February 2, 2018

Millie's Birth Story

 Millie Kate Wilson
Born January 6th 2018
7lbs 10oz 19 inches
 5:00 am: Contractions began at home
7:00 am: Arrived at the hospital
8:50 am: Millie was born
3 hours and 50 minutes total
Notable moments:
Mom birthed naturally, without a tub (didn’t think this was possible for me!)
Millie was stuck and things became scary quickly at the end
Nurses thought they may have broke her clavicle upon delivery
Everything turned out just fine and baby Millie, Mom and Dad went home the next day

The details:
If you missed the preface to this day and all the crazy leading up to it you can get caught up HERE.
It must have been between 4 am and 5 am on Saturday morning, January 6th, when I had a vivid dream that I was having strong contractions. I remember putting my hand to my belly half asleep. At 4:55 am I was awakened by what felt like a really strong Braxton hicks contraction. It wasn't painful and it didn't last long, but I found myself unable to drift back to sleep. As I went to get out of bed to use the bathroom I heard Dollie wake up and go into her bathroom. I stayed in bed because I didn't want her to hear me and then a few minutes later, once she was settled, I got up. I was wide awake. I felt another contraction a few minutes later. A little bit of pain was attached to this one, the same familiar pain that I've felt with my last two babies. It's the kind of pain that resembles mild menstrual cramps. I wasn't convinced that this was labor so I got back in bed. I could tell Bodie was awake but I wasn't quite ready to tell him anything yet...at least not until I myself was convinced. I laid there for probably 10 more minutes and felt another one. I asked Bodie why he was awake and he replied, "Because you're awake." Weirdly, I said, "Why am I awake?" Of course he responded with, "I don't know." I waited another couple of minutes to say anything. I don't know why. I think its just because I know once I say it then its real and I just like to take it all in by myself before our world gets crazy over the coming hours. Eventually, I think around 5:15am, I said, "Wanna have a baby today?" And without any hesitation and just as I expected, Bodie excitedly replied, "Yeah! Why?" I laughed and said, "I don't know...It's still too soon to say. Just wait for a bit.." I explained what I had been feeling and then I had another contraction that was quite a bit more painful and at that point I told Bodie that they were definitely real contractions and that baby was coming. I laid in bed for maybe 10 more minutes and then messaged a few family members and our photographer. I started to pack my bag and get somewhat ready and around 5:45am Dollie came into our room. This is very unlike her. She had been staying in her own room until her 'wake up clock' turned green at 7am for weeks. I sat her down on my bed and told her it was time to have the baby. That baby Millie was going to come today, that aunt Courtney was coming over and that we were going to the hospital. The look on her face was priceless. I swear her eyes were twinkling and the smile on her face could not have been bigger. She sat with me in the bathroom while I finished getting ready. At that point I sat back down on my bed, and with Dollie right in front of me, holding my hands, Bodie gave me a special blessing for strength, patience, and to be in tune with my body to know the best way to bring this baby to our world. It was easily one of the best experiences of my life, especially having Dollie there with us during that incredibly spiritual moment.
About that time my sister arrived and made sure I was okay and helped get us ready to get out the door. Within probably 10 minutes of her arrival we were ready to go. It was about 6:30am. At this point I was unable to walk through the contractions and found myself stopping and breathing through them. With a very giddy Dollie, and equally giddy Courtney, and a very excited Bodie and myself, we gave hugs, I love you's, and thank you's and left. The hospital drive was about 30 minutes. On the way I called the on-call midwife, who was actually scheduled to be the same midwife who delivered Dash, but once on the phone with them I found out she had her own baby the night before so I would be having a different midwife that day. I also sent messages to the rest of my family letting them know we were on our way to have the baby.
We arrived at 7am and walked in, Bodie's arms loaded with our hospital bag, Millie's hospital bag, and a pillow. I commented to Bodie about how funny we probably look packing it all in like we KNOW we are for sure staying while the staff will probably laugh because for all we know we would be sent home if I am not progressed enough. But with this being the 3rd time we know my body well and we knew being sent back home would not happen. We met up with Kiersten, our photographer/videographer, and headed up the elevator to the Labor/Delivery unit. Upon arrival we checked in at the front desk, which only took a few minutes, and then headed into the triage room. On our way I saw the same nurse that helped deliver Dash. Once in triage I changed into their gown, and laid down on the bed to begin the monitoring for baby. Contractions were strong and I was unable to speak through them but they weren't lasting too long and I felt so good in between. We chatted for that little while and eventually the nurse checked my cervix. She told me I was a 6 almost 7. Yay! Music to my ears. After being in triage for another little while we eventually made it to my labor room. Probably around 7:30am. It was the same room that I delivered Dash. And I also requested our same nurse and she came right in. It made me so happy! They began to fill up the jetted bath tub per my request but asked that I lay down for a bit more monitoring and for them to get the iv in place in case it was needed in the future. This was the very first time I had come into my room and laid on the bed first thing. Both of my previous labors I immediately got into the tub. But I was feeling really good. I wasn't sweaty and hot (yet) and I just remember feeling super happy and just breathing through the contractions. They were completely manageable and I was in great spirits. About this time my midwife, Erica, showed up and introduced herself. She confirmed some of my birth plan wishes with me and then asked if I needed anything. I think I replied, "just to get in the tub!"

