October 22, 2016 was the day I became a Mama. Tre (the hubs) and I woke up at 5:00 in the morning and packed our baby bag, favorite comforter, preconceived notions and headed to Baptist hospital for my scheduled Cesarean section. Had it been up to me I would have delivered in the ocean surrounded by dolphins and mother nature (yes I am that extra) but my child was stubborn from the beginning so that was not to be.
We arrived with grandparents and doula in tow. Everything felt like some sort of dream, a mix of adrenaline and good drugs. All of a sudden I'm in the operating room and everyone is telling me how great I'm doing. I wasn't doing anything but I appreciated the words of encouragement. Lauren, our doula, was there and able to take pictures of the whole event and Tre was very brave throughout. We waited and chose not to find out the gender of our child until the day of so when the time came all of the doctors and nurses got quiet and called my husband around.
He said"We have a son!" Our sweet baby boy Jeffrey was born at 7:17 and he weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces. They laid that beautiful squishy mess on my chest and I was immediately in love. Now I know that new borns seldom open their eyes right after birth and they certainly don't raise their heads but mine did. My Jeffrey raised his head and looked straight into my eyes.
Everything after that is a blur. Tre got to tell the packed waiting room the excellent news and I swear you could hear the screams of joy and laughter down the hall. Of course friends and family from all around came to see the new little one and I didn't mind. I know some people find it overwhelming and I can certainly see why but for me I was so happy and proud that I wanted to show him off to everyone. Eventually the crowd diminished and it was just us three. We were elated, terrified, exhausted, and forever changed. Jeffrey will be two in a couple weeks and he is still the most amazing thing I've ever seen. He makes everything better. He makes me love my husband more for how wonderful of a father he is, he makes me cherish the time I do get alone, he makes the world better, and he makes me a better person. I did not get the birth I planned but I did get an amazing birth and an amazing human being that wakes me with kisses and shares his partially eaten Cheerios with me. Thanks to everyone who helped that day and everyone who continues to help.
I was due June 14, 2017, bur Conner Oakley Smith was following in his big brother's footsteps by making himself comfortable and staying in mommy's tummy as long as possible. This was my second pregnancy, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was going extremely well and was very similar to my first... healthy all around with some heartburn being the main thing I could complain about. My weight gain and energy levels were soooo much better this pregnancy though, and I have my new healthy lifestyle to thank for that. As my due date came and went I found myself surprisingly at peace with the fact that I was still pregnant. I had already mentally prepared myself the entire pregnancy in case I went past my due date again, so the pressure of baby not arriving yet wasn't there as badly as it was with our first son Trever. The day before my due date and the day after, I decided to try acupuncture with Paul at Joint Venture Chiropractic to help my body prep for delivery. I found it to be very relaxing even though I hate needles!
On Friday, June 16th, we went in for an ultrasound to see how Conner's overall health and growth were doing. He was absolutely perfect and there was no reason for concern. That evening, Dan's parents watched Trever so we could go on one last movie date to the theater. During the movie I was having a lot of discomfort, some contractions, but nothing to make me think a hospital trip was in the near future, although that night I didn't sleep very well. I was having a lot of discomfort in my lower back and Conner was extremely active, kicking & punching, as if to say he wanted out!
I woke up Saturday morning, June 17th, and just felt... different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it felt like something was going to happen soon. I made all three of us a delicious pancake breakfast & while sitting down to eat it Dan decided to text my mom to see if she would be willing to watch Trever while we ran some errands. He could tell I wasn't comfortable and felt it would be best if we ran errands without having to also take care of our toddler. While out running errands my contractions were occurring every 5-7 minutes apart, but never got so intense that I couldn't continue walking or talking. We decided to eat lunch at Sam's Club and that's when I had my first very strong contraction... it was very intense and definitely felt like what I remember contractions feeling like in the early parts of my labor with Trever.
