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Okay, if you are not interested in reading all about the details of Nathan's birth, just skip this post. For those of you who are interested, here it finally is:
I originally did not want to be induced, even though my doctor kept telling me she would be happy to induce me once I hit 39 weeks. I had the hope the he would come naturally by then because I had been dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced for a few weeks already. Obviously, this did not happen. I ultimately decided that an induction would be best because my family came to stay with us all the way from Washington and my dad and brothers had to leave again on the 5th. I really wanted them to meet the baby before they left. My due date was Thursday, April 2 and when I went to see my doctor on Tuesday, March 30, I still had no idea what I wanted to do even though I was on the waiting list to be induced Thursday. I made a compromise with my doctor that I would be induced on Thursday without pitocin (I was hoping to do everything naturally).
Ryan, my mom, and I headed up to Layton to the hospital on Thursday morning at about 7:30 am. We got checked in and settled in our room and the nurse checked me and said I was dilated to about 4 cm, was having regular contractions (I couldn't feel them), and that the baby had dropped. I think if I wasn't induced that day I would have given birth pretty soon anyway. At 8:40 am my doctor came and broke my water. That was one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had in my life. And pretty darn gross. I felt so soggy! She told me that if things didn't progress, she would give me pitocin later. So, we settled in and waited for baby to come. I worked on a crossword puzzle, ate my ice chips, and hung out with my mom and hubby, as the contractions got stronger. At about 12:30 I was dilated to a 5. I got in the jetted tub for about an hour. Best thing ever!! If you go natural (or not) find a place with a tub! At about 3:30 I was dilated to 7.5.
You may be wondering what technique we used to have a natural birth (I say "we" because there is no way I could have done this naturally without Ryan). We studied the Bradley Method while I was pregnant. This involves relaxation and some breathing techniques and a lot of visualization. I chose to visualize the most peaceful place I know. My grandparents live in the mountains in Idaho in the Salmon National Forest. It is so sunny and beautiful and calm there. The Salmon River runs right by their house. Basically, once my contractions got strong, my sweet husband stood by my side and whispered in my ear about my grandparents house and visualizing myself there with my baby. We also listened to an amazing "Celtic Meditation" CD. Towards the end, my mom was on one side of me and Ryan on the other while I squeezed their hands and breathed through my contractions. Later my mom told me, "at one point I thought you might have broken one of my fingers!" oops! Sorry Mom!
At 5:30 (even though they told me it would be 5:00) my doctor came and told me I was dilated to 9.7. AHHH! Are you kidding me? Don't push yet. Wait a couple more contractions, she said. Five. Five contractions later (yes, I was definitely counting) she came back and said I could push. I pushed for about 20 minutes before Nathan was born. It would have been even faster but I told my doctor I did NOT want an episiotomy (something about going natural). She finally said, "if you had an episiotomy, this baby would be out by now." I asked, "do you promise that if I have an episiotomy he'll be out on the next contraction?" She said yes, and that's all the convincing I needed. I asked her how much it would hurt and she said that I wouldn't even notice if she did it while I was pushing. LIAR!! Let me just say, it hurt! But she was right, he was out in another push or two. 6:41 pm, ten hours of labor (without pitocin!).
Some people have asked me about my feelings on natural labor now that I am on the other end of it and this is what I think: I would totally do it again (not soon, but later I will). When I arrived at the hospital that morning, I honestly wasn't sure I could do it, but I surprised myself with my strength. I'm still not really sure how I did it! One of the reasons I didn't end up getting an epidural is because no one ever pressured me. No nurse ever asked if I was sure I didn't want one. Had someone offered, I might have caved! You have to have an amazing coach to give birth naturally. I mean amazing! Ryan worked so hard to get me through it (so did my mom and her poor little fingers). It was really neat to have a baby who was really alert and not drugged when he was born. the doctor said she could see him moving his head back and forth while I was pushing. Poor guy really wanted out! She also said she hadn't heard a baby get so mad about being born in a really long time.
One moment during labor that is really special to me is the moment while I was pushing and the doctor and nurse said, "this baby has a lot of hair!" I asked "what color is it?!" This was a big deal because we thought he might have red hair. She said, "it's dark." I was not surprised at all, even though we had pictured a red headed baby the whole time I was pregnant. I wasn't surprised because, while I was visualizing during contractions all day, I kept visualizing myself with the baby. At first I tried to picture him with red hair, but I couldn't so I just gave in and pictured a baby with dark hair all day. When the doctor said he had dark hair, I knew that the baby I had been picturing was Nathan. Now that I have spent more time with him and know really well what he looks like, I realize that the baby I pictured looked exactly like him in every way. This is such a sweet reminder to me that Heavenly Father is such a huge part of the birth process. I love knowing that I got to look at my beautiful baby all day, even though I didn't know it was really him.
Okay, I realize that this is a TON of information. Sorry if I gave too many details.