Sunday, February 19, 2012

How Roan got here aka Birthing Story

Do no continue reading unless you want to hear a birthing story.

At my 38 week appointment we discovered I was dialated to a 3. This got Lars and I super excited and we quickley finalized our hospital bag and all other last minute items. Lars didn't want to go into work half the time because he feared I would burst into labor suddenly and he wouldn't get to me with enough time to get me to the hospital. We took care of that fear by arranging back up transportation in case I went into labor during his work hours. This made me very anxious and I did call Labor and Delivery a few times that week to be sure I shouldn't come in. I was leaking mucas and having some minor contractions but nothing like the real thing (come to find out). So I finished out work and walked everyday and just braced myself each day. Every now and then I thought to myself, this could be my last night sleeping pregnant or my last meal before labor, better make it count. ;) I had an contraction timer app and came close to having them 5 minues apart but then it would die down after 30 minutes and wouldn't kick back up until hours later.

On Sunday the 15th of January I had true false labor contractions during Relief Society. I thought it was going to happen that night, but like always they died down, but they felt different and more real. I went about my week and got things done and mostly tried to keep myself distracted. I walked a lot everyday. Every other night I slept good. Tuesday night was a bad sleepless night. I felt like it was coming so on Wednesday I was sure to take a nap. I had a feeling things were going to start moving and move fast that night. I love it when my womanly insticnts are in tune and I listen to them because that is exactly what happened.  I had a hunch it was going to happen as well because I made lunch plans for the next day and I just knew I was going to have to cancel them. But for a good reason so all good.

Lars got home and we had a nice meal at the dinner table and then started watching a movie. Contractions started and I timed them on my app and after an hour they were getting stronger and closer together. I didn't want to jump the gun so we just kept ourselves distracted with more tv shows and movies. About 10 pm I couldn't sit still and had to keep walking around to ease the pain from the contractions. I tried many different positions, sat on a birthing ball, got a massage, everything and they weren't subsiding, it was the real deal. We watched one more 30 minute comedy and then I called Labor and Delivery. I let them know how far apart the contractions were and that I started having more mucas and bloody show. They gave me the okay to come in. We grabbed our hospital bag and supplies and were out the door by 11 pm. Our dear neighbors heard us leave and texted us. We confirmed that it was the real deal. Our hospital is about 10 miles away so it was about a 15 minute drive. No traffic that night, didn't even use the carpool lane. Lars wanted to call our parents but I once again didn't want to jump the gun incase they sent me home. HA! There was no way they were sending me home. These contractions were for real. I always worried I wouldn't "know" when they were real but they were FOR REAL!! So glad we got there when we did because they got busy afterwards and started sending people to the other hospital that we didn't tour.

We got into Triage and as said above they were busy so they didn't check me for a while. I could hear other girls around me having a really hard time with the contractions so I think they were checking them first and getting them moved up. Lars was timing their contractions and they were the same as mine, only difference is that I wasn't crying or screaming. I made faces and light noises but for the most part I dealt with it. They also kept asking me if this was my first. I guess because I was so chill and it was my first they figured I had more time. I think I was chill because I just am happy in nature and I was excited for what was to come. At last they checked me and I was at a 5, by this time it was about midnight and Lars had called our parents. They asked me if I wanted any medicine for the pain and I kept going back and forth about it. I agreed to something to take the edge off and it took them a while to get it to me. Once they did it made me loopy and kind of funny. By that time I decided to just go ahead and get the epidural. (I thought I had prepared to not get one and wanted to try it without, but I opted for one, and there is nothing wrong with it and I am sooooo glad I did) They informed me there was a wait and that I was third on the list. We waited in triage for a while longer, to me the time went by fast, but apparently it was well over an hour. They wheeled me into labor and delivery at about 3 am. The midwife came in and told me I was at a 7 and would be along shortly. I asked her how short, like 10 minutes, if so lets do this and for go the epidural. She told me an hour. I decided to still go for the epidural, so glad I did. It was wonderful. I slept for over an hour and then they came in at about 6 am and had me start pushing to move Roan down more as he did not drop completely. I was very nervous about being able to feel the pushing and knowing when to push because of the numbness. Honestly it was alright and it worked out because the feeling started to come back as I pushed and I was a rock star at pushing and knowing when to push. While pushing Roan's heart rate was steady but at times very low. They thought the cord was around his neck, turns out later we found out that the cord was just short. Weird.

The midwife came in at 8 am and we were ready to go for the final stages of pushing. She said she wanted this in the bag as her shift was ending. Well we didn't reach her goal and they had a shift change within the final minutes of my birth. The switch was very easy and smooth and professional. Our original nurse stuck around cuz she was awesome and her name was Sue. I guess you could say I had two midwives deliver my baby. At one point when Roan started to crown I wanted to see what the fuss was all about so I had them put a mirror in place so I could see, but it was only up for a few minutes, that was all I needed to get my fill. Anyway, PUSH PUSH PUSH, then finally they asked me if I wanted to pull him out of me. I happily did so and reached down and pulled him out of me by his shoulders and then laid him onto my chest. I will never ever forget what he first looked and sounded like. I get teared up just thinking about how beautiful he was and still is. The image brings me joy and will be burned into my heart and mind forever. Lars opted out of cutting the cord so they let me do it. Meh not much to it. They pulled all the other stuff out of me and let me look at the placenta, it was very healthy. They took Roan from me and did their thing to him and then gave him back.