We went home where I proceeded to clean my whole kitchen and do the dishes. I was texting our doula, Amber, this whole time and she suggested I lay down and relax because she felt I was having a baby that night even though I l had my doubts! After an hour of laying on the couch while watching TV, I started to have more and more contractions but they weren't staying as consistent as I would have liked. Amber sent me the link to how to do the Mile's Circuit (a variety of positions to put your body in to position baby for birth). I did the first position for 30 minutes and my contractions began to get strong but were still 5 minutes apart. For the next half hour I did the second position and that's when my contractions got to the point where I had to breathe carefully through them. I have a very high pain tolerance so the contractions weren't painful at this point, just "intense".
After Dan made us a delicious dinner, we went on a walk. We brought our dog Kota along, and almost instantly I was having contractions every 90 seconds to 2 minutes apart! It was now that I finally realized that we were going to need to head to the hospital soon. I was doubting myself before that but now it became all too real. I managed to take a hot shower when we got back to the house despite having contractions every 2 minutes. After my inlaws came by to pick up Kota to take to their house, we drove over to my parents house to bring Trever's overnight bag and give him kisses & hugs. This was the last time I was going to see my baby boy before he became a big brother and I was emotional over it!
Our drive to the hospital was only 15 minutes so I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and would like a room with a tub. When we arrived they were all ready for us and brought us straight to our room. After 20 minutes of monitoring baby and myself, I received a saline lock in my arm just in case I needed any fluids. I was checked and it was determined that I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced!!! Conner was still in 0 station so we needed to get up and move around to help him drop. We were than given the okay to walk the halls. With each contraction I would stop, hold myself against the wall, and slightly squat to help Conner get into the ideal birthing position. When we got back to the room around 9pm I received a wireless monitoring system with bluetooth connection so I could get into the tub. In the tub I was still having some slight back labor but with each contraction I was able to relieve the pressure from the weightlessness of the water.
Soon I was starting to feel a lot of pressure down yonder with each contraction, so Amber & Dan felt it was best for me to get out of the tub. Upon standing up, I began to shake uncontrollably and have contraction after contraction right on top of each other! I was in transition!! They quickly helped me dry off and walk to my bed... stopping to breath with each contraction. When I got into bed, the nurse instantly put me into the fire hydrant position (imagine me on my side with my left leg up in a stirrup as if I were a dog about to pee on a fire hydrant haha). The nurse checked me at 10:10pm and I was now 9cm dilated which was probably a conservative guess because she couldn't feel my cervix and baby's head was very very low! They told me the doctor was on her way and that I needed to wait to push. My doctor, Dr. Erika Schneider, was not on duty that weekend so instead I had Dr. Tracey Doyle as my on-call doctor rushing to the hospital. Later I found out she was stopped by a train at one point and was able to get around it in record time somehow!
Within a few minutes of being in this position my water broke. I remember a huge relief of pressure but also a sense of panic when it broke because I instantly felt like I could start pushing but the doctor wasn't there yet! With each contraction coming one on top of another, there were times I almost forgot how to breathe because I was too focused on the sensation of the need to push. Amber & Dan massaged my back and legs and towards the end Dan got into champion coach mode, got in my face, and had me breathe exactly like him. We had three different types of breaths that while doing them, physically made it impossible for me to push. Dan was amazing!!!! He kept me encouraged and repeatedly told me how incredible I was and that he was so proud of me! I was about to have another baby y'all!!!
At roughly 10:34pm, the doctor walked in and asked me if I was ready to push... YES, I was definitely ready! They had me hold my legs and on the first push I was a little hesitant because I was in shock that everything progressed this quickly and I was actually able to start pushing! Three pushes later at 10:41pm, I felt the ring of fire and Conner made his appearance! I did it!! I had gone into labor on my own and had another successful unmedicated birth and it was seriously the best experience I could have asked for!
After an hour of skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and a successful first feeding, they weighed him in at 8lb 11.2oz and 19.5 inches long. He was perfect! After I birthed the placenta, I once again had Amber save it to be dehydrated down into capsules to take as a postpartum recovery supplement. Since it was so late, only my parents were able to come to the hospital that night to meet the new little addition. The next day was Father's Day and what an unforgettable Father's Day it was! I am so thankful for my amazing supportive #birthsquad, Dan & our doula Amber! Also, so thankful to God for his protection and sense of peace during the entire pregnancy, labor & delivery.
Welcome to the world Conner!
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