Clyde's Birth Story - Part Two

If you missed Part One of Clyde's birth story, you can read it here!

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I had a couple contractions while we were checking in at the emergency room entrance.  I felt a little funny doing my "he he" breathing in front of all the other patients in the waiting room, but everyone was asking a bunch of questions and they were all excited for us!

A nurse came down with a wheel chair and took us up to our labor and delivery room around 4:00.  We were introduced to our nurse, Helen, and I got changed into my hospital gown (yuck, but I'd rather make a mess of the hospital's clothes than my own).  

Helen pulled out the monitors; I asked if I really had to wear them, and she said they would want to monitor me a little bit up front (which I already knew).  I asked for the wireless monitors so I could move around, and she said they'd get them for me so I didn't have to sit in bed.  It was really important for me not to be stuck in bed, because that was the worst part of my labor with Wyatt, and when I was in labor with Gwen I loved being able to move around.

I was still having painful contractions every 4-6 minutes, and Helen asked what I was wanting for pain management - I told her I didn't want an epidural or anything, I was just going to power through!  She was really supportive.  She warned me that I might doubt my decision around transition, but that it was normal to feel that way.  I was sure I'd be fine though.

Helen noticed I liked to be leaning forward during my contractions, so she set up a table and pillow for me to lean on while they got me set up with monitors and an IV (I wasn't hooked up to an IV, but they put a line in, just in case I lost too much blood afterward or had other complications).  

Derek was really there for me through the contractions, and he held my hand and rubbed my back.  It was so comforting to me, and I was just so thankful that the Lord had worked everything out so he could be there!  It makes the pain so much more manageable when you feel so thankful to just be in labor.

They had me on the monitors for a little while, and then they took them off to give me a break.  One thing I was really impressed with was how attentive the nurses were - once they knew I wasn't going to get an epidural they seemed to bend over backward to think of things to make me comfortable.  Helen brought in a birthing ball for me to sit on between contractions, and she showed Derek this hip-squeezing technique that helped me a lot.  

Derek and I decided to watch a movie, and we picked 17 Again.  I bounced on my ball and we made fun of Zac Effron's haircut and different plot elements (I really do like that movie, but poking fun at it was a good distraction during labor).  When I had a contraction I'd drop down off the birth ball onto my hands and knees and breathe through the contraction while Derek pressed on my hips.  

Helen brought me a towel so I wouldn't have to kneel on the hard floor, and she kept saying how impressive it was that I could get down on my hands and knees so fast for the contractions.  At one point another nurse came in right before I had a contraction, and when I dropped down she though I had hurt myself, but Helen told her that I was okay, that's just what I did when I had a contraction.  The labor was concentrated in my back, so hands and knees felt best.  

I really liked the birth ball, and it felt good to bounce on it between contractions.  Helen asked if I wanted to try some aromatherapy, and she brought in a washcloth with some oils on it.  It smelled really good.  She also offered to fill up the jet tub for me if I wanted to try sitting in the water.  I was thinking about it, but I was worried about getting back out if things progressed quickly (the hospital wouldn't let me give birth in the tub).

Dr. B had requested that she be called when I was checked in, because she wanted to be able to deliver my baby if possible, so she was calling in periodically to hear how I was doing.  Around 5:00 Helen said they'd like to check me, because Dr. B had an event at her kid's school, and she was wondering how close I was.  

One of my requests was to have as few cervical checks as possible - my cervix is positioned so that checks are really painful for me.  But I wanted Dr. B to be there if possible too, so I said that was fine.  I sat on the bed, and Helen checked me - it wasn't as painful as I was afraid it would be.  After a minute she said "Oh wow, you're at 6 or 7 centimeters!"  I think she was surprised I was that far, because the contractions were still really manageable.

I went back to my ball, and after that I started having some blood during contractions.  I could also tell they were getting a little stronger, and I tried to focus on relaxing during contractions so my body could do it's thing.  I had verses written on cards, but I didn't want to dig them out of my bag, so I just thought about the two I could remember then:

"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13


"Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

During contractions I started thinking on those verses, and it was comforting to focus on the Lord when I was in so much pain.

