Every birth story is so different and special in it’s own way. Isn’t that crazy? Greyson’s is so different, and I hope you keep reading on to find out just how different it was from Sterling’s birth.
It was the day before Thanksgiving that I felt something was off with my body.
On a whim, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I felt that there was no way I could be pregnant, since I had been getting my depo shot every 3 months on time, but my intuition said otherwise. There it was, a positive plus sign on the test and I felt my heart sink. I was so nervous, but also excited and happy that I was pregnant again. Man, the timing couldn’t have been worse though. Clint had just got word that he was going to be medically discharged from the military, and we were scrambling around trying to figure out if we were going to stay in Colorado or go back home to Idaho. We essentially had no plan, and I was losing my mind that we had no clue what we were going to do.
Eventually we decided that we were going to go back to Idaho and figure it out from there. In February of 2016, we made the drive from Colorado to Idaho. I was about 16 weeks pregnant at the time, and we had found out via blood test that we were having another boy. My intuition was wrong this time because I was really convinced that we were having a girl.
Our drive back home led us through Wyoming, which was awful because we had to transport two cars and the roads in some parts of Wyoming were treacherous. Clint had actually ended up slipping off the side of the road twice, the second time flipping his truck over into a deep snowy ditch. Sterling was safe in the car with me, but I was scared for Clint’s life watching his truck literally flip twice in my rear view mirror. Everything was okay, and with the help of some friendly drivers who stopped, we were able to pull his truck out of the ditch and drove it all the way back to Clint’s parent’s house.
The stress of that entire drive had taken quite a toll on my body, because the day after we got to his parent’s house I had started experiencing some spotting. This was something I had never gone through with Sterling, and immediately I was panicking and scared that I was going to have another miscarriage. My first appointment with my new midwives wasn’t for another couple of weeks, but after a call to their office they wanted me to go in right away.
After an ultrasound just to be safe, everything looked alright. I was told to keep it easy and the spotting should suffice. I swear, I had never felt more relieved in my life. I should note at this time, that I had not gotten attached to this pregnancy quite yet. I am so ashamed to even type this, and I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it, but I had not wanted this baby. It was such awful timing, and I couldn’t think about how we were going to afford another baby. At one point, I had even thought about abortion. Never in a million years did I think that I would contemplate this, yet the idea fluttered across my mind. I saw that Clint was stressed because he was going to start going to school full time, and it ate me up inside that Sterling wasn’t even two yet and he would have to share mom and dad’s attention with a new baby. After we moved back to Idaho, we had been living with his parents and it was an incredibly frustrating time trying to get the money to move out. I was so scared. But in that moment, when my midwife told me that everything was okay, I cried because I was so happy, and guilty, and all of the emotions one could feel.
From that point on, we were really starting to get serious about this pregnancy. Now that we knew this little one was a boy, we had the hardest time trying to figure out a name. It didn’t come quite as easy as Sterling’s did, but after we settled and later laid eyes on this baby boy, we figured Greyson Dean was as perfect as it could be in a name.
As the months went on, I decided I wanted to really try for a natural birth so I invested in Hypnobabies. I was extremely busy working at a job in a deli at the time, and did not have time to go to in person classes, but luckily Hypnobabies had a study course to do at home. Everyday I read a little bit of the book, and listened to all the tracks the guide told me to listen. What an interesting experience this course was! On some nights, I “fell asleep” while listening to the tracks, only to be woken up right when it was over. I thought that I wouldn’t retain anything or remember how to put myself in hypnosis because I kept falling asleep, but I had later learned that this was just another version of my body and mind in deep hypnosis. As the weeks went on, I practiced everyday and prepared myself for my water birth – that was the goal of course.
