Josiah’s Birth Story
Introducing Josiah Garrett Kellogg
Born: May 4, 2017 at 12:15 am
9lb 1oz and 21 inches long
Summary – Everyone told me to prepare for baby #2 to come sooner than baby #1 did. Everyone lied.
My body hates the end of pregnancy. I already struggle with having weak and painful joints and the round ligament pain that comes with pregnancy exasperates the problems my body already has. As my due date approached I was beyond ready to be done with the pain of pregnancy and beginning the craziness of mothering two little boys!
Caleb was born exactly a week before his due date and that week early date came and went and little Josiah was still happily hanging out in my uterus. At 39 weeks and one day – on a Friday – I had a doctor appointment to check out how my little dude was doing. I was four centimeters dialated and my doctor said she’d be shocked if I didn’t have the little man that weekend. She offered to strip my membranes but I decided against it – Josiah could come in his own timing.
Since Josiah’s umbilical cord didn’t attach to the placenta at an optimal position and there was a concern that it would affect the blood supply he was getting and, therefore, his growth, that afternoon was spent getting a non stress test and ultrasound done. The ultrasound tech said Josiah was measuring at about 7lb 14oz (they definitely underestimated my kiddo!) so he was doing well. I happily went to these appointments, assuming they’d be the last appointments I’d have before Josiah arrived… Little did I know what was actually going to be happening…
I bet you can easily guess that I did not go into labor that weekend. Since my doctor was going out of town in the middle of the following week she wanted to see me on Monday. This time she found that I was five centimeters dialated. My body was ready to go but the baby wasn’t. This time I decided to let her strip my membranes (which, thankfully, wasn’t as painful as I was expecting) and she said she couldn’t imagine me not going into labor in the next 24 hours. I went home and got the house clean, ready for this baby to come. That cleaning went to waste, though, because Josiah didn’t agree with the 24 hour timeline. He happily stayed tucked up in his little cocoon.
On Tuesday night I had another non stress test to go to. I jokingly told Nate to be prepared for a phone call letting him know I was in labor since I’d be in the hospital anyway. I let him know what last minute things I would need thrown in my hospital bag and headed to my appointment. The non stress test went perfectly fine and, once I was done, the nurse came in and told me that she had just gotten off the phone with my doctor and that I had options. Option one was head home and continue waiting for Josiah to decide when he’d like to come. Option two was to have my doctor break my water and get the party started since I was already so far along and she was going out of town the following day.
At that point I was still wearing my heart monitor and immediately an alarm started going off because my heart rate skyrocketed. I was shocked and immediately stressed and didn’t know what I should do. The nurse and I both laughed over how much of a physical reaction I had to the news. I decided to call Nate and discuss the options with him. Sure, I had jokingly told him to expect a call but I didn’t honestly think it was going to happen. Through hormonal tears (pregnancy hormones are no joke) we decided that the only reason to break my water would be so my doctor could deliver Josiah and that felt selfish to us so we decided to keep waiting. We hadn’t even reached the little man’s due date, let alone gone over it, so there was no reason to rush him out.
Since my baby was never coming, I decided to stop preparing. Instead of making sure my life was prepared for going into labor, on Wednesday I made the day all about Caleb. We went to storytime at the library (where all the other moms were shocked to learn that I was due the following day). After nap time we met some friends at the park and I ran (waddled) around with Caleb. On the drive home I saw that the splash pad was open. I rushed Caleb home, got both of us changed, and got back in the car to enjoy some sunshine and water. As we pulled into the parking lot and I got out of the car my water broke all over the place. I pretty much created my own splash pad for myself. Nate was on his way to join us at the splash pad so I decided to let Caleb play until he got there. Ten minutes later Nate arrived, I let him know what had happened, and we loaded a confused Caleb back into the car to head home to meet the babysitter and grab the hospital bags.