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Helen was back in the room shortly to put the monitors back on me for a little bit, but I felt like they kept slipping when I got down on the floor for contractions.  I was watching the monitors, but I couldn't tell if they were getting a good read on the baby during contractions.  Helen didn't seem to concerned though, so I assumed it was fine.  They took them back off after a little while.

Derek was still doing the hip squeezing during contractions, but I asked him to rub my back as the contraction was ending too, because the pain was starting to linger a little longer and it felt like it needed to be rubbed out.  I felt so bad for Derek because he came straight from work, so he was in his nice dress clothes during all this - not the most comfortable clothes when you are getting down on the floor with your laboring wife every few minutes!  He was so great during labor though, and did everything he could to help me.

My doctor came in about 5:30, and I could tell she was really torn.  She had an event with her kids from 6:00 to 7:30, and she asked me if I would be okay if she went to the event with her kids.  I told her that was fine, that she should go!  She said "Well, maybe he'll wait until after 7:30 and I can still make it in time for the delivery!"  But I knew at that point that it probably wouldn't happen - I could tell I was getting close.  I asked her if she would come back later though, and she said she would.

I had a couple contractions while my doctor was in the room, and she told me she was so impressed with how I was handling them.  "You could teach laboring classes!" she said.  I thought that was sweet, because you need encouragement like that when you are in labor!  It made me feel like I still had it under control.

Sometime between 5:45 and 6:00 the contractions started stepping up a bit again, and I started doing the "he he he who" breathing instead.  They were still only 4-ish minutes apart, but they became way more intense.  

I kept thinking "He He He Who gives me strength," and "He He He (cares for) who-you" (I know the second one is a stretch, but it worked for me).  I also decided to start standing and leaning on the hospital bed for contractions, instead of getting on the floor, because I thought gravity could help the baby move down.

Derek could tell I was in more pain, and I was starting to get uncomfortable between contractions too.  I was starting to whimper a little bit during contractions in between my breathing, because things just felt different.  Derek asked me if he should call the nurse, but I wasn't sure.  So he made the executive decision to go ahead and call her (I'm so glad he was there, because I just don't think straight at this point of labor).

After Derek called her, Helen came right in and watched me through a couple contractions (still 4 minutes apart), and then they wheeled the warmer in.  Seeing that warmer, where I knew my baby would be soon, suddenly made everything so real, and I started to cry.  I wasn't upset or scared, I was crying because I knew he would be here soon and I was excited!  

Derek asked if I was okay, and I just nodded and thought that maybe I was in transition, even though I didn't shake the way I had with Wyatt and Gwen (I felt very slightly quivery, but that was it).  I could tell something was happening.

Helen called the on-call doctor to come in after that, and Dr. A (as we'll call her), stood off to the side and watched for a few minutes too.  At this point the movie had ended, and I was feeling serious between contractions.  I had a strong contraction, and Dr. A asked if I was starting to feel pressure, and I nodded.  It was weird though, because the pressure felt like it was in the wrong spot - it was like his head was pressing against my tailbone.  

Derek asked Dr. A if I should get ready to push, and she said they'd want to check first to make sure I was really fully dilated, because sometimes if the water doesn't break first you might have a little cervix left and pushing against it can cause problems.

The nurses started talking about how I could get up on the bed and hang on the back of it during contractions, but I just remember staring at them from my birthing ball and saying I didn't want to move.  I obviously couldn't give birth sitting there though, so they were trying to encourage me to move between contractions.  

Then I had another one and I stood up to lean against the bed.  I ended up screaming a little bit during that one while Derek was still helping me by pushing on my hips.  As it was ending I said "I can't!"  I didn't even think about the words as they came out of my mouth, I just said them - I think if I was a bit more coherent I would have meant that I can't get up on the bed, but I think my nurse thought I was doubting my decision not to get the epidural.  I wasn't though, the words just came out.

Then all of a sudden my water broke, and it just gushed everywhere (including all over Derek's new work pants - whoops).  It was crazy to me because it felt like a lot of water, and it was startling.  The pressure was still there, and everything felt like a blur.  Dr. A checked me while I was standing there and said we were good to go, and the nurses started helping me up onto the bed.  

They started talking about how there was meconium (baby's first bowel movement) and blood in the water, and I heard the words "placental abruption".  I remember asking a few times if I could push (even though Dr. A had already basically said I could), and I felt like no one heard my question (or I just didn't hear the answer, because Derek told me later that they had said I could).

