I'm fiiiiiiiinally posting my birth story...two months later ;)
Now, this is the story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the parent of a boy called Lucas bear
The Birth Story of
Lucas Evan Bynum
Born 29 September 2014
(I was 42 weeks and 6 days preggo)
My lovely and amazing and wonderfully skilled doula (Miranda) wrote a letter (my birth story) to my son. I'd love for you to read it...it totally made me cry all the happy tears! <3 (Ps. The pix are a wee bit out of order. lol)
Dear Lucas Evan,
Happy birthday, sweet, sweet baby boy!!! Your Mom and Dad are so grateful that you are finally here!!! Your Mom first contacted me on the 1st of April 2014, when she was about 16 weeks pregnant. She and your Dad knew they wanted the support of a doula for their first child, and I was excited to meet them! We met on the 7th of April, and hit it off immediately. We laughed almost the whole time! Less than a week later, your Mom and Dad signed a contract with me. I was so honored, and excited to work with your parents!
Before we even met for our prenatal appointment, your Mom and I were in contact somewhat regularly. She was busy making plans for your arrival day, and beyond! She even decided to make the switch from one hospital and care team to another, when she was about 28 weeks along, because she didn't feel supported at her current practice. Your Mom and Dad trusted their instincts, and knew they would be better supported by another group of providers, so they made the switch. What an amazing team they were already proving to be!
After the switch, your Mom settled into what would prove to be a long, but comfortable pregnancy! She selected a pediatrician for you, attended birth circles, and continued to read every piece of evidence-based research she could get her hands on. She was committed to delivering you in the safest way possible, which she knew was with the support of evidence-based care.
We met for our prenatal appointment on the 16th of July. Our conversation was non-stop, and ran a little longer than we had planned, but it was because your Mom wanted to make sure she was on the right track to have the birth she desired. She was, I will say for sure!
Your Mom’s pregnancy continued at a very pleasant, relatively uneventful pace. She continued to do her research, and she and your Dad continued to firm up their goals for your birth. When your estimated due date came and went, without any activity, they both took it in stride, and continued to believe that you would find your way into the world when you were good and ready. Despite encouragement from your Mom’s care providers to intervene, they were steadfast in their desire to do what was best for you!
When your Mom went in for her appointment on September 23rd she and your Dad had already decided that they would decline having a Foley bulb placed. They felt very comfortable with not intervening as long as you and your Mom continued to look healthy, which you both did at the appointment. They were also given a little encouragement for staying the course, as your Mom was found to be 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced! Your Mom and Dad left the appointment feeling a weight was lifted! They agreed to do an ultrasound to check your Mom’s level of amniotic fluid, and to check on the viability of her placenta. They found that her fluid had started to decrease some, though it wasn't dangerously low, and that her placenta had begun to calcify, slightly. While that news wasn't what they had hoped for, your Mom and Dad trusted their instincts and both agreed to hold off on inducing. Your Mom was scheduled for another ultrasound in two days, and your Mom and Dad decided they would base their decision of whether or not to induce on those results.
Your Mom was doing what she could at home to help her body along, and on the 26th of September, I received an email from her letting me know that she was having bloody show, and that her body was feeling different. She went in for her ultrasound, and they noted that her fluid level had decreased some, but with her new signs of labor starting soon, her care providers agreed to support her decision to not be induced just yet.
Your Mom continued to labor at home, and was making amazing progress. She updated me regularly on her rushes as they got closer together and lasted longer. She was feeling very “zen” about the whole thing, and was just taking it all in stride.
At 9:59 PM your Mom let me know that she and your Dad were headed to the hospital, and that they would love for me to meet them there. I arrived about 45 minutes later to find your Mom and Dad laughing and carrying on in the emergency room. What an amazing sight that was. After all the doctor’s appointments, and all of the hard decisions they had made over the last few weeks, you were coming soon, and they were in good spirits! We headed up to labor and delivery shortly after, and your Mom’s first cervical check was preformed. She was 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced, and you were at +1 station!
Your Mom labored beautifully over the next few hours. She moved about the room, listening to her body, and holding onto your Dad for support when she needed it. She had re-framed, in her mind, the way labor would feel for her, so that is wasn't an experience of pain, but one of intensity, and that mentality made her one very pleasant woman during this time! The three of us were laughing and joking around, all through the night!
At 4:35 AM your Mom was checked again, and she was 9 cm dilated with an anterior lip. She was starting to feel the need to bear down, but knew she had to hold off for now so she didn’t make things more difficult for herself. This proved to be one of the most difficult things she faced so far!
