Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sebastien's Birth Story

Here are both full versions of Sebastien's birth story. Implied nudity in some pictures. Placenta pictures too!

My sweet guy is one year old today! 




Valarie's Version of events:

At my 41+1 week midwife appointment I talked to them about “natural” induction methods. I knew that if I went past 42 weeks I would have to switch care providers, and I felt that the ones I had chosen were the right ones for us. We decided that in a couple of days I would try castor oil. I was sent home with instructions, and told to get as much rest as possible.

On the 24th of October, at 10 PM, I had my first dose of my castor oil “cocktail”. Let me tell you, that stuff is so nasty. I hope I never need to do that again. I wouldn't recommend it at all! It did seem to work though. I still haven't decided if it was as bad as I thought it was going to be or not.

I had one contraction around 12:30, then nothing. I took my second dose of the castor oil at 2 AM and went to lie down to try and get a little more rest. That wasn't happening. My contractions picked up, and by 2:30 I decided that it was time to start timing them. Shortly after I started timing them I was feeling the need to breathe through them, and change positions. I couldn't be on my back anymore because it was so uncomfortable. Being on my side wasn't working either. The only position that was giving me any relief was hands and knees. At some point around this time I was starting to be vocal through the contractions. I'm not sure when Kyle woke up, but he took over timing. I think it was around 3 AM.

Around 4 we decided that we should take a shower (and I wanted the water to help with pain). I'm not sure if he called the midwife at this point, but I know around 5 he spoke with them and they said to meet them at the birth center at 6. We called my doula to let her know we were going to be heading in, and talked to my mom about watching the dog. We left the house around 5:20 and got to the birth center at 5:50.

We got inside and they were still getting the room ready. They got it ready really quick, I think I only had one or two contractions while waiting. I got in to the room I chose and they checked me- I was at a 6, so they said it would be ok if I got in the tub (which was already ready). My doula got there at that point and was rubbing my back and helping me through the contractions.

I got in the tub and it was amazing! I completely understand now why they call it the midwives epidural- the difference between in-tub contractions and out of tub contractions was like night and day. When I was in the tub they felt more like pressure waves, but out of the tub they were more painful and I had to concentrate more to get through them. Sarah, my doula, was putting cold cloths on my head and neck. Her and Kyle made sure that I was drinking plenty of fluids.




I didn't talk much after I got in the tub. I was vocalizing through contractions. After a while I started feeling an urge to push, so I asked to be checked. I got out of the tub and on to the bed for Darlene to check me. I was at an 8- but I must have been dilating pretty quickly (I know this now!). I had one contraction on the bed and then ran back to the tub.

I wasn't back in the tub long before I started feeling an almost uncontrollable urge to push. They had me pa-pa-pa through contractions to help fight the urge to push (since I had just been checked an was still at an 8 at that point), but after a few contractions I couldn't control the urge anymore and asked to be checked again. Darlene came and checked me and I was complete! She told me that I could start pushing when I felt the urge.

Kyle planned on catching the baby, so to make it easier she told me to go back in to a semi-reclined position once I felt the ring of fire. I started pushing instinctively during contractions, and in short order felt like baby was right there, so I leaned back. Here's the link ofthis point on (video). It's dark, but you can hear everything really well! Here are all the photos from the birth (nudity warning!)

I pushed, and felt the baby moving down. I don't think I was really able to say anything, I was so far in a very calm, peaceful state that I was only really aware of pushing and breathing. Kyle was talking me through the whole process, and I heard him say that baby was crowning. With the next contraction I pushed, and felt the head come out. The told me to wait while they checked to make sure the cord wasn't around the babies head. I thought I waited long enough, but I had a really strong urge to finish pushing, and pushed before they had finished checking. Luckily the cord wasn't wrapped around anything. Baby shot out, in the sac. Kyle grabbed baby and Darlene helped put the baby on my chest. Once baby was on my chest they let out a cry. I lifted up the cord to see if we had a little boy or a little girl. He was a boy!


Sebastien Fernand Violette was born en-caul at 8:49 AM, October 25th 2013 after 6 hours of labor and 15 minutes of pushing.

We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, and then Kyle cut it. Kyle jumped out of the tub and took off his shirt to hold baby skin to skin while I birthed the placenta.


Once I birthed the placenta a couple minutes later, I got out of the tub and went to the bed. We got started on our first feed and did some more skin to skin.





Kyle's version:


Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013:

Valarie and I stroll into the birth center for our weekly appointment. Based on previous conversations with the midwives, we were expecting a plan of action as our little one was now 8 days past due. Though the birth center is crowded that afternoon, we are seen in the little room, and after the non stress test are advised Valarie will be taking castor oil Thursday night to try to get the ball rolling. The plan is to start with 2 ounces at 10pm PDT, followed by 2 more ounces at 2am PDT, and one final dose at 8am PDT.

