Okay ya’ll so I’ve been slacking on the blog a bit, but it’s because I’ve spent the
last month with this little beauty! Annabelle Marie Haley was born on August 25th at 8:47 a.m.
8 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long
Alright so first off let me start off by saying that we tried EVERYTHING once we passed my due date!
You name it, we tried it!
*mexican / italian food
*acupressure (pressure points)
*bouncing on the ball
*black & blue cohosh herbs
*and yes we had sex
HAHA BUT NOTHING!
Little Annabelle was not budging
I couldn’t believe that my due date had come and gone and nope, no signs of labor!
But I knew the average birth is usually 41 weeks, so we waited.
Longest 2 weeks of my life! I went in on Friday August22nd and I was only 2cm, so my midwife
scheduled an induction for Sunday August 24th.
I thought surely I would be in labor before then.
Well Sunday morning rolled around and we headed to the hospital at 7:00am.
(Morning of with my Mother in law and Grandmother in law)
My midwife knew how badly we wanted to do all natural, so we started with just breaking my water at 9:30am.
David and I had taken 12 weeks of The Bradley Birth classes, so we felt confident we could have
an all natural hospital birth. We felt very well educated on knew all of our options.
Things started out great! I was having some mild contractions and my doula, and David walked the halls with me.
I would squat down during a contraction and breathe through it.
At this point the contractions were very mild. The hours passed pretty quickly, we were talking and laughing
in between contractions.
A couple of hours later, it must have been around noon or 2:00pm, the contractions started picking up,
about every 2 minutes. I would really have to focus and stay relaxed through them. I was feeling very confident because
I felt like we were really progressing! And every contraction was one step closer to our baby! Our midwife and birth
team was great, they let me walk the halls and have a portable monitor. Walking really helped and helped keep me calm.
I had very intense back labor, so my doula would rub my lower back for EVERY contraction! OMG I couldn’t have done
it without her or David! It made such a difference to have her rubbing my back.
Okay so this is where I lose track of the exact times, so bear with me as I recall the rest of the birth.
Somewhere around 10-12 hours of labor, I was definitely feeling it! Things were getting VERY intense.
I was having a hard time staying relaxed BUT David was amazing! Kept me calm through every contraction!
The bradley classes helped so much! I really used ALL of our techniques, changed positions, abdominal breathing,
eyes closed, focused on our baby. I couldn’t have done it without these techniques.
Okay so I was feeling pretty good at this point, I felt like we were really getting somewhere! I had to be at least
a 6 or 7! Not much longer?! Right? So my midwife checked me, I think I was about 4cm dilated. This was SUPER discouraging!
I thought surely I was further along.BUT David reassured me it takes a while, and getting to 5cm usually takes the longest.
So I kept focusing on my breathing and staying very relaxed. We had all the lights down low and worship music playing.
It was honestly an AMAZING intimate time. I have never felt closer to David than during our labor! He was an
AMAZING coach and really helped me the whole time!
After a couple more hours of laboring in different positions, the contractions starting getting SUPER intense!
I’m talking like OMG i’ve never felt anything like this, my body is super exhausted, I don’t think I can go on,
intense! This was probably around 15-16 hours of labor. The exhaustion really started to catch up with me.
I had only eaten a banana and some red jello, I was starting to get SO tired! It was at this point, that I
started asking for an epidural. I remember saying “David I just can’t do this anymore!”
After breathing through a couple more contractions, we decided the tub might be
the next best solution.
So I got in the tub, and immediately I felt so much better! The water really felt amazing, and
helped calm me back down. BUT after a couple more contractions, I couldn’t get over how intense the
pain was. I thought surely this is transition, I’ve got to be 9 or 10 cm! This was around 18 hours, and I was starting
to think the end was in sight! After an hour in the tub the contractions were double peaking, and only 30 second breaks.
I was honestly SOOOOOO exhausted. I kept thinking okay that means we are getting close! So I wanted my midwife to check
and tell us that we were almost done!
Okay so after 20 hours of all natural labor, I was TOTALLY exhausted. I couldn’t believe how
intense the contractions were. So then the midwife came in and checked, and I was still only 5 cm!
We were in shock! I totally thought I was 9 or 10 cm dilated! I couldn’t believe I was only halfway there.
At that point I thought there is no way I can keep going AND then still have any energy left to
push her out.
After a long talk between our birth team, we decided trying a SMALL dose of pitocin
could help speed the labor up! At first it was SOOO disappointing because we wanted
to do an all natural birth SO bad! Like literally spent months preparing and taking all the classes!
But honestly after 20 hours my body was absolutely exhausted and the pain was just so intense!
