oh baby :: welcoming gibson

a birth story.  

i had always planned on writing down my birth stories but never did.  why would i want to?  so i can share them with my children, and so i can remember them myself.  especially since each one was so different.

oh my sweet gibson.

our 2nd born.

pregnancy and childbirth with this little boy was so different from emma's.  a few people (including my midwife, colleen) assumed that since labor and delivery with emma was so fast that this one would come just as fast.  we had planned on a waterbirth, but working under the assumption of a quick labor i didn't get my hopes up that much of enjoying such an experience.

gibson was due may 27, 2009.  late in my pregnancy, i was diagnosed with GBS and so an induction was scheduled for wednesday may 20th in order to allow enough time for the antibiotics to be administered properly.  at the same time, colleen and i both knew that it was also possible that i would start labor early and an induction wouldn't be necessary.  in hindsight (as you will see later on in this post), i think we should have done more research on alternative treatment options or even choosing not to treat the GBS at all.

i had experienced this obvious sign of labor about to start the weekend before 20th, but since i didn't experience much change after that i had no clue when things would start picking up.
i remember planning out a few errands and such on the 19th so that the home will be well prepared before i headed in for the induction on the 20th.  i remember waking up that morning feeling normal, except that at around 7:00 a.m. those braxton hicks didn't feel like braxton hicks.  they weren't at all like the ones i woke up to when i went into labor with emma, but they didn't feel like the braxton hicks that i had been experiencing for the past month.

my instincts told me to start taking a mental note of these possible contractions.  they were fairly spread out through out the morning, but they were definitely noticeable.  i was determined to get my errands in case i ended up progressing so off we went to the craft store (i know, the craft store?  what was i thinking?) and the grocery store.  by late-morning, i remember having to stop in the middle of the grocery store aisle every time i had a contraction.  even though they weren't quite at regular intervals they were definitely getting stronger.

at about 1:00 p.m., once emma was down for her afternoon nap, i remember feeling a sign of urgency at getting the baby stuff prepped and ready, even if it meant having to stop in my tracks for every contraction.  by that time, i knew that this baby was coming out soon.  i felt excited.  i also recalled feeling relieved that i wouldn't have to deal with the induction (i feel even more relieved now after reading up on the craziness that is pitocin).

i don't think i even called or texted aaron to let him know that i was experiencing contractions, even though at this point there was no way i could keep moving through them.  the rest of the day was a bit of a blur.

4:00 p.m. i started writing down and timing my contractions (i only know this with certainty because i found my notes) since the darned things would not go away and they were coming more often.  i don't really know how i made dinner, but i know the kids were fed.  i do remember stopping to breathe through each contraction through out the early evening, but focusing on completing the evening routine (dinner, bedtime for kids, etc.) helped me through them.

8:30 p.m. it was quite obvious that this was the real deal with average contractions about 6-7 minutes apart.  we knew that the time to head to the hospital would be soon so we called aaron's parents to make sure that an adult would be home when we left.

however, we didn't call the hospital just yet.  i'm not sure why.  maybe it was because these contractions didn't feel like the ones i had with emma.  with gibson, i felt as if i "eased" into labor since they gradually increased in intensity.  with emma it was more of a jolt.  i guess i kept waiting for that jolt and it really never came.

10:00 p.m. i remembered trying to settle on the couch to watch the pre-recorded season finale of 24 and insisting that we sit and watch the whole thing even though aaron did offer to forgo it.  i think my logic there was that once the baby was born, there wasn't really going to be time to watch it.  at this point, the contractions were at the stage where it required more focus and energy so that i could get through it.  but for some reason, they didn't increase in frequency at all.  they were still at about 6-10 minutes apart even though they were definitely more intense.

11:00 p.m. we finished watching 24, and if you had asked me what it was about i wouldn't be able tot ell you.  i finally decided to call colleen to see if i should come in.  since i had to get treatment for my GBS and the contractions were not going away (or getting any easier) after 15 hours, it was determined that i should check-in.

the car ride this time around was not as chaotic as the last time i labored in the car.  plus, it helped that we were delivering at a hospital that was only 15 minutes away as opposed to 30 minutes.  aaron didn't even have to speed...much.  the contractions were still there but they were nothing compared to when we drove to the hospital to have emma.  i even managed to text my little sister and update my facebook status.  ha!  they were definitely welcomed distractions.

