Apr 18, 2018

Mila's Birth Story, April 18, 2017

Mila's birth story..

Started writing April 24, 2017

It almost feels too soon to be writing this, but I know I will forget details and as rough as the labor was, it's her story and the way she decided to come into the world. So I can't hide from it. Even though I am a little traumatized by it.

To me, it all started Sunday night, Easter night on April 16. I put Theo down, Papa put Finn down. We've always had really great sleeping children.. I can literally count on one hand how many nights the two of them have given us trouble at night, or a rough time falling asleep. They're pretty dreamy in that department. But this night, both of them- were crying out for us, separately and at different times. They sleep in separate rooms and probably can't hear each other because of the distance and their white noise in their rooms. But almost 20-30 minutes after they were laid down & lights out, they were crying for us. Theo especially, bawling his eyes out. We took turns soothing him and he said he just wanted to be held. Finn was also sad but not hysterical like Theo was. I picked Theo up and brought him into Mila's room where his old rocking chair is now sitting. And I just held him until he was almost asleep. 

Then we watched some show and I went to bed before it ended, around 9:30.

Then random times during the night, like midnight and 2am.. Theo would walk into our room, or cry from his room asking for us. Super super strange! Poor Drew was the one answering him because every time I got up, it was a fiasco- with my massive pregnancy pillow. Then come 4am (April 17), I was woken up urgently by a dream, of a baby popping a big balloon, and when it was popped, blood came spewing out and hitting my face. Well, just so happened it was my actual water (haha). That's never happened to me before. Labor has always started with contractions, then my waters break just minutes before they appear. So I didn't realize it was my waters, I assumed it was blood because it felt like that. And a lot of it. And it was pitch black. I yell to Drew "BLOOD!" and run into the bathroom. 

I have Drew text our Midwife Lindsey from my phone and tell her my waters broke and no contractions to follow. This was mind boggling to me because here I was, feeling the need to text my midwife right away, when there was no contractions, BUT my only experience with water breaking, was baby coming out within 10-20 minutes. So my sleepy brain fog was thinking that all of the discomfort I had been in for a few weeks was actually me dilating and I MUST be at like an 8 and contractions would just begin and here would come baby. (OR maybe no contractions at all.. cuz my body is just that awesome (ha!))

There was also this desperation in my brain- like "i need to get baby out before they send me to the hospital" type desperation.. because of infection or whatever.

I laid in bed with these crazy thoughts flowing and my body just waiting for any feeling of the kind of discomfort that back labor brings. And with these thoughts, a lot more fluid kept coming out and random big gushes of it. I fell back asleep by 5am, and Drew got up with the kids (like he has been doing since I got pregnant with her, bless him) and let me sleep until like 8am- when the boys came in to greet me. 

Finn was asking me what the plans were that day, and I told him that I didn't know what he'd be doing, but I would probably have the baby that day. He asked me how I knew, and I told him about the waters breaking, and he did not understand, nor did he care. So funny because he's so curious about everything else in the world!

I had texted some of the people that were to play an important role in the birth (video, photo, doula..) and let them know, then later texted some friends that had told me they'd want to be there for the birth. Just a heads up but that no contractions yet. Drew had plans to go to Disneyland first thing in the AM and meet his brother Sam & his GF Taylar from Utah. But he stayed behind just in case, and instead my mom came and grabbed the kids. She kept Finn with her, and Theo went to Lindsays house to play with Kai & Naomi. 

Drew wanted me to take my mind off of the lack of contractions.. we were certain if I could do this, they would come. My body has done this twice now, almost seamlessly, why would this one be any different??? 

I walked Lady and while on my walk with her, I was texting my midwife and she said that we can either just forget all about it or get things going with some tinctures. Because I was worried I wouldn't contract before times up for the hospital, I agreed to the tincture method. Looking back, I should have just relaxed!!!! But I do wish I would have been told how much time I had. Because if she really said to just relax, then I should have taken that advice.

So we went and did a drive thru car wash for the mini van, and then drove to the pier to walk the baby into contractions (so much for taking our mind off of it, right?).. well when got to the pier, and it was 60 degrees, foggy & windy.. so before paying the meter, we just hopped back in the car. On our way home, I sat the chair super upright, and spread my legs as if I were on a yoga ball, and started feeling some good back & pelvic pressure. This got me super excited but I didn't tell Drew. It was a very familiar feeling I had with Finn & Theo's labor. Then we decided it wouldn't hurt to do stairs. Besides, isn't that on the list of the typical things people do to induce labor naturally? 

