After about 20 minutes of hard-core pushing, our baby’s head was halfway out. It was amazing. His head was full of blonde hair! I was so excited! Ten more minutes of pushing and his head was completely out, but something was wrong. I remember seeing his head crowning and thought, “wow, he has a small head”, but when his head was completely out it was huge! His eyes were closed, his face was purple and swollen, and he wasn’t breathing. I heard a nurse say something about meconium. Apparently, our little guy had inhaled some, which can lead to respiratory problems. That wasn’t the only thing wrong. It happened so fast, but I saw someone’s elbows pushing down hard on Jenny’s stomach. With this going on, I think alarms were going off behind me and I turned around to see six or seven nurses/doctors fire open the back door and start setting up equipment that I’ve never seen before. For the first time in this entire experience, I was scared. I remember Jenny saying, “He’s not breathing”. One of his shoulders was stuck behind her pubic bone (called shoulder dystocia) which is somewhat common with bigger babies, but I had no idea. They were pushing on her stomach to try to free his shoulder. It only took a second to dislodge it, but it seemed so much longer.Once he was out, they immediately clamped his umbilical cord and I got to cut it. It all happened so fast because they had to get him checked out. I stayed with Jenny for a second to make sure everything was okay and then Alex told me to go see our baby and watch them. Once I got over to the bassinet, I saw a big, purple baby with a huge, swollen head. I saw them stick a long, thin tube down his throat and brown meconium coming out the other end. After a few seconds, I heard him cry. I asked the nurses what was going on and they told me he had inhaled a little meconium and explained to me what happened with his shoulder. They informed me that he was moving his arms fine and he was gripping things with his finger and there was nothing to worry about. He was alive and breathing, and in a split second the worst day of my life became the best day of my life.I remember glancing over at Jenny and saw her pushing and the doctors pushing on her again and then pull her placenta out. I stayed with our baby boy for another minute until I saw Jenny shaking and convulsing uncontrollably. Now, Jenny was in trouble. I rushed back over to her and tried to comfort her. I heard the doctor mention hemorrhaging and needing to give her Pitocin and I immediately said, “No!” This was the same doctor that tried to talk us into the epidural. She had given birth and she had pushed her placenta out. Why does she need Pitocin now? Thankfully another doctor, I believe the attending, intervened and told her to keep massaging her uterus. A few minutes later, she stopped convulsing and the threat of hemorrhaging was gone.Once they were finished with Jenny, I went back over to get a few pictures of our baby and bring him to her. We were both exhausted, but on top of the world! She put him on her breast and nursed him like she had done this hundreds of times before. She was a natural and I was so proud of her.Malakai Grant Upton was born at 8:12 p.m., March 27. He weighed 9 lbs. 15 oz. and was 22½ inches long. I will never forget this experience and will always admire my wife for what she went through. I’m a proud husband and father and look forward to many memories as a family of three.
I am thankful. My birth experience wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I never dreamed of birthing a nearly 10 lb. baby or my birthing time lasting 19 hours, but I wouldn’t change it. I have nothing to compare my birth experience with, but this was such an incredible adventure… it was challenging, empowering, beautiful. I trusted my body to do exactly what it needed to do.
A few recommendations:
1.) Hypnobabies is an incredible method for natural birth and I highly recommend it. We started the classes back in November and, once it wrapped up in January, we continued to read and listen to scripts on a nightly basis; I practiced the techniques and listened to the positive affirmations track almost every day. It takes the fear surrounding the Western cultures “idea” of pregnancy and birth and makes it so positive and wonderful. Although I didn’t listen to my scripts throughout my entire birthing time, I listened to it enough before to have it embedded in my subconscious mind and it empowered me even more. I also would like to mention the night before my birthing time started, my Hypnobabies instructor sent us the “Baby Come Out” track and shortly after Brady read it, my pressure waves began. Coincidence, maybe… but, we tried everrrrryything to no avail. I will most definitely be using this method for our next birth and hopefully it will be a much faster and more comfortable experience.
2.) Get a doula! I think my husband would second this over and over. Ours, Alexandria with Bella Mundo, is absolutely incredible. As soon as we met her, I knew she was the one we were going to share this experience with. From the time she came to our house to visit, to being by our side and being our voice the entire time at the hospital, to her follow-up visit to check on baby and me… this girl exceeded our expectations. She was a Godsend and I will forever be grateful. She made sure we had the natural birth I so desperately wanted.
3.) Through Alex, I met another incredible person, Aysha Harward with Terra Nektar, who makes herbal products, essential oils, and does placenta encapsulation. I’ve heard of placenta encapsulation before, but never gave it much thought on something I would actually do. And then I started considering the possible benefits and the simple fact that basically all mammals consume their placenta… and why not, you spend so much time and energy feeding your body and baby healthy, nutritious food for 9-10 months. Brady and I decided if there’s a chance it can help regulate my hormones, we’re in. A few other benefits are: great milk supply, less stress, and more energy. I’m not sure what postpartum would be like without the placenta encapsulation, but I can say as soon as I started taking the capsules my emotions leveled out so quickly and I have felt amazing ever since; my milk supply has been incredible and I definitely feel energized.
Aysha came to the hospital and picked up my placenta and within 2 days hand delivered the capsules to my house. She’s also working on a tincture and cream that will be ready within 3 weeks. The first time I met Aysha was in the hospital and she is seriously one of the sweetest and kindest people. She brought a lovely gift full of delicious goodies for us to enjoy too! I’m totally sold on placenta consumption and highly recommend it!