Aug 22, 2014

Theo's birth story

Written on August 8 2014

August 1: Drew was with Finn downstairs starting breakfast (little bugger woke up extra early that day at 6:45) and I woke up at 7am with my first contraction. It was really light and coulda been mistaken for a period cramp, had I not been pregnant... But since I had been there before with Finn, and with back labor, i knew from that moment on that Theo would be coming very soon.

I fell asleep and again, woken up at 7:45 with the exact same feeling. So, I got out of bed and started my day.

Went downstairs and ate some eggs and toast. Then while Finn watched a show, I made myself a good breakfast and Went on a walk with the three amigos. It was an extra exciting walk because we got a fancy stroller and I wanted to see what it was like around the block. Feeling a contraction while on the walk felt good..and I could tell walking made them come stronger. So I made us walk up a steep part of the hill. When we got home, I scrubbed the kitchen sink so clean that my hands were on fire and sore. I just had the urge to do it and knew that people would be using my sink a lot during labor. While at the sink, I nonchalantly mentioned I had a few contractions to Drew and he squeezed Finn by the fridge and told him we were having a baby. But I knew he didn't believe me because the last time I told him that, we'll, he simply didn't believe me.

Then i made Finns lunch bag and got ready to meet friends for a park/pool date. I told myself I wouldn't get too excited if it for some reason was false labor and considered not mentioning it to Lauren and Amanda in case they got me too excited and I for some reason would ginx it ;) besides, I was two days early and with Finn being late ...I really had low expectations.

I texted my doula Wendy on the way over to the park.. letting her know it's possibly early labor.

Well I did tell Lauren and Amanda and didn't feel contractions while with them. They may have stopped completely, or I was too busy swimming and playing with Finn to notice.

It was nearing his bed time and I was worried I missed the opportunity to put him down because he rubbed his eyes for a while at the pool... And if I miss that window, he doesn't sleep for 2-4 hours but rather 45 min!

Got in the car- wanted to go to target  to get him a floaty thing and costco to get fruit snacks but again, sleepy boy and he didn't have pants to wear. While in the car, i felt another contraction after not feeling one for a while. This was around 12:30pm.  And this got me excited and my doubts started drifting away.a

Put Finn down at 1... And cleaned like crazy! I also quickly took the old red paint off my toe nails since I wouldn't have time to get he pedicure a friend had gifted me! ( I was so glad I did because I stared at my toes A LOT during labor.

Drew got picked up from my dad and they went to lunch. Again I didn't really tell him what was happening. They say denial is the best thing to progress in labor. While he was there, I had a very strong contraction that made me grab my phone and text him that's it was actually happening. He told me later that he still didn't really believe me but my dad ended up calling my mom to tell her.

We had plans that afternoon to celebrate my nephew Jack's golden 8th birthday at Doheny and was still sorta was planning on it if the contractions were manageable.

Well, Finn woke at 1:45 like I predicted and I remember going to get drew to lift him out because I had pulled a muscle a few days before and didn't want to strain again. The kid is HEAVY!

By this time (2pm), the contractions started pickin up their pace and I knew we wouldn't make it to the party. I started needing counter pressure on my back from Drew.

We went downstairs and I had drew blow up the birthing ball. Finn was havin a Hayday with it!

It was kinda perfect that the party was happening so that Finn could go and run around. So called up my mom and she came and took him and would bring him back for bedtime at 7. I wanted to keep his life just as the same as possible so he transitions to life with brother and not all about him- easier.

2:12 was my first contraction that lasted a minute. From then on, if they stayed that way, and still 5 minutes apart for one whole hour, I would page the midwife on call.

3pm is when we called because they didn't stay at 5 minutes apart- they jumped to 4! At this point.. I was still cleaning and actually emptied out my side of the drawers and re folded them. I also made a Salvation Army pile, as well as put all my maternity clothes into a box for the garage. I wanted to stay distracted. And actually having the daylight and windows open, helped me so much! Physically and mentally (same thing right? :)

I also called my photographer in LA- Christine and no call back.

The midwife was Andi, who was there the majority of Finn's labor, and she was at home and wanted me to talk to her about what was has happening. No, my water didn't break, no bloody show...that kinda stuff. I had a bad contraction with her on the phone and she waited the minute for me to be done. She wanted me to go get in the shower, and she would call back in 30 to see if the contractions slowed, or if they stayed the same or sped up...then she would know if she should come. So I hopped in and drew sat on the the toilet timing them. They were def. the same and speeding up. So she started her trek from Tustin.

