Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Natural vs Epidural

As the nurse wheeled me into postpartum a little over an hour after delivering Trevin, she asked, "so would you go natural again?"

The question seemed almost ridiculous after what I had just been through. At that moment, I was NOT doing anything close to that again!! Ha ha!

In comparison to Brynlie's delivery, Trevin's delivery was completely ideal and everything I envisioned it to be. But it's still labor and delivery! It still a human being coming out of you! But it's very true, too, that Trevin was born in as much peace and calm as I was able to muster. I kind of feel like I could tell he felt calm too because he didn't cry at all when he was born (and for almost a week) yet was breathing perfectly!

But what's my opinion on epidurals? Epidurals are a blessing from Heavenly Father. If my body didn't have weird side effects to it and if I knew 100% that it would actually WORK like its famous for working then why not have an epidural? Why feel all the pressure? So I still think epidurals have their place as a blessing from modern technology.

That being said, there are major things about going natural that I loved.

1. I got to witness first hand how freaking awesome MY body is! Or how awesome women's bodies are! I heard people causally say, "when you feel like pushing..." Ha! If that's not the understatement of the century. My body pushed the baby out and there was no stopping it! I couldn't even breath when my body didn't want to. My organs and everything knew it was time to have a baby and so it did. While me and my mental stuff just tried not to get in the way by simply staying relaxed knowing my body knew what it was doing. It was awesome to be so surprised and impressed with my body. Women are amazing!!!

2. Through reading and researching lots of things about going natural and epidurals, I read about how epidurals drug the baby too! It sounded utterly impossible and Brynlie certainly didn't drugged! So i didnt believe it. ha ha! But in postpartum, the nursery nurses said there is a huge difference in the babies that are born without epidurals! She said they are so much more alert, not drugged. Brynlie was alert for a good hour after delivery but Trevin was alert for at least 2 hours plus lots in between naps. So a huge reason I'd encourage one to go natural is for the baby's sack. Going into this delivery, my choice to go natural was all about creating a better experience (than brynlies) for ME. If I was in a better place mentally and physically, the baby would naturally benefit as well. But now being through it, I'd do it again mostly for the baby and a little for me.

3. It was a neat feeling in postpartum to not be numb and not worrying, "I wonder how I'll feel when this all wears off." There was this sense of normalcy; I didn't feel like I just came out of surgery or a patient. I felt pretty independent as far as going to the bathroom and moving around and stuff. I felt like me...with a sore bum! Literally. :) Despite the stitches for the episiotomy, my major pain source was a sore bum. I didn't even do a lot of sitting on the bed, but by the time Trevin was born my bum was completely numb from sitting! Maybe the ball did it...? Weird!

4. With Brynlie I felt a lot of pain against my will. This time it felt wonderful to feel in control, or it felt good to not be afraid or surprised by the pain. My body was in control and I knew that and was calm and comfortable just with that fact alone. There's something very powerful about NOT feeling victimized but to feel like this was MY choice. I was able to stay mentally sane through the whole thing. High five!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trevin Dale Thompsen's Birth Story

Trevin Dale Thompsen is a week today! Here is his birth story in grand detail. It took me about 3 days to write it so I won't be surprised if it takes you that long to read it! Knowing that most of you don't care for all the nitty gritty details, I have colored the brief story in blue. Think of it as the cliff notes to this birth story! Good luck and enjoy!

When I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed Monday night (March 11th), I did some math and figured out that if I was pregnant with Brynlie then we'd have her tomorrow (March 12)!! I was stunned by how early it felt if I had a baby tomorrow yet with Brynlie it didn't feel too early at all. This was about at midnight. We went to bed and I slept great until the usual 3am hour when I always have to go to the bathroom. I was back in bed 2 minutes later and off to sleep with the expectation to sleep until 7 when trav says goodbye and heads to work. About an hour later, I randomly woke up. Not to a pain or anything, but as I settled back asleep and got comfy again, I noticed my bottom garments felt damp. I knew I was half asleep, so I chalked the sensation up to confusion. But as I moved again, I couldn't help but feel they were damp. So after a quick examination, I realized that they really were damp. I immediately started crossing possible answers off the list: not pee, I just went and haven't peed the bed since I was young. It could only be one thing, I thought, as my heart raced and i jumped out of bed and ran to our bathroom. My water. It's broken. And that's confirmed as I sat on the toilet and heard something slowly and constantly trickling out. It was 4:20am March 12th.

