You can read Part 1 of her birth story here. Check it out first!
Emergency broadcast warning: this post is not intended for sensitive ovaries. It will contain multiple graphic images of my very sweet baby girl and may lead to ovarian explosion. I’m talking graphic images like this one:
I told you in Part 1 of Mila’s birth story how I had a specific lists of goals and prayer requests for Mila’s birth:
1. A quick labor (I was hoping for five hours or less this time).
2. But still enough time to get to the hospital, which is an hour away when there’s NO traffic.
3. A nearly pain-free delivery.
4. A faster pushing phase!
5. A quicker recovery.
Well. Be careful what you wish for!
3:00 p.m. – I have a conversation with my neighbor in which I mention that I’m pretty sure I’ll be pregnant for all eternity, because there’s no sign this baby is coming today, or ever.
3:30 p.m. – Well hello there, contraction! Out of nowhere, I have two, 6 minutes apart. I tell myself not to get too excited, calm down, and maybe get a few jobs done that I had planned to finish during early labor.
For some reason instead of doing any of those jobs, I start vacuuming… under the sofas? Because it felt very urgent at the moment. (?) And I text Andy at work to tell him that I’ve had two contractions, but still feel great. He casually takes his time tying up loose ends and starts to head home.
4:30 p.m. – Andy arrives at home. Contractions are consistently five minutes apart, but I’m trying to ignore them so I can get this laundry put away! Every time I have a contraction, I get excited because it means this baby is COMING. Contractions are still very mild, pretty similar to menstrual cramps. (TMI? Sorry. If you’re TMI-averse, this is a great stopping place.)
Our hospital is one of the few in Georgia that allow water births, and having had my first baby in the water – (which by the way, is not as gross as it sounds, I promise! In fact, it seemed cleaner than the alternative.) – I knew how much more comfortable a tub birth is and was willing to do whatever it took to get one again!
Even if it meant driving an hour away to get it.
An hour when there’s no traffic, that is, and I’m in early labor just in time for Atlanta’s rush hour traffic.
5:30 p.m. – My mom arrives at our house to take our son, Weston, so we can go to the hospital. The contractions have intensified enough that I need to stop doing critical things like vacuuming under sofas, and start focusing. I lay down on our bed and turn on my Hypnobabies relaxation CDs, then just focus on relaxing my muscles and allowing the contractions to sort of wash over me, without resisting them. I know that as soon as I start to fear a contraction and tense up, it will become painful, so I don’t fight it. I just lay there on my side, silent, eyes closed.
I also take a moment to pray for this delivery. I remind God that I’m trusting Him for this birth, that if He chooses to give me the kind of birth I’d been praying for, then the glory and the praise will be HIS alone. Because I am nothing, my preparations are nothing, without His hand in the situation.
Meanwhile, outside our bedroom, unbeknownst to me, Andy has morphed into a luggage-packing tasmanian devil: he is literally running from room to room getting our last-minute things packed for the hospital and into the car. Occasionally he stops into our room to check on me, acts casual and calm, then leaves the room and rushes around in a crazy panic.
6:00 p.m. – Knowing that we have a long drive ahead of us, I find Andy and tell him that we should expect a two-hour drive and should probably leave soon, but that I’ll probably end up laboring at the hospital a while, and I probably won’t be very dilated when we get there. He agrees, and says it’s better safe than sorry.
6:15 p.m. – We finally pull out of the driveway. Andy has set up a bed in the back of the van where I lay down, pop in my headphones and continue listening to the Hypnobabies CDs. Except for occasionally asking Andy where we are and who he just talked to on the phone, I’m silent the whole drive.
I start to feel a little nauseous. When Weston was born, I spent most of labor “yodeling in the porcelain cannon,” so this time we’re prepared. Andy has put some peppermint oil on a washcloth to help with the nausea, and every time I start to feel sick, I smell the cloth and find relief. (Did you guys know about this? Peppermint oil is like a magic upchuck cease-fire.*)
*Note to self: find another time to use the term “upchuck cease-fire.”
