The much anticipated birth story of Hines Baby #2, Hezekiah James Hines.
Born on October 14th, 2016 weighing in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces and 19 inches long.
I was 38 weeks, 6 days.
If you want to read Tera’s birth story (you do!), so that you can have a window into our first birth, you can find it here.
Also…Not one photo was taken during this entire process. Not one. I’m kicking myself for that one, but alas…what’s done is done and the important thing is that we have a baby out of it!
Kiah’s pregnancy was much more difficult than Tera’s pregnancy. I was sick from the get-go, and stayed sick all the way up until 16 weeks. Life was really emotional as we said goodbye to our precious foster daughter in June (I was 21 weeks) and then attended all manners of weddings and family reunions during my second trimester. Then, the last 9 weeks or so of the pregnancy were also fairly difficult with false labor, candida, a bacterial infection, our home’s well collapsing and then the stomach bug (which I got just one week before I went into labor…fun times).
Anyways, by the end of the pregnancy I was not only exhausted from my pregnancy, but from life. I didn’t feel ready for labor and had a lot of anxiety going into the last few weeks of pregnancy. I didn’t think I would go full term, but I was not expecting to go into labor on Friday morning.
Theo worked a 24 hour shift on Thursday, so it was just me and Tera for the whole day. Towards the end of pregnancy, I was struggling to have patience with my sweet toddler, but Thursday was really special for us. We walked about a mile to the park and she played and we laughed and enjoyed a dinner of pancakes (our favorite when Theo is gone.) After putting Tera down for bed, I finished watching a Netflix show and hauled myself off to bed, where I read a book for a while. Around 11 I decided I would have a “sleepover” with Tera since Theo was gone for the night. I will frequently bring her to the bed with me when he is gone just because I like having her close. I’m so glad I decided to do that on Thursday night, because it turns out it was her last night as an only child!
I woke up around 2 am and had the WORST heartburn. I had been having heartburn on a daily basis, but it usually went away at night when I went to bed, and I never had it in the morning when I woke up. But, man…this heartburn was bad. I took a TUMS and went back to sleep….sorta.
Around 4 am, I woke up with strong, consistent contractions that were all in my back. I debated calling Theo to come home, but I didn’t want to get out of bed, so I tried to sleep. I would sleep for ten minutes, wake up for a contraction and then fall back asleep. Theo got home at 8 am, and I told him I was pretty sure I was in labor. He had been up ALL night, so I told him to go to sleep. I would wake him up if things started moving along. The contractions were hard but mostly in my back, and I knew I still had a ways to go (if this was even the real thing). I called my sister in law and told her I thought this was it and asked if she could come get Tera. Of course, she loaded up all four of her kids, drove 45 minutes to pick up Tera and took her home with them. I am so thankful for that. Tera feels just as at home with them as with us, and I didn’t even have to *think* about her for the remainder of the day. I also called my doula Paulette and told her that something seemed to be happening. I promised I would keep her updated as things progressed. I texted my brother and told him to call my parents, who were leaving Africa that evening. I wanted them to know I was possibly in labor before they began their long flights across the Atlantic.
At this point, I was assuming that labor would pick up and go fast. My labor with Tera was so cut and dry…my water broke, my contractions started, and 7 hours later she was here.
Not so much this time around.
Around 10 am I realized that my contractions were slowing down, and instead of coming every 10 minutes they were now coming every 15. What in the world? So I laced up my shoes and went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a GORGEOUS day, and all the colors of the trees were so crisp. The wind was blowing, and I felt like I could have walked for hours, but I only went around the block once and then back home.
But alas…nothing. The contractions slowed. 15 minutes apart. 20 minutes apart. 25 minutes apart.
Theo woke up and came downstairs and I burst into tears that I was so dumb to think labor was actually happening. He got me some lunch and got himself some breakfast and then made me go for another walk. We walked a little over a mile, and I tried to take “lunging” steps. I started having contractions that were painful, but they were only consistent when I was doing something, like walking, lunging, or climbing steps. As soon as I’d stop the contractions would go back to 25-30 minutes apart.
We got back home from our walk and Theo made me lay down and take a nap. I actually slept for a good 40 minutes and didn’t have a single contraction. When I woke up we talked about going to pick Tera up since obviously nothing was happening. I didn’t feel like I was even in labor. At all. I was frustrated and annoyed and frankly, kinda embarrassed. Everyone who knew what was going on encouraged me to just wait on picking up Tera and to try walking some steps or doing some squats.
