Nixon's Birth Story

Almost 5 months ago I gave birth to a precious baby boy. I'm excited to finally write out all of the details - and yes, everything is still VERY fresh in my memory. I'll never forget August 23rd-24th of 2017. 

Here we goooo...

As I have previously posted, going through childbirth without an epidural or any other pain management was my GOAL. And I did it. And it was really really hard. But so freakin' worth it. 

At 10:30 am on Wednesday (8/23) I woke up from a nap after a long night of pretty much no sleep due to the need to pee + being uncomfortable and large. I immediately felt a warm, trickling sensation and I literally felt my face light up. I was SO ready to have this baby. My mom was in town from Tulsa, OK (thank the Lord) and I yelled at her to come look at the bed. Neither of us were 100% sure that it was my water. I called my doula, Melissa, who I'd been in contact with for the past couple days giving her updates. She said to wait it out before heading to the hospital, but that she was fairly certain it was amniotic fluid. I honestly couldn't believe it was actually happening (!!!) My main concern at that point was that I wasn't having contractions whatsoever. I DID NOT want to be put on pitocin, a synthetic version of oxytocin (natural hormone) that basically helps jumpstart labor. It also apparently makes contractions much worse, which is not ideal when someone like myself is attempting to do this unmedicated. I had obviously texted Anthony right away and he was home in 30 minutes expecting me to be in lots of pain. But I wasn't! At all. He actually ended up taking a nap in his dad chair and I went on a walk around our apartment complex. My head was surprisingly clear and I felt really calm. I walked up and down flights of stairs and continued feeling a "trickle" every 30 minutes or so.

After getting everything together (SO much stuff), I decided Anthony and I should leave around 5:30pm. My contractions weren't strong at all but I was worried about the baby not having fluid around him or her. My mom headed to the airport to pick up my step-dad who was about to land in Jacksonville. When Anthony and I walked into the hospital entrance I checked in (I'd called my OB office a few hours before and they let the hospital know I was coming). There was a lady in line behind us and asked if this was our first baby. When we said yes she was shocked and asked how "I was so calm???!!!" I just shrugged. I didn't know. I expected myself to be freaking out at this point but I wasn't. I was so ready to meet my baby and not be pregnant anymore! I felt at peace. They put me in a wheelchair (lol) and wheeled me to the L&D wing, Anthony walking next to me with all our stuff. My godsend doula, Melissa, met us in the waiting room and the 3 of us were told to wait in an "Observation Room". I expressed to her (again) that I was nervous about the possibility of getting put on pitocin and she told me not to think about that right now. The nurse came into check my "fluid" but didn't get a good enough sample so it was inconclusive. A lot of times super pregnant women, like myself at the time, will pee themselves a little and SWEAR its their water breaking because they are SO OVER being pregnant, so both my OB and this current nurse kinda thought that was my current situation. I knew better but the nurse had Anthony and I walked around the L&D floor for 40 minutes. At this point I was getting a little frustrated. When we got back to the Observation Room, we waited another 30 minutes (frustrating). My contractions were probably still 8-10 minutes apart and not super intense at all. When the nurse came back she said "I talked to Dr. Brock and she wants you to go home" WHAT. I was so sad. I did not want to go all the way home just to come back a few hours later. All of the sudden I trickled out more fluid, this time with blood. I told the nurse and she immediately checked it and it was, in fact, amniotic fluid. She said, "ok, that's what we needed- let's get you in a room".

I was in my room at 9:00 pm. Contractions still weren't intense and I was STARVING. You aren't supposed to eat anything once you get to the room but I cheated and had a pizza. I couldn't not eat, I needed all the energy I could get to get through labor naturally. I'm not sure when it happened but my contractions picked up intensity and speed F A S T. Pitocin was no longer on the table. I labored for 8 hours but if someone would have asked me how long it was after I would have said 3. Seriously. Time flew but stayed still at the same damn time. 

At first, during each contraction it helped for the Doula and/or Anthony to press in certain parts of my back. It was like an extremely bad period pain but not completely unbearable. It then got to a point where the massages weren't helping and I wanted to get in the shower. It felt like 20 minutes but I was in the shower leaning over, Anthony spraying my lower back for almost 2 hours. Oh, and I had all back labor because my uterus is tilted. Anyway- the shower helped a little but once I was dilated to a 7 (I think) I couldn't stand up anymore. It got to a point where no position was comfortable and I just screamed and squirmed on my hands + knees during each contraction. I kept yelling at anthony to fan me (looking back I don't even know what he was fanning me with??) because my face was so hot. When they checked the baby's vitals during my contractions towards the end I had to use the oxygen mask because I was holding my breath during them which wasn't good for the baby. That really did help a lot and help me relax more in between the contractions. Another thing that actually helped was a lavender oil scented towel that one of the nurses gave me. Lavender is the bomb.

Around 8-9 cm I think I left my body. The pain was indescribable and I kept repeating myself over and over and over. I kept asking where the Doctor was and that I needed the baby out NOW. I was so scared it was never going to end but I really tried to focus on be positive in-between the contractions. One of the nurses told me that I would KNOW when it was time to push. My body would tell me. At that moment it occurred to me that my body was doing all of this on its own. It was such a cool feeling to know that the baby that Anthony and I created was making its way into the world through my body. It's indescribable. 

I pushed for 45 minutes. But I would have guessed 15. I pushed with everything I had (which, by the way it feels really good to push after having agonizing contractions) and Anthony thought my face was going to explode. It felt that way too. He was the best - I couldn't have asked for someone more positive and encouraging through the whole thing. I could see it in his face how proud he was of me and it helped. There were probably 6 or 7 nurses in the room setting everything up but it still didn't feel real that I was about to meet Nixon. The Doctor came in the room and I yelled at her to "get it out". I think she ignored me and was ordering the nurses around. In one push the head was out and I thought Anthony was going to pass out. 5 seconds later the whole baby was out. It was seriously amazing. My stomach immediately deflated like a balloon and I felt SO much lighter. It was a relief almost. Anthony said "It's a BOY" and I was so insanely happy/not surprised at all. Nixon had such a loud cry and the nurses liked it because it meant his lungs were working well. I was already so in love and so proud of him for being the best baby ever. 

When they handed him to me it was surreal. He looked like Anthony had a baby with himself, but it almost made me love him even more. A spitting image of his daddy. (Now he looks more like me - it's C R A Z Y how much they change in just a few months. 

After I delivered I was so shaky. I didn't want to sleep because I wanted to stare at Nixon and not miss a single thing. I probably got 4 hours of sleep during my 2 day post-partum stay (this was not smart... SLEEP mamas). I'll go into further details of my post-partum experience later. But for now I'll just say I was totally unprepared. 

On August 24th at 5:22 am I brought mine and Anthony's perfect baby boy in to the world. We stared at each other a few hours after he was delivered and were both equally in awe of everything we had experienced. This was our life now. We were P A R E N T S. It was a beautiful start to our journey.

Ashton Noto