Our Arlo

I know everyone is dying to hear about how hypnobirthing went and to see pictures of our new addition. Sorry it has taken so long... actually... I am really not sorry and probably shouldn't be working on this right now, seeing as Arlo is peacefully asleep and everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps. But, I am not sorry because I have not been able to put Arlo down. Not because he fusses or whines all the time (he is a great baby), but because I love him so dearly and always want him in my arms, he is the perfect little cuddle buddy (after Dan, of course). How could you resist this face?


Monday night (June 29th) around 7:45pm, I thought I felt my water leak a little. I didn't want to jump to any conclusions in case it really wasn't happening. However, every time I would stand up or move around a lot, I would feel a little more. Eventually, I was pretty much convinced that it was amniotic fluid that was leaking... so around 9pm we called labor and delivery and of course they wanted me to come in. I wasn't too convinced I wanted or needed to go in yet because I wasn't having contractions (that I could tell) and I didn't want to sit in a hospital for hours and hours and have them try to talk me into Pitocin. We stalled for awhile and eventually made it in a little after midnight. They hooked me up to the monitors (after verifying that my water was indeed leaking) and I was having steady contractions, but I couldn't feel them. We tried to sleep, but I was super excited for the baby to come and anxious... so I didn't sleep much. Then around 2 or 3am I started to be able to feel my contractions. We continued to try and sleep (Dan was somewhat successful)... I just listened to music and my relaxation CDs and just... relaxed (but I was really happy and excited).

Things started picking up in the morning (who knows what time, time didn't exist at this point)... and I started to feel it in my back... a lot. No more laying down for me! If I did, it was painful. So I was up and moving. So long as I was walking and moving... I felt no pain, but I did feel, i felt a lot (of intense, overtaking pressure) which I had expected... I didn't know how I would feel, but I knew it would be work, and it sure was.

{laboring on the birthing ball}

Finally, they could tell I was working much harder and were asking if I felt like pushing, but I didn't. Soon they decided to check my progress (for the first time). I was nervous for them to check me... I was starting to get really tired and I could just hear them in my head saying "You're at a 4!". But, I was at an 8! Even though my water had slowly been leaking this entire time, they said I had a secondary bag still in tact. I had a different nurse at this point and she was great. In between contractions I was laughing at myself and who knows what, it was all a blur... but I remember the nurse saying "I can't believe you are laughing while you are in transition!" But, I was super tired, especially since I had been walking for who knows how long on top of being in labor. There were times at this point that I was getting less relaxed and less in tune with my body. I really needed Dan to bring me back down, and he was so good at it. I would definitely have been in pain if he wasn't there helping me, he was AMAZING. Things were intense and I was tired of standing, but laying down hurt... so the nurse put the bed in full sit mode and I knelt facing the back of the bed. This was nice because I could rest against the bed. The next contraction I had in this position... my water burst everywhere. It felt soooo goooood, such a release and bringing more pressure with it, I could feel it getting closer. I was in the zone though, and I didn't want to move for them to change the bedding, so I labored in wetness for who knows how long while I kept saying "I'm so tired" over and over again... Eventually I wanted to push and so I stayed pushing in this position. Then, they brought in the squatting bar for me to use and I did that for some time. To my dismay, from this position, if I looked up, I was staring directly at the clock. It was 1:10pm. About an hour later, I was too tired to even hold myself up at the squatting bar and I had to lay down, luckily, this didn't hurt my back anymore, but with my legs up, I kept getting charlie horses in my hips. Dan and the nurse would massage them out... and we would all move on. At one point I looked up and noticed how bored the nurse and the midwife looked. I wanted to tell them "sorry it's taking so long!!!" I was getting frustrated too, it was about 2:30 or so. With each contraction I would push my little heart out and in between each contraction, he would slip back in. In my head, I was begging for him to not slip back in and praying I would get a burst of energy to get him out further, "This next one will be the one!" I would tell myself... but it wouldn't be. At around 3:10 I asked if I get getting any further. I was so tired that in between contractions, I would fall asleep and not realize it until I would awake to the next urge to push. The midwife responded that she was going to wait 4-5 more contractions since he was a "happy little guy" (his heart rate was perfect and so were my O2 levels this whole time... being relaxed helps!) and then talk about an episiotomy... "or we could just do it right now".

