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The Birth Story Of Timothy Josiah Schlessman (Bradley® Hospital Birth)

OB Estimated Due Date (EDD) based on LMP: October 7th, 2012
Birthday:  October 7, 2012

The birth was an amazing experience! Josiah was a wonderful coach and my mom was also a significant help. It seemed like there was more than enough to keep two people busy during labor so I was so glad she was there to help too! We decided to name our son Timothy Josiah. He was born on Sunday, October 7th (his actual due date!) at 5:50am, weighing 7 lbs 2 oz and measuring 21″ long.

My parents and my twin brother came to visit for Columbus Day weekend, hoping they would be here for baby to be born, but I warned them not to get their hopes up since it could very well be another week or so. We went to Christian Way Farms and picked pumpkins on Friday the 5th of October, and I felt great with no contractions or signs of labor. Saturday morning at 7am, however, my water began to leak. It seemed like a constant leak throughout the entire labor, rather than any one big gush. I had not had any contractions before then, but they began almost immediately after my water began leaking. I had breakfast and took a shower as suggested; to see if that would change anything. I messed around the house and rested a little while, and then we decided to try to go on a walk around 1pm. As I was getting ready to go on the walk, though, I was pretty uncomfortable and I thought contractions were coming consistently enough (about 4 min apart) and strong enough that maybe we should get ready to head to Vanderbilt instead. I’m glad we did! We made it to Vanderbilt without incident, and I was measuring 4 cm so they went ahead and admitted me. Not too long after that, probably about an hour after I got to my room, things got pretty intense. I was having double and triple peak contractions and was vomiting and shaking. I thought, there is no way this could already be transition (kind of hoping that it was, but thought it seemed awfully quick)! The nurse put the external fetal monitor on me and found that baby’s heart rate was decreasing significantly during the contractions and was not recovering to baseline. After just a few minutes of this I felt like the room went into chaos. It didn’t really, but I was in a good bit of pain and I could hear a lot of new voices around me, as different people came in to give me an IV, an oxygen mask, and a shot of Terbutaline to stop my contractions. I hadn’t remembered hearing about that before, and I dreaded the idea of stopping labor then having to (what I thought would be) start over again, so I was hesitant to let them give me this shot. But they basically said this was my only option before I would need a C-section since his heart rate was so low (in the 60 bpm range). So my contractions stopped very shortly after they gave me the shot, and – praise the Lord! – little man’s heart rate improved. I got about a 15-minute break before the contractions started again, and when they did, they started strong and consistent, not like starting over as I had feared. I still don’t know why I had those double and triple peak contractions at that point, but it was not transition as I was not fully dilated and nowhere near the end of labor. Unfortunately I continued to vomit throughout labor and couldn’t keep any liquids down, so I had to have an IV the whole time. Also because of their concern about his heart rate I had to wear the EFM the rest of the time too, which limited some of the positions I could get in and I wasn’t able to use the tub. I was thankful for our little exercise on birth priorities because I remembered that even if I couldn’t get everything I was hoping for during labor, ultimately a healthy mom and healthy baby were most important. The EFM was actually kind of nice because Josiah could see when I was starting and ending a contraction and how strong it was, and could offer great coaching through it. So labor continued and was no fun, but I was able to talk to my brother and dad and in-laws as they periodically came in to see how things were going. My brother even helped hold the heating pad on my back to give Josiah a little break – how sweet! I seemed to like the heating pad and pressure on my lower back, and a cool rag on my forehead. Josiah was a constant encouragement as was my mom and the midwife Julia (which was nice since I knew they had actually done this before and knew what it was like). Julia checked me very infrequently and only when I wanted her to which was good because there was change in my dilation each time (which was encouraging to me even though I knew it didn’t mean much) I never really noticed a specific transition period, but probably because I was vomiting and shaking throughout half of labor. Around 2 am I starting having the “need to go to the bathroom” feeling. Julia checked me and saw that I was almost fully dilated but I had that lip of cervix we were taught about. She wanted to let me try pushing for a little while, so I did for about 30 minutes until we saw that nothing was changing. She then had me push while she tried to push the lip of cervix out of the way, and it totally worked. I was pretty happy because I thought I was almost done at this point, but little did I know I had a lot of pushing in my future! Pushing was the only time that I thought to myself I’m not sure how much longer I can do this (not like I had any other options at that point!) It took a little over 3 hours of pushing before Timothy decided to come out. To our surprise, his umbilical cord was not wrapped around his neck (which we thought may have been causing the decels) but his head came out to the side instead of centered, and his hand came out with his head (his arm was up against his face). No wonder he was hard to push out! He had a pretty crazy looking sideways cone head and bad bruising on his head, but other than that he was perfect. He was a nursing champ and latched on quickly, and was awake and wide eyed for a while. I was surprised by how sore my entire body was after labor, but like we were taught it is like running a marathon, and I think all my pushing made my arms and legs extra sore. But I recovered well and am back to running and normal activities. We are actually really looking forward to being able to have another baby!

We are so very thankful for this class and Jade’s thoughtful instruction. We know that made the birth process go much more smoothly for us. I wasn’t always very good at relaxing, but I never thought about wanting pain meds and we were confident that we knew what to expect or could adapt to changes.