(This is me on Monday night, March 11. My last pregnancy picture. I had no idea he was coming the next morning but I had an intense desire to take another random pregnancy picture. Tender mercy! Heavenly Father cares about our cares!)
Next few thoughts:
This is so early (37 weeks according to my LMP, 37wks 5 days according to the ultrasound),
Did it break because I was majorly nesting last night and set up his pack n play/bassinet with blankets and everything and thought "okay we are ready?"
Is this my fault?
Is it anyone's fault?
What do I do, now?

The night before (Monday), I had read about what to do if your water breaks, if you have no contractions, and if it's the middle of the night: my exact situation. Immediately I knew what to do and I knew that wasn't a coincidence. So I grabbed a towel for between my legs, and hopped back on bed to relax and notice any contractions.

The next hour was a great and important one for my mental self. At first I was shocked and immediately felt guilty. But as I layed there I remembered something else I had recently read: the hormone that puts my body into labor is secreted from the baby. Therefore, the baby signals my body when he's ready. So HE must be ready. This brought comfort and I started looking for this coming adventure. Then I spent a while trying to sleep but mostly just trying to be deeply relaxed. During this time, I noticed 3 contractions which were very far apart and they felt nothing like Braxton Hicks but still weren't too painful (yet).

(One of the best parts of this whole story...) When do I tell trav who's sick and needs as much sleep as he can get? My plan? Wait for a few hours. Sounds crazy but my contractions were like 20 minutes apart and I knew that things wouldn't get interesting until they were around 3-5 minutes apart. But when I noticed him roll over and begin to get comfortable in his new spot, I thought, "I'll whisper to him and if he doesn't hear me then I'll let him sleep a little longer." So I whispered, "Trav..." and I hear a grunt saying "what?" I had no clue how long it had truly been since I discovered my water broken so I asked, "what time is it?" (No contacts in for me basically equals blindness.) He glances at the clock and says almost in a whine, "it's 5:30...?" I smiled because I understood his confusion and laughed at the irony in his reaction. Then I said, "Well about an hour ago my water broke..." Silence. Then he suddenly sat up and stared down at me and slowly said half smiling, "are you serious!!?" I smiled and said, " garments are socked and I have a towel between my legs." He laid back down facing me, smiled, and put his forehead against mine and said, "okay. ....Wow." Then I began explaining how I just read that we don't need to rush the hospital, but that we could just slowly get ready. When I mentioned that maybe he should try and sleep some more, trav said confidently, "no, no, we are getting up. I'm not going back to sleep." I was mostly relieved because my first reaction in exciting times like these is NOT to wait it out but to jump in and get started. We got up and started packing because none of us were packed at this point in the pregnancy thinking we had at least another week and a half. Trav made me toast and a glass of milk while I packed between contractions. When standing, my contractions were almost 2 minutes apart and were uncomfortable enough to make me immediately stop packing and lay down on the nearest part of the floor or bed. It took us 2 full hours to get all packed. Actually it look Trav that long. :) I laid and talked to my mother in law for 40 minutes who we had called at 6:30 to come watch Brynlie. (Brynlie was sleeping during this, thank (freaking) goodness!) But I have to give Trav more credit because he did get some things ready for Brynlie and other stuff done around the house. :)

