I am leaving this as is... I now have a lot of insights about his birth that I didn't have when this was written and I will come back and add to this when I have more time. This may have typos, poor grammar, and many other flaws... I just feel I need to be transparent and show where I was at the time of his birth by not editing this original story.
I was 19 weeks along with Axell at this point ~ June, 2010
Originally written for my friends and posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:26pm ·
Axell James Gielow ~ Story of His Birth
Born October 5th, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.
Weight: 8 lbs., 1 oz.
Length: 20 in.
Just after birth - About 12 hours old with big sis Lizzy ~ October 6th, 2010
Axell had been diagnosed as having a 2 Vessel Cord (also known as Single Umbilical Artery) when we went in for our ultrasound at 23 weeks. This is what started me on my path to Natural Unmedicated Childbirth. I began researching the SUA and found out that all the hospital interventions we had experienced with my last births would only increase the risks of complications during his birth… I had to put on my big girl panties and face the pain. I had already gone without pain meds for the birth of my daughter (unplanned, I WANTED an epidural, and was totally freaked when I dilated the last 4 cm in 15 minutes while they were placing my epidural and then refused to give me pain meds for pushing) and I knew I COULD do it again. I had matured a lot since the birth of my last 2 and turned crunchy in sooooo many other areas, it seemed right to birth this baby without meds of any kind. Even in my very unsure state of mind during that initial research, an excitement to do this grew inside of me. I found many websites that brought me hope and taught me many, many good things. I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and soaked up all the natural unmedicated birth stories I could find. I was determined that I would do this if I had to arm wrestle my Dr. into it! I had previously LOVED my Dr., I actually had told my hubby we couldn’t move out of CA until after I had all my babies because I loved Dr. K so much and I didn’t want to have to deal with attempting to find a Dr. I could work with. I honestly still think she rocks as an OB/GYN, and trust her a lot as a DOCTOR. But, I will happily be looking for a Homebirth Midwife for the birth of my next baby, or it will be DH and I in the woods with a birth kit! ;-) She was not totally onboard with my birth plan, but she was willing to work with me on some of the basics. I was high risk due to the SUA so I didn’t even try to find a Midwife this time around. I figured I would plan to stay away from the hospital for as long as I could and then go in last second and have the baby. I even ordered a birth kit in case he popped out on the freeway! We live about an hour from the hospital so that was truly a concern for me with my short labors last time. The biggest worry I had was that my Dr. didn’t want to let me go past 39 weeks gestation with Axell. And I knew that I did not want to induce him unless it truly became medically necessary. So, in my heart I struggled with fear of having to induce again and it hurting my little one.
I had been having prodromal labor off and on for weeks. My first real labor began during my first NST at 34 weeks gestation. As I lay down and the nurse put the contraction monitor on my first contraction began. I had several during the NST but when my Dr. checked my cervix it was still high and tight so we were not worried. The contractions continued and got more intense as the next hour progressed and then they stopped. There were no more regular contractions for another couple of weeks except for the rare intermittent real contraction. I do know the difference between labor contractions and BH contractions as this was my 3rd birth and I had experienced the same scenario with my 2 previous births. To give some history; with my last 2 I had pitocin, the first it was to augment labor (was totally unnecessary, if only I had educated myself properly! Lizzy came in under 2 hours from my first painful contraction that day) and with my second it was to induce (he came in under 2 hours from the time we started the pitocin drip). My next bout of labor was during the 3 days (22, 23 & 24) of the full moon in September with the actual night of the full moon being my most intense labor prior to the day he arrived. I was seriously having regular contractions every 5-7 minutes and they were lasting 90+ seconds. I had to vocalize and sway back and forth while standing, while reading and memorizing my birth affirmations just to cope with these contractions. Each of those 3 nights they would last about 2 hours starting just before 9 and ending just before 11. I was getting so discouraged by my pain and knowing that I was likely to have weeks and an induction ahead of me. It was rough.
