Monday, April 13, 2015

Judah's Birth Story -- Part 1

Judah William's Birth Story Part 1
This is probably going to be long and drawn out, but there's really no other way for me to tell it. You've been warned. :)
Thursday, 3/12/15
I had my 38 week check-up with the midwife and it took what seemed like forEVER for her to find a heartbeat. I surprisingly didn't freak out until after the appointment when it hit me that I had been really scared in those moments. But the reason was that he had turned posterior (he was facing out with his limbs at the surface) so his arms and legs were blocking easy access to the heartbeat. This was definitely not the preferred position for a smooth labor and delivery, so she told me a few things to do to try to get him to turn, like getting on all fours regularly throughout the day. 
She could feel his head easily and that is wasn't as low as it was before. She said he wasn't down and ready and seemed to think that we had a good amount of time. (Hence my thinking that it would be April before he was born!) She told me to take a couple Evening Primrose Oil pills a day to "ripen the cervix" (yeah I know, that sounds weird). I took one that night and the next morning and I would totally attest to them being magical if I knew what state my cervix had been in prior to that, but alas, I do not. So I don't know if my cervix was just super ready to go all by itself or what...but I'll get to that.
I remember being kinda an emotional mess that day, and Jordan was still on the tail end of a bad stomach bug, so we had a cozy night in with grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. I leaned on the birthing ball a lot and tried to be on all fours quite a bit. 
My last bump pic taken after my midwife appointment

Friday, 3/13/15
I had an early morning new parent meeting at the pediatrician's office to see if that's the one we wanted to go with. Good thing I liked them and we felt peace about it, we chose them just in time. :) It's the pediatrician I've gone to my whole life, and I say "have gone to" instead of "went to" because the last time I went to the doctor (besides the OBGYN) I went there. As an adult. Yeah....embarrassing. They laughed when they saw I was still in the system. 
I should've known something was weird that day because I went home and watched the movie Twilight while I did some exercises and stretching. I have never had a desire to watch that ever. I started the first book once but lost interest about halfway through. But for some reason when I logged into Netflix and it was one of the first things on there, I chose it. So weird. But I was on all fours for most of the movie. I say this to point out that I really did do what she told me to do and gave it my best shot, haha. (Spoiler alert: I failed.)
I did a lot of things around the house and took a good nap (I was more tired those last couple weeks than any other time in pregnancy besides my worst sickness times). We were supposed to go on a little date to see Cinderella that night. We were planning on doing so many things that weekend....but I'm not complaining that we didn't get to. :)
Anywayyy, around 6pm, I went to the bathroom and started bleeding. It was a good amount more than they said "bloody show" would be and continued for a couple minutes or so. That was a WEIRD feeling. I sat there for a minute praying and saying to myself, "Don't freak out. Don't freak out." I didn't know whether to call the midwife or Jordan first. I also didn't know if this was something bad or good and didn't want to think too much about it, just wanted to act. I decided to call Jordan and said, "Hey...don't freak out but something's happening. I'm bleeding." (I think I said "don't freak out" approximately 87 times that day to multiple people but mainly to myself.) He was very calm (when is Jordan not calm) and said to call the midwife and that he would leave work.
One of the three midwives who work at the birth center, Jewel, was still there and said to come on in to be checked before she left for the day. We live 6-7 minutes away which was SO nice throughout this process. Jordan's friend Eric lifts weights in our garage a lot and was at our house, so I thought he might have to be the one to take me which would've been interesting. But Jordan got there right after I gathered my things and prepared to leave. We took the baby bag too, not knowing what we'd be told or what would happen!
A wonderful thing about the birthing center is that for all my appointments and everything I just parked and walked right in to be checked. No parking decks, no long walk or elevators, no check-in, hardly ever any waiting, no "let me see your insurance card again", nothing. Just, "Hey, Ashley!" from any of the midwives or staff and then right to it. SO GREAT. I totally understand why people have those feelings of not wanting go in too soon or be sent home, and this aspect of it really helped with that because it just didn't seem like a big deal to go in.
Jewel checked me and immediately said, "Wow, your cervix is completely thinned out and you're 1-2cm dilated. You're in early labor!" Jordan was in there too and we looked at each other like WHAT. She said I'd probably end up back at the birth center to stay in the next 24 hours, so to go home and rest and eat. She actually said to have a glass of wine and take a bath to relax, haha. (I didn't. I chose sparkling grape juice and played Bingo on my iPad instead. Pretty sure I killed it in Bingo that night.) She told me to call as soon as contractions started, since I was already effaced it could go fast. We listened to his heartbeat and she measured me, commenting on how he'd be a little guy. (So weird that this was Judah in there the whole time. SO weird.)
Celebrating being in labor!
We left, prayed, and called our parents to tell them it would probably be that weekend. They were surprisingly calm or were at least putting on that front, haha. We picked up food at ChickFilA, but Jordan couldn't really eat because he was still getting over the stomach bug. (Great timing, right?) When we got home I ate, took a shower, and made sure I had everything ready to go if need be. I thought I was having some sensations that felt a little stronger than Braxton Hicks, but I wouldn't even call them cramps. (My monthly crazy cramps that put me out of commission and made me throw up set the bar high when it came to pain in that area.)
Jordan was SUPER restless and going around cleaning and disinfecting everything in case there were germs from his bug, getting the guest rooms ready for people to stay with us, and he even put together a bed. I was spending even more time on all fours, praying the baby would turn around. It was tough to go to sleep that night because we were both pretty hyped up and just anxious to see what would happen. I had been sleeping in the guest room due to his germs and my general largeness so we went our separate ways for the night.
And of course, as soon I was finally dozing off around 12:30 am, I had my first oh I think THIS may be a contraction moment. It was a sensation that started in my back and wrapped around my belly like a slight cramp. They weren't very painful, but enough to make me not be able to sleep because I was thinking about it and excited. I laid there dozing between the cramping and kept thinking about how Jewel said to call her as soon as they started. 
I went and joined Jordan in bed to tell him what was going on. At this point I still wasn't positive they were contractions (they definitely were), so we waited until they were more regular to call. I was kinda confused because most of the feeling was in my back. Meanwhile, poor Jordan was still feeling badly and threw up a couple times. Delightful.

