1. This isn’t the most appropriate forum for this story. But there was no way I was going to make an entire separate family blog in hopes I would keep up with that.
2. All times (if there are any) are relative. If it wasn’t my birthday and a national holiday (which is now Lillian’s birthday), the dates would probably be wrong too.
3. This is super long. Skim or read word for word, your call.
This is how our sweet Lillian arrived into the world. It wasn’t what was expected but it is the perfect story.
July 2nd 2013.
I was 40 weeks, 5 days and it was my birthday. That last thing I was expecting was to still be pregnant. I headed out for some acupuncture from a kind older Chinese man, who after explaining my concern and had already seen my pregnant self two days earlier said, “Oh, oh, yes. Baby out.”
“Yes, kind older acupuncturist man. That is my goal.”
Josh kindly sat in the room and watched his wife get stuck with needles, thoroughly enjoy it while trying to relax. I love acupuncture.
(Perhaps it was the Chinese medicine food combo that set labor off? Or maybe that I was 40 ½ weeks pregnant?…I’m gonna go with the Chinse combo)
That night we went to dinner with my mom and ate some delicious Chinese food. We went home and during community group, I felt off. Once our friends left, I decided to hang out on the exercise ball. I thought maybe, just maybe, I might be able to time this slight pain I was having so we did. Every 10-15 minutes. But I was probably just imagining it.
I texted my doctor (that’s right, texted. She happened to go out of town at the last minute and was still amazing…we’ll you will see) and she told me to take a little bit of Tylenol and to get some sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
July 3rd, 2013
I woke up after sleeping about 6 hours or so. In hindsight, Josh should have taken something as well, he was constantly waking up to check on me.
Up until 2:00, we hung out in the living room. I pretty much spent the entire morning either on the ball or walking laps around our bottom floor while Josh timed contractions.
(Side story: Do NOT send your husband off somewhere while you are in labor. We had something that needed to be picked up at the post office. He didn’t want to go, however, I said I will only be trying to take a nap, nothing exciting will happen. Just go, it will take you an hour max. Well he wasn’t home after what I assumed was an ample amount of time and after multiple texts and calls, my overly tired, hormonal, laboring mind assumed the worst and broke down in tears. About two minutes later, he walked in the door to a sobbing wife in labor. No bueno.)
All day long Josh had been suggesting we head in to the hospital. I had convinced myself, I wasn’t truly in labor and that we would drive 45 minutes to be told I had infamous Braxton hicks…or a cold…and to go home. So I refused. Plus I had been at 3 centimeters for the last year of my life (or three weeks, whatever) so what could possibly change?
(At this point, I was positive people were getting pregnant on my birthday and still having their child before me.)
Around 2:30ish, I texted my doctor to let her know I was maybe, potentially, thinking and considering going to the hospital. She asked what my pain was like.
So we headed in. Let me tell you what weird mix of emotions it was heading out of our house for the last time without a child. Knowing that when we came back all would be so different, but not knowing how.
I don’t remember the drive to the hospital very well, I do remember holding onto that handle above the window and pulling myself up during contractions to relieve pressure.
We arrived at the hospital and I was 4 centimeters! Praise Jesus! The past however many hours were not for nothing! We were admitted and got into our own spacious room.
Our nurse, Kay, got the Jacuzzi tub ready and had me get over the whole modesty issue really quick by giving me a nice slap on the booty! I knew we were going to be friends after that. The baby’s heart rate looked great so I hopped, or hobbled, to get right in the tub.
I got out my fancy Victoria Secret bikini top because why not? And got into the tub with jets. The next 45 minutes was the best, most awesome part of labor ever. It was almost pitch black, josh held my hand, and we listened to music. Mostly Josh Garrels, an amazeballs Christian artist. If you don’t know his music, you should.
Here is one song that was on my playlist. So good.
After getting out of the tub, I was checked and I was 6 centimeters! She was still at a -2 station which was a little concerning…but still…what the what?! Josh and I literally high fived. This was so awesome. We were gonna have this baby tonight!
We decided to try walking now. I was maybe half a foot outside of the door before I felt another contraction coming and for whatever reason, I did not want to be in a common area during one so I somewhat quickly waddled my way back in. Plus, my water had yet to break and surely that had never happened in the birthing suites hallway (enter sarcasm) and there was no way I could be the first.
Contractions were getting pretty painful at this point. I wanted to lay over an exercise ball but the idea of getting down and having my knees on the hardwood floor (I could barely stand the carpet at home) was too much. It really is crazy how your body just knows what to do. I was leaning over the bed rocking back and forth at this point. I was gripping the sheets and remember asking “So about that epidural. If I did want one, when would be the right time to ask?” I have to say it was mentioned at the very beginning when we got admitted to the room but after that it wasn’t talked about until I brought it up. They were so wonderful about checking in on us, but also letting me do my labor thing.