Thursday, October 24th, 2013:

I hustle to work, as I have a scheduled phone interview at 2pm for a job promotion. At 1:15pm, I realize my cell phone is not making or receiving calls. I then spend 47 infuriating minutes on the phone with the cell phone company, wondering if Valarie is trying to call me because labor started out of no where. At 2:03pm I call the job recruiter, only to find out they have rescheduled my phone interview to Monday. I then call Valarie just to make sure nothing happened in the hour I was away from home.

I then proceed to work my shift, while watching the Red Sox and Cardinals World Series game 2. Unfortunately for me, the Card's won that game. I couldn't really focus on work on the game much anyway, as I was antzy for 9pm to roll around so I could head home and get the baby party started. For some reason, I had almost no doubts that this castor oil was going to do the trick. With all of the contractions she had leading up to this night, I knew tonight was game time.

10:00pm comes, and I am sitting on my ass watching TV, it appears my anxiousness has obviously faded, but sitting sounds fun. This doesn't last long, as Valarie tells me its time to go to the kitchen to brew the horrifying concoction that she will have to ingest. We swiftly mix the juice, peanut butter, and castor oil, and dump it in a big beer mug. Valarie craftily marks 1/3 and 2/3rds the dosage. We get back to our bedroom, and I bring up a big cannon straw, like the ones you get at McDonalds. I advise her to deep throat this thing so she doesn't have to taste it. I feel bad for her prior to the first sip because again, I cant stress this enough, it looks frigan disgusting.

Friday, October 25th, 2013:

12:15am: Over two hours after the first dosage, Valarie tells me she is not feeling a thing. I being to feel slightly discouraged, but remember that she still has 2 more servings of shit juice. She recommends we take a nap, and I quickly agree. By 1am I am asleep, and by 2am I am awake for dose two. That hour of sleep was great, as I only woke up about 17 times. Little did I know this was just a forecast for the very near future.

2:45am: Valarie has begun rockin' and rollin'. Its at this moment that I begin losing my regularly lively and feisty wife. She is quiet and battling an internal fight every 5 minutes. I sit there and watch more TV. We resume our planning in between contractions as to what the rest of this morning will look like. I also am sure to begin timing the contractions, as we were instructed to 4-1-2 this situation, then page the midwife.

4:45am: After a shower, our 2 hours has passed, and those contractions weren't slowing down a bit. I paged the midwife, and she called me within 5 minutes. I explained what was happening, and we were instructed to arrive at the birth center at 6:00am. We already had birth bags packed (far more than we ever needed by the way) However, we packed a few more things just for good measure. I made a call to the doula to let her know what was going on, then we jumped into the car around 5:30 and headed to the birth center. Every few minutes Valarie would come out of a contraction and talk to me like normal, it was like I got my wife back for a half minute or so, almost like this wasn't actually happening!

5:51am: I pull into a parking spot in front of the birth center, just as the midwife is unlocking the door to let us in. We walk in to a cool empty building. The assistant had not yet arrived to get things set up for Valarie. Darlene worked quickly to turn on the heat, and get the room comfortable for Valarie. In the mean time, Valarie leaned on the front counter while I rubbed her back. I tried to keep calm, but I was anxious to get this party rolling. I had a 12 ounce bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee waiting for me as soon as we knew we were at the birth center for good, and I was pretty pumped up about it.

6:15am: Valarie is now in the birth room, and contracting like a mad woman. The assistant was trying to check her blood pressure and baby vitals and not having an easy go of it, as Valarie was on all fours on the queen sized bed. We get her on her feet, and I figure I'll be a good husband and stand behind her so she can hold on to my neck and I can hold on to her while the assistant gets what she needs. This was not my smartest decision, as she got some good pull on my neck and shoulders. My legs buckled, but I made it through. (Poor me, huh?)

6:30am: Darlene has checked and Valarie is 6cm dilated. You know what this means? Dunkin time! They begin running the big tub for Valarie, and I scoot out of the room to start my coffee, let the doula in the locked front door, and make contact with Valarie's mother, Robin. I also text my parents and some other friends/family members to let them know that this is the real deal, and its go time!

6:45am: I stroll into the birth room with a big warm delicious cup of Dunkin, and see Valarie in the tub on her knees leaning over the front of it while our doula, Sara, is rubbing her shoulders and neck, and being awesome in general to Valarie. As she comes out of a contraction, I offer her a sip of my coffee. Valarie accepts, as she loves coffee. She gets down a couple sips, then back to the business at hand.

7:00am: By now we are waiting on Robin to arrive. My coffee is gone and I am settling in. Valarie is kickin' ass and taking names at contractions. The assistant comes by to ask if they have slowed down at all, and we let her know that they have not slowed.

