Payton Joy’s Birth StoryOn Tuesday, December 16 my water broke at 6:45 a.m. I was uncertain if it truly WAS my water that had broken, so I spent most of the day at home waiting around to see if contractions would increase. They started around 8:20 a.m. and I had four within that first hour, which was a great sign. They slowed to about one per 45 minutes for the remainder of the day. I knew it was not “active labor,” and I really wanted to stay at home for most of my labor if at all possible. Michael convinced me to call the doctor around 2:00 p.m. that day just to tell them what had happened up until that point. They wanted me to come in to be checked to determine if it was, in fact, my water that had broken.
December 17, 2008
December 17, 2008
So we checked into the hospital at 5:00 p.m. They determined that my water had broken, so they told us to get settled in for the duration. Since it had already been almost 12 hours since my water broke, they were instantly concerned about the slow onset of contractions, and they wanted to put me on Pitocin to get the contractions going. Our wishes were to go as “natural” as possible with this labor, so we had to decide if we wanted to artificially start the contractions with the synthetic hormone. After much discussion and deliberation, we agreed to start on the lowest level of Pitocin just to jump start the process around 7:00 p.m. that evening. By 11:00 p.m., my contractions were strong and steady and quite intense. In fact, they were often occurring one on top of the other not allowing much time for me to breathe in between! I went at that pace for about 45 minutes but then I asked for an epidural. I had intended to “go natural” but the intensity of the contractions was overwhelming! I have never experienced any pain like that in my entire life. In fact, I felt like I was dying. All women out there who have had children before are shaking their heads in total agreement with me right now. Needless to say, I DID experience a “natural” labor for about 18 hours (since that morning) but once I had that epidural, I felt like a new woman. I regained strength for what ended up being a much longer, arduous night and the following day.
By 10:00 a.m., I was dilated to 10 and 100% effaced. The labor nurse asked me to practice pushing, which quickly turned into the real stage of pushing. Michael was on my right, and my sister, Anne, was on my left. Let me rabbit trail real quick here, and tell you just how much of a CHAMPION my husband was for me during the whole experience. Not only did he do interesting and funny things to distract me during the slower times of labor, but he also confronted every challenge with strength and resolve. He was definitely my advocate at every turn, and he remained a strong tower through it all. I am so glad that I had HIM as my partner, and I could not have asked for anything more from him. I met a whole new side of him during this experience, and I love him more because of it!
After 3 ½ hours of pushing, the baby’s head was wedged in my pubic symphysis at station 0 (station 5 is crowning/birth). For some reason, my pubic bones did not want to spread to accommodate her 14 ½ inch head. I was shocked. In fact, I was truly in disbelief that my body was not properly responding to the process. The baby’s heartbeat had been very strong and steady all through the night up until the last 45 minutes of pushing. The doctor knew how much we wanted a vaginal birth and they were doing everything within reason to support our wishes, but then she told me it was now affecting the baby. She was just as tired as I was after all that pushing and it was causing her distress. Well, like any parents would do, we gave up our notion of “natural” birth and agreed to do a cesarean section. It was very, very upsetting to us, and I broke down out of sheer exhaustion and disappointment. I could not stop crying. I asked for more drugs and they whisked me away promptly into surgery.
I was so looped up on the pain meds that my eyes could not focus on anything. I only remember feeling them tug on me and prepare me for surgery and talking to me occasionally. Once they were about to begin surgery, the only thing I said was, “Where’s my husband?” His voice came from behind my left shoulder, “I’m right here, Babe.” That’s all I needed to hear!
On Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 1:59 p.m., our precious Payton Joy was born. The doctor held her up for me to see her, and both of her hands were in fists! I remember thinking, “She came out fighting!” Within minutes, they laid her across my chest, and I got to hold her for the first time. She weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz., and measured 21 inches. We took lots of pictures, and I felt at ease for the first time in 31 hours.
It was probably one of life’s most traumatic experiences for both Michael and me. It teaches us that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that we have to be flexible enough to weather the proverbial storms as they occur. The result was the same, however: a healthy, happy baby who brings insurmountable joy into our lives! Holding her in our arms over-shadows all 31 hours of the unpredictable labor and delivery. Thank God for that!
So we have ourselves a Christmas baby. She is our Christmas Joy, and we are celebrating her birth alongside the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of HIM that she was conceived in my womb. God knew that we needed her in our lives for such a time as this. God also knew that we were going to have a perfect, happy baby. What else could anyone hope for? I thank God for our Payton Joy. She is the best Christmas gift of all!!
We appreciate all of your prayers and well-wishes.
Michael, Christy, Payton, and Maya
For more photos go to: Ghaffari Photos