Thursday, September 8, 2011

The beautiful UC of Lydia Faith 9/4/11 (very long!)

Lydia Faith's Birth Story
From the very beginning of this pregnancy I knew two things; that this baby was a girl, and that I wanted to UC.
My body is very sensitive to others in my birthing space and I knew I needed the peaceful tranquility of just my family present.
I didn't come to this decision lightly. There was such a pulling in my spirit in this direction, I just knew it was right. I also spent a lot of time in prayer about it. I wanted to be sure I was led by God in it. I felt a deep peace about it, and it was as if God told me the end from the beginning: all would go well, and it would be a peaceful, beautiful experience. I took great comfort in that and enjoyed a healthy, fearless pregnancy.
I studied midwifery books, read birth stories, and educated myself as much as possible on the variations of normal in labor/birth/postpartum, and on various emergencies.
I really enjoyed doing all my own prenatal care, and preparing for and dreaming about my upcoming birth. I enjoyed my pregnancy so much. I love being a part of God's work of creating new life!
I got all my birth supplies very early on, and nested almost the entire pregnancy.
A couple of weeks before my due date, the prodromal labor started. I would have hours of regular contractions that I felt in my back and cervix. They would get stronger and closer, then just stop when I'd go to sleep. It was such a mind game not knowing if it was IT or not! To top it off, August 29th I had a lot of bloody show. I was sure labor would start that day or the next, but nothing.
By the time my first due date rolled around (September 1st was my due date by LMP, the 3rd was my due date by ovulation) I was so tired and ready. My pelvis hurt, I was emotionally exhausted from the false alarms, and I was just so eager to meet my little girl! Even though I had done this twice before, I felt I would be pregnant forever!
Despite all that, I succeeded in staying pretty positive to the end, and enjoyed the last few days my little munchkin was kicking around in my belly:)
Saturday, September 3rd, I woke up with regular contractions.This was really nothing new, but I felt that this was the day. I had a feeling she (or I?) was waiting for the cooler weather and peaceful rain, both of which arrived that day.
The contractions stayed regular all morning, but then started getting erratic. I got really annoyed at that point and decided I was just going to ignore the darn things. So I took a long shower and shaved my legs. I then ate lunch, nursed Noah down for a nap, and took a nap myself.
After my nap they returned to being pretty regular at around 5-7 min apart.
At about 2:30 pm they started really grabbing my attention and were what I call "moan-worthy." I told Jim I was going to be really pissed if this was another false alarm. I decided to take a walk in the rain and pray. It was wonderful! I felt such a strong presence of God, and such a deep, sweet peace.
I started really getting excited that this could be it. I was in an awesome place mentally. I was so joyful and peaceful. I got back home and kneeled on the couch, leaning over the armrest to work through contractions, then get up and walk around the dining room, then kneel again. They were still pretty manageable at this point. At 6:14 pm I texted Shelley that I was in labor. The contractions had been steadily getting stronger and closer for 3.5 hours. The stronger they got, the more excited I got. The pain didn't phase me, I was just so excited I was really in labor! I think at around 7 we put a movie on for the kids in their room so we could focus together better (since Shelley wasn't there yet). It was awesome just him and me and baby working together. I couldn't stop smiling the whole time:) The hours seemed to pass really quickly. I ate bites of banana nut bread and yogurt here and there to keep up my energy. I was preparing to go the whole night, since my other labors had been long.
We kept checking the scores of the LSU-Oregen game, and I was glad LSU was winning. lol.
At around 8pm I started feeling like I wanted to get in the pool, so Jim started filling it while I worked through contractions on the toilet. At 8:40 I got in the pool and Shelley arrived. I checked myself and Baby's head was super low, and I was about 5-6 cm, and still a little posterior. I was really surprised that I'd progressed so much already since didn't have a lot of bloody show, I just had some reddish-pink mucus plug. My other labors I bled like a period starting at 4cm. I also wasn't crapping my brains out like I did with previous labors (I wasn't sure if I was happy about that or not, lol). So it was definitely going faster than the others, which was really encouraging.
I can't stress enough how wonderful it was to just be us. I felt so safe, so undisturbed; and like it was the most normal thing in the world. Not once did fear enter my mind. It just felt so sacred and right.
I was very aware of Lydia's presence, and how she was wiggling to get in the right position, and pushing against my ribs to push her head down on my cervix. I knew she was working just as hard as I was, and it felt good to be connected to her like that. I talked to her a lot through my labor. Just thinking about getting to hold her, and seeing her sweet face made the pain more manageable. There was so much love surrounding us, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
I stayed in the tub about an hour, then went back to the toilet, then walked, then sat in a kitchen chair. At around 11pm I started feeling a lot more pressure, so that it hurt to sit down on anything but the toilet, so I just went back and forth from tub to toilet. I started getting tired and a tad discouraged at 1:30am (now Sunday morning), and the contractions really started whipping my butt (looking back I know this is when transition started, but I didn't realize that then). I was also feeling nauseous and shaky.
Jim suggested we take a nap, I was thinking, "Are you kidding me??!" but I was pretty tired, so I decided to try. I slept between contractions for a few hours, getting up to pee here and there. I really wasn't handling them too well, waking up in the middle of one crying and moaning and saying "I can't keep doing this forever!" but then I'd go back to sleep and get a mental break until the next one. At 4:20 am or so, I started feeling even more pressure, and like I would be pushing soon. I got out of bed, woke Jim, and got back in the pool while he put more hot water in it. He fed me some raw honey (which I nearly puked on), and I started feeling much more energetic and positive after that. The rain was falling gently outside, and we had a candle burning. The whole atmosphere was so serene and filled with love.
I kept thinking about all the women who had given birth before me. I especially thought about Mary. I wondered if she was scared, or if she was confident that God, who put the child in her womb, would also safely bring him out? I prayed that God would help me birth this child in love, not fear; and I meditated on a few scriptures I had written down to encourage me during birth. One being Psalm 22:9 "You brought me safely from my mother's womb." It encouraged me that just as He had brought me safely from my mother's womb, He would also bring my child safely from mine.
And that He who had began this good work in me, would be faithful to complete it (Phil 1:6). And there were a few others, but this is turning into a novel, so I'll leave some stuff out:)
At this point, there seemed to be more time in between contractions, which I was thankful for because they were so incredibly intense I felt I was going to split open. I found it really helped to hold my vagina during contractions. For some reason it really made it more bearable.
Sometime right before 5am my body started pushing at the end of a contraction. I checked myself and I was about 8cm, 100% effaced, and her head was right there. My water had not broken yet, but there was no bulging bag. I kept thinking, "surely it's gotta break soon, right?" I didn't feel like it was holding me back though. We woke the kids up and brought them in at that point since pushing is so quick for me. I'll never forget their expressions. Noah wasn't scared, just very intent; Emma was smiling a huge smile while holding her fingers in her ears (I'm a loud pusher:). Between contractions I told them the baby was coming out soon. We were all so excited!
Very quickly my body went from pushing at the end of contractions, to pushing all the way through. I was still 8cm, but during a contraction, my cervix pulled back and disappeared and she was almost crowning. That was an incredible thing to feel! I was so in awe of what my body was doing! There were two contractions like that, then a big one where she fully crowned, I felt a "boom" inside where my water broke, then her whole body flew out in one push! My hand was still down there, so I felt the whole thing. It was incredible! I was expecting rotation of the shoulders, but nope! Jim jumped in to catch her, pulled the sac off of her, and I turned around (had been pushing kind of on hands and knees) to get her. The first thing I saw was that she was a girl:)
I was so over the moon! I did it! My vagina was on fire (and I was sure I split wide open with how she flew out), but I did it!
She cried a little cry right away, but then she looked like she was struggling and turning a little purpler, so I gave her a quick little rescue breath, and she gasped, relaxed, and started turning pink right away. Breathing went well after that. She just chilled on my chest while we cried, and oohed and ahhed over her. She started nursing a few minutes after birth, and has hardly stopped since!
The placenta took a little work to get out (it was folded up over the os, and took a bit to push out), and because of that I think I lost a little more blood than I usually do, but recovery is going well, and I didn't tear at all! I wasn't even swollen down there!
We left the cord intact for about 4 hours (even after placenta delivered) because it was still pulsing at her umbilicus. At around 9am we tied it off with cord tape and Jim cut it. Then Jim held her while I showered, then I cuddled up with her and we took a nap. :)
All in all, it was the most beautiful, awe-inspiring birth experience. I wouldn't change a thing! Every time I think about it, I can't help but smile, and my heart swells:)

