For five weeks prior I had been having contractions every night and lost so much sleep! Anytime I would lay down, or sit down the contractions would start and last all night long; the minute I got up and walked around they would stop. I assumed they were probably Braxton Hicks; however, they were slowly changing my cervix. At 36 weeks I began taking Evening Primrose Oil, which is supposed to make it easier to dilate as well as Red Raspberry Leaf Tea which is supposed to strengthen your uterus. We also hired an amazing Doula to help us through the labor and delivery process, we were really excited to work with her since she was also a believer and was committed to praying for me through my pregnancy and delivery.
We put together a birth plan for this pregnancy which was super new to me but fun to think about and type up. From all I had gathered most Christian women have people speak verses over them while in labor and pray over them and that helps them to get through it. For me I decided that I wanted to worship through labor. I put together a playlist of praise and worship songs and let my Doula know that while having verses spoken over me was great, I would rather praise God through the pain.
At 2:20pm that afternoon I went to my 39 week prenatal appointment with my midwife. The whole time I had been seeing the midwives (there are 4 of them) I knew that there was one in particular that I adored and would love to be in delivery with. Not only that I knew she had a large family, homeschools her children and was a Christian. Knowing that my midwife was a Christian made me more comfortable with my birth plan of praising God through the pain. Anyways, so this appointment was scheduled with one of the other midwives and for weeks I had been trying to get in with the one I had wanted to deliver with but she wasn't available. So I was super surprised to see her when she walked through the exam room door and my appointment ended up being with her after all! I expressed to her how I've tried everything natural to get this baby moving, I ended up not being much more dilated than I was the week before but was 80% effaced. She told me that I should take the "birth cocktail" and that would get things moving along for me. I was to take 2 tbsp of peanut butter with 2 tbsp of caster oil. The peanut butter would slow the oil down so that it didn't make me sick and on the toilet all night long!
At 5:00pm I took the Cocktail then sat down to eat dinner with my family. After dinner Pumpkin and I went for a walk and when I got back I noticed some things starting to change. By 8:00pm that evening I began to contract. The contractions felt different than the one's I had been having the last few weeks; however, they were stronger still when I laid down or when I sat up, but when I stood the pain wasn't as bad but I still was feeling pressure. For the next three hours we texted my Doula, and counted contractions which from the beginning was 2-3 minutes apart constantly but still I was hesitant that it wasn't real labor since it didn't hurt as badly when I stood up! So we called Nathan's mom and asked her to come over so we could go walk around walmart. The paper I had from the midwife said that if it was real labor it would get worse with walking, so that was what we needed to do. We went ahead and loaded the car before we left with our hospital stuff and while walking around getting that all in order the contractions were getting more intense. We got to walmart around 12:00am and gave my midwife a call. The one I wanted in my labor was on call that night!! She said she thought I would probably be ready to come into the hospital in about 2 more hours and to just relax and save my strength. So then I remembered that if I was in the early stages of labor I needed to get something to eat!! We got in walmart and they were waxing the floors. Nathan went and bought me one of their already made subs and we walked around walmart while I was in laboring and eating a sub! I was in complete fear that my water was going to break on their newly waxed floor!! My doula met us at walmart about 45 minutes later and walked with us, made me laugh to take my mind of things and gave suggestions on how to get through the contractions as they started to get stronger. Around 2am we went back to my house.
We sat in the living room and talked and laughed while I rocked on the birth ball between contractions (since it hurt to sit during a contraction). Then around 3:34am we decided to head to the hospital before contractions got too painful to be in the car. On the car ride I felt things start to pick up a bit and it hurt worse when Nathan would take turns so to comfort me he prayed over my stomach and then started to sing a praise song "Child of God" and I joined in, in between contractions. We arrived at the hospital around 4am and was taken directly to a room. I put on my own clothes and was examined. I was 6cm upon arrival. I was preparing to get hooked up to the IV for the first 20 minutes and then the plan was for them to unhook me; however things didn't go exactly according to the plan. I kept asking when it was going to be done because I was ready to move away from the bed and get in the tub but I don't remember getting much of an answer. As they were monitoring the baby and I was heading into 7-8cm the contractions got even more intense. My doula and midwife had me on my knees facing the back of the bed with my arms over the head of the bed. During contractions my doula had a heat pack on my back and was massaging my legs and feet (which was helping a ton).
