Parker tried to come into this world at 34 weeks. This was very scary because that means that he would have had to go into the Niccu. I ended up spending the whole day at the hospital as they tried to stop my contractions so that I did not go into active labor. Eventually the efforts paid off and I was free to go home. For the next several weeks I took it very easy to assure that Parker had enough time to develop. I had many people from church as well as close friends helping me through this tough time, so that I could rest and stay off my feet. I was so excited when I reached 37 weeks and Parker was considered full term.
At this point I was doing everything in my power to put myself into labor, but nothing seemed to be working. Parker was just awfully comfortable, I guess. I felt like everything was progressing perfectly and everything was in my control as far as birth decisions. That changed when I walked into my 39 week apt. I could feel a lot of pressure at the top of my stomach, and there was the big bulge sticking up. Not thinking much of it I casually asked my midwife what body part that was. She was not 100% sure but she said that she thought it could be a butt, since she was not positive we decided to do an ultra sound just to be sure. That is when we realized that Parker had flipped and was now head up, or breech.
That is when my head started spinning. How could this happen to me. I had an all-natural home birth with Levi, and I had every intention of having another all natural birth. I knew this would be impossible since breech babies are automatic c-sections. I just wanted to cry, but I held myself together in the Dr. office so that I could go over the few choices I had. We decided I had a lot of things going in my favor if I were to decide to do an inversion. An inversion is when you go into the hospital and they try to manually flip the baby by pushing on your stomach. Since I am so small it would be easier to push the baby directly, I also had lots of fluid still in my stomach, Parker flipped so late in the pregnancy there would be a good chance he could do it again, but at the same time I was 39 weeks pregnant and the further you are the harder it is. I decided I had nothing to lose by scheduling the apt. We made it for Thursday morning, which was three days later. As soon as I got out to the car I just lost it and became an emotional wreck. I could not stop crying. I called Morgan and my mom to tell them about the apt, and they could not believe that Parker would go from being head down at 38 weeks to breech at 39 weeks. My mom immediately got her plane ticket changed so that she could arrive Thursday afternoon in case Parker was to be born early.
Meanwhile they gave me a stretch to do that would help encourage the baby to flip back. I had to sit with my feel elevated in the air, and my back and head to the ground. It was highly uncomfortable, but I did it religiously. I also read online that if you put heat on the bottom of your stomach where you want the head, and ice on the top that also motivates them to move towards the heat. These methods both helped I am sure, but I think the thing that made the greatest difference was the fast that took place within our family. Morgan and all his family as well as my brother in law Thomas all fasted for me on Wednesday that Parker would flip back and be head down.
We got up at 4:30a.m. Thursday morning because we had to be at the hospital by 5:30 in order to get everything ready for the procedure. I was crazy nervous. I felt like I wanted to throw up and I had a bazillion butterflies in my stomach. I am not sure if I was more nervous for the IV or if I was nervous for the procedure that was about to take place, but either way my heart was racing. When the first nurse came in to do my IV I told her not to miss because I had a huge phobia of needles, and of course she missed, and it hurt so so so so bad. Right after she missed Holly the nurse who was going to be taking over the shift came in, so they decided that she would be the next one to make the attempt at my IV. I was very hesitant to let them try again with my arm, but I knew I had no choice. Let me just say Holly was amazing. It hardly hurt. She had that needle in and out so fast. My arm was throbbing from the first attempt, but felt fine where Holly did it. I talked about Holly’s IV skills for the rest of the day.
Finally it was time for the procedure. The Dr. came in to meet me and explained the way everything would work. They would have to move me into the operating room, just in case while they were pushing on my stomach the placenta detached and they would have to go straight into and emergency c-section. Before they moved me they did one last ultrasound to check Parkers position. At first look we were pretty sure that he was still breech, and my heart sank. I was so disappointed. But after a minute of looking we realized we did not see the head. Finally we found it…and it was down! His head was sitting super low. I could not believe it, he flipped again! I was beyond happy, not only did I not have to get that procedure done, but I would also have another chance at a natural child birth. I know that heavenly father was watching over me, and that our family’s prayers and fast was answered.
I now had a very hard decision to make. I could be induced, right then and there and ensure that Parker would not flip again. Or I could go home, and wait for labor to start naturally, but if he flipped again I would end up with a C-section. We figured since he had flipped twice now in my final week of pregnancy there would be a high chance that he could do it again, so even though I knew that a natural child birth would be much more difficult with an induction I decided that it was my best shot. I have never liked the idea of being induced and I have always believed that my babies would come when they were fully developed and ready. I knew that Parker was not fully ready to be born, but I did not want to chance him going breech again, so considering my options that is what I decided to do. Parker was going to be born, and I was very excited. I was also very nervous because I knew that the labor was going to be extra tough, since I was going to be starting it artificially
I was not dilated at all, and his head was still sitting at a +2, so not much was going in my favor besides that fact that I had a super soft cervix. (I attribute this to an amazing cervix softener I take starting at 36 weeks.) We decided that we would start with Laura, my amazing midwife, stripping my membranes. After that I walked around the hospital for two hours to see if I could start labor somewhat naturally. After two hours nothing was progressing, so I had get hooked up to Pitocin. I was very hesitant and nervous about this, but I fully trusted my midwife and knew that it would be the only way to start labor that day. After several hours I was having very routine contractions about 2-3 minutes apart, I was dilated to around a six, but Parker was not dropping. At this point my best friend Anita came down to the hospital to support me through my labor. I was so excited she was able to come and be with me during this time, because talking to her made time move so much faster. I honestly think we could talk all day and never get bored. Every couple hours they would come in and turn up the Pitocin, and the contractions were slowly becoming more intense. I kept pushing everyone to let me go and labor in the tub, but in order for them to let me do this they would have to take me off of the Pitocin. So they checked me again and I was dilated to seven, but Parker still was not dropping. Laura said they would take me off the Pitocin and if my body could maintain the contractions on its own then they would move me to the tub. So after thirty minutes of no Pitocin I was still contracting so they let me move into the tub. On my way to the tub, my mom arrived to the hospital. Dean, Anita’s husband, was able to pick her up from the airport. I was very excited to have my mom there with me also. From there the contractions slowly started to fade over time. I remember sitting in the water just having a grand old time. I was still contracting a lot, but it was not bad. I was able to talk through all the contractions. I just remember we were all laughing a lot and having a lot of fun. I think this was the highlight of the labor, not counting the actual moment Parker was born of course. Even though we were all of having such a fun conversation, we knew the contractions were not intense enough if I was feeling so chatty and cheery. Laura checked me and I was still at a seven, and Parker still was not dropping and my cervix was still super high. That is when Laura suggested she break my water. I really did not want her to do this, because I knew that would bring on really fast and hard contractions, but the only other option was for me to get out of the tub, and go back on the Pitocin. Since I knew I wanted to stay in the tub for as long as possible I decided to have her break my water to see if that would progress things. By breaking my water that would drop Parkers head down, so that the contractions could be more effective in helping me dilate.