7:15am: Robin has just arrived and I quickly get her into the birth room so she can see what her daughter is up to. Sara is still doing amazing at keeping Valarie comfortable. I am like the water boy on a NASCAR pit crew, I hand it over, she sips it, and gives it back, then goes back to contracting. This continues.

7:30am: Based on what we were all hearing and seeing from Valarie, Robin heads out front to make a phone call or two, and recommends to the midwife that Valarie be checked again. The birth team determines that they do not want to check Valarie right away, but they want to monitor her more closely first. After 10-15 minutes of contractions, she is asked to step out of the tub and go to the bed to be checked. She hustles over between contractions and we are all informed she is now 8cm. After that was checked, and that contraction came to an end, she hustled her naked but across to the room and hopped right back into that tub just in time for another contraction.

8:00am: I remind my self that I am not a “birth and labor” expert, but I can't help but feeling that based on the noises coming out of my wife, a baby isn't far off. I send out a few text messages with the 8cm update. I return to the birth room for the next half hour and continue my pit crew like assistance. I even step in for Sarah for a few minutes and do the cold cloth thing for Valarie while she powers through what seem like endless contractions. My wife at this point no longer exists, she's just a people making machine. I have absolutely no clue what is going through her head at this time, but I am impressed with how much ass she is kicking at this as she is not screaming like I expected she would be.

8:35am: Valarie is able to mumble “call my dad” enough for me to get the message, and go make the call. I hustle out to the front room and call Wayne, and tell him that the labor thing is happening, and he should come on down.

8:43am: I come back into the room and she is fighting the urge to push. I change into my swim trunks so I can get into the tub. I had previously agreed to catch the baby, and I wasn't gonna fuck this up.
8:45am: I climb into the tub, Valarie at this point is given the green light to push, but is told to turn over onto her back when shes going to push our baby out. I sit behind her trying not to set my self on fire with the candles that surround the tub. I slid a few out of the way and I am officially ready for this... physically anyway, mentally, I am not so sure.

8:47am: Valarie turns over on to her back, so I turn my head to look at her vagina, and I shit you not, I see a head start poking out, then going back in, then poking out, like medieval peasants breaking down the door to the castle, my babies head is on its way down the pike. I inform Valarie that she is doing a great job, and that she is beginning to crown. The midwives, who also discredit my labor and birth experience are not believing me, only to look for them selves and see half a head sticking out of my wife. I am staring on in amazement knowing that we were realllllly close to having our baby. Darlene, our midwife comes running into the room as she was just delivered the news of the head sticking out, and quickly advises me to place my hand on the babies head to provide counter pressure. I understand this more now than I did at the time, as I really didn't know what the hell I would be pushing back.... the goal is to get the kid out, right??? The head felt smooth for a head full of hair. My hands moved around to further inspect the landscape only to realize that the water had not yet broke as suspected, our little one was still in the sack!

8:49am: After about 60 seconds (felt like about 45 minutes) I am still waiting for this last push. I know it's coming soon, but when??? OH SHIT I MISSED, BABY JUST ROCKED OUT OF MY WIFE AND IS SITTING IN THE BOTTOM OF THE TUB IN A BUNCH OF BLOODY WATER!! As Darlene tells me to get my baby, I quickly scoop and deliver the newborn to my wife's chest, just as she asked me to months before. My job was done, although I feel I didn't perform very well, I got the baby to her, so no harm no foul. While baby sits on Valarie's chest, I am already curious, is this a boy or a girl? We have only been waiting 9 months and 10 days, not that I was in a hurry or anything, but I needed to find out. Valarie on the other hand was just kicking back trying to catch her breath. I guess she has an excuse, she did just push a person out of her body. After months of suspecting we were going to have a girl, I was able to lift up a leg enough to find a penis! I had wanted a boy, but did not expect to get one... it was a lovely surprise, Sebastien Fernand Violette was now in this world, and was healthy as could be!

8:55am: The baby is breathing well, the cord has been cut, and I am kicked out of the tub. I am told to take my shirt of like Channing Tatum at a strip club. I am quick to inform the ladies that I have been coating my abs with fat to keep them warm for the winter and that I may not have the physique you see in magazines. They let me know that doesn't matter and the baby needs my warmth with skin to skin. Fortunately for little Sebastien, I am know as the human furnace by his mother, and will have no problem keeping him from freezing.

1:00pm: After a few hours of family visits, many phone calls, our first car ride with Sebastien, we are home with our little guy. I am in love with him as he seems to just sleep and be adorable... that kept up until about 10pm... things were different after that. The real fun begins! But that was one hell of a day that I will not soon forget!

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