This is your birth story told
from the view of your mommy’s doula.
Thursday night the 26th
of March I got a text from your mommy saying that her contractions had begun
again. They had been stopping and starting for a few days now. Your momma was
tired but not losing hope of a natural labor. She was almost 41 weeks and just
plain ready to meet you, but she wanted to meet you on your time table. She was
so patient, even in the face of family members telling her to get an induction.
These contractions were anywhere from 8-10 minute apart and were painful. She
labored like this through the night into Friday, then all of Friday and then
again through the night into Saturday.
I started texting with your mom a
little before 8am on Saturday morning. She told me about how hard her night was
and that every contraction woke her up and that she was feeling pretty weary.
Your daddy needed to go into work that day because it was so busy and they
needed the help. Your mom was fine with him going in but it was hard to let him
go because she didn’t just want to labor all day in the house alone. She
thought that this might be the day she’d like me to join her. I told her when
she said the word, I’d be there as soon as I could!
It was just after 10am
that I arrived at your home on Saturday morning. Your mom opened the door with
a tried smile on her face. We hugged and I dropped all of my bags and headed
straight to the kitchen. Your momma needed some energizing breakfast, so I made
her some scrambled eggs. I accidently used Vanilla Almond milk so they tasted
quite sweet, but your mom was kind and ate them ;) I put on some music and we
praised Jesus together as she had contraction after contraction. They were
definitely coming, they just didn’t want to progress just yet. I pottered
around in the kitchen a while longer while your mom tried to relax on the couch
and breathe deeply through her contractions. She was doing an awesome job.
I came over to your mom and
started massaging her feet while we continued to listen to music and chat
between contractions. I tried to massage the pressure points on her legs, by
hook or by crook we were having this baby today!!! Your mom said a few of the
contractions got pretty intense for a little bit, this was a step in the right
We set up a bed on the living
room floor for your mom to lay down on for a little bit and get some rest. The
contractions were pretty uncomfortable in this position but she labored through
them. When we were sitting up they seemed to be coming every 3-5 minutes but
when she laid down they spaced to around 5-6 minutes apart. It gave your mom
some time to truly rest in between the contractions.
Your mom needed to use the
restroom so we used to time to change positions and try the inversion. This was
a little before 12:30pm. Your mom got into the position really well and held it
for a good 30 seconds. I told you! We were trying anything and everything. We
next sat your mom on a step stool to widen her pelvis and that’s when your
grandma called checking in to see how things were going and if your mom could
explain how to open the new stroller. Your brother and sister were heading to
get ice-cream, they were pretty excited about that!
Around 1pm we moved to sitting
back on the couch. Your mom enjoyed this position a lot! I made us both some
peanut butter toast and we settled in to watch Kara Tippetts memorial service.
During a contraction I would turn the iPad down and then after it was down I
would turn it back up.
2pm hit and things seemed to be
getting more intense. The contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes again and
lasting a full minute now. Could labor be progressing?! We sure hoped so!
As 3pm approached your mom was on
her hands and knees going through the contractions and these ones were
beginning to take her breath away and were lasting a good minute and a half. At
this point we asked your daddy to come home and join us. He was quickly on his
Your mom headed for the restroom
and began laboring on the toilet, straddling it backwards. She seemed to enjoy
this position and the contractions seemed very strong.
Your daddy arrived home around
3:20pm and started gathering things up as it didn’t seem like too long before
we’d be leaving for the hospital.
Your mom was interested in trying
the bathtub for some relief before we left, but after having a few really
strong contractions where she felt like pushing a little bit during them, she
changed her mind. We grabbed the final items and headed for the hospital at
We arrived to triage at 4pm and
got taken back to a room fairly quickly. At 4:18pm your mom was found to be 5cm
dilated, 75% effaced and you were at -1. This was terrific progression from the
day before and getting to 5cm at home was awesome, as this is the longest part
of labor. They admitted us immediately.
We got settled into our new room
by 4:35pm and Lisa, the nurse, got a heplock placed in your mama’s arm. Then
she went to find us an exercise ball to labor on.
