Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Birth Story {Part 1}

We all know a birth story begins well before labor :)  And since I'm still processing all the details, I just couldn't jump right into the actual labor and delivery part....and that made for one long blogpost. So here is the first installment:

After several days of start and stop contractions that resembled early labor but then piddled out, I was pretty sure the baby was in a posterior position. In the evenings, contractions would begin around 6pm and grow closer together, coming as much as five minutes apart, then taper off and finally quit altogether. Those were long nights. And yet it rang so familiar with the pregnancy and birth of my other posterior baby (Stephen, #5) that I figured Baby’s position change was probably what we were waiting for.  Meanwhile, she was gaining weight each day and making it harder to turn her body. She was running out of room.

On Monday I was 40 weeks + 2 days and I had a regular prenatal appointment. I was so worn out with traveling the 80 miles for the weekly appointments. I always feel that way at the end and have to remind myself again why we choose to travel out of town to have babies. I hated leaving the other kids for what always ended up being a longer day than I intended. But at this appointment I intended to talk to my midwife about the safety of some gentle induction herbs, as well as my question of the baby’s position. At the appointment she did an exam and said she did not recommend any herbs to hasten delivery because the baby was so high. This being a primary VBAC, neither of us wanted to do anything that might hurt me in the delivery.

She did, however, sweep my membranes and cautioned me that doing so could cause lots of contractions that may or may not bring about real labor.

We left and stayed in the city awhile just in case labor was indeed started by the membrane sweep, though I wasn’t very hopeful. My daughter Savannah had been attending the last appointments with Kevin and I. As she and I were window shopping, some contractions hit me pretty hard, and along with some other more graphic symptoms, I went back to the birth center for another check even though the office had just closed. Maybe this was it!

No labor.

Because of embarrassment and too much estrogen I became a little tearful, to which my beloved wisely pulled into the parking lot of the Olive Garden Restaurant. I don’t care who you are bread sticks will cheer you up. When we left the restaurant a stranger had already paid for our bill. It always amazes me how the Lord cares for us in the most loving and unexpected ways. That little kindness from a stranger was a hug straight from the Lord.

Meanwhile, the contractions were still coming and hurting. We thought about staying the night in the city just to be sure something wasn’t about to happen. But I knew I would rest better if I could lay my eyeballs on the other kids, put them to bed myself and lay my head on my own pillow.

So we drove back home.

I took ibuprofen for those annoying contractions that just would. not. stop. And after about 3am they stopped waking me.

The next morning the contractions were back and they were different. They came about every 10 minutes and hurt more. But instead of lasting 30-45 seconds, they only lasted 10-15 (for any who don't know, a good, "real labor" contraction will last over a minute, so 10 seconds barely counts.)  I figured it was still due to the membrane sweep, that I was starting to regret as something that did nothing but cross me over from uncomfortable to sheer misery.

Throughout the day friends and family texted for updates:  "Nothing." I would reply. We did our usual. I did schoolwork with Stephen (7) and Sarah Grace (9). Made a list and my oldest daughters went to the grocery store. (I asked them to pick up a fresh pineapple. I had read fresh pineapple would start labor if you ate about 20 of them so I wanted to get started.)

Also, Kevin was home and working on one of the bathrooms in our house that is still unfinished. And around 4pm I was standing talking to him about the importance of bathroom faucets matching the bathroom light (because these are things of eternal significance) when I felt a contraction that was hard enough and long enough to leave me hopeful. (But not hopeful enough to declare that I was hopeful. Got it?)

Then I read a book about cobras to the little boys and had a few more, increasingly serious, contractions:

Why would a person want to be a snake charmer, Mama?
Where is India, Mama?
Why can’t we go there, Mama?
Can we read this again, Mama?

Sigh…Love me some boys

At 6pm I was cutting up my pineapple to eat with supper and had a loooong, hurting contraction. Finally, the right combination. Kept quiet about it though. Throughout supper I had a few more like that. That’s it. I was officially hopeful.

Then I walked outside with the kids and felt a big gush of fluid. Um yep…it’s definitely time.

  Now available: You can read part two here.


  1. cant wait for part 2! congratulations on your beautiful new addition! luv her name! :)

  2. I simply love birth stories, and I've waited with anticipation to read yours!

    I'm looking forward to reading the rest!

  3. Tears of happiness for you congratulations!

  4. I'm so excited to hear more!! Our sixth is due in August, and it is always so encouraging to hear of others birth experiences. I've been reading your blog for a while now. SO blessed by your wisdom and love for the Lord. I'm rejoicing with you and your family at the birth of this sweet little girl. Isn't our Father in heaven so, so good? :)

  5. Oh, the suspense! I can't wait to hear the rest! Congratulations on the birth of your sweet little girl! I was getting my hair done today and was telling the hairdresser about your testimony of the reversal and how beautiful your family is! God is SO GOOD!!

  6. It's neat to hear all the details. Births are just so different. You know what to expect but at the same time, you don't. Bless your husband's heart for taking you to Olive Garden. I had a mini tearful meltdown on the phone yesterday because I hadn't eaten and my husband, who had picked up something for himself since he was out, came right home and gave it to me because feeding a crying pregnant women is ALWAYS a good idea. Period. :)

  7. Cliff-hanger!! You should write books Bambi!! I love to read your writings, and especially birth stories, so can't wait for the rest! Congratulations on your newest little blessing. Love her name...absolutely beautiful.

  8. Congratulations! Can't wait to hear the rest of your VBAC story! I'm attempting mine in 10 or so weeks! :)

  9. Awww Bambi, that's not even RIGHT! Just leave us hanging like that! Not fair.

    I can't wait to read the rest! :)))))

    Love ya,


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