Four years ago I was so thrilled and thankful to experience a natural birth, my one and only natural birth. It was an indescribable experience, and at the end of it all, we were blessed with our sweet, little Lauren. It’s a little cliche, but I can’t believe it’s been four years.
Our family would not be complete without Lauren. She brings so much energy, laughter and life to our family. She has the cutest little voice, the cutest little laugh, and the cutest little smile. She is definitely the entertainer of the family, and can bring a smile to anyone’s face. She loves playing dress-up and house and anything “pretend.” And she is kind and loving to her baby brothers when she practices her mommy skills in real life. We are so thankful for this beautiful little girl!
|One month before birth|
We had our 41 week appointment with Jacque on Tuesday, January 6th. We discussed induction and she wanted us to pick a date so we could get something scheduled. She was having us decide between that Friday (the 9th) or Monday (the 12th). We had a really hard time deciding because I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to go into labor on my own, but Jorge was leaving Wednesday (the 14th) for a business trip, so it was really hard to decide. I was still really hoping that we wouldn’t need the induction date, but we had to go ahead and schedule something just in case. We finally decided on Monday. She checked my cervix at the appointment and it was about 1.5 cm and I think she said 60% effaced. I also had an NST and an u/s and everything looked great on those tests.
All day Thursday I continued to lose mucous and have bloody show and have the on again off again contractions. At around 5pm I convinced Jorge to take me to BJs because I had some things I needed to get and it wouldn’t hurt to walk around a bit. At BJs, the contractions definitely started to become more regular and were about 6-7 minutes apart. The contractions were pretty tolerable; I could still talk and walk through most of them; I only had to stop a few times and lean on the cart to get through them. We then headed to Target to get some more walking in and the contractions continued at about the same rate. So at this point the contractions had been pretty regular at 6-7 minutes apart for about 3 hours, so I called the midwife to ask at what point we should come in. She said we could come whenever we felt like it; she thought it sounded like we still had time before we needed to come in. I wasn’t even sure if I was really in labor since we had never been through it like this before, so, we decided to go home and continue timing to see if they got any closer. We went home had a light dinner (mini muffins and oatmeal for me) and continued timing the contractions. The contractions now were about 3-4 minutes apart. I still wasn’t sure about going to the hospital because I really didn’t feel that uncomfortable. I was still in good spirits and really only needed to breath and concentrate during some of the contractions; for the most part I could still talk and walk through them. I figured I wasn’t that far into labor and probably hadn’t progressed much from my appointment and I thought if we went in they might just send us home because I probably didn’t even look like I was in labor, or at least not active labor. It wasn’t long though, before I decided we should go. I just felt I would be more comfortable being at the hospital since I really didn’t know what to expect; having been induced for the first 3, this was all new territory for us. So, at around 9pm we headed for the hospital.
The midwife figured that since my bag of water was bulging that it would probably break on it’s own fairly soon, so we decided to walk a bit to see if that would help. Aunt Michelle and I walked around the unit while Jorge went and got something to eat. The contractions were still quite tolerable; I was still walking and talking through most of them and I was in a pretty good mood. I was enjoying Aunt Michelle’s company and conversation. At this point I was thinking to myself that if this is labor, it’s really not as bad as I thought it was going to be and I was hoping that the pushing part wasn’t going to be as bad as I imagined either. We would head back to the room about every 15 minutes so the nurse could check the baby. In the room, between walks, I also tried squatting to see if that would help the waters break and I also tried the birthing ball a bit. It was quite comfortable sitting on the ball and leaning over the bed, resting my head on some pillows. At that point I got out my scripture cards and read a few. After a few hours of walking (at least I think it was a few hours, I’m not quite sure) with Jorge and Aunt Michelle, I decided I wanted to try getting in the tub. Of course, we had to get the broken tub! The water kept draining out so we had to keep the water running pretty much the whole time, and the jets weren’t working either! It was still relaxing though and I probably stayed in there for about 45 minutes to an hour. I started feeling some pressure, kind of like I had to pee, so I got out of the tub and asked to be checked. The midwife said I was 7cm, 8cm with a contraction and my water was still bulging! She asked if I wanted her to break my water, but I decided to hold off because I was hoping to avoid that. Also, if there was meconium in the fluid I would have to be put on the monitor. The midwife suggested that I lay in bed for a change of position and to try and get some rest. I was fine with that because rest sounded good to me at the point. I laid in bed for about an hour and rested between contractions.
The contractions were becoming more intense and becoming painful now. During the contractions I was reciting scripture in my head and just trying my best to just relax and let my body do what it needed to do; I was imagining my cervix opening and Lauren moving down the birth canal and I was just thinking that I would be holding her soon. Jorge and Aunt Michelle were also trying to get some rest, but after an hour I made Jorge wake up because I really needed his support at this point. I was starting to feel a bit more pressure, so the midwife checked me again. I was still about the same, so she went ahead and broke my water (this was around 4am). There was meconium in the fluid, so I had to be put on the monitor. Things starting moving quickly at this point. I could actually feel her moving down the birth canal a couple times. I was really moaning through the contractions now and I was clinging very tightly onto Jorge’s shirt. I started saying “I can’t” a few times, even though I was doing it and knew I could and knew there was no other choice and I was in this until the end; I just needed to say it for some reason. I guess it just made me feel better to say it. I never once thought of getting the epidural; it just wasn’t an option for me this time around. I wasn’t giving myself that choice. Aunt Michelle and Jorge were both “cheering” me on and reminding me of what was to come – holding and nursing Lauren, and just affirming what a good job I was doing. They were both so great at remembering my list of things to say to me during labor. My back started to bother me a bit, so the midwife (Beth) put heating packs on my back and rubbed my back and applied pressure during the contractions. It was such a different, yet comforting feeling to have my caregiver there during the intense parts of labor (and delivery) and to also help to comfort me, with her actions and her words (both the midwife and nurse were also giving me affirmations on how well I was doing). I really felt nurtured by everyone in the room. My body began shaking uncontrollably, which I guess is normal at this stage, but I couldn’t decide if I should fight it or if I should just let it happen. I remember telling myself a couple times to just “pull yourself together” and I would just relax my body as best I could to stop the shakes, but they would just start up again after a minute or so.
Lauren Danielle was born on January 9th at 5:01am. She weighed 8lbs. 8oz. and was 20.5 inches long. She is perfect in every way. We thank the Lord for her and for the healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery that we experienced. I will never forget this awesome day as long as I live!! She fits right into our family! Her siblings just adore her and love on her all the time. Someone is always wanting to hold her, kiss her or hug her. We are so in love!