You hear it on TV shows where families are large…. you hear the parents speak of love multiplying when they have so many children.
To many, it’s a foreign concept… but the reality is… it’s true.
I would know… I gave birth to our 8th living child 12 days ago.
The first few days I was releasing so many hormones so I kept from writing too much.
But I want to collect the memories while they are still fresh in my mind.
Roman was born on May 23rd… He brings so much joy to our family. He did not take from my love to the other kids. Logically, he takes some extra time as he is being nursed… but the children most often plead to hold him. I love it… and I love how they love him.
I wanted a homebirth. I hate hospitals and being trapped… I hate the tests and how some things are being forced upon parents. I don’t like interruptions and strangers and so many aspects of the whole having a baby in a hospital. However…. my body was not in the right place this time…. so for the 9th time… I had a baby in a hospital.
After a week of many contractions often called prodomal labor… I knew my body was swollen. Not normal pregnancy related swelling. But I felt I was having some major allergies to gluten. If I had any gluten, I would get stabbing knife pains where I would not be able to move much, I was severely constipated to the point where drinking castor oil did not even help… nothing did.
I knew that the baby could not engage and move down properly with my body and the swelling and being backed up. I also knew that this baby was very big. The doctors would feel my belly and say… “he doesn’t feel like he is that big” and I would tell them.. “oh I think he is!” And… not to sound like I know it all… But I was right. I haven’t been wrong about my body ever.
In the past, when I felt like I had a cyst on my ovary.. I was right. When I felt like my uterus was flipped backwards.. it was. I have always been extremely in tune with what was going on inside my body.
My husband being less educated on homebirth and fearing his own abilities to deliver our baby, slowly came to the reality that we would schedule to induce this baby. I knew I was in so much pain already with my colon… and my muscles that felt like they were ripping… I knew I needed help to make it through.
My support to birth at home was now gone… all I had was my husband and he was now unsure. I didn’t have time to contact a midwife….
I prayed and asked God to help me.. please help my body and bring me nurses that would be a blessing to me and no problems. This hospital has given me many experiences… some were horrible… this time was very good.
I went in on May 23rd at 7:30 am. It took a little longer than expected to get registered. So by 8am I was finally up on the second floor Maternity area.
The nurses were kind from the beginning. They asked about our family size, spoke of their children and experiences and made us feel at ease. They asked me of any fears I had and mine was to not have pain relief. I told them I never wanted to experience pitocen and no epidural again.. I had tried in the past many times and each time my muscles were so tense that I would not progress with the baby at all… once I had the epidural, I would rest and progress pretty well.
I was so dehydrated that my veins all were blowing. The 4th try for an I.V. And they called in the anesthesiologist. He was an older man, he came in and immediately got the I.V. in… He used a smaller child sized one and had to put it in my hand. Not ideal.. but it worked.
I was already at a 3 dialated when I went in. I feel that helped this labor to be so much better than past ones.
The doctor said she could break my water. They gave me the option to get the epidural sooner than later since I was scared of the pain. I had such peace that I said.. let’s get it soon.
So we made it to a 4 and I asked for it. I knew once the water was broken that contractions tend to get more painful.
The same anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. He was so gentle. I felt such little pain… I have never had such a good experience in my life with getting an epidural. He was not rough when he washed my back.. He was smooth and very thorough. I arched my back like I had to all the years before and prayed to God in my head to help me. I felt the 2 needles enter my back… it was a twinge of pain for the first prick and the second one was much less because of the numbing pain in the first shot. He then used the larger needle and then inserted that catheter. I could then feel something travel down my spine. In the past it always felt like something was being jammed.. this time it was gentle.. softer… and the epidural worked. Praise God… I had relief. For the first 30min to hour I felt like press hard to catch my breath. I think it was from the baby being up so high. It was then, I knew this baby was tall. I never had him stretch so much.. but he was up under my ribs… I gently pushed with my hands down to see if he would give me relief and eventually he did.
The contractions came and went and I was praising God for his wisdom and help he gives to doctors. I did not care this time about getting an all natural medal of honor.. I was not worried about letting myself down.. I did not feel like a failure…. I was overjoyed that I was not feeling the pain. I have been there before and had the highest pitocen level and no epidural and it was honestly so much. I made it…. but it was so traumatic that I didn’t even notice the new baby on my chest because I was trying to recover from the pain…. I never wanted that kind of experience again.
I am normally a tough person with pain.. I have experienced so many times in life, cysts rupturing, gall bladder bursting, internal bleeding, appendicitis and more… pitocen and no epidural is too much for me when it’s pumped up.
