Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Sheppard

Sheppard, this is the story of how you came into this world. How I found out I had a son. How the labor and birth of you was so completely different than my first experience. This will most likely be long, but I hope one day you will be grateful for these words. When my memory will no longer store the details, you can find them here.

Early on in my pregnancy I was worried, and prepared that I might go well past my due date. Your sister took 2 extra weeks to hang out in my womb and she still had to be forced out. So I was ready to do all the tricks to get you to come out relatively on time. This included, acupuncture, walking, eating dates, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on an exercise ball, listening to hypnobirthing tracks, and taking evening primrose oil. At one point we were looking at a possible c-section because you were in the breach position, but I did a bunch of crazy exercises, like laying upside down on an ironing broad leaned against a couch with an icepack at the top of my belly and loud music playing at the bottom of my belly. Between the exercises and some acupuncture you flipped, hooray!

The day I went into labor with you I had no idea that it would be that day. It was a Thursday, it was a warm sunny day, and I put my flower crown on to brighten my day. I was a little sad I was still pregnant with you. It wasn't helping that 4 other ladies I knew that were due at the same time, or after me had their babies in their arms, and I was still waddling around with you in my belly. I went to my midwife appointment, and we talked about induction. They didn't want me to go past 41 weeks since I had developed gestational diabetes. So your eviction date was scheduled for Sunday morning. The midwife checked me and I was dilated 2, almost 2.5 cm, she did a sweep and sent me on my way with positive thoughts that I wouldn't make it to my scheduled induction. I called your Papa when I was done with the appointment, and cried to him worried about being induced again, saying how I just wanted to go into labor on my own.

From my midwife appointment I went to acupuncture. She said she was going to go hard core with me this time to really encourage you to come out. So I had 6 points hooked up to the E-Stim, I sat in the room, quietly talking to you, letting you know it was safe and we were ready for you to come. Shortly after we had our "talk" I started to feel contractions. I didn't think anything of them though because for a couple nights before that day I was feeling contractions almost all night long. After the appointment, I picked up your sister at your Nana's house and we went to your Papa's work to pick him up so we could all get dinner. He was planning on working late to make sure he had everything done before you came. Right when we were pulling into the Mexican restaurant I got a good, breath taking contraction.  I looked at your Papa and said, "whoa that was the real deal". We parked the car at the restaurant and when I stepped out I felt some water trickle down my legs...and I was pretty sure I didn't pee myself. I couldn't believe that my water broke, we decided not to eat at the restaurant as your Papa had work to finish up, and you were for sure on your way.

We went to your Nana and B Pa's house since they were going to take care of your sister while we were at the hospital. Papa said he would just be a hour at work so I decided to wait at Nana and B  Pa's house. She was cooking dinner, and your B Pa and uncle Jesse were watching some football. My contractions were coming pretty consistently and I was really feeling the need to be at my house and get my things in order before we needed to go to the hospital. I called my midwife to let her know my water had broken, and she told me to labor at home as long as I could and come in when things got "real". Nana took me to my house and my parents met me there. I also had a Doula meet me there because I was participating in her doctorate study on labor.

When we got to the house they all went to work to take all the furniture and boxes out of the bedrooms because we were getting new carpet put in our new home we just bought the next morning. It was all pretty chaotic, but I was feeling so excited that you were on your way soon. Your Papa finally made it home, and I labored at home for as long as I could. Everyone went home and just waited to hear from us. Contractions started to get harder, and closer together, I hopped in the shower and told Brian we needed to head to the hospital soon. The drive to the hospital was really bad, having to sit still for contractions, feeling nauseous, and eventually throwing up--it was not a pretty scene.

We got to the hospital around 11pm, they put us in a room and a nurse checked me and told me I was 4cm dilated. I will be honest, I was pretty disappointed I wasn't more dilated. I couldn't talk or concentrate through the contractions at this point and it felt like they were coming fast. The nurse kept telling me to lay in the bed to either monitor me, put my iv lock in, get a blood sample, or check to verify that my water had broken. I HATED being in the bed, I just wanted to move around. At one point she said she wasn't sure I would be admitted yet, and I was about to scream at her, but shortly after my midwife came and told her I was staying as I was obviously in labor.

When I was finally able to get out of the bed I wanted to labor in water. Brian filled the tub for me and I was able to climb in. It felt great, but after only a few minutes in the water I started to feel the urge to push. The sensation took over my whole body, and I was grunting and yelling like crazy. At this point I was crying and unsure what to do. My midwife told me I really needed to try and get to the bed as the bathroom was too small to fit all of us for the delivery. The tub walls came up above my knees so I had to try to stop myself from pushing and climb over the tub wall and walk to the bed. Somehow it happened! Later Brian said I did it all on my own and he had no idea how I got out of the tub.

I crawled onto the bed on all fours, and had some crazy hard and painful pushing contractions, and you were born just minutes later. They placed you between my legs and up into my arms, it was that moment that I looked down saw you in all your glory and yelled out it's a BOY! You were so perfect and little, you had the sweetest little cry. I moved onto my back and just cuddled you close to my chest. Your papa was so surprised to hear that you were a boy, and so glad to see that you and I were healthy. You were born at 1:43am and came faster than anyone expected! We had planned on having your Momo there when you were born, and our friend Cassie to take pictures, but they all showed up about 10-15 minutes after you were born. For you first hour you just got to lay on my chest, and nurse--you knew how to eat straight from the beginning!

When you were finally weighed and measured you were 7lbs 12oz, and 20in long. They laid you in the warmer crib and you instantly rolled onto your side--so crazy how strong you were! We also noticed you had a birthmark on your arm--I think it is cool, but you might hate it at some point. You picked your birthday, September 5th, 2014. You came fast and easy...well compared to your sisters labor and birth. You are prefect, and my heart grew so much when I saw you for the first time. My wonderful little boy, Sheppard Jeffrey Johnson.

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