I looked over at Dan, hopelessly exhausted, I nodded and told the nurse to go for it and I am so glad that I did. They ended up cutting me twice and then when his head came out, everyone was in shock with how large his head was. Then when his shoulders came out... I felt a rip and I tore even further (3rd degree, thank you very much). And finally at 3:44pm, Arlo was born, placed right on me. All the exhaustion melted away and I was filled with joy and happiness, overloaded. It was over and it all felt so good.

{a couple of hours after birth}

I promise you this, I would do it again this way in a heartbeat. Never once did I even think of wanting drugs or any sort of pain relief. Dan was so good and kept reminding me that with each surge, Arlo was closer to being in our arms. He would massage my back and arms, hug me and hold me, and it was so helpful. It was the most work I have ever done in my life, but certainly not the most painful thing I have ever done. I am so glad I chose this way to birth my baby. My only regret was having an IV put in my arm, nothing hooked up to it... I decided to let them do it so that the staff would feel better in case "something went wrong". Let me tell you, getting the IV was THE MOST painful part of the entire process, and that is not a lie. Dan will verify this by my reaction to it... I cried out and was sobbing for a little while... (of course it didn't help that it took 3 tries and the last person who tried it jabbed it in there as hard as she possibly could... my arm is STILL completely bruised and they waited to put it in until I was pretty far into labor).

Lessons learned:
  • have all clocks in my view covered... time didn't exist until I was pushing... and the clock was right in front of me and I knew how long it had been. All in all, I pushed for 3 hours.
  • be more pushy with the nurse who insisted on wiping off my baby in my arms... "DON'T TOUCH HIM!" would have worked well.
  • if I get an IV next time... have them do it much earlier... but I might forgo it completely.


after he had been with us for about 20 hours, they noticed some labored breathing. all his tests thus far had been perfect and healthy so they wanted to do a blood test, to see if he was fighting an infection. his WBC count was elevated and so they put him on antibiotics (via IV, so he was put in the specialty care nursery). They wanted to have him on them for 48 hours while they waited for a blood culture to show if there was any infection. While he was there, they noticed he was jaundice, so they also put him under the lights. Finally on Friday, there was no sign of infection in the culture and his biliruben levels were low enough to go home.

{under the lights and hooked up to monitors}
{getting his hearing test done}
{when I was still in my room upstairs, I went down and fed him every time he woke up}
{home... meeting Lucy for the first time}
Oh... and his stats:
9lbs 1 oz
21.5 inches long

my little plug:
if you are interested in natural birth, here are two must read books (i am sure there are more out there, but these two really helped me)
{click on the books for more info}


5xblsd said...

Congratulations Dan and Courtney. He is beautiful. I am so glad your birthing plan worked so well and was such a good experience for you. Enjoy those cuddles as often as you can.

Rachel said...

I'm so happy that your birth was as pleasant as it probably could be after pushing for 3 hours! I'm glad you get to experience motherhood for the first time and I wish you guys more happy bonding... We can't wait to see him!

The Churches said...

Courtney, it sounds wonderful! What a great experience! And good for you for stickin' with it! How big was his head? :) He's such a darling...

Brady and Brittney said...

That was such a great story and it's so great your pain was minimal! Babies are such blessings! Sorry if I sound weird but I totally felt the spirit when you said how all exhaustion left and you were filled with joy and happiness. This baby was meant to be with you and I'm sure Heavenly Father couldn't be happier, you will do wonderful!!

Ella said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Courtney. It certainly sounds like all your hard work paid off! Arlo is adorable! :)

The Wheelers said...

Wow he's so perfect! I'm so happy for you guys! What a cute name too!

Carroll Conversations said...

Congratulations! He is absolutely precious. So glad you are enjoying him so much and just holding him. Nothing else is more important than that right now. Enjoy!

