The Players
Jason, Wonderful Husband
Gina Bass, Incredible Doula
Patience Salgado, Loving Photographer and KindnessGirl
Nicole Carson, Encouraging Midwife
Lisa and Michelle, Tolerable Labor and Delivery Nurses
Me, New Mom

Tuesday morning, Jason and I went to Whole Foods for our 5th “last grocery shopping trip before the baby comes”. I had to use the bathroom as soon as we got there, of course. After I used the bathroom, I noticed something at the bottom of the toilet. I wasn’t sure if it was from me! I hadn’t felt it, so I just wasn’t sure. It looked like a pink jelly fish the size of a golf ball. I left the bathroom and told Jason, “I think I just lost my mucus plug”. After discussing the details and neither of us really being sure, Jason wisely told me I needed to pay closer attention to these things now We went on about our shopping trip and our day, knowing our time was approaching.
Wednesday, April 1, I was on a cleaning frenzy at my house, as I had been on for about 4 weeks. Bedding, baseboards, microwave, refrigerator, cabinets, everything. About 1:30 that afternoon, I had my first contraction. It felt like a menstrual cramp but lasted a little longer. I decided to ignore it. I noticed them here and there. They were just barely annoying but I knew these were different . I also knew they may stop and be nothing so I went about my day. My friend Jenn visited around 3:00 and we talked about recent birth stories I’d heard. Jason got home around 5:00 and we headed to Five Guys. At this point I decided to start paying attention to how far apart they were just to see if they were going to stick around and if they were getting closer together. They were about 10 – 15 minutes apart. Later that evening, about 7:00, I told Jason what had been going on. I really didn’t want to alert him if it was nothing. We stayed up until about 11:00 that night watching fights. At 11, he suggested we go to bed and get some rest in case anything happened in the middle of the night. I was excited, but I agreed. I knew I would need my rest. I got about 4 hours of sleep as soon as we hit the bed. After that, I was up about every hour or 2 hours with mild contractions. Although I was anxious and excited, I slept in between.
Thursday morning, we were up and out of the house by 8:00. We had been talking about going to Baker’s Crust for breakfast (crepes in particular ) before the baby came, so we thought this would be a perfect day and most likely our last chance. We ran around all day. We went to Ulta and Southern States and Starbucks and I don’t even remember where else! I was having contractions all day, but we were just “living life”. Finally, late afternoon, we headed back home. Around 5:00 we noticed my contractions were getting closer together so we decided to loosely start timing them. We made another trip out to Sergio’s to pick up dinner then back home. My contractions were about 6 minutes apart at this point and getting stronger, so we decided to call Gina. We talked about what had been going on for the last day or so and she told me to call her back at 8:30 and give her an update, or call her before then if we felt like we needed her. By about 8:00 my contractions were between 4 and 5 minutes apart so we decided I should probably call her. After a brief discussion, we decided it was time for her to come to our house. We also decided to call our midwife at this time. Leslie Fehan is actually my midwife, but Nicole Carson is her partner midwife and throughout the end of our pregnancy we had begun to see both of them in the event Leslie was unavailable when I went into labor. Nicole happened to be on call that night so I told her what was happening. I had also noticed I had not felt the baby move much all day and it was a small concern for me. She told me to lie on my left side for 1 hour and count 10 movements. As the hour went on, Gina arrived at our home. I counted 10 movements and we felt relieved. Gina suggested many things for me to do during my labor at home. I used the birthing ball, took a bath, used heat and cool compresses. We watched Grease and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. As the night went on, my contractions stayed about 4 minutes apart but got more intense. We decided it was an okay time to make out transition to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at about 1:30 in the morning. Nicole called ahead and let them know we were on the way (Gina called Nicole to let her know). We got settled into our room and began laboring there. When Nicole arrived, she checked me for dialation. I remember Gina leaning over me at this moment and saying, “no matter what we find out now, remember you have done a lot of hard work and you’re doing a great job”. I thought that was really important. I was 6 centimeters dilated, 100% effaced. I was fine with that. Nicole went to take a nap while we labored. Again, I used the ball and different positions to help with my comfort level. Gina had all these fragrances that I loved. Jason was there, touching me, beside me, behind me, encouraging me, the entire time.
