Chloe’s Birth Story
Well, second babies are much different than first babies. Chloe is 5 months old and her birth story is finally being written! Poor baby! Hopefully I can remember all of the details…I’m pretty sure I can since the story is much quick than Winter’s story, since the labor and delivery process was a quick process. Less than 4.5 hours of laboring with a second baby….little did I know that would be our story!
When I was pregnant with Chloe, I had a strong desire to go for an all natural, drug free delivery this go round. With Winter’s labor and delivery, I went majority of the time unmedicated and ended up getting an epidural towards the very end before giving birth. I have no regrets about getting the epidural in that situation, but there was just this strong motivation and desire within me to see what a natural childbirth experience felt like for my second baby. I read Hypnobirthing, which is a method that helps mothers use visualization (aka hypnosis) to get through contractions to achieve a natural birth. It very much empowers the mother that women are designed to do this and we are taught by our society that we aren’t strong enough to handle the pain of birth. It teaches us that the more fear we have, the more pain we will feel. If we tense up and resist the contractions (or “surges” as the book refers to them), then we actually feel more pain. So…anyway, reading the book and getting mentally prepared ahead of time was very helpful. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good method of natural childbirth.
On Saturday, October 24, one day after my due date, we decided to go to the zoo as a family. We knew that time was running out for us to do anything as a family of 3. It was a gorgeous day outside. We drove to the Denver zoo and discovered upon arrival that it was Boo at the Zoo, a Halloween event. This meant that the zoo was much more crowded than a normal Saturday. Ugh! I was not in the mood for this! We drove around the entire parking lot and failed to find a single spot to park. We had to drive about a mile away and parked in a neighborhood. While this was annoying to park and have to walk since I was 40+ weeks pregnant, I knew that walking was good for me at this stage if I wanted to see any progress towards labor. Between the mile walk to the entrance, plus walking around the zoo, and finally walking the mile back to the car, I figure we must have walked anywhere from 3-5 miles. I kept telling my husband over and over, “Eric, I feel like her head is so low that she could just fall out of my body at any moment.” I also kept repeating, “It feels like my water could break at any moment.”
Well, my water did break. But not until late that evening. We had put Winter to bed and were watching TV on the couch. If I remember correctly, I believe we were watching an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Jane the Virgin. Around 10:45pm, I suddenly felt a slight bit of fluid. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. I came back and Eric looked at me with a confused expression and asked what was going on. I replied that I wasn’t sure, but perhaps I had a leak in my bag of waters.
To be safe, Eric put a towel on the couch for me to sit on, and over the next 15 minutes, I continued to have more fluid leaking. I knew for a fact that I wasn’t peeing….so I was beginning to think it must be my water had really broken! It was 11:00pm and I wanted to call my mom to see what she thought. She lives in a different time zone so it was 1:00am her time, but I called her anyway. She didn’t mind. We spoke and she confirmed what I was thinking that my water had broken. She suggested two ideas: 1. Get off the couch and start walking to see if that helps labor to begin, or 2. Get to bed and see if you can get a bit of sleep since you’ll be needing it. I decided the latter was the option that I’d rather choose. Sleep would probably be a good idea if I was going to need my energy for labor! We stayed up a bit longer to finish watching our show and then got in bed around midnight or so. I wasn’t having any contractions yet and I was tired enough that I quickly fell asleep.
Thank goodness I had decided to get some sleep! That was a good decision. At some point in the next few hours, contractions began. I was awoken from my sleep because of the contractions at 2:30am. When I woke up I got excited because I knew that this must be it! My water had broken and now I was in labor. For an hour I stayed in bed and breathed through each contraction as it came. They were coming every 5 minutes or and lasting for around a minute. After an hour I noticed the intensity was picking up with the amount of pain I was feeling, so I couldn’t bear to lie in bed anymore. I got up.
Eric ran a bath for me, and as soon as I entered the tub, I felt like I could manage the pain of the contractions so much better. The water was so soothing. I had the lights off and a candle right next to my face. I stayed very calm and very relaxed. Every time I had a contraction I used my breathing and visualization techniques I had learned. I distinctly remember that I used two main visuals: 1. Winter’s face and 2. Like I was in the ocean and I was surfing on a wave. I just kept riding it out until the contraction/wave ended. Keeping my mind busy really helped me get through the pain. The other thing that helped me was staying as relaxed and calm as possible. I tried to avoid tensing up any muscles if at all possible. I was very quiet too. I felt very excited at how well I was managing the pain!
