Today I want to share with you the birth story of my beautiful daughter, Lillian Melody. She turned one year old on June 24! What a big girl!
As the weeks and days counted down to my due date, I would often try to predict the time and location that my labor would begin…and the twists and turns it would take. I had NO idea what to expect, but began to feel the sense of anticipation and excitement build as the days drew near.
I’ll start with a disclaimer: Every birth experience is different. My son’s and daughter’s were dramatically different from start to finish. From woman to woman, and child to child, the stories of labor and birth differ, and that’s what makes them uniquely yours.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017, I awoke around 7 am for a little intimate time with my Babes.
At 7:30 am I went for a run. More like a jog/waddle, but I was out exercising. At the end of my route, I began walking to cool down and noticed some pressure down in my female part. I thought to myself, “Man I must have pushed it too hard this morning.”
As I began contemplating the road trip my Babes would leave on for work in just a few days. I prayed, “Lord, I really DON’T want to have this baby without Derek present. If you want Lillian to come early, let her come BEFORE he leaves for the trip. But I would really prefer she come AFTER so he can get some overtime mola. Ok, thanks.”
Around 9:30 we headed to my parents’ house. Derek was going to help clean out my grandparents’ home while I swam at the pool with Aiden, Mimi, and Papa. On the drive there, I began listening to “Childbirth in the Glory.” I just kept feeling this pressure downstairs, but I was in total denial that the labor process had begun.
We arrived at my parent’s house, and all I could seem to do was lay on the couch. I was tired, and kept wondering, “What is going on?” Haha.
Around 11:00 I decided to download an app to track these possible contractions. Sure enough, five minutes apart they were coming steadily. I called Derek and let him know, I might be in labor.
When my sister came inside to see how I was doing, I told her, “I think I’m in labor.” “Ummm, yeah, I could have told you that!” she said.
My mom had told me earlier that I was going to have the baby that day, but it wasn’t in my timeline so I told her, “The baby can’t come until after the trip. Derek leaves Monday!”
At this point I realized I needed to surrender my itinerary to the Lord and call the midwife to check in.
The midwife said to keep tracking the contractions, rest, eat, and drink LOTS of fluids. This could take awhile.
One of the main reasons for my denial and confusion was because my water hadn’t broken yet. That was the first thing to get my labor going with Aiden. Why didn’t that happen this time? I expected the chain of events to happen in the same order. They didn’t.
We left Aiden at my parents and headed home. I began to get in the zone, drifting in and out of sleep to cope with the contractions as I meditated on the prayers and scripture playing from the soundtrack on my phone.
When we arrived at home, I decided to shower, wash my hair, and shave my legs. Looking back, I don’t know HOW I did this while having contractions, but I wanted to do all of these things before having a baby because I wasn’t sure when another shower would happen after I gave birth.
I ate snacks, and sipped on water and coconut water. I allowed myself to completely be present when I wasn’t dozing in between contractions. Derek helped fuel me and encourage me. (He even scrubbed the shower clean and straightened the house for the midwives…and for this Mama’s peace of mind.) 🙂
Time went by. Labor progressed.
Derek contacted the midwife again around 6:45 pm. My contractions were lasting a minute each, and coming every 3-4 minutes at moderate intensity.
When my Babes hung up, I said, “Let’s agree Lillian is here before 9:00 pm, because I’m tired!” Note, I’d been in labor for about 11 hours at this point, which is completely normal!
7:38 pm the Midwife arrived.
7:55 pm my water finally broke, on the toilet. I felt such relief after this happened!
In the back of my mind I was slightly worried about the birthing pool being set up and how in the WORLD was I going to get off the bed, into the next room, and into the tub while in active labor?
At 8:26 pm, with chucks pads covering my bed, I got down on all fours and assumed the position I would give birth to Lillian in.
At 8:52 pm I felt the urge to push.
9:04 pm Lillian’s head began to be visible.
9:08 Lillian’s head came out.
9:09:49 I gave one last big push with the contraction and pushed her shoulders and body out into the eager hands of Daddy.
Lillian was quickly handed off to me and we began our skin to skin contact. I stood on my knees for a few minutes kissing Lil and Daddy and was in awe. Eventually I went into reclining position. Lil’s Apgar scores were 8 one minute after birth and 10 five minutes after. She was such a little cheezer! Being born at 36.5 weeks she arrived still covered with vernix.
Sixteen minutes after she was born, Daddy cut the cord. I had a slight tear, and was administered a few sutures.
Whew! Writing this out and reviewing the labor flow sheet has me reliving Lil’s birth. I rewatch her birth video often, because I am just SO amazed at the miraculous experience it was.
As I hinted at above, I had to surrender my expectations. I didn’t give birth in the tub like I originally planned, nor did Lil come closer to her due date as I was anticipating. Being able to let go in the labor process was crucial for me to be able to focus and progress.
Lillian Melody was 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and 19.5 inches long at birth.
Lillian Melody means beautiful/pure song. She is a beauty and pure joy!
What things amazed or surprised you about your birth story, Mama?