The weeks leading up to this moment are ones I certainly won’t forget. I was scared, stressed was an understatement, and constantly reading the possibilities for delivery. It was all in hopes of making the best decision for us. Preparing to deliver in the midst of a pandemic was not in the plans, and the MOST unforeseen plot twist! However, I have to say that through it all I’m so grateful we didn’t act out of fear.
If you’ve read any of my other birth stories, you may know that I’ve been able to have VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean) with the last two children. With this in mind we chose to stick with delivering at a hospital. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I wasn’t fully confident in switching to a home birth with a month or two left.
Our hospital birth did not disappoint, nor did it feel like a surreal sci-fi film due to health precautions. In fact it was a great experience. I know that unfortunately that isn’t everyone’s story. I knowing this, I’m extremely grateful to the entire staff and midwife that delivered our sweet girl.
38 weeks and 5 days
The weeks leading up to delivery were full of exhaustive pains and random contractions. I barely slept most nights. It didn’t help that Izaiah insisted he needed to sleep in our bed and I had terrible sciatic nerve pains the last trimester. It was a recipe for meltdowns, late night epsom salt baths, and begrudgingly completing the day. Sounds glorious I know!
My appointment at 37 weeks showed I was slightly dilating (1 – 2cm) and effacing (70%) which was unprecedented for me. Even though my OB told me to not get overly excited, she was pretty sure I would deliver before 40 weeks. The thought of early delivery made my heart leap out of my chest. To meet our girl and hopefully sleep on my stomach… you know, the little things.
So by my next appointment on Friday, I was disappointed when I hadn’t progressed much. That’s where I requested for my membranes to be “stripped.” I did this before with Titus and was in labor a day or two later. Thankfully the same thing happened this time around.
Consistent contractions…kind of
I didn’t sleep much at all Friday night and into Saturday afternoon things started picking up…
Two hours and still tracking contractions, I knew we would probably need to make our way into the hospital. Even though we’re out of our home state, we had a good plan for the boys. Even better was my mom was flying in to stay with us just a few hours after we headed to the hospital – talk about great timing!
A long night of walking
Mike kept asking me when I was ready to go. I wanted to labor as much as possible at home, but the anxiety of delivering away from family led us to head out sooner. I try my best not to go in too early, in fear I’ll be sent home.. but these things you can’t always call it confidently.
Arriving at the hospital, we had our temperatures checked and they gave us masks to wear if we were outside of our room. It was quite calm and quiet which I probably needed. Once we checked in, I hadn’t progressed much even though I lost my mucus plug. However, the staff sensed I would be delivering within the 24-48 hours.
So the RN had me walk as much as I could the majority of the night…and I mean I walked. In that time I reached out to a few friends to pray while I hoped all my laps were creating progress. And it did! When I was checked again I was 3 – 4 cm dilated and almost fully effaced. The plan became to break my water in the morning and help labor move forward.
Stall out or progress
4:30am my water was broken. My contractions increased as I expected, yet several hours later my midwife came in to say they were concerned my contractions weren’t aligning as they should. They were strong and intense, but not timely. I began to get worried.
Having VBAC’s are tricky, because your body has to truly drive the delivery. I knew what my body was capable of, but found myself doubting if I pushed too hard too soon.
With a few options on the table we chose to help labor with a slight induction (small doses of pitocin) and for me to get an epidural since I was pretty exhausted. One thing I loved about this delivery experience was the confidence that the staff had for me throughout the process. From believing I could completely deliver without any medicinal support to finding any and all options so my VBAC was safe for both of us… they eased a lot of unspoken fears.
12:00 – 12:30pm My contractions had steadied and I could feel the pressure shifting. I was able to rest in increments, not sure if I would be pushing for a long time as I’ve done with the boys. With each check in from the nurse and midwife I would ask to make sure our girl was tolerating everything well…thankfully she was.
12:45pm – 1:15ish pm Then something shifted and I could feel the need to prepare to push. At this point it hadn’t taken much pitocin to kick my contractions into gear. I was dilating quickly, and knew that she would be coming.
And that’s when I felt her head! I looked at Mike and told him to get someone, because the baby was coming. The RN came in calmly and checked me, smiling saying “yep, she’ll be here in about 5 minutes!”
Staff scurried around me as to what felt much longer than it truly was. Each person suited up, checked, cleaned, and prepped their way into baby delivery mode.
Once the midwife said when you’re ready give a push, I did just that. ONE PUSH (I imagined pooping, cause that’s what it feels like)…and she literally came out! The staff laughed and joyfully shared this was their easiest and favorite delivery. I was speechless and began crying, because she was finally here. Hello Mila!
Thankfully I didn’t tear much or have extensive pain from pushing. Though I labored for a few days, it was hands down the quickest delivery ever! She was safe and so was I… that I will never take lightly.
Not just a prayer, a new reality
This delivery holds deeply in my heart on so many levels. Yes we actually have a daughter, but it’s also the first of many lasting moments. To end our season of having more children this way feels like the best answered prayer.
For a very long time I wanted to have a daughter. Even though it didn’t seem like that would happen, I started to find joy in celebrating others who finally got their girl or even child they hoped for. In that I felt a peace in surrendering if it didn’t happen for me… and that’s probably why the joy I feel is unspeakable.
Welcome Mila Joylynne, we are beyond blessed you’re here!