May 25, 2018


We had another baby. That is what happens when you don't write in your blog for 2.5 years. 

First of all, I was so nervous about adding a third kid after such a hard second kid. We kept putting off the decision until our genetic testing was done, making sure we weren't risking another one with tuberous sclerosis. And that testing took a long time, getting Seth tested first to isolate which gene we were looking at, getting insurance approval for Sam and I, waiting for results, etc. On a Friday afternoon in early August 2017, I got the phone call telling us that we had not passed anything on to Seth, that he was a random anomaly, and that future kids of ours had a less than 1% chance of having the same thing. Cool. I texted Sam about "ready to have another baby? haha" as a joke, but he responded "yes." Um, what? Turns out it was just me with the nervousness holding me back. But maybe I needed to let go of the fear and do it anyway. I had told myself that a decision would need to be made after the genetic testing, after all. And so, I spent the weekend praying and fasting and basically just asking for reassurance that having another baby would not be a terrible, terrible idea. That we could do it. That everything would be ok. I got a very clear answer that I needed to be brave and that He would be with me, no matter what kinds of hard days happened in the future. So, since I happened to be ovulating that weekend also, we immediately got pregnant. Which, if you know me, is basically a miracle by itself. Carter took almost a year and a half and fertility meds, Seth took nine months and fertility meds, but this one? One and done, my friends. Obviously we were supposed to be having this baby.

Fast forward eight and a half months to being not quite nine months pregnant. Seth had been over two weeks early so I was really hoping that would happen again. But no. I went to my doctor's appointment only two days before my due date of May 3 and talked with the doctor about possibly inducing. I was only dilated to about a 2 then. He had mentioned earlier that he wanted to induce me if I went to 41 weeks, but would induce me if I wanted as early as 39 weeks. I was getting reeeeeaaaally tempted by that point. But also, I was planning to have this one naturally, without an epidural, and I knew that would be much harder if I was induced. But also, I was basically induced with the other two since my water broke both times and then nothing happened, no contractions at all, so I had to take the Pitocin. So maybe Pitocin was inevitable anyway, and if so, why wait? I wanted to skip the epidural for a few reasons, one, to know what it felt like. To feel like childbirth was an experience unlike any other. I kind of felt like it was something that happened to me, rather than something I was doing, with the other two. Two, to prove to myself that I could. That I could do incredibly hard things if I needed to. If I could give birth naturally, I could certainly handle any hard days with three kids plus autism. And three, to be able to say "hey, I gave birth" to trump Sam in any future arguments. :) Anyway, so at this doctor's appointment, he offered to induce me the next day, Wednesday May 2nd, if I wanted, or the next Monday. I told him I'd think about it. I went home and prayed hard. I wanted to make the decision not about me, but about my baby. I didn't want to do it just because it was convenient and I was tired of being pregnant, but I didn't want to not do it just because I was trying to hold on to my birth plan. I felt the most peaceful, after praying, about waiting for him to come on his own when he was ready. So I waited. And then, two days later, on May 3rd, my due date, my water broke.

I woke up at about 5:15 am and hurried to the bathroom. I was pretty sure my water had broken, but it wasn't a whole lot of liquid. Still, I figured if it wasn't, they would let me stay at the hospital and have him anyway since I was 40 weeks. And then I implemented my plan for a natural birth and started walking and walking and walking around my apartment, trying to get contractions going on their own. I called my parents at about 8 am to have my mom come over and stay with Carter and Seth, when she could. No big rush. The doctor had told me I could take about 6 to 8 hours to try to get contractions going on my own before coming in for Pitocin if I needed it. The kids had been up since before 6, seeing the lights on outside their room, so we all were just hanging out, trying to get stuff done like breakfast, and dishes, and showering, and washing the sheets that I leaked on, and watching me walk around and around. Lo and behold, it actually worked! Such an answer to many prayers over the previous months. By the time my mom got here at around 9:30, my contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart, for a good hour. Off to the hospital we went! 

We were admitted a little before 10 and I was dilated to a 4. My doctor came in on his day off and broke the rest of my water for me and checked me again at 10:30 and I was a 5. He had to go do a quick surgery at a different hospital at 11 so he told me wait at least another hour to have this baby. No problem. Then Sam and I hung out watching Friends re-runs for a couple hours. The nurse came in at 12:30 to check me again because my doctor was worried I was coping too well and was going to just shoot him out with no one realizing it. I was at a 7 then. They were all overestimating my coping abilities, although it was true that I was doing just fine. The peak of each contraction was pretty painful at that point but it was only 10 to 20 seconds and I focused on relaxing all my muscles and breathing deeply and evenly and then it was over and I was fine again, for the next three or four minutes.

