Gavin’s Birth Story

This October has been a doozy.  We have had a host of car problems with expensive repairs.  Then right after they were finished, the suspension went out on our car while Tom was driving and it rolled onto its side in a ditch!  Thank god he was driving very slow and next to a very shallow ditch, and he escaped without a scratch.  The car, however did not.  It has some side damage and needs almost the entire suspension system replaced, which was not in the budget.  Tom missed another several days of work, and pay, but in the end, with some help from family and friends we got a new used car that is far better then the last one.  Since Tom’s job is highly specialized it can be difficult to find someone who can cover him while he is gone.  The closest person lives about 2.5 hrs away, and that’s with little traffic.  So when he can’t work, whoever does has to stay at our house.

So there we were last Sunday, one week past my due date, carless, flat broke, and playing host to a friend/coworker who would be covering our job until we could somehow get a new car.  Rain was expected that week and there was much to do outside to prepare.  Collecting kindling for our woodburning stove was at the top of the list and so that morning Tom, Brae, our friend and I went out and collected as much firewood as we could.  Just as we finished I went to the bathroom and after doing my business I stood up and felt like I was peeing my pants.  It was just a trickle so I thought maybe I did pee a little.  I cleaned up and started to walk out of the bathroom when it happened again.  It took another five minutes before it occurred to me that my water might have broken.  I waddled out to Tom and told him that I wasn’t sure, but I think my water broke.  Then I felt it again and rushed back to the bathroom.  Within ten minutes I was pretty convinced this must be it.  I called my midwife who told me to come into the birth center to verify it was my water that broke.  Then I texted my bestie Tina and told her the news.  Tom and I borrowed our angel of a neighbor’s minivan and raced to the birth center.

By the time we got there it was quite obvious my water was definitely broken.  I was sent home to wait until my contractions were consistent and strong.  I spent the rest of the day with a towel between my legs nervously waiting for contractions to start.  They didn’t, and I was called in for a non stress test the next morning.  After 40 minutes of no contractions the midwives started talking about caster oil and encouraged me to try nipple stimulation.  I don’t know if it was the stimulation or that I really didn’t want to take caster oil, but all of a sudden I started having regular painful contractions that gradually increased in intensity.  I thought great!  We are getting somewhere now!  That was until the midwife came in and looked at the baby’s heart rate.  It was dropping too low after each contraction and she advised me to head to the hospital for additional monitoring.  She warned me that it was likely that the hospital would not want me to leave and I should start preparing myself for a hospital birth.  Tina and I headed home to pick up Tom and all my bags.

We got to the hospital an hour later and my contractions were still consistent, but not too painful.  They hooked me up to their machines, told me my blood pressure was high and asked if I was nervous.  I told the nurse about everything that happened with my daughter’s hospital birth and that I really didn’t want to have the baby there.  She was extremely sympathetic and spent the next 20 minutes telling me about how they do natural births there all the time and that they even recently did a breech delivery.  That’s pretty rare these days.  My blood pressure dropped as I came to terms with the idea of a hospital birth.

It took about 6 hours before my contractions were very painful and close together.  I spent about half of those hours in the shower with very hot water spraying on my lower back.  Eventually the nurse had me climb into the bed and checked for dialation.  Only 5 cm!  I was devastated.  It already hurt like hell and I was only halfway there.  My back was in agony so we tried several different positions to try and ease the pain, but nothing seemed to work.  An hour or so later the pain reached another level of agony and she checked me again.  I was an eight.  It took a couple more contractions to convince me that I needed something to take the edge off.  The nurse gave me a tiny bit of pain meds in an IV just to take the edge off, which it did.  It took me from a pain level of ten to a nine.  Not much, but enough.  Twenty minutes later I was pushing.

Brae and Tina were there throughout the delivery.  Brae even helped pull Gavin’s head and body out.  She was cool as a cucumber the entire time.  Afterward she told us that it was fascinating and disgusting at the same time.  I remember looking at Tina and she looked horrified and terrified at the same time.  Later she told me that she will definitely be getting an epidural when she has kids.

Gavin was born at 9:58pm on Monday October 22.  He was perfect in every way, very healthy from the start.  They plopped him on my chest and he began breastfeeding almost immediately.  I had one tiny tear.  The doctor said that I probably would not have torn if I did not have that episiotomy last time.  Two stitches were all that I needed.  Even though he was perfectly healthy Gavin and I had to stay in the hospital for the next four days under close observation because I was Group B Strep positive and my water had broken 24 hours before birth.  I had been taking antibiotics since my water broke, but there was still a risk of serious complications if Gavin got infected.

He did just fine and on Thursday night we were able to come home.  He has been such a pleasure!  He is feeding well, sleeping well and totally charming when he is awake.  I am trying my best to take it easy and heal, but with so much stuff to do I am finding it hard to sit still.  I feel like I am almost back to normal mentally.  I am inspired, motivated and over eager to start up my garden, cook, take pictures, and do some yoga.  However if I am to heal those things will have to wait a couple weeks.  Until then I am going to take pics of Gavin and will share them here along with updates and plans for this winter.

I know this is long but I hope you enjoyed my story!  Thank you for all your prayers and blessings.  Getting those comments did a lot to keep my spirits high.  Thank you again!  More to come soon!