On Tuesday June 11th, 2013 I was feeling very anxious. We had a doctors appointment earlier that day and he told me I was only dilated to a “tight” one. That was not what I wanted to hear. He then talked about when he would induce me if I didn’t go into labor on my own. I didn’t want to be induced so I was very stressed leaving the doctors office. Later that evening Chance and I decided we were going to take a walk and try to get her out of me! Chance came up with this brilliant plan…labor inducing movie stroll. He decided to set up the lap top on our new stroller so we could walk while watching a movie. It was awesome because I was able to walk for a long time without thinking about how tired and uncomfortable I was. We did get some strange looks from fellow walkers but it was worth it.
The next day (June 12th, 2013) I woke up with horrible back pain. Because of my bulged discs that is normal so I wasn’t at all thinking I was in labor. I decided to go see the chiropractor to get an adjustment. I had my appointment at 11:30 and by 2:30 I had started contracting. I don’t know if it was the walk, the chiropractor, or the combination of the two but something worked! I continued having contractions every 30 min until about 8:30 that evening. Funny thing is at six I took newborn pictures for a lady in our ward and at seven I went to dinner with Alexis and Staci contracting the whole time!! As soon as I got home at 8:30 they started getting closer together. They were about every 10 min and moved to every 5-6 min by midnight. By 1:30 they were 3-5 min apart. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible so I did not want to go to the hospital. Chance kept asking me if we could go and I kept telling him no. He finally talked me into it at about 3 am. By that point the contractions were every 2-4 min so I was thinking I had to be getting close. When we got to the hospital they put us in a delivery room and hooked me up to the monitors. The nurse then came in and checked my cervix. Sadly I was only dilated to a 2+, not good news! I was definitely not close! I remember feeling so confused and scared. I knew that if I was only dilated to a 2 there was no way I wanted to stay in the hospital! The nurse called Dr. Gatherum and asked him what he suggested. He knew I didn’t want to get an epidural and that I wanted to labor at home as long as I could so he told the nurse to give me a shot of morphine to take the edge off the pain so I could get some sleep. She gave me the shot and then we went home.
We got home at 5 am and I was able to sleep until 6:30 am when the contractions woke me. I was contracting every 2-4 min from 6:30 until we decided to go back into the hospital at 2:00 pm (June 13th, 2013). They got us in a room again and checked my cervix. Lori (the most amazing nurse) told me I was only dilated to a 4. That was very discouraging because my contractions were so close together for so long. She then called Gatherum and he thought it would be best to break my water. He came in and broke my water at 2:35. That was a weird feeling! No pain, just weird. My contractions sped up and they checked again an hour later and I was at a 5. A 5 are you kidding me? Half way there was not far enough! During that hour they gave me fetanal through my IV to help with my back pain. I had back labor like you couldn't believe! It was so painful and felt like my back was on fire. Another hour later went by of painful contractions while I was in bed. Lori checked me again and I hadn’t progressed at all, I was still at a five! By this point they were worried I was going to be too exhausted to do it naturally so Gatherum thought it would be best to give me Pitocin to speed up labor.
That was my worst fear, getting pitocin. That is why I didn't want to be induced. I was sure if they had to give me pitocin I wouldn't be able to handle the pain and I would have to get the epideral. So at about 4:30 after the Pitocin they decided to get me in the tub. That was a miserable experience. I don’t know if it was the Pitocin or not being able to get comfortable but it was hard. As they were getting me ready for the tub I was so confused because I was hooked up to all the monitors still so I wasn’t sure I could get in. This random nurse who I never saw before that or after that just kept telling me I could get in, without explaining that I could get in all hooked up to everything. I was also still in my gown and everything so I wasn’t sure what to do. Let's just say I kind of wanted to slap her. I took off my gown and Chance helped me in the tub through a contraction and everything. When I got in I got even more confused because the water was cold. I asked if that was a mistake and the nurse said “what? It's cold?”, again I felt like slapping her! They then tried to drain the water and fill it with warm water all while I was laying their freezing and contracting. They finally got it filled with warm water and my contractions came faster and they were way more intense. I was in the tub for about an hour. I was in so much pain, all I remember saying is that I couldn’t do it. Hillary was holding one hand and Chance held my other hand while he pushed on my back to help with the pain. While I was in the tub Lori checked to see if I had progressed and I was to an 8. She then had the nurse call Dr. Gatherum. I remember hearing the nurse on the speaker say “Dr. Gatherum is at home with his keys in his hands, should I have him come?” and Lori said she’s dilated to an 8 so ya! At about 5:30 they got me out of the tub in between contractions and got me back into the bed. I was so cold and shaky at this point. I remember telling them I couldn’t fill my hands. I seriously thought I was going to die. I was bleeding everywhere, I was so cold, and my hands were numb! I kept thinking, “is this normal?” They were a little worried so they gave me oxygen to help stop me from hyperventilating. It didn't help much but I was alive!
Gatherum got there and started helping the nurses. I remember him helping me get the glove protecting my IV from the water off of my hand. He was so awesome, he came in and immediately asked, “do you want that glove on your hand still?” haha. Um no! During the contractions Lori had me rotate from side to side because baby girl was posterior, so she was pushing on the wrong spot which gave me a lip on my cervix. PAINFUL! All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball, I definitely didn't want to rotate side to side. After rotating for a while Lori checked me again and I heard her say you are complete. COMPLETE!! You know what that means, time to push baby! At about 6:00 I started pushing. They kept telling me to push with my butt and to bare down. Um, what the heck does that mean? I was having a hard time at first not pushing with my face. I heard the nurses whispering about whether I looked too blue or not. I guess I still wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I pushed and they kept telling me they could see her. This went on for what felt like forever. I kept asking Gatherum how long it was going to take to get her out. He said he thought she would be here by 7, (wrong). It was almost discouraging hearing that they could see her because 7 was forever far away. I also remember asking over and over again if I had pooped! Yep, pooped! They kept telling me no and I kept calling them liars. It seriously felt like I was pooping the whole time, TMI!
