Well that all got put on hold when I got there and my blood pressure was 160. I rested, they took it again; 130. But when if got up and did anything at all it would raise again. Meanwhile I was dialated to about a 6, super soft cervix, but the surges were just tightenings, hardly noticeable. I had not experienced anything with much feeling in general in the past 2 weeks so hopes of giving birth that night were low for me. Diane came in and gave me a pelvic massage, loosening up lots of muscles and tight spots. Finally, I took a bath to relax and they had me bear down a little to see if it would progress anything at all...but they took my BP and it was 180.
"Time to go to the hospital."
They were nervous that if I did try to have a baby at that BP rate, I could have a seizure or stroke. The plan was that I'd go get taken care of with medication and then that the hospital would most likely give pitocin to start labor. I did not want this, but also knew there were no other options at that point.
I was was in disbelief, a bundle of nerves, scared of the unknown and the fact that the hospital to me seemed like a place where sick people go..not where I wanted to have a baby. I had had two priesthood blessings during this pregnancy which promised a safe pregnancy and the birth I envisioned. Collin and I got in the car and followed Mary, our midwife, to St. Joseph's hospital, down the street. I was scared. Collin tried to remain calm. How could this be happening? We said a prayer, and I immediately felt that this was right and that though the babe was healthy, I was not and needed to be taken care of.
We got there at about 12:15am, the morning of Thursday, December 19th 2013. Little did I know that in an hour and 15 minutes I would be holding my second child!
Mary, who had spoken with the hospital and the doctor who would be delivering me, would now act as our doula. Remember I said I hadn't experienced any significant contractions? Well, as we walked down the hall, answered a few questions to check in, and went to our room, I had started feeling something--real surges! And another right after! And then the next one was a little more. I mentioned it but didn't think much. I had been listening to my birth playlist and Hypnobirthing and Collin had been talking me through some relaxation to calm and prepare me. When we got to our room, i went to the bathroom as the nurses got my bed and Meds ready. This was about 1am. Another surge came and it was like...wow! I feel that. Then the unthinkable happened...my water broke!!!!! Right into the toilet!!!!!! hallelujah I happily announced it to the room! (At 1:05!) They hadn't even gotten an iv in me. For some awesome crazy reason, this little one, who didn't want to come out till 42 weeks, was ready right then and there before the drugs came.
I was asked to lay in the bed, so I was on my side, totally focused and deeply relaxed with eyes closed, when the first surge came, it was every muscle in my entire body contracting to get this baby out right then. It took my breath away and I told whomever would listen, that "just to let you know, the baby was coming right now." Let me tell you!!!! THIS WAS SO INTENSE! I dreaded the next surge, but it came, and I felt the head in the birth canal. The amazing thing was that I opened my eyes and was surrounded by Collin, Mary, and about 5 other women, all telling me to push and that I could do it. It was a beautiful sight!!!! Though I was in a bed, all of my limbs were being held, pushing against me, mimicking a squatting position!! It was incredible. The next surge came, and the I felt the head with my hand, then the shoulders, and as I let go and allowed my body to contract with all it's might, swearing I'd given my all and could do no more, the body was out and baby was on my chest at 1:27am!
I was completely shocked!!!!!! How did that happen?! And holy crap that was so intensely hard, and who did this baby look like, and whose nose is that?! All went through my mind. They wanted to give her some oxygen, Collin was immediately making sure they didn't rub the vernix off or do anything else that wasn't in our invisible birth plan, as I tried to look at the sex...but like in a cartoon, there kept being something in the way!!! Haha. Then Collin yelled, "It's a girl!!!!!!" And they put her back on me. I couldn't believe it!!!! Collin and I held her together, she lifted her head to eat, and latched on right away. Then all the nurses worked quickly to get ivs, and important medicine in me to get my BP under control. We were beyond happy...and so grateful that we were still able to have a natural special birth, free from medical intervention (and that our daughter was still able to pick her birth date..stinker!! ;) as my blessing promised. Another significant blessing was that she was born before the magnesium was administered (which prevents seizures in gestational hypertension) because she would have had to be sent to the nicu and it would have made her very sluggish and possibly unable to start breastfeeding right away....but she avoided that stuff and was born healthy and alert. And an huge blessing--modern medicine that was able to stop seizures and get my BP back to normal. Man, that magnesium was horribly rough. I had to be on it for 24 hours and it had some really tough side effects, but I'm so grateful for midwives, a husband and myself who were guided by the spirit that the hospital was the right place for me at this time. I'm grateful for another priesthood blessing, given by Collin and a friend (at 2 in the morning) which gave me immediate peace and comfort that I would be okay.
At about 2:30am, my mom and Freddie came. They had been standing (sleeping) by at our home. Freddie was happy to see this long awaited little babe, and even happier that she was nursing, and he climbed up to the other breast and nursed too! Then he gave me, daddy-o and his baby sister a big kiss and went back to our home with my mom. She was bummed to have missed the birth, but I assured her that none of us saw that coming!!! :)
They weighed our little girl and I had to be told about 6 times before I finally understood that they were saying she was 9 and a half pounds!!! And 20 inches!!!! Wooo mama, that was awesome, but honestly I wouldn't have even known! My body grew her and my body knew how to birth her!
For reference, Frederick was 7lbs 9oz and 21.5 inches long!
And also, I highly recommend St. Joseph's hospital. They were so understanding and accommodating of our birthing preferences. They asked us if we were ready to cut the cord. The nurses have been so sweet and amazing.
(My only complaints about being here have been being woken up at random times for the strangest requests....like at 4:30am, when all lights were out and ll three of us sleeping, someone actually woke me up and asked if I wanted to bathe her...then at 6 when an older man came in and woke me up to ask if I needed help smoking....what the....haha!!
Well we are super happy to be bonding with our baby girl. She is so so beautiful and calm. She is very alert and strong. I love just staring at her and snuggling her. I can't believe we have a daughter and a son. Freddie has been happily staying at my parents' and we will be all home together tonight. In terms of recovery, I'm well. It's so much easier this time to walk, pee, breastfeed, etc. I feel I'm a lot more at ease and just trying to soak up everything about my newborn...even though she doesn't quite fit in NB diapers or clothes!! Haha!! I'm so grateful! And it's Christmas time!
Oh! And after a couple of days of getting to know her, we chose her name:
Harriet Jillian Smith
(Hattie for short, if you'd like!)