Well she broke my water, and sure enough the contractions got much more intense. I was no longer the one leading the conversation, but instead I was the one listening to the conversation. This was fine because even just listening was still a distraction. Pretty soon my labor took a hard turn, and I started to loose confidence in myself and my body. I was about to enter what I consider to be the hardest part of my labor. The contractions were getting to be extremely intense and close together which is fine because that is how it should be, but the discouraging thing was that I was still not dilating past a seven and Parker still was not dropping. I felt so defeated. I had been up since 4:00am had eaten hardly anything all day. It was probably close to seven and nothing was progressing. The contractions were becoming more and more unbearable and I had nothing to show for it. Had I been having hard contractions and been progressing it would have been much easier to bear, but I was just so exhausted. To top it all off the tub did not get very warm water, so I was freezing cold and shivering. At his point I was running out of options and energy, so Laura recommended I get out of the tub and go back on the Pitocin. I remember I agreed if they would wrap me in warm blankets when I got out. I just loved the blanket warmer at the hospital. So I moved from the tub to the bed.
As much as I did not want to do this I was ready to try anything that would get Parker out of me. She also checked me again at this point, and parker had turned again. I was still at a seven, and he was not dropping. Since he was no longer in the correct birthing position, Laura laid me on my side with a huge ball between my legs in order to help Parker get into the correct position. At this point I was completely wiped out, and I was asking for an epidural. I just felt so depleted and discouraged. I wanted to give up. That is when my mom, Anita, and Morgan all just started to encourage me and help motivate me through those last moments. They cranked up the Pitocin and I had three of the most painful contractions I have ever experienced. I remember I punched Morgan in the head like three times during one of them because it was so intense.
Shortly after that I started to feel a strong urge to push. I was telling Laura I was pushing and I could not control it. At first I don’t think anyone fully believed me since I had wanted to push through the whole labor, but I could feel that this time was different. I asked Laura if I was close to delivering the baby and she said I need to have a more extreme push then that before it would be time to have the baby, but she said to listen to my body. Sure enough the next contraction I had a very extreme push, and everyone realized Parker was really coming. I remember pushing like crazy but I could not get his head through. At this point Laura told me she could see it and asked if I wanted to touch it. I said no, haha. Once people could see the top of the head I think everyone realized that this was going to be a BIG baby. With Levi as soon as his head was though his whole body literally just slid out, but that was not the case with Parker. Once his head was out, I remember yelling he is stuck! And I could not push him out any more. Laura told me to do one more big push, and she pulled and twisted and finally Parker was born 9 pounds 3.8 ounces.
The original plan was for Parker to be put on my chest right away so that the cord could pulse, but this was not an option since Laura felt like there was a chance he could have a broken collar bone because he got kinda stuck and had to be pulled out. Also since he was so big there were also potential risks.
I need to brag for a minute about how awesome my midwife Laura was, and also my little support group. Laura was able to get Parker out without hurting him, and left me with just some very minimal tearing that left me walking around that night. I had a bruised Pelvis from where his shoulder got stuck, but outside of that I felt great. I could not even feel the stitches. I will say I preferred the stitches more than the numbing stuff. The numbing shot was worse than the stitches. So Laura stopped giving me the numbing medicine upon my request. She acted quickly and was amazing. I did not feel like she was just my Dr. but also my friend. She was with me through the whole birth and was such a great support. In addition to Laura I had my mom Morgan, and Anita also there. They were incredible. Laura referred to them as the dream team, and said I had one of the best support circles she had seen. They all motivated me, loved me, and most of all believed in me. I cannot say how grateful I am to have such supportive family and friends.
I know that heavenly father had a hand in my child birth, and I know I could not have delivered Parker naturally without him. Had he gone to the same term as Levi Parker would have been over ten pounds and may have not fit through the birth canal. Just the fact that he was able to flip weighing 9 pounds blows my mind, but heavenly father knew that would be the only way I would agree to an induction. Parkers birth was 13 hours and it was rough, especially at the end but I am so grateful for the end result. Thank you to everyone who prayed and fasted for me, and to everyone who supported me through my birth. We love Parker so much!