Personal · Pregnancy

Jackson’s Birth Story : July 22, 2009

I shared on my Instagram Stories last week that I was open to posting my birth stories with both Jackson and Malia. I took a poll and a lot of you said you were interested. Although it’s not food related, I wanted to share this personal story as it may help you to learn more about me.  I’ve been very open with my current pregnancy and figured this would be a fun story to share about my other kids (& me!)  Plus, for all you out there that LOVE birth stories like I do, my birth stories are somewhat similar but also oddly different.  I’d love to hear about your birth stories as well!

Jackson Gabriel Yee Makanani was born on July 22, 2009 at 10:45am. He weighed in at 8lbs, 11oz and 20 inches long. His birth story is a the one I had DREAMED of, but NEVER thought would happen. Shane and I both went into this journey expecting the unexpected, and we got exactly what we wanted – a short, unmedicated birth and most importantly, a healthy son that we absolutely cherish.

Stripping Membranes

First let me start with what I “think” started my labor – I went in for my normal 39 week doctors appointment on Tuesday, 7/21 at 3:30pm. My normal doctor was on vacation, so we saw another doc in the practice; Dr. Morrell (who we absolutely fell in love with). I made it very clear that I was miserable and I asked if he would strip my membranes (Stripping the membranes is where a health care provider will separate your bag of water from the cervix, it is not intended to break your water, however, it may. It may also cause infection, and may be painful for some). He told me that by doing this procedure, it may NOT induce labor – but if so, he’d see us in Labor & Delivery later that night. It was very painful, but worth it as I was done being pregnant.

Up all night
Immediately following the “stripping of the membranes” I had really bad cramps and lower back pain. I didn’t want to get our hopes up, especially with having no contractions – so I just decided to bear through it. Finally at about 7pm I called the FMC (Family Maternity Center aka Labor & Delivery) and asked if these pains were normal with the stripping of the membranes. They assured me it’s normal – if the pain increases and I start contracting – I ARE IN LABOR. If the pain subsides – I AM NOT IN LABOR. Around 10pm, the pain started to subside a bit and I went to bed….however, I was up all night feeling the pain of the cramps.

Labor at home

I woke up at 5:30am with painful contractions – not horrible, but about a level 3 on the pain scale. I decided before I let Shane know, I would time them myself – they were about 5 minutes apart for about 30 minutes. Then I called to Shane (he was downstairs) and let him know the situation – excited to all heck, he immediately wanted to time them (this was always his wish; to be the “contraction master”). Once he started timing them, they were 3 minutes apart and about a level 4 in pain. We decided to call the FMC and let them know I was in labor and that our birth plan was to labor at home as long as possible. They said to do what we felt was right, and if we wanted to labor at home, we could – so this is what we decided to do. We called my mom (my doula) and let her know what was going on; she asked to come over and labor with us. We told her to wait and Shane drew me a bath.  3 minutes after getting in the bath I had this feeling that I needed to go to the hospital….NOW.

To the hospital we go
Before we were able to go to the hospital, we had to drop off Kona (our beloved Yorkie) at my parents house. I think on the way there, I started going into active labor because once Shane got out of the car to take Kona inside, I immediately went onto all fours in the front seat of the car (knees on the floor, chest on the seat). Shane got back into the car and said, “We can’t drive with you on the floor!” My response? “The F*** I can’t!” (the ONLY time I cursed during my entire labor). Shane put the pedal to the metal and we got to the hospital (my mom following us). We were able to get to the hospital pretty quickly taking carpool during rush-hour traffic and arrived around 8AM. As soon as arrived a nurse was out front just getting off of her shift and asked Shane if I was in labor and asked me if I needed to push; I replied, “No.” She got a wheelchair and they wheeled me in. Out of no where, I got the urge to uncontrollably SOB like a baby. I have no idea what was going through my mind – I just could not stop crying. Looking back, I think it was the combination of the pain, anxiety, excitement, being scared and knowing “THIS IS IT.” We were admitted to a room right away and I met my nurse, Trish.

I immediately put on my gown and was in the bed with the assistance of my mom & Shane. I felt like I could BARELY move, that every movement I made would cause excruciating pain. But I had to get into the bed so that I could be examined and see where I was (I honestly thought I was MAYBE at 4cm dilated)…..8cm dilated and 100% effaced!!!! HOLY SHIT, I labored at home and got THAT far! My nurse, Trish, asked if I wanted an epidural and I said no. She then asked if I wanted anything to take the edge off and I said, I absolutely do not want ANY narcotics….I think this was the last time I spoke a full sentence. So through the pain I went; every contraction was hell, and about every other contraction was piggy-backed by another which made for SEVERAL 5 minute long contractions that were a minute apart. I thought I was going to die. Thankfully,  I had my mom & Shane there to guide me through the process. My mom worked on keeping me relaxed and focused while Shane coached me through each breath. Going into my labor, I had no idea what a doula was, but looking back, that is exactly what my mom’s job was.  She was an incredible value to my natural birth and I believe I wouldn’t have had the outcome without her.  The moment we got settled in our room, Shane went into a “shock” and was struggling to figure out what to do to help me.  My mom calmly gave him a job without taking away his involvement with the birth process.  She spoke affirmations to me and kept me positive throughout the entire journey.  Even when the nursed asked me over and over again if I wanted my epidural, she calming replied for me……”No, and do not ask her again” only the way a mother could do so.  I will forever be grateful for her involvement and encourage others to hire a doula should they intend on having a natural, un-medicated birth.
About an hour and a half later (9:30am) I asked to be examined. I told my team that if I had NOT progressed, I was getting an epidural. Trish examined me and said I was at 9cm dilated. My mom’s response, “You are almost there Brianne, by the time the drugs got here, Jackson will be born” which made total sense.
About 45 minutes later, I felt the urge to push – and it took ALL I HAD to say it. Luckily, my mom heard me and told my nurse. Trish told Shane and mom to grab both my legs, bend them and pull them up and instructed me to start pushing at the peak of the next contraction. Next contraction came, and my mom said, “Okay Brianne, here we go..1, 2, 3, 4, etc. and we did this 3 times in a row. 15 minutes later, I was crowning and Trish RAN to get my doctor….

How is that epidural?
In walks the doctor, and the first thing she asks is, “How is that epidural treatin’ ya Brianne?” Both my mom and Shane (in shock) say very sternly, “She didn’t get an epidural!!!!!” The look on my doctor’s face was priceless and she moved so fast the next time I looked up from my focal point (which was a crack in the ceiling tile), everything was set up for delivery. She had me push and both Shane and my mom started to cry – Jackson head was out. I remember thinking, “HEY GUYS, THIS ISN’T OVER YET – I STILL NEED YOU!!!” I think they both saw the look of fear in my eyes and focused back on their coaching jobs. Next push, Jackson was out and he was immediately put onto my chest for me to love on him…..everyone was crying.
I still can’t believe how fast my labor was, 5 hours total, 3 being at the hospital. Shane and I had spent so much time in practicing laboring positions, techniques in easing the pain (tennis balls, hold/cold pads, massage methods, etc.). We also had bought a video camera and tripod, were planning on having our favorite photographer there to snap newborn pictures shortly after his birth…..ALL of that went to the waste side due to how FAST it all went down. There is no other way I would have had it. This was an amazing experience that I will never forget and hope to tell Jackson one day. The day he changed my life forever…..

*All of the following photos were taken PRE-iPhone and by the nurse*

jax birth 2
jax birth


Family of three_2


One thought on “Jackson’s Birth Story : July 22, 2009

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