Thursday, September 11, 2014

One! | Finn's Birth Story [updated]

Finn Wilder turns one today! I'm so thankful for this sweet boy. Even though I haven't been blogging I wanted to record his birth story and share it here, but it's been a year (obviously) so some of the details are hazy for me. The wonderful photos are by our dear friend and birth photographer extraordinaire, Karissa. There are no graphic images but there is one where I look like I'm in the middle of a primal yell... just thought I should warn you! :) Thanks for reading... 
My water broke at around 10:30 on a Tuesday night. It was September 10th, eleven days past my due date, and I anticipated labor lasting into the next day. We had to go to the hospital rather than stay home to labor because I had tested positive for Group B Strep and had to have antibiotics prior to delivery, so Matt and I quickly got our things together and I called my mom to come stay with Ezra for the night. I started to cry then, thinking about how Ezra's life would change and how I wouldn't be there for him in the morning, something that had never happened before. I knew adding a child to our family, and a brother for Ezra, would be a blessing but in that moment I mourned for the life we shared as a little family of three. As we waited for my mom to arrive I called our midwife, Deb, and informed Karissa and Natalie, our doula, that we would be heading to the hospital soon.
Everyone met us there and we came up with a plan for the night. My body seemed to be responding to my water breaking in the same way it did when my water broke before I had Ezra - it basically didn't do anything. At least not anything productive! I had contractions but they were completely tolerable and I arrived at the hospital only 1 cm dilated, feeling fine, not like I was going to have to push a baby out. Our options were to try to sleep and hope labor would begin overnight, and if it didn't, be induced in the morning, or to try to stimulate labor and get things moving. We opted for the latter because I really wanted to avoid induction (I was induced with Ezra and realllly didn't like it). To make a long story short, my labor did not get going overnight. We basically walked the halls and tried to get some oxytocin flowing but it didn't work, so on the morning of the 11th I agreed to labor augmentation with Pitocin. If you don't know, Pitocin is the synthetic form of oxytocin and it causes much more intense contractions than usual. I mentally prepared myself for the intensity and sure enough my contractions came more quickly and they were much stronger. We continued to walk the halls with a telemetry unit and I was coping well. It even says so in my medical records :) Once my contractions were steady Deb suggested that she break my water (it hadn't broken entirely when labor began the previous day) and turn down the Pitocin, hoping that my body would continue laboring on its own. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Deb did break the remaining bag of waters and lowered the Pitocin, but very quickly I noticed the intensity of the contractions subside. Disappointed, I told everyone in the room that they weren't as strong and resigned myself to more Pitocin.
I labored in many different positions as the Pitocin levels were steadily increased, and now I was not coping so well (also reported in my records, ha). We all thought I was in transition but when Deb checked my cervix I was only 5 cm dilated which was devastating. I couldn't believe how hard I was laboring and I was only halfway there! My records say that at this point the plan was to check my cervix in another two hours and if there was no change I would get an epidural. I don't remember if we discussed getting the epidural or not, but I do remember that I didn't want one. I really wanted to do this on my own, especially since I couldn't when I had Ezra. An hour later the doctor on call was consulted about my lack of progress and he agreed with the plan to administer an epidural in an hour if there was no change. I continued to have contractions and they were terrible. I remember crying through some of them, sobbing and writhing, and Deb basically telling me if I didn't pull myself together and work through the contractions I would have to get the epidural. Matt says he remembers that her admonishment got my attention and things started to progress. Edited to add, because Karissa just left me a message reminding me about one of the most crucial aspects of this hard labor. A reminder like this is just one of the many reasons it's awesome to have other women supporting you during labor - they will remember what you have forgotten! Anyway, when Deb was telling me to relax, I asked "how do I relax?" The memory surfaced; I remember I asked it desperately, wailed is more like it. I was frustrated, and all I had done to prepare for giving birth had escaped my mind. I couldn't relax, and I needed Deb to tell me how. She said, "just picture yourself in the arms of Jesus." Deb is a Christian, and God gave her the perfect words in that moment. Having a Christian midwife was and is such a blessing. I remember we prayed together at one point, too. I ended up making the most progress standing at the side of the bed, leaning over it, and squeezing Matt's hands with each contraction. Natalie stood behind me, applying counter pressure with each contraction, and eventually I felt the need to sit/squat and Natalie supported my weight. However, Natalie is only about as big as me when I'm not pregnant so it got to be a bit much for her, so Deb acted as my chair, bearing my weight. I remember thinking, "is this weird that I'm sitting on Deb's lap?" but nothing matters when one is in labor so I brushed that thought aside. As the contractions grew more intense I remember wanting to throw up so badly but I wasn't and it was so frustrating. I was hot and sick and in immense pain and I just wanted to be done! My reaction to these contractions showed that I had finally, probably, progressed to completion and was ready to push.
I wanted to help catch the baby so I labored on my side, and I remember squeezing Matt's hands as hard as I was physically able to, and repeatedly yelling "OH MY GOODNESS! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW BAD THIS HURTS!" because I really couldn't believe it. I feel a little bit sick right now just thinking about it. Thankfully, this phase didn't last long. The baby's shoulders were a bit stuck so Deb had to apply pressure to my abdomen in order to move the delivery along, but I only pushed for eight minutes total, and then I reached down and this little guy was handed up to me.
I will never get over the miracle of birth. As I'm ;ooking at these pictures again I'm amazed at God's design. Anyway, our second baby boy was born at 4:47 pm (only an eighteen hour labor! Much better than the forty-eight hours I endured with Ezra) and he was giant! And adorable! And I loved him immediately, even though you can't tell from the pictures, ha... If you looked at all the images from the day you would notice that I don't smile at all until about an hour after delivery. Labor is hard, man! I was recovering in more ways than one. Anyway, we named him Finn and spent the afternoon marveling at the little baby who had entered our lives.
Matt & Deb :)
About four hours after Finn was born our families came to meet him. I asked that Ezra come in first so we could have a few moments together, and their introduction went better than I imagined it would. Ezra kissed Finn a few times and wanted to look at all his body parts, especially his tiny toes :)
We gave Ezra a doll that I made for him, and Ezra brought a rattle that he had picked out for Finn when we were shopping a couple months before. Being a family of four was (and is!) beautiful.

Happy birthday, Finny! We're so glad you're ours!


  1. Just cried my eyes out! This is so beautiful! Love your family ❤

  2. I love every part of this!!! I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes!! Thanks so much for sharing! Happy birthday, Finn!��


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