Saturday, March 07, 2009

.. Little Miss Sunshine ..

Wednesday the 25th of February was a typical day. One spent playing with, reading to and basically trying to keep up with our busy little Cian man. All while being extremely pregnant. There was some serious waddling going on at this point. I was both mentally and physically done being pregnant. By the time Cory got home I was ready to pass out. So Cory let me nap, and wow, did I ever! I slept for over 2 hours. I was in hybernation mode, which was amazing considering the last few weeks of pregnancy I could barely sleep half an hour without having to get up to pee. But I slept like a rock. And boy am I glad I did.

I awoke having some pretty painful contractions, which had been the norm for a few days. So I got up, craving pancakes and ready to watch LOST. I started on my pancakes. I had to stop here and there because of the pain. The contractions started to get pretty consistent... but they had been the same a few nights before, so I tried to ignore them thinking it was another false alarm. It got to the point that ignoring them wasn't an option. They started REALLY hurting. So Cory hopped on the handy and started timing. In the midst of the timing, our midwife called to check in. Great timing! A horrible snow storm was blowing in and she said we needed to get up to Spearfish asap. For those who didn't know, we decided to have our home birth in my parents house. I really didn't want to deliver in our little apartment, my parents place is a ton more comfortable.

Can I just say the ride up to Spearfish was the scariest ride of my entire life?! Poor Cory had to listen to me literally YELL at him the whole way up. We were traveling 10 mph on the interstate. Visibility was zilch and people were pulling off to the sides of the road. What normally takes us around 40 minutes, took us a good couple of hours. I started to think of things we had in the car just in case we got stranded and I had to deliver on the side of the road. Ha! Needless to say, we made it... baby still in the womb. Praise God.

My parents, sister, Jeanne (our midwife) and Anna (birth assistant) were all waiting with the birth tub filled. I was worried that it was false labor yet again and that it was yet another waste of a trip for everyone. Jeanne checked me and to my surprise I was already 5cm! WOO!! Half done. She asked if I wanted to get into the birthing tub and I was eager to hop on in. This was my 'serene' period. Cory dimmed the lights, put on a calming playlist that I had on the ipod and we just chilled. Cory even got in the tub with me. Everyone left us alone and we were able to pray together and enjoy a few quiet moments with just the two of us. It was amazing. I thought to myself, THIS is exactly what I wanted for my birth experience. I only wish it wasn't so late that Cian could have joined us... but he was upstairs fast asleep.

After awhile, Jeanne came down and said that it would probably be best to get out of the tub and rest. She knew I would need as much energy as I could get in the hours to come. So Cory and I crawled into bed to try and get some sleep. Cory was out in 10 seconds. No joke. His head hit the pillow and he was off in lala land. I wasn't. There was no sleeping for me. I was just thankful for the few hours I got earlier in the day. I laid there listening to Cory sleep soundly as I breathed my way through contractions. I woke Cory up an hour or so later to have him get Jeanne... things were starting to happen.

I was about 8 cm and in a heck of a lot of pain. Jeanne thought the baby was posterior (head facing up) which makes for a longer, more painful delivery. She had me do some exercises to try to get the baby to turn. I was starting to wonder if I could do this. It helped to concentrate on just one contraction at a time. I was calling out to Jesus, a lot. Jeanne, Anna, Mom and my sisters were all a ton of help. I even got a little foot massage as I labored through some nasty contractions. I was now 10 cm and ready to push. Baby still hadn't turned, so I was hoping she would on her own closer to delivery.
Jeanne asked me to push to see how I would do.
Holy buckets, the pain.

I made it very clear that at this point I needed one of two things. Either give me drugs, or let me get back in the tub. Obviously drugs weren't an option, so in the tub I went. RELIEF. I was able to move my body and work through the contractions MUCH easier. But let's be honest, it hurt. Like a bunch. I never thought I'd be a screamer. Oh, I was. I scared the bejeebies out of my father who was upstairs watching Cian (if Cian wasn't there... he said he would have bailed. He doesn't handle hearing his daughters in pain). Cory was in the tub with me and I'm pretty sure he was scared of what I was going to do. The poor man was trapped in the tub. I wouldn't let him out. I needed him there with me. I was in my zone. Focused. By this time, I knew it wasn't long. I had been pushing randomly for a half an hour or so. I had to breathe through a few contractions because of the babies heart rate. Jeanne let me know that we needed to work hard. She said it was time to get our little lady out. There was a sense of urgency in her voice. She knew I was tired, and she knew the baby was tired. We said a quick prayer and I pushed.