At 5:30 AM the midwife arrived, and your Mom’s mood changed. Her body had worked with her, and waited, but with the news that the midwife had arrived, the gates were opened! Your Mom started having to focus more and internalize. She was bearing down during her rushes and focusing on moving you down. At 5:50 AM, a single tear dropped down her cheek as she opened her eyes to say, “I’m just so ready to meet him.” She was. She and your Dad both were. They had patiently waited so long, and finally it was time!
Time continued to move along, and your Mom continued to face each minute the same as she had so far. She focused on her body, and moved with it. At 7:00 AM your Mom was checked and she was 10 cm dilated! She still had an anterior lip present though, so as your Mom pushed, her midwife held her cervix out of your way. The help was successful in moving the anterior lip over your head, and with that, the birth team set up to meet you!
Your Mom pushed and pushed, making progress with each effort. She pushed on her hands and knees, she pushed in a squatting position backwards on the bed, she pushed using a squat bar, she pushed on her side, and she pushed in a sitting position in the bed. If someone suggested it, she was game! She was making progress with each effort, but it was only slight. Because of this, coupled with your gestational age, her care providers started to become concerned about your size, and with that, the size of your shoulders. They prepared for both circumstances, and your Mom just continued to work!
As the morning wore on, everyone became more and more concerned about your size, and what that could mean for your Mom. She was working so hard, and was starting to tire. She was trying to stay positive, but she was getting discouraged, and wanted to know what her options were. She had been pushing for about 6 hours, already longer than most care providers would support, and she wasn’t sure how much longer she could sustain her effort. We thought for sure her options were limited to continuing as is, or opting for a cesarean section delivery. Her midwife joined us in our discussion, and provided a third option. Your Mom could get an epidural (without Pitocin), get some rest, and hopefully be able to use that extra energy to push you the rest of the way out! What a relief it was for your Mom to hear that third option! After discussing it with your Dad, she opted to try the epidural. She wanted to be sure she had exhausted all of her options before looking to a cesarean section for your delivery.
At 12:00 PM your Mom took a break from pushing as her epidural was placed. She was tired, and trying to make peace with the decisions she and your Dad had made leading up to this moment. She felt guilt for pushing off an induction, and wondered if she hadn't, whether or not she’d be in this position. The thing is, all along the way, your Mom and Dad made every decision in regards to your care with evidence-based information. They had done everything right, and there was no way to predict that this is how things would go! Nor was there any way to determine if things could have been different if your Mom and Dad had made different decisions. They worked through this though, and got to a place where they felt comfortable with their decisions, and with their situation. After they got to that point, we all agreed it was best if we took the opportunity to rest.
The rest was short, but sweet. At 2:30 PM the midwife came back in to see your Mom, and she started pushing again. While she hadn't actually slept in that time that we were all alone, she had rested some, and it was evident in her pushes. Each push brought you closer and closer, but not quickly! As you made your way closer to being delivered, your Mom’s body started to give way as her skin had been stretched to the max. The midwife suggested an episiotomy to enlarge the space you had to wiggle your head out. While this was certainly not something that your Mom or Dad had wanted, they talked it over, and both agreed it would be the best course of action. The midwife was still a little unsure, so she called in an obstetrician on her team before she made the cut. The obstetrician agreed that it was for the best, to prevent your Mom from having a “vaginal c-section,” and the procedure was preformed. It would have to be preformed another two times to accommodate your large brain, but the work was rewarded, and at 5:37 PM, with the assistance of a vacuum, you finally arrived in all your glory. Despite everyone’s suspicions, your shoulders delivered easily, and you only weighed in at 9 pounds on the dot, and were 21 ½ inches long. You were perfect!!
Lucas Evan, how sweet it is to finally have you here! Your Mom and Dad are so grateful to you for finally gracing them with your presence, and filling them with more love than they thought they could stand! Your Mom is so, so smart and stands her ground! She will teach you how to be determined, and to go after what you want! Your Dad is so sweet and supportive, and will be a champion for your family! You couldn’t have chosen better parents yourself! Happy Birthday, Lucas Evan, and welcome to the world!
Michael and I are sooo happy to have our lil Luca bug here safe and sound!!! I gotta admit, the first six weeks were really hard...I had some baby blues, even though I was massively in love with my sweet baby boy. Sleep deprivation is alive and real, people. But thankfully (knock on wood) our little bit is sleeping mostly all night now!!! Coffee is my friend and constant companion. My biggest piece of advice to all new mommies... Be flexible. There have been many things that went differently than anticipated or desired, but I am pleased with all our decisions because they were (are) made for the good of our little bug and that's what matters.
Just know, you are good enough and you can totally do this. Mommy power!