Sunday, January 15, 2012

Aria's Birth Story part 3

Let's see here, I think we are at Saturday night now. Amy left with the advice to get as much sleep as I possibly could that night. Go to bed early, take an Ambien, try to relax... usually women's bodies will pick back up around 4 or 5 in the morning. She said we could call her at any time throughout the night and she would come.

That evening my contractions definitely became more intense. Ben and I watched a Bill Cosby rerun, I never realized that he was an OB and he delivered babies. So we had some good laughs at some of that humor. We decided to go to bed around 8:30 (usually we are in bed by 10) with the hope that my half an Ambien would knock me out. Actually what it really did was just make me feel really good. If you have never taken one, I think different people react in different ways. A friend of mine said Ambien made him really angry, but for me, Ambien makes me really happy. I can take it and within about 10 minutes anything that I think about is just amazing. Our marriage is great, my son is precious, our room is beautiful, my bed is soft and wonderful. And that's how I fall asleep. I kind of love it. The problem was that I didn't really fall asleep. I don't really remember what happened exactly but I do remember Ben saying, "This isn't working." We tried to go to sleep anyways, but I woke up a LOT with contractions. I took another half (should have taken a whole to begin with... hindsight is 20/20) but it didn't do much to me.

Around 12:30 my contractions were becoming pretty painful. I was really at a loss as to what to do so we called Amy and asked her to come. That's the bad part about being a doula or midwife or OB, babies don't just come between 8am and 5pm, they come whenever they want.  Amy came around one am and was able to check me, I think I might have dilated to 3cm, the good news was that Aria had in fact turned! This was why my contractions had become more intense, because her head was actually pressing on my cervix the right way. We decided that maybe I should labor in the bathtub, it would help lessen the intensity of the contractions and maybe I could rest. Let me just tell you though, it is very difficult to sleep in a bathtub. And with contractions on top of that, nigh impossible. But I will say that I did rest and that was good. Ben slept on the bathroom floor (we have carpet in our bathroom, but still, he is pretty hardcore) so that he could get me more hot water when the tub got cool and just to be there to make sure I didn't drown I guess.

By this time I was completely resolved to the fact that this would be a very slow labor. I had talked to Cora on the phone earlier that night, she had called to check on me. She was with her other client who had stalled out at a 5-6 cm, which is not good and they didn't know what to do. I think they were heading to the hospital soon, or maybe were already there. I just decided to take the opportunity to pray for the other client who was in labor, her name is Summerset (I think that's how you spell it) and just that the Lord would open her up. It's a very interesting thing to be praying for something for someone else that you want for yourself. Knowing that she was further along than I was (though, I wasn't stalling out like she was) and she would probably get through it quicker than I would... I don't know. It's good to take your eyes off of yourself though and just surrender it all to God. Okay, I'll just tell you, she gave birth 2 hours before I did. :) But I kind of just knew she would... I just knew it. And looking back I'm totally okay with it.

Wait, this is Aria's birth story isn't it? Sorry.

After being in the bath for several hours I got out and took a shower. I had used some oils in the tub and put a little too much in (it was dark and I couldn't see very well) and they started to burn my skin. So I got in the shower. It's weird when you are really water logged to get in a shower. It just is. My friend Debbie said that she draped herself over her birthing ball in the shower and it was a good way to deal with contractions, so Ben got the birthing ball :). It was good. But eventually I had to get out, enough with the water, I was becoming a prune.

I got in bed after that and tried to sleep. Laying down my contractions were more painful, however, so it didn't last long. I don't remember when Ben and Amy changed shifts, but I think it might have been around 4, yes, now I remember. Ben took Amy's place in the guest room and Amy came in and slept on the recliner in our room with me in the bed. I think I made it to about 6 trying to rest. Then Amy and I got up and went into the kitchen for some breakfast. At this point I didn't want to eat anything because it's really hard to breathe through a contraction with food in your mouth, plus, you are so distracted by pain that nothing sounds good. But I knew I NEEDED to eat something, I needed strength and energy. I think I ate an orange and a granola bar and maybe some cereal. I had had some yogurt earlier in the night.

Ben woke up around 7:30 (very glad he finally slept) and we called Debbie to tell her my status. Amy said my contractions were "good" meaning: you can't walk or talk through them, you can only breathe or moan. "Good." Debbie dropped her kids off at church explaining that I was in labor and no one would be there to transition them from first to second service (when you play on the worship team, you are there all morning and this is completely normal.) I think someone ended up taking care of her kids between services for her... she stayed with us and took pictures for the rest of the day. The rest of the crazy day.

And so I kept laboring. We turned on my "Birth Playlist" for Aria. It started out with Christy Knockels "Healing is in Your Hands" and "Mighty Fortress" ... it was a time for me just to sing and weep before the Lord. If you haven't heard of these songs I would encourage you to look them up and just worship the Lord with them. Then this song came on:

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alley way that night
On the streets of David's town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
But little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
And no mother's hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
Was a labor of love

Noble Joseph by her side
Calloused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
On the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
Was a labor of love

It's called Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson and in that moment everything was so real to me. I understood Mary's pain more than ever before. I realized the pain that it took to bring Christ into the world and what that meant.

Really, I wish I could just push my whole playlist through the internet to you... if I was tech savvy I would put it on my website for you to listen to as you read this. I'll talk to my husband about that one.

The next hours were just a blur of labor. Amy made me go for a walk, which was really just up our little street and back. I complained the whole way, or made jokes, being sarcastic and just making light of everything does help. Whenever I would feel a contraction coming on I would tell Ben and he would support me as I breathed through it. I don't remember how far apart they were, maybe 5 mins, it felt like 2 mins though. Sometimes you feel like you have no time in between.

We got back from our second "walk" (Amy got me to go because she promised she would check my dilation when we got back, that was my reward:)). So we got back and she checked me. I think I had made it to a 5-6, I rolled over, had a contraction and literally fell asleep. I woke up with the next contraction with "I can't do this!" and Amy said, "Jody, you fell asleep." I was like, "Really?" and then I fell back asleep. I asked Ben to support me through my contractions while I slept in between. It was a good thirty minutes of him holding me through several contractions. Again, Ben was my rock that I was standing on, leaning against... he was right there the whole way. When I didn't have the strength he did.

I got up from my "nap" and I just wanted to go to the hospital. I just wanted to transfer. I said I didn't want to go until I was at least a 7 but I just wanted to leave. I knew my contractions would only get worse and I couldn't imagine the car ride to get there. Amazingly enough the car ride was not bad at all, I just had a few strong contractions but none during bumps and Ben was super careful as he drove.

I am sorry, this is going to have to be four parts... I am so tired right now, but I want to just go ahead and post. I will finish soon, I promise.

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