Eric called the midwife around 4:15 or 4:30am and let her know what was going on. I had only been in labor for 2 hours at this point. We only live 1 mile from the hospital, and my goal was to stay home as long as possible, get to the hospital and pop that baby out right away. I didn’t want to rush to the hospital because I knew I felt more comfortable in my own home to labor and stay relaxed. I overheard Eric on the phone with the midwife and I could tell that she was strongly urging him to get me out of the tub and get to the hospital right away. She said that second babies have a tendency to come quickly and she wasn’t interested in me having an accidental home birth or being in an emergency/rushed situation. Eric got off the phone and I told him he was crazy if he thought I was getting out of that tub and going to the hospital. I had only been having contractions since 2:30 and it was 4:30 at this point. He lovingly insisted that my midwife said it was time to come in, so I begrudgingly got out of the bath. I took my sweet time at getting dressed and getting ready to go.
I noticed as soon as I was out of the tub, my contractions began to pick up in pain intensity. They were suddenly SO BAD and much more painful to manage than when I had been in the water!! Not only were they more painful, but they suddenly were coming much more frequently, like every 2 minutes instead of 4-5 minutes. I continued to breathe and use visualizations during contractions. With every contraction, I bent over (against the bed or a piece or furniture) and rocked my hips back and forth. This was my go-to move and I never really did anything else besides this specific position. This really seemed to be my go-to.
We called our friends who were going to be taking care of Winter to let them know we were coming to drop her off. I felt so bad waking them up! We pulled Winter out of her crib and loaded up in the car. We dropped her off at around 5:00am and headed to the hospital. Thankfully it was a very short distance to the hospital because managing contractions when confined to a seat and buckled up is not easy feat.
It was shortly after 5:00am when we parked the car. I had a few contractions in the parking lot. Since it was after hours, we had to enter through the emergency room. We had to wait a few minutes for a nurse to come down to escort us upstairs, so while waiting in the emergency room lobby, I had several contractions. I continued to bend over and lean against a piece of furniture while swaying my hips each time. That seemed to help me.
We got upstairs and they hooked me up to the fetal monitors. They did a swab test to check to see if my water truly had broken. I filled out and signed all kinds of papers. This whole process took a while, perhaps 45 minutes or so. They had me lie down on the bed while all of this was happening, which was miserable! I hated lying on that bed. Every time a contraction would come (which was often!), I would jump out of that bed and lean over the bed and rock my hips. The nurses were so encouraging and continued to tell me again and again how awesome I was doing at managing the pain.
I got the report back that yes, my water had indeed broken. The nurse then did my first cervical check at that time (approximately 6:00am) and I was 6 centimeter dilated. Okay! This was good. I had been scared that I wouldn’t be very dilated, but hearing that I was at a 6cm made me feel happy.
I told them that I needed to move to the tub since they were done with all of their initial monitoring and admittance things. They changed my monitors to the wireless monitors that I could wear in the tub. I put on my bikini top and got in the tub wearing just that. I turned off the lights and continued to get myself through those contractions using my techniques. Eric sat outside of the tub next to me and was so supportive and encouraging. He is such a good husband!
Over the next 20 minutes I began to feel very nauseous. I had a nurse bring a pan for me in case I decided to throw up. I didn’t throw up, but I felt like I could at any moment.
At approximately 6:40am, I suddenly felt pressure and pain like I’d never experienced before! It happened so fast and I can’t even describe how intense it was. It just hit me, like BAM! Pressure, pressure, pressure! Suddenly I had contractions back to back without any break in between! It was overwhelming and I started to really freak out. It’s like the floodgates opened and all hell broke loose! Eric was sitting next to me outside the tub and he began to look very worried and concerned for me. I was now thrashing my body around as I couldn’t deal with the intensity of pain. I yanked the cord to call the nurse in. Several nurses flooded in the small bathroom and they quickly realized what was happening based on my wild behavior. I was thrashing around and in very intense pain, much different than the behavior they’d witnessed from me in the short time prior.
I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even stand up to get out of the tub. Eric grabbed one shoulder and the nurse grabbed the other. They were trying to pull my body out of the tub. She insisted that we needed me out of the tub because it was against hospital policy to have a water birth. I knew that, but my body wasn’t allowing me to stand up. I practically was dragged and then I crawled from the tub to the edge of the bed.