On the morning of October 5th I was high energy and excited about an overcast day we were having with light rain. I snuggled with my 2 year old boy and was treasuring the moments with him being my baby still. I walked outside that day and thought to myself, this is the perfect day to have a baby. But by evening I was very discouraged, and I had sent my DH off to band practice figuring nothing was going to happen. I had only had 2 real contractions since the full moon (both earlier that same day) and Axell was still in the LOT (Left Occiput Transverse) position after all the spinning babies exercises I had done. There were times he would get into the OA position and then other times he would turn right back to where he has started. I was so upset as the back labor I experienced with my last 2 (granted it was in the hospital bed and that couldn’t have helped) was awful. I was on my favorite birth board (NUCB-BBC) and someone had posted the “Walk it Out” video of the preggo mama dancing her baby out. I laughed and cried, and laughed and then cried some more while watching this video. Then I had a steak dinner (steak was my main craving while pregnant this time but I only had it a handful of times) that was homecooked by my mom and I ended up being like a cavewoman eating all the meat off of the bones and licking the pan clean… crazy. I continued on with my night finishing up some work and then putting away some things my mom had gotten out of her storage unit earlier that day (any night my DH had band practice the kids and I would stay at mom’s house so she could help me). In retrospect I think that steak had something to do with what happened just a couple hours later! ;-)
At 9:33 p.m. I had my first contraction that marks the beginning of his actual birth. I was standing at the DVD cabinet finishing putting the DVD’s away and suddenly I found myself doubled over and giving way to kneeling on the floor from the pain of this contraction. I thought to myself, this couldn’t really be it. This feels just like the 2 contractions I had earlier and nothing happened after them. I got back up once it was over and kept going. 9:37 another one hit me. I texted Alex (my hubby) and told him “contractions just started, just in case come home quick!” Then again 9:41, text again “NOW!!!” I knew these were transition contractions at that point. I ran to mom at the other end of the house and asked her to come take over with the kids as I needed to put a few things into my hospital bag and go to the bathroom. I then got some things together for the kids and peed. All the while the contractions kept getting closer together and I was on the floor on my hands and knees for every contraction. I prayed and prayed that the Lord would get Alex there fast. It was 10:30 by the time he got there and we left. I almost killed him when I heard him turn the suburban off… “I AM IN FREAKING TRANSITION TRYING TO HOLD THIS BABY IN!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING???!!!!” I was sure I had been complete for some time at that point, but my water had not broken and I was happy to hold Axell in until we got to the hospital. The car ride was the worst hour I had ever experienced. It was horrible, and there was no OS bar in the car for me to cling to while my hubby drove 90+ miles an hour on the bumpiest freeway in SoCal. I wanted to just kill myself. I had been repeating my favorite affirmation (“We are in the perfect will, of The perfect God”) the entire labor and it is the only thing that kept me from jumping out the window. I was able to text mom for L&D’s telephone number and call them as we were getting off the freeway. After we got parked it was 11:20 p.m. and I was not sure I could walk in. But I didn’t want a wheel chair so I was determined to make it on my own. I leaned on Alex heavily and had several contractions I had to stop for on our way up to the 5th floor. Once I got to the L&D front desk I explained who my Dr. was and that this baby wanted out NOW. The nurse at the desk looked at me like a cow and I wanted to kill her. Then another nurse (with about 6 other behind her) came rushing over and escourted me into our room (which was the room I had Lizzy in, and that made it more familiar and welcoming to me). I told them I had to pee and went and hid in the bathroom with Alex. I had to “get into the zone.” I still was in denial though I knew I had been complete for some time. I peed a little, saw my bloody show and got my gown on. They kept coming to make sure I wasn’t pooping (my nurse actually said “Don’t do anything silly in there!” I had her rather worried) and going to push the baby out into the toilet, I laughed at that. When the made me lay down I told them I was “One of those natural people, and that anyone who doesn’t support NUCB should leave now.” And my nurse then asked me what we did and didn’t want, she was fantastic. Both Alex and I loved her bedside manner and the way she helped us to achieve what we wanted. I asked for a heplock rather than an IV, but somewhere in that process they ended up hooking me to fluids, at that point I didn’t care. As long as they kept the drugs away (which they did) I didn’t care anymore. They checked me and sure enough I was complete with bulging bag. The nurse who checked me looked shocked and ran off to call my Dr. and inform her she needed to get there. I could have screamed I told you so if I wasn’t in so much pain, geez. Anyhow, when my Dr. got there she walked straight in and broke my water (while I as in the middle of a contraction and couldn’t talk to tell her no) then checked to see where he was. I asked her his station and she said “0” and that I had some pushing to do. With Jonny I pushed less than 2 minutes and bruised him heavily. But hearing those words made me feel a sinking feeling regardless. She told me to push with the next contraction and even though I didn’t feel “pushy” I did go for it (I have never felt pushy with any of my labors, still have yet to experience that feeling of my body pushing without my help) and he moved down a bunch, then I pushed a few more times and his head was out. During the pushing I began to panic, I can handle labor pain, it’s not fun but I can do it. Pushing is the worst pain I have ever felt and I wish I could relate to the women who feel relief when pushing, I envy any of you that know what that is like! I started kicking and I nearly knocked out a nurse or 4... Alex then grabbed my head and made me look at him then he spoke my affirmation to me and it really helped me to regain my focus. I knew it would only get worse until Axell got out, so I gave it my all and pushed out his very, very wide shoulders. I tore. I felt it tearing as his shoulders came out and I wanted to slit my wrists. The pain from the tear was so excruciating I couldn’t even think as I held my baby on my tummy. I was totally crying from the pain of that tear and though she claims it was only a 2nd degree tear I am not fully convinced. It was a large tear and the stitches she gave me hurt as bad as the birth itself. Alex said I bled much heavier (there was an actual flow of blood they had to stop) this time than with the last 2, so I believe I may have hemorrhaged. I plan to ask at my post-natal appointment if it was the tear that caused the bleeding or PPH. They did whisk Axell off to the evil warming table while she got me sewed up and they administered the Vit. K and eye stuff before we could stop it. Alex was very upset the rest of the night about them doing that. He felt like he had failed Axell and was just heartbroken he didn’t stop them. I hated that nurse anyhow, she was rude and mean the entire time. We had to let go of the frustration about that, and it wasn’t too hard for me ‘cause he didn’t have a lick of meds during the birth! When they brought him back to me about 15 minutes after he was born I immediately unwrapped him (that evil nurse had him wrapped of course) and layed him on my chest, he nuzzled over and latched perfectly from the beginning. He was the most peaceful baby I have had yet and was so glad we chose the name we did for him as Axell means “Father of Peace.” He and I slept together in bed that night and he has been a great sleeper ever since! This birth, though stressful was perfect in so many ways. I got there complete and had him just 12 hours before my appointment at which I was supposed to schedule an induction! I was so happy to have achieved this birth and I thank Jesus for coming through for us! As in Jeremiah 29:11 He knows the plans He has for us, and He brought Axell here according to His perfect birth plan! Praise the Lord!
And here he is now! ;-) ~ October 2012