Bodie got my cover up out of our bag in preparation for the tub and it was about this time that I had this thought come to my mind...it went something like this, "I am feeling pretty good. Yes these contractions are getting painful, but in between them I feel really good. I can talk, I am in a good mood, and I don't know if I really even want to get up and change into my cover up and get all sweaty and hot in the tub...maybe I'll just stay here for a little while longer." It couldn't have been more than 5 minutes later that Erica walked in, asked me how I was doing, and then said, "I think I am going to veto the tub." I feel like everyone stopped what they were doing and just looked at me with wide eyes. Especially Bodie, haha! Which makes sense because they all knew I had been asking for the tub since I arrived. Bodie especially knew that I had said time and time again that I did not think I could birth naturally without a tub. So there we were. Erica just said those words, but I responded by telling her that it was actually okay, and explained the thought I had literally just had, and that it was kind of okay with me. She asked me if I wanted her to check me and if I was still at a 6-7 then I could get in, but she felt that if I was 8 or above that she didn't feel that it would be safe. I know that our nurse had told her about Dash's birth (if you haven't read it, you need to and this will all make sense), and so I know she was vetoing the tub because she was not down with me delivering another baby on the bathroom floor on her watch. I didn't want to be checked again right then. I waited for maybe 10 minutes and she offered again, and I told her that I wanted her to check me but only if she would tell me I was a 9 and not still a 7. We all laughed. It must have been about 8am and this is when things started to get a little intense.

