Sunday, June 14, 2009

Naomi May 6/10/09

Patience seems to be an important lesson in my life and presents itself to me in big and small ways over and over again. Naomi's birth was definitely a big lesson in patience. My contractions started coming 10 minutes apart on Thursday, June 4th. I called the triage nurse and was told that due to the fact that they came quicker when I walked and didn't stray from their pattern when I rested that I was in early labor. She also told me it could kick into high gear that night, two days from then or a week from then. To be safe, Dustin drove down that night and got into town at 3am. To my dismay, contraction-filled days were going by without any progress. It was looking like the nurses warning of "could be a week" was going to come true. I was walking 45 minutes each morning and guzzling red raspberry leaf tea like it was water to try to help things along.

Tuesday, June 9th rolled around and I woke up early, oddly energized, after a long night with Lawson and his upset stomach. I got straight out of bed, washed my face and got ready for the day. NOT normal. Usually, I'd have made my breakfast, sat around a bit, then slowly got ready for the day. I started to make my breakfast shake and had one of the strangest sensations I've ever had. GUSH.

Inner Voice: Did I just pee my pants?!?!
Voice of Reason: No way, you' just went to the bathroom twice in the last 10 minutes.
Inner Voice: Don't get excited. I probably just peed my pants.
Voice of Reason: Check the time, just in case. 7:30am on the dot.

I then made my way back to the bedroom to tell Dustin that either my water had just broken or I had peed my pants. He, being the sensitive guy that he is, quickly decided I had peed my pants. I surely would have known if my water had broken. I'd have heard it pop and be soaked. Not to be deterred, I went back to the kitchen to have the same conversation with my mom and just as I got to the part about Dustin saying I'd peed my pants, another gush! I definitely did not pee my pants! I was getting very excited! Contractions were being timed at 5 minutes apart as I made a phone call to my doctor's office. They suggested I to head to labor and delivery to be monitored and we made those arrangements. I spent the next 3 hours taking a shower, gathering last minute items and preparing for Lawson to be left with grandparents. Those three hours flew by. We took a few pictures as a family of three before we headed out the door. What a strange feeling to know that we'd be coming back from this trip with another person in our family.

My final belly shot at 38 weeks. She was very low.

Our last picture as a family of three

We got checked in at the hospital and they hooked me up to the monitor before admitting me to labor and delivery. That took a really long time and my contractions slowed WAY down. It was frustrating to be strapped to the bed knowing that if I were able to get up and around that I'd be able to get things moving along. I was also ridiculously hot under the giant lights above the bed. That was made better when they wrapped my arms in hot blankets to help in getting an IV started. Well, it helped me sweat a little more, but the IV was not working and was not feeling very good. Finally, they moved me to L&D to settle in and a new nurse was able to start an IV line very painlessly. Phew.

By this time it was 2:30pm and my sister and her fiance had made it down from Portland. Dustin's parents were also at the hospital and my mom showed up with Lawson, so everyone piled into my room and visited as I alternated between being monitored and walking the halls to get labor going. Dustin's parents left after a few hours and so did my mom and Lawson because he needed to be out of the hospital by then. My dad and grandma showed up a little later. It was nice to have company during this slow, long phase. Right around the time all my company cleared out and left Dustin and I to fend for ourselves, the contractions got stronger and closer together. It was about 9pm and talking through the contractions was no longer an option.

Sweating under the lights

At about 11pm, the doctor finally came in to check on my progress and suggested that I take some pitocin to speed things up, as it had been over 15 hours since my water broke and I was still only 2-3 cm and 50% effaced. I declined and told her that my labor was picking up and I didn't want to take something that could cause fetal distress, a raised c-section rate and take my risk of uterine rupture to 6% plus. She seemed surprised that I knew my facts and agreed to give me two hours to make some progress. Gee, thanks. Luckily, I did make some progress over the next few hours, be it slow, and she gave me another 4-5 hours before we'd discuss it again.

Sometime shortly after this, my sense of time ceased to exist and everything was measured by the space between a contraction or by the breath I was taking during a contraction. Naomi was posterior (facing backward) and caused back labor the entire time. I never knew what people were talking about when they mentioned back labor, but as soon as I started feeling it coming on, it became crystal clear. Thanks to the back labor, I ended up on my hands and knees a lot of the time with either my amazing nurse, Dustin or my mom (Who had come back to the hospital after getting Lawson to bed and Dustin's parents settled in the house with him.) putting as much counter-pressure on my lower back as was humanly possible. It helped immensely, but I could have had a 300lb man sit on my back and I still would have wanted more pressure! There was also a jacuzzi tub that I got in and out of countless times to help dull the pain. That and the counter-pressure got me through!

