On Friday, March 16th, I came home from work and told Brandon “I may be completely wrong, but I have a feeling Emma is going to come early.” I have no idea if that was true intuition or just me being done. But, she ended up coming the very next Wednesday, a week early!
I woke up at around 6:30am on Tuesday, March 20th, to a mild contraction. I thought to myself “hmm, is this a contraction?” and checked the time. About 15 minutes later, I felt another one. And again 15 minutes after that. I decided to go ahead and get ready for work, thinking these are just practice contractions and they’ll probably go away. Then I went to straighten my hair and had to stop so I decided to stay home. They were pretty sporadic all day, coming anywhere between 20 minutes apart and 10 minutes apart. Our midwife, Toni, had us come in at 5:30 to check on things. There wasn’t a whole lot going on! I was only 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. It was most likely pre labor and I was instructed to go home, eat some dinner, and take a Benadryl and GO TO SLEEP, lol. So, that’s what we did! The contractions remained sporadic and we went to lie down at about 8:15. I dozed on and off until 10:30 when the contractions started getting a little stronger. Brandon was staying in contact with Toni and we decided to head to the birth center at 2:30am.
I got checked and had dilated a mere 2 cm since 5:30pm, lol. I continued to labor at the birth center and it seemed like things were getting pretty serious! I got in the tub at some point and that helped ease some of the contractions. Emma’s heart rate dipped a little during a contraction so I had to get out of the tub. I’m pretty sure I was coming into transition because I was starting to think “I can’t do this!” In my birth room, there’s a scarf thing (I don’t know the proper name lol) that hangs from the ceiling. I was told to grab it up high with my hands and kinda hang from it, with my knees bent, to help bring my cervix down. It hurt like so badly! I remember feeling so done at that moment. Feeling like there’s no possible way I can finish this. Why am I doing this?! Just take me to the hospital and get this baby out of me; I don’t even care how! I CAN’T DO THIS! Of course, most of these thoughts never made it out of my head and to my mouth. I was too busy trying to breathe during contractions and only moans were coming out of my mouth at that point. They had me get on the bed and Toni checked me. I think I was at 9cm at that point and it was maybe 6:00ish am. (It’s all a bit of a blur by now.) Toni went ahead and broke my water. I was feeling a lot of pressure because Emma was pretty low. I started pushing during my contractions while Toni tried helping bring my cervix down to allow Emma under my pubic bone. Everyone was so encouraging! Brandon was at my side, and I had Toni, Shalynn, and Julia all in front of me. They told me how great I was pushing and were praying during each contraction that God would help bring Emma into the world. (Funny side story that I found out about later - I had to keep asking them to turn on the ceiling fan because I kept getting warm [It was only 40ish degrees outside lol] and Brandon told me that Toni said "It's like the arctic in here!" Lol but I was so hot!!) I heard Toni tell Brandon she could see Emma’s head and Brandon was amazed. I was in my own world. Once her head emerged, I just wanted to finish! That ring of fire was brutal!! I just kept saying “it burns! It burns!” in between contractions. I think Shalynn said “it’s supposed to, it’s your perineum making room for sweet baby” in the calmest and sweetest voice. They kept telling me I was doing a great job pushing. After her head was all the way out, Toni said we were going to use the next contraction to get Emma all the out. I never worked so hard in my life! I wanted that baby out!! And in a gush, out she came!! They laid her messy self on my chest and it was absolutely amazing the surge of emotions I felt. I did it! I got my baby here! She’s here! And I did it all with my body! It all seems like a dream at this point. It was the hardest thing I have EVER done and I’ve never felt more accomplished in my life. I had a goal and I CRUSHED it. I was able to get up barely an hour after she was born and I continued to feel great throughout the day. Such a different experience than my previous c-section with Eli! Emma was born at 7:27am weighing 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches long. I had VERY minimal tearing that was allowed to heal on its own without any stitches. We went home at about 3:30 that afternoon. I have been successful in breastfeeding (not without my fair share of challenges) and I'm so thankful to God that I finally get to experience that bond. God has been so, so good to us.
Thanks for reading!! And thank you so much for everything you taught us 7 years ago and also for refreshing us! You rock!!