The Story of You ( A birth story)
The Story Of You
the blessed little life
A note to my baby...
You were hoped for, prayed for and longed for just as every baby deserves to be. Your big brother made us parents and then you made us a family. On the day your brother was born I felt like I had just achieved the most amazing, significant feat in the entire world. Like I just won a gold medal for winning the olympics because I had carried and then delivered this new life into the world. And your birth was no different.
As a first time expectant mother I wanted to do everything the right way for our baby. The right way as well as what seemed to be the healthiest way. So I chose to have a natural (unmedicated- No epidural, narcotics, or C-section. This is not to make light of other types of birth just to clarify my own) birth at the hospital with my first. It was a normal, typical, and healthy pregnancy. Or at least as normal as growing another human being inside of you can be.
It was not without any difficulty as during this time in our marriage we both worked full time and commuted for work. Getting up at 430 am everyday while pregnant was not an easy task. Neither was working while pregnant. But every parent does what they have to do.
So my first pregnancy was hard in the sense of what life was at the time, but the pregnancy was not. Mostly just your typical symptoms of heartburn, swollen feet, and fatigue. No nausea, no morning sickness. Really nothing serious.
My oldest was born in about 3 hrs. He came two weeks before his due date. I worked that same day he was born. I had been dilated about 2cm a week before he was born and was 7cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital we checked in at about 3am and he was born about 6am.
I had a lot of fear about birth the first time and not a lot of knowledge but also a lot of determination. I had no midwives, or birthing ball, or any kind of help or assistance with the pain. Back labor was grueling. But after about 3 hours of active labor came transition. About 10 mins of pushing and an epsitiomy that seemed unnecessary by a Doctor who was on call, and a healthy 7lbs 9oz and 19inch baby boy was born.
I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first and 20 when I had him. Fast forward three years.
I was 23 with a 3 year old and had thyroid cancer and surgery less than 1 year after my firstborn. Life, a toddler, and autoimmune disorder had slowed me down a bit.
The story of you
the blessed little life
After having thyroid problems I was concerned about being able to get pregnant again, nurse again, and be a new mother again. I prayed for the opportunity to be home during a pregnancy and to care for a new baby as I worked full time the first two years of my oldest life.
I read and researched and experienced first hand that conceiving was much more difficult with a thyroid that was out of range. I ate healthy, took my supplements and medications, and prayed for God's timing. Last Spring- Easter weekend: I took a positive pregnancy test and cried because I had taken so many negative ones since having my first.
We were coming up on the one year anniversary of being in our new home/city for one year. I was adjusting to life in a small town as a stay at home mom. We had seen God's provision may times throughout our marriage. But during my second pregnancy we saw it in an unprecedented way.
My husband lost his job less than a week after we found out we were going to have two children. We had to apply for unemployment and health insurance. It took about 3 months but my husband got a new job and a better one. It came with a 1 hour commute but better benefits and working environment. We also had a car that we consistently paid to have fixed that continuously broke down throughout the course of my pregnancy. Many thanks to family and friends that helped us to fix it time and time again. Also thanks to family we received a new (to us) vehicle for our growing family mere weeks before baby was born.
Perhaps the most miraculous provision during this pregnancy was the gift of community and physical strength. I was nauseous and vommitting 24/7 the whole 39 1/2 weeks with my second pregnancy and ended it taking 6 different nausea prescriptions. I also gained the bare minimum of weight between 20-25 pounds.
The greatest blessing was our faith filled community and tribe of mamas. We named our second son Ezekiel which means "God strengthens". He strengthened our marriage when we almost divorced. He strengthened my body after cancer. He strengthened our hearts and lives with his goodness and faithfulness. I can't mention enough the tremendous blessing that relationships are. And the gift of friendship's that fortified us during the time awaiting our son's arrival.
The Story of you
the blessed little life
We had several false alarms before baby finally came. I started dilating at 35 weeks and having braxton hicks. I was hoping baby would come at 38 weeks like his big brother but he came just a few days before his due date. He was born on Monday morning at 9am. He was almost born at home and then almost born on the road.
The weekend of his birth we went christmas shopping at target ( I heard stressful things helped induce labor) and then we were at church and small group. Sunday night 3 mamma's prayed for me and I was in labor early Monday morning. I was up off and on throughout the night and didn't realize I was in labor until my husband was halfway to work about an hour away and the contractions were less than 5 minutes apart.
Our family aunt and uncle/next door neighbors were home that day (they both work full time). Our uncle was sick and aunt stayed home to take care of him. Thank God. Because we almost had an unplanned at home birth. When our aunt came home I was bouncing slowly/rolling back and forth on the birthing ball and my contractions were 2 minutes apart. We left my oldest with our uncle and our aunt drove me to the hospital with contractions less than 1 minute apart.
My husband met us at the hospital. As soon as I stood up from the wheel chair my water broke. I delivered in one of the check in rooms in my own clothes because there was no time for a hospital gown or delivery room. I was already 8cm when we got there at 8m and he was born at 9am. I am beyond words grateful our family next door was home that day. Also that I had the birthing ball. Labor was more excruciating the 2nd time even though I felt I had more control. We were stuck in transition almost an hour because my son was born with his hand on his head which caused tearing.
I had no I/V or oxygen. I felt and was deeply aware of everything. I once read that nothing makes ur more aware that we are alive than the presence of beauty and pain. Well both beauty and pain were present in both my son's births and I can honestly say I have never felt more alive or aware of my existence or more in the moment than when I am giving birth.
My son came when I was on my hands and knees which was much easier than pushing laying on your back. I cut the umbilical cord myself. He was 19 inches and 8lbs 12oz almost 9 pounds. He only cried for a moment and than was looking around. I had stitches and nursing after delivery was more painful than following weeks than I remember with my first.
I wish I had valuable secrets to share about labor and delivery. Fear truly is our enemy and I believe prayer is our greatest ally. You can always do your best to prepare with a birthing plan or materials ( like oils/birthing ball) but every child and entrance into the world is unique. I don't know if there's a baby#3 in the future or if there is what kind of delivery I will be able to have. But I have never felt closer to heaven or more aware of God than when holding a newborn baby.
The Story of you
the blessed little life
Each time I hold my child for the first time I feel the most overwhelming waves of love, of purpose, and of strength. For every expecting mother out there I pray she would experience Gods peace and presence. For every new mother that it gets easier. For every seasoned mother that your wisdom and experience is needed.
I am grateful for both of the painful but powerful and beautiful entrances I had into motherhood and womanhood with both of my boys. To know pain is also to know beauty and to know strength.
"There are two great days in a person life- the day we are born and the day we discover why"- William Bar Clay
The days my sons were born were two of the greatest days of my life. And the days I discovered my "why".