cal's birth story

as we approached my 36 week appointment i think we were all a little bit curious to see if things would replay the way they did with Hayes' birth. this time around, knowing very well what a contraction was (seriously, last time, i thought when my stomach got super tight it was just the baby stretching or something. smrt.) i knew that i had handful in a row on sunday night before my 36 week appointment. when i went in for that appointment, and what do you know? i was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced - just like with Hayes.

once again, just wanting to keep Cal cooking until he was full term (37 weeks) was the goal. a few nights that week i had contractions again, and then they would go away. my midwife and just about everyone else insisted from the beginning of my pregnancy that if i had hard contractions, ever, to go to the hospital. their words like "have, baby, in, car, on, side of road" haunted me.

saturday july 23rd i had contractions every 5-10 minutes for 3 hours. i called my midwife, she told me to take a bath and if they kept coming to go to the hospital. sure enough after the bath they kept coming. so i got in the car and went to the hospital. no hospital bag, no husband, no plan of staying because i was pretty sure this wasn't "it." but, obediently i went in.

the nurse checked me... i was still a 4. i knew it! & yet i was still shocked. she made me stay another hour to monitor me, and without fail contractions came every 7 minutes. she checked me again at the end of the hour, i was still a 4. all in all it was a good experience, now i knew that i could have a contraction that doesn't equal baby! on the side of the road!

after no real action for the next couple days, i was prepared for just about anything when i walked into my 37 week appointment. everything except what actually happened, of course.
my midwife checked me and sat with her arm up my hoo-hah for a good 3 minutes without saying a single word. she finally looked up and said "i literally couldn't find your cervix, you're dilated to an 8 and 100% effaced... i. i. i. just can't believe it."

a rush of excitement & nervous laughter overcame me. it's baby time. and once again, i had no idea. the on-call midwife met me at the office and we made a game plan. also once again, i tested positive for strep B, which can i just say: strep B is the wrench in my baby delivering machine?!

the plan ended up being just like Hayes'. come to the hospital, get the 4 hour antibiotic treatment. i asked if i could just go home after the treatment and wait to really go into labor, but they said absolutely not. the big difference between Hayes and Cal's birth strategies were NO PITOCIN with Cal, yay!

so, i packed my hospital bag, took a shower, called my sister to come watch Hayes, made Russ shave his beard (which he sneakily only trimmed, but i was too distracted to notice) & said a family prayer while i rocked Hayes for his nap. i didn't want to alarm Hayes so we were very calm and relaxed during this process, but bless his heart he knew something was up. he brought me my shoes and helped me put them on, he gave me a tight little Hayesie squeeze around my neck and gave me a kiss on the lips. and surprisingly i wasn't sad. i didn't feel like this was the "last" moment with Hayes, or like something drastic was about to happen and i needed to mourn this loss. i felt so peaceful that Hayes was 100% on board with this brother idea, he just didn't have a way to put it into words yet.

anyway, so let's make this quick... 12:30 pm i get the antibiotics. contractions are coming every so often, our midwife Jenn says she'll be back at 4:30 to break my water and get the party started. we watch a movie, Russ snuck me a string cheese, we took a nap. she comes at 4:30 pm, checks me again, i am still dilated to an 8.
aka: NOT IN ACTIVE LABOR. active labor as defined by american fork hospital is dilating 1 cm in one hour. 
aka: double you tee aych???

so she breaks my water and my contractions are now coming every 7 minutes so it's a pretty slow process. a contraction comes, i breathe through it, and then wait another 7 minutes.  the first 2 contractions my water is just flooding out with each one. the 3rd contraction i dilate to a 9, 4th contraction i dilate to a 10. 5th contraction i'm ready to push.

pushing hurts considerably more than it did last time. i am acutely aware that i am just getting owned down there (TMI sorry.) i can't help but cry between every push, but nevertheless for 4 sets of fierce pushing i know i am almost done & could care less about anything but seeing that baby's face.

russ has been holding my left leg while i've been pushing and i notice he swaps places with a nurse. i realize the baby is almost here! Jenn the midwife said that if Russ wanted, when Cal was ready, he could be the one to deliver him. at 5:05 pm Russ laid him on my chest and we both just sobbed. i looked up and the labor and delivery nurse was sobbing too, it was a moment i'll never forget. Cal didn't cry right away he just looked around and was so angelic. Russ cut the cord after it was done surging and a few towel rubs to the back and his little mouse squeaker cry came out.

