I am so happy to announce the birth of my third little princess, Madalynn (Maddie) Hannah. She is joined by two older sisters, who love her dearly and smother her with toys, kisses, and hugs every chance they get!
Maddie was born on Feb. 29th (Leap Day), and I honestly think that her birth was the "favorite" out of my three children. Though my labor and birth only lasted for four hours, it seems that I can talk and think about it for hours and hours, day after day.
But since I am such a thoughtful person (and a busy mommy), I will make my story here fairly short:
After a month of off and on again pre-labor (Braxton Hicks), I awoke at 1:28 a.m. with a very strong contraction that almost had me tied to the bed. I knew this was it! I knew this time it was real! I had 3 more contractions in under 10 minutes, and since my past two births had been fast, my husband (Adam) and I decided we should call my friend Anna (who is also a certified doula) and the hospital Labor & Delivery. I was informed that the midwife on call was one of the ladies I had indeed wanted to deliver my baby. Even though we had never met, she knew Anna, as well as some of the midwives I work for. After silently praying for strength (I needed all I could get), we headed to the hospital, only getting on the wrong freeway once...(I think Adam had a lot on his mind.)
Arriving in L&D triage, the midwife found that I was 5 cm dilated, and very soft and thin. I walked to my delivery room, and since I was Group-B Strep Positive (GBS+), I received a dose of antibiotics via IV. This was not in my plans for my "ideal" childbirth, for I did not wish to have the hindrance of an IV, but I had to realize that sometimes we don't get our "ideal"; we just have to go with the flow.
My contractions hurt mostly in my back, but with Anna rubbing oil on my skin, and with Adam applying hard counter pressure to my hips, they were very manageable, and quite "pleasant" to breathe through. There was actually a time or two when I felt my baby move down and slide into my pelvis. I loved this feeling!
Soon the contractions grew harder, and I found myself up on the bed twisting in different positions to get more comfortable. Kneeling, leaning, lying on my side with a leg up in the air, I was looking for any way to relieve the discomfort. I prayed silently for Jesus to give me strength. I asked if the midwife were available to come and break my waters, knowing this would speed things up quite a bit, but she was at another birth and unavailable at the time.
So, I decided to push. I didn't necessarily feel the "urge" to push, but I felt I was no longer able to just breathe through my contractions. I had to do something proactive. Suddenly, a huge gush of water burst out of me and down my legs. Well, if the midwife wasn't going to break my water, I would just break it on my own! Then, I felt a great relief, almost a rest in which I spent a few moments in Adam's arms.
Then I pushed again, and again, and the nurse checked me and told me not to push, since I still had a "little bit of a lip" left. This means that the cervix is almost, but not quite yet, completely dilated.
"I have seen women push this little lip away to complete dilation," I thought to myself, "and I want to get this baby out!"
Anna whispered in my ear, "Just do what your body is telling you to do."
So, I flipped on to my back, and suddenly the midwife rushed in the door.
"Do you want to remind the midwife that you would like to catch your baby?" Anna asked me.
"No, you remind her," I gasped, almost in a daze. This was it! I was going to see my baby!
"No, I am reminding you of what your wishes, but you need to tell the midwife yourself," she responded. This response represents a critical aspect on helping one to feel empowered and in control.
So I said something the midwife, and I pushed, and in one "exploding", hot gush, my baby's head came out! At this point I thought to myself: "Now, I am almost done." I pushed again, and baby's shoulders came out, not one at a time like they would normally have done, but both of them together rushed out of my body. I grabbed my baby, and pulled the tiny, white, slimy thing up to me. It was 5:48 a.m.. This was 4 hours and 20 minutes after I felt my first "real" contraction.
I looked, and saw to our surprise, that we had a new little girl.
"Another little princess!" I remember exclaiming.
I really enjoyed my birth experience. Though I gave birth at a hospital (this is what our insurance paid for), and not at a birth center or at our home, which I would have liked to do, the experience was memorable, empowering, and "fun". I believe these to be the main reasons:
I am feel so blessed to have Adam, who held me and whispered sweet things to me the whole time.
I am thankful that Anna was available, for she looked out for my interests, and made both Adam and myself feel so much more relaxed and confident.
I was lucky to get such a good midwife, who seems to share in beliefs of normal, natural childbirth.
I think the fact I myself am a doula and birth assistant, thus around childbirth often, helped to keep me more aware of the process and what was happening to me.
I am so thankful and blessed and happy to have my little Madalynn!