12:00 a.m. we checked into the hospital and made our way to the labor and deliver floor.  it was quiet up there.  we were assigned a room and the nurse went through the usual questions.  i was hooked up to the EFM for the standard initial monitoring.  aaron managed to doze off on the couch after a text update to my sister and a brief facebook status update.

i got the yucky IV in my arm so i could start the antibiotics.  those things are horrible!  i don't mind tattoo needles but getting an IV stuck in your arm is NOT a pleasant experience.  blech!

at this point, i really was unsure what to do.  my contractions were still pretty intense but i felt as if i couldn't move since i had that dumb IV stuck in my arm.  i knew i had to get through 2 rounds of antibiotics (which required 4 hours in between the first and the second dose) and i started wondering how i was going to get through the rest of my labor naturally if i felt i had to stay stationary as the antibiotics were running its course the plastic tube and into my system.  i remember colleen had mentioned that a waterbirth was still possible even with the IV, but she wasn't there yet...and did i mention how i dislike IV needles??

approximately 1:00 a.m. the nurse suggested that i keep the EFM on and try to get some rest, and for some reason i agreed to it thinking that i would be able to get some sleep.  it wasn't 10 minutes after she walked out that door that i realized i had made a mistake.  i didn't want this EFM on me.  i didn't want to be stuck in bed, immobilized by the EFM, as i tried to work through the labor pains.  but i didn't call her back right away.  i don't know why...i think i felt bad.  like i was going to inconvenience her or something.

like last time, this is the part where things get a little hazy.  i think about an hour later, after being unable to actually sleep and contractions getting more painful, i decided i had about enough of being in bed.  i called the nurse back in to have her remove the EFM.  i also had her check me to see how far along i was and to her surprise i was at about 10 cm.  guess it was show time!

fortunately, colleen only lived 10 minutes away from the hospital and she was called in.  the first dose of antibiotics were done and i was thankfully unhooked from the IV. 

i remember waking aaron up from his little nap and telling him that it was time.  they brought the birth ball (oh birth ball, how i love you!) and then colleen showed up pretty soon after.  they had tried bringing the birthing tub into the room.  it barely fit through the door.  then i found out it was going to take 15 minutes just to fill it up.  since i was already at 10 cm and baby was quickly making its descent i decided that there might not be enough time to experience the full benefits of the waterbirth.  i didn't even know how long it would take for them to try to get the tub in the room.

the contractions felt much different.  i knew that the 1st stage of labor was coming to a close (or pretty much done).  there wasn't much sound coming out from me, but each contraction required everything in me.  i remember thinking and repeating in my head, "Lord just help me through this." over and over again.  it didn't seem like i was given much of a break between contractions.  i remember colleen gave many encouraging words as i worked through the contractions and i remember taking comfort in having my husband there.

then it was time to push.  man, this kid was hard to get out!  that's all i could think of.  definitely was not as easy as emma was.  my legs were all shaky and i didn't think i could keep exerting all that energy.  i think it was the 3rd push that finally got him out...but it seemed like forever!

about 4:00 a.m. he came out with the cord wrapped around his neck (like his big sister).  but unlike his big sister, he was a hefty 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long.  no wonder he was hard to push out. 
it was a joyous moment for us as we finally got to meet him.  a boy.  a sweet, little baby boy.


there was such a big difference in labor experiences between emma's and gibson's, especially since i thought it wouldn't be so. we all assumed that my labor with gibson would be swift, just like the last time.  i guess not all childbirth experiences are created equal, even from the same person. 

i never did have time to get that 2nd dose of antibiotics for my GBS.  but it actually didn't matter at all.  i think if i test positive again for this pregnancy, i will most likely pass on the antibiotics.  having the IV felt very constricting and i can see how a woman would feel more confined to her bed with it attached.  certainly, you do have the "freedom" to move, but in my opinion the thought of wheeling that IV drip around while trying to focus on laboring at the same time would have been very distracting for me.

the overall hospital experience was quite pleasant.  i never felt pressured to do something i didn't want to, however it was obvious to me that there were a couple of nurses that were quite used to a particular routine.  that's not a bad thing, except that i got whisked into that routine without given the option to try anything different.  nothing big really...just small stuff.  but definitely noted for this next pregnancy.

God's timing was perfect once again.  i don't think it was a coincidence that i managed to deliver him naturally on his induction date without the induction.  the slower labor progression allowed me to have some time with my daughter.  to kiss her good night and love on her before we left.  he was with me through the hardest part and protected our son form any GBS risk as he was delivered.

with all the worldly distractions (even on the topic of childbirth), sometimes i easily forget that God abundantly provides for his people according to his time and his will.  it is overwhelming and so humbling to think that once again he has so graciously met my needs and answered the secret requests of my heart.


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