Bohden Antonio Gurule is here!!! It’s been the best experience so far! He nurses perfectly so far, he got a 10/10 apgar score… The midwives think he is a stinker to get a perfect score after the scare he gave us.
I went into early labor at 9pm on Saturday literally right as I got on the road heading home from my parents house for dinner and the CU vs CSU game. CU won and apparently that’s all it took to get contractions going was a Buff win. As I was driving home I had something that seemed like it could be a contraction and at 40 weeks and 4 days, it seemed logical. The new sensation of an early labor contraction lasted a minute, the same pain occurred again10 minutes later and lasted one minute. I knew if there was another one 10 minutes later then this must be it. I started to get excited because finally I was in labor getting ready to meet my baby. I made it home and continued to measure contractions and ensure I was not in false labor.
Once Antonio got home from work it had been 2 hours of early labor and I was pretty sure at this point. We got packed for the birth center visit to be prepared for when active labor began. I took a shower and ate to make sure I was in good health before the long journey.
It took about 15 hours of contractions to reach the 3-1-1 rule to go into the birth center. We went into the birth center at 10am to check my progress, which was 3 cm dilation and 60% effaced. The midwife suggested I go home to eat and sleep so that I could be strong for the rest of labor that evening. She knew that after napping and eating my body would progress the way it needed to and she was right. By 6pm Sunday we were at the birth center for the real deal! The birth center room was amazing for birth, I had contractions with a yoga ball, a sling from the ceiling, a rope to hold onto from the ceiling, in the big birth tub, and hanging from Antonio’s shoulders.
Contractions are no joke and something that cannot be described. But I continued to remind myself that they last about a minute and then you are good for a short bit. I also reminded myself that you work hard for a good amount of hours, but the pain will end and you get a miracle at the end. Most situations with pain do not come with an awesome reward.
During the entire labor Antonio was amazing, which those who know him would assume he would be! He knew how to coach me and cheer me on. He knew exactly what to say from reminding me when the half way point was through each contraction, to saying how much he loved me, to saying we get to meet our son so soon, to you are my hero, and so much more. He made sure I drank lots of water, ate some snacks, and most of all he was there, he was 100% present in each moment. I know I worked beyond hard, but what he would never say or admit was that he worked hard as well on his end. He was beyond the best birth partner I could have asked for.
At about 11pm I began pushing from a squatting position from a rope that hung from the ceiling and the sling, but with no success. I was encourage to try the water again for the birth process and so I got in and used the top some more to help with pushing. At this point the pain from contractions was pretty mild comparately to the previous few hours and I thought birth was going to be soon. When there was no progress in the birth tub the midwife wanted to check the cervix to see what was going on. There was a little cervix still in the way.
The midwife then said with my next contraction she would stimulated contractions to dilate me farther… That was the worst feeling so far. The contractions for the next 20 minutes were the most painful as it was the last little bit that needed to dilate already and because the cervix was manually stimulated. Apparently when she told me that I would be in contraction for 20 minutes and that I had to resist the urge to push, Antonio Told me I said with disgust, “20 minutes!!!!”
Anyway, I began pushing again in the quadruped position on the bed and again no success. Antonio was on all fours facing me to support me as I pushed. Antonio said he found his wife’s superhuman power as he was being lifted by the force of how much I was pushing. Even then there was no progress and I was so confused as to how I could push any harder than I was. Why was he not coming? The midwife checked his heart rate and had trouble finding it and when she did find it his heart rate was at 70 bpm when it should be at 120-130 bpm.
As Bohden’s heart rate kept getting lower and they really needed him to be delivered, but no matter how hard I tried it was not happening. I was trying so hard and began to feel like I was failing.
Within moments it became an emergency and one of my biggest nightmares. The midwife said to me, “Nichelle you HAVE to push your baby out.” Her tone was so serious and I already knew his heart rate was low, which had me worried. I was then told to go to the birth stool to change the position. No luck again.