Checking into the hospital was quick and easy. By the time we drove the 15 minutes to get there I began having contractions and it was easy to see that I was having this baby! As we did the intake information, got my IV hooked up, and all the other things that have to happen when a woman is having a baby I realized I was a celebrity in the hospital birthing center. Every nurse who came in to do one thing or another gave me a knowing “oh you’re the gal who was walking around at 5 centimeters for days.” They were all just waiting for me to arrive to have the baby. #SmallTownHospital
As we got closer to delivery, the on call doctor stopped by to meet me. Typically my doctor does all her own deliveries but she had left town that morning so I didn’t know who would be helping me deliver Josiah. Two of the things I love about my doctor are that #1 – she’s a woman and I’m much more comfortable with a woman down there and #2 – she’s super warm and inviting and friendly. The doctor on call was the opposite. He was a man and he was very professional and somewhat standoffish… Not in a rude way but just in a get the job done and move on way. The only thing that frustrated me with him was that he walked into the room while I was in the middle of a pretty good contraction. The first thing he said to me when it finished was “You know you can get drugs to take the pain away.” I gave him grace since he didn’t know me or my natural birth plan but it did erk me a little bit that he jumped to offering me an epidural. I got a little worried that I’d have to be fighting my whole labor to keep him on board with my birth plan but, thankfully, he didn’t bring it up again.
About four hours after arriving at the hospital I knew it was time to ask for Fentanyl in my IV. With Caleb I had wanted to go through labor completely drug free but, because of my horrible back labor that comes with my bad back, I chose to get Fentanyl to help take the edge off and I was so glad I did. This time around I expected the back labor (especially given the fact that this hospital doesn’t allow mothers to labor in the tub after their water breaks and that’s what helped me through labor with Caleb) so I knew I wanted a heating pad on my back and the ability to get Fentanyl when needed. The relief was wonderful – like with Caleb it took the edge off of things and allowed me to keep my focus on relaxing through my contractions. Unfortunately the medication wasn’t as great for Josiah. The fetal monitor showed that he wasn’t moving as much as he had been so I the nurse brought over an oxygen mask for me to wear. Thankfully within about half an hour Josiah was back to where they were comfortable with his movements and I was able to go off the oxygen.
Fentanyl is allowed once an hour during labor but they try not to give it within an hour of delivery so a little over an hour after I had my first dose I checked with the nurses about getting a second dose and they said that I would probably be delivering within the hour at the rate I was going so they couldn’t give me another dose. I knew this was true go time – I had to get my head in the game because the pain was about to get really, really bad.
About fifteen minutes after that conversation happened I was struggling! Each contraction brought horrible pain that left me exhausted in between. It was then that I began regretting my stubbornness and decision to have a natural childbirth – and that regret just reminded me how close I was to meeting my little man.
Another fifteen minutes passed and, all of a sudden, my body was ready to push. We quickly told the nurses what was going on and, after being checked and being told that I was only nine centimeters dialated, I was told I couldn’t push. Let me tell you, telling a mother in labor that she’s not allowed to push when that’s all her body wants to do – especially when she’s going med free and doesn’t like being told no – isn’t something a nurse should do lightly. I was not a fan of being told not to push and let the nurses know it.
Thankfully the doctor came in at that point and said it was go time. Up went my feet and I was ready to roll. Although the doctor was impersonal and had a hands off approach, I actually found that I loved it. He let my body tell me what it needed and allowed me to push when I saw fit and that worked for me even better than the guidance I got while I was delivering Caleb. It could have just been that he saw my stubbornness and knew I was going to get that baby out my way or it could just be the way he handles all his deliveries but I loved it.
23 minutes after beginning to push, my little Josiah Garrett entered the world. For all the frustration he gave me with thinking he was going to come sooner, he ended up arriving at 12:15am on his due date. He’s a punctual little booger.
As Josiah was laid on my chest it was clear that something wasn’t quite right – instead of crying he was wheezing. He was quickly taken from me in order to check his oxygen level and, as he let out a few cries, the nurses let me know that his oxygen level was fine. His wheezing had nothing to do with him getting the oxygen he needed.
While all this was going on the adrenaline of the delivery took over my body and I began shaking uncontrollably. The same thing happened after I had delivered Caleb so I knew that getting another dose of Fentanyl would calm my body down and allow me to deliver the placenta and get stitched up. Unfortunately, even after the shaking stopped my concern for Josiah was still overwhelming and caused me to not handle the needles and stitches that were happening. I delivered a 9lb baby so I was pretty torn up – I stopped counting after nine stitches and they still had to pack me with cotton to stop some of the bleeding. I had gone through natural childbirth but the pain of being stitched up affected me more.
Thankfully I got all stitched up, the bleeding got under control, and Josiah was laid on my chest for snuggles. His wheezing gradually went down in the first 12 or so hours until it didn’t exist any more. We’re so in love with our little man and feel as though he’s the perfect addition to our family.
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