Trent's parents arrived quickly, as they had been waiting for this call for a few weeks too and only live 1.5 miles away. We loaded up in the mini truck and made the 30 minute drive (okay, it was only 4 minutes, but it seemed longer!!) to the hospital, and got taken to the delivery wing very quickly. We were both tickled when they took us to room 5, as I had delivered both Chessidy and Adorae in that very same room.
The contractions continued to grow in intensity and closer together. We had called my doctor on the way to the hospital, but he didn't answer. The nurses tried him several more times and couldn't get a hold of him. After some discussion about how strange it was that they couldn't get a hold of him, and how that's never happened before and how he is the most reliable doctor in town they told me they would call his back-up doctor (Dr. Johnson), whom I'd met once, and liked very much. The charge nurse informed me that if Dr. Johnson wouldn't come then I'd have the on-call doctor that night. I asked who the doctor was and when they answered (I'll leave his name out so as not to offend or get sued or something...) I said in a very firm voice, "You couldn't have said a worse name. No, he will NOT be my doctor, he will not touch me!" After the nurses exchanged a few nervous glances the charge nurse said "well, he certainly has a reputation, doesn't he?!" and told me she would go call Dr. Johnson right away, and try my doctor (Dr. Romney) again as well.
I labored away, Trent continually rubbing my back through each contraction and being patient with my discomfort and laboring ways. Our nurse was great, she spent most of the time in the room, as my labor was progressing quickly and she had to prepare all the tables and what not. I remember joking and singing in-between some of the contractions, and being so very glad we were getting closer to meeting our son.
After some time had passed the charge nurse came back in and informed us that Dr. Johnson was on his way, and we all kind of cheered and sighed in relief. When Dr. Johnson arrived he did a quick exam and told me I was at a 7, and asked if I wanted my water broken. Oh the good ol' to-break-my-water-or-not, has come up in every labor. With Ila they were about to break it when it went on it's own. With Chessidy, I kindly screamed to "just break my dang water" at some point, and when the doctor did, nothing happened because she was so low. I also requested it at 9cm with Adorae, and was pushing her out within minutes of that. So here we found ourselves again, wondering what to do. We are not too into interventions, but at this point I needed to get to that pushing stage, and could think of NOTHING else. I gave the go ahead, and once again, nothing happened. The baby's head was too low, so all the water would come behind him when he finally came out. Somehow though, the unsuccessful water breaking pushed me into transition and that is the greatest feeling in the world (:::sarcasm:::).
Transition is the absolute hardest thing a laboring woman has to get through (in my opinion, of course), and this transition blew all the others I've ever had out of the water. Not only was I dealing with intense uterine contractions, and back labor, but I was fighting the urge to push, and if you've ever had to do that, you know how difficult it can be. After some time (I have no idea the time line of anything except the first contraction and his birth) I told them 'I've got to push!" They examined me and informed me that I was at an 8 and could NOT push. "Nicole, this is probably a big baby, and if you push now the chances you'll end up swelling your cervix are high, and we don't want that! DO NOT PUSH" Dr. Johnson told me.
Then I had this conversation with myself:
Okay, Nicole, you can do this. Let's have 10 more contractions, just 10, and then you'll be complete and get to push. You can totally get through 10 more contractions, just go to your happy beach with Jesus, and focus on the waves. We've got this, just 10 more and you'll be pushing that baby out!
After 4 contractions, I just had to get in my reliable birthing position, which is on my knees, holding onto the back of the hospital bed. That my friends is the way to get babies out into the world! As my mother says, "gravity isn't just a good idea, it's the law!" Dr. Johnson was like "umm, well, I've never delivered a baby from this position before...but ummm..." and Trent interjected "she birthed two 9 pound babies just like this." and he replied "alright, well, that works for me!"
