August 5th, 2015
Today, I woke up and I knew something was different. However, I had made up my mind that I would ignore just about everything, as I’ve had so many false alarms the last two weeks, I couldn’t imagine one more. However, today was different. Upon waking and getting ready for the day I had noticed that I had started spotting. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but who wouldnʼt be. I was one day shy of 40 full weeks! I had been having cramps on and off but today they were more noticeable. I wrote it off as nothing as we had been intimate just the previous night. I assumed that whatever we did must have irritated my insides.
When I finished getting ready I hopped in the car and met my sister up at her house for breakfast. Kiera, their dog, would not leave me alone. In fact, I have a selfie from that very morning of me and Keira posted up on Emilyʼs bed while she was finishing getting ready.
Emily decided she would come with me to run some errands. I was too unsettled to sit around at home. Plus I figured it would be good to walk around and keep moving. We drove downtown and as I traded in empty MAC containers for lipstick I couldnʼt help but notice – these cramps are killing me. So, we tested out some new lip colors and slowly walked around the mall a little bit. Next up was supposed to be pedicures, but My sister decided she needed to be home with her family. I couldnʼt blame her, but for some reason after dropping her off I cried. I threw a minor pity party. I really wanted that pedicure. But now, I didnʼt want to go alone. I was big, I was uncomfortable, and rage was not an unfamiliar feeling at this stage in my pregnancy. So I settled in at home and decided to relax on the sofa. I listened to and sang along with some worship music. I read my bible and waited for Connor to come home from work.
Around 2pm I had checked in with our Doula, Sarah Green, to let her know the latest. She and I were in agreement that it was likely the sex. My heart sunk a little as I was hoping it was the start of something good! I was so tired. I was so crampy. And – ugh – this bleeding. Why wonʼt it stop. I wanted, no needed, ice cream… So, after Connor came home from work we chatted and decided an ice cream date was in order. Before we left, I had noticed I was still spotting and cramping so I checked in with our Doula once again, and let her know I was doing my best at ignoring things and nothing new was happening. Connor and I drove to Dairy Queen and ordered some yummy treats. I wasnʼt ready to go home and since his sister and her husband were in town we decided to pop over to his moms house and visit. I needed all the distractions I could get.
Through the evening I couldnʼt help but notice that I was unable to sit for very long. I kept standing, then sitting, then stretching, and rocking my hips back and forth. Ugh, these cramps. Maybe I just need more water. I kept reminding myself – Morgan, just ignore it. Youʼll know when itʼs time. Itʼs not time. Our conversations went from babies, to life to labor and chatting about their experiences. Around 8pm I told Connor that I was tired and ready to go home. My sister in law stopped us and asked if she could pray over me. In the middle of the front room I sat on the sofa, big – tired – and emotional, she prayed. She prayed over my body, over our baby, over labor and delivery, and we offered up thanks for His goodness and mercy and we were in great anticipation of the Birthday He had already picked for our little one. It was a beautiful moment. It was several minutes – pain free.
As we were leaving Sarah checked in on me again. I told her that not much has changed. She suggested I take a warm bath and snuggle in for the night and get some good rest. I happily agreed. I took a nice long warm bath and cozied up in bed.
August 6th, 2015
I woke up around 12a after tossing and turning in a fitful sleep. I had terrible gas pains, or so I thought. Eventually I rolled out of bed and decided to head down to my exercise ball and the sofa. This was not uncommon, as my pregnancy progressed I often retreated to the living room so that I wouldnʼt wake up my husband. After a while the gas pains felt crampy so I scurried to the bathroom, thinking that I needed to toot or poop. I repeated this multiple times and assumed that whatever I had eaten must have not agreed with my tummy – it was probably that silly ice cream I HAD to have. Around 1:30a it started to dawn on me that these pains were coming pretty consistently. Leave it to our friend Google to give me the answers, HA. Itʼs nearly 2am and here I was googling the difference between contractions and gas pains. It suggested that if I could note a distinct start and finish and time them, it was likely contractions. So I gave it a whirl. Start 1:42am – Duration 1:21 minutes. Start 1:46am – Duration 1:26 minutes. Holy cow, these are like 3:50 minutes apart.