Jolene, your mommy’s midwife arrived
while Lisa was gone. Jolene set up some essential oils and calm filled the
Around 5:15pm as you mom was
going through a contraction leaning over the bed, she began to feel like she
needed to poop. This was a great sign!! You were nice and low and Jolene gave
the go ahead for your mom to begin pushing when she felt like it. So with most
contractions your mom pushed. She got onto the bed in the hands and knees
position around 5:45pm. Your daddy was doing an awesome job massaging your moms
lower back during every contraction. Your mom was experiencing a lot of back
labor, but thanks to the TENS unit and the back massage the contractions were
A few minutes later
your mom switched to the birthing stool to try pushing on there. She had a lot
of power while pushing in this position. We stayed here till about 6:10pm and
then moved to straddling the toilet again. Your dad was awesome, he had his
apron on should your moms water break on him and he was spinning the wash
clothes like a pro to keep them cool. We didn’t stay in the bathroom long and
by 6:20pm your mom was back pushing on the birthing stool. She was feeling
pretty tired now, so during the breaks she would lean into your dad and rest.
It was sweet.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of
progress being made, so Jolene was curious what the cervix was doing. She
checked your mom at 6:35pm and found that your mom was 8cm dilated with a
somewhat thick lip of cervix hanging out on the left side. Your mom’s bag of water
was still very much intact. It was a strong one! Jolene asked your mom to see
if she could rest for a while and hold off on the pushing till she dilated a
little more. Your mom did exactly that and got a small dose of fentanyl and
slept for a little while.
The contractions spaced a part
for a little bit and your mom got some good rest, but eventually they began to
pick up once more and your mom needed to start groaning through the
contractions. At 8pm Jolene asked if she could break your moms water to see if
that would help bring you down right on the cervix to help dilate it. She was
now 9.5cm dilated and you were at 0 station. You were so close to being born!!
At 8:30pm your mom was now
complete and the active pushing began once more. Jolene was worried about how
tired your mom was feeling so she kept her in bed to push, even though she kept
saying this was her least favorite position to push in but it seemed to be
working for your mom.
Let me tell you sweet boy, over
the next 2 hours and 45 minutes your momma pushed with all of her might and
never once gave up. She would say the most innocent things in between pushes
like “Holy Tamole” and “Good Gravy”. I just smiled and looked on in pride. Your
daddy never left her side and worked as hard as he could to massage her lower
back to bring some relief to the pressure. Your mom kept asking if we could
slowly turn the TENS unit up.
As the time progressed during the
pushing stage, Jolene grew more and more skeptical that you were OA and that
you were indeed OP causing the prodromal labor, early desire to push, back
labor and long pushing stage. Your mom was pushing so well but you were coming
down the canal so slowly and once you were crowning you actually got stuck!
I could see the cogs turning in
Jolene’s eyes trying to figure out what should be done to deliver you. Your dad
was very eager for your mom to change position, something needed to change, we were coming up on almost 3 hours of pushing. Your mommy
was exhausted but as I said, she never said she couldn’t do it. In fact I heard
her say “I can do this” multiple times while she pushed. The nurses brought in
a mirror so your mom could watch her progress. By the time you were crowing we
could all see you have a lot of dark hair!
All at once we all decided to try
the pushing bar. The nurses quickly got it installed and before we knew it your
mom was squatting and pushing with all of her might and there your head was,
finally moving down and out! At 11:16pm on Saturday the 28th of
March, your 6lb 9oz, 21 inch body entered the world. Your mom leaned back on
the bed and you were placed directly on her. You were looking pretty stunned
and weren’t crying much so you were taken over to the warmer to be checked out.
You began to cry a little over there but they could tell that you were working
hard to breathe so they put a Cpap machine on you to help you along. They
decided you needed to be taken to the NICU for further monitoring, so your
mommy got another quick hold and a few kisses of your sweet head and away you
went with your daddy and the nurses.
I stayed with your mom while
Jolene stitched and cleaned her up. Your mom was on cloud nine, so thankful that
the labor was over and she was at peace even though you were gone. She knew you
would be just fine.
Around 12:30am your dad came back
from the NICU with good news that you were already doing so much better but
they would continue to watch you through the night. He was feeling hungry and
wanted to run over to King Soopers to grab some snacks and drinks for the
remainder of the stay in the hospital. So soon after your dad and I said
goodbye to your mom so that she could get some well-deserved sleep. It had been
52 hrs since the contractions started coming consistently. Your mom was
EXHASUTED. We couldn’t have been prouder of her stamina and grace through your
birth story. God showed up in mighty ways and I know your parents will always
speak of His goodness to them through your birth.
Graysen Clark Spiers, welcome to
the world sweet boy, we are all SO excited that you are here.
