Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby Hugh // Birth Story

I can NOT believe it has already been a month since our little baby Hugh was born! I have been so anxious to write his birth story on here and post some photos that were taken that day but I've been a little busier with cuddling, feeding & loving this babe these days (and nights), so this was put on the back-burner for a bit. Now here's to hoping this baby sleeps long enough for me to finish ;)

Let me start by saying that our prayers were definitely heard that weekend when Hugh was born. Cam had booked a wedding for Saturday, August 30th, and because we only have one car I was really not wanting to stay in Logan alone so I made a really risky choice and decided to head to the wedding in Salt Lake with him for the day. I said a little prayer that I wouldn't go into labor and really wasn't too worried seeing as how I had no real signs of labor quite yet and had just had a Dr. appointment and nothing had changed significantly...(still dilated to a 2+, 90% effaced). Cam wrapped up the wedding around 9pm and we made it back to Logan around 11:30pm that night. 

I had been feeling a little back pain that Saturday but I just assumed that it was because I had been on my feet almost all day long. I wasn't feeling too comfy sleeping in my last days of pregnancy and woke up pretty often with back pain so when I woke up Sunday morning at 5:30am, I thought I was just feeling some more of the pain from the day before and just from trying to sleep with a giant belly, haha! I hopped in the bath, which usually helped my muscles relax, but this time was different. I got out and felt like my pain was getting worse. That's when it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, I was having contractions. I pulled out my handy dandy pregnancy app which happened to have an awesome contraction timer on it and started to track my contractions. They were pretty manageable and far apart at this point. It wasn't until about 6:45 that they really started kicking in. At that point I was feeling pretty excited so I woke Cam up to tell him that I was pretty sure I was in labor. 

Cam and I had both heard from a lot of people that you should avoid going to the hospital until absolutely necessary and I was all for that plan (I really really hate hospitals) so we tried to fill our morning and keep busy. The morning sun was shining through our windows and it was a beautiful morning so we took some photos/video around the house, I got ready for the day because I wasn't so sure when the next time I would be able to actually do so would be—and let me just say, curling your hair can be pretty tricky when you're mid-contraction, haha—, and then, around 11, we ran out of stuff to do so we decided to turn on a movie. And what better movie to hold off time than good, old, 3 hour long Titanic?

I found that sitting was my worst enemy when it came to contractions for two reasons. 1: it made them 100x more painful and 2: it instantly slowed down labor. Like.. a lot! So I paced pretty much the entire movie (and day) and hollered at Cam for almost every contraction so that he could help me breathe through them and massage my back with tennis balls. By the end of the movie I was having trouble talking through contractions and had to really start focusing on breathing. 

Cam was the BEST coach. From the moment I woke up he was putting those Lamaze breathing and coaching techniques that we learned to great practice (little did he know, he would be a pro by the end of the day...poor Cam! haha) 

Around 2:15, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. When we got there, they instantly had me lay down to put the fetal monitors on my belly and lo & behold, my contractions slowed to about 6-7 minutes apart. At this point I was dilated to a 5 and 100% effaced but really frustrated about how much my labor had already slowed since getting to the hospital (and hating those uncomfortable monitors and hospital bed...and the room was about 1 million degrees). Right before they were about to stick my arm with an IV to keep me hydrated, I asked if I could go home. I was just more comfortable there and free to roam and be in my element. The nurse kind of laughed and looked at me like I was crazy (I guess most women get an epidural when they're dilated to a 5) but she called the Dr. and he said that would be fine because my water hadn't broken. Then, the second I stood up to change back into my clothes I instantly had three extremely strong contractions right in a row.

The nurse wanted to check me once more before we left and when she did, I had progressed to 6+cm. in just an hour. We agreed that if I was able to pace and have the mobile monitor, that I would stay at the hospital. It was 3:15 now and things were starting to pick up and I was definitely feeling it. 

In our Lamaze class, we were told to discuss with our husband what our hospital preferences and plans were so that we were both on the same page once we got there and things got serious. I had told Cam that I thought it would be cool to go natural but I also was definitely not opposed to getting an epidural if my labor ended up being super long or getting too painful to handle. I wasn't sure what to expect pain-wise but when I had progressed to about 8cm (around 5pm), I could see why the epidural starts sounding reeeal good. 

By 8cm, things were getting serious. I could hardly breathe without Cam doing so with me and I was having some major tunnel vision. I couldn't really talk, joke around, or do much but dread the coming of my next contraction. Our Dr. was out of town so we were waiting on the Dr. that was on-call to come in. My water would not break regardless of how many times that nurse tried to (about 3 times...and laying down during a contraction was now my very worst enemy) and the Dr. was the only one authorized to do so with that lovely crochet hook so it was just a waiting game for him. Poor Cam was putting about as much pressure as he possibly could on my hips during every contraction and I'm pretty sure he was ready for that Dr. to arrive about as much as I was. 

6:15pm rolls around and the Dr. FINALLY shows up! YAY! At this point, I was pretty desperate to start pushing. I was at 9+ cm. and definitely feeling that urge but my water still hadn't broken. The Dr. broke my water right when he arrived and then things started to get exciting: the nurses began setting up stuff for delivery which is probably the only thing keeping me motivated. Those last few contractions after my water had broken were the absolute worst. You guys, I honestly still have a little bit of PTSD just thinking about them. I had about 3 more contractions before the nurse wanted to check me again and, thank the heavens, I was at a 10 and SO ready to push. I don't think I could have survived another contraction, haha!

The next 20 minutes were like a dream compared to the pain of having contractions for the last 12 hours. Cam still laughs about how I looked like I might die in those last contractions and then the moment they said I could push, my whole mood changed. I was happy, joking around, laughing... honestly, I could have pushed all day! It was a relief to finally have a purpose to my contractions. Luckily, I didn't have push all day... haha but the 20 minutes that I did felt like 5 minutes and then all of the sudden, at 6:46pm, there he was!! All 7 pounds 1 ounce and 19 inches of him!
Everyone talks about how amazing and euphoric that feeling is when you see your baby for the first time but you just can't grasp it until it actually happens to you. The moment I saw his head full of black hair and his sweet tiny little body, I could have cared less about the events of the entire day. I think the exhaustion and relief of having him here also played into the happiness I felt. 
After a month of being able to think about that day and the miracle and extreme blessing that babies are in our lives, I would not take one moment of that day back. I am SO happy that I was able to go natural, and feel like the whole experience, in retrospect, went so well and so quickly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not doing it anytime again soon but I feel so lucky to have had such a great pregnancy and delivery and that our baby boy was able to get here healthy and happy. It's funny how quickly babies change life but I can't even imagine what life would be like without him now. Needless to say, we're a little obsessed with this little guy.


ShaLyse Walker said...

Love this!...and such perfect pictures. You are a champ Shelby Mae! I'm so proud of and impressed that you were able to go all natural clean until the end. Most people they're gonna do it...and chicken out. You're a freaking warrior!
And Hughie is perfect.
Loved this. Can't wait for the vid!

Kristin Thompson said...

Alright that first pic of all three of you.... Gah! I died! So precious:) So happy for you Shelby you are a darling Mom of a darling little boy.

Madi White said...

I love that you wrote this out shelb! so great. So happy for you guys!

Celia said...

Just beautiful! Every word....every picture! Beautiful baby, beautiful you & Cam! Beautiful life!

Trish said...

Wow, what a beautiful birth! Congratulations on your bundle of joy. I don't read a lot of natural births from the States. Both my births where natural and active as well. Yay, for a positive birth story!!!