Finally my midwife told the nurse "Go get the doctor." I realized she was talking about me and trying not to scare me but I knew there was something wrong. She explained to me that the baby's heart rate was above 200 and had been for a prolonged period of time (about 45min). She said there were several factors that could be causing that and usually it was a fever but in this case I did not have a fever. She said it was very dangerous for the baby and she wanted to doctor to come in and give us some options. At this my heart skipped a beat and I knew we were talking about a C-section. From what I know about C-sections most doctors tell you once a C-section always a C-section. And once you have one it has the potential to limit how many children you can have. I began panicking and worrying about my baby, and everyone could tell I was beginning to stress! They kept me on the IV, and added oxygen to see if it would help but it wasn't really helping. While waiting for the doctor to arrive anytime I had a break in contractions I just stared at the monitor praying her heart rate would normalize. Then all at once I felt my midwife put her hand on my back, my doula put her hand on my leg and Nathan put his hand on my stomach and it got super quiet...they were all three praying for my baby and I could feel the presence of God in the room! Within minutes her heart rate began to lower and normalize contractions became more intense and it was time to be checked again. I was now at 9cm and my bag of water was bulging so we broke the water and it was time to push.
Out of the entire labor I felt like the contractions were tolerable the entire time until it was time to push! I did not expect pushing to be that hard and that intense pain. With my other labors I had an epidural and so pushing was easy! 1-2 pushes and the babies were out! This one was harder, I actually had to work to push the baby out! It was still just a few pushes but with more effort than I had though I would have to give! When the baby finally came I was so focused on pushing that I didn't realize they had already put her on my chest! I couldn't hardly catch my breath in order to calm down and see her! I could feel her warmth and hear her cries but my mind wasn't putting the timeline together in order yet! She was beautiful though when I could finally look at her. She had tons of black hair and weighed 7lbs 5oz; the biggest baby I'd had yet.
I was so surprised at myself that I was able to get through a natural labor, I never thought I would be able to do something like that. I did think about the epidural once while pushing and wondered why in the world I wanted to do something like this. After the delivery I decided that having another baby anytime soon would probably not be in the cards right now, I would definitely need some time to allow my mind to forget the pain. But over all I could feel God's presence the entire time and that is what carried me through to the end. Knowing that God was there watching over me and my baby, knowing that God heard my cries that if it was His will for us to have more children after this baby then please do not allow me to have a C-section that will limit that. I also remembered Nathan telling me that the reason I had not had the baby yet (the week before) was because God had perfect timing and he knew every detail of how it was supposed to be and maybe if I had her earlier I wouldn't have had the midwife I wanted there. He was so right; maybe if I had her earlier my midwife would not have been there to help pray for my baby! So thankful again for God's perfect timing! Nathan was amazing as well, he was by my side the entire time (even when his back was hurting he still stood next to me and wouldn't move). He told me how great I was doing, prayed for me, sang to me, and rubbed my back when I needed him to! He was amazing!!
We are now at home after two nights in the hospital. The girls are thrilled to have a new sister and I do not see her having any alone time anytime soon!! Goobies, was the one I was worried about! I had thought since she had become so spoiled by all the girls being the baby for the last two years that she would be really jealous! She is so possessive of the baby that she will tell everyone to leave her alone and "Don't touch my baby!" She says it is HER baby!! She even cries when we take the baby from her arms or tell her she can't hold her right now. She says that the baby is "ADO ABLE" (adorable). lol
I'm so thankful for my family, God has answered my prayers for a large family, a loving Godly husband, and more love in my life than I could have ever imagined! I knew this year was our year of "Jubilee" or "Jubili" -where God was going to bless our family abundantly after 6 years of famine and long suffering. I am so overjoyed to see that those blessing have started pouring in by the bushels and I could not sing the God's praises enough for all his provision, protection and joy he has given me! I am beyond blessed!!