Lots of love, Fiona Custer,
Beautiful Births Doula Services
There's nothing quite like imagining how I wanted my labor and birth to go with Graysen and then getting to experience it almost as I imagined and envisioned it. Both Alivia (her Birth Story) and Nolan's (his Birth Story Part 1 and Birth Story Part 2) birth were beautiful in their own way but they were not as I hoped or prayed them to be. I had wished for both of them to be as free of intervention as possible and if you know or have read my story, you'll know that was not the case for either of my first two births. I was left emotionally and physically drained with my experiences of labor and delivery before I had Graysen. For a long time, I felt so guilty feeling the way I did about the birth of Alivia. Of course, I was so happy that Alivia was healthy and doing well but it was not the birth I had hoped to have and I was really sad and upset about it. It wasn't until my pregnancy and birth with Nolan that I was able to and needed to deal with my unresolved feelings about my cesarean section with Alivia. I had a lot of fear going into a VBAC with Nolan because of what some people say and suggest about having one, and because I was afraid my body would not be able to handle a vaginal birth. I had not had a vaginal birth yet so it was new territory and that scared me. Although my labor and delivery did not go as planned, I'm beyond thankful that I got to have a VBAC. Having a c-section was a hard birth, going 30 hours then getting an epidural was a hard birth and a lot had to do with the guilt I felt. Heading into the labor and delivery of Graysen, I had to deal with fear again- a different kind of fear. I knew my body could handle a vaginal birth, I had a successful one with Nolan, but I wasn't sure how I would or if I could handle and deal with a natural birth. I once again had to push away those fears and lean on God and my support system. My thoughts surrounding my c-section have changed quite a bit since 5 1/2 years and my feelings of having a birth with more interventions that I wished for almost 4 years ago, but I'm happy to say I know longer feel sad or guilty about my either birth!
I once held on to the fear that my body wasn't strong enough and I would not be able to endure labor without intervention. I was once afraid that it would hurt too much and the only way to birth is with pain medication. I was fearful of not "doing" birth right. This birth allowed me embrace my fears about giving birth. God does not want us to be afraid and that has been a very hard thing for me to overcome. Giving in to these fears meant I was not trusting in God and that he knew what I needed to learn, what I could handle, and how important it has been for me to go through all three of these very different births.
With Graysen, I still had doubts and fears and I was still scared at moments throughout my pregnancy, but I prayed over them. I vocalized my fears with friends and family and made them known. I pushed them away and received love: love that I needed to feel, love that released a feeling of freedom that I didn't need to have a natural birth to prove anything. Big love that emphasized that no matter what birth I had I was strong and experienced one of God's miracles. In the past, I always wanted a natural birth to claim the prize and respect that those seem to get with having a natural birth. In fact, I would judge others who didn't want one and had to get or rather choose to get a C-section or epidural. God knew my ugly heart in this area and gave me a taste of my own medicine! After experiencing both, I prayed to God to have my natural birth I so badly wanted with Graysen. Not because I wanted the trophy prize or the entitlement I thought I would get with a natural birth, but because I truly wanted it for me.
I created a birth plan but knew that if it didn't turn out how I hoped or prayed that it would, I would be just fine. You see, I realized that it was really never about the actual physical pain of giving birth that I was truly fearful of. My enemy was expectations and my fear was of emotional pain. For the first time going into a labor and delivery, I was able to let go of the fear of the pain I would have if I didn't get what I wanted or thought I should have experienced. I didn't focus on the "right" way to birth, but instead held onto the love of God and of my support team. I truly gave in to the experience instead of worrying how it would turn out or how others would react to my birth experience. I let go of the selfishness and ugliness that I held onto for so many years that was inside of me concerning birth . This birth I truly felt God work in me and heal my heart from the pain I had with my previous births.
If it wasn't for my support team, I don't know if I could have experienced the birth I had with Graysen. To my absolutely wonderful husband Ben, your love for me radiated through your constant hand holding, comforting smiles, and encouraging words! I especially remember and loved you comparing my birth to the incline (that you had just hiked a few days before) because it was a really good visual for me. I love you always and forever. Thanks for being the best husband and advocate for me and our kiddos. You really rocked your supporting role as husband and loved on me through those challenging hours. To my absolutely wonderful doula Fiona, my oh my, where do I start. You offered such amazing support over the weeks leading up to my pregnancy and more importantly with the labor and delivery. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God put you in my life so I could accomplish a natural birth. You were helpful and encouraging in every way. And, I couldn't be happier that we chose you to help us in our special day. You stepped up in ways that I didn't know I needed encouragement and said just the right things to help me stay positive even when I wanted to quit. To my absolutely wonderful midwife Jolene, I can't tell you how impressed I am with your techniques and patience. I'm so very glad Ben and I listened to our guts and switched at 30 weeks. I'm without a doubt and 100% positive, I couldn't have had that birth with the OB I had before switching. You were exactly what we needed for the birth I had hoped for. Thank you for allowing me to birth in my own time and for giving me guidance. Hands down BEST hospital birth I've had and it felt like a home birth. I'm simply thankful for these people God put in my life for this experience!
