REPOST // oh baby :: cash the early bird

we are celebrating 5 years of cash, TODAY! he is such a sweet treasure, and we love him to pieces.

here is a look back on the day we welcomed him into the world...

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.
and can you believe that i'm writing cash's birth story as i'm pregnant.  again?1?  i wonder how this 4th baby's birth experience will be like, especially since all 3 have been unique in their own way...there is no routine in the childbirth process.  each one is special. 
our peanut.

our 3rd born.

baby cash was due on march 10, 2011.  based on the arrival time of his older siblings, we guessed he'd be making his appearance a week before then.

with this pregnancy, i got to forgo the usual prenatal bloodwork that comes along during your 1st trimester of pregnancy.  that made me happy (did i mention my dislike for non-tattoo needles?) and our pocketbook happy.  plus, it didn't make any sense in doing those tests if nothing had changed in the 2 years since my last pregnancy. 

with my last pregnancy, i was diagnosed with GBS so we were going under the assumption that i will test positive for it again this time around.  after eating lots of yogurt and using raw garlic 2 weeks or so before the test, i tested negative. 

things were moving along, though at 35 weeks pregnant we didn't have everything fully prepared at home for receiving our new baby.  i was still teaching dance and planned to go all the way through february before taking any time off.  little did i know that i wasn't going to make it that far.

8 days before his arrival.
i had started my day on february 11, finishing up this post and went about my day with business as usual.  nothing really felt out of the ordinary.  i did manage to do a nice load of laundry full of newborn/baby clothes, which gave some sense of preparedness for the new arrival.

as evening approached, i don't recall anything out of the ordinary except for when we began bedtime round-up for the kiddos.  you know those braxton hicks contractions you get during the late part of your pregnancy.  well, 7:00 p.m. rolls around and those braxton hicks no longer felt like braxton hicks.  i had to stop and actually breathe through a contraction.  how was that possible?  i was only 36 weeks pregnant.  aaron shooed me to bed and finished up with the kiddos bedtime activities.

after that little spell, i didn't have anymore contractions.  as my husband prepared to leave for a show that night, we decided it was best if i just stayed in bed for the rest of the evening.  surely with a little bed rest things will be back to normal.  after all, i have another month to go.

at 11:30 p.m. i finally decided to get some shut eye.

at 1:10 a.m. i woke up to a surprise.  water was everywhere and at first i had no idea what was happening.  as it turns out my water just broke.  this had never happened before with my other two so having my water break before labor began was a new experience for me.  at first i kind of ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, not knowing what to do first.  after getting over the shock of realizing that my water just broke (and i wasn't due for another month), i finally got things squared away.

the first thing i did was go on the internet to look up how long i was allowed to safely go after my water breaking before i had to go to the hospital since i hadn't started labor yet (you'd think that calling my midwife would be the first thing i do).

at around 1:30 a.m., i sent aaron a text telling him that my water just broke. no response.  i tried to call him a few times shortly after the text but no answer.  of course!  he was at a show. 

at this point, i was trying to think through what i should do next.  we didn't have a plan in place for this type of situation. i knew aaron was 30 minutes away and i had no clue what time he was coming back since i hadn't heard from him.  i wanted to touch base with him first before i called colleen just in case she told me to come in.  my biggest concern was the fact that i was at 36 weeks.  that's considered a premature birth.  i had done very little research on premature births since i didn't think i was at risk for that.

as 2:00 a.m. approached i heard aaron pull in the driveway.  relieved, i decided to start packing the hospital bag while i waited for him to come up to the room.  it was almost 2:30 by the time he made it upstairs...he sure was taking his sweet time!  i discovered that he hadn't checked his phone at all, and when he realized what had happened i think panic mode kind of set in for him (like i said, we weren't prepared for this type of situation).

i finally called colleen at 2:30 a.m.  i felt bad having to wake her up (with gibson i had her up at 3:30 a.m.), but as it turns out she was getting ready to go to the hospital for a delivery anyway.  i still hadn't started labor, and i hoped in my heart that i didn't have to come in.  i didn't want to be induced, because i knew the increased risks of all the other medical interventions that would come along with that.

i was SO relieved when colleen told me to go back to sleep!  i had 24 hours before i had to actually check-in to the hospital, so there was no need to do anything at this point except wait for labor to start on its own.  she suspected that since this wasn't my first rodeo, i would most likely start labor within the 24 hour period.  she told me to call her at noon if i hadn't started labor yet, so that we could discuss some natural ways to start the laboring process.  silly me for even thinking that she would want me in the hospital so soon!  i am so glad that we are on the same page.

after aaron and i finished up our packing and decompressing, we headed to our bed for some shut-eye.  it was 3:00 a.m. when my head touched the pillow.

4:00 a.m. and i was abruptly awoken to pains in my abdomen that were oh so familiar.  so much for rest.  here. we. go.

aaron was still fast asleep.  the contractions weren't painful (more wave-like if anything) and still about 10-15 minutes apart but they were enough of a presence to keep me from going back to sleep.  this went on for 2 hours...spaced out the same amount of time, but as if the "wave" was growing more intense with each hour that passed by.

by 6:00 a.m. the contractions had increased in frequency (5-6 minutes apart) and intensity.  i remember it still feeling like waves (but think more along the lines of tidal waves), except they weren't spaced very far apart anymore.  this time around, it felt as if the baby was moving lower and lower with each contraction.

i don't remember when i finally woke aaron up, i think it must have been when my contractions were 5 minutes apart.  corrie came to the rescue to watch the kiddos as we prepared for our journey to the hospital (and the oh so fun experience of laboring in the car...please note sarcasm).

