Skip to the last paragraph if you're not interested in Anson's birth story.
To start out, I decided I wanted to have a natural birth after I had McKay, and spent somewhere between 30 and 40 hours researching childbirth in general, medical intervention, and different childbirth methods when I got pregnant with Anson to make sure I knew what I wanted this time around. I ultimately decided on Hypnobabies, which took several more hours of my time to learn the method (i.e. how to relax and be in tune with my body), but it was all worth it.
I went in to my appointment on Thursday morning, July 21st, the second of two my due dates, and asked the doctor to strip my membranes. I figured it couldn't hurt to try, and a weekend baby could be nice. The doctor told me I would probably have some cramping. I didn't think it would be a big deal.
Later that afternoon, I started feeling lots of cramps, and they were not your ordinary cramps. They were cramps times ten. I dismissed them as awful cramps--despite the fact that they were coming every few minutes--and told myself I would never have my membranes stripped again if this is what I had to deal with. I carried on with the afternoon by playing with McKay and watching part of a movie with him when I got to a point that my "cramps" were becoming distracting.
Burke had been in clinic since 12:30 so we hadn't talked all afternoon. When he got out at 6:30 he called me and asked how my day had been. I told him it was fine; I was just having a lot of cramps. He asked if he should come home, but I told him not to because I knew he needed to study for his test the next day. I told him it wasn't a big deal, and I would be fine.
McKay and I had dinner, and I put him down for bed about 7:30 and decided to go lay down for a bit since I wasn't feeling well. I decided I would feel better if I could just sleep off the "cramps." I curled up on the bed for about half an hour and finally got to a point that I was shaking uncontrollably and feeling really nauseous. (Mind you, at this point, I still wasn't really thinking I was in labor, but I was and had been for about four or five hours. . . .) I finally decided to call Burke and have him come home for moral support. I still hadn't decided to go to the hospital yet, although the idea had crossed my mind. (I feared getting sent home for complaining about some stupid cramps!)
A few minutes later my mom called and said Burke had just called and wanted her to call me. I told her I was having some cramps, but they weren't contractions because I knew what contractions felt like--I'd gone into labor and had a baby before! These cramps didn't feel anything like my contractions with McKay. (come to find out, it was all back labor this time around. Yeah, nothing like a regular contraction, in case you didn't know!)
She didn't know what to do, so we conference called my sister, and I told her how I was feeling. When I mentioned I was shaking and feeling nauseous, Sarah said, "Um, Julia, when I feel like that, I am going to have a baby in about 20 minutes. You need to get to the hospital NOW! Burke better be speeding." I called my friend and asked her to come pick McKay up, and threw some things together to take to the hospital since I still hadn't packed a hospital bag and only hoped the camera was charged. . . Burke got home, my friend came, and we pulled out of the driveway at 8:30 on the dot. I turned on the ipod as we pulled out and focused on relaxing.
We got to the hospital 15-20 minutes later, checked in, and they sent me to triage to see if I was in labor. The nurse was mildly shocked and announced I was at a 9 and we needed to get me upstairs immediately. "This baby is coming!" I guess I must have looked too calm and relaxed to be at a 9? That would be thanks to HypnoBabies, which I loved btw! At 9:45 pm, I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy in my arms.
Everything was perfect, and the whole experience was as flawless as I could have hoped for.
Now that I have had one baby with an epidural and one without, I have absolutely no question in my mind that I am pro-natural birth. If you ask me about it, I could probably talk your ear off about all the reasons why natural birth is so much better than medical intervention. And despite Burke initially being rather wary of my decision to do a natural birth, he might even be a bigger believer than me in doing a natural birth now, and for different reasons too, interestingly enough.
On a completely unrelated note, I have had people ask about Anson's name. Anson Call was a prominent Mormon pioneer who helped settle Utah and Arizona. Neither of us are descendants of his, and our son is not named directly after him, but that is more or less where the name comes from. Anson's middle name is a family name on Burke's side and also the middle name of Burke's older brother, Logan, who passed away in infancy.