Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hensley's Birth Story

Hensley's birth was not what I expected, but ended up being almost exactly how I wanted it....

Sunday, June 9th was like any other typical Sunday. My husband and I stayed up to catch up on some TV shows and went to bed around 12:30am and I fell quickly asleep. I seemed to wake up more that night and was having some menstrual like cramps for most of the night. I didn't sleep very well, but didn't think anything of it, especially since I was only 38 weeks and a few days.

On June 10th, I woke up around 7am and started getting ready for work. My husband also got up with me because he was going to go over to my parents house with Taelyn to babysit their kitchen construction crew. At this point I was having more of the stomach tightening feeling and they were about 10-15 minutes apart. I remember sitting on our bed after I had gotten ready for work and thinking that I just felt different. I told my husband I didn't know if I should go to work or not and he suggested that I just come with him over to my parents house instead. I quickly emailed my office letting them know that I didn't feel well and that maybe "this was it". We decided we should probably bring our hospital stuff (luckily I had finished packing my bag the night before) and I rushed to throw Taelyn's stuff together, grabbing our toiletries, and packing some toys for Tae. We were supposed to be at my parents at 8:30, but we ended up getting there about 8:45 with the crew waiting to start work.

I was hesitant to call anyone because I wasn't sure if I was in labor or not, but I decided to call my mom at 9am and just let her know that there was a chance I was in labor. The pain wasn't bad at all at this point and I was sitting on the living room floor answering work emails. I tried calling my Doula, Heather, at 9:30 and for some reason I had her number wrong in my phone. I ended up emailing her at 10am and luckily she called me right back! I told her the situation and told her not to come yet. My mom called me back at 11am and said she would be home at 11:45. My mom got there and started timing my contractions. They were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. They were getting a little more painful, but I was still able to manage them fairly well. We decided to head to the hospital around 12:15 (my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute at this point). I texted Heather to let her know to meet us at the hospital instead of my moms house.

We got to the hospital close to 1pm and was put into a triage room. I knew my midwife wasn't on call that day and I wasn't sure which one was. The nurse hooked me up to the monitors and had me change into the lovely hospital gown. The midwife came in shortly after and wanted to check me. This was something that I didn't want to do and was upset that they seemed to be so persistent. I told them I wanted to think about it and they told me I couldn't have a delivery room until I was checked. I think my husband was probably more frustrated than I was, but I was just trying to deal with the contractions. I did finally agree to the check and low and behold I was actually in labor ; ) I was dilated to a 7, thinned out, and she also said I had a bulging bag of water. At this point they actually asked if I wanted a hep lock, which surprised me since it is hospital policy, but they said I could refuse. I decided to get it since it would already be there in case of emergency. They also did an ultrasound to make sure baby was head down, which she was. After all this they quickly moved me into a delivery room : ) I remember feeling really encouraged when I heard I was dilated to a 7. I was thinking that this wasn't so bad and that maybe I could have done this at home! I had high hopes that I would have her quickly.....boy was I wrong!
They definitely had the easy part!
Checking in and getting the ultrasound
In the delivery room getting hooked up to monitors

On the way to the delivery room (which they make you walk like a mile) I think I had 5 contractions and had to stop in the hall each time. I felt a little weird breathing and concentrating with people walking all around. Once we finally made it to the delivery room, they got me all hooked up to the monitors. I only wanted intermittent monitoring and they told me I had to wear them for 20 minutes and then they would take them off (come to find out they never did take them off). Once we got all set up, my focus changed to dealing with the contractions. The contractions were starting to get stronger and closer together. They were definitely requiring more concentration. Heather was doing great squeezing my hips and rubbing my back. Aaron and my mom were also helping me through each contraction. They were making sure I was taking in plenty of fluids and remembering to go to the bathroom every hour. I drank some cranberry juice and kept drinking water with every contraction.
Tae kept saying "it's taking a long time!"