It was weird. I was feeling super great, breathing through the contractions and enjoying chatting with everyone in between, but suddenly I found myself unable to speak any more. I went "inside". My eyes closed, words quit coming out, and I just breathed through the contractions that were now getting very, very intense. I remember thinking maybe this is what transition feels like. With my last 2 births I think I must have transitioned in the tub because I've never felt like I've known when I am going through it. Perhaps not until now. I remember the room growing quiet, but hearing whispering between the nurses and midwife about how well I was doing, and continued chatter about how Dash's birth progressed so fast and that I "didn't even let them know until he was crowning.." I remained in my zone, just focused on not holding back but breathing the baby down. Erica kept reminding me to do this. It was helpful. She put a cool rag on my forehead and then the back of my neck. Also helpful. Bodie stood next to me, quiet, not talking, but holding my hand. Helpful. He is always perfect. He is what I need. He knows me well. I remember hearing the babies heart beat on the monitor next to me, and I remember it changing dramatically every time I was having a contraction. This became irritating to me. Bodie turned on my Pandora relaxation station and while it was slightly helpful the monitor was drowning it out and I just remember thinking I need to tell them to turn that off. Turn off the monitor! But I just kept it to myself. I just stayed inside. Inside my own mind.
 Eventually Erica asked me, once again, if I wanted to be checked. I stayed silent. At this point my water also had not broken. Eventually I mumbled a "yes" and once my contraction was over she checked me. My eyes remained closed, but I heard her tell Bodie. "Okay she's still a 7." Then she left. I opened my eyes to confirm with him what I had just heard. 7. SEVEN. What? How? How was this possible? No way!!! No way I am in this much pain, that it's gotten this much worse, that it's been well over an hour and I was still the same! Dreadful. So I went back inside, and just kept breathing this baby down, thinking, "Just let her come down, Katie. Focus. Don't hold back. Stay relaxed. Breathe. Every single contraction brings her closer and closer." Erica came back in. She began talking to me about breaking my water. Initially I was closed off to the idea, in my own mind of course. I am rarely vocal during labor. But I had never had anyone intentionally break my water. I always just let my body do its thing and trust it without any intervention. She continued to explain to me that she felt that I would be the perfect candidate for it and it would really speed things a long. She said, "If you are feeling like you are ready for your baby to be here and like you are just ready to be done then I think it would be a great option." And just like that I was sold. I opened my eyes and told her that I was in fact ready to be done and to go ahead. So she did. With my eyes closed, of course, and with some tension because the pain was so intense and having anyone touch me, let alone in that area, had me even more on edge, she broke my water. It took her a minute. Seems like it was kind of hard. And it wasn't as much water as when my water broke on its own in the past. Either way, it broke and before she was through and her hand was out she said I was an 8. Kiersten, bless her, asked me if I wanted Bodie to do some pressure point stuff. Of course in my mind I thought, "No. I don't want to be touched." But then I heard myself say, "Yes. Something's got to change. I can't keep doing this same thing." The pain was just getting too unbearable. So she had me bring my knees up and showed Bodie how to press on them during my contractions. The first time he did it I felt a tiny bit of relief and it definitely took the edge off. Erica kept bouncing back and forth between me and another laboring mama who was also getting very close to delivering. Soon Erica checked me again and said I was 9, and then eventually I heard her say I was complete a few minutes later. I think it was about 20 minutes from her breaking my water to being complete. Thank goodness I said yes! At this point Erica was and had been all suited up and ready for delivery. She told me there was a cervical lip that she would help move when I felt like I was ready to push. I just kept very focused, allowing the baby to move down without holding back, and just doing my very best at keeping my breathing smooth and consistent and my body loose and not tense. I began feeling very subtle urges to push and just allowed my body to do that. Eventually the urges became stronger and from what I remember it was just a few minutes later that I told Erica I was feeling a lot of pressure to push and that my body was ready. She helped with the lip and I think it was just one or two really big pushes and Millie’s head came out. My eyes remained closed and I heard excited voices. Bodie cheered me on. Then Erica told me to just do small pushes from then on to prevent any tearing. I began to do that and maybe 10-15 seconds later Erica ordered me to push as hard as I possibly could because Millie was stuck. Everyone started freaking out and urging me to push harder and harder and even harder. I just remember keeping my eyes closed and giving it every single ounce of everything in me to push her out. I remember my back arching because I was pushing so hard. I remember a nurse jumping onto my bed to the side of me and literally pushing and almost shoving down on my lower belly as hard as she could. Bodie kept encouraging and people were just kind of freaking out. It must have only been maybe 1 minute later and she came out. It was as that point that I think I became vocal for the first time. I was in A LOT of pain. A lot. With my other babies the pain instantly disappeared when the baby came out. Also once my other babies heads were out the bodies were a cinch, but not this time. This time the contractions were still wildly uncomfortable and I just remember kind of moaning and breathing really heavy a few times. I still didn’t even open my eyes but I remember them placing her on my belly and I just placed both of my hands on her little body and felt her soft skin and hair on her head. They immediately whisked her away to the little bed and at that point I finally opened my eyes and began to breath huge sighs of relief. I kept asking Bodie if she was okay and they said yes but her oxygen levels were low. They said they would have her and I do skin to skin, which usually helps, and that if it didn’t they would have to take her to the NICU for monitoring. I just tried to remain patient and calm while I waited the few minutes for them to place her in my arms, but I was also silently cringing inside because the pain was still awful. They hadn’t yet removed the placenta but kept checking it and saying it wasn’t ready. I just couldn’t believe how much contraction pain I was still feeling and it was very frustrating to me. Of course the second they placed her in my arms I was immediately side tracked.

 There is absolutely nothing in this world that compares to the first time a mother gets to hold her fresh new baby for the first time. The smell is breathtaking, the soft skin, the tiny features, and all the other many things added up are just truly a gift from God and no matter how painful, or how long or short, or scary it is I would do it all over again and again and again. Millie’s oxygen improved almost immediately and her and I just basked in each other’s love and connected on that ultra special level. They eventually removed the placenta with ease and a lot of my pain left. Unfortunately, due to her shoulders being stuck, they thoughtt they may have broken her clavical trying to get her out. She was pretty upset and not calming down very easily. Her face was also bruised from removal. The nurse apologized over and over for having to literally jump on my bed and shove on my stomach. They told me her head was turning more and more blue and they had to do that to get her out. Of course I told her it was completely fine, that I understood and was glad she was okay. They said they would monitor her and do an x ray if needed to check her collar bone. Also due to the shoulders being stuck I tore (again!) and had to get those awful stitches that I swear are almost worst than birth itself. I swear by the time I have my next baby the tearing had better be done!