So we did some stairs at the Lobo Park, pretty close to the Bean's house. And then stopped at Circle K to get Drew a drink & I got a massive cup of chewy ice.

Went home, sat on the yoga ball and bounced and did circles to get baby sitting on my cervix, for a good hour. And watched Grey's Anatomy. Turns out, I was like a month behind on all of my shows! So I figured I could catch up just by sitting on the ball. But then that got terribly boring and I didn't like just watching TV without working or doing a project.. so I went upstairs and started doing the 4 loads of laundry. Did that in a squatting but bum on the floor position, hoping that would kick things into gear. 

We head to  the harbor to meet our midwife's mom, who had the tinctures for us. Turns out, two of the homeopathic ones were what I took to induce Finn's long pregnancy, and the other one was pretty nasty but strong & would get things going (i had to drink that one. it was pretty bad).

On the back of these things, they say to take em a couple times a day or whatever.. and rotate them. But my midwife had me taking one of them, every 15 minutes! And that we would reevaluate after about 5 or 6 hours of them. So much for taking my mind off of the entire fiasco. Every 15 minutes I was reminded that I wasn't in labor and could potentially end up in the hospital.

We went and got some sandwiches at a favorite place in Dana Point, probably the best part of the entire day. I accidentally ordered the biggest size, thinking I ordered the regular, but it was great because the next day I got to eat the other half! It was there at the deli that I started the horrific herb cycle. 

Got home, cried my eyes out that STILL nothing was happening. Worried about the hospital, sad my kids weren't there to comfort me. And I could have easily watched them all day, and made it feel like any other day, except  I may have fallen asleep. And mean while, I would randomly feel a strong contraction, then I would text Lindsey, and then it would go away, as if my body knew I was texting her, and jinxing myself. So I stopped reporting any pressure I was feeling to her. 

Thing is, she wanted to know since she wasn't super close to San Clemente and wanted to make it in time in case it was a fast labor. So as I was telling everyone else that I would text them when it was ACTUALLY happening, I had to keep her in the loop. 

I showered around 5pm, and asked for the boys to come back. I needed to feel like it was a normal day and it felt weird not to have them back for naps like we normally do. So they came back, exhausted from a fun day at the pool with all the cousins. Had a mellow night and Papa fed them dinner.

Started writing again July 10

Kids went down around 7 and Drew left for soccer around 8:30- a tiny bit later than normal because he felt bad leaving me but I told him that I was more than certain the contractions would come once he left, because that's what we do every Monday night. 

Sure enough, by 8:40, my first REAL ONE showed up. I was laying down and just had started a movie, and it was STRONG. My doula Becky, JUST texted me like literally a minute prior to my first contraction, that she was heading to bed and to of course text her if I needed her to come. But it had been all day texting with her back and forth about if contractions had started and I figured she'd need a break, and sleep. So I opted out of texting her. (hind sight, bad decision! I should have had her all night long! What's one night of no sleep?? nothing!)

I took a bath and waited for Drew. I texted him when they started and told him it would be best not to go get drinks at the gas station like he sometimes does with friends. I also texted Lindsey that they were for reals.. and about 9:20 i told her to start heading down. She and her assistant Ashley, showed up basically 2 minutes around 10:10 after Drew got home and he had quickly showered. Soon after, Rachel, photographer/birth junkie friend showed up.. and Annie, my dear friend who I had hired beforehand (from Jen's auction) to be there for the video. 

Midwife Lindsey had prepped me during my prenatals, that this could go very quickly since it's my 3rd baby. So I had that in mind and she said she would quickly be down once contractions started. But that's not how it happened. I wish SO BAD she had never told me that. What she should have said, was, a lot of 3rd time babies do their own thing!! Because turns out, that's a normal thing for A LOT OF MOMS. I learned that after Mila was born. From a lot of moms.

Contractions were sporatic, and never the same amount of time consistently.. sometimes it was short in between, sometimes much longer.. when they should be getting longer in length and shorter in between each contraction... Very annoying and frustrating. Especially since Finn & Theo's births were textbook births.. (insert roll eyes emoticon).