Kimberly said...

Courtney! He's perfect! We love that little guy so much already. Brayden keeps asking for "Baby Arlo." So we should remedy that. I HEART YOU!!!

Claire said...

Yay Hypnobirthing!!! I'm going to have to check out that other book you mentioned. I've heard of it but never read it. I'm glad you had such a great experience with Hypnobirthing. I love it. Can't wait to put it to work again in 6 months! Don't blame you at all for not wanting to put your baby boy down! I was the same exact way with Cecelia. :D Enjoy being a mommy and Congratulations again!

*Lili Ballerini* said...

I loves you! You are a such a good mommie! I am so proud of you, you did so so well. That was fantastic that you were able to have success with hypnobirthing. Isnt birth just so empowering? I just love it.I remember I felt like wow, I can do this, I felt just so good. What a precious gift heavenly father has given you and dan! and how blessed arlo is to be in such a loving environment. You both are such wonderful people and Arlo is lucky to have such great examples for parents! He is such a beautiful baby and what a beautiful spirit he has, you can just tell that hes going to be so wonderful! I hope you are doing well...Get your rest and soak in the precious moments take LOTS of pictures and LOTs of videos :) enjoy motherhood! I love being a mom! Sorry thats a lot of typing but you are just such a good friend and i love you all!!


The Barlows said...

Congratulations little family!!! He is perfect!! I am way afraid of needles, so after readig your blog, I think I might just try hypnobirthing!! Thanks Court!

The Thornocks said...

Oh Courtney, I 'm so amazed and proud of you. I'm so glad that you made it through and with such a great experience to tell afterwards. He is GORGEOUS! I can't wait to meet him. Hope everything continues to go well for ya. Congrats you guys!!!!

Alie said...

I'm so glad to hear things went well, especially because it sounded like a very long process. I did hypnobirthing with Saree but the whole process was only 4 hours, you are such a trooper. I'm proud of you. Aren't fresh babies the best!

Heather Johnson said...

I can't believe you are a mommy! It seems not so long ago that we would hang out and discuss X Files and Jo Dee Messina in the band room.
And oh. my. gosh. he is beautiful! I really don't know if I have ever seen such a beautiful newborn. Congrats to you and Dan!
And lastly, he's huge! You poor thing. But still, what a blessing. You guys will be great parents. Congratulations!

Andrea said...

Thank you for all of the great pics of your darling baby boy! He is precious. It's so nice to see and hear about parts of your birthing journey. I'm glad everything went well. You are brave, Court! Enjoy every minute of baby Arlo. Hope to see you and meet him soon:)

matriarch said...

Thanks for giving us a BEAUTIFUL great-grandson. He is so blessed to have you as parents. Every child should be so loved!! We're looking forward to spoiling him royally. ha ha
Love, G'ma & G'pa Wilkins

Rob and Marseille said...

Congrats! I"m glad it went well for you. Reading the hypnobirthing book helped me relax until I could get my epidural. Thanks for the recommendation.

Danielle and the Boys said...

yay! I'm glad everything worked out the way you wanted it to with the hypnobirthing! I'm cringing over the 2 episiotomy's and the 3rd degree tear though! Although I will say that my episiotomy hurts way less than my tear with Ethan did. But still, hope you're doing okay with those babies. ;) And the 3 hours? Well, first baby and he was a big boy. I guess you can look forward to the fact that you now have a 'hallway' and any baby after arlo will be a much faster delivery (like bennett was for me, lol). hope you're enjoying him-he's beautiful!

Harris Family said...

I have always wondered what hypno birth was like, now I have a better insight. I am such a whimp when it comes to paing though, so I have been afraid to try it. You make it sound so easy. Congrats though on your baby, he is so adorable!

Josh and Emily said...

Ok- so I got the whole idea of hypnobirthing from your blog but I have started to read the book and it's really reassuring to me and it makes sense the idea that a God that can make perfect bodies would make something so good hurt so bad. Anyway- I'm excited to try it even if my husband is a little reluctant