The birth of Maddox Highfill

So I’m taking a little detour from talking about food to write down Maddox’s birth story. I have been wanting to do this for awhile because the farther away you get from an event, the more you forget about it.  So with that being said, read at your own caution: this is about birth after all :).

I want to start off by saying that Kai’s birth was great. Looking back I don’t regret anything at all. It went perfect and as planned and there were no complications.  With that being said, I wanted Maddox’s birth to go differently.  With Kai I did the all med route (induction & epidural), but with Maddox I wanted a drug free birth.  When I had Kai in never even really dawned on me that people still give birth naturally and over the course of the last 2 years I have met many inspiring women who have done it, which made it seem all the more possible.

So with that in mind we signed up for for a Bradley Birthing Class and in Lewisville and our awesome friends Matt and Shannon watched Kai every Sunday while we went to class.  Each week I felt more and more confident that I could do this until all of our plans came to a screeching halt when I went for my 30 week ultra sound.  Maddox was breech. I was so discouraged, I really had felt that God had put this desire in my heart and I was very upset because it was looking like we were going to have to have a c-section unless he flipped.  I started looking into all my options to get him flipped (laying upside down on an ironing board, going to the chiropractor, walking a ton, using essential oils, etc.).  If someone had a suggestion I was going to try it.  Week after week went by and still nothing was changing.  I had an ultra sound at 32 weeks and he was still breech.  I went for my 35 week check up when my doctor checked to see how far I was dilated, still breech.  She scheduled me for another ultra sound at 36 weeks because she wanted to check exactly where he was at to see if we could possibly try a version (that is when the doctor tries to manually flip the baby from the outside, ouch!).  We went in for the sonogram at 36 weeks and I had not felt any big movements so I was pretty sure he was still breech. The tech put the wand on my lower abdomen and we saw a head! He had a flipped :)!  It was amazing the amount of stress that lifted from that day.

Each week went by and he stayed head down so I was feeling more and more confident about it working out.  I went in for my 40 week check up and was dilated to 4cm and 75% effaced.  Things were looking good.  My doctor was going on vacation the next week so she was very antsy about me trying to have this baby naturally.  She really wanted to induce me, but I was dead set on not having that done.  I did want her to deliver Maddox, but not at the expense of having a drug-free birth.  I went home and took a walk with Kai around 2 and I felt like I was having very mild contractions.  I stopped walking and went and sat down and they stopped so I thought it must be false labor.  Around 4:30 they kind of started coming back again.  My mother in law had come by for a bit but I didn’t say anything because I still wasn’t real sure, but around 5:30 they started getting a little heavier and around 6:30 I texted Zach to let him know that I thought I was in labor, but contractions were still pretty far apart.  They were pretty intense when they did come, but still around 10 minutes apart.  Zach got home a little bit after that and we sat down to eat dinner and he started timing my contractions.  Over the next 30 minutes they started coming closer together (like 4-5 minutes) so we decided to go for a walk to see if anything would change.  Pretty much as soon as we started walking the contractions went from 4-5 minutes apart to around 2-3 minutes apart and were very intense when they came.  I had been talking to my mom during this time and was unsure about whether she should make the drive up from Oklahoma.  Looking back I don’t know why I wasn’t sure this was labor.  In our birthing class they hound you about not going to the hospital too early and so I think I was scared about that.  I didn’t want to get there and have things stall and feel pressured to intervene.   We didn’t even make it around the neighborhood and I said we needed to go back and get ready to head to the hospital.  We made it back to the house finally and I laid down on the couch while Zach was rushing around trying to get last minute things together.  He went outside and asked our neighbors to watch Kai for us while we went to the hospital and when he came back in I told him I thought I was going to throw up….and then I did.  Side note: do not eat pasta with red sauce if you think you are going into labor, it’s not fun to clean up :).  We got all the stuff together and headed out to the hospital.  When we got to the hospital the lady asked us if we had pre-registered (which we had), but we still had stuff to sign and insurance cards to give.  She asked me if I was able to sign the documents and I looked at Zach and said “I don’t know”.  I was having a hard time making any type of decision.  She asked if I had thrown up at all and I said yes and she started rushing after that.  Throwing up is usually a sign that you are transitioning from stage 1 labor to stage 2 (the pushing part).  She asked if I wanted to walk or be pushed in a wheel chair and I again wasn’t sure what the best decision was.  Zach took my hand and said we would try to walk.  I took about 3 steps and said “no, I think I need a wheel chair”.  At about that time I turned around and threw up again.  I felt so bad, but the girl was so nice and said she had cleaned up vomit many times before so not to worry.

When we got back to Labor & Delivery they had no rooms left so they put us in a tiny triage room that they don’t usually use for delivery. I didn’t even care.  I got undressed and put on my cute hospital gown that I made (but seriously, at this point I was not even caring what kind of gown I had).  The nurse came in and checked to see how far as I was dilated, but she couldn’t really tell because the bag of water was so far down it was in the way.  She estimated I was around a 7-8 and that it was probably time to call the doctor.  They called the doctor and she got there not long after that.  One of the things that we were pretty adamant about was that I did not want my water broken.  When your water breaks you are pretty much on a clock to have to have the baby within 24 hours and so we wanted it to break naturally so as to avoid being on that clock.  When my doctor came in and checked me she told me that Maddox was at a -2 station (that is very low) and that if I let her break my water I could push him out right then.  I said go for it :).  Zach later told me that for about a mili-second he thought about saying no, because it was something we felt strong about before the birth.  One of his job as the coach was to help me stick to our plan when my reasoning went out the door.  The whole reason we didn’t want the water broken though was to avoid the 24 hour clock and I can tell you 100% that there was no way I was going to be laboring that hard for 24 hours without having this baby one way or the other.  So she broke my water and we started pushing.  I had never been so tired in my life.  My legs were shaking.  She kept telling me to push through the count of 10 but there was no way that was happening.  I made it to around a count of 7 most of the time.  It did seem like I pushed forever, but in all actuality it was about 15 minutes.  At 10:10 pm Maddox Joel came into the world weighing 9 pounds 7 ounces and 21 inches long.  He was and is perfect in every way.

Like I said at the beginning, I loved Kai’s birth and I have no regrets about it.  I also don’t want this to come off as being judgmental if you choose to have a medicated birth. I had it with Kai and he is perfect as well!!  It was an amazing experience with both of my abies and I really just want this to serve as an inspiration if anyone is thinking about possibly having a medication free birth.  It is possible and doable.  My recovery was AMAZING after I had Maddox.  I stood up and walked out of my room like 45 minutes after I had him.  Birth is such a miracle and I have been blown away by God’s glory during both births!