Avery William was born on June 13, 2011 at 9:16am CST. He was born at 8 lbs, 7 oz and is 21.3 inches long. He is healthy, happy, and thriving!!
Here’s my birth story for anyone interested:
Last week, I started doing all of the little tips and tricks to help induce labor, like lots of walking, eating fresh pineapple, red raspberry leaf tea, lots of spicy food with oregano, red pepper, and basil, evening primrose oil, and sex. Of course everyone said I wouldn’t go into labor if I wasn’t ready, which is of course true, but it was fun trying everything anyway! :)
Thursday morning, I had my 39 week appointment, where I was checked for progress and was determined to be a “loose 1cm-easily stretched to 2cm” dilated and 50% effaced. My nurse practitioner stripped my membranes and said that stripping membranes led to actual labor in about, ohhh, 5% of cases. I wasn’t overly optimistic, but was excited to see if it would work anyway.
Friday afternoon around 2pm, I started noticing that my stomach was tightening and hardening all over for about a minute each time, consistently 10 minutes apart. I got a little excited, but I was having zero pain, so I didn’t really think much of it. The 10 minutes apart, 1 minute long tightening happened all afternoon and evening. Around 11pm, I realized I hadn’t felt the baby move much, if at all, so my husband and I decided it would be a good idea to head into labor and delivery just to give us peace of mind that all was okay. When the nurse checked me for dilation, I was a “tight 3” and still about 50% effaced at -2 station. She hooked me up to the monitors and after lots of ice cold water, I started feeling lots of wiggling and moving around from the baby. We were very relieved, and were released pretty quickly after that to head home.
The tightening lasted all weekend long, varying anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 minutes apart, but more usually with no pain, except a little discomfort. Sunday morning, while cleaning the kitchen, I got nauseous all of the sudden. I figured it was because I hadn’t had breakfast, so I fixed some cereal. I couldn’t even bring the cereal to my mouth because I felt so nauseous. My husband had me go lay down, but as soon as my head hit the pillow, I got that “here it comes, I’m definitely going to throw up” feeling and ran to the bathroom. Sure enough, I vomited 6 or 7 times and continued to dry heave. After a minute or so, I was 100% fine and had no more nausea whatsoever. It was extremely out of the blue.
Around 3am on Monday, June 13 (my due date!), I woke up having to pee. I used the bathroom and laid back down, only to get a stomachache and realize I needed to pee again almost immediately. I used the bathroom a second time and tried to lay back down. No luck, as I once again felt like I had to use the bathroom and still had a stomachache. Since I couldn’t lay down due to my stomachache, I decided to stay up and started realizing that my stomachache was coming and going at 8 minutes apart, then 7, then 6, and then 5 minutes apart. I tracked them for about 45 minutes, and then woke my husband up to have him help me track them. Since it wasn’t much pain other than a stomachache, I wasn’t all that hopeful, but wanted to track them anyway. After about 30 minutes of tracking them with my husband, I hopped in the shower to see if that would help them go away. They didn’t, so we decided that we should probably head into the hospital since they were now consistently about 4 minutes apart, lasting about a minute each time.
We got to labor and delivery about 5:15am. The nurse checked me and determined that I was 5cm dilated, 60% effaced, and the baby was at -2 station. She decided to keep us in L&D since I was past 4cm and actively contracting (though again, not all that painfully). We got into our labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum room very quickly, where they gave me a HepLock and hooked me up to the monitors to ensure everything was okay and track the contractions for a little while. I was dealing just fine until about 7am when they started getting a bit more painful and were about 3 minutes apart. I took the monitors off and my husband helped me sway back and forth through the pain. About 8am, my nurse decided to check me for progress since it had been about 3 hours since I had been checked at 5cm. She checked me and found that I was 8cm and 75% effaced, but the baby was still about -2 station. Things were getting quite a bit more painful at this point, but I was still dealing without any desire for pain meds. Around 8:30am, I told the nurse I was starting to feel the urge to push, so she decided to check me again. I was still 8cm, but she called the nurse in to break my water, and told me my labor would likely move very quickly once my water was broken. Around 8:40am, my water was broken and the pain definitely increased. At 9am, I told her I was really needing to push, so again, she checked me and found that I was fully dilated and effaced, and the baby was at -1 station. She told me to try not to push since I didn’t want to wear myself out too fast. On the very next contraction, my body totally took over and I yelled to her “my body is PUSHING for me”. She ran to the hall and called for the doctor, yelling “I need the doctor in here, she’s ready and pushing right now!” I won’t lie – I was in absolute hell. I have never experienced the pain I felt at that moment and the ONLY thing that provided relief was just bearing down with all my might. The doctor came in to find the baby’s head and neck already out, so she very quickly slipped on her gloves and proceeded to deliver the rest of the baby. At 9:16am on June 13th, our little man, Avery William, was born. :) They laid him on my chest, and it was most certainly love at first sight. I did tear a bit, so after a couple of minutes, they took him to the warming bed next to mine to begin his APGAR assessment, and begin to stitch me up. His first APGAR score was an 8 or 9, and his second was a full 10. He weighed a healthy 8 lbs, 7 oz, and is 21.3 inches long.
Despite the excruciating pain that came along with a natural, no meds at all, delivery, I could not be more proud of myself. The pain ended soon after delivery, and my recovery since has been phenomenal compared to my recovery with my first daughter, induced and with a partial epidural. My labor from first stomach pain to delivery was right at 6 hours long, compared to my 28 hours of labor with my daughter. My entire experience at Fort Polk’s military hospital, BJACH, was completely incredible, and I have nothing bad to say about it at all. I was worried that my plans for a natural delivery wouldn’t mesh with a typical hospital’s, but they were all so supportive throughout.
Avery is breastfeeding wonderfully, and he is a champion nurser. He lost only 8 oz overnight, which was only about 5% of his weight. We were both doing wonderfully health-wise, so we were released late this morning, a little over 24 hours after his birth. He mostly sleeps, but I’m sure that will wear off in a few days. :) Big sister, Cori, is totally mesmerized by him and when we ask, “where’s your brother?” or “where’s Avery?”, she no longer points at my stomach, but instead points right at him with a big smile on her face.
I am so, so thankful for my sister-in-law who was here to take care of our daughter throughout the experience. I am also so unbelievably grateful for my husband who was such a wonderful labor partner. I seriously don’t think I would have made it through my natural labor and delivery without his unending support.
I’m in awe that he came on my due date, as I’ve been expecting an at-least-a-week-overdue baby all along. Not only that, but he shares a birthday with my father, who I know is very excited for that little birthday gift. :)