It was Friday, March 8th when it all started...
I was 38 weeks and 5 days along that Friday. Feeling great and looking big! That afternoon I went for a walk with some of my girlfriends and I felt really good the whole time. I had started to walk more that last couple of weeks, despite the weather, in order to get my little man ready for labor. I wasn't feeling anxious at that point to get him out, more anxious to keep moving because I had a hard time being stuck inside all winter!
So Friday evening I went out to dinner with my sister-in-law, Rachael, alone... crazy I know! Me with two two year olds and her with a ninth month old... let's just say it never happens! We left our guys home with all the boys and enjoyed probably the last solo supper out for quite a while! During dinner our conversation centered around birth and other baby centered topics... and I was still feeling great... and clueless!
After dinner we headed to a friend's house for a Thirty-One party. I had a few mild contractions while we were there, but didn't think anything of it. They felt very similar to the false labor contractions I had been having since 30 weeks. When we got back to my house I told both of my sister-in-laws that there was no way this baby was coming anytime soon... since I still felt so good. Little did I know he would show his face in less than 12 hours from then!
Once home Rachael and Josh were just hanging out at our place visiting and Rach was having fun timing my contraction while I was constantly reassuring her it was nothing! Well soon after they left I lost my mucus plug and minutes later my water broke... but I was still unsure because I had just went to the bathroom when that all happened and I was sure... from all the stories I had heard... that having your water break was supposed to be this major production with water gushing everywhere. Not so much I guess.
Soon after all of that my contractions became noticeable. Still not bad though. I sat down quickly at the computer because I all of a sudden felt the urgency to get some loose ends tied up with book work and then I cleaned all three of my toilets. My body and subconscious knew I was in labor but for some reason I was still in denial! My sister-in-law, Rachael, had known from dinner that I was in labor and by this point she was texting me asking if she needed to come to town... I was still thinking no way... false labor once again! Boy was I wrong! Ha!
Mid contraction... crazy how your belly starts to literally squish baby out!
Last pictures during labor... trying to pack my hospital bag!
As soon as I finished my bookwork and cleaning I did my best to go to bed and sleep. However, this is when I KNEW that I was finally in labor! My contractions became more than noticeable very suddenly and I could no longer just relax easily through them. It was about 12:30 am at this point and I woke up Caleb and told him that it was IT! He just rolled over and said, no surprise...he knew it as soon as I was running around cleaning toilets!
Like a thunderstorm in May, my contractions seemed to come out of nowhere! I was doing my best to get clothes on and my bag packed but I was struggling because I was only getting about a minute between contractions. Caleb kept encouraging me to move and wait it out and I kept telling him to call my mom... I knew I needed to get to the hospital. Just an hour later Caleb was convinced and called my mom. She was at our house by about 1:30 am and we headed for the hospital as soon as she saw me and said GO!
The walk to the car, the ride to the hospital, the check in, the walk back to OB... were all beyond difficult. At that point my contractions were about one minute to 30 seconds apart and crazy intense and long! We made it to the hospital around 2:00 am and were checked in and ready to go by about 2:30 am. Things just continued to get more intense and blurry from there. I remember taking my clothes off in the bathroom - CONTRACTION - getting into my robe - CONTRACTION - the nurse asking me to pee in a tiny cup, me laughing and saying heck no - CONTRACTION - peeing in the cup and then all of a sudden I felt like I had to push! When I got to the hospital I was already at 6 cm and I very quickly progressed into transition and ready to push. Intense is an understatement but the thing I still remember most vividly is needing a break and feeling like I couldn't get one! Finally once I started pushing I felt like I could at least breath between pushes! Dr. Hyser got there just as I started to push and about 42 minutes later... Jack Martin Yoder was born!
It was absolutely incredible!! The most amazing experience ever! Jack came right up on my chest and the feeling is really almost impossible to describe. All my life I have longed to experience birth the way I feel God created it... allowing our bodies to do exactly what they are made to do. Now... don't get me wrong, medical intervention has it's place. I mean if it wasn't for skilled medical professionals, c-sections, etc my boys would not be here! But it's hard for me to not feel like my boys got cheated, along with myself now that I know and have felt the difference. There was an automatic bond between Jack and I that felt so natural and beautiful. As he came out and up on my chest he was calm, happy, content... until they started to suck him out and clean him off! But it was so amazing!
I was so blessed to have an all natural birth VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section) with as little medical intervntion I could have in a hospital. Now many have said... don't be a hero, get the epidural, and I can see where you would want one after expeienceing it... but honestly... be tough, feel it all, be a HERO or at least do your best to experience it fully so that you FEEL like a hero. Now I have opinions on epidural, medically speaking, but my emotional take on it is more opinionated... motherhood is hard. Period. And if you are willing to take the easy way out at birth, it might not be the last time you go down that road. God created you to feel the pain, feel as if you could conquer the world afterward... because well, frankly, you need to! Women who have c-sections and survive the first week of having a newborn and being bed ridden... same thing - tough! All mothers are tough no matter how their babies enter the world, but my point is be ready for the toughest and most rewarding ride of your life! (Now a disclaimer... I am writing this as a crying newborn just fell asleep in my arms and two crazy two year old boys are fighting at my feet! The chaos around me is most definitely affecting my writing slant!)
I would love to document more about my birth for my own sake and for anyone who is interested but as I mentioned above things are a little crazy around here and I know have a little one asking and pleading that I read a book to him so I'm off for now! I'm hoping to get better about posting... ya.. heard that before?! But really, I need to keep up on what Jack is doing so he doesn't feel slighted! Ha! Oh - speaking of that... He was back up to birth weight at his follow up and has been eating and sleeping like a champ! He's a good baby and is sweet and cuddly as can be! Can't believe he's a month old already!! Ok... gotta run!
The boys always bring Jack toys while he's nursing!
Big brother Luke!
Hopefully there is still someone out there checking my blog for posts! Keep checking for updates! :)