Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cora's Birth Story

Oh my! It is so embarrassing that I can even call this site a blog. It's been a long time since I've written anything, and even at that, my posts are few and far between. Thankfully I'm not doing this for fame or fortune, but to keep almost an online journal of special events in my life. One of the biggest, most special recent events in my life has been the birth of our second daughter, Cora Delight Bradley. I wanted to get our story typed out before I forget too many details.

Her due date was November 8th. Since summertime I had been praying... more like begging... that she would be born on November 1st. It was just stuck in my mind as the perfect day for a few reasons. It's my older sister, Heather's, birthday, and she first suggested I have her that day. :) Also, it is an easy day to remember, it is All Saints Day, and it was exactly one week before her due date, which just sounded perfect. I imagined a cozy evening Halloween night with my family, handing candy out to trick-or-treaters. I really wanted it to happen that way.

Well, I had a prenatal appointment the week leading up to the 1st. I asked my midwife to check my cervix so we could have a gage of where I was at. I was a "fat 3" or almost 4 cm dialated and almost totally effaced at that point. So I asked my midwife to give me a membrane sweep at that time, something I had forgotten was not comfortable at all. :-p I had been faithfully taking Magnesium Asporatate since about the half way point of my pregnancy, to help me with a shorter labor. With all these factors in my favor, my midwife actually gave me the go-ahead to try castor oil at my discression. Midwives are usually very stand off-ish when it comes to any form of labor induction, so I was shocked and SO excited she said I could try it. She told me with those factors, I was the perfect candidate to try castor oil. She was pretty positive it would put me right into labor, and that I should head to the birth center almost as soon as I took the stuff. I couldn't stop smiling!

I had of course heard many castor-oil horror stories, but I still wanted to try it. I only wanted to try it that once to try to have my baby on the 1st. If it didn't happen, I wasn't going to try it again. Here's where it gets exciting. Thursday the 31st was here, and I was giddy! My best friend Amy had committed to come over every Thursday afternoon to help me with Ruby, hang out, or let me have a little alone time out and about. I love her for that! So I decided to walk down the street to get some castor oil from Wal-greens, and then to Roth's to get a few ingredients for a castor oil cocktail. More like waddle to those stores. :)

I got back home and told Amy my whole plan. I think she kind of giggled at me on the inside, but went along with my plan like it was a good idea. I found out Brian had to work late that night so Ruby and I headed over to my parents' house to have dinner and pass candy out to the trick-or-treaters there. It was a cozy evening in, and I loved being surrounded my loved ones. My sister and her best friend made dinner, it was spicy Thai curry. Perfect for labor induction!

I announced boldly to everyone at my parents house, exactly 1 hour after dinner, that I was making a castor oil shake. I mixed two table spoons (the minimum amount suggested for labor induction) with vanilla ice cream and downed it. It really wasn't that bad! I don't know what everyone is complaining about. ;) The ice cream had lots of fat which helped my body more slowly digest the castor oil, rather than it just running through me. Instantly I started having light contractions. They were fairly regular right away, but felt just like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling for weeks, so they didn't bother me. That was around 6:00 pm. I decided to go home around 8:00 to get Ruby in bed. Brian picked us all up from my parent's house and we headed home to lay Ruby down. I have a text in my phone to my midwife at 8:52 pm saying that they were getting intense, but not killing me yet. She told me to head to the birth center. We gathered everything, then they really started picking up. I was leaning on my yoga ball on the floor for some comfort, and POP! My water broke. We knew for sure it was time.

My mom came over quickly to stay with Ruby, and Brian and I loaded up to drive out to Bella Vie. Contractions got closer and closer together on that 30 minute drive out to the birth center. They were probably about 2 minutes apart from then on. As soon as I got to the birth center I got in the huge warm birthing tub that they had prepared for me. The midwives got us settled in, and then left Brian and I alone to labor on our own.

A big difference between this labor and my first labor, is that with this one, the contractions were so intense that I really had to zone out while experiencing them. However, as soon as they were done I was energetic and talkative. It was really interesting! Our wonderful child birth class teacher, Jen, was able to be my doula at this birth! It was incredible to have her there doing what I usually do to help others in labor. Having pressure on my back during contractions and someone brushing my hair through was so wonderful. We would all three be in a lively conversation, then a contraction would come and I would warn them, we would all be quiet, and then as soon as it was over I was happy and chatty. It was really amazing!

Since my water had broken they didn't want to do many vaginal exams, which could introduce infection. After about 2 hours at the birth center I really felt her whole body moving lower in my body. I don't remember that incredible progression so much with my labor with Ruby. At that point I just naturally felt like I needed to bare down during some of my contractions. My midwives were really surprised by this, so they decided to check me after all. I was almost a full 10 cm at that point, which is why my body was so ready to push! It was a short cycle of birthing tub, laying on bed, sitting on bed, and sitting on the toilet. By the time I got to the toilet I was in A LOT of pain and really ready to push her out. I decided to reach down cause she felt so low, and I could feel the top of her head right there! The midwives then told me to quickly get down on all 4's on the bathroom floor, and they surrounded me with towels and assistance. After maybe 4 contractions on my hands and knees, Cora was born! I heard the midwife say, "I've got eyes, ok now nose, now mouth and chin..." and as she was describing that we heard screaming! Cora started crying before even her body was out - it was hilarious and amazing at the same time. Her shoulders and body were quick to follow, and suddenly I had a baby in my arms! After pushing out her little body, I had the most incredible feeling of relief and joy all at the same time. Such bliss! I asked the midwife what time it was, and she told me Cora was born at 1:16 am on the 1st. I was ecstatic!

I consider labor to have started at about 9pm, when the contractions started hurting a bit, and my water broke. Cora Delight was born at 1:16 am on November 1st, 2013! Just a little over 4 hours of 100% natural labor, and she was barely born on the day I wanted her so badly to be born on! It is just so fun for me to recall how badly I wanted her born that day, and that God blessed me with that incredible gift!

There it is, there is Cora's birth story. It couldn't have been any more perfect. Not to mention I felt incredible even the day after she was born. Praise God! We cannot wait to have another one some day. :)
A few minutes after birth
Snuggling in the tub together <3 i="" nbsp="">
 Daddy time while Mom rests