Joshua James Tumelson is here!
He is one week old already. The first week has been recovery, learning, getting to know one another and adjusting to new schedules. We are starting to establish a feeding routine now and I’m finally finding time for little things like updating the blog. So I know that this post seems a little late, and it has been far too long since the last time I wrote, but here we go. My birth story. Let’s start from the beginning.
It was Superbowl Sunday. We went to the Greene’s for food and football (but mostly just food.) We had all the regular junk, lots of chips and salsa. For dinner Kathy made this awesome enchillida casserole. It was delicious…and spicy! Later that evening after we got home my stomach didn’t feel good. I started to get kind of crampy. I thought maybe I had to go to the bathroom after all the spicy food. It just didn’t feel like it was settling in my stomach. So I just went to bed. My cough was still keeping me (and Nathan) awake at night so I ended up on the couch. Around 3:00 the cramping was still there and I noticed that it would start and then stop. Each cramp only lasted around 20 seconds I guessed so I started to question them. Could these be contractions? I started timing it. Sure enough the cramping would come every 8 minutes exactly and last only around half a minute. I started to get a little excited…could this really be happening?! When I woke up Nathan for work I told him about the contractions and the timings. He started to get excited! We both decided to go to work but he was on high alert for my phone call if the contractions got stronger and I felt like labor had started. So I went to school. I worked all day. I timed contractions here and there and they were very sporadic. They were also mild enough that I could walk/talk/teach through a contraction. Uncomfortable but tolerable. That afternoon when I got home I passed my mucous plug. This really got me excited so I called Nathan. We both got people all lined out to cover for us at work because we weren’t planning on coming in the next day, we were having a baby! He came home and we timed contractions through out the evening. We had already discussed that our plan was to labor at home as long as I could stand it before going to the hospital (unless my water broke.) So, we just hung out waiting on a baby. Then, around midnight, the contractions stopped! We were so frusterated. We grabbed our coats and shoes and headed outside for a walk. We walked vigorously around the block determined to get the contractions going again. No luck. So we went home and went back to bed broken-hearted.
By morning the contractions had started again and due to the lack of sleep, and being pre-arranged to not be at work, both Nathan and I stayed home. Throughout the day my contractions started to get more intense and I found myself having to breathe through them. So, we decided to take more walks. I also thought it would be a good idea to get some Costoc shopping done so the house would be stalked when we got home from the hospital. We did our Costco shopping and then went for a walk on the levy. The walking seemed to help. The contractions were getting strong enough that I would have to slow my pace way down and breathe through them. They also seemed to be getting closer together. Nathan had heard that bumpy car rides also help progress labor (old wives tale I’m sure but we were up for anything at this point) so we went for a drive to Mann Lake. And that evening…the contractions slowed down again! We timed them and they were anywhere from 6-10 minutes apart. Even though they were slowing down I had been dealing with these contractions for two days now and I was still pretty uncomfortable so we turned the hottub down to 97 degrees and we sat in the tub for a few minutes. That felt wonderful! I didn’t get any sleep that night because the contractions were strong enough that they would wake me up but were far enough apart (10 minutes) that I was able to fall asleep in between them. So Tuesday left with no baby.
Wednesday seemed much the same. Sporadic contractions that hurt but still just didn’t feel real. Everyone had told me how bad contractions were and that I would be miserable in pain. Most people said that real contractions hurt so bad you can’t think about anything but the pain. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt, but I was able to breathe through them and was just fine in between contractions so I thought it couldn’t be the real deal yet. I figured I was going through a long, drawn-out case of pre-labor. Nathan and I walked more around our block. We walked the hills at Sunset Park. We were getting so frusterated at this point. When was this going to happen?! We felt guilty about missing work but there was no way I could teach in the shape I was in and Nathan didn’t feel comfortable leaving my side. We had a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 and I couldn’t wait to be checked. We prepared ourselves for little progress. If the doctor told me I was only dilated to 2cm I just knew I would break down in tears so I had to get myself prepared for that. 3:00 finally came and off the doctor we went.
Dr. Urquhart did his check and said, “You’re dilated to 4 1/2, oh I’ll give it 5cm and 100%”
WHAT? REALLY?! Is what ran through my mind.
“You could go to the hospital now if you wanted. You’re halfway there. You’ll go from a 5 to 10 a lot quicker. The only problem is the hospital is full, there aren’t any rooms left. So, since you’ve been laboring at home so well you could go back home and see how it goes. Obviously if your water breaks head to the hospital. It’s not like they’ll make you have a baby in the hallway, they’ll find a spot for you. If you haven’t had this baby by morning I will be in at 8:00am and I’ll break your water. You’ll have a baby in the next 24 hours,” Dr. Urquhart told us.
Nathan and I just lite up…we were so excited! It was actually happening! This wasn’t pre-labor, it was real labor! 🙂 A baby in the next 24 hours? A huge sigh of relief! So we went home. One thing stayed in the front of my mind, at 37 weeks I had tested positive for Strep B and needed time for an antibiotic during labor. I kept thinking about the doctor saying that labor would go more quickly now and I wanted time for the antibiotic before delivery. So at 7:30pm we headed to the hospital.
Butterflies fluttered our stomachs as we walked into Family Beginnings. Sure enough, they were still full so we had to wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes before we got checked into a labor room. Finally, I got settled in around 8:00pm. Kayla Carr got to be my nurse. This made me happy.
This is around the time the back labor kicked into gear. Nurse Kayla said the baby was head down but facing up, it was best if he rotated for delivery. I was instructed to try two different positions to get baby to rotate. These positions HURT! I hated the birthing ball but I knew it was best for baby and I if got him to rotate so I grit my teeth and got through it.
This is when I need to give credit to my truely amazing coach. My husband is the reason this natural child birth went the way it did. He was a supportive, compassionate, active participant in my labor. (The entire time–not just in the hospital.) He held my hand every time he saw a contraction start up on the monitor. He massaged my back to help with the back labor when I was in those not-so-fun positions. He got me ice water. He turned the fan on when I got hot. He turned the fan off 5 minutes later when I got cold. He encouraged me and told me endless times what a great job I was doing. He met my every need. I couldn’t have done it without him. I whole-heartedly mean that.
So, that’s how the night went. Nathan helping me through contractions that were coming about every 5 minutes. When I was offered the epidural I turned it down because I had been doing so well for so long through the contractions. Finally, it was 4:00am and I was only dilated to 8cm. I was getting tired and loosing my focus. The mid-wife who was on call knew that Dr. Urquhart planned to break my water when he got there but I expressed to her how exhausted I was so she broke my water to get things moving a little faster. After that the next 3 hours were intense. It took all the energy I had left to maintain my focus and breathe through it. At this point I was wishing I had gotton the epidural…but finally, it was time to push!
Ohhh it felt good to push! Delivery was my favorite part. I used a mirror which enhanced my experience so much more. I am very happy I didn’t have the drugs for this part. I felt everything and found a fire inside of me to get that baby out! I felt empowered pushing and seeing his head crown in the mirror was all the drive I needed. After about 25 minutes of pushing, at 8:15 in the morning, Joshua was out and the pain instantly disappeared. I had done it. All on my own with the help of my wonderful coach.
Joshua instantly started screaming until the second he was placed on my chest. He immediately stopped crying, looked into my eyes, and grabbed his daddy’s finger. It doesn’t get better than that. Life’s most precious moment.
We are one happy little family. ❤