Around 4:45, Wendy and the birth assistant nurse Jen got there. Jen asked if I wanted to be checked - I did. I was only at a 5... Repeat to my last birth. I was ok with it because I knew it was still afternoon- but in the back of my head wondered if I would really go to Aug 2.

Christin got back to me and said she was in burbank and couldn't make it down on time since it was a Friday and she would probably miss it. So I sent a text to Amanda who knew I was in labor, and asked if she could snap some shots. She of course said yes, canceled a family shoot she had, and would come when we told her she should.

Andi got there around 5:30. I was still roaming about but they were too close together to clean or do much. But I did look at some film that I adjust got emailed about. It was a fun distraction. I remember looking out eh window being so grateful it was daylight and not dark like with Finns.

A lot of of my labor, I was on all 4's- with Wendy on the he couch, reading my one-a-day lines from my book and drew doing counter pressure. We were downstairs for the majority and then decided to labor in baby's room. I tried eating some toast but was just too nauseous. So all I really had was Gatorade. She also braided my hair so everything was out of my face. Loved it!

I start to blur out what happened next but pretty sure we just went back downstairs... I had Andi check me. Still at a 5! I couldn't believe it. By this time it was almost 7. Tub was being filled up and Amanda had walked in to take birth photos. I didn't see her but during a contraction Drew whispered that's she was there. Once that sucker was filled, I hopped in, and WOW what a relief! I often think of the tub as natural birth's epidural because it really does work miracles.

Amanda snapped some shots and we joked with her on extreme wren contractions. Andi and Jen were outside eating Chinese take-out with the backyard lights on which were nice to look at. But I couldn't help it wish I had dusted the table off before they got there! Leaves were all over it. And my dying basil plant.

We told Amanda to come back when things picked up because I was pretty down about still being at a 5. She said that she will a come no matter what time of night and would keep her phone on loud. We told her to not think like that and baby will come before midnight!!

Once she left, that became my goal and I said it out loud to Andi... That I wanted to be all cuddled up in bed by midnight so baby needed to come by 10pm. Everyone thought that was a great idea so that became my focus. I then never I laborered in a position other then a squat sorta position. My knees were on the ground with my heels touching- so onto get totally a squat (because if you know labor, that's not super fun to be in!)

Wendy was whispering things in my ear from this amazing book I was as lost finished with- called The Gift of Giving Life... I loved hearing excerpts from it because it reminded me why I was putting myself through so much physical hurt.

Andi came over (my guess this was 8:30) and asked me if i wanted to continue laboring upstairs because she thought things were slowing down and part of my birth plan was I wanted a change of scenery.. (Which looking back, i think shr thought things wrrr slowing down because I was just handling them really well!) so I kinda fought with her and told her there was no way I was getting out of that amazing tub and if I was forced to go up there, I'd have to get in our bathtub. They of course told me that'd be a stupid idea since it's ceramic and uncomfortable. Wendy might have said something to her, and she let me do what I wanted..stay in the tub. Disclaimer: I apologized later for my rudeness ;)

Wendy also started whispering things like "your cervix is opening.... Making way for baby, baby is coming down..." And once I started visualizing those things happening, things started to pick up. And fast.

This is when the contractions were one on top of each other, or at least like a 5 sec break.. And I kept saying, "he's so close, he's so close!" And they all just told me that was great news but no one took it seriously until I was constantly moaning and groaning and then Andi asked to check me in the water. I told her she had it ob be so fast because it hurt to be on my back during a contraction. She did, and said I was at a 9.5!!!!! And I was past transition! And if i reached down I could feel his head. So I did and Kinda felt squishy stuff but nothing like a crown. In my head, I needed to feel that crown to move forward so it was go time for me! While checking me, she pulled the cervix forward so I would dilate again. We called Amanda (she lives two blocks away, a 30 sec drive) and told her I was close. Not really sure when she got there but prob soon after.

During this time I remember saying things like "never again am I having another baby" or "women should get awards for natural birth" or "how could I forget this pain!" Ha! But really, it's intense and not something I look forward to again!