HOLY COW. I leaned my head on Corys chest and bared down. It all happened so fast after that. I remember Jeanne asking me to breathe through a few contractions, but my body was involuntarily pushing. I remember saying, "I can't... I'm pushing without pushing! It's going by itself!" Ha. Such a strange feeling. I remember knowing her head was out, and then in an instant I felt relief. She was here. I leaned back on Corys chest and we looked at our little girl as Jeanne laid her on my chest. She was absolutely beautiful! I just kept saying how much I loved her. It was incredible. Our little Teagan. She had these bright blue eyes and believe it or not, RED hair. I couldn't get over how beautiful she was! It was so amazing to have her with me the whole time. Jeanne checked her over while she was on my belly. No whisking the baby off... she stayed with her momma and daddy. We both really cherished those moments with her. It was incredible.

The whole experience was exactly what I had hoped for. I was up within the hour taking a shower, and felt AMAZING. No tearing, no pitocin, no waiting on the epidural to wear off, no vaccum headed baby, no blood pressure cuff going off every 10 minutes and making my hand fall asleep, no weird hospital smell. Just my new little family, together... at Nana and Papa's house.

There is nothing in the world like natural childbirth. There is NOTHING like a home birth. I am SO thankful that I had such a fantastic support system talking me through the worst of it telling me that I COULD do this. Jeanne and Anna were incredible, and for those in the area that are looking for options, I HIGHLY recommend looking into midwifery and home birth. For healthy mothers with normal pregnancies, it really is a valid option to look into. I never in a million years thought I would have natural childbirth, let alone a home birth. I was the girl that wanted to be knocked out with drugs and have the nurses clean the baby, put the cute little hat on and give her to me after I woke up. Ha! But after doing my research and experiencing both a hospital birth and a home birth... there is no comparison. I will definitely go this route again. I can't speak highly enough about the experience.

I really need to thank my family for allowing me to birth in their home. I'm pretty sure they thought we were crazy when we first talked to them about our thoughts. But they knew we informed ourselves on the risks and benefits and they supported us in our decision. I love them. They're awesome.

Cory, most of all, deserves my thanks. Seriously. The man stayed in the birth tub with me the WHOLE time. Pretty sure if the role was reversed I would have bailed. But he didn't. He stayed with me, talked me through contractions, dealt with my insanely loud screams and loved me even when I swatted him away. He's my honey. Words cannot even begin to describe how his presence helped me through this. I love him millions.

We did get some video of the birth, and Cory will be working on a little movie (like we did with Cian) in the next few weeks... so keep your eyes pealed. We'll get some pictures posted in the meantime. Again, thank YOU all for the prayers, love and support as we adventured through this. I know the Lord had his hand over all of us. It was so great to know that we had a heck of a lot of prayers coming from all over the world. So awesome.

So here's our little Teagan.
Born on Feb. 26th at 7:52 am.
5lbs. 10.5 oz.
19 inch. long. Blue eyes, Red hair.
She's such a little cutie.


kate said...

Wow, Shannon. Thanks for telling the whole story. I have been waiting to hear it! =) GOOOD JOB MOMMY! I am proud of you and so happy for you guys. XOXOXOXOXO

Tammie said...

I am so super glad that everything went well. In my mind and heart, I was there supporting and encouraging also. I knew it would go good for you because you both are very strong and loving parents. I thank your parents for allowing this in their home. I would always have a opened home for that. I think it would be a real blessing to experience all of that. Glad your family is always there for you guys.
She is so precious and can hardly wait to love on her and Cian and of course Cory and you also.
Thanks for sharing the exciting birth with all of us.

TwoMuths said...

Oh, Shannon. I am crying with joy for you all. What an amazing birth story - so GLAD you got to experience it! Praise the Lord for His BLESSINGS!!!

cassie said...

yay! That is so exciting! I can't wait to someday be a midwife and be able to share in other women's birth stories. Amazing. You are amazing for pulling through and doing such a great thing for you and your daughter! I think you will forever be bonded because of that experience.

Love ya!

lish said...

that is awesome. and more power to ya for going all natuaral.

Ang Zickafoose said...

OMG, shan!!!!! this is so incredible!!!! you DID IT!! i am so proud of you!!!! and so stoked for your new fam of 4. love and hugs, ang :)