7:30 a.m. and we were out the door, in our car and zipping along the freeway to the hospital.  i called colleen to let her know we were on our way there.  poor lady!  she was on her way home from the hospital after doing a delivery.  oops!  i guess i should have called her a little sooner.

once we arrived, i stopped paying attention to the time as much and tried to get "settled" into our room.  unfortunately, i was unable to use the birthing center because it was taken by someone else.  it wouldn't have mattered anyway since you have to be at least 37 weeks to use the space.  there was also no waterbirth experience for me (again) since i was technically delivering a premature baby.

the attending nurse did the usual check-in routine.  colleen was there shortly after we checked in, and so was her student, ashley (she was awesome too).  much like emma's experience, i had no pokes with a needle in my arm (or anywhere else for that matter), and the EFM didn't stick around my belly for too long.  it was nice not feeling "tied down."  being the funny man he is, aaron thought the baby's heartbeat sounded like the tune of bonanza.  ha.  he's good at keeping me distracted. 

ashley set up the aromatherapy in the room while colleen dimmed the lights and brought in her oils.  the sweet nurse brought in the iPod player and we attempted to select some nice background music to labor to.  after a short laugh, we decided to nix the rave/aerobic-like musical option on there and settled on good ol' frank sinatra.

side note that i have to add in: the attending nurse during this labor was SO awesome.  i wish i had remembered her name.  she has 10 kids and 4 out of those ten were birthed naturally at home.  she totally understood our birth philosophy, and was so supportive and low-key about everything.  she really stood out to me compared to the other nurses that have attended my birth (not saying that the other nurses were horrible or anything).  how amazing is it that i had her with me for my labor and delivery?  i am hoping that with this baby she will be the one attending my birth.

okay, back to pushing the baby out.  things were going smoothly.  my beloved birth ball was brought in for me to labor on for a while until i was ready to push.  we laughed, joked and chatted between contractions while frankie crooned in the background.  the nurse checked the baby's heart rate with a good old fashioned stethoscope, and i can honestly say that i can't recall anything unpleasant about the experience.  i really felt like all parties present honored our birth plan to a T.  i didn't have to re-iterate anything which enabled me to focus my full attention and energy to meeting our sweet boy for the first time.

it was a bit after 10:00 a.m. and i was feeling ready to push.  i had my cervix checked, but i was only 6 cm dilated.  usually, you have to wait until the cervix is 10 cm dilated before you start pushing the baby out, since that is when the opening will be at the widest point (this had been the case for my past 2 deliveries).  but the desire to push was happening already.  colleen, being the super midwife she is, said to go ahead and start pushing if my body was telling me to push.  so i did.  we later found out from our sweet nurse that there has been evidence that it did no harm to the cervix if a woman pushed based on when her body tells her to push rather than wait until the 10 cm indicator, especially if the cervix is very stretchy.  interesting. i wonder if she had any personal experience with that since she did birth 10 kids.

i felt like i was at the pushing stage forever (later our nurse said it was really only about 15 minutes or so) and thinking that this was the longest pushing stage i've had to endure.  pushing is probably the most physically and mentally demanding part of the childbirth process, at least for me.  on the one hand, i was excited to meet our sweet babe, but on the other hand i was frustrated that my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to do to get to that point (this last part is an untrue assumption of course, because your body is doing what it needs to do...sometimes it just takes more time).  i could feel my endurance wavering.  i wanted to stop.  take a coffee break.  take a nap.  resume later.  my body was tired.  my brain was tired. but there was no stopping the process now.  we. were. so. close.

at 10:29 a.m. our baby boy finally made his appearance.  he was born with his left arm over his face, much like his ultrasound picture. no wonder it was taking forever to push him out.  they immediately placed him on my chest, skin to skin and it was glorious.  beautiful baby smell.  beautiful baby skin.  amazing.

they suctioned him and cleaned him up while he was still resting peacefully on me.  nothing else was done for what seemed like an eternity.  they waited until the cord stopped pulsing before it was clamped and cut (i had read up on this, but had forgotten to put it in the birth plan...glad colleen read my mind).  he wasn't even weighed until an hour after birth...after mom and baby had their time together.

8 lbs. for a preemie was quite a surprise for everyone.  can you imagine what he would have weighed if he was full-term?  probably bigger than gibson!  our nurse (the same one from the beginning) said that he did seem premature by the amount of vernix he still had on his skin.  but aside from that, there were no other complications that came attached to birthing a premature babe (praise God!).  

oh how sweet it was to be able to hold our little cash in my arms.  and even sweeter that we got to meet him earlier than expected.


with each birth, it seems that i know more and more what my body is capable of.  and with each birth, i feel as if God has a handle on the whole situation (which of course he does) and that all i need to do is give it over to him and trust my instincts.  the ease with being able to do that has been easier with each childbirth experience, and it's sometimes indescribable when i realize how he has used those times to mold and shape me and to strengthen my faith in him.

tis so sweet to trust in jesus. and to take him at his word.  and to rest upon his promise and to know thus says the lord.


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