Sunday, November 13, 2011

Introducing Livia "Liv" James

Livia James 
October 7, 2011
7 pounds 14 ounces
20.5 inches long

Head full of black hair!Yes, she is already 5 weeks old.  
And yes, that's how long it has taken me to
find a minute to write her birth story.

Life with three children is wonderful but
very busy.   We are trying to enjoy every
"newborn" minute of Liv too because before we
know it, she will be one year old.

Being that this was our fourth child, (we lost our second
girl, Adelynn Nicole at 39 weeks, in case some of you didn't
know) we thought, this baby will come WAY BEFORE our due date!
Well, little did we know Liv had a different plan.  Liv
didn't make it to her due date... but she ALMOST did.  Baby
Liv's due date was October 10.  

We chose to not find out the sex either... so we were excited
about having a surprise at the end of long 9 months.   This
was the most difficult, sickest, tiring pregnancy that I ever
had.  Of course, I was keeping up with two young girls too.

Starting at 35 weeks, I started having contractions that were
hurting and sometimes I had to breath through them.  Um, this
went on until almost 40 weeks!  At 37 weeks, they checked my
blood pressure (as usual) and it was high.  Baby looked great
and everything else did... but my blood pressure was not
cooperating.  I was 2 cm dialated too.

Being that we wanted to have this baby with no drugs,
yes, you read that right...
NO drugs...
My wonderful and most awesome doctor ever, let
me go home and labor and come back the next week.

And the next.
And the next. 

At my 'almost 40' week appointment, 
my blood pressure was up and my reflexes were
"brisk".  Which can be a sign of preeclampsia. 

I was 3 cm dialated and SO sick.  
We were ready.

My doctor suggested breaking my water the 
next morning and keeping everything as natural as
possible.  He sent me home and I 'thought', "no problem,
I bet I go into labor naturally tonight anyway."  


I woke up the next morning at 5:30a.m. and
headed to the hospital. 

No makeup.
No cute outfit.
No "pretty" hair.
No cute shoes.

I looked like the biggest bum ever.  And I didn't care.
I was ready to labor naturally and get this show on the road!

My dearest and closest friend, Julie, drove up from
Baton Rouge, LA and met us at the hospital...
within minutes of us getting there.  
(Thank you Julie, you rock...)

My doula (labor coach) was waiting for the doctor
to break my water, then head to the hospital.  I had a great support
team:  My husband, Michael (my rock)
My sister, Nicole (who had to leave to go to work and come back
and missed the birth by 30 MINUTES!)
My best friend, Julie (who was my other rock).
And my doula, Carol Ann (the BEST money I've ever spent!)
And my unforgettable nurse, Karin, who supported our
natural birth decision 150%!

I honestly thought, the doctor would come in and break my water and
There's baby!


They broke my water at 9:15a.m. and I got up and started
walking the halls with Michael.  My doctor wanted to give
me 2 hours for contractions to start and if they didn't, we would
have to start Pitocin (which I've had before and God help me
I was NOT putting that horrible drug in my body again, IF I could
help it).

So, water is broken and I'm walking the halls and...

9:30a.m. - nothing
9:45a.m. - nothing
10:00a.m. - nothing
10:30a.m. - nothing
10:45a.m. - nothing

By this point, you see the picture.  My awesome nurse
gave me some more time before calling my doctor and my doula showed
up!  She started acupressure to try and get labor
going.  I swear, I think I walked 100 laps on the L&D floor.
Michael and Julie left to grab lunch before anything started happening. 
Nicole had to run into work for a bit and said she would be back asap.
I was happy and smiling when they left... 
and 30 minutes when they got back, 
everything changed.

I started getting more serious and breathing through my 
contractions.  I wanted cold rags because
I started getting hot.

At this point, I was still walking the halls...

I started squatting with my doula and trying to "slow dance" the 
baby down and out.

I could definitely feel a change.
I walked 2 more laps with my support team and started
hanging ONTO Michael because of the pain...
I started moaning.
And that's when I knew I was entering "active labor".

I wanted to go back into the privacy of my suite because
you wouldn't BELIEVE the looks you get from some of the other
women (in labor) or families (there waiting on a baby to 
be born) when you are laboring naturally... 
and walking around...
and moaning...
it's like they've never seen anyone labor naturally.