So I was just happy and overjoyed. I remembered from my books about birth that I needed to have a happy attitude, loose, not right facial muscles and more…. so I released, smiled and we kept learning I was dialating more and more. It was so nice for it to happen faster.
At the end, when I was around 8 and 9… the baby was having a hard time getting down… I felt like it was again myself being swollen and locked up. I was praying and moving from one side to the other. Once he moved down and I felt like pushing. They all came in and I pushed but the feeling left and baby moved back up a bit. So the nurse said my peanut ball I had (this peanut shaped inflatable exercise tool that is often used in birth) was too small and she had a big one… I said yes.. I felt I needed to get my pelvis opened up as best as I could so this big baby could get in my pelvis and birthed out. I could tell he was just huge…(at least to me) . So once she got the big green peanut placed… it was only a short time like 15 minutes and our baby was able to get his head where it needed to be. I went from blissful and no pain to severe pressure and crying and “woooooo” moaning pain. They all came back in with things ready and we knew this was it. I waited for the next contraction and pushed hard. He was so big I felt like he was NOT going to be able to come out. So with extreme stretching and pressure, I lost control for one contraction. I yelled loud and lost my composure. My doctor said ” Tiffany, the next contraction I want you to take a breath and push the whole time” and it helped me to focus on pushing and not screaming. It was so much more effective.
I have never EVER wanted to see what it looked like for a baby to emerge from my crotch. Lol never. But this time there was a light above me and it had a mirror under it and I could see the babies head. I was honestly AMAZED at what my body was capable of. It seemed like “ok I can see his head partly out, so if I push really really hard.. this will be over” ….
I pushed hard with all my might and felt the doctor moving her hands in a motion to help this big baby come out easier. Then FLOP!!! He was out and placed on me.
Such relief, such joy…. Such a miracle.
Epidural or not… I did it. It happened and I got this new human out. Yay….
I saw the same familiar Bayer looking baby. He was dark and needing some suction. He stayed on me and they suctioned his mouth and nose. He swallowed a little bit of meconium so there was a tiny bit of brown leaving his mouth. He started crying and that of course gave us all relief. They waited for his cord to deliver his blood and important stem cells back into his body and later clamped it per my request.
I kept telling this big boy how adorable and cute he was. The nurse helped get a diaper on him as I still held him. We admired him and once the doctor helped me get the placenta out, we were left alone for bonding time. It was amazing. I fed him shortly after birth. I was amazed how a baby knows how to feed… but he did. He nursed well.
He looked around and daddy held him. I wanted to know how big he was so around ten pm, We let the nurse weigh and measure him.
He weighed 9 pounds 13.5 ounces. I said let’s call it 9-14 to make it easy to remember. Then 22 inches… so that explains my feeling… I knew he was going to be a big baby!
They did footprints of baby and put on his special bracelet that would sound off an alarm if he was taken near the exit doors and we all were given bracelets with matching numbers so we could not have any mix up…. He never left my sight..but it’s their protocol.
After 24 hours, a million tests and checking from the nurses we finally got home on the 24th around 10pm.
I was so happy to be home.
I am so blessed and so happy our experiences was not bad. God worked it all out and I really appreciate the kind nurses and my amazing doctor.
I am so glad and thankful for this child.
God’s gifts are the best.
But love truly grew. I could not imagine how I would feel.. but God knows what he is doing. Hos natural love was INSTANT the moment I saw this baby. It was as strong as it is for my other 7 children. This boy was strong. He also had to endure the discomforts of being squeezed to the point of his skull reshaping to fit through. Ur had been on a journey too and I was proud of his strength.
I was 3 days past the due date and just so glad he was out.
My recovery has been pretty good. Once I have been home, I have not taken any medicines for pain at all. I have been enjoying raspberry leaf tea to help time back my uterus and am trying to rest and take care of my body.
I am in awe of our creator once again. Each birth experience has been completely different. Some gave me smaller babies, some large. Some babies had problems, This one didn’t.
I needed to reflect and be very honest about not getting the birth I wanted. I am ok with it. I feel the only way I would want to ever have a birth st home is if I felt my body was healthier. I am now on a gluten free diet and feeling so much better. No more inflammation and swelling. I had gluten when baby was 4 days old and deeply regretted it. The pain I had was unbearable. It lasted an entire day and it was enough to confirm that gluten was the culprit for my pain and problems.
So now I feel we are in a healing transition. Baby is eating well and mommy is too. It’s not easy to eat the best with so many mouths to feed. But once again, the Lord is providing us with wisdom and provision like always.