In the car, I called my mom who was so excited! During around 20 minute conversation and drive, I had 4-5 contractions where I had to put down the phone and just relax. When we got to the hospital we actually drove around it twice because they've changed the parking entrances by the main entrance. :) At labor and delivery they took us seriously and didn't question admitting us to the hospital when I told them my water broke. (Unlike for some ladies when they first have contractions and their water hasn't broken and nurses don't believe them for a while-sounds highly frustrating.) After I changed we went into their treeoge area for an hour or so while they continued to check us in. The nurse that checked me in was actually one of my favorite nurses during Brynlie's delivery. I should have told her that but I knew there was no way she'd remember and I was trying to deal with more contractions. Up until this point, my contractions were painful enough to highly respect them and give all my attention to relaxing and working with them, no stressing and resisting them. I couldn't talk during them but they didn't make me feel victimized or out of control. I was able to stay calm and think happy thoughts (literally) despite their increasing intensity.
After that we went in our sunny/shadowy/purple room (4210), where they started my IV (first time the charge nurse tried it hit "valves" and I could feel it go up my arm! Totally weird feeling and luckily not too painful cuz I was so relaxed, haha!) Then they hooked me up to the wobbly contraction and baby heart rate monitors and they actually stayed on the whole time. Finally three hours after leaving our house (now 10:30) trav and I were free to "labor." We walked around and around and around the pretty tiny labor and delivery floor, stopping sometimes during contractions but mostly walking through them cuz that felt better. It was during this 40 minute walk that my contractions became a steady 6 minutes apart. After that long walk and a blue popsicle we headed back to be monitored for 20 minutes. By this point I was excited to not be standing anymore because the contractions were getting worse. While being monitored for the second time (first time was right when they hooked me up and I just laid on the bed), I sat on a birthing ball or an exercise ball.
The second I sat on the ball and my legs and bum were able to relax, I began to fall in love with this big green ball! During the monitoring and for the next hour I sat and rolled side to side with my head and arms on the bed. It felt good on my aching hips. Towards the end of this hour, I learned sitting straight up on the ball actually felt better for me. Also, during this hour and in between contractions we started talking about what name we wanted. As many of you know, we weren't quite sure what to do. But as we talked (and I started to decide I liked Trevin better than Brevin-so close right? Hard choice. Ha ha), I also came to the conclusion that talking in between contractions was also out. When I talked I wasn't in a relaxed enough state. I was dialated to a five here. From this point on I also learned the value for 100% relaxation for 100% of the time. If I stayed relaxed then the contraction was bearable and I didn't panick. But if I even said "stop" or "no" (especially during this third hour), I lost my focus just enough and began panicking at the intensity of the following contraction. Also during this hour the nurse mentioned there are pressure points she could push on to relieve some pain. So I climbed on the bed to have her try only find that it didn't help. I would lose focus and panic. (Panicking: a little moaning and grasping the bed.) Even when she stopped and I stayed on the bed I couldn't handle the contractions well. I was dialated to a seven at this point. So between contractions I got back on the birthing ball and again felt an immediate relief. Between contractions now were not a zero pain scale. Solid cramping was the feeling. Probably as bad as your worse menstral cramps. Also I want to add how I'm impressed I was with how flexible and willing the nurses were to do whatever I wanted. I mentioned once that I didn't want to be asked my pain scale. Never again did I need to remind them. And they only told how dialated I was when I asked. I really enjoyed knowing how dialated I was, it was good to know I was progressing. At a seven I was also pretty impressed with how I was handling the majority of the contractions. I never and would never consider an epidural because only one in three contractions did I tense up - thanks to the hypnobaby cd tracks I had downloaded on my phone. They we're heaven sent. (During the walking all the way to the birth I was listening to these amazingly relaxing tracks.)
After another half hour or so on the ball came a contraction that slowly turned into nothing but solid full on pushing. Weirdest feeling in the world having my body push when I didn't tell it to. It wasn't a small graceful push either, my body meant business!! :)

From stories I have heard of moms going natural with a baby that's not their first, lots say that their body pushed once or maybe twice and the baby was born. So when my body pushed and I felt the baby's head against the green birthing ball I began panicking and told Trav to get the nurse. I was fine going natural but there was no way I wanted to catch my own baby above the birthing ball!! As Trav tried to figure out what to do or how to get the nurses, I dived for the bed! I laid on my side and started sweating like crazy. With my head in the mattress and no pillow (thank goodness), I was amazed and shocked with what I saw my body doing. I had previously thought the contractions would just get more intense and more intense and then the baby would be born. I guess I had heard "when you feel like pushing..." But this was different, I didn't feel like pushing, my body WAS pushing and it was all I could do to not tense up and just relax. The nurses and doctor were here by this point.
These pushes lasted like a full minute and in between pushes my body simply pushed how it would push poop out - there's some detail for ya! ;) During the third push the on-call doctor stretched my perineum out without warning. That would have been fine and I would have even considered it helpful but with no warning and then him stretching it during the greatest pain my body has yet experienced, I shouted at him, "what are you doing!!!? Stop doing whatever your doing!!" He kinda yelled back that he was preventing tearing. I realized that he was just trying to help, but with that one solid "no" from me he didn't do try again. After that I couldn't talk again so I could say, okay I understand. So I tore, oops.