At 4pm they checked me again and I was dilated to a 10, but the baby was still high. I don't think she felt the bag of waters anymore and we assumed it had ruptured. At this point, the midwife suggested that I start bearing down to get the baby down into the birth canal. We tried several different positions. I tried kneeling while leaning over the birthing ball, leaning over the back of the bed, pulling on the squatting bar, and standing with the squatting bar. There was one contraction I was on the bed trying a different position and it hurt so bad I jumped off the bed so fast I think I scared everyone. The bearing down was probably the hardest part of the whole labor. The contractions were so strong and so close together, I never thought I was going to make it. I kept saying that I was done, that I was tired and I couldn't do it anymore. Heather kept telling me that I was doing it and both Aaron and my mom were encouraging me to continue. The midwife kept saying just 3 more contractions and then we'll check you. At about 7pm, the midwife had me lay down and she checked to see if the baby had moved down. All of a sudden I felt a huge gush of warm water and what felt like a HUGE relief. I heard the midwife say I had a hidden bag of waters and that things would be moving a lot faster now. I quickly jumped off the bed before another contraction came. They had the squat bar at the end of the bed with a sheet wrapped around it. It seemed like for the longest time I grabbed that sheet with every contraction and pushed with all I had. I know I had screamed during several of them and probably even said I was done. I remember yelling at them to "take the dang belts off", they were irritating me so bad. I'm so thankful I had several people there cheering for me and telling me I could do it.

 At about 8:30pm, I got in the bed to start pushing. I was feeling very irritated and didn't want anyone touching me. They kept asking if I wanted to them to hold my legs and I kept saying no. I didn't want anything other than the baby out. I tried pulling on a sheet with every contraction, but that quickly made me very tired. I finally started pushing with my mom holding one leg, my husband holding the other leg, and Heather pushing my back up. I could tell I was pushing well and they could all see the head with every push. We finally switched to putting my feet together which each contraction and then I could really feel that the pushing was working. I would say that at this point the contractions weren't super painful, I just had this great need to push and felt tons of pressure. It was almost relieving to push super hard. Every one was cheering me on. My sister in law was holding Taelyn down at my feet and I could hear Tae saying "go mommy, go mommy!". I remember reaching down and feeling the top of her head. This made me super determined to push with all my strength. The pushing became pretty painful when she started to crown. It definitely felt like the "burning ring of fire" you hear. Once I felt this sensation, I think it was only about 3 more contractions and I felt her come all the way out. She was born at 9:41pm.

I reached down to pull her up and I the midwife said something about a short cord. At the same time she said this, she said she wasn't going to be able to delay clamping because her cord had shredded. She had to immediately clamp the cord because blood was spurting everywhere. I was a little disappointed about this, but at this point, I was just happy that she was here!

My sweet little Hensley was perfect in every way. They did all of their checking while I was holding her. I just sat there and stared at her. The midwife was working on getting the placenta out. I started cramping pretty bad and had to push a few times to get it out. I ended up having a small tear that required two stitches which wasn't bad at all! Once the midwife finished up I got the chance to nurse.

Sweet Hensley latched right on with not problem! She nursed on both sides for about 15 minutes each. I was so impressed because it took Taelyn a lot longer to latch on (yah for drug free births!). After I finished nursing, they were able to get her length and weight.

We were all thinking she was at least 9lbs because she just looked so chunky! We were surprised to find out that she was only 8lbs 5.5oz and 18.5 inches long (smaller than Tae at 8lbs 12oz and 21inches long)!

Proud daddy!
Proud Grandma!

My dad and Taelyn (new big sister!)

My delivery was longer and harder than I ever thought it would be, but it was so worth it! There is something so empowering about delivery your child with minimal interventions not to mention the recovery time has been amazing! I am definitely proud of myself and so thankful of my support team. I think things would have been much harder without them!


  1. So proud of you Jessica, for persevering for that birth that you wanted! I agree, it is such an amazing feeling to birth naturally. :) It's funny too b/c I was just doing the calculations... when I went into the hospital w/ Bella I was a 6 & I had her 9 hrs later. You went in at a 7 & had her 8 hrs later!

  2. Thanks Les! It is an amazing feeling and something that I will never forget! That is weird about the times....I guess maybe it is normal!

  3. So glad to hear of your beautiful story. New life is such a wonderful miracle and I am in awe of it every time I get to experience even a little glimpse of it! Way to go Jess and congrats to your sweet family! ♥ you all!