Monday, August 7, 2017

Silas' Birth Story Part 2

Alright, here's part 2...

We made it into the room and I got situated on a birth ball. The contractions were strong, but I kept focusing on taking big breaths in my nose and then pushing them out my mouth. My nurse asked me some questions about my birth plan. Our basic answer was—I wanted to go medication free, didn’t want to be asked pain level, and wanted to move around and not be in bed.

After laboring for a while I leaned forward and laid my head down on some pillows on the bed. I was tired and could tell I needed some energy to get through the next stage. Amazingly I had a long stretch with no contractions and actually got a little rest. I really have no idea how long this was, it probably was only 5 minutes but it was exactly what I needed. During this time I could feel Silas moving around. My body was clearly working hard to get everything in place for delivery. On the next contraction my water broke.
(Side note: this is super weird feeling. My water broke in the tub with Walt so I never really experienced it.)

The nurse let my midwife know my water had broke and she came in to talk to me, she let me know I probably was not going to get all the antibiotics in before delivery. I really wanted to get in a tub to help with the pain, so they were trying to get one cleaned for me. But Silas had other plans.

I had one extremely strong contraction, to the point of where I was questioning whether or not I could keep going. And then I felt the pressure and knew Silas was coming. I told the nurse “He’s coming!” and she calmly said, “Yes I’m sure he is.” She called for a cart and then for Lindsey (the midwife) but Lindsey was already walking in the room.
Pretty sure this was my "He's coming!" face
At this point I was still sitting on the ball, still wearing the shorts I wore to the hospital. They had me stand up, lean forward over the bed, and had Kyle hold my arms because my legs were pretty shaky at this point. The next contraction his head came out and then they had me make low noises to help get the rest of his body out. And he was here! Born at 4:35 pm, just 5 hours after my labor started!

They placed him on the bed in front of me, I remember asking if he was okay because he wasn’t making any noises. But they said he was fine and told me to keep talking to him. So I put my face up against his and kept talking to him and he started making noises. Apparently we were both a little in shock with how quick he came.

Look at that proud daddy
Finally meeting my little boy 

Kyle got to cut the umbilical cord and then we snuggled up with little Silas in bed.

After about 20 minutes they weighed and measured him. He was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 21 inches long, a pretty big boy! 

My parents brought Walt up to meet his little brother after we had gotten situated in our room. He was excited to meet baby Si as he affectionately calls him.

Everything about Silas' labor and delivery was fast, and yet he is the sleepiest and most chill baby I've ever been around. Especially the first few days, he is getting more alert and has his fussy periods but overall he is a happy baby.

The whole process was perfect, which is strange to say about birth but that's the only word I can use to describe it. As some of you know we went through a miscarriage last year and pregnancy after miscarriage is hard. It's hard to let yourself get excited again or to get attached. It's a complicated mix of emotions of grief and joy. In all honesty, for a long time during this pregnancy I didn't think I would get to hold this baby. I didn't allow myself to dream about him or think about his birth. I didn't write out a birth plan or weigh the options of each decision. Partly because we had spent so much time going over those things before Walt and I was still confident in our decisions but also because it was scary to plan. If I just got to hold him I was going to be grateful. He has brought joy into our family that we didn't realize was missing, just like Walt brought us joy during our sadness. We picked the name Silas Jackson, because Jackson means "God is gracious." Despite all of the trials we have gone through to get to this point, God has remained steadfast and unchanging, He is indeed gracious.

All of our pictures are thanks to my amazing and selfless friend Caysi, who made it a priority to be by our side during this birth just like she was with Walt and just like she was when we lost our little baby last year. I am forever grateful for these pictures, for her presence during labor, and for her friendship every day. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Silas' Birth Story Part 1

Okay, so I love reading birth stories and wrote Walt's down with no intention of posting it but ended up sharing it here and here. I love having them so that I can look back and read them (I have a horrible memory but never want to forget those details) Anyways, I wanted to do the same for Silas.

*Disclaimer--It's a birth story. If you don't want to read about all things birth, then stop here.*

My pregnancy this time around was very different than with Walt. It’s hard to be pregnant and keep up with a very active 2 year old. I was sore and tired at the end of the day. I also had lots of weird stomach problems. I think Silas was laying right on my stomach or something so I had a hard time eating during the second half of my pregnancy. In fact, I only gained 5 pounds between 20 weeks and delivery. I just couldn’t eat a lot and ended up with a really bad stomach bug once and it took me a long time to recover.