They got me sitting on the bed.  I remember them setting the bed back, and I told them I didn't like sitting so far back.  (This was the only part of the birth that I wasn't completely satisfied with.  I felt like leaning back so far made it harder to push - I would rather have sat up more, but everything was happening so fast, it wasn't that important to me to insist at that point.)

With the next contraction I went ahead and pushed, screaming in the process.  It was such a weird sensation, because I felt like his head was still pushing on my tailbone.  I pushed a couple more times through that contraction, and I felt his head move down, with the infamous "ring of fire".  Then the contraction was over and I had to wait until the next one.  I remember saying "It hurts", and Dr. A was really sympathetic, and said that she knew this part hurt.  She told me he had a head of dark hair, and that made me smile.

The nurses told me to try to make more of a deep groaning sound while I was pushing.  They said they didn't mind the screaming at all, but making a groaning noise would help focus my energy in my abdomen instead of in my lungs.  It made sense to me, so with the next contraction I really tried, but I felt like I wasn't doing a very good job of it.

Derek kept rubbing my back through the pushing, and told me I was doing a great job, and that he was proud of me, which was really comforting to me.

With the next contraction I pushed and I got his head out.  I kind of expected his body to slip out easily after that, but it didn't.  I pushed and kept feeling him move down, but I couldn't get him out, and the contraction ended.  Derek says that I said "I can't" again (which I have no recollection of), and the nurses thought I was going to quit pushing - but I know that I was thinking "I can't get him out".  It just felt like I kept pushing and couldn't move him down.

I had one more contraction and gave a couple more big pushes - I kept feeling like I had pushed him out, but then I would realize I hadn't. 

Finally I pushed, and everyone gave a happy shout, and Derek told me to open my eyes - and I looked and there he was.  Dr. A was holding him up right in front of me - his face was scrunched up into a good cry, his little arms and legs flailing around.  I reached out and grabbed him, and just held him.  I remember saying how handsome he was, and telling him how much I loved him.  

He was born at 6:33 PM, just 2.5 hours after we checked into our room.  Derek told me later that he was born facing up (babies are supposed to be born facing toward your back, ideally), and that explains why I felt so much pressure on my tailbone.  

Derek asked what I thought about his name, and we both agreed that the name we had been thinking about through the pregnancy fit him - Clyde Daniel.  I also loved that he had dark hair, because somehow in my head, a Clyde would have dark hair.

After a few minutes they took him to the warmer and suctioned out his mouth - because of the meconium in my water, his lungs were wet.  They said the meconium was old (they guessed it had happened about a week before), and that the cord had been wrapped around his neck once.  They suspected that he had been stressed out when the cord first got wrapped around his neck, and that might have caused the meconium.

I delivered the placenta, and when Dr. A examined it she found a clot on it and confirmed that the placenta had started to abrupt (separate from the uterine wall), and that was what had caused the blood in my water when it broke.  I asked when or how that might have happened, and they didn't have a solid answer for me - they said it might have started to sheer off in labor.  I also wondered later if all my vomiting the night before might have had something to do with it, but I never got a chance to ask.  I am so thankful though that it didn't seem to affect Clyde at all - aside from some wetness in his lungs, he was really healthy!

She also checked me out and said that I didn't need any stitches!  I had torn just a tiny little bit, but it wasn't enough for even one stitch, so I was pretty happy about that!  The recovery after Clyde's delivery was probably my easiest yet, and that was a huge blessing.

We spent the next hour just enjoying our baby boy - I nursed him, and we called our families to tell them he was here!  I talked to my family right before they put Wyatt to bed, so I got to say goodnight to him over the phone and tell him that he would get to meet his baby brother the next day.  Clyde cried while we were on the phone, and Wyatt exclaimed "That's the new baby cryin'!"  It was so cute.

A couple hours after Clyde was born they moved us over to the mom and baby ward, and my favorite doctor, Dr. B, came by to see us!  She said they had gone out to dinner after the event with her kids, and she called in and found out we had the baby.  I joked about how she missed all my screaming, and she told me again how impressed she was with how I handled labor.  She oohed and aahed over Clyde and gave me a hug.  I was so glad she stopped by to meet him!