I continued to time them for another 20 minutes and they continued to increase in discomfort. I finally realized that I was having contractions. But I wasnʼt convinced that it was go time. I had text my mom, we had made plans that I would pick her up bright and early for my 40 week midwife appointment. I remember saying “I’m not sure I’m gonna make it to my appointment”. Around 2:15 am I went up to our bedroom and knelt next to Connorʼs side of the bed. I gently woke him and showed him my timers and asked that he wake up and help me. I was nervous and up and down and back and forth. Often running to the bathroom to pee, again. He shortly thereafter encouraged me to send some screen shots to Sarah. At this point I was feeling confident that I was in the beginning stages of labor! I heard no response from Sarah, however I was also confident that I could hold out and continue on our own for a while. We continued timing my contractions, and laid together in bed in the dark. Giggling and talking about how we couldnʼt believe that this is actually happening. Itʼs time! Around 3:30am Connor had encouraged me to call the Midwives – I think this is when his nerves kicked in. Since we hadnʼt heard back from our Doula (which was my mistake, we probably should have called her, and later found out thatʼs what she prefers). I left a message with the midwives and we waited for a call. Around 4:15am one of the midwives returned our call and listened to me and we talked about how I was feeling and what was going on. After tossing the phone away and onto the bed mid contraction she strongly suggested we make our way there, but we werenʼt in a huge hurry. As I continued to lay in bed, pace around, use the restroom and get myself ready, Connor gathered up the remainder of our items and made us each a smoothie. By this time I had noticed that with each contraction I was needing to pee. It was incredibly strange to me, but I didnʼt know what labor would be like, so I just went with it! We laughed a lot at my constant peeing!
As the sun was rising we drove to the hospital. I made to sure to have a giant beach towel under me as I knew my water had not broke and I knew it could happen at anytime. I had heard that having contractions in the car was no joke, well itʼs true. I learned that my car does not have a “oh shit” handle. With each contraction I squirmed in my seat, unable to find a comfortable position. We arrived to Deaconess and I was able to manage my way through a few more contractions as we completed the check in process. I was then taken to our room. I was incredibly pleased to see that we had been placed in our desired room! It was large and in the far corner. It felt private and secluded. I changed into the hospital gown at first as we hadnʼt brought in the remainder of our things and my nighty was in that bag. I didnʼt mind, because in my mind – I thought for sure they were going to send me home! They placed me on the monitor and confirmed that my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and lasting at the very least one minute. Upon checking my cervix she found that I was only 3cm and about 80% effaced. I was devastated. I thought for sure that was the cue for me to go home and come back when it was really “go time”. However, they decided to keep me and monitor me for 2 hours.
Iʼll never forget that I had made my 40 week appointment for 9am. I mentioned over and over again that I didnʼt want them to think that I was a no call – no show. Apparently I was really worried about this because I didnʼt just mention it once. They repeatedly assured me that they have taken care of the appointment for me.
At 7am I received an encouraging text from Sarah, “way to go momma” it also said to call her once I was awake and ready to chat. I immediately called her and updated her on the events of the evening and let her know we were at the hospital. She suggested I take a bath and call her when I was ready for her to come. I immediately started to cry. I was scared and I didnʼt know how to express it. So she asked if I wanted her to come and I said yes. She explained that she would be there as soon as she could, but no later than 2 hours. After monitoring me the midwives agreed that I was indeed in true labor and helped coach me through. It was time for a shift change and I was so pleased to see that Val was there to deliver that day! I had only met her twice before and I loved her soft spirit. Every time she came in the room I felt a sweet and soft presence! At this time my contractions were getting more intense and the tub was no longer doing anything for me. Around 8:30a Sarah arrived and Connor was able to leave for a bit to get coffee and food, as well as unload the rest of the car. Sarah immediately had me chugging water, started up the diffuser, and rubbed my back and spine with essential oils. She promptly directed me straight to the toilet to labor for a bit. At first I felt a little awkward, but I was so comfortable with her that soon we were laughing and talking, all while I was on the potty! As we sat in the bathroom she coached me, reminding me that each time we move positions I’ll have to re-learn how to cope. That the contraction is like a wave, it will start and build then slowly fade. I found so much comfort in knowing how my body was working.
My bleeding had increased and I was still peeing with each contraction. As we changed positions around the room we placed a towel under me. I was so embarrassed. Connor finally returned, after being gone for about an hour to an hour and a half, and this is when I asked for some mesh panties and a pad. This allowed my bladder to do what it needed without pee running down my legs in front of my husband. Sarah kept reminding us that with each new position I would need to relearn how to manage and breathe through the pain. The pain and the resting was so much more than I realized. It was strong and intense but then it was gone! I often started with a moan of “I canʼt…. I can… I can.. I can do this”. Often coupled with them both encouraging me to nod my head yes instead of shaking my head no as the contraction came on.
This entire time Sarah and Connor were great at reminding me to drink my coconut water and take little bites of my sandwich. She coached Connor on positions to hold me, how to support me, how to sway me. As she rubbed Frank Oil and Clary Sage on my spine and hips, we bounced, we swayed, we laughed, I cried.
My contractions were beginning to become incredibly difficult. Around this time my memory got foggy and I know for certain my eyes only opened to walk, to change positions or to meet with Sarahʼs gaze. I donʼt recall if I had any more cervical checks, time was slipping away. At one point Sarah asked me to make eye contact with Connor during my contractions. I tried it once and immediately started crying. Looking at him I realized I had SO many emotions. I was scared and nervous. I was in pain and making low-primitive noises Iʼd never heard. Looking at him made me feel wild, out of control. Our past collided with the now and it was an explosion of emotions. I quickly dropped my gaze. I caught myself peeking up quite often and my eyes always caught the clock. I requested several times to change positions because I didnʼt want to see the time. I was impatient and tired. As we danced around the room Connor loved me well. He supported my weight, he held me close, he hugged me.