 After the nurse left at 12:30, I started needing to focus more and turned off the tv and turned on my relaxing music. I spent most of my laboring time bouncing on the labor/yoga ball and leaning my head on the side of the bed during a contraction. I was trying to save the bathtub for when it was really bad, but around 1:30 I asked the nurse to fill the tub. I had to switch rooms at that point to a room that had a tub in it, since they didn't want me needing to give birth in the actual tub and being across the hall from my delivery room. She checked me again once we switched rooms, before I got in the tub, and I was still a 7, which is the first time I got discouraged. I figured I had to be an 8 by then, since I had previously been moving at about a cm per hour and it was really starting to hurt a lot. But maybe the tub would make it feel so much better, I reasoned, and cheered up a bit. I got in the tub and relaxed pretty well between contractions, although was still in pain during them, for sure. But not worse than out of the tub, so I stayed in. And then I had a contraction and suddenly felt like there was a big pain/pressure at my pubic bone and maybe that I needed to push. So we called the nurse, and I got out of the tub. I had only been in there for 23 minutes. I got dried off and back on the bed to be checked and I was a 9 and a half, with just a tiny lip of cervix left. The nurse immediately had someone call the doctor at his house ten minutes away that it was time to get in here. 

And THEN! Oh the pain. The contractions at that point were suddenly excruciating. I sat on the side of the bed and clutched Sam's hands and leaned into his chest and basically panicked and forgot about relaxing or breathing evenly. I apparently started hyperventilating because I stopped being able to feel any of my limbs and my fingers curled up into claws that I couldn't straighten out. It was super freaky. The nurse was talking me through it and having me take deep breaths and then not breath out. Which is impossible. So then I was supposed to blow out through my lips so that I breathed out less. In the meantime, I was also not supposed to push, even though I wanted to. Or more accurately, I wanted to do something to make this stop and pushing seemed like the most likely option to accomplish that. Everyone was bustling around getting things ready and then the doctor came in and got me up on the bed ready to push. I was really only waiting for about 15 minutes but time was very amorphous right then. I only have clear memories from in between contractions. I remember having Sam start my playlist over because it was on some dramatic song from the Pride and Prejudice orchestral soundtrack and it was making me anxious, I remember joking with the nurse that I had changed my mind about the epidural, I remember telling her I was so hot (from the bath) and she put some cold cloths on my neck and forehead, I remember telling the doctor that "this needs to come out." I remember watching them get set up in the mirror in the ceiling. But those were only snippets in between closing my eyes and disappearing a little bit during contractions. 

Finally they told me I could push during the next contraction. And that was a whole different excruciating beast. Ring of fire is right, man. I yelled while I pushed, but pretty low and guttural. Very primitive. I kept my eyes closed and just pushed until his head was out and then his body. He was born at 2:41 pm. It only took two contractions and three minutes of pushing, thank heavens. Then he was up on my chest all gray and slimy and beautiful. The nurse had to lean over and rub him hard with the blanket to get him to cry, but then he did and it was all so great. I didn't have a super high euphoria like some people do, mostly I was kind of annoyed that I was sore and that I wasn't immediately feeling just fine down there now that he was out. But very happy that here he was and he had such adorable grumpy eyebrows but was so calm and lovely. We waited a few minutes for the cord to stop pulsing and then delivered the placenta and cut the cord. And then finally the doctor gave me some numbing shots for my stitches since I tore a little, less than with Carter or Seth, and finally I felt good! And pretty strong and awesome, too, for doing it! Although, the doctor asked me while he was stitching me up if I'd do it again and I said nope. I'm so glad I did it, but I saw no reason to do it again. On the other hand, my recovery after has been so much easier this time that maybe I will have to change my mind in the future.

We named this little love John Gabriel Bringhurst, or Jack. He was 7 lbs 13 oz, 19.5 inches long. Such a calm baby and looks just like his brothers. So glad Heavenly Father convinced me to bring him here, because he is everything.


Reagan 6/29/24, 5:51 AM  

Great postt thankyou

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