So, there I was, in my tried and true birthing position, 5 more contractions to go (since I had one while they discussed the position and what not), Trent rubbing my back, the nurse holding the monitor on my belly and the charge nurse waiting to the side to help with the baby once he came. Then the 6th contraction came and I had the biggest urge to push I've ever experienced in my life. I fought that urge, and fought and fought, for what seemed like forever and a day. But then contraction 7 came and I was done. This baby was going to get push out, NOW! So I pushed, and they all said "no, don't push yet!!" I heard Trent talking very firmly, but sweetly "Nicole, you can't push yet, you've got to stop." But there was no stopping me. They checked again, and Dr. Johnson said that what was left of my cervix (I was around a 9) I'd push through, because there was no stopping me now.
Then I heard words that no woman laboring naturally wants to hear. "I think this baby is posterior. I'm not entirely sure, but I think he may be" Dr. Johnson said. For those who don't know, a baby is supposed to come out in an anterior position, which is with their face pointing towards the mom's bum. This is the least painful way for a baby to make their escape, with bones and what not being the most padded this way. Posterior, or "sunny side up" is when they come with their face pointing towards the front. It basically puts baby's skull on mom's pelvis, and no padding, and that hurts, a lot more, and takes more pushing.
At this point, I had an internal moment of panic, but it quickly dissolved when Dr. Johnson started verbally encouraging me and telling me that they were all there to help me, and that we'd get this baby out together, and things like that. With his words, and Trent and the Lord right there with me I knew that our baby would come out one way or another! SO I just kept pushing, and pushing and pushing. A whole lot more pushing than I'd ever done before. I knew I was birthing a larger baby than ever before, but not as large as he ended up being! When his head finally started coming out the doctor, very relieved, said the baby was NOT sunny side up! Wahoo! And more pushing. Once his head was out, I thought I was home free, as my babies usually slide right out after the head, but not this time. I had to push those shoulders out too!
Then he was born. In all his glory! I couldn't see him, since he was behind me, but I heard the doctor and nurses all making exclamations about his size. Those quickly stopped though, because our little guy hadn't taken a breath, and was pooping everywhere. They quickly had Trent cut the chord, and got him picked up and he took his first breath. He didn't cry though, not for a bit, and I so very much longed to hold him, but didn't get to right away. It took about 5 minutes until I got to hold him, and in that time they weighed him, and everyone in the room was SHOCKED at his weight. "11 pounds 2.3 ounces and 22 inches long" the nurse exclaimed!
11 pounds, 11 POUNDS! The largest baby my doctor has ever gotten to deliver the natural way, and the nurses were SHOCKED that I did it without pain meds or an epidural. My nurse even told me "people have c-sections with babies this big, not natural births! You must be Wonder Woman or something!" That sure made me feel wonderful, but nothing made me feel better than finally holding that sweet son of mine. The son I've always dreamed of.
Livingstone (pronounced living stone, like a rock!) Daniel Becker was born at 5:10 am, January 29th, to his two very happy parents. He was easy to name, as Trent and I both just knew that he should be Livingstone Daniel. It was meant to be!
His name comes from a passage in the bible. 1 Peter 2:1-5
Therefore, putting aside all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Our hope for our son, and all our children, is that they will always remember that they are indeed a spiritual house for the holy priesthood. We pray that Livingstone will always know Christ, and that he'll seek to follow Him, be led by Him, and follow the Spirit that dwells in his heart. We also hope his name will encourage and remind others of the Holiness of Christ and the responsibilities that come with following Him.
His middle name is after Trent's dad, whom we both love and respect very much. Daniel is a wonderful, Godly man, who raised Trent to be the same. We could not ask for a better example for our son to look up to and be named after.
**If you're wondering about what happened to my doctor, his phone flipped out. It wouldn't ring, it wouldn't bring up buttons to answer the incoming calls that he was unknowingly receiving and so he never heard his phone ring or anything. Our phones were also flipping out and Trent figured it had to do with the new update that went out sometime during the night of the 29th for the iOS 8.2. Trent and Dr. Romney updated their phones and it worked once it was rebooted. Dr. Romney was so very sorry to have missed the birth, but he showed up around 5:25am (because apparently the nurse hadn't thought to call his HOME PHONE until 5am, and by then I was already pushing, but he hurried over anyway!) and took over so Dr. Johnson could get home and ready for his day.