Oliver's Birth Story

12:22:00 PM

The weeks leading up to Oliver’s birth I felt so patient. My body was aching and tired but I truly felt like I was okay to wait until he was ready to come. I started to get a little fearful of childbirth and I think that played into my fear a bit. I asked Kory to give me a blessing a on October 30th. We had previously been scheduled for an induction on the 1st, which I had rescheduled for the 2nd, because, for whatever reason, the 2nd just felt right when the 1st never had. I asked Kory for a blessing to calm some of my fears and he gave me a really sweet, really thoughtful blessing. He told me not to underestimate the countless people I had on the other side of the veil, fully aware of my situation and helping and arranging. He told me that I didn’t need to feel isolated in the end of my pregnancy, and to remember that Christ had felt everything I was feeling. My favorite part was when he told me that while I felt patient in waiting for our boy to arrive, the baby was not patient to arrive. That he wanted to start his life on earth as soon as possible. That he was anxious to meet his siblings and to meet me and to begin his mortal experience. I sobbed though the blessing and even thinking of it now makes me emotional. It gave me so much peace and comfort going into the induction, knowing that it was the right thing to do. As we walked around, trick-or-treating on Halloween night I was grateful all over again that we weren't going to the hospital just a few hours later. I've always sort of hated Halloween and an extra buffer day between my baby's birth and my least favorite holiday felt like a good thing :)

We slept at my parent’s house the night before the induction since we were scheduled to go in at 4am. We went to Target with the kiddos and let them each pick out a toy, and then headed to my parent’s house to get them ready for bed. We stayed up later than we planned, and I was having a lot of contractions and my stomach was upset. I had lost my mucus plug the day before and I felt like my body was really preparing for labor. Kory and I sat by each other on the couch before we went to bed and Oliver was sooo busy. We laughed at every kick and roll and punch and I remember distinctly thinking how I just wanted to enjoy it because I wouldn’t get to feel those kicks for much longer. He was such an active baby my whole pregnancy, but I don’t know if he was ever more active than he was on that night. I loved to think of him unable to contain his excitement at coming to earth. Kicking and rolling in anticipation. My whole pregnancy, I felt again and again that he was just so excited to come. 

When we finally got to bed, J coughed all night and Kory and I hardly slept. I could manage the coughing but I was too excited to sleep. I was so relieved when my alarm finally went off and I started to get ready to go. I drank a glass of orange juice and cut up an apple and we walked outside to a wet, rainy morning. We drove over to the hospital, listening to calming music, and eating my apple. On the way over I remember half-deciding, silently, that I wanted to try a natural birth even though I hadn't prepared for one AT ALL.  We got to the hospital, got checked in and to our room and I asked if they would check if the baby was head down. They checked me and I was at a 2 and 70% effaced and she said she could for sure feel a head but he wasn’t very engaged, still at a -3. They got the pitocin started just before 5am and my contractions started rolling in pretty consistently soon after. She initially thought I might only need 8ml (or whatever measurement it was?) of pitocin but we ended up needing all 20. My body wasn’t moving super quickly in the beginning. When the checked me at 7 I was a 3.5 and 70% effaced still and they had plans to break my water as soon as Dr. Young arrived. They broke my water around 9:10  and put in an internal contraction monitor because my bicornuate uterus made it so tough for the external one to get a good read. When they broke my water I was at a 4 - which I thought I was at before but really it was a 3.5. My nurse said something like “awesome, half a centimeter in 2 hours” to which Dr. Young responded, “oh don’t worry, she’ll go quick now that her water’s broken.” I started googling “tips for natural birth” haha and saw somebody talk about an ice cube and how, if you silently hold an ice cube for 60 seconds its so much harder than when you hold it and talk or dance or get distracted. So I started working on a birthing playlist and got some jams going to keep me distracted. 

