Homegirl's Birth Story

Friday, January 23, 2015

Today, Homegirl is three months old. Seriously, slow down. This little girl has captured our hearts and is the sweetest-thang!! She looooves to watch her brother's every move, talk to her daddy, and give the cutest smiles to her momma.

I figured today would be a good time to share her birth story.. Yes, it's taken me this long. Our kids' births are such an emotional subject for me. It's a day that is built up in our hearts and minds for months and then all of sudden it's come and gone. Not only is it exciting, and highly-anticipated, but it's a stressful and scary time for me, as I like to be in control and know what to expect, but in the case of labor and delivery...there is so much out of your control. It's a moment that is so incredibly special, in so many ways. Probably the top, most emotion-packed days of my life.

Every time I've tried to edit/add/finish this post, I get very emotional, as I said it's just so special and full of so many emotions, from all ends of the spectrum. Bringing a baby into this world is such a miracle that I don't take for granted, and an experience that just really gets to me, I guess..

As I touched on in T's birth story, we strive for a drug-free and natural labor, resulting in a healthy baby and healthy mom. We brushed up on all we learned from our Bradley Method class and what techniques did/did not work for us the first time.

Without spending too much time on everything before labor, I'll give a quick summary: Homegirl was measuring small (which leads to concerns of the placenta), I was overdue, my fluid levels were decreasing pretty significantly.. Thankfully all monitoring was going well, but after many appointments, discussions, and tears, our doctor advised we go ahead and induce labor. We knew she'd be safe on the 'outside' and the risks of keeping her 'in' and waiting kept going up and up, in our particular situation..

Thursday, October 23, 2014
With tears streaming down my face, we headed home from the morning's appointment to get our bags and of course see T one more time.
I was upset because this wasn't part of the plan.
I was confused because it wasn't happening naturally on it's own, like it had the first time.
I was sad T would have to 'share' us.
I was scared because I knew the pain I was about to take on.
I was nervous to meet the newest member of our family.

My mom was already in town watching T (as daycare was closed that week), so it gave me great peace of mind that he was already taken care of - at least one thing was going as I had 'planned'.. We let our family know what was going on, my SIL graciously sped across town to bring us Chick-fil-a (good protein/craving/tradition); I tried to gather last-minute things I thought I might need in my bag, we stood in a circle, held each other and prayed.

Again, with tears streaming down my face, we hugged T and then headed to the hospital. I asked what the date was, October 23rd - this would be her birthday. We got checked in, into our room, and met our labor/delivery nurse, Marika (a God-send who was amazing!!). We let her know our birth plan; she was sensitive, supportive, and personable. By 1:12pm the Pitocin was flowing and we were commenting how thankful we were to have a room with a view.

(Because we had family out of town and they weren't at the hospital this time, the Mr. was keeping in contact with them all through group text, so we have that 'record' of his messages/updates, hence the specific times.) :)

At the beginning, I was sitting/laying in the bed, just resting and hanging out, not really sure what to do. We watched some of a show called 'Drunk History', HILARIOUS. Contractions were starting and seemed and becoming very noticeable, even uncomfortable, I knew they would obviously be worse so I tried to shrug them off and ignore them as much as I could.

I knew laying there wasn't going to help move labor along, I was bored, and contractions seemed more uncomfortable. We requested the wireless monitors so we could walk the halls (when on Pitocin, the baby must be monitored ALL the time). After maybe 2 laps around the labor & delivery floor, our nurse called us back as the monitors weren't reaching, plus we had the IV stand to drag along so we ended up back in our room. It was probably now in the 3 o'clock hour and contractions were definitely picking up, I started walking 'laps' in my room as I had to do something. We had a few honey sticks as I looked out the window and thought about how much more 'work' there was to do..
Our nurse would be in frequently to turn up the dosage, and for me, that was a mind game - I could see the number she was adjusting and I knew it started at a 6 or something, it was now up at a 14.. 18.. 24... So mentally, I knew I was getting that much more Pitocin and so the contractions must be that much stronger.

At 3:53pm, the Mr. told the family 'contractions seem to be a bit more serious now..' I started to turn inward, trying to focus yet not think about each contraction too much, the Mr.'s jokes were getting less and less funny.. We had on the relaxation station on Pandora, highly recommended, and I was holding onto the Mr. during contractions - either sitting down and leaning into him or standing with my head nestled in his neck and him helping hold me up.. Somehow I felt like having contact with him, having him just touch me, lay a hand on me, anything, it was helping pass through each contraction. Like the pain was dissipating through that point of contact, a small reminder I wasn't there alone.. I tried my best to keep moving, walking small laps around the open part in our room, but stopping at each contraction, reaching out for the Mr. to help me through.

My doctor was by around 5:01pm to check my progress, 5cm dilated. We decided he would break my water to help move things along, but when he tried, he wasn't able to as the baby was already pressed down that much and there just wasn't enough fluids there for him to be able to snag the bag. It was uncomfortable and I didn't know what to expect, but hearing I was only 5cm dilated was a little upsetting as I was pretty uncomfortable and it's hard to imagine after all that, you're only half-way there..

