Tallulah’s Birth Story.
**Bold text indicates actual texts between Andrew and our midwives**
Wednesday, October 28th. Andrew and I had put the kids to bed after a busy evening of seeing our midwives and eating dinner at Chick-fil-A. We were watching our new favorite show Breaking Bad, when I had some strong contractions. I waited to have more than three in a row before I told Andrew because it wasn’t unheard of for me to have a random contraction here and there. But these three were all 10/15 minutes apart. So I told him at 10:30 pm and we decided to watch another episode of Breaking Bad and see what happened. He texted our midwives, Brandi and Mindy:
10:40pm Andrew: Heads up still probably too early to know for sure, but Bekah has had some more intense contractions (not BH). They started about 50 minutes ago and happen every ten to fifteen minutes. The last one was the longest (about two minutes). It kept building but no sharp pains. The contraction before that was quite intense with sharp pains. She said “the baby is dancing a jig in there.”
Brandi: Cool ty
Andrew: So at what point should I message you guys again?
Mindy: If you have any questions or concerns, water opens, or you are ready for us
I think Andrew called them at this point, because somehow we found out they were at another birth an hour and a half away and we would need to let them know when my contractions were 7 minutes apart instead of 5. So we watched yet another episode of Breaking Bad. (Because it’s addicting. Like blue meth.) Then I decided the kitchen needed to be cleaned, as well as the bathrooms upstairs, plus there were lots of little things to do like bring the boys’ overnight bag down, eat a snack, take the birthing stuff up, get some laundry folded and put away, and drink lots of water in between everything.
I realized this was most likely it so I started the hibiclens treatment. I had decided not to be tested for Group B strep since the test is very fickle. You can test positive one day and negative the next, or vice versa and it seemed dumb to pay for a test that is far from accurate. I simply treated myself like I was positive, eating as much fermented food as possible and avoiding sugar. (Ok, so I didn’t really avoid sugar, but I thought about it often. Usually before I ate some ice cream or chocolate like, “Oh man, I shouldn’t be eating this sugar! Next time I’ll have some broccoli…”) Every four hours during labor I rinsed my lady parts with water and hibiclens.
1:59am Andrew: Are we supposed to mix the hiba (not sure of the spelling) cleanse with something before using?
Mindy: Water. Hibiclens to first mark on the peri bottle, fill with water the rest of the way
Andrew: So how amany ounces are in a peri bottle and about how many to the first line? We may have missed purchasing one of those. 🙁
Mindy: Lol, it should be in your birth kit? 1T to 8oz water.
Andrew: Doesn’t look like we have one in the birth kit. I have a water bottle that squirts which we can make work, or, is a super soaker water gun too much? Just kidding.
Mindy: Lolol. Super soaker too much. We are in Muncie now, so just 40 mins from you now. 🙂 Keep us posted, especially if she starts working hard and conx are 4-5 apart and a minute long.
Andrew: Most all conx are a minute plus now. We were down under 7 minute intervals but the last two have been ten-ish minutes apart.
Mindy: Ok great.
Soon we called Andrew’s mom to come over since the boys were both up anyway. And eventually we called the midwives. My contractions were getting stronger and longer, I was having to work through them, and I was starting to get vocal. However in between contractions I was fine. Brandi and Mindy arrived and my labor basically put the breaks on. I was cleaning again and I even started cooking granola bars! Because why not? Andrew and I (and our poor tired midwives) had all been up for about 24 hours at this point, and I was clearly not in hard labor since I was cooking (I don’t even like cooking!) so Brandi suggested we do a cervical check to see how far along I was. We went upstairs, she checked me, and then came the shocking news: I was 3 cm. ONLY 3 cm. I was completely surprised. With Malachi I’d been 3 cm for a month and at this point in my labor I was pushing and it was almost over. Brandi assured me I was in early labor, and said the baby was most likely coming today, but it might be noon or it might be 7:00pm. I didn’t really like the sound of that. She and Mindy thought it would be a good idea for everyone to get some sleep. My mother-in-law took the boys to her house, Mindy and Brandi went home to sleep, and Andrew and I crawled into bed to ‘rest’. Because I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to sleep. I was just going to rest. And then I fell fast asleep. I remember kinda waking for a contraction here and there, but nothing major. Suddenly out of nowhere I had this super crazy contraction. I got on my hands and knees and I knew it was go time again. A few minutes later I had another. And then another. These were enough to make me cry by the end. They didn’t seem to build much, it was just bam! Pain, and then slowly it would fade away. A few contractions later and I felt a ‘pop’ at the end of one and I jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom, yelling, “My water broke!” There was no gushing of water, just a little trickle when I would push, so I grabbed a pad and went back to squat on the bed and lie down in between contractions.
