Jackson's Birth Story
We usually don't post really personal stuff on here, we reserve this more for travel and adventure, but I wanted to share because this has been an adventure on the road for us!
The pregnancy itself was wonderful, no problems, still working with cattle, getting shocked by the fence, and ran miles chasing cows with the baby! I only gained a little bit of weight. I put on most of it after we got to Florida as we sat there waiting for his arrival. We walked 4 to 5 miles a day while we were waiting, but it's not even half of what I would get at the farm. I had no issues with swelling, or any of the common symptoms. My appointments were literally 20 minutes and most of that was just getting the vitals and listening to the baby's heartbeat.
This is not our usual birth story. Nothing about this was emotionally easy for me. I don't know if it was because of the past miscarriage or what. I never did bond with the baby while I was pregnant with him. I couldn't wrap my mind around hypno-birthing and relaxing during birth. It was easy with the others, but this one was different. I just wanted him out so I could keep him safe. I've heard to many stories from moms over 40 who had a stillbirth baby and there was no guarantee that he would be safe in there.
We headed to Florida October 3rd. Moving with the RV each day was a struggle, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Kyle really took over my job and helped Kevin out a lot. After arriving in Florida, we got settled and then got really bored. Since we weren't exercising like before, we started eating the right healthy foods, but not eating enough calories landed me in the office for a non stress test to monitor the baby for non movement. He was doing great, but conserving his energy because I needed more calories.
I did my best to prepare for labor, I bought CBD honey sticks to help with pain management and Arnica to help ease the sore muscles and repair them faster. I listened to my hypnobirthing tracks and tried to relax each night. The constant noise here doesn't help, but with headphones it was better.
Hope was throwing up all day on November 8th and I was up late with her. My water broke just after midnight on November 9th. I got up and called the midwife to let her know. She told me to get some sleep since I wasn't having any contractions yet. I slept maybe an hour or two after I finally got to sleep. I woke up and got Kevin up because we had to beat traffic over from Tampa. The midwife called me mid morning to check on me and still no contractions. I had an appointment at 2pm that day, so I went into the office and they checked his heartbeat and he was all good. The midwife said I'll see you at 8pm. I thought she was just being extra positive since we all knew I needed to have him by midnight or we'd end up at the hospital.
We had been hanging out at mom and dad's all day, waiting for contractions to start. While spending the entire day worrying why I wasn't starting contractions, I felt like by body was failing me. This was the first baby that I've had where contractions didn't start first. And this one was only 38 weeks, all of the others were at 39 weeks. Matthew came over with Avery that evening to visit and eat dinner. I also spent all day worrying about going to the hospital that I couldn't focus, and couldn't relax, I did not want to have a hospital birth or even an induction. By 6:30 that evening, I had finally talked myself into a hospital birth and my contractions started just after 7pm that night.
I felt bad calling the midwife at only 40 minutes into contractions, but she said we were supposed to be here at 8 anyway! We laughed because we thought the midwife that afternoon was just joking. We pulled into the birthing center at 8:01 pm. I labored in the shower for a few minutes but almost passed out so they gave me smelling salts and boy did those stink! I felt bad for Kevin since I buried my face in his shoulder and he had to smell them too!
I asked for them to fill up the tub as contractions were super strong and then I asked for a honey stick, it was 9:30 and we had Jackson at 10:09. Kevin was great as always. I only got 1 honey stick and didn't get any arnica. So I can't say how those worked during labor.
Hope's birth was quiet and peaceful. This one was not at all the same way! I felt it all, worst part is I remember it all. I also remember thinking that I watch cows do this, I can do this, LOL. But it's hard, at that transition point to keep a clear head. Listening to Kevin reminding me to relax my jaw, relax my shoulders and so on was hard. I followed every direction that he gave me!
After the baby came, mom took Faith home and had her go to bed. I think they got to sleep about 2 in the morning. Kevin and I got to mom's around 4am. We slept for a couple of hours and then headed home. Kyle and Hope were both sick and I couldn't believe we were bringing a new baby into a germ filled house! But, we made it through. Of course Faith got sick next, but we are all good now.
The first week after a new baby is hard, for anyone. The hormones are at their worst and depression can set in fast. I didn't have an issue with the first 5, but this one knocked me on my butt! The crying, anger and just all around mess that I was (and still am) feeling is so hard to describe. Kudos go out to all the hubby's that have to help their wives through the mess all while they are adjusting to a new baby too! I am so thankful having Kevin by my side, he has been great with all of this. You hate to tell people how you are really feeling because of the judgment that you may receive and then feel like even more of a failure. You want people to think you're OK and that everything is great.
I still feel like my body failed me since nursing didn't work out for us either. I managed to pump for the first 2 weeks of his life but going forward I just can't keep up with his demand. I think the thing that new moms need the most is the support that a fed baby is a happy baby. It makes no difference if they are breastfed or formula fed, as long as they are happy.
Everyone kept telling me to stick it out, but they weren't here seeing me cry because of the pain of pumping, or feeling the engorgement because milk wasn't coming out. They weren't here seeing me spend 7 to 8 hours of my day and night not holding my baby I'm supposed to be bonding with because I'm pumping instead. The extra hour of sleep I loose each time the baby wakes up because I need to pump after his bottle.
I feel like I lost 2 weeks with him, bonding and loving on him, because of the guilt that I felt that I couldn't supply his needs, because I know deep down that breast milk is the best for him, but can't give that to him. However, deep, deep down, I know that I will be a better mom this way, for not only him, but for the rest of the kids too! And this will ease the demand on Kevin for doing so much stuff and gives him time to bond with the baby feeding him too!
This journey hasn't been easy, and I am finally to the point that I can say I really don't want to experience this again. We have had our last baby and will just enjoy our grand babies now!