Lily’s Birth Story
Well – Saturday morning, February 16, 2008, Lillian Mae Gleason was born into this world and into our little Gleason family – making us a family of four and outnumbering Zack three to one! She was 8 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long – she has beautiful long fingers and skinny long little toes. She looks very different than Ruthie and she has dark hair and actually quite a bit of hair for having Meads genes in her. She has a very sweet and clam spirit about her.She is a beautiful and healthy baby.
So – here is how she got here. I had really been hoping that she would come while Dr. Jones was on call – which would have been on Thursday – Feb. 14th (Valentines Day). I was not too keen on her having a Valentines b-day but I really wanted Dr. Jones to be the one to deliver her. However, I also wanted Lily to come when she was ready to come and I guess she just knew what was better for her and possibly for her delivery. Truth of the matter was I was actually somewhat disappointed when she did not come when he was on call – but I just trusted in the fact that she knew when it would be best for her to come. On Thursday night when I went to bed I was feeling really crampy in my abdomen so I thought something might be happening – but we were a bit worried about her coming on the 15th (Friday) because Zack had a wedding that he was supposed to shoot at the Salt Lake Temple that afternoon. So needless to say we were hoping at this point that she would wait until the wedding was over. It was pretty cute because Zack was really worried that she was going to come while he was doing the pictures so he kept calling me that morning and before the wedding to make sure that the surges were not getting any more intense. Lily must love her dad and really wanted him there because I continued throughout the day to be crampy and have sporadic surges but they did not get regular until after Zack was done and home. He got home from the wedding about 4:00pm and they started coming a bit more but not anything that was close enough to worry about. However, at this point I was pretty sure she would be coming soon.
Zack really wanted to get out and Ruthie and I did too since we had been here at the house all day long. So we decided to go run a few errands and then head over to Wal-mart basically to pass the time and because when I was walking around the surges seemed to get going a bit more. Anyway – we went to Wal-mart and got a few little things and chased Ruthie around the store. Then I did not want to go home and cook dinner so we decided to go on a last little family outing as the three of us and we went to IHOP for dinner. When we got there and got seated the surges started coming more regular – a couple minutes apart and about 45 – 50 seconds long. They were not getting any more intense just more regular. So I called my mom and asked her if after they were done eating (which ironically they went to an IHOP by them for dinner) if she and my sisters could come and get Ruthie. Ruthie was going to go stay with them until we got out of the hospital. I was not going to have my mom come to the hospital but I knew she wanted to be in the waiting room at least when Lily was born. So at my request they headed down here to meet us after they got done eating. We got done eating at IHOP at about 7:30pm and headed home. It was so fun to have dinner all together one last time before Lily came. It is so interesting how you have such mixed feelings about the birth of a new baby. On one hand you are so excited to meet this new special little spirit and to enlarge your family and on the other had you worry about how its going to effect Ruthie and how you are going to love two children and a husband and still be sane!
Once we got home it was about a half hour before my mom and sisters got to the apartment. It was a fun diversion to have them visit with us for a while. My sisters hung out for about an hour with us and we all played with Ruthie – while Zack worked on getting the pictures done from the wedding he shot that afternoon. At about 9:00 – 9:30 we decided it would be best if Marianne and Bekah took Ruthie home so that she could get to sleep. My mom stayed because I wanted her too – I decided I might need her help with the breathing again like last time and it was also really nice to have someone else around with Zack and I to pass the time. It was hard to say goodbye to Ruthie – I just felt bad that we were not going to see her for a few days. Like I said before – very mixed emotions. At this point I kept having pretty good surges – but we really wanted to try and stay at home this time as long as possible so I was not just laying in a hospital laboring there. It just makes the time go by so slow when you are at the hospital. So Zack, me, and my mom just hung out at our apartment and talked as I had surges. At about 10:00pm they started coming more regular – but still not very long. But we knew it was getting close – I really kept hoping that my water would break and that we would know for sure that it was time to go into the hospital. I was able to really control the surges by squatting on the floor in a leap frog position. It really helped to take the pressure off my back and lower abdomen.At about 10:45pm we started watching the movie Hitch to pass the time.I was working pretty well until about 11:30pm when the surges started coming closer together and longer and they got a bit more intense.I decided at that point that I would be a good idea to go to the hospital.So we got the car all packed up and everything ready in the car and we headed to the hospital at about 12:00am on Feb. 16th.My mom followed us in her car and we took the Van.
It only took us about 15 minutes to get to the hospital and we checked in there about 12:15am.I had pre-registered again so we just walked right up to labor and delivery.I was pretty sure that I was pretty progressed in my dilation and effacement.When we first got to the hospital we went into the triage room where they check you to see if you are actually in labor and ready to admit.Jaclyn was the nurse and she checked me and said I was at about a 6.5/7 and 90 – 95% effaced.So I was definitely in full blown labor and ready to admit.I do have to admit I was a bit disappointed because I really thought I would be like at a 9 or something – but hey at least this time they were going to admit me – not like Ruthie where I was only at a 4!I also gave Jaclyn (my nurse) my birth plan and she was very supportive of it from the get go and did everything I asked on it – even some things I did not ask like deferring any pain questions and also offering for me to use a birthing ball.She was great – and better than both the nurses that I had with Ruthie’s labor.She was pretty young but very respectful and was very encouraging.