Lars was a champ throughout everything. He was by my side encouraging and soothing me with his love and ice chips. He took pics once Roan came out and of course was just as in love with him as I was. I am not sure how long they left us there but eventually they packed us all up and moved us to our postpartum room where we remained for the next 2 nights. My numbness wore off and I was able to walk around again. They didn't take the IV out of me until I went to the bathroom on my own which was hard at first, but once the nurses finally left me alone to do my business I was able to relax and deliver. :) Roan tore me twice on his way out and later we discovered that the pushing either broke or bruised my tail bone. Still working on healing from that one. Our stay at Kaiser was amazing, the nurses were fantastic and the food was delicious. We had various friends and coworkers stop by and visit which we very much appreciated. When it came time to check out days later I was so ready to get out and start our new life together. 

Roan is a month old today. It has taken me weeks to get this typed as I have been doing it in between everything else I have been doing. The first 2 weeks were the toughest. Mostly because the roller coaster ride my hormones took me on (not fun) and the allowing my body to heal. Breastfeeding was tough at first but now I feel like we have it down to a science and we are both happy with the results. My Mom came out for the first 10 days and that helped a ton. She was a support physically but mostly emotionally. Lars has been the best Father and husband ever. He plays with Roan and takes him at night when I am loosing my mind so I can sleep. I love watching them play, Lars favorite thing to do is to wake him up. :) 

Roan has grown so much in just a month. At first he was just a lump but now he is a wiggly little man who is developing his own personality. There is a lot of me and Lars in him. Overall he is an awesome baby. He is pretty content and happy unless he has anything in his diaper for more than a minute or is really hungry. He is super helpful when I change him as he will stretch out his legs which speed the changing process. He makes the cutest noises and we learn what they all mean over time. There is a lot of guess work in parenting sometimes, but we are getting it. He used to sleep up to 5 hours at night but has switched back to 3-4 hours a night. He dreams a lot and is a loud sleeper and a loud eater. 

Being pregnant was fun but having my baby here is even more cooler. He seriously has brought our family to a whole new level of awesomeness. I feel like I am tired a lot and I feel bad when people try to interact with me when I am at my most sleepy. Sorry people, not trying to be rude, but excuse me if I do not catch all that you say or react to everything you say. LOL I try to sleep when he sleeps and I have pretty much let everything be that will be in the house. We manage and I do get one maybe two things done a day but right now all I enjoy doing is playing with Roan and watching him grow. 

Parent Pay Day-We were having music time with our neighbors and they offered to watch Roan while I showered. I went home and showered and was gone maybe 20 minutes. When I returned Roan recognized me when I walked in the room and gave me the biggest smile that to me said, "HI MOM!" I loved it and it made me so happy. Another image that will be burned into my soul. :) 

SO there ya have it. I think I am caught up now. I will blog as often as I can when the mood hits and time allows. Not all my posts will be about Roan, but they likely will as I want to log all awesome things he does......which is everything. 


  1. Wonderful! Isn't being a mommy great?? I am so happy for you. What a beautiful birth story!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie, I was glued to the screen! I love hearing birth stories! I'm so glad that everything worked out and it was all healthy. I love that pic near the bottom, I can see an adorable mix of both you and Lars- it's like when Gabe was little- you can see each of you but can't quite define how but you know it's there.

    I gotta say that I think it's so cool that you had encouraging midwives who let you be an advocate at your birth. I did not have that same experience and would like to be able to if/when there's a next time. I think because Gabriel's heartrate kept dropping and not going back up they were just all focused on getting him out of me safely. So I don't know if the urgency of the situation changed how involved they would've let me be. I had never met the doctor who delivered me (still she was awesome) so she didn't have a chance to find out what my preferences were (mirror, to help pull him out, to cut the cord if Josh opted out) it was basically just "hi let's get that baby out- we might push on your stomach to help things if we need to" (fortunately I too was an awesome pusher and it wasn't necessary) the combination of it all happening soo fast (the dr and nurses wouldn't let on but they were concerned-I found out afterward- I was never let alone to just labor, the nurse was glued to the fetal monitor) and them being an "intervention-heavy" hospital I didn't quite get the experience I was hoping for. Oh well, can't be too upset about it: I got a healthy little boy, an AWESOME epidural (that man deserves an award, seriously) and a great family out of it.

    Sorry I'm rambling but what I'm getting at is I'm glad you advocated for your birth and that they listened! Especially it being Kaiser, I've always heard nightmares about their hospitals.

    Gimme a call when you get a chance, or shoot me a message. I wanna chat about that book we're both reading....

    And of course, congrats again! And good job, Mom!

  3. I LOVE birth stories! Thanks for sharing yours! I was the same way with Kate - wanted to do it natural, got some IV med that made me really loopy, then opted for the epidural and totally didn't regret it. Way to go! You've got me really excited to go through labor myself in the next couple of weeks. There is nothing more sweet than a new baby. It changes your life for the better - enjoy it!

  4. Congrats on a wonderful birth! How neat that you had a great experience. I've forgotten each time to ask for a mirror, oh well. I love the pictures you post and how happy and well you are.

  5. I loved reading your birth story! Even though you told it to me I was probably to hormonal and sleepy to remember all the details. I will never forget telling Aaron, "It's 10:30pm, look out the window...I bet it's go time!" and visiting you in the hospital and playing Uno with the tiny cards. I love your little Roan and it was fun watching him that day and getting to see his reaction when you walked into the room.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your story. Even though I am a nurse in the Family Maternity Center, and see people in labor daily, I still feel like I don't know what to expect when I have my baby. Your story was very helpful.


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