On July 13th, we were all hanging out at home. My sister had come over sometime in the day to check up on me, and asked if I was starting to feel anything yet. At this point, I had been 9 days over my due date and ready for Greyson to get the heck out already. At some point, I had actually realized that I haven’t felt him move or kick around in a couple of hours. Drinking cold water, moving him around, and other things weren’t really helping. I would feel him move a little bit, but nothing too active like he usually was. I had consulted one my straightforward, no boundaries mom group on Facebook for some advice, and a couple of moms chimed in and said that in their experience, it was normal for baby to rest a little bit before going into active labor. They gave me some tips on how to check to see how far along I was, using the purple/red line method (I think there’s a more official name for this somewhere) With this method, you can guesstimate how dilated you are if you could see this purple-ish line creeping up your butt cheek. If the line went all the way up to the top of the cleft, you were about 10 cm dilated. If I was looking at the pictures correctly, I would say that Greyson was ready to come pretty soon.
I had been having small contractions here and there throughout the day, but nothing too bad. They pretty much just felt like Braxton Hick’s but nothing stronger or painful, just uncomfortable. We decided to go to bed at around midnight, and it was then that I was realizing that these Braxton Hicks were coming more often and were starting to get SUPER uncomfortable. I had timed them for a bit, and then called the midwife because just like with Sterling, my contractions were all over the place and not consistent at all. I was told to come in whenever, so while Clint was packing the bag and getting Sterling’s stuff ready for Grandma to pick him up, I retreated back into bed and put my earphones in to listen to some new Hypnobabies tracks designed specifically for labor.
Let me tell you, labor itself is exhausting. But labor at 12:30 in the morning is extremely tiring and I was over it. After every contraction, I somehow found myself falling asleep just to be woken up by another contraction 3- 7 minutes later. Sterling was picked up around 1:10 AM, and we were on our way to the birth center which was about 30 minutes away. We had arrived to the birth center at 1:55 AM, and went to go get settled in. After intake, we had found out that I was already 10 cm dilated, and literally after I moved onto my side to handle the contractions a little better, you could hear this loud pop and I felt a large gush of water escape in between my legs. Apparently that was my water breaking! I was gently informed by my sweet midwives that things might start to progress a little faster now that that happened, and they were going to leave us to labor in peace. After the midwives had left, I told Clint that I wanted to get into the tub to relax. I needed his help getting to the tub that was only like 6 feet away from the bed because my legs were getting so shaky with how fast my labor was going.
Clint helped me into the tub, and set up my Hypnobabies tracks to play in the background. After a couple minutes of sitting in the tub, moaning and groaning trying to find a comfortable position, I said “I think I need to push.” He looked over at me and said, “No you don’t, you just got in there.” I swear, I have never wanted to punch him more in my life, but in my weakened state all I could do was give him a big death glare and mutter “GO GET SOMEONE.”
Clint and the midwives came back quickly, and all of a sudden I could feel my body really ramping it up. I could feel the need to push – I couldn’t control it if I tried. It felt like my body seized up with every contraction, and now instead of just contracting and releasing, I now felt the need to bear down during the contractions. With every contraction, I could hear in the background, “Every contraction brings your baby closer,” and Clint saying “You’re doing amazing, baby.” I could feel the ring of fire, and with one more push Greyson was out. I picked him up out of the water and brought him to my chest, massaging his back until his cries echoed into the room. Birth is a crazy thing. I did not cry, but I felt the rush of adrenaline still coursing through my body, and I just let out exhausted whimpers while I hugged this little boy we brought into the world. I felt so in shock that I just did this, but more so that it happened SO fast. Seriously! Little Greyson Dean was born at 3:04 in the morning, just a little more than an hour of getting to the birth center and 10 days over his due date. I had been in active labor for only 3 hours, and my body was shaking uncontrollably from such fast progression.
After delivering the placenta and making sure we had received all the blood from the cord back to the baby, it was cut and we were transported back to the bed. There we lay in our golden hour (or two) watching Greyson intuitively breast crawl his way to the nipple, and falling asleep every now and then while he nuzzled on my chest. It was a beautiful and glorious moment. At about 6 in the morning we made our trek back home, where we were able to get a few more hours of sleep before Grandma brought big brother home to meet his new best friend.
Looking back, it was a really good labor and birth. If I have a choice, I don’t think I’d ever deliver in a hospital ever again!
Have you ever delivered in a birth center? Have you ever had a water birth? If so, what was your experience like?