After that we settled in for the night.  We decided not to have any visitors that evening and just wait for the next day, and I'm so glad we did - it was nice to get the rest of the evening and night just to rest and recover, and it made me feel more ready for visitors the next day!  We watched "The Strangest Weather On Earth" on the Weather Channel (it really is an interesting show), and cuddled with Clyde. It was just a nice time for the three of us.

The next morning I took a shower, we got Clyde a bath, had his hospital pictures taken, and then it was time for visitors!  My parents came with Wyatt and Gwen, and I was really excited to have the kids meet their baby brother.  Gwen was interested in the baby, maybe a little unsure, but she was sweet about it and smiled at him.  We let Wyatt "hold" the baby on his lap, and he had this huge grin on his face!  He was pretty excited.  My mom told me that he had talked about "going to see Baby Clyde" all the way to the hospital!

We had several more visitors, including Derek's mom and dad, his sister, my sister and brother-in-law, my grandma and aunt and cousins, and our friends Scott and Danae, and Jed and Ashley.  This hospital stay felt a lot more relaxed to me than in the past, I think because the nurses left us alone more.  
On Sunday morning, we decided to go home, and of course it started to snow!  We just drove slowly though, picked up the kids from my parent's house, and went home all together for the first time as a family of five!

The kids have been doing great with Clyde, and we've been trying to make sure they get plenty of attention from us too.  Derek has been working from home this week, so it's been nice to have him around while I try to get used to handling three kids!  

The first few night were pretty rough, but we finally figured out that Clyde likes light and noise while he sleeps - so a couple new night lights for his room and the Sound Sleeper app have seemed to do the trick!  He even went a 7.5 hour stretch the other night, right around his one week birthday, which was such a nice treat after all those almost-sleepless nights.

Thinking back over his birth, I am just so thankful at how everything worked out.  I can really see how the Lord worked through every situation that week and answered all of our prayers!  

-Derek was only two hours away instead of seven hours like he was supposed to be originally.

-I didn't go into labor while I was at work (which was actually one of my worries).

-Derek was able to be there for the majority of my labor and for the birth.

-We made it to the hospital at the perfect time, the nurses were all so supportive of my wish to have a natural birth.

-The Lord protected Clyde through a kind of scary situation with the placental abruption.  

I am just so thankful at how God worked out all the details for us.  It really couldn't have gone much better!  Now we are just enjoying our time with our sweet baby Clyde, and I am so thankful to have my little surprise baby in my arms!

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Meghan said...

So beautiful sweet Callie. He's perfect and so is your story of his arrival. Blessings to all of you! Couldn't be happier for you.

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing your birth story, friend! Each one is beautiful in its own way, but I love how different this birth was despite the fact that you've now had 3 babies! He's adorable! And I love the name. You'll have to email me some pointers on going from 2 to 3 in the coming months since I'll be joining you come end of August/early September!

Jenna said...

Teach me your ways!!! I had the hardest time relaxing enough to get through contractions with Lexi. I think it was during transition and I ways at 9cm but I just couldn't manage it and that's when I ended up getting the epidural. I'm so impressed with you! And hoping I can follow in your footsteps this time! Congrats, girl!

Jenna said...

We're going from 2 to 3 at the end of August too! Congrats!

Danica Pardini said...

He's perfect! Praise God for a beautiful boy!

Kate Craig said...

wow so many details really did work out! I'm so glad you had such supportive nurses - I'm sure that makes a big difference. And I laughed out loud at your He he he who verses :)

Vanessa Miller said...

I'm so glad it went well for you! I keep telling myself that I will labor through without the epidural the next time but I'm just not so sure. I admire your strength! He's so beautiful!

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

Such a beautiful birth story. And your hospital pictures are amazing! Congrats Callie!

Amanda Wissmann said...

Oh my goodness. So very sweet! I LOVE that you were so detailed and YOU will love having this to look back on. I read my son's birth story all the time :) Those pictures are just incredible. SO Much joy! Congrats again!

Unknown said...

Amanda!? You read this blog too!? Just discovered her :)

Unknown said...

I LOVE this story! Oh man. It really is amazing to see how God gives us strength (and protects us!!!) during labor. You really could teach labor classes, that was such a wonderful piece of encouragement from your nurse :)

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