And Then There Were Five…

We have made it to week one! The girls, daddy, and I are all enjoying baby HJ or “baby Joy” as MK calls her. She is such a good baby and we are adjusting well to our new routine. Babies are so precious and I am trying to soak up every moment that I can.

For those who are interested, here is our birth story. I love recollecting what happened and reflecting on the beauty of a life being born!

The last month of pregnancy was SO hard for me this time around. Not physically, but mentally. I was ready to meet this little babe! And even though I have never delivered significantly early before, there was always that hope that maybe this time I would. Well, that did not happen! I was two days late 🙂

At my last appointment with my midwife, she told me that I was 2 cm dialated and that it could be sometime that week. We made an appointment for the next week, however, to discuss induction if need be. I was wrestling with hopefulness and anxiety as I really did not want to be induced. She encouraged me to get on my hands and knees a lot to help the baby get into the right position. So, that is what I did! When my girls were napping that day, I got out my soapy water and sponges, cleared out all the furniture from the kitchen, and scrubbed that floor on all fours. I got some Braxton Hicks contractions that night, but still nothing too strong or close together.

The next morning, I decided to scrub all my baseboards! Nesting and prepping for labor all in one. I started to feel actual contractions, but they were twenty to thirty minutes apart. Again, nothing timeable. But, since they were radiating from my back, I knew labor was on its way. I took the girls to the park where we walked and explored. Still… only twenty minutes apart. When Dan got home, he said he knew it would be that night and that we needed to get to walking!

This is always fun for us. With every birth, we have walked the mall in hopes to get things moving and the next day we have had our babies! So, we dropped the girls off at grandmas, and began walking. We did a few laps around the mall, and the contractions began moving to every 15 minutes! My back began to hurt, so we picked up the girls, and dropped them off at my mom’s house just in case baby decided to come that evening.

Good thing we did! Around midnight, the contractions began picking up in intensity and were every 10-15 minutes apart. Even though they were not any closer, they were stronger and I was not able to sleep. Around 4 AM, I woke D up and said I think it’s time to go! We did not want to push it because with MK, I showed up at the hospital and was already 8 cm.

Funny part of the story: Before he went to bed, D told me, “I do not want you to push this. We need to go in sooner rather than later. Promise me you won’t push it.” I agreed and we said good night. Then, when I woke him up, I went out to the couch to work through another contraction. I go back into the bedroom to find him back to sleep!  🙂 I woke him up again and off we went!

When we arrived at the hospital I was at 5 cm and because my last labor progressed so quickly they decided to admit me. I was so excited because it meant baby was coming and because my midwife happened to be on call that day! She has delivered all of our babies, so I was praising God for His timing. Also, my sister was leaving for Haiti in two days, and I was thankful she would be able to meet baby girl.

We headed to the birthing room where we waited for things to progress. I sat on the birthing ball for a while, sat in the tub, and worked through some contractions standing up.

My midwife checked me again at about 9:45 and I was at 8 cm. We decided to break my water to get things moving. She discovered that the baby had pooped in the womb which was funny to us because M had done the same thing! This just meant that when baby was born, a team of nurses would be standing by to make sure she did not aspirate.

At this point, I was pretty tired and hungry and was surprised that this labor was taking much longer than my last one! Mentally it began to be a battle for me. I tried to let go of the fear of what was to come and the anxiety of wanting things to move faster than they were. Thankfully, at this point, the contractions were still not too intense and I was able to close my eyes and rest in between them.

After awhile, we decided to try some different positions to get baby to drop into position. I had only progressed to a 9 and things seemed to be stuck. My back labor was the most intense I had ever experienced which started to become very challenging for me. The most comfortable position I found was standing up while holding onto the bed and my sweet husband stood there and would give me counter pressure while working through a contraction and then would massage my back as I rested. He is such a blessing to me!

Eventually my midwife had me lay on my side and this is where everything seemed to change! I worked through one contraction this way and it was by far the most painful one! This is where we think the baby turned and dropped. I quickly returned to standing after this. My midwife asked me if I would like to deliver standing up, and at this point I did not want to move, so I said yes. About ten minutes later, baby girl was born! This was the coolest part of my labor. I’m thankful for the way God designed our bodies and that I was given the freedom to do what felt best at that stage. I am grateful for our midwife and how she has graciously walked us through each of our labors! (And dealt with all of my “I can’t do this! comments:) )

D and I thoroughly enjoyed those first few hours just loving on and snuggling with our baby. I love those special, private moments we get to enjoy getting to know the newest member of our family. Truth be told, we were pretty exhausted from not having slept and were also looking forward to eating and a nap!

We enjoyed every moment in that hospital. We received wonderful care from the greatest nurses, we enjoyed many cups of Starbucks coffee and the delicious treats our visitors brought us, and we cherished snuggling with our baby while resting and enjoying each other’s company before we entered the joyful chaos of life with three.

We are both so thankful for everyone that played with and watched M and MK, brought us meals, and prayed for us during our pregnancy and labor. We are so blessed to be surrounded by the community God has given us.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

haileyjoy2 hj

haileyjoy leaving mkhj mkisses outfit swaddle

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!

Psalm 139: 13-17

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