We received these stools from some family members and had fun refashioning them into something new, something us! They pop with color and are the perfect transitional fabric piece to tie in the living room area to our kitchen. Aren't they cute!? Can't wait for more DIY crafts to decorate our home!
Alivia's 1st Ballet performance was a huge success! she was pretty nervous about going up on stage and being in front of a large crowd. She was so focused on doing a good job and not messing up that she didn't really smile during the performance- shows her determination! She did smile from ear to ear though when it was over and really loved getting flowers from her daddy. She wants to join the next ballet session too and is now excited (not nervous) for the Christmas show that they will put on! I absolutely love that we found this ballet class. It's wonderful because it not only focuses on ballet fundamentals, but more importantly has a Christian foundation :) The ballet girls learned a lovey little ballet performance and learned about compassion by discussing and praying for orphans in other countries. Yep, we found a great extracurricular activity for Alivia!!
ummmm, just beautiful!
Excited about her ballet dress, hair, and make-up!
The rooms! :) We have a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Ben was reluctant about the 1 bathroom and 5 people but so far it's been totally ok! We have only had a few times where 2 people had to go to the bathroom at once and that's usually a kid with a small bladder, so we have a kid (small) toilet in case of emergency that has proven helpful in those situations!
Looking from our kitchen area into the hallway that leads to all the rooms and bathroom. Little Graysen hanging out while Alivia and Nolan take a bath. :)
Alivia & Nolan's room is almost complete. We have this mostly how we want it but just need to put up some more decorations to tie the gender boy/girl aspect together. The kids go the Frozen decals for Alivia's birthday and they decorated themselves and thought it was the best thing ever!
Looking in from the hallway.
Kids Closet (We just got a new toy organizer so it looks a bit different now but it still holds almost all their toys and clothes).
How we store my cloth diapers for Graysen and other cloth related items- along with a few disposables for night time diapering.
Our 3rd bedroom is nothing to really photograph, yet... This is going to be the office/Graysen's bedroom (once he leaves his co-sleeper). We decided to get rid of the rocker to give us more room since this room isn't big and will need to house all office related items, school things, craftty supplies and Graysen's bedding. Yes, we needed to make more room for all of that!
Looking in from the hallway!
Computer desk and area. Nothing special. But, can't wait to show off our decorations once we decide what to do in this room. :)
Looking in from the hallway!
The bathroom! I love our bathroom and the neutral colors. The only thing it needs is more space saving type gadgets on the wall so we can free up some of the things on our sink.
And, there you have it. That concludes our home pictures until we have more decorations up. When will that be, you ask. SOON, i hope, SOON! :) I love to decorate so hopefully I will make time for it soon.
Closerts are super valuable in our home and really to our sanity!! We have pretty decent closet space and I'm able to fit what I need to fit in our closets and storage space above the laundry!
Our linens closet is in our hallway next to the 3rd bedroom. It's home for, well linens, my baby wraps, extra bathroom items not needed everyday and surplus bathroom toiletries, and the kiddie toilet (which is beyond helpful when you only have 1 bathroom and it's in use but a 3 year old needs to go!).
Side 1 of our ginormous coat closet holds all of our winter coats, the vacuum, vacuum extras, our safety lock box, and reusable grocery bags. Games are housed on the top shelf. I don't remember the last time we played a game. We need to get back into being gamers, like when we were dating/newly married.
Side 2 of our ginormous coat closet! Ben stores his nicer clothes in this closet because our closet space is limited. The red file cabinet was a freebie and I turned it into a shoe storage for the kids! It's perfect and a great way we were able to be frugal and creative. The iron and ironing board also find its place in this closet. It's a deep closet so we can store quite a lot of items.
And there you have it, that's the scoop on our closet space. :)
Here the kids are searching for Easter eggs at the church Easter Egg Hunt. They had a blast. Nolan ate a piece of candy with dairy in it (a tootsie roll)... Scary! But, to my surprise he didn't react and that was a fun Easter surprise!
We also had a mini family Easter Egg Hunt and the kids enjoyed themselves. It was fun for them to have two in one day. We didn't come home with lots of candy either and that was great!
The whole gang- LOVE having cousins close by!
GG with A & G
Jo and Graysen
G pretty much slept the almost entire time for his 1st Easter!
1st family of the 5 photos!!
So wonderful to celebrate Jesus with our church family and family! What a fun-filled, busy day.