Having a baby for the first time is like nothing you could ever imagine. The whirlwind of emotions, the pain, and the pure joy. No matter how much you "prepare" yourself, it is just something you have to experience for yourself to really understand. I'm so grateful I got to experience this with my husband and sweet new baby. It was amazing. Beyond anything I could imagine in every aspect of the experience.
Initially I wanted to have a natural birth. Through the pregnancy, after research I had done to prepare, I started to doubt my abilities to do this. I had no idea what my pain tolerance level was or exactly how painful labor was going to be. After going back and forth on what to do, I went in with the perspective that I was going to give it all I had and then we would see what happened. I read books, practiced breathing, and prayed for strength and comfort, a lot.
It all started on February 8th...
I woke up after having the weirdest dream...we were supposed to go to our monthly Smith family FHE on Sunday (which was the next day) and in my dream we weren't there because we were in the hospital with our new baby. It was a weird dream for two reasons.
#1 I went to the doctor the day before and was only dilated to a finger tip....a finger tip compared to a 10 for the baby to come out is nothing.
#2 My "due date" was the 10th and it is very common for first time moms to go past their due date by a week or more.
So we left the office after having scheduled another appointment for a week later. At that time we would go over inducing options or where to go from there.
So needless to say, I was not expecting him anytime soon. (as in the next day or the next week)
After the dream, it only took me a second to realize the real reason why I was awake so early. (5:30am) Contractions. These contractions felt like moderate cramps. They were about 5 to 7 minutes apart. After walking around for a little bit and sitting on the birthing ball, I woke up my husband. He helped me time them and tickled my back in bed while we waited. At the beginning the contractions weren't bad, but it didn't take long for them to increase in intensity.
Around 9am Scott left for work. I called my Mom and told her it was time for her to come! The contractions were consistent and getting more painful. I'm so grateful for her, she was such a huge support. All 7 of her babies were born natural so she could help me well knowing exactly what it felt like.
She helped me through every contraction. Around 11 am we decided I should get in the bath tub. I spent about an hour there which felt so nice to relief the pressure and help me relax. Soon after I got out, the contractions started intensifying...quickly! I felt like it was getting time to leave for the hospital. I called Scott and told him I needed him home. My mom and I rushed around the house gathering last minute things that we would need and by that time it was getting pretty intense. I would call out for my Mom and she would stand there and let me lean on her while she put pressure on my back. It only took Scott about a half hour to get home after I called, but to me it felt like hours. I was getting nervous that we really really needed to get going!
When he walked in the door, it was the first time I had cried so far. I was so relieved to see him. It was getting to the point where each contraction took my breath away and brought me to my knees. The car ride was so uncomfortable. I tried to enjoy it and take note of my surroundings so I could better remember the day. The weather was cloudy and rainy. We both turned to each other and realized this was real. Our little boy was on his way! "We're having a baby!"
We got to the hospital and I thought my water had broken, so they rushed me up in a wheelchair. By this time is was about 1:30 in the afternoon. When the nurse checked me my water hadn't broken and I was only dilated to a 3. Holy smokes, talk about the most disappointing thing you have ever heard when you are already experiencing so much pain. I was really getting discouraged that I wouldn't be able to handle the pain and have to have an epidural. I had heard so many stories of women who were dilated to a 4 for a month!
The nurse left after telling us she needed to talk to the doctor about whether or not they should send me home. I couldn't believe it.
The doctor came in with the option to let me stay and he could break my water. So we went with it. What a weird sensation. Its like peeing but you have no control. That wasn't the first time I experienced that feeling during labor. :/ From breaking my water, the doctor discovered that Cooger had a bowel movement inside, called Meconium. When a baby is experiencing distress during labor they will focus on the 3 main organs that are the most important; the brain, heart and kidneys. When this happens, other organs relax. Hence why meconium can occur. To me, it meant that I wouldn't be able to hold my baby right away because they would need to take him quickly to make sure he wouldn't aspirate any of it. That was the second time I had cried during labor. I was so sad I wouldn't be able to see him right away.
