April 22nd, 2018 10:00pm- the moment our lives were forever changed.
This amazing & beautiful creation came into this world 9lbs and 6oz and 22.5in long. I was in labor for about 40 hours and yet the moment we met, I instantly forgot about the pain and struggle it took because I was so thankful to finally have her in my arms. She exceeded all my wildest dreams and she continues to make my heart burst with affection and love. I am still in awe of the miracle that is miss Eden.
Let's rewind a little bit in order to get the full story of how we finally got to meet! Going into labor, I had high hopes of doing a water birth but the only restriction was that I couldn't go beyond 41 weeks. Eden was quite comfortable in there so we didn't quite make it before the 41 week mark, so we had to adjust our strategy a bit. I still planned to do an unmedicated birth and the birthing center we chose has huge tubs in each room. So either way we'd still get to use a tub in the process.
On Friday night before Eden was born, Steve and I went out with some friends to an arcade and had a great time. When we got home, we headed straight to bed at about 12:30. Right when I laid my head down on my pillow, I felt a contraction that I knew was different. Steve had already dosed off, so I decided to get into the bath and see if the contractions would continue and strengthen. The contractions picked up but I still didn't wake up Steve. I wanted him to rest before things got really intense. At about 6am, Steve finally woke to find me in labor and decided to call my doula Kayla to come over. I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible before heading to the hospital.
Unfortunately things started to slow down and I was getting very tired. We tried to get things moving again by walking around, playing games, and attempting to nap in between contractions. By about 8pm Saturday night, things had picked back up and we decided it was time to head to the hospital! The midwife working that night was helping a delivery when we arrived, so we had to wait until about 10pm to get checked. When we finally were able to see the midwife, she gave me the worst news: I was only 1 cm dilated!?!
I. WAS. CRUSHED.
I completely broke down in defeat/exhaustion. I felt like the whole day had been wasted. The thought of going home and laboring through another sleepless night was just too much to fathom. I just wanted to meet my baby!
Luckily the midwife decided to keep me at the hospital and give me some morphine to help me rest. The morphine didn't make the contractions stop, but it helped me to rest in between. At 7am the midwife came in to check on my progress and was shocked to find out that I was 6cm dilated! HALLELUJAH! I couldn't believe that things had turned back around so quickly. It was finally game time and I was so ready to get this baby out!
Kayla, Steve and I practiced different coping positions and techniques to help baby girl move down. I spent a long time in the tub and that was definitely the best way for me to relax. A few hours passed and we had made it to 7 cm. Progress was happening but slowly. Exhaustion started kicking back in and the two days of not sleeping was weakening my mental strength. Also, I started experiencing back labor and began to feel myself resisting the pain and tensing up during each contraction. So of course, labor stopped progressing and it was time to talk about our options. The midwife suggested 3 things:
- Break my water-which would help baby progress but would intensify labor
- Get an epidural- which would allow me to have some rest but mean that I would be confined to the bed for the rest of labor
- Get a pitocin induction- which could put stress on the baby and also intensify labor
Steve and I prayed about it and both felt like the best option would be to get the epidural and then break my water. My exhaustion was overpowering me and I needed some relief. The epidural ended up working in the best possible way. I was able to sleep for a couple hours which was super helpful. It also didn't completely numb me from feeling the contractions but took the edge off the pain so it was manageable. After a few more hours we were finally able to get up to 9cm!
Around 8:30pm, I began feeling insane pressure and the need to push. So we had the midwife come in and help me do some practice pushes to get Eden to 10cm. With Steve holding one leg and Kayla holding the other leg, I pushed until I was fully dilated. Baby girl was finally able to drop down and I was ready to get her out! The midwife told me that it could take anywhere from 1-3 hours to push her out, but I knew there was no way I was going to wait that long. So with each contraction I pushed with everything I had left in me. The nurse and midwife were shocked at how determined I was and were not expecting things to happen so quickly. But I managed to push her out in just 30 minutes and it was the most insane feeling in the entire world. I doesn't seem like it should even be possible but the reward is unimaginable. Like I just finished a marathon! I will never forget the feeling of holding her and seeing her for the first time. I had no idea she was going to be so big! She was absolutely perfect and I am so thankful to have a big healthy beautiful baby girl.
Becoming a mother is something I would have never thought would make me feel so full. I am overflowing with love and compassion like I have never known. It has made me step outside myself and evaluate all the things I thought were important. I honestly thought I knew a lot of things about labor, babies, and motherhood but now that I'm experiencing it, I realize that I still don't know very much at all. I didn't know what I didn't know, but thank God there is grace. There is so much to learn and the less expectations I have for it, the easier it will be to adjust and deepen my understanding. I am so completely undeserving of the grace that motherhood brings but I am going to do my very best to try and love this little one like she deserves. She is the best gift we have ever received and we are so lucky to be her mom and dad.