now, don't worry, i didn't get let off that easy. unfortunately, the afterbirth process was brutal. i felt every stitch, but when i asked for more lidocaine she was pretty much done. and then i had to be put on a whole bag of pitocin to get things to stop bleeding. between that and the brutal kneading to my stomach every 15 minutes, i was not a happy girl for about an hour.

after pitocin was done i felt immediately better. Bethany brought Hayes in and i could just hold and love on him. we ate burgers, fries & shakes with my family - watched my dad have a moment with JCW fry sauce & Cal got to hang out with us for a good hour before they took him off to check him. such a nice change from my 1st delivery where i had 1.5 minutes with Hayes before he was off to the nursery. (not sure why, there wasn't really any medical reason for it.)

i was told again and again by everyone who has made the leap from one to two kids. but, i just couldn't seem to take their word for it. after 4 1/2 years of marriage and careful family planning i had plenty of time to develop love for Hayes and he became our world effortlessly, because we were just so ready.  i was still basking blissfully in the first 16 months of Hayes Baby Hayes, how can there be room for more?! 

i suppose that is the magic of it all. that is the plan. having Cal in my arms that first time and every time after continues to be a wave of relief & sense of completeness. my head & my heart agreed "there you are Cal!" as if we were merely separated for a short time and now he is back! it was an unforgettable experience and i am in constant state of gratitude to be trusted with this perfect & healthy boy!


tallia said...

you are the luckiest! Dialated to an 8 and still walking around! I can hardly believe it. Congratulations again. Oh, and I am dreading the after birth part. I hear it gets worse with each kid....

Nicole Christensen said...

Beautiful, em! Like a usual Nicole, I cried from the moment Hayes put on your shoes. Love him. Love you. Love Cal and Muffin.

Stacey Sargent said...

Seriously loved this Emily! So touching! Got teary eyed during the part that russ delivered the baby!

Anna Culp said...

you're awesome! i'm glad everything went so well! baby cal sounds so sweet. how special, you can have such a warm family.
can i ask about your midwife? was she affiliated with af hospital, or they "let" her deliver you there? i delivered there, but i felt frustrated by a lot of policies that i didn't think were necessary/best for me and baby.

Jill said...

You have such an amazing way with words. I definitely got teary eyed. Fantastic job Emily and Russ! Welcome Cal! :)

Kaylea said...

you go girl. it's so great to read about beautiful natural births. i'm due early november and stories like these make me so excited to give birth!

kylee said...

that bit about hayes kowing something was up and stepping up like any big brother would had me near tears. it's little things like this that have me looking so foward to being a mom someday. ps totally got chills reading that. motherhood is beautiful and i am so happy for you and your little family of four!

chari-o said...

sniff ;). I can't wait to meet him!

robin said...

wonderful story. having a baby is such a high and i always want to do it again right after i deliver a baby! having a baby is amazing.

Diana Smith said...

What a beautiful story!! Jenn was the nurse for me when my girl was born that night, I love that woman! And now that she is a midwife I got to see her for my first prenatal visit a few months ago! You are lucky to have such a great midwife there with you. I am excited for you and your family!!

carla thorup said...

i want to know how to get a cervix like yours! especially after welcoming my son into the world just 3 days after Cal in my not ideal kind of way.

Such a beautiful story! And family, and baby. Congrats to all of you!

adam and jess said...

wow, guess i need to have a baby now :) you had me choked up through the whole thing.

C C & R said...

Amazing! And totally inspiring. I've been "stalking" for a while and feel completely moved by this post. Congrats on your new bundle of joy!

Erica said...

such a darling story! congrats!! he is such a doll!

Brandon and Katie said...

beautiful. i want to have another baby now. such a precious little family!

jessica kiehn said...

This is so awesome. I cant wait to birrh another baby. You are such a goid writer!

emily said...

burgers, fries, and shakes.

the exact thing i craved (and my doula lovingly went and got me) not even an hour after ramona was born.

beautiful. congratulations.

kELLO! said...

it's interesting to read that you went natural again. i did with ike and i'm still trying to decide if it's something i'll do with my other children. i had a pretty traumatic l&d, so i'm planning on seeing how it goes with the next, i guess :)
but i am glad to hear that things went so well for you!
we ate burgers and shakes right after our delivery, too. must be the natural thing ;)

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