I already feel completely different writing this birth story compared to Michael’s over two years ago. I started writing his in recovery because the days were already hazy and hard to remember. Right now we are one week out, to the day, and I’m still riding the oxytocin high.
We didn’t expect Logan to run late like his brother but that was mostly wishful thinking I’m sure. We had all of our birth supplies together and set in one spot by our 36 week home visit. We’d even done a dry run with the pool. MJ loved having that set up in the living room! We were ready, we just had to wait.
Weeks went by and then more time went by. I started having more and more braxton hicks contractions but nothing that felt like it was doing any good until Wednesday the 3rd. Which was perfect! Hubby was home from work for the next two days so it was a great time to have a baby. Contractions got more intense over the morning but we were low on groceries so I wanted to get that done.
Yes, I did. I walked around Sprout's having some contractions but nothing that stopped me in my tracks. They were certainly not fun but my body was working. It was doing something it didn’t do with Michael.
Contractions got closer and closer that evening. I tried going to sleep but woke up after a couple of hours and was too uncomfortable. I let Dale sleep until I couldn’t deal on my own anymore. I asked him to blow up the tub. After a hiccup that needed some patching it was blown up but thankfully never filled. Contractions were about 3 minutes apart. I was full on rocking and groaning on the floor because they brought me to my knees.
We decided to call in our midwife since they were pretty close together. While hubby was on the phone with her things started to slow down and even weaken. To a stop. She came and checked us and I had made no noticeable cervical change to indicate I was really in labor. The contractions were gone. I felt foolish for calling her. He was still high, which we’d been hearing for too long anyway but I was sure he had been lower that day. I couldn’t believe it but I was too tired to instigate anything else at 3 am. We called it a night and I got some more sleep.
The next day brought on more contractions. More intense and more painful. Not where I was expecting. I didn’t even notice my stomach tightening unless I touched it. I just felt this sharp pain behind my incision that would come and go. I wasn’t concerned about a rupture, even being a VBAC patient, this just felt like he was ramming into my pubic bone. Logan was still moving fine and wiggling around so I thought “open” and at one point “let it go” got me through. It was not at all what I was expecting but I found ways through them. Hubby would jump up and apply light pressure to the back of my hips. Heavenly!!
Each following day brought more intense contractions and each night was awful. I tried laying in bed so that I could sleep through them but it just felt like my pelvis was being ripped apart. I would get some sleep between them but when they came it was awful. How could this possibly get more intense and how could I deal with it!? My anxiety was mounting quickly. If this is what labor was like I was done. But each day I’d remind myself that I was tired and just needed rest.
I turned to essential oils that weekend and through Monday to keep the anxiety down. Balance on my neck and Juniper Berry on my wrists really got me through. Monday we saw our chiropractor. Logan was sitting right at my pelvis and my ligaments were nice and relaxed.The contractions changed after that adjustment. I felt more tightening and pressure than pelvic pain. I couldn’t handle much less sleep so I hoped we would get into active labor that night and be done with everything. It was really starting to wear on me.
Our midwife came to check on us that afternoon. We finally got good news! I was at 5 cm!! Farther than I ever got with Michael. It took her a while to actually check because my bag of water was bulging so much that it was hard to tell whats what. Stimulating a contraction helped! So we had good news, my body was working hard and making changes. However I had been doing it over days and without a regular contraction pattern. She wanted a baby by morning. I just wanted sleep.
|Last belly picture|
Hubby left work early that night to try and help me rest. One way or the other we would have a baby Tuesday. I couldn’t take much more. We were trying to get him engage including spinning baby techniques, butt up in the air, you name it. I had some deep conversations with him. We were trying and we were making progress. I would give it one more night. And I did.
Hubby stayed in bed with Michael after setting up a make shift ramp of pillows on the spare bed to try to keep me upright but with enough support to sleep during contractions. It helped, temporarily. I moved to the living room. Lights bothered me so I closed all the blinds and unplugged the Christmas lights we had hung up for the birth. I tried sitting on the yoga ball and laying my head on some pillows laid on the arm of the couch. I tried leaning over the back of the couch. I tried all fours on the floor. The most bearable position was propped up in the glider. I got the most rest there but even then it wasn’t enough to gain energy between contractions. Frequent trips to the bathroom didn’t cause contractions but sitting did. Not fun.
Every once in a while I’d get overwhelmed and scream loudly in my head “I want the birth tub” and I’d debate waking hubby. But that was a heck of a lot of work for the lack of progress I was feeling. I didn’t feel Logan moving down with them. I just felt beat. By almost six I talked myself into a banana and some coconut water before waking Dale to tell him I was taking another bath. I still just wanted sleep. I tried to do that but as soon as I felt myself drifting a contraction slammed me. Nope!
We debated possibly going to the hospital just for the epidural to see if that would help. But we had to find a place for Michael and I could still be in labor for a bit longer. I didn’t want to be away from him as it was. We would see what Gina said when she came back in a few hours. I’d already talked to my mom about flying out in case we decided on a cesarean. It was looking more and more likely and I was ok with that.
