Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Claire Nicole has arrived!

Claire Nicole Spencer
March 26, 2012
10:04 p.m.
7 lbs 8 oz
20 1/2 in.

We are home is the birth story!  (sorry in advance for any typos, too tired to read back through it!)

Last friday I started having contractions in the evening. Shaun had left a few hours before to go on an overnight men's retreat about an hour and a half away. Close enough to come home if I needed him. So I went to bed continuing to time the contractions and woke up a bunch through the night and wondering if this was it and if I should call Shaun. I made it to the morning, talked to Shaun and told him if they picked up I would have him come home early. Finally around 10 a.m. I told him to come home just in case. In the meantime I started cleaning toilets, doing laundry, dishes, etc. and making plans for the girls in case we had to go to the hospital Saturday night. As the day went on the contractions started to get more painful and a bit more regular. We called Shaun's mom who was going to be driving here from Oklahoma to help take care of Eva and Lily. She was going to leave the next morning. I also called my aunt and she was going to leave from Minneapolis the next morning to be here for the birth. My mom already had plane tickets for the 29th (Thursday).

Well, not to long after we told everyone to come, my contractions started to go away. I had some through the night and a few Sunday morning and then they were gone before my aunt got here. And they were definitely gone when Nanny got here. I was pretty bummed thinking that I could still be pregnant for many more days to come. And with my help who was already here! We all went to bed fairly early, no contractions.

At 2:00 a.m. I suddenly woke up and felt something leak and then another leak. I hopped out of bed quickly thinking it might be my water breaking. As soon as I stood up I had a big gush. Definitely my water! I woke Shaun up to get me a towel and he was up and out of bed very quickly. This was the first time I have experience my water breaking on it's own. I was induced with Eva and Lily and really wanted to go into labor on my own this time.

So we got our things together, got ready and decided to head to the hospital. I texted my doula to let her know what was happening. Then we left for the hospital and got there around 4 a.m. But still no contractions. Once I was finally settled in a room we decided I should start walking the halls to get something going. That helped a little but the contractions still weren't regular or very strong. The doctor on call suggested several things to get labor going so we wouldn't have to use Pitocin to start my contractions. I tried several things throughout the day and by 5 p.m. my contractions still weren't getting strong or regular. Finally my doctor came in to talk about our options. Basically it had been 15 hours since my water had broken and they didn't want to wait much longer because of the risk of infection.

So I decided to eat something, walk some more and rest and then go from there. My doctor said that sounded good and we would go from there before trying Pitocin. I really, really wanted my body to do it on its own! As soon as my doctor left the room my contractions hit hard. My room had an awesome large tub to labor in and I immediately started filling that thing up to deal with my contractions. I had Shaun text my doula, Lea to let her know that she should probably come now. Once I got in that tub it was off to the races!!!

I sat in the tub water with terrible contractions while Lea and Shaun rubbed my back, put cold cloths on my neck and said nice encouraging things to me. They were both so amazing. After a while I had no idea how long I had been in the tub. I knew I sat in one position for a really long time just moaning through contractions and then whimpering through contractions. I pretty much wanted to die. The thought of an epidural went through my mind but I knew that would require getting up, doing blood work, waiting etc. I knew I could move from where I was and I really just wanted it all over with.

Finally my doctor really wanted to check to see how I was progressing but I wouldn't let her because I wasn't about to get out of the tub. Lea finally convinced me to get out of the tub and I was in major, amazing, unbelievable pain. I kept saying "I don't want to do this, I can't do this!!!" I made it to the bed and laid down on my right side which helped me feel so much better. My doctor checked me and I was a 7 almost 8. By this time it was 9:30 p.m. I had been laboring in the tub for 4 hours!

After a half hour of grueling labor on my right side Lea told me I should roll over to my left side. Then pain got even more intense which was unimaginable! And almost as soon as I rolled over I started getting the urge to push.

I don't even know if I really got an urge to push, I think my body just started pushing. It was insane!!! And it hurt like... (insert your own four letter word here)...  All I knew was that I had to keep pushing without stopping to get her out. It hurt so much.

In about less than 5 minutes of intense pushing and breathing and moaning and probably crying and who knows what other noises, little Claire was out!!!! It was WILD. I couldn't believe I had just experienced all of that. I had just given birth naturally, no induction, no epidural, nothing.

All I could think afterward was that if I were to ever do that again I would definitely get an epidural!!!

All in all my actual active labor time was 4 1/2 hours. Pretty short and very intense.

Now little Claire is here and doing amazing. She pretty much likes to nurse. Which I suppose is a good thing. Hopefully she will allow us some sleep with our first night home. We'll see!

Eva and Lily love her. Eva is totally smitten with her. Lily keeps saying "Claire is so cuuuute!" and then says gootchie goo to her.

Now I am home recovering. Feeling okay, but very sore around my stomach. I'm guessing I strained a lot of muscles during contractions.

It has been so good to have Nanny here to take care of Eva and Lily. And it was so good to have my aunt here for the entire experience. She has never been there for someone's birth and I gave her quite a show!!! I just hope she's not too traumatized. :)

So that's it! The moral of the story is:

Sure women are strong enough to birth babies, but there's no shame in the epidural! :)

Actually I'm so glad I did it all natural, it was an incredible experience.

The Lord answered so many prayers through the entire process and I have thanked him many times.

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