Judah Paul Elrod – Born Dec 2nd 2010 at 3:27 AM, 6 lbs 1oz, 20 inches long
Judah was my second baby. My first was Elise who was 8 months old when I got pregnant again. When giving birth to her I had a typical medicated vaginal birth. In my heart I wanted a natural birth but I honestly didn’t even know what that all entailed. I was induced and labored for 15 hours. I fought so hard to go without pain meds but by hour 13 I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was not traumatized by this birth but I knew that next time would be different. I knew I needed to go on my own journey to find the birth I wanted for next time. So after I recovered I set off to find out all I needed to know. After 8 months of digging and searching and hoping and praying I ended up pregnant with my sweet boy. I decided I would use an in hospital midwife as I was still not comfortable with the idea of home birth. Maybe I didn’t fully trust my body. Only time would tell.
I went through each visit with a different midwife or OB that the Midwives were under. I declined all testing and ultrasounds that were not necessary. I thought for sure I was on the right track. I was healthy, not gaining much weight, active, and happy. I was eating right and taking my vitamins religiously. At my 37 week check up they noticed some protein in my urine. I didn’t think much of it. I had no signs of hypertension or pre-e. No indicators of an unhealthy pregnancy. They sent me home to do a 24 hour urine analysis. Lucky for me I did the test wrong and it happened to be over the weekend. This delayed a few things and I had to redo it the next week. There was still protein in my urine. Instead of the midwives telling me how to adjust my diet by eating extra protein, drinking fluids, and doing more walking they called me in for an induction. The head Dr. called me personally and told me that if I didn’t go in that day that my baby and I would die. She said I was hypertensive. I asked her what hypertensive was and she said “Well we don’t really know what it is but you will die.” I asked again and only received the same answer. I was scared. Shamefully I woke my husband and told him we needed to go in and be induced. We were heart broken. Crying all the way to the hospital. Cramming in as much food as I could so I would have the energy to go through this medicated delivery. I was still determined to do this without pain medication.
Got to the hospital sad but determined and excited to meet our baby and they set me all up. Plugged me in and hooked me up. Stuck in the bed. I started feeling the first pains within about an hour. Not too bad though. I was still myself. I remember my mom came and we were playing cards. I could still concentrate. About 20 minutes into the game I could not focus anymore and decided that I needed to stop the game and get up and walk. It was all a blur from there. I remember being on the ball. My tailbone hurt so bad that I could not sit or lay on the bed. So I rocked on the ball for hours. When it started getting intense I got in the shower. Such relief I felt! But my fingers and toes started to turn into raisins and I couldn’t handle that. As soon as that water turned off the pains hit hard… worse than before my shower. I remember my friends and family being in and out quietly. I remember seeing my beautiful friend Josie by my side. I don’t think I said a word to anyone. I remember my mom being in and out. And I remember my husband letting me hold on tight to him during each contraction. I remember seeing my sister Chanel walk in. But that was all. I was in my own world. At some point I remember hearing another woman laboring naturally in the next room. I felt awful for her because I knew how she was feeling.
After about 35 hours I got into the tub. I was tired. That tub felt amazing. I felt more relaxed. After a couple of hours my midwife said, “Okay you are at a 9. You are so close! Are you ready to catch your baby and bring her up your chest?” Oh I was ready. But we didn’t know the sex yet. So our anticipation was skyrocketing at this point. Another hour or so passed. I was getting frustrated and tired. My contractions were long. I mean like 5 minutes long. I cried, “What is wrong with my body!?” My midwife checked again. I was back down to a 7. She didn’t tell me. But I could tell something was wrong. I had to get out of the tub. My feet were numb. I was tired. They decided to put me back on Pitocin. And all at once the nurses and midwives were gone. I heard screams from the other room. My heart dropped. She had her baby. The lady across from me. And here I was struggling to go on. What was happening? I had been fighting so hard. It wasn’t working. After a while about 5 nurses and midwives all came in and brought up the cesarean. I instantly burst into tears and couldn’t say a word. My contractions were more intense. I lost my fight and my drive. I begged them to hurry because I no longer had a goal. I yelled and cried and threw fits. I screamed the whole way to the OR because my contractions were so long, intense, and I was full of hurt. I yelled at the nurses. I yelled at the Dr. But as they put the spinal block in I squeezed the nurse. I brought her so close to me I thought she would just explode. I cried again. I couldn’t feel the pain anymore there was a more intense pain in my heart. They started and I finally saw my husband. He was pretty cute in those scrubs they provided.
I told the Dr that we didn’t know the sex. I wanted him to tell us when he found out. Within a few minutes they pulled out my baby boy. I didn’t get to see him for about 20 minutes. I kept asking my husband through my uncontrollable shaking if he was okay. I finally heard him cry. He was wonderful. 4 weeks early and wonderful. A head full of hair. I was in heaven when we got back to our room. He nursed right away. Nursed the rest of the night. I didn’t sleep after that. Not for another couple of days. I was elated to have my baby. He was healthy.
After we got home a few days later and the love hormones slowed down. Reality set in. I could hardly move. I was so sore. I would have my husband check my incision every day to check for infection. I cried every time he did. I cried because it reminded me of my failure. I cried because I couldn’t get up to get my son when he would cry. I cried when friends would tell me that it’s okay my baby was healthy. He was healthy. He was great. He was wonderful and amazing and beautiful. But I wasn’t okay. I was lost. I fought so hard. And it was all just taken away from me. Sometimes people don’t understand this because it just isn’t high on their priority list. And that’s okay. But it was important to me.
My son is now 2 and a half. He’s perfect. My body has healed. You wouldn’t even hardly know what happened. But I will never forget. Next time I will fight harder. I will stay home. I will have a better knowledge. This will not happen to me again. Many people have gone through this exact thing, almost word for word. My heart breaks for you. I know healing will come. For you and for me. Until then I will love my daughter and my son more than anything that walks on this earth. I will share with them the joys and hurts that life has to offer so that one day they will be prepared to live this life on their own.