We got another check. 7 cm!! But, he was even higher than before and not even close to being engaged. She felt nothing wrong with my pelvis so possibly augmenting labor was an option but she wasn’t feeling the right part of his head. He wasn’t lined up despite my night of efforts. Contractions basically stopped while I was up and trying to encourage them but if I laid down they hit me like a truck. A very painful truck.
I couldn’t do it anymore. 6 days. I had been going for six days. I had made great progress but it was time. We couldn’t take much more. Thankfully the doctor on call at the hospital was very midwife friendly. If we got there soon we could have a baby by lunch. It sounded great to me! In fact, the thought of augmenting and trying an induction made me want to cry. Thankfully Michael could go play with friends which took a HUGE chunk of anxiety off of me and my mom was on the way to the airport already. I felt good. My only concern was having a gentle cesarean and being able to feel my breathing during the surgery.
We got to the hospital and up to the room that would be ours afterwards. A nice touch. It was a bit rushed which made me a little anxious but everyone was incredible supportive and very kind. We met with doctor Bergstrom who would do the surgery. He did offer an augmentation but I declined. We’d been down that road before. We made sure that I would get to do skin to skin, we could delay cord clamping, and that most importantly he would never leave me. As long as he came out screaming we were all set. They even had a monitor over the warming table for the time he would be away from me or if he would need to be away from me.
|The wonderful Dr. B!|
|Two of our wonderful nurses|
|Our incredibly patient and supportive midwife Gina|
We got the hubby suited up and they walked me down. He was the only one allowed in so our midwife would see us in recovery afterwards. I walked into the OR. Such a difference! We got prepped and hubby came in before they even got the drape put up. I was a little anxious but the spinal wasn’t nearly as high so I could feel my breathing. That was the worst with Michael. I was able to talk with everyone and hubby. So important and such a relief!
|He may hate me for this but isn't this much better than an anxious shot of him waiting outside the OR!?|
Surgery was started around 11:30 and at 11:57 we had a baby! There was a little meconium in the water but nothing much to worry about. LOTS of fluid!! He came out screaming and his cord went limp almost instantly. That made delaying the clamping a bit easier. He definitely made noise so they just wiped him off and let daddy trim the cord. He was held up to see, my first words “He’s so small!” 8 pounds 15 oz compared to his brothers 10 lbs 8 oz Then he was brought to me and laid on my chest under some warm blankets. He was so soft and warm!! I couldn’t believe it. He was there. He laid still for a little bit but then started bopping and rooting. We got him latched on and he nursed the rest of our stay in the OR. It turns out he was coming forehead first despite my best efforts at giving him more room to adjust his position. He was born at almost 43 weeks according to our date of conception and 41 weeks based off of first ultrasound.
|Truly happy in this moment. Even big brother was happy to receive the announcement!|
There was a slight mention of him possibly needing to supplement since his blood sugar was a little low. I smiled and nodded and kept on nursing. Two tests later in recovery he was up to good numbers. Everything went great. It was almost another half hour to complete the surgery. We were all chatting and enjoying our time together. He just kept nursing! It came time to move so I had to unlatch him and give him to daddy who carried him to recovery. Where he continued nursing while we all got settled and regained feeling. Our midwife checked on us and got so see the outcome of our very long ride. Surprised he was not the 11 pound baby she was expecting ;-)
Our hospital stay was short and sweet. We were even visited by our amazing chiropractor and his wife and daughter. They had been such a huge support system for us when things got rough or we needed another natural family on our side. Plus Logan didn’t need an adjustment despite his long stay on the inside!
Nana arrived that evening to stay with me in the hospital. How nice it was to have her with us! I was up and walking around midnight and had met my five requirements to leave by the following night. Though one doctor tried to talk me into staying another couple of days I was doing well. My biggest concern was taking the stairs up to our apartment which turned out to be much more tolerable than I thought. We were discharged a little over 48 hours after surgery.
|She may hate me for this too but she was a HUGE part of our transition and recovery <3|
Big brother absolutely loves “baby” and gives numerous kisses all day! He doesn’t even mind being woken up he just gives baby kisses and goes back to cuddling daddy. What a blessing!
Logan birth is certainly not what we had planned. I went into this in charge, trusting MY instincts, and not willing to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. We wouldn’t induce or sign up of section over the fear of him being breach, which he was at 36 weeks, or possibly big. Those things didn’t scare me so we kept going until it was time. I followed my gut the entire time and just wanted to go into labor on my own and try my best. I can confidently say that with the six days of labor I experienced I was given every opportunity to try and have our home birth. I am happy with our decision. We may try again for a VBA2C someday but right now I am in a good place. Recovery is not ideal but we are happy and healthy and things were on our terms. We got the peaceful pregnancy experience we wanted and needed after Michael. Having that alone is a huge blessing and stress reliever for women with birth trauma.
Birth without fear no matter how you choose to birth. It isn’t a competition. What matters is whats best for you, your baby, and your family. Follow your instincts, be informed, and make your own choices.