Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Presenting...Natalie Jane Dixon!

Here's the post you have all been waiting for, Natalie's birth story!
This story begins on Saturday night, December 29th (8 days late)...
Steve, Konnor, and I were settling down and getting ready to go to sleep. I had been feeling beyond terrible the last few days and had barely gotten out of bed. Let's just say I was dealing with some pregnancy related "ailments" that made it very hard to walk or move. I had gotten out of bed for some reason, can't remember what it was now, but I remember telling Steve after I stood up that I actually felt really good! I was like, "I can move and I'm not in pain!" Right then, I knew something was up. I knew I was going to go into labor that night, but I didn't want to say anything and "jinx" it. I told Steve I felt so good that I could clean the whole house, but instead I was going to use my new found energy and health to take a shower! After a long shower, I even had the energy to use my favorite body lotion and some other "beauty treatments" just to kind of pamper myself since I knew what was coming soon! We all went to sleep. The next thing I know, I'm jolted awake by a pretty substantial contraction. I immediately checked the time, it was 3:16am. Three-sixteen on a Sunday. I felt like that was a sign that this was it. God was telling me, ok enough is enough, you can have her now! I grabbed my iPod and started timing my contractions with a contraction timer app. They were 9 minutes apart for an hour. I woke up Steve and told him, "Oh, hey...I'm in labor." Haha. We sort of started getting things around for the Birth Center and I called my midwife when the contractions were 5 minutes apart. I can't remember what time that was at, but we decided to meet at the Birth Center at 6:45am. I called my sister, Katarra, who was coming along to watch Konnor, and told her it was go time! FINALLY!
When we got to the Birth Center, one of my midwives, Lois, was already inside getting things set up. She checked to see how far dilated I was. You have to reach 10cm dilation before it's pushing time and I was at 3.5cm. I was disappointed with that. With Konnor, I got "stuck" at 4cm after laboring for 9 or so hours. I was terrified I would get stuck again. Lois decided to manually break my water in order to "get things moving" which was completely fine with me! After that, Lois left the room and Steve, Konnor, and I just spent some time together and attempted to relax between contractions.
Sometime around 8am, my other midwife, Angel, arrived. She checked my dilation again (something they don't usually do repeatedly) because Lois was going to leave for church service. I was only at 4 cm, so they figured it was safe for her to leave for a while. Shortly after that, the contractions were getting very strong. I've never taken a birthing class before (oops) so when a contraction came along, I tried my best to breathe, but my body took over and was doing everything it could to "get away" from the pain. I would tense up and felt like I was trying to leap out of myself to escape! Angel taught me how to relax and make my whole body "heavy" and sink into the mattress. She also helped me breathe long breaths instead of short, crazy ones! Her techniques helped SO MUCH! Steve just stayed by me and held my hand and timed the contractions. Soon, I decided it was a good time to get in the jacuzzi tub.
In the Tub from Heaven, drinking home made chicken broth!
I am so in love with that tub right now (still!). It. Was. Amazing. Angel turned the jets on the lowest setting and it was like a super hurricane inside the tub! So basically, I must have a tub like that someday when I'm rich! Hahaha... funny, I know.

Laboring with's a blast! Haha!
Even with the tubs magical powers of pain relief, the contractions were getting too strong for me to stand. I told Steve to go get Angel because I "couldn't do it". I didn't know how far dilated I was, but I feared I would have hours more of the pain to endure. I was starting to panic a little. The pain was getting really intense. If I was in the hospital, I probably would have gotten an epidural at that point. Well, that's what I was thinking at the time, but looking back probably would have been too late! I was "transitioning", but didn't even know it. Transitioning is when you are getting close to being fully dilated and your body is changing into "push mode". Angel said the pain gets a lot more intense during that time.
I didn't know any of that though because I was asleep during transition with Konnor. In the hospital, when things started getting really painful, all of the nurses just said "You can still get an epidural!" Or..."The anesthesiologist is making his rounds right now so if you want the epidural, you better get it now!" Yeah...super supportive. Also, with Konnor, I had been laboring for 9ish hours and was still only 4cm dilated. The doctor said, "Oh, you are only at a 4, you probably have 10 more hours of this pain until you can push." The thought of 10 more hours of excruciating pain was too much for me, so I got the epidural.
When Angel came into the room, I told her that I didn't think I could do it anymore. I actually said "I can't do this!" about 20 times, but what were my other options? Curl up and die? Haha, that's what I felt like doing...but you can't get an epidural at the Birth Center so I literally didn't think I was going to make it (so dramatic, I know). Angel talked me through it somehow. She reminded me of my favorite Bible verse..."I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." Philipians 4:13
I kept repeating it to myself over and over and I really did feel stronger.