Around 11:30a my water had still not broke. The nurse had made a comment how my contractions were sounding a bit “pushy”. I was still eating small bites and drinking loads of water. This is when they started wheeling in the baby stuff and getting ready for his arrival! My mind immediately went into panic mode! I lost it. I didnʼt want it see it, I didnʼt want to know it was there. I requested to get in the tub again. As the tub was filling we started a saline lock. Once I was back in the tub, Val had rejoined us. I labored in the tub for a short while longer. At one point we were all laughing because our Pandora station had gone into the commercial break. She thought it was odd at first, we joked how the commercials were relaxing. She watched as I managed some contractions, they checked babyʼs heart rate and monitored me. I had moved to be on my hands and knees while in the tub. I started to cry again. I wanted to escape. I started to stand up, my plan was to leave. I was gonna flea! Sarah asked me where I was going and I quickly exclaimed that I was leaving. She asked me why, and I sunk back down into the water and shamefully said I didnʼt know. I stared to explain to everyone that I wasnʼt supposed to have babies. This wasnʼt supposed to be happening. Loss after loss, heart break and infertility. Here I was, getting ready to deliver our baby! It was the most intense emotion. He was almost here. We were almost there!
It was time to get out of the tub and they wanted to check me again – I was fully effaced and 9.5cm – but part of my cervix was caught. As my contractions kept getting more and more pushy. I kneeled on the bed, arms supporting my weight, Sarah encouraged me to sing through my contractions.
All I know is I know that You are Here now
Still my heart
Let Your voice be all I hear now Spirit breathe
Like the wind come have Your way Cause I know You’re in this place
It wasnʼt pretty. I prayed aloud, God this hurt! I asked for help. I asked for strength. I sang, I raised my hands in worship to a powerful God! Connor prayed over me, Sarah prayed over me. I felt out of control, it was hard to breathe. I was hot and then cold and then hot. I couldnʼt breathe. I felt sick.
Keep Going. I can do this.
Around 12:30p it was time to push! I rolled onto my side and pushed 1-2 times. With each push she assisted in stretching the remaining portion of my cervix out of the way. Breathe, Push, stretch, repeat. Out of nowhere my contractions completely stopped. I thought for sure my labor was stalling. Val insisted that this was normal and they have no way to explain it. But sometimes women get a small break before intense pushing. I rested for 5-10 minutes. As soon as the next contraction hit I was able to push. It was a deep tightening that engulfed my entire torso. Every inch of my body could feel the contractions as I pushed with everything in me. I can do this, I can do this. Heʼs almost here. At some point I had asked for medications, but as I was asking I also knew that it wasnʼt possible and it was not what I wanted. I admitted I only said it for the sake of asking, as if someone would take me seriously. With the next push my water broke. It was a delicate pop and a wild gush. I knew right then that thatʼs what it was. I pushed again and I could hear Connor praying over us in my ear. This entire time my eyes were closed. Push, my eyes popped open, it burns, itʼs hurts, I need heat, I want to stop, but I want to know if he has hair. I feel like I canʼt breathe, I feel sick, Iʼm hot. Push, thereʼs his head. With one final push out he slid. I sighed and breathed relief – oh my gosh it feels so good to have him out! My little wiggle worm was peeking up at me. He was covered in some blood and fluid yet the most beautiful sight Iʼve ever seen. I was shocked. I looked around at everyone in confusion, heʼs here! We did it! Connorʼs eyes were filled with tears. I held him close to me as we waited for his cord to stop pulsating. Connor cut the cord. As we wrapped ourselves in a blanket cocoon I felt a warmth run across my belly. My little stinker peed all over me! In the moment it was so precious! As they massaged my belly and checked me for tearing I gazed at this beautiful, chubby little man staring at my face. I was clueless to the world around me! Val had asked me if I wanted to be numbed for 2 stitches and I was so enthralled with our little one that I told her I didnʼt care. She mentioned that I didnʼt have a single tear, but for appearance later down the road I needed two stitches near the urethra. They massaged my tummy some more and I successfully delivered the placenta. I lost quite a bit of blood after that, however it was managed well without intervention. We attempted to latch him on my breast right away, however he was uninterested. He was so busy taking everything in and staring at his momma! I was immediately in love.
I did it! I was proud. I felt amazing! Sarah stayed for about 45 minutes and then left us to bond. They finished cleaning me up and I was later transferred to the mother/baby unit where we later had visitors!
Crosby Dixon Brooks – August 6th 2015 – 1:08pm – 8 pounds 8 ounces – 21 inches long