All of the sudden, outta no where, no position felt right anymore and I was VERY uncomfortable. But i did get on all fours in case he really did want to come out right then. I KNEW his head had to be right there and literally my body started pushing him out without me doing a thing! I could feel his head come out, and the glorious ring of fire- and yelled "I'M TEARING!!!!!" And then she reached down to feel and I remember Andi saying "gentle pushes!" But I wasn't pushing! It me so surreal. There was a pause between his body and his head- and that hurt but no way around itMy body was doing its own thing. And maybe 10 seconds later, there he was! Andi was behind me with Drew In the front and Andi sorta pushed Theo towards Drew so he could bring him up outta the water. He def let out a big cry that Finn never did- but I don't blame him! He prob had no time to mentally prepare his arrival either! ;)

I wish so badly I could say it was euphoric and that I was crying of happiness, but I was in so much pain from him shooting out of me so quickly, that I just had to sit back and not think about what just happened. They kept telling me to keep his body underwater cuz it was cold. The a/c must have been on! My sweet boy was here finally and that's all I cared about. I was in a serious amount of pain though and kept wishing I would stop time and just soak him up.

Getting out of the tub was the last thing I wanted to do.. Because that meant pain and dry air. (With Finn's, I didn't feel pain *down there* until the day afterwards- so this was an extra big bummer that it was all happening right then and there).

I laid on the couch and waited for the after birth, meanwhile I am trying to nurse the little man. He wasn't latching on and just wanted to be held and maybe even sleep! I really wanted him to nurse to distract from the pain. And then in walks Lindsay, my dear sister (in law but more like a sister) and she thought she was walking in on my labor.. then she saw his little feet and was shocked he was here! She wanted to be here for the labor but we kept putting her off..not wanting her to just be waiting for the baby.. but Drew told her a little late that I was still not progressing... Theo did come pretty quick! We all didn't expect it.

In the end, it was an amazing experience. The entire thing, from finding out I was pregnant on Finn's 11 month birthday, to telling Finn he was going to get a baby brother, to him realizing that he actually had a brother in my tummy, to all the ups and downs that come with pregnancy, to a great labor in the day with an intense way of pushing him out- I would do it all the same if that means I get my Theo boy.

He is already such a light in our home. He is already so I diff than Finn was at this age which makes sense because in the womb he was so different as well! He has his days and his nights mixed up right now so we are workin on that ;) and I can't wait til i til I am totally healed up and I cans start life as a mom of two. Right now I feel like just mom to Theo since I canst lift Finn and everyone else is taking care of Finn for me.

I love having best of both worlds. A sleepy cuddly totally dependent newborn, and a slobbery, wild toe heads toddler who is still trying to up his vocab from what he has had for a year. It's going to be a wild ride, that's for sure! And I realize how blessed we are that the labor went really well - and no crazy ride to ambulance like everyone imagined would happen (people happened to be more freaked out of y home birth this time around than my first, but may midwives reassured me that chases were very low that something would happen because Finn's was a dream and with each good pregnancy, the following ones should be ok. He is also healthy! Something I for sure don't want to take for granted.

I was particularly excited about this birth this time around because I knew what to expect. But because I knew what to expect, I also had a lot of anxiety. I would randomly get a back contraction and flash back to my 12 hours of labor with Finn. Or be in conversation with a friend about having a baby in August and it would hit me- there's no way out of this! Haha! I guess there always was the option of the glorified epidural, and trust me, I wanted it bad during parts of my labor.

I am once again very grateful for South Coast Midwifery and giving me the confidence I always had that my body can birth my child the way I visualized it. That's another thing that has helped so much with getting Theo here. Visualization. And thanks to my doula for teaching me that anything can happen if you visualize it.

Theo Holland Capener
7lb 14oz 21.25inches long
Aug 1 9:04pm

The morning after, around 7:30am, I called Amanda to have him come take photos of Theo in morning light, as well as Finn meeting baby brother for the first time. It was cute, Theo was asleep when Amanda came over, and then we wanted to change him or move him or something, and he started to cry, and Finn heard him from downstairs. Drew caught it on camera, before he was crying and after. Finn said "Baby!" Then they walked upstairs. First thing he did was find the binky on the shelf next to my bed, and tried putting it in his mouth.

All photographs by Amanda Castleberry except the obviously beautiful iphone ones :)

1 comment:

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Congratulations!!! So wonderful. I'm 33 wks today and gearing up for this second babe. Can't wait!! Thank you for sharing. Xox