Caden's Birth Story
Caden is 6 weeks old and I’m still relishing in his birth experience—even though it did not go as planned.
It truly felt like he was never going to come. He measured big in all of his ultrasounds so they kept telling me he could come at any time starting in the middle of August. So every day felt like it could be the day!
After about a week of that, it got realllll old and I was getting a tad antsy.
I had a horrible birthing experience with Ellie, so this time I wanted to go into it prepared. I researched, read books, and wrote out my perfect birth plan. I really, really wanted to have a natural water birth.
I saw a midwife through this pregnancy and that was HUGE. Richele was amazing through the entire process. She always listened when I poured out questions, expressed concerns or what I really wanted for Caden’s birth. She knew to have a natural, water birth was so important to me and she supported me 100%.
I was induced with Ellie and I absolutely did not want that to happen again. I wouldn’t wish to be on Pitocin on my worst enemy. But I guess my body just never wanted to get labor started on my own. Richele (my midwife) first suggested being induced around my 38/39th week only because she was concerned about Caden’s large size, but I really didn’t want to. I wanted to give myself that weekend to see if anything would happen on its own. However, I was only 1-2cm dilated.
The other tricky part to all this is that my best friend, Kristin, was going to fly in from Florida as soon as I went into labor to video/photograph the birth. Yeesh.
Unfortunately, nothing happened and at that point, Richele said my best chances at having a natural birth and avoiding a C-section were if I was induced. As much as I didn’t want to, I’d rather that than a C-section. So we scheduled it and Kristin flew in a couple of days before. Having her there was such a relief.
We went to the hospital on Wednesday, September 5th at 5:00am. My Nana stayed back at our house with Ellie. My mom and Kristin were at the hospital with us.
They started me on Pitocin which was around 6:45am. Richele and I were hoping that I would only have to be on Pitocin for a couple hours to get things moving and that my body would keep it going.
Time was moving so slow. Small contractions started but things were moving at a glacial pace. Super.
Richele checked me around 9:30am and I was only 2-3cm. I was doing everything I could to pick things up more so I could get off the Pitocin because they wouldn’t bring in the birthing tub until I had been off of it for an hour. I rotated between walking, squatting, and bouncing on an exercise ball.
Richele came back at lunchtime and broke my water. Man, do I hate that feeling! Out came the giant diapers after that! No shame though. Gotta do what ya gotta do.
Things really picked up after that. I was having strong contractions. I texted my doula, Emily, that it was time to come. She arrived a little after 1:00pm and immediately started applying my Clary Sage essential oil over my ankles (the vita flex point for the uterus) and my lower back. This definitely helped bring my contractions closer together. I was having two or three strong ones back to back.
(Sidenote: Emily is amazing!!! If you’re having a baby, you need her there. Click here for her info.)
I was huffing my bottles of Frankincense, Believe and Stress Away during contractions and that really helped with my thoughts and relaxing the tension in my body. I’ll do a blog post later talking about all of the oils I used and diffused throughout the day!
They told me I had to get to 5cm before they would bring in the pool and consider taking me off the Pitocin so that’s what I focused on.
The pain was almost unbearable by now. I was having a lot of back labor so Emily (my doula) would push on my back through each contraction. When my mom, Kristin, and Eli took a turn, they said how bad their fingers hurt from pushing so hard—haha. You guys are my heros.
I was allowed to stand in the shower a few times. The hot water running down my back helped a lot. Emily and Eli were amazing and still kept pushing my back through each contraction. Eli basically got in to hold me up when I couldn’t stand on my own.
Emily had me rotate through different positions every 20-30 minutes when I could which I think helped things progress and bring Caden down further. I finally hit 5cm and I was begging for them to take me off Pitocin and to get the tub in there.
But that wasn’t happening…
I remember I was on the bed on my knees leaning over the back when I had my first breakdown. I was shaking and sobbing from the pain. My midwife had to leave and an OB doctor that I hadn’t met was stepping in for the evening. She came in and told me it wasn’t a good idea to go off the Pitocin. That my body wouldn’t progress and I’d end up having a C-section.
I was completely crushed.
My mom, Emily, Eli, and Kristin all stayed positive telling me it would be fine and we’d get through it. It wasn’t much longer when I reached transition.
I don’t remember experiencing transition with Ellie’s birth since I ended up having an epidural with her. But this time I knew I was in it as soon as it started. I remember squeezing and hitting my bed rail so hard because I couldn’t take the pain. I cried that I was so tired and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to push him out if I had to wait much longer. They assured me that I could. I remember Kristin telling me over and over, “Sure you can. You’re already doing it.” I replayed that to myself constantly.
Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long. A little after 7:00pm I told the nurse he was coming. All I remember is people rushing around and the nurses saying the doctor was still in a C-section. Fannn-tastic.
I got back on my knees, leaning over the back of the bed. All I knew is I did not want to be on my back. Why work against gravity, ya know? The nurses kept telling me not to push yet and I wanted to throw something at them because I obviously wasn’t pushing on my own. Finally, the doctor came running in.
It didn’t take many pushes before he started crowning. I remember them saying, “look at his hair!” I actually reached down to feel it. My baby boy was finally coming.
His head came out and his shoulders decided to come together. Let me tell you…the ring of fire is a very real thing, my friends. This is where I had third degree tearing. And I felt alllll of it happening.
Sorry if that’s TMI, but this is a birth story so…
I had in my birth plan that I wanted to pull him out on my own. The doctor politely said she felt bad that she already changed up my plan and asked if I wanted to still do it. “Just get him out!” was all I said, haha. One or two more pushes and he was here!
Caden Anthony was born at 8:09pm weighing 8lbs 15oz and 21.2 inches long! (The hospital measured him at 20 inches, but he was wiggly and they did it quickly. We got the accurate number at his first check-up a couple days later.)
You are so beautiful, so wanted and so loved, my sweet boy.
It’s truly incredible what a woman’s body is capable of. It was surreal to wait and trust my body as he was coming. How you can be in so much pain until the second your baby is born and then you’re overwhelmed with peace and relief.
While I had him on my chest, I noticed the room started to feel chaotic and more nurses were rushing in. They couldn’t get my bleeding to stop. The doctor was repeatedly asking for tools and nurses were frantically looking for them. I wasn’t too aware of what was happening, but later Eli told me how scary it was. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but they eventually got things under control thankfully.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of him the rest of the night. Six weeks later and I’m obsessed with him as ever.
As hard as it was, I would choose to birth naturally all over again. I felt present and loved being aware of what stage of labor I was in. I can also say that my recovery was so much faster this way.
If you desire a natural birth, do it! You are strong and more than capable of birthing your baby your way. Of course, there is pain but it’s with a purpose. And that makes it so worth it. Things may also not go according to plan (they sure didn’t for me!), but you have the final say in what you want when changes come up.
If you’re like, “No way…give me the drugs!” that’s fine, too! There is not a right or wrong way to do this. It just has to be your way. You are amazing either way you choose.
All of the images above are by Kristin (Ella Lu Photography). Click here to go follow her on Instagram! Here is the incredible video she put together of that special day:
My sweet friend, Molly, came and did some photos of Caden and Ellie the next morning! These are her beautiful images below. I’ll share more of these in a later blog post, too. Click here to go follow Molly on Instagram!