It’s a little over one year from the birth of my second baby and it’s time to write.
Hers was so special to me, I’ve just had to treasure it in my heart for this year.
I write it here on my blog not to be too personal, but because I desire this blog to be a place where courage is written about.
And I write about birth because it is one of the most courageous acts known to man.
Birth is unpredictable. It is a surrender.
It is so beautiful.
*this should be pretty G-rated, I guess PG-rated. If you know going in that you’re reading about birth, you should probably be okay to read the whole blog. No worries if not, peace out here. ❤
When I first began to dream of having a second baby, I just knew I’d like to have that baby in a hospital.
My homebirth with my firstborn son was wonderful. It was everything I had asked for, even if some parts devastated me for awhile. I think that if you’ve given birth, you might know what I mean. If you sit down in my home for tea, I’d be happy to share more with you on that.
Just know that I treasure his birth and I’m in awe of the gift I was given to be able to have my first experience of becoming a mother and bringing life forth into the world, at home. It was SO my personality, SO where I was at, SO what I was comfortable with and SO where I felt “led”.
Not too long after I felt this pull to a hospital birth for my next child, I found out we were expecting. Our first was 10 months old at the time.
We felt shocked and then that shock immediately sparked into joy. Hard to describe the bubbling, free incredible joy of finding out there’s a new life growing inside of you.
I started out with getting care from a group of midwives that were connected to a hospital. It wasn’t a good fit for me. And I’m proud of myself for realizing that early enough so that it wasn’t too hard to switch things up and go down a path with someone I felt so comfortable with. A family doctor whose knowledge and kindness was just right for us.
Fast forward through 41 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy, growing belly a second time around and ultrasounds (including finding out she was a girl!), and it was go time!!
My parents came 5 days before our daughter’s due date and I took off of work to prepare, instead of working right up until labor like last time.
Only…labor seemed to start each time my doctor stripped the membranes, but stopped. I won’t do this again. I had it done 2 or 3 different visits at the end and it just was too painful & I’m not sure it progressed things really at all.
My mucous plug regenerated too many times to count and true to my experience in my first pregnancy, I’d had Braxton Hicks practice contractions & tightening throughout and like crazy for the last 2 or 3 weeks of this pregnancy.
Since this darling didn’t come on her due date, I had to go back to work for a week.
I love my job but it was too much for me emotionally, physically and mentally.
My whole body, soul and spirit was preparing for a baby and I could hardly force myself to focus on anything else. It was so uncomfortable just to sit.
You get the point! And if you know, you know!
I remember thinking the Sunday night that made it 1 week of being overdue, my parents leave in 2 days….my 1 year old needs to be taken care of & he’s so used to them now & they know his schedule…I can’t go back to work…My husband’s whole staff is in limbo with us…I’m calling my doctor first thing tomorrow and getting the soonest available appointment and talking about induction.
I didn’t know too much about induction other than everything I had studied. I’m a researcher, especially when I’m experiencing something or getting ready for something big in my life. I do it for hours, can’t help it, just love it!
But studying and practical experience are two different things.
Anyway, that Monday, I mentioned it and she mentioned it and she asked when I would like to schedule it. I was so relieved!
It might seem like the natural course of things, but for me, I was coming from a homebirth. We didn’t talk about induction too much and I was also hesitant to go for it because of a lot of what I had heard in my studies on natural pregnancy.
Induction is a gift.
It’s probably not for every circumstance, every birth.
But in our story, mine and Eilah’s, it was right.
My body immediately went into painless labor upon scheduling the induction and went from almost 4 cm to 6 cm dilated overnight.
The relief I began to feel after all of that stress was incredible.
I also felt so close to the Lord as I had prayed and asked for a painless labor the first time around and it just wasn’t. It was a different story and I did feel prepared to go through it and I’m grateful on so many levels. I wouldn’t trade that story or working through that pain. It was a huge success story for me.
This labor was different. I felt some big things happening and a few times of cramping that I could breathe through and I wasn’t surprised to find my body had been laboring all night as I slept.
When we got to the hospital, its beauty and the warmth of the nurses enveloped me.
It was so my personality to have things scheduled and such a gift to drive there while my body was not in the thick of things. Hats off to you ladies who have labored in the car! Wow!
I stepped into my spacious room and mentioned to my nurse that I may want an epidural but I wasn’t 100%.
She was very supportive and I already knew my doctor was supportive either way I went.
My husband and sister left the room to get things & I had a moment to myself in that room where I’d give birth to my daughter.