Even though my water didn't break, things really seemed to pick up - contractions were very intense and I think I was staying in the bed. Our nurse was in checking on us and I was. in. pain. According to our group text records, at 5:35pm I was at a 7-8cm and starting transition, aka the worst part. The worst part where you don't think rationally:
I didn't want checked because I was afraid I wasn't progressing and I couldn't imagine continuing longer..
I knew if I was talking 'crazy' that would mean I was in transition (hence, almost done) so I wanted to be saying something, something 'crazy'..
I could hear the Mr. and the nurse talking about me, I wanted to holler, 'why are you talking about me, I'm right here..'
My body was turning to stone.. I felt like the people of Pompeii, but like 'freezing' from the inside out. I was heavy and couldn't lift my arm if I tried.. I was turning to stone..
The room was shrinking around me and I was like a huge statue curled up in the corner, pressing up against the walls and ceiling..
I wanted someone to touch me, take this pain away from me. Don't just stand there, please give me a pillow or fast forward time, just make this baby magically appear..
I was in pain and wanted to freak out and scream and cry and flip shit..
The nurse asked if I felt like I needed to push - if I say yes, then that will make it time, even though it wasn't time, I knew I wasn't quite there yet..

Something within me kept me calm and collected and I just tried to breathe - deep and low, pushing my breaths out my throat as relaxing and as hard as I could. I knew I needed to relax my body to make the most of each contraction.

I kept having small feelings of 'maybe I need to push', but I knew it wasn't IT. Then, according to the group text, at 5:53pm, the Mr. let our families know '9cm or so. Probably not long until she pushes'. My body started trembling, almost a feeling of convulsing and I knew, and the Mr. and my nurse could also tell, it was time to push.

The doctor and a few more nurses hurried in. I just wanted to be done, I was tired. I was waiting for someone to count for me to push, but I knew I had to wait until I felt ready to. I remember the feeling being so overwhelming, more than I remembered before and I was going to push until she was here. I wanted this over with. IT HURT. I was tired but trying to muster every ounce of energy from the pits of my body and pushed.

It felt like longer, but after only 10 minutes, at 6:03pm Harper Ann was born and at 6:09pm the Mr. introduced her, via group text to our family.

She was perfect and healthy, and we did it.

Again, that rush of all sorts of emotions I had experienced before; again, they weren't exactly as other moms often explain. I was thankful, scared, happy, and worried. I couldn't stop looking at her, this was the little being that was growing inside of me, and now she was here. So many feelings, I can't even explained.
We have a daughter!!
So many moments of this day seem vivid and clear as can be, while others are faded and blurry and already 'fading' away. I want to hold on to as much of it as I can; I know as the days/months/years pass, it'll only continue to fade more. I'm just so thankful for this day, this experience, but most importantly for this little girl that has joined our family. 

I'm happy to discuss further labor/delivery or answer any questions anyone might have re: drug-free/hospital births, in particular. Please feel free to comment below or email me directly. :)


  1. What a beautiful & special story! And you are such a strong mama; I hear inductions are hard! It sounds like we labor somewhat similarly... I too like having lots of physical contact. And I'm going to have to checkout the relaxation station on pandora! I didn't don't like music with Liam, but maybe I'll feel differently this time!

    1. Thanks, it's such a special thing, as you know. Now that you say that, I never thought I would want much physical contact, as I'm not real touchy-feely, especially when uncomfortable, but it definitely helped this time!! The relaxation station was so nice, just really low and quiet in the background. Can't wait to hear about your labor (if you share)..!! :)

  2. Mama, you are a rockstar. Your story is so powerful and special. I really enjoyed reading it and about her birth. What a lucky little girl to have such amazing parents. Your husband seems like an amazing man from how you explain how he took care of you in the hospital. And I totally know what you mean and how you feel... one second they are inside of you and the next they are out. It's such a surreal and crazy feeling. And even crazier (even now) when I think about the fact that I grew Mason. He was inside of me. Amazing what a woman's body can do! xo

    1. You're so right, it's crazy to see these toddlers, that USED to be our little babies that we birthed. Now they're HUGE. I can't imagine what it's like as a parent to see your kids in high school or graduate college, or get married.. I hope I can forever remember that little baby they once were, in particular on that special day they joined our family. :) I think that's why I get so emotional at their birthdays..

  3. oh I love birth stories. So emotional. And, that rush of emotions right when you deliver. That is practically the only thing I really remember from Aria's birth. Thankfully I wrote it down so i can relive that way, but those tangle of emotions I still have. From what I hear inductions and pitocin makes it hurt more, I agree with Liz you are a rockstar.

    1. Me too, I love to read about other people's experiences. All so unique but similar in so many ways too. I heard that about inductions too, but it was hard to tell what was 'the drugs' and what was just my body doing it, I don't know, it's weird. Like I said, it was such a mind game!! Shoot, ALL moms are rockstars; those little babes do a number on ya no matter how you get them here!! :) hahaha

  4. It is so hard to go on when things don't go the way you wanted, but in the end they were perfect for her. Look she is so perfect! You were awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for reading!! Sometimes I'm hesitant to share such special and intimate moments like this, but I love that there are so many supportive and encouraging mommas out there that make it so fun to share, plus I like to document and hopefully someday it'll be neat for her to read this too. :)

  5. I'm always so impressed with you mamas who go the natural route! I love hearing everyone's birth stories because it just goes to show you how different they can be and how they rarely go according to plan!

    1. Me too!! I know reading other people's stories was helpful to me when preparing for the kids' birth, so I guess that's why I wanted to put this out there too, in case someone randomly stumbles upon it and it can be encouraging or whatever. Plus, it's crazy how much escapes your mind after even just a few months, I need to document it!! :)