My midwife was just arriving to the hospital, and at this rate, not soon enough!! The nurse asked me to get up on the bed so she could check to see how dilated I was. There was no way I could get up there! It was nearly impossible. Finally, one leg at a time, I managed to crawl up and I was on all fours on top of the bed. All I was wearing was a bikini top, so this was quite the site! My rear was facing the door, and in walks my midwife. She said hello, and I said, “Sorry you have to walk in to the room to see THIS view of me!” I guess I still have a sense of humor even when I’m in wild amounts of pain. She chuckled.
At this point I was doing a lot of intense yelling and some screaming because I was overcome with pain. I yelled things like, “THIS IS SO STUPID!” “WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS?” “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS TODAY!” “I CAN’T DO THIS!” “THIS IS SOOOOOO DUMB!!!!” “I DON’T WANT TO HAVE A BABY TODAYYYYY!!!” I was losing my mind.
As soon as I climbed up on that bed and was on all fours, I asked if they were going to give me a cervical check. I yelled, “Can you please just check me in this position? Because I seriously CANNOT move my body whatsoever!” They replied calmly, “Honey, no need to check you because we can see that they baby is already crowning. She’s coming out.” Say, what?!
This was a bit of music to my ears because at least I knew that we were at the end and it was all going to be over soon. But it was an out of body experience. I really wasn’t all the way there. I could feel my body pushing without my help. Crazy! Like I couldn’t control it….it was happening with or without my assistance. The midwife suggested I stop trying to hold the baby in, but rather just give a little push with the contractions. So I did. There was none of the counting to 10 stuff…nope…it was just me pushing a little. After one push Eric shouts, “Katy, her head is out!” I was amazed. That was quick. But I was so in pain and couldn’t catch my breath. I was overwhelmed and scared. The midwife said, “Push one more time and she will be born and this will be over!” I pleaded that I needed to take a quick break, but she said, no, just to do it and it’ll all be done. So I did. I pushed that second time and then she was born. Wow. 6:47am. I couldn’t even believe it. Those last 5-10 minutes had been a whirlwind and now it was all over. She was born! Hallelujah!
Since I was on my hands and knees with my rear in the air when I delivered her, they handed the baby to me through my legs. I grabbed her and sat back on my ankles and held her on my chest in disbelief. She was here. I held her and just laughed. What an experience that was. Intense, fast and now my baby girl was in my arms. Joy filled my heart as I cuddled this sweet new being. She was so tiny, but yet so huge when I thought about how she had just been inside of my body moment ago. This was the baby who I had been waiting to meet all of those months. This was the one who kept me up at night. This was that active little girl who kicked and did gymnastics on my bladder at all hours of the day. And here she was. Just perfect and beautiful as can be. My baby. Perfect. Chloe Rose Lute, my sweet second born daughter.
My legs started to go numb because I of how I was sitting. So I got up and turned around so I could lie in the bed in the other direction. Chloe latched on right away and began breastfeeding. She knew what to do. Just like that. She continued to suckle and bond for 40 minutes. Then, the nurse took her measurements and she was 19.5 inches and 6 pounds, 15 ounces. I was surprised she was under 7 pounds since I had been thinking she was going to be a huge baby with how big I had been feeling at the end of my pregnancy. She was just a hair smaller than Winter’s birth weight.
That whole day felt surreal to me. Because I had an all natural drug free birth, I felt such an adrenaline rush. I was on an emotional high from having my baby, but also from a girl power stand point. I felt amazing both physically and emotionally, and it was such a different experience than my first birth. I would totally do it again, as crazy as it was. My recovery was so much easier and I felt great. Maybe it’s the combination of a short 4.5 hour labor and the natural birth….who knows? But what I do know is that if we have another baby, I will definitely do it this way again!
Winter came to the hospital around noon and we got to spend at little bit of time together as a new family of 4. Winter was in awe of her baby sister. It was absolutely precious to see my two daughters meeting for the first time. They say that when you have more children, your love doesn’t divide—it multiplies. And that is so true. I was amazed at how full my heart was feeling. It’s like I could explode. And that’s just the beginning…
A few photos of that morning Chloe was born:
A few minutes after Chloe was born.
Sweet baby girl looks like her daddy – getting measured for height and weight.
Daddy holding Chloe for the first time.
Big sister, Winter arrived and got to see her baby sister for the first time.
Winter loved Chloe from the first moment!
Holding her…my heart!
Sweet Chloe Rose, just a few hours old and absolutely perfect.