It seemed within seconds they had decided that I was needing the hospital. The nurse began an IV and called the ambulance and I was put on oxygen. I’m hearing things like, “low heart rate, 911, paramedics aren’t here yet, call so and so, etc.” This whole time I am thinking what is going on, but trying to focus on pushing my baby out.
At this point I had been awake for over 48 hours, to which 30 were labor and 3 were straight exertion from pushing. Without doubt if I did not have mental strength or have the physical strength from working out before and during pregnancy I do not think the following would be my story. I just would not have been able to do what I needed to do without the mental, physical and spiritual strength that I have!
Even with the paramedics on there way and the chance of transfer, I kept pushing with all I had in me. I was worried about losing my baby, worried about a csection and just so confused as to why this was happening. I was in some other state of mind and it really did not feel like real life in that moment. Pain was not on my mind, nothing really was on my mind, but saving my baby who I thought could die. I remember saying a quick prayer amongst the chaos, begging God give me a healthy baby and to give me strength to birth my baby.
Antonio was behind me on the birth stool and I could tell he was so worried, he was cheering me on as if I was in a Crossfit event but saying things like, ” you can do this Nichelle, lets meet our son, come on babe”. For probably only ten minutes but what seemed like 45 minutes, I pushed with every ounce of my being to get my baby out safe and healthy. It just was not happening. The midwife said she was going to do an episiotomy on the next contraction and stared me in the eyes saying, “you HAVE to push your baby out! Nichelle this is your baby, feel his head”, which had crowned and then she said, “push to have your baby.”
The paramedics walked in slightly mortified being men who had never attend any birth let alone walk in on an epsiotomy and a crowing baby. The midwife told them to give me one more contraction before they took me to the hospital…
Then God stepped in… My last contraction before a transfer I pushed with everything that could possibly be left in me. I could feel Antonio pushing with me and my body using his strength to finally birth the baby’s head and then shoulders… And boom I had my baby on my belly crying.
Antonios response was something I will never forget…he fist pumped the air shouting with the biggest victory “YES YES! You did it! We have our son.” We had won! I felt so many moments as if I were failing because he was just not coming out, but he did and literally in the moment that we needed him to the most.
Our family was in the waiting room not knowing what was going on. They saw the paramedics rush by and they could hear bits and pieces of the situation. I can’t imagine being them and not getting any updates and just having to be in the waiting room. They said hearing Antonio during that last ten minutes was so inspiring as he coached me, cheered me, pushed me to carry on. Once they heard his victory cheer and the baby’s cry they said they finally could breath. I am so thankful they were all I the waiting room to be praying for us, loving on us, sending positive thoughts, and more. It was wonderful to have them there once Bodie decided to grace us with his presence. 😉
After the birth I had about 45 minutes with Antonio and Bohden in bed where I was able to get him to breastfeed with a wonderful latch right away. I was so happy that he was latching so well. For those who know my plan A I was hoping to have a smooth delivery with the 4 hours in bed to bond with skin to skin with my little guy to increase my chances of successful breastfeeding. Unfortunately because of the episiotomy level of tear I needed the repair to be done at the hospital. Baby and daddy stayed at the birth center doing skin to skin and I took an ambulance to the hospital to get repaired. My sister Carolynn stayed with Antonio, which made me feel so much better than him being a new daddy alone as my mom was with me at the hospital.
The repair went well and fast, but I was still gone for 3 hours from my new baby. When I got back I got to do skin to skin and he breastfed again… Perfectly. I feel blessed the minor change in plans didn’t affect us and our breastfeeding.
I am also so thankful for our midwife Aubrey and nurse Jenna who knew exactly what to do and when to do it and everything they gave in the dark hours of the early morning to help us birth a healthy baby. They were truly amazing!
This was the toughest, most painful, most inspiring, scariest, proudest moment I have ever had.
We both feel so blessed for our little boy Bohden. I suppose he entered life keeping us on our toes and I imagine the next several decades he will continue to do so.