I prayed and envisioned angels to minister and protect. I walked around and felt such peace.
Everyone came back in and my sweet doctor then walked through the door. I instantly felt at home. This woman who had been caring for me from the halfway point of my pregnancy on, was here and she was going to take good care of us.
I was nervous to have my water broken…this was the light induction we had decided on the day before. I didn’t need or qualify for other means because the cervix was dilated a ton and soft and ready!
I laughed because having my water broken wasn’t painful at all. The contractions started coming and it felt so good to walk around.
(It hadn’t felt good to walk through my contractions when having my first baby.)
You can read about his birth here.
I could feel my baby girl moving down with each contraction. I sat on an exercise ball (which had been my saving grace with my firstborn’s labor towards the end) but even though the counter-pressure felt good, I wanted to keep walking so gravity could help as much as possible.
The other surprising thing that was awesome and funny to me was that sitting in the hospital bed was also the best most perfect counter-pressure for my lower back! I just always read that it wasn’t the right position to labor in but for the moments I needed to have baby’s heart monitored and needed to be strapped down, it was sweet relief and very comfortable. And my baby’s heart rate was beautiful!
Maybe one of the biggest preparation points for me going into both births was meditating on peace and being fearless. I had many positive words I would speak and it’s amazing how I felt my spirit was built up each time. I had two different soundtracks I listened to during pregnancy and one I really listened to right before labor and birth to get me in the right spot for leaning on God and trusting and choosing to be fearless.
Jumping back in- I had only back labor with my son. This time I was having labor that started in the front but about an hour and a half into it the pain started stretching to my back.
I made the decision to get an epidural at that point. I knew you had to make that decision early enough and I wasn’t up for experiencing front and back labor while not having a birthing tub and having quite a bit less energy from being a mama to a 1 year old and not being able to sleep much.
The anesthesiologist was incredible and a God-send. He kept explaining everything the whole time and honestly the worst part was probably having to curl my neck over as I had to hunch over so he could place it properly. My neck hurt a ton the next day from that and it seemed to go on forever!
The epidural kicked in and it was magical!
I texted a group of my close friends who were praying for me and they were so sweet!
I told them how much I recommend an epidural and one of my friends let me know she was actually expecting and we had the sweetest conversation!
And then…I felt like throwing up. It was 20 minutes in and I had felt a stitch in one side so they had recommended pressing the button to up the dose.
I felt okay for a bit and Carl laid down to take a nap in the room.
The nurse checked me and I hadn’t progressed, so she contacted my doctor and ordered Pitocin to rev things up.
She left for lunch break.
And then I felt worse. I was crying and felt like throwing up and passing out. It was so tough to have pure bliss and then feel so much worry as pain started to come back.
My sister was right by my side and she had studied up on how I was last time so she could be prepared to help me for this birth. She knew it was hard for me to communicate at all the first time. I was wanting to get outside of myself this time and ask for help, but it was so helpful to have her fight for me and step up and go get a nurse and tell them what was going on with me. This is what a doula does and she was my best friend sister doula!
The head nurse who was older and very sweet came in during this time. She asked if this was my first baby and when I said it was my second she looked around and things got moving. She checked the cervix and said, baby moved down and it’s about to be go time.
It was such a relief to realize that this is what was going on.
They asked me to hold off on pushing and I was happy to.
I really wanted my doctor and nurses to help me not to tear this time around. I know that I needed and wanted that guidance and help from them.
And it did not disappoint.
There is nothing like feeling the pain of contractions (a muscle contraction that you can’t control but just have to breathe through) and pushing with all your might to work with that intensity.
Knowing that baby is working, moving down, too.
It felt like forever to work through that contraction and then wait for the next one. I begged to keep pushing; it’s just such a high level of intensity. This is probably what had me tear almost to the 4th degree the first time around, pushing too soon & not going with my body and I wanted to follow the advice of my doctor because she knew my desire to try to not tear and she was there to help me reach that goal.
The nurses, now friendly faces and my doctor looked me right in the eyes and each one said, you can DO this, that’s it, you’ve GOT this, great JOB and it was one of the most incredible moments of my life. My sister was so touched, as well. She was right there and Carl had woken up and was right there, too. His green eyes were my rock and steady place.
My team told me when to wait and helped me to hold on until the right moments.
It felt like pushing was taking forever but it actually was 4 minutes altogether of pushing, shaving 1 minute off my 5 minute time with my son.
And labor was 4.5 hours altogether.
And my dream come true was here. And I cried.
She was my treasure, my darling girl and she is and always will be. ❤