Miriam Joy's Arrival

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday the 11th, I was growing very discouraged. I felt pretty caught between a rock and hard place. The rock being that Gina was gone [and that I couldn't talk to her about how I was feeling, because hello! I'd choose to be in Mexico too and didn't want to make her feel bad!]. The hard place being that I was on countdown until my midwife Fern would be unavailable.

I played it cool all week, because I didn't know when to get my hopes up, but with getting stripped on Monday, I had contractions off and on all week. Unfortunately none were as exciting as the ones I had on Monday. It was so frustrating to get my hopes up . . . all for nothing. As a bus rider, I chose to drive into work Tues, Wed & Thurs, which only annoyed me more when I had to pay for parking at the end of each day when nothing happened.

I tried several natural induction methods, including the acupressure video I used with Ezra, and even a few new ones, like evening primrose oil, but was wracking my brain for the next option. Suddenly I remembered I could try bouncing on an exercise ball and quickly text my friend Sarah to see if she had one I could borrow. Within minutes she'd responded that not only did she, but that she'd drop it off for me! So, this was how I spent Thursday night.
Trying to get something going! Thank you for borrowing and quick deliver @sarahlouise_rn! #39weeks #bouncingbaby

Friday I had scheduled a 2:45pm appointment with my midwife to do another membrane strip, as she was also feeling the squeeze to have me deliver before she left. Tony kept asking me what I hoped to be dilated to Thursday night and I honestly didn't want to think about it. I'd had contractions, but knew I'd be discouraged if I was less than a 3, since I was a 2 prior to the sweep on Monday. You can imagine how annoyed I was then when he said "I hope you're an 8 and they admit you!"

Due to my appointment, I decided to work from home. Around 8:00am, I got a phone call from Fern's office letting me know that she didn't do sweeps after 10:00am, so that I'd have to come in sometime in the next two hours. I was so glad to have been working at home, because it made it super easy for me to just email my boss the schedule change and head out around 9:00am for the 9:30am appointment. As I sat down in the Jeep, I had a contraction and they continued the rest of the ride.

When I got to my appointment, the nurse excitedly told me "Fern's got a plan for you to get things going, if you're game." Not sure at all what that meant, my mind started spinning. I love Fern to death, but she's not a super crunchy midwife. She's a CNM hospital midwife, which helps rein me in a bit. I shouldn't have been so surprised when I was offered Cervadil at 39w2d, but I was none the less. Not too keen on accepting a pseudo induction, I asked to first be checked and then evaluate. While I whole heartedly wanted Gina to be able to be there, we both knew we were unsure of the emotional punch it could carry, no matter how excited she was. I still contemplate what could have happened if I hadn't been a 2, hadn't prayed about accepting the Cervadil, just hadn't made some of the choices I did, but it is what it is.

So, at 9:30 I was a 2. I was given the Cervadil at about 10:15 and checked at 10:45 to be a 3. I was texting Tony pretty fast and furious during this time and was shocked to be a 4 with bulging waters at 11:00am. Tony was still a good 40 minutes away and had to stop at home to grab our things for the hospital, so I told Fern I thought I'd go to Target just to walk around while I waited for Tony. Based on the look on her face, I knew Fern thought otherwise and she suggested I just walk down from the clinic to be admitted, as it'd likely take 45 minutes and Tony would be there by then.

Turns out, Tony wasn't too far off and I was completely unprepared! Everything was happening too fast and I was extremely emotional.

It was so hard to not set myself up mentally to expect to meet our girl in two hours, based on two carbon copy deliveries. I was a little further along with Ezra when we got to the hospital, but I was only a 4 with bulging waters with Isaac as well and he was born 2 hours after admission, just like Ezra. I've never been happier to hear Tony's voice as he came flying through the Women's Center. He sounded practically giddy and I couldn't blame him! We were soon going to meet our daughter!
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I made a birth playlist this time, but the song selections started to work against me, as they were way too emotionally charged! Like hearing Third Day's Offering, which was the song playing when we lit our unity candle.
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Things started to get pretty intense and I quickly slipped into what I remembered of the Hypnobirthing I used with Ezra. 
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Fern still had appointments in the clinic, but also thought things would quickly progress, so she hung out for a bit.
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Baby looked good and we were all excited . . . at 1:15pm.
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Oh, and this is when I should also say that while Gina couldn't make it, I did have friends set up as backups and my 2nd shooter, Mandi, who is also a doula was able to join us for all of these wonderful photos!

