The Birth Story of Tyler James Vandezande

-Titus & Ashley Vandezande, 1st baby

  I woke up on Saturday, July 23rd at 3:30am to go to the bathroom and decided that I wasn’t going to have the baby that day after all. I thought if I was I would have been in labor already. I was already three days past my due date.

At 4:50 I woke up to a really hard contraction, I thought it was just a Braxton Hicks and maybe I was hurting worse because I had to go to the bathroom. I got up to go and that made it worse. I decided that that this was the real thing. I woke Titus up and told him what was going on. We were both excited but knew that we should try and get a few more hours of rest.

I had another contraction about fifteen minutes later and realized that there was not any way that I was going to be comfortable staying in bed. We got up and I headed for the couch. I soon found out that there was not really any way to be totally comfortable all the time.

Titus was scurrying everywhere doing this and that. He fixed me a breakfast burrito and fixed himself some coffee.  I ate the burrito on the couch and tried to relax as much as possible. I tried humming to see if that would make the contractions less intense. It seemed to help for a little while if I really focused on it. I asked Titus to get the rice pack and heat it up, that helped a lot. I was a little chilly so the heat really helped me relax.

Titus called Dorothy around six o’clock to tell her that I was in labor. I asked him to call her back at 6:20 to see if she could come over, I wanted someone with me who knew what was going on.

I got off of the couch because my contractions were so intense. I tried to walk around but that did not help at all. At one point I lay down on the floor in a fetal position. I asked Titus to get a chair for me to lean on. I propped my elbows on the seat of the chair, kneeling on the floor. That helped so much, except I got really tired of doing it. Titus started rubbing my back and that helped too.

My contractions were around 7 minutes apart at this point.

I was preparing for a long labor and wasn’t sure I was going to make it if it was this hard for 20 hours.  I remember saying that I could not understand why other women would want to walk a lot to make it go faster, it was going plenty fast enough for me! I was already so tired. I started feeling sick to my stomach and thankfully we were prepared because I threw up.

The tub was still empty so Titus started filling it. I was so ready to try it out. I had said before that I wasn’t sure if I would stay in the whole time because I hate feeling like a prune. Well let’s just say that when it got right down to it that was the least of my worries. The tub was filled by 9:18 so I got in and the water helped so much!

During every contraction I wanted Titus to rub my back very hard! It got sore fast. Dorothy suggested that Titus should try some oil on his hands. The oil helped so much, even in the water.

At 11:15 my contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart, they had started getting harder and stronger around 10:30

I threw up for the second time when Titus brought a cookie into the room. He was so hungry and wanted to get back so he could help me, so he just brought the cookie with him. I took one look at the cookie and got sick! I didn’t have to smell it, seeing it was enough.

At 11:30 I told Dorothy that my contractions felt different. There was more pressure. At 11:55 my contractions were between 2 and 5 minutes apart and I really wanted Titus to get in the tub with me so he did.

I kept thinking that I could not do this for another 20 hours! I kept saying over and over that it hurt. Titus kept rubbing my back and let me lean my head on his shoulders; he kept telling me that I could do it. I would say I couldn’t do it then realize that I needed to be positive and say okay I can do this. If you could have heard you would have probably thought I was crazy. I guess I kind of was…

Patrice and Barb were supposed to get here around noon. I kept asking Dorothy when they were coming because I wanted Patrice to check me. I wanted to know if I was close and how much longer I had. They finally got here at noon J it seemed like it took them forever to get here. I think the first thing I said to Patrice was that I wanted to be checked. She told me that I would have to get out of the tub… That almost made me decide not to, but I really wanted to know. I got out and realized that if I was a long way from having this baby I would not be able to do it. So I chickened out and got right back in the tub.

Almost as soon as I got back into the tub I felt like I needed to push! That was around 12:15… I did and it hurt and felt so much better at the same time. Talk about being caught between a rock and hard place. It is so weird having your muscles take over that way.

I started thinking that I couldn’t do it and I kept saying that. Everyone just kept telling me over and over that I could do it and that I was doing it. I don’t think I could have done it if it wasn’t for all the encouragement, and God’s help.

I kept telling that baby to hurry up and everyone else was telling me to slow down and go slow. Around 1:00 Titus felt the baby’s head. He got so excited and wanted me to feel it. I was kind of annoyed because I was just a little bit too busy to do that. I was really focused on one thing after that and did not want anyone talking very much. When they told me that my baby had lots of black hair that made it seem more real and I got very excited. That hair was so soft and fine, I will never forget touching my baby for the first time.

After a lot more pushing and blowing our baby was born at 2:30

Holding him for the first time was so amazing… I had waited so long for that moment. I really couldn’t believe it. It all seemed surreal. I cried. Titus cried. We were holding one of God’s miracles in our arms. God is so good to us.

After a few minutes one of the midwives asked if we knew what it was? Oh yeah, we should probably check. It’s a BOY! Welcome Tyler James!

I only had a few tiny tears…

Thinking back over it all my labor was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. I got discouraged and was unsure of myself several times, but I kept going. I had to, and that’s what made it so awesome. I did do it! And if I can do that I can do almost anything else with God’s help.

I remember thinking that it hurt but I never even considered pain medicine.

I had a short labor of about nine hours total, not the twenty that I was prepared for. It was intense sooner than I was prepared for but I made it! One thing I have learned is to be prepared to not be totally prepared, because every birth is different.

We had a rough time with nursing. I didn’t know how important a good latch was and just thought that breastfeeding was natural so it would be easy. I was wrong. It hurt and Tyler would not open his mouth wide enough. For the first few days I tried to get him to open up wide enough, but then he didn’t have a bowel movement for two days and I panicked and thought he was not getting enough so I let him latch on any way he would. Bad idea! He made me so sore and blistered. I finally decided that I was going to pump for a little while to give myself a break, but then decided that I would nurse him one more time. That one more time became one more and somehow I decided that I could do it. Thinking back I am sure my milk hadn’t come in yet when he didn’t have a bowel movement for two days.  As soon as it came in he had one.

Labor and breastfeeding is natural, but we need to prepare for both of them…

I was still sore at Tyler’s two week check up and was very discouraged. I started thinking that there had to be something else wrong because Tyler seemed to be getting a good latch. I started reading and realized that we had a lot of the symptoms for thrush. I called a LLL consultant and she said it would not hurt to treat for it. I started giving him plain yogurt and that really helped right away. Tyler’s mouth started bleeding and I finally figured out that he was allergic to the yogurt. We got some acidophilus tablets and crushed them and put them on his tongue. That took care of it!  Soon after that I stopped hurting and nursing has been great since then. I almost thought it was impossible but I stuck to it and now I am so glad I did. I have learned to never give up easy. I should have done some research on nursing before Tyler was born that would have helped a lot. I think that the videos helped the most. I think I googled how to nurse.

I am finally getting this written eight weeks later and I am having so much fun with my little boy! Every ache and pain has been worth it! I am going to try to enjoy every minute because he is changing so fast already.