I spent 2 hours of labor at home and 4 hours at the hospital. I tried to stay on my feet as much as I could. My plan was to have a completely natural labor & I accomplished it! I had a Bradley Method trained doula by my side (she is also a really good friend of mine) and my husband there to coach me. Delivering my son was so amazing - the pain was obviously there but giving birth to a child has to be as close to heaven as one could get. The miracle of birth is so amazing to me - from conception to delivery every bit of it amazes me.
18 months later and here is Declan now:
He is hilarious at this age. Everything he does makes me smile and laugh. It is so much fun watching his mind work and try to figure things out. He's working on putting words together so they make sense out of his mouth. I can't believe he has grown so much in just 18 months. It goes by so fast!
When Declan was 6 months old we found out we were expecting our second child.
Our baby girl wasn't due until September 23rd - but she had other plans! Here is my birth story for Averley I wrote a few days after she was born:
This might get into details some might not want to read - so if you don't want to hear/read/know about it then stop here!
It started Wednesday (9/8/10) when I got to work around 8am. I was having some contractions throughout the day, more than I have had in a day that were noticeable. I didn't really want to say anything to anyone just in case it was nothing. I texted Ryan sometime before 11am to let him know I was having contractions, I wasn't timing them but they are noticeable. He asked if I was in tears yet and I said not even close - just noticeable contractions and I would keep him updated if things changed after I ate.
My mom & I went and got Penn Station for lunch, while we were out I remember telling her that I was having some contractions and if they continued I might be having a baby tonight but we will see if they change after I eat lunch. We got back to work and I ate my lunch - then the contractions kind of slowed down a bit but were still there so I pulled up a contraction timing website and started timing them. I still wasn't thinking anything of it - figured they would eventually go away.
My mom & I had a meeting with a lady at work at 2pm and we discussed how I was already 3cm and have been for about 2 weeks so I could go any time now. When I was pregnant with Declan I was 3cm for about 2 weeks when I delivered him so it really could be any day! I left work about 3:15, picked up Declan from the sitter's and went home.
I decided to go on a walk to see if anything changed, it was about 4:15 and Declan & I headed out to walk around the neighborhood. I didn't go far since Ryan wasn't with me so we just made a little loop on our street. I stopped by my neighbors house on the way back and started chatting with her. I told her I thought I might have a baby tonight, I have been having contractions all day and everything I have done so far to get them to change haven't changed them. She said, "Has she even dropped yet?" I asked her what she thought and she placed her hand on my belly and said, "No, I don't think so..." Ha...guess she was wrong :)
I texted my mom around 4:45pm and told her to come over. We were having Bible study tonight so she was thinking about coming over anyway. She called me right away and said she just wanted to stay home and relax so I hung up on her (haha). She called me right back and said she was on her way. I didn't tell her I thought I was really in labor - I honestly thought I might not be but it was a good idea to have her there just in case we had to leave and she could stay with Declan.
My parents get to my house a little after 5pm thinking they were just going to hang out until Ryan got home. I told them both mom needs to stay because it really might be the day. I didn't want to get overly excited because I know that is something that could stall labor so I tried to just act like this all really wasn't happening. I started to cook dinner - the easiest thing I could make, spaghetti! Ryan got home around 5:30pm and I told him it might be happening tonight. He didn't want to hear it - after all, it really wasn't the best timing with his radiology conference for continuing education starting Thursday and lasting until Saturday! He was thinking kind of like me - these might just be really hard Braxton Hicks and they will die down eventually.
As I made dinner I had to focus through quite a few contractions - I sat down and told my mom & Ryan maybe they will stop after I eat. I ate...nothing changed. So I laid down to see if that would change them. They slowed down a little bit but still continued. Ryan was timing them on the computer and now switched over to his I-phone App. to time them so we could start getting the bags packed for the hospital just in case this was it. I was in Averley's room getting her things - he was in our room getting our things and I would yell, "START" and "STOP" whenever I had a contraction.
Around 6:45pm my mom said, "We should be taking pictures!" I told her to get the camera and we got 1 picture of me on the medicine ball before our Bible study group started to arrive. I was in and out of the discussion - our group knew I was having some contractions and we all kind of thought it was fake too. I would come into the discussion and sit on the medicine ball or lay my upper body over the medicine ball and read a verse, then I would get up and walk down the hall and breathe through a contraction. By about 7:30pm I went back to our bedroom, relieved my bladder and was having some pretty strong contractions. I stayed back there and soon my mom joined me (Ryan had told her to go check on me). I was laying on the bed breathing through a strong contraction and she sat on the bed with me. I asked her to go get my phone so I could call my sister...try to keep my mind off things. I gave her a ring and asked her if she was ready to meet her niece. She was in disbelief. "Already? Nu-uh...are you serious?" It was pretty funny - then I started having a contraction and my mom took the phone outside so she could talk to her. She came back in and we called my brother - he too was in disbelief. I was trying to call anyone I could just to get my mind off things, maybe in the back of my head thinking that things would change. We called & texted my bosses at work to let them know I wasn't going to be back in! haha Ryan came into the room about 7:45pm to check on me, asked if I needed anything and I told him I needed some water and a Fiber One bar because I was hungry. He brought it to me and then said, "We have 4 more verses left..." Yeah, okay Ryan..lol - you go get those done! I actually did tell him I was okay and I would be fine, go ahead and finish. (Must have still been in denial)
I had gotten out of bed and relieved my bladder another time, something about contractions really makes you have to pee - or at least makes you think you have to pee. As I got off the toilet I had a couple strong contractions, so bad I couldn't pull my pants up and was leaning on the bathroom counter breathing through them. After that was finished I walked out of the bathroom and had another one right away and had to lean up against the wall. Ryan walked in during that one - about 8pm. I heard everyone out in the living room still chatting and I said, "What are they still doing here?" He said they were just hanging out chatting. I told him in probably not the nicest voice, "THEY NEED TO LEAVE NOW!" He went out and hurried them out the door, I believe the last person left around 8:15pm and I had had 2 contractions within that time.