After the fourth push, I silently prayed that if at all possible this next contraction would be the last one. These pushing contractions were serious and though I was staying pretty calm, I was getting to my witts end.

The fifth contraction the baby crowned and I grunted/screamed from the back of my throat. My throat was sore for days! :) Once the baby crowned, the doctor said, "you're tearing, do you want me to do an episiotomy?" I said, "can you give me a local?" Because I didn't want to feel the cut. To me a local for an episiotomy has nothing to do with the legitimacy of going natural-if I even cared about being absolutely natural. So I guess they gave me a local. I'm not sure when it kicked in or if it ever did. As this fifth contraction was ending, I thought, man I guess there's going to be another contraction before he's born. But then the doctor said, "if you give another push this baby will be born." So as the contraction was ending I specifically chose to push and as I pushed again my body must have got the message because it started pushing on its own again and right then. With the most pain I had felt up to this point the baby's head came out followed by immediate relief as his neck didn't require any stretching after his head. Then with the next contraction and quite a bit of pain, his shoulders came and rest of him just flowed out with zero pain. But with all the crowning/stretching and then tearing and sewing back up, everything still burned like crazy and would for the next half hour.

On my birth preference sheet/birth plan, I had written that I wanted to hold the baby for an hour before he was weighed. This was one of the best things I could have included because if you don't say anything, you keep the baby for about 20-30 minutes. But for the first half hour I tried to take in the baby on my chest, but I was in too much pain to really focus and enjoy him completely.
(The doctor was so rough when he wiped me down and then sewed me up. I assume its because its probably muscle memory for him and its easy to forget I wasn't numb. At one point I firmly said, "be careful!!" He kept doing painful yet helpful things but with no warning. No fun, so that's why I yelled at him. But only twice, so that's good considering!)

After a half an hour, the burning was still there but I could talk again and could begin focusing and taking in our beautiful baby boy. Although, right when he came out I did have a moment to think about his name and I could picture us calling him Trevin. He didn't necessarily look like a name, but suddenly I could picture calling him Trevin. Later while enjoying him I told Travis this and I guess after seeing me go through labor and delivery he was like, "you had him so if you like that name I say lets do it." So sweet.
During labor I was sweating so afterwards I was just freezing. By the time I warned up I had three warmed up blankets and a baby on me.
While holding him and enjoying the moment, I noticed he started opening his mouth with very concentrated lips, so kind of reluctantly I tried to breastfeed him. I was reluctant because after having little success with Brynlie and all her eating problems since I just didn't want to even deal with it, I didn't want to be disappointed. But who am I to deny his obvious asking and need? So when he opened good and wide, I use all the skills I had after having Brynlie and stuffed as much into his mouth as I could. And...drum roll please...he latched on and sucked for 20 minutes! Then latched on the other side for another ten!!! And since then he's been so so great! Him nursing has been one of the keys to to an enjoyable and straight forward postpartum experience. (the other key is that we've on this before and are not so new to taking care of a baby) I just feel confident I know how to take care of him and am so proud of and amazed in him. It's fun to have a good eater!

Getting to postpartum in the afternoon with energy because I hadn't pulled an all nighter and with the chance to immediately order lunch was such a relief and made postpartum so fun!! While waiting for our lunch, they brought the bath right next to my bed and we enjoyed watching his first bath. So sweet and exciting to watch and take in. The rest of the day was fun and a relief. It was wonderful to feel excited to have family come. It felt wonderful how happy I was and how pleased I was that none of my real life nightmares that happened with Brynlie's delivery didn't happen again!
While in the hospital my heart and mind turned to Brynlie several times. I enjoyed little kids before she was born but she really taught me how to be a mother and how truly and unconditionally love children and specifically my children. I bonded so easily and so quickly with Trevin and I believe a lot of the credit goes to Brynlie. I appreciated him so much more than I did with Brynlie because I was so naive.

Since being home, handling and loving Trevin has actually helped me or reminded me enjoy Brynlies cute qualities to and to be a little more gentle - take time to take her in too. Through their spirits, I feel like they are already looking out for each other! Plus Brynlie hasn't had any jealous problems. She loves him and loves to be involved. Which is fun. But it will be A LOT more fun when she's not sick anymore!

We are doing so good! Thanks for reading and sharing this one week birthday and birth day with us! We love our children!!!