Jaxson's Birth Story
Nothing about my birth story was as I had had it planned out in my
head. I had expected their to be some "bumps" along the way and my
birth plan was a bit flexible but there were a few things I was
adamant about not having..... and you know what, all those things
Let's back up a bit. My name is Ashley and I blog over here.
I have two wonderful little ones. Jaxson is almost three and Kendra is
just about a year and a half (time flies)! Both of my pregnancies were
filled with really uncommon complications, but both my babies were and
are healthy to this day.
Being pregnant with Jaxson was a dream come true for me. My husband
and I had been actively trying for a full year when we got the good
news. Finally! Because of complications early on we decided it best
that I quit work and take it easy during my pregnancy. Being
home a lot I had ample time to envision and plan what I wanted for my
birth. I became very well informed and took multiple classes, joined
baby forums and asked all my friends for advice.
I decided that although I was open to the idea of an epidural I really
wanted to try to go natural. I also did not want to be induced for any
reason at all. I figured my baby would come when he felt he needed to.
I planned on just having my hubby with me in the room as a coach, and
that we would not have any visitors for the first four or five hours
to give us time to bond. I was also so excited to use the jacuzzi tub
to relax and ease the pain of contractions. I didn't mind the
monitoring of the baby with the belts but I was against any internal
monitors, feeling that they would be unnecessary. I liked the idea of
being able to be up and moving as much as possible and I really didn't
want a catheter (previous bad experience).
Well... it seems my body had other plans for me. Around 30 weeks I
ended up in the hospital (an hour away from home) on strict bedrest
due to PPROM (pre term premature rupture of membranes). In other
words, my water had broken but my body didn't go into labor. This is
very uncommon; less than 3% of pregnancies have their water break this
early. Because my fluid levels remained within the healthy zone I
would not have to deliver right away. The plan was to keep me on
strict bedrest under constant monitoring. If my levels dipped too low,
or the baby went into distress caused by infection, (which can be very
common in this scenario) then I would be rushed in for an immediate c
The risk of infection drastically goes up with each passing day of
your water being broken. Our goal was to get to as close to 35 weeks
as possible. After 35 weeks doctors believe that the risk of infection
and harm to baby greatly outweighs the risk of early delivery. So, if
I hadn't gone into labor by 35 weeks then I was to be induced. I
didn't want to be induced but I prayed to make it to 35 weeks because
that would give my little guy the best chance of not having any
serious health problems.
On my 35th week of pregnancy I was induced. Now let me tell you, I had
no basis of comparison at this point so I thought this is just what
contractions feel like. Well, I know a bit better now. I can tell you
that pitocin is hard on your body. The contractions ( to me) felt much
stronger and more intense. It was a bit slow going in the beginning
because I was only dilated to 1cm and my body wasn't ready to do this
on it's own. Eventually, with a steady increase of pitocin things got
I walked around A LOT, sat in the tub and bounced on my birthing ball
(which I highly recommend) for 26 hours. At this point, I was mentally
and physically exhausted. I hadn't dilated passed a 3 at this point
and there was talk of a c-section. I begged and pleaded to give me
more time, which they did. Let me say this, the hospital that I was at
was a top of the line due to the special circumstances and they were
so wonderful. All the labor and delivery nurses had only one patient
during their shift and they were always 100% focused on you.
Back to the delivery. I started to realize that if I did end up
dilating to a 10 and was given the chance to push out my baby that I
might not have the strength to do it. I so badly, did not want an
epidural but my body was screaming at me that it needed rest. You see,
I had lost so much muscle mass and strength from laying in bed for
five weeks. I decided that I really did not want a c-section if there
was a chance of vaginal birth. I relented and got the epidural and it
was the best thing for me. I was able to finally relax and get some
sleep. Which, in turn, helped my labor progress more.
Just when we were in the home stretch the nurse rechecked my vitals
and found that my temperature was high, which meant that I had likely
developed an infection. I had made it five weeks without getting an
infection and NOW I was getting one. The doctor came in to
check on my progress and I was told that if I hadn't made in any
change in the next hour or if my temp got any higher than we would
need to proceed with a c-section. I felt a little defeated ( not
because I think there is anything wrong with a c-section) because I
had done all this work for nearly 36 hours and I didn't want it to be
for nothing. To my surprise, I was fully dilated and ready to
I have to say pushing wasn't how I expected it to be. I know it is
different for every person but I imagined myself to be a screamer.
Oddly enough, I was pretty silent. I just kind of went into a zone. I
didn't feel much pain, just pressure. I pushed for over two hours but
they flew by!
At 10:05 pm on April 23rd, Jaxson entered the world. I didn't cry at
first because I was still so nervous. Because he was a preemie,
I was unable to hold him right away. The NICU team whisked him away to
perform a battery of tests. To all of our surprise, he was breathing
completely on his own and showed no signs of any abnormalities which
can be common at that age. He even weighed almost 7 lbs! Had he gone
full term he may have been 11 lbs!
When I finally got to hold him we locked eyes and I allowed myself to
let go and finally cry. We had made it and he was okay. Although, I
didn't have the birth I envisioned it didn't matter one bit in that
instant. The end result is all the same; a happy healthy baby and that
is all I could ask for. You see, you can plan all you want but
sometimes those plans just have to go out the window and you just have
to trust in your Doctors, nurses and God.
Stay tuned to hear Shauna's C-Section/NICU birth story next week!