At my next check, I was at 8 centimeters. I felt like things were moving along perfectly. At some point, Patience got there. Her smiling face was encouragement in itself. I labored for hours; overnight into early morning. Things started to slow. I noticed the contractions were less intense and farther apart. Nicole decided we needed to break my water. She said my water bag was bulging, not allowing the baby’s head to open the cervix up. We agreed and she broke my water. For the next couple of hours I did squats and danced with Jason in an effort to get the baby to come down. Things did not seem to be progressing. She checked me again. I had reverted to 6 centimeters and my cervix was swollen. {At some point during this stage, she also wanted me to rest, which I did for about an hour. I’m not really sure where this fits in} Not only had I reverted, my water bag had not broken on the initial try. The bag had wrapped back over the baby’s head, creating another bag. She broke my water a second time. This time it hurt. She then said she wanted to talk to us. She suggested an IV bag of fluids because I had gone on so long and was obviously exhausted and perhaps dehydrated. She also wanted to add a small dose of Pitocin. As soon as I heard those words I knew it was not what we wanted. We told her we wanted a minute in the bathroom with Gina. I got in the shower and Gina used the shower head to spray warm water on my belly and my back while we discussed it. My concern was, obviously, Pitocin brings on some nasty contractions and I knew I did not want an epidural and was afraid the contractions were already so strong, I questioned if I could do it. Gina assured me I could do it. Nicole stepped into the bathroom and we asked her what would happen if we didn’t do the Pitocin. She told us she did not think my body would be able to progress without the Pitocin and she did not think I would have the energy to push when that time came without the IV bag of fluids. After this conversation, we agreed to the IV bag and the Pitocin. I got back in the bed to rest and wait for the IV. I lay on my left side. I started to cry. I knew this is not what I wanted. I was frustrated and scared. I was exhausted and helpless. Then a couple of important things happened. Jason leaned over me, noticing that I had started to cry. He told me how great I was doing. He told me we could do this. He told me I was doing it and he knew I could do it. It was an obstacle but we would overcome it. He then told me that upon my last check, Nicole had revealed to them that my pelvis was narrow. It was taking a really long time for the baby’s head to mold and come down. But the good news was that the baby’s heartbeat was great and he was safe. And soon we would have our little baby boy. We just needed to get through this set back. I sat up and looked at the board on the wall. It once said, “You are strong. You can do this.” It now said, “You are strong. You can do this. You can do even this”. Then, the nurse came in with the IV’s. She blew the veins in both my arms. Jason and I looked at each other and almost at the same time said, ‘We are not supposed to be doing this. This is not what we want.’ The nurse left and said she would have someone else come in. Gina and Patience said they were going to leave and give us some time alone. It was just me and Jason. We decided immediately we needed to change our decision. Jason noticed my contractions were getting stronger and closer. When the second nurse came in, we told her we changed our minds. We were not going to get the Pitocin and we wanted to be left alone. We labored alone in that room for about the next half hour. My contractions got stronger and stronger. And my giant, strong husband encouraged me through each one. Everyone seemed to come back to the room at the same time. We told them we were not getting the Pitocin and wanted to see Nicole again. When she returned we asked her if she could check me one more time. I could tell she was reluctant, but she did what we asked. At this check, I was 7 centimeters and the swelling in my cervix had gone down! We were so excited! A new energy entered the room! We agreed to do one bag of fluids to counteract my dehydration and prepare for pushing. I labored in transition for hours. I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom without having to get on the floor and bear down through a contraction. Jason and Gina applied counter pressure and did whatever I needed them to do to ease my pains. These contractions were strong and fierce. I knew my baby was coming. At my next check I was fully dilated with a small lip. Nicole removed the lip manually with her fingers. Everyone was helping me. I was grunting through every contraction. I was ready to push. I reached down and I could touch my baby’s head. I started pushing on the birthing stool. I knew this is where I wanted to deliver. I moved to the bed, on my back, on my left side, on my right side, on my back again. Pushing, pushing. Grunting. Moaning. Screaming. Mantras. Open. Open. I moved back onto the stool. Jason was behind me. I would lay back on him in between every contraction. I got about 4 pushes every contraction, sometimes a weak 5th one. It was hard work, but I knew he was coming. Nicole was squatted down in front of me, the two nurses on my left, Gina and Patience on my right. I pushed for almost 3 hours. Finally, Nicole broke my trance. She said, “There is a doctor outside the door right now. If you can’t push your baby out in the next few pushes, I’m going to have to let her in. I don’t want to let her in. I don’t know what will happen if I let her in.” I pushed and pushed with everything in my body. His head crowned. Everyone slowed me, “don’t push, don’t push” as I naturally stretched with his head. Then ok, “push your baby out”. I pushed again with everything I had and birthed my baby’s head. Then his shoulders. Then Nicole said, “Reach down and get your baby” and I reached down and put my hands under his arms and pulled him the rest of the way out. I lay back on Jason and our baby boy looked right into both of our eyes. He rested on my chest as they suctioned him and jiggled him. He made a huge pout and then a roaring cry! He was here! Our baby boy was finally here!
Jaxon Koi Brown was born on April 3 at 4:15PM. He weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and was 18 ¾ perfect inches long.

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