Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moxie's Birth Story

This being the third time I have recounted a birth story you would think there would be some sort of monotonous air to them. I’m grateful that that couldn’t be further from the truth and instead they remain as maudlin as ever. I repeat my audacious warning of retinal damage and over-sharing revealed in the words that follow. 

Read on should you desire to know all that is revealed in a birth story.

Oh, sweet Moxie. Four days overdue and I was feeling very comfortable settled in for the waiting game. Upon waking on Sunday morning however, contractions were occurring every five minutes, in a regular pattern, and I was excitedly anticipating that “this is the day!”
Steve scurried to get the kids together, my mom threw breakfast together for them, the car was started and running…and then the contractions stopped altogether. No one was more disappointed than I that in fact no, “this was not the day.”
Bags packed and literally sitting by the front door, we instead set to have a quiet day at home of doing, well, nothing really. I was admittedly defeated. I started laundry, cleaned up (the already clean house), rearranged some things, straightened pictures on the wall, hung some other pictures, looked through old scrapbooks. It was beginning to get ridiculous how purposeless I felt and how helpless I felt at getting this baby girl out. 

The kids were contentedly oblivious to everything so there was no love lost there. Steve gave me a few loving glances throughout the day to which I returned with glances of “sorry, nothing happening…still.”

Every so often I would have a contraction but they were not strong, they were not continuing, and most importantly they were not in any sort of a pattern whatsoever.
By evening I was emotionally spent trying to figure it all out, and I surrendered to the comforts of my bed for a cat nap. I talked to some friends and overall just tried to ignore the beach ball under my shirt and let well enough alone. 

And then it happened.

I got up from bed at 6:30 to go help Steve with bath time for the kids. Contraction #1 – intense, strong, and whoa. I called the hospital to let them know we would probably come in that night, just to be checked. Headed downstairs and Contraction #2 – intense, strong, and even more whoa.

Walked out to my parent’s living room to tell them we were leaving RIGHT NOW to go to the hospital and wait a minute Contraction #3 – holy intense, whoa indeed - please finish giving the kids their bath and put them to bed.

By the time Steve and I walked out to the car and my parents had stepped in to finish the bedtime duties I had 3 more contractions and you guessed it, each stronger, more intense, and closer than the previous. 

With both of my prior labors I knew that I had a penchant for going quickly once my body decided that it was time. We both knew that we needed to get to the hospital, and fast! 

I continued to have contractions (and praise God our hospital is only a few minutes’ drive) and by the time we were in the hospital and admitted in our room they were every minute and strong. That was around 7 pm. I was 5-6 cm. This was nothing short of a joy to hear as I had been sitting pretty at 2 cm for almost 3 weeks.

As with my other two labors I desired a drug-free labor and delivery and the nurses knew that from the onset. They were phenomenal in addressing my desires and overall left me alone for the duration of the labor. I set to my breathing patterns and with Steve by my side we settled in. With the next contraction or two my water broke, and when my doctor arrived in the next half an hour I had progressed to 7 cm. Again, music to my ears.

It was at that point the contractions were noticeably stronger and I knew I must be transitioning. I kept the inward focus I leaned on with the others and only opened my eyes once or twice. I focused on my breathing, listening to Steve guide me through each contraction, and holding onto his hand with all of my being.

I felt the urge to push with the next contraction and sure enough when checked I was fully dilated. My doctor and nurses encouraged me to push however I felt comfortable which was a huge relief. I did not want to be on my back in the stirrups as that proved most uncomfortable with my other labors. This labor and delivery was incredibly freeing as there were no health concerns with Moxie or myself, and she was behaving like a champ keeping her heart rate constant and steady even with her quick descent.

I changed positions a few times to get a better feel for things but once I clicked and felt where to push, it was only a matter of minutes before she entered the world. When she came out my doctor told me to reach down and pull her out and up to my chest and I was doubly surprised and delighted. Both of my prior deliveries had needed immediate medical attention upon arriving and I had not had the chance to experience this closeness before.
I pulled her right up to my chest and was in disbelief that she was there. I asked what time it was because I had no clue at all how long the process had taken. She was born at 8:04 pm. Which means we had only been in the room an hour. Oh my goodness.

I voiced how small I thought she looked and my doctor’s eyes nearly bulged out of her head. She replied, “Laur, she’s a big girl you just pushed out! She’s not small!” Moxie was able to lay on my chest for such a long time, it was just surreal and wonderful and all that I had expected and more. Steve snapped away the precious photographic memories of the ordeal, and I stored away in my psyche the feeling of this child from God laying on my chest. It was simply amazing.

When she was finally weighed we were amazed at her birth weight: 8 lbs, 11 oz. 

Moxie was born at 40 weeks, 4 days old. Her sister, Scout was born at 40 weeks, 3 days old and weighed 8 lbs, 10 oz. I’m sensing a pattern here.

The birthing process this time around was nothing short of a dream. It was quick, it was easy, and it yielded a healthy baby girl whom we are incredibly smitten with. 

Moxie Wren