I then kept telling myself that if I push really hard it will speed things up. As I pushed I started to feel more and more pressure. Then Chance told me he could see her, that gave me a feeling of pure joy. He kept encouraging me and telling me to push harder and she would be here. They kept talking about how they could see curly blonde hair. I then pushed really hard through a contraction and instead of feeling relief when I was done pushing I felt massive amounts of pressure. I could tell she was stuck. I kept asking if she was okay because I could hear her heart rate had gone down. They told me that was normal and to keep pushing. So I did, I pushed a few more times then Gatherum asked me if I wanted an episiotomy, he said if I got one she would come. I had previously decided that if Gatherum thought I should get one, I would. I am so glad I did! I watched him give me lots of shots and then he cut the episiotomy. I didn’t feel a thing! It was insane. I then pushed one more time as hard as I could, I felt burning for just a few seconds and then at 7:44 pm she was out!
They told me to look down and I saw her beautiful face. Dr. Gatherum then pulled her out, wiped her off and immediately put her on my chest. Seeing her and touching her was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I remember thinking she was so heavy and there was no way she fit inside of me. She seemed so big. She was wide-awake and just looked at me with her big eyes. At that moment my whole world changed. I never want to forget that feeling of pure joy. At one point I remember Gatherum asking if we were in young womens and I was so confused, he went on to say that the young women theme is “Stand in Holy places”, he said there is no holier place then right here in the delivery room. I completely agree. I have never had that moment where I just knew that God was right there with me until that day. The veil was so thin and the spirit was so strong. Going natural connected me with God and with my sweet baby girl in a way that I could have never imagined.
I am so grateful I had such an amazing support system with me in the delivery room. Up until I went into labor I had planned on only having Chance and my mom in there with me. When I realized I was in labor my mom was actually not feeling well at the time so she was worried she wouldn't be able to come in with me. Hillary called me and she said “I know that I wouldn't be much help since I don't have experience but I am more than happy to come in if mom can't”. I wasn't sure she would want to be in there so since she had offered I knew she felt comfortable and I wanted her to experience it with me so I told her to come even if mom came. I am so glad I asked her to be in the delivery room with us. She gave me strength when I felt that I couldn't do it any longer and she also got to experience something she was unable to on her own. It was a special experience, even though she saw my area! Haha
My mom was also so helpful. At times when I kept saying I couldn't do it, she would look at me and say “Brenna, you are doing it!”. That gave strength when I needed it most. She reminded me how strong I was and how I would soon see my sweet baby girl. After the delivery I could feel how proud she was of me. I have never felt so close to my mom then that moment. We shared something so special and she knew exactly what I had just gone through which made it even more wonderful.
As for my husband, one word: amazing! He was everything I wanted him to be and more. He was so supportive, loving, and helpful! He made sure I was comfortable and happy. Seeing him hold Emry for the first time was something I will never forget. He had the sweetest look on his face. Also, that is the only time I have ever seen him cry. He is usually such a stone cold rock but man that girl immediately wrapped him around her tiny little finger. The night before when I told him I knew I was in labor he had the giddiest little smile on his face. I kind of wanted to punch because I was in pain but it was so cute! I knew he would be an amazing father, and I was right. I wasn't so sure he was going to survive the delivery room with my rage and all the headlocks he got, but he did it!
Labor was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I am so glad I chose such an amazing doctor who made great decisions throughout the entire process. I know that without those crucial game changing decisions my labor would have gone on for days and I would have been too exhausted to have delivered naturally. He knew that was my goal and he helped me achieve it.
Going natural has been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember and I did it! It is amazing what the female body was made to do. It seriously knows what to do without anyones help, crazy! At first my biggest reason for going natural was I had heard the recovery was so much faster (fact). But, through out my pregnancy it became a much more spiritual decision. As I read pregnancy books and talked to people about their delivery stories I realized labor is the closest feeling I will get to what the savior felt in Gethsemane. Yes, it is just a fraction of the pain that he felt but it is the only time in my life when I will sacrifice so much for someone else. It was so worth it and I know that because of that sacrifice I have a deep connection with my sweet little girl. It was also really amazing how quickly my body recovered. After delivery I walked my self to the bath room and had never felt so alive. I was able to take care of my baby without all the exhaustion that comes with an epidural. I was completely recovered in about a week and back to my pre pregnancy weight in 4 weeks. I didn't have any postpartum depression, I actually felt more happy than I ever have before. I would look at Emry and seriously start crying because I felt so much love for her. It is simply incredible when it comes to what the female body can do. God really knew what he was doing when he created women.
I am so grateful for what I was able to go through and what I got out of it. The love I feel for Emry is insane. It is something I have never felt before. We love you Emry Mei Burrows, you have changed our lives for the better and challenged us in so many ways. Thank you for coming into this world safely and making it a brighter place for all that you come in contact with.
Thanks Hill for taking pictures! Just a warning, I look scary. Thats what labor does to ya!