So we started the pitocin drip, I was at first REALLY nervous that the contractions,
would get even more INTENSE and it would be unbearable. But after 2 hours they weren’t
any more intense than they already were. However this really made me think OMG
if they are still this painful and Im only 5cm how the heck can I handle them
when I am 10cm?! All of this of course was going on in my head
and I kept just breathing through every contraction, staying calm.
I remember thinking well my sister had pitocin and went from 5cm to 10cm in like 2 hours, so
maybe mine will just really speed up and then it will be over! After the 2 hours of pitocin
my midwife checked me again, and yet still only 5cm. I again couldn’t believe the pitocin
hadn’t helped me progress at all! So after 22 hours of labor I decided I really really wanted
the epidural! It was such a struggle mentally, I had really wanted this all natural birth and yet
we were doing yet another intervention. BUT because I was so exhausted and the contractions
were still SUPER intense I needed some relief.
So I got the epidural. Let me tell ya, having a contraction DURING the epidural was loads of fun!
Ha but once it was in, there was INSTANT relief! I was sooooo nervous about getting one,
so afraid it would take away something from our birth experience, but honestly for me in this
situation it was exactly what I needed. It allowed my body to rest and get some relief.
After 24 hours my midwife checked me again, STILL only five cm! My body just wasn’t progressing.
So they brought a doctor in and we started talking about having a C-section. At first David and I were in SHOCK!
What a c-section?! This is the total opposite of our birth plan! We wanted to do this naturally SO bad!
24 hours of my water being broken, and being checked so many times, we knew the possibility of infection was pretty great.
It was very disappointing at first, we couldn’t believe it. But then I kept thinking, well you know
we have LITERALLY tried everything! I was 2 weeks past my due date and had labored for 24 hours.
I didn’t feel guilty or have any regrets. Obviously I wish I would have progressed further but I knew
we really really gave it our all! The 24 hours were honestly such a great experience,
I was just so glad I got to have those moments with David.
So after agreeing this was the next best step, at 8:00am they got me prepped for the C-section.
I was super nervous. This was MAJOR surgery and we did NOT take it lightly, but the doctor and hospital staff
were AMAZING! They talked us through every step and David was with me the whole time!
When we got into the OR I could still feel more than I should have been able to, so they had to kick David out and
do a spinal tap. I was immediately numb from the waist down, unfortunately the side effect, was NAUSEA! They brought David
back in and started to perform the c-section. I started feeling SO SICK and starting throwing up. I also had a fever so they had to give me something
to bring down my fever.
Honestly as intense as the nausea was, David helped me so much! He played worship music on his phone
and put it right next to my ear while they did the surgery. It helped keep me calm. It reminded
me that even though our birth was totally different than what we wanted, God was still in control
and we were taken care of!
At 8:47 am on August 25th I heard the most beautiful sound of our daughter crying!
Annabelle Marie Haley was born.
They layed her on my chest and it was an amazing moment I will never forget!
After she was born David went with the nurses to the nursery to weigh and check on Annabelle.
I was still really sick from all the drugs and kept throwing up. They wheeled me into my room,
and I immediately starting getting the shakes! It was the craziest thing, and honestly
the most exhausting part of the whole process! My entire body was tense, teeth chattering, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
It was almost like a seizure or something? Because they had pumped me full of so many drugs, my body
was trying to deal with it, and this was unfortunately one of the side effects.
Thankfully after about 3 hours the shaking wore off and I was able to breathe on my own
without the oxygen mask and I was able to sit up and feel “somewhat” normal.
Because of my fever and my water being broke for that long, I was on antibiotics
for about 4 days and as a precaution they wanted to make sure Annabelle didn’t have
an infection, so she was on antibiotics for a week. So we stayed in the hospital an additional 7 days.
As intense as the WHOLE process was and as different from our birth plan as it was, HA, it was honestly
an amazing experience! I am SOOOO glad David and I took the Bradley classes! They helped keep me relaxed
the whole time, even with the medical interventions, David and I still made informed decisions and nothing
was forced on us. We knew our options and felt confident with every choice. I still want to try and have
an all natural VBAC the next go round, I feel like if I can get through this I can do anything! But that’s
going to be a long ways away, ha! I need some time to recover and get my body back
Being in the hospital a week after the birth, helped me recover from the c-section. It was
major surgery and I definitely needed the help from the hospital staff and David! I didn’t get out of
bed for the first 24 hours and even walking was difficult the first couple of days, but I had a great support team!
After everything else went NOT according to plan, HA I was really nervous that breastfeeding would be so hard!
But Annabelle latched right away and honestly breastfeeding has been great!
So far so good, and she’s feeding great! All in all our birth was a great experience and I absolutely LOVE being a momma!
Annabelle is amazing and even with the lack of sleep, it’s worth all the changes.
Here’s a video collage I put together if you want to see more pics from our birth!