Before I start the story of my labor and delivery I have to give some of the story leading up to that day. My due date was March 12th, I was 3 days “late” with Ava and had prepared to be late with Stella too. Well, my due date came and went without much going on. I had contractions on and off and a couple other symptoms that my body was preparing for labor but nothing consistent and nothing that lasted long. I begin to feel like I was never going to actually have this baby! I wasn’t prepared for the emotional roller coaster that comes with being overdue. I wasn’t sleeping much, was uncomfortable and had hip and joint pain often. I was just ready to have my baby! I had a sonogram when I was 41 weeks and 3 days and all was well. The sonogram gave us no reason for concern and my midwife gave us the clear to just continue and wait for the perfect day for Stella to arrive. Wednesday, March 23rd started as a normal day, Jeremy suggested we go to breakfast and seeing as I was desperate for distractions and fun things to break up our days of waiting I jumped at the chance. We had a fun breakfast out with Ava of course having no idea it would be the last time we would go out just having 1 child! I went to bible study, had a friend over in the afternoon, had a nap with Ava, took a couple of mile walk and made dinner. When we were walking I was having some good contractions but at this point every time I moved I had some contractions so I didn’t think much of it. As I was making dinner and getting Ava bathed and ready for bed I continued to have some contractions and once Jeremy was home I mentioned that to him. We watched some of a movie and I decided around 10:30 to head to bed because I was still having light contractions and wanted to get some rest in case this was it. I slept for a couple of hours and woke up around 12:45 to a contraction that was strong. I started watching the clock and realized they weren’t lasting very long but they were coming every 2-3 minutes and every one seemed a little stronger than the one before. I had a feeling that this was it! I woke Jeremy up around 1:15 and told him I thought this was it and he should probably start airing up the birth pool. I continued to lay in bed and the contractions didn’t stop. I called Donnellyn (my midwife) at 1:30 to tell her what was going on and she said she would be on her way shortly. Once I hung up with her I had Jeremy call my Mom, sister Priscilla and my friend Emily who were all planning to attend the birth. Once everyone was called and I knew Donnellyn was on her way I begin to get very nervous, I expressed to Jeremy I was scared. This was really happening and I was scared of what I knew was coming. I was excited to meet our baby but since this was my 2nd baby I knew what I would have to go through to meet her and that scared me. Jeremy and I spent some time praying and he assured me that I had done it once and I could and would do it again. I moved to the couch and was lying on the couch while Jeremy filled the birth pool and my birth team started to arrive. By about 2:30 everyone was here and I was really in labor. It was finally really happening!
This is where it starts to get fuzzy but I got my birth records from Donnellyn so I could have a better grasp on time. Donnellyn checked me once she got here before I got in the birth pool and I was just praying that I had made some progress from my last prenatal when I was 2cm. She told me I was 6-7 cm and that baby was super low at a 0 station. I was SO thrilled to have made this much progress so quickly! I got in the birth pool at 3:30am and was sure we would meet our baby before the sun came up. Getting in the pool was the biggest relief I have ever felt in labor aside from the baby coming out. My pain level dropped and I was able to relax. I can’t imagine ever not giving birth in the water after this birth. Someone put my birth playlist on and I labored in the pool with Jeremy sitting outside the pool supporting me through each contraction. I could feel the peace of God in our house and everyone was watching, praying and waiting in anticipation of what was to come. At 5am I was having very strong contractions and they didn’t seem to change. I was frustrated that I wasn’t feeling the urge to push because in my mind enough time had passed that I should have progressed more. I asked Donnellyn to check me and she said I was 9cm and assured me that baby was moving down. The baby’s heart rate was high so we decided to get me out of the water for a while. Not a fun idea! After laboring in the water getting out was about the worse part of my labor! About 5:30am I asked my midwife to break my water, something I didn’t want to do this time but I was having such strong contractions and we agreed that maybe my body just needed a jump. Once she broke my water I got back in the birth pool for a while, I was happy to have the relief of the water again. At 6:30 I had a lot of lower pain during contractions which can mean the baby is in a bad position so I again got out of the birth pool to get adjusted (my dear friend who is a midwife and a chiropractor was there to assist). Once Cindy adjusted me Donnellyn suggested some positions to help the baby get in a better position and drop down more. This was by far the hardest part of my labor. Trying different positions out of the water and having contractions that I felt were literally taking me over and at the time I felt like I couldn’t handle it. This was the point I said I couldn’t do this anymore. I didn’t feel like I was able to relax and I was getting more frustrated that I wasn’t done yet. The beginning had gone so fast and I wanted the rest to go the same way. I remember hearing Jeremy pray in my ears and seeing my Mom pray as I fought feeling like I couldn’t it anymore. I know most women get to a point in labor that they express feelings of being “done” or that they can’t do it anymore and I know that those feelings usually come when they are very close to the end. Donnellyn kept saying “your so close” and I kept responding “are you sure?”. I feel like my expressing that I was done and couldn’t do it anymore was in a way when I gave up and right about that time my body did what felt like kick into 5th gear. My body was having a baby whether I was on board or not! As I was on my hands and knees in the bathroom I suddenly felt so much pressure and my tone during contractions begin to change, my body was indeed birthing a baby! I moved back to the pool at 8am and could tell my body was pushing. I really didn’t want to push with this baby, I wanted to let my body push on its own and then join it when I couldn’t do anything but push. I tried to breathe and just relax as my body did the work. I saw from the corner of my eye my sister holding Ava and couldn’t be more grateful for the way God worked the timing out. Ava was going to get to see her baby sister enter the world. I know it didn’t mean anything to her but seeing her meant the world to me and helped fuel me to finish strong. About 8:10 I reached down and felt my babies head on my perineum. I again was in awe that I really was going to birth a baby! At that point I started pushing and at 8:22 Stella Elizabeth was born in the water. The cord was wrapped around her body several times so once Donnellyn got her untangled I brought her up to my chest and felt for the 2nd time in my life the biggest feeling of relief and joy imaginable! I was holding my baby! Jeremy brought Ava over and for the first time we were a family of 4! Once we were ready we moved to the bed and then shortly after to the bath tub to take an herbal bath with my baby. I was done! What seemed like forever was really a short 6 ½ hour labor. I can’t complain! I want to wonder why I’m the one with a baby in a bad position why after a 24 hour labor the first time my 2nd couldn’t just fly out. But just like God had me wait almost 2 weeks past my “due date” God was working in my heart during and after this labor. He has his reasons. I don’t know what they are but I know He does and I know I’m stronger because of how it happened. I couldn’t be happier or more grateful with my birth looking back. I loved my support team and the roles everyone played. Jeremy was again my rock and reminded me when I wanted to give up how strong he knew I was. He had faith when I didn’t and held me when I couldn’t hold myself. I love my story and am grateful for the opportunity to once again work with God to bring life into the world.