Of course, at the worst possible time, I needed to pee. I somehow made it to the toilet and decided I was done with the magical bathtub. This is when things start getting hazy. I discovered during this whole process that my brain is awesome. Since my body couldn't escape the pain, my brain was going to do it! It's was almost like I was "somewhere else" in my mind. I remember leaving the bathroom, and ending up on my knees on the floor. The cold, hardwood floor just felt really good at that point. I had a few contractions while I was on the floor and Angel suggested I move up to the bed so my knees wouldn't hurt later from being on the floor. I didn't want to move an inch, but I did make it to the bed, still on my hands and knees (well more like on my knees, stomach, and face, haha!). I remember thinking that I had completely given in to the pain. There was absolutely nothing that I could do about it, so I just let it take over me. I melted into the bed and don't remember much else but feeling like I was the mattress! It's so weird to try and explain it. I do remember hearing Angel on the phone with Lois saying, "You better get here fast!" After that, I started pushing. When the time comes to push, it's not a decision you just do it!
I am so thankful that Konnor was in another part of the Birth Center watching a movie with my sister and that it was Sunday so there were no other patients in the building because I think I would have scared everyone with my screaming! I wasn't really screaming because of the pain...I was just screaming and saying "GET HER OUT!!!" I'm so impatient, when I realized it was pushing time, I just wanted her out RIGHT THEN! My sister said she only heard me once and it reminded her of Bella in Breaking Dawn when she delivers her half human/half vampire baby that is literally killing her from the inside. Awesome! Haha. Angel called Lois again and was like "Get here, she's crowning!" I heard Angel getting a bunch of things ready and telling Steve that he very well might have to catch the baby if Lois didn't arrive in time! Even amidst all the pain and pushing, I could feel that poor Steve was a little scared at that (well, that and his wife sounding like I was!). Thankfully, Lois arrived just in time and little Natalie was born after 20 minutes of pushing at 10:52am. She came out waving "Hi!" at everyone with her little hand up by her face!
3 minutes after she was born.

Right after she was born, they put her up underneath me so I could see her and then I rolled over to my side and moved up in the bed so I could hold her. The pain was gone instantly! I was exhausted, but I felt pretty good otherwise!

Instead of lying her on a cold, hard scale, they wrap her in a blanket and use a hanging scale.

Here I am about 10 minutes after birth, nursing Natalie and talking on the phone! Notice how there are no monitors, no wires, and no tubes! They have tons of medical supplies on hand if need be, but they aren't clogging up the whole room. Medical equipment makes me nervous, so I loved that the room was so peaceful!
Here is Natalie getting checked out by Lois...
Big brother Konnor's first picture with Natalie...
We got Natalie latched on almost right away! I was happy because we couldn't get Konnor latched on for 24 hours in the hospital...
Konnor is checking out what baby Nattie is doing with momma...
Steve is so in love with her!
My mom and her newest grand-daughter...

Tired mommy taking a nap... I LOVED that no one came in the bother me! In the hospital, I felt like there was so much going on around me and someone would come in our room every 30 minutes to ask me questions, have me read something, or fill out some form. At the Birth Center, I just got to relax! There were 3 papers for me to fill out, but I got to do it when I wanted to without someone pestering me about it constantly! Also, the Birth Center has a full kitchen so we had some Chicken Club Casserole about 45 minutes after Natalie was born.
Lois and Angel made a birthday cake for Natalie. We all sang Happy Birthday to her and I got to blow out the candle (small reward for going through labor! Haha!) The cake was SO GOOD. I have to get that frosting recipe, for real!
Sleepy baby, sleepy momma...not much happened after delivery...just lots of eating and sleeping! Steve, Natalie, and I even got to all sleep together for a while.
Natalie about to get her first bath before we left for home about 6.5 hours after her delivery!
After we got home, we just relaxed...for a week! Haha!

Every New Year's Eve at midnight, Steve and I take a picture of our New Year's Kiss...Here is ours from this year!
Angel came over on New Year's Day and did a check up on Natalie. Other than being jaundiced, she was perfect! I love that they do a home visit instead of making you go out so early after baby is born.
And here she is, Natalie Jane Dixon!
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  1. This is amazing Michelle! I love your story, the pictures and I loved learning about giving birth outside of a hospital. You made it sound so nice an relaxing! Congrats on your beautiful baby girl... god bless your family = )

  2. I love the blog & the beautiful little girl who the blog is about.

  3. Very inspiring--makes me smile :)--Angie

  4. This post makes me so happy!!! Its such a wonderful story and I am SO PROUD OF YOU for doing it naturally!!! Maybe some day I will also try to do it this way!! (MAYBE. haha). Like Courtney said, you made it sound so nice and relaxing!!! :D:D:D:D <3<3<3

  5. Love your story Michelle. Reminds me of mine when my second was born, except with all the med equipment. You never really know how strong you can truly be until you bring a child into this world without pain meds... But the amazing thing about it is that the pain is pretty much gone after they arrive. Love all the pics as well. Cute lil family <3