Here is the Last birth story of our March Featured Birth Stories!
Ashley Mitchell has been sharing her birth stories with us this month all Glory to The Most High. Click here to read her stories!
Now she share her last birth story of 5!
My Last Birth
After many births, many pregnancies, being a doula you would think I was a pregnancy expert, that I would not miss a thing. With my last pregnancy I missed a few things, like actually being pregnant!
I was 24 weeks along when we discovered we were having another baby. We found out the gender, how far along I was, and the condition all in one swoop. It was so fast! My youngest at the time was still nursing and I had absolutely no pregnancy symptoms. I escaped the morning sickness which I went through everytime.
I escaped every negative symptom you normally go through in early pregnancy.
Like I wrote about before, after you have a stillborn child there is no traditional ‘safe zone’ when announcing a pregnancy.
That feeling sure does change though when you find out so late! We knew this little baby was here to stay. He was healthy despite my coffee and sugar addiction and hectic life. I could say I always take care of myself perfectly, but the fact is I slip through my cracks quite a bit. This little one was ready to be a part of our family.
My pregnancy went by very fast and took a pretty big toll on me, but in a good way. I gained weight and shape pretty quickly. We were rushing a whole pregnancy in a very short amount of time. It was hard to take time and enjoy being pregnant when there was a lot to do and prepare for. After already having three kids in the house though, we were ready regardless.
The day before my due date my midwife informed me that she wouldn’t be able to care for me anymore.
This was a huge hit and adjustment. My plans were thrown out the window in a single text message. Very reluctantly I started calling around trying to figure out what to do and where to go for my last few days of care before our baby was to be here. It is hard so late in pregnancy to try and decide what you want now after you were so set for so long.
As hard as I tried to avoid it, we did end up having to choose to receive care at the same hospital where I had given birth three times prior and not had the picture perfect story that you imagine. Regardless of where we were having this little baby we were very excited to have this new little unexpected perfect blessing join our family.
Over a week past my ‘due date’ I was having contractions all day. I had an appointment with my care provider and I was only 2cm dilated and she didn’t think my baby would be here yet.
With my other children I had been 2cm for a few weeks so the measurement didn’t really mean much to me. Contractions continued on all day. I tried to time them the best I could.
A snow storm hit our area.
We decided to drive down to somewhere closer and stay the night just in case our baby decided that it was their birthday. By the time we were leaving I had been having contractions for about 10 hours.
Don’t you just love the timing babies have? About one in the morning it just felt like it was time to take the trip to the hospital. Between timing the contractions to be about 7 minutes apart, sometimes less, and the snow storm it felt like a good time to leave. I mean, who doesn’t want to take a nice midnight drive? I awoke my husband and away we went!
I’ve complained about registration before haven’t I?
Even though we always pre-register we knew to go to registration. We filled out our pile of paperwork (6 pages feels like a pile!) and went up to labor and delivery. The first doctor that was on call and assigned to me was very new, I don’t remember his name but he had that new doctor know-it-all confidence and I fondly remember calling him Doogie.
As he was going through the motions, telling me what to expect, what we were going to do, and how the birthing process works he asked me if this was my first delivery.
I laughed. I know it sounds super rude!
I couldn’t help it! I am a doula, I have had 4 labors prior, and I had spent the last 20 minutes nodding politely to make this poor doctor think that I am one of those awesome patients who do not just do what they want and listen well.
I am a horrible patient, I want to know processes and reasonings for everything and I know I drive people batty. I informed this nice doctor that I had been here three times before and this was my fifth birth. He looked shocked, he said “oh, so you’ve done this before”, I laughed again and said, “Yes.”
I was given a robe to go change, instead I used my own nightgown and changed into that. The nurse was very funny about the fact that I was not going to wear the hospital gown. She asked me many times that night if I was ready to change, though she was nice the whole time I was very happy when shifts switched and this wasn’t such a silly concern anymore.
This baby was taking forever.
Everything was intense from the moment transition started. Transition was long. Just so long and the most painful that I remember. I became sick, I was trying to move around the best I could but the pain was very different and worse than my other labors. It just felt like I couldn’t hear anyone. I kept closing my eyes and zoning out. It was very difficult for me.
After many hours between transition and the next stage I was told it was time to push. My body has always told me to push. Whether it was to soon or not my body always naturally pushes and I am not one to stop my body. I gave one push and said that I wasn’t ready. My body had been pushing before and that is when I went from 9cm to 10cm. I trusted myself and knew I would know when it was time.
My body knew when it was time. I started to push.
I have never pushed as long as I did with this baby, it is still strange to me. Many times when I work with mothers who are pushing for hours it is clear they just are not ready. I was trying to ignore all the yelling (yes, the yelling) of ‘push’ around me and let my body do the work.
Over 2 hours of pushing, hearing the nurses yelling at me to push, and trying to listen to my body do the work. I was sweaty, cold, hot, in tears, and the pain still felt the same as transition.
Finally my baby was coming and it was on our terms of working together.
Something felt off though and I couldn’t place it, especially in the chaos of everything.
There were at least 6 people in my small room, if not more. I can’t think of someone who wasn’t talking. I stopped pushing, my body was telling me not to. The doctor was telling me one more push and I’d be there.
Then the doctor stopped yelling at me, which was good because my body wasn’t ready to push. My baby’s shoulder was stuck and my doctor froze. Not only did she freeze, per hospital tradition no one told my husband or I a thing about what was happening and they were in a panic.
I kid you not, all these medical professionals were in a panic over a stuck shoulder.
A nurse, who I know has been working in labour and delivery for years knew what to do.
She pushed the doctor out of the way, helped my baby along the way, and immediately after there was a new baby in our family!
I took that new little boy and we hugged him for what felt like hours. We had as many of his check-ups in our room. We were just amazed at this little boy.
Just under 10 pounds, we couldn’t believe how healthy he was.
Against all guidelines he was just as wonderful and healthy as all our children. God had taken care of this little boy beyond any of our comprehensions.