Monday, May 20, 2013

Meeting Benjamin

I woke up in the early morning of April 26th around 4:30, having some contractions. Isabella had woken up a couple hours before and got in bed with us and I wasn't sleeping very well. Just after 5:00 the contractions were so strong I decided I better start keeping track of them. For the next hour they were 3-5 minutes apart and I eventually had to get out of bed and start walking around to deal with them. An hour later they had dropped down to various amounts of time apart- 6 minutes, 9 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 minutes. In my mind I kept thinking they would just go away and I could get some sleep. I'd had several friends that had contractions that just stopped, and I really didn't think he was coming for another week or so. I went ahead and texted my sister a little after 7AM to let her know I'd been having contractions for a few hours to let her know as she was going to be joining me for the birth.
 Last picture I took pregnant. The day before he was born. 40 weeks

 From my contraction timer app

The contractions continued all morning, staying very strong and intense the whole time. I wasn't sure what to think because in my mind the contractions should have started out less intense and grown in intensity while becoming closer together. Instead mine started out very strong and were getting farther apart. I got in the bath tub to see if the contractions would stop and get some relief. I felt better in the tub, but they were not stopping. My mom was off work and came by and took Isabella out with her for a few hours. Looking back, if I had realized this was "it" I would have sent her away earlier.  It was a little distressing for her to see me if so much pain and she would ask "what's the matter with you?" and told Michael, "Daddy, Mommy's sad again" when I started having another contraction. Around 11:30 Michael decided to start gathering our things to go to the hospital. I was still not convinced it was time, so I let him load stuff, but told him I needed to run an errand. We went to the post office to mail a baby gift for my friend, and I had to have him pull over a few times because the bumps in the road hurt so badly while I was having my contractions... I still wasn't convinced at this point that this was the real deal. Michael said we needed to head to the hospital, but I somehow convinced him we didn't and we went to Johnnies to get some lunch. I ate my lunch standing up at the counter in our kitchen because it was too uncomfortable to sit down. Looking back I don't know if my mind was keeping me distracted from the pain by thinking it would all stop and I could just sleep soon or what. I feel like my motherly instincts should have kicked in a little to tell me it was time. Regardless, I'm glad that I was able to just be at home this time and not stuck in the hospital all day.

My mom brought Isabella home and we put her down for nap. She was really tired as she hadn't slept well the night before and had a massive melt down about not getting to play in her playroom before her nap. We finally got her to sleep and I told my mom she could go ahead and leave, because I was sure this would all stop soon, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. But not long after my contractions picked back up again. I also had strong back labor pain all day. About 2:00 Michael said he didn't want to upset me but he was going to call his parents to come over so we could go to the hospital whenever we needed to. I texted with my friend about how I was starting to have trouble staying calm and focusing through the contractions, and she said it sounded like I was moving towards transition... I should have realized that myself, as I was starting to feel a little frantic about my choice to have a natural birth, that I was having some classic signs of transition. I gathered my last few things so we could leave to go to the hospital and started crying that this might be "it" and my last interaction with Isabella had not been so pleasant with her crying herself to sleep at nap time.

Michael's parents got to our house and we headed to the hospital around 2:45. I let my sister know we were headed that way and I then endured the most miserable car ride of my life, thinking the whole time that I would prefer to be giving birth at home than be in the pain I was in while in the car. We parked at the hospital, my sister got there before we did, and we made our way to check in with me having to stop for each contraction on our way in. I'm sure the people we passed on the way loved seeing and hearing me groaning through each one. :)

