Monday, December 10, 2012

Nolan's Birth Story

Here is Nolan's story! :)

Last picture of me pregnant! Taking a walk to the park
I was "officially" due on December 15, but am so thankful he came earlier. I was feeling so huge and uncomfortable and felt it a blessing to welcome Nolan a tad early. December 6 is my mom's birthday and so it is special that he now shares it!

Here is my story from start to finish... gory pregnant details and all so be warned!

For those of you who know me I'm a huge advocate of natural birth. I was ready to do it again without interventions and was excited to see what my body could do again. I was a bit anxious because my first birth was so incredible and I didn't want it to be the bar I needed to reach. Thankfully I didn't have anything to worry about!

I woke up at 1am on Monday December 3 to a major contraction and again at 3am. I thought they felt much different than the Braxton Hicks I had been getting, and along with some "bloody show," I thought for sure this was it! My mind would not let me fall asleep through the random contractions because I kept thinking of all of things that we had to do the next day. 

That next morning Dhrumil stayed home and we put my sister on alert to get Mikayla at any moment. The day progressed with random contractions, but nothing else was happening. It was driving me a bit nuts and I was thinking to much into it. That night my brother in law came to pick Mikayla up because we were sure we'd have a baby by the morning.

Well night came and went... again I was woken by strong contractions, again my mind was going non stop and again nothing came of it. Discouragement to say the least. In the back of my mind I was telling myself that he was not going to come until I let go of control and just went with it.

So after talking to my doula on Wednesday morning and determining I was having prodermal labor (or "false" labor) I decided enough was enough... this day was going to be normal. Dhrumil went to pick up Mikayla at my sister's and went to work, I told my sister to not worry and Mikayla and I went about the day as normal. I stopped thinking and we had a fun morning doing crafts and playing. Throughout I was still having random contractions and lost my mucus plug, but did not for a second think into it.

That afternoon I was exhausted by the lack of sleepless nights and took a nap while Mikayla napped praying that God would help me dodge some random contractions for a while and just sleep. He answered my prayers and after one solid hour of sleep I was woken by a strong contraction... THIS time it was a contraction that started in my back and reminded me exactly of what they felt like during my labor with Mikayla. It was like a lightbulb turned on... "oh right this is what it feels like"

Took this picture right before Mikayla left in between contractions
This was about 2:30 and by 3:30 I called Dhrumil to come  home because I was pretty sure something was happening this time. I knew it was different not only by the physical feeling, but also because I was extremely calm and my mind was only going one moment at a time and not freaking out over logistical details. 

Dhrumil came home and made dinner, the three of us played together and right before my sister came to pick Mikayla up my contractions started getting stronger and regular. A few precious moments before Mikayla left... to get through contractions I just started dancing around the house singing a song with Mikayla following behind thinking we were playing a game. :) Another, when it was getting more intense, I had to sway and say oooooooo... Mikayla kept asking "why you saying oooo mama?" all the while running around me, her head bumping into my contracting belly, she then proceeded to say "ho ho ho" and I couldn't help but laugh... laughter during contractions are useful! 

After Mikayla left it was close to 7pm and Dhrumil decided to start timing (though I kept telling him it was to early to do so) well good thing he did since the contractions were getting close together and longer... we knew it was happening! I spent an hour in the tub while Dhrumil slept a bit, I also tried to rest myself which made the contractions even more intense when they came. Dhrumil was amazing again, putting pressure on my back, swaying with me, letting me hold him tight. I also watched half of Gone With the Wind while my contractions became 5 minutes apart and pretty long. After a particularly strong contraction at 11pm I decided it was time to call the doula to come over.

While waiting for the doula Dhrumil and I stood in front of the TV which was playing relaxation music from Pandora and we continued our team work of back rubbing, oooing or mooing and so on. Dhrumil, though remaining pretty calm, thought we should call the Dr. but I thought I still had hours to go... my contractions weren't getting closer than 5 minutes... I wanted to just continue going with it. Dhrumil, though still wanting to call the Dr. knew better than to argue and just went with me.

When our doula Wendy arrived and I labored through a few contractions with her and Dhrumil, I mentioned that I was feeling pressure... to which she replied "um we should probably go, though you seem so calm and with it so we don't need to rush." I told Dhrumil to call the Dr. which made him very happy and then he prepared the van and I told him not to rush since I still thought I had tons of time.

Well I got into the van and leaned over the back seat staring out the back window while Dhrumil drove out of our neighborhood... and THAT is when the true action began. 

I was already dreading the car ride because I remember that as the worst part during labor with Mikayla. Trying not to let my mind psych me out I hung over the seat keeping my mind from going anywhere but in the moment. It was only about two minutes into our ride when I got an extremely powerful contraction... and POP my water broke. After that the contractions kept on coming... all the while I was trying to keep from going into panic mode. I yelled from Dhrumil to roll down on the windows (the outside smelled like cows... go figure), I hit the back window continuously and at one point I kept saying "helicopter" because that is what it sounded like with the windows down. :) Staring at the headlights of the doula's car speeding behind us I knew that this baby was ready to come and I yelled out to Dhrumil "HE IS COMING!" To which Dhrumil replied "we are almost there."

Dhrumil later told me that he was just concentrating on driving and taking the country road turns that would pop out of no where. He was also praying that he wouldn't get lost as he had only driven to the hospital once. As we were pulling into the hospital I felt a major urge to push and I almost started the panic... that is when I called out to God to give me strength and in that moment I felt God say "Be still, I am with you"to which my mind calmed, I felt no fear and my body relaxed.

After we pulled into the parking spot I literally ran out of the back seat and the doula and Dhrumil basically dragged me into the hospital. The van was left running and open. :) We "ran" past the check in after the doula yelled that I was about to give birth, she helped me stay calm by making a motor sound with my mouth. I must have looked like a crazed woman, though I passed one nurse, smiled and said hi, so I wasn't too far gone.

We got into the room, the nurses hooked me up to the monitor while I stood, the somehow got me on the bed, the midwife showed up and checked me and said only the lip of my cervix was left. That is when I started singing 'It is Well With My Soul'... I needed something to calm me and that was the key. The midwife let me squeeze her hand tight while I was singing and all of the sudden I heard someone singing with me... I was later told it was the midwife. Singing praises to God right before my little boy came into the World! I did the same with Mikayla right before she was born... but I sang 'I Have a Maker'. So amazing how God is right there and I go right to Him in the midst of not thinking.

After I finished singing I began pushing... this time was so different from Mikayla. I was in a different position, I took it slow and they didn't do the counting or having me push the "wrong" way. The midwife had me pause when the contractions would pause, only going with what I was feeling and not the way she thought I should do it. My body just did it's thing and I pushed the way the body intends. Within about 10 minutes I looked down and watched my baby boy being born. They placed him on me right away and the experience was again incredible... they didn't take him away for a long time... doing all the checks while we snuggled. He nursed soon after like a champ and it helped me take my mind off of the icky stuff going on with my body that happens at the end.

Dhrumil and I just kept looking at each other in shock... it happened so fast and we couldn't believe he was already here. I was at the hospital a total of 25 minutes before having the baby!

Nolan Ira Shah was born at 1:13am on December 6, 2012 weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces and being 21 inches long. Nolan is a name Dhrumil and I have liked since before Mikayla was born and Ira is in honor of my grandpa who passed away last year. It was particularly special for him to be named after my grandpa soon after my grandmother's death because I feel like this will help keep the legacy of them alive.

I praise God for another amazing experience of birth. He was with me every step of the way and I was again reminded of His love. The love I have for my children doesn't even compare to the amazing love He has for each of us!