My friend, Kendall, has had three incredibly beautiful children! I have asked her to share her story. I hope this encourages you as much as it does me!!!
Lena's birth was so much different than Jessi's or Eli's. Let me start by recapping their birth stories as briefly as possible so that it will be easier to understand why I made some of the decisions that I made with Lena. First, I want to talk about what I believe childbirth SHOULD be like. When I was pregnant with Jessi, someone gave me a book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. This book opened my eyes to childbirth in a way that I should have already known but had never thought of before. Jesus paid the price for the fall of man that caused the earth to be cursed, so I believe I am completely delivered from every curse including pain during childbirth. I do not believe, however, that if there is pain when you get to that point that you should attempt to bear it with all the wonderful pain medicine that is so readily available these days. I have nothing to prove. I have always said that if I have pain, I will gladly take something for it. But God is so good! I have experienced childbirth without pain, and it is a wonderful experience to say the least!
With Jessi, my water broke on its own 4 days after her due date at 5pm. Well, actually, it started leaking at 5pm. It actually broke as I walked through the doors of the emergency room around 7pm. I think I was about 3-4 cm dilated when we got there, and at 10pm I was still at 4cm. But then the contractions got way intense, still with no pain, and at 10:30 I was complete and ready to push. Jessi was born at exactly 12midnight which made her birthday January 20, 2003. I did not stretch when she came out, so I did have some tearing, and yes, that part hurt, but it was only for a few seconds. She was 7lbs 13oz 21in. None of my contractions were painful, therefore I did not have any meds during Jessi's birth. It was fast and wonderful, and I give God ALL the glory for it. I could never have done that on my own.
With Eli, he was 6 days early. I had contractions with him for weeks before delivery, and 6 days before he was due, I went in for my checkup and was 5cm dilated already. My doctor was worried about me not making it to the hospital in time if he sent me home, so he wanted to induce. I did not want to induce at all, but I understood that it would not be wise to risk having my baby at home, so I decided to let him break my water instead. He broke my water at 6pm and I was ready to push around 8:30. Eli was born just after 10pm on June 27, 2005 at a whopping 9lbs 12oz 21in. Yes, I did tear with him and that was, again, the only pain I experienced. Glory be to God!
With Lena, I was 8 miserable days late. I thought she would never come. My doctor was going out of town the day after her due date, so he stripped my membranes earlier that week to try and get things going. I was already 3 1/2 cm dilated & 30% effaced, so we just knew that would do the trick. Well, my due date came and I'm still pregnant, so I called my doctor and we decided to go ahead and break my water so he could deliver before he left. Since everything went so well with Eli, I had no problem with this. However, when we got to the hospital and he checked me, I had not progressed AT ALL. So, instead of risking complications, we decided to go home and wait it out. Well, I guess Lena wanted only him to deliver because she actually waited for him to get back! Her due date was on a Thursday, and he didn't get back until the following Friday! Longest week of my life. I preregistered and went in for him to break my water on Friday morning. He was not on call but said he would definitely come over for delivery (even though I know he was totally swamped with patients from being gone for a week). My doctor is one in a million! I am so thankful for him! One of the other doctors actually came in to break my water at 7:30am. I was still 3-4cm but I was 60% effaced at this point so we were good to go. At 9:30am, still the same. At 11:30am, still the same. At this point they wanted to start a small dose of pitocin to help things progress. I did not want to do this because I knew my contractions would be different because of it, but I also did not want to risk too much time going by since my water was broken and then having to have a c-section. So I let them start a small dose of pitocin. My contractions increased in intensity and were painful, but things were moving along, slowly. At 1:30 I was dilated 6-7cm and very discouraged. Things had never been this slow for me and the pain was getting to me. I was weighing my options of pain meds at this point. I knew I could go ahead and do this if it wasn't going to be long, but I had no idea how much longer it was going to be and I KNEW I couldn't handle this for hours longer. At around 2pm I remember things getting EXTREMELY intense to the point that I couldn't really think a complete thought without another crazy hard contraction coming on, so I asked the nurse to check me again. I was fully effaced and 8cm. Showtime. I knew it was time to start really pushing because I was pushing anyway without any control over it. They started to scurry around getting the spotlight on and tables out and such. I heard them call for my doctor who was not in the building. At 2:20 he came running in (literally) and at I started to push. Lena was born at 2:29pm on July 24, 2009. She was 8lbs 6oz 20 1/2 in. The best part? NO TEARING! NO STITCHES! All I could say over and over was Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus! My pushing time with her was 9 minutes! I pushed for over an hour and almost 2 with the others! I still don't really know why everything else went the way it did, but I know that only 9 minutes of pushing and no tearing made up for it bigtime! I felt as good as new. As soon as I was able to nurse her, which was as soon as they cleaned her up and gave her to me, I took a bath and got dressed, fixed my hair, I felt great.
Jason was amazing. Not just for Lena's birth, but for all of them. He has always gotten me through when I was tired and couldn't think about what to do. He told me when to breath, when to push, when to relax, everything. He never left my side for a minute, and I thank God every single day for him. He is the best of the best in my opinion!
Tracy, Jason's sister, was my nurse. She has always been on one side of me, while Jason was on the other. They were my greatest help during the pushing part. Tracy let me have one hand, and Jason the other. We all felt sore the day after having a baby! I am so thankful for her.
Jessi and Eli were just outside the room toward the end and could hardly wait to come in and meet their new baby sister. I could hear them the whole time. They were very excited. I could hear Jessi giggling and Eli jumping all around, it made me laugh. They were so sweet with her.
Jessi was very emotional for some reason. She had been that way during my pregnancy, but this day it was really bad. She cried alot, but we understood that this was a huge transition for her too. We had to give her some extra tlc during that time, but she is doing much better now.
Eli is awesome about the whole thing. He thinks everything is just great and is super happy. He gets a little too excited at times, but I think that's just his way of dealing with everything too.
Overall, it has been a very big transition for all of us, but an amazing gift for our family. We are all so in love with her!