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Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #1
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Lucy Christine's birth story

Lucy was "due" on Monday, January 14. Our first daughter, Rosemary, came early, so we were very surprised when Lucy's due date came and went with no indication that labor was on the horizon anytime soon. Tuesday I had an appointment with Donna, my midwife, and she swept my membranes in hopes that it would encourage labor to begin.

The next day I started having mild, on-again-off-again contractions in the afternoon and late evening. Rosemary's birth had begun with over 24 hours of regular but non-progressing contractions, so I expected a similar slow start with this labor as well. We started winding down for the evening, with hopes that things would pick up the next day. At midnight, I felt a strange "pop," as if Lucy had kicked me, and got to the bathroom just in time to confirm that yes... it was my bag of waters breaking. I was very surprised, as this hadn't happened the last time around! Michael called my parents and I called the midwife on call, who recommended we go on to the hospital (rather than wait for my parents to arrive), since I was Group B Strep + and would need two rounds of antibiotics during labor. My sweet friend April was kind enough to get out of bed in the middle of the night to come stay with Rosie for a few hours until my parents could make the drive from Kentucky. We left for the hospital a little before 1am, and by then the "real" contractions had begun--uncomfortable, but not yet painful.

When we checked in at the hospital, I was 3cm and 80%--same as at my last office visit. I labored for about five hours between the two rounds of antibiotics, and by 6am I had reached 5cm. By this time the contractions were painful, but I felt more prepared for them than I had been with Rosie's birth. At several points I would have a really bad one, and I would say to Michael, "I don't know how many more of these I can handle," but I was able to keep going because of two things: 1) Michael was there supporting me, helping me find new coping methods when whatever I was doing stopped being helpful, and 2) I would get a couple of easier, shorter contractions after each really difficult contraction. I had really wanted--if possible--to do this birth naturally, so I believe these little breaks right when I needed them were God's mercy to me.

Donna arrived around 7am. The contractions were very painful by this point, and I was at 7cm--beginning to move from active labor into transition. This was the the first time I had experienced transition without medication, and these contractions were awful. They were much longer than before, and each contraction had multiple peaks. It became very difficult not to tense up and I began to lose confidence that I could make it to the end. After what felt like hours (maybe an hour and a half?), Donna checked me again and I hadn't progressed any further. At that point I decided that my body might certainly be CAPABLE of giving birth without medication, but I had no DESIRE to do it any longer. I asked for an epidural and they said they could get it to me in about 30 minutes.

This is when the contractions really started to pick up--one on top of the other, very intense, with little to no breaks between them. While this was happening, Donna told me that she believed the baby was in an "unusual position" and that they were going to do an ultrasound to check. I couldn't focus much on what was going on; I had basically lost all control and composure at this point. I remember lots of voices in the room and hearing a nurse say: "she's breech..." Someone (maybe Donna?) said that they had called Dr. Jones (the OB Donna works under) but that he was 20 minutes away. They must have checked me again, because someone said, "she's 10cm." At this point I started to panic--I was feeling the urge to push and didn't know how to stop it. It felt like something I couldn't control. Donna and Michael helped me to pant through the contractions to keep my body from forcefully pushing. By this time the anesthesiologist had arrived. I didn't know how I was going to stay still while she placed it, with the contractions coming so quickly. This was the second time I felt God's specific mercy and provision during the birth. When I sat up, it was like I had a temporary reprieve from labor--the contractions completely subsided for a few minutes--just long enough to get the epidural placed.

At this point, there were lots of people in the room. We had to choose quickly between a vaginal breech delivery with forceps or a c-section. Both options sounded scary. By that point I was so out of it from the adrenaline rush of labor and panicky from learning that she was breech (this labor was not going at all the way I expected!) that I felt completely incapable of making a decision. Michael prayed that God would give us wisdom. And then--this was the third specific mercy from God--I went from feeling overwhelmed at an impossible decision to completely peaceful. Michael and I both agreed that we wanted to do a c-section.

Once the decision was made, it was pretty quick. They rolled me into the operating room, Michael sat down with me... and soon, Lucy was born. I remember how sweet it was to hear her cry for the first time. After they had cleaned her up, Michael brought her over to see me. She was so bright-eyed and alert and beautiful, and in facial features, the spitting image of her big sister. Though this certainly wasn't the birth I had expected or would have planned, I am grateful for so many things about it:

I am grateful for the experience of natural labor. Though I may not do it again, the experience was valuable and meaningful in a way I don't quite know how to put into words.

I am grateful for my wonderful, supportive husband (without whom I would not have been able to labor as I did).

I am grateful to God for providing exactly what was needed, exactly when we needed it--strength, rest, wisdom, and speed all at the appropriate time.

I am grateful for Dr. Jones and the skillful team that assisted with the c-section.

I am grateful for Donna, who gave me such good care during my pregnancy, and who did not need to stay once the c-section decision was made, but remained for the surgery anyway and took photos of Lucy's birth and our first few moments as a family.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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Yay! Great birth story!
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

Wow! congratulations to you!
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

Congrats! We don't get to pick how it will be, do we. So nice when we can be flexble and still be in control of the decisions being made -- great that they gave you options. Enjoy your new baby .
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

Congratulations and I love her name!
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

thanks for sharing
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

A great story where a midwife and OB are both needed! Congratulations!
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #8
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Congrats!
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:01 PM   #9
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Congratulations!
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: Lucy Christine's birth story

congrats!
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