It has been forever (like almost a year) since I did a blog post. I fail at this whole SEO thing. I thought what a better subject for a blog than the birth of this little babe.
This is the story of Isaac's birth.
When Scott and I first got married, I knew I wanted kids. I have always wanted to be a mom. I wanted 2 kids, and that was it. But after we had Nora, I felt like there was still another little soul that God had waiting for us.
I found out we were pregnant the morning of our 8th wedding anniversary. Somehow I kept it a secret all day and told Scott at the beginning of our date later that night. We were both so excited! This little babe was long awaited. We'd waited 4 years after having Nora to start trying for number 3, but that whole time we always knew there was another little babe out there for us.
This pregnancy was amazing. My favorite of my three. I had health issues during Emersyn's pregnancy which caused me to be induced at 35 wks. And with Nora, I had similar issues, but was able to fight off anything too severe and made it to 40 wks with her. This time around, I knew I needed to do things completely different than I had before if I wanted to be healthy. So Scott and I dove into a new lifestyle surrounding our food. When I was 19 wks pregnant, we started whole 30. This was a complete reset on what we had been eating, and it was TOUGH. But it was exactly what we needed to do to change our lifestyle. Now, 6 months later, and it was the best thing we've ever done for our health. The entire pregnancy with Isaac was completely healthy! I had a lot of anxiety over getting pre-e again, but thanks to prayers and so much determination, we never had one issue.
Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was getting super anxious and antsy. I feel like it was nesting, but in overdrive. I was doing ALL THE THINGS, and just felt like I couldn't settle. At 33 wks pregnant, I painted and redecorated the entire master bath. At 38 wks, I was outside pulling weeds in my flower bed. I had so much energy too, which was great because it kept me going. When I hit 39 wks, exhaustion set in. But I was still doing all the things, just crazy tired while doing it all. Babe was sitting super low, and those last several days were the most uncomfortable ever. I couldn't even sit down for very long without extreme discomfort. I had one more newborn session to do on Friday before I went on maternity leave, so I knew that I couldn't have this baby just yet.
I woke up at 39 wks 2 days pregnant Friday morning mentally preparing myself for my last newborn session at 10am that day. I got the girls around and off to my parents house around 8:30a and noticed that I was having random contractions every now and then. They had some intensity behind them, but I honestly thought nothing of it because I had been having prodromal labor on and off for around 2 wks.
Throughout my session, I was still having contractions, and they hurt. But they weren't very frequent. The session lasted 5 hrs. At 3p (ish), when my clients left the studio, things started to become more frequent. It's like body was just waiting for me to finish this one last thing. I had it in my head that things would just taper off eventually. I was going to go get some food, take a shower, and a nap. As I was driving around town running errands, contractions were still coming about every 2.5-5 minutes and last about 50 seconds. They had some intensity behind them, but weren't too painful. But driving while contracting was NO fun at all. I remember being at my friend Chelsea's house chatting and having contractions. I would stop talking and lean on a wall or bend over. I still didn't think they were the real deal. A nap would make them go away, I just knew it.
I got home and let my birth team know, just in case. Took a shower and tried to get some rest. That nap never happened though. Contractions were still coming. At some point, I decided that we were having a baby. Scott got home around 5:20p. I labored on the birth ball for a little bit. Then my birth photographer Stephanie Ralls showed up about 6p. Things kinda slowed a bit when she got there because I moved to the bed and laid on my side. When my contractions slowed down, I felt silly for having Stephanie come. But the contractions never tapered off, and when I got up, they came back with a vengeance.
The girls were at my parents house all day while I was at work. I had originally planned to pick them up, but decided to take a nap. So instead, I asked my parents to feed the girls dinner and then bring them home. They got home around 7:15pish. Up until this point, my contractions were intense, but I could still chat through them. They didn't require all of my focus. I was breathing through them on the bed. I was in contact with my midwife Cathy Morton CPM and she was on her way. The contractions were regular and getting more intense. So I knew baby was coming soon. When the girls got home, they came in and out of my bedroom as I labored. Emersyn was loving on me and "helping" me through a contraction or two.
