The Birth of Carson
I woke up just after 1:30 am on August 29, 2015, one day before my “due date”. This had become my average wake up time to use the bathroom and nurse Brendan back to sleep. I went to the restroom and when I stood up, I discovered my mucous plug in the toilet. This was my first true sign of labor starting. I had been having some warm ups the past week, but they weren’t frequent or strong. I did notice they were more frequent when I woke up; however, I went back to bed and Brendan woke up to nurse. There came a point, not too long after, where I couldn’t nurse him anymore. My waves were becoming too intense and I needed to get up. Poor Brendan was very upset about that, so he woke up for the day too. Somewhere between waking up and now I also tried to sit on my birth ball, but I honestly can’t remember when I did that. It didn’t help for too long. I continued to ride out the smaller waves and gave my doula, Amanda, a quick call. We decided to wait a little bit & that I should call her if things kept moving forward. I decided at that point to take a shower. I rode out some waves in the shower and then got out and continued to ride out waves in a hands and knees/child’s pose hybrid position. I called Amanda back to update her again, she suggested waiting 30 more minutes and seeing how things progressed. After my 36-hour labor with my first sweet boy, Brendan, we weren’t sure how fast things were really going. I asked Bradley to help me put on my TENS unit to try and relieve a little back pain and I tried to stay hydrated. The waves were starting to get pretty intense and I was having a lot of self-doubt crowding my brain. Brendan’s birth had not left the best impact on my soul and the anxiety from it was showing up. I tried to tell myself positive things and reached out to Bradley to help stay calm.
It had been about 30 minutes and I called Amanda back to ask her to come to the house. Bradley was doing his best to help with what I needed, but I was really needing her help as well at that time. I also called Kristi, our photographer, to let her know what was going on and gave Misty, Brendan’s support person, a 45-ish minutes heads up. At that point, we all still thought we had a decent amount of time. Boy, were we wrong! I suddenly felt things start becoming more intense and felt more urgency for everyone to get to the house. I quickly called Misty back before Amanda arrived and let her know that Daddy would be picking her up sooner than I originally thought a few minutes prior. Amanda had also let Assonta (the doula shadowing her) know to head over. Time was kind of a blur by then, but from messages on my phone, Amanda arrived around 5 am and Bradley left to pick up Misty. I was still riding out a lot of pretty intense waves at this time. Self doubt still clouding my brain more than I liked. With the first wave after Amanda arrived, things started to change with my brain. She put her hand on my shoulder, and although that wave was very difficult, that simple touch was extremely calming. I continued to ride out some waves in the same child’s pose position on the bed. They were definitely intensifying and although my sense of time was skewed, it didn’t feel like I was getting as much of a break in between waves. We decided to get up and move out of the bedroom, as I had been almost stuck there for a little while. I made it to the hallway where the birth ball was when another wave came. I tried to lean over the ball, but had to get all the way down on the floor. I rode out a couple while on my side, with my leg on the ball, but once again needed to get back into the child’s pose position. That had become my comfort zone. Brendan was happily playing with Misty, whom recently arrived, which was a very big relief to me. I apparently hit transition right as Bradley got back to the house with Misty, because I got very nauseous. This was when everyone thought we should go to the hospital. I decided to have Brendan stay home with Misty, because he was having so much fun! As we all loaded up the cars, I had Bradley call Kristi to tell her to meet us at the hospital ASAP!
We then got on the road for a “short” 15 minute drive that we had made numerous times. This time was a whole other ball game. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it through the waves in the car. I was no longer in a position that was comfortable. I was feeling quite a bit of pressure. I knew I just needed to do it, because I was not having my baby in a car. Not because I didn’t think we could handle it, but because we didn’t have time to do the extra paperwork with our upcoming move from overseas to the states. Bradley got us to the hospital as quickly as possible (I’m 99.5% positive he was speeding) and he went to grab me a wheel chair from the ER. Amanda and Assonta tried to get me walking towards the doors, but luckily Bradley came back pretty quickly, because I doubt I would have made it much further. I had my eyes mostly closed from this point forward and tried to focus. I tried my best to kindly express to the triage tech that I needed to be checked immediately, without any of the other stuff. This baby boy was coming quickly! The technician tried explaining that they needed to get me on the monitors and was giving the routine spiel. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I remember looking at him and telling him in a semi-kind fashion that what he was saying would not be happening and that he needed to get a nurse right then and there. He
conceded and left. I got undressed from the waist down in order to be checked (my first and only check all pregnancy) and then waited uncomfortably on the triage bed. The time from car to birth seemed to drag on forever, but this all was happening in about an 8- minute time frame. My support system asked for them to get the nurse twice, the second time after I said I was starting to feel an urge to push. Kristi arrived somewhere around here as well. I remember looking up, seeing her, and telling her she could take pictures now. I highly doubt I needed to tell her that, but I think I was grasping at control wherever I could get it. The nurse came in, quickly checked me, told me I was complete and they started rolling me off to a room.
When they got me to the room (a short walk down the hall) they needed to get me from the triage bed to the bed in the room. They told me to ROLL. Seriously. Roll. I remember thinking that was the stupidest and most insane idea ever. It wasn’t, and I rolled from one side to my other. Amanda was right there with me through all of this. I felt like I always knew exactly where she was, which was comforting. After they rolled me, she tried to help me lift my leg so that I could try to birth on my side. I literally could not lift one leg off of the other. My body had locked my legs together and they were not coming apart in that position. She then suggested getting on hands and knees and I switched to that position. Then the technician came over and said he was going to start my IV. I remember just basically saying nope, that’s not going to happen. I got lucky that my provider, the head CNM, told him it was ok. All at the same time, the nurse grabbed the Doppler, got our baby’s heart rate (which was great), and I told Amanda that I needed to push. Working with my midwife, I pushed out our sweet boy in only a handful of pushes. As soon as he was out, I felt a wave of joy, relief, and pride as well as a little disbelief. He was born at 6:33 am. That’s right. The whirlwind that was this labor and birth was only 5 hours long. It took some time for my brain to catch up as I had prepared myself for another long labor.
My midwife passed him through my legs and into my arms and I laid down with him on my chest. I did it. I freaking did it. That is how I felt. I just had my natural, healing birth and I was on cloud nine. To make everything even more special, my midwife then informed me that Carson had been born en caul. I was shocked. I had heard stories. I had seen pictures. I just never thought I would experience it. The staff was also quite thrilled as most had never seen it first hand. Bradley cut the cord once it stopped pulsing, then we tried to get him to nurse. He waited probably an hour before he decided he wanted to. I got to sit there and take in every moment for two hours. Then, Bradley went home to get Brendan, the technician took all of Carson’s stats and did his checks, and I got up and went to the restroom. Then we sat back down and he started nursing again. Shortly after, Bradley came in with Brendan. I was ecstatic to see him and introduce him to his little brother. Kristi took a few more pictures and then everyone left us to enjoy our newest addition.
Carson felt so tiny at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and 21 inches long. He didn’t weigh much less than Brendan, but he felt small. A short 24 hours later we were headed home! This sweet, precious little boy is so wonderful. He adds so much to our lives. His brother adores him and so do we. I am so thankful for my support team that helped me bring him into the
world in such a wonderful way. Our one-on-one hypnobirthing classes with Amanda, as well as just her experience and presence were so crucial to the way everything went. I truly wasn’t sure that I could have the natural birth I had been dreaming of. But I did it. It was possible. And it was worth it!