Andy notices the gas gauge light turn on. (I was supposed to make sure we stayed above half a tank at all times.) He makes a mental note to never trust me to take care of important things again!
During the drive, my contractions start to intensify significantly. I am actively telling myself, “This is not a ‘pain’ feeling. This is a tightening, pressure sensation.” And you know what? It makes a huge difference. I really do feel the contractions as pressure or tightening and not as pain. I welcome each one because it means my cervix is opening and I’m getting closer and closer to meeting my baby.
7:15 p.m.- After pulling some kind of miraculous traffic maneuvering, Andy has managed to get us to the hospital in only an hour! We pull in to the emergency room entrance and I walk to the counter. The guy at the desk says, “Are you in labor?” (As a 100-months-pregnant woman with a just-get-me-to-the-labor-and-delivery-room look on my face, I briefly ponder violence.)
7:20 p.m.- We arrive at labor and delivery, where our midwife is waiting. She starts to ask me questions in the middle of a contraction and I mentally “check out” and breathe through it. Normally, you’re supposed to go straight to an intake room where they check you out before they take you to the delivery room. But my midwife takes one look at me and tells them to prep the delivery room.
Once we’re in the delivery room, I see the tub is set up but not filled yet. “Can someone please start filling the tub?!” I ask.
I mean really. I am deep in the throes of labor and I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to obey my every whim and desire at this moment, but no one starts filling the tub!! WTH?!
The midwife checks me and pronounces that I am six centimeters. Mentally, I scoff. My body has been working wayyyy too hard to only be at 6 cm. I can feel that I’m in transition and this baby is coming soon. In my head, I disagree with my midwife.
I take out the headphones and ask Andy why they’re not filling the tub. He says, “Kelly honey? I don’t think you’re going to be able to get in the tub. They don’t think there’s enough time.”
This is where it gets crazy: literally TWO contractions after my midwife says I’m at 6 cm, my body starts pushing.
I actually had no part in the matter.
My body was like, “I will handle this. This baby is coming OUT.”
“I’m pushing,” I announce to the room.
“No no, don’t push yet!” Andy says. Because the kid is trained, and he knows that if you push before you reach 10 cm, it’s a bad idea because you can slow labor.
I also know this rule, but like I said, my body has decided not to check with me on this matter. It will be pushing, and it does not need my consent.
The midwife checks me again. “You’re complete!” She says.
I had literally gone from 6 cm to 10 cm in TWO contractions.
“You can push if you’re ready.” (Pssshh, I think. Try and stop me!)
7:33 p.m. – I push.
And she’s out!
Two pushes. I hardly even felt it. It was WILD. The pushing part was a CAKEWALK.
As soon as I saw there was a baby there, and she was not in my body anymore, Andy and I looked at each other and I said, “WHAT?!! What was THAT?! What WAS that?!” and we both giggled because this whole shebang had just been ridiculous.
We had been at the hospital for 18 minutes.
So to recap:
1. A quick labor: CHECK. Four hours from first contraction to a crying baby.
2. But still enough time to get to the hospital: Yeah, just barely. Afterward, Andy said: “You know, I’d been praying that God would get us to the hospital at the perfect time. If we ever do this again, I’m going to specify that whatever time God thinks is the right time for us to arrive to the hospital, I would like to ask him to please add 10 minutes to that.”
3. A nearly pain-free delivery: Checkity-check-check. I couldn’t have asked for more. I felt tightening and pressure, but minimal pain. Thank you, Jesus.
4. A faster pushing phase!: Uh, yeah. Yep.
5. A quicker recovery. So far so good! I couldn’t believe how much better I felt this time than I did after Weston’s birth.
It was a beautiful birth, kinda wild like a rollercoaster ride, but I am so thankful to God for His blessings on this story! We are crazy-in-love with Miss Mila Jane and just overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to have her in our lives.