Official Birth Story...finally!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Please don't be mad at me. I've been in post-birth breastfeeding lala land and keep forgetting to post. If you haven't guessed it or seen it on Facebook, baby snowflake is here!! Born 1 day shy of her due date here are her stats:

Name: Blake Mackenzie
Date: October 25th 2016
Time: 4:30 pm
Weight: 8 pounds 3 ounces
Length: 21 1/2 inches long

Remember, I'm a midwife, so if I give too many labor/birth details I apologize.  On Saturday night (October 22nd) I was getting ready for bed and started to have more frequent crampy contractions. I warned my husband that baby snowflake wasn't going to stay in forever. He asked her to stay in through the weekend. I went to bed Saturday night and woke up at 4 am to go to the bathroom. From that point forward the contractions stayed regular and more painful and I wasn't able to go back to sleep.

I text my mother-in-law to have her pick Brennan up for church since I was up a lot of the night. I continued contracting all day Sunday but they never really got much stronger. I did something called the Miles Circuit, went for a long walk and rested in hopes something would change. I took some unisom to try to get some sleep Sunday night and woke up with regular contractions again Monday. They were definitely stronger than the day before and just as regular. I spent the day changing positions, going for walks, bouncing on the ball, the contractions were much more painful.

Brennan on her labor ball

As the day progressed Monday I was breathing through contractions. I couldn't find a comfortable position and knew they were the real deal. I tried a heating pad, massage, my husband coaching me to relax during contractions. I was miserable. We finally decided it was time to go to the hospital. When I got there I was 4 cm. I had been 1 in the office. I asked Vanessa (my incredible amazing midwife) to break my water to get things moving. The contractions quickly got more painful. I got in the tub and asked for my epidural. I was saving the tub for later in labor because I thought it would be a huge help but I had gotten so uncomfortable it didn't do much for me.

I got my epidural and right after had progressed to 6cm. We quickly realized that my epidural wasn't working. It started out working on one side and eventually didn't work at all. I worked through another hour of contractions while waiting for the anesthesiologist to return. My second epidural was much better.  This is where things get goofy.

For the next 11 hours I remained 6 cm. Thankfully my epidural worked well. Every hour I changed positions from hands and knees to side lying, sitting up to knee chest. Nothing helped me to dilate. After 6 hours at 6 cm we elected to start pitocin. Finally I started to feel some pressure and had changed to 8 cm and for the first time baby girl had started to come down. Quickly after I was 9 cm with a ton of pressure and needed to push. That's where the epidural failed me. I could feel everything. With an epidural you lose your ability to distinguish between hot and cold. An icecube would normally feel warm where the epidural is working. Vanessa used iced cold rags on my bottom between pushes and they felt ice cold. Seriously, the epidural was doing nothing for my bottom.

The pain was a huge motivator to push as hard as I could. I used the mirror which was really helpful because I could see her head descend every push. I ended up pushing for an hour and twenty minutes. When her head finally came out she was looking straight up to the ceiling. You may have heard it called sunny side up, posterior or OP. A lot of babies end up coming out via c-section when they are face up like this. For those of you who know what this means she was actually OP and asynclitic. I can't believe she came out! And all with a tiny little laceration. I feel like I was screaming with every push and probably traumatized my husband for life. He was a little nervous about the whole delivery but he was incredible. He was a great coach during contractions, fed me ice chips between pushes and held my leg the entire time. I am so blessed to have had a supportive husband, incredible midwife and awesome nurses.

When I first saw this photo I was embarrassed at how awful I look. Then I realized that this is real life. I'm not sure if I was screaming, crying, happy, shocked. Maybe a little bit of everything?  But this right here captures every emotion that was flooding over me when baby snowflake was placed on my belly for the first time.

Baby Blake was eventually taken to the warmer for evaluation because she had had a bowel movement prior to delivery (meconium). Her temp after delivery was 102. Both pediatricians were concerned and they took her to the nursery for blood cultures, lab tests and to start IV antibiotics. She ended up on antibiotics for 48 hours but fortunately her blood cultures were negative and she didn't end up having an infection.

Brennan came in to meet her sister a few hours after the birth. She said "aww" and quickly wanted to "pet her". She was very excited to be a big sister and has been a huge helper. I will cherish this photo forever. My entire heart is outside my body and walking the earth in these three right here.

my whole world
I will be forever grateful for the countless hours that my dear friend and loving midwife spent with me during my labor. Without the help of Vanessa and Adam I would have never been able to do this. Vanessa was supportive and encouraging, calm and empowering. My labor wasn't your average labor and she never once made me feel like I couldn't do it. It's not easy to be the midwife and the patient but Vanessa did an amazing job taking the worry away from me and convincing me that I could have the birth that I desired. Vanessa, you will always have a special place in my heart and in our family.

We have been home for a week now and life is good! I am grateful to have the help of my in-laws during this time. They have been a huge help with Brennan, meals, housework, errands, everything we need. Without them I don't know how we'd keep it together. Family is starting to visit and of course everyone is in love with Blake already. Baby Blake is nursing like a champ, sleeping well and gaining weight. Life is so good.

Thank you all for your prayers and support during this crazy adventure. I can't wait to share more of Blake's birth photos by the talented Whitney Hempsey of Studio 412 Imagery.

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