Once all that was over my pain had dramatically subsided and Bodie and I were able to just enjoy Millie. Family began showing up and Dollie and Dash came in first. Our birth video captures their feelings and the whole experience perfectly. It was magical. They loved her and I’ll never forget the look on their faces. Everyone else also got to meet Millie and we eventually made our way to our recovery room. Millie still was not settling and it had been a few hours. We eventually got her bathed and she nursed just a little, all the while still very fussy. The nurses agreed that she was more fussy than a typical newborn and kept mentioning a possible X-ray. She eventually settled down after another hour or two of crying and then a lady from the nursery came by and checked out her arms mobility, and felt for any soft spots along her collar bone he felt confident that she was okay.

Our photographer was able to capture everything from arrival to the hospital, to birth, to family and the kids, and Millie’s bath and so on. All within a matter of about 7 hours! Between the birth video and the still photos I am incredibly pleased and thankful for Kiersten and the work she did, including her encouragement and help while I was in labor. Our nurses were wonderful and also I had never met Erica previously but she was great and let me do my own thing but offered helpful encouragement when I needed it most. We spent the night and left the next morning with a healthy, sweet baby and headed home to be a family of 5.

All in all it was another nearly perfect labor and birth. I would have preferred Millie to not be yanked so hard into this world, rather a more peaceful softer entrance, but it's okay. We didn't have a choice I guess in those last moments of craziness. It was a perfect day to have a baby. Little and big coincidences like our new insurance cards showed up the day before, my sister was able to leave my niece at home with her Dad instead of waking her so early and bringing her, same with our photographer (she has 3 small kids), I was able to birth Millie during the day so Dollie and Dash were able to come right after and be in the video/pics before Kiersten left, Dash's same midwife was scheduled to be there even though she ended up not being able to, we still got the same nurse, Bodie's sister and her husband happened to be in town from Cedar City so they were able to come, it wasn't snowing, and it just so happens that Millie shares a birthday with one of our very favorite nicu nurses that took care of Dash that first dreadful night that we were told he might not make it, and also one of our favorite nurses on the pediatrics floor who we also grew to be friends with during Dash's stay! very cool if you ask me.

I’m still a little surprised at how quickly it all happened, and just overall how quickly my births keep getting with each baby. I am indeed grateful for my body and mind and it’s ability to do what God made it to do. It’s hard. Really, really hard. I look at these photos of me while I was in labor and it surprises me because I know what I was feeling on the inside..so much pain, not sure how much longer I could it...just needing it to be over...but on the outside it would seem that I wasn't hurting too bad. It makes me wonder if Bodie thinks birth is easy for me? hahaha..But  it's oh so worth it and I am so thankful.  I am thankful for my healthy baby who we all love and adore and obsess over every minute of every day. She is 1 month old and it’s been a very exciting, exhausting, and special time. Seeing the kids with Millie is an entirely new blessing all on its own. We’ve spent this past month a little on edge, just hoping and praying to not be blind sided with something like we were with Dash, but I think now that these last few weeks are behind us and she’s healthy and happy we are all just settling in and enjoying life. She is nursing well, keeping me up a decent amount at night, and usually gets pretty fussy every evening, but that seems to be getting better. She will not take a binky and that's driving us a little crazy but we are managing, haha. She’s currently in my arms as I’m typing just snoozing away. Our family is finding our new normal and I think it’s going really well. I couldn’t ask for more for my family. God has blessed me greatly and I am so proud and honored to me a Mom.

Thanks for sticking around to read Millie’s birth story.
I appreciate all your love and support greatly! And I love sharing my birth stories, mainly so I always have them to look back on and to remember all the details. 
You can read Dollie's birth story here, and Dash's birth story here, if you'd like.

Much love,

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1 comment:

  1. I loved this story. I’ve birthed my babies naturally too and this brought back so many emotions. So hard, but so empowering to be in such control of our own bodies. So glad she made it safely and you are a rockstar. Way to go!