I can hardly believe that its been a month already. One whole month since our family was blessed with the arrival of our beautiful 5th baby. You think by the 5th pregnancy, labour and delivery- that you would know exactly what was happening with your body. That you would really "know" when you were in labour and that labour would get easier. That is a misconception! Every delivery has been somewhat different and you can't just go in and expect everything to be like the ones before.
I can't really remember how we decided or where the idea came from but for this pregnancy I really wanted it to be photographed. I wanted someone to capture what it is like to go through the process of a natural birth and I really wanted to capture how amazing my husband is as a birth coach. No seriously next to the Lord, he is the one who gets me through every contractions, reminds how brave and strong I am and helps me focus on our goal...meting our beautiful blessing!!
How luck am I that one of my bestest friends is an amazing photographer (Mason Photography) and how thrilled she was when I talked to her about coming with me in the delivery room. We assured her that my last 3 labours/deliveries were all pretty much the same. I go to the hospital around 6 cm dilated, labour about 2-3 hours in hospital and push for 20 minutes. Pretty straight forward. Even when Micah and I have chatted with some couples about natural birthing techniques we use, we didn't have a mind set for things going different.
I have learned (after this time around) that my body likes to take a full week to get ready to go into full labour. So the week before I didn't feel so great and was having lots of false contractions. Our Friday night date night finally came as we sat back watching TV the contractions where coming a little stronger. Micah was getting a little suspicious that something was happening but it was 10:30 I was tired and in no mood to go into labour. I told him I am going to bed to sleep, if they don't stop we will know it is the real thing. He wasn't sure so he called a few people to have things in place "just in case". Eight house later I woke up from a great night sleep (unusual to have when you are 9 months pregnant) and ready to start our busy Saturday. I continued to have contractions all day long an am very thankful for nursing friends who I kept texting ;) By that evening things we getting stronger so we sent the kids to Nanny's house and my mom came up we were ready to have a baby!
We hung out at home timing contractions (using this app) until I felt it was time to go to the hospital around 9:00pm.
I thought this is great I can have this baby in the next few hours and maybe get some sleep. So there we were all settled into our birthing suite. My mom with her knitting, my mother in law with a book and Lynnette with her camera and laptop for working.
Micah and I zoned out like there was no one else in the room with us and started to get to work...that is what I think labour is. It is work that is so painful but has the greatest reward afterwards. John 16:21 is a verse I like to mediate on before and during labour.
It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into this world.
Having some scripture and even some worship music to focus on is very helpful for keeping your mind off the pain...not that the pain isn't there but it helps you relax. I loved that when my labour wasn't progressing as fast as I would have liked Lynnette put on worship music. It brought peace into the room and helped me stay calm.
The hours kept ticking by and with this my energy and strength where failing. Micah and I had some time alone to process what was happening with the doctor and discovered that the baby was side ways and that was why I wasn't moving forward. Our doctor and nursing team was amazing!!! He was patient and encouraged us that we were doing a great job and gave us some tips on how we were going to turn the baby.
Eight hours later we heard the magic words that we could start pushing!! Imagine our excitement as we thought (because of all other deliveries) 20 more minutes and this will be over. I just have to push and we will meet our blessing. Well that wasn't the case this time. My normal 20 minutes turned into 1 hour and 30 minutes of the most intense pain and battle I have ever fought!! I can't even say enough for the my amazing "team" that was there battling with me the entire time. Our doctor never left my side and my husband and mother where such incredible encouragement to me.
Any women who has experienced child birth knows the point of exhaustion. Where you just can't take any more and you are just praying and crying out for it all to be over. After 1 hour of hard labour, contracting like crazy, and pushing until you feel your head will blow off I just couldn't take anymore - it was the point where I felt like I am going to die.
I remember looking at Micah with such pain in my eyes and him saying "Babe we are going to get you something for the pain and talk options". Without skipping a beat I replied "the option of you punching me in the face"! I was in so much pain I thought a good blow to the head would feel better than this...
Instead the sweet nurse gave me some laughing gas. Those 6 deep breaths in and out where so helpful for calming me back down, getting me focused and allowing me to get through and deliver our sweet baby.
It only took 30 more minutes before I would hear Micah yell out "it's a BOY!!!! God has blessed us with 4 sons".
And just like the bible verse says the anguish turns into amazing JOY :)
Thank you my sweet friend. For pulling an all nighter with us and for being there with me the entire time. You were a prayer warrior behind the camera my friend. Love you.