It's hard to believe I gave birth to my little prince an entire month ago. This being my second childbirth, I decided up front to do things a little different. I remember being so stressed and nervous and anxious in the weeks before Cadence arrived. I had been on bedrest with her the whole pregnancy and everyone was so worried she would show up prematurely. I was also worried about the pain of childbirth. It was a mess. But you live and you learn.
With Colton, my focus was to be completely at peace - emotionally and physically. As soon as I got into my third trimester with him, I started to research natural birthing techniques. I wanted to have him naturally with no medication because I didn't like my epidural experience with Cadence. So I approached labor & delivery like a true G. Ready for battle. Here's Colton's birth story:
It was November 7th, 2017. Colton was due for arrival on that Friday, November 10th and I was ready for him. My body ached, my ankles were swollen every day and I was completely exhausted of running to the bathroom to pee every 5 minutes.
One my best friends (and Colton's God mommy) comes to visit me. I was having a rough day so seeing her made me feel a little better. I was in "nesting" mode, folding onesies, washing swaddle blankets and rolling up baby socks. I distinctly remember telling her "I hope he arrives today. I'm so over this." Little did I know...
I start to feel contractions, which I assume are just Braxton Hicks contractions. But soon they begin to build in intensity and they seem to be coming closer together and in a rhythmic pattern. So I open up this app I downloaded called "Contractions" that allows you to time how far apart your contractions are coming.
The app charts my contractions at about 2 minutes long, 7 minutes apart. I get a notification from the app saying "Go to the hospital now!" So I text my Mom, my brother and Cady and Colton's father saying "I think it's time..."
My Mom pulls up in front of the house and calls me to head down. I'm prancing around my room tidying up and packing away baby clothes. Clearly she thinks this is more urgent than I do. My contractions aren't intense so I'm taking my sweet time. "Christina, come on! The second baby comes faster than the first!!" She's so over me. We hop in the car and head to pick up Cadence.
We pick Cadence up from school before heading to the hospital. She has no clue what's happening but she's happy to hear that wherever we're going, we might come home with her baby brother. She's also been promised a cookie so she's all smiles.
We arrive at the hospital and Mom goes to park the car. My brother meets us in the lobby and grabs a wheelchair for me to bring me up to Labor & Delivery. He's frantic and I'm cool as a cucumber. Once I'm upstairs, the nurse asks "So what are you here for?" I reply "I'm having a baby! I'm in labor!" She says "Hmm, you don't look or sound like a mother in labor, but ok! Let's get you hooked up to the monitor and check you out." I got just what I prayed for - peace among the chaos. So much peace, the nurses didn't believe I was in labor.
I'm checked into my room and strapped to the monitor. Contractions are a little more intense now, and the nurse has confirmed I'm officially in labor and they don't have to send me home. The nurse brings me some water and a birthing ball to ease the pain. She tells me my OB/GYN is actually on duty at the hospital that night (yay!), and that once she's done in her C-section, she'll be up to check me.
The doctor comes in to check and see how far along I am. My water hasn't broken yet but the contractions are intensifying. She checks me and I'm 5 centimeters
dilated already! "Do you want me to break your water?", she asks. I look at her bewildered and a little anxious. I look over at my Mom who nods "yes" in approval. "It will speed your labor up a bit," she says. So I agree to let her do it. She begins to check around my cervix and she says she feels baby's head of hair. "You must have broken your water already." But I remember what that feels like from Cadence's birth, so I know that's not possible. She eventually pushes one part of my cervix up and warm water comes gushing out. My water was broken but that part of my cervix was apparently blocking the water. "What do you want to do about pain management," she asks. I look at her and say "I want to do this naturally - no meds" Her eyes widen and she says "Wow, ok! Your baby should be here soon." At this point, I'm not sure what to expect but I've committed to a natural labor so I have to be prepared for what's to come.
The doc comes back to check me and I'm 7cm dilated. I'm progressing quickly. A few minutes later, Cadence and Colton's dad arrives and he prepares to assist me with labor. I've gotten used to the birthing ball and I labor more comfortably off the bed and moving around. The pain is really kicking in now and I have to stop everything I'm doing and breathe when the contractions intensify.
I am SCREAMING out in excruciating pain. At this point, I ask if it's too late to get an epidural and everyone says "You can do this. You don't need it. We got you." When those contractions build, it feels like a MACK truck is pounding through my pelvic area. I mean it HURTS LIKE HELL. I remember feeling lots of pressure and pain with my epidural, but this is just...pain. The only thing that helps is that the pain comes and goes in waves so I have a break in between.
At this point I'm digging into his hand so hard that I nearly scratch the skin off of it. I shush anyone in the room who dares to speak during my contractions (literally I need silence to concentrate). Back massage works temporarily, then I get irritated. I keep yelling "Where is the doctor? Tell her to check me again! I can't do this!! It HURTS." When she returns and checks me again, I'm at 8.5 centimeters. I'm almost there.
The contractions are now becoming unbearable. I feel like death. I feel like I've been in a WWF championship match. I am READY for this to be over. With my next contraction, I can literally feel the baby's head down there. I start feeling intense pressure like it's time to push. So the nurse calls the doctor in and they get the bed ready for delivery. I'm SCREAMING out and moaning in intense pain with every contraction. The nurse says "Ok on the next one, don't scream, focus all your energy on pushing down with all your might." So I do as she says and on the first push his head is out. On the second push, I feel the ring of fire (hurts like HELL) as his shoulders are coming out.
By the third push, Baby Colton is all the way out into the world letting out a little cry upon arrival. They put his little body right on my chest and we lay there together enjoying each other's company. His dad cuts his umbilical cord and I attempt to breastfeed him for the first time. He latches immediately. A few minutes after, the nurse comes in to take his birth stats. Colton James was born at 8 lbs 9 ounces and 21 inches long. One of the best nights of my life. I am so incredibly happy to have two beautiful and blessed children - Cadence and Colton are my greatest accomplishments.
It's hard to believe I got through an all natural child labor. I was so deathly afraid of having a natural labor, but honestly it was one of the best decisions I made. My body recovered so much quicker and it honestly has given me the confidence to know that I can do ANYTHING. Child labor is one of the hardest and most taxing things the human body can go through. It's painful and tiring but it's a beautiful thing once it's over.
Thank you guys for reading my birth story! And special thanks for all the prayers, blessings and love you've all sent on social media. Forever grateful.
Photos by Alyssa Joy Photography
Read how different my birth story with Cadence was by clicking here.