Around 2 pm I started to feel horrible, like I had the flu. I felt crampy down below and had some nausea. I would have a random contraction every 25 minutes or so, and those contractions were INTENSE. I would have to breathe through them and focus. Everything about them felt like real labor….except they were 25 minutes apart and not getting any closer. SO FRUSTRATING!
Around 2:30, a huge flat bed truck arrived at our house and began to unload all the materials that Theo ordered for remodeling our basement. I made Theo pack all the last minute stuff into the birth bags and pile it by the door. My water hadn’t broken, but for some reason I just assumed that when it did, I would be delivering a baby within a few minutes. Theo went out to help unload the materials, and I started to panic that maybe I was in labor after all and we should go to the birth center. But then I laughed at myself when I thought of what they would say when we called in. “Hello? Yes, I think I’m in labor. My contractions are 25 minutes apart, and nothing is happening except that I just FEEL like I’m in labor”.
Point taken….I decided to stay home. But apparently I am fairly in tune with my body, because it turns out I really was indeed in labor. The flat bed truck left and Theo decided he was going to mow the lawn while I sat inside and read blogs. As soon as he went outside my contractions (that were already super intense) started to get closer together. I still didn’t think there was any need for any type of official panic, but I was starting to think maybe I actually would have a baby that day.
When Theo came in from mowing the lawn, my contractions were 4-6 minutes apart and intense. I really had to grab onto Theo and breathe through them. I looked at him and said, “we need to go to the birth center”. He wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but I told him it was time. He insisted that there was no reason not to labor at home for another 3o minutes while he cleaned up and loaded the car. It was around 5 pm. Theo made himself some dinner and tried to make me eat a bowl of cereal. He also made me walk to the mailbox and then up and down our front steps a couple times. I would have killed him for making me do that if I wasn’t so focused on getting through the contractions.
We hopped in the car and stopped to get gas. In between the contractions, we talked about what we would do if we got to the birth center and I was only 2 or 3 cm dilated. By this time, I had officially been having contractions for over 13 hours, although most of that time I had just rested and it hadn’t felt like hard labor, or any labor at all.
We got to the hospital and parked in the parking garage, one level up. Theo made me walk the stairs because we really weren’t even sure if I was actually in labor. We figured it was the real deal, but with how sporadic everything had been we didn’t know if my contractions all day had been productive or not. At this point, it was 6 pm and I had only been having intense, consistent contractions for less than two hours.
After walking down the stairs, Theo had mercy on me and asked the shuttle driver if she could drive us across the street to the Women’s Center Berry Building. Literally, it was across the street and wouldn’t have killed me to walk it, but we decided the shuttle would be nice, especially since we also had all our bags. We climbed in, and Theo told the driver that I was in labor and needed to go to the Berry Center. Ok….. if you drove a shuttle at a hospital and a passenger gets in that is in labor, what would you do? I don’t know about you, but I would put the pedal to the medal and drive my little buggy straight to the door of L&D, no questions asked.
Instead, I kid you not….the shuttle driver announced that she had to make one stop on the way at the main hospital building. So off she drives us (her only passengers) and takes a detour to the main entrance of the hospital. At this point I’m in transition (but didn’t know it) in the back of her shuttle just going for a joyride to the main hospital building to pick up some random man who needed a ride to the parking garage. Theo and I looked at each other and just laughed and laughed and laughed. I mean…what in the world was she thinking?!?
She finally dropped us off at OUR entrance, and as Theo opened the door the whole door fell off. Here I am in labor, and Theo is holding the door of a golf cart shuttle and ALL our bags. The crazy shuttle driver is suddenly all in a hurry to get us dropped off, and the random passenger man in the front seat is just taking it all in. Dear Lord, that must have been such a sight.
We got the door fixed and marched into the building where I had to sign paperwork and ride the elevator up to the birthing center. To be fair, they did ask if I wanted a wheelchair, but at this point we were STILL so confused as to whether or not I was actually IN labor. My water hadn’t broken, I didn’t have any bloody show, and although my contractions were super consistent and intense, they had done that earlier in the day with nothing to show for it.
We got to our room and the nurse checked me. She said my bag of waters were bulging and I was at 7. SEVEN!
I was so disappointed that I had labored all day and was only at a seven, so I cried. I cried because my water wasn’t broken, and I cried because I still had three centimeters to go. And obviously, for anyone on the outside looking in, I cried because hellllooooo….TRANSITION (aka the worst part of labor EVERRR).