Once they left I went out into the living room and called the on-call doctor for my practice. Ryan eventually had to talk to her because they had me on hold too long and I was having a contraction and couldn't talk. I was pacing my living room floor and with each contraction I would put my hands over my face (I have no idea why I did this but for some reason I did) and would moan throughout the contraction. I would also cry throughout these contractions, thinking about how hard transition was with Declan and I wasn't looking forward to going through that when we got to the hospital that night. Little did I know that I was actually going through transition right then and there. Ryan would come and let me lean on him when he could - he was trying to load up the car throughout all this. The lady at the on-call doc line told Ryan the doctor would be calling him back. When the doctor eventually called back she could hear me in the background but thought Ryan was very calm for me to be in hard labor like I was. He made sure to tell them I was the quick delivery mom (apparently I am well-known in their practice from my quick delivery with Declan...they were in for a big surprise this time!) and that I am also a tub mom but we probably wont be able to use the labor tub. She said to go ahead and come on up - we were already in the car and on our way!
While we were on 465 I told Ryan he should probably call his family and let them know what was going on. He said, "Do you think we should wait to see if you are going to be admitted?" HELLO?!?!?!? I am getting admitted dear husband of mine - do you not see what is going on here?? Once we were at the stoplight right off 69 I told him that with the next contraction I am sure I will have the urge to push - I could feel the urge coming on with the last contraction but breathed through it.
We pulled up to the valet service and the doctor and nurse were there waiting for me with a wheel chair. Ryan flashed his lights to let them know it was our car they were there for. I got in the wheel chair and they wheeled me to the elevator being held for us. I was pushing at this point - the urge was too strong to breathe through, the nurse was trying to get me to stop but it was happening. On the way they had me take off my watch and rings, I got them off right at the doors to labor & deliver. They wheeled me into the 2nd room after triage (Declan was born in the 1st room, lol). As soon as we got in there they said, "Drop your shorts, lets go!" I don't remember kicking my shoes off but apparently I did because one shoe was under the bed and the other was somewhere else. I got my shorts partially down and I remember being in the bed and my shorts being pulled off me the rest of the way. Ryan said, "Oh, there's the bloody show." Darn it...I ruined my shorts. haha I honestly don't think it was real for Ryan until he saw that. He was trying to get the video camera ready while the doctor checked me. She said, "You are complete, ready to go and your water bag is bulging. I'm not going to break it because then you will deliver even faster." Another contraction came and I asked if I could do the grunting push instead of the counts of 10 push and they were okay with it. They pretty much let me do my thing which it wasn't like they had any other choice anyway, lol. So here I got with the grunting and Ryan is trying to fix the camera that isn't working. I am laying on my right side (the same way I delivered Declan - must be my comfortable spot) and I grunt some more and bear down and this loud POP comes out of my crotch and a water fountain literally gushed out of my crotch and almost hit Ryan. He had to jump back and we all kind of laughed at the site of a stream of water arching out from between my legs.
The video camera wasn't working and we didn't have time to try to figure out what was going on with it anyway. I grunt pushed and beared down a couple more times and her head was out and her body flew out after. The doc named the time - 8:45pm. She said, "I want to know the time from hitting the door to delivery." and a nurse said, "we got in here at 8:43pm - 2 minutes!" It was quite an experience! :) Everyone was laughing and couldn't believe how fast it happened. It was 4 minutes from the time we arrived at the hospital to delivery.
I keep trying to think which delivery I would rather have - the way Declan's was when we made it to the hospital with about 4 hours before delivery or Averley's - where we get there "just in time." I have to say, I would do Averley's all over again. Being able to stay at home, in my own environment, is what made labor a little easier for me this time. It wasn't easy by any means....but just easier. It was better - more comfortable to be at home, more relaxed - I could do my own thing without having doctors try to monitor me the whole time I am laboring. Free to do what I wanted to do, free to eat and drink, etc. It was the best labor experience I could have hoped for.
Here is a picture of me in labor 2 hours before she was born & pictures of her right after she arrived:
And now Miss Averley is 4 months old:
She is smiling and squealing - its great. I love watching my kids grow & learn new things....even if its as small as holding onto a toy!! I love it!
So there is the update on my life the past 2 years - I will have more blogs to come. I hope to write more as often as I can depending on how much time I have! My next post will be a bunch of videos that I find important or fun!!
I will also write a blog about how we went from a 2 income family to 1 income - the things we changed in order to make this happen.
Thanks for reading!!!