So the contractions continued. I tried standing (which helped). But I mostly laid down after a certain point because they put me on oxygen. I wasn't taking deep enough breaths during the contractions. Each time one would come I would say "its coming" followed by groans or whatever other noises came out. My mom and Scott would then hold me and put tons of pressure on my lower back. This counteracted the pressure of the contractions and seemed to be the only thing that helped. I tried breathing deep and using positive visualization. But honestly I don't remember much of this part because I had my eyes closed and was just trying to get through it alive.
It got time again for the nurse to check me. I was dilated to a 7. Holy smokes, disappointing news again!!! I was so done. The contractions had been steady, consistent and intense pretty much since I started at 5:30 in the morning. And to go 3 more centimeters...practically seemed impossible.
My mom was excited though when she heard that, and kept telling me, "this is it, your doing great, your almost there!" To some, hearing that doesn't help. But I trusted my mom. and sure enough I was almost done! Our baby was almost there! I went from a 7 to 9 really quickly.
Then the urges to push started coming. I told my mom it felt like I had to go to the bathroom. "That's the baby!" I kept asking, "Am I almost done? I really want to be done." By this point I was sure I wanted the epidural. My mom previously told me that was going to happen. She said you'll get to a point where you are DONE. That means your almost there. Hold out strong!
The nurse checked again and I was still at a 9 so she told me not to push or else I could tear. So I tried not to, but holy smokes when that urge comes...its hard to stop it. The nurse suddenly got a look on her face and said honey you've got to slow down, the doctor isn't here yet. I thought the contractions were bad. That was nothing compared to what was coming.
They called him and he started rushing. He quickly came in the room, while others were helping him put on his clothes he was throwing on his gloves.
I pushed twice before Cooger was born. I got a break in between, which I really needed. I'm pretty sure I screamed out a few times and was pretty loud. But hey when there is a head coming out between your legs you get every right to scream a time or two! People have often called this pain the ring of fire. I agree whole heartedly, but I would add a ring of fire on steroids. I was sure that this baby was NOT coming out. That there was no way he COULD come out! It hurt like nothing I could have imagined. But knowing we were almost there and we could meet our little guy was the only thing that kept me going. (Well and the fact that this baby indeed did have to come out.)
In Scott's version, he "popped out". I was convinced that there was no popping going on, it was not that simple! But after his head came out the rest of his body I guess you could say "popped out".
I had the biggest rush of emotions come over me. I looked at my sweet husband who was standing by me, with tears in his eyes and the biggest smile I've ever seen, he said, "he's here, we have a little boy!" I was beyond excited, relieved, and so happy! I caught a tiny glimpse of our little guy and then he was rushed to the table. I could hear his little cry and all I wanted was to hold him and kiss him.
Thank goodness I only tore a tiny bit on the inside. A few dissolvable stitches fixed that up. That part hurt really bad too....
I was so grateful that the doctor and nurses were there when we needed them. The cord was wrapped around his little neck but the doctor reacted fast and pulled it off. Also, thank goodness, they were able to get the meconium out before he took his first breath which means he didn't aspirate any of it.
After what seemed like forever, I FINALLY got to hold my little boy. It was the best feeling ever. I was sooo happy! He was beautiful and perfect. A whole 6lbs, 9oz and 18inches of handsome boy, in my arms and on my chest. Finally.
At 5:30 pm on February 8th, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cooger Reid Wuthrich was welcomed into this world. I became a Mom. And Scott became a Dad to this sweet spirit Heavenly Father send down to us.
I got a taste of our Heavenly Fathers love for us. I know I could not have done this without Him.
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak: therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God. FOR IN HIS STRENGTH I CAN DO ALL THINGS" -Alma 26:12
Everyday since February 8th, I get this same reminder of our Heavenly Fathers loves and my dependence on him. I know I can't do this parenting thing without Him. I need Him every minute if I want to be the kind of mother that I know this little boy needs.
We are so grateful that the labor went how it did. That Cooger is here. That he is healthy. and That we are his Mommy and Daddy. :)