I labored as I did with both boys, standing and walking. I would then pause for contractions and sway. This time though, I also added leaning on the bed during contractions and just sway my hips.
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Honestly, looking back, it may have been the change that hurt me.
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Around 2:00pm my Mom, Stepdad and both boys came in. Considering that when I last said goodbye to them I had no idea that we'd be meeting their sister that day, it was very sweet!
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Unfortunately, I started to spiral a little after they left. I'd set myself up to think that she'd be born by 2:00pm at the latest and I could tell from my contractions that we were not even close. Coupled with being checked and hearing that I was only a 5 1/2, maybe a 6 and this girl was very frustrated.
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Tony, Mandi and Fern could definitely sense my frustration and set about trying to encourage me. Well established at this point that we are all born again Christians, this is when Fern asked me if it would be alright if she prayed with us. I'll always treasure that memory!
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Fern suggested that I maybe try the bath for a change of pace. Knowing that it'd do one of two things, I figured it was worth a shot! Mandi pulled out her Clary Sage to see if it could help speed things along, but unfortunately my contractions all but stopped when I got in the tub. It was nice to have a few minutes to rest, but with the end goal being pushed further away, I got out of the tub within 7 minutes.
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After standing and rocking for 3 hours and skipping lunch, I was really starting to feel it. All of my confidence from Isaac and Ezra's births completely evaporated. I was beginning to feel desperate for change. Just something had to change! My contractions weren't super intense, but I was tired and starting to get a little light headed and nauseous. I knew the nausea could be a sign of transition, but without the support of strong contractions, I knew it was due to not eating. Either Mandi or my nurse Bridget suggested I try supporting myself on the bed. I ate some almonds and Tony brought Ezra in again, but my contractions continued in their infuriating slow, mild pace.
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I knew I had to get back on my feet. No matter how tired I was, that is my position for moving baby down, and if I wanted to meet baby girl anytime soon, I needed to start swaying and rocking again.
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Fern came in and checked on us at 4:00pm and offered to break my water. As I had with pretty much everything, I wanted to be checked first. I'm not going to lie, this is definitely when I was wishing I could audible for an epidural. My strength was fading, my confidence was shot and I had no faith that I could actually deliver her anymore. When Fern checked me, she said I was a "fake 8" and ended up simultaneously breaking my water. She said I was super stretchy and could almost be complete.

I started to get really hot after my water broke and ended up taking my robe off. This was uncharted territory for me and I honestly think the look on my face below is more due to frustration than pain. With both boys my water broke with them crowning, which turned into uncontrollable pushing. I wanted nothing more than for my body to just start taking over . . . but it wasn't happening. 
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After standing and laboring for another 40 minutes after Fern last checked me and my not feeling the need to push, she asked to check me again. She found me to have a little lip and thickness and suggested that I labor on my hands and knees.
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I spent a few contractions in this position while slightly pushing and then bam, there were three contractions that were absolutely awful . . . and effective. There was no denying that she was moving down. I started moaning at this point, which turned into a bit of panic while I waited for them to get the bed back in position.

By the time the bed was flat again . . . I, uh, looked like this. Which is to say, she was coming!
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My first push essentially birthed her head, much like Ezra. But then my contractions completely stalled out. Concerned for the baby Fern asked me to help her, which is the same she asked of me for Ezra too. I recognized that I was jutting my chin to the ceiling, quickly ducked it, held my breath as everyone was reminding me to do, grabbed my legs and bore down . . . but it wasn't enough. A nurse ran into the room, and with my next push I felt 8 hands all over my body, some supporting, one yanking my leg to my ears essentially and still more pushing her down from my stomach. And then, then she was born. It was all over in 2 minutes.

She was extremely floppy and I was more concerned about her than I was Ezra, while Tony was the opposite because Miriam was trying to breathe/cry, while Ezra wasn't at first. So again, no delayed cord clamping, as they were trying to determine if they were going to whisk her away, but this is when we happily reacted to her beautiful hearty cry!
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I wonder if the shock of holding your baby for the first time is ever, well, less shocking. I don't imagine so.
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Absolutely pure bliss!
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Our cheesy girl was caked in vernix, but she scored a 9/9 on apgars!
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Tony, if you ever doubt how much I love you, feel free to refer to this picture on the left.
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It took us a few minutes to decisively choose Miriam Joy, but once we did, there was no second guessing. This was our little Miri.
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Love at first sight.
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And a Daddy who is smitten.
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Plus, can we talk about this child's hair? So much for the heartburn relation!
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She latched right away and we nursed before bringing the boys in.
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Of course we had to grab a couple of posed pictures too!
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As for the waiting room, my family pretty much owned it. There wasn't anyone else in there and my Dad was playing hide and seek with the boys!
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Bringing the boys in was pretty much the best cherry on top! Isaac was a little overwhelmed by everything going on, but he gave me the best hug and kiss.
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And just like that, we were a family of five.
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As you can tell, Miriam's birth wasn't quite as jubilant for me as Ezra's. I was frustrated and I let it get to me. It's so important that you stay focused mentally, which I didn't. How absolutely ridiculous of me to have been down about a 8 hour labor and 2 minute delivery! To boot, her's was the only delivery that let me walk away without any stitches.