A few pictures:
I absolutely LOVE this one! The expressions on our faces says it all:)
                    So elated!

First nursing:)

                          They love their new sister!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Things I've learned from labor

My first labor was over 50 hours, my second was 29 hours. My husband and I thought surely the second would be much shorter. We had prepared more, and were much more positive and proactive with this labor than the first. I don't really think there was much of a physical reason that it took so long, but I am certain of a spiritual one.
We started out labor excited and looking forward to the journey and seeing our precious baby at the end. I embraced the contractions and what my body, and God was doing to bring this baby out. Then it wore on longer than we thought. We struggled with why, but stayed positive. Then it wore on WAY longer than we thought. We got tired. We really struggled with why. Does God hate us? Is he punishing us for something we did wrong? Is he turning his face away from us? He encouraged us and strengthened us to push through. Only a short while from when we felt ready to give up, our son was born. What a wonderful experience it was! What an amazing lesson. I am deeply thankful for my long labors and the character building it has given me. It has taught me that right before the end of a trial you will feel like it will never end; and God doesn't put us through trials to torture us, but to teach us and grow us. We can't see that until the trial is over though, usually. Often when we ask God why he is allowing something in our lives that is painful, we think he doesn't answer; but if we would just listen we would hear, "I'm with you. This is necessary. Just hang on!"
I know that the trial we are going through right now WILL end.... just not yet. I am confident to trust that God will bring us through because he has brought us through before:)

"Cling tightly to your faith in Christ...." 1 Timothy 1:19a

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I sit here, with my 2 year-old on the potty and my newborn starting to stir in his bassinet, I feel the need to write again. I used to write blogs all the time - about what God had been teaching me, and what trials I had been going through. It was encouraging to others, but mostly it was a way to organize my thoughts and get the most out of what God was teaching me. It's been a couple of years since I really wrote anything. Motherhood has been so busy and full. Full of lessons too, that I wished I could share as I lie in my bed falling asleep hours later than I planned. I think I was more sane then. Just getting out things buried in my soul felt so freeing. That is why I feel I must take it up again - whether anyone reads them or not:)