As previously described, labor first started on Friday, May 10th. It started around 6:30pm that night. It was clear to me that these were stronger contractions than what I had been having in the days and weeks leading up til then. I timed them after we got the boys down in bed and it was clear they were rhythmic (about 7 min apart) for over an hour. I was told to go take a soak in a bath and see what happened. Sadly for me, things lost their rhythm. So, off to bed we went. And although things were no longer rhythmic or close together , the contractions’ intensity was such that I couldn’t sleep when I got one and had to breath through it. They were not intense enough for me to wake David for support, but just intense enough to rob me of sleep. David and I were still hopeful that things would get going in the morning. Sadly, once the boys got up (about 6:30 am), everything stopped! I was SO upset and emotional about the roller coaster ride I had just been on! However, I had to remind myself that though we weren’t going to have a baby that day, I had gotten a step closer to meeting our baby girl.
After getting over the initial disappointment, I was content to get rested up. I no longer wanted to be in labor. I had had enough of a taste of labor to again remember what labor felt like. I suddenly was in no hurry to have a baby and was honestly a little frightened at the prospect.
Sunday, (Mother’s Day) I was again ready to have a baby. I decided I couldn’t handle showing up at church pregnant, AGAIN and face the gasps and astonishment of others that I was STILL pregnant. We instead enjoyed a yummy brunch at La Madeline and then I commissioned my mom and sister to join me on a labor inducing walk. We walked for about an hour during the boys’ nap time. About an hour after our walk, around 3:30 pm, I started noticing more contractions. I also started noticing that they were rhythmic. I was trying not to get too excited. By the time we left for dinner, the contractions were “breathworthy”. I was a little nervous about going out when having to breath through contractions, but I knew I was supposed to go about my business as much as possible early on, so we went on with our plans to eat at Abuelos. I wasn’t timing the contractions, but if I were guessing, I would say 5/6 minutes apart. We quickly dashed out to get the boys to bed and made arrangements for plans support from Mom and childcare from Dad. Mom had to go get everything set up for a substitute. I started having miserable sciatic pain (have never had that before…. it was TERRIBLE!!! It was so bad I would gasp and then feel paralyzed with pain. I could not walk when I would get a twinge of it. Shutter!! So Donnellyn suggested I call the chiropractor to come to our house and get an adjustment to make my labor a little easier… two things at once… no thanks! The chiro came over at about 8 pm… once she came, intensity and rhythm of contractions were lost again! I couldn’t believe it! I thought, ANOTHER false alarm! I was so bummed. I tried going up and down the stairs for two 15 intervals. To no avail. I didn’t want to waste my time. David and I let the midwife know… AGAIN, that things had seemed to stop. We watched TV for a bit, then went up for my nightly Epsom salt bath and then bed.
Contractions did not get rhythmic, but they did seem to get more intense in the bath. They lasted at least a minute long, but were 10-12 minutes apart. I thought, “Great! Another night like Friday night…. I won’t be able to sleep a wink, but will still have no baby!” I was prepared to cope in the same manner as Friday night, except I soon realized (around 11 pm) that I would NOT be able to cope without David’s support. David lovingly supported me with massage every time a contraction hit. Poor thing would doze off until the next contraction when I would either tap him or say his name. He would then jolt back into massage mode until it passed. Unlike my previous labors, this one I spent laying down. I didn’t take any walks or tackle stairs. And I gotta say, it was kind of nice that way! I’m pretty confident if I had gotten active, things would have gotten a lot closer, but I gotta say, the breaks were kind of nice! It made this stage of labor a lot more gentle.
At 2 am, I had David call my mom and come be a part of the support team. I was beginning to be pretty sure this was it, but still not completely sure this wasn’t just another “piece of my labor.” I felt bad to call my mom in case this wasn’t the baby producing day. :) But, the need for her support overtook any doubt I had. She and David worked together beautifully. My mom spent a lot of time massaging my arms and David with rolling cold soda cans back and forth on my lower back/hips, but they alternated their roles too. (He had a cooler full of ice and would alternate sodas so he could keep them cool.) It felt GREAT! I felt so cared for! My mom played one of my favorite songs over and over for me. It was simply beautiful! What a precious reminder of His presence with me along the journey of labor. I cried and cried, and cried! (Good cries!) Please click on title below to listen!
