While my little one is snoozing and it's still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd share the story of her birthday. For anyone who cares, you can read about Judah's birth story here.
The last few weeks of this pregnancy were tough on me. I had been praying during this whole pregnancy to go into labor before the due date. For many reasons - first of all, I was hoping for a slightly smaller baby this time around. When you are trying to VBAC, induction can increase the risks of bad outcomes, so I wanted to avoid the need for induction due to being overdue. I was also having lots of back and pelvic pain, not sleeping well, and the fatigue that comes along with the end of pregnancy. My dear husband was a saint - putting up with a very emotional wife those last few days. (Jeff says he knew it was a girl because surely I had double the female hormones making me extra emotional!) As the due date got closer I was having more and more anxiety that this was going to go down just like last time. Many tears were shed as I prayed for a different outcome.
On December 17, a monday morning, I woke up with lots of contractions they were coming every several minutes. Poor Judah was sick, so we took him to the doctor to get him tested for flu and then tried to decide if I needed to go to the hospital. I got one of our residents to check my cervix and since I hadn't changed any from my last appointment we decided just to go home. The contractions basically stopped, which was a big disappointment, but I was able to nap that afternoon which ended up being a very good thing. Judah was super fussy that day since he was feeling bed and I actually ended up putting him in bed by 6:30.
After dinner, the contractions started again, but they were only every 8 or 9 minutes. They were more painful this time, but I still had my doubts that this was really it. We talked to my mom and decided that just in case, it would be good for her to come down in case we needed to go in to the hospital overnight. We got in bed and I fell asleep and dozed in between contractions.
Around 2:45, I got up because the contractions were becoming more painful. I started to time them and they were also coming more frequently. I was able to doze a little more between contractions, but finally around 6 or so I knew this was really it. I woke Jeff up and told him we'd need to go to the hospital. Although I didn't want to get there until after about 7:30, because I also knew that I didn't want to get there at shift change.
I texted my doctor to let her know we were heading in and got checked in. My doctor arrived and checked me and I was at 4cm. I was so relieved - with Judah I'd had about 12 or 13 hours of pitocin before I got that dilated. The contractions were really getting painful, but I was changing positions a lot, bouncing on a birth ball, walking around the room, and realizing that labor is really painful. Just before 11, the doctor checked me again and told me I was 7cm. I was even more relieved because that is further than I got with Judah. Because I was progressing fairly rapidly, I also decided that I really wanted the epidural. I just couldn't deal with the pain anymore. Thankfully we were able to get it in fairly quickly. With Judah, the epidural never really worked very well, but this time I got good pain relief and was able to relax.
They checked me again in another hour or so and I was complete!! I really couldn't believe how quickly it was going. With Judah, it was such a long and frustrating ordeal that I was sort of expecting it to be similar this time. We called my mom to let her know because we wanted to her come when I started pushing. Melanie had come down to watch Judah so I just labored down until my mom got there. She arrived around 1:30 or 1:40, and I started pushing. I never got to the pushing stage last time, so I didn't know what to expect. That business is no joke. I knew it would be tough, but even with the epidural it was still fairly painful. I was very thankful for the epidural. I pushed for 20 or 25 minutes, then watched as her head came out! Seeing the rest of her body slide out of me and then hearing them say "it's a girl!" and seeing her girl parts for myself was honestly one of the best and most rewarding moments of my life. I just couldn't believe that she was here and that I had such a wonderful birth experience. I got to hold her right away and she wanted to nurse within about 15 or 20 minutes of birth.
I have felt so much better since she was born that I did with Judah. I feel like I had a great c-section recovery last time, but even so, this recovery has been so much better. We had so many people praying for us and for her delivery and I felt very sustained by those prayers. I know that God was good to me last time, too, and that with Judah I had
the birth experience that I needed, but I am very thankful I got to do
this the normal way this time.
God is so good.