7:48am Andrew: Fyi – her water just broke.
Andrew: She said it looks clear on her underwear. That was the first thing I asked. She said she sees something ‘reddish’ in the toilet but not underwear
Andrew: Thought it was plug, but maybe bloody show. So all good news, Yeah?
Brandi: Yes. Any contrax
Andrew: Sorry if I woke you. Oh yes. A couple pretty big ones. Haven’t been timing but I was start again.
Andrew: She remembers being 3 cm when her water broke with Mali. Still could be a long day ahead of us.
Brandi: We will come whenever you’re ready for us.
I continued lying on the bed in between contractions and then getting on all fours during the contractions. I kept thinking, “Man, I don’t want to be doing this all day. This is really hard. This is way harder than Malachi’s labor. I’m kinda done with this. This is not fun. I can’t relax. Why am I having a hard time relaxing? It’s gonna make me start freaking out, and that will freak Andrew out, which will freak me out even more!” I was freaking out mentally because I couldn’t seem to find a good position to relax in between contractions, much less during. Nothing was working. Andrew could see it was getting intense so he texted Brandi and Mindy again.
8:37am Andrew: She thinks you better come? She keeps feeling like she needs to poop but she thinks it may be she needs to push? She doesn’t know.
Andrew: “I don’t think I’m handling this one as well” Quote from her. She said she would feel comfortable with you coming but is worried because she doesn’t want it to be another false alarm for you. A few minutes later we got this text:
Brandi: Passing exit 22
Andrew: Door is still unlocked. Let yourself right in.
And then I had THE CONTRACTION. It was so sudden, and so intense, and it wasn’t just a contraction, it was my whole body pushing! Have you ever seen those videos of people holding their cats over a bathtub? When they let go of the cat, it jumps/runs away like it was just hit with a taser? Yeah, that’s how I jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom. Andrew ran after me and asked if I was pooping, and I replied no! I’m pushing! And he stated calmly, “Well, you have to stop that right now. I’m not catching this baby by myself.” And he began pacing around. I remember looking at him like, “Are you trying to be funny? Do you think either of us really has a choice when the baby is coming?!” Then he he walked over and said, “Ok. I can do this. I’ve watched videos on YouTube.” You guys, if I hadn’t been doubled over in pain, I would have doubled over with laughter. He watched videos on YouTube. Never mind he’s been at the birth of our other kids. Never mind I’m a birth freak and Birth Boot Camp instructor. He’s got it covered. He’s watched videos. Then transition hit. He asked if I was hot and wanted to take off my shirt. I said no. And then 15 seconds later I begged him to help me get undressed because I was so hot. Literally had a full body sweat happen instantly. And then the weirdest part of labor. I cried over my hair. I had just washed and dried it the day before and it looked nice. Soft and shiny. But it was so freaking hot on my neck that I needed it up. I mean, there were going to be pictures later and I’d already cleaned my makeup off, the least I could do for my daughter was have nice hair in her birth pictures. But the hot. The itchy! I put it up. Then I remembered beauty before pain (my mom taught me well!) and took it down. But hot. So hot! So I compromised with me, myself, and I and put it half up. Sitting on the toilet wasn’t really working for me anymore, so we eventually moved back to the bed and Brandi and Mindy arrived while I was up and moving there. I went to lean over the bed and then got on my knees with my elbows propped up on the bed, squeezing Andrew’s hand. My body was pushing and it was so dang painful I was pushing between contractions because I just wanted that baby out of me. Like yesterday. I was squeezing Andrew’s hand tighter and tighter. I just focused on squeezing his hand like my life depended on it. (He says it