Breathing through the contractions

I will admit there were a couple of points where an epidural sounded pretty amazing, but I kept reminding myself of all the things that come along with an epidural and how amazing I'd feel at the end if I could reach my goal of a natural child birth. I just had to take it one breath and one contraction at a time. In between contractions, I remember feeling surprised at the sounds that were coming out of my mouth. I didn't expect to have a silent birth or anything, but I didn't expect the inhuman sounds that would escape my breath as I tried to relax into each contraction. I also didn't expect my couple of outbursts that caused my mom and sister to burst into laughter. Mid-contraction, I felt the need to announce very loudly that "back labor sucks" or that I was DONE. If only. By the time I got to transition, trying to stay on top of keeping relaxed was the focus of every cell in my body. This phase lasted a LONG time, just like the others, and I felt my head falling several times as I would doze off during the very quick breaks my body gave me. Finally, while I was in the jacuzzi, I felt the urge to push, which is the strangest sensation I've ever had. There is no fighting it. They checked me for the last time and I was complete. I thought the end was near and I was ecstatic and scared to death of the pushing stage.

That was when my contractions decided to slow down to 5 minutes apart, instead of staying on top of each other like they are supposed to. Thanks to the LONG breaks in between pushing, it took 2 1/2 hours to get her out. The doctor showed up the last 15 minutes or so and informed me that I should stay silent and push as hard as I could during the contractions. That is the one time I had a very choice word float through my head. The nurse looked at her like she was crazy and just told me to do my best. She'd been there for a lot of my labor and knew I was not the silent type. The lower her head got the harder it was to wait between contractions to push. I wanted her OUT. That is not exactly a comfortable position to stay in for five minutes waiting to make more progress. Finally, at 3:30pm on the dot, Naomi May came into the world and landed on my chest, where she cried and cried and cried. The best sound I ever heard! Dustin also cried and I couldn't stop smiling! She breastfed quickly and stayed awake for a few hours, alert and taking in the world. It was the experience of a lifetime. Painful, of course, but I'm already forgetting a little of that. A cute baby will do that to you, I guess. Never have I felt so powerful and strong.

Naomi weighed in at 7lb 6oz (I was guessing 7.5 lb) and was 20 inches long. She came on June 10th, which is the day I said she's come from the beginning. Her daddy was there to cut the cord and really I couldn't have asked for anything more. Well, maybe a labor not lasting 32 hours, but I guess that's getting picky.

We are all completely in love and she has been a really easy baby so far. I'm really thankful for that because Lawson is quite emotional these days while he's adjusting and is quite a handful. He loves his little sister and gives her kisses that cause her to grin from ear to ear and he strokes her hair to soothe her when she cries. It melts my heart! He also gives me heart attacks with his lack of body awareness and need to push the boundaries testing what is and isn't okay to do with her.

I'm tired, but so happy. It's busy around here these days, but I'm trying to enjoy all the little noises and cries that pass too quickly. What an amazing gift to have new life in your hands and watch as they learn about the world around them. And even more amazing to watch your wild little boy tear up and cry along with his brand new baby sister when she's hungry. The blessings are flowing around here and I am tearing up reflecting on it right now. Thank you for the many blessings in my life!


  1. What an eloquent telling of little Naomi May's birth story. I feel honored to have heard all the amazing details from you. You have such a gift for words.....and photography.

    I have never seen anyone look so beautiful through the whole pregnancy and, in spite of the challenges with both births, you make it look so easy and magical.

    You are such an amazing mother and inspiration. I remember hearing you say so many times how what you wanted most was motherhood. Well, here you are my friend. With all it's magnificent glory - it is life's greatest journey. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. So, congratulations. You did it. The natural yet hard is totally worth it, not that I have been through it, but Kristin did with Maeghan. I hope to see you guys when I am there this weekend. I am very happy for the both of you.

  3. I've been waiting for days for this!! Congrats! I'm so excited you got your VBAC and all natural at that! I'm also very glad ur hubbs made it.

    She's adorable. Congrats mama!

  4. She is beautiful!! What a magical time..... enjoy every minute! So glad that your hubby was there- and everything went the way you hoped (besides the 32 part:)) I could not be happier for you all!

  5. What an amazing story Kimberley! Congrats on your beautiful Naomi May! She is precious and I'm so proud that you stuck to what you believed in and made it happen! Love to all!


  6. I've read this blog entry like three times. I'm so pround of you, Dustin and little Naomi, you went through quite an amazing adventure together while stucking to your all-natural guns. :) I miss those little feetsies already and it's only been a day. What is an Aunty to do?