Saturday, June 21, 2014

Judah's Birth

This is one story I never thought I would be writing.

After almost two years of trying to conceive, my husband, Ben, and I were halfway finished with our home study with Lifeline Children’s Services and ready for the next step in the process of adopting a child (or children) from Peru when we saw those two little lines! In August of 2012, I had been diagnosed with PCOS (a hormonal disorder that causes cysts around the ovaries) after several months of waiting and wondering why I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet. After 5 months of Clomid and Metformin (the typical drugs used to treat PCOS symptoms—not the root cause!!), I decided to do a little research on my own and stop all the pills. I learned that by changing my diet and allowing my body to heal, I could most likely get pregnant without medication! I went on what was basically a paleo/eating clean diet, cutting out all added sugar, greatly reducing my carbs, upping my protein, switching to full fat organic dairy, and eating as much organic foods as we could afford. I exercised 4-5 times a week and also got rid of all the chemically-laden products in our home –many of which are known to affect our reproductive hormones. It was a huge change for both me and my husband, but after about 7 months, I went back to my OB and the 8-9 cysts that showed up previously on the ultrasound has diminished to only 1! Obviously I give all the glory to the Lord for healing my pretty-messed-up body!

Needless to say, we were both absolutely ecstatic to find out I was pregnant in August of 2013. I had been charting my temperature faithfully for almost 2 years and when it didn’t go down 14 days after when I knew I had ovulated, I was really surprised. I had quit taking pregnancy tests long ago, not wanting to put myself through the disappointment that inevitably came each month. But this Saturday morning, I thought I might as well use one of the many I had leftover from a bulk order from Amazon J I actually ended up taking 4 tests that morning—one positive result wasn’t enough for me!

As I began researching pregnancy and childbirth resources, I was really surprised by the c-section rate of the hospital with which my OB group was affiliated. A friend told me about the natural childbirth classes they had taken called the Bradley Method and I looked at her like she was crazy. Doesn’t everyone get an epidural when they have a baby? After spending countless hours reading everything I could get my hands on, I was convinced that I wanted to try and have an unmedicated birth. We signed up for the 12 week class the following week, and it was absolutely the best thing we did to help my husband and I prepare for the upcoming birth of our little boy.  At 20 weeks, I switched care providers to a group with three midwives that are affiliated with a hospital that is known for their support of natural births (and had beautiful birthing rooms with tubs and all kinds of other birthing supports.) Just a few more months to go!

Fast forward to April 18, 2014…

I started feeling contractions at around midnight on Friday, the day before my actual due date.  I had taught my ESL class that day and had to sit down a few times due to the strong BH contractions (which I had figured out were really BH contractions only a week or so before! I always just thought baby boy was just in a weird position and that’s why my tummy was so tight!)  Ben and I had spent most of Thursday evening walking--first around the neighborhood and then at Lowe's and Target. We were ready to meet our little guy! We learned in our class that when I started feeling contractions, I should first try to go back to sleep (and save my energy), so thankfully I was able to do that. I woke up again with contractions around 2:30am and got up and ate a bowl of cereal and walked around a bit, wondering the whole time if I might be in the beginning stages of labor. I finally woke Ben up at 4:30am and said, "Honey, I think something is happening," to which he replied, "Oh, okay. Well, can I go back to sleep for a little bit?" J To which I replied, “well, I guess we can try.”  I tried to go back to sleep but ended up just resting while he rubbed by back. We called our moms (who live in Knoxville) at 5:00 am and told them to go ahead and start the drive up. We both got up at 6:00am and took showers and cleaned up around the house a little bit. Our moms arrived around 9:45am and by this time, my contractions were about 8 minutes apart. I was able to still walk around a little bit in between, but really had to focus on being still and relaxing during each contraction.

At around 11:30, Ben thought it would be best if we went ahead and left for the hospital (our plan was to labor at home as long as possible).  Thankfully we had preregistered, so the check-in process was super easy! When we got to the triage, the nurse said I was already at 5cm, which was great news to hear--I did not want to be sent back home!  I was transferred to an L&D room at around 12:30pm (but not one with a tub--they were all full!) I labored for about 5 more hours, walking around and constantly changing positions to help baby move down, as we had learned to do in our class. At times though, all I wanted to do was lay in bed and rest, which the nurse encouraged me to do also, so I wouldn’t wear myself out too much! I was surprised that the pain was pretty manageable up until those last couple of hours or so. Ben was such a wonderful coach! My mom was also in the room, and offered great support and comfort. I definitely knew the point when I was in the transition phase and it was intense! My midwife had not been in to check me yet (I later found out she had delivered 6 other babies that afternoon!) so I asked if she would come check me. I needed to know how much longer I had to do this! I was at 7 cm, which was good, but I have to say I was hoping I was a little farther along! They put the monitor on me (I had chosen intermittent monitoring during the labor process) and everything went pretty quickly from then on. I began to feel incredible pressure and the nurse said I’d be ready to push when that pressure was constant. I began pushing around 5pm and about 30 minutes into the pushing process, Judah's heart rate dipped into the 60s, which got everyone a little worried. I looked up and saw that one of the OBs from my group had come in, which I knew wasn’t a good sign (I think my exact words were, “What is HE doing here!?). My midwife advised me to change positions and I was given an oxygen mask and also put on a heart rate monitor. She asked me to try not push so we could focus on getting his heart rate back up, but at that point, I couldn't not push. I heard her mention the forceps and vacuum and I (probably not very politely) asked her to not use either one! She said, “Well, okay...let’s get this little guy out then!” Just when I thought I couldn’t push any more, I heard everyone saying they could see his little head.  The Lord definitely had his hand on our little guy, and at 6:02pm we welcomed him into the world! Judah had a little bit of a hard time breathing on his own at first, but with the help of some vigorous rubbing, he did just fine. I was able to nurse him soon after that and had some great skin to skin time.

About 3 hours after I delivered, we were transferred to the mother/baby floor where we welcomed family and a few friends.  Our first night as a family of 3 was not exactly restful, but that was to be expected! I was so glad the OB gave the OK for me to go home on Saturday as soon as we hit the 24 hour mark.  Other than being sore, I felt fine! We sure were glad to get home!

We are so thankful the Lord chose to bless us with this sweet gift! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

~Shared by Lindsey W.

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