Saturday, 3/14/15
At 4:48am I called Jewel. Well, I called the answering service who forwarded me to Jewel. The answering lady asked me a few questions and sorta made me feel like I shouldn't be calling. Before she forwarded the call she said, "So, is this an emergency?" and I replied (probably in an annoyed tone, sorry lady), "I don't know but I'm just doing what the person I'm trying to call told me to do!!!" anddd she then dialed Jewel, haha. The contractions had been about 6 minutes apart, but were back to 10-12 minutes. She said she was on call until 7am and would prepare and be ready to meet me at the birth center if they became closer together again regularly. She told me to call back if that happened and gave me her cell number, but that she would forward the info on to the next midwife on call, Luanne. 
Jordan's ohmywordthisishappening face early in the morning
I got ready for the day and tried to do some normal things to distract myself. Luanne called and wanted us to meet her at the birth center at 8:30 to be checked again. I was happy to have another checkpoint even if the contractions weren't consistent. When she checked me I was 3cm dilated, so the contractions were definitely doing something even though it wasn't super fast. She was excited and confident she would be the one attending our birth. They had some classes and tours to do and said to let her know if things changed and come back at 2pm (since we live so close) before she left for the day, just in case we should stay then.
Filling out Judah's birth certificate paperwork
We went home to rest and eat, and I think I was able to get some sleep at this point. It's hard to remember. We started contacting people to let them know it looked like it'd be that weekend. Our siblings came in from Chapel Hill and Charlotte, and Jordan's parents were going to leave Greensboro after his dad (a pastor) finished a funeral.
I mainly labored at home -- sitting or leaning on the birthing ball (just your standard exercise ball, nothing special), walking around, leaning on whatever surface was close by and swaying through contractions. Since that morning all feeling in the front was gone -- it was completely back labor. If it was still wrapping around to the front I didn't feel it because it was SO concentrated in my lower back. I wanted to walk outside but it was a super dreary and rainy day, so we went to the Harris Teeter by the birthing center to walk around. Jordan has a pretty funny video of me swaying through contractions in the aisles.
At the 2pm check, I was 4cm dilated. I was nervous that I'd still be at 3, so that was encouraging. I was making progress with contractions that were extremely manageable in my opinion. She sent me home to continue until I couldn't talk through contractions and they were consistently 5 minutes apart.
We went back to our house to hang out with the siblings. This was such a fun part of the day -- being with family, watching Parks & Rec, just hanging out like nothing was happening. Well...for the most part. I could tell they were a little nervous (when I say they I mean JOSEPH haha) especially when I would pause and sway through a contraction. I preferred them to carry on talking but most times they couldn't help but stop completely and wait for me/sit there nervously.
They left to get food and brought me back a Frosty, then Jordan and Joe kindly went to go get me some crazy bread from Little Caesar's which was the only thing I could think of that I wanted. I'm pretty sure it's because I had recently gone back and read Megan Tree's birth story and she ate crazy bread while in labor and that stuck in my mind, hahaha. That wasn't all that I ate that night because I was trying to fuel up, but I NEEDED that crazy bread.
At some point during this time Jordan and I had a little break down because he was still feeling so badly and I felt so bad for him. He was worried that he wouldn't be able to be strong for me at the time I needed it most and that he wouldn't be himself for the birth. We spent some time alone praying that God would give us the perfect amount of strength that would be needed for what was ahead. We knew we couldn't do it through our own ability. 
Blake joined us and then both sets of parents got there which made it feel like woah, this is happening. I was so happy for Jordan to be able to have support from our parents, it was exactly what he needed. Shortly after arriving, I had a few contractions in front of my mom and mother-in-law and they both were like, Ashley, CALL the woman. I kept thinking they would get worse and spread all over my abdomen and not just my back, but that never happened. I called and she tried to make me talk through a contraction on the phone, but I couldn't really do it. So off we went!
You can read Part 2 here.


  1. I try not to EVER read Part1 of a story until Part 2 comes out. But……. Now HURRY and finish!! :)

  2. Mentioned you today on my blog as one of my favorite bloggers!


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