Within 15 minutes, the anesthesiologist was in my room. I was hesitant, and obviously nervous, but some pain free sleep sounded wonderful. Plus, heck, I was already 6 centimeters. Nobody could stop me now!
I’ve talked to many people who have said once they got the epidural, the mood of the room completely changed from tense to relaxed and how they fully enjoyed the rest of the time. I think it was a bit of the opposite for me. I was able to laugh and crack jokes in between contractions and once I got the epidural, I got fairly anxious. I don’t like the idea of not feeling part of my body and not being in control of it (maybe why the idea of getting drunk has never been appealing to me??). Shortly after I got the epidural, my water broke. Well that was awesome timing.
One hour passed and I was at 7 centimeters! Oh yay, the sleep did me some good. Then a few more hours passed and I was still a 7. Uh-oh. Well let’s just switch positions so we did that. After awhile they recommended Pitocin. I said no, I would like to stick it out longer. After a couple more hours of no more progress, I agreed to the smallest amount of Pitocin available. This was the second time in labor that I cried.
Here is a text I got around epidural time
How encouraging?? It was probably sometime in the middle of the night and she continued to check on me the entire time. Really, she probably got less sleep than me. We continued to switch positions the best we could without getting the baby’s heart rate up.
The Pitocin did kick up my contractions (I hated knowing that they were super intense and that I had no idea, I think it’s super freaky) but baby girl refused to move down.
July 4th 2013
7am came and the nurses switched and we got Kay back! I automatically felt ten times better. She checked me and yet again, I was a dang 7 and still -2. The on call doctor came in to check me and attempted to push the baby down to where she needed to be in the birth canal. She kindly and gently explained that when she checks and a baby is still high, she can usually push the baby down to where she needs to be (a 0 or +1). However, my baby wasn’t budging. That had been a concern of mine with the last few weeks of pregnancy as I had heard babies will begin to move down and little L just wasn’t doing that. She went on to say that a c-section was becoming more of a “when” situation and not an “if” situation. And for the third time, tears started rolling. Out of frustration, exhaustion, and I also think a little bit of relief. I had fought a good fight and it was now time to meet our baby.
Kay and Dr. Moon sat by my bed and slowly went through all the steps of what would happen and when. They patiently answered all of our questions. Shortly after that it was game time. This obviously wasn’t their first rodeo and seeing the staff joke around with each other put me somewhat at ease. What freaked me out the most was that I would potentially feel nauseous and vomit. Bah. I hate that. I’m 25 years old and I still cry when I throw up.
Once in the operating room, Doug (I think that was his name) the anesthesiologist came in and sat next to me. He told me (probably two or three times) what sensations I would feel and that he would tell me when I would feel them. Shortly after, Josh came in and sat next to me. Within seconds, we heard gurgling (so weird), there was a moment of intense pressure on my stomach (pushing her out) and then their was a nice healthy cry! Doug said “Woah, that’s a chunky monkey” That was the last of the hilarious names our baby was called before we met her. Josh cut the cord and brought her over to me. She was so precious and I was so relieved that after 41 weeks we finally got to meet her. My goodness! Did she have a lot of hair and was SO much bigger than I had ever imagined. I gave her some kisses and tried to soak in the “surrealness” of it all. Josh left with her shortly after.
While they were finishing, Doug showed me photos of his kids and just chatted with me. I said thank you to everyone in the room for delivering my baby safely and I was told that many people get angry and start cussing! (What?! These people have your insides on the outside, have just brought your baby into the world and you are going to get mad at them? Blew my mind.)
Then I got to go meet our baby girl. We decided on her name, Lillian Grace, and just enjoyed time with her for an hour or so before we let the world know.
Overall, I am proud of myself. For changing doctors at 35 weeks to an awesome OB who I trusted completely, and although was out of town, saw me through the entire labor. For carrying a child for 41 weeks, pregnancy is hard peeps. For getting to 6 centimeters with no epidural…holler! I totally have a new respect for my body! There was no way I thought my small frame would carry a baby to term…let alone a week past! And carry that full term baby on a 3-mile walk in 100+ degree heat at midnight to try to induce labor? I just signed up for a half marathon because although I have never run longer than 1.5 miles in my life, my body is capable of way more than I know. So, why not, right? (Bahaha, remind me of this when I’m running in January and want to literally chop off my legs.)
Getting to know sweet baby Lillian has made those 41 weeks, 30+ hours of labor, and a cesarean section more than worth it. She has made this crazy and insanely long adventure become a sweet story that we will always view as that (as opposed to a hellish nightmare that many labor stories are made out to be). Lillian is by far the best gift that God has given us and we are incredibly blessed to be called her parents.