This was a really weird out of body experience for me. I am 100% by the book person, and when it comes to home birth, you naturally want to latch onto some routine or something you know, to ease your mind and make you feel more comfortable. Theo's home birth, I latched onto Finn's experience and then now with Mila's birth, I was reaching for what happened with Theo. Short and simple. So quick.

Continued writing January 26, 2018
A lot of people were there at the house, Rachel, Lindsey, Annie and Ashley (assistant). While the birth pool was heating up, I was in the kitchen & living room, roaming back & forth. Brittney or Lindsay Lundquist wasn't there yet and I could sense the attitude from our midwife that anymore people would worry her. But I brushed it off and assumed all would be ok. I had also told them prior at my prenatals, like a warning, that I would love for a lot of people to be there.

Well, Britt & linds came. I think right after I just hopped in the water.. and a flood of anxiety went through my body because I was worried about what Lindsey the midwife would think. I could see the look on her face that she wasn't happy about it.

Lindsay would give me a head massages and it was amazing. I cried on her shoulder at one point and I loved having her. She was like a calm spot to go to. She would be an amazing doula one day. She has such a sweet voice & warm heart. 

Britt was watching from the chair by the windows, and I could see on her face that she was amazed at what was happening. She was there because I told her to come join the party, since she loved birth so much. Why not. So she did. I'm so glad she did. She came over to the side of the tub to french braid my hair back, and then freaked when a contraction came on strong and she couldn't do it fast enough.. so Annie took her place. 

A lot of in & out of the water. To the bathroom & back. Some more of that nasty herbal stuff. This was when I was starting to go nuts. The tone in my midwife's voice started getting more harsh & annoyed. And this didn't help because I could tell Mila wasn't very close to coming. At one point, Lindsey told my friends to make small talk with each other (not with me, which I thought was so weird, and so did they, haha). I was starting to go more crazy at that point. Trying to be in my zone while they're chatting with each other about whatever. I wanted them to be with me. I was OK with them just staring at me. There's always been a huge part of who I am, that doesn't want to put people out or make people uncomfortable, so when I saw that Lindsey was annoyed, and then I realized that my friends could be there alllll night.. it started to worry me. But I was proud of myself because I told myself to get over that...for Mila's birth. I was so proud! I feel like that feeling of accomplishment was all taken away (an hour or so later)..when the team told my friends to head upstairs to give me space. I felt alone.

Nothing was happening in that warm tub, so we got out and went up to my bed. I agreed with Lindsey at that point, that maybe some privacy and cuddle time with Drew would help. So we went up to the bed and spooned. And let contractions just come laying down. That was VERY PAINFUL. Looking back, maybe I should have embraced the pain, but it wasn't bringing me peace. I wanted that tub!!! Ashley was waiting outside my door to hear for words like "i need to poop" or "she's coming!".. and none of that really happened. I was uncomfortable most with my water leaking and being half wet from the water. It was about midnight at this point.

They had me move to the stairs. I felt like things started progressing then. Probably my favorite part of the labor. When a contraction would come, I would let me body dig into it while holding onto the banister.

The birth crew felt like I wasn't letting go and my body wasn't progressing because my friends were there watching. But I had told them before hand that this is what I had wanted. With Finns birth, almost no one was there.. and it made for a long experience and I enjoyed the times that anyone would walk in and make small talk with me. Then with Theo, my doula Wendy would be super chatty with me and I loved it! And made a mental note to make sure to have more people there and loved ones supporting me, for my 3rd birth. So I made sure this happened. Helped that the photographer & video were my good good friends! Double win. 

Ashley & Lindsay literally told them to go upstairs and to not surface again until baby was just about here. This REALLY bummed me out. I felt like I wasn't being given what I wanted, and that I didn't have a voice. In my own home. Not cool.

It was dead in the middle of the night and I feel like the four of us were all ready to bite each other's heads off. Super negative tone. I was running on zero sleep for like 30 hours or whatever... my midwife had just been in the hospital over Easter weekend, helping a friend and her husband as he passed away from cancer. It was all very sad and exhausting for her. Since I never texted Becky back about coming & about my real contraction, Drew was 100% my doula. So Drew was pooped. In hindsight, she should have been there all along.