By 6 am, things were on average 6 minutes apart, but I was all over the place. Sometimes 1 min apart, sometimes 10 minutes apart. My midwife had David prepare the water in the tub and said she would get ready to come. At 7:45 am, she said she was on her way. I was still afraid she was coming too soon and was mortified of another too-soon experience. They got to our house around 8:30 am, I think.
I was very emotional (noticing a theme?) when Donnellyn came. Her presence is so calm, reassuring and motherly. I feel so tenderly cared for by her and I am SO thankful for her excellent care! Soon after her arrival, she checked me and I was at 7 cm. I was THRILLED! Because, for me, notoriously, the worst part is the beginning. The end is quick…. well… glad I thought that then…. I was excited by all the hustle and bustle around me in preparing for the birth of our little girl. It seemed so surreal that it was REALLY going to happen! This wasn’t a false alarm, this was the real deal. But there was still a part of me that thought, “wait guys, don’t get so excited, I’m not sure preparing things for the baby is a good idea.” Sounds crazy now, but I guess I was trying hard to protect myself from the disappointment (again) of it not being the right time. I got in the tub, and let me tell ya folks…. HEAVEN to a mother in labor… ..HEAVEN!!! Contractions were clearly very strong and productive while I was in there, but they were SO much more easily handled!
Well… after spending some time in the tub, I was beginning to feel some initial urges to push. Thinking she would soon be here, I was excited… however… no increase of that feeling…. My water had still not broken! (I took a lot of Vit. C this pregnancy and that’s supposed to make a strong sack… well… apparently there’s really something to that because the sack wasn’t breaking!! Apparently, the bulging sack was what caused that initial urge to push, though her head had not descended far enough yet. I asked her about breaking the water. She preferred not to. We gave it another 1 1/2 hours of trying to get contractions to come by moving around in the tub and hoping to get significant ones. At one point, David said, “Don’t worry, she’s coming!” It felt so distantly true and hard to imagine in the immediate future that I blurted out jokingly, “And so’s Jesus!” One of the apprentices laughed and the rest of the team was quiet (they probably thought I was nuts!) A few more contractions later, I BEGGED her to break the water. She said she’d check me and see what was going on and possibly break it from there. After seeing she was at a 0 positioning and was really just needing to descend (being prevented by the sack), she agreed to break it for me. WHEW!! But even still, things didn’t move as fast as I’d expected. Contractions were VERY spaced apart now. So, in order to get contractions to come, I had to stand in the pool and walk back and forth in the pool until I got a contraction. Donnellyn prayed a beautiful prayer for us and asked God to bring those contractions to bring our little girl. Mom played our song again and we waited (and cried) …. and waited. Finally things were really picking up and the urge to push finally came back and stayed! :) In about 3 contractions, that little girl was OUT! I was planning on not rushing so much and maybe sparing myself some recovery afterward… but when the time came, I wanted that girl PAST the ring of fire…. and in a HURRY!
I got so caught up in getting her out, I totally forgot I had said I would catch her. Last time the midwife pushed Andrew up toward me… I guess I was expecting the same thing this time. So when I was told to reach down and get my baby, I had no idea where she was! LOL! They had to point and tell me, “She’s down there!” (side note: I also didn’t have my contacts or glasses on… I’m nearsighted.) I scooped her up and held her in my arms! I gave her a kiss on her little chubby cheek right away and held her close! She didn’t cry right away. She made a few sweet squeaks before she got a cry out, and even then, it was a short sweet little cry. “She looks just like Nathan!” was my first exclamation. It was very surreal to me! My mind couldn’t wrap around the fact that she was ACTUALLY here!! I took her in and checked her out! Our sweet little Deanna Rose was born!!
**Funny side note** We had had a little bit of a hesitation from the sonographer when she was checking gender as a finger or toe suddenly appeared in” just the right spot”, then disappeared during the sonogram. So…. there was a shadow of doubt in my mind that she could be a boy. So when I checked to confirm she was a girl, I was a bit panicked that we had a very small little boy and became relieved to learn we had a swollen little girl! Whew! LOL… this whole girl thing is new!
We are so thankful for the miracle of each our little one’s births. We have our little D, our N, and our A. Deanna’s birth brings closure for me on the pregnancy/labor/delivery experience. We are so happy with our little ones!!
Although we did think of one more name, should we use it, it would be through adoption. God will lead us in that direction if he has a little one that’s meant to be a part of our family.
So thankful for His beautiful presence through every moment of every pregnancy, every labor, and every delivery. We are beyond thankful and so happy!