Theo made me get up and walk down the hall, and as I was leaving the room I heard the nurse call the midwife and tell her she needed to come ASAP because I was 8 cm and going fast. I was really confused when I overheard that, because I thought I was at a 7 and still had foreverrrrr to go. Again, can someone say TRANSITION?
I started crying and saying I didn’t want to do it anymore…I couldn’t do it…I still had so much to do…I hated all this…I couldn’t do it.
And every time I said something like that or had another contraction, the nurse and the midwife got out more instruments and more gloves and more gowns on. I was really confused again why they were acting like I was all ready to deliver when OBVIOUSLY I was done and giving up and never going to birth this baby. (Let’s say it all together now: TRANSITION).
They kept asking me where I wanted to labor, and I thought that was a fairly dumb question, because I obviously didn’t want to labor. Not here, not there, not anywhere. Couldn’t they all see I couldn’t do this? Finally, they convinced me to climb up on the bed on my hands and knees, and then someone slid a birth ball under my hands/chest. I labored like that for a while, and that was really “comfortable” for me, but my arms and legs started to fall asleep and I needed something new. At that point, I was getting close and starting to feel pushy, but I was having a hard time knowing how to relax myself enough to move the baby down the birth canal. Paulette told me that I was managing my contractions TOO effectively and that I needed to just let go and let them work for me.
At this point, my water still hadn’t broken, and they kept asking me if I want them to break it. All I knew is that I was in pain, and I didn’t want more pain. In hindsight I should have said yes and just let them break my water. I couldn’t believe my water was still intact, when with Tera it was the very first thing that had happened during my labor.
I got down off the bed and sat on the birth ball in the corner of the room, squished between the bed and the wall. I don’t know why I was over there, but no one else liked that because only one person at a time could get to me. One nurse kept wanting to check his heartbeat with the doppler, Theo and Paulette were sacrificing their hands as I squeezed them during each contraction and the midwife also wanted to get in there to make sure his head wasn’t coming out. I had several contractions on the ball and then I felt his head descend and knew I needed to push. So I stood up and got down on my hands and knees and started pushing, which is EXACTLY what I did with Tera. I was over in the corner all by myself, again, just like with Tera. With Tera we accidentally delivered her on the bathroom floor with no midwife or assistance. We didn’t really want a repeat of that, so everyone in the room started telling me to get up and get on the bed. I really wanted to be on the bed, but I didn’t want to haul myself up and move! But somehow with some team effort they got me up on the bed where I was back on my hands and knees to push. As soon as I started pushing, I got SO HOT. I was just begging for someone to get me a fan. I didn’t even know if that was a possibility, but somehow I got fanned and it was so lovely!
I pushed through 4 or 5 contractions on the bed and then at 7:35 pm, one hour and 15 minutes after we arrived at the birth center (and went on our awesome shuttle joyride), Hezekiah James Hines was born.
I flipped over on the bed and they put him directly on my chest and threw some blankets over us. I cried and cried because I was so relieved to be DONE! He cried and cried because…well, it’s a big harsh world out here!
Afterwards, I had to get stitches, which surprised everyone because they said I was so controlled with my pushing. Ugh. Stitches are awful. And then I finally asked when my water had broken? And nobody knew. Haha. So apparently sometime between being checked when I got there and delivering Kiah, my water had broken and nobody even knew.
Edited to add: Theo says that my water broke sometime when his head was firmly lodged in the birth canal, and his head blocked all the water from coming out. As soon as his head came, a huge gush of water came with the rest of his body.
And that, my friends, is the birth story of Hezekiah James Hines. Honestly, I don’t know whether I should count all the hours of early labor and say I was in labor for 15 hours…but that doesn’t seem fair since so much of the day was slow and sporadic contractions (or none at all). From the time my contractions actually picked up around 4 pm, to the time of delivery at 7:35, I was only in active labor for 3.5 hours.
We spent about 36 hours in the birth center before they released us to go home. Honestly, it was kind of like a vacation and the room was a suite with a huge bed. However, the nights are HORRIBLE because we got interrupted every few hours by nurses checking vitals, nurses changing shifts and all that.
Was it easier the second time around? I don’t really think so! He didn’t fly right out, my contractions weren’t less intense…it was still labor, regardless of how many times I’ve done it. Recovery, on the other hand, has been significantly better, and I’m so much more prepared to roll with the punches.
And don’t forget! If you want to read some other birth stories, you can click on this link here. And if you want to submit your birth story to be published on the blog, you can just email me at [email protected]!