It was Sunday, April 10th. I woke up that morning with a few braxton hicks contractions. My mom had just got into town the day before and I was debating if we should go to 9am church or not. I got up and the contractions went away, so I decided to go to keep myself distracted and get my body moving. It was the most uncomfortable day of church ever. I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to wear heels while 40 weeks pregnant. I made it for 2.5 hours and then I was done. I was getting more of what I thought were braxton hicks, but I still thought I had at least one more day to go before little Lila was going to enter this world.
After we got home, I put Haven down for a nap and hung out with my mom for a bit while Cory went to lay down for a nap. I’m not much of a napper, but that day I had a feeling that I should try and get my last few naps in that I could. I only ended up getting an hour nap before my brother and sister were calling for us to meet them at the park for a picnic. So of course we went! I continued to have sporadic contractions, and they were starting to get stronger as the day went on.
We had a picnic, fed the ducks, played with the dogs and reminisced with my family. It was a breezy and cloudy day. Every day that got closer to my due date, I cherished the little moments I had with Haven. I was so scared that everything would change, that my little girl would feel left out and sad, so I made sure to tell her how much I loved her as much as possible. I would crawl/flop into Haven’s crib when she would try to pull me in and I would lay down with her for a while. (I don’t know how I didn’t break all the springs) She would pat my back and whisper “I love you” and we would laugh and hold each other tight. I’ll never forget those days. 🙂
After the park, we put Haven down for bed and started watching Fixer Upper (always a good Sunday watch) around 9 o’clock my contractions were getting more regular so we decided to time them. By the time 11 rolled around they were lasting for about a minute (sometimes longer) and were about 2-3 minutes apart. So we grabbed our hospital bags, said goodbye to my mom and headed off to the hospital!
The drive there was anything but pleasant. Luckily the drive was only about 15 minutes, but every little bump we hit was like a knife twisting in my uterus. Once we got to the hospital we had to stop 4 different times as I put my arms around Cory’s neck and had the longest contractions ever! I remember we were almost to the front desk to check in and I was having a contraction for what seemed to be 2 minutes long, the nurse yelled from the other end, “she’s still having a contraction?”
We got checked in and they put me in a wheelchair (I was actually able to sit in one this time, where I couldn’t when I was in labor with Haven) We got to the room and luckily the nurse on shift was a midwife on the side, which is exactly what I needed since I was planning to deliver naturally. I was 7 cm dilated and the intensity of my contractions escalated so quickly once we got there. After about an hour of laboring I wanted to give up so bad. I wanted the pain to go away. It felt as if someone took a serrated knife and stabbed me in the top of my stomach slowly, then slowly sawed downward to my pubic bone, and then stopped for a minute and started all over again. I felt like I couldn’t do it any more. I knew I was strong enough to do it, but at that point I just didn’t want to feel anymore. I just wanted to relax, but the nurse knew I was so close and since I told her I wanted to deliver naturally she told me to labor for another 30 minutes and if I really wanted one after that I could get one. She had a very calming voice and spoke softly, which helped me to calm down a bit. Cory was behind me pushing my hips in to help relieve the pressure, and that helped a little bit too. By this point I felt that I couldn’t take the pain any more, I kept saying “I can’t do this, I can’t do this.” The nurse said we could switch it up by moving to the shower for a bit. I didn’t want to move, let alone walk anywhere, but I knew it would help. So I mustered up my strength and walked over to the shower, they had me sit on a medicine ball while Cory sprayed water onto my lower back. At that point, I knew I couldn’t run away from the contractions, I had to embrace them and remember that each contraction is one moment closer to getting Lila out. After being in the shower for about 20 minutes I was done. The pain was getting to be too much to bare, so I decided I was going to get an epidural the moment I got back to the bed, so I stepped out, ready to tell the nurse when I started having another contraction and all of a sudden my water broke! It actually scared me. I remember yelling “my water broke! What do I do? Oh no!” I got so scared for some reason I lost my cool. The nurse looked down and said that I was crowning as she called for the doctor. I was walking back to the bed, with Lila’s head about to pop out, while a team of nurses and doctors ran in.
