Monday, November 9, 2015

William Michael Herrey: A Birth Story

Just like that, our little family of three is now a family of four! I am so glad little William decided to finally join our family, a week after his due date! I guess I should just face the facts that my babies like to be late. ;)

For the past week or two I had been having some contractions, but nothing super painful or consistent so I knew they weren't the real thing... and that was hard for me to deal with. I was past the point of "BRING ON THE PAIN I AM SO DONE BEING PREGNANT". My sweet mother-in-love was coming over almost every night to help massage my swollen feet and help me with Emma. She was really good at keeping me busy and distracted the last two weeks thank goodness!

Tuesday at 9 we decided to go to bed early for once, and thank goodness we did! I woke up around 11 with some small contractions but was able to fall back asleep around 1. I was going in and out of sleep around 4 am when around 4:30 I noticed they were getting more and more painful. I was SO excited, but I didn't tell anyone just in case they went away. I was up texting my mom (best part about the time difference right there!! Here in Sweden we are ahead of Utah by 8 hours) for about an hour when I then noticed it was hard to talk through the contractions. I told her the truth as to why I was up and that I wasn't up on a "potty break" and she immediately told me to call the hospital and wake up Joel.

I called the hospital around 6am, and they said that since this is my second baby they highly recommended to have me come in and get checked out since the second labor tends to go faster. After that I started freaking out when I realized the day was finally here!! I was having a baby that same day, gosh what a feeling!!! The timing couldn't have been more perfect for us to head to the hospital. I was able to sleep some the night before, and Joel was able to get a good nights sleep! (during Emma's birth we were up all night in labor and that was really rough on us both, especially Joel)

We dropped Emma off at Joel's parents house around 7:30 and that was so hard on me, watching my baby girl stay behind, knowing she wasn't going to be my little baby anymore! The drive down to the hospital in Varberg is about 30 minutes long, and I knew that having contractions in the car was rough, but oh my I forgot how painful it was!!

I got checked into the hospital and when they were able to check how dilated I was, at 10:00am I was only at a 2 and 1/2, almost a 3. I wasn't considered in "active labor" yet... but considering how strong my contractions were I thought, "There is NO WAY I am going home and coming back with how strong these dang contractions are!" I told the midwife, "I'm not going home so I'm going to do whatever it takes to get me into active labor!" The midwife gave me the option of going for a walk to try to get things started a bit more... when I asked if it was possible for me to take a bath instead. Ohhhhh my gosh that was the best ever!! The contractions slowed down to about 5 minutes in between instead of 3-4 minutes, but that warm water helped me relax so well in between the contractions. There was even cute little candles and relaxing music playing! During the bath I started to get worried that I wasn't going to dilate more since my contractions were slowing down. We called the midwife, and she said not to worry and that if my body wanted and was ready to go into active labor, the bath wouldn't slow it down.

When the midwife checked to see how dilated I was after the bath, I was at a 3 and considered in active labor! YES. I was staying at the hospital and definitely having a baby that day. Every hour they checked me after that I was one more centimeter dilated, so quite normal to go a centimeter an hour. Around noon I asked for laughing gas which I am SO grateful for. I love that stuff. You still feel the pain but you don't have a care in the world mentally!! Joel might have enjoyed it a bit too much as well ;)

Around 2pm I was dilated to a 5, and I wanted the midwives opinion if I should take the epidural or the spinal. The epidural takes 20-30 minutes to kick in, but lasts a long time and are mainly recommended for first time moms. The midwives recommend the spinal to moms who have had two or more kids, since it kicks in instantly but only lasts a couple hours. We bounced back and forth between the two a lot since I didn't know how long the last of the labor would be! My only experience with Emma was the midwives breaking my water and then going really fast to a 10, so since my water wasn't broken yet I was worried that if I decided on the spinal that it would wear off before I would give birth.

My contractions were getting really intense by this point, and I was just ready for anything stronger than the laughing gas! I decided to go for the spinal and hope for the best, and that the last of the labor would go quicker. At 2:30 I got the spinal, but I was still feeling REALLY strong contractions at the bottom of my stomach, so we had the thought that the spinal didn't work since it was supposed to go into effect immediately, or within 5 minutes. We called the midwife and told her I was still in a lot much pain, so she told us she needed to talk with the new midwife who would be taking her spot since they were trading shifts. She said the new midwife would see how dilated I was at this point, then call the doctor to look into the spinal and see if it worked or not.

When the new midwife came in at 3pm, I knew immediately that I liked her A LOT. She had lived in San Fransisco for a year and had a British boyfriend for a while, so her vocabulary in English was amazing. I felt so much more comfortable with her and felt like I could finally express myself! What a difference in having a different midwife!! She was so confident and was such a great coach on telling me exactly what to do during labor. Anyway, when she checked to see how dilated I was her face showed immediate surprise and she said, "You are fully dilated and will start pushing soon!" I almost started crying and told her she was my favorite person! I was in so much pain and I wasn't surprised to hear I was fully dilated. All of the sudden my water explodes everywhere, and this huge feeling of relief came over me! I have been wanting to know what that feeling was like, since my labor with Emma I didn't notice when my water broke. But this was an AMAZING feeling!!! complete relief. After my water broke I was feeling so great and I was joking with everyone... and I realized that the spinal did work haha! I was on cloud 9 and so happy to basically be pain free (except for the pressure down there, if ya know what I mean) and this is when my awesome sister-in-law and photographer Eva showed up! Talk about great timing!! She had just missed one of the hardest parts during my labor, and made it just in time for the ending. I think the look on her face was, "Are you really in labor feeling this good??"

At 3:20 my new and awesome midwife told me it was time to start pushing. It was so weird to be completely aware of everything this time around, since with Emma I was in so much more pain somehow I couldn't comprehend what was going on. I pushed for about 30 minutes until 3:48 pm and little William Michael Herrey was born! His head came out sideways instead of down, so it was a lot harder to push. My midwife was so awesome at coaching me and telling me exactly when to push, when to do short breaths and not push and so on... She was really thoughtful and considerate about helping me tear as little as possible. Later she mentioned that since Emma's head came out facing up, that maybe I have something in my pelvis that makes my babies heads turn and makes it harder to push?... Who knows! ;)

The best part was once they laid William on me and Joel cut the umbilical cord, he started searching for some food like crazy! I couldn't believe his instincts and knowing exactly what to do, since Emma never did that! The midwives were still trying to fix me up while he was searching for food and it was almost too much for me to focus on haha! I wanted to nurse my baby but I wanted to be done getting stitched up first, but he knew what he wanted! My stitches came undone with Emma, and that was such a bad experience that I really wanted to focus on getting these stitches done and out of the way.

Little William was 8 lbs and 20 inches long, or 3700 grams and 51 cm long. The crazy part of this story was Joel's mom's labor started with Joel at 4 in the morning, and he was born at 3:40 in the afternoon!! How weird is that?? Almost identical labor! Joel's parents keep saying over and over again how he looks just like Joel. It will be fun to see how he looks as he grows!

After things settled down and cleaned up, we were moved into a different room to sleep in that night. When I think back on how labor went, I can't believe how well everything went. I feel blessed to have had such a great labor and that little Will was born so healthy and strong.

An exhausted pappa

2 notes:

Megan and Jared said...

I loved reading this!! Congratulations! What a beautiful story and baby boy. I hope you are recovering and getting some sleep :)

Shantel said...

What an amazing story and these pictures are incredible! What a treasure. (I thought it was so interesting to see how the medical aspect of birth is different there than it is here.)

He's perfect and I'm so happy for you. Great job mama!