I went straight into my suite and labor started coming on
So fast, I started to get scared.

I danced with Michael some more
and then wanted a change.

I got on the birth ball for a while and that felt

All of the sudden I started shaking... and I 
got really nauseous.  I was covered in hands.  My doula
was doing acupressure and Michael was rubbing my back. 
My bff, Julie, was keeping cold rags on me...
it was wonderful the support I had.

Then I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't get comfortable.
I couldn't think straight.  I couldn't see straight.  
I was exhausted and wanted to run away from the contractions.

During labor, they checked me (for dialation) 2 times,
checked the baby's heart rate on the hour,
every hour, along with monitoring my blood pressure.

Karin wanted to check me  but she knew that
I did NOT want to know how far along I was dialated.
So, she didn't tell me.  I was 7 cm, I later found out.
And after that check, I thought I was going to die.  
I was holding onto the side rail for dear life.  
I knew I was getting close.

Then I got onto all fours on the bed.  I leaned onto the head of the
bed and started swaying my hips.  Everyone kept their positions of
support.  Julie brought in a bucket of ice and kept cold rags in it.
Every 2 minutes, Julie would switch out rags that were on my body.
I was SO hot the rags were getting to a "warm" temperature
while on my body.

Michael was my rock.  He kept me going through that labor. 
And it was the most painful labor I've ever had.

My doula kept telling me, "what you're feeling is normal,
you are progressing beautifully, you are getting so close, etc..."

I was moaning so loud I knew I was probably scaring every
woman on the L&D floor.  And then I thought, "who cares!  God, please
get me through this..."

The last thing I remember clearly is saying, "God... Oh my God..." and
my doula saying, "God is the only one who will get you through this."
And boy, was she right.

I don't remember much past this point.  It is like a dream to me.
I felt like I was out of my body... and what was going ON with
my body, I had NO control over.  I just let go...

And then I asked for drugs.
I remember this part clearly.
Then I think I might have cried for drugs?

I kept saying how scared I was of the pain that I was about to go
My doula, Carol Ann, said, "it's not going to get more painful
than this... this is as bad as it will get..."

This made me feel better because I really thought I was

Karin checked me one more time and yet again, didn't
say a word about how far along I was... later I found out
I was at 8 cm.
During each contraction all I could feel was pain and a horrible
burning sensation going down both of my thighs.
It burned so bad I thought my legs were cramping.
And they probably were, but I thought they were on fire.
I threw one of my legs out and started doing stretches to
try and stop the burning.
I had two more really good contractions and started feeling
pushy at the end of them.
And I thought I was going to vomit at the end of each of these contractions...
so I knew I was closer.

Then out of nowhere I
stopped moaning,
stopped feeling pain,
stopped feeling scared.

I turned myself around on the bed VERY fast
and quietly started
bearing down.
I couldn't control it at all.
My body started pushing out of nowhere...
which was a little bit scary, but also
so incredibly awesome.

I didn't do anything.
My body did everything.
I closed my eyes and let my body take over...
and it did...
the next thing I heard was,
"there's the head!"

And then my body gave 2 more pushes
there was Baby Reed.
Karin put her on top of me,
skin to skin
and I felt the most incredible high of my life.

I have never felt anything so amazing...
I was crying,
so incredibly proud of myself.

Michael said,
"it's another girl!"

Livia "Liv" James
Born at 2:35p.m. on a beautiful October afternoon.

I remember looking at him and crying,
"I did it!  I did it!"

Liv came out in just a few pushes and honestly,
the pushing felt great and didn't hurt like I had
anticipated it would.  Just LOTS of pressure.

My doctor came in later and said,
"you couldn't wait, could you?"
And he laughed.
My nurse, Karin, delivered Liv and my doctor
thought that was hilarious.

Liv stayed on me for at least 30 minutes, skin to skin,
which is what we wanted.

I had the birth that I always envisioned myself having.
I couldn't believe I did it.
No drugs.
No IV.
No Pitocin.

It was exactly what we wanted all along...
thank you God for helping me through...

Moments after having Liv... skin to skin...

The most awesome L&D nurse in the world... Karin.
She delivered Liv.

I did it!!!  Still glowing...

So excited about the girls seeing Liv for the first time... and yes, STILL glowing! :D

All of my sweet girls...

It doesn't get any sweeter than this...

My love...

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