My darkest moments were on the couch, bum up in the air and Ashley was doing a movement on my stomach to get baby's head in a better position. Poor girl was working harder than I've ever seen anyone in a birth. Bless her! Lindsey was falling in & out of sleep & so was Drew. When Ashley finished with my stomach, she too fell asleep, and I even found myself asleep during long breaks. And each time, I'd wake in a panic when I could feel it coming on. A panic, because Drew is literally asleep, snoring, on the ground with his body wedged & held up by the coffee table & the couch.. it was super dim and  the girls were up in the playroom. This is like around 3 am. 

I was starting to go to a weird place & wanting to just run away from the birth crew. I wanted my friends there but felt like I wasn't allowed to ask for them to come back. We were on the couch for a good 3 hours ish- and then the sun started to come up. I got into the pool again, mainly for a change of scenery. I got some of a natural purple energy drink from Ashley to give me an extra boost since I'd been up all night. It was about 5:30am. I think around this point, Lindsey texted Becky, my doula, and told her that I needed a new face and some new energy. Thank the heavens for that!

Becky shows up & immediately starts rubbing some oils on my shoulders in between contractions, and down my back during contractions. It was like heaven's doors opened up. She really should have been there the entire time. But again, this is the way Mila's birth happened and I'm trying to be OK with it all! Becky is whispering in my ear super positive affirmations and I just loved hearing it. Like I do freaking rock. I'm amazing for being patient with my body. I AM going to see Mila soon. Stuff like that.

Girls are still up in hiding but Rachel came down with her camera, later telling me she didn't care and wanted to take some pics with the sun finally up. The sunlight definitely gave me a boost, and then soon, Annie was bringing Finn down since he'd just woken up. I LOVED seeing Finn. It was really great!!!! He gave me some lovin and he & Theo went off to my mom's. Since it was a Tuesday, Finn had school at Ms. Megans' so we made sure he had his school stuff.

 It all kinda just started happening.. the "my body is ejecting this baby without me pushing" ... I had this EXACT feeling when Theo was born, my jaw just felt immense pressure (like I couldn't close my jaw) and I turned and went on all fours, and I called the birth crew over to make sure I didn't tear, because I did so bad with Theo when he just shot out of me. Ashley jumped in (which isn't normal but I loved it! haha!) and I (think) she put her fingers up to guide her head out rather than her head shooting out like Theo's did. And I truly believe this helped me have a great recovery! Not much tearing at all. Meanwhile I'm grabbing Lindsey's arms for dear life so that I could control some of it since I wasn't pushing her out in a controlled way. (That birth position on all fours man... whew!)

Out she came, not really a cry actually. Just pure love and she looked right up at me! (6:23am April 18)

It was wild & exhausting & looking back, I would have done a lot of things different. Since she's our last child, a part of me is sad that my last birthing experience was so chaotic and exhausting, but I have to get to a place where I'm OK with it. I want my Mila girl to be a strong birther, if she ever has babies of her own. And I don't want her to think she affected any of this. A lot of it was me and my own head, like I was so worried I would be rushed into the hospital if my water broke and she didn't come for 24 or 48 hours. That's A LOT OF HOURS and chances were, she would come. I should have just relaxed, and when they did come, Becky should have been there. To be my voice & to be my rock.

We are so lucky to have little Mila in our lives. She makes us so happy! Perfect book end to our little family.

HUGE Thank you to Rachel for these photos below!!!! She's one of my soul sisters. And a magician with a camera.

Another HUGE thank you to Annie for making a sweet video for us to cherish every single day!!

And for my girls Britt + Linds for sleeping in my playroom and being there when I needed you!

Thank you to my doula Becky for showing up just when I needed you the most!! <3

And for Ashlee & Linds for everything!!! You guys make a great team!! You give a voice to so many woman that may feel voiceless anywhere else.

Jan 26, 2018

November 2016 - Family Photos

Taken back in November 2016 by Walker Boyes, above San O. Finn JUST turned 4, and Theo was a little over 2 years old. I was about 4 months pregnant with Mila! 18 weeks ish I think. Oh how I wish those days could have stood still. Good thing I have these photos & some good videos!!!!! I love my boys so much. 

^ Our christmas card