What an amazing, fast paced, mind blowing, beautiful day! Little Nolan decided that his Mommy’s womb was no longer comfortable at around 3:30 am, and he was going to pack up his things and get out of there. Sarah woke up off and on from about 3:30am until 7:00am; she then just got out of bed and made breakfast. I rolled out of bed around 8:30am. We had previously made an appointment at Allen Birth Center with one of our midwives, Kathleen Mayorga. The other two midwives there were Amy Giles and Becky Burpo. The plan was that if Sarah had not gone into labor by Monday November 1 (41 weeks) we were going to schedule a non-stress test for Nolan on Tuesday. We were happy to report to the birth center that the NST was not going to be necessary! After a quick lunch pickup from Jason’s Deli, Sarah and I began timing her contractions. Initially they were a good 7 to 7.5 minutes apart lasting 1 to 1.5 minutes. They were slowly, but surely, coming more frequently so we called to move up our appointment at 3:30 to 3:00pm. After calling ABC, Sarah’s contractions slowed down to about 10 minutes apart; so we took our time getting ready to leave for the birth center – still knowing that we were not returning without baby in arms.
The typical trip to Allen Birth Center would take us about 40 minutes, but when we were about half way to the birth center Sarah’s contractions were coming every 2 – 3 minutes. So we made it to the birth center in about 25 or 30 minutes, and would have been faster has there not been traffic on highway 75. When we finally arrived to the birth center, Kathleen said Sarah was dilated to about a 4 and a half. The birth center doesn’t admit you until you’re to a 5, so she recommended that we go ahead and put our stuff up in a room and start walking around the block. I’m not sure exactly what the temperature was, but there was just a slight chill in the air – perfect for Sarah. After inserting some acupuncture press needles, we walked outside off and on from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. After the walk Kathleen checked Sarah’s cervix again and said it was now 5cm, but she felt like Nolan’s head was stuck on her pubic bone. She advised Sarah to have about 5 contractions on her left side, then 5 – 10 on her hands and knees, then a few on her right side. This all took about 2 hours to complete. During this time I could tell that Sarah was really starting to work with her contractions, even more so than when we were walking. This is about the time Sarah’s parents arrived with sandwiches from Schlotzkies. So we both began eating. Sarah then felt nauseated and blamed it on the sandwich. She then began having to fall to the floor on the exercise ball to have contractions. Sarah then felt like she had to use the bathroom. All I remember here is that Sarah called me and Kathleen into the bathroom because she “felt like she had no control over her body”, and she was frantically taking the press needles out of the acupuncture points! Sarah was now entering transition! We got her back into the room, only in time for her to throw herself down on the floor on the exercise ball to have another contraction. Little did we know, Kathleen was about to leave for a few hours to grab some dinner! She and Becky were expecting Sarah to deliver Nolan around 3 or 4 that morning. Thankfully, Sarah began transition before Kathleen left! So Kathleen checked Sarah once on the floor, and proclaimed that she was about an 8, but she wanted to get a better feel with Sarah on her back on the bed. After Kathleen checked Sarah this time she stated, “she’s complete and ready to push!” While this was going on I was trying to get a hold of our doula, Stacy Hutchins – who was also our Bradley method instructor. Stacy was surprised to hear the news and headed over after putting her 4 kids to bed. Stacy was going to take pictures for us during the birth, so we frantically asked “Baba” (Sarah’s mom) to take the pictures until Stacy arrived. Baba agreed, but did not know what she was about to witness!
Sarah started pushing with all her might. While she was pushing she wanted me to hold her, so she would pull me down on top of her and hold on tight. Sometimes Sarah would slip in a few bites on my neck and scratches on my arms as well – not that I minded of course. Stacy arrived about 20 minutes into the pushing and jumped right into the action. She was great at giving Sarah positive affirmations and helping to calm her down in between contractions. However, Sarah was slightly annoyed at the stories that were being told in between her contractions by the midwife about her other birth stories. At this point the midwife advised Sarah that she needed to stop holding on to me and try to pull her legs up to push. So, Stacy grabbed her left leg and I her right, then Sarah leaned forward and started pushing so hard I thought her eyes were going to pop out! Let me just take time here to say that my wife is amazing! I don’t know that I could have done what she did, and she is already talking about having another baby!! After about 40 minutes of pushing little Nolan started to poke his head out. He crowned for about another 20 minutes or so. Kathleen then told us that his heart rate had dropped to 80 beats per minute, and she put the oxygen on Sarah. This of course scared Sarah and I both, but I tried to keep my calm and get in my “doctor” mind so I could let Sarah know that everything was alright. After a few minutes of oxygen Nolan’s heart rate returned to the 120’s. However, Kathleen decided to go ahead with an episiotomy after letting Sarah give it a few more pushes because she didn’t want his heart rate to drop again, and Sarah wasn't stretching enough for Nolan's head. ---I was told I could have pushed Nolan out without one, but it would have taken a few more hours of pushing. Kathleen also told us that if I was given that much time, Nolan may have needed to be resuscitated and we did not want that to happen.--- So after about one hour and 10 minutes at exactly 10:00pm, we finally met our NoLee and immediately fell in love. He came out screaming his head off with the umbilical cord loosely wrapped around his neck. Kathleen placed him on Sarah’s chest and we both just stared at the amazing work God had done inside Sarah. Nolan’s left lung was a little wet, so we held him on his right side to help it drain. After an hour or so it was normal. Everything about him is perfect.
After the birth, Sarah nursed Nolan, whose suck was so loud that we were told you could hear him in the next room. We spent about four hours at the birth center while Nolan and Sarah were monitored and we were allowed to spend some alone time as a family. At 2:00 am we packed up our things and took our little baby home. Nolan slept like a champ; however, Sarah and I woke up with every little whimper and finally just laid awake with NoLee between us. It was a wonderful night.
It was the most wonderful day and night! After Nolan was born, I did have to have a shot of pitocin because of some excessive bleeding, but besides that is was a 100% unmedicated birth. We loved the care we received at Allen Birth Center. We were very informed about everything and a decision was not made without our consent. Nolan didn't leave my chest until they started doing the stitches. Brandon then sat beside me and had some bonding time with Nolan. They would have let me hold him, but I felt like I was tensing up too much and I didn't want to squeeze him too tight. They waited until we asked how much he weighed to weigh him--which was about an hour. I could not have imagined having him rushed away to a bed beside me to be weighed, washed, and observed. They would check on him every few minutes while he was in my arms. His lung was closely monitored as well. We want to wait a few years for another one, but natural labor is a high that is so addicting! We have already decided that our next child will be born in our home! I have to say, I loved being pregnant and I loved experiencing every bit of birthing our sweet little Nolan.
This is the room where Nolan was born.