaned up, they took us over to our recovery room and Danny and I were able to go to the nursery and give him his first little sponge bath. It was so neat to be able to get up and walk around right after giving birth, although I didn't want to stand for too long. But I really liked being able to do that. 

Later that evening Sue went to pick up the girls from my friend Susan's house so they could come meet the baby. Introducing them to their newest little sibling was one of the happiest moments of my entire life!!! Oh they could not stop saying how cute he was. Every day in June Maddy would ask me, "Mommy, what kind of June is it?" and I would say Its June 2nd or June 10th. . . but this time when she asked me, I got tears in my eyes and told her, "It's June 15th, today is his birthday!" At this point we still did not have a name picked out for him and Maddy would keep telling us, "He needs a name! Can we please please pleeeaase name him Jackson!?" I don't know why but she really wanted that to be his name. She also asked me if I was so brave? I told her yes, but I was scared too. I wonder what she thinks of all this. I wish I could replay that whole day over and over again. . . the human body is so incredible. The whole birthing process is incredible. Womanhood is incredible. God is incredible.

I'm so grateful our baby is here and healthy. That my body & baby worked together so smoothly.  And for all our wonderful friends and neighbors, and family who helped us so much by bringing, meals, gifts for the kids, and offering help whenever we needed. Were so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. And that we get to love on this sweet baby boy who immediately melted our hearts!!

Meeting his Nana, we're so grateful she could be here and take these pictures that we will forever cherish!!

Getting ready to go HOME!!

And now here we are, in this hazy newborn heaven that I wish could last forever and ever!! Heaven on earth. . . there really is no better way to put it. He is such a treasure to us. My heart is full.

^^"I wuv him's little feets, mommy!"