didn’t hurt. But I find that awfully hard to believe. I squeezed it for 20 minutes and I squeezed hard.) Everyone was telling me how great I was doing, and Andrew continuously told me he loved me and he was so proud of me. Pushing with Malachi I had definitely experienced the ring of fire, but mostly pushing felt good. This time pushing did not feel good. It was crazy painful. I was aware of the baby slipping back in a bit when I would stop pushing. And I did not want that baby going back in! She needed to come out. I tried to just push her out quickly but Brandi and Mindy reminded me a few times to take it slowly. I reached down and could feel her head! With lots of hair! There is no greater motivation to get your baby out than being able to finally touch them! Eventually she came out (they always do!) in a rush of fluid, hormones, tears, and sweat. Someone handed her to me through my legs and I sat down to get a good look at her. She was gorgeous. Full head of hair, pinked right up, and she seemed huge and yet so tiny all at once. My first thoughts were, “How the crap did she just come out of me?!” and then “She’s adorable! Everything is so tiny!” She was pretty bloody though, and I really hoped that didn’t mean I had horrible tears! Andrew looked down from the bed and said, “Is that the placenta?” And Brandi and Mindy both immediately answered no, and I was about to remind him that I had to push that out too so he’d know. But then he pointed to the floor and asked, “Then what is that?!” Mindy peeked around me and said, “That’s the placenta!” At some point during pushing my placenta detached but Tallulah was breathing fine and had great color. However, she was basically limp and silent. Brandi and Mindy started working on her, using the oxygen to make sure she was getting enough and suctioning out her throat. It took more than a few minutes of oxygen and rubbing her and talking to her to get her to move or make a noise. But man when she did, it was the best sound ever! I’ve never loved the sound of a baby’s cry so much!
After a bit Tallulah and I got in the tub for an herb bath and it felt heavenly. I’m not a water person, but I stayed in for almost an hour it felt so amazing. Tallulah must have enjoyed it too since she fell asleep during her soak.
We had noticed Tallulah was having trouble latching, her back arched and any attempts to snuggle her close resulted in her continuously pushing away and screaming. So much so that Brandi suggested we call her chiropractor. I personally had never been to a chiropractor, and Andrew didn’t believe in chiropractic care, but at this point she was about two hours old and hadn’t latched once, and seemed to be in pain whenever we simply tried. So Brandi called Dr. Cory who not only had some free time, but also agreed to come to our house for a very, very small fee. (Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. He charged us next to nothing.) He arrived, adjusted her for a few minutes while Andrew held her, and then I took her and she was a completely different baby! She snuggled right in and tried to figure out how the heck this whole nursing thing works. It was amazing. I honestly don’t know what would have happened had we not agreed to have Dr. Cory come. Mindy said since she’d had so much suctioning right after birth she probably had an aversion to things touching her mouth, and then there was the fact that when I tried to nurse her before her adjustment it just put her in pain. It was clear she was confused about how to nurse. For a few hours I manually expressed milk into her mouth while she tried to latch and finally achieved a good latch in the afternoon and I cried with happiness.
1:39 Andrew: We have latch and suck! 🙂 🙂
In the evening Tallulah and I eventually made our way downstairs for some family pictures. It was so nice to be home and in bed immediately after giving birth. I never want to be anywhere but home when I give birth. Like her brothers, Tallulah is a pretty chill baby. She’s two months now and starting to coo and has plumped up rather nicely.