Karis Juliana, 9lbs 1oz, 22in, 12/9/13 5:58am
The Friday before Juliana was born I was sooo excited because I had some bloody show and was cramping some. I just KNEW I was in early labor because that is how labor started with Joseph. We were all prepared to end up at the hospital at some point on Friday! I was pretty disappointed when I went to bed Friday night and woke up Saturday morning still super pregnant. On Sunday, December 8, I woke up feeling really discouraged and weepy. I was cramping on and off all day long and remembered that this was the way I felt the day before going into labor with Joseph, but I didn’t want to get excited because I had been so disappointed about what happened on Friday. Edward and I decided Sunday morning that we would take the kids to McWane because walking would be good for me and they had been begging to see the winter exhibit. We had a lot of fun at McWane and I resisted the urge to play on the zip line. HA! We went to the 6pm service at Grants Mill and I was pretty sure I was having contractions on and off throughout the service. I assumed they were Braxton Hicks because I had been having those and they were uncomfortable. Josiah told me before he went to bed that he had a gut feeling we were going to need to go to the hospital during the night. I told him I thought he might be right because of the way I had been feeling all day, but we would just have to wait and see! Edward and I stayed up until midnight watching a movie. At 2am I woke up and immediately knew I was having real contractions. I didn’t want to do like I usually do and get too excited about labor and rush to the hospital too soon so I decided to try to use the bathroom and go back to sleep. With each labor I set a goal for myself and it was my goal this time to stay at home as long as possible. I used the bathroom and went back to bed twice and then I knew I had to get up because these were too uncomfortable to sleep through. I woke Edward up and told him I was in labor, but to go back to sleep and I would wake him up when I needed his help/we needed to go to the hospital. I decided it would be a good idea to get our toiletry bag packed and put the bags by the front door because I was sure this was it! After getting the final stuff together, I headed downstairs to prepare my area for labor. I have had SUPER long labors with all of the other kiddos so I had no reason to think this was going to be really quick. Since we had been praying for a quick labor and delivery I did expect it to be faster, but not as fast as it was! At 2:25 when I was sure we were going to be heading to the hospital at some point in the next few hours or so, I called mom to wake her up because I was not sure how long it would take them to get ready and drive to the house. I put lavender oil in the diffuser and got that going, turned on my birth playlist, and jumped into the tub to see if that would help me feel better. At this point the contractions were coming every 5 minutes and lasting for about a minute, sometimes a little more. They were painful, but I felt like I worked through them well by myself and I wanted to let Edward sleep as long as possible. I only stayed in the tub for about 5-10 minutes because it wasn’t helping anymore. I felt like I needed to stand up and move. I paced back and forth during each contraction, trying to focus on worship. At 3:30 it was very clear to me by my pain level that we were going to need to head to the hospital soon so I woke Edward up. I was really hurting so I headed back downstairs to try getting on the birth ball, which had always been helpful before. I could still talk and walk through contractions though so I knew we’d be ok to wait on my parents to get there before we left. Edward woke up Josiah because he wanted to be at the hospital with us and they both got ready really quickly. I found during this labor, sitting down on anything wasn’t helpful. I did lean over the birth ball and rock with each contraction and that seemed to help some. Mom and dad got to my house around 4:45 and I was already “not here” as Edward put it. At some point between 3:30 and 4:45 I stopped being able to communicate well between contractions. As soon as my next contraction passed, I walked straight to the car and got in the floorboard of the backseat. Mom drove, Josiah sat in the front with her, and Edward and I were in the back. Edward squeezed my hips as hard as he could with each contraction to help with the pain. The car ride was AWFUL! I was hurting sooo badly and I think everyone knew by my responses to them ( I could not talk, could only give yes and no answers, was snippy) that I was in transition. Even though it was cold and rainy outside, I HAD to have the window down all the way because it helped. I remember having a hard time focusing through each contraction and then I just started picturing Jesus on the cross. I thought about all that He suffered for me…for my new birth…and that seemed to help. It had to be the Lord giving me that picture because I really felt like I was dying until I saw that picture and began to focus on it. With each contraction I would seriously call on His name out loud. Mom said the contractions were coming every 2 minutes at this point. I remember being a little surprised that Edward and my mom were asking Josiah for directions to the hospital because neither one of them were 100% sure which exit to take. HAHAHA!!! I also decided in my mind that I didn’t have to go natural this time and if we got to the hospital and I was less than 7cm, I would get an epidural. We got to labor and delivery at 5:22 and I could not believe that I had to go from the main lobby to the 3rd floor! They offered to bring me a wheelchair, but as I said before, I could not sit down. I HAD to be standing up so I walked to the elevator and then walked to my l&d room. I think as soon as my nurse, Amy, saw me she knew I was in transition. I was hurting so badly when we got to the room that I couldn’t sit down right away for her to check me. She was sooo great…a very laid back nurse who just let me do my thing! As soon as I was able to sit on the bed long enough for her to check me, I was 8cm. She immediately started getting everybody in to get things prepped for Juliana’s arrival. As soon as she was done, I stood right back up and within just a couple of contractions felt like I HAD to push. I remember reading about taking short breaths if you need to hold back pushing so I tried this through a couple of contractions because I was worried that I was trying to push too soon. It didn’t work that long though and I HAD to push with each contraction. Amy assured me it was okay and just to go with what my body was doing. She did get eyeball to eyeball with me and tell me she REALLY needed me to sit down in the bed because she didn’t want Juliana to fall out onto the floor. When I sat down she confirmed I was complete and I really started pushing. I felt like I was in an awkward position this time and didn’t feel like my pushes were working as well. I didn’t push that long (maybe 5 contractions), but it seemed like a lot longer than last time and now I know that was probably because Juliana was so big! I was sure to keep my eyes open while pushing this time because I wanted to see her being born. At 5:58 my sweet girl entered this world! She was delivered by Dr. Campbell, the Dr that was at the hospital, because the Dr on call for my office didn’t have time to make it there. He got to deliver the placenta, but not the baby. J This birth blew my mind! It was wonderful and crazy all at the same time. Things that had helped me cope with pain during previous births just didn’t work this time, but God provided new ways of coping. There was no time to call friends who were planning on helping me and taking pictures for her birth, not even time for an IV hook up, no time for my antibiotics that were needed because I was group b strep positive, no time for monitoring…it all went sooo quickly! The end result was absolutely amazing…the most wonderful, beautiful gift of a new, precious, life added to our family. To God be the glory for all the great things HE has done! He is sooo good!!!