As told by his mother….here is Conlan’s birth story! Thank you Shauna for sharing your special day with everyone! (but especially us!)
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I woke up Sunday morning, the 10th of June, around 7:00 am with a pressure wave. For the duration of the day I was getting pressure waves anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart lasting about 30-45 seconds each. They were still very manageable with no real consistency so we went about our day. At around 6:00 pm the pressure waves started becoming a little more intense, but still completely manageable and they started becoming regular at about 5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute in length each. At 8:30 pm Kris called Stephanie and our doula, Crystal, to give them a “heads up” that the pressure waves were consistent and increasing slightly in intensity. I had been using my hypnobabies all day with my pressure waves so I was still very comfortable during these pressure waves.
We both tried to get some sleep that night. We tried to go to bed around 10:00pm and I got about 4 hours of sleep. I woke up around 3:00 am, still having pressure waves every 5 minutes apart. I alternated between walking around our apartment and sitting on my birthing ball. By 5:30 my pressure waves were still consistent and increasing again slightly in intensity, but still manageable with my hypnobabies. We decided it would be a good idea to have my sister in law, Stacey, come pick up our dogs and take them to my parents house.
We had our 39-week midwife appointment that afternoon and when we went in Steph informed us of what we already suspected; I could have the baby by dinnertime, OR I could go on like this for another week. We were hoping for the former.
I was still having manageable, consistent pressure waves every 5 minutes. So after our appointment, we went home and I took a Tylenol and a Unisom (at the recommendation of Stephanie) to try and get some sleep and I was able to get in a 4-hour nap. I was up around 6:00pm and the contractions were still about 5 minutes apart, sometimes a bit more frequent, and they were increasing in intensity but still completely manageable (thanks to my hypnobabies!) With no real changes, around 9:30pm I decided to take another Unisom and Tylenol to get some more sleep.
I wasn’t able to get any sleep in between the pressure waves. At about 10:00pm I had a very intense pressure wave and I had my husband call Crystal so she could come set up the birth pool and then call Stephanie to let her know that Crystal would be coming over, but that we didn’t think we needed her to head over just yet. As soon as Kris got off the phone with Stephanie I had another very intense pressure wave and lost my ENTIRE mucous plug), so I told him to call her back and tell her to get over here, now.
At this point the details start getting fuzzy because I was having very long, intense pressure waves, almost right on top of each other, and I had to focus very intently on my hypnobabies. I had been sitting on the toilet ever since I lost my plug (glamorous right?) and I thought if I got up and rocked during the next pressure wave it would help. I got up and the pressure wave hit and I had to hold on to Kris. After the pressure wave I threw up twice (and felt better!) and after that I didn’t get up off the toilet until Crystal got the birth pool set up. At some point during all that, Stephanie, Krystel, Crystal, and Stacey got there. Krystel popped in to check on me and the babe and listen to his heart beat. She sat with me through my pressure waves while Kris and Crystal got the pool ready.
Crystal got the birthing pool set up and that is where I spent the rest of the time until Conlan was born. Crystal and Kris were awesome at giving me counter pressure on my back because the pressure waves were coming one on top of the other with no break in between. I think some time between 2-2:30 am is when my body started pushing. Krystel kept checking the baby’s heart beat every so often and towards the end his heartbeat was higher than they liked. Since my body had been pushing for a while, Krystel checked me to see if I was fully dilated (My only cervical check my entire pregnancy/labor). I was and she felt the baby’s head (yay!).
I got up on my knees to push and remember Stephanie telling me to reach down and feel my baby’s head. It was so weird to feel his head, he was right there, I’m this close to having a baby and I was still in disbelief!
While I was pushing I kept telling Kris and Crystal to apply stronger counter pressure, which was making Conlan’s heart beat rise since they were applying the pressure on his head. At this point Stephanie told me I needed to get the baby out now, and without my beloved counter pressure.
I was on my knees leaning over the edge of the birth pool with Kris behind me and Crystal in front of the pool. Crystal was awesome at helping me stay focused and repeating my peace cues. I’m not sure how long this period lasted, but it was the toughest, and most rewarding part of my birthing time. My pressure waves were very intense but with each push I felt more and more relief as he got closer and closer. Finally, I felt instant and complete release of pressure and I could hear Stephanie saying “Shauna grab your baby.” Kris caught Conlan and pushed him up through my legs and I grabbed him and pulled him out of the water and up to my chest. It was the most surreal, amazing, and euphoric moment of my life. I can’t even accurately put it into words. I think I kept mumbling something along the lines of “Oh my gosh, I have a baby!”
Conlan Shane Nicoll was born swimming into his daddy’s arms at 3:51 am, weighing at 7 lbs 15 oz and measuring 20 in long!
Shortly after, everybody helped me out of the pool and onto the bed to deliver the placenta. Krystel checked me for tears while Stephanie was tending to the baby and me. Conlan’s breathing wasn’t very regulated so Stephanie brought out the oxygen tank and held the tube up to his nose. Soon after I started breastfeeding and his breathing was regular and perfect! We waited for the cord to stop pulsating and Kris got to cut the cord.
After Conlan and myself got all cleaned up Stephanie wrapped sweet baby boy up in a blanket and gifted him with his first hand made hat. She sang to him his first happy birthday song like she does following every birth she attends. It was so sweet, and so special; Stephanie truly is such an incredible person and an amazing midwife.
The whole experience, from the prenatal to the postnatal care was wonderful. We had an amazing and supportive team! I can’t express my gratitude, appreciation, and love for these ladies enough. And of course, my wonderful husband Kris. He was a rock star through the whole thing!
When its all said and done, I CAN wait to do this again, but I’m very excited for when that day will come when I get to experience this incredible journey again.