Despite having a much lower weight gain than with Walt, my stomach measured big the entire time. So I knew I was growing a big, healthy Nieman boy again.

Check out that belly!
I had Braxton Hicks for months and months this time around, my stomach would get rock hard and be crazy shapes. For the most part they were painless, just annoying, and would get worse if I hadn’t had enough water that day. Texas heat and pregnancy is no joke, coconut water was a lifesaver though.

Starting around the 13th or 14th of July I started having real contractions at night. They were definitely not Braxton Hicks, they were uncomfortable and they would get closer together and then just die off. They happened EVERY night, around the same time usually 1 am-3am. You know the perfect time to disrupt all sleep. I found out this is called Prodmodal Labor, and it pretty much sucks. It’s real contractions but it doesn’t turn into active labor, instead it just stops and starts over a period of time. Mine lasted about a week and a half. The up side of these contractions is because they are “real” they are actually doing something. At my 38 week appointment I was dilated to 3 cm. Despite being exhausted, I knew there was a purpose to these contractions and that we were getting close to meeting our little boy.

I had a midwife appointment on Thursday, July 20th in the morning. I had been contracting a lot the day before and we decided that Kyle would come with me to the appointment and that we should probably have all of our stuff ready just in case. Walt went over to my mom’s house for the morning and we headed to my appointment. I woke up with back pain that morning and noticed some strong contractions, which didn’t usually happen during the day. But didn’t get my hopes up because of all the times things had stopped.

My appointment went well—I was dilated to 4cm (which is what I was when I was admitted to the hospital with Walt) She was pretty amazed that I wasn’t in active labor. We made the decision to have her strip my membranes, I won’t go into details, but it is just a gentle way to try and encourage labor to start. We left the appointment encouraged, my midwife thought things would happen in the next few days but obviously couldn’t guarantee anything.

Since Walt was having fun Kyle and I decided to go out to breakfast together, so we headed to Paris Coffee Shop for a little breakfast date. I was still having some back pain but no contractions and we headed home after breakfast. I asked my mom if it would be okay if I came to pick up Walt closer to nap time so I could rest for a bit. Kyle headed to work, and I did a few things around the house and then laid down around 11:15 to take a nap.  I set my alarm for noon and tried to fall asleep but my back was really hurting. I got my heating pad and laid on that and then the contractions started. It was 11:30 and they came fast and strong. I think they were 3 minutes apart and lasted about a minute. I text my mom to let her know I probably wouldn’t be able to pick up Walt and then I text Kyle and told him he probably needed to head back home.

Kyle got home around 11:45 and the contractions had stayed consistent and very strong. Kyle realized how close together they were and asked me if we needed to go right to the hospital, but I wanted to wait a little bit longer and try to take a bath. When I was in labor with Walt the water helped so much and I just wanted to make sure this was the real deal, and figured the water would calm things down if it wasn’t or at least give me a chance to rest for a little bit. The contractions slowed down a little—but they were still 4 or 5 minutes apart and starting to last longer. The bath helped me rest a little, after I got out I just stood next to our bed and the contractions just kept coming. Around 1 pm we made the decision to head to the hospital.

My contractions spaced out on the drive to the hospital and when we pulled into the parking garage I thought maybe we should just head back home. (We had a “false alarm” with Walt and got sent home from the hospital and I really didn’t want that to happen again) But Kyle had still been timing my contractions and knew they were still coming just closer to 6 minutes, and were strong. So we headed inside, I walked from the parking garage all the way to Maternal Observation, still convinced this wasn’t the real thing. They got me into a room and the nurse started asking me questions and hooking me up to be monitored. I don’t think she thought I was in active labor either cause things had slowed down and I could answer all of her questions. After laying there for a little bit the contractions started back up and they were very strong. She checked me and I was dilated to 5.5 cm—I think she was pretty surprised at that considering how calm I had been. She went to let the midwife on call know and left me hooked up to the monitors. I hate having to lie still during contractions and was so uncomfortable, so I was very grateful when she came back in and told me I was being admitted and she would unhook me and let me move around.

She said it would be about 20 minutes before they could get me into a labor room, which was disappointing but gave me something to focus on besides the contractions. Kyle put some music on and we talked some and I focused on breathing in during my contractions. She went ahead and hooked me up to an IV and got my antibiotics started because I was GBS positive and needed antibiotics for the baby during labor. They came in to let me know that the room was ready and asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I wanted to walk. We had to stop three times on the way to the room so I could breathe through contractions.

Part 2 coming soon...

And this little cutie makes his entrance (fast)