Raymond Mark Forsyth, born at 1:03 pm on Monday, June 4th. 7 lbs. 11.5 oz. and 20.5 inches long.
I always like to write out the full length birth story, for me (it’s therapeutic) and for Ray. So, let’s start on Sunday morning, June 3rd. I already explained in my last post about how I passed some blood early Sunday morning (3 am). I went in to the ER and determined I wasn’t in labor and Ray wasn’t under any stress, so they sent me home. My amazing friends, Erin, came and stayed with the boys at 3:30 in the morning. She said it was amazing that we even got a hold of her because she had left her cell phone in her living room the night before and the only reason anyone heard it going off was because her husband, Ben, had gotten hot in the middle of the night and went out to sleep on the couch and heard the phone. I get the feeling the Lord is watching over and taking care of me every step of the way. I had called someone else that morning too, but couldn’t wake them with calls, so Erin was a Godsend.
Daniel and I came home around 7 am, before Noah and Liam even woke up. So, when the boys woke up and saw Daniel and I up they seemed pleased and said, “what’s for breakfast?!”
Daniel and I went back to sleep for a few hours, but I was having a lot of contractions and found it hard to sleep well. It was stake conference that day, and we were both tired, so we laid low with Noah and Liam at home all day. I also had contractions all day. I just thought this was annoying, not early labor, but that’s what it really ended up being.
The contractions on Sunday were very irregular, some were 15 minutes apart, some 20-30 minutes apart. And they weren’t getting stringer or weaker either, it all varied. The one thing that stayed constant was that I couldn’t relax and sleep. I talked to my mom a lot that day and we decided to not have her fly out just yet because I could go on like this forever and afterall, I was ONLY 2 days past my due date. I went to bed Sunday night around 10 pm.
At 1 am on Monday morning, I started having enough strong contractions to wake me up every 15 minutes and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Daniel became aware of me and the contractions around 2 am. They started picking up by 3:30 am and by 4 am I told Daniel to call my mom and tell her to get on the 6 am flight out of CA to get here. At 4:30 am Daniel called the midwife on call. The contractions still weren’t super consistent and that was throwing us off. Some contractions were very strong and painful and lasted a full minute or more, but then they’d space out to 10 minutes apart. We didn’t really know why that was happening. That was different that both of my other labors. Daniel and I were hesistant about going in to the hospital too early since we like to labor as much as possible at home, but the midwife we talked to said not to wait too long since this was my third baby.
By 5 am Daniel had texted our friend, Leslie, and was packing a bag of clothes for the boys. Daniel got everything in the car and I was having serious contractions now. They were coming about every 3-5 minutes. I remember being in the front room to make sure everything was getting in the car that we needed and Daniel was rushing in and out of the front door and a few contractions hit me right there and I got down on all fours and leaned my face into the leather recliner to deal with the contractions while Daniel was packing up the car and putting sleepy boys in the car. I was pretty sure at this point that we should go to the hospital
We dropped the boys off at Leslie’s house. Les came out and was so cute. She was super excited and came and hugged me and told me it would all be OK. I was crying. I had definitely hit the “emotional sign post” they talk about in the Bradley book.
It was a 25 minute drive to the hospital and I had about 6 or 7 strong contractions during the drive. It was aweful to be in an upright sitting position while contracting. I remember I kept my eyes closed so I could concentrate and everytime a contraction came, I grabbed on to the seatbelt and pulled as hard as I could. When we got to the Alternative Birthing Center at the hospital the nurse checked me and said I was dilated to …. 2.5 centimeters. I was crestfallen. I had been contracting for basically a day and a 1/2 and having some pretty serious contractions for a few hours now and I was only a 2.5?? My contractions starting spacing out right after that. They slowed to about 10-15 minutes apart, then the midwife came in. Her name was Rondi.
Rondi sat down with Daniel and me and asked us to tell her what was going on and what led us to the hospital. It was about 8 am now. I told her I was very tired. I hadn’t slept more than 5 hours in the past 24 hours and I was exhausted. I told her I didn’t know why the contractions had slowed down and that the entire labor had been super irregular and that was making me anxious. I told her that they had checked me and I was only a 2.5. She said maybe they would send me home. She checked me and said I was at 4 centimeters! Woo hoo! Then she said I needed to get up and move. She said I needed to stop worrying about counting contractions and to get out of my head. She told me to get in a hot shower and squat with every contraction and then to just move!! So I did. And contractions sped up and became more intense. It was working.
I continued laboring this way for a few hours. I would move and squat and get in the shower, then get out and start over. Daniel ordered some breakfast and I tried to eat something, but I was still very tired. After having all this active labor, I had a period of time where the contractions slowed down again to 10-15 minutes apart and I fell asleep in between contractions. I knew I was sleeping because I would start having weird thoughts and realized I was dreaming. I can’t believe your body is adept enough to let your contracting body sleep in the middle of labor when you’re tired. It’s just amazing.
After this period of sleepiness I remember suddenly being wide awake and feeling strong contractions come on. I squatted down and felt pressure on my tail bone and bum. I felt like I needed to poop basically and in previous labors, that meant it was time to push. It was about noon now.
My midwife came in and was with me for the rest of the labor. She was there for a lot of it before then too. I was happy to have her. She was right on about what I needed to be doing and when it came to delivery, she really helped out.
This is when it got crazy. I felt like pushing, but it wasn’t time yet. My contractions were sheer, blinding pain at this point. I labored for a while like this, then had another period of time when I fell asleep in between contractions. I was amazed my body was able to do this. I was so exhausted. I don’t know how graphic I should get … hmmmmm … well, somewhere in this stage my water broke. It was a crazy hour. I was squatting and contracting and feeling lots of pressure and water was draining from me and other stuff as well. Let’s leave it at that. One thing that was different was my cervix.
I had been very consistent with taking homeopathic medicines and drinking my raspberry leaf tea and taking my evening primrose oil pills too. These are all things that are supposed to help soften and prepare your cervix. Evidently, it had worked because my midwife said my cervix was super stretchy. So much so, that it was really contracting back over the baby’s head, but swelling a little and almost folding over on itself. This is crazy, but my midwife actually held my cervix open until it was completely dilated and out of the way of the baby’s head and then she just said, “OK, cervix is gone – now push that baby out. Just push him out. Go ahead”. I pushed for about 20 minutes I guess?? I don’t know exactly. Time and space and propriety were long gone for me and I was standing on the hospital bed, leaning on an exercise ball, grunting and moaning and pushing a baby out. It was crazy. I felt his head descend and with one solid push, he came out all at once.
Ray was born posterior (which explains the irregular labor pattern and the pressure on my tail bone and bum). So when he came out, I was standing above him on the bed and he slid out underneath me, face up, looking right at me. I picked him up and the midwife told me to sit down with the baby. They must’ve been worried I would tumble down from the bed, since I was standing on it. I can’t really explain the relief I felt. Relief, happiness, amazement … words fail me. You truly just had to be there. He was perfect … and hairy. He had a full head of hair and hairy arms, legs and back. My mom and dad both mentioned how little Ray’s hairiness resembled me as a baby. My dad said, “it was like raising a chimp” (referring to raising me … he’s so mean). Anyway, Ray is perfect. He’s beautiful and it’s over, the labor and delivery I mean. It’s done. It was harder than I remember it. I guess that’s why I decided I could do this again … I forgot how hard it was. But it’s done. He’s here. And we’re so happy.
Ray and Liam.