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The Birth Story of Ayla Faith

This is the birth story of Ayla Faith, as told by her strong, courageous mother. This story may be difficult for some to read, but it's very important for Ayla's mama to share it.

Monday, I never thought I would still be pregnant. How much red raspberry leaf tea and walking can a uterus take before it does it's thing? By my estimated due date, I was 9 days past due. By the ultrasound date, which my midwives were using, I was about 5 days over. My first was born the day before my due date and I had felt sure this baby would follow suit. But now it was Monday.

I had shed a lot of tears over the weekend, between bouncing on an exercise ball and the walking all over the neighborhood, but I felt peaceful now. The baby had to come this week and I felt certain by the weekend, I would have my baby. I slept until 11 that morning because I had absolutely no plans that week, except to have a baby. When I woke up I was noticing some light contractions. They weren't painful, but noticeable and often. I wasn't going to get my hopes up because I had been experiencing these for the last week and they would go away.

Monday afternoon I had an appointment at the birthing center. I loved that place and every person that worked there and I was so incredibly excited about birthing there.

Right before I left, I grabbed my birthing center bag and the baby's bag, just in case. We live an hour from the birthing center and I thought I should have them just in case labor would suddenly kick in while we were down there. I had not packed everything in there, but it had the basic things.

When we got to the birthing center the midwife took my blood pressure and it was higher than my normal reading. She did the other routine prenatal things and she said she would retest. I had high blood pressure at the end of my first pregnancy, so I wasn't surprised. I was measuring 44 weeks and they estimated the baby to be 9 pounds.

I was huge and miserable.

Then the midwife took my blood pressure again and it was the same as before. She calmly sat beside me on the bed and told me that I need to go over to the hospital to be monitored and they would probably induce me. WHAT?!?!?! I have Sebastian, my two year old, with me, Its 3 pm and I haven't even eaten lunch, yet. I only have half of what I wanted to bring for the birth. I'm not prepared. But I was beyond ready to have this baby that in that moment I was happy even if I was losing my dream birth.

We left the birthing center and I called my doula, my mom, my grandma (who was going to keep Sebastian) and texted my photographer and all my sisters and friends. I was distracted, scared, nervous and excited. I was a mess. We stopped and got lunch and went to the park to eat it. Then we headed to the hospital. We didn't know for sure at this point if I was going to be kept at the hospital, but I was hoping we wouldn't have to go hone without having this baby. The hospital is huge and we walked all over trying to find the labor and delivery. They put me in a bed in triage and hooked me up to monitors. The monitor registered my contractions as real, and my blood pressure stayed up. The midwife cam in to talk to me and I loved her instantly. She was older and motherly and had that midwife vibe. She said that I had that over due look and she saw no reason to treat the high blood pressure when I was already overdue. Because I was already in early labor, she didn't feel like Pitocin was the way to go and told me about the Foley bulb. It sounded good to me. I told the midwife that my first birth had been incredibly long. She said that she didn't want this one to be so long that I was overly tired by the end and she wanted to get labor picked up and over with. That was what I wanted to hear. David had left to take Sebastian to stay with my Grandma and he was going to run home and pick up everything I needed. He was as nervous and excited as I was and he forgot to take the diaper bag. I couldn't believe that I had a packed bag for him, for weeks, with everything he needed and when it came down to it he was dropped off with no diapers and no clothes. I was so stressed out and the nurses were trying to get an IV in and I was calling my family trying to get clothes and diapers for my toddler. The midwife came in and said she wanted to put the Foley bulb in and David should stay close. I called him and told him not to go home just come straight back to the hospital.

I asked him to stop and get snacks because by this time it was 7pm and I wanted to keep up my energy. I told him to pick up some yogurt, fruit and my favorite protein bars. My incredibly generous husband came back with 10 yogurts, 3 boxes of granola bars and tons of fruit. He was doing everything and anything in his power to make me feel comfortable.

There was a shift change and the new midwife had a completely different point of view. She said that the Foley bylb could take up to 9 hours to dilate me to 4cm. I was determined though, this was not going to last that long. They put the Foley bulb in about 9pm and the contractions immediately got painful, but they were still bearable. I tried to settle in, but felt so scattered and unprepared. We went for a walk around the ward and the contractions were definitely picking up. I tried to lay down and rest but it made the worse and I was too nervous to rest. David laid down and fell asleep. Around 1am I started feeling really sleepy but the contractions were painful enough that I couldn't rest and it made me feel panicked because I knew there was no rest for me until after the birth, I asked my doula to come and she headed out. Right before she got there, I threw up. I had thrown up for 12 hours with my last birth and I was really hoping I would do that again this time. But I knew then what I was in for.

My doula got there. I probably called her too soon because there wasn't much she could do at that point but I felt relaxed knowing that she was there if I needed her. David was still sleeping, so I decided to take a shower. I sat in the shower and dozed between contractions. The next couple hours I alternated between the birthing ball, the bed and pacing the floor. I threw up every single bit of food or liquid that I took . Towards morning, I got back in the shower and was able to doze between the contractions. I was feeling dehydrated and weak from all the vomiting and so so tired and discouraged that the Foley bulb still hadn't fallen out, which meant I wasn't even dilated to 4cm after 9 hours of it being in. When I got out of the shower, I told my doula that I want this thing out. I need a break and if I'm not progressing, this is pointless. We called for the midwives and I told them that I just want the Foley bulb out. She took it out and found that I was 6cm dilated and the bulb had been stuck and not fallen out. I was beyond happy. With my previous birth, I started pushing 30 minutes after I was 6cm so I felt like I was close to the end. I had a brief moment of panic, because I was planning to tell Samantha, my birth photographer, when the bulb came out and suddenly I had progressed farther than I realized. My doula called her and she said she was heading our way. I got in the tub and expected it to feel amazing as it had with my first birth, but it didn't. I was hot and uncomfortable and soon got out.

As time got on, I started feeling like the contractions were unmanageable. Somebody mentioned nitrous oxide and I said, bring it. It took FOREVER for it to come but FINALLY it was ready. I was sitting on the birth ball and the person that was hooking it up handed me the mask and told me to take 3 deep breaths. It instantly made me woozy. I got into bed and kept that mask right by me. The contractions were still so painful but they felt distant and manageable. I was able to sleep and relax. I could hear others in the room, but I could hardly open my eyes and if I tried to talk it came out so slow. I felt fuzzy and sleepy and it was the break I had been praying for. I also agreed to anti nausea medicine in my IV. I'm not sure if it worked or if it was the nitrous but after 12 hours of throwing up, it finally stopped.