I got on the bed on all fours and pushed her out in two pushes! I wanted that baby out. The first push was her head and the second push was her shoulders. Cory told me that she flew out like Superman, the doctor literally had to catch Lila. I obviously wasn’t messing around. The pressure and the pain was gone for a moment. I was so relieved and so happy! I remember them putting her down on the bed below me. The first words were “she’s so tiny! My baby girl!” They had me turn around so I could hold her. She was so sweet and little, but she came out with a cry that I’ll never forget. It was loud and she meant business. I laid her on my chest and talked to her and it took a little while for Lila to stop crying. She had a head full of black hair, her face was perfect. It wasn’t swollen at all, except her nose was a little crooked from being squished inside.
My precious girl weighed 6lbs 11oz and was 19 inches long. She was born at 1:45am on the 11th of April. She was finally here, she was mine to hold, she was healthy and that’s all that mattered. The human body is an amazing thing. You go from experiencing the worst pain you’ve ever felt, wanting to die, scream and cry at the same time to feeling an immense feeling of love and happiness. All the pain goes away for a little bit and the amount of love that fills you is unexplainable. It is the best feeling in the world, to finally hold your little baby that you fought so hard for.
As I adored my baby girl, I had a bad cough that I was starting to get over and as I coughed very large amounts of blood was spewing out of me like a broken fire hydrant (sorry TMI). Any movement I made just made more come out in puddles. Blood began running off the sides of the bed in more puddles. Obviously this wasn’t normal so they tried to hook me up to an IV, but for some reason my veins kept collapsing. After poking me six different times, they decided to bring a specialist in to do it. It took her two different tries until she finally got it to stick in on the third try. The doctor said that a piece of my placenta was still inside which was what was causing me to bleed so much. She told me that she had to manually stick her hand up inside me to try and get it out. She said that because it was going to be very painful they were going to put Morphine in my IV to help ease the pain. At that point, I was so over feeling pain that I was all for it! First she stuck her whole hand in with a piece of cotton and pushed on my stomach with the other hand from the outside as she tried to get it out by swiping her hand all around, but it didn’t come out. I felt like I was having a baby all over again, the pain was excruciating! She had to try a second time, but nothing came out. So the third time she took some gauze and wrapped it around her hand and tried again. I couldn’t believe how painful it was! Luckily she got it out that last time. I was trying so hard to be strong and brave, but after one traumatic experience after the other, tears began rolling down my face and my whole body started shaking. For some reason I kept apologizing over and over again. I felt bad for crying. They reassured me that everything was okay, that I was doing great and gave me some warm blankets.
Looking back, I am proud of myself. Us women, we are so amazing and strong. We go through the first 9 months of pregnancy feeling like we have the flu everyday for 18 weeks (at least I did), then we have to deal with weight gain and so many body changes and hormones all over the place. The last few months we get little sleep and half of our body goes numb throughout the night after sleeping on one side for too long. We take one sip of water and feel like we are about to pee our pants. We waddle around with back pain and sciatic nerve pain shooting down our leg and up our backs. We get swollen and when we get sick we can’t take much to feel better, we basically have to tough it out. Then we push a baby, a human body out. Some women break their tailbones while delivering, some have to get a caesarean, and some rip and have to get sewn back up. But then we have this amazing life in our hands and all the pain is excused. Our hearts grow and we feel a love that we’ve never felt before. But that’s not the end of what our bodies go through after birth. We feel more contractions after giving birth as our uterus shrinks back to its size. If we breastfeed, that is a whole other pain that we have to get used to. Our milk comes in and our boobs feel like they are going to explode, you are bleeding heavily for days and then you continue to bleed for about 6 weeks. Your skin is stretched and flabby, your body is very much out of shape and your hair begins to fall out. Your body is the source of living for this new baby, they are dependent on you, and if you have more children those kids are depending on you as well. It is a HUGE adjustment and a lot to take in. But the best part about it, is that WE GET THROUGH IT. We survive and we are blessed with this beautiful life that we get to watch grow and learn and it is the best gift you can be given. Some of the best rewards come from of the most difficult experiences. Children take work that isn’t easy, but when that love is shot into your heart the moment they are born, that love is what keeps you going. It keeps you learning about what patience, love, strength, courage and selflessness is.
I am so thankful for a healthy baby and a healthy recovery. I know that we are so incredibly blessed. I know there are many people out there who haven’t been able to bear children or have a family, so I will do the best I can with these precious gifts I have given and not take them for granted. Thank you for joining our family miss Lila Rose.