We checked in and the girl helping us took a little information from me and took my birth plan. I was still a little nervous at this point that I would not be progressed to anything and would be sent home. But when she checked me she said I was at a 7 with a "bulging bag" and if I didn't get over to labor and delivery I would be having my baby in the triage room. I thought that seemed a little extreme as it took me 2 plus hours to move from a 7 to a 10 with Isabella. It was so hot in that room I thought I might pass out. I was miserable and looked at my sister and said PLEASE HELP ME!!! With tears in her eyes she gave me some reassuring words. I wanted to ask the nurse to give me something to help with the pain, but I couldn't say the words for some reason. I tried to focus on getting through each contraction knowing it was one step closer to the end, but it was really hard. We skipped filling out any paperwork as she said we just needed to get to the delivery room as quickly as possible. She called someone and I heard her say "I've got a girl here who's a 7 with a bulging bag, and she's making that deep guttural know the one". I didn't know what that meant but did not appreciate her telling people about my deep guttural sounds. Haha! She went and got a wheelchair for me to take me to my delivery room so we could get there faster. She was also trying to get a hold of my midwife to get her there for the delivery.

We made it to the room and I asked my sister to get the bath water going as I just wanted to get in the tub to feel some relief. The nurse got a birthing ball out for me and had me sit on it for some of the contractions. Unbeknownst to me, the nurses said I would not be getting in the tub because I was too close to delivery. Around 3:50 my midwife, Dawn, made it to the room, wearing an awesome shirt that made me smile despite my state of pain.
 (So glad she made it with short notice!)

I got on the bed, on my side, with the contractions coming close together and extremely strong. My sister put a cold washcloth on my forehead, which felt great. Dawn asked if it was OK to check me and when she did said I was ready to deliver whenever I felt like it. Within a few minutes I felt the ring of fire, that truly burns as Johnny Cash says, and the crazy, intense need to push. This was the part I feared the most, as it drug on and on with Isabella, pushing for 2.5 hours. I thought it would never end. Dawn was telling me some things I needed to do to make my pushing more effective. I apparently yelled at her to stop hurting me, to which she let me know that she was not touching me and it was actually my baby's head hurting me and I needed to push it out. I pushed a couple of times, and my water burst everywhere. Then she said she could see his head and I was so close. I was again flashing back to those hours with Isabella when they said they could see her head for TWO HOURS and nothing happened. I tried to not be discouraged and push with everything I could. I grabbed on to Michael, the nurse's arm, anything I could- and somehow ripped my IV port out during this. Everyone was encouraging me along. And truly, within a couple more pushes, at 4:12PM my son entered the world, just barely over an hour since we checked in at the hospital. I still cannot believe how quickly the delivery was! The cord was wrapped around his neck twice, something Dawn said can happen when the delivery is so fast. She quickly pulled the cord off and placed him with me. The rush of adrenaline, emotion, and relief when that pain is over is pretty incredible.

And there is truly no moment in life like that moment when you meet your child for the first time.  Shushing their cries, whispering Happy Birthday, and hi sweet baby- it's me your mama.
After the cord stopped pulsing, Michael cut it. I was concerned about how gray he was, and as I mentioned it, they said they needed to look at him. They took him over to the warmer to make sure he was alright after having the cord around his neck. It took a few minutes but then they confirmed he was just fine. Then they brought him back to me.

Benjamin Gray Mitchell 8lbs 3 oz and 21 inches 

Meeting our family:
He was so alert those first few hours

 First bath and getting his hair washed

 All clean and cozy

Isabella and Benjamin meet for the first time. 

Opening her big sister present from Benjamin after she gave him his blanket she picked out the day we found out he was a boy.

First friends to meet Benjamin the night he was born.

Late that night we were transferred to our recovery room. I was exhausted but barely slept. What a day it had been! Welcome Benjamin. Our lives will never be the same. We loved you so much in that one day and all the more in the days to come.

I asked Michael if there was anything he would say or add to Benjamin's birth story, and he said nothing other than the fact that he wanted to go to the hospital about 4 hours before I did.
 I think he was afraid he was going to be delivering a baby in the car, but we made it. :) 


  1. I loved reading his story! Still can't beleive the rapid delivery once you checked in at the hospital, that was so close! You were a rock star for enduring and conquering all natural birthing the first time around but you get even more rock star status for doing it again for round 2!! love your sweet boy and love you.

  2. Beautiful story! I love how alert he is and looking at everyone even at only a few minutes old!