Once the girls got home, things intensified more. I was laying on my side pretty much just waiting on Cathy. I could feel baby drop lower and move more into my back. My leg was shaking between contractions. This was a sign that I needed to shift positions, but I knew that once I did things would pick up. So I waited. Cathy arrived around 7:30p. I remember her telling me to release the tension in my legs and shoulders during contractions. She was needing to get mine and the baby's vitals, but contractions were really intense at this point and she couldn't get my blood pressure with me on my hands and knees. So I got out of bed and stood up. That didn't last long as I had a contraction while standing and sank to the ground. I got back in bed and Cathy told me to breath deeper through contractions. I did, and felt the change low in my pelvis. Timing is fuzzy at this point because contractions were very painful and coming probably 2-3 minutes apart. I remember the girls coming and going and Emersyn was my little doula through some more intense contractions. I was feeling them in my back and yelled for help once. All I said was "help" and "back" and Cathy showed Scott how to apply counter pressure. That gave me good bit of relief.
I was progressing very quickly. I knew that babe was coming and soon. I felt babe drop into my pelvis and knew it was time to start pushing. I was hesitant to push b/c of how much it hurt. So I would only push a little bit each time. Which I think ended up working out in my favor b/c it allowed time for me to stretch properly and such. I remember pushing once and peeing myself. Then the next contraction, pushing broke my waters. I had wanted to wait for the ejection reflex like I felt with Nora. I maybe felt that feeling once or twice, but this time around it was more intuition than anything that made me know it was time to have this baby. I also remember Emersyn coming and going and asking lots of questions. My mom wrote down several of the things she said. Some of my favorites:
"Can I help push?"
"I want to hold that baby, hurry up and have it."
Things felt very out of control. I could feel babe's head coming, but the pain and fear of the pain were keeping me from really giving it my all. I did some panting and breathing between contractions and Scott was holding me and repeating "you're in control" so I started repeating it too. This was a turning point for me. I took control of the pain and made a choice in my head "you're going to push this baby out". I was still on all fours at this point and I reached down and felt the head. I remember thinking that babe's head was perfectly round and smooth. The next contraction I pushed with everything, and delivered the head. I screamed super loud, and I'm pretty sure I scared the girls. Then I delivered the body and pulled babe up and to my chest. This was such an amazing moment! My dream for this birth was to deliver the baby myself completely hands off. And thanks to my amazing midwife, I was able to do just that. Babe came out crying and I immediately looked down to see the sex. I was 100% expecting to see girl parts. When I saw that babe was a boy I was shocked and so excited! I don't remember exactly what I said, but I think I said "omg Scottie it's a boy!!" I also remember saying "Thank you baby for crying" because when Nora was born she didn't cry and it was scary. My mom said "Isaac Lee is here!" This moment was everything I had hoped for. It was amazing, empowering, exciting. Isaac Lee was born at 8:16p after only 5hrs of active labor.
Everything about Isaac's birth was amazing. My birth team, Scott and my family, being able to deliver at home. It was just a wonderful experience, and I'm so grateful! God is so faithful and loving. I spent so much time during this pregnancy (and I know others did too) praying, for health and a safe delivery. And he showed himself again and again. Every time an anxiety would begin to take over, he would remind me to trust in him.
Some of my favorite moments:
- Cathy: She is amazing ya'll! Finding the right birth provider for you is so key to having a positive birth experience. Wether that's an awesome OB at a hospital, or a midwife at home. Cathy was so wonderful. Through out my pregnancy, she would discuss my anxieties and give me ways to deal with them. And she listened to my hopes for my delivery and saw that they happened. I just can't imagine this while experience without her. She's not just my midwife, but my friend. And I'm so thankful God placed her in my life. She's actually the midwife that came to help out after Nora was born. That's how we met. It's amazing how things have come full circle.
- Waiting to find out the sex: I am so glad that we waited to find out boy/girl this time around. The excitement and joy in that moment can't be put into words. Scott and I really wanted a son. But God had softened my heart to the idea of a 3rd girl, and I was totally anticipating to have another little lady. And I was very excited to meet her. I had visions of her chasing her older sisters around. So while I am thrilled that we finally have our son, I was no doubt very excited to have a little girl too. But a boy...after two girls...I'm trying to find words for how incredible that moment was and I can't quite describe it well enough.
- Catching/delivering him on my own: This moment was EVERYTHING! I had it in my head beforehand that I really wanted a hands off birth (meaning as little intervention as possible). I, being a birth worker myself, know how unpredictable birth can be. So I knew that my "wants" wouldn't necessarily happen. Because of Nora's birth, I knew that the birth process could happen in the most undisturbed way. But her birth felt really out of control. And I essentially wanted the exact opposite of that. I wanted to be in control this time around. Reaching down and feeling my baby enter this world was hands down the most incredible moment of my whole life.