 My mom still wasn’t sure when to come and neither was Heather. I texted my mom at 9:37am and said “I can’t tell for sure, but it feels like things are moving.” So her and Kait hurried down. They got here at 9:51 and I was in the full swing of contractions. I had now officially decided to do the birth naturally and I could tell when my mom walked in it was like “ohhh crap.” haha. She didn’t know I was doing a natural birth and had to sort of calm herself down and just pray that I would be blessed and have faith that all would be well. They came and checked me again almost immediately after Kaitlan and my mom came and I was at a 7? I think? and totally effaced. We tried counter pressure and I was not a fan, and I tried bouncing on the ball but his heart rate monitor wouldn’t stay on so I couldn’t relax because I couldn’t make sure he was okay, so I got back up on the bed and just did my best to zone out. I was so anxious to see how my body was progressing after my water was breaking so it was a relief to see I was to a 7 so quickly. The pain got more and more intense and I did my best to stay calm.  I don’t know if this is what hypo birthing is supposed to do, because I don’t know anything about it, but I completely zoned out. Like totally, totally, zone out and had no sense of time. I couldn’t tell you if 5 minutes had passed or if it had been 5 hours. My eyes were closed pretty much my whole labor once I got to a 7 so I was just hearing everything but not seeing it, so it was sort of disorienting. (somewhere in there they also let me know that doctor Young was just down the hall at the desk waiting for me). I heard my sweet cousin Heather comment about how she had a friend who unintentionally had her baby naturally but “wasn’t prepared for it like Mal.” I was in the middle of a contraction otherwise I would have laughed, because I was so not prepared. I just pretty much sat there quietly and went back and forth between trying to embrace the contractions and trying to just survive them. It’s a pain unlike anything else. Truly. But I knew it would end and I knew it would be okay. Pretty soon, I started to feel the urge to push, but only when I was contracting. They checked me again and I was at an 8 and totally totally in the swing of transition. I started to think “oh my gosh this is transition, this is what they’re talking about.” because geez it was a doozy, I started to think “what was I thinking? now it’s too late for an epidural,” and started to get worried about what pushing would be like and how long that would take and just generally questioning how long I could do it. Somewhere in there I asked for heating pads and that brought some relief. I remember there was one contraction, and I think my mom got a picture of it, that I was miraculously able to relax. I had the heat on my belly and felt it come on and I sort of just smiled and embraced it. That didn’t work for the rest of them, haha, but it was a cool moment to be able to do that. 

During transition I also started to think “oh, I bet this is the part where you start to regret it.” I thought of the movies and the people saying “honey you said that if you said you wanted an epidural to say no.” and suddenly all those movies made sense haha, cause oh my gosh. it was honestly like an alternate reality. I felt like I was asleep (I wasn’t, obviously, because pain), and was trying so hard to get comfortable but nothing was comfortable. I ended up on my left side and suddenly felt a strong, uncontrollable urge to push. I said out loud “I need to push.” and they hurried to tell Kayla. She told me after that she walked in, saw me calmly on my side and said “okay, I’m just going to take your word for it” cause I didn’t look like I was at that point. Pretty much as soon as I said I needed to push, I started pushing. Kayla started coaching me not to push, telling me to pant instead, but I couldn’t. She paged for Dr. Young, and pretty much immediately paged him again telling him to hurry. She was fully prepared to deliver the baby herself if needs be because things were going so fast. I heard Doctor Young come in and Kory said something about “oh the whole gang’s here” but I didn’t see it since I still had my eyes shut. They were saying that I couldn’t push from my side, and I already was, and knew I needed to flip to my back (they were saying not to yet though because they weren’t quite ready), and I realllllly didn’t want to flip to my back but did and Debbie grabbed one of my feet and another nurse grabbed the other and I gave pretty much one good push (it felt like more since I had started pushing before they told me to) and I could feel him coming out and then finally felt that indescribable jiggly release of pressure as the rest of his body slipped out. He screamed instantly and they asked Kory if he wanted to cut the cord, he didn’t (gets so queasy), so I did. And it felt like a complete and total dream. I honestly still felt like I was half asleep, like my body had zoned out to cope with the pain and I was just coming to after surgery.  It took almost 10 minutes to deliver the placenta and that was so painful. But I just sat there and listened to those sweet baby cries, so anxious to have him, but I also was delivering the placenta so I was okay to let him get cleaned up and evaluated. Kory went over to see him and when they finally laid him on my chest it all sunk in and I just cried and cried to finally have him there. I was still getting stitched and my bleeding was more than normal so it was a little while before I could relax but oh my heavens, it was so sweet. Looking back at the pictures, everything happened so much faster than it felt. I started feeling like I needed to push around 10:47, our doctor got in the room at 10:49, and by 10:50 our sweet boy was born. 

I could hear every body being so sweet and saying how well I had done. Dr. Young saying it was like a super power of mine (I could tell he wasn’t amped about an unmedicated birth). My mom and kait saying what a rockstar I was. And I was just so, so happy that I did. So, so, SO happy that he was finally here. Our perfect little boy. 

Looking into Kory’s eyes after he finally made it. That’s always such a sweet moment. Like “we did it mama. he’s here.” It’s so special. The hours after his birth were such a blur. Gemma came to see him and she was so sweet but also so sad to see me in the hospital. And later that night Oliver's respiratory rate was higher than usual and he was transferred to the nursery/NICU. He was down the hall from us and we spent every second possible with him. Holding him, feeding him, stroking his sweet cheeks. We had never been able to nail down a name before his born and I distinctly remember Kory telling me he felt like he was an Oliver. We both felt like it was the perfect name for our wise, peaceful boy. It took a bit of time to figure out what was going on with his respiratory rate - they checked his heart and found a few holes that would resolve on their own. He was tentatively diagnosed with TTN and pulmonary hypertension that required a bit of extra time in the hospital and about a week of oxygen after he was home, but it all eventually resolved itself and we were able to just enjoy our beautiful boy free of oxygen tanks and beeping machines. He was so strong, so angelic. And we just never knew how much we need him. Our sweet little Oliver King. What a gift it is to call him ours. 

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