Marcus Michael Fehn
6 lbs 3 oz & 19 ½ in.
During my pregnancy I felt great and everything was going good besides some minor swelling in my feet. One particular thing that I will always remember was sitting down each evening and watching the little one in my belly stretch out. I could feel his feet pushing out on the one side and his butt and back pushing out the other. My whole mid-section would go lopsided. This would go on for an hour some evenings and I started looking forward to it each night toward the end of my pregnancy.
I went into my 36 week appointment at Morning Star feeling good and continuing to prepare for our little one's arrival. During my appointment we had discovered that I was experiencing some high blood pressure. The midwives monitored it while I was there but it was not going down. They gave me some things to try when I got home and told me to continue monitoring it over the next day to make sure it wasn't increasing. To my disappointment it was still high and increasing. Over the next two weeks I was in and out of the hospital, where they monitored my blood pressure and several other things to make sure that both the baby and I were not in danger. It was very comforting to have Catherine, our midwife, checking in with me and keeping in touch with my doctors throughout this time.
On December 13th my mom picked me up for another check up and an ultrasound. From the ultrasound and some fetal heart monitoring they had determined that our baby was looking like it was now under some stress and my blood pressure had spiked to 180/110. Do to these factors we decided that the safest thing to do was induce labor. That evening we settled into a labor and delivery room and gave the doctor our birth plan stating that we would still like to follow along with our plan as much as possible. My mom and Marlon decided to go home and try to get some sleep because he wasn't feeling well and things wouldn't really start going until morning. They put the Cervidel in place for the evening and I sat and listened to my Hypnobabies tracks to relax and get some sleep for the night.
The next morning they removed the Cervidel and waited a few hours before starting the Pitocin. During that time Marlon came back feeling better and I ate some breakfast since they wouldn't allow me to eat once they started the Pitocin. At 10:30 a.m. they started the I.V. of Pitocin. I hung out on the birth ball talking to my mom and Marlon to pass time. I was starting to feel a little anxious about what my body was about to go through, but knew that Marlon and I had prepared for this well and we could call our doula, Karla, and midwife, Catherine when we felt we needed support.
At 1:30 p.m. the doctor came in to check my progress and she recommend that we break my water to keep things moving along. It was after this that the pressure waves started to feel more intense. I got back on the birth ball to try and keep moving and with each pressure wave I would lean over the hospital bed and try to let my body relax and do what it needed to do. I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower back and Marlon helped by massaging and pressing on my lower back with each wave. At 3:00 p.m. I told Marlon to call Karla and let her know we would like her to come and help support us as things got more intense. I remembered reading about the sphincter law and tried to keep my jaw loose and open with each pressure wave to allow myself to open. I just kept thinking to myself, "relax and open" over and over again as I listened by my hypnobabies tracks.
I was feeling the urge to push more and more as time went on. Karla read scripts to me to keep me focused and relaxed. The idea of getting in the tub was brought up and I was thrilled at the idea of trying something new to help pass the time as my pressure waves got more intense. They continued to get stronger and closer together with each wave. I waited for the next wave to end before getting up to get into the tub. On my way over I felt another one coming on and as I searched for something to grab onto Marlon came over and held me up just in time. My legs and body collapsed underneath me as the pressure wave passed and once it was over I continued on my way.
The warm tub and dim lights felt amazing. As I sat in the tub and listened to my hypnobabies tracks I tried to keep reassuring myself that many women had done this before me and that my body was meant to give birth. I was able to relax for a while but it was getting more and more difficult as time went on. Just as I was starting to doubt my ability to continue on and no position seemed to give me comfort anymore, I was told to look up and saw Catherine sitting on the floor next to me. She greeted me with such comforting words of encouragement and love. Both she and Karla were so great.
Shortly after Catherine arrived I got out of the tub and moved back to the bed. I was feeling a much greater urge to push with each pressure wave and things were starting to get much more intense. Catherine and my mom began massaging my legs with essential oils as Marlon held my hand through each wave. The nurse kept telling me not to push yet so Karla and Catherine couched me through each wave with short light breaths. Time seemed to pass extremely slow as I tried with everything in me not to push. Finally, a little over an hour after getting out of the tub the nurse checked me and said I was able to push! A huge rush of relief ran through me as I was finally able to let my body take over and push my baby down. It seemed as though my body knew exactly what to do without me even having to think. With each pressure wave I would push with all my might and then take a break to rest and breathe in between. Within about 15 minutes my baby was born at 9:03 p.m.! The doctor held him up and Marlon announced that we had a baby boy! She laid him on my chest and this wonderful feeling of bliss came over me as I stared at our beautiful little boy. He was absolutely perfect!
Marcus stayed on my chest for a little bit while we waited for the placenta to be delivered and the nurse checked him over. As she was checking his breathing she said she wanted to put him under the warmer to monitor his breathing more closely. After a while she called a neonatal nurse down because he seemed like he was having some difficulty. The neonatal nurse decided to move him into the NICU for additional monitoring and Marlon followed along to watch over him. Marcus ended up staying in the NICU for 10 days due to his underdeveloped lungs. Everyone at the birth was so wonderful through the entire experience, I couldn't have asked for better support. We came home as a family on Christmas Eve and couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present!