We were admitted into labor and delivery room 3 and I think that might have even been the same room that I delivered Ruthie in.When we got in she let me stay unplugged from the monitors and brought in the birth ball and I started laboring on the birth ball. It was ok to use the birth ball but I felt like I had a hard time focusing on it. It might have been partly because the ball was a bit too small for me. I did that for about 30 minutes and she came in and checked me again at about 1:15am – and said that I had been doing great work and was at a 8.5 and that I would not be long now. The thing that was really nice was that even though I was not complete she started bringing in the thing they would need for the delivery and it was mentally a nice thing to see because it made it seem like the end was really close. Anyway – at this point I opted to stay on the bed and continue laboring there – I just propped up the back a lot higher than I had with Ruthie and that helped take the pressure off my back and also allowed for gravity to do its job better.In this position I was really able to control the surges pretty well and stay focused – I also found that when Zack would put his hand on my belly during a surge that it really helped for some reason. I don’t know if it was the heat or the pressure – but something felt really good about it. So bless his heart – he sat by me the whole time with his hand on my belly and also stroking my arm – which felt really good. My mom was great and really stayed out of the way and let Zack and I do our thing – but it was really nice to know that she was there and every once in a while she would remind me to stay focuses and calm.It was a wonderful combination – plus it was really nice because my mom and Zack would carry on a conversation and I could listen in and not have to take part – but it really helped to pass the time.
I labored that way for another hour (they check you once every hour) – they were pretty tough surges but I tried really hard to use the techniques I learned in HypnoBirthing and to go inside to my baby and not focus on me and what I was feeling – and I feel like it really worked. The cool thing was that I could feel her moving inside of me this time. I could not really feel that with Ruthie – probably because they broke my water so early on. This time I told them in my birth plan that I wanted my water to break naturally. I think because she was still floating around in the amniotic fluid that I could feel her move better. It was a neat feeling and helped me concentrate more on Lily. I also could feel my uterus pushing her down and I think next time it will be even easier to not have to push but to just let my body do the work.
It is kind of a work in progress for me. Maybe by the time I have my last kid I will have done it perfectly. This time was pretty close though. It was probably more mentally tough than anything – to stay so focused.The more I think about it – it was really neat to be able to feel her moving inside and feel her trying to push her way down as well.I knew we were working together in this. Anyway – at about 2:15 – 2:30 Jaclyn checked me again and said that I was at a 9.8 ++and fully effaced – meaning that I had a little anterior lip left but she felt like it was no big deal and that as soon as my water broke I could push right through it. I had asked that my water not be broken – but I asked her then how long it would be till my water broke. She told me that my sack was bulging but that it could be a while. Then she asked me if I would like to hear the pluses and minuses of having my water broken at this point. I had been pretty adamant about not having my water broken but I thought it would be good to hear what she had to say. She told me that the pluses were that she was pretty sure that if they broke the water that I could start pushing and that she would be born within the hour. She said that if I wanted to wait – she was sure the water would break and the baby would be born soon after that but that it could be a while until the water broke. At this point I remembered my Aunt Sue telling me that she could never deliver a baby unless her water was broken and that it never broke naturally. I felt like at this point it would be ok and be good to break my water. So Jaclyn went and got Dr. Smith (since Dr. Jones was not on call) and she came in at about 2:45am – and I started feeling the urge to push. I did not have to purple push this time – it was more of a natural push – and within 3 surges and 20 minutes, at 3:05am Lillian “Lily” Mae Gleason was born into this world. She weighed 8lbs 3oz and was 21 inches long.
It never ceases to amaze me what an amazing experience that is when you feel all this pressure and the head is coming through – Zack said her head and then one of her shoulders and arms came out first and then really quickly the rest of her body came out – and then there is this beautiful little baby laying on your tummy. Dr. Smith was great this time and put her right on my tummy and let the cord stay in tact until it stopped pulsing. I was very grateful for that.Lily did not cry very much and I held her close on my tummy – it was the coolest feeling. One of the first things I saw was that she has her own little look – does not look a thing like Ruthie did when she was born and the second thing I noticed is that she has my hands – really long fingers and long nail beds. She also has a full head of black hair. It is such an amazing experience and one where you feel the closest to heaven that I think you can feel on earth.
It was an amazing experience and everything went so well. My dad came and was waiting outside so as soon as she was born he came in and took pictures like a proud grandpa. My parents were very gracious and left fairly quickly and let us have the rest of the time to ourselves. I got to breast feed Lily right after – that is also always such a bonding and amazing experience. That is one of the things I love the most. Being a mother is wonderful and it does not change the second time around. The miracle of life is just amazing and I love my two little girls and can’t imagine life without them!