Also, I should mention that within minutes of her delivery, I ended up with a migraine. I hope it's not too foretelling that she gave me a headache from birth!



23 comments:

Andrea said...

Beautiful story! And beautiful mama giving birth. Seriously, despite the frustration and pain, you are radiant in these photos. Can't believe I've been following your blog since it was just you and Tony! Now you have three adorable babes. I love them all! :)

Ashley | LifeAsAshlet.com said...

Those third babies, man! Loved the story. Congrats again, sweet friend!

Mo said...

I am due again with my 2nd in August (first was in July 2011), and this post made me absolutely gooey inside. What a beautiful family and story.

Katie said...

Ok, this is beautiful. I got teary reading it. It makes me want to birth another baby. Just lovely, and amazing. What I can't get over --- how beautiful you look! Man! I was a hot mess during labor, tried the 'shower' because there wasn't a bath, add in some sweat and ending up with almost no clothes... my pictures aren't anywhere near this level of beauty. You look so great. I hope you'll cherish this, and the birth of all your babies, for a lifetime. Seriously, you look good. You're rocking the birth! Love that you brought a nice blanket, too. That's a good idea for the birth bag.

Julia Goolia said...

Ugh, I love birth stories SO MUCH and this was beautiful, Leah. If this wasn't your best birth I'd still say it was pretty much amazing looking in from the outside. She is beautiful just like her mama.

Erin said...

Crying all over the place. You are gorgeous while giving birth - not even a ponytail? Amazing. I was a hot mess both times, I think. ;)

Like Andrea, I just love that I "knew" you before you had any kids, and now you have three! So incredible.

LOVE all the photos!!! Congrats again!!!!

The Edberg's said...

Oh man, I get chills and tears reading this! Congratulations again, such a beautiful family.

Jeannie said...

Wow... What an amazingly beautiful story! Welcome to world sweet, beautiful Miri :) And how fantastic you got these photos <3 Congratulations a million times Leah and family!!

Jennifer said...

I love your birth stories. What a beautiful family you have.

Molly said...

Tears. You look like you are in such control. I am a mama who screams and cusses during her births :)

She is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this intimate story.

Kristal said...

I was holding it together until you said "and just like that, we were a family of five" and I saw the picture of Isaac hugging you. Tears!!

This birth reminds me a lot of my Isaac's birth - the mental game, feeling defeated, not being elated afterwards. I hate that you had that with what is probably your last birth. :-/ Give yourself some time to heal from it not being "perfect" and I promise, a more difficult birth is not a sign of a more difficult child. Haha! :)

Megan said...

So many tears... such a beautiful story through and through! I am so proud of you, even if you're not to the point of being proud of yourself (yet), you did great! Not to mention you look GORGEOUS while giving birth! :)

Sarah said...

Such a beautiful birth story!

Stephanie Lutostanski said...

What a great story! I can relate to not feeling puppies and rainbows with your birth. My birth with Adam (1 month ago) did NOT go how I planned and I'm still feeling a little bitter about it. I'm sure time will give the peace, but we must know that we made the decisions we made and we can't change them! Congratulations! She's a beautiful girl!

Meggie said...

Wow! You did great and looked amazing!! Congratulations again on your precious new addition. Thanks for sharing her birth story.

Laura @ The Everyday Joys said...

Perfect! Such beautiful photos, too. Congratulations, friend!

E Hayes said...

Once again, another beautiful birth story! So happy for you! Congratulations!

Angela said...

Congratulations! She's perfect. We just had our #3, in a hospital also with a midwife. I was actually going to blog our birth story tonight as well, but I'm too tired! Hope the transition is going smoothly for you!

doddroad said...

Miriam is such a beautiful name. Your Miriam fits the name perfectly! She's absolutely lovely!

Julie S. said...

Beautiful story and photos. Love.

Linnea said...

So beautiful! You, and your precious new baby girl. Thank you for being willing to share about the joys AND the struggles - the Christian life is full of both, and the One we depend on has made us fit for both. Praise God for another beautiful addition to your family!!

Krista Groen said...

What a wonderful birthing story :) You are so blessed to be surrounded by family full of anticipation and joy to be there with you for her birth! Look forward to reading more on how your family adjusts to 3 kids, that will be our next step :)

Nancy Garero said...

The birthing process is really important for the woman who is going to be delivering his baby in the world, buts some people love to give their baby birth naturally in the natural place which can very risky for them but they will prepare them for it. So the self hypnosis MP3playing will helps the mother to give birth his baby by feeling less stress and pain.

 

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